Author's Notes:

Firstly, as always, I would like to thank all those who favorite, followed or reviewed my story. Your support is really appreciated and pushes me to try harder.

Secondly, I'm alive!

Jokes aside, I'm terribly sorry for the long delay between this and the last chapter. Regrettably things have been incredibly hectic in my life these past few months, both at work and at my personal life, leaving me barely any free time, much less time to write properly.

At first I tried to write these in fragments whenever I could steal a moment, but the end result was incredibly disjointed and hardly worth being called a proper chapter. So in the end I had to wait for things to start calming down before I could start working on this properly. Thankfully things are now beginning to look up and settle down, so I was able to dedicate some time to my stories.

So I'd like to thank you all for your patience and understanding and I hope you like the chapter.

Lastly: I do not own "Campione!" or "Worm Serial".

\V/

and Conspiracy Theorists

Watching out of the window of her hotel room Taylor gazed at this world's slowly rising sun. Watching as its golden light filled up the world, heralding the dawn of a new day. And as she watched the darkness of another barely slept night being swept aside by the brilliant light of the sun she wondered if there was any kind of deeper meaning in the fact that the first Heretic God she had slain in this world had been Khepri, a god of rebirth of all things.

She pondered such a thought for a moment longer, before with small snort of amusement dismissing the idea altogether as irrelevant.

Things rarely made sense after all. There was rarely a deeper meaning for why things happen the way they happen. They simply do. All one could realistically do is to accept it, gather one's wits and resolve, and endure.

She may have left Earth-Bet behind to this new world. A world where her past history was a complete unknown to all but herself, in what many could rightfully call a true rebirth. But that didn't mean the weight of her actions didn't remain, even if only deep within her own mind.

So it was hardly surprising that having a peaceful night sleep was slowly turning to be a rare treat, one that sadly had eluded her this night. It was hardly surprising, after all she knew she didn't have issues, oh no. She had whole freaking subscriptions.

Sending a quick gaze to her portable supercomputer Taylor entertained the idea of going back to work on one of her new projects for a moment before dismissing it, her mind instead returning to her meeting with the King of Swords.

He was a reckless idiot without an ounce of common sense, but part of her couldn't help but envy his completely carefree and unworried way of living. The fact he knew his place in the world and was perfectly fine with it.

And that was the whole point. The question that had kept her awake these last few hours, the question of what was she to do with this new life?

Quite frankly she hadn't expected to survive the final confrontation against Scion, hadn't given even a second thought to its mere possibility since her sacrifice had been an integral part of the whole plan. That is, until a meddlesome Thinker decided to change it all at the last possible moment without so much as a 'by your leave'.

Gently massaging her brow with her right hand, the fact she had lost said freaking arm in the final battle just proving the point of how out of her depth she truly was, she pondered what to do now.

Oh, sure, she had been acting to create a power base in this new world, had been slowly mastering her new abilities and taking hold of the situation she was now in. But that was more a conditioned response than anything else. But now that she herself was one of the true powers in the world the question was, what to do?

Was she to be a hero again, to right out wrongs and battle evil? She had taken that path once and seen where it lead, the dark unforgiving road that anyone who dared to carry the burden of a true hero had to tread. She had accepted it without hesitation or doubt and paid the ultimate price in the end.

And yet, despite having chosen death she had been granted life.

Sharply shaking her head she drove such bothersome thoughts away. For while she may not know quite a few things about her new situation or what her future may hold, one thing was painfully clear. She had to be here for a reason.

She knew she had not arrived in this universe by mistake, for Contessa simply did not do those.

In one hand Taylor felt that she understood at least marginally why the Thinker would feel compelled to allow her to survive, to spare her and send Taylor to a new world where she could live even an imitation of a normal life. For in truth, Contessa might have been the only one who could really say she understood what Taylor had been going through, to truly understand the price of sacrificing it all for an impossible goal, no matter the cost.

In many ways what she had been slowly turning into as she embraced the Queen Administrator Shard was a twisted mirror image of what Contessa had done to herself during the course of many years, a hollow girl who had let go of it all in order to save the world and was left nothing but a broken husk in return.

But that couldn't explain why she would chose a universe that would not only allow Taylor to survive her wounds and the removal of her Master powers, but that in doing so would actually allow her to wield more power than any Parahuman had ever wielded before.

Giving the rising sun one last look, Taylor shook off such thoughts away from her mind before turning around in order to prepare herself for the day.

Regardless of the reason or the plans the conniving woman could be holding, no matter what her own future had waiting for her or whatever pitfalls and dangers lurked beyond her sight and knowledge. Taylor knew one thing would remain true no matter what.

She would endure, adapt, and overcome.

\V/

Walking behind her liege as they returned from another training session in the countryside, Anit kept trying to gather her courage and steel herself to do what she felt she had to do.

Well, that wasn't exactly true. She didn't have to do it after all, oh no. She just felt that she would slowly go insane if she didn't do it. That was all.

The question that had been plaguing her thoughts ever since the 'spar' with Lord Salvatore simply refused to leave her alone. That her Liege's original Authority true power was literally an abnormality and the simple fact that after quite some time discreetly researching the subject there was only one god that would fit it's apparently all encompassing creation properties and her golden avatar.

Only for said divine being to be something no one had ever seen materialize in the human realm before. Ever.

Oh, sure, his servants had been noted to make appearances dozens of times before, so there was no doubt about his existence. But considering that even the weakest of said servants tended to have enough power to be classified as mid level Heretic Gods themselves upon their descent to the mortal realm, then it was widely believed that him ever turning Heretic would be a near apocalyptic situation at best.

Which brought forth even more uncomfortable questions, like: How exactly had no one noticed such a monumental event? Or how had Taylor even survived said event, much less emerged victorious from it in the first place? Or even how the world was still standing after it happened?

