A Game of Chance (WORM CYOA SI Fic)
Hello everyone, Jevran here. This is a self insert fanfic based in the worm universe. The cyoa I used for this story is this one. I really feel that this cyoa hasn't been given enough love. Which is a pity since it's a pretty cool cyoa and it kind of reminds me of a D&D adventure book with characters and campaign already laid out for you. I'm going to do my best to follow the campaign path and use the characters while telling my own story. Let's hope I get it right.
PS: If you are reading my other fic. This was what I was doing while I was supposed to be updating that one. Sorry.
It was a dark and stormy night.
It really was. Lightning flashed outside my window and rain went pitter patter against my roof. Now anyone with a pinch of wits wouldn't be using a computer on a night like this and risk being fried by lightning, but I was feeling especially stupid and was working on a worm cyoa. The one I had chosen was the upgraded cyoa v4 + the rouge expansion. I loved it's power list and it's campaign like achievement structure. So there I was filling it out.
I choose the dockworker mode, giving me 0 points so that I had to take drawbacks to purchase points. Because hey, what's the fun in playing god mode? It's just a pretend game, not like I will be really risking life and limb in an alien world right?
Heh. Hindsight is a bitch.
But getting back to the story….. Then I went and filled out the disadvantages. First off I took the one Extra Crisis on Finite Earths. That's +4 points for me. It also made sure that random portals opened in the various wormverse alternate earths, bringing random parahumans into the world at random intervals and promoting much conflict. This is of course all part of the Entitie's plan.
I took marked for the ABB, E88 and the Merchants. This gave me +3 points and made sure I would be hunted by three parahuman gangs. That would give me 7 points to go shopping with. I decided I needed a couple more points. I took the conflict driven drawback for another +2 points. This will drive me to conflict with pretty much any parahuman I encounter but it also made it mandatory for me to take the shardless perk. This would give me 9 points for the three draw backs.
Now I could go shopping. First of all I took the shardless perk (-2 points). This made me immune to trumps and any other forms of shard manipulation. Then I got Brain Bunker (-1 point) This made me immune to master powers. Next I went for Insane Determination (-1 point). This ability gave me a pair of testicles on the level of the goddamn batman. Something that will surely come in handy in a grim dark world. Finally I took the perk Fit and Attractive (-1 point) because you need this perk if you are going out in public wearing skintight spandex.
Next was the big choice. Powers. I was going to go with just the one power. But I was going to tune it up to eleven. And while it was tempting to choose super strength or blaster powers, or even a trump power to beat all trump powers..….. I was going to take a different route. I took the breaker power Law Breaker (-2 points). This let me change how one universal law affected me by a factor of ten. I changed the Law of probability so probability favored me by a factor of ten. Translation, I was 10% lucky. Then I took the perk Shattered Limiter (-2 points) that allowed me to jailbreak and supercharge my powers. I made it so that my probability manipulation power was supercharged from 10% to 100%.
Yes, this was my superpower. I was super lucky. Probability was my bitch. Granted it wasn't a traditional power, but I wanted to see what I could do with it. It kind of reminded me of a D&D game where every roll was a natural 20. In theory it should be a powerful ability. It also gave me an idea for my hero name. And it made it so that I hardly had to do anything. I just had to stand there and my power would work automagically.
And that was that.
I had spent -9 points for perks and powers and gained +9 from drawbacks. I had an overcharged superpower that I was eager to play with. Now all I had to do was build this selection into a character.
I decided to follow the same template the cyoa used.
Name: Victory (Victor Root) Sex: M Type: Hero Cost: 9
Bio: A seventeen year old who will turn eighteen in a few months. He is tall and well built. With pale skin, short brown hair and light brown eyes. Is athletic and attractive, determined and tough. Wants to make new friends but has trouble approaching people. A bit of a geek when it comes to superpowers and computer games. Wants to be a hero and change the world for the better. Many people have this dream, but most of them don't have super powers. One day he found himself suddenly transported to Earth Bet with his memories telling him that he is in fact a much older person who lives/lived in a world where this world is fiction.
