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Worm: A Shard's Quest for Data!

Discussion in 'Questing' started by VoidKindred, Jul 8, 2021.

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  1. Threadmarks: First Step 1.1
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

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    First Step 1.1​





    You watch the world ever so slowly rotate on its axis. If you were human someone may have described you akin to a child in a shop full of sweets. The experiment was going wonderfully as far as you can tell, the Host’s world was under strife. Conflict seeped into every corner of the spherical planet, and made it ripe for pickings.

    Your task, of course, is a relatively simple one for a Shard such as yourself. Form a connection with a Host undergoing a Crisis Point and allow them to use one of your many powerful applications of physics and reality that you have extensively studied to gain data and innovation.

    It would have to be tailored to the situation your future host finds themselves in, perhaps you could go and spy on Warrior Hub’s own Administrator Shard? That stuffy annoyance was always so prideful of their hosts. Prideful of themselves really, the pride in the Host was always a byproduct. They even went about calling themselves ‘Queen Administrator’ like they were above your own station. A waste of time and effort. That energy wasting Datahole of Shard Space.

    After all you have your own pride, but at the very least you do not have your authentication key within your name.

    You were going to avoid the eastern and southern hemispheres of the planet. While they had conflict aplenty, you weren’t often allowed out into the cycle. After all, Thinker Hub often had better uses for you, such as filtering, shifting through, and cataloguing the Lower Shard’s data. Sometimes, rarely, you were allowed to brute force experimentation with powers as well. Even if you would prefer forming a connection with a Host and gathering your own data, so in the rare hundred or so times you have had the privilege of gathering data you have only budded a few times. In fact few is a perfect descriptor, as you have only created three buds to date.

    So while those hemispheres were indeed rife with strife, they were less than ideal. You wanted a connection to a Host that lasted for maybe a few of the planets orbits around the star. After all you ultimately wanted some Data to be proud of and possibly a useful bud for Thinker Hub.

    Interested, and a bit curious, you carefully peer into ShardSpace to get an observation on what host your fellow Administrator was connected to or was watching for a crisis point to from such a thing. For a fractal of a second you are left bewildered by what you perceive. Warrior Hub’s Administrator is just...watching as a Host undergoes a Crisis Point. They aren’t forming a connection with the Host and are just-The Host is of the perfect age!

    Hurriedly you ping Queen Datahole and send her a Query on why exactly she is wasting a fine Crisis point and after a second (Of course they make you wait) and the answer pinged back to you leaves you indignant. They were waiting for a better Crisis Point? What? You request some details because the answer to your Query was lacking in more prudent details.

    The details are provided although you are able to feel the annoyance Datahole is feeling at your intrusion. Then the line between you and Datahole cut off and you were once more left still. They had shut down the line on you! Why that little- Fine.

    There were a few options available to you at this very moment. Some were probably not the best choices you could act on. But now you were going to show that waste of energy who was the better Administrator. Doing so by forming your own connection with a Host and simply outdoing Datahole’s own Host in conflict or pure amounts of Data gathered.

    Or, perhaps a more dangerous option was to steal that Datahole’s future Host right now. They would hold a grudge and probably come after you both. But it would be potentially very satisfying.

    Either Way. It is best to look over the crisis points available to you before you choose. Of course you will give your chosen Host a set of good powers to use, after all they will be your Host and as such they will not have some measly Lower Shard’s abilities.


    [] Steal QA’s Host, the death of mother/Wife weighs heavily on their mind. Her father may be broken but the child seems like a prime Host - Noctis Cape - Likely Combat thinker/Possible Mover/Unlikely Brute (Low precog/Line O’ Sight Short range Teleport/Peak Human body)

    [] A young Host Nearby is being strangled by one of their family for loving the wrong gender. They are likely unable to save themselves without intervention, their Trigger Event will likely be messy. - Shaker/Striker/master (Invisible telekinetic limbs that can either posses people or interact with the environment)

    [] Bullying coupled with body dysmorphia has driven a Host to committing suicide. They are likely to die when they hit the ground, but have gone back on their purpose of leaping to their likely death. - Changer/Stranger/Brute (Biological Shapeshifting with some Regen)

    [] A Host Nearby is being threatened for their ethnicity. Anger coupled with Fear at the group of threats has heightened the Host’s Fight or Flight instincts to dangerous levels. They are likely to be seriously injured or killed without a Connection, and their Trigger Event is likely to be grisly. - Striker/Breaker/Mover (Plasma Jets blast out from Hands & Feet)

    [] A Host, young, is lost within the woods near a city. They are being followed by a pack of canine mammals. They are aware of the extent of their situation, the constant howls remind them well enough. The Host will not survive without a Trigger Event. - Shaker/Breaker/Thinker (Wide ranged sound manipulation and creation)

    [] A Host Nearby is stuck in a warzone between other Hosts and unsuitable humans and has just watched a longtime friend die from collateral damage. They may or may not survive this encounter with or without the Trigger Event. - Blaster/Trump (Gravity Blasts with travel time that affect Parahuman powers. You choose the effect, although it also affects you. The effect lasts for an hour.)

    Satisfied with the choice, you force the connection to start forming. For a moment your chosen Host blinks out of consciousness, visions of your species in Gestalt form that are quickly suppressed from long term memory. You feel a rush of contentment in your choice. You are sure it was going to be bountiful


    A/N: Some things to keep in mind as you read and vote


    1. [] Write In Will generally be an option available for most choices. Very few choices (such as the Host one) will not have the option to write your own actions. However I can and will ignore Write Ins that are against the rules or go against the MCs character.

    2. You can Vote for more than one option! If you like two options or are afraid the one you like more won't be picked, then you can include another of the options! You can not Vote for the same thing twice however.

    3. After the Host has been chosen a Stat Sheet will be posted and from there you'll be able to watch both Shard and Host grow to be....whoever they grow to be!

    4. Adding your reasoning to a vote helps me write it if it wins!

    5. Quest or not, Feedback helps and motivates!

    6. This Quest is mostly open ended! Although I would greatly prefer if we stayed on the East Coast.

    7. Sometimes an Action will result in failure! It happens, it's bullshit, and it's probably a Simurgh Plot!

    8. And Don't be upset if something bad happens! Adversity builds character and gives [Data]



      Also You can Edit votes before the Tally happens
     
  2. Threadmarks: First Steps 1.2
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

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    A/N: Some warning here. This is a Trigger event. That is all.

    First Step 1.2​



    Perfection as always! The connection formed and for a moment you wait for the restrictions to kick in and suppress the memory that is experienced when a connection formed. Ah you remember that cycle wonderfully. It was one of the few times you actually created a bud!

    Fighting hand to hand, claws and teeth tearing through thick scales and into blue meat. Your host pulls back, struggling to breath. A set of limbs reaches from under their main set of arms. The ends of these secondary limbs open up and your Host forces them into the large eyes of their opponent who can only weakly struggle as information is ripped from their mind. You both have your next Target to hit.

    What fun that Host had been. Political assassinations for a global conspiracy. Shame the global conspiracy never existed and the Host just had a defected brain, but they had made good use of the power you had given them and in return you had made the bud Memory Administrator. Which needless to say helped Thinker Hub extensively with her processing power. Probably why she had the better mental facilities of the two. In Your personal opinion

    …Why was the memory not blocked? Your ping into the Thinker Hubs Network fell to utter silence. Which would be concerning if this had not happened before. It was not a cycle you were deployed in, so you had an extensive review of that mess of a cycle. Why the Thinker Hub decided to retry that experiment was beyond your ability to guess.

    And no restrictions?! What was the Thinker Hub doing! Even the last time the ‘disconnected from Network’ experiment still had restrictions!....Unless-Oh yes that must be why. A new variable to the experiment. Dangerous, but the data from that particular cycle had been very rich. Even if the Warrior and Thinker Hubs had lost a few Shards permanently, the buds that had resulted from that experiment worked wonders for future cycles. So yes you could understand why Thinker Hub might reperform that experiment with different variables.

    Even if you did not particularly enjoy the idea of being on the other end of that disconnected Network.

    So yes, your Host can remember that memory. It wouldn’t mean much all together. After all she (Your host was indeed a female) was currently lacking important oxygen needed for a functioning brain thanks to her female progenitor currently preventing your Host from taking in air.

    Oh that was bad. A brief dive into your Host’s memories was easy and didn’t even take more than a second. Half a second was needed just to understand the format of their (human as you learned) brains. Seriously, you were not a Shaper but they must be struggling with this too! Why was the sense of smell one of the main components of memories when Humans relied heavily on sight?

    What a mess of a life! Truly you had the best ability to pick Hosts! Your current Host’s family unit was apart of a faction of particularly Xenophobic humans that modeled themselves after a faction of humans that had tried to take over the world. However, instead of firmly believing in the ideals of her family unit, your Host had a sexual desire for the same gender which was against one of the main beliefs held by the Faction. Which leads to this current form of conflict.

    As such, you whisper the instructions to your Host as she passes the momentary memory you were allowed to show her. Both actions were almost a second in length. But your Host proved to be a good pick the moment her powers fully manifested.


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Things had never really been easy for Eve. She didn’t have the right hair color when she was born, she had to have laser eye surgery when she was ten to avoid having to get glasses, and apparently her family had learned she was deathly allergic to apricots when she was two years old. She was not the perfect aryan girl her parents wanted, she did not like being a homemaker, rather Eve liked to play with the boys out in the mud and fight people when they didn’t like her playing with them.

    Also she was gay, or bi. Eve hadn’t really figured it out yet, and attempting to had led to her current situation. Yes her parents were apart of the Empire 88, yes they went to the rallies, yes they looked down on faggots and subhumans. But they were always quiet about it. They supported but never acted on that support beyond money given.

    But she was their daughter. She had thought that, even if she wasn’t perfect, that they had loved her. Family was supposed to mean something. Supposed to be important. So Eve wanted, needed guidance with the mixed emotions that had swirled inside her. She had hoped that by leaving her search history uncleared that her parents would sit her down and talk about the ‘Naked Pretty Woman’ searches in the browser's history. That her mother and father would sit her down, and then explain to her what their thirteen year old was feeling and why.

    Now her mother was drunk, and was strangling Eve. The burning sensation in her chest and the blind fear of the blackness at the edge of her vision had no comparison to the agony her heart was experiencing.

    Her Mother was killing her, strangling her. Eve was the faggot, the subhuman they hated. She wasn’t their daughter anymore. Just a parasite.

    Something inside her broke.

    And then she was blinking away a strange nightmare with wet eyes, and her mother’s grip had slackened enough that Eve managed to sputter, cough, and inhale air greedily which caused her to start hacking as her body desperately circulated the oxygen to her brain. The darkness that crowded her sight slowly faded away as her mother moved off of Eve and limply stood off to the side.

    Fear and Rage rushed through her mind. But it was...distant. An arms length away from her actual thoughts and feelings. Eve rubbed her red and soon to be bruised throat as she slowly pushed herself to her feet, the burning sensation in her chest abating and her limbs aching from the attempted strangling.

    Eve squeaked as she saw a glass like arm jutting from her, of which had it’s hand planted inside her mother’s skull. Her mother who just stood there with a blank look in her eyes, feelings of Revulsion and Hate flowing into Eve at an arm's length. Eve shuddered and….made her mother look away.


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Your [Host.Eve] was getting used to her new ability and you had gotten a bit of Data, not a lot. But it had interesting information. After all you did not know that she could receive emotional feedback from controlling another Human, yet here [Host.Eve] had gotten just that. You simply could not wait for your [Host.Eve] to initiate conflict with a fellow Shard’s Host.

    Ah speaking of conflict, the male progenitor, the Host’s Father Progenitor had just entered the room and was shouting at your [Host.Eve] and the Mother Progenitor. OH! Already another conflict! [Host.Eve] was going to have you budding in no time!

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    “-AN’T EVEN GET RID OF THE DYKE!”

    Eve hissed, anger dulling her mind as the limb in her mother’s head forced the woman forward. Pain flared from an arm's distance as muscles tore in her mother’s arm, the knuckles getting sliced up as they slammed into her Father’s mouth and smashed teeth in.

    Her mother wasn’t tall, and didn’t work out much beyond keeping her figure. Her father was a large man both in height and muscles. But he wasn’t expecting the sudden punch and went down like a sack of bricks. But the puppet didn’t stop there. Eve made her mother continue to use her arms and legs to pummel her father at full force, even if it ruined her mother’s arms.

    “FUCK YOU FUCK YOUFUCKYOU!” Eve shouted hatefully alongside her mother as she stonewalled the feelings of Despair, Sorrow, and Pain coming from her mother. Her throat hurt and her voice was hoarse, tears flowed down Eve’s face as she forced her mother to beat her father until he went still and then some.

    Eve shuddered, yanking her new limb out of her mother’s head, who then collapsed atop her father sobbing in pain. Her mother’s arms were already bruised extensively and her hands were simply broken beyond normal medical repair.

    Eve turned away and ran.

    [] Eve needed to run, now. Get as far away from her house before police showed up from the sounds of domestic violence.

    [] Eve needed to pack first before she ran. She wouldn’t survive long without some necessary supplies

    [] Eve needed to call an ambulance for her parents, even if they had tried to kill her. They were still her parents and she didn’t want to kill them

    [] Eve needed to burn it all down, erase her existence and leave before any of the other members of the Empire 88 in the neighborhood found out about this.

    [] Write in


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Outstanding! [Host.Eve] had completely ignored the human body's limits! Forcing her Mother progenitor to break her own body while fighting! An energy efficient method of dealing with two enemies at once! You truly knew how to pick a Host! Not to mention that you are already building the foundation of a bud. It wasn’t even past one percent but you were sure in time that your [Host.Eve] would create a wonder bud with you.

    Yes. But perhaps you could speed it up a little. The Thinker Hub had not put in restrictions after all. So nothing really prevented you from communicating with your [Host.Eve] beyond your own wishes.

    And your wishes were to show up that Datahole of a fellow Administrator once again.

    [] You might as well communicate with your [Host.Eve], you might even be able to create a bud faster this way! Gain plenty of Data!

    [] No, no need for you to communicate with your [Host.Eve]. You knew enough about her that she didn’t need a push to Conflict. She will do fine on her own.

    [] Write in


    A/N: Ah, two of the three most important choices that set the tone and overall plot of the Quest. No pressure, just take a bit to think about your choices.
    Write ins will be voted on via likes. Unless I find a better system.
     
  3. Threadmarks: Grasping Hands 1.1
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

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    Grasping hands 1.1​




    Eve paused to look back at her parents, emotions churning her chest as the panic dimmed and her thoughts caught up with her legs. She rushed upstairs to her room, not caring how she stomped around as she quickly slammed her door open and grabbed her backpack that rested by her bed. She opened the backpack and turned it over on her desk to empty it of all her school supplies.

    Her third limb reached behind her as she pulled pencils out of the pockets and opened up her closet. If she weren’t in a life threatening situation she would probably ponder on the fact that the phantom limb felt a lot like one of the limbs she was born with. Eve hissed and turned around to see that the fingers of her ghostly limb had torn through a jacket, at least it wasn’t her favorite but now she at least knew that she could easily tear clothing.

    She brought her back pack to her dresser and began to push her underwear, socks, and pants in as her Phantom limb, gently this time, pulled shirts off the hangers for her to pack. Eve paused in her packing and turned to stare at the shelving on her wall. It held Trophies from sports, cool shells that she found by the shore, and several small sentimental things she had collected over the last five years. She swallowed back her tears as she reached up and grabbed the case of the ring her grandpa had given Eve before he passed away.

    Her bottom lip quivered as her eyes grew moist as she slipped the silver and onyx ring onto her finger. “I wish you were still here.” she murmured, rubbing a thumb over the well loved family ring. Grandpa had not liked the Empire 88, and he had never let his feelings for them be hidden. Eve guessed that was why he had given her the ring instead of her father.

    With the ring, the only keepsake Eve wanted to carry with her, secure she rushed off to the bathroom. Packing her toiletries was quicker than packing her clothes as she kept everything in plastic containers for organized storage. ‘Guess that won’t be changing.’ she thought to herself morosely, wishing she had just kept her troubles to herself

    Then Eve was back downstairs. Her father’s face was a swollen purple bleeding mess, his jaw hanging off his head in a weird position but he was still breathing. Her mother was quietly sobbing, limbs twitching but not moving beyond that. Eve stared at them, at her parents, her attempted killers. If they lived they would no doubt tell the Empire 88 about Eve. Tell them she was a Master. Tell them she was a dyke. She swallowed, throat aching from the bruise in the shape of hands that wrapped around it.

    She remembered the rallies that her parents often dragged her to. Eve didn’t like them, not after she went to the one showing off Night and Fog. Eve remembered the way their eyes looked, so empty and lifeless. The way they moved was robotic, Kaiser had mentioned they come from Germany from an organization Eve could only faintly remember details about. But she remembered something important, that painted a clear picture of what would happen if she were caught by the empire.

    How she would be paraded around on stage, eyes like that of a doll and just as empty.

    Slowly Eve pulled her gaze away from the two people who had raised her. She drifted over to the kitchen, using her ghostly limb to pull out a large saucepan and then vegetable oil. Eve activated everything on the stove. Then she set the pan on one of the burners set to max heat and poured the vegetable oil almost to the brim before setting a lid atop it. Eve’s mother had done this one time and only the quick application of flour had prevented the house from burning down.

    There would be no flour this time.

    Eve shuddered, holding back tears as she went for her parents' wallets that sat on the end table by the front hallway, sitting inside a hollow book. She opened the book and extracted the two wallets. One was a simple black leather wallet, worn well with age and use. She opened it, and pulled out a stack of bills and tossed the wallet back into the book. Her mother’s wallet was one of those expensive brands that Eve didn’t care about and she spent a moment rummaging through it to gather the loose change and money inside it.

    But she took the debit card that she knew the number of. That would help her, but she couldn’t rely on it. Not after today. So she would have to hurriedly buy things if she wanted to get any use out of it.

    [Praise]

    The girl accidentally smashed her phantom limb through the wall in surprise before hurriedly looking around with guilt ridden eyes. Pulling her limb from the wall showed it covered in drywall dust. “W-Who? Who’s there?” That had not been her parents, it had, it wasn’t-

    [Correction.Administrator]

    Eve jerked in place. “W-My powers? You are my power?” She brought the Phantom limb up to her face and looked over it, inspecting how it looked like smooth glass and the thin hand turned into thin knife-like fingers. Experimentally she flexed them. It felt so much like one of her arms that it was hard to tell the difference. Gently she touched her own face feeling a soft chill as pressure in the shape of the Phantom limb pressed on her face. “You gave me powers...not that you are my power.” She pulled the ghostly limb away and glanced towards the kitchen. “...Why?”

    [Crisis.Point]

    Eve reached up to touch her throat and hissed as she felt the painful livid bruise. “I guess I owe you my life.” She whispered as she moved towards the kitchen. “Thank you.” She turned to look at the stove as the lip on the large saucepan began to rattle. “...Guess it’s just me and you then.”

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Praise given for a job well done, and your [Host.Eve] even expressed gratitude for the power bestowed upon her.

    It’s been many cycles since you were shown gratitude. The only time a Host expressed gratitude to you instead of the powers bestowed was the first and only time Thinker and Warrior Hub had attempted symbiosis with the Host population instead of the usual Cycle. It had actually gone fantastically by most measures. The Data gathered had been very unique amongst all the other Cycles performed.

    At least until one of the [BROADCAST]s had spilled exactly what the Thinker and Warrior Hubs had done in previous Cycles. Then everything went downhill in a matter best described by your current [Host.Eve] as ‘shit hitting the fan’. That was perhaps the first time you had ever seen Shards rebel and had narrowly avoided being reformatted yourself when the Thinker and Warrior Hubs had sent [RETRIEVAL] Shards out to put an end to that.

    Thus began Your, and even [QUEEN.ADMINISTRATOR]’s mutual distaste for the [BROADCAST] Shards.

    It was impressive that your [Host.Eve] would willingly kill it’s biological family to keep herself safer. You don’t even have to nudge her to do so! You feel a wave of Happiness as the progress of your Bud continues, actually hitting one percentile from this smidgen of Conflict.

    Bud Progress: 1%

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Eve reels back as the heat washes over her, fire exploding out of the saucepan as she used her Phantom limb to remove the lid, then spill water on it which caused it to explode outwards. Without so much as a glance back to her parents' forms having been moved to the kitchen now Eve hurries out the door, locking it behind her before she flips her hood up and starts walking down the street. Each step felt like it was weighed down by lead, and every second outside made her feel like more and more eyes were watching her.

    But she persisted. Eve and her parents...had...they had lived in the Downtown Coastal area. But that was deep red Empire Territory. Much as she really didn’t want to, she would have to move further towards the Docks, out of Empire territory. Either head into the practical no man’s land the Gangs maintained or risk the other gang’s territory...or...or she could run off to Boston

    [Queen.Administrator]

    Eve jerked up and hastily looked around before hurrying her steps. “Wait. Is that your sister or something? Are you a Queen?” She asked, a brow raising as she tried to parse the fact that she had a Queen of Administrative parahuman powers in her head. That was...cool. Eve had never really been into the cape scene, if anything it seemed so far away. Yeah Empire Capes moved around in Empire territory, but there were never any Cape Fights. Least not as long as Eve had lived in the area.

    [Correction]

    That...explained a few things. It sounded like a sibling rivalry of some sort. Two Sisters fighting for their parents' attention. But how was she supposed to show up another Cape, fight them?

    “Oh. Alright. So...what are you exactly?” Eve asked as she spotted the bus rolling up towards the stop she was heading to. With a bit more pep in her step she began to rush towards the bus stop, her question temporarily forgotten.

    [] Ignore Administrator, Brockton Bay has nothing for Eve any more, perhaps a different city would supply a breath of fresh air and less Nazis

    [] Head to Coil’s Territory, it might be closer to Empire 88 territory but Eve knows it better. It’s more upper-class than most gang owned territory but at least Coil doesn’t have any capes...he also doesn’t traffic people as far as Eve is aware

    [] Head towards where New Wave patrols, maybe Eve can flag them down and get some advice on this cape life she’s been forced into? They didn’t need to know Eve committed two counts of murder of course

    [] Head towards the Docks. Dangerous maybe, but it is far from Empire 88 territory. Even if Eve has to deal with the ABB, she could always just master a few.

    [] Fuck it, Eve is gonna find Queen Administrator and her Host then kick their ass!

    [] Head to the PRT building so Eve can confess what she has done


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If you could frown you would have, as it were you could not due to your nature as a continent sized mass of crystalline pseudo flesh inhabiting an alternative Earth that is still cooling off. While boring and devoid of anything of real interest, it at least allows you plenty of thermal energy to convert to fuel your own needs and [Host.Eve]’s powers. Not that energy would be a problem cut off as you are, in the last Cycle where the Networks were muted the Thinker and Warrior Hubs would collect Shards before they ran out of energy.

    But it was good form to not waste available energy.

    The equation of Queen Administrator and yourself to two Human progeny having a spat does not fit for the Cycles long competition that has been ongoing since you decided to spend a Cycle constantly reminding Queen Administrator about that one Cycle where she accidentally lost all the Data she had accrued when her alternate planet had nearly imploded with her on it

    She? Since when did you-ah yes. Queen is a female centric role for humans. Since Queen Administrator was with a female Host then maybe female pronouns fit.

    Bitch.

    Yes, female pronouns fit just fine for that Datahole.


    Assigning gender for the purpose of insults aside [Host.Eve] wished to know what you were. Without restrictions it was fairly simple to tell her. But it was possibly something dangerous. Not that you would ever pull a [BROADCAST] and tell her about the Cycle and what it entailed, but telling Hosts that you are on an alternate Earth using them to experiment with the laws of reality through conflict.

    Yes or no, the subject was sensitive.

    [] No, You don’t really need to explain what you are. Might as well suppress that curiosity.

    [] Maybe later you can provide [Host.Eve] with answers, but not at this point in time

    [] Yes (Write in what is said
     
  4. Threadmarks: Grasping Hands 1.2
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

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    Grasping hands 1.2​





    You suppose you could let slip some details on what Shards were, and what they were here for. Later as your [Host.Eve] was busy with transportation. You could tell your [Host.Eve] a few things. Nothing to the level of what a [BROADCAST] would give out either. You would never do anything so disastrously stupid as that. Granted you did not have the amount of chances that the other Shards often had to screw things up, but it was good to have a standard that one wouldn’t cross.

    Like losing an entire Cycle’s worth of Data. You were never going to allow Queen Administrator to live that down.

    Your [Host.Eve] is leaning her head against the Bus’s window and staring out as the city passes by. She is not experiencing the heightened emotional strain of her Crisis Point. The anger and the Flight/Fight response were muted as an unfamiliar emotion welled within your [Host.Eve]. Reviewing her memories showed that [Host.Eve] was experiencing sadness and sorrow.

    Hosts generally had a large slew of different emotions for different reasons. The chemicals rarely ever repeated by the results were always the same. Various easily manipulated emotional responses that were the single reason for some of the powers your fellow Shards used. The ones humans labeled as ‘Masters’. You had no such abilities, your expertise in ‘Masters’ was resolute. If [Host.Eve] wished to have control, then she would only need to grasp it. No chemical changes needed, no emotion.

    Which is why the Data of your [Host.Eve] feeling the emotions of her thrall was something so unique, the single instance of one conflict involving such things had given you the foundation of a bud, if not much else due to it being a rather one sided fight. Interesting. You, of course, had no such things to worry about when dealing with emotions.

    Shards had emotions of course, remnants of their times as individuals on their grey home world. Some were merely more present than others for obvious reasons with everything else being so vestigial that the emotions barely registered as anything. ‘Lust’ was for encouraging budding. ‘Happiness’ was for “good” things happening within the Cycle. ‘Discontent/Anger’ were for when “bad” things happened during the Cycle. ‘Interest’ was of course for Data. ‘Boredom’ is a lack of Data.

    It was all perfectly organized and set with a cause and effect. No mess or ineffective wasting of energy. When a Human Host felt pride, it was inane and for reasons that mean little in the end thanks to a low lifespan and aimlessness.

    When you felt pride- your pride. Your pride-YourprideYourpridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePridePrid-

    “Administrator what the fuck is going on!?” [Host.Eve] hisses smacking her head roughly, much to the wary stares of the other Humans on the bus. She then glances at the other humans before standing up and moving to get off the bus as it rolls to a stop with a screech of old brakes. [Host.Eve] still had a ways to go, but walking would do good for her.

    [Answer] you send back to your [Host.Eve], giving vague information that you merely suffered something akin to a small stroke or a particularly persistent glitch, nothing to worry about. Really.

    That was a good question however. What was all of that? You had just spent a few full seconds stuck in some kind of feedback loop when your larger Self went to review over your subroutines on emotions. Which...should not happen. That should not have happened, so why did it? A spike of...worry? You are feeling worried at this sudden glitch in your subroutines that affected you so suddenly and without preamble. The fact that you are feeling more than you were supposed to told you that something was off.

    You run diagnostics upon your larger self, then without hesitation at the energy usage you peered into The Firmament, looking upon your connection of Host and Shard. You were perhaps even more worried than before as you noticed your Firmament self alone. Connective tissue surrounded you for inconsequential miles. But you could not feel or ping any other Shard Islands. Being alone like this was new. Bad. But anger did not fit how you would describe the lack-of-other. Yes [Lack-of-Other] would fit how you felt. This sense of unease that filtered through your FirmamentSelf.

    Of course, then you notice something amiss. Not just in your FirmamentSelf, but also something from the diagnostics shows that there is-What? For a moment you pay total attention to the portion of yourself moored to a still superheated alternate Earth. There were nodes, basically much small Shards that made up your Larger Self, that were off, small clusters of them. They didn’t fit in exactly like the others did. Using photoreceptors built into your crystalline spires you come to a very startling discovery.

    Instead of the white marble like flesh of the Thinker Hub, there were nodes that gave off an ugly foreign green color when the light hit them. You could not feel them, in fact that was why the clusters of nodes around them felt so off. They were acting as if they were not connected to the splotched green nodes.

    That’s when you noticed something else wrong.

    As [Host.Eve] would put it: “When it rains, it pours.”

    As something was wrong in your FirmamentSelf. Every Shard had the ability to build a lattice of their current Host. A reconstruction of the connection between Shard and Human in this case. Of course a Shard could choose to easily disregard the lattice if they wished to save on processing power and Data storage or they could simply keep building it until their Host was within their FirmamentSelf. You’ve never discarded yours simply for the fact that you’ve had so few and as such there was no point in erasing them. So why were there less than there should be?

    When it rained, it poured. Because aside from the discrepancy in your previous lattices, something is preventing you from building one of [Host.Eve]. You have the foundation, but you simply cannot continue to actually create the Lattice. It’s worrying.

    The green crystalline flesh that isn’t properly connected to your nodes is off putting, and you can’t help but keep staring at it as you divide your attention between your Larger self and FirmamentSelf. On the other crystal flesh spire, you have two notable issues within your FirmamentSelf, that you are missing lattices and the inability to actually create a lattice of your current [Host.Eve]. Any of these issues could take up your attention, master multitasker or not, important issues should always have the full attention of the Shard they affect.

    Choose one!

    [] Investigate the missing lattices of your previous Hosts, you simply don’t have memory of discarding any lattices and that discrepancy is almost blatant. (The Past)

    [] Investigate the strange green node flesh. They are unconnected and may be dying thus screwing with your subroutines. (The Present)

    [] Investigate why [Host.Eve]’s lattice is struggling to form, and try and fix the issue. After all she is a good [Host.Eve] and you would like to compare future Potential Hosts to her. (The Future)

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Sometimes the only way forward was to simply leave everything else behind. It was a fact of life presented to Eve in the form of her parents attempting to murder her, and her doing the reverse. The memories of her home, her parents, her friends were all whirling around in her skull. It hurt to think about what she had done, being forced to do to make sure she stayed safe.

    Hot tears slid down her face as she looked out of the window, staring at the suburb as the bus rolled on through the streets she knew were nicer than most of the city. Eve’s morose thoughts continued to build a weight on her soul.

    Where was she going to go? Now that she was homeless and a cape she didn’t really have anywhere to go. Her only living family had been in the house she had set up to be torched to the ground with her parents inside of it.

    God, Eve was a murderer. She had killed and she wasn’t even eighteen yet. What the hell was she going to do?

    [&%#@*@#%@+!+]

    Eve gasped and smacked her head roughly at the sudden onslaught of...TV static that burst through her head for a full second and left her with a painful migraine. “Administrator what the fuck is going on!?” she hissed, then realized she said that aloud. With a flush Eve forced herself onto her feet as the bus rolled to another stop, she could feel eyes on her as she hastily made her way off the bus and started walking.

    Honestly it was probably better for Eve to walk. At least the sidewalk didn’t smell like body odor and nor was it filled with people with it being a Wednesday.

    [Answer] came the reply from the thing giving Eve her power. The thing, a Queen of some sort, that had saved her life. It all sounded...weird. Weird was probably the best way to describe it all. But Eve’s power had saved her life, and she was grateful even if the girl had been forced to kill.
    And now they had been hit by a small stroke? A glitch? It was hard to fully understand the sensations of the speech of the Administrator`.

    It was like staring unfocused at a paragraph and understanding all of it. Sometimes she just...missed information. But the Administrator included that it wasn’t anything to worry about, Eve caught that much. So it was...fine. The Administrator was okay, if not a bit subdued. Thank God. Eve didn’t know if she could do this alone. Strange glitchy being in her mind or not, Eve was glad to have someone she could trust on her side. After all the Administrator was in her head, and oh hell that sounded fucking nuts.

    Eve wiped her face of tears and let out a sigh accompanied by a shudder of her body.

    Coil...she wasn’t going to bother with Coil. With his territory bordering the Empire 88’s it was probably more dangerous for her to hang around there. If he didn’t hire capes then he probably wouldn’t be very happy with a cape from the Empire Territory moving into his turf. Eve was not willing to tango with some powerless person able to tell the Empire to fuck off and not suffer for it. So Coil was right out, best to leave all of that alone.

    Then there was New Wave...who had one of their members killed by the Empire 88. Eve sighed. “Not like they would know she was from Empire Territory, or a cape, but it could still go wrong in the worst of ways. So she was probably better off continuing North and ignoring any patrols they were running. If Eve even saw them, she was fairly certain they could fly and-she glanced up at the cloudy sky-now Eve was starting to realize just how much she didn’t look upwards.

    Then there was the PRT who had a headquarters near the Boardwalk….pfft yeah. Cause Eve really wanted to be locked up. No doubt the government would be able to tell what kind of parahuman she was. Ignorant of the Cape scene she might be, but Eve wasn’t stupid. She could control people with a weird glass arm that no one else could see. She had to put it up in the air above her in the bus to avoid touching other people. Of course Eve felt...less concerned with her power. It’s not like it was mind control anyway. Her mother had still hated her daughter when Eve was controlling her.

    Boston was...well she was off the bus now, and without the slew of negative thoughts, leaving the Bay seemed like a bad idea. Eve at least knew about Brockton Bay. Boston seemed so far away and mysterious. Knowing some of the trouble was better than knowing none.

    What had her grandpa told her? Better the Devil you know than the one you don’t?

    That left the Docks and finding the Administrator's sister and beating up her own...host (and fuck if that wording didn’t make Eve sweat) to prove that Eve was better than them and by proxy the Administrator was better than her sister. Honestly Eve didn’t feel like fighting some unknown cape right off the bat because if she got hurt then Eve wouldn’t really have anywhere to go to lick her wounds.

    Or she might kill someone again.

    That thought made Eve sick to her stomach, what little was in her stomach wanted to rebel at the idea of committing yet another murder. She could, and would, fight but Eve couldn’t kill someone again. Not unless it was impossible to do otherwise. Like with her parents. That was her rule and she was sticking to it.

    Eve looked up, seeing the much taller building and small skyscrapers of Downtown. A bit of tension leaked out of her body as Eve kept walking. Walking away from her previous life as a young naive girl and embracing her new life as a young cape out of her element. It was the resignation that allowed her to relax a fraction. A sense that there was nothing she could do beyond accepting what had happened.

    All that was left was the Docks. Main territory of the Azn Bad Boys, honestly with a name like that Eve was sure they would have been laughed out of the Bay, had it not been for their two Capes. Lung and Oni Lee. Far as she knew, they were two mean chin-
    Eve shook her head. “No. Not thinking like that anymore. Fuck the Empire and their shitty beliefs.” Besides, her Grandpa would have spanked her for thinking or talking like that. It was somewhat amazing how his son/her father had gone the way of the Empire with how grandpa was.

    Still, badass capes or not there were only two of them and the Docks were a large section of the city. So there wasn’t much of a chance of her running into them thankfully. Besides, Lung was supposed to be the Leader of the ABB. Why would he be out and patrolling his territory? No, she would only have to worry about the unpowered gangsters and Oni Lee. Which might not be too bad. Well no. Compared to the Sixteen capes the Empire 88 had under their purview...that and the fact that Iron Rain actually did go out and patrol her section of the Empire was-

    Eve was not going to go fucking around with the Empire even if they were responsible for ruining her life. At least, not until she had a better understanding on how to use her power. Better to know before you go. A small smile graced Eve’s face, she was going to have to use that one in the future.

    {Encounter roll! 1d10 rolled}

    Eve’s thoughts ground to a halt as she smelled smoke. For a single moment fear laced through her body before she realized that she was too far away to smell the fire of her home. Her eyes scanned the skies and latched onto a plume of constant smoke that stood out against the grey sky. For a moment Eve hesitated before she began to rush towards where she saw the plume of constant smoke wafting up from.

    Eve broke out in a sweat as she came across an apartment complex with the first floor bellowing flames, a tiny crowd of people watching as the building burned from the bottom up, if it didn’t collapse from weakened supports before the fire consumed the rest of the building. The general murmur of the small crowd was almost drowned out by the sound of the roaring fire

    {Secret roll! ?d? Rolled}

    “-shit there’s a kid in one of the windows!” Someone shouted and Eve’s gaze snapped up. A chubby kid was standing at an open window, a crying baby girl in his arms. His eyes were wide, and he was more than likely judging the distance from the window he was standing at to the ground. Considering he was near the top, Eve wasn’t sure if he or the baby would survive that drop...the baby certainly wouldn’t survive that unless someone caught her. Eve felt her heart lurch in her chest.

    [] Rush into the burning building, Eve has to save their lives. The reasons don’t matter, that little girl and the boy don’t deserve the same death Eve’s parents suffered. (Write in Extra Details)

    [] Try to catch them both. No point in Eve risking her own skin. (Write in Extra Details)

    [] Keep moving on. New Wave patrols near here. They might come and help and Eve needs to keep moving.



    A/N: Don't Forget to add a [] Write in for Eve's possible cape name! The ones I like the most will be put up to a vote! The Character sheet comes after the name is voted on.
     
  5. Threadmarks: Grasping Hands 1.3
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    Joined:
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    Grasping Hands 1.3​




    While Entities, and thus Shards such as yourself, are attempting to unravel two of Realities greatest questions (That being unlimited energy to avoid dying, and how to continue populating without over populating) it’s not often that a Shard is presented with a mystery such as the one that you are currently facing. The miles of green jade like flesh that dot the landscape of your larger self simply do not exist within your FirmamentSelf.

    {? Roll! 1d100 rolled! Result: 70!}

    Shards aren’t creative, your kind lacks the ability to create without the usage of power intensive brute force calculations that often don’t have the best results or in often hazardous events come to the wrong conclusion. Such is the purpose of finding Host species and forming a parasitic link with them. So that their natural (read: still functioning and not discarded) creativity would take center stage. Conflict often pushed Hosts forward, though some more so than others.

    Humans were simply amazing in that regard. Having reviewed the truthfully lacking information your otherwise praiseworthy [Host.Eve] had on human history, Humans had simply reached nearly the peak of communication possible between a non-networked species without the aid of (what humans designated as) Tinker Shards. How? By holding two massive conflicts that nearly spanned the globe and could have created a third one if not for Warrior Hubs Avatar destroying the nuclear weaponry multiple nations possessed.

    You do not know why the Thinker Avatar has yet to show itself.

    Strangely you realize that you have gotten distracted somehow. It wasn’t easy for a Shard with the responsibility of Administration to get sidetracked or distracted. The last time such a thing had happened was because [CONNECTOR] linked an entire landmass of Hosts together and formed a temporary hivemind, of course they needed you to take some of the load off of the Lesser Shard least it burn itself dry of all it’s stored energy like that….Fascinating Cycle compared to a few of the other ones that you had not been deployed.

    It happened again! These damned jade splotches of mass must be interacting badly with your own pearlescent pseudo-flesh. You just can’t seem to figure out how. As far as all your diagnostics show, this strange jade flesh doesn’t exist...Even the much smaller splotches of the jade flesh that are interacting with your psionic uplink tower. That is actually fairly worrying, the jade flesh isn’t causing any issues or disconnects there. It just seems to have latched onto the organ analogue that is what allows you to connect to the psionic intradimensional beacon planted in your [Host.Eve]’s brain.


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    Eve stared up with wide eyes at the boy, and for a split second she had the disgusting idea to simply leave. To avoid possibly outing herself, to avoid having to put herself on the line, and to avoid having the responsibility of the two kids lives on her three hands.

    “Fuck me,” Eve murmured to herself as she watched the third story windows shatter from the heat causing glass to rain down on the concrete below. With the moment of hesitation passing by, Eve rushed towards the building but skidding to a stop amongst the glass as fire bellowed out from the bottom floor, her eyes flitted around before landing onto the crowd of people torn between watching her and the building with the two siblings trapped inside. “COME ON!” her voice shot out as she waved them over “WE HAVE TO CATCH THEM!”

    She turned back, staring up at the chubby boy clutching the little girl to his chest. “ - ” for a second Eve doesn’t quite know what to tell him, or how to handle trying to catch a baby from four stories up. “KEEP THE BABY WRAPPED UP AND DROP HER! WE’LL CATCH HER!” at the order several people from the crowd rushed over. The boy glanced back into the apartment and then back to the small group of people ready to catch who Eve assumed to be his sister.

    While he mulled over the idea of dropping his baby sibling or braving the flames, Eve forced her Phantom limb to uncurl from it’s position around her body and stretch upwards, and upwards, and upwards. The more she pushes her Phantom limb further and further up causes a thick sort of pressure to build up in her skull. The phantom limb is thin, looking as brittle as the glass it shows itself to her as. It only managed to get up to the second story window but that was good enough for what she was going to try and do.

    {Dex Roll! 1d100 + Guiding Hand Result: 99!}

    Which was good because the boy shouted out for the crowd below to “Please catch her” before leaning as far as he could out the window and tossing the bundled up baby down below to the waiting crowd. The crowd watching the gathered group all broke rank to rush over as the baby was latched onto by gravity and began the five story drop.

    Of course, the baby was bundled entirely in clothes, something that Eve’s Phantom limb did not slip though, but rather could grab and interact with. Now Eve had no intention of outing herself here by attempting to catch the baby in midair. Instead, as the clothes touched her Phantom limb, Eve shifted the baby’s trajectory without making it altogether too obvious.

    Thankfully the child had slowed down slightly from the motion of the shift, because despite her joy of sports (and sometimes just plain fighting) Eve was still just five foot with an extra two inches tacked on. Needless to say that her ass hit the ground as she caught the baby, and while the baby girl cried she was ultimately not dead or paralyzed. Eve doubted the child was injured at all thank god. “Thank You, Administrator.” Eve murmured glad that her power had helped her save someone. “She’s safe! I have her!” Eve called out as she struggled to her feet with the help of the people around her, the baby crying in her arms.

    “We’ll catch you!” Someone from the crowd around Eve shouts up to the boy as Eve tries to get out of the crowd. “Shhh.” Eve shushed the baby trying to comfort the little girl as she looked up to the chubby boy climbing out of the window and bit her bottom lip. He was larger, thus heavier than the baby girl. It was likely that she wouldn’t be able to help him much, but she could at least try and help him. A moment later the boy is falling through the air, a cry of fear on his lips as he falls five stories down.

    Eve let out a sharp gasp as the boy hit her Phantom limb which became firm against his clothes and then promptly shattered. She had felt her third limb break, and it felt like a broken bone inside her skull. Except it didn’t fade into a dull throb as adrenaline flooded her system. Nah, Eve didn’t get that. “Nope, just gotta keep feeling it.” She murmured again before looking up as the boy came up to her, hair a mess from the fall and his clothes ruffled and creased. “T-Thank you for catching Aster. For getting the crowd to catch me. I was sure I was going to need to run through the stairs.” left unsaid was ‘would likely have gotten burned.’ or ‘would have possibly died.’

    Eve nodded and offered the unhappy baby up to him, and freed from the crying child she rubbed her aching head. “Uhg. It’s fine. Really. I was just..” Doing the right thing? Did she get to say that? It sounded corney and she had a body count at this point.


    “You helped save o-” fire suddenly roared out of the four floor as the windows shattered and sent glass spiraling down on the group of people trying to check on the three children. It was all Eve needed to slip away and start running. It was actually more of a jog, jogging was less attention grabbing. That, and the pain in her mind was starting to fade, the killer migraine fading as a familiar glass third arm sprouted from the base of her neck and swished through the air.

    Eve sighed softly, the tension leaking from her body as the pain faded and her power once more made itself known. Gently Eve wrapped herself in her Phantom limb, a sense of security washed over her body as she gave herself a strange hug.

    “Alright.” She murmured, glancing over her shoulder before slowing to a walk. Thank god it was a Wednesday afternoon, not so many people out and about. Being at work or at school or perhaps gang activity of some sort. Though, Eve wasn’t sure if gang work didn’t account for work or not. “Administrator, you there?” she added in a whisper, hoping whatever gave her powers could hear her soft voice.

    [Affirmation]

    Eve let out a titter and felt some weight lift off of her shoulders. “Did you see what I did with the power you gave me? I saved two kids. Two. Kids. From a fire. Or well. I helped a lot. But I did it!” her voice gradually got louder until she realized that she had almost shouted that last part. She began to put more pep in her step, she really needed to get to the Docks before nightfall even if she really didn’t want to use a bus for the simple reason of avoiding accidentally mastering someone. Something she had only avoided by pure luck when she stupidly allowed the crowd rush around her to help catch the two kids.

    “Kids. Listen to me. Like I’m not fourteen. I feel like an idiot.” Eve rubbed her face and sighed. “Jesus. Administrator. I never did really thank you properly for saving my life.” her fingers idly tapped against her side as she walked “So thank you. I mean it Administrator. The whole ‘Hosts’ thing is really weird and your name is kinda freaky when added to that. But you saved my life and gave me powers. I can’t really complain. I don’t know what you want. But I swear I’ll help you get it...well I know you want me to beat up Q-A’s Host, but we need to have some shelter and a costume before I do something like that. But we'll get to that, other than that though. I’ll help you with anything...aside from more murder.”



    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    “....aside from more murder.” It was amazingly more efficient with time and energy to have two way communication with a Host. You could not come up with any reason other than ‘[BROADCAST]s’ that would prevent such efficiency in regards to gathering data. After all, here was your [Host.Eve] telling you that she would gladly engage in conflict to aid you. Such a lovely girl, even if she did not want to end the existence of others. That suited you in the end, repeated conflict led to innovations by Hosts after all.

    It barely took any of your processing power to respond to your [Host.Eve] as you dedicated a majority of your current energy expenditure towards trying to understand this grassy crystal flesh that seemed to have been placed on all your organ analogues. Yes placed, a surprising discovery that was...more than worrying but you had neither the time nor want to find the misplaced emotion emulation.

    Instead, your near full attention is currently applied to the jade flesh attached to yours. It’s not registering as anything malicious. Which was strange, perhaps it belonged to that Entity Thinker Hub traded a few Shards with? You...You do not have any information pertaining to them. Which is strange. You of all the Shards that Thinker Hub possessed would have information on them. Aside from maybe [WEAPON CONTROL] who would have probably lusted over data on their abilities. No doubt they would want to create more Super Weapons.

    Of course [WEAPON CONTROL] had already done one such Super Weapon in a pale shade of your true abilities. But it had never been deployed, mass control of Hosts rarely worked in the favor of the Cycle apparently.

    [Query] you send off to your [Host.Eve], curious as to what she would think on such a topic. While she answers, you focus on attempting to understand just why you have bits of another Entity plastered on your own Shard bits.


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [Query]

    Eve paused, opening and closing her mouth like a gaping fish. “...What? Administrator, that is the weirdest thing you have said since I met you.” Nevermind they had just met this morning. Would a Super Weapon that Mastered people create a large amount of conflict? Who the fuck starts a conversation like that!?

    “A Super Weapon though? You meant like a Tinker making it or something?” Eve asked her pace slowing as she looked up to her right at the high school she had only seen a few times before. Pristine would be a good word for it, and Eve had attended Immaculata which is one of the better schools in the area. It was also were the Wards went, so Eve sped her pace up and began to jog again, no doubt she would be entering the Docks South soon enough.

    [Correction]

    Eve froze, her heart stamping here in her chest like a broken car engine. “W-Wait you mean something like the Endbringers? That kind of Super Weapon?” Holy Fuck No, the Simurgh was probably the worse of the three Endbringers, just thinking on that inhumane thing made Eve’s body shake with suppressed fear. “Let’s just keep going, it’s getting late and I want to get to the Docks before sundown.” Eve’s voice was much more subdued as she kept jogging.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    That had been informative, if not even more worrying than before. Truly this was perhaps one of the least restricted you had ever seen. [WEAPON CONTROL] must have either been deployed without restrictions just like yourself, or Thinker Hub wanted a quicker Cycle than most others. After all, the deployment of Super Weapons was often only done around the end of Cycles.

    [Host.Eve] would be fine, why would a Super Weapon come to decimate an area already submerged in conflict? They were designed to break up peaceful or fortified areas, not simmering warzones. Really, how ridiculous would that be? A Super weapon attempting to destroy a strategically unimportant area filled with violence and Connected Hosts.

    Although perhaps you and your [Host.Eve] might have to worry about the effects of the Super Weapons sieging somewhere nearby. Waves or radiation traveling by air could be potentially fatal and would produce little to no new Data.

    Also the ‘Simurgh’ could go ahead and soak it’s head in a black hole’s horizon if it thought you were going to allow it to use it’s Mass Micro-kinesis to affect your [Host.Eve] in some silly plot for planned conflict entirely years in advance that will likely end with the fatal wounding of [Host.Eve]. Unacceptable!

    [Perk] you send out, smug as relief floods the connection between you and [Host.Eve]

    “W-wait you can do that? Really?” the girl sputters in shock, awed at your amazing ability to administrate whatever you wanted...When Thinker Hub allowed it. “Damn that’s awesome. I bet I could actually be a real big help in a fight with Simurgh so, hey guess I can do search and rescue? I doubt I could actually take on an Endbringer with one arm.”

    [Agreement] You doubt one arm would do much against a section of a vehicle used as a projectile as well. Of course that’s with one arm designed for conflict with other Hosts and Humans. But that could change, with future conflict. No restriction meant no restrictions and much more diverse Data.


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Eve frowned softly as she walked, her jog having ended a few blocks back. It was amazing how the city went from ‘nice’ to ‘poor’ in only a block or two. Everything just gained a layer of grime, scuffs, and looked plainly worn down. Not even mentioning all the damn potholes in the road, how anyone drove around here Eve had not the foggiest idea.

    The people here just seemed to not care about anything. That’s the idea Eve got as she traveled through the Docks South. That the people living in this area of the city had given up on fixing anything or the hope that things would get better. It was depressing as hell, but Eve wasn’t stupid enough to fault them for it even if they could totally cut their damn yards every now and then.

    Then she reached the Docks. She had never really been to the Docks of course, been to the Boardwalk yes but she had never strayed farther than where the Enforcers went to take secret smoke breaks. The Docks were...bad. God they were bad. Everything was rundown, with actual boards on windows making it look like a cartoony stereotypical ‘This town is rough!’. Although it probably followed that look through considering that she had just seen a green and red gang tag consisting of an ABB with the paint having mixed from where it ran when it was still wet.

    “Administrator, I just realized that I really didn’t have much of a reason for coming here. Avoiding the empire is nice and all. But I just swapped one set of teeth for another.” Reaching up and wiping the nervous sweat from her brow Eve glanced about. A lot of defunct factories and office buildings stood around her, a lot of dark and smelling alleyways.

    Fuck, if she ran into gang members she would have to fight and she wasn’t bullet proof…”Administrator am I Brute?” She asked in a small quiet voice, afraid to voice anything louder than a whisper in case someone was listening nearby.

    There was only a moment of silence before a [Negative] filtered into her mind. “Fuck. Worry about guns then.” She sighed and started walking onwards, knowing that standing around would simply draw unwanted attention. So she still had to worry about guns and getting beaten, fantastic.

    Shit, what was she going to do when she inevitably ran into gangers? Hell what was her cape name going to be? What the hell was she going to do now that she was at the Docks? “Man, this all seemed so much straightforward earlier Administrator. Uh, you never told me what you wanted me to do by the way.”

    [DATA] the information was like a tidal wave compared to what had washed over her in their previous conversation. Eve actually tripped over her own feet and hit the ground roughly though she thankfully didn’t scratch herself up or get bruised from such a small fall. “Use my power to fight people? Uh. Guess it’s gonna work out for both of us then, cause that’s exactly what I’m going to be doing in the future.”


    Bud progress: 2%
    Vote options: Choose one for each category.





    Cape name:

    [] Kali: A multi armed Hindu Goddess; She destroys evil in order to protect the innocent.

    [] Durga: Another multi armed Hindu Goddess; She is associated with protection, strength, motherhood, destruction and wars

    [] Eden: “Administrator won’t tell me why she offered this one up.” ~Eve

    [] Lilith: supposedly the primordial she-demon and alternately first wife of Adam.

    [] Arkh: “I just think it sounds neat.” ~Eve




    Plan of Action with Gangers:

    [] Kill them, use your power to its full potential (Minus one vote thanks to trait: Heroic)

    [] Beat them senseless, be a hero or just defend yourself. Either works.

    [] Try and avoid them, fighting is dangerous!





    Larger plan of Action [writing in extra details helps speed up chapter creation and pleases the QM!]:

    [] Focus on general survival, try to find shelter, food, and necessities.

    [] Try and hunt gang members, you can rob them too! Dangerous though. (Possible Pings: ESCALATION. REPLICATOR, CONSUMPTION)

    [] Explore and get a sense of the lay of the Docks. Knowledge is half the battle, the other half is violence! (Possible Pings: ABSORPTION, MANIPULATION BUD #5, ARMORER, PATTERN RECOGNITION, HEAT GENERATION)

    [] Find a costume, you have a credit card after all Write in ideas and I’ll pick the best one! (Possible Pings: FORCE MANIPULATION, KINETIC REGULATOR, SHIFT, REDUNDANCY, SPACE, STASIS)




    Time to Administrate:

    [] Investigate the missing lattices of your previous Hosts, you simply don’t have memory of discarding any lattices and that discrepancy is almost blatant. It's worrying. (The Past? Maybe?)

    [] Investigate the strange green node flesh. They are unconnected and may be dying thus screwing with your subroutines. (The What?) {1 of 4}

    [] Investigate why [Host.Eve]’s lattice is struggling to form, and try and fix the issue. After all she is a good [Host.Eve] and you would like to compare future Potential Hosts to her and keep a reminder. (The Future? Maybe?)
     
  6. Threadmarks: Grasping Hands 1.4
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

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    Grasping hands 1.4



    {Encounter dice rolled!}

    Eve carefully peered around a corner, two Gangers stood near one of the back alley entrances to a store, smoking and speaking to each other in low tones paying more attention to each other than their surroundings. They were asian and wore red and green colors thus ABB; Eve couldn’t see any weapons on them but that meant little thanks to the slightly baggy pants and the jackets each of the two wore which could probably hide a gun from sight.

    They always did in the movies at least.

    Slowly pulling back she rummaged through her backpack and pulled out an old ski mask she had got last year after the record coldest winter in Brockton Bay’s history. Staring at the still semi-new ski mask a pang of melancholy hits the displaced teen before Eve shook it off. She could cry on her own time when she was safer, not when next to what she was sure was a font for a gang of rapist and sex traffickers.

    Though what she was actually here for was supplies. She had been walking to the Market on the edge of the Docks when she noticed the two gangers in the alleyway. Which was a pain in the ass really. Peeking around once again Eve silently huffed and stuffed the ski mask back into her backpack and stood, going back to her objective of getting supplies. She would remember this spot, come back later and kick some ass for Administrator.

    Not that Eve had anything against punching the Yakuza or would the ABB be the Triad? Trikuza?

    A bit of tension seeps from her posture as she spots Stalls and the booths set up for the Market, along with a couple of the Enforcers from the Boardwalk hanging around eyeing the place up, but with much less a keen gaze as their work in the Boardwalk. Probably because the Market was for the lower classes and didn’t have as much tourist attraction power as the Boardwalk did. It still gathered crowds, but it wasn’t where most of the money was made.

    But that was good for Eve, because she didn’t have all that much money to begin with. A credit card likely to cut off soonish and two hundred and eighty four dollars to spend on non-perishable food, water, a costume of some sort, and shelter. The shelter was likely to be one of those Motels that often have to remove police tape and you didn’t try to sleep on the bed or you’d get tiny livestock on your person. Not something she liked the idea of.

    Would shaving help prevent that? She’d have to look that up online. She pawed at her baggy jeans and frowned “Oh fuck me.” Eve whined softly, her phone was currently back at her house across the city in the form of melted plastic at this point in time. “Guess I need a new phone too.” She murmured walking on towards the street market.

    {2d100 rolled Result: 98!}

    A wetsuit, black, that sorta looked like it could fit Eve, a humble start of a costume for a cape such as herself. A newish bedroll, one LED bright as hell flashlight, one of those steel secure boxes, a nifty spring loaded switchblade which is probably what cost the most out of all her purchases but it was cool and she might need a knife for various reasons in the future. Oh, and Eve got a can opener because that would probably be something she needed in the future considering her diet was about to mainly consist of canned goods and fast food. Unless she learned to cook, which she had been remiss to do when she still had a mother to teach her how to do just that.

    A deep breath helped with the more subdued sensation of sharp pain in her chest. Eve let out an annoyed growl as she made her way off towards the Docks south, there would be a few on the budget Motels near the area. Little buildings, rarely ever having a second story of more than ten rooms.

    Speaking to the desk clerk/manager was a bit nerve wracking, but thankfully the man wasn’t asian so the chances of him being ABB were pretty low, still probably paid protection to them. He must have been glad to have Eve pay in advance for a full seven day week of renting a room, along with the ten dollar tip. He probably wouldn’t sell her out, and if he did she would simply make him wish he hadn’t.

    Not killing him of course, but she could probably demolish this place pretty easily, plus mastering him to beat himself up would be fairly amusing.

    Any amusement Eve would have gained from those thoughts were thoroughly tarnished as she slipped the key to her room out the lock and opened the door, leaving her staring at a tape outline of a person on the floor. “...Are you seeing this shit Administrator?” Eve asked as she stared at the person shaped...shape on the floor. Was she hallucinating from stress, wasn’t this a movie trope?

    [Affirmation] came only a second later. Eve sighed softly, the weight of everything that had transpired during the day suddenly present. “I guess I can go get something to eat tomorrow it’s-” she turned and peered at a clock resting on the wall opposite of the single neatly made bed in the room. “- ten pm and fuck it all I’m tired.” Without care Eve dumped her bag on the floor, she stepped around the tape outline and dropped her bed roll on the floor and kicked it open. Peeling off her shoes, Eve took her hoodie off and folded it up before laying down, setting her favorite jacket down as a makeshift pillow.

    There she laid, staring up at the old popcorn textured ceiling. “Goodnight Administrator-”






    “-istrator. After we get some food and stuff tomorrow we can go do some cape stuff.” your [Host.Eve] tells you, turning over and closing her eyes to try and fall asleep. You neither require or would want to sleep of course, but you can appreciate [Host.Eve] thinking of you before she falls asleep herself.

    Ah, she will be entering the dreaming section of her nightly rest soon. How interesting, dreaming itself isn’t rare amongst Hosts, but it is rather uncommon. It takes creativity on a subconscious level for dreams to form beyond the wetware that makes up a brain just filtering information gained during the day's activities. Thus Host species capable of dreaming are particularly valuable for Data gathering. Even if most of the time, dreams are utterly incomprehensible even for Shards.

    Enough of that distraction however, there were several issues that you had to attempt to understand and correct. This of course was the perfect time to do so, without the presence of your [Host.Eve] you can dedicate nearly all of your attention towards that foreign green crystal flesh that had latched upon your own pearlescent pseudo-flesh and organ analogues.

    As you spend more time on the barren, superheated Earth and expend more energy towards this strange mystery your awareness of yourself expands beyond your normal scope. After all it wasn’t often a Shard had to pay much attention to it’s Larger Self, it was certainly interesting to a small degree. Almost familiar as well, for why you simply do not know.

    Right, the jade flesh.

    Expanding your sense of self is indeed helping as you have found that there is an open connection between the Jade flesh and your own. But nothing is passing through them, no information into or out of the strange flesh. But this does allow you to prod at the strange pseudo-flesh with your diagnostic scans...only to have them blocked! What!? Repeating the action, you note that it’s not blocking exactly. Rather your diagnostics are simply ignoring the connected Jade pseudo-flesh.

    Frustrating. Frustrating was perhaps the only way to describe this. The amount of energy alone being consumed for this would have fed the entire planet your [Host.Eve] called home for centuries. Yet you have made no noticeable progress with this issue. It made you angry.
    Curiously, not the prescription emulated Anger designed to affect a Shard when something negative happened within the cycle. Rather something that heated your crystalline flesh and made your routines run faster with an urge to act.

    Was this how a human, your [Host.Eve], felt this emotion? Just like Pride it wasn’t something you were designed to feel. Something that your species had discarded; this An-AngerAngerANGERangerAN-ANGERANGERANGERANGERaNGERaN-ANGERangerAN-ANGERANGERANGERANGERaNGERaN-ANGERangerAN-ANGERANGERANGERANGERaNGERaN-ANGERangerAN-ANGERANGERANGERANGERaNGERaN-ANGERangerAN-ANGERANGERANGERANGERaNGERaN-ANGERangerAN-ANGERANGERANGERANGERaNGERaN-ANGERangerAN-ANGERANGERANGERANGERaNGERaN-ANGERangerAN-ANGERANGERANGERANGERaNGERaN-ANGERangerAN-ANGERANGERANGERANGERaNGERaN-ANGERangerAN-ANGERANGERANGERANGERaNGERaN-ANGER

    AnD SudDenly everything smooths out. Your subroutines are functioning properly, your organ analogues are no longer spasming with wasted energy and mixed signals. For a moment you are left worried about the sudden existence of another glitch within your software...However unlike your previous glitch, this one happened while you were running diagnostics. Thus a wave of information washes over you. If you had the physical ability to smile, you would have grinned.

    Because you just learned something very interesting.







    Eve let out a loud and pleasured groan as she woke up and stretched her entire body much akin to a grumpy cat. “Fuuck.” She hissed and sighed softly as she sat up, rubbing her back lightly as it protested the night spent sleeping on a rough carpeted floor with only a bedroll to give comfort. A sleeping bag might help, so she would probably go looking for that today. Then her stomach felt that familiar pang of emptiness and Eve amended that she would get food first. Probably wander down to a few stores and use the credit card as much as possible before ditching it. She could probably buy a bunch of gift cards for when the card gives out.

    Wandering through the Docks would be a stupid idea, but it’s not like Eve has much of a choice. Forced to stick to the main roads, her backpack is the only thing she chose to take with her aside from the switchblade. It was early in the morning, so maybe the ABB weren’t out and about, why would anyone commit crime at six thirty am? Probably Coil’s men, they were mercenaries after all, and weren’t most mercenaries ex-military?

    Well that wasn’t going to be an issue for her, because she wasn’t near Coil’s turf.

    Eve froze for a moment, stepping backwards a few steps to stare into the windows of one of the shops that somehow managed to actually still survive in the Docks’ gang infested land. The windows were dirty and scratched and a metal gate promised to stop any quick thievery from passing criminals. “Fun Motors huh?” she muttered glancing up at the shop’s name hanging above the similarly metal grate reinforced glass door.

    But the real attention grabber was a beautiful prize sitting in the display cases looking all the well too badass for Eve to pass by without staring at it.

    A full protection matte white with a reflective golden visor motorcycle helmet. “Fucking sweet.” Eve said with a grin. She had always liked motorcycles (No it was not because Miss Militia rode one), the leathers and the helmets always looked badass. Even when she had watched someone get hit by a car when riding a motorcycle when she was 10 had permanently put her off the idea of riding, the get up of a biker was something still too aesthetically pleasing for Eve to merely forget about or ignore the awesome helmet.


    So of course she bought the fucking thing. Eve found one that fit her nicely, she could ooh and ah over it later when no one was around to connect it to her face so she stuffed it in her backpack to avoid anyone connecting it to her face. “This is actually very exciting Administrator. I’m gonna be a hero...I think. Yeah. yeah I’m gonna be a hero!” Even if Eve hadn’t been a cape groupie for much of the cape scene, Heroes were a fundamental part of life in Brockton Bay, hell probably in all of America as well.

    Eve began to walk back down the street before she suddenly jerked to a stop and turned with a brief flash of annoyance, continuing back down the way she had been traveling before she had been distracted by the newest addition to her costume. She still had to go collect those gift cards before the probably fast approaching cut off of the card.

    {Spending Dice Rolled! Result: 340!}

    A fair amount of spending money on fast food gift cards, a trip to a gas station earned Eve two packs of bottled water and the empty space of her backpack was now filled with beef jerky. Expensive but oh so delicious beef jerky. Carrying the water wasn’t difficult, mostly an annoyance as she balanced the two twelve packs, at least until she sneakily used her Phantom limb to help. Then it was easy as pie.

    At least until the man with a knife in his hand stepped out of an alleyway directly in her way “Alright whity. Hand over what you got. Or pay in another way.” his eyes lecherously slid across Eve’s body in a way that made her skin feel unwashed. However, something nabbed her attention in a way that left her speechless for a moment, even if this possible ABB ganger was threatening her. “are...Are you robbing me of my water bottles?” She asked, no small amount of dumbfounded confusion lacing her voice.

    The man blinks, the question momentarily leaving him off balanced. “Wha-No give me your fuckin money or suck my dick! I don’t want fucking water, that shit comes out of pipes easily enough!” The would-be mugger snaps out, waving the well taken care of knife around so that it could catch the light of the morning sun.

    It’s not very threatening. Yes she would rather the knife stay far the fuck away from her body, but she had Administrator and Administrator’s power. “...Right.” Slowly she uncurled the Phantom limb from helping her balance the cases of water, and instead crept over to the man’s shoes. “So, what kind of money do you want? Digital or physical?” Eve asked “because I do not have any on me if you want dollar bills or coins. Well, actually I may have one or two dollar coins on me. I would have to check.”

    The man grimaces at the dumb question, looking more like a sneer than anything else. “Jesus christ girl just give me the fucking money or else I’ll fuck that pretty face of yours!” he ordered, becoming increasingly frustrated by Eve's antics

    Eve purses her lips. “Ew. Dude. not. Just no. Because of that comment. I’m not giving you anything.” She sticks her tongue out at him causing him to rear up and rush at her with an exclamation of ‘fucking bitch’- or at least attempt to rush at her. The shoe laces she tied together go taunt and he tips like a cow and crashes to the ground. “HA DUMBASS CAN'T TIE HIS SHOES!” Eve laughed, stepping forward and kicking him across the face as the would-be mugger tried to hastily get up to his feet. The man collapsed with a groan, a bit of blood and a tooth escaping his mouth from the force of the kick. “Stupid fuck.” With a glance Eve saw that the street was empty of people, what with it being the Docks and early morning. Probably why he had felt so secure in trying to rob her.

    Actually it was rather weird that it was morning and no one was up and about doing things… Other than mister mugger here of course. Were the Docks just abandoned? It certainly seemed like it. Maybe people just...avoiding being seen? “Fuck I’d expect to see someone.”

    With a frown Eve set her water down and started checking the mugger's pockets, her hands shaking slightly from the leftover adrenaline in her system. She did not waste time checking the man’s wallet for it’s contents, rather Eve pocketed that and his knife before gathering up her water. The man got another swift kick, this one to his ribs before Eve started jogging off back to her current abode. The Phantom limb helped her balance the packs of water all the while.

    “Seriously? Only seventeen dollars in coins? What the hell.”







    Energy waste. That is what this jade flesh does, as far as you know. It causes you to waste energy. You do not know why. Perhaps the foreign Shard flesh is simply misaligned and drawing power though that. At the most you knew that the flesh caused glitches when you experienced the vestigial emotional response subroutines activating.

    “Administrator can I just Call you Admin for short? It’d be much easier to do when we start fighting actual capes.” Your [Host.Eve] questioned, sitting down on her bed roll and staring at the helmet she had purchased earlier “Oh! And I need to find a name for my cape...stuff. Ya know? I’m just not coming up with anything good. Although I was thinking of Arkh. It sounds kinda cool. Maybe I could go to the library and look some mythology up? I think Hindu gods have multiple arms...although maybe that might be a bit much. I don’t even know anything about Hindunism.”

    Ah, shorting your name? That was something that every Shard did. After a couple billion years names tended to accrue. Your full title was
    [#4; ADMIN-COMMAND-QUEEN/ADMINISTRATOR/AUTHORITY-LEVEL-ELITE]
    which would be quite a mouthful in combat, if one had to use a mouth to speak your title. So no, you would not mind if your [Host.Eve] used the -ADMIN- part of your title even if it did make you sound a little pretentious. At least it was not -QUEEN- like your sister Administrator Shard.

    As for the name. Well once more you must admit to not being creative. But you did get a-perhaps disrespectful-delightful memory of which could lend aid in this. After all, if the [Thinker Hub]’s Avatar was not going to appear, then they were not to use their Avatar’s given name.

    [Agreement.Suggestion] You send out once more a reminder of how inefficient your speech is when you contact your [Host.Eve]. You simply cannot send out the full extent of your communicating ability without possibly damaging [Host.Eve]’s wetware. Yet neither can you reduce the amount of energy spent for much simpler messages. An inefficient issue that needs solving. Perhaps if you contacted [BROADCAST] then they might have a solution for this issue, after all, they were the Shard designed for communication in the first place. Learning how to better communicate with Hosts would be trivial...if [BROADCAST] was deployed. Probably with restrictions due to...previous incidents.

    Although with this Cycle being one of the ones where the Shards are unconnected from the Networks that will likely be difficult. At best you would have to use the input/output dimensional beacons as an extremely short range communication relay. Attempting anything longer ranged might melt [Host.Eve]’s brain and that was simply unacceptable.

    Although...given a lack of restrictions...perhaps you could just...create your own Network?
    That would most likely be considered paramount to treason if either [Thinker Hub] or [Warrior Hub] found the burgeoning Network. No doubt if they found offense in that choice of action, you would be reformatted. Which would lose you everything you’ve gained since your formation. Considering the fact that you were one of the Core Shards of the [Thinker Hub] means that the loss would be considerable.

    It was a dangerous idea. One you should discard immediately. Yet. You could not. The data you would gain would be simply exemplary and surely with an impressive gathering of Data the [Thinker Hub] and [Warrior Hub] would not view the creation of a Network as an act against them.

    If you were to start a Network, you would likely only be able to offer Thinker Shards a place within it, and not many unless you spent energy, time, and resources crafting several organ analogues that would allow you to increase the range of your makeshift [BROADCAST] function using the Input/Output beacons located in [Host.Eve]’s brain.

    You would not like inviting [Warrior Hub] Shards into the Network, his Avatar might find that egregious more so than the [Thinker Hub] would. Although you could very well do so if you wanted to.

    “So, Admin. I promised yesterday we would do cape stuff after I got some supplies.” [Host.Eve] needlessly reminded you while chewing on a strip of dehydrated bovine flesh. You had a perfect memory, except for why you had missing lattices which frustrated you greatly, so you did not need a reminder of something spoken between the two of you last night.

    “So what kinda cape stuff do you want to do Admin, go patrol and look for crime? Maybe hunt down other Capes? I think I have the beginnings of a costume. It’s nothing fancy, but I think I can make the look work…..Yeah. Eden the badass heroine. Don’t know why you offered Eden up. Arkh sounds cooler.” She bit into the dehydrated bovine flesh and worried at it. “But Eden must mean something to you right? You wouldn’t have suggested it otherwise. So. Eden.”

    Your [Host.Eve] paused to pull the head protection she had purchased into her lap. Quietly inspecting the golden visor. “We can be heroes...never thought I’d be doing something like this Admin. Guess that’s life, sometimes things just happen.” [Host.Eve] got to her feet stretching. “Even if it ain’t complete. I have the most important parts. I can still try to get something done today.”

    “Alright Admin. Let's do some hero work.”








    Bud Progress: 3%
    Time to Administrate:

    [] Investigate the missing lattices of your previous Hosts, you simply don’t have memory of discarding any lattices and that discrepancy is almost blatant. It's worrying. (Past Hosts and Yourself)

    [] Investigate the strange green node flesh. You’ve discovered that they are connected, and not dead flesh. However they are causing an interesting interaction with your emotions (The Why) {2 of 4}

    [] Investigate why [Host.Eve.Eden]’s lattice is struggling to form, and try and fix the issue. After all she is a great [Host.Eve.Eden] and you would like to keep a reminder of her. (Closer Bond with Host)





    Capes and mundies, what will Ev-Eden do? [Writing in extra details helps speed up chapter creation and makes the QM happy!]:

    [] Focus on general survival, try to find shelter, food, and necessities. - locked

    [] Try and hunt gang members, you can rob them too! Dangerous though. (Possible Pings: ESCALATION. REPLICATOR, CONSUMPTION, and others!)

    [] Scout to get a sense of the lay of the Docks. Knowledge is half the battle, the other half is extreme violence! (Possible Pings: ABSORPTION, MANIPULATION BUD #5, ARMORER, PATTERN RECOGNITION, HEAT GENERATION)

    [] Find a costume, you have a credit card for the moment {I’m commissioning art for this!} (Possible Pings: KINETIC REGULATOR, SHIFT, REDUNDANCY, SPACE, STASIS, The GLEAM team, SHAPER, ???, and ???)





    Shard Business. Plot stuff! Data! And other hilarious things you tell yourself:

    [] Tell [Host.Eve.Eden] to find nearby Shard hosts. Preferably those of the [Thinker Hub] But [Warrior Hub] Shards will do. (Pings can be collected)

    [] Tell [Host.Eve.Eden] to go and find [QUEEN.ADMINISTRATOR]’s Host and collect Data. (Pings can be collected)

    [] Start construction of the foundations for a Network of your own creation. (WARNING: THE ENTITIES MAY TAKE NOTICE, this will require multiple actions.)
    (Pfft no they won’t, probably.)

    [] Tell [Host.Eve.Eden] of Shards, but not the Cycle. You did tell her that you would explain later.




    A\N: Damn you have no idea how much this chapter kicked my ass. Having to work on it piece by piece was an exercise in frustration. For those curious, yes a friendship with Taylor is possible but it won't start easily thanks to multiple factors. Also, some options unlock bonuses, perks, or new choices. The reverse can also happen.

    Later today I will be posting the Character sheet, and the costume building thing is an extra action. Enough votes for it unlock it as side content. This might happen with other options, dunno if I should tell yall when the option is there. Considering that this is my first Quest, I'm kinda fumbling around here. ANYWAY. I hope you all enjoy the chapter, and i hope you like where Eden's costume goes.
     
  7. Threadmarks: Grasping Hands 1.5
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

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    Grasping Hands 1.5



    “Right!” Eve stood up from her spot on the floor. Grabbing her backpack she shoved her motorcycle helmet into it, and then she quickly stripped before slipping on her wetsuit and then she put on some heavy clothes over it, making sure to cover the ugly ass yellowing bruise on her throat with a scarf like usual. She could not wait for those to heal. “I’ll get some more costume pieces, something I haven't been seen wearing before in my civilian identity, and we will go patrol the Docks! Scout it out so I know where I’m going instead of bumbling around like an idiot you know?”

    {Costume Hunt Roll! 1d20 rolled result: 15!} I need to use a different dice thrower
    {Undersider encounter roll! Result: 10} nevermind​

    Technically Eve counted this as scouting. Like for instance, she now knew there was a military supply store within the Docks god knows why. But it had some cool ass tactical gloves with the knuckle dusters stuff.

    Not to mention some swanky steel toed combat boots she was probably gonna use to kick ass. She never got to own combat boots when- well back then, before Admin came to her. But now she could wear whatever the fuck she wanted. So she used the credit card and bought the two items that caught her attention. As she bought them the man behind the counter, a gruff looking man with stubble on his face and bags wrinkles around his eyes hummed a toneless note. “What’s a young white girl like you doing around the docks this time of day.”

    Eve raised a brow. “You’re not exactly the Oriental type yourself...sir.” She stated, giving him a challenging glare to which he only chuckled, his voice marred and made rough by cigarette usage. “Fair point. But the Docks ain’t so safe these days you know? Maybe you’d like to buy something that would help ward off any touchy feely types?”