It was an impossibility, one that, if true, brought forth more questions than answers.

Questions that, sadly, could only be answered by one person. And the fact that said person seemed to take quite some pleasure in giving nonsensical answers when questioned about things wasn't really helping.

But she simply had no other choice, she had to know.

And so, as they entered her King's abode, and after wasting a moment to make sure the privacy wards she had erected earlier were still in effect, she prepared herself for the daunting task that loomed right in front of her.

Getting a straight answer out of Taylor.

"Anit, seriously, you have been acting like you are ready for something to jump at you out of nowhere since early this morning." The exasperated words of her King suddenly came from her side, cutting off her musings. "So spit it out already, what's the problem?"

Blinking owlishly at Taylor's slightly unamused face, Anit took a couple of moments to properly process what she had said, before realizing with a sheepish smile that she had been even more distracted than she at first thought if Taylor decided to confront her about it.

Looking at the Eighth Campione steely gaze she felt her determination waver for a moment before she gathered her resolve and decided to simply take the plunge and get this over with.

"Taylor, the first Heretic God that you had slain, the one that turned you into a Campione." She started out slowly, only for Taylor to make a get on with it gesture prompting her to continue. "Well, did you... Did you kill the Biblical God by any chance?"

YAHWHE. The supreme divine being of the ancient kingdoms of Judah and Israel, the great creator, now far more commonly known as simply God by most of humanity, the single most well known divine entity in the entire world.

It was an utterly ludicrous idea, that Taylor had slain what was probably the strongest divine being to ever exist as a mere mortal. But at the same time it was the only god that even remotely fit the situation and possible explanation Anit could see for the ridiculous fact that Taylor's first Authority seemed to be whatever she wanted it to be at the moment.

Waiting with baited breath the Egyptian mage waited for her liege's reply, both anticipating and fearing her answer in equal measures.

"Nah, not really." Taylor replied after a moment in a nonchalant manner with a huff of amusement while giving the Egyptian mage an odd look. Her words starting to ease Anit's unease a little. Sadly the mage's respite was short lived as the Campione continued to speak, causing her loyal minion to simply stop and stare as if she couldn't quite believe her ears.

"Or well, at least I don't think so. Not unless those crazy conspiracy theories about God being some kind of alien are actually true that is." She added on with a slightly thoughtful look, before simply shrugging the idea away as inconsequential.

Blinking owlishly at the calm and nonchalant expression present on the Eighth Campione's face, Anit had to force down a very real urge to try and throttle her extremely powerful and combat capable master.

'Is it too much to ask her to answer at least one question seriously?!' She inwardly bemoaned, more than a little bit upset about the question she had spent so much time gathering the courage to ask being brushed aside in such a way.

Thankfully for her continued well being a sudden presence appearing within the perimeter wards she habitually set around Taylor's current abode distracted her from her ill advised current train of thought.

"Taylor, you may have a visitor." She quickly informed her King, her annoyance at said King's trollish ways being swept aside for the moment.

"Who is it?" Was Taylor's immediate reply, a glint of steel in her eyes as she repositioned herself on the couch in a way that would allow her to spring into motion at a moment's notice.

"I'm not sure, whoever it is, is extremely skilled and is masking his' or hers' mana presence."

And that was an understatement, for whoever it was had bypassed her outer wards masterfully, letting not even a trace of their presence leak out and evading her barriers without harming them in the slightest. Point in fact she was quite sure that if not for the fact that the intruder seemed to have purposefully allowed her to sense him that he would have managed to walk up to the door and knocked before Anit had noticed his presence.

And considering the fact she had already been one of the best ward makers on the continent before the massive boost in skill Taylor's crazy Authority had given her, that was saying something.

"Aggressive?" The Devil-king sitting on the couch enquired in a flat tone of voice, eyes following Anit's gaze towards the door.

"I don't think so. Whoever it is has actually allowed himself to sensed before reaching us, I don't think someone would do that should they be planning an immediate attack."

Making a small hum in agreement as she quietly whispered something under her breath, Taylor kept looking at the door. A few moments later the sound of polite knocking resounded through the room.

Moving towards the door after receiving an affirmative nod from her liege, Anit unlocked it and started pull it open, the words of a spell ready to spring out her lips should it be necessary.

Only for said words to die on her lips as she stared in astonishment at who exactly it was that was on the other side of the door.

Watching as the refined looking old man, with his simple but tasteful suit and perfectly combed white hair placidly looked at her from the other side of wooden barrier Anit felt two very distinct trains of thought vying for supremacy within her mind.

The first was wondering what by all the gods was Lord Harakty, the supreme leader of the Council of the Sands, doing standing outside Taylor's room unannounced and without any of the myriad of bootlickers that usually followed him around everywhere. Or why he had felt the need to apparently sneak up here in the first place.

The other was jadedly questioning the fact that she really wasn't feeling anywhere near as surprised as she would have felt but a few weeks ago upon suddenly finding herself right in front of one of the most powerful and important mages in Egypt without any prior warning.

"Lord, Harakty, to what do we owe this unexpected pleasure?" Anit calmly asked as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening, the more jaded and slightly bemused side of her mind temporarily winning the contest.

"Miss Anit, first allow me to apologize for my unannounced visit, and that, should your Lady allow it, that I would seek an audience with her." The Head of the Council properly spoke while giving her a small bow.

Quickly looking towards Taylor's placidly looking form and receiving a small nod in answer Anit stood aside and allowed the elderly mage to enter, all the while wondering exactly when it was that the absurd and the ludicrous had apparently become her new normal.

