+++Origins 0.2.3+++

There it was again.

"Char, move left arm ninety degrees upward." I looked critically at a particular spot on the joint connecting the arm to the torso. "Slowly." I added as an afterthought, quirking my lips a bit.

"Affirmative." Char gave a mechanical hum of compliance.

Just as I suspected, the action caused a small creak resounding somewhere within the joint.

"Aha!" I smiled victoriously, spotting exactly where it was coming from. I gave my tools a small spin at my fingers and worked on it immediately. Hmm, looks like the metal were scraping against each too closely, should be fine if I just loosen it up a bit. Still, I'll have to see just by how much, wouldn't want to make it too loose and end up causing the joint to come off more easily than it should.

"Let's see, I should just adjust the screws enough without messing with the articulation so that the joint won't sag then test it again to make sure..." I mumbled mindlessly on and on about the alteration I set about doing on the joint. I think talking while I worked out the kinks of my machine helped me focus better on the improvements I made on it.

"You know~," Emma droned from where she laid down on the couch with Haro on her stomach. I glanced over to her with an eyebrow raised, "I didn't think it was possible for your mouth diarrhea to get worse, but then you got powers that let you make robots." She took Haro off her stomach and raised him up, lightly rolling him in her hands.

"Weird how that works, huh?" She threw me an upside down grin, eyes playful. I rolled my eyes at her and went back to what I was doing.

"You've known me long enough to figure out that my mouth sometimes has a mind of its own." I kept my focus on the work in front of me, but I couldn't help but defend myself from her quip.

"Mhhmmm, really helped out with PRT interview right." She giggled.

I felt my whole face get hot but I refused to rise to the bait. I tried to keep my face from pouting but judging by her snigger I was not succeeding.

"I already told you Emma, the interview went well," I grumbled, trying not to pout as I kept working on my machine. "They really want me to work with them, and I even got to talk to Dragon!" A dopey grin crept up to my face, still feeling giddy over meeting the greatest Tinker in the world and actually having a conversation over the intricacies of my inventions. I still couldn't believe how lucky I was to be there when Dragon was visiting, it's like the stars aligned just to have her on the same room as I was to-!

"Oh yeahhhh," Emma's drawl interrupted my train of thought. "Apparently, you left out a very important little detail about that interview from me." The tinge of mischief her voice made my hackles rise.

"Oh Haroooo~," She sing-songed at the green ball in her hands. "Would you please replay what happened after Mommy found out that she was talking to Dragon?"

I paled.

Don't tell me-

"Okay!" Haro beeped obediently, rolling away from her grasp.

"Haro sto-!" I tried to intercept but it was too late.

"-EEEEKKKKKKK-"

"Thump"

There it was, the recording of undoubtedly the most humiliating moment in my life, replayed to the one person in the whole world that I would never want it to hear.

"Pfffft, hahahahahaha!" Emma's rambunctious laughter was made only louder by the sudden silence that enveloped the room.

...I began plotting the number of ways I could hide the body of the annoying red head rolling on the floor clutching her stomach in side aching laughter.

"..pfff, oh god Haro, please j-just one more time," Emma chortled out her words in between her debilitating guffaws. I slowly closed my eyes, forgoing the thought of stashing her away in the back of the truck and letting it sink into sea. That was too obvious, and we needed the truck.

"Ok!" The traitorous orb made of pure evil squeaks out obediently like a well trained minion.

"EEEEKKK!"

"Thump."

...and there's also the infuriating ball of treachery and circuitry that needs to go with her.

I wonder if I can make Char help me with the bury her when I'm done. It needs to be clean, no one can know.

Yes, no one can know.

Decision made, I nodded to myself, then stood.

And pounced.

"Ahahaha-wait Taylor what are you doi-AIIIEEEE!" I pinned her hands to the floor as I landed on her.

She paled immediately when she saw the look on my face.

"W-wait, you know I was just messing around r-right?"

I stared her down as I positioned my free hands to her vital points and made deadly sure she knew what I was about to do. Her became more ashen and she struggled from my grip, but to no avail.

