Read Me! Useful information below!
This is technically a crossover between Worm and a very short-lived Anime series called Luna Varga. It ran for four whole episodes in the mid nineties, was never translated from Japanese, and it's entirely possible you've never heard of it. FF dot net hasn't, which is why it's not in the crossover category, as there isn't one for Luna Varga.
This may well be, in fact, the only Luna Varga fanfic ever written. I've certainly never come across another one.
The Anime was well drawn and quite amusing. When I decided to have a stab at a Worm fanfic, I had several ideas in mind, three of which I wrote the first few chapters of. This one was the one that had momentum at the time and it's the one I've kept at. There is close to a million words so far and it's not done yet, although unless I check out early, it will be one day :) I'll be adding chapters as and when I have time, so updating will be irregular, I'm afraid, but eventually this will sync up with the current progress of the story.
I have inserted humor and silly jokes throughout, as the source material on one side demanded it, and on the other desperately needed it. It looks at things from a number of viewpoints, and goes into details about why something happened, not just dumping the thing in question into the story without explanation or reason. Some people don't like that, claiming it's repetitive. Some people love it, claiming it's detailed. It's not action-packed with people dying in showers of gore everywhere, which seems to be what a lot of Worm fans want, so if that's your thing you may be disappointed. But don't let me put you off working that out for yourself, just don't get half-way through then complain no one warned you!
The whole thing mostly revolves around Taylor Hebert, her family, and her friends. Other people will come and go as required, some sticking around, some not. It's basically a section through a life with superpowers and where that can end up even if you don't try, rather than having a specific end goal in mind, with lots of lovingly crafted action sequences where everyone dies.
I welcome reviews and comments but trust me, I've seen practically every nasty thing anyone could say about it on Spacebattles, which is full of extremely critical critics who criticize. As I've had to say there as well, I will not change anything in this story to make it fit with your desires. Find an actual error and I'll look at it, but if you decide that you'd prefer it written differently, feel free to do it yourself. I cannot please everyone, I know that full well, and I won't even try as all it does is cause me to get annoyed and extremely sarcastic. Some people will like it, some people will hate it, and everyone else will shrug and move on. Such is life.
Basically, this is mainly a fairly light-hearted look at a number of people in the Worm universe who have things happen to them that are out of the ordinary even in that setting. There are jokes, puns (oh, so many puns), bizarre happenings, and giant lizards. Quite a few of them.
People look confused a lot.
While I acknowledge that it won't appeal to everyone, it's still popular enough on Spacebattles to have risen to the position, current as of the date of posting, of the 17th most viewed thread of all time, out of over 14 and a half thousand. In nine months. Which probably means something, although I'm not sure what...
For those who have never run into Luna Varga, which is probably almost everyone, it revolves around Princess Luna, second in line to inherit the throne of a small kingdom called Rimsbell. This kingdom is under siege by a much larger one called Dunbas.
In the end, due to having no other options, she ventures into the catacombs below the palace seeking anything useful for the defense of the realm, to discover something which offers her a choice. Accepting, she wakes some time later to find she is now fused to the forehead of a Godzilla-sized-and-appearing giant lizard creature, the Varga, a great demon that has been locked away for centuries. The pair of them quickly rout the attackers, but in the process her younger sister is kidnapped by an unknown force. She leaves Rimsbell in search of the girl.
Hijinks ensue, of course.
She discovers that the Varga can return her to human size, but this leaves her with several feet of lizard's tail attached to her. She meets various other people along the way, ending up in Dunbas where they more or less destroy the capital city defeating the Dark Varga, a more powerful demon, also one of the twelve originals as was her Varga. The Anime ends at that point, with the final outcome unknown.
I've extrapolated from the info in the Anime, which is available on Youtube these days, the only place I've seen it for decades. I used that as a base reference and extended it in ways that made me amused, ending up with this story.
A working knowledge of Worm is assumed, but hopefully not entirely required. Feel free to go read Worm first if you haven't, but be warned, it's nearly two million words of a story that will make you want to kill yourself ;) Still an interesting read with an interesting take on the superhero genre, though.
The fanfiction I write is entirely for fun, with no commercial use implied, intended, or permitted. All original copyright holder's rights are acknowledged.
More specifically, as a basic, non-exhaustive disclaimer for main line or omake story elements currently used to date:
Worm is the property of Wildbow.