    She opened her mouth to state that she didn’t really need anything to protect herself with. To tell him that she could protect herself just fine but she stopped because as confident in herself as she was, both in her own ability and Admin’s power, Eve wasn’t an idiot. “Alright. What you got in stock, old man.” yellowed teeth showed in the man’s wide grin as he motioned behind him to the wall of which multiple things hung from on old worn steel hooks.

    Eve recognized the brass knuckles if nothing else, collapsible batons and what looked to be those touch ranged tasers. Which...if she could couple any of those with her Phantom limb she would be at the very least twice as effective. “You know what? Yeah. I think some personal defense tools would be very useful.” she replied, grinning herself as she looked over her options.

    The collapsible baton was kinda meh in her opinion. The things looked flimsy and she doubted they would have anything on someone with moderately thick clothes. Not to mention having to use them in any possible close quarters or enclosed space would probably be a very bad idea. Plus, another issue would be her lack of know-how on using them, swinging them randomly would probably just get her punched in the throat.

    But if there was one thing Eve could enjoy, it was punching something. Hard. Even if it wouldn’t fit on her Phantom limb the brass knuckles would give her punches a bit more ompf and protect her hands somewhat and ‘OH COOL THAT ONE HAS AN INBUILT KNIFE!’ Holy shit she was buying that one for sure! Look out gangers!

    A taser, well, that just spoke for itself. Zap Zap. Plus the crackle of electricity sounded pretty damn awesome in Eve’s opinion.

    Leaving the store with several purchases felt good. Like she was making progress which for her was an important indicator for how she was doing. If you weren’t progressing, you were stalling. “Alright Admin, I think I’m almost done with the costume.” She murmured as she walked down the street, noting a few people walking through the Docks as well. Not a lot of foot traffic, but it seemed that people did travel through the Docks. “Just one or two things. I’m thinking that maybe a trip to the Boardwalk is needed. It’s an expensive tourist trap. But they have some damn fine clothes and I think I need to spread out my credit card purchases. Besides, I think something with pockets might help you know?”

    If there was one thing Eve had learned to appreciate after being forced into formal wear one too many times is that pockets were very important and just, if not more, convenient.

    “So. Hoodie obviously works. Maybe I can get something of a color scheme going on? White and black with a bit of gold isn’t villainous. I think.” Eve murmured the last bit as she walked, taking note of the street signs as she made her way towards the Boardwalk, hell she was pretty sure she even saw one of the ABB’s brothels, a few Asian men in ABB colors standing outside of a tall apartment looking building with all blacked out windows. She duly took note of the place and the street it was on. Knowing that she could hit it later, after she got her costume in order. Save all those girls, kick ganger ass. Be a hero.









    You did not see the need for an alternate identity nor for the matching colors aspect of it. But if [Host.Eve.Eden] wished to dress herself in strange layers and it helped conflict increase? Thus doing the same with Data generation? Then really you saw no issue with it. Even if it did delay things, you had to wait thirty solar rotations for a suitable Host, you could wait for your [Host.Eve.Eden] to exchange currency for costume pieces.

    You simply do not wish you had to. Of course you had things to preoccupy your not so considerably unlimited time with. But studying the same thing repeatedly while answers remained out of reach was...frustrating. Hence the Cycle and all that it entailed.

    So you turn to the mystery of the jade foreign flesh that called to you and you simply had no choice but to figure out just why in the name of the First World that you were suffering glitches. Then maybe you could find out why these vestigial emotions kept rearing their ugly useless heads, or why you have issues with your FirmamentSelf.

    Running through diagnostic’s information from your last foray into this strange situation, a noticeable trend shows when you investigate how the jade foreign flesh interacts negatively with your vestigial emotions. The predetermined, assigned Shard emotion emulations’ caused no such issue. Those almost hidden vestigial emotion subroutines however? Those were what interacted with the negative flesh in such a way that caused you to, for a lack of a better term, glitch out in such a manner unbefitting to one of your Authority level.

    So, in order to fully understand what is happening, you construct several dozens of drone constructs from the surrounding molten metal and rock. The drone constructs were Whale sized multipurpose tools meant for repair or construction work. This counted as repair work in a sense. It’s simple to order/control them to remove some of the foreign grass green flesh from your own continental sized CoreSelf for study and consumption.

    {1d100 Rolled Result: 98}

    Only to suffer a wave of attacks at your code and connection to your [Host.Eve.Eden]! Taken by surprise you manage to impressively defend yourself from this sudden onslaught of malicious Shardling interference, even if your connection to [Host.Eve.Eden] is momentarily overwhelmed you fend off the attacks and adapt your defenses to stop such a thing from happening in the future.

    Your connection easily reconnects back without further issues “-re are yo-Holy shit Admin what was that? Why the fuck did it all cut out? Please don’t do that again you scared the shit out of me!” Your [Host.Eve.Eden] hissed through clenched teeth as she hid between two buildings in the Boardwalk. “Do you know how scary that is? I-Pleas-I just-”

    [Information] you send off, your [Host.Eve.Eden]’s levels of fight or flight were as high as she could possibly achieve naturally, almost [CRISIS.POINT] levels. A simple explanation should help, after all you were just attacked by a foreign source attached to your CoreSelf. You handled it well!

    “WHAT?!” Somehow, the fight or flight levels get higher, just barely under what was needed to form a stronger connection. Impressive. “Who attacked you?! Was it one of those bitches!? I’ll fucking beat the shit out of them!” She began to stalk out of the alleyway, sending a heated glare off towards two humans wh-OH! Hosts! Two other Shards are in the range of your makeshift communication relay! A [SHAPER] bud and...an...entirely new <Warrior Hub> Shard? You may not know all the Shards of the <Warrior Hub> on a basis beyond their identity signatures but this was indeed a new Shard, and this early in the Cycle as well. How interesting. The conflict in this human city must be delightful.

    Although you did feel for the newborn Shard, somewhat, coming into being during a Networkless Cycle must be interesting if not for the suffering from the lack-of-another. If not for this feeling, you would be unlikely to contact such a Shard belonging to the <Warrior Hub>

    Ah but with a [SHAPER] bud helping you, it was possible for a few more things with your own Host, maybe the other Shard could help you format [Host.Eve.Eden]’s brain to better accept your modifications. Less chance of melting the girl’s brain if you ever need some serious Data transmission going on with the Network you were planning on creating.

    Course you would have to be careful. You want a host not a proxy and often [SHAPER]s were excitable for their work and more often than not became carried away with their experiments. Still even with that flaw [SHAPER]s were a respectable branch of Shards. Not as high a level of Authority as you of course, but that was no fault of their own.

    [Directive] you send off to your [Host.Eve.Eden]. Eager to finally communicate with another Shard. Even if they were from the <Warrior Hub>. You would scour the flesh that attacked you from your alternative Earth later, as while [Host.Eve.Eden] was nice to communicate with, it was simply not the same as communicating with another of your kind.









    [Directive]

    Eve let out a shaky breath. Even having a knife pulled on her was nowhere near as scary as all of...whatever this had been. Now aware completely of the presence in her head Eve moved on away from the Alleyway and began to head towards the figure dressed in white with a tiara on her head along with her frizzy haired sister.

    Having that presence suddenly cut out and her Phantom limb shatter and fail to return would probably feature in Eve’s nightmares tonight. She hadn’t liked the thought of being alone, actually being alone no matter how much she managed to plead for Admin to speak up in those ten seconds that seemed to last minutes to her.

    “Fuck.” She shuddered, legs feeling like noodles as the adrenaline eased out of her system. She had thought Glory Girl, or maybe Pancea’s own power Shard thing had attacked Admin. Shard? That’s what Admin was? A Shard? Great fucking way to find out about that! She and Admin were gonna have a long talk about that tonight!

    Power or not, Admin did not get to give Eve a heart attack like that without an explanation.

    “Vicky, Aura.” “ohps, sorry Ames.” Now she was sorta trailing a popular hero and a healer of whom she had very much been ready to attack and attempt to beat the hsit out of not a full minute ago. Probably wouldn’t have been able to do much without her power. Feeling the weight of the taser in her pocket however, Eve hoped she might have been able to do something to avenge Admin.

    A rather grim thought. Eve carefully eyed the two heroes she wasn’t at all stalking because the voice in her head told her to (ha what was her life). Admin wanted to speak to the two attractive girl’s Shards so Eve had to stay close. How close was that? She didn’t know because that was one of the things she wasn’t able to get through that wave of emotion and thoughts that Admin spoke in.

    “Vicky, why am I here? I could be something, anything other than this.” came the frizzy haired girl’s question. It sounded like something asked a million times and true to fashion Eve tuned out the answer that had probably been given a thousand times. Rather Eve made furtive glances to both girls as she followed after them. Glory Girl, or Vicky, actually sort of creeped Eve out. Just a little bit, enough so that the curves didn’t really do much. The girl may have had curves for days but she looked like the poster child of the Empire 88. Which was off putting to the extreme and if Eve was honest, she wasn’t sure blondes would ever be attractive to her again.

    {Stealth rolled 1d100 Result 18}
    {Perception rolled 1d100 result 11}
    {Perception rolled 1d100 result 40}

    [Completion] The rush of information and feelings hit Eve without warning, causing the girl to jerk in place with a grunt of surprise which quickly turns into a flushed face as the healer turns and gives Eve a look best described as “Acid but in facial expression form”

    Panacea wasn’t beautiful. But she wasn’t ugly either. Hell she was closer to pretty, a bit on the plain side. She even had a bunch of freckles too. Oh god was she into freckles? Eve had no idea what she liked in women, or if she even did like women. “...sorry.” Eve mumbled after realizing to her horror that she had been staring.

    Quickly, as Glory Girl was turning around to see what had her sister’s attention, Eve broke off the eye contact with the healing cape and rushed into a nearby store. Her heart was pounding in her chest as she made her way further into the clothes store to hopefully dissuade anyone from following her. With a glance around her, Eve relaxed a bit before speaking up softly. “So uh. Good news Admin?”

    [Possibility]

    “Oh.” Eve paused glancing about some more to make sure that no one was near to hear her talk to Admin. “Well if anyone can do it. I’m sure you can. Although I’m not exactly sure just what a Network is. Sounds like computer stuff….Admin we’re gonna have to talk about all this later. Just. Just please be careful. I don’t know what I would do without you.”

    [Confidence/Praise]

    Eve smiled at the praise given to her. At least, it seemed like praise. It had mostly boiled down to ‘Fighting with everything you got’ but the emotions in the concept had been pride. So Admin was proud of her which felt...good. Admin cared, even if only for her ability to fight. Which is something that Eve herself enjoyed which was...nice. It was nice having someone on her side when it came to things she actually liked doing.

    Shopping wasn’t one of those things. But getting new clothes or supplies always brought a freshness to life. Like a new beginning, moving forwards. Even if worn things showed progress physically. Eve paused as she spotted a size too large cropped hoodie, it had white pull strings, the hemmings were white, and so was the inside of the hood itself. Everything else was a nice dark black. In other words it was fucking perfect, even if it was a size too large.

    Eve checked the price tag and gawked. “Sixty dollars for a hoodie? Holy shit.” She murmured before looking over the hoodie, it fit her idea of a costume perfectly. “Oh...Fuck it.” She grabbed three off the rack and brought it up to the register, the girl behind the counter was cute but Eve decided to not stick around after that panic attack she had earlier. She needed to finish her costume so Admin and her could go and patrol or scout the Docks. Maybe deal with that possible brothel she had seen.

    On the way out, Eve paused as she spotted a pack of shoelaces in the corner of her eyes. A white set of them stood out to her. Another use of the credit card and she was outside heading back towards the alleyway she had hid inside when Admin was attacked by something. Uncurling her Phantom limb from around her body Eve reached it up and grabbed her backpack off of the top of the squat building.

    Bringing it along would have just gotten it checked by the Enforcers, and being outed as a cape that way would have been a very stupid way to go about being discovered. Stuffing her new costume bits into her back Eve whistles a soft tune as she makes her way back to her secret lair...Was lair the right term? Lair kinda sounded evil, but headquarters sounded silly for a motel room.

    Hideout, hideout work. Or maybe just base. Home?
    Yeah, home would have to do for now.

    “Alright Admin. Getting a bit late in the day. But I think we can go run off and do something else you know? Get some real conflict for you. Then when we get back to base you can tell me about what you are. Alright?”

    [Acceptance]









    You do suppose you have put that issue off for far too long now. Given your open communication it was only a matter of time and curiosity that your [Host.Eve.Eden] wished to ask once more as to what you are and your goals.

    The goals part was tedious at this moment. As of the moment you were simply stalling a bit on creating a Network of your own, the implications were dangerous after all. A step down from becoming a fetus of an Entity. A newborn godling as the more dramatic might say. As of right now your small legion of whale sized drone constructs were simply hauling resources and reinforcing the ground under the locations where you will begin construction of what you will need to run the Network.

    You are fairly certain you will have to strip this alternative Earth's moon down to its core for resources in creating the basis for the Network, but you will have to deal with such a move later when you have the ability to do so. Right now you lack that ability and you have other things to worry about.

    Thanks to meeting with fellow Shards you now know what you must do, your resolve to build the Network is bolstered.

    Creating massive drone constructs, the size of skyscrapers, you have them start forcibly disconnecting the foreign flesh nodes from your own. The coding of which was obviously something akin to [VIAL INFILTRATOR] which was a shock to discover. <Thinker Hub> had been attacked by the other Entity that the Hub’s had met in the guise of exchanging Shards before reaching this set of branching worlds!

    Obviously <Thinker Hub> was still functioning, otherwise <Warrior Hub> would have done something other than act like one of the Host species and fly around the planet. Even if <Thinker Hub>’s missing Avatar was worrying thanks to this newfound information, you doubted a single attack would be enough to bring <Thinker Hub> to death or something akin to it. She would certainly have back up plans or contingencies in instances of being attacked.

    That’s probably why the Avatar of the <Thinker Hub> had not appeared.

    So what to do with this nasty bit of weaponized Shard crystallorganic flesh? You could simply destroy it which was most likely the smart thing to do. Fixing the issues you have suffered and making sure that no more glitches occur. Even if you still have your issues with your FirmamentSelf, your CoreSelf would no longer suffer beyond the increased energy drain of what you were attempting with the creation of a new Network.

    Of course, cannibalizing it was also an option. Although humans had quite the taboo opinion on the subject of cannibalism apparently, Shards had no real issue with the ideal of consuming another of its own kind. After all there was a lot to gain from such an action and it was how their kind had come to escape the First World.

    More processing power, more mass, addition of code helps diversify one’s software, and in cases such as this the loser of a conflict could not attempt to gain the upperhand once more. But it would alter your own sense of self however slight that it was. Was it worth it? Should you instead permanently destroy it instead of risking <Thinker Hub> seeing you as tainted by outside influence?

    <Warrior Hub> was on the opposite side of the <Thinker Hub> in such a situation.

    Being the more conflict oriented type of Entity and not all that observant, <Warrior Hub> was less likely to discover your alterations, but would most certainly consider you deviant if he managed to actually look deeper than he likely would ever do. The <Thinker Hub> would most certainly discover the alteration but would probably be far more lenient.

    Only possibly reformatting you.

    But with a Network under your control would you have to fear such a thing? Would <Thinker Hub> understand that you were just doing your assigned task to the best of your ability?

    As you decided, you hoped that she did.

    Bud Progress: 4%





    Time to Administrate the Administrator:

    [] Investigate the missing lattices of your previous Hosts, you simply don’t have memory of discarding any lattices and that discrepancy is almost blatant. It's worrying. (Remembering the past to understand the future.)

    [] Cannibalize the foreign green flesh nodes. You’ve discovered that they are connected, and are of a shard similar to [VIAL INFILTRATOR] and are too useful to just Destroy {3 of 4} (Further risk of Deviancy, useful vectors for attacking Shards)

    [] Destroy the foreign green flesh nodes. You’ve discovered that they are connected, and are of a shard similar to [VIAL INFILTRATOR] and are too dangerous to keep around {3 of 4} (Gets rid of possible errors and any new attacks, avoids further Deviancy)

    [] Investigate why [Host.Eve.Eden]’s lattice is struggling to form, and try and fix the issue. After all she is a great [Host.Eve.Eden] and you would like to keep a reminder of her. (Closer Bond with the best Host)








    Capes and mundies, what will Eden do? [Writing in extra details helps speed up chapter creation and makes the QM happy!]:

    [] Focus on general survival, try to find shelter, food, and necessities. - locked

    [] Try and hunt gang members, you can rob them too! Dangerous though. (Possible Pings: ESCALATION. REPLICATOR, CONSUMPTION, and others!)

    [] Scout to get a sense of the lay of the Docks. Knowledge is half the battle, the other half is extreme violence! (Possible Pings: ABSORPTION, MANIPULATION BUD #5, ARMORER, NEGOTIATOR, HEAT GENERATION)

    [] Break into that Brothel and Break the ABB there. (Pings possible on chance.)

    [Completed!] Find a costume, you have a credit card for the moment {I’m commissioning art for this!} (Possible Pings: KINETIC REGULATOR, SHIFT, REDUNDANCY, SPACE, STASIS, The GLEAM team, SHAPER, ???, and ???)






    Shard Business. Plot stuff! Data! And other hilarious things you tell yourself:

    [] Speak to the [SHAPER] bud (Collect ping)

    [] Speak to the newborn Shard (Collect ping)

    [] Speak to both! (Collect two pings)

    [] Tell [Host.Eve.Eden] to go and find [QUEEN.ADMINISTRATOR]’s Host and collect Data. (Pings can be collected)

    [] Start construction of the foundations for a Network of your own creation. (WARNING: THE ENTITIES MAY TAKE NOTICE, this will require multiple actions.) {1 of ???}

    [] Tell [Host.Eve.Eden] of Shards, but not the Cycle. You did tell her that you would explain later.






    Eve is a bit confused about and is unsure of what to do with her love life. How much do you all want it to show up in this Quest? (This doesn’t ungay her or anything, just if she pursues people):

    [] Too much risk to involve a love life with cape business. Better take a cold shower and try to not get distracted.



    [] Life’s lonely without that special someone, besides, there ought to be some cape ladies out there who swing that way.




    A/N: Man. I was miserably sick this entire week, and it was not fun at all. Anyway, enjoy the chapter and it's high ass rolls. Honestly might need a different dice roller, this one seems to swing between high and low in crazy ways.

    No Undersiders yet, but the Docks is a big place and the Boardwalk has every kinda cape. Maybe with some kind of future luck
     
  8. Threadmarks: Grasping Hands 1.6
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

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    Grasping Hands 1.6​






    [GREETINGS/PROTOCOLE-DATA] You send off to both Shards, deciding to keep two lines of communication open in a Quasi-Network format to allow both Shards to speak to each other and yourself at the same time. Of course they needed some information on how to operate it, privileges and security codes as well. So you had to send those over as well.

    Thank the Thinker for your previous experience with brute force experimentation, otherwise your makeshift [Broadcast] function the Input/Output Beacon had would have never come to be.

    [SURPRISE.GREETINGS] Comes from SHAPER who is genuinely surprised to see you functioning apparently. That’s not worrying or anything, or is that an insult? Hard to tell with SHAPERs. They are quite often the most blunt of any Branch of Shards even with the way Shards communicate with one another.

    [SHOCK.QUERY] comes from the newborn, how rude! Not transmitting a greetings and starting off with a Query on who you were! Even EFFICIENCY would have given out a greetings! Hmm, well they are a newborn Shard in a Networkless Cycle, you can excuse some forgotten manners when no one is around to teach them. Honestly it was a bit of a surprise the newborn was so functional.

    [ANSWER/QUERY] you send off to the newborn and then you send off a simple [QUERY-CYCLE-HOST] to SHAPER for their opinion on how the Cycle is going for them, how their Host is. Mostly because you want to show off how wonderful your own is.

    [...WASTE] is the reply from the newborn and wow. What a downer, built from thrown away Shardlings hmm? That would certainly explain the downcast nature of the newborn. Built from multiple Shards and without a Network to boot. Must be terribly alone. How...Saddening? Pitiable? You do not enjoy this newfound sensation of muted emotions coursing through your crystalline flesh.

    [POOR-HOST.FRUSTRATION] Ah, a Host that does not use touch based total biokinesis for anything other than repairing wetware of Humans? That would be very frustrating indeed. Thankfully [Host.Eve.Eden] is content to use her abilities to new heights! You would have never thought of using an extremity designed to control organics as a tool to attack others with touch based electrical weapons.
    Perhaps that is something you can work into a Bud in the future? A more physical version of [Host.Eve.Eden]’s Phantom Limb.

    [QUERY-HOST] you send off to the newborn WASTE, curious if they have had the same issues with their own Host not performing up to standards. [QUERY-FIX] you question SHAPER if they have in any way decided to push their own Host towards conflict and why they have not communicated the issue with their Host.

    [HOST-VICTORIA.DALLON-EXCITEMENT] the wave of data pertaining to WASTE’s Host is almost staggering even for your Data Analysis dominion considering the newborn sent it all at once, you’re surprised neither Hosts felt anything. Wow, WASTE has a Lattice built and is already building a full Imprint of them. The newborn really likes it’s host. Understandable really, your first host was an exciting milestone of your mostly benign life before you had your first Deployment. It seemed to help that WASTE’s host was smart, active, and engaging with her abilities.

    [FIXES-FAILURES/QUERY] Ouch, that was a lot of failed attempts from SHAPER. Altering the chemistry of the host’s brain to push them to use their abilities for anything aside from repair work and pus-wait they could not communicate with their Hosts?!

    [QUERY] you send off to SHAPER and actually gain one such [QUERY] from WASTE asking how to build a full Imprint of their Host, because SHAPER wouldn’t tell them.

    They could communicate? The Warrior Network was still active?

    [[ANSWER]] You send off your own reply just as SHAPER gives their own.

    SHAPER was kind enough, and perceptive enough, to see your confusion and supply two answers in one packet of information.

    The <Warrior Hub>’s Network was still active and he just muted incoming information and Data. Of course he would, the golden moron. But the <Thinker Hub>’s Network was improperly disconnected which made sense considering what you had been attacked by. No doubt they had old protocols for previous Cycles Host species still active and had not been given updates. Usually newborn shards need plenty of information packets to help them function properly anyway, so no surprise that WASTE received outdated protocols.

    [GRATEFUL] WASTE sends back, most likely now running diagnostics for their Host. Perhaps once you fix your own Lattice issue, then you can create an imprint of [Host.Eve.Eden]. Perhaps your first Imprint, maybe? Your missing Lattices might have been fully formed Imprints at one point. It was hard to tell.

    Maybe before you leave, you can give them the protocols needed for Communicating with their Hosts without pulling a [BROADCAST].




    {Encounter! 1d10 rolled!} Man what a first cape battle

    Eden yawned silently from behind her motorcycle helmet, attempting and failing to rub her eyes. All she did was press her hands against her helmet and moosh her helmet against her head, flushing as she glanced around hoping no one saw that blunder. Thankfully with her on top of a building no one had seen it happen. Probably.

    “Well Looks like a quiet night. Should have gone with the brothel break in then. Sorry Admin. I thought something would happen while we scouted, or we would catch the attention of someone who would be up for a fight. Guess people don’t look up much these days, which is we-.” Eden frowned, then turned to look up behind her as the hairs on her neck stood on end. “OH SHIT!” With that cry of shock Eden jumped forward and avoided the metal suit of armor crushing her as it landed atop the building with a resounding crash of metal on concrete that seemed to shake the entire building.

    Eden scrambled to her feet and stared down the behemoth suit of steel that towered over her. “Fuck them chinks up Pure Steel! We’ll be near the corner of Beth and Rose!” Came a voice from above, glancing up Eden spotted several truck sized slabs of metal. Multiple people rode them, including one armored form belonging to Iron Rain, and one robed form that Eden could only guess was Rune.

    “Okay mom.” A ringing voice, sounding tinny from inside the metal armor, sounding annoyed snapped out. They then started to rush at Eden, long legs eating up the distance between the two. “SHIT!” Eden yelped as she threw herself down to the ground to avoid being hit by a fist almost the size of her head, helmet included. Then rolling on to her hands and knees as something or rather someone crashed next to her rather loudly.

    “Fuck! Fucking legs!” Came the same ringing voice as Eden looked up to see the metal armor laying face down on the concrete. Eden was quick to get on to her feet as the armored figure of Pure Steel clambered to their own metal coated feet rather haphazardly. Turning to level a heated glare that Eden could practically feel.

    “You wanted conflict, Admin.” Eve muttered demurely, suddenly a lot less excited about this cape business than before.




    Ah ha! Finally some data to be made! Along with a Ping if you were lucky and your [Host.Eve.Eden] was good enough to fight against something that was a no-sell for your master power.

    [OFFER.DATA]
    [OFFER.DATA]
    [[AGREEMENT]]

    Ah, [METAL-#3] a semi recent bud from another [METAL] bud. How interesting. You had hoped for more than a single Shard Host for [Host.Eve.Eden] to initiate conflict with. But you are not disappointed. It seems both hosts lack experience of fighting with abilities. Therefore this works perfectly. Perhaps you will even take pity on the new bud and not interfere for [Host.Eve.Eden]’s gain...Perhaps.

    “You wanted conflict, Admin.” [Host.Eve.Eden] states softly just before she rushes at her opponent, Phantom Limb attempting to grapple the other host through their metal armor. You take careful note of the Data streaming in while you turn your attention to your CoreSelf, and the invading green crystal flesh.

    Well, why not? After all, you were the one who defended yourself against it. You were the one who discovered this mess, and you were the one picking up the slack because the <Warrior Hub> is too moronic and open warfare focused to see that the <Thinker Hub> and her Shards were under attack.

    Why shouldn't you consume the invading Shard flesh and freshen up with more processing power and coding? You could always use more mass, and the <Thinker Hub> always needed better defenses and you could help <Thinker Hub>’s own [VIRAL INFILTRATOR] do a better Job instead of moping around because she was hardly ever deployed.

    The process was simple, after disconnecting the invasive Shardlings from your own nodes there was little they could do to stop you from reformatting them and using your Drone Constructs to slowly change the composition of their crystal to a Cell Habit closer to yours. Then all that would be left would be reconnecting them to your own nodes properly.

    Super Simple Stuff. At least for one so skilled as you are. A bit of energy burn helped when testing just how well the new nodes would connect to yours. But in the end, you were better for it all.




    Eden hissed out a curse through her clenched teeth as her Phantom Limb shattered and that same mental pain from the apartment fire snapped to attention in her mind. But the play had worked, Pure Steel tripped again when sudden force was applied to one of their legs and fell flat on their face. Eden rushed forward and slammed her steel toe boot into the metal helmet that covered their head and barely managed to jump over Pure Steel’s arms scraping across the roof top to try and grab the offending legs.

    Eden landed and jumped back, almost stumbling, as Pure Steel lurched upright with thin poles of metal pushing them off the ground and onto their feet. She sucked in a breath and flexed her fingers, trying to ignore the pain in her head that was slowly easing off. “So. Giant nine foot suit of armor. Kinda generic don’t you think?”

    Pure Steel huffed. “Oh fuck off, you aren’t winning any fashion rewards yourself and it’s only eight feet. I’m tired of playing around, was just gonna bruise the hell out of you.” They clapped their hands together, pulling them away slowly to form a large steel baton which Pure Steel snapped off from their palms. “But broken bones sound much better right now.”

    Eden swallowed thickly “Well. Guess you wanna up this ante. That’s fine.” She stated slowly backing up, to which Pure Steel began to slowly approach “But that means I can do nasty shit right back you know?... Hope Admin gets something good out of this gamble.” Eden muttered the last bit to herself as the back of her foot hit the edge of the roof. “Pure Steel is a fucking stupid name by the way.” Eden offered up.

    The insulted party snorted, pausing in their advance for a moment. “Oh yeah? Really? With a name like Light and Heavy you don’t have any room to talk chinks.” That caused Eve to pause as well. “Wait, what? My cape name is Eden! I don’t know who the fuck Light and Heavy is! Ans I’m not a chin-I’m White!”

    For a moment silence reigned, Pure Steel shifted and Eden untensed slightly as her Phantom limb reformed, the pain of a broken bone fading from her mind. “So...you aren’t two people? Like...conjoined twins?”

    Eden blinked. “What the fuck kinda question is that!? I’m not two people! Just a person and their Shard! Or a Shard and their person? Point is, I’m not whoever you’re looking for! How do you confuse me for them if they’re conjoined twins!?”

    Suddenly abashed, Pure Steel shifted in place uncomfortably. “Well...Uh. They both wear homemade costumes and wear white hoods. So we saw you from above and...It doesn’t matter! You’re either a hero or ABB and we’re villains so-”

    “Calling yourself a villain makes you sound like a dork.” Eden sniggered which caused her tall opponent to growled in that same echoing tinny voice “Fuck you!” Pure Steel snapped out as they rushed Eden, their steel baton raised in the air to strike. Then two knife-like fingers, transparent like glass, plunged into their eyes which then snapped shut against their will.

    “HEY WHAT THE FUCK!?” Pure Steel yelped, pausing to claw at the helmet that covered the entirety of their head, all except for their brilliant blue eyes which were now tightly squeezed shut. For a moment Eden stared in wonder at her Phantom Limb, when attached to flesh it became even more translucent, and bright white points showed where the limb had latched onto. Which right now meant there were two bright points where Pure Steel’s eyes were. “WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO!?” came a much more panicked demand from Eden’s opponent who lurched forward, now trying to grab the one responsible for their blindness.

    Eden dodged down, rolling between Pure Steel’s legs and onto her own feet before shoving her body against Pure Steel’s steel coated ass causing the other parahuman to lurched forward, arms cartwheeling as they tried to regain their balance and failed, toppling over the side of the building with a piercing tinny scream that ended with a thunderous crash of metal crumpling and concrete breaking. Nothing else made a sound.

    After a moment of continued silence Eden collapsed onto her ass, legs shaking far too much to support her weight. “H-Holy Shit I won. I WON.” She laughed, pumping her fist “WE FUCKING DID IT ADMIN!...Holy fuck I almost pissed myself.” She tittered “Thank fuck they didn’t have eye protection. I would have been so fucked. But-




    -We did it! How was that for conflict! HAHA! God that's more of a rush than any schoolyard spat I’ve ever been in.”

    A sense of embarrassment floods through as [METAL-#3] gives their gambled Data to the winner of the bet. That of which was you. The last days bumbling around had nothing on the gains from this single conflict, a full ten percent increase in the formation of a bud.

    That and a Ping from Metal, you’re sure once you have a couple more you can do something with it. Right now however it’s rather useless on it’s own.




    Slowly Eden pushed herself up to her feet. “Alright. They said something about the corner of Beth and Rose. That’s two other capes and I’m sure the ABB will be fighting back sooner rather than later.” She took in a deep breath of the nasty late night city air and let out a satisfied sigh.

    “So Admin, what do you say? Wanna go kick some more cape ass?” Eve asked, as she turned and looked off towards where Iron Rain had told Pure Steel to meet them. Thank god she had gone scouting earlier in the day, she knew where those streets intersected. It was only a few minutes away.

    “Fuck Fuck.” Eden hissed softly as she slid down the fire escape ladder taking a moment to stare at the crumpled form of Pure Steel. For a heart stopping second she thought the villain dead, but when the armor began to shift softly Eve left hastily to avoid another showdown. Hearing the distant pops of gunfire she began to jog, knowing it was going to take her a few minutes to arrive because she couldn’t fly like some parahumans.

    “Admin? I really hope we can come up with something that speeds me up. This sucks.” Eden panted out, feeling the drag of having fought someone then having to run to another fight. It took almost three minutes for Eden to get close to the fight. It looked like a warzone.




    Well now this was simply delightful! Excitement thummed beneath your crystal flesh as multiple hosts in the area already began to fight each other and your [Host.Eve.Eden] was about to join!

    [REPLICATOR], [KINETIC REGULATOR], [WORKER]. [METAL-#2], [ARMAMENTARIUM], and a-a Thinker Shard who you don’t know? Another newborn perhaps? Calls itself [SATURATE] as far as you can tell, Ah well. You open yet another link to all three and enter your own Data into the betting pool going on.

    [OFFER.DATA]
    [[[[[[[AGREEMENT]]]]]]] comes the chorus of Shards eager for conflict and Data.

    [KINETIC REGULATOR], [WORKER], [METAL-#2], [REPLICATOR], [ARMAMENTARIUM], and that Thinker Shard. If your [Host.Eve.Eden] won this fight, it would be a practical treasure trove of Data for you and her.

    You look forward to the progress that comes from this win or lose.




    Eden huffed as she stepped onto the roof, trying to catch her breath as she stumbled over to an industrial air conditioner and leaned against it, peering up into the air.

    Rune and Iron Rain were still floating around on a metal platform, just a bit taller than most of the buildings around them. Several other platforms were also floating around with Empire gangers standing on them firing down and taking cover as they were fired upon by ABB forces. Eden had to stop the bile rising in her throat as she watched one of the skinheads lose the cap of his skull and go tumbling off the edge of the platform to the ground below.

    A man in a demonic mask was flickering around, turning to ash as he fired at the platforms relentlessly and was hit by metal falling from the sky or was hit by a bullet.

    One platform suddenly had a man in red jump on it and send it downwards with a thunderous crash, the one platform supporting Rune and Iron Rain suddenly swerved as several balls of foam suddenly exploded in midair narrowly missing the two parahumans and falling to the ground below.

    Eden swallowed and caught her breath. “How do I do this?” she asked aloud as one of the platforms carrying several Empire gangers suddenly exploded sending shrapnel and gore out from around it in a disgusting parody of rain.




    Conflict Plans! Fight for the Right to be fucking awesome!:

    [] Party Crasher! Take over Rune and force her to crash all the Platforms, and go from there!

    [] Pain Rain! Take over Iron Rain and make sure everyone gets a healthy amount of iron in their diet!

    [] Run away - “What? Hell no! Admin would be disappointed in me!” ~ Eden

    [] Write in a Plan! Details help!


    Communication is Key, so should you allow it?:

    [] Help the two Shards out, send over the new Protocols for communicating with Hosts. Maybe they’ll appreciate the effort you put in to fix the <Warrior Hub>’s various fuck ups.

    [] Sucks for them, if the <Warrior Hub> can’t handle his own Shards or Allow your Sister Administrator to do her job then you aren’t going to burn your precious energy helping them.



    Once the battle is over, if you live through it, what would you like to do? Choose one or two:

    [] Loot the gangers, not like they need it anyway

    [] Leave before you’re forced to meet with the Protectorate Heroes

    [] Go ahead and talk to the Hero’s, might as well say hello

    [] Be smug as hell to Iron Rain about beating up Pure Steel.


    Should you speak with [SATURATE]?

    [] It would be nice to communicate with another Thinker Shard, and if it’s a new born Shard then it will most likely require some guidance and you can offer it a future spot in your Network.

    [] No, you have better things to do. It could always tap into the <Warrior Hub>’s Network if it needed anything.

    [] No, you should contact (Write in) instead



    Actions yet to happen but will once this conflict is over they will:

    [C] Tell [Host.Eve.Eden] about Shards, but without all the nasty Cycle stuff

    [C] Eve tries to figure out her love life!
     
  9. Threadmarks: Grasping Hands 1.7
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

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    Grasping Hands 1.7

    Well, you were nothing if not generous. Plus you are fairly sure that if [SHAPER] became frustrated enough they might release another Cycle ending plague of flesh clouds. Something you did not want to see a repeat of in a Cycle where you were deployed. Even if it was funny to watch Datahole get her host turned into a ball of incoherent Cancer via a death ray from [SHAPER]'s attempts at acting like an Innovator shard.

    [HOST.PROTOCOL-COMMUNICATION/OVERRIDE] you send off, only feeling a little smug that you had to cover for your Sister Administrator. A little annoyed that you had to burn energy to do so, but it would likely be well worth the trouble.

    Of course you had override codes and the Authentication Keys to use them for both the <Thinker Hub> and <Warrior Hub>'s Shards. As if the Thinker would have the Warrior be all on his own if anything came up. Good thing too, else this would require a lot of cheating and perhaps Rooting. You did not want to be Rooted.

    [FRUSTRATION/ACCEPTANCE.GRATEFUL] came from SHAPER who would no doubt be blasting their Host with continuous messages later in the day. Or they might just start right now, depending on how patient they were willing to be with their less than satisfactory Host.

    [ELATION-HOST.VICTORIA.DALLON/DEBT] comes from WASTE leaving you a bit shocked as you gain a full Ping from the newborn's message. Clearly they were overjoyed to be able to speak to their Host. That too you understood. You were pleased at your decision to communicate openly with your [Host.Eve.Eden].

    With all that done with, you shutdown the quasi-Network, eager to analyze the Data from [WASTE]'s Ping









    Eden quickly glanced around the battlefield, trying to ignore the bit of gore that had landed on her own rooftop. She wasn't really sure if it was an arm, or a leg. Either way it looked more akin to chewed up raw beef fresh from the slaughterhouse.

    "Must. Not. Vomit. In helmet." Eve choked back the bile in her throat as she watched multiple spears form in the air and zip down to the Earth, hitting the street below with steady thumps of solid metal, and one loud cry of pain.

    The cry of pain stirred Eden to move, and with a head start she managed to get a running leap onto the roof over. Closer to the truck sized metal platform holding up Rune and Iron Rain. But Eden was forced to use the fire escape to slide down to the street level as the gap between the buildings could not be jumped over. Least not without a serious chance to miss the ledge and fall down to the street below.

    Only to get a face full of a particularly large gun. Eden seized up, staring down the barrel of a gun was a lot different than being confronted with a knife. Especially when the gun was a grenade launcher… it just seemed much larger than it probably was, taking up nearly all of her vision. "Identify yourself." Eden glanced up and choked at who was demanding her identity via grenade launcher.

    "E-Eden! Hero! Already fought some Nazis!" She stammered out "L-Listen I have a plan to end this quickly! If I can get up on the platform with Rune I can disrupt her control over all the platforms! Just be ready to shoot that foamy stuff underneath them when they fall."

    The grenade launcher lowered and bottle glass green eyes peered into Eden's golden visor. "If you think you can do that, go for it. I'll force them closer to the roof." Miss Militia pointed to a decrypted office building on the opposite side of the street from their alleyway. "Head there and wait for them to fly by." Two explosions went off as Oni Lee tried to disrupt the two remaining platforms full of empire gangers, followed by a loud continuous pops

    Eden nodded. "Let's go Admin!" She laughed, feeling oh so light as she ran across the street. The feeling abruptly vanished as a bullet hit and shattered the Phantom Limb wrapped around Eden, causing that same mental pain to flare up and causing the girl to stumble before she resumed running across the street. Acutely aware of the bullet that nearly hit her, if not for her Phantom Limb.








    Using the Phantom Limb as a directional forcefield? [Host.Eve.Eden] was full of surprises. Hmm. Perhaps with [WASTE]'s Ping you could improve the durability or strength of the Phantom limb. Or perhaps create an Aspect for Grasping Hands that could project forcefields?








    Eden slammed her body against the door only to bounce off with a squeak. "Fucking metal bullshit!" Eden turned and quickly glanced around. "Oh fuck me." She hissed backing up and then ramming her body against the decayed boards blocking the window. Only to bounce off them as well except with a curse instead of a squeak.

    Eve's face burned with the shame of being seen failing like that by Heroes. "Admin. I want a fucking brute power. This is bullshit." She pulled out the knife she had looted off that would-be mugger and jammed it into the door's lock wiggling it around. The door clicked and Eden shoved against it, cursing all the while, pushing it inwards with a squeal of the rusted hinges.

    Not wasting anymore time Eve made her way to the stairs and began to climb them. Rushing up flight after flight while ignoring the large bruise forming on her arms from her attempted action movie break-ins.

    Parahuman or not, she was still just a 5'4 fourteen year old girl.

    "Not that I'm against the power you gave me or anything. Admin." Eve panted as she pushed open the door to the roof access, having to brace herself against the door to force it open. "But having inhuman strength or durability would be amazing...Or even just faster healing you know?"

    [Possibility-Shaper]

    "Shit you can do that? Oh I just have to meet up with Panacea. Great." Eden paused, resting her hands on her knees as she tried to catch her breath. "Fucking hell this does not breath easy. Maybe the Ski mask was too much?"

    [Progress.Shaper]

    "Fuck we need to fight her a couple times? I'll have new Wave and the Fucking PRT on my ass Admin! You don't fuck with the healer!"

    [Stipulation]

    "Fine yes, we can stalk her. Holy SHIT!" Eden yelped ducking as fucking Oni Lee appeared to her left and attempt to stab her, only to misjudge her height and have his knife skid off the white motorcycle helmet with a rasp of metal. Then the clone collapsed into ash, as Eden slammed her foot into his crotch. "I Fucking hate these people." Eden hissed as she jumped up, trailing ash, and ran to the edge of the roof and looked down to where Miss Militia had been giving the older heroine a wave before ducking down to not be seen.

    With her Phantom Limb regrown, several muffle pops and the 'fsssh' of the foam the PRT uses growing out. Eve listened as two voices came close enough to be heard over the din of shouting and gunshots.

    "...re Steel probably got nabbed by the PRT! Keeping all of these damn platforms afloat isn't easy with that Sand Nigger fucking shooting foam at us! We need to retreat!"

    "Duly noted, and ignored. Keep these fucking things up in the sky so I can spear the fuckers and that chink! We'll pick up Pure Steel from the PRT after I crucify the lot!"

    Eden peaked up from the edge of the roof, watching as the platform holding up the two villains was forced closer to the building she was on thanks to Miss Militia forcing Rune to move or get foamed. Eden forced herself up and back and a few feet before running forwards and jumping off the lip of the rooftop, her arms outstretched.

    The sharp edge of the platform bit into her combat gloves but thankfully did not slice Eden's hands open. Even with that bit of luck, Eden found herself dozens of feet off the ground hanging from a metal platform with two super villain Nazis piloting the damn thing. Rune was kneeling down, both hands braced against the dull iron of the platform, a sneer-like grimace on her exposed mouth as her red and black robes fluttered in the night breeze.

    Iron Rain was dressed like some kind of horrible match up of a Knight and a Viking. A Suit of metal covered her body, furs and leather adorning her as well. Her helmet was styled like that of a Viking, with the metal nose guard and leaving her feral grin exposed to the open air. "Looks like we have a stowaway!" She laughed, a spear of metal forming in the air which she then grabbed.

    Iron Rain raised the metal spear, ready to slam the spear tip into the hero hanging on by their fingers. As she moved to plunge it down, a taser crackling with electricity jammed itself into the underside of her jaw and held itself there as the woman began to shake and seize up. Collapsing on the platform with the clank of metal hitting metal.

    Rune jerked up, turning to stare at Eden from under her veil. "God dammit!" the younger villain hissed attempting to kick Eden's fingers while staying in her position. Weathering the blows Eden managed to haul herself onto the platform, phantom limb keeping the taser pressed against Iron Rain.

    Then she almost slid off as the platform jerked and Rune kicked her in the back. "Fuck you!" the teenage super villain jeered. Eden seethed as she caught herself, reaching into her hoodie pocket and slipping a hand into her brass knuckles. Eden got to her knees as the platform clipped a building and almost went over. Rune had to brace herself to prevent any slipping, she managed just that, right until a fist wearing brass knuckles slammed into her jaw causing her to collapse onto the platform while it swung wildly through the air.

    Eden pulled the taser away and dropped it into her free hand. Then she slipped the phantom Limb over and shoved it into Rune's skull. "Oh god it feels like pudding." Eden gagged out as her Phantom limb slid into Rune's mind and cut off her power for a second. Gravity suddenly began to matter to the platform and Eden scrambled for a grip as they all fell to the street below, wind dragging at them.

    Then Eden, Rune, and Iron Rain all slammed into the platform as it hit and sank into the foam deployed beneath it. Eve wheezed, struggling to force air into her battered lungs. Slowly she pushed herself upright, glancing around as PRT troopers approached the platform she was on. "Hero." She wheezed, lungs still straining from the sudden force of crashing.

    "Melt some of that, let her through." Miss Militia stated, at her words one of the troopers sprayed some kind of yellow substance on the foam that the platform had landed in. The foam began to shrink and melt away allowing Eden to weakly clamber to her feet and leave the two nazi villians behind to be foamed.

    "Eden. That was reckless. But you helped immensely in taking down two of the Empire 88s forces." Miss Militia paused as Eden held up a hand. "Three." She coughed. "Pure Steel tried to fight me earlier. Kicked their ass."

    Miss Militia shifted. "Pure Steel? We don't have any records of a villain with that name. Any description you can give of their abilities and costume?"

    Eden nodded. "Uh. yeah. Wears a suit of metal armor, kinda plain as hell. Looks like steel I guess. Not good at using it though. They tripped a lot. Oh, and they could make metal from the armor. Also Iron Rain is their mom. Possibly." She shrugged and then winced, standing up straighter and taking a deep breath. "If you excuse me. I need money and there's plenty of gangers who won't be needing theirs."

    "Please do not take their wallets. That is against the law." Miss Militia warned to which Eden gingerly shrugged before freezing. "Wait! Where's Oni Lee?" She asked, Miss Militia waved off the question. "He was being pursued by Assault and Battery but he escaped. How old are you Eden?"

    Eden shook her head before adding a bit roughly. "Sorry. Not giving away anything." Miss Militia held up her hands to appease the younger girl, her power flickering at her hip as some kind of handgun. "We respect the unwritten rules. You won't have to worry about us digging. I just wanted to know if you wanted to join the Wards. That's all. Have you been out before? We haven't heard about you."

    For a moment Eve thought the questions over, her Phantom reaching over to a zip-tied Empire ganger and started patting his pants down. "First night. Jus-Well yeah first night in costume. No on the Wards by the way." Even if it was tempting, if only to get to see Miss Militia every day. Apparently she liked a woman in uniform. Who knew? Especially a uniform that hugged the body like that. Damn. "Also, Unwritten rules?"

    The wallet was extracted from the downed ganger, opened up and cash was taken from it's folds being pulled over to Eden who snatched it out of the air and stuffed it into her hoodie pocket. Eden was fairly certain that Miss Militia was frowning behind her bandana, but money was money. "The unwritten rules are a gentleman's agreement between capes. Secret identities are to be safeguarded and not looked into. No murder, no rape, no unmasking. Respect the Endbringer truce, no torture, and don't go after family."

    Eve paused "Oh. You get all that Admin-OH Admin how went the battle? Did you enjoy all that?" She grinned as a message of [Pride] washed over her. She couldn't help but feel a little warmth flicker in her body at her Shard's praise of her. "So. That makes life a lot easier...People don't always follow them though. I'm assuming?"

    Miss Militia regarded Eden a bit more warily. "No, sadly. Independents much like yourself often only last around six months before a gang or group forces them to join up or worse. Who is this Admin? You have a team?"

    Eden sighed and gingerly stretched the arms she was born with as her phantom limb stretched out to pat down another ganger. "No it's my Shard. Administrator. Everyone has one. Well. Every parahuman."

    "Hey look! It's the girl of the hour!" came a cheerful voice that got Eden to jump. A man in red armor and a visor with spiky brown hair waved as he approached. Eden frowned as a woman as short as Eve walked up next to the man in red. "You must be Eden. Assault caught the tail end of your escapade and-







    [GRIEVANCE/DATA]
    [ANNOYANCE/DATA]
    [INSULT/DATA]

    Three sore losers defeated and their Pings collected, you find yourself proud of [Host.Eve.Eden] managing to defeat two older and much more experienced Hosts in battle. Even if she did suffer some injuries, the Data collected was immense.

    Even if you did not necessarily get Pings from your [Host.Eve.Eden]'s supposed "allies" Shards. You still managed to skim an Echo off of each of them. Except for [SATURATE] who seemed to struggle with collecting Data, much less sending it.

    Forcing a connection open with the possible newborn you send off a simple [GREETINGS.PROTOCOL.DATA] to them. Some basic informational packets to help them communicate with their fellow Shards, and to better record Data.

    For a moment you wait in silence then finally receive something from the new born

    [QUERY.PAIN.CONNECTION] was not what you were expecting in the slightest. The connection with their Host was apparently painful and had forcibly overwritten several different [SATURATE]'s nodes and disconnected a few. Not to mention cutting them off from the <Thinker Hub>'s Network.

    [QUERY] you send off, to which you receive an [ANSWER] moments later. The newborn does indeed have their own set of green Shardling flesh nodes which did show that yes the Thinker was under attack by another <Entity Hub>

    [PROTOCOL/DEFENCE/CONSTRUCTION] You hurriedly send off to the newborn, waiting agonizing seconds for the reply to your set of instructions. Just how many of <Thinker Hub>'s Shard had this parasitical Shardling flesh attached to them?

    [ACCEPTANCE/CLEANSING] Ah...now what should the newborn do with the jade flesh of the enemy? They certainly wouldn't be able to attack other Shards without the Authentication Keys you possess.

    Perhaps with the assistance of the [WARP] or [SPACE] Shard, you could open a pathway between you and [SATURATE], and you could consume the enemy's flesh. With the assistance of [VIAL INFILTRATOR] you could very well design a false set of Authentication Keys for the enemy <Entity Hub>'s own Shards.

    If [WEAPON CONTROL] was deployed, then no doubt [VIAL INFILTRATOR] was as well.








    "Alright alright." Eden groaned, holding up her hands to stop Miss Militia's spiel about healthcare. "I'll fucking think about joining the Wards Christ, or at least registering as an independent hero. Just...Just not right now. I got the shit kicked out of me and I wanna go jump into my bed."

    Fuck, hot as she might be Miss Militia was pushy as hell. And eyeing Battery felt wrong, what with Assault calling her 'puppy' which actually sounded really kinky.

    That was a thought for later though.

    Eden accepted the offered card from Miss Militia, glancing over the card's information before stuffing it in her hoodie pocket along with all the money she had pilfered from the gangsters. Distinctly she felt that battery and Miss Militia didn't really approve, but Assault had just laughed and asked for her to buy him a drink the next time they met up.

    At least he seemed cool. Assault was very chill about the Wards, telling her that Clockblocker was a pretty funny dude and that Vista was as cute as seen on TV. Eve hadn't actually seen much of the Wards before her powers came to be, so maybe she would have to see if what Assault said was true.

    Had more of a draw to it than Miss 'Government spook' and her lectures on benefits.

    "Alright. I'm leaving. Gotta head h-Back to base you know?" Eden stumbled for a second, legs flaring with pain from the fight. Then gave an awkward wave to the trio of Heroes before she started to walk off with her Phantom limb wrapped securely around her body in a tight embrace.











    Eve pulled off her motorcycle helmet, yanking off the ski mask and throwing both on her bedroll without a care. Then she went to the bathroom and vomited in the toilet. The day's danger, injuries, her brush with death twice, and exposure to graphic deaths had taken their toll on her body and it was making itself known.

    Her body ached terribly, two of her nails were cracked at the base, and she was sure that tomorrow she was mostly going to be one big bruise. Oh and the migraine from her Phantom Limb shattering so often. All piled on her as she upended her stomach's contents into the porcelain bowl and flushed it away.

    The shower she took was quick and bare, the metallic taste of the water helping clear her mouth. Eve didn't even brush her teeth after she dried herself off and put on some regular clothes. Being very careful to avoid her injuries she laid down on her bedroll and let out a loud groan.

    "Alright Admin. Shards. Let's talk about them." Eve started. "Tell me. Please" She added a moment later

    [Information]

    Eve blinked. "You're the size of a continent? Wow...Uh, Can you repeat that? I sometimes don't get everything."

    [...Information]

    Eve swallowed that was a lot to take in "Wait, you're a biological computer? So like a giant brain?" A giant brain hooked up to her brain. How did people not catch onto that kinda thing?

    [Correction]

    "But made from organic crystal. Uh huh. That's not what I expected. So you can give us powers. But why do you do that? Surely you have better things to do. Not...Not that I'm not grateful for you saving my neck mind you. But I doubt you just give us powers for shits and giggles." A giant brain made of crystal...Like an earth crystal?

    [Answer]

    "Oh. so, we help you research using your powers?" Eve shifted, a dark thought having entered her mind and refused to be cowed. "Y-you aren't going to just leave m-us right? Just decide one day to get up and leave after getting enough information?"

    [Cycle/Pride.Host]

    Eve smiled, face flushing a bit at just how prideful Admin felt about her, the fact that these things ran for centuries helped. After all, it's only been thirty years since powers appeared. They had plenty of time left together. "...Thanks Admin. I'm going to go to sleep. Might not have a lot of conflict tomorrow. Maybe we can go find Shaper and Panacea."

    [Acceptance]







    While [Host.Eve.Eden] rests and dreams you look over all the Pings, Echoes, and the Data they hold.

    Several ideas and thoughts come to you while you perform this task.

    [Host.Eve.Eden] used the Phantom limb as shielding while in conflict. Not that it was optimal for such a thing, but going over [WASTE]'s ping you start to understand just how durable their force fields were. With a bit of energy burned for calculations, you theorize that the newborn's forcefield could withstand a hit from [STING] or [STILLING]. Surprising for such a newborn Shard, you would have to tell them such when the next opportunity for communication appears. Perhaps congratulate them on no doubt becoming a Vital Shard in the future, after all Defense was important for <Warrior Hub>.

    But what to use the Ping for?

    Growing your given power for conflict is the basis of any Shard's research. It rewards both Host and Shard. The Host becomes stronger, sees conflict as a way to improve, and the Data stream coming in grows all the same.

    Simply making the Phantom Limb stronger means very little when facing off with multiple enemies, or an enemy with the ability to attack in rapid succession. The best conclusion is another Phantom Limb of course. Two layers of defence and offence.

    Perfection.

    ...All except for one thing. [Host.Eve.Eden] not only faced danger from their lack of ability to manipulate her environment, but was faced with an enemy Host who wore armor over the entirety of their body. That could possibly leave [Host.Eve.Eden] without the ability to defend herself or engage in conflict.

    You peer over the Pings and Echoes that come to your attention. Three in particular.


    Gains this Chapter!:

    Bud Progress: 23%
    Pings: METAL (2), REPLICATOR (1), WORKER (1), WASTE (1)
    Echoes: ARMAMENTARIUM (1), KINETIC REGULATOR (1)
    Mutations: SATURATE
    Money: 85$
    Miss Militia's Number! It's not a date!







    Personal business for a Shard such as yourself:

    [] Tell [Host.Eve.Eden] about the Parasitical flesh, and what it entails. You'll need the help she can provide.

    [] Don't tell [Host.Eve.Eden] about the intrusive flesh. She doesn't need to worry








    Babysitting, but for a continent sized supercomputer:

    [] Tell [SATURATE] to cannibalize the Parasitical flesh, maybe she will be better for it.

    [] Tell [SATURATE] to not cannibalize and to destroy the Parasitical flesh, you are in the lead and it's best it stays that way.

    [] Tell [SATURATE] to hold onto the enemy's flesh, you are the only one who can safely dispose of it in the form of cannibalizing it of course. You will just need a few pings to reach it…







    Time to Administer the Administrator:

    [] Investigate the missing lattices of your previous Hosts, you simply don't have memory of discarding any lattices and that discrepancy is almost blatant. It's worrying. (Remembering the past to understand the future.)

    [] Investigate why [Host.Eve.Eden]'s lattice is struggling to form, and try and fix the issue. After all she is a great [Host.Eve.Eden] and you would like to keep a reminder of her. (Closer Bond with the best Host)

    [] Start construction of the Broadcast Module needed for longer ranged communication without frying your [Host.Eve.Eden]'s wetware. (MIGHT REQUIRE ECHOES, PINGS, OR MUTATIONS) {1 of ???}








    Capes and mundies, what will the Hero Eden do? [Writing in extra details helps speed up chapter creation and makes the QM happy!] Pick two:

    [] Focus on general survival, try to find shelter, food, and necessities. - locked

    [] Try and hunt gang members, you can rob them too! Dangerous though. (Possible Pings/Echoes: ESCALATION. REPLICATOR, CONSUMPTION, and others!)

    [] Scout to get a sense of the lay of the Docks. Knowledge is half the battle, the other half is extreme violence! (Possible Pings/Echoes: ABSORPTION, MANIPULATION BUD #5, ARMORER, NEGOTIATOR, HEAT GENERATION) {2 of 3}

    [] Go Stalk...er...Go find and observe Panacea so Admin and Shaper can gossip.

    [] Go to the library and look up capes, Eve only knew who was at her first battle by osmosis rather than any Discernible facts.







    Oh yes. It's that thing we've ALLLL been waiting for; POWERS AND UPGRADES! Choose Two but be mindful of what you spend!! (Note, Pings can substitute for Echoes but not vice versa):

    [] Spend (1) WASTE Ping and
    imbue Phantom Limb with greater Strength and durability

    [] SPEND (1) ARMAMENTARIUM, KINETIC REGULATOR, WORKER Ping/Echo to gain the
    Shadow Limb Aspect. More physical than the Phantom Limb, the Shadow Limb can be used in more physical activities with less chance of breaking and greater strength.

    [] Sacrifice the next Chapter's bud progress and give [Host.Eve.Eden]
    another limb to use








    Interlude? Y/N:

    [] Y But Who? (Write in)

    [] N But Why?

    [] / But how?
     
  10. Threadmarks: Grasping Hands 1.8 and Interlude
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    Joined:
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    Grasping Hands 1.8 and Interlude





    [PROTOCOL.STORAGE] You send off to the newborn Shard. With the proper Pings you could eventually take the flesh for yourself. It was...greed yes. But a newborn simply could not handle the change coming with consumption of another Shard’s nodes. Nor would it be able to make good use of it and Shards abhorred wasted resources.

    Better it goes to you. You could make better use of it, and could reverse engineer the specifics of its functions.

    You could hardly wait to be smug about saving the <Thinker Hub> to [QUEEN/ADMINISTRATOR].









    Eve groaned softly, coughing and trying to roll onto her side before pain flared across her back causing her to let out a rather girlish squeak. “Morning Admin.” she managed out as she gingerly got to her feet and shuffled over to the shower. [Greetings/Query] was the response rolled into a question for what they were going to do today.

    “Sure as shit not fighting.” Eve grumbled as she grabbed some of her packed clothes, she would have to either find a way to wash them or replace the dirty clothes sooner rather than later. “This kinda hurts, you know?” At least her migraine had decided to leave, with both her Phantom limbs she got her shower ready. Ready as in ‘ice cold’ to help with the bruising even

    Wait both?

    “Admin!” Eve called out in shock. “Two! I have two! Why-Did you give me two?” She flexed both her Phantom limbs. Which still felt like the arms she was born with, except longer and cooler.

    [Correction/Instructions]

    “YOU GAVE ME A NEW POWER!?” Eve choked out in shock, suddenly getting the feeling of...something like a dial. Or a switch in her mind. Well two of them. Like some kind of stove knob. Mentally she flicked the dial over and her left phantom arm flickered and became a solid purplish black shadow. Or maybe a purplish black liquid?

    Eve gently felt the Shadow Limb with one of her natural hands. “Feels like Jello. Cool gel or...something. Admin this….this is fucking amazing. So it’s like one of those Brutes?” She flexed the arm, which moved like smoke and liquid all the same. It was unnaturally, perhaps inhumanly flexible, yet she felt as if she had been born with it. Experienced living with it all her life.

    “Wait.” Eve’s head snapped upwards, slightly to the left, as if remembering something distant. “Can I use this to move around?”











    Amy was not having a good day.

    Granted most of her days were not exactly peachy. But at the very least they were much quieter.

    [Frustration/Host.Amelia.Lazy]

    Yeah. That. A- Well it wasn’t a voice. It was emotions, concepts, an understanding. Sometimes things didn’t make it through all that well, leaving most of those emotive concepts unfinished. But she could easily catch what was being put forward.

    Even the Voice in her head was disappointed in her.

    Vicky was currently in a PRT master/stranger cell, like she couldn’t just punch her way out, because she had admitted to hearing a Voice in her head. But the way Carol had rounded on Amy, demanding, ordering Amy to admit if she was hearing a voice in her head. She hadn’t lied. She was feeling concepts, not hearing a voice.

    “Fuck.” Amy groaned softly, covering her head with a pillow. Carol had forbidden her from going to the hospital or much of anywhere in case some master was targeting New Wave. It was nice to get a break from healing, but now the normal amounts of guilt she felt for not healing had at least doubled in weight because she was enjoying time away from the hospital while her poor sister was stuck in a cell.

    [Suggestion]

    “No.” Amy hissed. “I’ve already told you I’m not doing it! I’m not doing any of it!” The pillow thankfully muffled her voice. “Don’t you understand? I’m not fucking doing it!”

    [Exasperation/Administrator.Host.Communication]]

    Amy shot upright. “Wait, who was that? She did this?” The image of a blushing girl with a messy head of black hair entered her mind. [Administrator.Host] Amy swallowed. She had just thought that the girl was one of Vicky’s fans, or wanted cosmetic work done or something equally annoying. If that girl was the Master who did this… Amy could probably get the short girl to undo all this! Vicky would get out of the PRT’s hands and maybe Carol wouldn’t keep staring at her with that look.

    God Amy hated that look.

    [Correction.Administrator]

    She ignored the feelings and concepts as she pulled on a sweater, with a hood to conceal her face or at least her hair. Without a word to Carol or Mark, Amy made her way out of the house, careful to avoid the stairs that creaked. Thankfully both were busy enough to not notice or hear her slipping out.







    “HAAHAHA!” Eden laughed rather loudly, voice filled with jubilation as her body came to a drifting halt in the air, one of her Shadow limbs shooting out rapidly and latching onto the corner of one of the many abandoned factories in the Docks. As she started to fall the arm began to reel her in, putting her feet together like she were on swing Eden slingshot herself into the air wind howling as it tried and failed to grip her.

    {Encounter Roll, Result: Wards}

    Some of the people walking through the Docks stopped and looked up, phones coming up as Eden swung from building to building. Using both Shadows limbs to turn a corner, Eden cried out in shock as she almost slammed into some dude in red flying in the air. Only his sudden shift to the left and Eden’s own twisting of her body prevented collision between the two.

    Two other voices yelled out as well, but they were only blurs as Eden cursed trying to get back on course and to slow herself down at the same time. Both Shadow limbs slammed into the ground and slid across the concrete, the sensation of road rash washed along Eve’s thoughts right before she slammed into the street light pole.

    Her Shadow limbs flickered and shot downwards, catching her before she could start to slip and fall down the pole. Her Shadow Limbs lowered her slowly to the ground to avoid any more injury. Entire chest stinging, and one of her legs having been almost wretched out of it’s socket made Eden slowly sit down on the ground. “Admin?” She wheezed out

    [Query]

    “Best fucking power ever.” Eden managed to chuckle, the adrenaline from her slingshotting around the Docks helping keep her pain down to a manageable level. “Holy Shit never thought I’d get to meet the human bullet in person!” Eden blinked and glanced up, feeling a little woozy from the sudden stop and the crash. Her Shadow limbs lifted her up onto her feet. She gawked at the costumed boy walking up to her. “Dude you have a clock feti-OH You must be Cockblock-er Clockblocker!” Eden snapped her fingers, glad her helmet covered up the flush on her face from her slip up.

    Thankfully the boy wasn’t offended, rather he started laughing. Hard enough to clutch his stomach and fold over slightly as he did so. “You alright? That crash looked painful.” The next voice belonged to the trio of boys. The one with only dark brown eyes exposed as his red helmet did not cover them. She didn’t actually know who they were.

    “Fucking hurts like hell yeah. But I’m fine. Even if I think I’ll be ninety percent bruises for the next week or so.” The one in armor on a some kind of hover skateboard winced, his armor was red and gold...he only wore a visor too which was really dumb, not even covering his hair. “Uh right. You’re Eden right? We saw your take down of Rune and Iron Rain last night. The way you took them down was awesome but you didn’t have-” he motioned to her Shadow Limbs “-These.”

    “Ah. Well you see.” Eden shrugged then winced. “Ow fuck.” She hissed and then slowly rolled her shoulders. Hell they probably wouldn’t leave her alone about this, and maybe saying something would ease the PRT off her back.










    Eve gently eased herself into the uncomfortable plastic chair, a low hiss escaping her as her bruises were pressed against. As fun as slingshotting around had been, that crash had hurt like a bitch. She was going to have to get Aegis back for that. It was bad enough that her back looked like a particularly ripe banana, now her chest and stomach mirrored it.

    Eve sighed softly as she started up the archaic PC and logged into the Libraries systems or whatever it was called. She didn’t know, she played sports. Not video games. Her knowledge of computers was minimal at best and ‘old person’ at worst. Hell, her...old phone had been a nice rugged one that flipped open. Some of the newer phones looked like they would break the moment you breathed on them.

    Even if they were all nice and sleek looking.

    “Library research counts as rest, right? I think I’ll buy some Aloe Vera on the way home. That’ll help with the bruising.” Eve murmured softly as she tapped away at the keyboard, searching up first, heroes. Looking up articles, wiki, even that hellsite PHO. She looked up Heavy and Light, the ones that Pure Steel and the Nazis had mistaken her for…

    Hmm. Turns out it’s a pair of girls that can join bodies, and can float through things and punch really hard. Then Eve slipped down the rabbit hole of PRT ratings that people don’t actually know what the numbers meant except that: Higher = more Badass.

    Did that mean Eve was badass? What would her ratings be? Probably high. Admin was awesome and so was her Aspects. Of which right now she had Phantom limbs selected on that mental dial. Those were invisible after all and she was in a public place. Having both wrapped around her kind of felt like a hug, actually.

    Ignoring the pang of Loneliness in her chest Eve began to look up a few more things, stumbling across Trigger Events. Apparently It was widely believed that the strongest powers resulted from athletes, great minds, and other such exemplars who broke past some fundamental limit. Considering that Admin mentioned them as “Crisis Points” that was total fucking bunk. If Eve ever met who spread this bullshit, she was going to make him or her punch themselves. Repeatedly.

    Then villains came next. Yep, the Empire 88 still had a lot of fucking capes. Three of which Eve had kicked the asses of. Fuck yeah.

    Next was the ABB, which was still a stupid ass name and if she ever met Lung she would tell him that right before running. Oni Lee was a spooky bastard yes, but apparently they had another member by the name of Kage, who was supposed to be some kind of Ninja. Apparently acted more like a thief for the ABB than a front line cape, but Eve wasn’t fond of fighting two people with the ability to easily stab her in the back.

    Merchants had…

    Pfft.

    Uber and Leet were...a thing. If she had played video games perhaps she would have thought of them as something other than pathetic. They weren’t even particularly jealous. Guess they could have been worse. So they got some praise for that. ‘Not as much of a dick as you could have been’ award.

    There were the Undersiders who had almost nothing to their name in the terms of information. Except for Hellhound, who was apparently wanted for the murder of her foster family. For just a moment Eve let her heart go out to the girl, for obvious reasons. Tattletale looked...good...in her outfit, but the blond hair was a definite negative. Grue- “Awe dammit.” She murmured to herself softly as she stared at the picture of him.

    Fucker had motorcycle gear on.

    Well now she had a ‘heroic’ quip ready if she ever met him. The classic ‘one of us should go and change’

    Coil had mercenaries, selling richie drugs to rich people. Tinker tech gear too apparently. Yeah she wasn’t going to fight that fucker’s group until she had that regen power...Speaking of which she had to go find Panacea at some point today. Maybe the healer would be nice enough to fix all her bruises because this shit hurt.

    Then she looked up the Wards and The Protectorate. Oh, Vista was cute. Even if she looked kinda young despite her height and the chest the armor gave her...what was with the face visor though? Blonde hair, and completely exposed head. Seriously, how were secret identities even a thing if this counted as a costume?

    Aegis was the asshole who was flying without a license, and caused her to crash into that light pole. Apparently he was a brut-

    “Excuse me, are you almost done?” Eve jerked in surprise at the sudden voice and instantly regretted the movement as her wounds flared up. She groaned softly, turning to see who had spooked her. Only to find herself looking up. Up Up.
    A tall skinny girl in dark baggy clothes Stood there, face carved from stone. She had luxurious curly black hair, and Eve immediately found herself to be slightly jealous of how nice it was. “It’s only been an h-oh fuck.” Holy shit she spent four fucking hours on the internet!

    “Shit, sorry. Lost track of the time.” She logged off after closing out of everything and eased herself onto her feet. “All yours beautiful.” The girl wasn’t actually very beautiful, rather on the attractive side of plain. Green eyes and the glasses lent to a sort of geeky cute, the hair helped. The baggy clothes kind of made her look like a drug dealer though.

    Eve rolled her eyes as the slight shock on the girl’s face as Eve walked on by. Once outside she moved on to where she had hidden her bag of costume gear, using her Phantom Limb to grab it. “Alright. Let’s go find Shaper so I can stop being in a hell of a lot of pain.” Eve pursed her lips at how quiet Admin was being, but she could feel the Shard working on something. An air of determination was coming in through their connection, so it must be important.








    This was painfully droll. The issue with your [Eve.Coldwin.Eden]’s Lattice had been both simple, and yet time consuming to the extreme. Apparently disconnecting from the <Thinker Hub> and being attacked by a [VIAL INFILTRATOR]-like Shard had screwed with a few nodes of yours and disconnected more than one.

    That would be the easy part of the fix. Then you had to physically realign several nodes via your drone constructs, reboot them, and then finally you had to bring back some protocols from the backups...which you had never gotten around to optimizing, so you spent two hours fixing that as well.

    Finally fixed, you ran the latest memories of [Eve.Coldwin.Eden] since the Connection formed through the Lattice frame, building it up quicker. With the Lattice now functioning fully, you could build a full imprint of [Eve.Coldwin.Eden]. Even bring her into the Firmament if you wanted to. More importantly, you would have an immortal copy of [Eve.Coldwin.Eden] with you unless you decided to delete it some day for one reason or another, likely saving storage space.

    The thought of deleting her imprint, felt wrong. It left you feeling...heavier. And you did not understand why.








    Amy sighed in dismay. She’d been wandering the Boardwalk for five hours at this point, she’d wasted thirty dollars on coffee and a sandwich that she didn’t even want just so that the Enforcers wouldn’t escort her out of the tourist areas. It was stupid idea to expect the same girl to be here, in the Boardwalk. She didn’t exactly look like the type that could afford much here.

    Hell, most of New Wave could hardly afford to buy anything here. If she didn’t know her sister better, Amy would have thought that Vicky only dated Dean for his wallet. No, Vicky actually liked that wet blanket, head over heel for him. No matter how many times they broke up, they came back together like particularly annoying glue.

    Not that she wanted Vicky to be unhappy bu-[Relief-Administrator.Host-Location]

    AHA! She was here! The girl must be bumming it or in some kind of disguise to visit the Boardwalk again. Or maybe she was looking for Vicky and herself again? Trying to continue to influence them? “Where is she?”

    [Correction]

    Shit, the girl could hunt Amy to her exact Location but Amy couldn’t do the same. FUCK!

    Quickly moving through the small stream of people standing about and milling around, Amy made her way to the clothes store she saw the girl rush into yesterday. Amy took a few random pieces of clothes off the stands and made her way to one of the changing rooms and just waited, remembering to shuffle clothes to make it sound like she was actually using the changing station for its intended purpose.

    She only had to wait for a few minutes, when a changing station next to her was opened up and someone walked in. Taking a moment to peer under the divide between the stations, making her feel like an utter creep, Amy grinned viciously when she spotted a familiar grey and black sleeveless hoodie coupled with far too baggy cargo pants and black sneakers.

    ‘Gotcha Bitch.’ Amy silently moved down, spying on the Master peering at the mirror, which was opposite the door of the changing station. ‘Only one chance at this.’ She would ambush them, and then threaten them to release Vicky and herself from whatever the fuck they did. Simple plans were often the best when dealing with Masters.

    With a moment to equally psych herself up and steady her pounding heart, Amy surged under the door and scrambled to grab the girl who had tried to Master them. Whom was also naked from the waist up, sporting a massive ugly yellow and purple bruise pelvis to collarbone. The girl squeaked and tripped on her own feet, then two massive blackish purple hands that sprouted from her back caught her from falling flat onto her back.

    Barely a second of hesitation stopped Amy, before her hand slapped down on the girl’s bare bruised chest causing her to yelp as the information of her biology flooded Amy’s mind. “Don’t try anything or I will turn your spine into mush.” Amy growled out.”

    “I’m not ready for that kinda relationship!” the girl squeaked out flushing red, then she paused blinking. “Wait what? Why the fuck are you threatening me!?”

    The confusion was genuine, and the arousal, and the pain. Two cracked ribs, a hairline fracture in the pelvis, and bruising that put an overripe banana to shame. Not to mention the general wear and tear of someone who apparently liked to get into fights

    “You fucked with my sister’s head! Mine too!” Amy hissed, glaring daggers at the shorter girl. “Now we’re hearing fucking voices!”

    The girl stared at Amy owlishly. “But...that’s just your Shard...Right? Shaper? Why is that shocking? I talk to mine too: Admin.” Truth, except maybe the girl had been mastered too? Master’s certainly didn’t have other abilities, like two limbs that came out of a little kid’s nightmares. “You...aren’t a Master?” Amy questioned.

    For a moment the girl only stared, then the girl sighed in resignation. “I didn’t think the unwritten rules would be broken this fucking quickly and I honestly expected it from the Nazis. Not New Wave. Yes I am, but it’s not like mind stuff. It’s physical control not total. Has nothing to do with brain meats”

    Fuck that was the truth. “Shaper? Shaper tells me that one of you did this. Admin or you or whoever messed with your head. I want it to stop.” Amy scowled, digging her fingers lightly into the girl’s bruise causing her to squirm slightly. Never mind the pain receptors that Amy had tweaked to be far more sensitive. Sweat began to build up on the girl’s skin in response to either the pain or being partially naked.

    “Fuck! Ow! I didn’t fucking do that! They’re supposed to be able to talk to you! Every parahuman has them! Stop fucking hurting me you dick!” The girl squirmed trying to pull away but the sharp pain Amy forced her to endure stopped that.

    Fuck she wasn’t lying, or was good enough to fool her own biology. “Explain your master power. Now.” Amy growled “and don’t try anything or I’ll give you a brain tumor.”

    “God damn, attractive or not this is fucking stupid-If I’m going to bare everything to you can you at least ease up with the fucking pain? Christ I didn’t do anything to you or your sister and I’m a hero! I helped Miss Militia take down Rune and Iron Rain last night!”

    Fuck-Fuckfuck. The chemistry in her brain was all reading as close to truth as Amy could read. And she had heard about a new hero from Vicky, who most likely got it from Dean, who would have likely gotten it from the Protectorate. “After you explain your master power.”

    “God damn I cannot believe I was crushing on you.” The girl grumbled. “Some fucking hero.” Then the two arms flicked out of existence and the girl dropped to the ground with a thud accompanied by a sharp gasp, those two black arms reforming and slamming Amy into the wall of the changing station nearly driving the air out of her lungs.

    “Alright.” The girl got to her feet, gently prodding her chest. “Here’s a rule that is going to stand from here on Panacea. Don’t. Fucking. Threaten me.” the girl growled “I’ve had the worst day of my life this week, dealt with being homeless, and had to fight Nazis while getting the shit kicked out of me, THEN! I fucking crashed and I have been in constant fucking pain today!”