\V/

Centering herself as the effects of her Eternity's Sight took hold and assured her that their unannounced visitor was both alone and had no nasty surprises on his person, Taylor nodded towards Anit for her to open up the door, her mind already analyzing exactly why the leader of the Council would want an off the records meeting with her.

And that this was an off the records meeting was something she didn't have a shadow of a doubt. Her Authority showing that the only agent in place was a watcher three blocks away that was so thoroughly bored with his task that he was spending more time playing with his cell phone than watching the hotel where she was staying.

There was simply no way a big shot like the leader of the Council would be appearing in such a nondescript manner here if not for him wanting to make some kind of under the table deal with her.

'Politics.' She inwardly all but spat out the word as the white haired old man entered the room, all but turning the word into a curse. For if there was something that Taylor could say she truly loathed, it was politics.

And regrettably, it seemed to be a truly pervasive and all encompassing evil. For no matter where you looked, there would always be someone jostling for power, money or influence. Being more concerned with appearances and reputations than in doing what needed to be done.

Hell, she was now living in a completely different dimension and politics still remained the same! Down to the fact that some haughty idiot in the Council was trying to discreetly form some kind of power block to try and direct her movements and control her. Not that she was overly worried about it. Right now the idiot's actions were merely suspicious and weren't actively interfering or threatening her own person or Anit, and as such she would simply keep an eye on things and give him enough rope to hang himself with when the time was right.

But nonetheless, was it too much to ask for competent politicians who were actually interested in the well being of their people and in doing their freaking jobs for a change instead of looking almost exclusively to cover their own backsides and profit?!

'Maybe they are an universal constant?' The depressing thought drifted through her mind for a moment before she forcefully pushed it away, focusing instead at her surprise guest.

The fact that Harakty looked like an old and wrinkled grandfather didn't make her lower her guard in the slightest, much on the contrary. For from what she had learnt in the past few weeks, she now knew that the hidden world of magic on this earth was in many ways just as cutthroat as the world of Capes back on her home dimension.

And as an old saying from back home succinctly put, you should always beware old Capes. For there was a reason they were old.

"Lady Taylor, first allow me to offer my sincerest apologies for my sudden intrusion upon your abode." He calmly spoke while giving her a deferential bow. "But I felt that it was necessary to have this meeting sooner rather than later."

"Is that so?" She noncommittally replied, dragging all information she had about Harakty to the front of her mind. All the while blinking in slight surprise that the mage seemed to be actually speaking the truth, both her Eternity's Sight and the cold reading skills her Uber-shard had granted her pointing towards that conclusion.

A feeling of surprise that was magnified into interest as she watched the self-assured and grandiose façade the older mage had been carrying around with the natural ease of born nobility be thrown aside as if nothing but a change of clothing. Shed aside as if some bothersome formal uniform one was forced to use for work and gladly took off the moment they got home.

"Indeed." He calmly replied, a wry smile on his face. The pompous and self important man she had seen sitting with his fellow council members nowhere to be seen. "Now, if you would forgive my forwardness, I believe we both would greatly appreciate if I dropped all the formal act, the over presumptuous fake politeness, and went straight to the point, if Milady wouldn't mind of course?"

Noting once more that he had spoken nothing but the truth, Taylor found herself fighting back a wry smile of her own due to the fact this was shaping up way better than she had dared to hope. Giving a small nod in agreement she waited to hear what exactly he wanted to propose.

"Very well, then to make things perfectly clear. I have kept this country stable and prospering for over fifty years, despite quite a few of my coworkers best attempts at disrupting my efforts through their greed, shortsightedness, sheer idiocy, or, regrettably more often than not, an unholy mixture of all three." He stated without preamble, his desert dry tone of voice and the downright appalled look on Anit's face almost forcing a snort to escape Taylor's lips. "The fact that those idiots tend to have quite short life spans thankfully tends to help, leaving only the more competent and slightly more sane members around in the long term."

"But sadly my usual wait and see approach as I let Darwin take his toll on the gene pool simply is not attainable at our current situation. Not when one of my idiotic compatriots seems determined to commit suicide and drag half the country along with him." He angrily stated, his words making Taylor immediately think about a certain delusional mage with a tinge of understanding. She too knew the problems an idiotic or arrogant teammate could cause, both on purpose and on accident.

"I am aware of Zaliki's current actions. I hold no blame towards you or your other followers for his and his allies' aims." She decided to interject, the novelty of the fact the old mage had yet to lie to her even once making her decide to throw him a bone so to speak, even if both of them could easily hear the unspoken 'for now' at the end of her statement.

"I expected as much. But nonetheless you have my thanks." Harakty answered while bowing his head, a hard glint firm on his eyes. "And yet the fact remains, to allow the situation to continue until its inevitable outcome is nothing but madness."

"Devil-kings. All of your kind are known to be maniacs and lunatics. But at the very least you appear to be competent and capable, and far more importantly, you seem to care for the lives of our citizens." He bluntly spoke, eyeing her straight in the eyes. "So perhaps I will not come to regret this decision."

And then, under the Eighth Campione's bemused gaze, Lord Harakty took a knee and clasped his hands before his chest. Steely eyes never straying from Taylor's gaze.

"As long as you protect this country against threats that we cannot defend ourselves against, like Heretic Gods and other Devil-kings, then this I mostly solemnly swear: You shall have my full support and that of those under my rule. So have I spoken, so mote it be."

'A competent politician. Who would've thought?' A part of Taylor's mind couldn't help but comment. The fact she knew he meant every word he had just said giving the whole thing quite the surreal feeling to the young God-slayer.

"Very well, as long as you do not hurt me and mine I accept your pledge." She answered, slightly uncertain if agreeing and truly linking herself with Egypt's mage association was a good idea, but reasoning that she wasn't really promising to do anything she wouldn't be doing anyway in case of an emergency.