DC characters are the property of DC Comics and others.
Harry Potter is the property of J K Rowling, Warner Bros, and others.
Luna Varga is, as far as can be established, the property of AIC.
Ranma 1/2 is the property of Rumiko Takahashi / Shogakukan and others.
Stargate is the property of MGM.
Sailor Moon is the property of Naoko Takeuchi / PNP and Toei Animation and others.
Hellraiser is the property of Clive Barker and others
Marvel characters are the property of Marvel comics, Disney and others.
Basically, if you recognize it from a movie, comic, book, or other published work, it's owned by the rightsholders for that work. Anything else is my fault.
Reader contributed Omakes may incorporate other elements not listed above, and are otherwise © their respective authors. And much thanks is due to those authors for adding to my and your enjoyment!
(The formatting allowed here is different from that which was originally intended, so font sizes, some minor coloring, and things like that are missing. You'll have to use your imaginations :)
(Thanks to everyone who made suggestions at Spacebattles and Sufficient Velocity, many of which I used one way or the other. For a number of reasons the story is no longer updated at SpaceBattles but it will continue. You can't get rid of me that easily...)
[Story begins here. Story ends way over there. Somewhere.]
It came to a head, as it almost always did in the manifold realities in which something similar occurred, in a locker full of muck in a run down, neglected, corrupt school, itself in a run down, neglected, corrupt city, as a result of a protracted bullying campaign against a high school student by three sociopaths.
It took a rather divergent path at this point, though...
Friday, January 7, 2011
Hammering weakly on the inside of the metal structure in which she'd been locked for several hours, Taylor Hebert stifled yet another sob, trying not to breath too deeply. Her head was spinning, she was almost at the point of passing out, and she was fairly sure she was going to die. Things were chewing on on her, making little crunching sounds, her legs were numb, her hands bleeding.
"Help," she called with hopelessness in her voice, knowing no one would come. "Please. Help me."
What chance did she have now? It was long past the point the school would have closed, the light coming through the vents in the door had faded away hours ago, and if no one had helped her when they'd seen her get locked in, who was going to find her with the school closed and locked up? Even the maintenance staff must have left by now.
Slumping further as her strength waned, she banged her head backwards against the door with a soft clunk, all the while knowing it was pointless. Her strength was ebbing fast and even at the point she'd been trapped, she had been unable to break the latch on the door. With the lock on the outside there was no realistic hope of escape.
Closing her eyes for what she thought was the last time, her mind clouding, she whispered, "I'm sorry, Dad. I should have told you." The surroundings faded away to blackness and the blessed relief of unconsciousness.
In most realities, something answered her desperate cry for help, leading to various events which often eventually impacted the entire world or even beyond. Many of those stories have been told.
This time, something else answered, something from much further away than the fragments of an omnicidal alien space whale fleeing entropy.
An unknown time later, Taylor became aware that there was light coming from in front of her. This seemed somehow wrong, although for some while she couldn't think clearly enough to work out why. Eventually it dawned on her. 'I'm facing the back of the locker and I can't turn around. Where's the light coming from? Did someone let me out?'
Opening her eyes, suddenly aware that the pain and numbness from before was oddly missing, she expected to see her rescuer. Instead, all she could perceive was a brilliant light filling her view, in any direction she looked. Glancing down at herself she gaped when she found she appeared clean, uninjured and, amazingly and terrifyingly enough, to be standing on nothingness. "Oh my god," she mumbled under her breath.
Waving her hands around Taylor couldn't feel any obstructions, in any direction. Taking a tentative step she found that whatever invisible surface she was perched on was real enough that she could walk on it. She wandered around with growing confidence for an indeterminate time, looking for something, anything, that might explain what the hell was going on, only to discover nothing useful at all.
Eventually, she put her hands on her hips and sighed. "This is just stupid," she muttered, irritated. She was undeniably grateful not to be stuck in that festering hell-hole of a plague-ridden pit formerly known as her locker, true enough, but while her new location was much less painful, it was becoming equally annoying for different reasons. Turning around on the spot she squinted into the omnipresent bluish light, then cupped her hands around her mouth. "HEY!" she shouted. "IS ANYONE THERE? WHERE AM I?"
Listening, she heard nothing. No echoes, no sounds other than the ones she was making.