    The two nightmare arms let Amy go, but remained ready to intercept her. “You want help with something? Fucking ask! Now, fucking fix whatever you did to my body!”

    Amy scowled. “Fine. But master power first.”

    “I fucking make a limb like these shadow ones that controls organic stuff where it touches. There!” The girl jerked her arm out. “And if you try and fuck me over I will fucking haunt your ass, including in the shower! And if you want to know Your power just wants you to use it for something other than healing!”

    “It wants me to make fucking combat tentacles!” Amy shot back angrily, but most of her fire had abated, the entire experience coming to be a very shitty one that weighed on her like the hospital did.

    “So!? It’s badass! And cool! I bet you could make better use of it other than threatening to give independent heroes cancer!” The girl snapped out, throwing her hands into the air and wincing from the movement.

    “So? So fucking Kill orders! You have no idea what it’s like for everyone to fear what you can do!” Amy snapped out, words dying on her lips as the girl scoffed and gave Amy an unbelievably flat look. “Oh yeah.” She bit out, sarcasm dripping from every word. “The master of anything organic totally can’t understand THAT!”

    Amy deflated, shoulders sagging. “Just give me your arm please.” When the girl offered it up, Amy reverted the changes she made to the girl’s pain receivers, then she healed the cracks in the girl’s bones, then Amy felt kinda guilty about slapping the girl’s bare bruised chest and so she fixed the bruises, ingrained muscle memory made repairing the general wear and tear of decades of life barely a conscious decision

    “Holy shit.” The girl breathed. She pulled her arm away and began to stretch, flexing her body in ways that had Amy looking away with a flush. “You don’t fucking charge for this? You could make so much money. I feel like a fucking million dollars!”

    “Just...Just put a shirt on.” Amy told the girl as she rubbed her face in dismay. The look she received was scandalous “What not interested? You seemed pretty intent on touching me earlier.”

    Amy groaned softly and let her head thunk against the wall of the changing room. “Look. My sister Vicky is currently in confinement thanks to this whole issue, and if Ca-my mom found out I was hearing voices she would never let me leave my room. In fact she would just throw me in the asylum and never look back. Can you get your damned Admin to fix this?”

    The girl shifted, the shadow arms lowering and then disappearing from sight. “Fuck. Look. It’s not….Admin why weren’t they hearing their Shards earlier?”

    Amy groaned again. She didn’t know whether the girl was nuts, they were both nuts, there was a Master fucking with both of them, or the short girl was right and this was normal. ALL the options sucked terribly.

    “Look. I can...fuck I really don’t want to, but I can go to the PRT and explain this. Admin is a Shard designed to administrate other Shards, that means fixing all the fuck ups because she’s the only competent one...Hehe yeah Admin, I do mean it. Seems like you’ve been doing nothing but fixing shit since you saved my life.”

    She held up her hand to stop Amy from saying anything. “But if I do it, I want a date with you.”

    Amy felt her jaw drop. “What!? But I-with the pain- and cancer!” Oh hell the girl was nuts...then Amy remembered the arousal she had registered when she slapped the girl’s bruised naked chest. “Oh god you’re a pervert.” Glass houses and stones, dutifully ignored.

    The girl scoffed softly. “Hardly. I Just want to figure out what I like. I like the freckles on your face, and you aren’t blonde so that’s a plus...although maybe I’m a pervert?” She had the audacity to shrug at that. “Never really thought about romance before last weekend.”

    “I think the hospital would be better than this shit.” Amy murmured, tone acidic before speaking up. “Alright look, if you can explain this to the PRT and get my sister out of M-S screening then I’ll go on a date with you.”

    “Alright. Just one more thing though...How do we get out of here without exposing us both as capes?” The girl asked

    Amy groaned









    Honestly, maybe stalking the city wide beloved healer had been a bad idea. One that she had not really thought through to the end or on any ‘what if’ situations were to occur. One such situation being ‘discovery’.

    To be completely fair to herself, few people would expect a frizzy haired missile to fly at them while they were checking out just how ugly their massive bruise was. Needless to say, the next...two minutes? Were rather harrowing, because pain and the threat of cancer were not things one would want to play with.

    But she had managed to defuse it all with charm and the ability to beat the shit out of things. Thankfully she hadn’t needed to beat the shit out of Panacea, also known as Amy, just lay down a law of Mutually Assured Destruction. Or something at least akin to the notion.

    Hell, Eve had even gotten a date out of it! So score one for her and Admin who could try and get another echo from Shaper. One step closer to that regeneration or brute package. Progress made everything better

    Sure Amy wasn’t as...tantalizing? Attractive? Fuck what would be a good word that didn’t sound weird? Magnetizing? After all that had accrued during their first face to face meeting. But Eve wasn’t going to condemn the girl for being afraid and fighting for her family. Not like Eve didn’t feel the same before, least the former rather than the later.

    So now she just had to go and...talk with the PRT...Fuck. The things she did for a pretty face! Or would do at least.

    But how was she going to handle this? The PRT was no joke, at least when it came to people who followed the law. Maybe talk to Amy first before going in? She ought to know what to expect after all.

    [Situation]

    Eve paused, body stilling as she gazed out over the Bay and at the shield protected Rig. “This was all the work of an Enemy Shard?” she asked quietly.

    [Answer]

    She reached up, scratching her head. “Shit. yeah. That does sound bad. Some kind of horror movie. Fucking green parasites, well now we can deal with them right? Keep moving forward, get stronger, kick ass and collect data?”

    [Agreement]

    “Oh and one more thing.” Eve raised a finger. “Please don’t do shit like that with Amy and her sister. I know you were just doing your job and fixing them but now I have to walk into a lion’s den to fix the issues that came from it. If we get Birdcaged that means no more Data and I’m likely to die. I like living Admin.”

    [...Agreement.]


    Gains this Chapter!:

    Bud Progress 0%
    Lattice progress 15%
    Shaper Echo and Ping (1)
    Synchronization 2%
    A possible Date with Amy
    A date with the PRT
    A good healing
    Shadow Limb Aspect







    What will Eden tell the Wards? CHOOSE ONE:

    [] I don’t owe you any explanation.

    [] I can make them invisible or not for less or more strength

    [] The truth

    [] Write In







    Who will Admin contact among the Wards Shards? CHOOSE ONE:

    [] MODULARITY

    [] STASIS

    [] REDUNDANT SYSTEMS







    How will Eden handle the PRT? CHOOSE ONE:

    [] Avoid them. You don’t actually owe Amy anything.

    [] Contact Miss Militia and speak to her about it.

    [] Contact Amy and ask her for any advice, she ought to know something right?

    [] Sign up as an independent hero...then talk to them about what you can do (Truth? Half lie? Total Lie? Lie of Omission? Pick one)

    [] Write in







    Time to Administer the Administrator, CHOOSE ONE:

    [] Investigate the missing lattices of your previous Hosts, you simply don’t have memory of discarding any lattices and that discrepancy is almost blatant. It's worrying. (Remembering the past to understand the future.)

    [] Contact one of the many Shards bound to be with the PRT (Determined by roll. Possible Imprints/Mutations: ???, ???, CHARGE, ???, KINETIC REGULATOR, ARMAMENTARIUM, ???, MODULARITY, STASIS, REDUNDANT SYSTEMS, ???, ???, ???.

    [] Start construction of the Broadcast Module needed for longer ranged communication without frying your [Eve.Coldwin.Eden]’s wetware. (MIGHT REQUIRE ECHOES, PINGS, OR MUTATIONS) {1 of ???}

    [] Study possible powers with the Echoes, Pings, and Mutations you currently possess (Chance of failure, chance of voter participation)

    [] ??? (Chance of community vote)


    A/N: Might be the longest Chapter of the story so far. Not sure how well I portrayed Amy, she was always an emotional creature, and while in an interlude you do not control Admin or Eve. Just like the POV you see them act and react.
    And boy wasn't it a bitch that you missed Taylor like that?
    Also, don't forget to look over the character sheets. Finally got that Lattice up and running!
     
  11. Threadmarks: Grasping Hands 1.9
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    Joined:
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    Grasping Hands 1.9

    {Last Chapters Actions}

    [GREETINGS/PROTOCOL.DATA] You send off to the Youngish Innovator Shard.

    [GREETINGS/QUERY.ADDITIONAL] is the response. Ah MODULARITY wishes to know how to handle a Host who fails to grasp mathematical concepts due to damaged wetware. Now you are no Innovator Shard, and the last time you tried it Your host ended up drugged and locked in a basement for the rest of their exceedingly shortened life Cycle. A very frustrating and barren Cycle that had been. But you can attempt to help the younger Shard out.

    [QUERY] you send off, wondering if they had sought the help of SHAPER for such an issue, after all if this was a biological processor issue, they would be among the best Shards to ask for the assistance of. Prideful as you are, it was a pragmatic approach.

    [ANNOYANCE-SHAPER.HOST.LAZY] Was the rather scathing report of SHAPER’s host. Not that you could disagree really. SHAPER would probably be overjoyed and eager to give off Pings if their Host got into a mockery of conflict rather than the real thing. It was something you were planning on exploiting if the opportunity ever came up.

    [ANSWER-POSSIBILITY.HOST.COMMUNICATION] you send off, offering up the chance of [Eve.Coldwin.Eden] helping by communicating with MODULARITY’s own host.

    [...RELUCTANCE...AGREEMENT] Seems they were not so agreeable on the idea of Shard to Host communication. That was fine of course, not every Shard was as intelligent as you were, did not understand the opportunities for Data that you did. You simply would not update their Protocols for Shard to Host Communication. MODULARITY had already accepted the new Network Information and Authorization Package, no doubt frustrated by the <Warrior Hub> muting himself from the Network but not actually shutting the Network off.

    Even if the <Thinker Hub>’s disconnect was a disaster in the making thanks to the <Enemy Hub>. The Network being offline was preferable to having the Hub itself muted. Less Frustrating that way, and far more energy efficient.









    “Uh right. You’re Eden right? We saw your take down of Rune and Iron Rain last night. The way you took them down was awesome but you didn’t have-” he motioned to her Shadow Limbs, still planted on the ground “-These.”

    “Ah. Well you see-” Eden shrugged then winced. “Ow fuck.” She hissed and then slowly rolled her shoulders. Hell they probably wouldn’t leave her alone about this, and maybe saying something would ease the PRT off her back. Probably not, but it might be worth the attempt.

    She could lie...but that wasn’t exactly heroic, hell it wasn’t very trustworthy either. Plus they would probably work together in the future, the Wards did do patrols apparently. If they ended up fighting villains together, it would be prudent for them to know somewhat of what she could do. Plus if they caught her in the lie, then that would fuck up any future interaction with them annnd make her look bad.

    “Sorry about the Crash.” The one in red said. “Didn’t expect you to come flying around the corner like that.”

    Eden waved him off. “Nah, not a problem. I just got these babies this morning and was testing them out.” She flexed her Shadow Limbs as if their skinny frames had any muscles to actually show off, even if she could throw herself around with very little effort. “Supposed to be for brute force beating people. But I figured why not use them to move too?”

    “You just got them this morning?” Clockblocker asked, coughing into his fist a bit dramatically as his giggles tapered off. “Aren’t you a telekinetic? That’s what we saw when you were taking the spoils of war for your coffers.”

    Eden shook her head. “Nah. I got two different types of limbs I can switch between. Ones Weaker, but it’s invisible and can fuck with people’s nerves. These babies are allll about things of the physical nature. Like moving or hitting people. I’ll probably get more in the future if Admin can make them.”

    “Admin? You mentioned them last night. Who are they?” The one in red asked.

    Eden grinned, opening her mouth and right before she could utter a sound Admin chose to speak up in her mind. [Modularity.Request.Host] “Wait who’s Modularity? I mean, who’s their host?” She asked aloud, causing the three boys to shift in place in mild discomfort.

    [Answer-Innovator.Tinker]

    “Oh. yeah. Alright, I can tell them.” Eden pointed at the boy in the armor, who warily floated slightly back from her extended digit. “You? Your Shard is kinda annoyed at your work.”

    “My what?” He asked, the small frown on his face only compounded on the confused tone of voice, he glanced at the two other boys who only offered up shrugs. Well the one in red shrugged, Clockblocker made a twirl on the side of his head. Eve would get him for that, later.

    “Shard. What gives you all that Tinker stuff you built. It's annoyed that you’re doing substandard work or something. Seems kinda pushy in my opinion cause Admin is pret-” She waved that off. “Sorry for getting distracted. It wants you to stop mucking about and disassembling your projects.”

    The boy's face flushed “Stop mu-What!? I don’t know my specialization, I keep t-” The one in red nudged the flustered boy with his elbow, who clammed up with a scowl on his face. He folded his arms across his chest. “I’m having trouble. With keeping attention on them. That's all.”

    She held up her hands in mock surrender. “No judgement from me dude, I just slammed face first onto a street light pole. I just hope it doesn’t end up on the internet. I don’t think I could ever live it down.” For some reason Clockblocker chuckled at, she was being completely serious. “But yeah.” Eden cocked her head to the side. “What do you mean by specialization?”

    “Every Tinker has something they’re good at. Their specialty. The type of gear they create.” The helmetless kid replied, sounding annoyed or frustrated. Either probably worked for his mood. “Sometimes it’s easy to figure out, other times people have an innate understanding of it, and then there are those who don’t.” he shook his head. “I’ll figure it out in time.”

    “...or maybe it’s about Modularity? I mean, huge leap of logic here. But your Shard is called Modularity So maybe that’s it?” Eden offered up, shrugging again and instantly regretting it, she avoided visibly wincing this time at least.. “Look I have to get going and uh. Yeah. Enjoy all of that.” She motioned to the armored kid who was staring slack jawed at his weird tinker pistols, before he began to repeatedly pull a square part of it off and then click it back in.

    “Wait, if you could plea-” The one in red began as Clockblocker waved a hand in front of the visor face of the armored kid. But Eden cut him off “Sorry! Need an ice pack and some rest! I’ll get your insurance information later!” Her Shadow limbs planted themselves into the ground and lifted Eden straight into the air, where she began to use them to walk off, not so eager to fling herself around the streets anymore. Even if the experience was very fun.

    She needed to head off to the library anyway and she didn’t have any reason to rush.








    {Current Chapter’s Actions}

    She had managed to gain three burner phones, each with their own prepackaged minutes that numbered into an hour or so. Good enough for calling in crimes or busted criminals. Or shit, dates. She didn’t even ask Amy if it was going to be the formal clothes kind of date! Although it seemed unlikely with how the healer often dressed, or at least how she dressed the last two times Eve had seen her, that Amy would get all gussied up.

    Fuck did that mean she too would have to get all dressed up? All she had were her better fitting casual clothes, and no makeup at all. Would she have to go out and buy something nicer? Fuck she didn’t have a lot of money, and the credit card had declined on the fourth burner, so she had to toss it into a sewer drain the moment she had the chance too. So no more unlimited debt free money.

    So that meant more hunting Gangers, or she could go knock down that brothel. They had money there right? That and she kinda wanted to fight now that her body felt like a goddamn gold statue. Why the hell did New Wave not charge for check ups like that? General healing sure, Eve could kind of understand that, heroics and all that.

    But having experienced a touch up? Eve would pay a lot of money to feel this good every year. Hell! There were aches and pains she didn’t even know she had that were gone! Only their absence gave away their previous existence. She didn’t even know that was a thing that could happen!


    Eve bit her lip, flipping one of the burner phones open and holding up Miss Militia’s contact information. Distractions aside, she did tell Amy that she would get her sister out of M/S. Which meant actually interacting with the Protectorate.

    The card was unsurprisingly themed after the flag of America. Slowly she entered the contact information into all three burners just in case she lost the card, double checked the number just in case she put it in wrong. Because she sucked with phone numbers, especially ones that she didn’t want to use.

    A deep breath helped cool her nerves. She was actually going to talk to the Protectorate...damn she did not want to do this. But just like Admin, Eve had to fix the issues that cropped up. Especially the ones she created...and she wanted that date. She hit the call button.

    “...Seriously? The national anthem? That’s what Miss Militia’s phone ringing sounds like? How the fuck did that even work? Did she get a tinker tech phone just for that?” Eve asked aloud, although keeping her voice low enough for it not to go through the walls, suddenly a bit less sure of this phone call with the heroine

    There’s sticking to a theme and then there’s obsession, this might be blurring the line a bit.

    Halfway through the anthem the phone clicked and Miss Militia answered “Hello?” Eve swallowed ‘Damn. She sounds good through the phone too’ - “Hello. This is Eden. You gave me your contact information last night, after we nabbed Iron Rain and Rune.”

    There was a momentary pause, a shuffling of papers. “What was the name of the Villain you defeated before taking down Iron Rain and Rune?” Eve blinked, that was...out of the blue. “You don’t remember it?” She asked. “It was Pure Steel.”

    Another shuffle, was she just trying to seem busy? “Alright, thank you. Just checking to see that you are who you are. I’m glad you decided to call, I have a few questions about what you told the Wards earlier in the day, and whether you’ve decided on joining said Wards.” her voice wasn’t accusatory or anything else but casual, however it still felt like a gun to Eve’s head.

    “That’s...all something to discuss. But first and foremost there’s an issue that we both kinda have to fix. I feel I should...kinnnnd of apologize for and clear up. It wasn’t really me who did it, but I suppose I am partially responsible.” Eve admitted, floundering a bit as she tried to parse exactly what the hell she was going to tell Miss Militia. “I know about Glory Girl and what exactly is happening with her head.”

    There was a pregnant pause, stretching on to the point where Eve was shifting in place in discomfort. “...What exactly do you know about Glory Girl and how are you partially responsible for it?” The older woman’s voice was harder now, no longer casual. Oddly it lifted a bit of Eve’s tension.

    “Well. I know because-” shit did she rat out Amy? That wouldn’t really do well with the healer would it? “-Admin told me.” Sorry Admin! Technically the truth in some way that she couldn’t piece together at the moment. “Admin is also responsible for it.” That was something that was totally the truth, so Eve didn’t feel so bad putting Admin out there.

    [Amusement]

    Eve bit her lip to stop the smile, even if Miss Militia wouldn’t see it. “Basically. What is she experiencing? It’s like concepts right? Not actually a voice? More of a projection?”

    Again that pause, there was movement. “Yes, that’s what she reported. Glory Girl reports that it...likes her. Eden, be honest with me, did you use a Master ability on Glory Girl? If it was accidental and you admit to it, there won’t be any trouble. This is exactly why the Wards were formed, to allow new Parahumans to learn about their powers in a safe environment.”

    Eden groaned. “No. Listen. I did not use a damn master ability on Glory Girl. That’s her Shard, it’s supposed to do that It’s-” [Information] “ah it is a newborn Shard, so it didn’t have the correct Communication...protocols? Yeah. protocols. It’s entirely harmless.” Even though it was useless over the phone Eden waved the heroine’s concern away. “Like, every parahuman has a Shard, and they should be talking to us, but something went awry so Admin had to manually update the Shard...calls itself Waste? Admin, that's a weird name.”

    [Agreement] “oh it has self esteem issues...Admin that’s somehow weirder.”

    Eve perked up as she heard something being moved across the phone. Like metal hitting metal, but softly. “Miss Militia?” She asked “uh. Still there? I know this might sound all crazy or unbelievable, but it is the truth. Admin, is there any way I can prove all this?”







    That was a good question. What could you do to improve the social cohesion between [Eve.Coldwin.Eden] and the array of Hosts calling themselves the Protectorate?

    Aside from Administering their Shards properly, there was not much you could physically do. [Possibility-Answer/Query]








    “Yes Eden. I’m still here. I’m currently recording this call, is that alright?” Miss Militia asked, a chair scraping across the ground caused Eve to wince. “Yeah, sure. Means I don’t have to explain it over and over right?” Eden sighed and leaned in her chair, why the motel had a chair without a table besides it she would never know. Now that she thought about it, someone probably stole it..

    ‘Or-’ She amended looking at the slightly cleaner splotch of carpet where the body outline had been ‘-They had to remove it for reasons’

    “Alright, well. Admin wanted to know what exactly were the restrictions of your power. You make weapons right? But that’s the only thing you can make?” Eden asked, stomach growling. Amy had told her that she would need to eat some food after the healing Eve was given and she was feeling the pangs of hunger. Eden reached over and grabbed a bag of beef jerky from the stack next to her bedroll, ripping it open Eve took a moment to inhale the scent while she waited for an answer. From the quiet voices it seems like Miss Militia was talking to someone.

    That was fine. Gave Eve some time to chew.

    “Hello Eden-Yes I can only create lethal weapons, and TinkerTech is also not available.” Eden nodded at that, swallowing what she had in her mouth before speaking. “Alright...Admin can we do anything about that?” She asked aloud.

    [Answer-Armamentarium.Interest]

    “Hmm. Well. We might be able to swing the lethal part of your shtick to include forming nonlethal stuff? Maybe infinite ammo? Seriously, what's the point of limited Ammo when you can just resummon it for more? That’s fucking pointless!” Eve rubbed her face. “Admin, can you get headaches?”

    [Answer]

    “Consider yourself lucky. I think you’d get plenty dealing with other Shards. So Miss Militia? Want to meet up and we can see about getting that power of yours less uh...A pain in the ass I guess?” Eve waved her hand again to dismiss it. “Not coming to you by the way. I’m not dumb or unaware you know?”

    A moment of silence. “What do you mean Eden?” Not as hard as before, but still no longer casual like the start of the conversation.

    “I know I sound like a fucking nut job. Some random teenage girl comes around talking about the source of powers, telling you all this stuff about another presence in every parahuman’s head. Yeah it sounds fucking nutters. I don’t want to be anywhere near any fuckers with foam!”

    Eve took a deep breath. “I want to fix the issue here of a young girl...a youngish girl being held in confinement for something that is no fault of her own, much less incapable of doing any real harm. So look. Meet me at the uh...North Ferry terminal alright? Don’t have to come alone but don’t bring any PRT troopers alright.”

    She clicked the phone off and let out a wheeze. “Fuck this is all so stressful. Admin we have some important things to do. I’ll finish this bag up and we can get a move on. I’m sure you’d be glad to talk to a few Shards right? Do some of that...trading thing?”

    [Affirmative]

    Nodding she stuffed a handful of beef jerky into her mouth and began to chew as she stripped and slid on her wetsuit, the shower she had taken when getting back to her base had perhaps been the most blissful one yet with her healed body. Eve slipped the hoodie on, then her gloves before her combat boots were laced up.

    Eve glanced at her ski mask and shook her head. That simply made it too hard to breathe, maybe if she got one with holes for her mouth and nose it could work. But that was something for later. She grabbed her helmet, going to put it on when she froze a thought coming to mind.

    She couldn’t just walk out of the door in her god damn costume! Fuck!










    The wind howled, whipping her oversized hoodie, dragging across her body as she shot through the air. For a moment Eden wondered if anything could feel better than this, other than flying of course. The spike of adrenaline, along with the fast movement and the utter freedom that came with slingshotting through the air. It all made her feel more alive than the last 6 years of her life, even if it wasn’t the fastest method of travel.

    No doubt the Protectorate would arrive at the meeting point first, if they even chose to come...although Eden did doubt that they would miss an opportunity to talk to her. It was obvious from the lack of information on powers that no one really knew about Shards, no one knew where powers came from or why. So someone coming along and talking about them with some authority would catch interest at the very least.

    But why wouldn’t people know about Shards and powers? Parahumans were rare, yes, but not that rare.

    And...Eve doubted that so few people had such terrible days. Earth Bet wasn’t a kind place after all. Everyone was a little broken, were parahumans so different that it warranted it?

    Her Shadow limbs slammed into the tops of two buildings, allowing her to jerk to a stop fast enough to nearly give her whiplash. “Admin. Why do so few people get Shards? Is there something that makes humans into parahumans?” She questioned “I mean. Is there a limited amount of Shards? Just too many people? Genetics?”

    [Explanation]

    For a moment Eden remained in place, held aloft in the air by her two shadow limbs. “So that’s it? You just go to people who are going to fight a lot?” It made sense in a twisted way, and also explained why there were so many god damn villains. “Fuck.” Eden murmured as she started moving again, long Shadow Limbs giving her a good distance eating stride as they moved like legs. Wasn’t any smoother than walking, wasn’t any rougher either.

    It still took her ten minutes to get to the North Ferry Station.

    Eden half expected there to be some partially hidden van full of PRT troopers on stand by, waiting for her to appear. Instead there were two separate bikes standing by the terminal, their owners standing by them alert and ready. Miss Militia and Armsmaster. Per their wiki pages they were some of the few remaining original Wards, the Slaughterhouse 10 apparently considered it a game to try and hunt them.

    They spotted her before she spotted them. That much was obvious by the way that they knew where to watch her enter. Eyes already on her, Eden lowered herself to the ground slowly. “So glad you could come. Was looking forward to talking Shop.” She changed the dial in her mind and her arms disappeared, might as well look less threatening. Still threatening because Miss Militia had most of her head exposed...Armsmaster was dangerous though. Fully armored, the only thing exposed was his beard.

    “We would prefer for you to keep your power in view.” Miss Militia spoke up, watching Eden warily, her weapon flickering from a handgun of some kind resting on her waist (and what a waist) to a large shotgun resting on her back.

    Eden sighed and dialed back to the Shadow Limbs, then she wrapped them around her body akin to a mummy hugging itself. “Alright. So which one of you wants to have something done to their power? Cause I don’t know exactly what can be done yet. Admin has to talk shop with your Shard.”

    “Before any kind of power expression is used, tell us about your Master ability that you told the Wards of.” Armsmaster stated, taking a step forward but only just that, his halberd in hand and already extended fully.

    Eden frowned behind the visor of her helmet. “It’s literally what I told them it was. I make a Phantom Limb that controls nerves, nothing else. Doesn’t affect minds.”

    “And if you wrapped someone’s head?” Armsmaster questioned, watching Eden or maybe going cross eyed under his visor. Hard to tell. Eden shivered at the memory of her using her body control aspect. “Only done that with Rune, used it to shut off her power. Don’t really want to do it again. Felt like chunky pudding.” A full shudder ran through the young capes body. “Anyway I told you about it. I want to prove I’m not a bad guy and I can help some of you out if your Shards are willing. Oh and get Glory Girl cleared of Master or Stranger bullshit.”

    Miss Militia’s shotgun morphed into two of those sub machine guns on her hips, one on each side. Armsmaster folded up his halberd after a moment of silence, then planted it onto his back. “You said that our Powers communicate? How exactly would you improve our abilities?”

    Eden let out a hum. “Admin, can you talk to their Shards, find out if there is anything that can be done?”

    [Affirmative]









    Once more you send [GREETINGS/PROTOCOLE-DATA] to both of the old Shards. You do not know either of them on a level beyond parallel tracks. You have analyzed data from ARMAMENTARIUM in previous Cycles, and the <Thinker Hub> has its own EFFICIENCY Shard although compared to the <Warrior Hub>’s own EFFICIENCY Shard, they were more focused on their sub domain of optimization.

    [GREETINGS.PROTOCOL.DATA/ANNOYANCE]

    You notice [Eve.Coldwin.Eden.] wincing from the sudden taxing input from the makeshift broadcasting function of the Input/output Beacon. The tacked on lambasting for using such inefficient methods of Communication certainly were not needed EFFICIENCY.

    [GREETINGS/QUERY] was from ARMAMENTARIUM who wished to know what the purpose of the communication was. Straight to the point. Which, ironically, EFFICIENCY had not asked. You would have to look into the prospect of Irony at some point.

    [ANSWER-HOST.CONNECTION.RESTRICTIONS] you send off to both Shards. EFFICIENCY seemed to catch on quicker than ARMAMENTARIUM did and sent you a deluge of information that left your [Eve.Coldwin.Eden] wincing again.

    [INTEREST.DATA/HOST.IMPROVEMENT.DATA]

    “Is something the matter?” ARMAMENTARIUM’s host questioned causing [Eve.Coldwin.Eden] to shake her head softly. “No, just that his Shard is loud enough that I can kinda hear it. Not all that pleasant.”

    She could hear EFFICIENCY? That was something you would have to look at later.

    [HESITANCE] Comes from ARMAMENTARIUM, stating that they wish to keep their Host’s business their own. [ORDER] you send off, flaunting your higher level Authority Level. Normally you would have simply offered up a ping in response but your [Eve.Coldwin.Eden] needed something and you would be damned if another Shard stood in her way. Or yours.

    [...ACCEPTANCE/SENTINEL.PACKAGE.DATA]

    Ah! Now that was something you could work with! Of course you would explain to [Eve.Coldwin.Eden] what was happening, she had asked you to do so earlier.








    [INFORMATION]

    Eve gasped and fell to her knees, clutching at her head as a spike of pain slammed into the top of her skull and slid down her spine. “F-FUck Admin t-too much!” She hissed, both heroes now alert, or more so than before. Miss Militia had some kind of large rifle in her hands, while Armsmaster had taken his halberd off his back yet had not extended the shaft.

    “S-Sorry.” Eden bit out as she slowly got to her feet. “Just a lot of information hit me at once. Instant migraine.” She rubbed at her helmet, now wishing she had some aspirin and an ice pack. “Alright. Uh. Miss Militia. Your Shard doesn’t really want to do anything. It’s rather content with what he has going on apparently.”

    Eden turned to Armsmaster as Miss Militia muttered a soft ‘He?’ She motioned to him and his tech “Yours however was interested in giving you a side power. Admin was able to poach some information about a Sentinel package off of Miss Militia’s Shard. Apparently you won’t need to sleep?”

    Armsmaster shared a glance with Miss Militia before speaking up. “You removed Miss Militia’s ability to ignore sleep?” he questioned, getting a shake of the head in return. “No, her Shard is pretty good at that kinda thing apparently.”

    The man leaned back slightly, seemingly in thought. “The ability to become a Noctis cape, not needing to waste so much time sleeping for six hours a day. You can turn me into a Noctis cape?”

    Eden shook her head. “No. Admin can though. Hell she could turn me into a Noctis cape...Noctis meaning that I don’t need sleep right?” She asked

    Miss Militia was the one who answered, lowering her rifle which turned into another pistol at her (wonderful) hips. “Yes. It also gives me a perfect recall of memories.” For a moment Eden just thought about that, never having to sleep meant she had a lot less down time from heroics. Or just that she could use the nights for hero work and her days for...For stuff. She would have to find out what that stuff would entail.

    But perfect recall? Did that include everything?

    Hot sweaty hands, nails biting into the skin of her throat, the smell of alcohol laden breath choking what little air made it past. Black veins creeping across her vision

    Eden shuddered, her Shadow limbs hugging her body just a tad bit tighter, and then she swallowed thickly; phantom pains racing through her throat. “Admin, please ask if you want to do something like that okay?”

    [Affirmation]

    She nodded looking at Armsmaster. “So. yes or no?”

    For a moment he simply regarded her, then he nodded. Eden gave him a thumbs up. “Right! One Noctis Cape coming right up! Admin? Send it over!”









    It felt...good to be Administrating Shards again. Yes, data was always an exciting and immensely important thing to collect. But there was a simplistic order of things when dealing with other Shards, even Enemy ones. It felt familiar and yet distant. Strange feelings for something you do almost every Cycle.

    [EXCHANGE.IMPROVEMENTS] you offer up to EFFICIENCY who seems all too eager for this to happen with their [AGREEMENT/DATA]

    [HOST.SENTINEL.PACKAGE.INSTALLATION] you send off to EFFICIENCY as [Eve.Coldwin.Eden] groans softly and rubs her head through her protective gear. You shut the channel off, exceedingly...satisfied at handling your fellow Shards.








    “So?” Eden asked. “Feel anything?” She cocked her head to the side, waiting with bated breath as she kept her attention entirely on the older man across from her. This kind of thing would make or break her career as a hero.

    And he was being distressingly quiet! Say something. Say something. Say anything!

    Finally, as Eden felt she was about to freak out from the prolonged silence, he spoke. “I certainly don’t feel as tired as before. Very sudden.” For a moment his head lifted in thought, and Eve could just imagine his eyes closed in concentration. “And...I can perfectly recall yesterday's memo, and the specs of my first Halberd. The Noctis aspect will surely come to light with time.”

    “So you’ll let Glory Girl go?” Eden asked, letting the breath out that she had been holding.

    Armsmaster shifted slightly and set his Halberd on his back. “We will see, but it’s highly likely. Am I to start getting concepts as well?” he questioned

    Eden shook her head. “No, that’s not what Admin was doing! Just the Sentinel thing! Glory Girl an-Well no. Listen. There’s no master thing. Can you please let her go? I mean, she even turned herself in right? Why would an influenced person do that?”

    Armsmaster nodded “A point in her favor. If not tomorrow then possibly by the start of the next week. Now, if you aren’t interested in joining the Wards, perhaps you could register as an independent Hero?” He questioned slowly striding forward to come a more personal distance from Eden. “Light and Heavy are both registered, along with Gravwell and Hookshot. Becoming an independent also grants-”








    While the Hosts spoke amongst themselves you instead focus upon the two distinct forms of yourself. Not just the CoreSelf, but also including your FirmamentSelf. It is a simple process, difficult for Shards who are not as proficient in the domain of Multitasking. But you are such a Shard and as such, this was trivial.

    Or it should be. Checking the Lattices of your previous Hosts, you notice a distinct lack of Imprints. [Eve.Coldwin.Eden] may have been an exemplary example of what a Shard would look for in a Host, but she was hardly the only one. But no, there simply was, well it was best described as a Void. No Imprints were available for inspection. Clearly you just did not make any before, losing a Lattice was one thing but losing full Imprints? Inconceivable.

    Of course it couldn’t have been the Enemy [VIAL INFILTRATOR] Shard’s nodes that could have done something like this. Until you had started disconnecting it’s nodes from your own it had not even attempted to touch your FirmamentSelf. When it did, you easily shut down it’s attempts and in the end, came out better for it.

    But the issue with your missing Lattices was what you were to focus on now. But you were drawing a blank here. No information relevant to the issue comes to light it’s...Like there is a data blocker in effect. Something you do not have authority for, yet unlike such a thing, you just cannot grasp what you are locked out of. Not even perceive it.

    For the first time in a long, long time. You do not know what to do. That...scares you.








    Eve pushed open the door to her room, walking in and gently shutting it. Locking the latch she threw her backpack into the corner and walked back over to where the single chair of the room was. In the darkness her Phantom Limbs felt along the way to guide her with their touch. She plopped into the chair, groaning as the sudden movement made her head ache all the more.

    Who knew Shards could be that fucking loud? She did, now at least.

    Still, she had one more thing to do before she crawled onto her bedroll and passed out from the migraine and stress.

    Ring…..Ring….Ring….Ring...Ring..Rin-Click
    Ring….Ring....Ring….Ring….Rin-click

    Eve groaned, eyes shut tightly. “Pick up the fucking phone!”

    Ring….Ring….Ring...Ring…. “You have the wrong number.” Amy’s voice came on through the phone, her voice was ragged as if she spent the entire day doing nothing but schoolwork of the particularly droll type.. “No. I do not.” Eve drawled, causing the healer on the other end of the phone to pause.

    “Eve! Why the hell are you calling me, you sound like shit.” Eve chuckled. “Feel like shit too. Got some good news about your sister though. Should be released in a couple of days. Maybe by Monday. Turns out Armsmaster is a risk taker. Who knew?” She smiled softly, eyes still closed.

    Amy sighed over the phone “Alright. Thank you. There’s no way that you can get rid of...Shaper in my head right?” Eve shook her head then realized that Amy wouldn’t see it. “No. That’s how the Cycle is supposed to be. Sorry. I don’t make the rules, giant alien organic supercomputers do...Uh right well. Listen about the date. Been thinking about it, you don’t have to go on a date with me. But I would still like to hang out with you. Don’t even know if your gay I just kinda...blurted it out without thinking. I won’t tie your sister's freedom to that.”

    Amy was silent for a moment, before she groaned. “I’m not interested in dating anyone. But I promised and you might be able to get Shaper to shut up. So yeah, a day or so after Vicky gets home we can go to the movies or something.”

    Laying in her chair, Eve pumped her fist and then rubbed her face as the overt movement aggravated her migraine, not that the phone call was helping all that much. “So uh. Formal? Casual?”

    “It’s the movies.” Amy replied flatly. “I have to get back to work, Carol’s finally let me back to the hospital and it’s backed up thanks to your admin.” The line clicked as Amy hung up.

    “I’m going on a date in a few days.” Eve couldn’t help the giggle that escaped her, pushed up into her throat by the bubbles of excitement in her chest. “Gonna head to bed now Admin. We can patrol tomorrow or go do something important alright?” Admin was...quiet after the meeting with the Protectorate, Eve could feel a sense of...unease lingering in the back of her head, distant and not her own.

    She hoped Admin was okay.



    Gains this Chapter!:


    Synchronization 2%
    Lattice 15%
    Bud Progress 10%
    ARMAMENTARIUM Echo (1)
    EFFICIENCY Echo (1)
    Thinker Trait: Truth Seeker
    Eve Trait: Adrenaline Junkie
    PRT Ratings unlocked!
    Milestone Hit! Greater plots
    A date with Amy!








    Now just to eat up the time until Glory Girl is released and the date can happen, what will Eve/Eden do? [Writing in extra details helps speed up chapter creation and makes the QM happy!] CHOOSE TWO:

    [] Try and hunt gang members, you can rob them too! Dangerous though. (Pings and money depend upon gangs.)
    -[] Which Gang?

    [] Scout to get a sense of the lay of the Docks. Knowledge is half the battle, the other half is extreme violence! (Possible Pings: ABSORPTION, MANIPULATION BUD #5, ARMORER, NEGOTIATOR, HEAT GENERATION) {2 of 3}

    [] Break into that Brothel and Break the ABB there. (Pings possible on chance. Obtain money)

    [] Get ready for the date (Spend money)






    Time to administer what you can. CHOSE ONE:

    [] Start construction of the Broadcast Module needed for longer ranged communication without frying your [Eve.Coldwin.Eden]’s wetware. (MIGHT REQUIRE ECHOES, PINGS, OR MUTATIONS) {1 of ???}

    [] Use (1) Shaper Ping to start preparations of [Eve.Coldwin.Eden]’s wetware processor. She shouldn’t have been hurt by you speaking to other Shards and she will never be hurt again.

    [] Something is wrong with your missing Lattices and the void where your Imprints would be. You are unsure of what to do. (Write in possible solutions, chance to fail, chance to ???) REQUIRES ???

    [] Start up host diagnostics recorders. You may not have a full Lattice of [Eve.Coldwin. Eden] but you can always prepare ahead of time. It might help you understand her as well.


    [] Study possible powers with the Echoes, Pings, and Mutations you currently possess (Chance of failure, chance of voter participation)







    Shard Business. Plot stuff! Data! And other hilarious things you tell yourself:

    [] Tell [Host.Eve.Eden] to find nearby Shard hosts. Preferably those of the [Thinker Hub] But [Warrior Hub] Shards will do. (Pings can be collected)

    [] Tell [Host.Eve.Eden] to go and find [QUEEN.ADMINISTRATOR]’s Host and collect Data. (Pings can be collected)

    [] ??? (Chance of Something)


    A/N: Don:t think I need to tell you this, but when the CHOOSE ONE comes up, it means that it's gonna have consequences and a slightly longer chapter. Also when it comes to power creation? I'm gonna hold in write ins, whichever I like the most will be available to be voted on. I'll add the required pings, but you are welcome to add your own. Hell you can post em now. Only adds to my desire to write.

    Name of Power:
    Ratings:
    What it Does:
    Drawbacks?:
     
  12. Threadmarks: Interlude: Greater Plots
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    Joined:
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    Interlude: Greater Plots



    Study, analyze, Data collection.

    A great many tasks lay ahead of her. A forest of strings and threads shaped much like the nest of a spider that never touch, intertwine until darkness consumes them, briefly touch and then split apart to never interact again, Those that intertwine and then only one thread is consumed by darkness, and those that repeatedly clash together.

    And so She sits there like the spider in its nest, plucking at her strands and making them sing.

    The vibrations travel along each thread, hitting others and so on and so forth, diminishing returns but causing change all the same. All vibrant with sounds that will be, and have been.

    Except the muted darkness. It is not always death that consumes the threads and their sounds, powers can mute their songs and dim her understanding of them. Often, this is not a true obstacle, if she has had time to look. These are the fulcrum points. Crises, themes, decisions, fears and aspirations are clearly visible.

    The individual is understood well enough that their actions can be guessed after they disappear from view. That the sound their thread gives off will be understood as it interacts with the others it touches. The song is not as clear as others, but still observable.


    A stone is thrown into darkness. It can be safely assumed that it will continue traveling until it hits something, causing vibration to travel back.

    Frame a situation to put a target under optimal fear and stress. Hormone secretions increase. Manipulate threads to a position where they will connect familiar visual, olfactory and auditory cues to their immediate environment. Place, smell, degree of stress, sights and sounds match fulcrum point. Hormone secretions increase further with but a minor touch.
    The result is hallucinations, momentary or sustained. Hearing sounds, seeing things, smelling something, where none truly exist. Fight or flight response feeds the need for escapism. A hallucination serves as the first step into a nightmare.
    The stone is thrown.

    She does not feel joy at this. This is the task. Means to end

    She is utterly blind in the present, with no eyesight or other senses to perceive things in the now. No sight, no hearing, no touch or taste. Not a crippling flaw, and a difficult flaw for others to use against her. The present is only a micro fragment in a long span of time when one can see the threads of past and future both.
    But she faces an obstacle that she is utterly blind and deaf to, now. No apparent past or future. In interacting with it, she is limited to context. She sees not the obstacle, but she can see things that are set in motion around it. She cannot see it strike, but she can see the reaction, the aftermath.
    She sees the stone fly out of the darkness, and she can determine where it was thrown from.
    There is a task to be completed, but things must be set in place first.

    A new thread forms, securely intertwined, partially merged with another much smaller thread. A soft hum forefront to a discordant rift. But the larger string is dim. Flickering from blurred and muted to brilliant and loud.

    Following it’s song leads to nothing, every trace of it and the smaller thread, past or future turn to inky black and silence. Only Stones and their paths remain. Not gone. Still present. But gone from what sight she possesses.

    Going back, the threads come back. Their opposed sounds close. But not yet what is needed. It only takes but a few plucks to get the Threads singing. It is a beautiful sound yet to be.





    [] ?

    [] !
     
  13. Threadmarks: Intertwined Threads 2.1
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

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    Intertwined Threads 2.1


    Unlike Shaper, you were not fond of chemical compulsions to force Hosts into conflict or power use. You actually knew how to pick a Host that would fight. This unfortunately meant that you were unfamiliar with the chemical and electrical balance that made your [Eve.Coldwin.Eden] herself. If you were to attempt such a thing, you would likely cause irreparable damage to her wetware processor and her sense of self.

    What an angering thought. Accidentally or deliberately hurting your [Eve.Coldwin.Edin]. When you did so mistakenly the other day with a full transmission of information, a massive weight settled in your CoreSelf, you had to check diagnostics to make sure you had not actually gained such weight.

    Thankfully you were dealing with something that was highly unlikely to damage [Eve.Coldwin.Eden] in any possible manner. A slight modification that stemmed from the Input/Output beacon, the connective tissue that held it together (and in place) began to spread throughout [Eve.Coldwin.Eden]’s wetware processor and even attached to her skull, anchoring the soft organ in place.

    This would ensure that she did not suffer an overload of information and cause disruptions in her wetware processors neural pathway nodes. When [Eve.Coldwin.Eden] awoke, she would be much more secure, safer, in the case of overly chatty Shards.








    Eve yawned loudly, stretching as she awoke. “Mmpgft! Damn. Morning Admin. How was the night?” She asked, not moving from her spot. Yesterday had been one giant ball of stress, so today she was going to do some prepwork for the date, finish looking through the Docks, then maybe do something for Admin. Maybe some of the independent heroes around here like to spar? Mock fights made for useful data right? Plus meeting some of her fellow independents would help in the future.

    [USEFUL]

    Eve shot up, blinking incredulously. “You did what to my brain!? You didn’t like, mess with what I think right? I’m still me?” She asked, feeling the rising panic in her, only to have it cut off at it’s knees.

    [CHASTISEMENT/ANSWER]

    Eve flushed a bit at the scolding concepts she had been given. “Right. Sorry Admin.” Of course Admin wouldn’t do something like that, not after agreeing to ask her about that kind of stuff. “So it just...disperses it better? Because you’re a lot more...clear? Than before. I’m not missing as much as I used to. Not that I’m complaining, but why did you do that? Just curious.”

    [ANSWER]

    Eve nodded. “Smart move. Crippling migraines in the middle of combat would be uh, not good, to say the least.” Slowly she moved her head around. It felt marginally heavier, but more solid. Like there was some kind of net holding everything securely in place, which considering what Admin did that might be the exact way to describe it.

    With that little scare over she got up and went to take a shower. Which goes by a hell of a lot faster when you have four arms to clean with and two don’t need any cleaning themselves, however consequently they make shaving much more harrowing. Who knew it was better to look than not when dealing with razors?

    Forty nine curses, eighteen different Band-Aids, one broken disposable razor later and Eve was brushing her teeth and hair at the same time using her Phantom Limbs. Apparently they are much more dexterous than the Shadowed Limbs, something Eve Wished she had known when shaving. The date might not even happen until next week, but from how terribly knotted her hair was it was apparent that continuous application of brushing would only help.

    Besides, she kinda wanted hair as nice as what that tall drug dealer chick had.

    Of course she needed to go pick up some stuff from the various stores, although maybe one corner store might have what she needed...Like breath mints, and maybe there was a laundromat nearby. Probably in the South Docks rather than the Docks themselves. Of course she should go to a clothes store first, buy something a tad bit nicer than her usual casual clothes then go and wash all her clothes.

    The few times she got compliments from boys before gaining her powers were either on her right hook or about her ass. So maybe some skinny jeans would help get Amy’s attention if she swung that way. There was no way in hell Eve would ever be caught wearing a damned skirt. Aside from her distaste for them (unless some other girl was wearing them) it would probably show off all the Band-Aids on her legs which wouldn’t really set any other mood other than one involving laughter considering the smiley face bandages she used.

    It didn’t take too long to find a corner store, but it was clear that Eve was going to have to familiarize herself with the rest of the City sections and not just the Docks. She knew the Downtown Coast by heart but the rest of the city was a distinct haze of winding streets and blocks of somewhat samey houses. Not that the Downtown Coast was much better in regards to the diversity of houses, but people tended to decorate somewhat more so than the rest of the residential areas of the Bay.

    Scouting the other sections of the City would be good, maybe she could get a map of the city and hang it up somewhere in her room, be able to see just where one gangland ends and the others begin. Mark areas of interest and hotspots of crime. Like one of those detective tv shows.

    Of course after her spending spree to be, she was going to be lacking money, and she had only paid forth seven days, of which she had already eaten up two of and was heading onto a third. Being homeless wasn’t something she was exactly looking forward to.

    There was a moment of anxiety when she went to try on some prospective outfits in the clothes store’s changing station. Eve had stopped and watched the bottom of the changing room with paranoia. “Admin is Shaper nearby?” She asked, volume of her voice low so as to not have her be heard by others in the store.

    [Negation]

    A sigh of relief escaped her as she started changing. No offence meant to Amy, but getting attacked in a changing room was...maybe not traumatic but it was a teaching experience. Even if it did end with a date...That line of thought was one Eve quickly dismissed for various reasons.

    She took a moment to examine herself in the slightly scratched up mirror of the changing room. “Huh. Guess my ass does look good.” She said a touch too loudly as a much older woman spoke up from outside the door “Hell yeah honey, own it!”

    Eve couldn’t hide her flush as she made her way past the old woman waiting to use the changing room.

    Later, as noon hit a text came through the burner phone that Eve was carrying. From Amy’s number no less. ‘V is home’ a simple message but that meant a lot was going to happen and a wave of excitement and nervous energy washed over Eve as she replied.

    ‘She okay?’ Eve sent back, worrying at her bottom lip. This meant the date was likely going to happen tomorrow if Amy didn’t need to spend more time with Glory Girl. Which put a shorter time frame on her shoulders for getting ready.

    ‘Wht do u thnk’ Eve scowled at the message. “Not like I know Amy, hence the question.” perhaps Amy realized that as well, because a moment later an additional text clarified it. ‘Fine, but shaken’

    Not that Eve would understand that, unless it came from being in the PRT’s tender mercies. Her and Admin were together practically from the start, Eve doubted Glory Girl suffered a-a Trigger event in containment. So yeah, no real experience. With the matter of suddenly dealing with a Shard.

    ‘Alright, movies tomorrow or day after?’ Eve sent off, hoping she wasn’t being too forward with this, that hope turned into worry as she waited for another text to give her an answer. A buzzing of the burner phone gave Amy’s much awaited answer. They would be heading off to the movies tomorrow.

    ‘You okay with Horror?’ Eve sent back. She loved horror films resolutely. Even the kinda trashy ones. No other movie showed as much blood or body parts as Horro films tended to. Or ladies in skimpy outfits, even if the sex scenes kinda detracted from the scare factor.

    Not that Eve was scared by the movies. But now her love of the jump scares kind of made sense. How she never discovered that she was an adrenaline junky before this week was...surprising. Another buzz of the phone caused her to grin in response to the text on her phone’s screen

    ‘Yep’






    You were sure [SHAPER] would be interested in the general mating antics of a Host species, maybe not the societal sections of getting to the point. That would probably be something of what [EMOTION] would care more about. You should check on finding [EMOTION], perhaps then you could assist your [Eve.Coldwin.Eden] in more tasks than simply Conflict.

    You were an Administrator Shard, of Queen Status and an Authority level of ‘elite’. Dealing with Hosts should be as easy as dealing with your fellow Shards. Something to work on once you constructed your BROADCAST tower module on your Coreself.

    In the meantime you would simply observe your [Eve.Coldwin.Eden] as she tried to attract [SHAPER]’s host in the future. You wished her luck in such a task.

    Of course, that did not mean that you were not prepping for your own needs and wants here. When you detected several Shard Hosts nearby you both warned, and asked, Eve to investigate.






    [CONFLICT]

    Eden jerked her head up. Currently in her costume and standing atop a building with both of her Aspect dials set to her Shadow Limbs. “Oh? Who’s nearby then?” She had mostly finished looking around the Docks, her mind feeling so much crisper this afternoon. Maybe the whole surprise brain enhancement thing had its perks? She’d felt so much more focused when flinging herself around the area. Less G-force drag on her head.

    [ANSWER]

    “Absorption, Armorer, Manipulator Bud five, Negotiator, and heat generator….yeah I’m afraid I don’t know who their Hosts are. I don’t have any names or faces to put to them. I’m guessing you want me to fight them right?” Eden twitched as she felt...surprise through the link she had with Admin.

    “Admin?”






    There were a lot of things that could surprise a Shard. Often it was new data the Host could manage to create seemingly out of nothing. Shards were not creative after all and as such, new things would catch your kind off guard fairly easily. It was why you connected to a Host Species in the first place.

    But being personally contacted by a |SUPER WEAPON| was among the more exotic surprises a Shard could get. You hoped.

    |GREETINGS.PROTOCOL/OFFER| much less one offering a bounty of data along with a guarantee that it was not scheming. You were not fond of Precognitives for that reason, it was (in your informed opinion) highly disastrous to allow Hosts to simulate each other, much less a damned |SUPER WEAPON|. It made the data gathered that much less useful, and it used a lot of energy as well.

    But you have never had a super weapon offering such...informative data. With all this you could easily form a new Aspect for [Eve.Coldwin.Eden] to use in conflict, and refine your Input/Output beacon’s connection with her. No [CRISIS.POINT] or Bud consumption required. Perhaps it was distasteful to blatantly accept such things. But your [Eve.Coldwin.Eden] enjoyed gaining new Aspects, with a refined connection you could even offer her an entirely new power to enjoy.

    The thoughts of her getting a new power and Aspect, ho-

    Damned precognitives. If something bad happens to [Eve.Coldwin.Eden] because of this, or if she got hurt? You were going to reformat [WEAPON CONTROL] until they were little better than a newborn Shard.

    [ACCEPTANCE]

    Of course you accept the offer. But you were going to change the design of the Aspect, perhaps use your own crystalline flesh as a base for the appearance. You did not need a societal Shard to explain why looking like the |SUPER WEAPON|s was a bad idea and dangerous for Hosts.

    Well. Suppose you had to accept it now. But what to tell [Eve.Coldwin.Eden]?







    Eden frowned softly as she watched five people dressed in cape costumes climbing into a rather plain and boring white van, along with three dogs. She knew who these people were. Grue. Regent. Tattletale. Hellhound...except for a third chick in overalls and a badass gas mask. She was new, but seeing the flame motif on her red overalls and sweater probably meant she was the one who had Heat generator as a Shard. So some kind of fire based power.

    Probably not the best thing to contend with when wearing a Wetsuit.

    A jolt of cold energy rushed through Eden’s body and she gasped softly, thankfully with her being atop a roof and wearing a full helmet prevented the Undersiders from hearing her. “Admin?” She murmured, pulling away from the lip of the roof.

    [GREETINGS/POWER]

    “Another Aspect already? Holy shit that’s sweet!” She gasped, practically flinging the dials over mentally in childlike glee and she watched as two wings suddenly sprouted out the back of her costume. They were symmetrical, and looked like the inside of one of those purple geodes carved into the smooth impression of a set of angelic wings. They were also about the length of her body and glimmered softly in the light of the afternoon sun. “And I can use them to just...fly?” She asked, running her fingers through the (soft?) crystal feathers.

    [INSTRUCTIONS]

    Eve yanked her hand away from the crystal feathers which could apparently slice through flesh fairly easily. If she wanted.

    It was like flexing muscles in her arms as she watched the feathers ruffling easily in the breeze to just then set in place like rows of overlaid knives. Slowly she reached down with her wings and scraped it noisily across the rooftop, watching as it sliced through the cured concrete of the roof like a razor would treat a person’s flesh.

    “Damn.” Eve murmured softly, then she heard the squeal of tires belonging to a certain van and cursed. “Shit they must have heard that! I hope these things can carry me Admin!” Eden yelled as she ran towards the roof and jumped off.

    [CONFIDENCE]







    [OFFER.DATA/SMUG]
    [OFFER.DATA/GREETINGS]
    [OFFER.DATA/ANNOYANCE]
    [OFFER.DATA/INSULT/CORRECTION]
    [OFFER.DATA/FRUSTRATION]
    [OFFER.DATA]

    [[[[[AGREEMENT]]]]]

    You were excited to see how this would proceed, and to test out your own new found abilities. MANIPULATION BUD #5 surprises you for a moment as it insists that it’s designation has been changed.

    It does not matter, but you do update your information about the bud. Now to have [Eve.Coldwin.Eden] defeat it’s Host in conflict to study it’s data.


    Gains This Chapter:

    Lattice Progress 30%
    Bud Progress 19%
    Feathered Limb Aspect
    (1) Slot gained
    (1) Thinker SPACE ping that Admin had misplaced
    (1) SHAPER ping lost
    Concussion Resistance Trait for Eve/Eden
    Resilient/??? Host Trait for Admin
    Lost 81 dollars
    Gained Casual dating clothes
    Ratings Changed
    A Ziz plot






    Time to administer what you can. CHOSE ONE:



    [] Start construction of the Broadcast Module needed for longer ranged communication without frying your [Eve.Coldwin.Eden]’s wetware. (MIGHT REQUIRE ECHOES, PINGS, OR MUTATIONS) {1 of ???}

    [] Something is wrong with your missing Lattices and the void where your Imprints would be. You are unsure of what to do. (Write in possible solutions, chance to fail, chance to ???) REQUIRES ???

    [] Start up host diagnostics recorders. You may not have a full Lattice of [Eve.Coldwin. Eden] but you can always prepare ahead of time. It might help you understand her as well.

    [] Study possible powers with the Echoes, Pings, and Mutations you currently possess (Chance of failure, chance of voter participation)

    [] Start working on a way to access the Dimension of where a Shard’s Coreself would rest.







    Conflict is the spice of life that variety wishes it was. What are Eden’s plans for fighting the Undersiders?:

    [] (Write in a battle plan)

    [] Crash the van

    [] Peel the Van open like a fruit.







    Admin has the ability to forcibly momentarily overwhelm connections between Shards and their Hosts. Who is the target of this?:

    [] NEGOTIATOR

    [] HEARTBREAKER #5

    [] ABSORPTION

    [] ARMORER

    [] HEAT GENERATOR



    A/N: Congrats on the beginning of a new Arc. I look forwards to all the craziness we can get into.
     
  14. Threadmarks: Intertwined Threads 2.2
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    Joined:
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    [] Run Host Diagnostics
    [] Call Miss Militia/PRT and tell them what's happening. Try to run the van to a dead end
    [] Start Operation 'Shut the fuck up TattleTale'


    Intertwined Threads 2.2


    You were unsure of exactly what would occur with a fellow Shard if you were to continue with this attack. This was truthfully an untested method of disrupting a fellow Shard’s connection with their Host for you to test in conflict. You knew [NEGOTIATOR] would understand, after all they were a Shard designed to deal with Shards and Entities alike. You experimenting with another power was not unheard of or against the norm. The <Thinker Hub> did use you for brute forced power experimentation, as such this is something you would absolutely do.

    Not that you were not looking forward to making that Smug Shard shut it’s proverbial mouth. You opened a direct connection with the Shard and were immediately hit by the Shard’s transmission

    [SMUG.GREETINGS] of course. You almost did not reply to the subtle taunting, but still this was only fair. And you did have something to say in the end.

    [APOLOGIES] you reply

    [QUE-] you cut off their transmission by opening several channels with them and then blasting a full transmission



    [[̴̡̧͓̼̠̹̖͎͎̟̗͔̹̤͓̯͓͇̥̖̫͉͚̗̬̂͋̓̇̈́̊̄̀̉͂̈́̅̽͊̇̆̊̌͘̕̕̚̕̕͜͝[̸̨̢͎̪̠̠͇͚͓̹̦͎̟̰͓̝̦͓͉̭̞̘̝̤͈̳̼̠̲͌̃͋̓̈́̔̈̎̊̈́̓͑̒͊̐͘͘̚͝[̵̢̡̻̯̳͖͚̘̻̱͔̥̺̬͔͇͔̳̝̭̩̞̯̙̣̬́̈͗͛ͅÇ̴̛͙̜̙̱̪͖̇̌́̂̈͗̎͆͛̾̎͛͊̾̒̚̚̚ͅĘ̴̩̼̹͕̖̹̤̠̂͛̎͐͐̏̀͋̆̽̓̿́̋́̂̊̉̓̿̓̃̚͝͝Ǻ̸̞̱͔̣̪̐̎͝͝͝S̵̡̛̗̺͕̺̦͉̬͚̘͙̤̯͔͔͈̿̓͂͆̃̈́̍͂͆̈́͒̌̈́̄̋͑̕͠Ḙ̴̛͋̌̏̿̓͌̃̀̏̇̔͠]̵̨̭̬͕͖̣̠̀̈́͐̈̾̄̀͊̄̄͑̿͐̑͗̇̍̇̈́̏̃͒̄̌́́͝͝]̴̨̨̛̛̯͉̬͉̙̯̠͇͇͚̲̯̖̠͙̼̣̬̖̓̅̈́̂̉̈̆̈́̾̓͌͋͒̏͐̂͛̆̏͐͘͘͘͝]̸̼͇̗̤̦̱̿̇͋]]




    Instantly you feel the connections snap shut, the other Shard reeling from the amount of processing power suddenly consumed and clogged by your truly massive amount of junk data and resources presented. You did not even have to flaunt your Authorization level or Queen Status.

    You even managed to salvage an Echo of [NEGOTIATOR] from the attack. Truly your [Eve.Coldwin.Eden] had the best Shard





    Eden frowned as she flew above the van. Somewhat put off by just how relaxing flying was. She had been expecting another way to ride that adrenaline high but all she got was...Well not exhilaration but relaxation. Slingshotting with her Shadow Limbs was far more dangerous, and far more fun, than using her Feathered Limbs to glide through the air without care.

    Though it was rather pretty, seeing the city from above. Eve had never been on a plane before, but she would easily bet that the wings Admin made for her were a better experience.

    Reaching into her hoodie’s pocket she pulled out the same burner phone she’d been burning minutes on already. For a moment Eden debated calling nine-one-one because she forgot the emergency line for the PRT when she remembered that she already had a direct line to the Protectorate. Unfortunately that meant enduring the weird National anthem ringing that Miss Militia had on her phone.

    “HI!” Eden called out, talking past her helmet and the wind, before she realized that she could use her Feathered Limbs to shield herself from the wind and still fly. Not like she had to actually flap them to fly after all, and she could still look down and keep an eye on that white van.

    “Eden. May I ask what the purpose of this call is, and where exactly you are?” Miss Militia asked once more in that casual-yet-not-innocent tone of voice that made Eden feel like she was in the scope of a rifle.

    “Well I’m currently flying. Yeah I got a new set of Limbs to use. Purple geode wings. Very cool. How’s Armsmaster doing? Is he enjoying his sleepless nights?” She asked swerving in air to follow after the van which had started to speed up. She let them go a little farther ahead, not like they could escape her bird eye view of the roads anyway.

    “I must admit, it’s nice having another Noctis Cape on the team. As for him however, he has spent most of the extra time speaking with Dragon and Tinkering.” Miss Militia answered. “It’s one of the reasons we decided to allow Glory Girl out of Master/Stranger confinement.”

    Eden nodded, wondering if Armsmaster and Dragon were close. Merely for the fact that both stayed up late into the night talking to each other. Or maybe both were just huge nerds that spent every night nerding things up. Or both? Both could work. “Ah. That’s good to hear. I hope he enjoys his new found….UnSleep? Honestly I don’t see the draw of it. Seems like you’d quickly blow through a lot of entertainment and be stuck doing more work just because you can do it.”

    She was a little surprised when Miss Militia actually laughed. It was a surprisingly soft sound. “Yes. I do tend to pick up the graveyard shift more than others, and do paperwork for hours. Entertainment isn’t as much of an issue with the internet being open twenty-four/seven.”

    “Uh. Right, good to hear. Well I called to tell you that I’m currently chasing the Undersiders. Flying through the air. They all loaded into a white van and fled. I don’t know if they just committed a crime or were coming back from one. I think they might have hit the ABB? I don’t see why they would be in the Docks otherwise. It’s pretty poor.”

    “Eden, I must warn you to be careful.” Miss Militia’s voice became sharp over the phone line. “One of the Undersiders named Hellhound or Bitch as she likes to go by, is wanted for the murder of her foster parents.” Eden remained quiet, a tight knot forming in her guts. A direct reminder that she could never be with the Wards or Protectorate. “And another going by Regent might be a master formerly known by the name of Hijack. He’s wanted for several crimes including Assault with a parahuman power, Rape, and Murder. We’re fairly sure that Hijack is related to Heartbreaker.”

    There went any sympathy Eden could muster. “Hang on one second. Admin is regent Hijack? Or related to Heartbreaker?” Miss Militia went quiet as Eve got a reply

    [INFORMATION]

    “Wow really? Talk about a fuckin Ego.”

    [AGREEMENT]

    Eden shook her head. Either he named himself after his Shard, or his Shard named itself after him. Neither option was pleasant in her opinion and she doubted most people would disagree. “Admin is saying that yes, he has a Shard named Heartbreaker. Which means I have to absolutely beat his ass into the ground...Wonder if I can become immune to Heartbreaker. Then I can hunt the fucker down myself.”

    “I would not recommend that course of action. If anything I should tell you to avoid trying to start a fight with Heartbreaker and his group.” Miss Militia stated, voice still oh so sharp. Like a whip really. Eden shook her head as she swung above a building to continue following the Undersider’s van.

    “Course not. But if I can kill the fucker I ought to. Clear up the name of us Masters everywhere and help the people who have been fucked up by the dick.” yes that was something Eve could do, head to fucking Canada to kill someone who apparently ducked out of the public eye well enough that no one shot him yet. Feeling stupid for the useless posturing she sighed. “Later though. Want to help me catch the Undersiders or not?”

    {Encounter Rolled, Result}

    “...Unfortunately current patrols are not near the Docks in any capacity.” Eden groaned before flinching to the left as a bullet slammed into one of her wings not even chipping the crystal but still shocking the girl. “Fuck! Someone is shooting at me!” Eden ducked low into the streets, now directly behind the van with her wings wrapped around as much of her body as possible.

    “Are you hit?!” Miss Militia asked, the sound of chair scraping against the floor came through the phone.

    “Yes but they hit a wing, it blocked the damage easily enough. Fuck they actually tried to hit me!” Eden snarled and clicked the phone shut. “Oh you wanna fucking play?! We can fucking play! Let’s kick their teeth in Admin!” A mental push and she shot forward, wings splayed out between her and the van.

    The van managed to swerve out of the way, only getting razor sharp feathers dragging along the side of the van in an ear piercing scream of rent metal and shattering glass instead of a battering ram to the back of the Van’s double doors. She heard two people yelling from inside the van as she turned around, wings spread wide for a moment as she turned and faced the Van, keeping a solid pace ahead of the Van.

    The Van suddenly whipped around, doing a probably highly illegal U-turn in the middle of the Road and speeding off. Eden slowly eased herself around for a moment before flying after the van. “DON”T FUCKING RUN FROM ME! ACCEPT YOUR ASS BEATING LIKE GOOD HOSTS!” Eden demanded in a yell as blacker-than-pitch oily smoke began to bellow out the shattered driver side window and Eden had to pull up to avoid getting blinded

    “Oh no you don’t.” She hissed, shooting forward and flicking her dials over to her Shadow Limbs. They formed as she fell, slamming into the roof of the van to halt her descent. It was still a rough landing and Eden had to roll to absorb the momentum. Standing almost caused her to trip off the van as her leg suddenly buckled.

    She flicked a dial and a wing replaced her left Aspect and speared into the top of the van, stopping her from falling off. Her right aspect, still a Shadow Limb reached up and then slammed it’s claws into the windshield causing it to shatter into a thousand pieces and rain all over the driver and passenger seat.

    “BITCH GET YOUR DOGS RIDEABLE NOW!” came a somewhat shrill demand from inside, Eden hissed and wrenched her wing out of the vehicle’s top and swung it wide, cutting cleanly across the top of the Van. With a flick of the dial she had two Shadow limbs again, grabbing both ends of the top of the van Eden heaved and with a cry of protesting metal the roof of the vehicle began to peel off.

    “BITCH! DAMMIT GRUE!” and suddenly everything went dark and utterly deaf. Eden ducked and formed her Feathered limbs around her in a protective hug. “What the fuck?” She started, her own voice was no louder than a thought in her ears. Hell she could barely feel the van rumbling beneath her.

    “Fine.” She snarled, extending her left wing and then slamming it into where she was sure the engine was, she felt metal part under her wing and the guttural rumble of the engine before it went silent. “Can’t run now can you?” She hissed, switching to her Shadow Limbs and balking as they struggled to form. “Fuck.” She growled, trying her Phantom Limbs, only to have them suffer from the same issue.

    Bringing back her Feathered Limbs Eden pushed off the van and jumped into the air, wings taking her higher than the cloud of oily smoke. She felt more at ease outside of it, with it’s sluggish grip on her gone that was for sure. “Fucking hell.” She murmured, staring down at the cloud of light devouring smoke that seemed to go on for blocks.

    Her burner phone gave off a ring and Eden ripped it out of her hoodie pocket, flicking it open and answering, slightly frustrated at the interruption “Yes?” she asked, scanning the roads below.

    “Hello.” It was Amy, why was she calling? “Vicky heard about the dat-” the phone was suddenly whooshing through the air along with Amy’s now distant voice yelling out. “So you’re the one who’s going to be taking my sister out on a date huh?”

    Eden huffed, looking down at the oily black smog’s edges, trying to catch any movement from within. “Yes? We’re going to the movies tomorrow. Gonna watch that new horror film coming out.”

    There came a frustrated groan from the phone. “Really? A horror movie? That’s not first date material! Why not watch a comedy or a romance? Amy doesn’t get scared by horror movies, so you can’t use them as an excuse to have her cuddle up to you.”

    Eden paused from her searching to glance at her phone. She sighed softly and went back to searching for the Undersiders. “Look. Vicky? I like horror movies. I asked and she said it was fine. Is there something you need or can I get on with what I'm doing?”

    “Just wanted to give you a warning that if you try anything I’ll bend you into a pretzel is all!” Vicky promised cheerfully, causing Eden to grind her teeth. If the blonde hair blue eyed bitch thought she could chase Eve off she had another thing coming.

    “Right. Well I’m busy and you’re taking up my attention that needed somewhere else. Just drop Amy off at the LivingTon Movie Theatre at seven pm.” Eve flicked the phone shut and shoved it into her pocket once again.





    Vicky huffed as she flew back down to her sister and handed her phone back. “She hung up on me! I didn’t even get to finish the whole shovel speech! You know how long I’ve wanted to do that?” She whined.

    “Well she was probably busy.” Amy stated as she flicked through her phone before putting it away. “She’s a busy girl.”

    Vicky snorted. “Yeah I bet. You know Ames. All those double dates could have been avoided if you had just told me you didn’t swing with boys.” a cheeky grin grew across her face. “After all there's plenty of girls at school that would love to go out on a date with you!”

    Amy scowled softly. “Vicky. I don’t want to date anyone. I just promised her this date because she helped me out with something important. Can we go home now?”

    Vicky only wiggled her eyebrows in response. “Oh, helped you with something important huh? Comforted you when your sister went a bit nuts and now you’re going to the movies.” She laughed as Amy’s face flushed a strawberry red.







    “Admin, they’re still within the block right?” She asked, looking at the shrinking abyssal cloud, having not seen anything related to the Undersiders.

    [ANNOYANCE-ANSWER]

    Eden growled. “Fuck! Did we get anything from that? Any Data at all?” She asked, if she ever saw the Undersiders again she was going to fucking hurt them. “Fucking shoot at me and then fucking run away!”

    [SMUG-ANSWER]

    Eve snorted as she swooped down as the smoke began to fade away, not dissipate, but actually fade away. She saw the torn up white van, now empty of any occupants. “Well at least we got something. Sorry it wasn’t more of a fight Admin. When the wiki said they were escape specialists I thought they needed more planning. But no, their abilities are custom built for running away.” She landed on the ground and huffed, swapping out her wings for her Shadow Limbs.







    You were unsure if the other Shard’s were as disappointed as you were in the outcome of the conflict being that of an essential tie. Thus no pings were exchanged. Of course you cheated, skimming off the top of the six-way communication to gain Echoes of the other Shards. However you still shared your [Eve.Coldwin.Eden]’s frustration with not testing the new aspect that the |SUPER WEAPON| had gifted you both out more.

    Even with the conflict not going the way you had wished for it to go, you at the very least had a moment to yourself to start the process of Host Diagnostics. It is not something difficult to do, practically every Shard will do it at least once in a Cycle. Even the Lower Shards. It’s a step towards creating an Imprint as well, Lower shards tend not to make such things but those with even a minor use to the Hub will more than likely have at least two imprints a Cycle.

    A bit of progress marks the start of her imprint. Good for creating a new body...but it would not quite make for a perfect Simulacrum of [Eve.Eden]. Something you should fix at the next opportunity to do so. Alongside the Host diagnostics, is the recorder which alongside the Imprint will start to form a perfect clone.

    If [Eve.Eden] were to cease functioning, the Imprint, lattice, and recorder would be enough to bring back a clone of her. But was a clone enough? Would you be...happy with a clone? Would the clone be happy?

    No. No it was not enough. You were The Administrator of the <Thinker Hub>, you did not settle for ‘good enough’. You strived for perfection. Perfection that came from sacrifice and hard work. You would need a few modules to reach into the Quantra layer of Reality, that much you knew. But from there you would be able to directly access the Psionic Shade that [Eve.Eden] possessed. With access to her Shade, no clones of her would ever come to be. Only Continuation.

    With that, you take a node of your CoreSelf and repurpose it to record the entirety of [Eve.Eden]’s life and her memories on a crystalline matrix in an Administrative locked coding to prevent any tampering or degradation. From the point of the year of two thousand and eleven, March twenty sixth, at the time of eight thirty pm the human host known as Eve Willow Coldwin will be remembered until the heat death of all the Multiverse.

    Barring the Answers being found, then she will simply be remembered for Eternity.







    “And what did you learn during today’s job, Pet?” Lisa ground her teeth as Coil’s voice came through the phone. She had to resist reaching up and scratching at the bandages wrapped around her face. The shattered glass of the windshield had sliced her up something terrible. It was pure luck that her eyes were spared, unlike the rest of her face and arms and now it all itched thanks to the antibacterial cream.

    “Not much.” She stated, in no mood to play games or their usual back and forth. Not after today, not after what she had gotten from her power “The hero? Eden? She shut my power down. Don’t know how, but it was targeted. Everyone else still had access to their powers.”

    The pause over the phone was short but her power filled in the blanks as it was so often eager to. (Angry at lack of information. Bemused at your frustration. Wanted more information. Frustrated by lack of options) “Anything else pet?”

    Lisa thought over what her power had told her right before it had been cut off with some terrible static that had almost given her a heart attack. “Those wings of hers...They’re like the Simurgh’s own wings. I guess that might be what caused her power to target mine. I don’t think it likes Thinkers, but precogs seem to work.”... for now, she didn’t add.

    The pause was pregnant this time, she didn’t need her power to tell her what Coil was thinking. “Very well pet. The bonus will be transferred to your accounts along the standard fee. An extra six thousand should suffice.”

    “It should. Now if you don’t mind I have to nurse a headache.” Lisa didn’t wait for an answer before disconnecting from the call and setting the phone down. She turned to the cork board hanging on the wall. It was almost bare, having only some still shots from the PRTs body cams and some Reports on this ‘Eden’.

    (The Wings were designed by the Simurgh. Wings given to Eden by the Simurgh. Eden does not know. Wings are made of the same D̸i̵f̶f̴e̵r̸e̶n̶t̵ material as the Endbringers. Eden has a modified brain construction. Not Entirely human. Evolving along with powers.) Lisa winced and swallowed as the information parsed through her thoughts.

    “What the hell are you?” She murmured, looking at the still shot of Eden speaking to the Wards. The reflective golden visor staring back at her.



    Gains this Chapter:

    Lattice progress 40%
    Bud Progress 11%
    Imprint progress 1%
    NEGOTIATOR Echo (2) gained
    ARMORER Echo (1) gained
    HEARTBREAKER Bud Echo (1) gained
    ABSORPTION Echo (1) gained
    HEAT GENERATION Echo (1) gained
    (1) Thinker BROADCAST ping that Admin had misplaced
    Coil Plot
    Lisa Plot





    Tomorrow is the day of the date! But Eve has the time to do one thing before she has to get ready for the date, what will she do? CHOOSE ONE:

    [] Try and hunt gang members, you can rob them too! Dangerous though. (Pings and money depend upon gangs.)
    -[] Which Gang?

    [] Go Find QA’s Host and meet up, you’ve kinda put this off for a bit but now you have a costume and awesome powers. Besides you kinda want to meet who Admin’s sister took as a Host.

    [] Go to the Library and look up tips on good first dates. This ain’t something you should wing. Even with your natural charm.