"C-come on Taylor please don-"

I didn't let her finish and began my first assault...

...on her tickling sides.

"Ahahahaha-no please stop- ahahaha- Tay- ahahaha please noooo!" She begged through her peals of laughter.

"Never!" Was my merciless reply, grinning down at her viciously.

"Never! Never!" Haro echoed my sentiments with childish glee, bouncing on the floor. Hah, laugh it up you little ball of disloyalty! I'm coming for you next!

"Ehem," A deep cough reverberated within the basement, clearly done to gain our attention.

I paused in my divine punishment and looked over my shoulder to the bottom of the staircase, where my father was smiling amusedly at me. I heard the redhead on the ground gave a deep gasp of relief, but I gave her sides one last tickle and was rewarded with a loud squeal. I smiled at my dad, who looked more amused than before.

"Yes, Dad?" I asked him, not yet letting go of Emma's wrist as she tried to wriggle herself free. My dad saw this and quirked his lips.

"Taylor, I think Emma's had enough fun." His smile was still in place, but his voice brokered no argument. Reluctantly, I released the redheaded hellion and sat on the floor away from her. She sat up and slapped my shoulder, glaring balefully.

"You know I hate it when you do that!" Emma screeched at me, slapping my shoulder again. I glared back and bit back the urge to stuck my tongue out at her.

That would be too childish.

"Well you were laughing at me," I huffed back at her, turning up my nose smugly. "You totally had it coming." She scowled at me more and opened her mouth to shout something back.

"Girls, no fighting." My dad scolded, looking more serious now. "I'd hate for our guest think we're crazy from all the noise you're making." He gestured upstairs with a tilt of his head.

"A guest?" I asked, blinking.

And then I remembered where I was.

"A guest!" I stood abruptly, a sense of panic running through me. My lab was right here! "Char! Hide the frame, quick! Make sure no one sees it!" He gave a an affirmative beep in response to my hasty command as I grabbed my tools strewn around the basement with great urgency.

If the guest saw this place looking like this they'd get a clue and my secret identity is blown before I even have a cape man!

"Actually, Taylor-"

"Emma, stay here and keep Haro from going upstairs, no matter what!" I didn't pay heed to whatever my father was saying as I watched my best friend nod hurriedly and did what I told her to do by picking Haro up. Great, I had to be sure he stayed put because I knew that green ball of trouble would somehow find himself up there and then it wouldn't matter how much I hide my lab, they wouldn't be stupid enough not to figure out what he was and then-

"Taylor-"

"Dad!" I snapped my attention to him, suddenly remembering a very important detail.

"You promised that there wouldn't be surprise guest!" I pointed an accusing finger at him, distinctly annoyed.

"You said you'd let me know so I could prepare!" I interrupt him when he looked like he was about to reply, frustration seeping into my voice. That was part of the precautions we set in place to ensure that we wouldn't get people wandering around our house and seeing things they shouldn't see. He couldn't just break promises and spring surprises on me! I'm barely ready to meet people even when I was still no a cape!

"Now you have to help me fix this place up so we can hide stuff or we're fu-"

"Taylor! Listen to me!" He cut me off firmly with a slightly raised voice, and my mouth snapped shut with an audible click as I saw the annoyed look on his face.

He sighed once he saw that I looked quite abashed, finally quieted down after my little panic attack. "It's okay, she knows about your powers." He informed me with a hand raised in a placating manner.

"...what?" I was flabbergasted, I don't remember ever telling anyone else besides my father and Emma about my powers.

Unless...

"You told someone else?!"I hissed at him. Unbelievable! He promised me he'd keep this a secret! That he'd let me reveal my powers to the people that I wanted to know!

"Well, technically, we both did." He explained dryly, expression flat.

What?!

When did I-!?

"I think it's better if we just go upstairs so you can meet her, then you'll understand." He started climbing up the stairs and gestured for me to follow. "You can bring your bots, I don't think she'll mind." He commented offhandedly as his voice echoed from atop the stairs.

I looked at Emma, the tools I was supposed to hide still in my hands.