"This is getting creepy," she told herself. Seconds later, she emitted a high pitched scream when a VOICE boomed out from somewhere:
"DO YOU SEEK POWER?"
Covering her ears she cowered at the roar. The voice was deep, very loud, and somehow didn't sound at all normal, although she'd have been hard-pressed to say exactly why.
"Um, what?" she squeaked after a moment, when her heart-rate slowed from preposterous to merely very fast indeed.
The voice repeated, "DO YOU SEEK POWER?" even more loudly, and sounding mildly impatient this time.
Taylor opened her mouth to ask another, probably silly, question, then stopped. After a couple of seconds she closed her mouth and thought very hard.
'DO I seek power?' she thought. 'What does it mean by power? Like being a cape?' This seemed the most likely of a series of increasingly unlikely possibilities. Looking around again she couldn't deny the fact that the least unreasonable interpretation of the entire thing, assuming she wasn't just having some sort of death's-door hallucination, involved parahumans in some manner or other. Maybe this was what happened to all capes when they got their powers? She'd never heard of such a thing but perhaps people just didn't talk about it.
She also couldn't deny that the idea of gaining some abilities that would allow her to be better than she could be now was... enticing. Although, that said, it would certainly bring problems. Would those problems be offset by the gains? 'Beats dying in a locker, though,' she mused sardonically.
After some more careful thought she replied, rather weakly, "Um, yes?"
"Speak up," the voice rumbled a little more quietly. She frowned, looking around.
"Yes, I seek power," she called, much more firmly.
"To what purpose would you put this power?" the voice responded immediately.
This made her think again. The simple answer, one she couldn't help but think, was revenge. Get back at Emma, and Sophia, and Madison. Get back at all of them, the school officials who turned their backs on the years of bullying, the other students who were complicit or simply stepped aside.
What stopped her answering thus was the thought of both her mother and her father. Neither one would approve. Her father, while he was certainly in favor of an eye for an eye under the right circumstances, would also tell her to avoid become the very thing she was suffering from. Her mother would, from what she remembered of her, have taken the long view and told her to beat them by being the better person.
She smiled softly to herself, remembering for an instant something she'd heard her mother say once to her father when they both thought she was in bed. 'Then drop it on them when they least expected it,' she thought, giggling. Her mother had been in some ways a dangerous person to annoy. She'd had a very long memory and a lot of patience.
Her father could, now that she thought about it, possibly be worse. While he had a real temper it took a lot to get it riled up. When you managed that, though, it turned into the sort of cold rage that made people twice his size start backing away very carefully and not making sudden moves, something she remembered well from an incident in her childhood involving a minor car accident, a drunk driver, and a baseball bat. The driver who had started the entire encounter then escalated it when he went off on her father with little reason seemed somewhat grateful when the police finally turned up and arrested him.
Threatening to beat up the 'four-eyed skinny little bastard' had made her father annoyed. Approaching his ten year old daughter while holding the aluminum bat in a threatening manner had turned annoyance into an instant fury that had resulted in one very large and very scared man with a broken arm and a bent bat.
Luckily, as the union representative for the dockworkers, Danny Hebert was known and well respected by a surprisingly large number of people, including a lot of cops, who had been quite prepared to listen to the story and make a judgment call. The driver was on his third strike for drunk driving and well known to them and the entire incident was witnessed by a number of bystanders all of whom said the same thing, so in the end her father had merely been asked to be slightly less enthusiastic the next time. He'd taken his good fortune as a warning he might not get again and never reacted in such a manner since then, not that so far it had been required anyway.
She smiled again, thinking back on what her mother had said when they'd got home that day. She hadn't been happy, although at the same time she'd obviously been proud in an oddly reluctant manner. Her father had been embarrassed by the whole thing but Taylor remembered it even now. The story got around and gained him considerable respect amongst his co-workers, who more or less to a man approved wholeheartedly of such immediate karma being handed out to a deserving recipient. The dock workers were, by and large, fairly placid most of the time but protective of their own.
Even so, she felt that neither of her parents would want her to use any parahuman ability or whatever it was that the voice was offering her to assault the three bitches. While she couldn't help but feel annoyed by this she also knew full well that Emma or Sophia would undoubtedly be able to twist any beat-down, however justified, against her. Once again, who would listen? Or care?