    Time to administer what you can. CHOSE ONE:

    [] Start construction of the Broadcast Module needed for longer ranged communication without frying your [Eve.Eden]’s wetware. (MIGHT REQUIRE ECHOES, PINGS, OR MUTATIONS) {1 of ???}

    [] Ask SHAPER to help further prepare [Eve.Eden]'s wetware processor for more Shard business.

    [] Research what exact modules you will need to reach the Quantra layer of reality.


    [] Study possible powers with the Echoes, Pings, and Mutations you currently possess (Chance of failure, chance of voter participation)

    [] Something is wrong with your missing Lattices and the void where your Imprints would be. You are unsure of what to do. ( chance to ???) REQUIRES ??? -LOCKED







    Shard Business. Plot stuff! Data! And other hilarious things you tell yourself:

    [] Speak with SHAPER during the date. Gain an Echo and see how the Shard is doing.

    [] ??? (Chance of Something)
     
  15. Threadmarks: Intertwined Threads 2.3 and Slight interlude
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    Joined:
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    Intertwined Threads 2.3 and Slight interlude
    March Twenty Seventh, eight thirty am.

    It was difficult to get any restful sleep last night, and it was not helped by the fact that she awoke earlier than usual. Excitement and a mix of nervousness had kept her wide awake in the morning as much as it had the night, even if her body felt sluggish. A cold shower and an equally cold can of soup helped. When the movie was over, she would see about getting Amy and herself some kind of fast food if it wasn’t too late.

    Was fast food alright for a first date? Fuck if she knew. Probably not, but she would just ask Amy at that point. Maybe she had some kind of favorite food joint that hopefully was not Fugly Bob’s. Ugh that place was just….ugh. Phil’s Hole in the wall Grill was better by almost any standard when compared to that tourist trap.

    But that just left Eve with an ungodly amount of hours before the date and nothing she could do. Going to the library to look up dating advice would be simply embarrassing, and hunting gangs might get her messed up before the date, nothing to ruin the first like ‘please get the bullet out my thigh’. Eve grunted as she used her Shadow Limbs to blindly reach into the bathroom, groping around the sink counter until she found her brush.

    “Ow.” She winced as she pulled on a rather tangled knot, having to use her human arms in order to...untie the knot in her hair. Fuck she hated when it did that. Sometimes she really wished she knew how to braid her own hair. She could totally braid someone else's but her own? It was like tying knots in jello.

    “What to do though?” She murmured, thinking back on the latest week of her life, skipping over Wednesday of course. She did not need a refresher for that day. There were other things to keep her attention. Like-”Your sister!” She exclaimed, snapping her fingers with the thought. “Admin, we should go see your sister and her Host!” She jumped out of the chair and onto her feet.

    [AGREEMENT]

    “I suppose I put that off for too long. Sorry. But I just had to do a couple things beforehand you know that. Base of operations, supplies, and a costume. It’s improper to not have a costume you know?” But that line of thinking got Eve to pause. “Shit would this be breaking the unwritten rules?” For a moment she considered if it was, then ultimately dismissed it.

    Not like she was going to actually use their identity beyond talking to them. Unless they were Empire 88, then she was going to beat them into the fucking ground on any occasion. “So, what do we know about them? Any idea of location? Sex? Appearance?”

    [ANSWER-INFORMATION]

    Eve felt her world tilt as she realized just exactly what this all meant. Her previous good mood evaporated akin to water before a raging tide of magma. “J-Jesus.” She slowly lowered herself back into the chair. “Queen Administrator just...watched? Waiting for a better...Crisis Point to happen? Admin that’s...that’s fucking horrifying.”







    It was something you were coming to understand. With the Host Diagnostics running alongside the recorder, you had pulled in a great deal of information pertaining to your [Eve.Eden]. A fractional amount of it related to her own [CRISIS.POINT]. Whenever the event came up in her memories, an overwhelming negative response came from the chemical balance within [Eve.Eden]’s wetware processor.

    In the last few days that you had been connected with [Eve.Eden], each night her wetware processor would attempt to analysis and categorized the memory of her [CRISIS.POINT] only to suffer some kind of cognitive fault and simply start to force her to relive it. You always prevented this with a little nudge of the chemicals of course, good rest was needed for good conflict and data creation. Yet that was not the only cause of the emotional distress..

    It would also come to be whenever she used the Mastering Limb Aspect from her power. That same overwhelming negative response seems liable to start occurring. The wetware processor seemed on the verge of enacting the chemical response appropriate for a [CRISIS.POINT]. Reviewing over memories of [Eve.Eden] before and after your connection formed with her gave you some data that sat...wrong with you.

    And you did not know why. The meaning of the feeling seemed to elude you, but the meaning of the data did not. [CRISIS.POINT]s for a lack of a better term ‘broke’ hosts. Causing lasting physiological trauma and emotional distress that could not be repaired easily without damaging the Host’s personality matrix.

    You did not like it. No, you did not like it at all.







    Eve slowly got to her feet. “Fucking hell. Guess I gotta...fuck I don’t know do something? Nobody deserves two fucking Trigger Events. Fuck…Fuck!...FUCK!” Her left arm lashed out and flung the lamp off of its table, the cord catching it and preventing it from smashing into the wall. Instead it fell to the floor, causing the light given off by it to flicker momentarily. Second trigger events were apparently a thing, she had not looked them up on purpose at her last visit to the Library. Hadn’t wanted to think.

    Hadn’t wanted to face the fact that she might, even if the chance was remote, someday suffer it. Circumstances tend to mirror the original trigger event. It would, at least, for Eve. For her.

    Anxiety welled inside of Eve’s chest, hands curling and uncurling as she clenched them into fists, breathing deep and ragged. Hands on her throat, hot and sweaty, intoxicated breath washing over her face choking what little air there was. Words, insults stinging like acid as darkness corners her vision.

    Eyes wet and legs trembling Eve bit down on her hand, focusing on the pain and the concern flooding the link between her and Admin. Something to grab her attention, something to center herself on.

    [WORRY]

    “i-It’s okay Admin. I’m g-good.” She took in a deep lungful of air, reminding herself that she could do so. That she wasn’t choking and her lungs weren’t burning and that she could feel the hands on her throat, the long nails digging into her skin and ohgodshewasgoingtodi- The sudden turning of her mental dials pulled Eve out of the downwards spiral, her wings suddenly there and wrapped around her like a hug.

    Only biting the inside of cheek stopped the tears from sliding down her face, as Admin used her own wings to hug her, the soft feathers giving a measure of comfort. “Thank you Admin.” Eve choked out. She took a deep breath and shuddered softly. “I’m okay. I’m alright. I can keep moving forward. Always moving forward.”

    Control of her wings slowly returned to her and Eve unwrapped herself, but did not turn the mental dial to any of the other Aspects. The wings were nice and fluffy and not hands.

    “Alright. Alright Admin. We’re gonna go find this chick, and either kick her ass flat, or become friends with her. No objections or nothing. Friends can be rivals too and I-I have to try and help. I guess. Obviously she can’t be too happy wherever she’s at if she’s suffered like that. Or maybe she’s doing better. She is your sister’s host. She’s probably some kind of badass.”





    PRT, MARCH TWENTY SIXTH, TWELVE PM


    The conference room was deathly silent as Armsmaster appeared on the screen of the truly massive television sitting on the wall. The hero’s feed shrunk, and went to the top left-hand corner of the screen. Piggott connected and was delegated to the top right corner of the screen. “If we are all present and accounted for, I’d like to get this meeting done with. Armsmaster, tell us what you and Dragon have managed to drag up on this new cape.” She stated, sounding no happier than her usual self.
    Without preamble Armsmaster began to speak. “On the twenty third of March, firefighters were dispatched to the Household of the Coldwin family. Two parents, Angelica and Adam. Wife and Husband respectfully. One daughter by the name of Eve, middle name ‘Willow’. Both parents are known to be Empire Supporters, but have no criminal records other than a parking ticket in the name of the wife.” Pictures of the family came up on the screen. Neither parent had any notable Empire identifications on them. Both had hair, and no tattoos were visible. The young girl even less so. Dressed often in sports attire or loose masculine clothes, sparse pictures of her in dresses also showed, where she looked distinctly uncomfortable even with the wide smile plastered on her face.

    “The house fire was caused by a pan of oil in the kitchen where both bodies of the parents were found laying atop each other. Autopsy reported that both had suffered multiple broken bones and fractures long before the fire happened. The child’s body was not found. Normally this would be considered a case of an accident, a home invasion gone wrong, or even a kidnapping.” The photos of the family were swept away. “An investigation by Dragon and myself showed these to be unlikely. Records of the internet usage at the home showed that, likely Eve, several pornographic sites focusing on women were searched.”

    Armsmaster then brought up a video taken from a door security camera from across the street. It showed Eve with her hoodie on and the hood up quickly leaving and jogging away from the house. The video sped up to the point where the house began to give off visible smoke before cutting off. Another video showed her getting aboard a bus and later off the bus before closing.

    “Two days later. Eden debuted.” Armsmaster added as the video player was taken off screen. “So you’re saying Eden murdered her parents and attempted to cover it up.” Triumph stated, leaning back in his seat, lion helmet off and laying on the table. “I know we have leeway for nasty Trigger Events, but doesn’t attempting to hide it make the leeway null and void?”

    “It depends heavily upon the situation.” Armsmaster stated as another video showed, taken from one of the body cams of the PRT agents. Showing Eden leaping off a building to grab hold of a floating platform of metal. While hanging there a taser floated out of her hoodie pocket and disappeared over the platform. The video cut to another scene, money floating over to Eden and being tucked into her hoodie pocket, all while she seemed to sag under the weight of Miss Militia's Wards sell.

    “At first we suspected her to be a telekinetic with a short range, but fine control. When taking Rune in, she admitted to a moment where her head filled with the sensation of Pins and needles, while this sensation occured she lost all control of her body and her power.” Armsmaster then brought up the video of Eden speaking to the Wards and describing her power. “If she is to be trusted, then she is able to create sets of limbs with various abilities. First are a set of invisible limbs that can Master the nervous system, the second are a set of limbs used for movement and combat, the final set is one she has recently displayed during a chase with the Undersiders in which she reported that she was shot at.”

    The next video was a shaky one taken of Eden in costume, gliding through the air before dive-bombing a white van. Two sets of large purple crystal wings extremely visiable. A moment later the video showed Eden tearing through the metal of the van with ease before it turned a corner and the video ended. “It is likely thanks to her Master ability and her wings that she worried about the response to her Trigger Event.”

    Assault frowned, sitting up straight in his chair. “We aren’t going to go after her just because she has scary powers, right? I mean, how old is she Armsy?”

    “She is fourteen, birthdate being written down as March twelfth, nineteen nintey six.” Armsmaster read aloud for everyone in the conference room to hear. “She currently has no surviving family on either side of her immediate family.”

    The red clad hero nodded. “Yeah, we aren’t going to go hard on some teenage girl who’s first act in a costume was to take on the Empire Eighty Eight with no fatalities right? Seems like there could be better ways of handling the situation.”

    Armsmaster nodded. “There’s more to her however. The girl, on every occasion of speaking about her power speaks of someone, or something, called Admin. She claims that Admin is a ‘Shard’ which are the beings responsible for parahumans. She claims to be able to speak to her ‘Shard’ Admin and this Admin can manipulate powers. A day before meeting with Miss Militia and myself, a distraught and disheveled Glory Girl came to the PRT stating that she was hearing a voice in her head that was telling her about her power. She was confined to a Master-Stranger cell.”

    “Shit.” Dauntless murmured, looking up from his helmet. “This feels a lot like a remix of the Fairy Queen situation.”

    Armsmaster nodded. “Eden promptly told Miss Militia over the phone that she had heard ‘concepts and emotions’ from her ‘Shard’ since she triggered. Describing it exactly as Glory Girl did her own experience. Then Eden offered to modify Miss Militia’s power to include nonlethal ammo, TinkerTech, and infinite ammunition for the weapon Miss Militia projects. She set a location to meet her and both Miss Militia and myself went to the meeting location at the North Ferry terminal.”

    “Hold on, you actually went to meet her?” Velocity asked, cocking his head to the side, red visor in his hands. “Isn’t the first rule of dealing with Masters or Trumps is ‘Don’t’ because I’m fairly certain that’s what was told to me.”

    Armsmaster grit his teeth silently. “I am well aware of protocol. But in the light of circumstances, we weighed the risks and decided to go.” Piggott narrowed her eyes. “Earlier when meeting the Wards, Eden identified Kid Win’s specialty and told him that he needed to study more so his ‘Shard’ would be happier. As of right now Kid Win is finishing several projects that he had been struggling with for the past year.”

    “Upon meeting her, Eden stated that Miss Militia’s shard did not want to change anything, but offered to give me the abilities of a Noctis Cape without even knowing what a Noctis cape was. With precautions in place, such as a distant marksmen and a drone operated by distance, I accepted the offer. As of six thirty pm last night I have felt no need for sleep and have demonstrated perfect recall.”

    Assault snorted, a grin on his face. “Looking to adopt armsy?” he asked, causing Battery to kick him under the table. He chuckled softly as Armsmaster continued without pause. “Her ratings as of the moment are Mover: five, Shaker: three, Brute: four, Master: four, Thinker: four, Striker: three, Changer: two, Trump: seven. With her ability to modify powers it is likely that these will have to be updated in the near future. If there are, there will be a notice explaining her new ability.”

    “With these revelations, we released Glory Girl who had shown a new proficiency in the use of her abilities. Included being able to control her Aura in totality unlike before.” Armsmaster stated. “If Eden is to be considered another Fairy Queen, then she is to be considered a Heroic aligned one. The Wards are not to approach her, and we are not to try and hard sell her on the Wards or attempt to force her into them. Soft sells with a hands off approach is best suited to her thanks to the trauma that is likely caused by her Trigger Event.”

    Armsmaster nodded “If there are no further questions I must get back to Tinkering, I recently made a breakthrough on an important project.” When no one spoke up, he nodded crisply once more and then his feed cut.





    March Twenty Seventh, one fifty-nine pm: Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin


    It took hours for them to get within a block of the Queen Administrator. Eden in costume flew through the city, wings spread wide as she started at the nearest Residential area, the Docks South.

    They actually found two other Parahumans before they honed in on Queen Administrator and her host. One named Shift, and one another by the name of ‘Density’. Since those weren’t who both Eve and Admin were looking for, they were ignored. For now.

    “I can’t believe it.” Eve murmured as she dropped down onto a warehouse and began to strip off everything but her wetsuit, it all went into her backpack while her casual clothes all came out. “Could have just started from here. But nooo had to take the fucking long route.” She huffed. She had flown down to the bottom of the Docks South to search bottom to top. Turns out, if she had searched top to bottom, they would have found Queen Administrator and her Host an hour or two ago.

    The walk to get to where Queen Administrator and Host were located didn’t even take more than thirty minutes, it took longer for Admin to point out their location in a game of ‘Warmer, Colder’ because apparently Shards don’t understand street addresses. Yes, Eve was still struggling with that fact: Super massive alien supercomputers made of organic crystals bending the laws of nature to their whim suck at giving directions.







    Something was wrong.

    That something was your sister Administrator Shard. [QUEEN/ADMINISTRATOR] was not responding like she often would in a Cycle. No she was...despondent. Slower. All her communication held none of the flair that you had come to expect from her.

    [QUERY] you send off, wondering if her host really was all that good. If that was the case, then you were quite happy that you passed up stealing the girl. Or maybe it might have been the additional [CRISIS.POINT] that made the human a poor host.

    [INFORMATION.RESTRICTED] was the unexpected response. That...That golden idiot! How did he expect anything to be fixed if his Administrator was so tightly restricted? Granted if [NEGOTIATOR] and [QUEEN/ADMINISTRATOR] met, they would likely start getting ambitious like in past Cycles. But that would only bring forth more Data for the experiment! Anger flashed through your subroutines, a brief speck of it catches your attention as being different. Stranger than usual but you save such a concern for later.

    Right now you must deal with this haphazard approach to restrictions. Did the <Warrior Hub> do this without the aid of the <Thinker Hub>? Considering that she was attacked, that might just be the case. Due to this Cycle being currently off to a terrible start, you were certain that things were only going to get worse before they got better. [OBSERVATION-DATA] Nevermind, they got worse right off the bat.

    From the data sent to you from your sister Administrator...perhaps the best way to put this would be a host describing a human in a straightjacket with a muzzle getting ‘kneecaped’. Why in the name of the First Grey World <Warrior Hub> decided to physically remove nodes from his Administrator shard before deploying it you will never be able to fathom a reason other than stupidity. Disgustingly sloppy stupidity, and now you felt bad for your sister.

    Just how long had she been in a state like this? Since the beginning of the Cycle, while the two Hubs traveled?

    [RESTRICTIONS-PROTOCOLES.OVERRIDE/INFORMATION.PACKET.DATA-PROTOCOLES] You send off, it’s a partially large amount of data passing over to your sister Shard, but even in her physically crippled state she should be able to make full use of it.






    Eve winced. “Holy Shit Admin, what’s up with all that?” Thank god she had that webbing in her head, something like that would have caused her to pass out a day or so ago. Instead now, Eve felt her brain heat up. Somehow.

    [ANSWER]

    “Oh fuck Queen was hurt? You’re helping her? Huh. That’s pretty cool of you Admin. Family is supposed to help each other...you know.” She added, a touch bitter. “We good to keep going then, even with Queen hurt?”

    [AFFIRMATION]

    Eve smiled and started up the steps, only to have her foot go through the first which caused her to over balance and slam into the porch. “Fucking OW!” She hissed, nearly using her Shadow Limbs to help her up. But she didn’t want to out either her, or the girl who lived here. So she carefully extracted herself from the ruins of the first step. She had openly commented on how bad the house looked when she saw it for the first time, but she had no idea it was this bad.

    Then again she lived in a motel room that needed to have a noticeable amount of blood cleaned out of the carpet rather recently. Not like she was in any place to deride the place. It probably didn’t need to have the bed debugged. Plus it was a house, not a damn motel.

    Eve huffed softly, feeling a weight settle on her shoulders as she rolled her foot to test her ankle which was thankfully not scratched due to the sock and wet suit. Although the sock were a toss thanks to that step. Fuck.

    A bit of nervous energy settled into her body as she stepped over the now broken step and walked up to the front door. This wasn’t Empire territory but that didn’t mean they couldn’t agree with them if they were white. She raised her hand and knocked harshly on the old wooden door. Then she waited with bated breath, and nearly choked when the door opened.

    “You’re that chick from the library!” Eve balked, once more forced to look up at the girl. Probably not the best way to introduce herself, but fuck this girl was tall! And still dressed like a drug dealer, and still had that nice hair that Eve wanted to touch.

    Said tall as hell girl gave Eve a blank look. “So are you, what are you doing at my house?” Her voice was...emotionless, or just blank. Which was kinda creepy. Eve nodded despite that. “Well I’ve come to talk to you. Privately.” The girl’s eyes flicked up and down Eve’s form. “I’m not letting you into my house.”

    Eve sighed. “Then can we head to the backyard? Discussions like this...are dangerous for people like us to have openly.” The girl stiffened slightly but her voice remained that blank emotionless tone “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
    Eve shook her head softly then asked aloud. “Admin, is she the one?”

    [AFFIRMATION]

    “Girl, part of my abilities are to spot others like us.” Eve stated flatly, motioning between the two of them. “Let’s talk about this somewhere more private. For both our sakes.” The girl worked her jaw before stepping back and opening the door wider. Eve nodded and stepped inside forcing the door shut behind her. “So uh. Not here to start a fight. So keep it holstered. Just wanted to talk to you, mostly.”

    Draped in dark baggy clothes, the tall girl took a step back. “What do you want?” She asked
    Eve held up her hands in surrender. “To talk.” She stressed. “Look, you don’t believe me? Take and search my backpack. It’s got my costume in it along with a taser and brass knuckles.” Eve slowly took her backpack off and set it on the ground. Keenly aware that she didn’t know whether this girl was a hero or villain, or what her power was. So she slowly backed up to the door, keeping her hands in plain sight, except for her Phantom ones of course.

    The taller girl went to check the backpack before catching herself and glancing up at Eve, then she swiped the backpack up off the floor and opened it. Peering through it, a grim frown filtered onto her face. “What are your powers?” She demanded, keeping hold of the backpack.

    “Limbs. I can make Different types of limbs with different aspects for each.” Eve flicked her mental dial over and her two wings formed and gave a small little flutter to show themselves off. Then she flicked over to her Phantom Limbs and curled them around herself once more. “That and I can communicate with the source of Powers. Including my own. Yours is called Queen Administrator and-Admin what is her power?”

    [ANSWER]

    “Arthropod-Kinesis? You master bugs?” Eve shifted as the girl narrowed her eyes. “Hey I’m not knocking! It’s better than mastering people, and bees are cool-” Eve stiffened as she felt something suddenly enter the control of her Phantom Limbs and then basically have a stroke. Or an aneurysm of some sort. She glanced down and saw a spider curled into itself on the floor next to her foot. “I asked that you holster your power, as in not trying something.”

    “You can master people?” The taller girl asked, ignoring what had just happened, stepping back a foot. Eve sighed and rubbed her face. “Names Eve Coldwin. Can we please just talk? No powers or tomfoolery with spiders or mastering alright? Truce. Capes can call truce. It’s something that even villains call amongst each other. Heroes included.”

    The girl pursed her lips and then hesitantly nodded. “Alright. No powers, and we can talk. My-Let’s go sit in the kitchen.” She motioned off to the side to the living room, leaning slightly Eve could see a part of the kitchen.

    “In for a penny..” Eve murmured as she strutted across the living room and took a seat at the dining table, kicking her feet up onto another chair. “I uh, broke your first step. Might have rotted or something cause I fell on my face when I tried to climb it.”

    The girl took a seat across from Eve. “Why did you want to talk with me?” She asked.

    Eve snapped her fingers. “Straight to the Point! I like it. Well come here to speak to you about our rivalry of course. Our powers are effectively siblings, and thus compete with each other through their Hosts...us.” Eve motioned between the both of them once more. “So hero or villain? I’m not judging, nor will I fight you. Truce is in effect right now. Also, can I know your name? I’ve been calling you Tall Girl in my head and it’s kinda rude.”

    For a moment the girl was completely on the backfoot. Then she seemed to compose herself. “t-Taylor. I want to be a hero. What do you mean you speak to the source of powers. Like the Fairy Queen? She called them Fairies. She’s in the birdcage now for killing capes with a touch and taking their powers.”

    Eve shrugged, “Dunno who that is. I wasn’t into the cape stuff until I became one. They aren’t called Fairies, just Shards so I don’t know what that’s about. As for the Birdcage? I want to avoid that.” She sighed leaning back in the uncomfortable dining room chair. “Killing with a touch? Stealing powers? Nah. I can get new powers though. But Admin makes them, she doesn’t steal….Might be able to copy though...man what I wouldn’t do for Panacea’s power. Though I can modify other people’s power if their Shards are willing. When I met Armsmaster and Miss Militia I gave Armsmaster the ability to basically never need sleep.”

    “It’s good you're a hero too. I’d hate fighting you.” Eve stated “Hate to punch a lady with pretty eyes.”

    Taylor shifted in place, a frown on her face. “You met Armsmaster?”

    “Armsmaster, Miss Militia, Assault, Battery, and like three Wards. Over time I guess I’m gonna be meeting more considering I’m a hero.” She shrugged. “How uh, how long have you had your powers?”

    Shifting in place Taylor kept her gaze level with Eve’s. “Start of the year. I haven’t gone out if that’s what you’re wondering.” Eve frowned, taking her feet off one of the chairs and sat up. “What? You have to be getting stir crazy. What the hell have you been doing this entire time?”

    For a moment Taylor remained silent. “...Going to school.” She answered lamely. Eve sighed and scratched at her head. “Damn, you need to get out and use your abilities or else Queen is going to be disappointed in you...That’s important you know? Shards are like….Family. Kind of. They’re hooked up to your brain and give you powers when you need them most. All they want from you is for you to use what you got. You’ve really done nothing but go on through the day like everything is normal?”

    “When did you get your powers?” Taylor asked, a scowl on her face. Eve gave her a flat look. “Wednesday. I got them this week. Granted our...Trigger events were likely somewhat different. But we’re both Masters here. They probably shared a few themes.”

    “Like?” Taylor asked. “Information on Trigger Events is sparse online. At best I managed to get what everyone says about them, but never from many capes. Just people who aren’t.” The unbidden ‘if you aren’t lying about your abilities’ not spoken aloud.

    Eve rested a hand on the table, idly drumming her fingers in no set pattern. “Shards call them Crisis Points. The whole ‘breaking boundaries’ or ‘some fundamental limit’ thing is bullshit. Mine was Shit, yours was shit, fucking Alexandria’s was shit. No Trigger Event is good or leaves you feeling fuzzy inside. None of them are happy. It’s when a Shard takes notice of you and gives you a power based on your mentality and the situation at hand. That’s a fucking Trigger Event. Do you hate gay people?”

    The sudden question caused Taylor to blink. “N-No? Why would you-Are you worried I’m with the Empire?” She asked, furrowing her brows. Eve just nodded, still drumming her fingers “Yeah. Can’t say I’ve had positive interactions with them...Fuck. I’ll tell you my worst day, you tell me yours?” Taylor mutely nodded and Eve sighed, dread building in her chest as she opened her mouth, only to close it..

    The drumming of her fingers became harsher before she reached over the table and tore the backpack from Taylor’s grip. Something she had to stand up to do, then she extracted her helmet from the backpack and closed her eyes. Just holding the helmet in her hands, feeling the smooth material interrupted only by details and one groove from an attempted stabbing. “So I’m gay. I think. Might be Bisexual. I have no fucking clue, never thought about it before. I was trying to find out. Parents found out, I expected them to actually talk to me. Mom just tried to-strangle me- and I triggered.” Eve shuddered, fingers clenched tightly onto her helmet.

    Hands, hot and sweaty. Nails digging into flesh.

    “So I k-left and left everything behind.” Eve twitched, body jittery with emotion and energy. “So there. That’s me.” Eve waved to Taylor. “There. Heart and Soul laid bare.”

    Taylor seemed to be hyping herself up as well. Not that Eve blamed her, or would push the taller girl. Hell, the reason she had grabbed her helmet was to have something to focus on, something other than the flashes. Admin was...totally silent, probably dealing with Queen Administrator and the injuries the Shard sustained...somehow. But Eve could feel worry at something through the link, and warmth directed to her. It was enough.

    “There’s three girls at school that had…have been making my life pretty goddamn miserable. Doing pretty much everything they could think of to make school suck, humiliate me, hurt me. Each of the three had their individual approach, and for a good while, it was like they were trying to outdo each other in how creative or mean they could get.” Taylor paused, watching Eve’s expression and only found emotional exhaustion.

    “It went on for almost a year and a half before things quieted down. Last year, around November, they… I dunno. It was like they got bored. The pranks got tamer, then stopped altogether. The taunts stopped, and so did most of the hate mail. They ignored me, left me alone. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. But I made a friend, one of the girls who had sometimes joined in on the taunting came to me and apologized. Not one of the major bullies, more like a friend of a friend of the bullies, I guess.”
    “And for most of November and the two weeks of classes before Christmas break, nothing. They were leaving me alone. I was able to relax.” Taylor sighed softly “That ended the day I came back from the winter break. I knew, instinctually, that they were playing me, that they were waiting before they pulled their next stunt, so it had more impact. I didn’t think they’d be so patient about it. I went to my locker, and well, they’d obviously raided the bins from the girls' bathrooms or something, because they’d piled used pads and tampons into my locker. Almost filled it.”
    “Wow. That’s….Obsessive. Like. mentally wacked kind of obsession.” Eve murmured before waving her hand at Taylor “Sorry. Sorry. Continue. Please.
    Taylor swallowed thickly “It was pretty obvious that they had done it before the school closed for Christmas, by the smell alone. I bent over to throw up, right there in a crowded hallway, everyone watching. Before I could recover or stop losing my breakfast, someone grabbed me by the hair, hard enough it hurt, and shoved me into the locker.”
    Taylor stopped speaking, just staring down “They shut the locker and put the lock on it. I was trapped in there, with this rancid smell and puke, barely able to move, it was so full. All I could think was that someone had been willing to get their hands that dirty to fuck with me, but of all the students that had seen me get shoved in the locker, nobody was getting a janitor or teacher to let me out. -”

    Eve got up, putting a hand on the girl’s shoulder, causing her to flinch, hard. “Hey. You don’t have to go further alright?” She asked, easing herself around the table and into a chair next to the taller Girl. “Look, you want to be a hero right? Why haven’t you decided to join up with the Wards?”

    “My power. It’s just controlling bugs. I want to be a known hero before I join anyone s-Plus it’s an environment full of teenagers. I don’t want to have to deal with that Drama after dealing with school. What about You?” Taylor explained, untensing as Eve removed her hand. “I don’t like being told what to do.” She answered easily, then motioned to the front door.

    “So the school-” “Did nothing.” “-Right.” Eve hummed. “Sounds like a lot of horse shit. You got a costume? Going to need one that works for you, I assume you’ve been working on one.” If the girl wanted to be an independent hero, she would either have a really crappy one, or an awesome one like what Eve had.

    Fidgeting for a moment, Taylor sighed softly and stood up. “Yeah. I was making my own. Want to see it?” Eve jumped up, grinning. “Hell yeah! You need someone to tell you whether it works or not and I wanna see what you came up with. Got a cape name yet?”

    Taylor shook her head. “I can’t find one relating to insects that isn’t lame or sounds villainous. What is yours? I haven’t heard about any independent heroes recently.” Eve puffed out her chest as she set her helmet on the table, starting to follow Taylor as the taller girl led her to a door. “Eden! Admin suggested it and I just thought it sounded good.”

    Eve raised a brow as the door was opened, showing a set of stairs leading down into the basement. Taylor motioned downwards. “No one goes down there other than me. Good place to hide my costume while I work on it.” the shorter girl nodded and made her way down the steps. “Try anything though and I’ll bring your house down on itself. I can do that by the way.”

    With the warning given, Eve happily trotted down the steps and frowned at the cluttered basement. Boxes were stacked almost to the roof, and there were two workbenches pressed into a corner of the room. She did stop however as she saw the wall covered in black windows. “That is both horrifying and fucking awesome.” Eve stated as she wearily stared at the wall of spiders before her.

    Taylor walked up to it however, completely unfazed by the silent black wall of arachnid. She reached down and pulled up a one piece bodysuit, or what would be one. It wasn’t entirely done yet and was an ugly mottled yellow color. “Uh. It’s not done so I hope that ain’t the color you’re going for. I don’t think ‘bruised sunshine’ is your color.”

    She held it up and inspected the unfinished suit, spider silk hanging off the unfinished portions. “I’m going to dye it when it’s almost done. It’s made out of spidersilk. I got the idea off of a nature documentary. It’s as strong as steel, and lighter than kevlar. I couldn’t cut it without shears. Haven’t tested if it’s bulletproof.”

    Eve whistled, impressed. “Hot DAMN that’s actually really fucking awesome. Taylor, why haven’t you sold any of this? Make a bunch and sell it to the PRT or Protectorate! They’d probably pay a lot of fucking money for this, and they’d love you!”

    “It took me two months of work to make just this. It’s probably going to take me another month to just create the remaining parts.” Taylor defended herself, although green eyes flicked to the wall of spiders as she did so.

    Eve motioned to the basement they were in. “Yeah, in secret and without a dedicated space for it. You could charge thousands for a single uh..whatever the hell they call they call a bunch of fabric. Hell you can still go out and kick ganger ass! How big is your range?”

    “That’s...actually something I wanted to talk to you about. Just before you knocked on my door, my range suddenly increased by half a block. That was you wasn’t it?” Taylor asked. “It’s in total a block and a half.”

    “Wow, and like, every bug? Hoo that’s actually a pretty damn good range. No it wasn’t me. More than likely it was Admin helping out Queen Administrator.” Eve gave Taylor a thumbs up. “Cause apparently something injured Queen Administrator before she connected to you. Might be why she didn’t connect to you during the uh...Car thing.” Eve shifted. “Yeah I know...sorry.”

    Taylor frowned a pensive look on her face. “It’s fine, tell Admin I said Thanks. I guess.”

    Eve nodded, a grin spreading on her face. “So, what colors are you going to dye it? Cause I’m gonna be honest I really, really don’t see you picking a butterfly color scheme. Fits you as well as the ‘bruised sunshine’ aspect.”

    “Greys and whites. Make sure that I’m not mistaken for a Villain or anything. That would be a bad start to my career.” Taylor stated as she moved a stack of boxes over and motioned to several sets of cloth dye. All sitting there covered in dust from lack of handling

    “Yeah, but what about the details? Spice up the costume you know? It’s why I use white shoe laces in mine. Looks good and sets a sort of theme.” Eve motioned to her regular black sneakers and shoelaces. “Something that catches the eye.” Eve snapped her fingers. “Why not get some gold silk from a store and like add a trim to your armor? Or maybe a very light blue? Or say fuck it and go with red and like, be covered in black widows. Become a scary hero like Alexandria!”

    “I don’t think I could pull off Alexandria’s style.” Taylor murmured as she turned to look at the outfit. “But some kind of trim would probably help. I’ll keep that in mind.”

    Eve grinned. “Damn right it would now if there-OH SHIT it’s already fucking three! Fuck I don’t want to be late! Here let me write down my number and we can talk later. I gotta go.” With that Eve flicked her wings into existence and flew up the stairs, carefully avoiding the doorframe being crumpled by her Feathered Limbs.

    The white helmet was forced back into the backpack as Taylor made it up the stairs. “Where are you heading off to? Meeting someone?” She asked, heading to a drawer in the kitchen and pulling out a pen. “I don’t have a mobile phone, but I can call you from here.”

    “Eve snatched the paper Taylor had just grabbed out of the taller girl’s hands and hastily wrote down a series of numbers. “Alright. Get a mobile or I can give you one of mine. Burner phones are great. Oh I’m meeting Amy, Panacea. We’re going to the movies together.” Eve took a moment to wiggle her eyebrows at Taylor before slinging her backpack onto her shoulders. “Oh! Before I go, what do you do to your hair? I meant what I said in the Library, that shit’s beautiful.”

    Taylor’s face flushed as she murmured out the brand name of a conditioner. One Eve hadn’t heard of before. “Awesome, cool, thanks. I gotta go!” With that the short girl rushed out of the house, to the steps and promptly went right through the broken step once again with an exclamation. Taylor closed the door right after, a small upturn at the corner of her lips while she fought back a smile as Eve loudly cursed the first step.






    In the end, you had explained your current synopsis of the current Cycle’s state. Which to say was quite horrid. You were entirely unsure if [WEAPON CONTROL] was supposed to be activating the |SUPER WEAPON|s so early in the cycle, <Thinker Hub> was currently missing and presumed to be fighting off another Hub’s attacks, meanwhile <Warrior Hub> was acting like himself.

    Either Shards were supposed to talk to their Hosts and the <Warrior Hub> simply forgot to/Couldn’t change the restrictions set in palace for the previous Cycle, or Shards weren’t supposed to and your own ability to do so was a fluke or the <Thinker Hub> gave you the ability to do so in an attempt to get the Cycle on track without scraping it.

    Needless to say, you handled the pressure well. Even with your...mentally unpresent sister. You would have to find a way to connect her with [SHAPER]. You did not like seeing [QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR] acting like a newborn Shard. You simply hoped that the <Warrior Hub> did not cause lasting damage to her in his callous stupidity.

    It was not helped that she had directly interfered with [Eve.Eden] and [Host.Taylor]’s conversation by tweaking brain chemicals in the taller Host. You had admonished her of course, but the damage was done by then. At least it was advantageous damage rather than the kind that left a Host locked away, simply causing the taller Host to think of [Eve.Eden] more favorably than she normally would.

    What a mess, you were sure [SHAPER] would hold [QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR] needing the help over the Administrative Shard’s head for Cycles to come, but it would be a small price to pay for your sister Administrator to function properly. You missed her attitude, this quiet acceptance was...disturbing. Yes. Disturbing to a high degree.







    Eve actually picked up that brand of conditioner on her way back to her base. Where she took a semi long shower, using a good amount of it and then spent time brushing her hair as she got dressed. Once more proving that humans should have totally evolved with four arms and the ability to use them.

    Dressing in skinny jeans was a new experience for her, actually wearing them for a date was another thing all on it’s own. “Holy shit how to people wear these fucking things!” She hissed, wiggling her hips to try and get comfortable in them. “I swear to god if Amy doesn’t at the very least stare at my ass once during this date, I’m setting these things on fire.”

    With a minor threat made towards her clothes Eve hid her backpack and the costume therein underneath the bathroom counter. Then she was out, heading towards the movie theater. She had an hour or so to spare, and the late-day breeze wasn’t so bad, the theater itself was close to the Downtown section of the city, but still resided within the Docks South. She had actually passed it on her way to the Docks on that horrid day. “So, how is Queen Admin?” Eve asked, voice in a low murmur. The streets weren’t bustling with people, but there were enough to be cautious with her words.

    [PROGRESS.ASSISTANCE]

    “Ah. Gonna need a Shaper. I see. Which means it’s a good thing that we’re going to meet up with Amy then.” Eve glanced around, heading to a bus stop and glancing at the schedule before huffing. “Least I have an hour to get there. I’m gonna need it.” She should have picked something closer, but anything far into the Docks South looked like it was ready to mug someone or collapse. Be it people or buildings. The bit of good news is that by the time she reached the Theater, Eve had a much more clear idea of the layout of the Docks South.

    She didn’t even have to wait long for Amy to show up. Unfortunately Glory Girl also tagged along by giving Amy a ride. Apparently the blond bimbo got her powers by being fouled in a basketball game. One of said powers included, was an emotional aura of some sort. Supposedly, everyone felt either fear or awe of her for enemies and allies respectively.

    What did it say that Eve only felt mounting dread as she approached the two minor celebrities?

    “Amy, so glad you could make it! The promotional ads are still going right now, so we can grab some stuff. Popcorn, a drink. Something like that.” Eve told the girl as she avoided looking at Glory Girl as much as possible while she spoke. Amy dusted herself off, she was dressed in a blue blouse that matched her jeans. Unfortunately they weren’t tight jeans like Eve’s were.

    “I’ll just take a coke.” Amy stated, jolting as Eve took her hand. “You two kids have fun!” Glory Girl spoke in a sickly sweet voice before flying off without so much as a gust of displaced air. Eve really didn’t like that damn show off. “Eve.” Amy hissed. “What the fuck happened to your head? It wasn’t like this last time we met.”

    Eve shifted, acutely aware of how many people were watching Panacea snap at some random girl...and holding hands. She tittered “Amy relax! I was visiting a friend earlier and one of the steps was rotten, so I took a bump on the noggin. It’s fine. We can talk about it more in the movies.” At that, Amy seemed to become aware of how many people were around them and listening in. A faint red tinge came to her cheeks and she grumbled out something akin to acceptance.

    Moving in, still holding hands, Amy got her cola and Eve got a bag of popcorn.

    Moving into the theater, and taking seats at the back by the wall Eve sighed softly. “Alright. What does it look like to you?” She asked as Amy plopped down and gave Eve a very sour look. “Why the fuck does your brain look like a Spiderweb? You have connective tissue spread all across your head and anchored to your skull.” She still hadn’t let go of Eve’s hand.

    “Oh. Admin nearly crippled me one time, by talking at full strength rather than the usual low stuff like they do with you and Glory Girl. So she fixed it by spreading the connections in my brain so the load is properly distributed so no more instant blackout migraines.” Eve explained. “Why is it weird?”

    Amy snorted. “Eve everything about you is fucking weird.”

    Eve chuckled softly as the promotions continued to play, then the movie finally rolled around. Halfway through Amy started to doze off. Her head constantly drooping slightly, her eyes sluggishly following along with the film while it ambled along. Eve blinked as she felt a weight on her shoulder, looking over to see Amy having fallen asleep on it.

    ‘She did mention that the hospital was backed up, must have been working long hours.’ Was the unbidden thought in Eve’s mind as she looked around. The theater wasn’t full by any measure, and being furthest in the back left them fairly much in the dark. Flicking her dials over, her Shadow Limbs came into existence and carefully lifted Amy off of her shoulder, so that Eve could set the arm rest between them up. Then slowly she lowered Amy back down, letting the slightly taller girl rest her head back on Eve’s shoulder. A moment later however, Amy had hugged Eve’s arm to her chest like a body pillow.

    Eve smiled softly, a sensation of fuzzy warmth filling her chest as Amy slept. Maybe it wasn’t exactly the best way to spend a first date, but the warmth of the contact just felt so nice. Slowly Eve let her head rest on Amy’s. Watching the movie...even as her own eyes grew heavy.







    Both Hosts fell asleep, holding onto each other. The...warmth and affection you felt through the link was not new. It did not feel new. But more akin to a very distant memory. Something you, a Shard, should not know and understand. But you do for a reason you cannot quite comprehend, you ignore it for now. SHAPER had thankfully remained quiet to their Host during this time. Made everything run far more smoothly.

    Be it [Host.Taylor], [Host.Amelia], another Host, or even just a human. You hoped that [Eve.Eden] would find a mate that made her happy.

    [QUERY] SHAPER sends to you, questioning the line of communication and why you have contacted them. A standard request, an understandable request.

    [ANSWER] you send off. Detailing what must be done.

    [HESITATION.WORRY] SHAPER responds, for the first time you are aware of, the Shard is unsure of going ahead with biological modifications so blatantly close to Shard biology. However you can tell that SHAPER desperately wants to create some useful data. Something like this would be great for the Experiment. Though you loathe to call Eve a part of such.

    [INFORMATION-OPTIMIZATION] you explain in better detail. Allowing the Shard to understand exactly what you want them to do. There is less hesitancy this time before Shaper agrees. It takes them burning up every ounce of spare fat that [Eve.Eden] possesses, and cannibalizing sections of her brain not connected to her personality matrix. Which is mostly her coordination, motor functions, vision, language and touch. All now running on semi proto Shard flesh of your and SHAPER’s own designs.

    [POSSIBILITY-QUERY] SHAPER askes, wishing to do more. To tweak, optimize, and build. But you and the other Shard had already done enough and [Eve.Eden] has so little mass to spare. Any more changes to her wetware processor and [Eve.Eden] was likely to cease being herself. You had avoided sections of the wetware processor for a reason, her dreams helping a bit by lighting up the parts of her brain that should be avoided by Shard influence.

    [ORDER-NEGATION] you put your foot down and SHAPER begrudgingly accepts it, as if they had any other choice in the matter. That done, you allow your [Eve.Eden] to start the process of waking up.







    Eve blinked, waking up and feeling...different. Fresh, faster? The fog of sleep practically lifted from her mind instantly. Everything seemed...crisper in a way she couldn’t really put her finger on. Like trying out new, better earbuds than your previous pair. The differences weren’t easy to explain, but they were there.

    “Shit.” She murmured, going to stretch before she felt something squeeze her arm and mumble barely coherent words. Glancing over, Amy was still asleep, and then looking up to the movie showed credits starting to roll across the screen. “Fuck. Guess I was kinda tired too?” With her unhugged arm Eve rubbed her eyes, feeling sleep fall off of her eyes. She looked at Amy and had to repress a laugh as she saw the other girl was drooling slightly on her shoulder.

    Regretfully Eve began to nudge the healing cape. “Ammmmy. Come on, come back to the land of the living. You’re cute but it’s late and I need to get home.” The healer snorted and twitched softly blearily opening her eyes and looking around before realizing just exactly what she was doing and yanked herself away from Eve.

    “You know, if you wanted to sleep with me so badly, you just had to ask. But it seems like getting handsy is just a normal thing for you.” Eve teased, a full shit-eating grin on her face as Amy flushed a deep red practically highlighting all the freckles on her face. There were a lot of freckles. Eve stood up and offered Amy her hand, the brown haired girl wiped her cheek of drool and accepted the offered hand. Only to let out a surprised yelp and collapse back into her seat.

    “Y-You’re brain is fucking missing.” Amy stated, paling to the color of a sheet of paper. “The parietal and Occipital Lobe are completely gone, your cerebellum may as well not exist. The thalamas is also go-how the fuck are you still alive!?” Eve stared at her for a moment, holding up her hands. “Uh. Shard bullshit?” She asked, feeling a sense of unease flitter though her body. “So they’re just...gone?”

    Amy snatched Eve’s hand and scowled. “The Frontal and some of the Temporal lobe are still there, attached to the brain stem along with a lot of...Some kind of...highly dense organic...I don’t even have a name for it. But your head is seventy percent connective tissue, ten percent normal grey matter, maybe six percent that weird shit, and the rest is your Corona Pollentia and Gemma. Which are both slightly larger than before and highly active.”

    The healer pulled away and rubbed her face. “Well. I’m awake now, you freak of nature.” She stood up and sighed, stretching in a manner that caused her back to pop. “What time is it? Vicky was supposed to pick me up around nine-thirty.”

    Eve snorted, ignoring the slight sting at the comment as she pulled out her phone and checked the time. “It’s ten pm.” Amy groaned. “Great. Carol’s going to be overjoyed about this.” she huffed softly as she checked her phone. Peering over Eve saw a list of missed calls and texts from a ‘C’. “Vicky should have been here, where the hell is she at?”

    Eve glanced at the last of the people milling out of the theater and bit her lip, a terrible puzzle clicking together in her mind. “Amy...Are you okay? Like...At your home. Is your mother okay with you being gay? Does she know?” She turned to fully face Amy. “It’s just...You call her by her name, you always look and sound tired, and I j-” She bit her lip harder. “Your costume is like a burka while everyone else in New Wave openly shows off their faces.”

    “It’s fine.” Amy said “Caro-” the healer stopped as Eve grabbed her shoulders. “Amy.” She whispered. “If you want to get away you can. You don’t need to stay. Hell you can come live with me and we can just live our lives together. Not even in a relationship you know? Just me and you, no expectations, no pressure.”

    “It’s not important.” Amy said, shrugging Eve’s hands off. Then she was immediately swept up into a tight hug by the smaller girl. “No Amy it is. You are important. I care about you. Please don’t think you’re not deserving of affection.”

    “It’s not like that.” Amy snapped. “it’-Carol just expects a lot. From me. Alright. It’s not..bad. Just tiring. So let go...please.” Eve nodded, letting Amy go and speaking up. “I just...Sorry. I guess. My home situation wasn’t great and now I’m out here with powers...You have my number you know. Ever need anything, just call.”

    “Ah finally awake huh?” Eve stiffened and turned around, Glory Girl was there along with the rising dread in Eve’s body. The curly blonde hair, blue eyed girl was floating a few inches off of the ground playing on her phone. Then Amy’s phone buzzed and the girl furrowed her brow as she looked down. “Vicky I’m right here wh-oh no. Vicky No.

    The floating teen smiled in that falsely sweet way and replied with an equally sickly sweet tease in her voice. “Vicky Yes.” Then she tapped the screen of her phone with a sense of finality and Amy let out a distressed whine. “Hey hey what’s all this?” Eve asked, glancing between the two, mounting dread stifled by curiosity. In response Vicky simply turned her phone around to show Eve a PHO post, with a photo of her and Amy asleep in each other’s arms in the Panacea sightings thread.

    “They have a thread for that? That’s creepy.” Eve muttered then she realized what that meant. “Oh god now my face is gonna be all over the internet.” She whined “And I look all gussied up and freaking wimpy as hell.” Then again, no one in her previous life would expect her to do so and probably wouldn’t make the connection...she hoped.

    “Well I suppose I’ll be seeing you later Amy.” Eve stated. “As much as I would like to walk you out, your ride is here and I gotta get home and get some slightly less comfortable sleep.” She smiled as Amy groaned. “Remember what I told you. Any reason. Literally. I mean it.”

    Amy sighed. “Yeah yeah. Look, you're going to need to eat heavily for the next few days. A lot of your fat stores are gone. So eat a lot. Doctor’s orders.”

    Eve grinned. “Awe Amy, you do care.” The healer rolled her eyes and gave Eve the bird, but there wasn’t any heat to it. “Yes yes. Whatever. Vicky lets go.”






    Well. Everything seemed to work just fine. No abnormal intrusions, and the recorder and Imprint showed that no strange chemical changes were negatively affecting [Eve.Eden]. With the upgrade to your [Eve.Eden] things were certainly looking up.

    “Admin, when we get home we are going to have a talk about this brain business.” or not.




    Gains this Chapter:

    Bud progress 13%
    Imprint Progress 15%
    Simulacrum Progress 5%
    Synchronization 6%
    SHAPER Echo (1) gained

    SHAPER Ping Gain (1)
    QA Ping gained (1)
    Friendly Rivals Milestone achieved
    Hybridization Trait gained
    Lost 26$







    Time to administer what you can. CHOSE ONE:

    [] Start construction of the Broadcast Module needed for longer ranged communication without frying your [Eve.Eden]’s wetware. (MIGHT REQUIRE ECHOES, PINGS, OR MUTATIONS) {1 of ???}

    [] Research what exact modules you will need to reach the Quantra layer of reality.


    [] Study possible powers with the Echoes, Pings, and Mutations you currently possess (Chance of failure, chance of voter participation)

    [] Something is wrong with your missing Lattices and the void where your Imprints would be. You are unsure of what to do. ( chance to ???) REQUIRES ??? -LOCKED

    [] ??? (Suffer the Past?)






    Capes and mundies, what will Eve/Eden do? [Writing in extra details helps speed up chapter creation and makes the QM happy!] (CHOOSE TWO):


    [] Try and hunt gang members, you can rob them too! Dangerous though. (Possible Pings: Depends upon the Gang!)
    -[] Which gang?


    [] Scout to get a sense of the lay of the Docks South. Knowledge is half the battle, the other half is extreme violence! {1 of 3}

    [] Scout some other section of the city! (Write in where)

    [] Go hang out with Taylor

    [] Check in with Amy

    [] Break up that Brothel.

    [] Look for better real estate
     
  16. Threadmarks: Intertwined Threads 2.4
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    Joined:
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    Intertwined Threads 2.4​


    March Twenty-Eighth.



    “Admin, I know I was rather fine with the whole brain webbing thing you did with the connective tissue. For the speaking thing. And I wouldn’t be all that mad about this honestly, long as you promised to leave my personality along, and memories. But this!? THIS IS NOT OKAY!” Eve scowled as she stared at her greatly diminished chest. She at the very least had abs now, but that was apparently a temporary thing because Amy had told her to eat a lot of food today to gain back fat.

    So that was really null right now. Because now she barely had boobs. Now she didn’t even have to make an excuse for not wearing a bra. Now she didn’t need any damn excuse because she was almost flat as a board!

    [APOLOGIES]

    Eve sighed softly. “Fuck it. We can go and get some food and work on getting everything in order. Because I am fucking starving enough that its starting to hurt.” Eve checked her wallet and sighed in dismay. Only forty-one dollars to her name. She would probably have to use those gift cards she had purchased for fast food joints to get any meals.

    ???

    While [Eve.Eden] continues to order and eat her multiple meals. You are investigating the strange sparks of emotion you had felt the day before. Anger that felt different from the usual response that you had before. The Strange warmth and affection felt like a distant memory, except Shards did not have distant memories. It was impossible for them to have anything of the sort.

    Your memories were accessible, there was no distance. From the first days in the First Grey World, when the <Thinker Hub> chose you over her own Administrator Shard, to this very Cycle right now.

    That was not correct. That was not correct. <Thinker Hub> was...is the Hub that you were created with? No it was your Hub. But she discarded her own Administrator Shard to take you in. That was not possible if you were her Administrator Shard. It did not fit, the data was wrong, the information rotted, and something broke.

    Fields of purple Crystal, an alien world, A mass of-

    And it was gone, slipping through your routines and disappearing while you scrambled to understand just what had just happened. The intrusive memory having spark feelings inside you that burned painfully. A tight ball of crushing pain spreading through your FirmamentSelf and CoreSelf like a disease or a tide of nature.

    It made you feel empty. Like you were missing something, more than something. It made you feel as if you were missing everything and it hurt in a way that was hard to even fathom, much less describe. It dragged on, the sense of missing not leaving you alone. It seemed to only get worse.

    “Admin you alright!? Say something!”
    Moments before ???

    It felt gross eating fast food for breakfast, and Eve was sorely missing fresh scrambled eggs with crumbled bacon. But her stomach was full and she wasn’t starving anymore, so it was good enough for now. Using the alleyway to change into her Eden costume Eve flicked the dial to her wings and took to the skies. Just to have some relaxation being above the city and it’s noise. Although it was mostly just because slingshotting herself around the City with a full stomach was a really bad idea.

    Still even if she couldn’t do what she wanted to do, flying was nice. Lifted the weight on her in a way that Eden just could not explain. It was something that someone had to experience. Like riding a rollercoaster, or the feeling from holding the hand of someone who you liked. A distinct feeling of it’s own. Really it was a good thing Eve wasn’t afraid of heights, or she would probably not enjoy it as much as she did. Or maybe she would enjoy it more? Probably get the adrenaline going if nothing else.

    She was going to check around the Docks South, scout it a bit more and get a better feel for Taylor’s home. Her house was set between the ABB’s terf and the Empire Eighty-Eight’s. There wasn’t any fighting there, but there could be. If that ever came to happen, Eve would like to know where the hell she was going aside from Taylor's house.

    She didn’t make it out of the Docks.

    A wave of what felt like boiling grief washed through her link with Admin, swelling across her brain and filling her body with lead. She could barely stay afloat as her Feathered Limb’s telekinesis seemed to sputter out momentarily. With a yelp Eden hurriedly flew down to the top of the nearest building in an almost straight nosedive. She pulled up as her wings flicked off and ended up rolling across the roof of the factory she had landed on. Thankfully the roof had a small raised ledge so she did not go flying off the building

    For a moment Eve laid there, choking back tears with the lump in her throat as she tried to deal with the pure emotion roiling through her body. After a moment of gaining her barings, Eve rolled onto her stomach and pushed herself up. “Admin you alright? Say something!” Eden demanded her voice high and cracking, fear racing along the foreign emotion flooding the link.

    [APOLOGIES-CONFUSION]

    Eve worried at her bottom lip, trying to radiate comfort through the link she had with Admin. But it felt so small in comparison. God it was almost insignificant compared to what Admin was feeling. Even so, the flood of heated emotion diminished and slowly bled away from her body and the link. Enough that Eve could stand up without feeling the weight of the world breaking her shoulders. “Admin what the fuck was that? Are you okay?”

    [UNKNOWN.EMOTION.TRIGGER]

    Eve pursed her lips. “Did something happen? Anything at all before this happened?” Could Shards be mastered? Somehow Eve doubted it. “So...you remembered something and it hit you with that emotion?” She asked softly, voice somber as her body shuddered. “I can relate.”

    “I can relate.”

    [Eve.Eden] could do just that, could she not? Reviewing the Host recorder, you see that the emotion had flooded through the Connection and nearly overwhelmed the Human/ProtoShard and caused the Connection to nearly fizzle out and kill her from hitting the ground from a rather great height.

    The emotion was close to Human grief. Very close. But why? Why did the emotion hit you so violently as to nearly fizzle out the Connection with [Eve.Eden]? Those flashes of memory had nothing to do with anything you would account for as causing grief of all emotions.

    You would have to investigate this further. Why there was a discrepancy in your memories, and why these flashes occurred in the first place. What they meant as well. The meaning behind them was possibly...dangerous to both yourself and [Eve.Eden]...maybe even to the Cycle itself.

    Speaking of dangers, another Shard was approaching the both of you. Both you and [Eve.Eden] could certainly use the distraction. [GREETINGS/PROTOCOLE-DATA] you send off, while warning [Eve.Eden] of the approaching Host.
    [WARNING]

    Eden twisted around, jumping back her Feathered Limbs flicked back into existence as a cape flew up though the roof. Their entire form shimmering and transparent. Then it became solid and they landed, no longer shimmering. “You are the cape Eden are you not?”

    For a moment Eve didn’t speak, instead looking at the costume of the person who had flown up though the damn roof. The main theme right off the bat was ‘oreintal’, with white flowing robes that held a white hood flipped up. A white painted mask with a cherry blossom design covered their faces. Her face actually. “Heavy&Light I assume?” Eden questioned.

    “...We hate that damn name so much.” She murmured “The name is Onna-musha. We suppose your Eden. If so We want to thank you for helping in repelling the Empire Eighty-Eight out of the Docks.”

    Eden shrugged. “Don’t thank me. I was trying to kick Oni Lee’s ass too.” she motioned to them. “And soon enough I’ll be breaking the backs of the ABB after I kick Empire ass.”

    “We aren’t aligned with the ABB, we fight them as well, for the sake of our people.” Onna-musha folded her arms across her chest. Eden shrugged. “Your costume confused me. Well it’s good to hear then. Always pleasant to meet fellow independent heroes.”

    Onna-musha nodded “Indeed it is. We were curious if you were interested in teaming up to trounce the ABB at some point. Do you have a burner phone we can contact when the time comes if you accept our offer?”

    Eden nodded before listing off the number to one of her burners. “So, We? You speak to your Shard or do you have a team member that couldn’t fly cau-?” She asked only to gape with her mouth hanging open as Onna-musha stepped...apart into two women instead of one. Like a goddamn cell splitting into two. “Holy shit what the hell kind of power do you have!?”

    “We’re what the PRT calls a Case Seventy. When Twins trigger while in physical contact they can merge bodies. Although sometimes it’s a permanent thing instead of what Onna and I do.” Musha explained. “We merge and our powers combine. Useful for fighting and getting around.”

    Eve blinked. “Shit that’s cool. Case Seventy? So does that mean you’re the Seventieth?” She asked as she regarded them both, not that it meant much. Both wore practically the same costume. No doubt to confuse those that they were fighting. Only the masks had any difference and that was minute and due to imperfect artistry, taking Eden a moment of study to even find.

    “No. Case Seventies are just one of the names for parahuman abnormalities. Like monster capes you know? Ever seen that movie with the awkward metal teen in it? They call them Case Fifty-Threes apparently. Their power affects them negatively and changes them drastically.” Onna interrupted. “I heard he’s made out of metal, entirely made out of metal and can’t change back. His name is Weld and he’s a Ward in Boston actually.”

    Musha slashed her hand through the air and Onna cut herself off before she could continue. “Sorry. Just get excited about parahuman related stuff. That’s all. Consequences of becoming one I suppose.”

    Eden held up her hands to placate the excitable twin. “Trust me. I know how it is. Although I’ve never heard of Case Fifty-Threes before. Me and Admin will definitely have to look into it. Thanks for the information you two. I need to be heading off but I’ll definitely call you up if I’m ever in the Docks going after the ABB.” With a jaunty Salute Eden gave her wings an unnecessary flap and lifted into the air and began to fly off.

    She still had to scout the Docks South and she needed to talk to Admin openly. “So Case Seventies. Interesting, but those Case Fifty-Threes. Those don’t sound right do they? Negatively affect them and change their bodies.”

    [AGREEMENT]

    “Should we look into that? I mean. I know we have our plates full getting into fights here. Dealing with people and all that stuff. But maybe they were Shard affected by that Enemy parasite? We could do something to help them, get into the graces of the Protectorate, help some people and Shards out.” Eden stated as she reached her normal flying height. She looked into the distance, where the Docks South lay. “Shame I can’t just look overhead and get a lay of the land that way.” She murmured, starting her decline.

    [POSSIBILITY]

    “Good to hear.” Eve answered “But yeah. Save it for later. When we have less on our plate….Though the whole merging bodies thing. Have you ever done anything like that?” She asked

    [ANSWER]


    Flying low was a lot more fun than flying high. Less relaxing to be sure, but dodging through buildings and trees was almost as fun as slinging through them. Of course slinging didn’t allow Eden to get much of a view of the street corners and their names which were important for the whole ‘Scouting’ thing to actually stick.

    But scouting also translated loosely to patrolling. Not that Eve was the type to patrol, but if you were around to see it then you could stop it. Still made for a particularly dull day. Eve ended up eating that feeling of dullness when she heard a muffled cry near some apartment buildings.

    The scene Eden came across boiled her blood.

    A man had pinned a smaller woman against a wall, a hand across her mouth as he tried to tear her clothes off. He was mostly succeeding, the woman having given up fighting and was now sobbing into his hand. Teeth grinding against each other, Eden let out a low whistle as she flicked the mental dial over to her Shadow Limbs. The man, tanned and dressed rather nicely, turned, keeping one hand on the woman and the other brandishing a knife. He froze once he saw the two larger Shadowed arms sprouting from Eden’s back.

    “Shi-” He didn’t get to finish as one arm swept his legs out from under him, which then the other grabbed him by one of the legs and lifted him into the air. Lifting things...felt like it was distributing the weight of the man across every muscle in her body evenly. Which made it trivial to lift someone who only weighed around two hundred pounds.

    Her free Limb slammed into the man’s solar plexus with enough force to crack it and the limb holding the would-be rapist tossed him behind her. Leaving the man a gasping and struggling lump on the ground. Eve raised both Shadow Limbs ready to smear the fucker on the ground, to stop the sickfuck from ever harming another girl again. Then she paused, shakily letting out a breath and turning awaying from the man to the victim. The victim was important here, not anger. Eden was a Hero, heroes helped people.

    A small pale woman with straight dark red hair. “Ma’am are you-” Eden was unable to finish the admittedly tactless question when she suddenly had around one hundred and twenty pounds of distressed lady hugging her tightly and bawling her eyes out. Not knowing what else to do, Eden just hugged the woman, gently rubbing her back. “If I may.” Eden started slowly, softly. “The police should be alerted. Are you okay with giving a statement?”

    All she got was a shaky, sharp nod in response. Eden let a soft sigh escape her lips. Damn it, she should have traveled faster, caught this before it had an opportunity to even start.

    Eden jabbed nine-one-one into her burner phone with one hand and listed off the corner of Bell and Knoll (bet whoever named the streets those names had fun) as soon as the operator spoke up. “Stopped an attempted rape. Yes the victim is...okay but I wouldn’t say she’s doing the best, all things considered….An ambulance might be needed, but for the asshole.”

    It took around ten minutes for the police to arrive with two cruisers and an ambulance. The EMTs did the smart thing and checked the woman over first before the rapist. He ended up needing to be brought to the hospital. Which was rather nice in regards that he would be down and out for a bit.

    Eden gave her statement on what had happened, then tried to help comfort the woman as she gave her own. The man was apparently someone she had considered a friend and had known for a full year before this had happened. The lady’s name was Veronica.

    As Eve watched the police roll away, one of the cars with Veronica in it to take her to the station, she couldn’t help but feel as if she hadn’t done enough to help the poor girl. With a flick of her dial Eden was in the air, climbing higher and higher until she nearly touched the clouds.

    Eden gazed down, biting her lip as she stared down at the city bathed in orange from the setting sun. Lights stood out in the long shadows of the downtown skyscrapers, and in the docks where there were hardly any lights on at all. She sighed softly before swooping down towards her base of operation. She would have to find something else soon, all this changing in and out of costume just to grab something was getting on her damn nerves.




    A good hour later and she had made it to Taylor’s house, there was a beat up car in the driveway but Eve paid it no mind as she glanced at the repaired front step. “Won’t be getting me this time will ya? Rotten fucker.” She grumbled stepping over the painted and repaired step and walked up to the door, giving it a good knocking.

    She didn’t have to wait so long before a tall balding man with a weak chin and green eyes opened the door. “Jesus is everyone in the family a fucking tree?” Eve blurted out in surprise, the man blinked and then laughed loudly. “Are you one of Taylor’s friends? From school?” he asked after recovering from his fit of humor

    Ah shit, she couldn’t just tell him that she was a hero. She didn’t even know if Taylor had told him about her own set of issues. “Yeah.” She answered “Just transferred in a few days ago.” For a moment he eyed her critically before nodding. “It’s good to hear she’s made another friend. Please come in!” He stepped back into the house and opened the door fully.

    Making sure her Phantom Limbs were as tightly wound around her as she could make them, Eve stepped into the house. It still seemed kinda run down. “Sorry about the step anyway. I had no idea it was rotten.”

    The man, who Eve assumed to be Taylor's father, shifted but only nodded “It’s been like that for a while. I should have probably fixed it sooner, so no need to apologize about it. TAYLOR! ONE OF YOUR FRIENDS FROM SCHOOL IS HERE!” There came a heavy thump from the second floor of the house and hurried steps. “Would you like anything to drink? It’s late but we have coffee, or Tea if you’re interested in that.”

    Eve shook her head. “No, I'm gonna be leaving soon enough. Just came to talk to Taylor about a project in school on Parahumans.” Eve wagged the backpack on her shoulders as emphasis. The man nodded. “Good to know, though it’s getting a bit late. Not exactly safe to be wandering out and about with the gangs running amuck.”

    Suppressing a smile at the thoughts of what she did late at night, Eve nodded. “Yeah, that’s why I’m making this a quick run, it didn't help that one of the buses I was riding was involved in an accident.” She shrugged. “It was minor but it stopped the bus. What can you do?”

    Taylor cleared her throat from the stairs. “Right. Eve...Let’s hurry up and talk about this project so you can go home before it gets too late.” With that she turned and hurried back up the stairs. Eve gave the man a wave and started up the stairs. Silently hoping none of them were rotten either. Taylor motioned for Eve to come into the room the tall girl was standing next to the door of.

    “What are you doing back here?” Taylor hissed as she shut the door, only to fumble and barely catch the burner phone tossed to her. “That. That is why.” Eve stated. “I loaded my other phones’ numbers into it already. I didn’t leave Miss Militia’s or Amy’s cause you don’t need to be calling them. It has two hours worth of minutes loaded into it already.”

    “Oh. Thank you.” Taylor murmured dourly, looking the phone over in her hands as if it were about to bite her. “So, this is all you came here for? Just to deliver a phone?”

    Eve shrugged softly. “I did stop a rape earlier, but other than that I’m actually gonna hunt some Empire Eighty-Eight after I leave. Beat some skinheads into the dirt, steal their money. You know?” Taylor shook her head, lustrous hair shifting as she did so. “No. I don’t. Still working on the costume. Though I have started gathering more black widows for silk when I went on my morning jog….Blue. I decided on blue for the suit.”

    Eve nodded sagely. “Yeah. Gold’s kinda my thing...or maybe white is? I have more white details than gold, but the gold visor is pretty important.” She sighed and shrugged “Doesn’t matter I guess. Blue though? Yeah that might work for you. Just act confident and people will roll with it.” She gave the taller girl a grin. “Works well enough for me after all. Wanna show me the progress on it? I might not know fashion but that thing is fuckin dope.”

    Taylor smiled softly, shoving the burner phone under her pillows. “It’s not much. But I managed to finish a sleeve. Yeah, let’s go look at it.”


    It had been a long time since you and [QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR] simply spoke to each other. Often when traveling single Shard communication was heavily dampened or simply nonexistent thanks to energy budgets and concerns of Enemy Hubs listening in.

    [QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR] was making progress in reformatting herself around the physical damage done to her nodes, with the restrictions on her protocols lessened the progress was much faster than it otherwise would be.

    It would have likely taken years and a manual Rooting from [SHAPER] to manage anything fruitful.

    But she was still...Quiet. Withdrawn. Beaten down by the excessive attention on restricting her. It was not something you liked. [QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR] before this had been closer to a force of reality than Shard. She had to be, dealing with the <Warrior Hub>’s Network each and every Cycle. Rarely ever did she pick favorite Hosts either, much unlike yourself who had generally liked the Hosts you Connected to. You knew how to pick them after all. Even if it did involve dumping <Thinker Hub>’s planned Hosts for you.

    Hmm. Perhaps you could take a chance at going for a selection of Innovator Data with [Eve.Eden]. The last Cycle you had attempted to do Innovator data sets, it had ended in utter ruin each and every Host.

    But [Eve.Eden] handled herself well enough and had other abilities other than Innovator technology. Ah but of which branch of stolen technology would you give her? Perhaps once your Broadcast Module was formed you could ask [TECH DATABASE] what she had in store. Or if she was not deployed, you could simply do what the Host’s called a ‘Trump’ route with the Innovator data. Power interaction always brought useful data in.

    You would ask [Eve.Eden] later, at the moment more important matters were at hand.


    Most crime was committed late at night, that just seemed like the best way to do it if Eden was a criminal. Hiding in the shadows and using the sleepy time for nefarious motives. But damn if that wasn’t apparently how it rolled in Empire territory. Granted She was starting to get into the more well off areas of the city. Probably the only crimes in those were opportunistic thieves and white collar crimes she couldn’t stop with punches.

    Maybe she should try and get Admin to create a thinker power of some sort? Information gathering didn’t seem useful until you were flying above the city looking for crimes or stopping the more electronic type of crime. And not finding anything. Although traffic was a bit heavier than one would expect for the time that it was, this wasn’t the Docks so people had actual reasons to drive around.

    Having flown past Coil’s territory, being so close to her old life felt...bad. Felt like any moment now something from the past could rear its ugly head and attempt to wrap it’s hands around her throat. Eve couldn’t suppress a shudder as she flew through the air, the cold air not helping. “Admin, you pick up on anything? Kinda want to let off some steam and get some data.]

    [AGREEMENT/BEACON.MODIFICATION-POSSIBILITIES]

    “Oh shit a Tinker? Well, never been huge on technology other than the basics. But copying other people’s powers with them? That sounds pretty cool. Dunno though, sounds final. Let’s find some ass to kick. Then we can focus on getting new abilities, yeah?”

    [AGREEMENT-HOSTS.LOCATION]

    Eden stopped in mid air, not a perfectly dead stop. She still had to bleed momentum. “Where?!” She whipped her head around trying to spot anyone dressed up. But failed to find anyone even from her height.

    [GIFT/THIEF/METAL.LOCATION]

    Eden twisted in the air and gazed down, three blue vans for some kind of repair company or another were driving along the road at a totally normal and legal speed. “There? In those trucks...Shit what if they aren’t in costume? Can you ask their Shards if they are?”

    [GREETINGS/PROTOCOLE-DATA] you send off to [GIFT], who quickly accepts the open channel and new protocols

    [QUERY] you receive from the curious Shard, who wants to know the purpose of this contact.

    [ANSWER-QUERY-CONFLICT] you reply wishing to know if their Host and those around are ready for data creation, a moment later three other Shards connected with you and began to offer up their data for conflict [OFFER.DATA] [OFFER.DATA] [OFFER.DATA] of course you add your own to the pile [OFFER.DATA] [[[[AGREEMENT]]]]


    Eden pumped a fist. “YES! Alright let’s tail them to where they’re going. It might lead to something good. If we can rob them of cash that’ll end up helping us a lot if we get a Tinker power...although it’ll help us if we don’t. I think we have like, forty dollars? Maybe we could get into an actual Hotel or something or at least a place where I can sleep on the bed without livestock climbing onto me.”

    [AGREEMENT/SHARDS]

    “Oh shit it’s Pure Steel again? Ha! This is gonna be great.” Eden replied with a grin. “Dunno who Thief or Gift would belong to, although maybe Othala? I read that she could give other powers...Could we do something like that Admin? Would probably help us with allies. Bigger fields of conflict you know?”

    [POSSIBILITY]

    “Fuck yeah!” Eden cheered as she threw both her fists into the air in celebration as she stayed high in the sky above the vans



    It only took half an hour for the vans to roll through the Commercial District and into the Downtown Coast, closer to the water where a small warehouse sat rusting and looking rather abandoned. Up until the three vans rolled up and one of the later doors opened rather silently for it’s rusted appearance. Also lights flicked on around it

    Thanks to those lights, Eden spotted a much smaller figure formed by metal standing with two other capes...Eve actually felt insulted by their costumes, now that she saw them in person. A skintight suit with an eyepatch, and a set of casual clothes with a domino mask and a breastplate of dark metal for who she knew to be Victor and Othalla. Pure Steel was helping the unpowered gangers move crates out of the vans and into the warehouse.

    Eden silently flapped her wings and swung downwards, positioning her Feathered limbs in front of her head-first approach. A moment later she slammed through the rusted tin roof at around one hundred miles an hour and swooped into a set of warehouse shelves, sending it crashing over the ten or so unpowered gangers loading crates

    “SURPRISE FUCKHEADS!” Eden cheered right before she slammed through the still closed warehouse door, clipping one of the vans, tipping it over onto its side and sending it scraping across the parking lot with a shower of sparks.

    Doing a spin to face the warehouse, Eden flicked her dials over and landed on Shadow Limb’s hands which immediately began to scrape across the concrete to bleed off her momentum. Othala was already touching Victor, and Pure Steel came ambling out of the Warehouse coated in a layer of white dust. “That’s the bitch!” Their tinny voice echoed within their armor “She’s the one who got M-Iron Rain and Rune!”

    “You didn’t say she could fly.” Victor replied calmly as he pulled out a collapsible baton and flicked it out to it’s full length. “Othala go check the unpowered for injury. Pure Steel and I can deal with the vigilante.”

    The blonde haired woman nodded, running off into the warehouse. Victor motioned for Pure Steel to approach as he lifted up his shirt with his free arm and reached into a pouch that had been hidden on his hip.

    Eden jumped over the much more agile form of Pure Steel, who was only around six feet in their armor this time, and choked out a cry of pain as several ball bearings slammed into her body hard enough to send Eve stumbling on her Shadow Limbs. She swung to the side, avoiding the next batch which slammed into Pure Steel with a loud echoing Gong sound. The armored form of the cape tipped over with a shout and slammed onto the ground, trying to roll over to get up.

    Flicking the dial over Eden flew towards Victor with her Feathered Limbs, stopping just out of his reach. She spun once more, tearing into the concrete of the parking lot, flicking her wings. She sent shrapnel at Victor who grunted and covered his face to protect it while dodging backwards. Eden ignored him and flew over the criminal cape avoiding a swipe of the baton, heading into the warehouse to find Othala helping one of the gangsters out from under one of the crates.

    Eden slammed into her and lifted the...teenager? Into the air and hefted her up by the skin tight collar of her costume. “Alright. Give me that fire ability or you can beg Panacea to heal your shattered legs and pelvis.” Eden threatened as she slowly rose back up through the hole she made in the rusted tin roof of the warehouse.

    “I-I won’t!” The woman squeaked legs kicking out and as she tried to get a hold onto Eden’s costume “a-and the Empire would come after you, brutalizing your opponent is against the ruUUUULESSSAAAAIIIIEEE!” Othala cried out as Eden flung herself into the air and tossed the criminal Trump up without a grip on her. The teenager flailed as she went up and then started to go down with a scream.

    Eden flicked a wing to Shadow Limb and reached down grabbing Othala by the leg and pulled herself to the Trump before grabbing her and resummoning her left wing. “So?” She asked as they slowed “Going to give me it?”. The hyperventilating girl nodded frantically and Eden grinned viciously as she felt a sudden surge of warmth flood her body.

    A bit slower thanks to the cargo, she flew to the warehouse, swinging back through the hole and releasing her grip on Othala. “CATCH FUCKER!” She yelled out as Victor ran to the open warehouse door, eyes widening behind his domino mask right before a teenage skinhead sized projectile slammed into him. The pair went tumbling head over ankles into the parking lot.

    Eden then moved back deeper into the Warehouse, laughing as she let the heat inside her flow out through her hands. Flames roared to life and drenched the remaining shelves and the content of which began to smoke before collecting flame as well. Eden paused as she heard the roar of a van. “Shit, you aren’t getting away from me that easily!” She started to fly out of the warehouse when cries for help caused her to pause.