And besides, a competent leader running any kind of organization was probably an anomaly she really wouldn't meet that often. So it was probably better to not let a good chance slip by.

"Understandable. The surveillance you are currently under will be slowly reduced in order to not alert certain parties to this new development, and while I sadly cannot truly act without due cause, not without alienating a significant portion of my powerbase that is, I will do all that I can to curtail Zaliki's stupidity. But while I cannot act overtly, you on the other hand…" The old man trailed off meaningfully, a dark smirk on his face.

And confirming once more that he hadn't uttered a single falsehood since entering the room, alongside the warrior's grin on his features and the complete lack of political bullshit being thrown her way, Taylor thought that she may not really mind working alongside this old mage.

"I have no idea what you are talking about." Taylor replied in a way that implied that butter wouldn't melt on her mouth.

"Of course." He replied in an equally innocent sounding tone of voice as he rose to his feet. "All that I ask is that you warn me should that change. Meanwhile be assured that I shall keep you posted should anything change from my side of things."

"And remember, if you need anything that is within our power to aid you, you need but to ask and it shall be yours." He said as he started towards the exit, bypassing a baffled looking Anit. "If that's all, then I shall be taking my leave before my absence is noted. Farewell Milady.

Taylor watched Lord Harakty for a moment before a stray thought crossed her mind, and after swiftly considering it for a moment she decided to act upon it.

"Actually, there is something you may aid me with." She firmly stated, making Harakty pause near the door and turn towards her in order to give her his full attention.

"Does the Council posses any kind of Dragon Bones?" She asked of her new subordinate, a small fanged grin slowly surfacing on her features.

\V/

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Topic: Golden Morning
In: Boards -
News - Events - Global - Golden Morning

Braggart (Original Poster)(The Guy in The Know)
Posted on July 7, 2013:

Okay, information is really scarce and hard to come by and no one really seems to know the whole picture, and the fact quite a few countries are actually gone really doesn't help, but we got to start somewhere. So here is what we do know:

•Jun 20, 2013: Without rhyme or reason, Scion, the world's greatest hero, apparently underwent a massive psychotic breakdown and started slaughtering everything in his path. Capes from around the world are gathered in an attempt to either stop or neutralize the world's former greatest hero's rampage.

•Jun 21, 2013: Despite various groups greatest efforts Scion's rampage remains unchecked. The death toll already surpasses the millions, a number that only grows even more daunting with each minute that passes.

•Jun 22, 2013: Scion's rampage extends to other Earths, ravaging parts of both Earth Aleph and a few others, up to this point still undiscovered, alternate Earths. Threads about said alternate realities, and how this whole mess will affect any kind of possible diplomatic talks with them, can be found here, here and here.

•Jun 23, 2013: Eidolon perishes against the Golden Man and the British Islands are for all intents and purposes gone from the map. The death count bypasses the billion mark.

•Jun 24, 2013: After nearly four days into Scion's rampage an unbelievable powerful Master comes into play, basically enslaving every single Parahuman she could find and creating an army of tens of thousands, amidst which where some serious heavy hitters like the Ash Beast, Lustrum and even Glaistig Uaine herself.

Her army ready she brought the fight to Scion, thousands died and whole countries were laid to waste, but in the end Scion breathed his last. The whole fiasco is being called the 'Golden Morning', see news threads here and here.

Afterwards the now identified Khepri basically disappeared into thin air, leaving behind a huge disorganized mob of extremely angry, confused and paranoid Parahumans who had just been Mastered and used to fight on what could rightfully be called the Ragnarok. Threads talking about the fallout of that particular cluster-fuck can be found here, here and here.

So to summarize: the Golden Idiot went bananas; the apocalypse nearly happened; billions died; Eidolon and thousands of other heroes died; a Master that makes Heartbreaker look like a two bit hack appeared, basically enslaved ALL Parahumans in sight, killed freaking Scion, and then she vanished without leaving a trace.

Confused, scared and worried?! So am I!

Edit: Despite how ludicrous it may sound, confirmed sources show that the freaking Endbringers were seen fighting alongside the cape army against Scion (Pics here, here and here.)… What the actual fuck?!

Edit: What remains of the PRT have apparently named the unknown Master as Khepri, and immediately threw at her a S-rank threat label and a Kill Order. Unconfirmed sources say she is the former Protectorate Hero known as Weaver, see links here.

(Showing Page 245 of 246)

Conceptualist (Cape Groupie)
Replied on July 17, 2013:
So Weaver went full psycho warlord. How is anyone surprised about that? Or did everyone conveniently forget what she did under her former alias!

Momantai
Replied on July 17, 2013:

You go and conquer your hometown as a tyrannical overlord once during your rebellious years and people never let you forget it, do they? ;p

Skull-sama (Verified Stunt Driver)
Replied on July 17, 2013:

Guess it's a lesser of two evils situation, huh?

She did stop his rampage, but at what cost? And the methods used…

Yeah, it's a tough one alright.

Rainbowfly (Unverified Cape)
Replied on July 17, 2013:

Fuck that crazy bitch! You think hearing about it is bad?! Try and be thrown into the meat grinder by the crazy psycho fighting the crazier mass murdering nut job!? [REST OF POST DELETED BY MODERATOR]

[User has received an infraction for this post]

G.A.D. (Moderator) (Hobbyist Writer)
Replied on July 17, 2013:
Rainbowfly

While your reaction is somewhat understandable, the rules exist for a reason. Respect them.

Rainbowfly (Unverified Cape)
Replied on July 17, 2013:

[POST HAS BEEN DELETED BY MODERATOR]

G.A.D. (Moderator) (Hobbyist Writer)
Replied on July 17, 2013:

*Sigh…* Try and cool down a little bit during your week long ban.