For her part, Emma looked entirely lost as she held on to Haro, who looked eager to go upstairs and meet someone new, judging from the way he possibly vibrated with excitement in her arms. She just shrugged when she saw my perplexed face.

"Taylor, I do not think you should keep your father waiting." Char suggested politely, after he successfully fulfilled my request of hiding the test frame from plain sight. It was now inside the make shift cabinet in the corner of the room that I specifically built to accommodate its size.

"Alright," I sighed and put my tools down, "I'll go see who it is."

+++V+++

After telling Emma that it was better if I just left her and my bots down the basement, I made my way upstairs and to the living room, where I heard bits of the conversation that my father's had with our guest as I got closer.

"...I don't think she expected you to visit so soon." My father gave a small chuckle.

"Oh no, I simply couldn't dally after yesterday. Your daughter is one of a kind, and I wanted to personally talk to her in a less strenuous environment." Our guest said in reply, chuckling as well.

My face heated up when I heard the praise our guest had for me, stopping just short of the living room and taking a quick peek at our surprise visitor.

On the couch sat a stunning woman, dressed immaculately in a business suit that accentuated her amazing looking figure. Her dark, glossy hair was combed up into a perfect bun that matched her attire, flawlessly radiating professionalism just from her posture in her seat.

Her head bobbing up and down in time to the lull of her conversation she was having with my father, a polite enthusiastic smile lighting up her face while she listened to him talk, her olive skin emphasizing her beauty by furnishing it an exotic flair.

...all I could think of at that moment was, when the hell did I tell this supermodel about my cape powers?

"Oh there you are." Dad saw me just standing there admiring the striking woman. "Come on Taylor, she's been waiting for you." He chuckled.

"O-oh!" I startled, suddenly very aware that I probably looked like a big idiot standing still with my jaw slack and openly staring at her . "I-I'm sorry!" I stepped into the living room quickly to avert embarrassing myself any further. "It's nice to meet you, Miss...?" I leaned closer to her and held out my hand for her to shake, hoping that my courtesy didn't look presumptuous.

"Call me Hannah," she accepted my hand with a magical smile, giving me a brief shake before letting me go. "Hannah Washington."

"Umm, so..." I sat down next to my father at the adjacent couch. "What brings you here, Miss Washington?" I asked politely.

"Please," She chuckling slightly, shaking her head, "Just Hannah will be fine, Miss Hebert."

"Then if I can call you Hannah, you can just call me Taylor." I insisted with a hearty smile, the nervousness I felt slowly draining away from her friendly and polite demeanor. Her wonderful smile widened at me response, and I really must say, she has a very honest smile.

"Well, Taylor," She started, sitting up more straightly with her face taking on a more professional look. I decided that it suited her quite well too. "I'm here simply because of our little discussion yesterday, before we handed over the paperwork that your father promised to look over."

"...discussion?" Yesterday? My mind raked for any event, any moment from yesterday where I had talked to such a dazzling woman, quite sure that I would have remembered it no matter how short it would be-

"Wait," I stilled."You said yesterday?"

"Yes, Taylor. Yesterday." My father interjected, with smirking mysteriously down at me, "Don't you remember telling her something interesting about yourself?"

"...The interview." I answered, and he nodded, grinning more impishly.

My eyes roamed over the mystifying form of Hannah Washington once more, suddenly becoming enveloped by an odd sense of familiarity. Her posture and her way with words, it all reminded me of...

"Oh," I state as I start to realize, face blank.

"Oh!" I exclaim as it finally sinks in, eyes wide behind my glasses, nearly jumping out of my seat. I leaned in closer as I whispered my next words, mindful that Emma could be hearing us from the basement.

"You're..."I still couldn't keep my excitement in and it reflected into the wide grin that exploded out of my face. "...Miss Militia!"

She affirmed my declaration with a slow, conspiring smile, inclining her head just tiny bit.

I giggled.

Miss Militia was in my house, sitting across from me like it was the most normal thing to do.

I giggled some more, unable to control myself.

Miss Militia is actually in my house!