Powers and Abilities: he is a probability manipulator. The laws of probability automatically change so that he is always incredibly lucky. This power is not under conscious control but is permanently active. This power is also incredibly strong. So strong that it's almost impossible to damage him or stop him.
Instead of just inserting myself I choose to build a separate character and insert myself into that character. And in true cyoa fashion he would start his adventure in a random ally in Brockton Bay with no history or identification that would hold up in earth bet.
Next I had to flesh out the last of the bio data about the world.
I choose a non-canon reality so I had leeway to change the wormverse, the worm timeline so I would arrive at the start of the canon story, pacing so that the story would proceed more slowly than canon and finally I took tinker Taylor for the heck of it. After a bit of thinking, I also added waifu mode. Because, funny.
In hindsight, not so funny.
I wrote down my choices and character bio before smiling with satisfaction. I was ready to start my adventure.
That was when the lighting hit.
When I came to my senses, I found myself lying on the ground in what seemed to be a dark alleyway in the dead of night. Which was strange because I could have sworn that I had been sitting at my computer filling out a cyoa when…. I remember a lot of light and noise. Had that been lightning? Had I been struck by lightning? In hindsight, using a computer in the middle of a lightning storm was pretty stupid. But if it had really happened, then where was I? How did a lightning strike victim end up here? Wherever here was. And I probably should figure that out before I did anything else. Still feeling oddly calm despite the weird situation. A quick check told me that I was wearing a pair of blue jeans, whitish sneakers and a brown t shirt. I had nothing in my pockets. No money, no phone.
I stood there like an idiot for a good while before I decided to find out where the fuck I was. With that thought in mind I walked towards the mouth of the ally. As I walked I saw a rather unsteady man turn into the alley. I slowed down as this man stumbled towards one of the alley walls not ten feet from me and proceeded to urinate. Then he did up his fly and then he sat down against the wall in the puddle of spreading urine and passed out. Throughout all of this he had given no indication that he saw me.
I cautiously approached the prone man, once I was close enough I could smell the drink on him. You see everything in the big city. I could also see what looked to be a rolled up newspaper sticking out of one of his coat pockets. After a brief struggle with my morals I stepped right up to the man and tried to shake him awake. Nothing. He was passed out. Even slapping him on the cheek lightly produced no results. Thus emboldened I yanked the newspaper out of his pocket and spread it out. I was looking for a date and information on where I could be.
I got both.
The Bockton Bay Times.
5th of April 2011.
W. T. F.
I sat down against one of the walls of the alley. Though I did take care to avoid the puddle of pee.
I was in a fictional city.
Was this for real?
How did I end up here?
I don't know how long I just sat there. It could be hours or minutes. I did know that the drunk next to me had started to snore when I finally paid attention to him again. I was trying to figure out how this could have happened. On a brief hunch I checked the pockets of my drunk friend and came up with a small hand held mirror, billfold and smart-phone.
A single look in the mirror convinced me that this wasn't a prank or joke. I was a different person. I was younger, my hair color was different, eye color was different and even my body shape was different. I knew of no tech that could make this kind of change to a person. Besides which, I looked uncomfortably like the character I made up for the cyoa I had been filling up before… all this started.
That character had a super power, he was super lucky. More scientifically, he was a probability manipulator. I wanted to test that out. If I had a super power, then it would be the final proof that this was real. The best tests I could think of was rolling dice and jumping to my death from a sky scraper. The dice should always roll sixes during the first test and I should be saved by some fashion before I fell to my death during the second test. But I had no dice and I wasn't crazy enough to risk the later. Unfortunately it was turning out to be a power that was hard to test. That was going to have to be put on hold.
For now though, I was going to get off my ass and get things done.
I knew that I couldn't stay in the alley for one.
I checked Mr Drunk's billfold and came up with a convenient several hundred dollars. I left a hundred dollars for Mr Drunk and helped myself to the rest of the money before boldly striding out of the alley and out into the wide world.