Ni
Replied on July 17, 2013:

I can't believe you guys are even discussing this! Scion just had to be stopped! No matter what! Or did any of you fail to notice that Great Britain is freaking gone!

And I mean gone as in the whole landmass was vaporized!

Conceptualist (Cape Groupie)
Replied on July 17, 2013:
Ni

Tell that to all those who had their freewill stripped away and used as nothing more than pawns by another!

To Ponder
Replied on July 17, 2013:
Ni

Really, there aren't scarier words than: For the greater good.

End of Page. …243,244,245,246.

(Showing Page 246 of 246)

H2O
Replied on July 18,2013:

Christ! Get on with the program people!

Yes, the crazy bug lady went even crazier and basically enslaved the world's Parahuman population (which makes for some very interesting points in regards to human intelligence in general, since her power was, if you all remember, to control bugs). Yes, that was utterly evil and diabolical! And yes, the Golden Idiot had to be stopped before humanity went down the drain! So stop repeating the same argument over and over again!

Muffin (Unverified Elder One)
Replied on July 18,2013:

The Queen of Bugs has taken down the Golden Whale. Truly an unexpected development.

Fluffy Dragon
Replied on July 18,2013:

Is it just me, or are ALL the crazies coming out to play?

Duster (Verified Badass)
Replied on July 18,2013:
Fluffy Dragon

This is PHO. Why are you surprised about that?

Winged_One
Replied on July 18,2013:

Somebody said that it couldn't be done,
But she with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn't," but she would be one
Who wouldn't say so till she'd tried.
So she buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On her face. If she worried she hid it.
She started to sing as she tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and she did it.

Boop! (Not a Sloth)
Replied on July 18,2013:

Glad to see you are back Winged! And with a new poem too!

And with the Endbringers down for the count we finally have proof! I told you guys again and again that she couldn't possibly be the Simurgh! That's crazy talk!

Braggart (Original Poster)(The Guy in The Know)
Replied on July 18,2013:
Boop!

I don't want to rain down on your parade, but I haven't been able to find any evidence that Ziz did bite the dust... many of the other Endbringers, yes.

But her specifically? No such luck.

So, yeah…

Boop! (Not a Sloth)
Replied on July 18,2013:
Braggart

… Seriously?

Winged_One
Replied on July 18,2013:
Boop!

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Boop! (Not a Sloth)
Replied on July 18,2013:

… Oh, that's just perfect

End of Page. …243,244,245,246.

Topic: Where is Khepri?
In: Boards -
News - Events - Global - Golden Morning

So, just in case anyone has been living under a rock in the middle of nowhere and hasn't heard already, here is what we know so far.

The Hero formerly known as Weaver somehow proceeded to enslave basically all Parahumans on the planet, and in a few parallel dimensions too just for good measure, and proceeded to use her newly found army to battle a rampaging Scion.

And after defeating the Golden Man in a show of sheer Master prowess that makes Heartbreaker look like whining child she simply disappeared without a trace.

Meaning that the newly rebranded Villain Khepri, who has received the flattering power ranking of Master 12 from what is left of the government, someone who can apparently enslave thousands of people with a thought, is on the loose and completely unaccounted for.

Feel free to start screaming now.

(Showing Page 79 of 79)

Eye_of_Truth (Not a Sheikah)
Replied on July 19,2013:

So from what we gathered, she can basically take over control of any Parahuman on a miles long range all around her?

That's just swell

Crystal Guardian
Replied on July 19,2013:

I guess it's time to move out to my uncle's farm that's in the middle of nowhere until things calm down. Again.

Old Tongue
Replied on July 19,2013:

I don't know why you are all panicking! She obviously died of her wounds. I mean, just look at her! The last pic anyone got of her clearly shows that she is missing a freaking arm! Master 12 or not, there is no way she walked that off!

Mab Queen of Air and Darkness
Replied on July 19,2013:
Old Tongue

While the minds of mere mortals would balk before the impossible odds, those who transcended such things know the truth.

The path of the Queen Administrator would not be ended so easily.

Winged_One
Replied on July 19,2013:

The way we use adversity
is strictly our own choice,
For in God's Hands adversity
can make the heart rejoice.

xXVoid_CowboyXx
Replied on July 19,2013:

She was always kinda edgy even way back then. The kind of person you have to watch yourself with, you know? So knowing that she is loose like that is really worrying.

Inconspicuous
Replied on July 19,2013:

Is that so? I find it curious that this is coming from the [THE REST OF THE POST HAS BEEN DELETED BY MODERATOR]

[User has received an infraction for this post]

xXVoid_CowboyXx (Temp-banned)
Replied on July 19,2013:

[POST HAS BEEN DELETED BY MODERATOR]

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Glasses (Cape Groupie) (Temp-banned)
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End of Page. …77,78,79.

\V/

Groaning in irritation Lisa slumped down into her seat, hands pressed against her forehead while she inwardly berated herself for her lack of impulse control. Sure, putting that little idiotic upstart back in his place had been extremely therapeutic and the risk of someone tracking her down from one single anonymous post was incredibly small, but nonetheless she should have known better. Especially considering the fact that half the world seemed to be searching for her, including mother fucking Dragon.

The aftershocks of the Golden Morning were still reverberating throughout the world; everybody was confused, scared and trying to re-establish some kind of order while simultaneously trying to understand what the hell had happened.

Of course, the fact that the number of people who knew the whole picture and still held breath could be counted in one hand with fingers to spare wasn't really helping the various powers that be attempts at information gathering.

This in turn was making said powers get really antsy, since, apparently, the threat of a Master 12 being on the loose after everything else that had happened wasn't something that they were willing to let slide.

And unfortunately for Lisa, she was part of the extremely short list of those few who did know the whole story of what had happened.