"I suppose we can consider the pleasantries finally out of the way, eh?" My dad said humorously, "I doubt Taylor will be any less starstruck for the next hour or so though, so talking might take a while." He joked. I would have responded, but I was too busy still giggling.

"While I am appreciative of her admiration, I actually am here to talk about some important matters, namely of what Taylor wants to do with her powers." Her tone did not lose any of its warmth, yet it still took on a more serious note. " And in regards to what she's told me of her desire to help our city's existing problem." She continued.

That, snatched my attention.

Or rather, our attention.

"What do you mean?" My Dad asks, frowning seriously. I sank into my seat a bit more, already aware of what she's talking about.

"Ah, she hasn't told you then." Hannah, or Miss Militia, said, looking between us and figuring out what was going on immediately.

"What does she mean?" My dad direct the question to me, frown still set.

"Ummm," I hesitated, looking to the hero across from me for help.

Seeing this, she sent me an apologetic look and answers my plea. "I suppose I should have anticipated her not being very forthcoming of this issue to you," She grabbed his attention with her words.

"But yesterday Taylor asked me if she can repair the Ferry with backing from the Protectorate, if she ever became a Ward." Miss Militia explains honestly.

There was a moment of silence, as my father processed what she said.

"Ah." Dad stated simply. "I see." He turns his attention to me, expression flat.

Looking at my father's face, I just knew that he wasn't very pleased.

"...I can explain?" I said meekly, wincing at how squeaky my voice sounded.

This is going to be really awkward.

+++V+++

"You really had to push this issue, didn't you?" My father sighed, massaging the bridge of his nose.

"It's a good cause! I had to ask, I mean the only issue with me fixing the ferry was getting PRT approval right? If I can get that then we're in the clear, I'll get the ferry looking good as new and people will flock back to the bay and we'll be able to help all of your people get more jobs right?" I took a deep breath, pleading with my eyes as I stared deep into his own.

"Isn't that what you want?"

"..." In response, my father merely closed his eyes and breathed in deeply.

"If I may?" Ms. Washington cut in politely, holding up a hand. I looked at her and she continued. "While I certainly think that your intentions are pure and noble, it's would be wise listen to what your father's telling you. He would know, this won't be a cakewalk." Her kindly words were spoken with a volume of experience. I imagine that this isn't the first time she's dealing with a Ward having something of a family issue.

"I know that..."I mumbled. "But this is such a big thing for him and the people he works with, so with my powers I just thought..." I trailed off, starting to feel the disappointment creep back into my voice again. I wouldn't want Miss Militia to hear me be so whiny, since she's already seen me in such compromising situations.

"I understand, and I really do admire that you want to use your new powers to help people. That's always good to see." Her praise caused a heat to spread on my cheeks and her smile was hard not to reciprocate. "It's a selfless cause, and undoubtedly it will help a great many people in our city. The ferry's repair will surely bring some life back into our city's economy. If it was just about making jobs, the PRT would approve in a heartbeat."

My smile widens with excitement as I respond. "So the PRT can approve it?! Then that means-"

"-But," My excitement was cut off by Ms. Washington's sudden interruption. "This isn't just about what we want. It's never that simple." She sighed, eyes closed as she finished her statement.

My jaw dropped.

"What?!" I can't believe this, what does that even mean?! Shouldn't the PRT's approval mean that rebuilding the ship will be fine in the eyes of the government?!

"Bureaucracy isn't something you want to deal with at your age, honey." Dad finally reenters our conversation with a sardonic statement. I looked to him again and saw that he had a tired smile on his face. "I've dealt with it as a big part of my job and let me tell you, it's really more trouble than you'll ever want to take on in your lifetime."

"Quite." Miss Militia agrees with a dry chuckle. "There are a lot of hoops to jump through and enough red tape to strangle you." She shakes her head. "Take it from me, a project of this scale will practically consume you completely. You won't have time to do anything else and even then you might still not be able to get your project through."

The thought of failing, it gave me pause. The doubt has always been there, but...

"B-but wouldn't it be worth it?"

My voice was small, so I gazed at both of them in turn, hoping my eyes could convey just how much this would mean.

Both of them suddenly kept silent.