After mulling it over for a while, she spoke carefully. "I think I would try to be a hero. To help people."
"A laudable goal. Your world would appear to need help. There is much wrong with it."
"My world?" she queried curiously. "Who are you, anyway?"
"The echo of an afterthought, from far away and long ago. It is unimportant. The question, Taylor Hebert, is more one of whether your request is valid."
The answer was fairly uninformative yet at the same time raised a lot of other questions. Taylor frowned. "If nothing else I don't want to go back to that locker, if that's all right with you," she muttered, more to herself than the voice.
Another four or five seconds passed.
"Your request is acceptable and within my power to grant. I will allow you to be the brain of the Varga." It paused, then added, "I think I will do things slightly differently this time. It will be interesting to see how you proceed. I find myself bored, possibly this will be a good diversion from eternity."
"Varga? What's that?" she asked, suddenly not entirely certain this was a good idea. The last couple of sentences sounded… ominous.
"Power. Great power. Use it well. This cannot be undone."
Stepping back, a fairly pointless exercise under the circumstances, Taylor looked around nervously. Perhaps the correct answer would have been no?
"Good luck, Taylor Hebert," the voice boomed out, sounding annoyingly cheerful all of a sudden. "You must keep in mind who you are. Remember yourself, fix it in your mind with absolute certainty. This is important."
As the light abruptly grew stronger, it added a little absently, "Oh. I should tell you this will probably hurt."
It was entirely correct.
Taylor screamed, her mind suddenly filled with images she couldn't, at the time, understand, and she passed out frantically thinking 'I am Taylor Hebert and I want to live', the light flaring around her brighter than the sun.
Taylor dreamed. She saw a small kingdom under siege by a far larger one, in what looked to be some sort of medieval society. Catapults, some sort of huge cross-bow things, hundreds of troops armed with bows and swords, all attacking a castle on an isthmus, surrounded by sea. The defenders fought valiantly, but were clearly destined to lose if nothing else but because they were so many fewer.
There was a princess, a pretty blonde a little older than she was, who was a warrior in her own right, fighting with great competence and skill, wielding a sword like she'd been born to it. Her companion was a young man who seemed to be part cat. Flying cat, which was even weirder. He could change into that form or take the one of a human with a cat's eyes and tail.
Both of them fought the invaders, but ultimately they were driven off, escaping with their lives but only able to inflict irritating damage rather than have any real long term effect. The huge man in charge of the enemy was temporarily defeated yet it was obvious that it wouldn't help in the end.
Finally, desperate, the princess descended into the depths of the catacombs below the castle and found... something ancient, and powerful. Taylor watched with bemused amazement what happened next.
Eventually, the dream ended, and Taylor woke. She shivered, finding that she was damn cold and apparently lying on something very hard. Opening her eyes she found herself looking up at the ceiling of the school corridor. Quickly peering around she spotted the door of her locker, remarkably enough still locked and with no visible damage. She could smell the muck inside, far more intensely than she really wanted to, and see it seeping out under the door and forming a fetid puddle on the floor. How anyone could possibly miss it was beyond her and added more credence to the concept that no one cared.
Looking down at herself her eyes widened. She was completely nude. Except for a covering of the same crap as in the locker, that is. Squeaking with horrified embarrassment she jumped to her feet, looking frantically around in case someone was watching. Slowly she became aware that it was dark outside, and also that the lights in the hallway were turned off. She found this a bit weird since she could see perfectly well even so but was too worked up about her nakedness to worry too much about it at the moment. Not to mention that she really was damn close to freezing.
Stepping back from the revolting puddle on the floor, leaving nasty footprints behind, she looked around, thought for a moment, then headed for the locker room and the showers. It seemed the most likely place to find something to cover herself with and she desperately wanted to wash the crap off as fast as possible.
At the back of her mind she was aware that she was taking the entire thing a little too casually for someone who had been confined and tortured for hours at least but most of her thoughts were concentrating on the concept of shower, clothes or at least some towels, and a phone to call her father to pick her up. Remembering her thoughts in the locker she decided it was time to come clean, she couldn't deal with the trio by herself any more. This last 'prank' could probably more accurately be considered attempted murder, or a serious physical assault at the absolute minimum.
Weirdly enough, it was only after she'd finished the first of the three things on her list that she finally noticed she had a tail.