She had yet to face a direct attempt against her. But that was simply due to the fact that she had kept her head low, never stayed put at one place for too long, and that her opponents were currently still reorganizing from surviving the near end of the world.

'Had to leave this place soon anyway.' She justified to herself, knowing that her current safe house probably wouldn't remain safe for much longer anyway. 'And he got it coming.'

The justification felt hollow even to herself, but truth be told, she currently didn't care. She simply couldn't help herself when she saw what that ignoramus was spouting about Taylor despite the fact he had followed her around like a love-sick puppy for years while never doing anything even remotely helpful had really pushed her buttons. She simply couldn't allow that to stand, especially considering the fact that her utterly fool of a friend had all but exiled herself to another dimension on some twisted attempt to become a freaking martyr.

"Dammit ,Taylor! You had to go and be a freaking hero, didn't you?!" She cursed out loud, punching the keyboard while pondering if her friend was even still alive.

"You are quite passionate about this particular subject, aren't you?" A calm and collect voice politely asked from right behind her, startling her out of her current train of thought and stopping her incoming rant on its tracks before it could truly begin.

Jumping straight out of her chair Tattletale spun in place, adrenaline coursing through her veins as she drew her pistol to point at however it was that had found her hideout despite all her precautions, only to freeze in place upon laying eyes upon the owner of the voice.

Eyes wide she took in her unexpected guest, her mouth now desert dry as she took in the impeccably dressed woman that was placidly sitting at the bed in the corner, calmly playing with the fedora in her hands.

She was most definitely not someone Tattletale wanted to see inside her current place of residence. Point in fact she was someone Lisa didn't want to see even in the same zip code of her current place of residence, what with her being easily in the top ten list of people whom she most definitely did not want to see, ever, no matter the circumstances involved.

Oh, sure, Contessa wasn't exactly at the top of said list. But considering that particular spot was occupied by the likes of The Sleeper, the Three Blasphemies, and the freaking Faerie Queen, that really wasn't saying much.

Feeling like a lead weight had been dropped down on her stomach Lisa forcibly attempted to keep her calm. The fact her guest was apparently unarmed and under the gaze of her own gun doing extremely little to calm her nerves, for she knew how little that actually meant against Contessa should things develop into a fight. Her eyes darting all over the sharply dressed woman daintily sitting not even three meters away from her, Lisa felt her power start to gather every single scrap of information available, only for her to immediately rein it in. She knew that it would be no use and a Thinker headache would only decrease her already almost nonexistent chances of escape even further.

Sure, her power easily allowed her to read the most minuscule of micro expressions, to unravel the smallest thread of information and enhance the smallest of clues in order to give her the whole picture in a matter of moments. Allowing her to cold-read others to such a degree that most truly believed her wild claims of being psychic.

But she knew far too well that that would do her no good here, not against this particular opponent. For she knew that whatever her powers would perceive, would be exactly what Contessa's own powers wanted her to perceive in the first place, all in order to lead her right into the other Thinker's 'Path'. Everything she could actually gleam from the other woman and all her thoughts regarding it, down to the fact she was actually doubting the information her power was currently feeding her, having already been predicted in order to guide her reactions towards the desired outcome.

All placed into an eternal cycle of knowing that the other woman was influencing her perception, but that fighting back said influence was in fact falling victim to the very same influence she was supposedly fighting, but that failing to fight it back had already been predicted and could actually be the response the other desired all along, which would mean she should actually fight it back, but knowing that said action opened up the quite real possibility that that particular reaction was actually her true end goal, which in turn would mean…

Shaking her head and forcibly stopping herself Lisa focused at the woman in front of her, bringing her train of thought to a forceful halt. That kind of circular logic was far too easy to get caught on and would do her no good against her current opponent. After all, the only way to win against Contessa, was to simply refuse to play altogether, which sadly wasn't really an option for her at the moment.

Meaning that in the end her only option was to actually listen to the insufferable Thinker nonchalantly sitting at her bed, no matter how little she wanted to do so.

"Now that we have reached an understanding, tell me Miss Wilbourn." Contessa said with a small serene smile upon her features, as if in answer to the younger Thinker's internal rant, her tone of voice calm and uncompromising. "What are your plans for the future? Knowing what you know regarding the truth to one of our species darkest moments, what do you intend to do from now on?"

Swallowing hard Lisa forcibly stopped herself from overreacting to the other woman deceptively nonchalant words, knowing far too well that she knew far too much for her own good. That she held within her mind more than enough damming information in regards to far too many people, people she knew would love to see 'loose ends' just like herself dealt with, permanently.

And the fact she knew far too well that the harmless looking woman in front of her was one of those very same people who would kill to keep what she knew secret, and that she had decades of experience tying up said 'loose ends', really wasn't helping her nerves.

"While your reasoning is sound, I must admit this is not the reason for my visit, or at least not at this point in time." Contessa placidly stated, once again answering Lisa's inner musings, all the while calmly playing with her fedora. "So you may relax Miss Wilbourn, I'm not here to end you, this day."

"What do you want, Contessa?" Lisa grudgingly asked, seeing how remaining silent wasn't really doing anything in bettering her current situation while also doing her level best to ignore the subtext hidden in the last two words spoken.

"To present to you an offer, Miss Wilbourn, no more and no less." She calmly stated, looking Lisa in the eyes. "To continue as you are now; or to take on a fresh start somewhere new."

The amount of subtext and hidden information contained within that small sentence nearly threw the blonde Thinker for a loop. And before she could even begin to process it all Contessa had already rose to her feet and was calmly walking towards the farther wall.

"I trust that you will make the right choice." She continued in the same bland tone of voice, not even glancing towards Lisa, or even twitching as two glowing silver ovals appeared side by side upon the wall.