"Even if it takes long, so long as I finish it, wouldn't it be worth all of that trouble?"

The words I spoke then were not words of a plea, but of a conviction. I know I'm starting to seem petulant, but I'm willing and able.

It would be hard, but hasn't that what Dad's been fighting for all this time? Hasn't he dedicated his own career to getting that ferry back in shape, even when it consumed him, even when it burned him out so completely?

I see him coming home some days with a heavy weight on his shoulders, looking so resigned and distressed. Hasn't he carried that burden long enough?

I have the powers to make that go away.

I know I can make it go away!

So why won't you let me make it go away!?

"Taylor," Hannah called out to me softly. I tried to keep my aggravated thoughts off my face as I turn my attention to her. If this is another speech to try and make me stop, then I really don't feel like hearing it anymore.

"There's a fire in you we can't stop nor can we truly contain. This is a path that you've set for yourself and you're determined to see this through, no matter the consequences. And you know?" Her lips curved up into a small smile. "You really remind me of your mother."

I jolted back, taken by surprise.

"You knew my mom?" The question immediately left my lips before I could truly think about it, curiosity overwhelming me.

"Yes, I did." Her smile turns wistful, eyes nostalgic. "She was an amazing woman, and I'm sure Danny can attest to that." She shared a meaningful grin with my father, one that he returned slowly. "Her passion and dedication is something that Danny and I both admire about Annette, and it pains me so much to know that she isn't here anymore." Her voice was controlled, but the deep sorrow reverberated soundly in her words and resonated with mine.

"And that is exactly why I'm here today," Her eyes found mine once more, and I saw in them the reflection of her desire for me to take her next words to heart. "When you talked to me about the ferry, I realized that you were ready to pour the exact same dedication that your mother would into this cause. Your heart is in the right place but I simply must persuade you, before you've immersed yourself too deeply into this, that you must first truly understand what it means to do what you want to do."

I listened, subconsciously gulping at the intensity of her tone.

"There's a battle here that you don't see, something more than Danny hasn't exactly told you." Her lips formed in a thin line, giving my dad a sidelong glance. "You need to make her understand Danny, it has to come from you most of all."

He returned it for a fraction of a second, before he breathed out slowly.

"There's a reason I don't want you to be involved in this." My dad's voice held a tired tenor that accentuated his words. "I don't want you to give all your heart and soul into something that I want the municipality itself to fix."

"...what?"

What does he mean?

"The reason the government isn't interested in giving us the help to get this back to what it was, is because it's not worth the money." He looked at me as he said this. "Fixing that ferry? It's going to take a lot of funding, and even more to have it maintained, and they don't see the value in that because of how it's not sustainable." His words delivered with clear intent to get his point across. "The financial boost it's going to give Brockton Bay is statistically too small to actually be worth the trouble."

"...But shouldn't it still help?" Any help would be a big help, especially to this city. Wasn't that why he wanted to have reinstated?

"It will," he nodded to my question. "But not the help that you think it would."

"Then what...?"

"Brockton Bay isn't the same as it used to be, Taylor." He inflects that word with meaning. "I want the government to reinstate it themselves, to give the people a message. There's more to it than simply just getting it back into shape, because even if we do, it doesn't suddenly fix the city's economy, because..." He sighed, a drawn out sound reverberating with the exhaustion he no doubt felt for the longest time.

"...it was the economy that destroyed the ferry to begin with." He finished, face lined with creases of resignation.

"...oh."

That was all I could say after that. I felt my body slump down into my seat, a feeling of defeat starting to settle in. I looked down, a wave of disappointment rippling through my body that started to form into a frown onto my face. I held it back, knowing that it would seem childish, and that was not what I needed right now. I felt Dad put a hand on my shoulder so I raise my head slowly back to him

"It's politics, Taylor." He shot a wry smile over to Hannah, who responded with a small tug of her lips. "I know it sounds annoying, but this is really something you have to leave to us." He pursed his lips, but the hand on my shoulder gave me a reassuring squeeze. "I've been in this longer than you know, and I'm doing this for the people, but not just in the way that you think I am. Right now though? That ferry is less important to me than you risking your whole hero career over it."