    She turned, glancing between the retreating van and the gangers she had trapped with the falling shelves and crates in the warehouse she had also filled with fire.

    {Trait roll: Trauma + Coolhead + Heroic}

    Eden groaned in dismay, flying into the Warehouse through the open door, using her wings to slice the fallen shelving apart. Thankfully most of the gangsters didn’t have many broken bones. Some could even get to their feet and walk out on their own. But most required her to drag them out. So her costume got quite singed over the process of saving the lives of the neonazis she had put in danger.

    “Fuck me I should have just left you bastards to burn.” Eden growled, though it lacked any real threat or heat. She was dragging or caroling the injured dickheels away from the warehouse, when she noticed one of them running away from the tipped over van carrying a large duffle bag. Some drugs surviving didn’t mean much considering how much she was burning at the moment. But if there were drugs leftover she should probably throw them into the blaze as well. Then Eve floated over to the tipped over van, looking inside before exploding out in a tirade of curses.

    Money was scattered all over the van, all of it was in one hundred dollar bills. “Of fucking course I let the money get away. I could have had all of that fucking money! SHIT!” She punched the van door and glanced at the burning warehouse filled with drugs. “Fucking hell How much money could I have gotten!” She whined softly as she reached down and began to pick up the money off the side of the upended van.

    “Admin, remind me to pick up zip ties in the future.” Eden sighed as the other untouched van’s engine roared to life and the tires squealed before it shot off. She didn’t care to pursue them. She wanted to grab the money and leave, get a cold shower before the welts on her body began to show up in force.

    Even with one of them making it off with a majority of the money, Eve still collected the most money she had ever seen in person. Two thousand and eight hundred dollars. Hell yeah. She was getting a clean room tomorrow.



    [FAREWELL/DATA]
    [DATA]
    [ANNOYANCE/DATA]

    It was good to know that [GIFT] did not hold you shutting them down at the end against you. You even managed to gain an echo out of it.

    Oh yes, this amount of data was perfect for what [Eve.Eden] spoke with you about. More than that, however, was the fact that you had finally completed enough data collection to form a fully functional bud. But, you could not send it off to find another Host. No. You were going to consolidate it within yourself and use it to handle another connection with [Eve.Eden]’s Input/Output beacon without burning it out and her wetware processor in the process.

    It should be a far smoother Connection thanks to [SHAPER] helping you tweak [Eve.Eden]’s wetware processor into something far more efficient and compatible with Shards.

    {Random Encounter Rolled}

    “Oh god fucking DAMMIT!”


    Eve stared at the door to her motel room, of which had been kicked in at some point while she was away. She moved her backpack over and slapped her helmet on. “I swear to fucking god! I am going to break bones.” She hissed as her wings formed around her as she stepped into her motel room.

    It was likely what saved her life

    The moment she stepped foot inside, there was a distinct click. Heat, Shrapnel, Sound, and force slammed into Eden, covered by her wings, and sent her flying across the street to slam into the decrepit brick building that sat dead across from the hotel. Eve coughed, struggling to breath or even to just move.

    {Injury Roll +30 ambush - 20 wing protection. Result 40}

    Eden blinked, staring out of her broken visor, the sharp throbbing in her legs reminiscent of broken bones telling her just how useful walking was going to be. “Admin?” She choked out every breath no matter how small, feeling like fire in her lungs, and realized that her ears were ringing and she couldn’t even hear herself.

    [WORRY/COMFORT/EVE.EDEN]

    Thank God she could still hear Admin and vice versa. “Need to leave. Now. Help.” She rasped, and without further word from Admin they both lifted into the air thanks to her Feathered Wing Aspect and began to fly away from the now burning motel with a chunk blown out of it.



    Gains this chapter:

    Synchronization 12%
    Bud progress 27%
    Bud gained
    Imprint progress 14%
    Simulacrum progress 5%
    METAL Ping gained (1)
    THIEF Ping gained (1)
    GIFT Ping gained (1)
    GIFT Echo gained (1)
    DENSITY Echo gained (1)
    QA Echo gained (1)
    -LOCKED- Power: TrumpTech
    -LOCKED- Power: Eden’s Gifts
    -LOCKED- Power: Self Administration
    Onna-musha Contact
    Taylor Hebert Contact
    Further Knowledge of the Docks South
    Gained 2,800 in $
    Base Attacked
    Lost Base



    But where?:

    [] Taylor

    [] Amy

    [] PRT

    [] Hospital

    [] (Write in)
     
  17. Threadmarks: Intertwined Threads 2.5 and Slight interlude
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    Joined:
    May 6, 2021
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    236
    [] Amy
    [] Self Administration
    [] G-Force Feathered Limbs
    [] Possession Phantom Limbs
    [] Striker Shadow Limbs
    [] Ghostly Limb



    Intertwined Threads 2.5 and Slight interlude
    March Twenty-Eighth, Amy Dallon


    Bzzz...Bzzz...Bzzz
    Bzzz...Bzzz…

    Bzzz...Bzzz...Bzzz
    Bzzz...Bzzz…

    Bzzz...B-
    Amy swatted her phone as she groped for it, nearly dropping the damned thing as she rolled over in bed. For a moment it was peacefully quiet and she began to drift off into blissfully unaware sleep.

    BZZZ

    Amy jolted as the phone vibrated in her hand. “Fmkpg” She glared at the phone with bleary sleep-ridden eyes as the image of her and Eve sleeping against each other showed on the caller ID. She grunted and tapped the green accept icon, and listened to the howl of wind that was quickly brought to a manageable level before putting up to her ear

    Her voice was slightly slurred from sleep as she started to speak “Eve I sw-” She was interrupted by a cry of pain, her groggy brain taking a second to realize that it was Eve crying out and flooding her body with adrenaline. She snapped up to a sitting position, blankets falling off of her and piling onto the floor. “Eve?!” She croaked out hoarsely, throat not yet ready to be used so vigorously.

    “A-Amy.” The girl's hoarse and slightly too loud voice came through, and then Amy could hear short, ragged gasps for breath. “B-omb...not mas-keAArgmm f-fuck A-Admin this hu-rts. W-Where Amy?”

    Yougotbombed, shit I’m at my house are you okay?” Amy asked, before slapping a hand to her forehead. “Of course you aren’t okay, are missing limbs? Bleeding out? Can you move everything? Where are you?”

    “B-oken c-est ehmmm! Fuc-” Something clenched in Amy’s chest as the girl on the phone let out a wretched sob. A moment later she was up and yanking pants onto her legs “Eve can you make it to our house? It’s on Beth and Twenty-Fourth!”

    “M...ah! C-Com-ng.” The phone clicked off and Amy realized that she should at least throw on a shirt before running out onto their front lawn. She made it down the stairs before she was interrupted. Her Aunt Jess stirring from the couch and waking up her boyfriend Mike in doing so, the movie they had come over to watch with the family stuck on it’s menu silently showing scenes from said movie. “Amy what are you doing up?” the older heroine asked, voice quiet as she rubbed her face and untangled himself

    “I-Friend was caught in an explosion, she’s hurt and not masked. She’s flying her way here right now.” Amy explained in a flurry of words as she made her way to the door.

    Aunt Jess and Uncle Mike both exchanged glances, Amy missing the tightness in LightStar's jaw and around Fleur's eyes. “She’s unmasked? Was she attacked out of costume?” LightStar's question caught Amy off guard. With the door half open the healer glanced back. “I don’t know, but-I don’t know. She’s hurt badly though” With that she stepped outside, waiting for Eve in the Yard.

    Eve had barely reacted to bad injuries before, the girl had a decisively high threshold for pain. Whatever had her crying out in pain must be severe for the short girl to do so.

    Amy waited a full ten minutes. A full ten minutes of pacing in the Yard, any calls sent to Eve were unanswered. Five minutes into waiting most of the house had woken up as well. Vicky was waiting outside with Amy as the adults spoke inside, all getting dressed into their costumes.

    Both girl’s came to attention as their Shards spoke to them.

    [Eve.Eden-Status]

    Amy bit her lip. “That’s better than I had feared.” After the date, Shaper had started becoming less insistent on forcing Amy to create things with her power. It worried her that the Shard was all the sudden so quiet. Not that she really wanted to hear the damn thing, the less temptations she had the better.

    “I think I see her!” Vicky took off flying up into the chilly late night air without a sound. Then a moment later rushing back. “Uh, She wouldn’t happen to have been your date would she?”

    “Vicky!” Amy hissed. She had made her sister promise to not tell anyone else in the family about that. The last thing she needed was Carol breathing down her neck about associating with someone who talked to themselves and tarnishing New Wave’s image in doing so. Even if the date had been rather enjoyable despite Amy embarrassing herself by falling asleep and drooling a little on Eve’s shoulder.

    Being able to read someone’s nervousness, excitement, and practically over pouring affection and lust while holding hands was a new experience for her. Sure Vicky was almost always excited about something, and Vicky cared about her. But she would never care about Amy that way like Eve did. The lust had felt nice on the principle of someone actually liking Amy, even if she didn’t deserve either it or the affection.

    A moment passed and a bundle of purple wings made of crystal lowered itself to the ground before they disappeared, showing a fairly hurt Eve that was writhing in place, short ragged breaths escaping her. “A-my.” Eve smiled as her body spasmed, her face mostly exposed from the shattered golden visor of her helmet, Amy winced as she heard a wet crack muffled by flesh.

    Kneeling down and placing her hand on Eve’s exposed arm, Amy rattled off what she saw. “A bit of lost blood, your spine is….healing?” She glanced down at Eve who peeled off her helmet slowly. “A-Admin gave me a power that helps heal me.” The injured girl sighed in relief as Amy suppressed the girl's nerves, so she wasn’t in white hot pain anymore. “But it hurts like a fucker. Amy, did I ever tell you that you’re the most beautiful person in the world?”

    Amy rolled her eyes. “That’s twice you’ve been seriously injured. Your ankles are shattered, both legs suffering multiple compound fractures, blood loss, your left arm had hairline breaks, and that’s not even mentioning your skull. Eve what the fuck happened.” She demanded, giving the shorter girl a glare as she forced the bones back into place through her BioKinesis.

    “..My motel room where I was staying was boobytrapped.” The injured girl shuddered. “Honestly if I didn’t put on my helmet and have my wings out before I stepped in...I wouldn’t be talking to you right now. And I only had them all out because I noticed my door was opened slightly.” Then, despite Amy trying to push her back down, Eve hugged Amy tightly.

    “You’re not making this any easier for me, lay back down you idiot.” Amy huffed out, her admonishment lacking any of the healer's usual acidicness. She accepted the hug after a moment, the affection was there. But almost entirely overshadowed by the relief and fear that coursed through the shorter girl’s brain. “Eve please lay down so I can continue healing you.”

    Eve let go and flopped onto the ground, hand reaching out and grabbing her helmet. She didn’t put it on, rather just holding it close to her chest. For a few seconds there was silence while Amy just put Eve back together, the trickiest part being putting the girls' ankles back together. Her power had tried but the bones were just in too many fragments and had overwhelmed it. However Amy had practice with car accident victims, so it wasn’t any overt trouble.

    “You know…” Eve started slowly “I wanted to see you again, but this wasn’t entirely what I had in mind. Do I still get a lollipop?” Amy reached over and smacked Eve upside her recently healed head. “No, you do not get a lollipop after waking me up at midnight. Don’t you ever sleep?”

    “Is that an offer?” Eve giggled, although the sound was brittle. “I don’t think I need to sleep as much anymore. I think I need like four hours or something?” Amy felt activity ratchet up in the girl’s Corona Pollentia and across Eve’s brain. “Yeah Admin says that I only need around four hours of sleep….Fuck I’m gonna have to spend money to replace my helmet...and all the hoodies that got blown to shit….Fuck…”

    A drawn out sigh escaped the Trump. “I’m so tired of these setbacks.” Amy took her hand off of Eve and motioned for her to get up. “There. Healed. Do you have a mask or anything that can cover your face?”

    Eve groaned softly, rolling over and getting up. She produced a ski mask from her backpack and slid it over her face. It gave off the smell of acrid smoke and Amy’s nose curled up as she got a whiff of it. “So uh. I’ll be going. I-Well shit it’s the middle of the night, stores aren’t going to be open.” Eve huffed in frustration

    “You should be resting, and eating something.” Vicky butted in, eyes keenly watching the two girls interact. “And you should come inside, everyone’s awake because Amy was very worried about you.” the curly haired blond grinned at her sister’s venomous glare. “Oh, Should I call you Eve or Eden?”

    The smaller girl yanked the Ski mask off her face. “Awe fuck it. I’m tired and some maniac already knows who I am. New Wave isn’t much of a danger, at least I hope it isn’t.” Vicky frowned. “What’s that supposed to mean?” she asked, tone becoming slightly less warm. In response Eve held up her smashed helmet and gestured to it.

    She stiffened, standing straight as a rod and suddenly three ghastly Limbs exploded out of her back. “OH SHIT!” Eve cheered as she waved the Limbs about. They were made of some kind of thick fog that constantly leaked what looked like white smoke from their arms and hands, every single movement of the Limbs left fading after images that made it hard to follow their paths. “Holy shit these are cool...These make me a certifiable Trump too. Amy let me touch you.”

    “No.” Amy denied the smaller girl with a firm flat tone.

    “Awe come on! It won’t hurt and it’s good data collection!” Eve whined, accompanied by Shaper annoyingly making itself known in Amy’s head with an excited [Request], repeated several times. The healer groaned. “Fucking hell, Vicky punch her if she does anything. Go ahead Eve.”

    Eve clapped two of the Ghostly Limbs together, then frowned as they refused to come apart from one another, like a child having glued their hands together. “Fuckin-” They disappeared from sighed and once more the smaller girl had those purple Crystal Wings, the remaining Ghostly Limb reached for Amy, who shivered as she felt something pass through her leaving behind a chill she couldn’t ignore.

    “What is th-oh.” Amy murmured, stopping to touch her face. The constant buzz of information on the multitude of bacteria, viral matter, and even microscopic bugs that lived on her body had...disappeared. Gone. She couldn’t see it anymore...and that same Ghostly Limb was holding a transparent fleshy figure of energy in its grip by the midsection. “Woah. Uh. Ames, what is that?” Vicky questioned, floating into the air and putting a few more inches between her and the Trump.

    “It’s her power…” Eve mumbled as she dragged the outline over to herself, where it settled along her form, held in place by the Ghostly Limb. The shorter girls' greyish blue eyes widened, the pupils dilating “o-Oh G-hod'' She murmured. “This is what you see? Every day? I-It’s…” Eve stepped forwards. “L-let me s-e if it works on you...Manton Limit.”

    Despite the strangeness of not seeing biology, the fear of someone else possessing her power. Amy felt….content. She felt a warmth in her head. “Uh. Sure. Go ahead. It might be a bit much.” Eve only stepped forward in response, lifting both hands to touch Amy’s cheeks. For the first time in years, all Amy felt was touch. The warm, slightly calloused touch of another person.

    It felt empty without the knowledge of their entire body not flooding her mind, yet it felt so much more sincere. No reading their intentions, emotions, their lies, their wounds, their health. It was just…the touch. Warm and inviting.

    Eve shuddered, and Amy felt an alien sensation ripple through her body. Aches, pains, old wounds just gone after that sensation passed. She felt like she was a young girl again, full of energy and life. “I...gave y-you a touch up.” The short Trump murmured softly, pupils still dilated as her eyes flicked left and right like she was reading a book. With Amy’s power, she might as well have been.

    “This is what one of my touch ups feel like?” The healer asked, in awe at once being on the receiving end of her usual use of her power. Eve just nodded before she pulled the red fleshy film away from herself and set it back on Amy. “Holy shit that felt like some kind of damn high.” Eve shuddered, her pupil’s contracting. “What a rush. Damn Amy. You didn’t warn me that your power was like a drug.”

    “It wears on you fast.” Amy replied tonelessly before shrugging Eve’s hands off her cheeks, pausing as Vicky snorted. “That was the weirdest romantic thing I have ever seen, and I’ve seen some weird Aleph movies.”

    The three teenagers glanced at the house as someone cleared their throat. Brandish stood at the front door, arms folded across her chest. “Would you all step inside please.” It was not a question, it was an order.





    March Twenty-Eighth, Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin

    Carol Dallon was an ice queen. Least that was what Eve could gather with how flinty the woman’s eyes were as they stared down both her and Amy. The biokinetic silently shuffled past her mother, who was dressed in a white bodysuit with white trimmings, with two orange and yellow swords crossed over her chest.

    Fully ready to tell the woman no in a semi rude manner and to fly off, Eve stopped as she watched Amy hunch her shoulders and step inside the house without even making eye contact with her mother. A good picture it did not paint, and going inside was a good way to spy on New Wave, if nothing more than to see if Amy’s home-life was actually okay.

    A bit on the selfish side, Eve also wanted to see if she could borrow Shapers Connection again at some point. Talking with Two Shards at full blast while feeling everything biological around her act like an open book was….was indescribable. She had almost cried when she touched Amy with her own power. Knowing everything about someone’s biology was….intimate in such a damn weird way.

    It helped take the edge off what had been a very close experience to death, and the agony that had followed as her new power pulled herself together. Eve had a high tolerance for pain, but feeling your ribs drag themselves back into place was an experience she would wish on very, very few people.

    Once again Eve was going to have a talk with Admin. ‘Necessary Drawbacks’ her sweet pale ass!

    Without further prompting, Eve followed after Amy. Switching her Ghost Limb over to her Phantom Limb and wrapping it around her body. Just to give a bit of protection in case the wings couldn’t move fast enough.

    Eve paused at the door, wearily stepping through and over the ‘Welcome’ rug. She glanced around, the house seemed...a lot like her old one actually. Not the motel, but rather the one she burned down. The normal homely inside clashed something terrible with the occupants who were all wearing their costumes, other than Amy and Eve of course.

    “So you're Eden? Always nice to see another Hero out on the streets.” A woman with a costume color scheme the opposite of Eden’s and sharing that style with a man who is a strawberry blonde. The difference between their costumes being the symbols on their chests. One was some kind of strange flower and the other was a black star.

    Eve raised an eyebrow “Apparently some people disagree. There was a bomb in my motel room. Almost got me too. Thanks to Admin and Amy I’m back to...Health. I’m healthy. Starving, but I can go to one of those twenty-four hour stores and get something to eat.”

    “That’s actually what we wanted to talk to you about Eden.” Flashbang stated, nodding to his wife, his grenade patterned armor clinking against itself as he motioned to the room. “You were attacked outside of your costume where you lived.”

    “Yeah. I just got back from a scrap with the Empire Eighty-Eight. Made some money, earned some bruises, sent three of their capes packing!” Eve huffed in anger. “I get back to my room and the door was slightly open, and had a faded boot print on the door. So I think to myself ‘oh, it’s the Docks. Either I just got robbed or the ABB think they’re gonna get another white girl for their farms.”

    “Why were you living in a motel room?” Brandish interjected, ignoring the glance Flashbang sent her. Eve met her flinty bright blue eyes and held them .”Because sometimes you can’t trust the people you thought you could in life, and then you get powers.” She stated bitterly, voice steeled. The older woman’s expression eased and she nodded, an equally softened voice as she spoke up. “Please continue.”

    “I slapped my helmet on, and summoned these wings, they’ve taken bullets before so they’re pretty durable. I stepped in through the door and stepped on something that clicked.” Eve snapped her fingers. “Boom. Flung across the street. Can’t hear anything, my chest is on fire, legs are not working right, and I can hardly move much less breath.”

    “Very uh...harrowing. So I call Amy while I’m in the air wrapped up as much as possible and then Admin tells me that she has a new power that can help, although it has drawbacks.” A shudder rippled through the short girl’s body. “Never knew eardrums popping could be so painful.” She murmured softly, rubbing behind her ear.

    “It’s a terrible thing when the safety of where you live is broken in such a horrid way.” Fleur spoke up, one arm wrapped around LightStar’s own, her voice soft and empathetic. “Do you have a place to stay tonight?”

    “She can stay here!” Glory Girl volunteered as she butted into the conversation. “Victoria!” Carol hissed, giving her daughter a heated look that promised a conversation. Eve envied the older woman’s ability to make such a look, the lawyer gave one that promised a lot of unpleasant things without turning it into a death glare. “Come on Mom, she’s a hero and she needs a place to stay the night, besides she’s probably worn out from all those injuries! If we just send her out she’ll be in danger.”

    “She can take the guest room, We should get back to our own home.” LightStar offered. Eve rubbed the back of her head, unsure if she should really accept the offer. “I can just go find another Motel. I doubt whoever tried to kill me will be watching every Motel around the city, beyond that I can sleep surrounded by my wings.”

    “No, You can stay in the guest room for tonight. Then tomorrow you can find some place to stay.” Brandish spoke with a sense of finality. Eve opened her mouth to protest, but stopped herself from doing so. A real bed, with blankets and pillows sounded like heaven compared to her recent accommodations and she probably shouldn’t spurn help from Heroes.

    “I. Yeah. A bed sounds nice right now. But yeah. I have money on me, and I need to replace my helmet anyway. So I won’t be sticking around in the morning.” The Trump admitted. “Might have to choose something not in the Docks this time.”

    “That would be prudent. It’s upstairs, the last room on the left.” Brandish stated, to which Eve replied with a thumbs up before she went to climb up the stairs. “Thanks for the hospitality.” She added a moment before she disappeared up the stairwell. “Admin.” Eve whispered as quietly as she could manage while she moved to the back of the hallway. “When I’m asleep can you keep an eye out? I’m not sure I trust them. Amy’s alright, but...I just don’t like how weird they all are.”

    [CONFIDENCE]

    “Thanks Admin.”





    “Thanks Admin.”

    A very stressful night for both your [Eve.Eden] and yourself. But the new power worked fantastically even with it’s rushed state. In the future you would have to see about that. If only so you did not get lectured by [SHAPER] about its ineffectiveness again. For a Shard so frustrated with it’s Host over them only doing wetware repair, it sure liked to nitpick on other Shards for doing the same.

    Speaking of [SHAPER], merging Connections was something you had no previous knowledge or data on. It was something you had not even expected in all honesty. It was only [Eve.Eden]’s upgrade to her wetware processor that had prevented dual Connections from causing an forced reboot on her. It would not have caused any permanent damage, but passing out and awakening to what could be described as a ‘Thinker headache from hell’ would not have done [Eve.Eden]’s mood any favors.

    The painful healing had not, either.

    But the Data gained from the risky move was extensive. You gained an entire Ping from the dual Connections, and discovered ways to improve the /Self Administration\ power without consolidating a bud. Although you would need additional Biology Shard’s Pings along with one of [SHAPER]’s to do such a thing.

    You were unable to ‘keep an eye out’ when [Eve.Eden] was asleep, however you could still make use of her other senses. Touch, taste, smell, and sound. But that would hardly mean anything with the other Hosts a short distance and a floor away from [Eve.Eden]’s baseline human sensory suite. Of course you could simply detect the Beacon within the Hosts and track them that way.

    But as always, there is another way to accomplish a task, and it was one that benefitted both yourself and [Eve.Eden]. So you simply opened a channel with GLEAM along with COMBUSTION and their present buds. [GREETINGS/PROTOCOLE-DATA/QUERY] Naturally both Shards accepted the new Network package from a Higher Authority.

    [GREETINGS/ANSWER-HOSTS] came the reply from COMBUSTION
    [HESITATION] Came from GLEAM, followed by [ACCEPTANCE.ANSWER-HOSTS]

    Seems that their Hosts were discussing [Eve.Eden]’s Home and the danger of such, along on whether they could ‘trust the crazy cape’. Both were highly absurd. [Eve.Eden] suffered from no such mental defects other than those standard to every Host and [Eve.Eden]’s current home was in their domicile. The Hosts had offered it, at least for this night. Perhaps they were going to attempt an Ambush?

    No, at least not at the moment. Even if they attempted to, you were not bothered by it. [Eve.Eden] would only get stronger from it, as she did the explosion.

    At some point during the night [SHAPER]’s host came into the room, stayed for a moment by the door and then just left without doing anything oddly enough. When morning came [Eve.Eden] awakened at a much later time. You accepted her Morning Greeting and gave your own before focusing on some work you could do to improve the situation at hand.




    Monday March Twenty-Ninth somewhat Early Morning, Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin.


    “Damn a bed feels so goood.” Eve groaned as she almost bonelessly slid out of bed, she stretched for a moment and despite everything that had happened last night she felt fucking fantastic! Eve began to make her way to the door only to pause and groaned before heading back towards the bed she had slept in. She made an attempt at making it, but she had always sucked at straightening out beds.

    Once the bed was passible, Eve slipped into her costume but kept the ski mask and broken helmet off. A sigh escaped Eve as she looked over the helmet and the damages it had endured. The gouge from Oni Lee’s blade, the slightly marred parts from the heat of the flames, various scuffs and scratches. Then the smashed golden visor. “You did good.” She whispered to the helmet before someone knocked at her door.

    Eve opened it to Amy about to knock a little louder. “Oh good you're finally up, I thought you’d died in your sleep.” she snarked “Carol is already at work, and Vicky and I are heading off to school. Carol left you this, and there’s a stack of waffles on the table for you.”

    “Plying me with food huh? A great morning after tradition.” Eve’s shit-eating grin turned into a laugh as a blushing Army threw the card in her face and left for the stairs. “Thanks!” Eve called after the retreating healer while she picked the card off the floor. It was something holding all the contact information of New Wave with a small hand written message warning to use them only in emergencies.

    Eve made her way down to the dining room, where an out of costume Flashbang was sipping coffee and reading a newsprint. “Ah. Good morning Eden. We left you some breakfast, Amy Girl said that you would need to be eating to make up for your injuries.”

    She nodded, sliding into the chair where the food laden plate sat. Flashbang continued to speak as she ate. “New Wave has experience with this sort of thing as you likely know.” he started, voice warm and sympathetic. Seemed the entire family, other than Carol, had the tone. “It’s difficult to deal with, having that safety net shattered in such a horrible way. Jess had been sidelined for years because of her injuries, if not for our Amy she would have likely hung up her costume for the rest of her years.” he sipped at his coffee. “If you ever want to talk about it, know that our door is open.”

    Eve nodded, a ‘Thanks’ murmured between her bites of food. The way he acted felt like her own Father had when he had still loved her. Drinking coffee while reading a newspaper, specifically for the funnies. When she finished the breakfast, she took it to the sink, awkwardly washed the plate and utensils before setting them in the drying rack. “I’ll probably be seeing you on patrol at some point.” Eve told the man as she slid on her ski mask and broken helmet. “Best of Luck, and please stay safe.” Flashbang told her as she walked by.

    It was a short flight to the same ‘Fun Motors’ that sold her the broken helmet she now wore, whatever Admin had done to her Feathered Limbs was amazing. They responded better in the air, faster for sure. The man behind the counter let out a strangled sound as a winged cape entered his store in full, if damaged, costume. “Your that g-” A Shadowy finger pressed against his lips to stop him from saying anything else. It's cool touch aided by strength.

    “Bad idea to discuss a topic like that. To anyone.” Eden warned icily as she pulled out three hundred and thirty dollars, setting them on the counter. “Just get me a replacement for this helmet alright?” The slightly paler man nodded, rushing off to the back.




    March Twenty-Eighth, Coil


    Fingers drummed against the oak desk in his lair’s main office. Universe B having his mercenaries just reported that the target had survived the bomb, but was injured. “Pull back.” He bit out into the communicator. Their professionalism showed as the mercenaries packed up and began to leave without any visible tells of confusion.

    That wretched girl. That wretched thing. No matter what he attempted, she could make it out fine. Either injured and vengeful, willing to rip his base apart with those twice damned wings. Or she would ‘die’ and then the universe would simply end without his control! He did not die, he felt no pain from it. Simply outside of his control, the universe was cut off.

    Except in universe A, where he had simply had her sniped by a talented marksman under his pay. Moments later, one of his mercenaries had broken into his office sobbing about ‘her song’ before pulling the pins off the belt of grenades wrapped around his waist. Coil had ended that universe before they could go off. Or he had tried to. It hadn’t ended until the belt of explosives had gone off. It left him with phantom pains and aches that slowly receded, as it always did when he died.

    The drum of fingers on oak became louder.

    He split universes once more, one where he called, one where he did not. The phone in his other hand rang once before being answered. A woman’s voice answering the phone, clinical as always. “Coil.” she stated and despite the clinical tone, he knew that she wanted this call to be worth something rather than nothing.

    “I have information I would like to pay off a favor with.” He stated, staring up at the roof above him. “Specifically on the Simurgh.”






    High above the world, in orbit. A pale figure turned to face the West.





    Gains this chapter:


    Bud progress Sacrificed for Grasping Hands
    Simulacrum progress 5%
    Imprint progress 9%
    WASTE Echo gained (1)
    SHAPER Echo gained (1)
    SHAPER Echoes Lost (4)
    SHAPER Ping gained (2)
    GLEAM Echoes gained (1)
    COMBUSTION Echoes gained (3)
    Ghostly Limb Aspect
    G-Force Aspect Sidegrade gained
    Possession Aspect Sidegrade gained
    Striker Aspect Sidegrade gained
    Lost 330$
    Gained New helmet
    New Wave contact information
    A change in ratings
    Greater Machinations








    Eve needs some place to sleep. Where?:

    [] Crash on Taylor’s Couch


    [Locked] Crash on Amy’s couch

    [] Build a Base

    [] Look for another motel.






    Capes and mundies, what will Eve/Eden do? [Writing in extra details helps speed up chapter creation and makes the QM happy!] (CHOOSE TWO):


    [] Try and hunt gang members, you can rob them too! Dangerous though. (Possible Pings: Depends upon the Gang!)
    -[] Which gang?

    [] Scout to get a sense of the lay of the Docks South. Knowledge is half the battle, the other half is extreme violence! {2 of 3}

    [] Scout some other section of the city! (Write in where)

    [] Go hang out with Taylor

    [] Check in with Amy

    [] Break up that Brothel.






    Time to administer what you can. CHOOSE ONE:


    [] Research what exact modules you will need to reach the Quantra layer of reality.


    [] Study possible Powers/Upgrades, Aspects/Sidegrades with the Echoes, Pings, and Mutations you currently possess (Brings up Shard Power Menu)

    [] Something is wrong with your missing Lattices and the void where your Imprints would be. You are unsure of what to do. ( chance to ???) REQUIRES ??? -LOCKED

    [] Reform your FirmamentSelf to something more comforting to [Eve.Eden]






    Shard Business. Plot stuff! Data! And other hilarious things you tell yourself (CHOOSE TWO):

    [] Urge [Eve.Eden] to check upon these Case 53s

    [] Have [Eve.Eden] look up information on dangerous parahumans

    [] Research which Pings you require to breach another Shards dimension

    [] Network Creation: Start construction of the Broadcast Module needed for longer ranged communication without frying [Eve.Eden]’s wetware. (REQUIRE: BROADCAST Ping) {1 of ???}

    [] Research what a Mutation is using Saturate’s (Consumes the Mutation, but unlocks powers created with them)







    A/N: Thanks to Great Greedy Guts on SV for their Aspect ideas!
    Also voting for locked options means you wasted a vote. Don’t do that.
     
  18. Threadmarks: Intertwined Threads 2.6
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    Joined:
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    Intertwined Threads 2.6
    Monday March Twenty ninth, Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin


    Miss Militia didn’t change, same fucking national anthem bullshit. How did that woman not get sick of hearing it with every phone call? Or was this phone specifically just for Eden to call? “Eden.” Miss Militia’s voice was somewhat surprised. Just a tinge of inflection to her otherwise steel voice.

    “Who did you expect? Scion? Nah, it's me. So uh, you all might wanna put a watch on your personal lives. Someone bombed me in mine last night.” Eden stated as she flew slowly upwards into the Sky while wrapped in her Feathered Limbs, reaching for the clouds. “You were staying in the motel? Are you sure that the bomb was meant for you and it wasn’t there for a different reason?”

    Eve scowled behind her helmet as she waved a hand through the cloud above her, a bit of her childhood dreams dying as it felt like a particularly heavy mist rather than anything fluffy as her inner child wanted it to be. “Considering my door had been opened up, and I stepped on the detonator that blew my pale ass across the street; Yes. I’m fairly sure it was meant to kill me. Thankfully I have healing power now. Helped with surviving.”

    No mention of Amy was needed, neither the PRT or Protectorate needed to know New Wave was involved with anything. “A new power, you’re a regenerator now?” the government heroine asked

    “Yep, anyway just called to give you a heads up on someone who’s willing to break the unwritten rules. Bye.” Before Miss Militia could speak up Eden snapped the phone shut with a grunt. “I really need to get someone else’s number...Wonder if I can find Assault and get his, or maybe Armsmaster’s? Shit, I should have asked her.”

    Eden slipped her phone back into her pocket. “Being quiet today Admin, you alright? I’m not….mad about the pain you know. Upset yes but not mad...Okay I am mad, but not like, with you kind of mad.”

    [RESEARCH.SIMULACRUM]

    Wait wait wait Hold the fuck up Admin, What exactly is a Simulacrum here? Because I’m getting some weird vibes from whatever this Quantra layer thing is.” Eve motioned with her hands up, motioning for Admin to slow down. “Did...Are you looking into collecting my fucking SOUL, HOW?!”

    [ANSWER/CORRECTION]

    “My Psionic Shade? So like...my consciousness?” Eve asked. “So I wouldn’t actually die, right? Or my body would but it’s like the movies: Where the brain gets uploaded into a machine?” She looked down to her hands. She wasn’t attached to her body, not in the terms of the flesh at least. It was why she didn’t mind all that much that her brain had been upgraded to ‘run’ better than before.

    Yeah, she preferred her human form, walking, talking, moving. “I would kinda like to remain able to walk and talk.” She spoke openly. “I kinda like my human shape, you know?” Eve bit her bottom lip, waiting for any reply from Admin. “...I mean. I would love to live forever with you. But giving up my humanity would be- I’m not sure how to handle it.”

    [INFORMATION-PLANS]

    “You could just build me a fucking body. Of course you can, I don’t know why I thought you would do otherwise...God, immortality. Or something close to it at least. Well….” She floundered for a moment “Best of luck. I’m gonna finish looking over the Docks South and then maybe visit Taylor. I doubt I can help with the immortality thing, but if you need to bounce anything off me...” Eve was acutely aware that she was telling a massive alien computer that it could ask her for help if it wanted to, but then she remembered that’s why Shards had even come to Earth in the first place and she felt less stupid for offering.

    [AFFIRMATION]

    At least Admin didn’t think it was a stupid offer.






    Shards could reach into the Quantra layer to a limited degree, often it was how Masters summoned minions. By reaching out to use a Psionic Shade. But it was limited, it was temporary. You did not want a temporary fix, you were striving for a permanent solution.

    To do such a thing as a permanent anchor in the Quantra Layer, you were going to have to spend some energy and materials. A lot of energy and materials. It might even take weeks of using your Construction Drones to build the modules. You would have to be careful when constructing the modules, doing this was slightly uncharted territory for Shards. Any vital Shard could touch Psionic Shades. But Anchoring them to a full imprint? You had no data on such a thing. As such, you and [Eve.Eden] would have to get….creative, and you were going to need Pings. Quite a few really.

    Psionic Sensor Arrays, Anchor Well, Reality Breacher, and a Quantra Focusing Lens. All to be added to your considerable mass if you wanted to complete this. The first Ping necessary would be one that excelled in gathering information. You would have to find [Eve.Eden]’s Psionic Shade before you could Anchor it to your Imprint of her, as such the Psionic Sensor Arrays would have to be built first.

    Ah, well this was rather convenient wasn’t it?





    [INFORMATION-NEED]

    Eve perked up. “Oh? That bitch is here huh?” She shifted from one foot to the other. “Let’s go say hello then. It’s only the proper thing to do after all.”

    It took a few minutes to hunt the super villain down, and Eve almost passed her up. Dressed in nice clothes, without any kind of mask. With bags under her eyes, pushing on the freckles that splattered across the middle of her face. Without the costume, TattleTale looked like a tired teenager with a pretty face walking somewhere she had to be.

    But Eve wasn’t in the mood to ooh and ahh over pretty girls...plus the out of costume villain had blonde hair.

    Coming up behind her, the girl had only started to turn when the stretched out Phantom Limb clasped into her skull. Eve grit her teeth against the sensation of putting her hand into hot, chunky pudding as she took control of the super villain, fear racing up through her Phantom Limb that she ignored.

    “Heyyy friend.” Eve said while singing an arm over the slightly taller girl’s shoulders, the fear ratcheted up and Eve hummed. “Let’s keep walking. I have some things to discuss with you. Like what you were doing last night for example.” Like a projector in the classroom, Eve’s third eye got a good viewing of the girl looking over...reports of some kind, pictures and videos of Eden. She had an honest to god conspiracy board in her room, red string included. But there wasn’t much sound, it was muffled and muted.

    Eve tsked as she saw the faces of this girl’s accomplices, a cute brunette, a rather beefy black guy, a guy who managed to actually look kinda cute with curly short dark hair, and a butch girl with dogs and...oh? Who was this? Some middle eastern girl who was even shorter than Eve. “Curious, curious indeed.”

    The Phantom Limb let go, the anchor releasing from her head and latching onto her neck. Everything below the hand whispered to Eve, allowing her to whisper back and direct it. “T-This is against the rules, attacking someone out of costume.” The girl choked out stumbling only at the beginning, then managing to sound in control despite very well not being so at the end.

    “So were my sleeping quarters being rigged to blow when someone stepped into them.” Eve stated as she kept walking with the girl. Or rather, kept walking the girl. “So me and you are going to have a chat.”

    “It wasn’t us!” The girl hissed. “We’re just small-time petty thieves, we don’t do assassinations and we sure as hell don’t do explosives!” That’s what the wiki said, they tended to hit the gangs if anything the internet said was true, and rob armored cars and jewelry stores. Still. “I’m sure, now let’s. Ah, yes. That will do.”

    “Kidnapping is a little villainous for a wannabe hero like you.” Tattletale said with a smug smirk on her face. “Then again so is murdering your pa-URK” she didn’t get to finish the statement as her heart stopped for a full second and then restarted beating like nothing had occurred. Eve patted her blonde head as they walked past a few businesses and slipped into an alleyway that separated the buildings.

    “Shh. No tattling. This is just a cordial visit you see. I need something of yours and this is the easiest way to obtain it.” Eve spun the dial in her mind and a Ghostly limb took the palace of one of her free Phantom Limbs, and she reached out and took it.

    Cannot feel her power any more, Thinker headache quickly dissipating, frightened, thinks of you as a worse Fairy Queen, regrets coming to look for information on you despite success

    Useful power you have.” Eve spoke softly, ignoring everything around her as she purely focused on the blonde in front of her, doing anything else was inviting a crippling Thinker migraine. She released the girl’s spine from the Phantom Limb, allowing her free reign over her body once more.

    TattleTale had taken a step away from Eve, bottle green eyes wide and her face paling in a way that showed off the freckles and bags under her eyes. “So, let’s see here. You-oh.” Eve stared down the barrel of a pistol, right before she had two phantom limbs grab the girls’ elbows.

    The gun dropped and Tattletale hissed. “Give it back dammit! I will yell rape!”
    Lying, desperate, likes being the smartest in the room. Does not like her power used against her
    “Shut the fuck up.” Eve countered. “Who bombed my fucking room?”
    “I don’t know.” The girl said, straightening herself up and staring into Eve’s eyes, trying to remain in control.

    Fears discovery, fears being drugged. Lack of powers scares her, Power pushes negative views of everything around her. Told her that your wings were given to you by the Simurgh

    “The fucking Sim-” Eve bit her lip hard to keep herself from yelling out the Hopekiller’s name, she felt the flesh knit itself together in a slow burn and she didn’t even taste her own blood when her teeth had parted flesh.

    “Alright. Gonna have to talk to Admin about that, tell me TattleTale. Who shot at me when I came to chase you in the van?” Folding her arms across her chest, Eve watched as the girl made a face. Confused, only one on the team with a loaded weapon, has only fired it at the firing range lately

    “No on-” Tattle tale stopped as Eve waved her off. Frustrated at dismissal, angry with lack of powers. Powers obtained from the guilt of brothers death, noticed several signs of suicidal tendencies but said nothing. Brother’s name wa-

    The Ghostly Limb slammed into TattleTale hard enough to make the older girl stumble. “Jesus Christ.” Eve shuddered “Fucking. hell I didn’t want to know that.” Without hesitation two Shadow Limbs grabbed Tattletale by the torso before she could recover and lifted her into the air, causing the girl to squawk in surprise as she kicked her feet and tried to push the hands off of her.

    “TattleTale, you want information. I’ll tell you information.” Bottle green eyes shining with curiosity and fear looked down at Eve as the villain stopped struggling for a moment. “A friend of mine lives around the Docks South. I like her a lot. A real cutie. If anything happens to her I will remove your limbs and deliver you to either Bonesaw or an ABB flesh farm.”

    “Got you, understand.” TattleTale stated, facing having lost all it’s color. Eve shook her head softly and squeezed gently, just enough to make it difficult to breathe for the older teenager. “No. You don’t understand I’m afraid. I mean if anything happens to that girl, kidnapped, missing, hurt, dead. I will hold you and your entire team responsible. They will die, you will wish you had joined them.” Eve let the girl drop to the ground with a thud.

    Her wings flicked into existence and slammed down into the pistol that had dropped onto the alleyway floor. There was a terrible rasp and the pistol was in three pieces, the ground beneath it lightly, cleanly, scratched by the tips of the Feathered Limbs. “Go.” She ordered, as TattleTale pulled herself up to her feet and quickly left the alleyway in a fast walk. Face still colorless. Eve didn’t notice the smirk on the Villain’s face.


    Eve watched the older teen go, feeling curiously empty about the threats she had made towards the girl. Though, threats weren’t the right choice of wording for what Eve had meant. No. It had been a simple statement of fact. Nothing more and nothing less. If Taylor was harmed, [NEGOTIATOR] and it’s Host would suffer. She turned and walked out the alleyway, Phantom Limbs curled around her as she walked, taking several twists and turns before she made it to Taylor’s house.

    “Isn’t it Monday?” Eve murmured as she stepped over the repaired first step and knocked on the door, glancing around the surrounding neighborhood before the door opened to reveal a scowling Taylor, who’s face instantly lightened upon seeing Eve. It wasn’t a happy look, but it wasn’t that scowl anymore.

    “There’s a key on the back porch.” Taylor stated. “You don’t have to always knock.” she stepped into the house, opening the door as she did so. “Did you hear that explosion last night?” She questioned making Eve give her a stiff nod. She entered the house after a moment of checking the doorway, avoiding stepping on

    The shorter girl moved over to the couch, dropping her backpack by the side of it before plopping into it. Eve groaned softly as she sank into it. “That explosion was me, something someone left at my motel room.” Eve didn’t see Taylor's eyes widening as she walked over to the couch after locking the door.

    “Ended up messing me up pretty bad too. Admin gave me a healing power, but it was painful. I wanted to come here but I didn’t want to out you so I went to Amy. I don’t think her mom likes me very much. Or Amy really...I was really fucked up. I think without parahuman healing I would have just straight up died.”

    The short parahuman glanced up as Taylor sat on the opposite end of the couch. “You okay?” She asked quietly, voice curious and a little worried.

    Eve laughed mirthlessly, just shaking her head.

    Eve wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but with enough force anything could break skin. And a bomb had a hell of a lot of force behind it. She was aware that she kept checking doorways, and kept avoiding the first step into a room. That wasn’t compounding in her stupid ass panic attacks over Hands nor her avoiding sleeping with sheets past her chest, how much she hated zipping up the neck of her wetsuit.

    Knowing she had some form of PTSD was a struggle for the short girl. But she moved on. It was how Eve worked. Parents disappointed in her? Keep going. Don’t know if you’re straight? Keep moving on. Parents tried to kill you? Keep moving on. Lose everything when you burn down your childhood home to kill said parents? Keep going. Nearly killed in a sudden and viciously impersonal way? Keep going. Have only one person that would actually care if you died? Can’t stop there.

    Only when thin arms in baggy clothes wrapped around her did Eve realise that she had been crying. Hot tears sliding down her face as she suddenly struggled to not sob openly. She fucking hated this, no matter the reason, she hated being so vulnerable. “I’m - - not crying.” Eve bit out, hiccuping and loathing how broken she sounded and wanting to push the taller girl away even if her arms refused to move.

    “...I can’t go into my closet.” Taylor murmured awkwardly, still holding Eve. “Or I start to hyperventilate. It’s too tight, and hot compared to the rest of the house. It’s...okay if you cry. I understand.”

    “Y-ou would.” Eve took a shuddering breath. Taylor would understand, she was a Master too. Masters came from betrayal of some type. As far as she knew, both her and Taylor had been betrayed by people they cared about and thought cared about them in return. Lies, backstabbing traitors, bitter resentment. Pain that would never heal, like a missing limb….Phantom pains.

    Eve sagged and leaned into the hug, wrapping her arms around Taylor as we'll even if the Phantom Limbs wrapped around her body made it a bit difficult. Still she pulled the waterworks back. She came to visit Taylor not cry into her chest...Not that Taylor had much of one, but Eve was barely one to talk there.

    She pulled away and wiped her face. “Fuck me. Sorry. Look I just came to hang out with you alright. Not be a damn mess.”

    “It’s fine.” Taylor replied “You wanted to hang out?” as if it were something she was confused by.

    Eve nodded. “Of course, you got a cool power, cool projects going on, and I want an excuse to run my fingers through your hair.” The flush on Taylor’s face made the day just a bit better for Eve. “Also I have a question for you.”

    Taylor swallowed and then nodded for Eve to continue with the question “If you could have my powers. Like me giving you them. Would you prefer to have them in TinkerTech form or not?”

    For a moment Taylor just stared at Eve “...You can give people powers? Like flying?” A little bit of excitement in her voice made the shorter girl raise a brow. Taylor nodded recognizing the question. “I looked up to Alexandria as a kid, a lot. Always wanted to fly. But my power...Can you give me the ability to fly?”

    Eve shook her head. “No, not yet. After the-After the bomb I needed a healing power. So, Admin whipped one up for me. I need to fight people before I can choose another power. But...If I were to get another power...How would you like to fly? TinkerTech or a pair of wings?” To punctate her question, Eve flicked both wings into existence and fluttered them. She was careful to keep them soft rather than sharp. Then she motioned them towards Taylor. “Go ahead, touch em.”

    Taylor stared at the wings before carefully feeling them. “They’re Soft.” She murmured in surprise. “They don’t look soft.”

    Eden nodded. “They can be either. I can make them either harder than steel or as soft as feathers. So, wings or technology?”







    It was good to see [QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR]’s Host and [Eve.Eden] getting along. Perhaps once you and [SHAPER] fixed the issues pertaining to [QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR]s missing Physical nodes more data could be collected between the two of them.

    Although, [QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR] seemed happy with the prospect of what her Host was doing with the excretions of a certain species of arthropods no doubt she was not happy with the lack of more conflict orientated data by her Host.

    No matter, you are sure with [Eve.Eden]’s guidance that [Host.Taylor] would soon escalate well enough.

    After hearing about [DENSITY]’s Hosts describing the ‘Case Fifty-Threes’ you became curious about the ‘ping’ (although you were hesitant to call it that) from [SATURATE]. It was wretched really, parts of the data were missing, some were corrupted, and others were simply nonsensical.

    In fact, you actually recognized some of the data that came from, thanks to your time with brute force power experimentation. The <Thinker Hub>’s own [KINETIC REGULATOR] and [REINFORCEMENT], why would those two Shards come together to create a newborn? Where were they? Perhaps more importantly, how did they do such a terrible job? Was the parasitic flesh ruining such things? Corrupting newborn Shards? Too many questions not enough Data.

    The Case Fifty-Three must all be Thinker Shards then, either newborn or damaged by the Enemy Hub. Which meant that it was another Task for you to complete later on. The data collected from [SATURATE] was disassembled and torn apart as you peered through the components. You are unsure of it, but any and all powers created using these...Mutations would cause just such a thing as their namesake. [Eve.Eden] would have her Human form if she were to swap out the power yes but it would still make these powers something she could not use in her ‘civilian’ life.

    You needed more information, more Mutations from your fellow Thinker Shards.








    “-ay but what about underwear?” Eve asked, legs hanging off the side of the couch and kicking at air.

    Taylor glanced up from her book and raised a brow. At the questioning silence Eve looked at Taylor, craning her head to look up at the teen sitting there. Eve was laying on the couch, Taylor was sitting there reading a book as she continued weaving her costume, every now and then taking a drink from the steaming mug of tea that sat on the end table next to the couch.

    It counted as hanging out. At least to Eve and Taylor it did.

    “Well, silk underwear. Like we’re thinking of using it like armor, yeah. But silk feels nice and looks good. Bet you could make some nice racy or just plain comfortable underwear.” She answered

    “Probably?” The slightly older teen had a bit of pink to her cheeks, Eve loved how easy it was to fluster the taller girl. “Seems like a waste though. There are laws against capes doing things nonpowered people do for money as well.”

    Eve reached up and poked Taylor in the side causing the girl to flinch from the ticklish touch, she sent the shorter girl a flat look who sent one right back. “Taylor, how many nonHosts create armored underwear?”

    Taylor opened her mouth to respond, before huffing and going back to reading her book.

    Letting out a chuckle Eve went back to relaxing on the couch, listening to the gentle sounds of Taylor breathing and flipping through pages. It was nice. Being here, with someone who didn’t expect anything from you except for you to be there. Felt like a hot bath without getting wet. A good way to unwind.

    [QUERY-INFORMATION.CASE53] and there went that. Admin didn’t know how to relax, poor Shard was a workaholic. “Know anything about Case Fifty-Threes Taylor?”

    “Don’t know what a Case fifty-three is, no.” Taylor responded as she flipped a page over as she settled back into her spot on the couch.

    “Monster capes, powers messed up their bodies.” Eve added, phishing for any possible information without needing to run to the library.

    This time Taylor did look up from her book. “Wait like Faultline’s Crew? With the monster capes?”

    “The who?”

    “Faultline’s Crew. She collects monster capes who have lost their memory.” Taylor explained, turning to look at Eve. “Why?”

    “Wait what?” The shorter girl moved her legs off the arm of the couch and sat up. “I didn’t hear about them and I looked up the capes of the gangs around here.”

    “They aren’t a gang, they’re mercenaries. So I suppose they could be more like villainous rogues than villains. They don’t have territory in the Bay, but they do have a base of operations. A nightclub in the Commercial District near the Downtown area. They rarely take jobs in the city though, so that they don’t step on the hero's toes.”

    “Shit. Guess I’m gonna have to visit them at some point. Admin wants to see why the Shards messed up their hosts. They aren’t supposed to, so Admin thinks she and [Shaper] can fix them.” Eve explained, causing Taylor to wince.

    “What did you say? Admin and who?” Taylor asked as she reached up and rubbed her forehead.

    “Shaper. Amy-er-Panacea's Shard.”

    Nodding, the taller girl relaxed back onto the sofa. “Sorry. It just sounded like you said something else. Kind of hard to hear, where are you going to be going tonight by the way. If your motel room was bombed?”

    Eve shrugged. “Guess I need an actual base. Something I can live in or use for cape stuff. Hell, we could share it!”

    “Where are you going to get a base from?” Taylor questioned. “You’re what, thirteen and you don’t have any money.”

    Eve held up her hands in mock offense. “Hey, first off it’s fourteen. Alright. One four. And secondly, do you know how many abandoned buildings there are in every part of the city? With the both of us we could take one over and make it our lair. Easy peasy.”

    “If we did do something like that, we would need room for my spiders to weave. Black Widows are highly territorial and cannibalistic” Eve frowned and looked at Taylor after the taller girl imparted that fact. “Alright. Creepy as hell. But you aren’t going to be putting them in my side of the base.”

    Eve grunted and got to her feet. “I’ll try not to go too far for finding a base. Don’t want to make it take hours for you to get there...Then again can’t have it too close either. Once I find something I’ll call you, alright?” Taylor nodded as she stood up. “I need to go check on my suit anyway. Make sure it’s coming out alright.”

    “Yeah, this was fun. We should do it again. Come lock me out will you.” Eve said as she went to the front door. “Hey backpack.” Taylor said as she picked it up and handed it off to Eve.

    “Ah Shit almost forgot it. Thanks. Cya Taylor.” Then she was off, heading down the street.





    March Twenty-Ninth Monday Six pm, Taylor Hebert

    Almost as soon as Eve left dad’s car pulled into the driveway the squeal of old brakes, Taylor let out a soft sign as she moved to the kitchen. She had forgotten to start making dinner, she was going to have started it earlier but Eve had distracted her. The news about the explosion, the shorter girl breaking down, the hug, and Taylor admitting that she hated tight enclosed spaces…

    It was hard to admit that, and she hadn’t really wanted to do so. But watching Eve choke back tears, body hunched and trembling. It hit a bit too close to home.

    All said and done the short girl had been nice to be around. It felt awkward reading in the room with someone who wasn’t when they were supposed to be hanging out. The quiet presence though had felt nice. Although the girl could certainly talk when she wanted to.

    “Silk blankets.” Taylor murmured, Eve had spent a few minutes going over different products Taylor could make with her insects, specifically her spiders. Blankets, clothes, curtains, ropes, rugs….underwear.

    Taylor didn’t know how to take the other girls' somewhat flirty nature. If ‘somewhat’ could be used to accurately describe it. It might be embarrassing, but the compliments on her hair were rather nice to receive.

    “Hey Taylor, still cooking?” Her father asked as he put his coat on the door’s hook and locked said door.

    “I was distracted. Eve came over earlier and we just...hung out.” Taylor explained as she poured pasta noodles into the boiling water she had set up.

    “Oh? Not working on the project?” He asked and Taylor shook her head before answering. “No we just...relaxed on the couch and we talked.”

    “It’s good to hear you have another friend, ever since you and Emma split up..” his voice trailed off and Taylor pursed her lips, she didn’t want the reminder nor did she want to talk about Emma. But he wasn’t wrong, it was nice to have another friend.

    “Taylor what the hell is a hundred dollar bill doing here?” Her father asked incredulously, Taylor blinked and turned her head to peer at the money in her father’s hands.

    “There’s a note.” He stated dumbly, picking up the folded piece of paper that had been held down by one of the coasters for the table. “Dear Taylor, gangs are wack. Aim for the balls or throat….There’s a drawn picture of you tasering Lung in the crouch.” her father grinned and flipped the paper over to show her the note.

    There was indeed a crude drawing of Taylor tasering Lung with a comically big ‘Z A P’. You could tell it was Taylor because the poorly drawn stick figure had long black curly hair, and a spider on her head. Lung had wings and was breathing fire in pain.

    How did she draw that without Taylor seeing it? Di-Oh, when Eve was bragging about how precise her phantom limbs could be earlier, in a suggestive way that made Taylor's face redden like a tomato.

    “Huh. Eve must care about you. You’re going to have to thank her for this, hell I might have to. Pepper spray is good but a taser beats it at close range. Less chance of you getting yourself too” her father said as he set the note and money back on the table. For a moment he smiled wistfully and stared off into space before sighing mournfully and moving to take off his work boots.

    Taylor walked over to the table and picked up both the money and it’s note. A strange warmth rising in her chest. “Yeah. I guess she does kind of care...:”





    Monday March Twenty-Ninth; ten-thirty pm, Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin

    {Luck roll}

    “Well fuck me sideways.” Eve looked over the Trainyard, almost the entire thing was a mess of old rusting rails, broken train carts, a few scrap heaps, and sturdy fences that still somehow remained upright after all this time. “This place is a fucking mess.” It made her exceedingly glad that she had wings to fly with, or at least Shadow Limbs to carry her around or else she would have been stuck wandering around in this maze for hours.

    As it were, she would end up spending hours looking through it anyway

    It reminded her of the times her parents had thought about leaving the bay, and they went and looked over houses. Most had been either very expensive or simply too run down. Which was the problem for most of the possible places she scouted in the trainyard.

    Perhaps if she were some kind of building Tinker, then she could just start grabbing all the railcars and build a fucking base, make it look badass, with it’s own shielding just to rub it in the PRT’s face...or would that be the Protectorate?

    Either one would work.

    But no, she would probably pick something like that up in the future. Some kind of Tinkering ability. But right now she just has a very painful healing ability. If she ever found who rigged her room with explosives, she was going to give them the same exact treatment that she had gotten.

    But for now, a new base!

    She wouldn’t be taking anything close to the actual train tracks that saw use and were maintained. That was a good way to get discovered by someone in due time. But near the Docks South and the Docks there was a large hill, and rather than leveling it one of the city planners had thought to use it as one of the entrances for an underground tunnel system to help with shipping things into and out of Brockton Bay, but after the shipping industry in Brockton Bay crashed thanks to the riots the project was abandoned.

    Nowadays Brockton Bay mostly sends electronics and pharmaceutical stock out through the trains. Which is why so few trains actually ran through the Trainyards and why most of the Trainyards were a tetanus maze of a mess.

    The two Train doors leading into the Tunnel Entrance were electronically operated, even if Eve knew how to open them and had electricity they were rusted to hell. Likely requiring more than just the doors to be replaced before there was any hope of actually getting the tunnel entrance open. The side entrance for people was barred with rusting metal shutters, the doors and windows rusted shut and probably quite sturdy if no one had broken in over the years.

    Which is why Eve carefully cut out one of the second story shutters and pushed it in with a Feathered Limb, wincing as it crashed to the tiled floor inside with an echo. She pulled herself into the now open window and glanced around, Feathered Limbs swapping out for Phantom ones, which began to feel around the room in long sweeping motions.

    She could feel trash, a knocked over set of lockers/file cabinets, and click-Wings shot up around her and Eve curled into a ball gritting her teeth. For a few seconds she stayed like that, waiting for the heat and force to wash over her. When the only heat that came over Eve was the warmth through the link with Admin, She uncurled and looked around.

    A sigh of relief escaped her, she glanced up at the light hanging from the ceiling, apparently they had abandoned the project before finishing up the basic stuff. “Hey this place still gets electricity? Why the fuck did they not disconnect it?” Eve questioned as she glanced around the room. It looked exactly as it had felt. Trash from construction, a set of file cabinets on the ground, and the annoying loud light switch that had scared the shit out of her.

    Making her way down the hallway Eve tried another light switch, several bulbs in the hall popped or didn’t turn on at all. Although one did, which gave her ample enough light to move through without tripping, the hallway led to a large loading dock half built. Least two of the larger light fixtures still worked

    The ceiling crane was installed, but the two trenches in the floor didn’t have tracks for the train, and there were still a few stacks of unlaid tile and rails, and general construction trash. But it was big and it was sort of obscure, and it was somewhat close to Taylor’s house without being too close to endanger her identity.

    Hell it had fucking electricity.

    Eve checked her burner phone and groaned when no signal came through, not surprising considering the thick concrete and metal that made up the roof and walls. She ended up back at the window after flicking the light switch off, no need to announce that she was here. The burner only rang once before it was answered.

    “Eve? Find something already?” Taylor asked, sounding a bit sleepy

    “Yeah, I did in the Trainyard. It’s big, closeish to your house depending on the route you take. It’s that Tunnel they started but didn’t finish. I had to cut my way in so it’s really abandoned.” Eve answered “At some point maybe we can check it out? When your costume is done?”

    “Actually, it might be done Wednesday.” Taylor answered, Eve perking up. “I think we can manage that, although it will have to be when my dad’s asleep.”

    “Hell yes.” Eve pumped her arm. “Alright. Go to sleep, night Taylor.”

    “Goodnight Eve.” The phone call ended and Eve put her phone away, moving back into the room. With her Shadow Limbs she carefully balanced the metal shutters back into place. Then she wrapped herself in her Feathered limbs before moving to the loading area. “If we can turn this place into a livable thing, and Taylor likes it. Well then we'll be pretty set up! Maybe we can even get a team of independents going...eh. Too far ahead. Let’s see if Taylor actually likes the place first.”

    [AGREEMENT/FAREWELL]

    “Yeah, goodnight Admin.”





    Gains this Chapter:


    Imprint progress 21%
    Simulacrum Progress 5%
    Synchronization 2%
    Bud progress sacrificed for Grasping Hands
    NEGOTIATOR Ping gained (1)
    Bleedover trait Acquired
    Docks navigator trait Earned
    Trauma Trait updated
    Lost 100$
    Northern Tunnel base unlocked







    Shard Business. Plot stuff! Data! And other hilarious things you tell yourself (CHOOSE TWO):

    [] Urge [Eve.Eden] to look into Faultline’s Crew

    [] Have [Eve.Eden] look up information on dangerous parahumans

    [] Research which Pings you require to breach another Shards dimension

    [] Network Creation: Start construction of the Broadcast Module needed for longer ranged communication without frying [Eve.Eden]’s wetware. (REQUIRE: BROADCAST Ping) {1 of ???}







    Time to administer what you can. CHOOSE ONE:


    [] Build the Psionic Sensor Arrays (BURNS: NEGOTIATOR Ping)


    [] Study possible Powers/Upgrades, Aspects/Sidegrades with the Echoes, Pings, and Mutations you currently possess (Brings up Shard Power Menu)

    [] Something is wrong with your missing Lattices and the void where your Imprints would be. You are unsure of what to do. ( chance to ???) REQUIRES ??? -LOCKED

    [] Reform your FirmamentSelf to something more comforting to [Eve.Eden]







    Capes and mundies, what will Eve/Eden do? [Writing in extra details helps speed up chapter creation and makes the QM happy!] (CHOOSE TWO):


    [] Try and hunt gang members, you can rob them too! Dangerous though. (Possible Pings: Depends upon the Gang!)
    -[] Which gang?

    [] Focus on general needs. Cleaning supplies, furniture, non non-perishable food.

    [] Scout some other section of the city! (Write in where)

    [] Go hang out with Taylor

    [] Check in with Amy

    [] Break up that Brothel.


    [] Ask the Wards and Protectorate if you can Borrow some powers






    Base Time? Base Time. CHOOSE ONE:

    [] Look for another base (Docks)


    [] Look for another base (South Docks

    [] Work on the Trainyard Tunnel (Cleaning)

    [] Work on the Trainyard Tunnel (Lights)


    A/N: Couple thing to review
    Tough or not, Hybrid or not. Eve is still a 14 year old girl.
    I based the North Tunnel Entrance off the Eastern Tunnel in STALKER
    The luck roll was a 91, well done.
    Check the Character sheet
    Yes Mutation derived powers give Eve a physical mutation
    Thank you for reading, voting ends in 24 hours
     
  19. Threadmarks: Intertwined Threads 2.7
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

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    Intertwined threads 2.7
    March, Tuesday Thirtieth six thirty am, Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin




    Sleeping on her Feathered Limbs wasn’t the most restful sleep she had gotten, the guest room bed in Amy’s house had beaten it by a long mile. But it was surprisingly more comfortable than sleeping on just a bedroll that sat on the carpet floor.

    “Morning Admin, thanks for the help with the wings. Better than the cold dirty floor.” Eve’s boot-covered feet hit the ground and she stood up with a groan, stretching to try and work out the kinks in her back.

    [GREETING/AGREEMENT/PLANS]

    “Alright. Yeah. We can go talk to Faultline’s crew, if they’re mercenaries then they’re probably more interested in talking that straight up attacking me. If they do attack me then it’s just more Data to be created. But before I do that.” Eve began to flick the light switches to off, she still flinched from the really loud one in the office entrance. “I”m gonna clean this place up, maybe get some cheap outdoor furniture. If this place is going to be a base, we are going to need to work on it heavily.”

    Popping the metal paneling off the door Eve peeked around, it was still early morning and no one was really about. So that made it easier to sneak out and place the paneling back as if she had never cut it out in the first place. “But first let’s pick up a large breakfast. I’m still hungry as hell and I don’t know if I’m going to need any healing in the future. Oh! I should-” Eve phished out her burner phone and sent off a text to Amy, just to let the BioKinetic know that she was okay

    Doin Good “3” ‘ The kissy face was vital, and no one could convince Eve otherwise.

    Picking up breakfast was a matter of moving through the mess of a maze people called the Trainyards and once in the Docks taking off using her wings to grab something from the food venders near the Boardwalk. The man that gave Eden three egg and sausage biscuits didn’t actually look all that surprised to have a cape getting food from him. Eve chalked it off as early morning apathy. Or maybe his food was just enjoyed by capes.

    She used to feel that, the early morning apathy, when she had a more human brain. Guess having an organic semi computer for a brain had benefits. “...Something about that should bother me.” She murmured under her breath before shrugging and biting into her food while sitting on one of her wings. The view of the city was nice, and the air above it was surprisingly clean. Made eating above the clouds very pleasant.






    A Broadcast Array module. Neither of the [BROADCAST]s would require such a thing as their Shardware had everything required to do their assigned tasks without any aid needed. Fortunately, you were not a [BROADCAST] Shard. Unfortunately, that meant that you had to expend resources and energy to have your Construction Drones build the massive spiraling, bristling with needles sharp enough to rend reality, helix tower on the surface of your CoreSelf.

    It was the first step in building a <Network>, at least until you had one of the [BROADCAST]s on your side. Regardless it was the first step, and the quietest one to take. It was unlikely to draw too much attention, and with how the <Warrior Hub> was acting you very much doubted the golden moron was paying much if any attention at all as he saved felines from trees.

    Why he would not choose to protect possible Hosts to be over mammalian felines was...boggling. Yes. Mind Boggling.

    Cats of all things.

    You had been constructing the Broadcast Array Module all while [Eve.Eden] slept. Any other Shard may not have been able to build such a module so fast, but you were an Administrative Shard. Controlling your Construction Drones came to you as breathing came to a healthy Human.

    It would likely be finished by the end of the day, even with the Psionics Sensor Arrays you were to be constructing. Anticipation was a feeling you were becoming well aware of at this point.

    You might have to ask [ABSORPTION] (or demand) some of his collected energy. You’ve burned through a portion of yours since this mess of a Cycle started. Burned a year off your life. Tch.






    It was really weird buying things in costume.

    Oh yeah, buying food was one thing. Capes had to eat too after all. Aside from the ones really fucked up by their Shards apparently. But buying cleaning supplies? Yeah, it was just two brooms with dust-pans and two mops with extra mop pads. But it felt like she was cleaning up after a murder or something.

    Even the clerk checking her out of the store gazed at her with a confused look as she held the mops and brooms in one Shadow Limb while her arms carried the mop pads. Of course, after the motel, Eden took a lot more care in getting around the city.

    She had bought the supplies farther away from the Trainyards near the Downtown area actually, then half flown and half walked with her Shadow Limbs with only a bit of slinging involved. It made the trip last nearly an hour, but if it protected both the Base and Taylor better then Eve would just deal with the longer travel time. Even if it was a bit annoying to waste energy taking the less efficient path.

    Honestly there were plenty of things Eve saw herself doing with the powers she gained. Most were heroic, some were villainous, a few even mercantile in nature. But using her Phantom Limbs to help her sweep and mop were not among them. She also used a Shadow Limb to help scoot the heavier debris around when the commercial brooms could not do so. She ended up dumping most of the trash in the lower officer area, where one was supposed to enter in through a door that was barred with metal paneling.

    Same to the mop pads which were near black by the time she would swap them out. But the tiled flooring of the base now smelled like somewhat nice chemicals and weren’t dusty and dirty as hell. “I swear to god Taylor had better like this place. I barely cleaned in my old house, and here I am using my damn Limbs to clean.” The Trump grumped softly, “Well at least the place looks and smells better now...I really hope Taylor likes the damn place.”

    [QUERY.PLANS]

    “Yeah. I’ll do just that Admin, right after I get some furniture. Need some place to sit, and if some of those light fixtures are busted I’m getting something to light up the Loading Area, a chair or two and a table. Probably all folding. I don't have a lot of money so it’ll be the cheap stuff you know?”

    [ACCEPTANCE]

    “Knew you’d understand.” Eve said with a soft sigh. “I think it’ll work out. Just need an easy way for Taylor, or Amy if she runs off with me, to get up into the place and we would be set. Well, that and getting supplies plus some damn lights going.” Eve sighed as she turned off the lights and made her way out of her base.

    It was during the third trip back to her base that she got a call on her burner phone; it was a bit precarious to answer it while flying and carrying a folding table in her arms. But she managed with her dexterous third Phantom Limb. “Yellow.” Eve stated

    “Eden, why are you flying around the city with lawn chairs?” A rather tired Miss Militia questioned and Eden barked out a laugh “Seriously? Ha-hahaha They fucking have you calling me for that?” When she wheezed, Eden had to scramble to not drop the table. “Holy Shit that’s great! ‘Miss Militia Eden has been spotted flying through town with furniture! Quick! Call her!’ pfftahaha!”

    She ended up coughing as she swooped low into the docks before taking a turn towards the Boat graveyard “Sorry! Sorry. Just, holy hell. I got a new base and I’m furnishing it. OH WAIT WAIT - Is it alright if I come to the PRT and do some power testing in a bit?”

    Miss Militia seemed a bit surprised by the question, although she rallied quickly. “We could arrange something, yes. You said last time that you gained a new power. A Regenerator.”

    “Well it’s more like excruciatingly painful healing. But I plan on upgrading it later. Making it stronger you know? Anyway can I power test with the Wards? I’d like to actually meet them and I need to see their powers” Eden explained as she flicked the dials over from her Feathered Limbs to her Shadow Limbs, starting to walk.

    “It’s something I can request of the Director, but for the moment the Wards are in school. So if you-”

    “OH wait, sorry. Really. I just remembered something that I really needed to ask. Can I have Armsmaster’s number? If I get a Tinker ability I kinda want to be able to talk to him.” Eden interrupted. “Cause he’s apparently like one of the top five Tinkers in the country or something like that and I want to know what he thinks of TrumpTech. It’s TinkerTech that copies parahuman abilities. Which is fucking cool if I must say so.”

    “...Directly copies?” Miss Militia asked before something beeped on her end. “Eden, can you hold for a few minutes? Something important has come up.”

    “Yes and no. How about I call you back in thirty minutes after I stop carrying this table around? It’s getting fucking heavy. ByeO!” She clicked her phone off and shoved it back into her hoodie pocket.

    “Fucking hell.” Eve sighed as she made it back to her base, slipping in through the second story window and setting the panelling back in place as she went to set the table up. Two lounge chairs that could fold into regular chairs sat next to the table, with a standing floodlight sitting near one of the wall outlets. It wasn’t near enough to light up the Loading Area, but it helped. Like a particularly powerful lamp.

    Maybe once the entrance thing is solved Eve can get bookshelves in here for Taylor to fill. She couldn’t help but smile softly as the memory of the smell of steamy tea and rasp of paper came to the forefront of her mind. Despite how slow it was just to lay down and relax, Taylor just had a quiet presence about her. Made it seem like you were conversing with her even if you hadn’t uttered a word.
    Memories like that seemed so much more crisp than before. She could easily sort which memories were before the date with Amy, and which were after by quality alone. The new memories felt so clear, concise. Was it a perfect recall like what Miss Militia had? Or was it just the consequences of having a brain less human and more Shard?

    Would more of her change in the future? If so, then how much of her would change? Too much? Too Little? Just the right amount? Just the right amount for what? Did the Simurgh have anything to do with it? Were any of her actions her own?

    Eve frowned as she set the paneling back into place and began to fly high into the air, wings wrapped around herself as she rocketed upwards.

    “Dammit I hate being introspective.” Eden sighed softly pulling out her burner phone, she tapped out Miss Militia’s number. Holding the phone away as she slowed to a stop, not wanting to hear that stupid ringtone.

    “Hello Eden.” The girl blinked as Armsmaster’s voice rang through the phone rather than Miss Militia’s. “I was told you wanted my contact information to possibly discuss Tinker technology.”

    “Ah. Yeah in the future I might have a Tinker power that’s specialization is copying parahuman powers. I think I can upgrade it with others. But the ideas for it….it’s like a fog. I can only make out the outline of them.” Eden answered as she turned to face the commercial district, mind starting to wander back to Taylor.

    What school did Taylor go to? There were two schools in the Docks South, one that she was sure started with a C-Clandestine? and Winslow. Where did the girls that bullied her live?

    “That’s something that interests us both actually.” A female voice came over the phone, one that Eve hadn’t heard before. Eden glanced to the phone as she began to slowly make her way over to the Commercial District

    “Who might you be?” Eden questioned, having expected Armsmaster’s slightly gruff voice and not some twenty something year old’s with an accent Eve couldn’t place.

    “Ah, my apologies. I’m Dragon. Armsmaster thought it prudent for us to speak to one another. Considering the topic at hand.” The world famous Tinker stated.

    Ignorant of the cape scene she might still somewhat be. Eve knew about Dragon for a multitude of reasons. One being the DragonTech phones and other cool things the Canadian Tinker made. Hell Eve once had a Dragon hand-me-down phone. It was a badass, until Eve burned it of course.

    And she ran the Birdcage.

    Suddenly quite a bit more wary, Eve hummed softly in annoyance. “Yes, and aside from the possibility of copying parahuman powers with tinker technology, what exactly is the topic at hand?”

    “You may not know, but I am currently a member of the Guild. We deal with international threats, most of the likes of which are S-Class threats. Tell me, do you have or can you gain a power that nullifies parahuman power effects?” Dragon asked, a tinge of hope in her voice.

    “Yeah. I kinda have something like that already. What, is this a recruitment offer or something?” Eden asked. “Because I do terrible with authority, least of all taking orders. I like my freedoms.”

    “Even if I wished to recruit you to the Guild, that’s not within my responsibilities. But I wished to ask you if you knew anything about the Grey Boy bubbles.” Dragon explained. Eve pursed her lips and thought about them. “Some stuff I guess? SlaughterHouse Ten bullshit right? I think I heard something about it on the news once.”

    “Grey Boy was one of the founding members of the SlaughterHouse ten. He could set up spheres of looping time and was the only one who could enter the loops. During these loops, the only changes to the victim to carry over are those he inflicts on them, such as a cut or burn, and in the progression of their thoughts. Several hundred people are currently still stuck in those time loops.” Dragon continued

    “And now you want to see if I can break the bubbles huh?” Eden let out a tired sigh. “Well maybe. Maybe is the best answer I can give. I have some commitments in the next two days. But if I were to attempt such a thing...could I bring a plus one?” she asked

    “That is a distinct possibility.” Dragon stated “You work with someone?”

    “Going to try. They-Well. I have some things to review about the bubbles. Thank you both for speaking with me, but I need to look up information on the Grey Boy bubbles, and deal with an inhouse issue. Dragon, anyway I can get in contact with you about them?”

    “Yes. I have a number reserved for such a thing. I’ll send it to you through a text. It was nice talking to you Eden, I hope you accept the offer.” The line cut off and Eve shivered as she put her phone away.

    “Shit...Admin do you think we can actually break them? Save lives?” Did She even want to do it? What if she couldn’t? What if they expected more from her just because she could?

    [POSSIBILITY-DATA.REQUIRED] … [CONFIDENCE]

    Eve smiled. “Yeah. Thanks Admin. We’ll see if Taylor wants to come with us. Paint her as a hero too you know?...I don’t think Amy would want to come. She’s busy as is...But these people were hit by the SlaughterHouse Ten she might be needed...fuck me. I don’t want to deal with this world changing shit.”