"Farewell, Miss Wilbourn." She said as she stepped through one of the glowing portals. "And do give her my regards."

Watching the spot where the portal had just closed for a long moment as her mind took in her newest near death experience, Lisa used all her considered willpower to keep herself from bolting while cursing with all her might.

Once she had recollected her wits she moved her gaze towards the still glowing portal that had remained. Warily watching it as if it could sprout fangs and pounce at her at a moment's notice.

Swiftly going through her depressingly small list of options she pondered what to do. A considerable part of her being was telling her in no uncertain terms to ignore the obvious trap Contessa's offer had to be, run away, and never look back.

And yet she knew she simply could not do so. That accursed Thinker's parting words still resounding through her mind.

And do give her my regards.

Just six little words forming such an, apparently, innocuous phrase. If not for the fact that there was only one person whom Contessa could possibly be talking about.

An idiotic martyr, who had disappeared after entering another glowing portal.

"Oh, for fucks sake." She spat out after another long moment, jumping out of her chair and grabbing the ready-made getaway backpack that she kept laying next to the computer monitor and heading towards the ominously glowing rip in time and space on her wall.

After all, if she had to eat poison, she may as well eat the plate too.

\V/

Jumping off a taxi and rushing after her Liege as they speed through the busy streets of Cairo, Anit wondered exactly what was happening. While part of her mind unhelpfully reminded her that she had been wondering that a lot recently.

She had no idea why Taylor had all but bolted out of her hotel room after apparently receiving an email, an incredulous look on her face and a odd glint on her eyes. But the fact that the Eighth Campione was visibly nervous when she had faced down Heretic Gods and brokered shadowy deals with important political figures without a hint of hesitation made the Egyptian mage feel most definitely uncomfortable.

Not to mention that the fact that her attempts to get a clear answer out of Taylor kept getting derailed by outside influences really wasn't helping her mood.

She had envisioned many things when she had rushed after her conflicted looking Liege, most of them of the catastrophic category. But she most definitely hadn't expected their mad dash to stop in front of a small café on a side street.

Following Taylor's gaze, she saw that the Devil-king was intently staring at a blonde young woman, no older than her early twenties, that had just placed down a large mug of coffee next to a portable laptop.

"Hey Taylor, how've you been? I see you have been going up in life, congratulations!" The freckled blonde cheerfully exclaimed, a large grin firm on her features as she rose from her seat.

But instead of answering Taylor simply stood there and stared, until with a blur of motion she all but tackled the blonde, enveloping her with a bone breaking hug.

"Lisa, just, how?" She questioned as they embraced, a small genuine smile on her lips.

"You can blame our scary little mad hatter for that." She unhelpfully replied, though Taylor at least seemed to understand what she meant.

They traded a long sincere smile, all but basking on each other's presence. Until Lisa broke the moment as her smile turned down into a frown.

"… Seriously! Taylor what the hell?!" She harshly questioned out of nowhere, and weirdly enough Taylor's reaction to the unexpected outburst was to cringe back slightly as if she was the one in the wrong and not the blonde woman that had all but shouted for no reason.

"You let freaking Contessa shot you in the head?! Twice! What the hell were you thinking?!" Lisa harshly questioned, Anit simply owlish blinking as she tried to decipher what the phrase meant, since Taylor's completely intact brain box clearly showed that whatever the blonde meant by it, it couldn't be literal.

"I got better!" Taylor blurted out, the sheepish expression and slight blush she briefly sported afterwards showing she had said the first thing that had popped up in her mind without thinking, and gaining an incredulous look from the blonde woman for her efforts.

"And now we are dropping to Python's level. All your arguments are henceforth completely invalid." Lisa seriously stated with a nod of her head, a mischievous glint entering her eyes. "I really don't know how you managed to function after being stranded here by yourself, much less stay in one piece. I guess I got your new companion to thank for that."

"You make it sound like I need a minder all the time." The Eighth Campione huffed in slight irritation, but despite her tone, there was a hint of amusement on her features.

"That's because that's exactly what I mean." She immediately shot back, giving Taylor a mischievous grin before turning towards Anit and started talking.

"So you're the latest stray she took in. Yeah, she does that. I know, it can get a little overbearing at times. It's kind of my fault she started it really, what with me being the one to pull that over with her first to begin with, though the rest is all her fault."

"You are very loyal towards Taylor and determined to help her, aren't you? A nice head upon your shoulders if I may say so too, not to mention quite a nice skill set you have there." She continued, the way she was invading Anit's personal space and the smirk she was sporting making her uncomfortable and slightly worried about this strange woman's possible interests on her Liege.

"Oh, quite competent too, already trying to plan how to remove me should I be a threat!" The blonde woman glibly chirped in, gaining a startled look from the olive skinned woman, only for her to grab her arm and continue on cheerfully. "No, no, no, don't be sorry! That was neither a reprimand nor a censure, quite the opposite really! Heavens knows someone has to look over her well being, especially since she is personally incapable of doing so!"

"I'm not that bad, Lisa!" Taylor huffed in slight annoyance, gaining nothing but a loaded look and smirk from the blonde chatterbox that was holding Anit's arm hostage.

"Blonde chatterbox, that's got to be one of the most flattering nicknames I've received in years!" She commented with a small laugh, the fact the Egyptian mage knew she hadn't said that out loud ringing several warning bells in her mind. "Ah, don't be like that, we are all friends here after all! Fellow minions working under our scarily efficient Overlady! "

"Lisa you may want to slow down a bit, you are overwhelming my minion." Taylor half joked, gaining a pout from the blonde woman alongside Anit arm's freedom.

"Fine, fine, ruin all my fun." Lisa mock complained, giving Taylor a blinding smile for a moment before turning and staring the confused and bewildered olive skinned woman straight in the eyes.