His lips lifted up into a solemn smile. "There's no real need for you to actually do this yourself. You don't have to fix the ferry with your new powers, I'll be proud of you no matter what you do." He drew me into a hug and kissed the top of my head. "That ferry is your old man's job, so just let him take care of it while you go be a hero, alright?"

I let my forehead rest on top of his chest for a small while before I drew back and stared into his eyes, seeing my own reflect within them. The contradiction of his desires still hackled me, confounding my head.

Wasn't the renovation of the ferry his dream for the longest time now?

And yet, here I was presenting him with the opportunity to make it come true in the form of my powers, he was all but telling me that it was a bad idea.

Why?

Confusion roiled around in my head, and within my heart the wish to make his dream come true with my own powers was still burned.

But he was still my father and I know he has to have a good reason. Whatever it was it seemed that even Miss Militia agreed with it.

I saw in the corner of my eye that she sat there observing our exchange silently, letting us have this moment. She had set lips in a more neutral line, yet I could tell that she was expecting me to go along with what my father was telling me just from the way her eyes shined slightly with nervousness.

I guess if even a hero wants me not to press this issue like my dad wants then...

"Okay." I nodded hesitantly, looking away from his eyes. I didn't want to give this up, but I conceded that they both had a point. It's more important for me to focus on actually starting my hero career rather than devoting myself to such a big project.

No matter how much I actually want to...

He looked at me for one more second, before a relieved sigh exploded out of him.

"Good." He nodded at me with a calmer smile , his shoulders sagging. Miss Militia made a similar sigh, eyes closing while she placed a hand on her chest in relief.

Their reactions caused the tension in the room to melt away, the tight atmosphere finally dissipating.

Dad draws away from me with a pat on my head and flashed the hero across the table an apologetic grin.

"I'm sorry you got involved into this little tiff Hannah, I really should have known she'd be as stubborn as her mother when it came to this." He chuckled lightly, and she joined him.

"It's no trouble at all," she denies with a small dismissive wave of her hand. "I'm just glad to be of help. This was something big Danny, so I felt the need to make her understand the situation lest she goes in head first like Annette." She cocks her head slightly, an eyebrow raising daintily.

"Or like you, actually," she quipped, grinning at my dad.

I blink slightly, sort of surprised by her response.

Huh, she's actually making fun of Dad.

I took a peek at my father, seeing him grin at her right back and laughing.

And he's not taking it badly.

My mood slowly brightened at seeing my father relaxing around another person. Haven't seen much of that since mom's funeral, I really missed it.

I guess she knew him well enough that my Dad acted like that with her. Makes me wonder if she was this close with my mom...

"Oh trust me, I know." My dad cuts off my thoughts as ruffled my hair with a laugh, making me to frown slightly."She gets that from the both of us, I'm sure." He gave my hair another ruffle, and I half heartedly swatted his hand away.

That just made him laugh more, and I tried not to glare.

I hated it when he messed with my hair, it was such a hassle to fix later. My mood was already getting better, thank you very much. Don't make it worse again.

"Well if she does, then I imagine that she'll be a force to be reckoned with, soon enough." She said good naturedly.

"I'm not sure how to take that..." I mumbled quietly to myself. Being called something synonymous to 'terrifying' wasn't something I was keen on, especially by someone like Miss Militia. Makes me feel like I might grow to up to be something scary.

"I'm sure she meant it in the best way, kiddo." He ruffles my hair lightly. Ugh, again with the hair, I would have made a fuss about it already if Miss Militia wasn't here. I swatted at him again, this time more firmly and actually glaring.

Miss Militia watched us for a moment before she gave a short melodious laugh. "Well," she shakes her head slightly. "I suppose I've done what I came here for." She stood up from the couch, slightly brushing her skirt as she did. "I think it's time I go." Hearing this, my father and I stood as well.

"Are you sure you have to go?" My father asked her, gesturing at the dinner table. "I'm sure Taylor would love to talk more with you while I cook something up, get you something to eat." I smile at the thought of that, giddy at the prospect of hanging out with her more.