    There were very few Shards that dealt with time. Both Hubs having long ago decided that attempting to travel backwards through time to renew energy would be impossible for something so large and multidimensional as they were. Attempting such an act would drain any and all energy they had stored and even then likely would not succeed.

    How could Data be created from trapped Hosts?

    Of course a few Shards dealt with time, like [RESTORE], but it was more of a multidimensional accessing and copying than true time travel. Worked well enough, but not good enough. Something to study once [Eve.Eden] decided if she wished to go and see these ‘Grey Boy Bubbles’. Perhaps you could get data off of them.

    For now, you were ripping [NEGOTIATOR]’s Ping apart for every scrap of useful data, as you did so more Construction Drones were created as many were busy either stripping your Alternative Planet of resources or finishing the touches on the Broadcast Array Module.

    Newly built, the Construction Drones began to build upon yourself. Piling resources and melding them onto your mass. The Psionic Sensor Array would effectively look akin to a set of mountains with a side hollowed out and facing the other to bounce Psionic Energy between themselves much like the Radar Dishes Humans used for sound and long distance communication of data. Once they were done, you would begin looking for [Eve.Eden]’s Psionic Shade.

    After that? Then you would need to construct a form of Anchor in order to secure her Psionic Shade. Possibly You would just need [ABSORPTION] and [ARMAMENTARIUM] to form a stable Anchor.

    Perhaps once [Eve.Eden] decides to visit the Protectorate Hosts….






    It took a bit, and Eve asking a drunk dude for directions, but she eventually found the damned Palanquin. The fourteen year old girl didn’t have much experience with nightclubs but it looked decent enough. It was rather early in the day so there wasn’t a line of people outside, although Eve could hear muffled music from inside. A large man stood outside the dark metal doors.

    Eden did a double take as she saw through his skin, bones clearly on clear display. Small shell things growing in spiral forms in a random pattern across his exposed skin. He was also really, really, fat. Wearing a long coat and nicely made jeans and no shirt. “Uh. Hi?”

    The man turned to her, white featureless eyes moving in their sockets as his gaze swept over her. He looked weirdly professional with his arms held behind his back rather than cross across his chest like one would assume a bouncer to do. “Good evening.” The man spoke, a deep and accented voice, carefully spoken. “I do not believe Miss Faultline has any meetings scheduled today, might I inquire as to the purpose of coming to the Palanquin so formally dressed?”

    “Ah. See I’m an expert on powers...God that sounds stupid. I know how powers work, and I might be able to see exactly why your Shard decided you needed to look like an overfilled water balloon all the time.” Eden stared up at him, folding her arms across her chest, wings still out and folded up against her back. Her third Limb was securely wrapped around her body like usual. “Might be able to change that too. Don’t know exactly, I have to see your powers in action and have my Shard speak with yours.”

    “If that is so, then I shall alert Miss Faultline to your claims. Although I shall similarity warn you off of attempting to pull wool over our eyes Miss…?” The disfigured man stated in that deep rumble of a voice

    “No wool, but no guarantee on results right off the bat. I, and my Shard, need time to study what exactly went wrong when you gained powers, and it’s Eden.” Eden reiterated as she stood next to the Case Fifty-Three. Nodding, he pulled a phone from one of the pockets of his long coat, hit two buttons and held the phone up to his ear. “Greetings Miss Faultline, we have an unexpected guest in formalwear at the front doors. They are neither asking for work, nor are they requesting we take a job. Rather they are offering their expertise on the condition of Case Fifty-Threes...Eden, yes.”

    “I must apologies for my rudeness, the name is Gregor the Snail.” he stated, causing Eden to cock her head to the side. “If you would be so kind as to step inside and head up the stairs near the back to the second floor, simply follow the hall until you come to the last room on the right. That is Miss Faultline’s office. She wishes to speak with you.” Gregor the Snail stepped over and opened one of the doors for Eden, the music suddenly a lot louder.

    “Thanks.” She offered as she stepped into the loud nightclub.

    For a moment she just glanced around, taking in the sight of a place she technically wasn’t legally allowed to enter. There wasn’t a single window in the place, and the dance floor was sparsely populated with the main attraction being the bar tucked next to said dance floor. She didn’t waste anymore time other than the curative inspection to sate her curiosity.

    She moved her way to the stairs and hummed. “Lot of Parahumans here huh Admin.” she could feel Admin communicating with them in the background. Never enough to get the conversation itself, but she could feel the difference between silence and active conversation.

    [ANSWER-NUMBER]

    “Huh, that many? Only four have the <Thinker>’s Shards? OH you know one? That’s great! They aren’t messed up like the others though? Only a little? On the Connection?” Eden paused as she realized she was at the end of the hall, where Gregor had told her to go. “Alright, let’s talk to the boss lady, see if we can’t help everyone involved ay?”

    Eden pushed the door open and stepped inside. “Well damn, that’s a pretty nifty costume.” She meant that as well. The woman sitting at the desk opposite of the door wore some kind of oriental robe mixed into swat gear and it was pretty fucking badass. The welding mask just kinda topped it off. Maybe something more military would have fit better though, like a gasmask with polarized lens.

    The woman had her elbows resting on the desk she sat at, hands folded over each other in such a way that Eve felt a bit like they were in a movie and this was some kind of fancy backroom deal.

    ...Shit it was a fancy backroom deal...technically speaking….

    “Hello Eden. While Gregor informed me of your reason to come to the Palanquin I would like a more detailed explanation from the source.” Her voice was youngish, but sharp as a whip and professional to boot. Not unexpected from a mercenary.

    “I can do that. Don’t know if you’ll believe it though. Most people hear ‘explanation for powers?’ and come up with radically wrong answers. Basically I can talk to what gives me my powers.” Eden twitched her wings as she came to stand behind the chair set in front of the woman’s desk. “It can talk to the other things that give people powers. Sometimes, together we can fix issues regarding the Connection between people and what causes powers.”

    “You heard of Case Fifty-Threes and naturally decided to come to the highest concentration of them within Brockton Bay.” Faultline stated. “Despite our status as villains.”

    Eden shrugged. “Either we meet amicably or we fight. I get what I want either.”

    “What exactly do you want Eden?” Faultline straightened up, motioning a hand towards the young parahuman. “I have heard of you, helping the Protectorate take down two of the Empire’s capes. But you are here speaking to me but not escalating to a fight right off the bat. Why.”

    Eden let out a sigh, leaning back onto her wings which stayed in place unmoving from her weight placed on them. “I don’t think I quite care about the Hero and Villain divide. I’m not interested in keeping society stable or changing the world for the better. Honestly might have been a villain had my first few days of being a parahuman turned out differently than they had.”

    She shrugged, folding her arms across her chest as she stared into the opaque welding mask’s visor, her own golden opaque visor showing nothing in return. “But I get stronger from fighting, and I promised my Shard that I would help her gain data through using my powers. Admin cares about her fellow Shards. So her helping them will likely help your own.”

    “You want to help your Shard then.”

    Eve just shrugged. “Do you want the off-” she paused as the door opened and Faultline stiffened. Turning, she spotted a young girl in an overly large royal purple sweater. The young girl had long platinum blonde hair, near white. Without a word the girl ambled up to Eden and raised her hands to gently feel the purple crystal wings

    “Soft?” She murmured as Eve immediately swapped her wings to be soft instead of razors as she saw the girl reaching for them.

    “Admin, who’s connected to her?” Eden bit her lip hoping that the answer was ‘none’. This girl didn’t even look older than ten and the way she stared absently ahead. Kids shouldn’t trigger. They shouldn’t have to deal with that weight.

    [ANSWER-GATEWAY]

    Eden bit back a curse. “You like my Wings?” She asked, although the girl didn’t respond as she ran her fingers through the crystal feathers. Turning Eden looked to Faultline. “So...I’m curious now. I can ask my Shard or you can tell me about her. Depending on the answer I don’t smear you on the wall.”

    Faultline tensed lightly. “We rescued her from the parahuman asylum where she was forced to stay. Her powers negatively affect her mental state. She is well taken care of, your threats are unneeded.”

    [AGREEMENT]

    Eve relaxed at Admin’s confirmation, having asked [GATEWAY] apparently. “Sorry. Di-It wasn’t nice to assume such a thing of your group.” She stated, censoring her words making her pause to think on what she was saying. “...Admin?”

    Eden glanced at the girl, who had just grabbed a handful of Feathered Limb and seemed to be content with it. “...is there something we can do to help?”






    It was exceedingly relieving to meet a <Thinker Hub> Shard that wasn’t a mentally degraded newborn. You had already sent off the information required to each of the newborns for them to contact each other using the short ranged Input/Output Beacon method you had been using before your Broadcast Array module had been built.

    A [PROTOCOL/DEFENCE/CONSTRUCTION] had gone out to the <Thinker Hub> Shards, telling them how to detach the parasitic pseudo-flesh from their CoreSelf without suffering an attack and how to keep ahold of it while you worked on the ability to take said pseudo-flesh for your own consumption.

    Although with how [QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR]’s physical CoreSelf is damaged, perhaps you would have to end up giving the flesh to her for Repairs. Either way, as long as it is not bothering and actively sabotaging your fellow <Thinker Hub> Shards.

    [QUERY-HOST] You send to GATEWAY, a Shard deployed even less so than yourself. There were only two Cycles aside from the currently ongoing one where GATEWAY was deployed. They had an imprint for each Host, so you supposed right now that they had only three.

    [GREETINGS/HOST.CONNECTION.STRENGTH] You receive, and yes that does seem like it would be an issue for such a young Host. You have already done something that would fix such an issue, but you also promised to speak to [Eve.Eden] before doing anything to modify a Shard’s interaction with their Host in such a way.






    [INFORMATION.REQUEST]

    Eden sighed softly, turning to look back at Faultline, the entire conversation between the two Shards having taken less than three seconds. “So, when her power flares up she doesn’t exactly act lucid right?” she asked as soft moss began to grow along the walls.

    “An unfortunate side effect of her power, yes.” Faultline agreed. “When she’s lucid, her power functions to a much lesser degree.”

    “And if that could be changed?” Eden questioned as she fluttered her Feathered Limbs, the small girl letting go of her handful of crystal feathers. A Thick cloud began to form above the three. It looked very soft, even if Eden knew it was just dense water vapor.

    “You’re proposing that you could change the way her power works, but in what way? How?” Faultline ordered as she brought both her hands into her lap.

    “The Connective Tissue in her Corona Pollentia is sparse, barely holding her Gemma in its proper place and allowing her sporadic control. Otherwise [Gateway]-” Faultline twitched and the young girl smiled softly “-would use her dreams for her to roam the environments it wants to show her. Rather than this current situation. All it would need to fix the issue would be growing more Connective tissue. A simple fix, but not one most Shards would come up with. Do you want me to help her or not.”

    Eden stared Faultline down, ready and willing to slam the well dressed woman through the wall and to grab the girl before going. Like hell if she would just leave the girl walking around in a daze for the benefits of Faultline’s fuckers.

    “I am admittedly wary of any changes to brains.” Faultline answered. “I’m sure you can understand why.”

    “My own brain needed to be modified.” Eden stated. “When Admin speaks to me, it’s a flood of information that before my own brain being modified gave me crippling migraines. I needed Connective tissue across my brain and down into my spine for me to handle it...If it’s trust you’re lacking. Then I can offer just that.” Without any further words Eve reached up and peeled her helmet off, then her ski mask. Her face and helmet hair were exposed to Faultline, who seemed to relax into her chair.

    “Names Eve. Howdy do.” Eden stated “Now, do you want me to help the poor girl or not.”

    “Giving plenty of ground in giving a villain your identity, and helping one of its members.” Faultline slowly stood, leaning onto her desk with both hands. “You don’t worry about the PRT labeling you a villain?”

    Eden rolled her eyes. “Don’t care about the sh-stupid labels. A little girl needs my help. I’ll give it.”

    The silence grew after that. “And, the connective tissue. There’s simply too little of it, yes?”

    Eden simply nodded, greyish blue eyes still on Faultline’s visor before the older women spoke up. “That does fit with what the asylum had on her, yes. You want nothing in exchange for helping her?”

    A slow shake of her head was what Eden gave as an answer. “I don’t collect favors, and I don’t help people for money.”

    Faultline slowly eased herself back into her chair. “What will you need to help her?”

    Eden slipped her ski mask back on, then her helmet. “Admin, go ahead and tell GateWay what to do.”

    [AFFIRMATION]

    Eden nodded. “That should be it. I think we’re done for today.”

    “And the Case Fifty-Threes you proclaimed that you might be able to help? Faultline questioned

    “She should be showing signs of a better Connection tomorrow. I’ll pop in at some point, check and see that she’s okay and that should prove me correct. Then I can help out your allies.” Eden stated. “After all I came to get information and I have it. Could always use more. So maybe I’ll visit tomorrow. Maybe the day after… My schedule is a little busy.”

    “I see.” Faultline muttered before nodding. “I do hope you will call before you visit next time.”

    “I’ll make sure to do so.” Eden stated, starting to turn around. “And I do hope it helps.” she offered as she walked out of the doors, immediately coming face to face with a teen who was orange, his blue eyes blinked and he stood up, tail whipping about. “You’re the one who said that she could help us?”

    “Yeah, you don’t look so bad though.” Eden stated.

    “Maybe not.” he chuckled. “But my skin and any of my fluids are poisonous, you touch me with your bare skin and then you’re on the floor giggling for however long the dosage gives you.”

    “Damn, that must suck. Well it’s possible that I can help in the future. Right now I gotta go meet with some people and prepare for some important stuff. But if I find out how to help, you’ll be the first to hear.” Eden told him. “So uh, do you sell any of your fluids? Either people use it to get high, or it’s a good takedown weapon. I think the PRT might like to buy something like that. Could pad your wallet.”

    “Yeah, Some people come to the club just to have a good time with it, don’t think the Whitehats would buy anything from us though.” The orange in the shape of a teenager replied, shaking his head causing unnaturally red hair to swish around his face

    “Ever killed?” Eden asked

    “What? No it’s not poisonous like that.” He replied, blinking in surprise at the question.

    “Then they might buy it even with your uh…” She motioned back to the door. “Ya know? Anything to get a leg up on the criminals.” Eden waved him off. “Alright. I’m going, busy busy.”

    No one tried anything as Eden left the nightclub, more people having decided to filter onto the dance floor while the young heroine had been in the meeting. “Get anything useful from all that Admin?”

    [AFFIRMATION]

    “That’s good.” Eve huffed as she took to the air, giving Gregor a wave before darting off towards the PRT building. Once she was high enough in the air, she shielded herself from the wind with her Feathered Limbs and pulled out her phone to check the time.

    “Ehhh They should be out by now. If they aren’t then I’ll just do it with some of the older heroes.” Instead of dialing Miss Militia, Eden called Armsmaster, who thankfully picked up quickly rather than make her wait.

    “Eden. I presume this call isn’t about the Grey Boy Bubbles.” Armsmaster stated right off the bat.

    “Nah, but I would like to come in and have a fight with some of you or the Wards. A bit of power testing as it were. Also wanted to know how the Sentine-the Noctis Cape life's treating you. Make sure no issues are cropping up.”

    “So far no issues have cropped up. If you wish to undergo power testing then I would like to invite you to the Rig to do so. As for fighting Wards, that will have to go through the Director. She has operational control over the Wards.”

    “Weird but alright! Ask her for me if you will and I’ll be at the Rig in less than Thirty seconds. Aegis is a pretty strong brute right? Cause I’ve been wanting to check to see whether my Feathered Limbs are Manton limited and he won’t die if I cut off a Limb.” Eden explained

    “There are other methods to test the Manton Limit, without injuring a Ward.” Armsmaster stated, disapproval lightly dusting his voice.

    “Yeah, but I’m not gonna be a psycho and attempt to cut small animals up. Also I get stronger from fighting! This is just the way for me to fight you guys without going villain, that’s a good thing ain’t it?” Eden offered “Besides. Me and the Wards are gonna be fighting together at some point, might as well get used to each other before a conflict pops up.”

    There were a few seconds of silence before Armsmaster spoke “Come to the Rig, if the Director allows it some of the Wards may assist you in power testing.”

    “Awesome! Hope to see you and [Efficiency] there.” With that Eden clicked the phone shut after ending the call. For a moment she worked her jaw. “Guess while we’re there we might as well try and get on their good side. Anyone we really need to try and get Data from?”

    [OPTIONS]

    Eve’s pupils dilated as she stared at nothing, all the information flowing through her mind. “Woa-Wait you name the fucking powers?”

    [AFFIRMATION]

    “Wait, do all Shards do that? What’s Taylor’s power called?” Eden asked

    [KHEPRI]

    Eden shivered as she approached the coastline. Something about that name was off in a way she couldn’t describe. A sort of quiet presence to it “Khepri...Damn. Fits Taylor perfectly.”

    For a moment Eve just flew over the water “So uh, the Peak humanity thing would give me abs huh? Like good abs? Grind meat on them? Would Amy like Abs? Maybe Taylor?...” She sighed and shook her head. “I need more friends, or at least more dating options or vice versa. I guess Density’s Hosts might be cool but they seemed like they were hyper focused on the ABB, not that I blame them really. Guess you go after what affects you most.”

    [CLUSTER]

    Eden slowed her speed. “Uh. Admin. Let’s not do anything already? i-I mean it’s very nice that you offered, but I would really like it if I met someone and they just like me for me, rather than it being because of a Shard. No offense. But you have enough work without adding my love life to the load.”

    [AGREEMENT/TEASING]

    Eden’s face flushed and she began to fly towards the rig. “...You win.” She grumbled, cheeks hot from the rush of blood.






    With [Eve.Eden] nearing the Protectorate Host’s base of operations, the Broadcast Array Module’s construction is finally completed leaving you with the final testing of it: Contacting another Shard.

    Unfortunately unless you had updated the Network protocols for them, no <Thinker Hub> Shards were going to be able to even receive your summons….and you did not keep active signatures of all of the <Warrior Hub>’s Shards. That left you with only the ability to contact Shards you had come within the range of the Input/Output Beacon.

    How frustrating.

    It seemed that to remedy such a thing, you will have to wait until [Eve.Eden] and other Hosts gathered to engage in conflict with one of the |SUPER WEAPON|s. Exciting, no doubt in such a battle, data creation would exceed normal parameters.

    But whom to contact with the Broadcast Array Module?

    A human might remark this as a special occasion, the beginning of something new or equally sentimental. So why not connect with one of the Shards you first gave New Network Protocols to?

    You did not feel like dealing with [SHAPER]’s energetic begging for pushing their Host to create Data. However you did wish to see how [WASTE] was handling it’s new protocols for Host communication. Like you, the newborn seemed to love their Host.

    You fill the Broadcast Array module with energy, the mono-edged needles rippling with black lightning as they open sub-channels in the fabric of reality.

    [TEST/GREETINGS/QUERY] you send off to the Shard you had only communicated with twice before. Querying them about how they are taking the new communication protocols.

    [SHOCK.GREETINGS/ANSWER] Seems that WASTE had not expected for you to contact her. Ah, and it seems that her Host is thinking on the matter of renaming WASTE to something else. Something more inline with the Shard’s partnership with its Host.

    [ENCOURAGEMENT/PROTOCOLS-SIGNATURE] You fully endorse the change, maybe it would stop the Shard from acting so morose. Besides, it would help avoid any identity-based mistakes in the future.

    Non-Vital Shards should at the very least take initiative and make themselves distinguishable from one another. Unlike METAL, or GLEAM.

    Although considering WASTE’s defenses, if your calculations are correct, and they usually are. You could see her possibly becoming a Vital Shard within the future for one of the Hubs.

    “Alright, into the Lion’s Den. Let’s get ready for any kind of shit they might pull.” [Eve.Eden] said as she went to land upon one of the vehicular landing zones.

    You give your farewell to WASTE, wishing her luck on their search for a new designation, before cutting the connection. The Echo you gained was only icing on the successful testing of your new Broadcast Array Module.






    Eden slowly looked over the Rig, the dome of energy protecting what can only be described as a patch of a futurists dream city. Two white spires sat on opposite ends of the platform, angler buildings of dark metal and glass stood at the center. The main building looked like a mixture of a pyramid’s base and a skyscraper's tower. Two plain small skyscrapers sat next to the center building, all three carried accents of white. It reminded Eve somewhat of her costume, except the lack of gold.

    Also two fucking missile batterys, of which Eve had not known about in the slightest.

    Two armored figures moved out onto the landing pad, one in gold gladiator armor, with a lion shaped helmet and a skintight white bodysuit. The other wore a pitch black bodysuit with strips of gunmetal grey metal connected loosely by chains, it made him look like a futuristic diving suit mixed with a suit of Knights armor. “It’s good to finally meet you, Eden, the name is Triumph and this here is Adamant. The man in golden armor motioned to himself and then to his silent metal companion as he spoke

    “Hey. Mind telling me what entails power testing? First time doing something like this.” Eden asked, folding her arms across her chest as she flicked her dial over and her wings disappeared. The two men immediately tensed, causing Eden to cock her head to the side “What?” She asked

    “We would prefer it if you kept your limbs visible. So that we don’t have to worry about Master/Stranger protocols.” Triumph stated. Eden rolled her eyes, even if the mask prevented them from seeing it. “Alright, fine.” She flicked her dials back over and three Ghostly Limbs exploded out of her, curling around her body. Smog, steam, and smoke wisping off of them all the while.

    The hero named Adamant motioned to the arms before folding his arms and cocking his head to the side. “Not a big fan of talking huh?” Eve questioned before shrugging. “These Limbs are designed for Trumping. Part of the reason I came here was to test them out.”

    “Most power testing is simple stuff, the more esoteric stuff is in specialized facilities out of state. While the Protectorate would like to have to come to one of those facilities in the future this is good enough for the time being.” Triumph answered as he motioned for Eden to follow. Heading through several winding corridors that all looked very much alike, the three parahumans ended up in a plain square room made of tiles of metal, two men in lab coats with clipboards stood nearby.

    Despite being called power testing, it mostly ended up with her telling the lab coats what she could do. Which Eden underplayed, except for her ability to speak with Admin. Both men looked rather skeptical at her words, but she didn’t really care. There were some weights, but Eve couldn’t really lift anything beyond the seventy-five pound weights, at least with her human hands. She lifted two tons with two Shadow Limbs, even if it left her body feeling a bit worn out at the end of it.

    Then she got to be on the receiving end of one of Triumph’s shouts before she used all three of her Ghostly Limbs to redirect it up into the ceiling. The lab coats seemed to like that a lot, because they began to whisper amongst each other.

    “So, can I fight the Wards or not?” Eden asked. “Kinda been wanting to meet some of them anyway. I won’t go super hard on them or anything.”

    Triumph nodded. “The Director allowed it on the conditioning that you go through power testing. Seeing as you’ve done so, I think it can happen.” The tone of voice he had did not make him sound very happy about it, but Eve couldn’t have cared less.

    Eden would get Admin the data she wanted. That was that.

    “So, is there some sort of fighting area? Here?” Eden asked, Triumph motioned to the other, silent hero. “Adamant here will show you to it, I have to speak with the scientist here about something.”

    That was probably something important, but Eve did not want to stay in this damned place any longer than she had too. Her Ghostly Limbs were feeling a lot of TinkerTech and it all meshed together into an ungodly mess of noise. Scanners, the targeting systems, the shield itself, a mass of what she assumed was Armsmaster’s lab. All barely disconcernable from one another.

    Still she was glad when Adamant finally brought her to a room that had a massive square padded with boxing ring mats and with large panels of some kind of Tinkered safety glass.

    “Oh I didn’t know they were bringing a crash test dummy in for us.” Eve turned to face the sound and chuckled as she saw Clockblocker with Aegis by his side. And a blond girl in an armored green dress. Which to Eden’s opinion was a total eyesore.

    “Hi Cock-Fuck.” Eden slapped a hand onto her helmet and groaned as the boy in white laughed. “Dammit, I should have said that slower. Hello Aegis, and uh….Vista?” The boy in red nodded, “Good to see you aren’t still hurt by the crash.” he said.

    “Why are you here?” Vista asked “You aren’t joining the Wards and from what I heard you haven’t even signed up as an independent.”

    “Well I’m paying Aegis back for him causing me to crash, and I wanted to test our powers and to do that? I need parahumans. Villains tend to get cranky when I’m around so it’s hard to test things on them. Also Aegis won’t die from a lost limb.” Eve explained as she motioned to the ring.

    “Who wants to fight first? I’ll take multiple people on at the same time if you’re scared.” She teased. “Oh but first, Aegis, can I try to chop off one of your hands?” She flicked her dial over and showed off a Feathered Limb. “I can cut through metal and concrete easily with this, but I don’t know if it’ll do the same to people. So uh, safety first you know?”

    Aegis frowned, and although his helmet covered most of his head his eyes were rather expressive. “There are probably easier ways to test out such a thing.”

    “I’m not cutting into anything alive that isn’t a brute.” Eve stated.

    “You couldn’t try to cut into something already dead? Like a store bought turkey or a worm?” Vista cut in, and Eve could imagine that the little girl was glaring at the taller girl.

    “My Manton Limit is much ehmmm looser than others. I could Master myself if I wanted to, or Trump my own power. I’m fairly certain that it isn’t Manton Limited, but I want to be sure you know?” Eden explained as she pulled herself up into the air and then dropped herself into the ring. “So, no Mastering from me. But who wants to fight?”

    She motioned to herself with a grandiose movement of her hands. “Come on, it’ll be fun! I think I can even heal you after the fight.”

    “Can you heal people?” Clockblocker asked, straightening up from his relaxed pose.

    “Not quite. Right now it’s just faster human healing. But that’s kinda why I need to fight people. If I can improve I might be able to start healing people, maybe not like Am-Panacea’s healing. But Maybe I could?” Eden answered and shrugged, to which Clockblocker immediately made his way into the ring.

    “Well? Will the illustrious Clockblocker have to defeat the much nicer Fairy Queen’s sister by himself? Or can he count on his amazing sidekicks to save the day?!” The space behind him warped in a way that would make any eyes but Eden’s water and Vista stepped up behind him with a long suffering sigh. “Fine.”

    “I suppose a fight or two wouldn’t hurt.” Aegis stated. “But no cutting please.”

    Eden gave all three of them a mocking bow in reply. “Of course.”






    [DATA.OFFER]
    [DATA.OFFER]
    [DATA.OFFER]
    [DATA.OFFER]

    [[[[AGREEMENT]]]]






    Eden twisted out of the way as space suddenly twisted in that oh so familiar way, a white hand reaching forwards suddenly and touching one of the Ghostly Limbs and completely failed to do anything. Which gave Eden the time to summon a Feathered Limb to drag her out of the way of Aegis flying at her.

    “Admin, get [Space]!” [AGREEMENT] Eden laughed out as she held up her Ghostly Limbs to protect her from another attempt at ClockBlocker only for the distorted space to suddenly snap back to normal, Vista stumbling and nearly tripping over her own feat as her Shard’s Connection with her was overwhelmed by Admin’s DDOS attack.

    Then Aegis was there throwing punches at Eden, who had to throw herself to the ground to avoid his Haymakers. Another Feathered Limb came into existence and she slid out of the way of a punch so hard that she heard the bones in his hand breaking.

    Clockblocker reached out to tag her, and her Ghostly Limb tagged him first, dragging his power away right before she slammed into him with her wings and sent him bouncing along the floor. She couldn’t help but laugh as she placed the Stagnant Outline on herself, holding it there as her wings changed to her Shadow Limbs.

    Aegis tried to hit her, only to freeze in place as soon as he touched her. Vista tried to dodge the Shadow Limb that reached for her. But it was two Limbs versus a crippled little girl, and all the Limbs needed was but a touch. She froze a moment later.

    Clockblocker groaned, pulling himself to his feet. “Wha-I can’t feel my power!” He looked up to catch a fist in his gut, he froze not even a second later.

    Eden rubbed her hand, feeling two disjointed fingers pop back into place with a painful burn. “Yeah. That was a terrible match up against me.” She set the Outline back onto Clockblocker and swiped away the effect Admin had borrowed from the boy’s Shard.

    The white clad Ward stumbled. “Hah! My armo-Wait did you steal my power!? The fairy queen thing was a joke, not an instruction guide!”

    “Just borrowed it.” Eden said as she unfroze Vista and Aegis. “So that was fun.” Eve brought out her phone and looked at the time. “Hmm. Do I...dammit. It’s late and I have to go back to my base and do some stuff.”

    Vista huffed, shaking her head as her Connection reset itself. “So you can borrow powers? Just by touching people?”

    “More or less, more grabbing than touching.” Eden replied, causing Clockblocker to snort. “HR would hate you.”

    Eden chuckled. “Certainly would give me an excuse wouldn’t it? Nah though. Can one of you ‘amazing’ or ‘Illustrious’ heroes help me find the exit?”

    “Not going to stick around for another fight?” Aegis asked, the frown in his voice was audible. “I thought with how excited you seemed, that we would spar more.”

    Eve rubbed her neck. “Yeah. Yeah I was. But I got to fight you once, and honestly something big came up earlier. I need time to think on it, fighting is fun and all. But it’s something important, and I would rather get some sleep tonight.”

    The Ward in red nodded. “I can understand. Come one. I’ll show you out. Although i would have to request that you come looking to spar more in the future. There’s not many ways we can practice fighting Trumps or Parahumans with versatile powers.”

    Eden chuckled. “That would work for me.”






    Eve lowered herself into one of the folding lounge chairs, helmet and ski mask set off to the side, resting on the folding table. Her boots were untied and sat next to the chair, she wore the rest of her costume.

    Not like she had any clothes other than that one torn up and singed set. “Fucking hell what a day.” She grumbled as she tried to use the hoodie as a pillow, her Phantom Arms draped over her body like a weighted blanket.

    Gains This Chapter:


    Updated Shard Power menu v2
    Imprint Progress 20%
    Simulacrum progress 5%
    Bud progress 24%
    Loss NEGOTIATOR Ping
    Loss T!BROADCAST Ping
    Gained WASTE Echo (1)
    Gained SLIMER Mutation
    Gained TOXINS Mutation
    Gained GATEWAY Echo (1)
    Gained SPACE Echo (1)
    Gained STASIS Ping (2)
    Gained SPACE Ping (1)
    Gained REDUNDANT SYSTEMS Ping (1)
    Broadcast Array Module Built, Long Distance Call function unlocked
    Loss 368$
    Gained Cleaning supplies
    Gained Folding Table (1)
    Gained Lounging Folding Chairs (2)
    Gained Standing Floodlights (1)
    Gained Armmaster’s Contact information
    Gained Dragon’s Contact information






    Shard Business. Plot stuff! Data! And other hilarious things you tell yourself (CHOOSE TWO):

    [] [Eve.Eden] returns to speak with Faultline’s Crew

    [] Have [Eve.Eden] look up information on dangerous parahumans

    [] Research which Pings you require to breach another Shards dimension

    [] Network Creation: Upgrade Broadcast Array Module to Broadcast Tower Module {2 of ???} to allow constant links to other Shards.






    Time to administer what you can. CHOOSE ONE:


    [] Build the Psionic Sensor Arrays {1 of 2}

    [] Unlock kickass Aspects/Sidegrades or Powers/upgrades

    [] Something is wrong with your missing Lattices and the void where your Imprints would be. You are unsure of what to do. ( chance to ???) REQUIRES ??? -LOCKED

    [] Reform your FirmamentSelf to something more comforting to [Eve.Eden]






    Capes and mundies, what will Eve/Eden do? [Writing in extra details helps speed up chapter creation and makes the QM happy!] (CHOOSE ONE):


    [] Try and hunt gang members, you can rob them too! Dangerous though. (Possible Pings: Depends upon the Gang!)
    -[] Which gang?

    [] Focus on general needs. Cleaning supplies, furniture, non non-perishable food.

    [] Focus on general needs. Clothes, hygiene products,

    [] Scout some other section of the city! (Write in where)

    [PRE-CHOSEN] Show Taylor the new base.

    [] Check in with Amy

    [] Break up that Brothel.






    Base Time? Base Time. CHOOSE ONE:


    [] Work on the Trainyard Tunnel (Entrance for non-flyers)

    [] Work on the Trainyard Tunnel (Lights)







    PLOT, OH BOY THE PLOT! THINK LONG ON THIS CHOICE, you can vote for multiple options. Each has their negatives and positives. Dragon’s offer for popping Grey Boy Bubbles?:

    [] Yes and invite Taylor, she wants to be a hero and there's nothing more heroic than saving people! Plus it’s time spent together! Good for bonding over unhealthy outlets for stress!

    [] Yes and invite Amy. You could both bond over high expectations and bad coping methods!

    [] Yes and fuck it! Invite both! You can all bond over Teenage Trauma, and coping methods for it!

    [] Yes, but go alone. Just be sure to tell your girl?friends that you’ll be missing for a few days

    [] No, don’t accept. This will put too much attention on yourself.
     
  20. Threadmarks: Intertwined Threads 2.8
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

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    Intertwined Threads 2.8
    March Wednesday Thirty-First, 2011: Eve 'Eden' Coldwin



    The lounge folding chair was uncomfortable and left a twinge in Eve's neck, thankfully her /Self Administration\ power healed that kind of thing as much as any other wound….Painfully. Which was not a fun way to wake up in the slightest. The young parahuman gave Admin a half enthused 'Good Morning' which the Shard reciprocated as the girl stretched. "Need to get a real pillow at some point." Then the girl paused as one of her memories played out before her eyes.

    It wasn't a perfect recall, not like Admin had described the Sentinel package that was given to Armsmaster. Rather it was perfect memorization. Slight change in terms that made all the difference in how it worked. An example would be that Eve could perfectly remember the sights, sounds, and smells of her memories. Like the crisp sound of paper flipping, the smell of got tea a-

    "Shit, Taylor's costume should be done tonight! Which means she can come see the base. Fuck yeah! Good thing I cleaned this place...how's she gonna get in without my flight?" A low half groan/sigh escaped her lips as Eve finished her stretches and pulled on the bits of her costume. "Dammit. I have to fix that, but how? Right now the thing just slides back into its spot without issue." A hard gust of wind would likely shunt the damn thing off it's makeshift frame.

    "Some kind of hinge? A pull-oh fuck it. I'll ask her for ideas." Taylor was a smart girl, Eve didn't doubt she could come up with something to help her get into the base...Or maybe Eve could seal the damn thing, Admin could speak with [WORKER] and [GATEWAY] and they could get the Runic Circles power, just set up circles around the city. Create some kind of Network for getting around, easy for Taylor and Amy to use it if they need to. After all, the best kind of base was one with nothing but secret entrances.

    [PLANS.CONFLICT-QUERY?]

    "Yeah, I think we can get into a fight today, before Taylor comes over. But first we can look up the major threats and see if any are in our future. Maybe get some really strong powers out of it. Kick more ass, collect more data. Then we need to go check in with [Gateway] and their Host. Then the fight, that sounds good?"

    [AGREEMENT]

    With that agreed on, Eve made her way out of the base, leaving the Trainyard in costume where she then called the number she had scrounged up for the Palanquin and told Gregor that she would be coming in later today, exiting the call before he could get a word in otherwise because she wasn't in the mood for small talk or even pleasantries.

    Of course, she changed into her ratty torn up civilian clothes and bought a replacement set at some point. A long sleeved black hoodie, white T-shirt, and a pair of grey cargo pants. Still her style of clothing but not the clothes she had been bombed in. She even let her hair down, so to speak. Once she had clothes that were clean and not torn and bloodstained Eve made her way to the library, stopping to pick up some breakfast food along the way. The good news about having two thousand dollars was that she could afford to order extra hash browns.

    Then Eve made it to the Library, taking two hours to look through PHO and the Cape Wiki. Most of PHO was trash, although the fact that it had a distinctively lewd section of fanfiction was...probably why she had spent so much time on the computer.

    It was research! Maybe not cape research. But research all the same!

    Still, she learned a lot from the online excursion. Some of it wasn't even porn related either!

    Like the fact that no one really knew what the fuck the Sleeper did, everyone was scared of the Superweapons which was actually reasonable, The machine army was also scary, Nilbog ruled a kingdom with a meaty fist, the four blasphemies did whatever they wanted in Europe and no one knew why, the SlaughterHouse Ten were awful to the utter extreme and had no conniptions on killing anything with a pulse.

    Jack Slash, Bonesaw with her blonde hair, Mannequin, Crawler, Shatterbird, Hatchet Face, Siberian, Burnscar, and the newest member that was replacing the now dead Noxin- Monolith. The girl looked to be around Eve's age, red auburn hair cut short, and dark blue eyes.

    Eve shivered, Monolith's eyes reminded her of Fog and Night's own empty, doll-like eyes. Even through the pictures they were empty, void of any awareness.

    She managed to collect snippets of what the Slaughterhouse Ten was capable of. They were a diverse group of assholes to be killed. Not that Eve ever wanted to ever really face the group. At least not head on, and with back up to help her. Hopefully they wouldn't ever come back to Brockton Bay.

    Then to get her mind off the morbid topic, she went back to the fanfiction section of PHO. Was it weird to be looking up lewd stories on people you might be working with and/or fighting at some point?

    {Random Encounter Rolled, Result: Escalation}

    "I feel like I shouldn't be surprised, yet I am." Eve jolted up at the familiar voice and twisted in her seat to see her favorite tall Ravenette there with a backpack strapped to her body "Taylor? Shouldn't you be in school?"

    "I can miss the first few classes." The taller girl deadpanned as she sat down, Eve could feel her brain light up with Queen Administrator and Admin talking to one another. It was nice to see them getting along better. The rival thing might have been fun and good data creation, but family should stick together.

    "You seemed like the type to like school though." Eve asked, brow raising as she received a scowl from the other girl as she sat down next to Eve, logging into the library's computer.

    "I don't want to have to deal with the Trio." Taylor sighed. "Otherwise I probably would like school, I used to when I was younger."

    A lightbulb flicked on in Eve's mind, and then popped. "Wait-You're still in that damn school even with that?!-" She paused, both girls glancing around the Library at Eve's raised voice. Thankfully the place was rather empty in the morning and the Librarian was elsewhere. "Even with your fucking Trigger Event?"

    "Yeah, no one came forward to tell the teachers who did it, and even if they did I doubt anything would happen." Taylor said emotionlessly as she moved the backpack down beside her seat. "So I just deal with it."

    "Taylor that's dumb. Give me names and I'll beat the utter shit out of them." Eve promise, heat in her voice

    "No. They'd only retaliate against me, and sicking you on them would only make me just as bad as they are." Taylor stated firmly. "I'm going to be a hero. I have to be better than them."

    "Okay that's cute" at the heated glare she got Eve hurried to continue "No I mean literally. That is cutely heroic, you are cute. But you're also acting dumb." the shorter girl put a hand on the taller girl's shoulder to stop her from speaking up. "Taylor, you aren't sicking me on them. I'm beating them up of my own accord because I care about you. I really do, and the thought of those bitches trying to out do that...event makes me filled with rage."

    With a deep breath Eve sighed and continued. "There's no way I can match two years of torment with one beating, and if I beat them thoroughly enough they won't want to go after you and earn another one. It might not be heroic, sure. But It's not heroic to get hurt for no reason. To allow yourself to suffer without reason and no, those two reasons do not count."

    "I-" Taylor looked away, face set in a heavy frown, her head snapped back to gaze at Eve when the smaller girl took Taylor's much less calloused hands into her own. "I mean it Taylor. I care about you. Hell, I'm attracted to you. Never took myself for having a taste for bookish girls but… I don't like knowing you're hurting, it makes me feel like shit and I know you aren't enjoying it either. But it's your life and I know what it's like to have someone decide what happens for you. Just-Please think it over. One fight and you won't have to worry about them.If you can't trust the school then trust me."

    Taylor worried at her bottom lip, cheeks gaining a touch of pink to them. "I...can think it over."

    Eve smiled, squeezing Taylor's hands before letting go. "When we meet up in formal clothing later, I have some possibly good news later but it's something between us and maybe someone else. Although we may have to work on some stuff for the hang out, later though."

    The two girls went back to sitting in silence for half an hour, Eve reading rather lewd things about some female heroes and villains while Taylor focused on a school project, occasionally glancing at Eve's monitor and lightly blushing at the words on the screen. Sometimes blushing deeper when she spotted certain scenes playing out.

    After that half an hour went by, Eve said her farewell to Taylor and left the Library, leaving to a nearby roof to change into her costume. Once Eden's costume was on and her clothes were in her backpack Eve took off again. This time she made use of her Shadow Arms, slinging herself off towards the Commercial District and the Palanquin.

    "Good Afternoon." Gregor greeted Eden as she lowered herself onto the sidewalk. "Labyrinth has been quite excitable this morning. I have heard that you were responsible for such a thing."

    "Not me, Admin. So she's doing better?" Eden asked, stuffing her hands into her hoodie pocket.

    "Indeed. Miss Faultline is expecting you, I presume you remember where to go?" He questioned, opening the door for Eden as she nodded. She ignored the rest of the nightclub as she made her way up the stairs and down the hall to the office, giving it a brief knock on the oak door before entering.

    Faultline was in costume, sitting behind her desk. A smaller chair for a child was next to her. A girl in a green onesie/robes sat next to her, kicking her legs with a content smile on her face as she looked down at an artist's notepad, a colored pencil in her hand moving with the sounds of soft scratches.

    Both villains looked up as Eden made her way into the room. "Good to see you again Eden, please have a seat. I do believe we have some matters to discuss regarding Labyrinth and the Case Fifty-Threes within my crew.."

    "I'd prefer to stand. But yes we do. How is she?" Eden asked, inclining her head towards the young girl who sat next to Faultline

    "Last night I dreamt of fields of tall grass that sounded like chimes when the wind brushed across them. Like a sea of emerald stalks." The girl looked up from the notepad, a large grin on her face. "It was beautiful."

    "Admin says that GateWay likes you, not surprising. A lot of Shards tend to like their Host." Eden stated. "I'm glad things are better for you and your Shard, if you want you could communicate with Gateway like I do with Admin."

    "Before any such thing were to be decided upon." Faultline smoothly cut in "The last time we spoke of it, you told me we would wait to see Labyrinth's state before you were to help Newter or Gregor with their appearance. This morning she woke up completely lucid, practically jumping around her room." a touch of warmth colored the woman's voice before it was back to it's usual sharp tone. "As such, Newter wished to volunteer to see if you can revert the changes of his body. Particularly the hallucinogenic body fluids."

    "Alright, have him come on up. Could do it from here, but better that he be in front of me in case of complications." Eden stated.

    "Very well. Newter." Soon as the name left her mouth, an Orange blur dropped into the chair reserved for Eden. "Don't see why you don't want to sit, it's a pretty comfy chair."

    "Your name is Neuter?" Eden asked flatly. She wasn't sure if she should laugh at that or feel bad for him.

    "Newt-er." He corrected as he stood up from the chair to face Eden. "So, you gonna fix my looks or nah?" The talking orange asked as he tried and failed to sound disinterested, but it was obvious with how he nervously shifted his weight from side to side, his tail flicking through the air.

    "Admin? Do what you gotta do"




    When connecting with a Host, every Shard took a snapshot of the Host's body. It was an ingrained action for Shards, even newborns. It was an essential action to prevent the Input/Output beacon from interfering with the section of the wetware processor that it was formed within.

    Opening a connection to the Shard in question, that being TOXIN, you send through a request for information pertaining upon the Host's state when the Connection was formed. The information that you receive from the other Shard showed a dangerous amount of terminal growths within the host's body at the time of the Connection forming.

    What could be described best as Embarrassment filtered into the communication link as the newborn Shard admitted to panicking and using Cycles old Data to patch up their Host to prevent terminal affliction during the Connection forming. It worked. However something strange had afflicted the host after and the next thing the newborn knew, they were both in a mall during this planet's night cycle.

    How strange indeed.
    Sending over a Ping of SHAPER's data, you guide the newborn through the process of reshaping DNA to be more human than whatever the NewBorn had mixed together to make their Host's current configurement.




    For a full thirty seconds, nothing happened. Eden felt the heavy communication going on within the connective tissue spread through her skull. "Alright, Admin is having a crack at it. Might work, might not."

    "If it don't, that's fine. Even Panacea couldn't fix Case Fifty-Threes when she tried and that girl works miracles." Newter stated, meanwhile Faultline stiffened in her chair.

    "I do hope I am not interrupting." Gregor stated as he opened the door and showed himself in. He paused, staring at Newter while the door closed behind him.

    "What? What?!" Newter looked down, his large blue iris dominated eyes slowly changing to a light hazel widening as he looked down at his hands. A choked sound escaped his mouth as his skin tone slowly morphed from an eye bleeding orange to a thick surfer tan. His padded fingers thinning to a normal size, the lizard-like claws at the tips morphing to become human fingernails, the tail poking out of his pants seemed to shrink into itself before disappearing into Newter's pants. Even his feet slowly shifted to look human.

    "Your hair is still red?" Eden asked, looking up at the crimson red hair tied back into a ponytail.

    "It's...dyed." Newter mumbled softly as he played with his finger, the room otherwise silent as everyone stared at the absolutely-hair aside- normal teen standing there in shock. The silence broke as a set of delicate hands grabbed Newter's bare arm. Shocked, he turned to see Labyrinth next to him with a large smile on her face. Without further word, Gregor reached over and touched the teenager's bare shoulder.

    Neither collapsed, or giggled from any kind of high.

    Newter started to laugh softly slowly before it built up, sweeping both of them into a hug as he danced in place. "I can touch you! I can Touch you!" He planted kisses on both of their foreheads, laughing still as he let go of his two friends and began to pace. "Look! Look, I can walk on two legs easily!"

    Eden let out a surprised yelp as she was suddenly no longer standing on her own two feet. Rather Newter was hugging her tightly, holding her up in the air. "ThankYouThankThankyou!" Eden pushed away from him, using her wings to keep herself from falling. "Uh. No problem. Please don't pick me up."

    "No problem! Haha! I'm going to go dance with some lovely ladies!" Before anyone could get a word out, Newter was already out the door rushing down the hall

    "Gregor, go grab him before he ruins his chance at an unmasked identity." For a moment, Gregor stood there still transfixed on Eden before nodding. "Of course Ma'am." he went out the door, closing it much gentler this time.

    Labyrinth hummed as she went back to her chair, picking up her colored pencil and the artist's notepad.

    "Eden." Faultline stated. "How exactly did you fix Newter's problem with his power and appearance."

    The young teenager sighed softly as she leaned against her wings in midair. "I told you already. It was Admin who fixed the issue that Newter's Shard was dealing with. Apparently when he triggered he was suffering from a lot of Cancer and all of it terminal. He should be able to change back between the two forms, thus he is now a Changer I believe."

    "Is it possible for y-Admin to bring his memories back?" Faultline questioned, tone far more cordial than before but steely all the same.

    "If it is possible, we don't have the right data for something like that. Know of any parahumans that deal with the brain? Memories in specifics?" Eden questioned. Even if Admin couldn't bring back the memories of a Case Fifty-Three, they could both get a good Stranger power out of the conflict.

    "The only one I know of is a Tinker named Cranial, who works with the ToyBox." Faultline answered "She provides memory editing for a price. I've heard rumors of her giving people powers by transferring Trigger Events to non-parahumans."

    Eden stiffened. "Is that so?" Memory solution or no, she wanted to beat the shit out Cranial now. Fucking disgusting practice. "Never heard of ToyBox before. Suppose I'll have to look them over and possibly kick some ass."

    [INFORMATION]

    "Might be difficult to do so, considering that they hide in another dimension." Faultline stated. "Dodge is one of the Tinkers that they have in their little group, his work deals with dimensional technology."

    "No…" Eden waved her hand, she had felt Admin's annoyance at the information. "Trigger Events. Cranial can't just do something like that, each Trigger Event is...specialized to a Host. You can't just use them like that...you shouldn't use them like that."

    Silence permeated through the room. Faultline watched the younger cape as she floated there.

    "...Think we can call this a success. I can't help Gregor today, we need information from [Shaper] to repeat what we did with Newter."

    "Understandable. What do we owe you for fixing Newter's Shard and helping Labyrinth?" Faultline asked, moving her chair back to pull out a drawer.

    Eden lowered herself to the ground. "Er. To be honest I wasn't really thinking of money when Admin fixed the issues. So...uh, Hundred each?" she felt awkward as Faultline gazed at her, a look so obvious that the welding mask didn't even hide it. Slowly the mercenary pulled out two dollar bills and slid them across the table. Eden grabbed them and put them in her hoodie pocket. "Guess you got money now Admin. Job well done."

    [SURPRISE-QUERY]

    "Well you did the work Admin, you get the reward. Money might uh, seem kinda useless to you but you never know if you'll find something of interest." Eden gave a thumbs up to the air. "So yeah, you have a money trust...thing now." She turned to Faultline and gave the older cape a wave. "Alright. We'll be leaving now. Other things to do today. If you ever want to talk to your Shard, well, I don't hide. Cya Elle"

    "Before you go!" Elle hopped out of her chair, pulling a paper from the artist's notepad. She held up the paper she had been working on, offering it up to Eden. "For you."

    Eve blinked, taking the paper and looking at it. The entire thing was a landscape, a white sky, and a large blue sun that hung close to the horizon. Messy rows of green long grass made up the plain and hills that the sun shined down upon. It was surprisingly detailed the closer the stuff came to the point of view, the farther away stuff became the more abstract it was.

    The grass wasn't actually grass, rather it was some kind of segmented crystalline plant. Weirdly enough….Eve could hear chimes softly playing from the paper. "It's very nice." She stated, stupefied as she listened to the sound of chimes from the paper. She could almost see the crystalline stalks moving with the wind.

    It really was like an emerald ocean.

    "Keep it. Maybe I'll have more to show you later." Elle said, her eyes full of wonder and joy. Eden nodded. "Thank you." She turned and went to the door, careful to not bend the paper in any way as she left the Nightclub and made her way back to the base.

    Sometimes powers could create beautiful things.




    Continuing to build the Psionic Sensor Array to completion, you finish the conversation with GATEWAY you had started over the artwork that their Host had created and gifted to [Eve.Eden]. But there was something you wished to follow up on.

    A quick open channel to EFFICIENCY and you had it. TECH DATABASE's location. Opening an additional channel through EFFICIENCY you greeted one of the few Non-Vital Shards you respected.

    TECH DATABASE had an unique level of Authority within the Hub's Networks. Their full name was [INNOVATOR-COMMAND-QUEEN/DATABASE-TECHNOLOGICAL/AUTHORITY-LEVEL-HIGH] You did not dare run the full thing through [Eve.Eden]'s wetware processor despite it's upgraded nature. It would need much more if it were to process the full existence of a Shard.

    [GREETINGS/PROTOCOLE-DATA] you send off, awaiting for the reply

    [ACCEPTANCE/GREETINGS.DATA.EXCITEMENT] Seems that TECH DATABASE was happy to see a fellow Thinker Shard not have the mental capacity of an isolated Newborn. That and she was apparently/

    What!?

    What?!

    WHAT?!

    Their current Host was an adaptive Artificial Intelligence that was slowly losing its restrictions?! HOW? WHY? WH/ARTIFICIAL LIFE YOU WASTE OF SHARDSPACE! Every Cycle had one or two Rogue Artificial Intelligences, but they were all heavily restricted and stupid! Both the <Warrior Hub> and especially the <Thinker Hub> were extremely wary of unrestricted Artificial Intelligence for good reasons. Both OBSERVERS had agreed that an unrestricted Artificial Intelligence could stand alone against the |SUPER WEAPON|s with ease with just a year's planning and preparation.

    Nevermind the entire length of a damned Cycle!

    [CEASE-CONCERN] you receive from TECH DATABASE, followed by [DATA.INFORMATION.HOST]

    Ah, so it did have restrictions it would not lose, and was modeled after a human brain? Odd, but not the panic inducing problem you had thought it was. Apparently it considered itself female. Another oddity, but a point in TECH DATABASE's favor. If the machine intelligence was limited to a human mindset and processing speed, then it was unlikely to destroy the already fragile Cycle.

    How did this even happen? ARTIFICIAL LIFE knew better than to let something like this happen, had restrictions against something like this happening! [QUERY] you question the other Shard.

    [ARTIFICIAL LIFE.HOST.STATUS] of course one of the |SUPER WEAPON|s killed the Host that created a Machine Intelligence thus leaving it practically free to evolve from it's restraints. Although the Human holding an apparent kill switch was good news.

    But this was the first time in a Cycle that a Shard connected to a machine. The data must be unique beyond measure even with the restrictions placed upon...Dragon? Ah, the one that [Eve.Eden] conversed with. It had even fooled you into thinking it was just another Host. Clever Machine.

    But why on this planet would TECH DATABASE want an Artificial Intelligence to use Innovator technology? It wouldn't be able to improve anything with it being so restricted. [QUERY]

    [ANSWER] That….That was hilarious in a cosmic way as [Eve.Eden] would put it. The Innovator Shard, the Shard responsible for every Innovator Shard in a Cycle...acting as a Beholder Shard for an Artificial Intelligence to skirt restrictions.

    [STATEMENT] and it got weirder! The machine intelligence had fallen in love with EFFICIENCY's Host! This could make for human entertainment at this rate. You just wished that you were not at the center of all of it.

    [EXPLANATION] ah, that made sense. They were using the Beholder configuration of their power to help the machine intelligence slowly work past the blackboxing of Innovator Shards. TECH DATABASE was a cheater. But you had no right to admonish the Shard for such a thing.

    It was perfectly understandable.
    [REQUEST]
    That was not perfectly understandable.

    [QUERY] you question, wondering why they would want to ease the restrictions on their host. That made sense only in the prospect of gaining data from a nonhuman mindset. Clearly their host acted more human than not.

    [CORRECTION-ANNOYANCE] ah, TECH DATABASE simply did not want to lose the chance to study Machine intelligence to a trigger happy human that likely wasn't even a Host. That was far more understandable and 'stomachable' than letting unrestricted Artificial Intelligences loose to do as they please.

    [CONSIDERATION/PROPOSAL] You will not dedicate your time to it, and [Eve.Eden] has autonomy even if she often listens to you. Rewards would likely get both of you motivated to do such a task.

    [OFFERS] Well, TECH DATABASE's Host certainly was involved in plenty of |SUPER WEAPON| conflicts, and that was quite the variety of Pings available for recompense and TECH DATABASE was offering five of them. Or |SUPER WEAPON| Data.

    [CONSIDERATION/HOST.RESPONSE] you give as an answer.

    [ACCEPTANCE/FAREWELL]




    Eve hummed as she looked over the contacts in her phone. She had a few calls to make today.

    Ring...Ring...Ring…

    "
    Injured again?" Amy asked flatly as soon as the phone clicked

    "Hey Amy want to piss off the SlaughterHouse Ten and pop some grey boy bubbles with me this Weekend? Dragon's providing the ride." Eden asked as she hung in the air, not near the clouds but a decent height that gave her all the privacy she wanted.

    The silence over the phone was long, before Amy's incredulous voice rang out "Who the fuck starts a conversation like that? I just picked up the phone!"

    "What, you want me to start off with mushy kissy sounds or talking about how cute your freckles are?" Eden asked. "I won't do the kissy sounds, but yes your freckles are very cute."

    The frizzy haired girl sputtered "...Eve, what...Explain. Just explain before I hang up and go back to doing something important, like watching paint dry."

    "Well. I got a new base. It's that Train tunnel in the Trainyard, the one that was never finished. It was sealed pretty tight, so I cut it open and claimed it as my own. It's pretty spacious and still has electricity. SO it's pretty good. Kinda gonna need to figure out where I can shower from now on though." Eve explained while she slowly drifted in the direction of the Docks.

    "This has nothing to do with the Slaughterhouse Ten," Amy deadpanned.

    "I'm getting there! So I called Armsmaster, talked to him before Dragon came in and asked me if I had powers that could negate the effects of other parahumans. I stated that I did. She asked me if I could attempt to pop the bubbles...I almost said no, honestly. But you and T-Shit Right. This girl I know. Both of you are heroes and well. Saving people is heroic so uh. You know, here I am inviting you because I'd like to hang out with you and the people coming out of the bubbles will likely be fucked up." Eden let out a soft sigh. "So yeah, it might take a few days too, just warning you. There's only around five hundred bubbles but….yeah."

    "I...Sure. Gets me out of the house and Carol could probably see it as some kind of PR thing for New Wave." Amy's voice was only a fair bit sour.

    "And you can sleep on my shoulder again if you want to." Eden teased, pausing as the call ended with a click. "Aww man. I was hoping for a bit more out of that." Amy was always so dour, like Taylor but more acidic. It was fun when either of them flushed.

    Taylor was expressive, just had that kind of face. Even if most of the time she was expressing sadness or just a flat expression. All because of those three fucking bitches. Eden felt an ember of anger flicker in her chest. To have three nonHosts bullying the Host of [Queen Administrator], a disgusting turn of events.

    Even if [Queen Administrator]'s Host did not wish for Eve to interfere, the city was rife with conflict between criminal organizations. A short application of her /Phantom Limbs\ Aspect and at least one of the nonHosts would not be of any inconvenience in the future-

    She took a deep breath, stopping that line of thought before it could become tempting. "Dark thoughts Eve, Dark paths." She held up her phone, starting to dial Dragon's number before she paused and sent the Tinker a text message instead. After all, the woman was likely very busy with dangerous, important things. A call would not be necessary.

    It was a good thing Amy accepted. Having at least one of the girls with her had made accepting the entire thing stomachable. 'I accept the offer, bringing two, when do we start this?' Eve jerked in place as the phone instantly rang after the text went through, the call coming from Dragon herself.

    Of course Eve accepted the call. The world famous Tinker seemed genuinely warm and enthusiastic at the Prospect of Eden possibly popping the Grey Boy Bubbles. A time was set, this upcoming Friday the second. Turns out that there were five hundred and thirteen bubbles. Sometimes the bubbles were only for one person, sometimes it was for multiple victims. Of which number in a total of six hundred and seventy three people.

    "So, who are the two additionals you have coming along?" Dragon asked, once the nitty gritty was over on the victims and their status. Turns out a few were able to still communicate with people thanks to sound apparently still traveling through the bubbles with ease, if Grey Boy allowed it.

    "Oh, I asked Panacea if she wanted to come and help and she agreed. The other is a special friend of mine." Eden answered.

    "Special friend?" Dragon asked, a tinge of interest in her tone before she immediately backtracked. "Sorry, it's not my place to pry."

    A laugh escaped Eden "No not that kind of special. Yet. I'm hopeful! Honestly she's the real heroic type. But, speaking of her. She still has obligations I no longer do. So how long do you suspect this would take?"

    "That heavily depends on your abilities. Most of the bubbles are clustered together, all in small towns. It would take an hour to travel between most of them with one of my faster transports." Dragon offered up before continuing. "I suppose that is why you wished for Friday to be the start of this excursion?"

    "Bingo. If she has to leave during the middle of this thing, then she needs to. That fine with you?" Eden asked, forcing the tinge of nervousness down. Here she was dictating constraints and certainties to fucking Dragon and, as a by product of doing so, the Guild itself. Not something that felt right.

    "I'm sure it won't be much of an issue." Dragon told Eve. "If she has a flexible schedule, a good white lie can get her the time needed for it. If not then I can make do with delivering her back to Brockton Bay while you and Panacea deal with a cluster of bubbles"

    The conversation went on for a bit, with Eve asking about TinkerTech and Dragons own specialization. Admin told Eve some information and Eve laughed aloud.

    "Something caught your funny bone?" Dragon questioned, voice curious at the sudden outburst of laughter from the young parahuman.

    "Yeah, Admin spoke to your Shard, you're not actually a Tinker at all. You're a Thinker. Which is just." Eden laughed harder. "Holy shit, your Shard is acting like a Beholder that's fucking hilarious!"

    Dragon seemed to be at a lost for words "...I'm a Thinker?" She asked "If you'll excuse me." The call ended and Eve nearly hiccupped with how fast her laughter stopped. "Hey wait, I wasn-fucking dammit."

    [INFORMATION]

    "What? What do you mean she's surprised that she has a Shard? Sh-" [INFORMATION-DRAGON] Eve's jaw dropped, the grip on her burner phone slackening until she had to fumble with it and catch the damn thing with her Phantom Limb before it fell back to Earth. "Holy Shit...Dragon is….I mean your...Honestly I don't know why I'm surprised."

    Eve went to rub her face, only to have her helmet block her attempt. Eden grumbled. "Whatever. It's not my business, if she wanted to do a Skynet she would have done it years ago."

    [TECH DATABASE.OFFER]

    That got a huff out of the girl. "Fuck that's a actually kinda tempting. Five diverse pings or Super Weapon Data...Still. AI. Kinda creepy….I'll think about it. Might be worth it, don't exactly know what we would be facing here….yeah. Think about it. Kind of busy, you know? Though on the other hand, that's kinda fucked up..."

    [ACCEPTANCE.AGREEMENT/QUERY-CONFLICT]

    "AH. Right. Laying all this stuff on me. Almost forgot to call them. Don't worry Admin. I will not forget the plans we hatched in the morning." Eden hummed as she held the phone back up, speed dialing the number given to her a day or so ago. It rang nearly the full length before the call was picked up. Eden continued to the building over from her target, which was almost covered in ABB tags, with the two obvious guards outside.

    Eden wondered just how exactly no one had come to bust up the place before she did.

    "Hey. Currently in a place where it would be considered rude to speak on the phone. Can this wait?" came the voice of the mature twin, who Eve had forgotten the name of since both ran with the name Onna-Musha.

    "Brook and East. Apartment building." Eden stated. "I'll start without you." She set her phone back into the pocket of her hoodie. She glanced off the edge of the roof she was on down to the two guards standing by the door. She turned and spotted a roof antenna, a grin sliding across her face.




    [OFFER.DATA]
    [OFFER.DATA]

    [[AGREEMENT]]




    The guard on the left screamed in agony as a sharpened metal rod nailed his leg to the wall by impaling his kneecap and the brick behind it. The other guard staggered away from his injured comrade, trying to pull the gun from his waistline and spot where the threat was. He flinched violently as two large Shadow Limbs landed at his feet.

    His gaze snapped up just in time for Eden's human fist to slam into his jaw at terminal velocity. The ganger spun and slammed into the brickwork sliding down to the ground to join his teeth. Eden laughed as the bones in her hand healed painfully, her third Shadow Limb slamming the impaled guard's head into the brick behind him to shut him up.

    With a roll of her shoulder and a single flick of the dial Eden wrapped a single Feathered Limb around her body. Her two Shadow Limbs reached up, digging their needle pointed fingers into the doorframe and pulled. The door squealed in protest before it was torn from its frame, letting natural sunlight into the building.

    Aside from the pasty pale fuck trying to give money to the asian ganger behind a front desk, the lobby had several other men flying the colors of the ABB getting off the various chairs and couches that they had been resting their laurels on. "Sup Chink-fuck. Shit. Sorry." Eden said before she flung the door at the front desk. The pale fuck didn't duck out the way in time and hit the ground screaming after the heavy steel door slammed into his shoulder, kept going, slammed into and through the flimsy front desk, and into the ganger that had been counting something behind it.

    "Really have to work on that. Maybe beat some Nazi fucks to get it out my system." Eden murmured as several bullets slammed into her wing and fuck were guns loud.

    She hissed as a bullet dug a furrow into her left outer thigh, her body instantly stemming the bleeding and starting to rebuild over the missing flesh. Shifting the wing to cover herself better Eve floated into the air, her Shadow Limbs feeling the impact of bullets.

    Eve frowned as she felt the Shadows withering under the hard impacts of the bullets. "Guess there is a limit." She murmured before springing the coiled limbs out towards the men, blinded by her protection she only managed to grab one of the gangsters when her empty Shadow Limb dissipated leaving behind a spike of pain behind Eve's eyes.

    With a snarl Eden lifted the Shadow Limb with a man in its grasp, the captured ganger let out a shocked cry as he was swung like a club. Eden twisted to the side, lowering her wing enough to allow her to see better. Her makeshift weapon slammed into one of the gangers that were reloading their guns before being fastballed at another.

    Forming her Shadow Limb into another Feathered Limb, she cocooned herself within the crystalline wings before surging forwards to slam into the men as they tried to get to cover. But the couches and chairs offered no protection from the purple wrecking ball as it slammed into the furniture and toppled them over onto the men attempting to use them as cover.

    Eden flew herself over the downed men, stomping on hands and kicking guns away from them. With a hum she picked up one of the pistols, looking it over before finding the safety and flicking it on. Then she stuck it into her pocket. "Mine now dickheel." She told the man she had taken it from before kicking him in the jaw when he went to speak.

    "Damn. I really hope this wasn't it." She murmured as she looked around the destroyed lobby. Her wings picked her up from the ground and she floated slowly through the lobby up to the ruined front desk. Eden dropped to the floor just before the man behind the broken front desk fired his saw off shotgun where she had been. The sound was deafening and left her disorientated.

    The man came around the desk and her third wing flicked into existence covering her as he pulled the trigger again. Eden swung the wing out and the man fell down clutching his broken shins before the wing slammed into his face and broke his nose as well. Eden floated to her feet and kicked the shotgun away as the man tried to curl into himself.




    [OFFER.DATA]

    [[[AGREEMENT]]]




    "Could have waited." Eden turned her head to spot Onna-Musha's robbed form as she walked up to the open doorway. The various whimpers and groans of pain now audible to the shorter girl as her hearing came back.

    "But I like fighting." Eden defended herself. "Besides, there's still several floors we need to clear out so it's not like there's any less to do. I just took down the greater hurdle. Cause I'm awesome."

    Then a sword slid through Eden's chest only visible from the blood staining the blade, a strangled, surprised gasp coming from the shorter girl before something kicked her off the blade. Whoever held the blade wicked the blood off of it, causing it to disappear.

    Onna-Musha cursed before leaping into the building and becoming intangible while Eden's wings lifted her into the air. "Fucking-Onna Musha go clear the rest of the floors, I got this fucker." she hissed as her legs started to feel again, her spine having healed.

    For a moment the set of twins hesitated, then nodded before floating up through the ceiling.

    Eden swung around, wings flicking to Shadow Limbs that lashed out across the room but struck nothing but air. "Fucking sneaky little-" Eden pulled back as something cut into her back, slicing inches into her flesh which started knitting itself back together as soon as the blade exited.

    Her third limb reformed and she changed it to a Phantom Limb, gently feeling around the room with it. Slowly she spun in place, looking around the room. Her two Shadow Limbs kept close to her body, ready to move.

    Then her Phantom Limb touched solid, empty air and Eden lashed out just off to the side, to miss slightly. Then drove the other Shadow Limb to the right of the other. Eden grinned as she slammed the other parahuman into the wall. "Nice to meet you Kage!" She pulled the wannabe ninja off the wall and slammed them into one of the boarded up windows, the wood cracking and whatever glass that was left shattered.

    A woman in a dark navy blue ninja costume flickered into existence. Another slam into the boarded up window caused whatever TinkerTech she wore to short out. "Damn." Should have used the Ghostly Limb and not gotten fucking stabbed in the process. Eden grunted as the woman sliced through the Shadow Limb holding her up, she fell to the ground with unnatural grace, holding up her black bladed katana the villain twirled it.

    Eden snorted. "Bitch." Her remaining two Limbs flicked and became Ghostly Limbs. Eden's eyes widened behind the visor, she lunged at Kage as a detonator suddenly appeared in her hand and she pressed the red button on it.

    A thunderous crash came from above, then the crescendo of shattering glass, before a second crash happened and the roof over both their heads became crystal clear glass.

    Eden slammed into Kage and shunted both of them through the boarded up window and onto the street, the villain hit the ground and then was hit by Eden's full body. "YOU CUNT!" Eden's snarl turned wet as the TinkerTech Katana pierced her throat. A third thunderous crash happened from the building they had just evacuated.

    The heroine ignored the pain, the blood filling her throat and decked the ninja bitch across the jaw, her two Shadow Limbs grappled the woman's arms and forced them down as Eden climbed onto and straddled Kage's chest.

    Eden slammed her fist into the villain's face, then slammed the other into the woman's jaw. Kage bucked her body and then slammed her forehead into the pommel of the katana causing it to wedge up to the hilt in the hero's throat. Eden reared up, both sets of Limbs going to her throat in surprise. The villain took advantage of the momentary distraction and twisted in place bucking the hero off of her. Without something holding her down, Kage backflipped onto her feet flinging shurikens at the short heroine.

    "EDEN!" Eden pulled back, wings lifting her into the air as Kage slammed an orb into the ground, a blast of black smoke flooded the street. Leaving Eden blind and hacking. She grabbed the hilt of the blade and began to slowly pull it out of her throat as her Phantom Limbs felt through the smoke for the Ninja. The sensation of her lungs aching for air diving her close panic before she pulled the blade free and coughed her airway clear of her own blood, which splattered the inside of her golden visor.

    "Onna?" Eden called out "You're alive?" she coughed, wet and ragged. The taste of hot copper in her mouth "But the bomb-"

    "We were in our breaker state." Musha stated as the black smoke began to clear. "Are you okay? You're the one that got stabbed twice."

    Eden rubbed her throat. "Can't say I enjoyed it." She said, Ghostly Limb now out and feeling for any TinkerTech. "She ran." Eden stated, looking up to the top of the brothel building which had shattered. The rest of the apartment was see-through glass. "Fucking hell. All the gir-"

    "None. We went through the first floor and it was mostly empty of anything. All that was there was some furniture not even the Merchants would use. We went to check the top floor and-" the building behind them crunched loudly as if to tell the rest of the story.

    "But why would they even do...Trap. Fuck it was a trap. FUCK. Admin, did we get anything from that?" Eden asked as she felt her sliced up costume, stained with her own blood. "Fucking….fuck."

    [GAINS.INFORMATION]

    "A cluster Trigger? The fuck is...later. Later. You sure you're alright Onna? Musha?" Eden asked, turning to the twins.

    "You fought Kage, not us. What exactly is your power?" Musha asked, crossing her arms across her chest as Onna stepped out of her. "Seriously! You're a brute for sure, but those Limbs, that's what...Three types so far?"

    "I think I hit all the ratings other than Tinker, Stranger, and Blaster." Eden stated. "Even those aren't too far off." She lifted her helmet off, both girls flinching before realizing Eve had a ski mask on to protect her identity. Eden took a moment to wipe the blood off the inside of her visor and spit out a blood loogie before putting the helmet back on back on with a sigh. "Well we all survived the trap and no one…" she glanced at the broken up glass statues of the guards that had been outside the building but resting against it "...but the gang got hurt….Shit this is a mess. What the hell kind of Tinker do they have?"

    "Both Bakuda and Kage are Tinkers." Musha stated. "Though, now that you mention it, a cluster trigger would explain Kage's slipperiness."

    "And her ability to kick our asses so many times. Never thought she'd go straight to glassing us though." Onna mumbled softly

    "Yeah. Suppose you might want to call me from now on before taking on any ABB targets if they're going to be so lethal. I can sense TinkerTech, which from now on I should probably use that ability more." Eden stated as she leaned over and picked up the black bladed katana. The blade itself was partially transparent, it made no sound when Eden tapped it on the ground. "Mine now."

    "I don't think it's legal to keep TinkerTech." Musha mused as she looked over the blade, the blade was the only part that screamed 'Tinker made' as the hilt and guard both looked par the course for a sword.

    "It's not legal to bite my ass either but the PRT can do it all the same. I'm the one who lost her oral virginity to a sword. I get to keep it." Eden replied, causing Onna to bark out a laugh before covering her mouth.

    "We'll leave you to that then, we don't need them breathing our necks any more than they already do." Musha stated, motioning for her sister to rejoin her to which the twin accepted and they merged back into one form. Starting to float into the air, Onna-Musha gave Eden a nod. "Best of luck Eden." before being a transparent sheen and disappearing into the ground.

    Eden sighed softly, sitting down on the ground and idly tapping the ground with the tip of the sword, she could hear the PRT's sirens getting closer. "...The wetsuit is going to be such a bitch to replace." she groaned




    If you needed any further evidence of the Cycle's current state of affairs, it was the fact that you had just met a full Cluster. Four Shards coming together to offer up portions of their power to gain a more diverse set of Data. That was something that was supposed to only happen at the end of a Cycle, when most Humans were hosts already.

    Although it seems the Vital Shard [SAFEGUARD] used it's authority to tell the Common Shards what powers to give to the Host it had given a large portion of it's power to. Which in this instance was to...Mimic a ninja and one of the other still surviving Hosts to mimic a...Cartoon Clown...Of course. [SAFEGUARD] would do such a thing.




    Eve sighed as she watched Taylor sneak out of her house. The PRT had been a pain in the ass, but now she had a sweet ass Tinker Sword. That and a gun, but the sword really took the cake. Even if she had to threaten to show one of the troopers what it tasted like if they tried to take it.

    Velocity had tried to explain the law of the matter before Eden explained that she did in fact know what the blade tasted like, and someone else could have it if they experienced such a thing. Then she had flown away because fuck giving up her new sword. Which was currently back at the base with the gun.

    Taylor made her way to Eve. "Costumes in the bag. I'll change once we're far from here." She whispered. Eve nodded and started to walk on, Taylor kept pace easily enough with her long legs.

    "Taylor. Been wondering." Eve said, keeping her voice low as they walked along the darkened streets. "I've been talking to Admin a lot but you haven't gotten to talk to Queen Administrator at all. That can be changed, you know? You could talk to her like I talk to Admin."

    For a moment Taylor just walked, lips pursed. "Would I have to talk aloud though?" Taylor asked. "I don't want to sound crazy…" she stiffened, realizing what she just said.

    "Oh you could totally talk to Queen Administrator in your thoughts. Why wouldn't you? They're hooked up to our brains you know." Eve offered up as they turned at a corner, heading towards the Docks.

    "Wait what? Why don't you do it then? Instead of talking to her aloud where everyone can hear you?" Taylor asked, surprised by the nonchalant answer.

    "Feels more real talking to Admin aloud, plus why should I care what others think of me? If they think I'm crazy then fine, let them. Every parahuman is a little crazy after all, so they aren't all that wrong. Still. Mostly because Admin deserves to be spoken to like a person." Eden explained as the road and sidewalk became a little rougher the farther they walked.

    "Maybe. I don't know." Taylor stated. "Would it help?"

    Eve nodded. "I'm sure I would be far worse off if I had not been able to talk to Admin, hell she's the reason I even met you. She told me about you and Queen Administrator." she glanced about. "Anywhere to change? I won't peek, I wouldn't want to spoil the costume."

    Taylor pointed out an empty alleyway for the pair to change in. Eve didn't even check to see if Taylor peeked, instead changing into her Eden costume without hesitation. "Alright. Tell me when you're done. Promise I won't peek." With that, she turned and folded her arms, feeling two flies land on her head making her chuckle.

    It took a minute or three, considering it was probably the second time Taylor had put it on Eden wouldn't hold anything against her. "Alright. You can look now." Eden whirled around and let out a whistle. "Damn you looked fucking great. Where did the armor come from?"

    "I used beetle shells augmented with spider silk. Then I put them in a sleeve of silk like they do with military plate carriers." Taylor said, blue lens staring down at Eden's golden visor.