"And yes, I can read your mind." The freckled blonde happily chirped while giving, a now also slightly unnerved, Anit a very large, fox-like grin.

\V/

Omake: Mission Escalation

In a dim lit room, deep within the mazelike web of underground corridors that made up the headquarters of his agency, groaning in sheer aggravation at his current situation, agent Coulson tiredly rubbed his brow as he tiredly worked on trying to resolve the problem that he had stumbled upon.

He had been analyzing a series of slightly conflicting and unusual reports in regards to the current situation on the African continent northeast regions, only to uncover something that didn't seem quite right.

Regrettably said discovery happened well over past two in the morning, meaning that there was no one else left in the office to help him deal with it and forcing him to endure quite a few hours of digging for more information and analyzing what data he had all by himself into the wee hours.

But he had soldiered on, despite his aggravation and tiredness, and uncovering that the situation was far more dire than initially reported and that immediate intervention was necessary. And while it wasn't exactly a true global threat, at least not yet, that it was extremely time sensitive, and that leaving it unattended any longer than absolutely necessary could end up spawning some quite complicated situations in the long term.

Which in turn lead to his current problem.

He theoretically had the capability and authority necessary for issuing such a mission himself, and considering all the data he had uncovered he sincerely doubted his bosses would make any kind of trouble from him doing so. But that left the problem that the few field agents he knew about were either currently busy or too far away to get to the region in time, which in turn forced him to try and uncover the files of another field agent currently active near the area in question in order to assign the mission to.

Only for him to stumble upon the annoying fact that any field agent worth their codenames had the truly irritating habit of regularly and thoroughly erasing as much information about themselves as possible, making even locating an agent not in direct active duty one hell of a chore.

He could wait until the workday started properly in a few more hours and ask his direct superior for help, but that would waste time that could be of the essence. Which in turn was forcing him to plough through the databases by himself, trying to find the annoyingly well hidden files that would contain the information that he needed to contact one of said agents.

Thankfully, he had learned one very important fact during his years of service. No matter how much information they erased or hid away, no one in their right mind refused to receive a government pay check. So all he had to do was to follow the extremely convoluted money trail starting from the Pentagon to find his targets.

With a sigh of relief he took in the information that had just appeared on his screen.

As expected the amount of information available about the agent was stupidly small and extremely vague, but the important bits were that she was currently on the government paycheck, and therefore on active duty, and that according to the money trail she was currently on Egypt.

Quickly typing the necessary orders he sent the mission request to be delivered to her. But even as he wrote them and imputed the necessary passwords, he couldn't help but wonder about the few bits he could read about his chosen agent, more specifically, her codename.

A field agent codename was often bestowed to them by their direct superior, the one who had recruited and trained them, and more often than not had a far deeper meaning to them than most would expect.

And even though he knew he probably would never find out the specifics about it, agent Coulson couldn't help but wonder about how this operative had managed to get such a unique codename, knowing that it was probably quite the tale.

After all, it wasn't every day an agent got saddled up with the definition of how an insect walked as their codename.

\V/

Entering with Lisa and Anit into the sitting room of her current residence, a small smile on her face as her old friend and her loyal minion argued and quibbled as if they had known each other for years, Taylor felt that things were finally going her way for a change.

Only for her smile to immediately disappear from her face upon noticing the small, innocuous looking laptop resting upon the central table of the room. A laptop that hadn't been there before they had left the room and that she was certain didn't belong to either of her companions.

"Lisa." She simply stated, the Thinker gathering all that she needed to know from her tone of voice alone as Taylor called out her name, before turning towards the Egyptian mage in order to give Anit her own orders. "Anit, seal the room."

Watching as her minion erected a secrecy ward around the room from the corner of her eyes, she stared as Lisa approached the object with a fascinated look. Waiting for the Thinker to gather all the information she could from the unexpected object.

She was waiting for either a detailed report in regards to it or a warning about a possible threat, so it was with a befuddled look on her face that she took in her old friend's form as Lisa simply clutched her own stomach and started to laugh uproariously.

"Lisa, what is it?" She demanded, only for the blonde to simply gesture towards the object as she continued to laugh.

Giving her friend one last confused and slightly annoyed look Taylor moved towards the laptop, cautiously touching it with her left hand and nearly jumping backwards as it unfurled by itself and started to play what looked like a recording.

"Agent Skitter, your mission, should you choose to accept it…"

\V/

Author's Notes:

Just getting ahead of the questions I'll indubitably get, Lisa is the only one from Taylor's friends that I plan to bring to the Campione-verse. Both because I love her character and that it's believable plot wise that Contessa wouldn't want to leave any loose ends hanging, and Lisa simply knows far too much, so her deciding to dump her in another dimension is believable to me.

In another note, I hope you all liked the mini PHO Interlude in the middle of the chapter. After all, as we all know, any true Worm story needs a PHO interlude. ;p

Sadly it will be the only one that will happen in the story (at least that I have planned for), there being no real way for me to allow another one to happen in a believable manner with the current plot.

As for the Omake, I got the idea for it while reading a few reviews talking how it would be hilarious if the USA government were to stumble upon Taylor's 'pay-check', thought she was an actual government agent, and sent her an actual mission.

If you guys like it I may continue with a series of Mission Impossible style Skitter Omakes, so let me know what you all think.

For those of you who also follow my other story, Devil Arts Online. I'm working on the next chapter, got around two thousand words ready point in fact, so rest at ease, the next update is coming, though I won't give any time predictions, because I seem to be horrible with those, or with any kind of prediction actually, what with how I initially thought this chapter would be around four to five thousand words long and ended up with an over ten thousand words behemoth.

Hope you enjoyed the chapter, please review before leaving.