"I would honestly love to," she replied with another smile, before she shakes her head regretfully. "But duty calls, and I can't relax for too long-not in this city. It actually was nice to talk to you again, especially you Taylor." She directs a smile at me, causing my cheeks to heat up slightly. "I hope we'll get the opportunity to talk more, should we get the chance." She hints at me, winking. I giggled, knowing that she was encouraging me about joining the Wards.

"Well we'll see bout that, right after I'm done looking over those papers." My father jibes, smiling at her again as we began walking her toward the door."Can't exactly be too careful when it comes to those clauses, friend of mine actually recommended me to someone who knows a thing or two about parahuman contracts."

Miss Militia laughs at that, nodding agreeably. "I expect nothing less from you Danny," she replied affectionately, smirking. "For someone as important as Taylor, I just knew you'd be raking through those papers with a fine toothcomb." She smiles over to me again, eyes kind. I returned it enthusiastically, a warm feeling enveloping me.

It's really something special to know that she went out of her way to come to our house for me, even if I didn't exactly agree with what she and my father wanted me to do. It showed me that she was concerned for me, and I could still appreciate that, because more than her being a renowned hero of my town, she came her as the friend of my parents sharing her worry about the things I wanted to do.

Maybe it was cheesy, but somehow that made this visit more special.

"Well," My dad held the door out for her, a hand outstretched. "Remember, you're always welcome here Hannah, don't you ever feel like a stranger." She smiled once again, and shakes his offered hand.

"I'll keep that in mind." She said as she walked out of our house, before turning her attention back to me. "It's been a sincere pleasure to meet you again Taylor. You are very special, and in more ways than you realize." She leaned down to put a hand to my shoulder and leveled her gaze into my eyes, saying her next words very seriously. "I hope you know that."

I feel my cheeks heating up again at the fondness I saw in her eyes, finding myself unable to do anything then but respond dumbly. "Y-yeah." I stuttered out, before realizing how much a doofus I looked and tried again. "I-I mean yeah, it was really a-awesome to meet you again too. I really hope w-we can talk with each other again soon." I finished lamely, somehow making myself look more like a moron.

She grinned at me again before she pats my shoulder and straightening back up. "Yes, hopefully we can see each other again soon." She gave Dad a subtle look, still grinning. "For now I suppose I'll be on my way. I'll see you both later." She nodded one last time before walking away, off to the sidewalk and over to her car.

"Later!" I called out one last time as she drives by us one her way out, waving my arms. I see her wave back before she was too far away.

"So," I said once we entered our house again, Dad closing the door behind us. "Miss Militia huh?"

"Yep." He punctuates the 'p' with a pop. "Called her about you actually, right after you told me about being a cape." He scratched his beard lightly, contemplative. "Granted, I was vague about who I was talking about then, but I think she figured out after I started asking too many questions about capes. " He shrugged his shoulders. "Didn't exactly let me know that she knew, but kept giving me really specific advice like letting you take the pace and have you decide what you want to do with those powers, but still telling me about the dangers "

He puts his hands in his pockets and sighing. "Came clean to her once you told me about finally going through with the interview, told me what to do once we got there. " He smirks at me, eyes glinting. "Probably why she was the one conducting it too."

"Huh." The couch made a 'whomph' sound as I abruptly sat heavily onto it, turning my eyes to the ceiling. Emma and my bots are probably waiting for me down stairs but I felt too burned out to walk all the way over there right now.

"Could you go tell Emma that I'll be back down in like, a few minutes?" I said as I put an arm over my closed eyes, suddenly exhausted. That conversation about the ferry really did drain me, so some time to myself was much appreciated.

"Sure." I heard him agree, his footsteps pattering over to the basement door.

"Thanks." I called out just before hearing the door close.

Man, I really did feel tired. But still, I felt the curiosity nipping at the back of my mind.

How exactly did my mom know Miss Militia?

+++V+++

So this is chapter 7. Sorry for the delay, life has been kinda hectic recently. Anyways, thanks for reading, leave a review telling me what you think. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, flames are used for warming up cold days :D