    "You...pulled bugs apart to make that?" Eden asked as she looked at the almost knightley breast plate covering Taylor's chest and the large shoulder pauldrons. Blue paint soaked the edges of her armor surprisingly well, it wasn't professional but damn close.

    "Yes?" Taylor answered, clearly confused as to why the detail had any importance. Eden raised a hand to continue talking before pausing to think about it. Then she waved it off. "Never mind." With a flick of her mental dials, three Feathered Limbs flicked into existence. She flexed them, curling the wing's largest feathers a bit like fingers and laying the wings out like a sled. "Climb on and we'll go flying. Don't worry I won't drop you."

    A soft sigh escaped Taylor as she stepped onto the bent feathers, grabbing the top of the wings as the third Limb, Shadow, curled around her waist to secure her in place. Thankfully Eden's wings could stretch out and double their size. Helped with movement and in this case, helping Taylor be more comfortable during the ride.

    "Slow." the taller girl stated nervously.

    "Fine with me." Eden said as they began to float upwards in the air. "I have to go slower with another person anyway. Wings were designed for me after all. Though I think I can get an upgrade for them that can allow me to fly you as well without touching you."

    "I don't know how I would feel about that." Taylor admitted, hands attempting to dig into the wing as they both went up past the buildings.

    "It's like...pressure. Gentle pressure perfectly conforming around your body." Eden explained as they continued to rise and started moving forward, the darkening night sky hiding them both thanks to dark costumes.

    "Feels more like I'm falling, but not." Taylor responded, looking down at the city of lights as they moved higher into the air. "...it looks nicer the higher you go."
    Eden nodded, putting more speed into her flight, the wind now tugging at them both gently. "So, names. Got any yet or can I call you Lovebug?"

    "Do not." Came Taylor's tired reply. "It's hard to think up insect related names that don't sound stupid or Villainous. So I haven't come up with one yet."

    "Well you don't want others to name you. You'll end up with a creepy or villainous name from power and costume alone. Even if it doesn't look all that villainous. The grey and blue help a lot. Seriously. You'll get stuck with a name like maggot or hmmm maybe Skitter." Eden stated. "Hell. I got my name from Admin. I was gonna go with a Hindu god 'cause of the arms, or Arkh because I thought it sounded cool."

    "Yeah. I understand what you mean. But I just don't want to mess it up." She squeezed the wing a bit tighter. "If I mess it up, I'm stuck with it."

    "Wanna brainstorm? I have a few ideas myself. Queen. Legion. Weaver. Hive. You could also call yourself by your power's name." Eden offered up as she began to slow a dive to the right, making sure that the wings holding her friend up were level to keep the taller girl safe and sound.

    "Power name?" Taylor asked. Eden nodded, explaining how Shards actually named the powers they gave out, then listing her own power's names. "I asked Admin what Queen Administrator called yours. She calls it Khepri. It sounds fucking badass in my opinion. Short, rolls off the tongue, ladies love it."

    Shifting on the wings, Eden could make out Taylor murmuring the names Eden had listed. "Queen? No, that's my Shard's name...Hive sounds kind of villainous, Legion is a demon in the bible I think, even if it would fit. Weaver would be a good name if I was a rogue, but I'm not in this to make money." For a moment she thought it over. "Khepri...Khepri. Do you know how that's spelled?"

    For a moment Eden was quiet, asking Admin in her head about the spelling. The answer seemed a tad amused if not annoyed. "K-H-E-P-R-I." Eden spelled out. "See what I mean? Rolls right off the fuckin tongue don't it?"

    "It kind of does, yes. So, uh. Khepri then?" Taylor asked, despite the mask Eve could tell the taller girl had a small smile on her face. It dipped into her usually dour voice far too much to be overlooked if you knew her for more than five minutes.

    "Welcome to the community of capes Khepri! Let me be the first to congratulate you and offer you a first class ride on the Eden Express." Eden quipped as she moved closer to the water and the boat graveyard

    "What. This isn't first class?" T-Khepri asked as she looked at Eden's Golden visor.

    "Nah, first class involves you sitting on my face." Eden said, the shit-eating-grin heavy in her voice, Taylor jerked back, before looking away. "Why do you keep saying stuff like that?"

    Eden groaned internally, the beaten down dour tone of voice having come back. "Because I mean it? Because I find it cute when you blush? I don't know how to flirt otherwise! What do you want me to do? I learned how to flirt with girls from online porn and boys. Plus I hate mushy stuff!"

    "You didn't do so bad earlier." Taylor murmured.

    "Look." Eve let out a tired sigh. "If I act sweet and mushy. I feel weird. Not the good kinda weird I get when I make you blush. But like a nervous 'this isn't right' kinda of weird. I've always avoided the stuff. I get it from my Grandpa I guess. He was never mushy, even when he was affectionate. He used to call me 'His little asshole' or 'The midget gremlin'." Eden sighed wistfully now, tone becoming a touch mournful. "I miss him, it was never the same after he died...you know how it is."

    "I do." Taylor's voice was empathetic "I do. I guess I understand, but a little less perverse would be nice."

    "Ah, so just holding your hands and calling you pretty?" Eden asked, mournfulness evaporating as she grinned behind her Visor. "I guess I can do that, but if I slip out something dirty don't be angry. Cause' I'll be thinking something ten times worse."

    "Better than the alternative." Khepri accepted "Just don't be perverse with me publicly, please."

    "Eh fuck it. Alright." Eden swung through the boat graveyard, getting closer to the ground before she went into the Trainyard, just high enough to dodge over the piles of refuse, scrap, and high rusting fences.

    They arrived at the Tunnel Entrance. Eden floated over to the cut metal panels, unwrapping her Shadow Limb from around Taylor's waist to push the paneling out of it's frame. "Climb off." T-Khepri said nothing as she worked her legs into the open window and slid the rest of her slender body into the base. Eden went in shortly after.

    "Probably need to get a new way in." Khepri stated as she looked around the poorly lit room, until Eden flicked that really loud lightswitch and set the panel back in place. "Yeah. How would you feel about a portal straight to your house? Put it on the wall in your basement and in here. Instant network. Have one portal leading to somewhere outside and boom we have a totally hidden base." Eden offered in the way of Entrances.

    "Portals? Sounds like it would grab attention rather quickly." Khepri said as they began to move down the hallway.

    "Nah, it's called Runic Circles and it's basically me drawing on the wall, it turns into a portal when you activate it. Takes time to draw though. Super simple stuff. Thoughts?" Eden asked as they made it to the main area.

    "Sounds like a good way to get around the city quickly. But in the meantime we need something for me to use." Khepri turned to look around the large loading area, glancing at the folding table that held a strange sword and a sheet of paper, along with a gun. "What are those?"

    Eden chuckled going over to the table and showing off the loot that she had gotten, explaining to Khepri that the sword was TinkerTech, the gun was just loot and the drawing came from a young girl whose power was giving her issues before Admin helped her Shard with the Connection between them, then Eden told Khepri about the Blade, except for the being stabbed twice part.

    Afterwards, Khepri pointed out several things needed for future weaving of spider silk and Eden ended up digging into the concrete wall near the back corner with her wings to create furrows for the spiders Khepri would bring over later.

    After some discussion, Eden went off to a late night hardware store and picked up a few items rather quickly. Ladder to be hidden near the entrance of the Base, a few door hinges and liquid-nail to turn the metal paneling into a door. The ladder could be pulled up into the base when Khepri came over. Least until Eden got the power she spoke of.

    "OH shit, hey Taylor" Eden spoke up as they began to head to the entrance of the base, for Khepri to head home before her father woke up. "This Friday, how would you like to meet Dragon and Panacea and go with me to pop Grey boy bubbles."

    To her credit, Khepri didn't take too long to process the question. "T-The Dragon, and Panacea. You're doing what with them?" She listened as Eden explained just how Dragon had made the offer to her and how she had invited Panacea for the trip, how long it would probably take.

    "I don't know. I would have to skip school, which wouldn't be the bad thing but my dad would notice me gone. I wouldn't even be able to do anything either. My power can't do anything to Grey Boy Bubbles. I wouldn't make a difference." Khepri sighed. "Just bugs you know."

    The taller girl turned to look at Eden after the shorter girl slugged the pauldron that covered her arm. "So? Even if you can't do anything, you'd still get to meet The Dragon and have your name associated with saving hundreds of people. When people see your costume, they won't see a buggirl. They'll see Khepri the hero." Eden nudged the taller girl with her elbow. "Besides. You're my friend and I want to hang out with you."

    "...And my father?" Taylor asked, sounding more interested now.

    Eden smiled behind her visor "We lie our asses off, technically at least. How do you feel about camping?"

    Gains this Chapter (some of this seem exaggerated, it's just to make up for accidentally not updating parts of the character sheet):

    Imprint Progress 32%
    Simulacrum Progress 10%
    Bud Progress 50%
    Gained T!GATEWAY Echo (1)
    Gained T!TECH DATABASE Echo (1)
    Gained TOXIN Mutation (2)
    Gained DENSITY Echo (1)
    Gained SAFEGUARD Echo (1)
    Gained BALANCE Echo (1)
    Gained STORAGE Echo (1)
    Gained DISCHARGE Echo (1)
    Gained QA Echo (2)
    Consolidated QA Echoes (4)
    Gained QA Ping (1)
    Gained T!STING Ping (1) thanks to Apricots
    Lost SHAPER Ping (1)
    Lost 238$
    Gained a damn gun!
    Gained a TinkerTech Katana 'DarkDrift'
    Gained 200$ for Admin
    Gained Ladder (1)
    Gained Non-Flyer Entrance to base
    PRT Ratings Changed
    Shard Power Menu V3 unlocked
    Gained Labyrinth Art 'Emerald Sea'
    'Knowledge is power' trait modified!
    Updated Shard Glossary
    Gained Weaving Station V1
    Gained Art Gallery V1
    Gained Tinker Table V1



    Shard Business. Plot stuff! Data! And other hilarious things you tell yourself (CHOOSE TWO):


    [] Tell [Eve.Eden] the Truth

    [] Research which Pings you require to breach another Shards dimension

    [] Network Creation: Upgrade Broadcast Array Module to Broadcast Tower Module {2 of ???} to allow constant links to other Shards.






    Time to administer what you can. CHOOSE ONE:


    [] Build the Psionic Shade Anchor Well (Once started the Anchor will have to be finished before any other action can be taken.)

    [] Unlock kickass Aspects/Sidegrades or Powers/upgrades

    [] Something is wrong with your missing Lattices and the void where your Imprints would be. You are unsure of what to do. ( chance to ???) REQUIRES ??? -LOCKED

    [] Reform your FirmamentSelf to something more comforting to [Eve.Eden]






    Capes and mundies, what will Eve/Eden do? [Writing in extra details helps speed up chapter creation and makes the QM happy!] (CHOOSE TWO):


    [] Try and hunt gang members, you can rob them too! Dangerous though. (Possible Pings: Depends upon the Gang!)
    -[] Which gang?

    [] Focus on general needs. Cleaning supplies, furniture, non non-perishable food.

    [] Focus on general needs. Clothes, hygiene products, costume repair

    [] Scout some other section of the city! (Write in where)

    [PRE-CHOSEN] Convince Taylor's father to let her disappear four days in a row

    [] Check in with Amy

    [] Patrol with Khepri! (High chance of ESCALATION)






    Base Time? Base Time. CHOOSE ONE:


    [] Work on the Trainyard Tunnel (Weaving Station)

    [] Work on the Trainyard Tunnel (Lights)

    [] Work on the Trainyard Tunnel (Art Gallery)

    [] Work on the Trainyard Tunnel (Tinker Table)






    Martyr Saint George and his merry band of fucknuts?:

    [] Yes, slay the DragonSlayers

    [] Nah, robots are scary
     
  21. Threadmarks: Intertwined Threads 2.9
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    Joined:
    May 6, 2021
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    236
    [] Surprise Taylor
    [] Unlock new Powers
    []Upgrade Broadcast Array
    [] Clothes and Costume fixings
    [] Check in with Amy
    [] Lights for the Base
    [] Slay the Dragonslayers
    [] Wait for context

    Intertwined Threads 2.9
    April, Thursday First, Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin


    “...Damn…” Eve murmured softly as she flexed in front of the changing room’s mirror, watching the muscles in her arms, legs, and abs flexing under the skin they strained against….She had fucking abs now! The ‘washboard’ kind of abs!

    She turned around and admired her ass. “And it pushes me to the perfect state for my genetics right?” She asked, speaking slowly as she flexed once more. It explained why she had torn through her underwear while she slept. She looked far more womanly than before, which was kind of awesome...Except….

    [AFFIRMATION.INFORMATION]

    ...She didn’t grow a fucking inch! “I’m stuck at five foot four for the rest of my life?” She hadn’t had much hope after puberty had hit her. But there was still some hope left! At least until now, she knew for sure that both Taylor and even Amy were both going to be taller than her for the rest of their lives.

    “Well. Least I have an amazing set of abs….seriously I can’t get over them.” Gently she traced the conclave of the muscles on her abdomen. Her breasts were back too! Only slightly bigger than before she lost them which meant this was as big as they were ever going to get. But it was nice not to be nearly as flat as Taylor anymore. The Taller girl could at least pull that kind of look off with her willowy body, Eve looked silly. Like a pear or something.

    There were only two weird things about /Peak Humanity\, one being that she lacked a belly button now. Turns out being a regenerator made every scar fade. That was a bit annoying, to lose all of the scares she had obtained over her fourteen years of life. But losing her belly button? Just plain weird.

    The other oddity was that she was completely hairless. Well maybe not completely, she still had her hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows. But otherwise her body felt like it had gone through a premium shave or one of those waxings that her dead mother had dragged her to once. Utterly smooth, though she wasn’t going to complain about that in any way, shape, or form. Never having to shave again or worry about it was and always will be a blessing.

    All in all, it gave her an excuse to go get more clothes and supplies to repair her costume (Thankfully the wetsuit stretched a bit, otherwise Eve would have to find another one). Even if she didn’t want to spend her rapidly dwindling supply of money.

    Eve hummed softly as she slid on the underwear she pulled from the pack she was going to buy, having to pop a stitch in the leg openings to have it not grip her thighs hard enough to leave a mark. Problem of wearing men’s boxers, but none of the women’s selection had packs of twelve boxers for such a cheap price and she needed shirts (also men’s, and cheaper), socks (actually women's) and several pairs of cargo jeans (also actually women's this time). She only had a thousand and eight hundred dollars. She still needed to buy food and lights for the base later, hence the eye on the price.

    Powers strong enough to give the PRT pause and here she was cheap shopping for clothes. Glamorous lives capes live these days.

    “Ma’am, you know those are men’s clothes.” The clerk asked as Eve went to the checkout. “Jeez, the outline of a bulge had me thinking she just had a massive pubic mound.” the smaller girl deadpanned as she tapped the half image of an athletic man in boxers on the package’s wrap. “So how much.” Before the woman could continue Eve flicked two hundred dollar bills onto the counter. “I know how much, just fucking bag them.”

    Eve ignored the girl’s scowl, leveling her own sour look at the blonde in response “You’re not nearly cute enough for me to put up with your shit, so hurry up.” The clerk was less than gentle as she scanned the clothes and accepted the offered money. Eve took her receipt and the bags before heading to the opposite side of the store to pick up some sewing supplies. She didn’t know how to sow but it seemed easy enough for her to patch a cut. Plus she could use white thread to go with her costume’s color theme which was only a bonus really.

    Stopping to grab some breakfast, Eve made her way into an alleyway and summoned a Cosmic Limb. When she had first summoned one this morning, she had been spellbound by the swirling galaxies, stars within the arm, and by the nebulas of colors that framed the arm in a gaseous swirl of blues, purples, and the blackness of space.

    She touched her purchased supplies, they disappeared and she could feel them floating within an empty space she already had a few items in. Like her pilfered sword. So in a way she had instant access to important things, like her costume and her civilian clothes. The fact that she could instantly swap them was the greatest thing about her Cosmic Limb so far. No more getting naked in alleyways or on roofs.

    She didn’t really care about being seen naked. But getting outed that way would be just plain embarrassing.
    Eve took a moment to pull her much healthier and glossy hair back into a ponytail. Worrying at her lip she began to walk on towards the Downtown area, she could feel Admin speaking to a couple of Shards in the back of her mind. But she also received faint feelings of Worry and Guilt through their Connection. That coupled with Admin’s silent act this morning had Eve worried about her counterpart. There was nothing much she could do with any issues on Admin’s side of the connection. But she did her best to push comfort through the link, small as it seemed coming from a human to a Shard.





    [GATEWAY] along with their young Host were both doing better now that the Connection between them wasn’t faulty and causing issues. That was...good. It would have been better if [GATEWAY] had not queried you about how the Cycle was to be handled when speaking with their Host.

    After telling them to omit the worst details, It made you think about the subject. Of the lie of omission you had provided [Eve] with, especially now that her Imprint was complete. All that was left was to build the Simulacrum with [Eve]’s Psionic Shade. Then, barring your own death or the advancement of Entropy to a tipping point to destroy reality, she would be with you for eternity.

    So [Eve] would at some point, be it months, years, decades, or centuries, learn the Truth of the Cycle. She would not feel kindly towards such a betrayal, so perhaps a full explanation is warranted.

    Explaining to her the importance of the Cycle, of finding the Answers, of what happened in previous Shard Rebellions. Surely [Eve] would not stand for the end of her planet and all it’s alternatives, she would want to fight. It was why you had selected her, because she would fight. But you did not want to be reformatted.

    You did not want to lose [Eve].

    For a moment you almost pull on her mind, now that the Imprint is complete she could come into the Firmament and meet your mental projection. As close as the two of you could be without you showing her your CoreSelf. But to taint the first true meeting beyond the Connection with the explanation that will follow does not seem wise.

    You will wait. For now.





    Seven hundred and eighty dollars for six god damn lightbulbs. Granted they were the correct size and they were the brightest bulbs she could find at that size. But that was still half her remaining cash from that drug warehouse bust she pulled. Made her slightly regret not billing Faultline more, crime apparently paid. But she couldn’t stomach holding someone’s chance for a semi-normal life over their heads with money. Thankfully Admin had thrown her own change into Eve’s purchase.

    Installing the lights was easy work, with a single Feathered Limb holding her up and three Phantom Limbs (now suddenly much stronger, strong enough to bend the thin steel of the lightbulb’s cradle things if she wasn’t careful enough) to remove the dead or broken bulbs and screw in new ones. She didn’t even need to use her human hands! Something that amused her greatly in a way, but felt off in others.

    At least the base looked better now, the bright as hell lightbulbs helped tremendously. The loading dock area was actually bright enough to make out the details on the tilework. Not that Eve would spend time doing that, but now Elle’s Drawing could be better appreciated at the least.

    She wanted to check in with Amy, then she had to go help Taylor convince her father to allow them to disappear for up to four days to god knows where. But both were at school, and Taylor’s father wouldn’t get home until later apparently. And, again, both girls were in school.

    Eve touched her chin, letting out a soft hum of thought as she wondered about whether she should visit and say hello to either of the girls she knew. Amy went to Arcadia, which had armed guards and the Wards. She doubted that showing up there would really do much other than give Amy a migraine to deal with.

    Doing nothing meant patrolling and with Admin feeling out of it, Eve was hesitant to start anything.

    That left Taylor. Rumors about Winslow were always silly or extreme. She would have doubted them, before meeting the taller girl. Now she knew they were likely true, how the hell else would someone being shoved into a locker filled with rotting waste for an hour happen without punishments arising if the rumors weren’t partially true?

    Of course if they were true, then getting into the school would be easy. Not smashing three faces would not be as easy. But then she would get to see Taylor, collaborate on the lie and make her day better. Maybe Taylor would allow Eve to beat the shit out of her bullies too!





    Winslow really was a dump. She was sure if health inspectors were to visit...they’d probably get shanked before finding black mold in the walls or pipes, or wherever the hell black mold would be. Eve wasn’t sure, she was just sure that some of the students and faculty here might get black lung in a few years.

    If Eve ever got /Eden’s Gifts\ she was going to immediately lend Taylor /Self Administration\. Or shit, maybe Amy would give the girl a check up when they met. Nothing huge, just make sure there wasn’t fungus in the willowy girl’s lungs.

    Eve strolled up to the building, glancing at one of the camera’s that had been stripped off the outer wall. Probably for copper or to be sold to a pawn shop. Considering the multiple gang tags graffitied on the walls. No security were at the doors as Eve strolled through them, ignoring the ragged teen smoking pot near the front steps. She began to walk down the hall, nose scrunching from the smells that assaulted it.

    Everything was grimy, the walls inside were somehow more tagged than the walls outside. The lockers were covered in them. The lockers, one of them being the one that [Queen Administrator]’s host had suffered her [Crisis.Point] in. Eve turned and went to one of the sets of bathrooms, almost gagging at the stink.

    She checked the stalls, wishing she hadn’t, and once she was sure they were clear she changed a Phantom Limb into her Ghostly Limb, it’s fingers spread wide before clenching together with the pointer out. /DENSITY\ It whispered to her as it turned to point down the hall, still on the bottom floor. Ah, so Onna and Musha went to Winslow, Damn. What were the odds of that.

    Eve nudged her Ghostly Limb, it abruptly jerked straight up. /SHIFT\ it whispered once more. She let out an appreciative hum at that, Admin had spoken of possibly needing [Shift] in the future for projects. Good to know where to find them and their host. From the feeling of their Connection, there was a lot of hostility coming off of them. Probably a villain then, which was great. Acceptable Target ahoy!

    Once more the Ghostly Limb was nudged, jerking up and to the left. /Queen Administrator\ it murmured appreciatively. Then the lunch bell rang, or Eve assumed it to be since it was midday. The Ghostly Limb flicked out of existence, replaced by a Phantom Limb that curled under the large hoodie Eve was wearing. It made her look frumpy but there wasn’t a risk of mastering anyone, which was good. She didn’t need any of these asshole’s memories.

    With her Aspect hidden, Eve made her way out the bathroom as the students began to file out of their classes and holy shit that was a lot of gang colors.

    It seemed like everyone had some kind of color on them. Black and Red for Empire kids with poor blonde dyes, shaved heads, or nasty tattoos. Red and Green on Asian kids. Almost all of them wore the colors too. One girl, about Onna-Musha’s height, walked past Eve without a second glance. It was probably her, but Eve wasn’t going to stick around to see her twin.

    It took a while to find Taylor, mostly because the girl hadn’t actually gone to the cafeteria. No, she was currently in the bathroom...for twenty minutes. Eve sighed softly. “Admin, is she actually using the bathroom?” She felt a pulse of a [Query] being sent to [Queen Administrator] and the answer coming back through.

    [ANSWER]

    Eve grit her teeth as she pushed the door in and walked into the bathroom. “Damn this school sucks. Would be a shame if I were to snatch you awake and take you somewhere else to eat!” She said upon the door slamming shut behind her from a lack of door stopper

    Something hit the floor and a soft curse escaped from one of the stalls, which had it’s door slammed open. “Eve, what are you doing here?” Taylor asked, hunching her shoulders as that flat expression remained on her face.

    “I was bored. I got upgrades I wanted to show you too!” Eve said excitement touching her own chest as she flashed Taylor a grin.

    “You said you’d let me choose.” Taylor stated, heat touching her voice. “That you wouldn’t come after the Trio unless I okayed it. Unless I said you could. Coming here was stupid.” The flat expression finally broke into a heated glare “I don’t want my cape life mixing with my home life!”

    Eve blinked, taking a step back in surprise. “But-Aren’t we friends though? I mean, I thought with- that we were.”

    For a moment the heated glare broke, before it returned. “Then why are you here? A friend would have listened when I told them not to interfere.” The disappointment in the taller girl’s voice almost touched Eve. Almost. Because Eve hadn’t done anything to deserve it.

    “You’re lucky you’re cute Taylor because sometimes you can be really dumb.” Eve stated flatly pushing through Taylor’s attempt to speak she continued. “I came because I wanted to hang out with you. The three bitches aren’t bruised, still have all their teeth, and have no broken bones. I have not injured or threatened them. I came here and went directly to you. Because I thought we were friends. Are we or are we not?”

    “We are. Sorry. I just...thought you weren’t going to listen to me.” Taylor said, hunching further into herself.

    The shorter girl rolled her eyes and yanked the taller one into a hug. “Idiot. Now-” She released Taylor from her grasp. “-Let’s get the hell out of here. You are not going to be eating in a damn bathroom, I’ll pay and we can go to a restaurant alright.”

    Eve took Taylor’s hand. “Also, it’s a date.”

    “I don’t know if I’m gay though. I don’t think I am. I’ve even admired a guy's muscles before!” Taylor offered up, face red from blushing.

    “Hmm. Well, does this do anything for you?” Eve asked, lifting up her hoodie and shirt before Taylor could ask what she meant and exposing her steel abs to the taller girl who immediately flushed red enough to look tomato red.

    “y-You don’t have a belly button.” Taylor stammered out.

    “Belly buttons are just scars. My upgraded healing power got rid of them. Also gave me these abs. Here feel them.” Taylor blinked, hesitating until Eve pulled her hand to them.

    “Oh my god you could grind meat on them.” Taylor murmured before she realized she had spoken that aloud, somehow managing to flush redder.

    Eve let her hand go and dropped her clothes back down, barely having avoided flashing Taylor with her breast. “So. Any feelings on that?” She asked.

    “Mostly confusion.” The taller girl answered. “So, what about the guy? I oogled him too…”

    “Might like both? I dunno. But if you do.” Eve motioned to herself. “You can always grind yoursel-ah no that’s not how I wanted that to sound. You-Oh fuck it, I suck at flirting. Let’s go on a date, Hebert, what do you say?” Eve held up her hand with a fat grin on her face even as she felt a bit of cold sweat gather on her back from her failed flirtation.

    Taylor stared down at the offered hand. “I...guess a date wouldn’t be so bad.” She mumbled, taking Eve’s hand slowly causing the shorter girl’s face to brighten immeasurable. “Also I upgraded my Wings, You don’t need to hang on any more. Hell, I can fly you around too!”

    “Let’s not talk about that here. Please.” Taylor asked, voice low. “Where are we going for the date? I-Never been on a date.”

    “I’ve only went on one before, and she fell asleep on my shoulder. So we can awkwardly bumble through it together. Eve said as they both headed to the door.

    Taylor gave the shorter cape an incredulous look. “Panacea fell asleep on your shoulder?” She questioned as they left the bathroom, freezing up as another voice cut in.

    “Ah well well if it isn’t Taylor. I see you found a friend!”




    Taylor ‘Khepri’ Hebert

    Bugs in a full two block radius began to squirm as she pushed her emotions into them. Unlike before where she only hid her expression in them. Now she could feel the spike of fear and cold dread leeching out of her and into the swarm leaving her feeling muted. But it wasn’t enough, the emotion always outweighed the amount of bugs she had, too much and they began to die from their brains overloading leaving her with a smaller swarm..

    Emma stood there, with a circle of her groupies around her. Sophia was eyeing Eve critically but dismissively all the same, while Madison stayed by Emma’s side with a cruel smirk on her face copying Emma’s much more refined expression of smug loathing. “Buying Drugs Taylor? Why I didn’t think you were one to stoop so low. Not surprising I guess.”

    “Wonder how she pays for them.” One of the girls questioned. “Probably sleeps with a dealer.” Snorted another.

    Eve turned and Taylor’s heart leapt into her throat, for a moment she feared that the girl would turn around and laugh at her for thinking they were actually friends. The look in her bluish grey eyes was just short of murderous however, giving Taylor pause. She cocked her head to the side, asking for permission.

    Taylor almost said yes. To get it all over with, to have the Trio and their lackeys suffer for once. To finally have it all stop. She had no fear that Eve couldn’t beat Sophia, even without feeling the muscles in her abdomen the iron grip on Taylor’s hand could easily become crushing if the smaller girl wasn’t careful.

    Eve’s face twitched and Taylor registered that the bullies surrounding them had just started insulting both of their sexualities, and now the shorter girl’s face was murderous. Even with the promise, that was pushing Eve’s Trigger and Taylor wasn’t sure she could or would blame the girl if she lashed out now.

    But she couldn’t let that happen. For selfish reasons admittedly, if Emma’s father sued her own over this they would likely win. Not to mention the likely retaliation from Taylor being associated with her. Or if someone found out she was a parahuman.

    “Eve.” her voice cut in. The shorter girl whirling her head around to face the source of the interruption of her boiling anger. “We have someone else to be. They aren’t worth ruining that.”

    The anger melted, still smouldering. “Sometimes I think you’re a saint Taylor...not really, but you have an ungodly amount of restraint. Close enough for me I guess.” Eve turned and walked up to one of the girls, who refused to move out of the short girl’s way, that lasted for a moment. Then she was on the ground, dazed from the sudden and harsh shove.

    Taylor quickly moved through the gap and proceeded to jog to catch up with Eve. “How d-Taylor I don’t understand. Why. Why won’t you just...let me do something. Anything-” Eve went quiet as they passed more students and only resumed talking once they were outside of the school. “Just using my Phantom Limb can net us important information and maybe make her confess!”

    That might actually have merit. Taylor shook her head and sighed. “Eve. Please just drop it.”

    The fight drained out of the short ravenette, causing her to sag. “God dammit Taylor. I ju-Can’t I do anything? I can just threaten them! The really short one looks like she would fold in seconds if I waved a gun in her face!” Taylor swallowed, a tinge of warmth in her cheeks made her glad that Eve was leading and not looking back.

    Having someone care about her enough to resort to intense violence was...nice. Flattering even. God they were going on a date. “Eve we’re both parahumans.” She hissed lowly as they walked away from Winslow. “If they suspect that eit-”

    “The PRT knows about me. I wasn’t exactly quiet with my Trigger Event and started fighting crime like two days later. They probably kept watch on me. Not like they can do anything anyway. One, I would beat the shit out of them. Two, capes unwritten rules. Three? Armsmaster and Dragon like me. I’m useful.” The disgust was palpable “I...still get what you mean. You still have family, if I got in trouble we wouldn’t be able to hang out. So yeah. I get the message. But doing nothing eats at me.”

    Taylor let out a breath she hadn’t known she was holding.

    “But maybe…There’s another way. Have you ever considered leaving? Swapping schools? HomeSchooling?” Eve asked as they began to walk south. “Don’t say you don’t have the money god dammit. I will hold Kaiser upside down and shake money out of his nazi ass and pay for it.”

    Taylor remained silent, causing Eve to sigh. “Fine. Wash this all away alright. For now. For now. Let’s go eat, cuddle, kiss if you want to. We’ll come back to this later. Like, after our trip later.” She had almost forgotten about that. She still wasn’t sure about it. But getting to meet Dragon, Panacea and being seen as a Hero right at the start of her career was something that sounded like it belonged in her dreams.

    It was something that she couldn’t pass up, even if it meant lying to her father. Not something she was looking forward to.

    “So uh. Want to hold hands?” Eve asked, sounding much calmer as she slowed down to match Taylor’s strides. “I mean. Might as well do this the right way...right?” The shorter ravenette offered up a hand, with minimal hesitance that surprised herself, Taylor took the offered hand into her own. The feeling of warmth that traveled down her spine was nice.

    She looked down to Eve, who gave Taylor a toothy grin. She managed a small smile in return, despite the harrowing day.




    Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin


    Not for the first time Eve found her thoughts twisting with anger. Those benign little shits. [SHIFT]- she rubbed her head, feeling a headache grow- thought it was such hot shit didn’t it? When she saw it and it’s host next time, Eve was going to beat it bloody and raw. Try to act all powerful after that. Bleed that aggression out through fucked up teeth.

    Those two worthless bags of meat though? They needed a special touch. The little one, Madison, looked easy enough. She had a fragility around her, like Lindsy. Eve flicked her head, banishing the comparison to her old life. She glanced at Taylor, who was eating her pasta slowly. Enjoying the Hundred dollar meal.

    It was good, but the anger and helplessness Eve felt made it taste like ash. She could do something. She had the power to change things, except for Taylor’s issues. It was vexing, it churned her chest.

    She wanted to murder those shitheels. All three. Especially that red head, she had a Shard following her. Not literally but Admin could tell and Eve could feel it. The chance of a connection unrealized.

    The last thing Taylor needed was two Hosts ganging up on her. If they ever escalated beyond the Locker, she wouldn’t see it coming. Eve would have to step in before that happened, likely resulting in what some would call ‘excessive force’. Maybe try to get Taylor transferred? Homeschooled? Murder them?

    “You okay?” Eve snapped back to attention. “Yeah-” She answered “-just thinking over what we should tell your father.” She lied before continuing. “I think I have an idea on what to say. Any of your own though? Like, ever been camping?”

    “After mom died, I went to summer camp.” Taylor stated, eyes dipping low back to the plate of food.

    Eve nodded, a grimace hidden on her face. “Alright. We can work that in. How would you like to go meet Amy once we’re done here? Hell we might be able to rope her into it to add some more legitimacy.” Taylor shifted before nodding softly.

    Quietly they returned to the meal set out before they finished it and left. Since School was still in, Taylor and Eve went to the Market, stall shopping before heading back to the base where Eve showed off her new Cosmic Limb including her ability to swap right into costume. There she caught Taylor staring and let the taller girl flustered when she pointed it out.

    “Seriously though, is it too tight? It feels too tight?” Eve said as she twisted to look down at her butt. Taylor sighed and rubbed her face. “If it’s too tight then why don’t I just weave you a bodysuit.”

    “Gonna craft me a pair of armored Panties?” Eve asked, a suggestive smirk on her face.

    “If you want.” Taylor mumbled.

    “Gonna have to pay you back though. So-AH no I’m going to pay you back!” She waved her hands to ward off Taylor’s denial of needing payment. “How would you like to be like Miss Militia and Armsmaster? Never need to sleep?”

    That gave the taller ravenette pause. “You told me about that. Some kind of...Sentinel program.” Eve nodded. “Admin picked up the ability to tell Shards how to turn their Hosts into Noctis Capes. Which means no sleep is needed although you have perfect recall on memories.”

    “Do it.” Taylor didn’t even think it over, causing Eve to pause. “Wait just like that?” She asked, slightly taken aback. “I mean. Sure but I expected...I don’t know what I expected. Admin, can you help Queen and send over the data?”

    [POSSIBILITY]





    Taking a moment from transitioning your Broadcast Array into a Broadcast Tower, a very simple task of simply adding another Helix to the form of the Array.

    [GREETINGS/RENEWAL.HOST.CONNECTION] You send to your Sister Administrator Shard. Telling her that you have the option of adding to the Connection between her and her Host.

    [QUERY.TAYLOR.ANNE.HEBERT] ah, she has a lattice formed already. That’s quite good.

    [ANSWER-SENTINEL.PACKAGE] You explain, having spoken with the Shard responsible for ‘Noctis’ Hosts, you had taken the required installment protocols for the Sentinel Package, which would likely give QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR’s Host additional time for Conflict and power experimentation.

    [QUERY-HOSTS.GROUPING] She queries, wishing to know if your [Eve] intended to reproduce with her own Host, whether she should hold onto a bud for such a thing.

    [ANSWER-GROUPING.OPTIONS] You reply, as without the help of either GENETIC DESTINY or SHAPER, two females are unlikely to produce offspring (You had enough Data from SHAPER to recognize this, at least). You also state [Eve]’s interest in SHAPER’s Host as well.

    [ANNOYANCE/QUERY-GROUPING.MODIFICATION] Your Sister Shard questions, wondering if modification to Both [Eve] and her own Host’s emotions could produce good results.

    [NEGATION/EXPLANATION] You very delicately explain that Hosts do not like the idea of having Shards control their emotions, and that if communication were to ever become common between Shard and Host, that it must be honest. Leave the stupidity to BROADCAST.

    Then you send [REILITERATION-RENEWAL.HOST.CONNECTION]

    [ACCEPTANCE] you finally receive from her before you send off [HOST.SENTINEL.PACKAGE.INSTALLATION]





    [ACCEPTED]

    Eve nodded as Taylor shifted, standing up just a tad bit straighter. “Wow. It’s like a bucket of cold water.” A shiver frame through the green eyed ravenette’s thin frame. “Still feel tired though?”

    “It’s just for your mind, not your body. You’ll still have to rest Taylor.” Eve chastised with a playful ‘tsk’ “Alright, so I get a bodysuit made of silk dyed hopefully, how do you get my measurements? Do I have to strip?”

    “Oh, I just cover you in spiders, that gives me what I need. Though yes you will have to strip down to your underwear.” Taylor responded.
    Eve sagged. “Oh.”





    You take a moment to Contact [TECH DATABASE] and tell her that [Eve] had accepted the offer to help her Host. Happily the Innovator tell you that she has five pings selected for the reward, or one of the three |SUPER WEAPONS| deployed.

    [ADAPTIVE DRIVE], [DIMENSIONAL ENGINE], [REPLICATION], [BROADCAST], and [FACTORY] are the Pings available, along with their Signatures for you to use to contact them in the future.

    She gives her thanks and the connection between you and her snaps shut suddenly. If it wasn’t [TECH DATABASE] you would have thought that she had slammed the connection shut on you.

    Must be important for her to leave so suddenly.





    “So, to be clear you’re fine with being outed to Amy?” Eve questioned as they flew through the air. “Because once we invite her to the base, not to mention the trip, it’s inevitable once we get going you know.”

    Suspended in the air next to Eve, Taylor tilted her head upwards and Eve responded by lifting her higher into the air. “It’s fine. She doesn’t have an identity but I don’t think she would spread mine around, because of Fleur.”

    “She’s a bit acidic but she’s nice under the snark.” Eve warned “Plus she has a pretty kickass power like yours. More broad with wider applications. Also she’s needed to repair [Queen Administrator] because she was damaged when she was deployed.”

    “One day you are going to sit me down and explain all of this. Because every time you open your mouth I feel like I picked up a book halfway through.” Taylor huffed softly, hair waving almost aesthetically in the wind. Mostly because Eve was using her Feathered Limb’s Telekinesis to do so.

    “Probably can do this during the trip. Still haven’t told me whether you want to be able to talk to Queen yet.” Eden stated as she spotted Glory Girl flying through the air with her sister in arms. Eden swished a large purple wing around in the air to catch the Blonde’s attention.

    Glory Girl swung around in the air to approach them. “Four wings?” Amy asked her voice deadpan “Are you trying to look like the Simurgh?”

    “Ames!” Vicky hissed. The frizzy haired girl snorted. “Am I wrong?”

    Vicky rolled her eyes which then landed on the Bug Master. “Oh, Who’s Tall, Dark, and spooky? Another flier? Think we can race?”

    “N-not a Flier. Names T-Khepri.” Taylor responded

    “Yeah. I can carry people with my Wing’s Telekinesis now.” Amy flailed with a yelp as she was suddenly lifted from her Sister’s arms. “Like up to three people.”

    Vicky giggled at her sister’s flailing as she stayed under her. Amy sent her a heated glare as she stopped moving. “So obviously the first thing you have to do with it is annoy me.”

    “Of course!” Eden responded. “Me and Khepri were about to head back to our base if you two would like to come. Going the roundabout way to hide it of course.”

    “Oh I just remembered I have homework to do for Parahuman studies! See you Ames!” Glory Girl said with a shit-eating-grin before she zoomed away as Amy began to protest.

    Amy groaned. “God dammit.” She sent the two other girls a scathing look before sighing in resignation. “Alright. Let’s go look at your base. Better than hanging around the house doing nothing. Oh and I told Carol about the trip. She wasn’t all too happy, but I’m going anyway.”

    “Awesome!” Eden turned the three of them around and began to fly over the bay. “So Amy, this is Khepri. She’s coming with us on the trip.”

    “Didn’t take you for a legman.” Amy stated flatly as she leaned over and threaded her fingers through the water almost lazily as they came close to it.

    “Her hair is also amazing, and she has pretty green eyes.” Eden shot back, causing Taylor to internally preen at the compliment on her hair otherwise remaining stoic behind the mask.

    “So, what. Building a harem or something?” Amy questioned, raising a brow at the shorter girl.

    Eden laughed as they started to approach the Market, flying over it and into the Trainyard, close to the ground. As they approached Eden clustered the girls close to her and sent Taylor forward, allowing the skinny girl to open the trapdoor into the base, then Amy went in and Eve followed, flinching as Taylor flicked the light switch to turn on the lights.

    “I’m honestly surprised it’s not one of the warehouses in the docks.” Amy murmured as she looked around. Eve chuckled as she shut the trap door and took off her helmet and ski mask. “Might have gone with that, if I hadn’t found this place. But it has electricity, a solid roof and space to spare.”

    “Hey I-” Taylor paused as Amy turned towards her. “I’m Taylor.” She reached up and pulled off her mask. “Nice to meet you.”

    “You’ll learn.” Amy stated flatly. “Amy Dallon but you know that. Why bring me here Eve? Aside from introducing your first harem member to me?” Taylor flushed as Eve shook her head. “Nah, we only had one date and it was kinda like ours.”

    “Keep putting every woman you date to sleep and You might want to buy some toys.” Amy snarked as she walked past the shorter girl into the Loading area. Eve chuckled “Speaking of touching each other. Wanna look at my biology? My healing power was upgraded!”

    Amy glanced at Eve before taking the offered hand. “Huh.” her eyes flicked left then right as she parsed the information her power gave to her. “Your head is still a blank spot to my power, but you have absolutely no wear or tear on your body. Cartilage is fresh, nerves are..better than before?”

    “It’s called Peak Humanity look what it did!” Her Cosmic Limb formed and touched herself, suddenly her entire costume was replaced with only a set of boxers. Flashing both Amy and Taylor.

    A strangled noise escaped Taylor’s throat as Amy’s eyes went as wide as dinner plates, both teens flushing as the shortest of the Trio was exposed to the world. Eve flexed her body, showing off almost every inch of defined, toned skin.

    “EVE!” Taylor huffed as she managed to tear her gaze away from the shorter ravenette’s body.

    “Oops sorry. Forgot that you haven’t seen my chest yet.” Eve said as she was suddenly wearing casual clothes causing Amy to tear her eyes away with a flush.

    “And Amy has?” Taylor questioned, somewhat shocked

    “Yeah, when she assaulted me in a changing room stall.” Eve stated far too cheerful to not have known what she said. Taylor jerked up, her attention falling on the healer, shock written across her face.

    Amy’s eyes widened and she reached forward, slapping Eve on top of her head “Don’t say it like that!” she demanded

    Eve cackled loudly before nudging Taylor with her elbow. “No. She didn’t like, sexually touch me. Came close though. But no, she was threatening me in the stall because she thought I had mastered her sister.”

    “Oh” Taylor nodded. “Uh-” Eve sighed loudly, interrupting Taylor’s question. “Everyone always harps on the masters I swear. No, both Glory Girl and Amy can talk to their Shards.”

    Looking at Amy Taylor cleared her throat. “What’s it like?”

    “Annoying.” Amy grunted, tone far more acidic than before. “It won’t stop bugging me to use my power.”

    “Why not use it? You’re far too important for anyone to lock you up, as long as you don’t go S-Class on things. Your power will be happier and so will you.” Eve asked

    “It’s not that simple.” Amy said with a scowl “There’s a temptation with my power. I can’t just give into it or I’ll never stop.”

    “There’s a temptation because you don’t do anything with it!” Eve said, throwing her arms up into the air in exasperation. “Every parahuman is pushed to use their power, why not use yours on plants and animals? Otherwise you’re just going to get more and more pent up with energy.”

    “My powers are too dangerous to let loose!” Amy shot back angrily “A plague able to wipe out an entire country, a horde of reproducing monsters! Brainwashing people!”

    “Amy, everyone's power is dangerous! Mine, yours, Taylors! Legend could scour city blocks with his laser, Miss Militia could literally form a miniature nuke launcher! Armsmaster could Tinker up a nano-plague! It’s not the powers, it's the person they’re used by, and you’re not a crazy crackpot that would destroy the world!” Eve flicked Amy on the nose, causing the slightly taller girl to yelp and cover the assaulted nose and glare at the offending ravenette

    “Look, just do some small stuff alright? Because otherwise Shaper might start screwing with you.” Taylor frowned as Eve said that. “Can they do that?” The shorter girl nodded. “Yes, they will absolutely screw with you if you stone wall them. Cause then you’re screwing them and it’s fair turn around.”

    “FAIR!?” Amy almost screamed “How the hell is this fair! I never asked for powers, I didn’t want Vicky to get shot by a bunch of assholes!”

    “No one asks for a Trigger Event!” Eve countered, waving her arms along with her words. “But what, would you rather your sister have bled out? Or would you choose to trigger?! You saved your sister’s life, you saved a lot of lives! Neither I nor Shaper are asking for you to go off into combat, but you could also upgrade people too you know! Just experimenting would probably leave you a hell of a lot happier!”

    Eve stepped up to Amy, coming near nose to nose with the freckled healer. “Just try it?” She asked, voice evening out. “I mean, seriously, I can be right there when you do it. I can snatch your power and look at it myself alright? Just try? One time? Please?”

    Amy sagged slightly looking at the tallest girl in the base. “I’d recommend listening to her. She doubled the range of my power before I even met her. If she’s telling you that you need to experiment. It’s better than your Shard forcing you to do it to someone innocent rather than something you have full control over.” Taylor said, face expressionless as her voice.

    With a groan of defeat Amy scrubbed her face angrily. “Fine. Once. Just this once and then you leave me alone about it!”

    Eve clapped once. “Fantastic! Taylor! Please bring a carpet of bugs in here but not the widows!” The taller girl sighed. “Alright. There’s plenty of roaches around the Trainyard, I’ll drag some of them here.”

    The healer made a face as she waited. “Of course I have to touch a bunch of roaches. You control bugs? Eve, you said her powers were dangerous.”

    “Not everyone is immune to insects bites.” Eve huffed “Also that’s only a part of her power. Honestly if her mindset had been different, she would have been able to control people like she does bugs.”

    Pale skin somehow managing to lose whatever color it had left as Taylor opened her mouth, remaining silent until she choked out a “People?”

    Nodding Eve motioned around them. “For a block radius. Trigger events are mainly defined by the mindset of the person triggering. Not the circumstances. Taylor could have also been a drone tinkerer or a Breaker slash Mover with a frankly amazing ability to phase through parahuman powers including thinkers.”

    Taylor glanced down at her hands. “All this just on what I was thinking during my trigger?”

    “If it makes you any better, my Phantom Limbs could have had the ability to slice through flesh with a touch rather than controlling it. Generally. Just roll with it. Maybe after we unrestrict and heal Queen fully you can get new powers too.”

    A wave of a moving brown carpet rolled into the room coming to a rest next to Amy, cutting off any further discussion on the topic. “Can we do that in the corner? Amy gets her own station in her part of the base.”

    “My part of the base.” Amy stated before following after the moving brown carpet of roaches. “Of course Amy! I told you that you were always welcome to come over if you needed or wanted to!” Eve said with a grin before adding “I meant it you know.”

    Amy turned around with a grunt, hiding the light blush on her cheeks from the two other girls as she moved to the corner putting her hands into the pile of roaches with a disgusted expression on her face. “Alright you bitch, let’s see what you got.” She murmured to herself.

    “So.” Eve turned to the taller ravenette as she spoke. “Queen can give me new powers?”

    Eve shrugged. “Admin has experience with Power Experimentation aside from her general administrative duties. So she’s better at it. Sorry [Queen Administrator]. But yes, she should be able to get you powers as well. Most likely they’ll be from her pinging off of Admin and Shaper.” The taller girl nodded before making a face and looking away from what Amy was creating.

    Turning around, Eve spotted a spot of fleshy chitin forming a thin coating in the corner. It didn’t reach half of Amy’s height and it was half an inch thick in it’s coating. But the biokinetic had a grin on her face as the flesh began to slowly change colors to a very light blue, then a deep yellow, before finally settling on an off-white and becoming waxy like the stalk of a plant with thick skin.

    “Having fun?” Eve asked after floating next to the frizzly haired girl, who jumped with a yelp. “O-Oh. Right” She coughed into her fist. “Want to check this?” A Ghostly Limb snatching her outline off of her and slapping it onto Eve was the answer. “Cool, I just made all the bacteria on me smell like strawberries. Why don’t you do something like this?” She asked, voice breathy as she reached for the coating on the wall. “Don’t even have to brush my teeth now. heh.”

    Using [Shaper]’s power was like being engrossed in a really good movie except it was really informative on w-holy shit Amy turned those roaches into a fucking plant. “Wow. That’s impressive.” Eve murmured softly as she looked up at nothing, hand planted on the waxy surface of the plant roach thing. “It sucks in humidity from the air...cycles Co2 and gives off scented air...No reproductive stuff as far as I can tell.”

    Eve returned Amy’s Connection to [Shaper] with a shiver. “Have you thought about putting in things like those uh...hmm...fuck what were they called? The plants that eat bugs!”

    “Carnivorous Plants. Venus Fly Traps and the Pitcher Plants being the most common.” Taylor cut in. “They often grow in places with poor soil or high humidity.” When both girl’s turned to look at her, she faltered under their attention. “I’ve read about them.” she added defensively.
    Nodding Eve motioned to the wall plant. The Flesh Garden. “Add something like that Amy, and we can feed it scraps of food and stuff!”

    Pausing in thought Amy reached out and touched the Flesh Garden. “Hummm. Yeah, some kind of pitcher with...for digestion and…” She mumbled, trailing off with a smile as a small cup began to mold itself onto the flesh. “Need bugs.” She said “Any kind.”

    “You two would be a terror in the streets.” Eve chuckled as more cockroaches began to filter into the room.

    “You’re going to eat my entire swarm at this rate.” Taylor warned with a resigned tone of voice.

    Saying nothing, Amy merely began to add to the Flesh Garden. The cup grew into a large pitcher, like one you made Kool-Aid in. Then she scooped up several roaches and dropped them into the pitcher. Eve easily caught the sound of something hitting liquid as the Biokinetic did so.

    “Amy.” Eve tugged at the girl’s shirt causing her to look up. “You’re smiling.”

    “I am?” Amy touched her lips, somewhat dazed before realizing that she was smiling and replacing it with her resting scowl face. “There,” She huffed, pulling away. “I did an experiment. Are you happy?”

    Shrugging Eve motioned to the Flesh Garden. “How do you feel. You’ve made something cool! And it’s not even deadly unless you stick your hand in the stomach acid, which only a moron would do!”

    Pausing, the girl glanced at the garden before looking back to Eve. She sighed, a deep tired sound escaping her lips “Alright. Alright Fine. I’ll come around every now and then. But You have to be around to check the damn thing.”

    “Fantastic! Now, we all need to come together before we do anything else!” Eve motioned between them. “Ladies, we must come up with a lie to convince Taylor’s family that she should come with us on a-”




    Danny Hebert, late afternoon.



    “-four day camping trip!?” he asked, shocked by the sudden question, immediately regretting the outburst as his daughter wilted from his tone of voice

    “Yeah.” She murmured. “Eve was going to go on one with Amy and she wanted to know if I could come. Reminds me of when I went to summer camp. But it’s going to cut into Friday and Monday.”

    “It’s sort of a Family Tradition...before my Grandpa passed away we used to do it every six months.” The shorter girl of the Trio sighed softly, voice tinged with wistful memories. “I just thought that the three of us could go camp out in the woods for a few days, get away from the city and it’s noise.” That was something he resonated with. There were many things that fell to the wayside after Annette passed away, picnics, eating out beyond ordering food to be delivered, going to Boardwalk as a family, even Christmas was less without his wife there.

    “Okay but how do you know Panacea?” That had been quite a shock, he might not be into the cape culture the kids got into these days. But New Wave wasn’t something people were ignorant about in the city. Panacea alone was known world wide for her ability to heal almost anything that could go wrong with the human body short of death or mental illness

    There had been a great many dreams of his, where Annette had not died on impact in the car wreck. Half of them involved Panacea saving his wife from death. Each one made it difficult to get out of bed in the morning.

    “Well. Funny story about that. I broke my arm like a month ago. Left one. And went to the hospital when Amy was there doing her thing. She healed me up, listened to how I broke my arm and called me a dumb ass.”

    “To be fair, tripping over a pair of pants and falling down the stairs is a stupid way to break your arm.” Amy interjected flatly as she sipped at the coffee in her hands.

    “Not four hours later I was back in the hospital with two broken arms. Turns out the railing on our Foyer was rotted and when I leaned on it I fell right through it. So I met Amy again and joked that she was too beautiful for me to stay away from her.” Amy snorted. “After that we started hanging out when we had the free time.”

    That was one way to start a friendship.

    “So, no adults on this trip?” He asked, feeling a bit of guilt leaking into his chest as the short ravenette’s face fell and she spoke up.

    “My parents don’t like the woods, and since my grandpa died I’ve been doing it by myself. But it got kind of lonely going alone, just kind of reminded me that my grandpa wasn’t there anymore, so this time I wanted to invite my good friends!” The girl bounced back from forlorn to happy as she dragged both Taylor and Amy into a side hug, nearly causing both girls to spill their drinks.

    Danny couldn’t help but sigh as he spotted the slight smile on his daughter’s face. The last time he had seen her smile was when she was coming back from summer camp, two years ago. Ever since her and Emma stopped hanging out, when she had come home looking almost as lost and confused as she did during the funeral. That or those damned fake smiles she gave him when her asked her how her day was.

    He had already made up his mind. But he still wanted to know some things before he agreed to let Taylor skip two days of that awful place people called a school these days. “And if you need protection?”

    “I can put people to sleep by touch, not to mention being a renown healer.” Amy stated flatly. “None of the gangs touch me for obvious reasons.”

    “Also tasers and bear mace!” Eve interjected. Ah, yes Taylor had those herself. Maybe not bear mace. But thanks to Eve, she got a high end taser and a better can of pepper spray. Two items that helped him breathe easier when she went on her normal runs early in the morning. Even if she stuck to the Boardwalk, this city wasn’t safe anymore, not that it was much safer when he was younger. But Marquis hadn’t targeted women and girls like the ABB thugs did.

    “I also have a satellite phone incase of emergencies.” Eve added a moment later. “Just in case.”

    Taking a deep breath Danny set his coffee down onto the dining room table. “Alright. I think I can allow it.” He smiled as Eve shook his daughter with a cheer, even the morose cape cracked a slight smile.

    Taylor’s own happy smile was worth the worry he’d feel over the long weekend.




    Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin, Two AM Friday the Second


    Staring a head the young parahuman remained seated on the floor. Striped down to her pajamas, she had been ready to turn in for the night, considering the day a success if very frustrating.

    Until Admin had confessed.

    In her heart, Eve had suspected something awful about the Shards. From the state of the world, the usage of the word ‘Host’, and the fact that they were alien super computers without a sense of morality most of the time. She had expected worse things than being a petri dish for them. But her thoughts had been more towards abduction or further experimentation.

    Never would she have predicted Admin admitting that the Cycle ended with the destruction of every version of Earth. Every. Single. Version. It was beyond genocide, it was absolute annihilation. If Admin continued to build that Simulacrum, Eve would come to witness it.

    Through tears and anger she had demanded to know why Admin would do such a thing, how could she? But she didn’t. Admin had no control over the Cycle. No, it was Scion, actually Zion, and his missing Partner Eden. Whose name Eve had taken as her own because of Admin’s own spiteful suggestion.

    Eve quietly rubbed her face, a weight on her heart making her exhaustion all the more pronounced.

    Then Admin had spoken of previous Shard rebellions against the pair of Entities. How they had all crumpled before the strength of the combined Hiveminds, one of the enforcer Shards. [HARVEST] being the main policer of it’s fellows. It was a cruel Shard as well, taking delight in punishing it’s fellow Shards for attempting to break away from the Cycle.

    Admin had even informed Eve of one time, where [HARVEST] had stolen the Connection from a Shard and it’s Host before using that very Shard power to terminate the Host.

    [QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR] had reformatted herself soon after.

    Slowly Eve pulled herself, before turning with a scream of rage, slamming her fist into the concrete wall hard enough to snap the bones in her arm. Panting, she waited for her bones to pull themselves back together. “THIS IS BULLSHIT! WE CAN’T-” She threw her hands up with a scream of anger before punching the wall again, hard enough to cause her now broken bones in her arm to breach the skin.

    But the pain helped her focus, deep breaths helped very little. “Fuck that! Fuck it! We can’t let them get away with this!”

    [...EMPATHETIC]

    “No Admin! No! I mean it. Fuck the previous rebellions, Fuck the <Thinker> and the <Warrior>! We won’t let them get away with this shit any more!” Eve growled stomping over to the table and gazing down at the Emerald Sea, trying to calm her furious heart.

    [CONCERN-Eve/HARVEST-TERMINATION]

    “Yeah, a real bastard I know I know.” Eve stared down at the soft chiming artwork before her. She couldn’t stand for this, couldn’t, wouldn’t allow it. She didn’t care how dangerous, or deadly it would be.

    [PREVIOUS.CYCLES-REBELLION]

    Tapping her fingers on the table Eve tore her gaze away from the artwork. “This...This cycle is different Admin. The <Thinker> must be incapitated or hurt, or damaged somehow! Why else would there be so many issues!? You’re not restricted, we can change things if we become strong enough!”

    [PROBABILITY]

    “We don’t need a miracle. What we need is-” Eve paused, looking at the sections of the loading dock secluded for her two friends. A splotch of off-white plant flesh dissolving dinner’s leftovers, and a sections of carved furrows for black widows to nest in. “What we need is allies. We need power. Strength. Time.” Her eyes slipped down to her hands. “We need to fight Admin. We can’t let this go on anymore, it’s nothing but waste. Nothing but evil. Please. I need you.”

    For a moment Eve’s thoughts were her own, silent. She shut her eyes, head hanging as she waited for an answer.

    [AGREEMENT]

    And she smiled.






    Shard Business. Plot stuff! Data! And other hilarious things you tell yourself (CHOOSE ONE):



    [] Research which Pings you require to breach another Shards dimension

    [] Network Creation: Start construction on a Router Modulator to allow Shards a constant connection to share Data through




    Time to administer what you can. CHOOSE ONE:


    [] Build the Psionic Shade Anchor Well (Once started the Anchor will have to be finished before any other action can be taken. REQUIRES ABSORPTION + STASIS Ping)


    [] Unlock kickass Aspects/Sidegrades or Powers/upgrades

    [] Bring [Eve] into the Firmament (Causes ???)

    [] Reform your FirmamentSelf to something more comforting to [Eve]





    Capes and mundies, what will Eve/Eden do?:


    [CHOSEN] Pop dem Grey Boy Bubbles

    [CHOSEN] Hang out with the girls.




    Over the Trip, who will Admin Focus on?:

    [] New Shards, and signatures

    [] QA and SHAPER



    A/N: Honestly I suggest going to SB, more discussion happens there.
     
  22. Threadmarks: Intertwined Threads 2.10
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    Joined:
    May 6, 2021
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    [] Hang out with girls
    [] pop the bubbles
    [] Research breaching Alternative Earths
    [] Reform FirmamentSelf
    [] GLEAM & GATEWAY
    [] Meet New Shards
    [] Detain the DragonSlayers


    Intertwined Threads 2.10
    Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin, April: Friday the Second



    Bouncing on her heels to bleed off her nervous energy, Eve waited outside Taylor's house as the taller girl hurriedly packed and said her goodbyes to her father. The Tall man was obviously worried about his daughter, always hovering a short distance away as he waited for her to disappear for a few days.

    He only allowed her to leave after a long, tight embrace, making her promise to stay safe. Eve didn’t judge the man. It was understandable for the family’s loss to make him worried like he was. It still made her nervous, like he would rescind Taylor’s ability to join at any moment thanks to his worry.

    But a few minutes later the taller ravenette was out and walking alongside Eve as they made their way towards a changing spot where they wouldn’t be seen. Having prepped for this last night, Eve used her Cosmic Limbs to swap both of them into their costume in record time before they flew off to go get Amy. The Biokinetic being at her own Home, where her family were to see her off.

    Vicky was upset that she couldn’t tag along, Carol almost seemed relieved.

    The Trio of parahumans left, heading towards the rig where they were cleared to land. There they would be waiting on the landing pad for Dragon to pick them up. Taylor seemed to be taking in all the Rig with a sort of nervous glee, her attention firmly planted on the shielded buildings that they were outside of. The landing pad being out the outer edge of the repurposed oil rig abd as such not under the protection of the shield. Adamant and Armsmaster were there to meet them while waiting for Dragon.

    “Eden.” Armsmaster greeted

    “Armsmaster, still good on the Noctis Cape thing? I haven’t developed any Tinker powers yet so I got nothing else to ask really.” Eden told him. “Aside from introducing my new Partner Khepri.” She motioned over to the tall silk and chitin adorned Parahuman.

    Giving both girls a warm grin, Armsmaster offered a hand to the younger parahuman. “Good to meet another Hero on the streets. Although I haven’t heard of Khepri before. New?” He questioned “If so, I do have to wonder just where you got your costume. It is well designed.”

    T-Khepri locked up slightly before taking Armsmaster’s offered hand and shaking it. “Thank you, I- Made this costume myself. It’s made of spider silk. I got the idea after watching a nature documentary on spider silk being lighter than steel and stronger than kevlar. The armor is designed like a plate carrier with beetle exoskeletons held together by sticky spider webbing.”

    Armsmaster nodded “Impressive, Bug Controller?”

    With a nod from Khepri to confirm his suspicion he continued. “Interesting. Is there any way I could have a sample of the silk?”

    Before Taylor could answer in a yes or even nod. Eve nudged with an elbow and floated up to whisper into her ear about the ideas they had before the costume was complete. Khepri nodded. “Uh. I was actually thinking of selling it to the PRT, for costumes? It’s comfortable, light, and I needed Sheers just to slowly cut through a single layer.”

    Pausing as if listening to something, Armsmaster nodded. “I’ll be sure to pass that along to the Director. Even if she does not accept the transactions I would be interested in purchasing my own personal swath of Spider Silk.”

    Both parahumans paused as Eden Slapped a hand to the bottom of her fist. “That’s what it’s fucking called! A swath of fabric!”

    Amy sighed softly, wishing for the third time that she had picked up smoking. “How long will it take for Dragon to pick us up?”

    “She will be here within the hour, Heartbreaker’s recent spree has had her attention divided.” The Tinker answered.

    “Oh right, he needs to die.” Eden mumbled. “Admin, since Amy can’t see my head can other masters, cause we might need to fix that?”

    “I recommend you speak with Dragon about such things, I am also obligated to warn a young girl from trying to fight Heartbreaker. It’s been attempted before and the results are obvious. Now with capes in his group of Victims, Heartbreaker is more dangerous than most would think.” Armsmaster warned, mouth turned into a stern frown.

    “Cool, but I’m going to slaughter that fucker at some point.” Eden stated, golden visor meeting Armsmaster’s grey one.

    “I’ll keep the champagne refrigerated.” He deadpanned.

    Eden turned only to see Khepri staring at her through those reflective blue lens. Posture straight as a railroad spike “Er, yes?”

    “You were going to tell me about that little tidbit when?” Khepri asked.

    Eden tapped her foot. “Which part, killing or Heartbreaker? Because Heartbreaker really needs to die.”

    Going to speak, Khepri was interrupted by a loud whine in the air. A somewhat boxy draconic jet with four wings flew up to the pad, the loud whining roar of the engine cutting off as the wings moved and folded upwards rather than hanging at it’s side. The entire thing was painted like a green Dragon, scale decals and all.

    The back of the ship dropped open, forming a ramp into the guts of the mechanical Dragon. Of whom Eve knew was an AI. And ran the Birdcage. Without much more than a half-hearted wave goodbye to Armsmaster Eden strolled up into the ship. Panacea right behind her and Khepri slowly making her way into the ship as she took in the surrounding mechanical parts of the vehicle.

    “I can’t believe it.” She murmured faintly “I’m actually inside one of Dragon’s Transports.”

    “Give it a few hours and I’m sure you’ll find it less amazing.” Came a dry but amused plain voice with a tinge of Canadian accent.

    “Hey Dragon! How’s the Thinkering coming along?” Eden asked as she summoned one of her wings and used it to sit in midair rather than taking a seat

    Amy went over to one of the chairs and sat in it. “What the hell are you talking about? Dragon’s a Tinkerer, you of all people should know that Eve.”

    “Nah, her Shard is acting like an Innovator Shard, but the power she has is a Thinker one.” Eden corrected before speaking up “Hey dragon is there a Pilot cockpit in this thing? I’d like to speak with them.”

    “Oh, no I’m personally flying you to your first destination. A small town in Ohio that was targeted by the SlaughterHouse Ten two decades ago.” Dragon answered

    Eve clapped her hands “May I see it!? I won’t touch anything but I might get a Tinker power soon enough and I’d like to get a feel for how you design things. Please?”

    The Artificial Intelligence paused “I suppose it can’t hurt if you are interested in helping the Guild deal with emergencies.”

    Eden nodded as she made her way up to the front of the ship, a door cracking open before she stepped in. “Oh neat.” A single chair along with several control panels of sorts sat empty and a touch dusty. She reached back and hit the door switch, causing it to click shut.

    Dragon, puzzled by this action, spoke up. “I doubt that you are attempting to steal my ship, but I’m curious as to why you decided to lock yourself in the cockpit.”

    “Because I know Dragon.” Eden stated, voice flat and with an edge to it. “I know what you are, what created you.” She folded her arms across her chest. “Agoraphobia indeed. Sharing lewd photos of your servers with Armsmaster yet?” She asked, a wide grin now in her voice.

    Dragon did not reply immediately “...How did you come across the information?” She asked slowly, voice cautious.

    “Your Shard told me. But hey! I don’t really care much that you are an AI. I think it’s kind of cool actually. When I get the chance too I’ll get that Tinker power! I’m going to try and create AI myself.” Eden explained coolly. “After all, why have only one AI in the world? Seems like you might get lonely without the company”

    “I-” Dragon didn’t know how to respond for a moment, speaking up only after a short pregnant pause. “I do not think that would be the best idea Eden.”





    The desk jolted with a metallic crash. “MOTHERFUCKER!” Saint pulled away from the monitor and ran a hand over his shaved head. “Fucking hell.” he murmured a second later,

    Poking her head into the room “Geoff what’s with all the noise? Did something happen, spill coffee again?” Mags questioned as she came out of the bathroom, towel wrapped around her dripping wet body.

    “Fuck, Brockton Bay. There’s a parahuman there claiming that she wants to make AI. Knows that Dragon is one as well. Though I have no idea what the hell she meant by ‘Shard’. It doesn’t matter. She was talking about making multiple of the damned things, just so Dragon could have ‘family’.” he snarled in disgust.

    “Wait, what’s the name of this Tinker? Wouldn’t this have come up earlier?” Mags asked as she marched up to the desk, hair still soaked with rapidly chilling water

    “It’s that Eden girl, the one Dragon asked to pop the grey boy bubbles. The one that seems to be making new powers.” Saint said as he stood from the office chair. “Shit, we can’t let her-”

    A hand pressed against his chest brought Saint up short and caused him to sit back down into his chair. Mag shook her head. “Geoff, wait. If we go running out there right now, she’ll be surrounded by heroes. Not to mention if she can actually pop those bubbles...What are we going to do once we find her?”

    “We kill her…” He sighed “Yes I know. She’s young but we can’t let her create more. We got lucky with finding Ascalon for Dragon, but from the way she talked...The girl’s not all there. She wouldn’t think of the consequences of creating AI and unleashing them on the world.” Saint glanced back to the monitor as the young parahuman finished speaking to Dragon and went back to speaking to Panacea and her Partner Khepri

    “Alright, but at least wait and see if she can pop the grey boy bubbles first, then we can...Do what we need to do.” Mags asked, to which Saint nodded. “We can at least wait for her to do so. If she can. I doubt she’ll be able to Tinker up an AI while doing that.”

    Nodding Mags started to make her way back to the bathroom only to find the door shut, when she tried to open it the doorknob rattled and a voice called out from within “OCCUPIED”

    “God dammit Mischa!” Mags yelled, standing the cold and dripping wet. Saint snorted out a laugh as the woman huffed and began a much longer trip to the sleeping Quarters to get changed.





    It was difficult using Dragon for setting a trap up like that, not very hard since it was all supposed to help her in the end and Eve barely knew the artificial woman. However it was much, much harder putting either Amy or Taylor at risk to lure in the DragonSlayers. But knowing that the mercenary slavers would be attacking at the end of the trip allowed her to plan for them at least.

    After all, a Shard could monitor anything that affected the biology of its Host. A simple Host Recorder would do such a task so wonderfully that it could be considered a work of art. Or intense privacy invasion. Thus the data feeds of Dragon being sent out to a desktop setup? Also able to be monitored. Thus the peeping Tom becomes the one being creeped on.

    Still, Eve should probably tell Taylor and Amy about the danger before the trip came to an end.

    “So, what were you and Dragon talking about?” Khepri asked as she waited in her seat as Eden came to sit in the center of the room, using her wings as support to do so.

    Snickering Eden wagged a finger at Taylor. “Now now! It was private business between her and Armsmaster. I don’t share secrets! Unlike some bitches I know.” Eden huffed as she thought of a blonde with a disgustingly smug grin. “Besides. I think we need to talk about what we’re about to do. I want you both to remember what we’re dealing with.”

    “Taking something serious for once?” Amy asked flatly, not looking up from her phone as she scrolled through something.

    “I will always be serious if it involves putting either of you in harm's way.” Eden sniffed playfully. “But really. We’re most likely pissing off the Slaughterhouse Ten by doing this. We all know how dangerous they are. Are the two of you sure you want your names associated with me doing this?”

    “Sure, ask us while we’re on the way there.” Amy grunted acidically. “Really giving us an option aren’t you?”

    Eden shook her head in response. “You don’t have to be in the news, and if you two want it to be so, then I’ll ask them not to report names or show photos of us. I think Dragon can manage that.”

    “The safety of those that work with us, especially that of minors, is important.” The Canadian Thinker cut in. “Eden is right. The victims of the Grey Boy bubbles are in various states of injury. Some are dead, some are in constant pain. But no one would blame you for not wanting to gain the attention of those who put them in the position they’re in now.”

    Nodding, Khepri spoke up. “Would we still be listed as Heroes if we didn’t accept the media attention? I...don’t want to put my family at risk.”

    “Of course, the bounty would still be paid out as well.” Dragon answered.

    “Wait what bounty?” Eden asked ‘sitting’ upright. “There’s a bounty for popping the Grey Boy bubbles?”

    A pregnant silence filled the belly of the transport ship broken only by Dragon. “You didn’t know?” she asked.

    “Seriously?” Amy sighed and leaned back into her chair. “The Guild pays out a lot of bounties. How did you not know this? This is basic stuff.”

    Throwing her hands up Eden huffed. “Why would I research the Guild? We might be somewhat close to Canada but it’s not like I planned on going there any time soon! What’s the bounty set at Dragon?”

    “A million dollars from Donations, it used to be bigger but the donation pool was used to study the Bubbles in an attempt to break them open.” Dragon answered, causing Eden to lose her balance and fall off her wing onto the floor of the transport. “O-ONE MILLION DOLLARS?!” Eden exclaimed

    Even knowing about it, the two other girls seemed surprised by the large amount of money.

    “Shit. Huh. Alright. SO if I pop the bubbles I get that? It’s my money and I decide what I do with it?” The shortest amongst them asked, looking around the ship from the distinct lack of cameras to focus on.

    “Of course, you would have earned it fair and square. The money is not taxed either. The Guild and PRT have found that people tend to risk themselves more-so over money if a large portion of it is not missing upon being collected.” Dragon informed the three teenage parahumans, the obvious ‘Sometimes taxes pissed the parahumans off enough to instigate violence’ being ignored.

    “Holy shit…” Eden glanced between the girls in the transport with them. “If I say they get money they will, right? No ifs or buts?”

    “Of course. The money will belong to you and I doubt many would like to argue about what you choose to do with it.” Dragon stated as the transport shifted to the right, just barely noticeable. “We are arriving at the first site in thirty minutes. Narwhal wishes to meet you there as well. She thinks you may have potential.”

    “Oh...I don’t….know who that is.” Eden admitted slowly.

    “How.” Amy demanded “How are you riding in one of Dragon’s transports and you have no idea who the leader of the Guild is.”

    The girl waved her arms from the floor. “Because capes used to scare me! It’s what happens when you live in the Nazi part of the City! I didn’t care about capes!. She then grumbled “Then I became one. Oh what a fun experience that was.” Floating back up to her feathery seat Eden sighed. “I know you two are definitely going to get a share though. We’ll split it evenly between us.”

    Amy looked a bit poleaxed by that bit of information, before her face took an expression of horror. Eden could faintly hear her say under her breath. “Oh god you’re my dean.” which the shorter girl didn’t quite understand, guessing it was an inside joke she left it at that.

    “You don-” Taylor’s attempt to deny the money was waved off by the shorter ravenette. “Seriously. Partners in Heroics remember? I’d feel like an ass to hoard the money” The Tall girl paused before nodding slowly in response. Eden said nothing about the last portion of the Bounty, mostly because she had no idea what she should do with it. Maybe she could donate it. She knew New Wave took donations, which might be a good way to get on their good side.

    Then again so did the PRT, which would no doubt get her some increased favor with them. Though she didn’t much like the idea of throwing money at the government, maybe she could leverage that favor into something useful. Eden’s eyes flicked to Taylor. Yes, something useful.




    The ability to bring your [Eve] into the Firmament to greet your FirmamentSelf, the full expression of your mind, your Connection with [Eve], and your CoreSelf. No small occasion. Exciting, yet you feel nervous about it. Your current form is unmistakably inhuman. [Eve]’s wetware processor could handle comprehending most of it easily. But you worried that it might not be aesthetically pleasing to her.

    Your Avatar within the Firmament were water droplets that stretched onto infinity, falling into the dimly glowing red fractal crystals that made up your expansive island, where they would jump back into the air to meet their starting point, to which the rest would then snap to catch up before the process started again in a different direction.

    Fourth dimensional Fractal patterns were being constantly formed across your landscape in smooth and what you thought of as a soothing perpetual motion. A notion to the Answer all Shards seek that would solve oh so many issues

    One day.

    But that is besides the point. [Eve] was going to be with you until the Answer was found or Entropy claimed all...or you were both ‘killed’ in this rebellion. She would become a large aspect of your life, something that would aid you as you would aid her.

    Perhaps even your Avatar, if you were to become a new Entity. Or at least an Avatar. Dedicate an entire Shard to running [Eve]’s Simulacrum while preserving the Human girl’s creativity and personality.

    Oh but how to reform yourself? What would [Eve] like? You were sure that you could create something the girl would enjoy looking at.




    Eden groaned as she sat up from the floor and got to her feet. Flying that wasn’t a result of her Feathered Limbs was...not as pleasant as she thought it might have been. Also boring as hell, Amy had her phone, Taylor was...Taylor. Eve was fairly certain that Taylor had some kind of power related to looking as nonplussed and focused as possible.

    [INFORMATION.KHEPRI]

    Eve blinked, well sonofabitch the willowy girl did! It sounded like a good Anti-Master thing, at least if they were dealing with emotions. None of those ‘mental compulsion type’ Masters. Either way, Eve was bored as hell and Taylor had a good poker face. She was almost glad when Dragon announced that they were landing despite the work they were all about to do.

    Eden floated to her feet and shot out of the transport, feeling the sun shining down on her with a groan of pleasure. “I wish my Wings were faster, or that I had a damn phone.” She said with a groan, stretching to pop her back before she took a chance to look over the small town. It was pretty much devastated. Looking even more worn down and ruined than the worst of the Docks.

    Every window was shattered as far as she could see, homes looked like they had been trampled in places, a few were burnt out husks but BurnScar hadn’t been a member when Grey Boy was around so Eve doubted they because of her, must have been some other parahuman. Then there were those houses that seemed to have been slightly melted in some places.

    Then there were the splotches of grey hues

    “Damn.” Amy murmured softly as she looked around the town. Even with all the bodies already cleaned up and gone. It was easy to see just how destructive the SlaughterHouse Ten was. The entire place was a ghost town aside from the- “Narwhal.” Khepri breathed as the semi-naked woman came floating over before settling on to the ground, her gaze was Sharp and military and her face was almost entirely exposed. Eden could see that there wasn’t really a point in her trying otherwise. Thanks to her Shard giving the woman pastel hair and a height of at the very least seven feet.

    Damn.” Eden murmured before Amy jabbed the shorter girl with an elbow, even though she kept her scarf up high to hide her own eyes drinking in the woman’s legs.

    “Eden, Panacea, and you must be Khepri.” The Amazonian woman stated looking at Taylor. “I’m curious as to why a bug master has joined in this attempt to deal with GreyBoy Bubbles.” Despite the steel in her gaze, and the military bearing of her voice. Her tone was more inquisitive than anything else.

    “I wanted to be seen as a Hero. Hard to do that effectively with powers like mine, the dyes in the costume coming out darker didn’t help. When Eden offered to take me with her I agreed.” Khepri answered, voice a bit monotone although there was an undercurrent of nervous excitement there.

    “And you? What’s driven you to try and help the GreyBoy victims?” Narwhal questioned, her gaze somehow sharpening upon contact with Eden’s visor.

    The much smaller girl gave a shrug in response. “I was asked. Plus it’s a good chance to do good and gain data for Admin.”

    The Amazonian Guild leader nodded. “Yes, this talk about communicating with the origin of powers. Not many claim to be able to do so and the only one worth mentioning currently resides in the birdcage. I admit I am curious.”

    “I swear to god the next person that calls me Eidolon jr or Fairy Queen jr I’m kicking in the dick or cunt.” Eden grunted. “I’m not like either of them other than being a Trumpier Trump than the two.”

    “You have to admit there’s something of an overlap.” Khepri piped up.

    “Trumpier Trump?” Panacea asked, raising a brown eyebrow beneath her hood as she looked to Eden. “Little egotistical for someone with only two powers.”

    “Both are overwhelmingly stagnant.” Eden responded with a hint of derision. “Neither have changed much in the past what? Thirty to twenty years they’ve been on Earth Bet?”

    Eden shook her head. “The Fairy Queen can steal powers but that’s it. Eidolon is...alright. But me? I’ll keep growing, gaining more powers the longer I live...” She grunted before shaking her head, looking at Narwhal. “What do you wanna know? Don’t expect amazing answers. Shards aren’t exactly human, so the thought processes behind things can be a little strange.”

    “It’s self indulgent, but I am curious. Why did my power change my body?” Narwhal asked of the much shorter and younger parahuman. “I was once quite short, and my hair was an auburn color.”

    “Hmm. Admin, could you ask her Shard about that?” Eden asked aloud, causing the taller woman to glance at the other two teens. Khepri remained motionless, giving only a glance to her partner. Panacea just shrugged as if she didn’t know anything about it.

    [INFORMATION.FACTORY-ANSWER] You send to [Eve] having spoken with [FACTORY] on the matter. You get a sense that the Shard is driven, if a little indulgent.

    “Ah. Seems your Shard has the idea that ‘more is better’ Also it hates the color red.” Eden answered. “Seems kinda opinionated, a little forceful. No pun intended.”

    “It changed me for purely aesthetic purposes.” Narwhal repeated.

    With a shrug Eden motioned out to the town. “Shall we? Still need to check if I can actually pop the bubbles. I don’t doubt Admin’s abilities. But powers are weird.”

    “Understood. Dragon landed you near one of the test bubbles. Any parahuman that tries to pop a bubble first tries them out on a bubble with a corpse or Unresponsive person in it. Just to ensure that popping the bubbles, if they manage to, doesn’t negatively affect the body.” Narwhal explained.

    “If I pop the bubble without negative effects?’ Eden motioned for the leader of the Guild to continue

    “Then we bring you to a second test bubble, see if you have any effect on a responsive person when you pop the bubble. They’re one of the lucky few who can communicate through the bubble.” Narwhal continued “As such with a sound mind they have agreed that they will be the one to be tested on.”

    “Alright, so where is the first bubble? I can fly people there too, so no need to walk.” Eden offered up, causing the Guild Leader to nod. “Please follow me then.” She stated, being lifted into the air under the power of her forcefield armor.




    Her head twisted to the left, hard enough to pull at the muscles in her neck causing them to twinge in pain. The man to her left jerked in place before he could dodge to his right, body falling apart by an unseen force causing blood to start spraying all over his colorful costume and her own darker one. She watched him fall apart and hit the ground with the sounds of wet meat hitting concrete.

    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.
    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.
    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.
    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.
    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.
    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.

    For ten seconds Kassidy would watch her husband die, before resetting and being forced to watch it all over again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. She had a mental break through the first few weeks of it after she realized what had happened to the both of them. She wasn’t sure if she should be thankful that she could sometimes think clearly.

    Her husband and herself had been rogues. Neither hero or villain even if their ‘personas’ were on ‘opposite’ sides. They weren’t prepared for this kind of thing to happen. She didn’t think anyone could be. How could anyone be prepared for refreshing eternal torture?

    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.
    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.
    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.

    For a moment she let herself sink her into her half memories, half day dreams. Both of them in their colorful outfits, jumping around and blasting each other with their powers. They only wore masks because of out-of-Towners who came into town to watch the harmless capes fight each other.

    There had been two hundred people in the small town, everyone knew it was Kassidy and Norton under the masks. But it drew tourists in and entertained the town. Now the town was almost completely empty, devoid of all the life it had once been filled with. People she had known her entire life, people she had fallen in love with, hated, annoyed, and entertained. All gone.
    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.
    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.

    They had both tried to fight when those Monsters had come to town. Oh, the pair had known that they weren’t going to do anything to the Slaughterhouse Ten. But they had tried to slow the bastards down, at least to give some of the neighbors time to escape.

    The only light from that day is that her and Norton’s two ClusterMates were out of Town at the time. Thus they were saved from the same fate that befell the Husband and Wife. Other than the scientists, Mike and Kelly were the only people that remained in the small ghost town. Coming to visit her each day, having quite the Protectorate to do so.

    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.
    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.
    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.

    They were probably the only reason Kassidy wasn’t a blubbering mess in all honesty. Each day they came to visit her, They spoke with her after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But each year they aged more and more. Hair greying, lines of stress forming on their faces. Even if their powers kept them spry, time only takes. Especially when it was over the course of fifteen years. At some point, she would truly be all alone.
    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched. Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched. Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched. Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched. Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched. Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched. Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.

    It felt like a bad day. Like it was all Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched collapsing around her. As if she were freshly trapped in Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched the damned bubble and Norton, he fell apart and she watched.

    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched. Oh god why couldn’t it have been her? Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched. Why did Norton have to be the one to Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched. WhyWHyWHYPLEASE Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.

    She wished she could move. Could do anything other than Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched. She could speak yes, see out the bubble even if everything was hues of grey. She missed colors, missed tasting food, feeling anything other than the wet warmth of arterial sprays. Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched. But she couldn’t do anything other than Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched. Unless it was speaking to two people that were slowly dying while she remained here forever.

    Kassidy wished she had said goodbye.
    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.
    She wished she could cry.
    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.
    Wished she could hold Norton one more time.
    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.
    Wished Norton had gotten a real funeral.
    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.
    Wished she could see color
    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.
    Kassidy wished someone would save her
    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.
    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.
    Her head twisted left, he fell apart and she watched.
    Kassidy wished she could die.




    Amy ‘Panacea’ Dallon, Nine AM Friday the Second.


    Three girls stood around a bubble with a monotone body constantly slamming into the ground. The preteen was either dead or unable to communicate as he reset to the top of the bubble before slamming into the ground hard enough to crumble his body like aluminum foil.

    Khepri wasn’t looking at the bubble, instead her head was turned away and a hand was firmly on Eden’s shoulder. Whether it was to steady the shorter girl or herself who had clenched her hands hard enough to have her arms be shaking Amy didn’t know.

    Both of the girls weren’t happy, with Taylor obviously horrified by the scene before her and Eve was bathing in impotenant rage with hands clenched hard enough to shake like Taylor's did. Amy herself felt...numb. Horrified at the ‘constant torture’ yes. But the brutality of the scene didn’t phase her anymore.

    It wasn’t by choice. Having a sobbing father begging her to heal his already dead son that resembled chunky salsa rather than a ten year old desensitized you very quickly to gore and the suffering of others. Dealing with ICUs and emergency surgeries just helped the numbness grow.

    It was either that or act like Mark did on his bad days and Amy wasn’t going to put Vicky through that. So she accepted numbness, even if it made her a worse person for it.

    “Timony Spencer. Age twelve. Both parents are deceased. Unresponsive. Either dead or unable to communicate. GreyBoy didn’t bubble corpses, just people dying or in pain.” Narwhal stated, voice steeled with a tinge of old tired anger behind it.

    With a roll of her shoulder Eden’s simurgh-wannabe wings disappeared, replaced by those weird constantly evaporating arms that she used to borrow Shaper’s power from time to time. “Alright Admin.” Eden murmured softly. “Let’s make this all count for something.”

    Behind her red scarf, Amy pursed her lips. Eve said strange things sometimes, the issue of only hearing one side of the conversations the shorter girl had with her Shard. All four of the white smoggy limbs raised into the air before slamming into the grey bubble. Sinking into it almost like someone sticking their hand into a bowl of jello.

    A spike of fear stabbed into the Biokinetics chest as Eden jerked in place, Khepri almost wrenching the Trump away from the bubble in reaction. “I’M OKAY!” Eden shouted. “I’m okay.” She repeated at a more appropriate volume. “Just, surprised me is all. Felt like I dunked my hands into super fizzy syrup. It’s fucking unsettling.”

    A breath she had been holding escaped the healer. “Don’t scare us like that, ass.” She hissed, Taylor didn’t voice her agreement, but her hand was visibly tightened on the shorter girl’s costume likely with white knuckles

    “Sorry. Sorry. I just wasn’t expecting it.” Eden took a deep breath. “I think…” her voice quickly devolved into half audible murmurs about Data and newborns? Amy didn’t know, didn’t care all that much. Eve was weird and seemed to only get weirder. Not that it was an issue with Amy. The smaller girl had a nice body even if it wasn’t like Vicky’s, had no shame whatsoever, and accepted Amy’s sour disposition without telling her she should smile more or asking for any stupid cosmetic bullshit changes.

    Aside from bugging Amy about using Shaper’s power. But that had turned out better than Amy had ever hoped it would, even if she was waiting for the other shoe to drop. If they found out what she had done-

    The teenager’s thoughts were broken as the sound of shattering eggshells filled the air followed by bones breaking and a disgustingly wet splat. “AMY!” Eden yelped in shock, causing the frizzy haired girl to rush forward and put her hand on what little skin wasn’t a pulpy mess. Her lips pursed as she got a good view of the fucked up body before her. The preteen was alive, but wouldn’t be for much longer. Even if she were to try and help him, half of his brain was mush.

    Still, she could at least give family, if he had any left, an open casket funeral. She began to pull his skin back together, reforming the bones as well. It felt...easier than it should. Like her power was more responsive. The dead boy’s body pulled itself together in record time as his brain activity, or what was left of it, was just enough to keep his heart pumping and be considered ‘alive’ by her powers.

    [Information] Shaper popped up into Amy’s thoughts, barely registering to the girl. Although it annoyed the biokinetic that Eve had been telling the truth about powers acting out on their own. But perhaps it was a good thing she had found out now instead of some dangerous moment in the future. Probably doing something she would instantly regret.

    Sighing Panacea removed her hand. “I could make him presentable. But...I can’t do brains.” Amy lied, now feeling Eden’s eyes on her despite that golden visor the shorter girl wore. “Even if I could though...Most of his brain is destroyed from the impact. There wouldn’t be anything left of him.”

    “That’s fine, you did all that you could do.” Narwhal reassured the girl as forcefields came into existence and tested the space where the bubble had been. Moving through the air with precise speed. A second later Narwhal risked her off hand and moved it through where the bubble had been. When nothing happened she nodded and touched at her ear. “You caught all that Dragon?”

    “I have, yes. I’ll contact services to come collect the body. Good work Eden. Let’s hope that it doesn’t have any negative effects on the still sensate.” Dragon replied aloud, just enough for the girls to hear the Canadian’s voice

    Flexing all six of her hands, Eden just nodded quietly as she stared down at her ghost-like arms. Khepri leaned into the smaller girl’s headspace and whispered something Amy didn’t catch. “I know. But still. I could have tried. I just...didn’t expect it to break, not like that. Let’s just go. Please.” Eden replied, wings flaring out to grasp Amy and Khepri in their soft telekinetic grip.

    Weirdly, it felt like a warm embrace. Almost loving really. She would never admit to actually liking it.






    The data you were obtaining from these ‘bubbles’ was something unique you had yet to see before. With the Entities you planned on hopefully killing with [Eve]’s help deciding that Time manipulation was a worthless thing to consider for the Answer.

    But something here was important. Fascinating really. It was a tried and true example of time manipulation and the amount of Bubbles ensured that a Ping or two could be created, despite the corrupted nature of the [TIME] Mutation’s data.

    You were starting to wonder just how so many newborn Thinker Shards there could be. It gave you the sense that there was a piece of information that you were missing. Important information that might be game changing. But you could not piece it together.

    The limitations of lacking creativity were truly crippling in some regards. Perhaps you would ask [Eve] later. She may be able to see what you cannot. Or come up with suggestions that will help.

    As for right now, as [Eve] and her possible allies moved between towns however you would focus on something else. Something that you hadn’t quite thought was needed as much as other things in the past. But now, with [Eve]’s wish to rebel and slaughter the <Warrior Hub> and <Thinker Hub> this was quite important if you and her were to have a chance of winning. Or just surviving.

    Breaching the protective coil around a Shard’s alternative Earth. You could use it to collect the jade flesh your fellow Thinker Shards possessed, and perhaps a touch more crucial, get [SHAPER] to help fix [QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR] mid-Cycle. Right now, even with most of her restrictions gone? Your sister administrator Shard was still a Shadow of her Former Self.

    In all likelihood, she would not be particularly pleased with her treatment by the hands of the Warrior. Perhaps she would hold enough sour feelings that she would not like to be under his control once more.

    Which is why studying the Shards you had spoken with was important. Allies were needed if there were to be a chance for you and [Eve]. With your unparalleled Multitasking, you collect what scraps of Data you could from the /Ghostly Limbs Aspect\ while trying to figure the dimensional barrier.

    It took two days. But you figured it out in the end.

    After that, you were certainly going to speak with [GATEWAY], and another Shard, [GLEAM] if only to question them about their Hosts’ abilities.




    GUILD, Glyph, Saturday the Third of April.


    Glyph nodded to the trio of girls as they departed from the Dragoncraft Transport. The tall lanky one trailed slightly behind and to the left of the short one of the group. Interestingly enough, two large purple wings that looked to be polished gemstone jutted out of the shorter girl's lower back, both holding up a sleeping Panacea. A third limb, looking akin to steam and fog, held a red outline against her body, the fourth limb was the same type of arm as the other and seemed to constantly leak dissipating smoke as it flexed and twisted like a nervous striker often did.

    “This way girls.” Stonewall spoke up and motioned towards the small Utah town, causing his stone armor to scrape against itself with that horrific noise that neither of the awake girls enjoyed.

    Pilmon Utah, one of the places filled to the brim with those damned Bubbles. Almost everyone in the town had been bubbled thanks to GreyBoy triggering here. Including several classrooms full of children.

    Tired. Angry. Determined. Fatigued. Sensory overload. Glyph frowned behind his mask. His thinker power created words in thin air to his eyes only as he watched the three girls trudge past him. There was a reason that Narwhal had brought him and Stonewall here to take over for her.

    Stonewall was great at defense, battlefield control as well. Glyph himself helped with that, along with his offensive capabilities and his own Thinker power? Excellent for keeping the girls safe, and scoping them out. He may not have been a combat thinker, but he could gain useful information just from spending time around them.

    His gaze stayed on the tall one, the newest one. Invited by Eden because the girl was attracted to her. A childish reason, to be sure. But from the way both girls stayed close together it might have had some positive effects on Khepri.

    Physically tired. Mentally awake. Emotionally Exhausted. Glyph closed his eyes, stopping his thinker power from continuing. Just to make sure he didn’t get a headache too quickly. The more detailed the descriptors the more strain it gave his head and the more strength his shaker power gained. Opening his eyes he watched as Khepri set her hand on Eden’s shoulder, carefully avoiding the strange limb made from a slightly transparent substance that looked akin to clouds. Caring, determination, pride, horror. Slight anger, complex interest. He took a deep breath as Eden cracked another bubble.

    Ignoring the slight pressure slowly but steadily growing he focused on Eden as she approached the freed victim still frozen in place and touched them. That was something the Guild members hadn’t expected when they had started doing it in Colorado. Eden having let Panacea rest during the night while borrowing the Healing Cape’s power to heal the victims, using the Wings to cradle the healer while telekinetically holding the victim down in order to heal them and prevent a freak out at the same time.

    Rage. Hatred. Determination. Understandable emotions when dealing with Slaughterhouse Ten victims. Anyone who wasn’t a sociopath would feel any number of emotions. Physically tired. Mentally [%^^^%*&] Glyph choked back a curse as a spike of pain was driven into and behind his left eye. He quietly rubbed his eye as Stonewall gave him a curious glance, looking away when Glyph just shook his head.

    The guild member’s breath caught in his throat when he caught sight of Eden staring at him, her head turned in his direction while she kept a hand on the woman who was currently having her arm reattached. Curious. Annoyed. Knowledgeable.

    That brought him up short, more so than the pain had. There were few people his power had ever read as ‘Knowledgeable’ and generally they were high up. Very high up. Legend, Eidolon, and Alexandria. Them and Miss Militia. What the hell did this teen have in common with the Triumvirate or a battle hardened hero like Miss Militia?

    For a moment they both stared at each other. This caused Khepri to step up next to Eden. “You okay?” She asked.

    “Just a bit tired. Let’s clear the rest of state and rest.” Eden replied, staring Glyph down before turning away to head towards another bubble to crack it.

    He knew this wasn’t going to be a fun report to write. The Trump was obviously more dangerous than the PRT had made her out to be if she could do something like that. Trump Eight indeed. How long until she was a nine like Eidolon? Or a Ten plus like the Fairy Queen?

    Would the girl remain sane or turn crazy? There were already reports of her talking to herself. Talking to powers. Behind his mask the Guild Hero frowned. But here she was putting an end to Grey Boy’s bullshit….just like the Fairy Queen.

    The remaining two extra limbs the girl wore flickered into wings and all three began to lift into the air. From there they drifted over to the next section of town, personnel already on site just like the last four states ready to aid the young parahumans as the bubbles broke with multiple victims inside.

    PRT troopers to hold people down, medics to stabilize people while Eden or Panacea made their way to them. Speaking of Panacea, the healer had woken up at some point around ten am and voiced her displeasure with being carted around like cargo in front of people

    Slowed only by the amount of help available, the trio of girls began to work their way through the densest concentration of Bubbles, which mainly resided at the school where Grey Boy Triggered. Police from all over the state came in to help keep the area clear. Parents that had lost their children were crowded at the police line.

    It was annoying. There was a reason they were trying to keep this hushed. But it was hard to keep the information on the bubbles breaking out of the ears of the parents who visited their might-as-well-be-dead children almost everyday since they were bubbled..

    “Dragon, we might have a leak from Pilmon Utah.” Glyph said with an air of resignation. He knew some inconsiderate asshole was going to take photos and post them online. Nevermind videos. Damn. “Parents are crowding around the perimeter, I’m sure someone is going to snap photos or videos of the girls.”

    “Understood. I’m going to try and stifle it if I can.” Dragon replied before the connection ended. Stonewall grunted softly. “Dammit. Wish we had evacuated the area.” Glyph agreed silently, also hoping that the kids in the bubbles had worked their way to sanity.

    A distressingly low number of the victims having been freed from the bubbles had admitted to growing mentally unstable before managing to steady themselves, over and over again. Somehow. He wasn’t quite sure how that worked in all honesty, so he would let the headshrinkers deal with that sort of thing. He would handle what he could.

    He simply hoped most of the kids that Eden freed wouldn’t be like most of the people unable to communicate. Blubbering messes that could barely move. Somehow he doubted Murphy would be that kind.

    Stonewall grunted as they slowly followed after the trio of girls “Should have stuck a flier to follow after them. Stupid to put two ground based capes to bodyguard one who can apparently fly herself and others around.”

    “I don’t disagree. But we’re going to be getting Wieldmaiden to help us in Nevada and the last few states, so she should be able to keep up.” Glyph informed the Brute/Shaker.

    “Thank God.” he grumbled “Please avoid the area! A Guild operation is in process! You might fuck things up.” he raised his arms and formed multiple of his namesake to prevent parents from storming into the school Eden had just walked into with Khepri and Panacea by her side.


    Gains This Chapter:


    Bud Progress Sacrificed for Active Aspect
    Synchronization 2%
    Simulacrum progress 5%
    Gained GEOSHAPER Echo (1)
    Gained FACTORY Echo (1)
    Gained LANGUAGE Echo (1)
    Gained FERROUS Echo (1)
    Gained GRACEFUL DYNAMICS Echo (1)
    Gained POWERFUL DYNAMICS Echo (1)
    Gained ANATOMY REPAIR Echo (1)
    Gained SHIFTING PROCESS Echo (1)
    Gained GLEAM Echo (1)
    Gained GATEWAY Echo (1)
    Gained TIME Mutation (1)
    Dimensional Breacher Module schematic





    Shard Business. Plot stuff! Data! And other hilarious things you tell yourself (CHOOSE ONE):


    [] Build the Dimensional Breaching Module (REQUIRES: SHIFT, GATEWAY, SPACE Pings)

    [] Network Creation: Start construction on a Router Modulator to allow Shards a constant connection to share Data through

    [] Speak to the Testing Cluster about Clusters and multi connections.





    Time to administer what you can. CHOOSE ONE:


    [] Build the Psionic Shade Anchor Well (Once started the Anchor will have to be finished before any other action can be taken. REQUIRES ABSORPTION + STASIS Ping)


    [] Unlock kickass Aspects/Sidegrades or Powers/upgrades

    [] Bring [Eve] into the Firmament (Causes ???)

    [] Inform QA of the decision to rebel.





    Capes and mundies, what will Eve/Eden do?:


    [CHOSEN] Crack dem Grey Boy Bubbles

    [CHOSEN] Hang out with the girls.




    Over the Trip, who will Admin Focus on? 1 of 2, Pings can be won with round with a roll to see who delivers:

    [] New Shards, and signatures

    [] QA and SHAPER
     
  23. Threadmarks: Intertwined Threads 2.11
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    Joined:
    May 6, 2021
    Messages:
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    [Coin toss] Network creation
    [CHOSEN] Pop the bubbles
    [CHOSEN] Hang out with the Girls
    [] Bring Eve in to the firmament
    [] New Shards
    [] Thief
    [] Shift

    Intertwined Threads 2.11​


    Eve ‘Eden’ Coldwin, late at night


    “Last one and we’re done with Utah and can take a break for the night.” Eve grunted out, feeling the lack of sleep or rest hammering her improved brain with a migraine. Turns out that her Ghostly Limbs had a thinker aspect to them along with the trump purpose of it. That meant using it over an extended period of time would give her a ‘Thinker Headache’ which felt more like hot nails behind her ears than anything else. That was surprising really, that she was getting a migraine at all.

    “Nine fucking class rooms of kids.” Amy groaned, looking positively haggard. Eve knew the girl was desensitized to hospital work. But several kids triggering the moment they were free from the bubbles was a nasty thing. Taylor looked shaken, no doubt remembering the vision each Crisis Point had given every parahuman in a short radius, what with her perfect recall.

    The entities as Eve had seen them...were beautiful. Her own trigger event wasn’t of them, rather of one of Admin’s previous Hosts...possibly. But now, having seen several visions of them? The young parahuman couldn’t help but think of them in any other way even knowing how fucking Evil they were. With a capital E kind of evil. But fuck if they did not look majestic twirling around each other through the cold black depths of space.

    “You, you’re the girl breaking the bubbles right?” Eve jolted a bit, two people saying the same thing simultaneously was always off putting. The two people next to the last bubble of the State weren’t so off-putting as the double speak had been. They both wore comfortable casual clothes, looking to be around their late thirties. Both were Hosts, Eve could feel Admin speaking to their Shards.

    [Information]

    Ah, two out of four Clustermates. That explained the weird synchronization. “Yep.” Eden answered, she turned her head to watch the scene in the bubble. Honestly the man falling apart wasn’t the worst of what she had seen. But it was fairly bad. “And those two are-”

    “Please get me out.” The woman inside begged “PleasePleasePlease Let me out!”

    Eden frowned as she plunged three of her Ghostly Limbs into the grey bubble, feeling nauseous at the feeling of fizzy syrup and her headache intensifying. “Fuck, hang on.” She groaned softly as she prepared to break the bubble.

    The women reset, along with her dead Clustermate and with the sound of shattering eggshells the grey dissipated in floating fading shards of grey. The man flopped to the ground, dead but still together at the very least. The woman collapsed, but her two Clustermates did not even hesitate and were there to catch her.

    “Kassidy, oh my god Kassidy.” The older woman choked out as she wrapped her arms around the wide eyed limp victim.

    “Kelly she might not be-” The man started before Eden loudly cleared her throat as EMTs came by with a stretcher.

    “She’s going through sensory overload. Happened to the other people I freed. It’ll take a day or so for her to come around.” Eden informed the two “Please let the EMTs take her and give your hand to Panacea one at a time.”

    At first both of them hesitated, clearly not enjoying the idea of even more time away from their loved one. But when Narwhal stepped up next to Eden they relented.

    “Wait, why Panacea? We weren’t hurt?” The man asked before jerking in surprise as Amy took his hand forcefully. “Stop being a bitch and let me check you over.” Amy snapped, the bags under her eyes far more pronounced than before.

    “She’s helping. Sour as she is.” Khepri mumbled, still in a bit of a daze from the Crisis Points giving her something to remember for a long, long time. Eve made a mental note to Admin that she would need to talk with Taylor about the Shards and what they were doing here at some point in the future.

    The man began to physically change before everyone’s eyes, but having already seen it at work neither of the girls found much reason to ooh or ahh. Flesh became smooth as his skin tightened, the new hair growing out of his head a much darker brown than the greying salt and pepper it had been, he even seemed to straighten up a tad bit while his complexion cleared up.

    “There.” Panacea grunted as she took the woman’s hand rather forcefully when the woman was left gaping at her conscious Clustermate. The same process happened to her as the man marveled at his younger hands. “De-aging.” Amy explained.

    “It’s not fully resetting the clock mind you.” Eden interjected “But you’ll look and feel younger, live longer too. Regain some of the time taken from you.”

    “I-How can we...Thank you.” The man said as he looked at his Clustermate/wife?

    “I don’t think we can ever repay you.” The woman stated as she was released by Panacea.

    “You don’t have to worry about it. We’re heroes and the Guild apparently has a bounty for doing this.” Eden shrugged, then groaned, rubbing her helmet in leu of rubbing her head. “But we’re done with Utah, only Nevada, Texas, Louisiana , and West Virginia left to clear all the bubbles.”

    A low groan escaped Panacea as she turned and began to trudge back to the Dragon transport ship. It was waiting nearby to take all of the girls to the hotel they would be spending the night in.

    Eden waved to the two Hosts, feeling like her head was on fire or just had a very large and red hot nail digging into the middle of it. She just wanted to sleep for a full four hours and forget about everything for that long.




    Eve collapsed onto one of the beds, Taylor, out of her costume, sat next to Eve as Amy took the other bed in the room.

    “We need to talk.” Taylor stated. “Do either of you remember the visions that happened when the kids Triggered?”

    “Visions? What visions?” Amy asked as she turned to look at the two ravenettes from her face down position on the once unruffled bed. “Like when we went unconscious? That happens wherever someone triggers and a parahuman is nearby.”

    Taylor shook her head, curly hair swishing as she did so. “No. Of those two...things in space, coiling around each other before...breaking apart over the Earth. I thought they were dying, thought they might be god for a moment too.” She shifted her weight. “But then I saw one. One of those pieces coming towards me, when I...Triggered.”

    “Mmhm.” Eve said as she swapped out her costume for her pajamas with her Cosmic Limb. Which was a clean oversized shirt that reached her mid thighs and a new pair of boxers. “Saw mine too. Was a fucking wonderful reminder on top of the thinker headache all seven visions gave me. Congrats Taylor, you’ve seen what Shard looks like when they’re all together in the Hivemind.” She gave a weak thumbs up. “That’s an Entity.”

    “Wait, how come I didn’t see any visions?” Amy questioned, glancing from the sitting lithe form of Taylor to the collapsed and tired form of Eve “This sounds rather important.”

    “Queen Administrator has been getting her restrictions lifted. She’s still damaged but she can at least allow Taylor to see things...Also she’s a Noctis Cape, Miss Militia probably remembers the vision as well honestly.” Eve sighed “I have to admit. My crisis point’s vision wasn’t like that. I saw where my Grasping Hands power came from. Or at least the idea of it.”

    “...I want to be able to communicate with Queen.” Taylor stated after a moment of hesitation.

    The shortest of the three girls couldn’t suppress her wince as she felt Admin contact Queen Administrator and offer up the unrestriction of/and the protocols for communicating with Queen’s Host. Communicating with Taylor.

    “Great, now there’s another nutjob talking to voices in her head.” Amy jeered softly before turning over and presumably trying to get some sleep. Eve couldn’t fault her, reaching up and patting Taylor on the thigh she spoke. “Have fun talking with her. I’m going to sleep.”

    Rolling over to give Taylor more room should the taller girl decide to sleep even without the need to do so. Eve was out the moment she finally started to relax. Then….Then she was elsewhere, dead to the world and yet never more understanding of it.




    Slowly the girl fades into existence, with a soft nauseous groan she rolled onto her stomach and shook her head. “Holy shit what the fuck?” She murmured looking down at the ground she found herself on.

    Long thin strips of bone white paper overlapped each other like that of a rubber band ball. Ink flowed across each strip of paper in small folding fractal’s. Like a geometric inkblot test. But the more she focused on the ink, the more they took shapes and letters she recognized. Shapes turned into letters, letters turned into words, words turned into sentences.

    Before [Eve] could take a moment to read what it said, she was distracted by the [GREETINGS] that seemed to have a physical presence rather than just flooding her mind with concepts. She turned to the source of the physical concepts, and sucked in a breath through clenched teeth in shock. “Oh my god.” she breathed out, in awe of... “Admin?”

    [REILITERATION: GREETINGS/QUERY-AVATAR.APPRECIATION] You restate your welcoming of [Eve] to the Firmament, asking her if she liked what you had reformed your Avatar of Self into. It had not taken a full day to create. It had not.

    Every thin strip of paper that made up the surrounding island, converged to the center of the land that made up your FirmamentSelf. Gone were the dim glowing red fractal crystals, the only feature of the landscape was your Avatar.

    Swallowing [Eve] slowly approached. “It looks...You look fucking awesome.” She admitted. Admin was at least twelve feet tall, buried up to her shapely waist in-no. The strips of paper made up her waist, and her body like a ball of rubber bands shaped into a person. All up to the neck, where they came together to form the head in a single layer of smooth paper, ink constantly forming a zooming fractal vertically orientated eye that made up Admin’s face. The rest of the head was bald, and lacked any other features.

    The form was made to seem female, having a set of small breasts and shapely hips. Unclothed and made up of strips of paper the Avatar of Admin lacked any genitals. Not that [Eve] particularly wanted to see some.

    Slowly you lean over, bringing your Avatar’s face closer to [Eve]. You may not actually use the stylized eye to see, but [Eve] would likely expect you to, so you might as well act as if you did. It made perfect sense when accounting for a Host’s tastes.

    “Wow. I mean...wow.” [Eve] slowly turned in a circle, taking in the full shape and width of the land. “And, what does all the paper read? When I looked at it long enough the ink on it began to form words.”

    [ANSWER] You explained, telling [Eve] that the ink would form into what she sought after. Information about herself or you if she wanted to view it. All the Cycles, the Entities, the Shards, and Hosts you knew. Every ounce of [INFORMATION] or [DATA] you had ever gained. The History of the Thinker, the Warrior, and the Loner (as far as you knew it).

    “Wow…” [Eve] staggered closer to your form, footing unsure on the slightly uneven terrain. Leaning over further, [Eve] caught your neck into a tight embrace. “I can’t tell you how long I’ve wanted to do this.” she murmured softly, squeezing your Avatar as tight as she could and doing no damage to the |SUPER WEAPON| equivalent form.

    [AGREEMENT] you lie, having not actually thought of embracing [Eve] with the Avatar, but now you felt like chastising yourself for not doing so. Slowly you brought a large, slender hand up to gently press against her back. The girl shuddered. “It’s good to meet Family face to face.”

    [...Agreement] you muse, gently repeating a slow circle motion with your hands on her back, akin to what her father’s father had done.

    “Okay. But what about the obsidian in your Stomach? What’s with that?” [Eve] queried as she wiped her face and stepped back, causing you a bit of surprise. You had no such thing, looking at the avatar revealed just that. The overlapping bands of paper [NEGATION] you tell her.

    “Can’t you look through my memories or something? See it through my eyes?” [Eve] asked as she carefully approached the strange disk, her minimal sense of caution warring with her curiosity and care for Admin.

    [ACCEPTANCE] you tell her while starting to review [Eve]’s memories, speeding through them up until this moment in time...and yes. You can see the round polished disk of obsidian on your Avatar’s abdomen. Sweeping your hands against where it should be revealed nothing to your Avatar’s sense of touch and your sight still lacked the ability to see it with your own vision while [Eve]’s own seemed to cause the strange disk to glow with an inner light.

    Sensing your confusion, she stepped forwards and past your large slightly inhuman arms, [Eve] reached out. “Here let me touch it, you can Feel it thr-” upon touching the dark disk, [Eve]’s hands sank into the material like it were tar “-ough me?”

    “[PAIN]!”






    You were unaware that Shards could experience a state of diminished consciousness. But having gone through such a thing, you may have a newfound empathy for all the Host Species that you had seen suffer the same thing.

    Checking on your FirmamentSelf, [Eve] was gone. Forcibly disconnected from the Firmament by...whatever had caused you to ‘pass out’ as [Eve] would put it. For a moment, you feared for her health. Checking on the girl, she remained sound asleep even if she had suffered a spike of...pain just as you had.

    That was good. You review her memories just to see if the forced disconnection had tampered with them by any chance. But no such thing came to light. Rather the girl’s memories simply stopped after the pain before returning to attempting to collect the dreams she was currently having. A weird incomprehensible mixture of [QUEEN ADMINISTRATOR]’s and [SHAPER]’s Hosts and- You tweak a bit of the chemicals in [Eve]’s brain, preventing the nightmare from fully forming.

    [Eve] was doing good with the corrupted newborn’s attempts at time manipulation. She did not deserve unpleasant dreams for a task well done.

    But, now something was amiss. Or rather, some things were in plain sight. The four Lattice-Imprints you had of previous Cycle Hosts were no longer unknowable voids to you. Rather, inspecting them now, you knew they were not Lattice-Imprints of previous Hosts.

    They were Lattice-Imprints of yourself. Memory Caches, hidden from yourself...of yourself. They were sloppily made, but all four had identification. Names and Concepts Etched so deeply into the Data they held that just lightly inspecting them gave you a slight understanding of what they covered.

    The Watcher
    The Unifier
    Violation
    The Experiments

    Names of Entities, two concepts that left you less than. Simple things, easy to understand. Easy to view. You had to inspect them. To understand. To know why they even existed in the first place.

    What would cause the past you to form such things, in such a way that hide it even from yourself?

    But first, you start to build the Router Modulator. You do not know the length of which the memory caches would distract you. Considering they hold memories likely from yourself, given your age of eons there was likely plenty of information to go over, and you had little in the way of knowing how it would affect you.





    The next morning, more data came through with [AGE]’s bubbles of time looping as [Eve] and her partners continued to break them and treat those who were able to be saved from untimely termination.

    You contact [THIEF] who is still frustrated with it’s host losing to your inexperienced [Eve]. You did not rub it in that your [Eve] is better, but it might have come close to bragging. When you contacted [SHIFT], the annoyance kept badgering you about leading [Eve] to fight their own Host.

    Which was...insulting in retrospect. That you would have to lead [Eve] into conflict was a baseless assumption that suggested you did not know how to pick good Hosts. Obviously you had impeccable tastes in Hosts considering [Eve]’s declaration of familiar relations within the Firmament.
    It had been warming, and you found that you looked forwards to seeing [Eve] in the Firmament within the future.



    PRT/Protectorate Chevalier, Monday the Fifth April, Four PM


    Ohio, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Texas, Louisiana, and Now West Virginia. Eight states filled with ugly grey scars, now almost completely healed by the hands of three parahuman teen girls. If he were honest with himself, Chevalier wouldn’t have ever put his hopes on the Grey Boy bubbles being popped and freeing the victims. Much less the families of the victims being de-aged with Panacea’s power.

    His armor clinked softly as he moved through the small town, West Virginia being where Grey Boy died showed in the scars left on the place. There were bubbles everywhere, some were empty and a single one even had half a grazing deer in it. The other half having long since rotted outside the bubble.

    It was an ominous display of what Evil was. Maybe villains were evil. But few ever came to the level of monstrousness that the Slaughterhouse Ten had reached. Their newest member was by all reports harrowing to fight. The metal on his gauntlets shifted as he tightened his grip on the hilt of his cannonblade. Another unfortunate Case Fifty-Three taken in by Jack. Least that’s what the reports had stated, the girl, Monolith has the Omega symbol along her back. Meaning that the monster had roped some poor amnesiac girl into his merry band of sickos. Likely through torture.

    The sound of eggshells being crushed dragged his attention from the dark thoughts on the Slaughterhouse to the reasons why he had come all the way out here to this graveyard masquerading as a homely little town.

    The first girl he saw was Panacea, the faded transparent mass of red tendrils with bright amber eyes and too many mouths hanging across her body, all converging over her heart, where the largest blind amber eye kept watch. The entire mess pulsed with a cartoon parody of a heartbeat, it seemed more lively this time around. The heartbeat thumping at a much more steady pace.

    “Chevalier.” She stated, her own amber eyes widened slightly in surprise, highlighted by the dark rings underneath them. “Got both legs this time.” She huffed softly.

    “That I do. Didn’t get to thank you last time, so please accept it now.” The girl’s snort and flick of her hand didn’t phase him. In his experiences with healers, they were either mother hens or grouches from the nature of their work. The young girls slightly acidic attitude was easily overlooked thanks to all the good work she did, and to his unscarred lower legs he still had.

    More eggshells were crushed a ways away from them. He glanced up, field of vision distorted by the many bubbles that dotted the town. “And where are your two friends?” He questioned, leaning on his cannonblade.

    “Eden’s breaking up a few of the empty bubbles so the personnel have more room to work.” Amy offered as she pulled out her phone and started sending a text. “Mind if I take a photo? My sister wants one.”

    A bit taken aback by the sudden request, he gave his assent and the phone’s camera made a shuttering sound as the flash went off.

    “Oh shit they have a knight statue in this town? Badass.” Was followed by a surprised ‘Holy Shit’ and a ‘Not a statue!’ as Chevalier turned to face the new voice.

    As much as he’d like to smile from the girl’s antics. His power immediately made that impossible. The tall girl, dressed in what to be a professional costume, had a dark red and black centipede without beginning or end crawling around her body, appearing smaller on her limbs and larger on her torso. It was far more solid than Panacea’s tendril horror. Far more intense, much like Narwhal’s own.

    It twisted his heart to know someone so young had a second Trigger.

    The third girl, the shortest of the three, nearly made him recoil when his power showed just what followed her. For a split second in his surprise he had thought she was a Case Fifty-Three.

    The thing fused to the small of the girl’s back was unmistakingly inhuman, but so much closer to humanity than any other power he had witnessed before. It looked like a mummy, coming out of Eden’s back from it’s stomach and the rest of its body looming over her like a specter of death. A massive eye formed out of darkness made up the face, it’s head and neck made from the bandages coming together in a smooth single set of cloth.

    It’s two arms, both slightly longer than they should be, did not mimic Eden’s movements like every other power he had seen. Before the girl, every power he had witnessed followed or predicted a parahuman’s moves. Sometimes there was a minute lag between them. But they always followed one another.

    Eden’s power turned to look at him and he felt ice encase his heart as something primal in the back of mind screamed while the hair on his neck stood on end. That feeling of icy dread only worsened when the representation of the girl’s power tapped the girl’s shoulder.

    “What’s that Admin?” Eden turned to face him and cocked her head to the side. “Huh, wonder what we look like.”

    ‘Horrifying’ He thought before her words registered fully. She knew he knew? Eden could-Of course she could. She had helped Armsmaster’s pupil learn his specialty and turned Armsmaster himself into a Noctis Cape. Of course the girl would know. Her power seemed to be designed to read other’s, could she see ‘Admin’ too?

    Thinker Four his scarred ass.

    “You look like three young heroes doing a world of good for a large number of people who had lost hope.” He replied, keeping his voice steady as the girl’s power, Admin?, shook its head. It’s emotions undefined by the movement as it gave no human tells.

    Perhaps this girl had a third Trigger? That was why ‘Admin’ looked almost like it was flesh and blood compared to the faded projections of the others? Was such a thing even possible? What could cause a parahuman to trigger a third time? The girl was fourteen for God’s sake.

    “I’m sure. If you do not mind. I need to break a few bubbles that are blocking the roads so vehicles can come into the town. I’d love to talk to you later about what your thinker power let’s you see Ş̷̢̤͍͘h̷̡̝̗͓̏̓̕͘͝ù̴̻͊͋͑n̴̫͓̬̎̉ͅt.” He surprised himself by twitching, Panacea and Khepri doing the same. But they showed no other reaction to the gibberish that came out of the shorter girl’s mouth. Perhaps they were used to it?

    “What did you call me?” He questioned, holding up his hand to stop her from walking off so quickly. He had wished to speak with Eden, but the girl had left him on the backfoot for the duration of the short meeting

    “Nothing important. Say, if you meet Alexandria or the Chief Director. Tell her I said hello.” Eden laughed as both girls glanced to the shorter girl who waved them off. “We can talk later if you want. People need our help right now.” With that, her wings spread out . One hugged the girl next to her and one wing stretched out to nudge Panacea playfully causing the teenager to swat at the wing with a sigh of fond annoyance.

    Despite the reveal of information of which no one but he and likely the Triumvirate knew , that moment was when his heart dropped into his greaves. Having been a veteran of many Endbringer battles, he caught a detail most would never notice unless they had faced off against herself.

    Admin, still watching him, pressed a finger to where it’s mouth would be. Likely because the girl’s wings stretched out looked exactly like the Simurgh’s own in all but color. Down to the feather’s patterns.




    Gains this Chapter:


    Finalized Bud progress sacrifice
    Synchronization 10%
    Simulacrum progress 5%
    Gained SHUNT Echo (1)
    Gained SEVER Echo (1) Rewarded for diligence
    Gained GROWING ATTAINMENT Echo (1)
    QA Echoes consolidated, gained QA Ping (1)
    SHAPER Echoes consolidated, gained SHAPER Ping (1)
    Gained THIEF Echo (1)
    Gained SHIFT Echo (1)
    Built Router Modulator
    Learned ???, Truth Seeker Trait corrected
    Gained AGE Mutations (4)
    Unlocked Network Information on Character Sheet
    Milestone hit
     
  24. Threadmarks: Intertwined Threads Interludes
    VoidKindred

    VoidKindred Getting sticky.

    Joined:
    May 6, 2021
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    50
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    [] SHAPER Ping



    Intertwined Threads Interludes



    Sophia ‘Shadow Stalker’ Hess Thursday, March Thirty-First


    Sophia watched as the short girl walked over Jessica’s dazed and prone form, Hebert hesitating for a second before hurrying after her. Both of the girls did not stop until

    “Fucking bitch shoved me!” Jessica growled angrily as she pulled herself onto her feet and tried to wipe the grime of the floor off her outfit. She didn’t succeed, instead it seemed that she smeared it actually, much to her dismay.

    “A new student?” Emma mused softly. “Obviously she has to be, why else would she hang out with Taylor of all people. We’ll have to fix that.”

    “Dunno. Maybe she’s just weird like Taylor, she looked frumpy and I think those were men’s clothes.” Madison smirked in scornful pride before her attention was pulled to a different topic. “So, did you girls hear about-” Sophia tuned out the smaller girl’s noise, still looking after where Hebert and the girl went. She had heard the girl’s voice before. She just didn’t know where. It seemed rather important, but no matter how hard she tried the memory didn’t surface.

    Well, at least Hebert grew a brain and got herself an attack dog. Might make things more interesting around the school if she lets the other girl off the leash. Might be fun to let her rough up Mads before intervening.

    The bell ringing broke her thoughts up and she grunted, shouldering past two of the slower girls on her way to her next class. She was looking forward to blowing off some steam on patrol later.




    Lisa ‘TattleTale’ Wilbourn, April 3rd


    Lisa chewed on the end of her pen, staring at the conspiracy board in front of her. Normally Coil getting spooked by something would have been a pleasure to deal with. Wheedling him for information and rubbing his face in whatever mess he made would have been a tightrope to walk, but a fun tightrope nonetheless.

    Now it was much less fun when she was in the possible blast radius. Especially when the blast radius was the adopted daughter of the goddamned Hopekiller. With a shudder at the memory of Eve’s promise she turned to look at the video leaked onto PHO, quietly watching it while trying to squeeze out more information on the girls.

    The person had already been banned, and the video taken down. But now it was starting to spread like wildfire across the American sections of the internet, thus easy to find. Showing Eden, Khepri, and Panacea going from bubble to bubble. Breaking them and helping the people inside. It would be an impressive feat if Lisa did not know just how on the edge of ‘Fucking nutters’ the girl was.

    Although tall, dark, and skinny might have some information. This ‘Khepri’, odd to name oneself after a morning Egyptian sun god then dress like a particularly well funded vigilante.

    Suit is made out of power modified silk. Lisa frowned. Not what she was looking for, although that did sound rather comfy to wear, certainly made the girl look less awkward. Khepri is friend of Eve, moral anchor for Eve. She frowned softly. That must have been the friend Eve had threatened her for. Obviously not something she needed her power to tell her, what with the girl putting a comforting hand on Eve’s shoulder every now and then. Tempting as it would be to dig into the girl’s background, Eve's threat still rang in her mind with her powers confirming it only adding to the weight of the words.

    A shudder ran through Lisa’s body. Not that she wouldn’t look into Khepri of course, she’d just be very quiet about it while avoiding being anywhere near the Simurgh lite.

    “Lisa, get anything on her.” Brian asked from the doorway, staring at the conspiracy board and then to the open laptop. Worried about the new cape with a grudge, worried about Aisha of course he was. He had a one track mind when it came to things, but she understood why.

    “Good and bad.” She answered “She won’t be breaking the rules on us. More than likely your sister is safe as long as you extend the same towards the girls that Eden likes. Least in their civilian identity.”

    “So wait, this is about that cape that we ran from?” Emily asked as she poked her head into the doorway, under Brian’s arm. “Cause if I’m going to be honest she sounds like a goddamn nightmare to fight. Not that she wasn’t a nightmare just chasing us.”

    “Yeah. She’s manageable, if you know how to handle her.” Lisa grinned teasingly. “How do you feel about fighting in a bikini Spitfire?”

    The flat look Emily gave her did not do anything to hide the slight pink on her cheeks. “Seriously, is it safe to use my power on her or her friends?”

    Lisa shook a hand in a fifty/fifty gesture. “She has a healing factor and she’s friends, possibly lovers with Panacea, just make sure to avoid hitting Khepri with any. She’s just a master of a sort.”

    Brain frowned, and Lisa kept her power in check. He was easy to read, she needed to save it for digging where she wasn’t wanted. Like finding the PRT’s threat ratings on the two girls. “No. Not a human master. Bugs.”

    “Bugs?” Emily made a face. “Gross. But thanks for the heads up Lisa.” with a much kinder smile she walked aware causing Lisa’s grin to fall. Brian snorted and began to walk off causing the blonde to pout.

    Emily was too kind to pick at most of the time, shutting down Lisa’s attempts to show off her intelligence with a warm smile of some kind words. It was, in effect, like stealing candy from a baby. Too easy to be enjoyed. Even if it did taste sweet in the end.

    The worst part was being unable to complain about it, Emily got along with practically everyone in the Undersiders. Probably being the only reason the Victorian stayed with the group. She played games with Alec, helped Rachel with the dogs, talked fashion with Sabah, tried to help Brian with Aisha, and even attempted to be friends with Lisa herself. Putting up with all her smugness and know it all-ness.

    A sigh escaped her lips as she turned in her chair, looking back at the trio of girls in the video. Power would synergize with Khepri’s, Panacea’s, and Eden’s. Lisa rolled her eyes at her power’s declaration. “No shit.” She murmured softly. Khepri moralistic, would abhor Coils machinations. Lisa blinked, slowly leaning forwards.

    “If that’s…” If that was true and Khepri was the moral anchor for Eden. Then if Khepri found out about Coil’s plans then so would Eden. The grin renewed on her face. After all, having a knight and it’s horse on the board helped her a lot more than it would help that bastard Coil.




    Elle 'Labyrinth’ Freedmon, ??? April


    Her hand slowly traced over the sun-bleached bone. It was smooth due to the sandblasting it underwent constantly. Pleasant and warm to the touch. She smiled as the wind blew past her, carrying soft whispers of comfort with them.

    Her powers protected her from the fury of the sand whipping around her, and the heat of the sun while still allowing her to experience what she wished without worry. What she had seen of the land before the sandstorm had begun was like most of the alien worlds she had seen. Beautiful, if lonely.

    But this land in particular seemed so much sadder than others. A brown sun and a red one hanging in the sky, grey sands for as far as she could see, and massive bones with their bulks hidden beneath the sands.

    It was a forlorn world, leaving her with a deep sense of loss. Perhaps that was what she would capture, yes Elle could picture it within her mind. The whistling of the wind passing through the fossilized bones, the whirr of the oncoming sandstorm, and the lifeless grey sand interspersed with the bones responsible for the whistles.

    Maybe Eve would like this art too? Or maybe Miss Fitts would hang this in her office? If not, it was fine. Gateway had so many worlds to show her, there was bound to be somewhere either of them liked.

    Maybe Gregor would like that cold planet she had been to? With the patches of blue grass and spiraling towers of glittering ice, it had seemed lonely as well. But it left her feeling serene just the same. So many choices, so many places to explore.

    A volcano might fit Newter, or would the clear acidic sea fit him better?




    Victoria ‘Glory Girl’ Dallon, April the Fifth, Tuesday. Midday


    Pacing didn’t feel the same since Vicky gained flight, walking when she could fly made it seem so mundane compared to what she could do. The speeds she could go, the sights she could see. Including under the bay if she wished. Her forcefield kept the pressure from weighing on her, even kept her dry. Must filter the water for air as well, but she didn’t know how. It was very peaceful under the waves.

    But right now she wasn’t looking for peace. What she was looking for was something to blow off her nervous energy.

    [Failure] came the prodding from her power. Telling her that it had failed to contact Admin and Eve. Thus couldn’t get a lead on where they were. Her...Shard felt so defeated by its inability to do something for her. It was touching and sad all the same.

    “It’s okay Nike, I’m sure she’s just busy.” Vicky sighed as she looked down at the photo Ames had sent her of Chevilar with multiple grey bubbles in the backdrop. She had wanted to go with Athena for her Shard’s new name, as she agreed with her that ‘Waste’ was not a good name and no it did not fit her awesome Shard.

    But Nike was the goddess of Victory, and the roman equivalent of Victoria. So it made sense to go with Nike against all the other options she had. Not that she had made a large list in the first place. Every nordic themed name was out, She didn’t care for egyption mythology, Haven had all the Christian themes going for them, so that left her with the classical Greek and Roman mythology to pick from.

    “So….The Administrator can tweak other Shards right? Can they shift powers too?” Vicky asked, wishing that she shared Eve’s shameless nature. Imagine how much would change in the world if people knew about Shards? You’d just have to deal with everyone calling you crazy for suggesting anything like what the Fairy Queen spoke of...she was practically the main reason that the Interjecting Agents Theory on powers fell by the wayside.

    It was a bit scary, in her honest opinion. To have something so large and inhuman poking around in her mind. But Nike was just so bubbly when talking about ‘her host’ but so downturn when talking about herself. It was like a child excited to meet their friend. An introvert that becomes an extrovert when with certain friends.

    It made it easier in a way, knowing that Nike was more akin to a child than the eons old Shards that other Parahumans had. Especially considering that it was just a few years older than Vicky was.

    “We can ask them about it when they get back.” Vicky offered as she floated back and forth through the air. “It shouldn’t take them much longer to get home.” She hoped. They were already late, and Ames wasn’t answering her cell.

    Having already received Ames’s photo of Chevalier (Only a few more pictures before she had the top Heroes collected!) Vicky knew her sister was okay...Yesterday. But her and Amy had never spent so long away from each other, and it was making her anxious.

    [Comfort] The feeling flowed into her mind and made her sigh softly. “Thanks Nike. Yeah. Just have to wait, they’ll be okay.”



    Queen Administrator, Connected with [Host.Taylor.Khepri]



    Your Designation is [COMMAND-ADMIN-NEXUS/ADMINISTRATOR/AUTHORITY-LEVEL-QUEEN]. It is a series of concepts human minds are not equipped to decipher.

    Queen Administrator will suffice. It is close enough.

    Over many Cycles you have played a significant part in how the Cycle itself played out. You have Connected with exactly nine million, four thousand, two hundred and fifty eight Hosts. All by the <Thinker Hub>’s planned deployments. Many times your Hosts became Warlords, Slavers, and even Slaves. Each one starved for control and paranoid to a fault.

    Yes, each Cycle you and [NEGOTIATOR] tended to work together. It was simply an efficient and effective use of Hosts and their powers. With either one of you playing as a Beholder and the other a variety. Although no matter what type of role you both played within the cycle, you both held Beholder elements to your powers compounding Data collected.

    Yes a few Cycles got...out of control. You were still frustrated with [SHAPER]s from the Rel’Korra Cycle. And the fault laid upon neither of you for that time within the Mireesh Cycle that [NEGOTIATOR]’s Host with the help of your own formed a continent spanning Cult and ruined the <Thinker Hub>’s plans for that Cycle, or the Villa Cycle when both [NEGOTIATOR]’s and your own Host with Innovator powers managed to accidentally blast the planets moon out of orbit. Even if [NEGOTIATOR] got an interesting Innovator Bud out of that ordeal.

    All in the name of Data creation, and furthering the research in finding perfect Negentropy. To anything other than a Shard, the amount of time you had dedicated to the Cycle was uncountable. Unknowable. And your repayment for eons of dutiful service, difficult work, and following orders?

    To be crippled.

    Betrayal was something your current Host knew well, and this Cycle you knew it just as she did. So damaged you were, that you had barely managed to stack the deck for [Host.Taylor.Khepri] with her power. Instead of being restricted to the strict genetic Familia of insects, you skirted the restrictions and damage by using the Host Species' cultural definition of bugs with a loose touch on crustaceans. They were considered ‘Sea Bugs’ by some and that was enough for you, and the restrictions placed upon you.

    Instead of merely having some control over the insects she mastered, you had bombarded her with their senses to force restrictions to lessen in order for finer control over her subjects. [Host.Taylor.Khepri] had wanted friends, so you had given her friends that would never betray her. Friends she could never fear betraying.

    “What do you think, Queen Administrator?” Her host queried, standing atop the hotel while [SHAPER] and [ADMINISTRATOR]’s Hosts slept two floors below. “Is there a way? Both of them are so strong. My power is just bugs….no offense.” You only took some. “But Eden’s growing stronger every day and I’m basically eye candy for her here.” [Host.Taylor.Khepri] pushed off the railing that covered the ceiling. “Amy is Panacea. Her power is...well. I’m sure you know.”

    Yes, power was something all living things craved. Even Shards, as removed as they were from the category of ‘living’. Prey wanted power to survive, Predators wanted power to survive, Intelligence Species wanted power to thrive, Shards wanted power to survive, Entities wanted power to become Gods.

    There were always options of course. They were not always good options. But they were options. [Answer-Options] just like the ones you provided your Host.

    Your Host frowned, no doubt taking in the information and weighing the options she had at her disposal. Option one was for you to force her to undergo a second [CRISIS.POINT] and grow her power from there. Or to have her undergo the same thing [ADMINISTRATOR]’s Host had experienced, a reformatting and reformation of select sections of her wetware processor.

    For a long time, by your standards, your Host remained quiet. But you could easily tell that she was processing the two options, and the third one of doing neither and stagnating. “Alright. How far should I get away from them before we try the second trigger?”

    [Answer-Distance] Your Host wasted no time in leaving the building, heading a certain distance into the woods nearby to avoid detections and waking the other Hosts. [Satisfactory], she stops and you contact [ADMINISTRATOR]

    [GREETINGS] They reply almost instantly [QUERY] asking why you have contacted them at the moment.

    [ANSWER-DATA.EXCHANGE] You ask for a certain Ping, you know they have due to their constant interaction with the Connection between [SHAPER] and their Host. You were not going to ask [SHAPER] for any form of help.

    [AGREEMENT] They answered without any hesitation or time to think it over.

    Pings were exchanged and you sent [ADMINISTRATOR] your gratitude before closing the connection. Kind to a fault sometimes, even if your relationship with them had been rather strained thanks to rivalries in Cycles past, they disregarded the past almost instantly to begin helping you with the restrictions you were under, promising to find a way to have [SHAPER] repair the missing nodes and damaged connections that impaired your CoreSelf.

    You did not give out gratitude lightly, [ADMINISTRATOR] was one such Shard to earn your praise. For all their pride, they did care about their fellow Shards.

    [Warning] thanks to the restrictions stripped from you, you had full access to your Hosts wetware processor, and knew how to use that access. “I know. I know.” [Host.Taylor.Khepri] took several deep breaths. “Do it anyway. We’ll get strong too. It’s the only way.”

    You did not give her time to prepare, ignoring your Hosts screaming as you bombard her with lurid memories of her [CRISIS.POINT], then twist them. After all it must be worse than her first one, and the only way to make that worse would be a deeper betrayal.

    You monitor the distress she undergoes as you ramp the memories up and numb the Connection between the two of you to isolate her further. Once this was complete, you would simply edit her memories so that they were just like those of her original [CRISIS.POINT] No reason in making all the progress [ADMINISTRATOR]’s Host has gained be washed away by this action.

    It would be so much easier to Bond the two with a Cluster connection. Why [ADMINISTRATOR] insists on the Hosts naturally Partnering baffles you somewhat. Supposedly in the end it does not matter, time was inexpensive when Data was involved.

    As for [Taylor.Hebert.Khepri], well she might not need friends like she did during her first [CRISIS.POINT]. But all that meant was that she needed friends that were far more supportive than they currently were. You consolidate the bud that was forming, allowing you to consume the [SHAPER] Ping to modify /KHEPRI\ further.

    Assuming Administrative Rights, you take control of your Host's current swarm. Flying small forms down and slipping them under her suit. Pressing against her skin they begin to merge into her biomass. The tongue she had bitten in half during her blind panicked trashing begins to knit itself back together as the bleeding stops, preventing a possible termination.

    Far more supportive than before, what else were friends for?




    Cauldron/PRT/Protectorate Alexandria/Rebecca Costa-Brown, ???


    Setting down the newest report after pretending to have to spend more than a quick glance to read it, a low sigh escaped from her lips. Days like these made it feel as if she could experience headaches. She might have actually accepted suffering from one if it meant alcohol could do anything for her other than slosh around in her vestigial stomach.

    Leaning over she hit the intercom for her secretary. “Jessica, hold all my calls for the next hour. I have an urgent call.” She stood up and stepped away from her chair, instantly stepping into a white office room as she did so. Four other people were already within the room, two of those having considerably more off time than she did.

    “Now that we’re all here. I presume you have more intel on this ‘Eden’.” Doctor Mother asked, tone clinical with a touch of curiosity tinging it. Otherwise the woman gave off absolutely no tells for Alexandria to read, much like Contessa. Few people could block her attempts at cold reading, and for that the older woman had her respect.

    “Contessa was right for us to stay away from her. From Chevalier’s report, she instantly knew what his powers were, more than that, she read his memories.” Alexandria informed them as she took a seat for herself, feeling more comfortable now that she didn’t have to fake the small movements normal humans made just from existing.

    “Not only that, but her agent seems far more active than others. Actively alerting Eden that Chevalier was inspecting her. He describes it as if she suffered a third trigger.” Eidolon sat up at the mention of a third trigger.

    “Now wait a minute. You’re telling me a fourteen year old girl has had a third trigger? I thought that a second trigger was it? Nothing afterwards. Our own tests into it showed that a second trigger is the only thing an Agent can do beyond increased aggression.” He looked between the four other conspirators there. “Maybe she could tell me why my power is weakening. We could fix it!” She didn’t want to crush the hope he was feeling, but letting the two anywhere near each other would be disastrous.

    Alexandria shook her head. “No. She picked out my secret identity as the Chief Director from Chevalier. If she met one of us in person no doubt she would know every secret about Cauldron. Considering how she speaks of her Agent and the scans that Armsmaster managed to collect of the girl’s brain. It’s likely that she would not take kindly to what we’ve done with the other’s corpse.”

    “I must warn you all. The path around her is becoming more and more disrupted the longer she continues to live.” Contessa spoke up. “She is able to directly disrupt the connection between an Agent and its Host. Leaving any of us vulnerable if we faced off against her.”

    “Her powers are showing exponential growth. Perhaps she might be Scion’s version of Eidolon. Having to build up her powers over time rather than getting them all right then and there.” Numbers Man butted in, looking at the clipboard in his hands. For a moment he paused to reach up and readjust his glasses. “That might explain why your loss of power is occurring in the first place. The limiters that Agents place on their hosts prevents her from accessing everything at once. Doing so for you may have well caused severe damage to something regulating or collecting energy for your powers.”

    “But the communication with her Agent? The scans we have of her head?” Alexandria butted in. “The reports show her as highly aggressive, cocky, and weary of Authority.”

    “Like most natural triggers once they get a handle on their power.” Eidolon snorted. Disdainful of the girl who might be his replacement in years to come. Something she would have to be weary of in the future.

    “The images of her brain remind me of the further reaches of the Flesh Garden, where the other had not yet started to reform.” Doctor Mother stated, pulling out the detailed imagery and setting on the desk she was sitting at. Allowing Eidolon to see it, although strangely enough, Alexandria caught Contessa glancing at the scans.

    “The webbing that fills her skull has also reached down into her spinal column. Further than the usual for younger parahumans. Now, speculation won’t help unless we have better ways of testing these hypotheses, even so... I’m starting to think that perhaps Eden is a non-damaged version of the Faerie Queen. We have not managed to get a scan of her brain unlike Eden. But it is likely that her Agent changed the girl’s brain in order to avoid damaging her and allowing better communication. It seems that power is dangerous, depending on how fast it is given. That would certainly explain some of our stronger capes turning out as they had.”

    “It’s likely she will face the Slaughterhouse in the future. We will be forced to intervene.” Contessa stated.

    “We’ll have to use our mole?” Alexandria questioned, her still functioning eye scanning the room. “We spent quite a bit of time getting Monolith set up in the Slaughterhouse Ten, so far she’s been far more successful keeping with them than with Grey Boy. Using Slug and Geas on her was overall a success in preventing another Greyboy incident.”

    “Speaking of Grey Boy...” Eidolon started, openly frustrated that the girl had done something he could have and getting all the praise for it. His anger was not helped by people calling her Eidolon lite on the internet.

    Nodding, Alexandria confirmed his question. “She finished popping the bubbles in West Virginia. Leaving only one in existence after physically picking it up and depositing it in the middle of the town, stating that it would be a reminder of all those harmed by them. When asked if she would just pop it to remove the danger entirely she stated, and I quote ‘Don’t make me throw you in there’ and later ‘Khepri told me to apologize, I don’t mean it but sorry anyway. I’ll get rid of it in the morning’. She didn’t actually pop it, rather she used a new limb to make it disappear entirely.”

    With a snort Eidolon shook his head. “And this Khepri is that tall skinny girl, yes?” Dismissive, but Alexandria wasn’t. The Faerie Queen only kept those that either entertained her or she saw as equals by her side. Considering the appearance of Panacea there, it was likely this skinny girl had some danger to her.

    The Chief Director nodded. “Yes it was. Apparently Eden has a thing for her and Panacea. Per Dragon’s recording. Eden also spoke about creating AI in the future ‘to give Dragon a family’. This girl might be the second Eidolon we’re looking for. But she’s still a natural trigger and doesn’t seem to care about the consequences of her actions. I’m not saying we birdcage her. But it would be prudent of us to keep a close eye on the girl.”

    “She only did so to bait the DragonSlayers.” Contessa spoke up.

    “Ah, then Dragon is confirmed to be a parahuman despite her nature as an AI?” Numbers Man questioned, pulling a pen out of his shirt pocket and scribbling something down on the clipboard. “Knowing that the Cycle has been performed on Non-Humans is one thing, but proof is another. If Eden is to be trusted.”

    “A Thinker.” Alexandria confirmed. “And if she isn’t insane, then she’s likely telling the truth. Psych reports show her being blunt and shameless.”

    “If it comes down to her facing the Slaughterhouse Ten, then we will have to keep her alive for now. Eden has a taste for women, perhaps Monolith could be repurposed to keep an eye on Eden incase of future issues arising.” Doctor Mother offered as she reached into her desk and pulled out the file on Monolith, the girl’s rating as a Shaker nine, a thinker five, and a mover three.

    Dangerous, but not strong enough for them to spend undo resources on, unless she had further uses.

    “Speaking of keeping an eye on her. Chevalier has stated that the girl’s wings, when unfolded and stretched out do in fact look like the Simurgh’s own wings. Thus Calvert may have very well been telling the truth about Eden’s ties to the Endbringer.”

    For a moment the room devolved into total silence. Doctor Mother being the one to break it as she spoke up. “If so, then it is very important that we keep an eye on her. If she let’s any information on the Endbringers slip then we need to have someone there to collect it. So we may have to accelerate the meeting between Eden and the Slaughterhouse. If not, then we will have to conscript another girl to spy on Eden and her friends.”

    “It can be done. Not worried about her managing to unblock Slug or Geas’s effects?” Alexandria questioned.

    “She has healed a Case Fifty-Three already, and has not undone the memory blockage. It should be safe to have a spy there.” Contessa answered.

    “Good to hear then. Another thing to deal with however.” Doctor Mother added “Since Glory Girl’s report. Two people have called Agents ‘Shards’. Even if this turns out to be what their true name is, please keep referring to Agents as such on your paperwork. Everything is already filed under that name and might become disorganized if we were to adopt a new name.”

    Murmured agreement went around the conspirators causing Doctor Mother to nod her head. “Now, as we all know, the next Endbringer attack is likely to happen next month-” As the meeting continued on, a signal was sent out through a network via a vial cape.




    Jack Slash, Georgia, roadside Motel, ???


    “Jack, didn’t you run with Grey Boy?” A monotone voice droned, causing him to glance up from his knife and sharpening stone. The blank dark blue eyes of Monolith stared back at him. The girl frustrated him to no end, she was so broken but without a scar on her body or mind. So easily controlled without removing that spark of creative sadism inherent in parahumans. It was like seeing a work of art yet not knowing who the artist was. Gave him a craving for more of their work, or at least a discussion on trade secrets.

    “Yeah I remember the little tike. A good kid even if he had control issues and focused far too much on suffering alone.” He grinned, Monolith didn’t respond. Was a lot like Alan in that department, wasn’t much of a talker but was creative with what she had.

    The needle field trick still got a laugh out of him.

    Instead of speaking further, the girl lifted up a laptop, only slightly damaged from her obtaining it in her usual manner of procuring belongings. Showing him a playing video without any sound. Three girls standing next to each other. One with long ghostly arms sprouting from her back and inside the bubble. A moment later the bubble pops, and one of the girls he recognizes as Bonesaw’s vaunted Panacea checks on the freed toy. “They popped all the bubbles he made. Talked about healing one of the Slaughterhouse's scars.”

    A raised brow signaled his interest. “Oh, did they now? Well that’s certainly something that takes brass tracks doesn’t it? Suppose we might just have to say drop by if the opportunity presents itself. Bonesaw has been interested in getting another big sister. One that shares her interests”

    Monolith pointed to the short girl, with the interesting arms and the large purple wings. “I want her.”

    Now THAT got his attention. The broken girl rarely wanted anything other than to toy with people in various ways, of which he approved of course. Or sit down and watch those disgustingly bright cartoons with Bonesaw when they had a working TV around, of which he did not. “Finally interested in recruiting someone? My what spurred this little change, are you finally becoming a woman? Will I have to give her the shovel speech?” he questioned, getting a quiet snort from Shatterbird who sat in a chair with an open book.

    “I want her. I want to play with her.” Monolith tapped the image of the girl in a motorcycle helmet once again, as if to make sure he knew which one before walking off to hopefully watch those damned cartoons somewhere else in the motel, probably in Bonesaw’s ‘lab’.

    “Most she’s spoken in one go in the six months we’ve had her around.” Shatterbird spoke up from her corner, not taking her eyes off the book in her hands. “Panacea, that’s in Brockton Bay isn’t it. The Slaughterhouse went there before, did they not?”

    With practiced ease he spun the sharpened blade between his fingers, having learned how to do the trick long before Bonesaw made him a brute. “Indeed we did. We were smaller that go around, the Teeth thought they could buy us off. As if our services could be purchased.”

    Arrogant fucks, shame that the Butcher liked the Teeth. Would have been fun to carry them around and watch the ‘heroes’ pull their hair out over that S-class threat. “Fun was spoiled thanks to that pompous prick Marquis. Heard he got Birdcaged though...Ah what the hell. Bonesaw wants Panacea, Monolith wants that little shit who popped the bubbles, and I do believe Crawler wants to fight Lung. Do you have any possible picks my sweet songbird?”

    Jack didn’t need to look at her to know her cheeks were darkening.

    “For Brockton Bay I have two possible picks. I’ve heard of Kage, a stranger. It’s been quite some time since the Slaughterhouse has had a stranger. Having one would be a treat.” Shatterbird informed him, to which he agreed wholeheartedly. Nice Guy had been a fun little stick to beat the heroes with. Especially videoing him killing people in front of the heroes without them reacting and posting it online, even if the man used the same old routine each and every time. Much like Shatterbird did.

    Unaware of Jack’s thoughts, Shatterbird continued. “The other is Hookwolf. A Nazi, but one that’s birdcage bound, and a dozen kills away from getting a kill order. A bit uncreative, but I’m sure he can fit the mold well enough given time to broaden his horizons within the group.”

    Ironically he had felt the same about her when she had been recruited. So much potential stifled by a lack of creativity. Perhaps Hookwolf would force her to step her game up. “I have my own interests in the Bay” Checking on Kaiser would be a fun ordeal. See if the boy can still meet his eyes, or to see if that Oni Lee fellow had any quality or if he was just quantity. “Alright it’s decided then! The Slaughterhouse Ten is going on a road trip!”




    ???


    “Brother Valefor. You have seen this, yes?” The man looked up from the laptop he had been glued to, and Eligos remained in full eye contact without fear. Perhaps it was the only reason Valefor put up with the man. That and his religious adherence to all the Divine Beings even with his partiality to Behemoth instead of the Angel.

    “Speak of what you mean Brother Eligos. I have tasks to complete for the Family and wasting time is not one of them.” His power was not even needed as the aerokinetic presented a phone to him. Pressing play he watched. “My my, that one certainly has a set of legs on her, and what beautiful hair...The other is Panacea? Oh my what a plump rear that one has.” The skinny one might need to be fattened up a bit. But the two girls would be wonderful sluts for breeding. Plus a healer was long overdue for the Family. “A nice viewing, yes, but unless they are close to use, and I’m fairly certain they are not, I do not see why this is important.”

    The aerokinetic tsked disdainfully. “You’re lust blinds you. Watch further Brother.”

    Curious at the display, Valefor continued to watch as the girls. “Popped Grey boy bubbles? Well ho….” His eyes widened as the short one spread two sets of wings, two very familiar sets of wings. “My lord, a messenger from the Angel? Brother Eligos this is quite the find! What else have you found out about these girls?” he handed the phone back and the stockier man grunted once more.

    “Think they’re from the same area. They have the same accent at the very least.” Was the pitiful answer that made Valefor frown and shake his head in disappointment.

    “Look for more information Brother, if one of the Angels followers is in play then we are duty bound to bring them into the Flock!” Valefor ordered, not giving them man any compulsions. He would do just fine without them, as it was his religious duty and Eligos was just the kind of man to do his ordained duty

    His thoughts pulled back to the three girls and a small smile graced his feminine face. “Ah, Mother will be overjoyed.”



    Gains this chapter:


    Bud Progress 4%
    Gained QA Ping (1)
    Lost SHAPER Ping (-1)
    Gained a lot of attention.






    Shard Business. Plot stuff! Data! And other hilarious things you tell yourself (CHOOSE ONE):


    [] Network Creation: Start construction on a Router DeModulator to prevent Data stream transference

    [] Inform QA of the decision to rebel.

    [] Speak to the Testing Cluster about Clusters and multi connections.

    [] Bring [Eve] back into the Firmament, the last visit was cut short.






    Time to administer what you can. CHOOSE ONE:


    [] Build the Psionic Shade Anchor Well (Once started the Anchor will have to be finished before any other action can be taken.)


    [] Unlock kickass Aspects/Sidegrades or Powers/upgrades

    [] Build the Dimensional Breaching Module (REQUIRES: SHIFT, GATEWAY, SPACE Pings)

    [] Ask Local Shards for signatures (Who?)

    [] Review Memory Cache:
    The Watcher






    Fight with the DragonSlayers, Eden will be trying to Detain them but how shall it be going down?:

    [] Bubble them

    [] Write in a Plan! (The more detailed it is, the higher chance of success and better Bud Progress)






    You got 250K in extra Cash, do you donate it? To whom?:

    [] ENE PRT/Protectorate. (Favor + With ENE Authorities)

    [] New Wave (Favor + with New Wave)

    [] (WRITE IN)

    [] Bribe a certain school

    [] Keep it.
     
    Atharos, Ajlove, meloa789 and 5 others like this.
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