This wasn't a city I had ever been in. That much I knew. The signs on the shops and streets also told me that I was in Brockton Bay. I had all but accepted that I was really here. This was too big to be a prank or set up. No one could change an entire city just for a joke. I just needed one more bit of proof. I wanted to see a super power in action. I knew it was stupid. But I wasn't really thinking straight at that moment. It was the final validation I needed before I accepted my situation.
I continued to walk aimlessly through the streets for a while. I paid careful attention to the road signs and shop addresses. But otherwise I didn't particularly care where I went.
But eventually I got tired of just aimless wandering and hailed a taxi. The first thing I had to do was find a place to spend the night. Then I would start figuring things out. But of course I knew very little about Brockton Bay so I just told the driver to take me to the nearest hotel. The man assured me that it was only a short trip and put the car in gear. That was when something strange happened.
As I leaned back in my seat my foot bumped something. Closer examination showed that it was a small black briefcase. If I had to take a guess id say that I had been forgotten by the last person who was in this taxi. A quick glance showed me that the cab driver wasn't paying any attention. I picked up the briefcase and found upon trying to open it that it was actually unlocked. And inside was money. A lot of money.
I froze. There had to be thousands of dollars here.
The chances of someone leaving this kind of money in an unlocked briefcase forgotten in the back of a taxi…. The odds against that must be very very tall. A sneaking suspicion began to form in the back of my mind.
I had given myself a luck power. Was this my power at work? Was it providing me with what I needed to survive? The money will certainly come in handy. I closed the briefcase with a snap and leaned back in my seat. Now the question was whether or not to take this money. It obviously wasn't mine. And it just as obviously wasn't as simple as helping yourself to someones wallet. This was a lot of money.
On the other hand, I do need all the help I can get. If this is real, then I am stranded in a strange world with no identity and no friends. I needed all the advantages I could get. I clicked open the briefcase again and looked for a clue to it's owners identity. In a small side pocket on the inside of the briefcase I found what I was looking for. A drivers license would certainly identify who this was. The problem was there were half dozen drivers licenses, all made out to the same man under a half dozen names. He did look remarkably like me. Same hair style and eye color, even the facial structure was similar. Well first of all, someone who had half a dozen drivers licenses wasn't doing honest work. So just what kind of dishonest work was this guy involved in. Another card gave the answer to that one. It was an employment pass to med-hall. If I remembered the books right it was the local nazi front. So the owner of this briefcase and it's accompanying money was probably a racist criminal who worked for the local racist criminal super villain gang.
Well I suppose I could take the money with a clear conscience.
Checking into the hotel was pretty simple when you had a drivers license and lot's of money.
I got a single room on the cheap, paid in advance for a week, and rode the elevator to my new base of operations. It was a simple room with a bed, cupboard and dresser. I did have a small TV. A second door opened out into what I guessed was the attached bathroom.
I turned on the TV, tossed my briefcase onto the bed before walking over to the window and opening the curtains. Then I just stood and stared.
I was on the tenth floor and had a good view all the way out into the bay of Brockton Bay. There in the middle of the bloody bay floated a massive, futuristic construct that had to be the Protectorate Headquarters. I could see the hard light bridge that connected it into the shore and the shimmering force field that surrounded it.
And on cue, the bloody television began to play a news report about a parahuman battle between the bloody E88 and the local Protectorate. A glance at the TV showed people dressed in Halloween costumes fighting each other, bouncing around the place like beach balls. Yup, no earth tech I knew could replicate that. And just to hammer the point home further, a man in Greek style armor and helmet flew past my window right at that moment.
This was real. I really was here.
I calmly retreated back to the bed and collapsed face down on it before passing the fuck out. Later. I'll deal with all this later.
Pro tip, dealing with something later really doesn't really accomplish anything. Things are just as crappy later as they are now. The only thing it really does is give your brain the time to come to terms with the shock.
After sleeping through the night and most of the day, I had done exactly that.
I had made peace with myself and my situation. So much so that I was sitting in the shower cubicle of my attached bathroom curled up into a ball.
You see once I had accepted that I was in the worm verse I had wracked my memory looking for the cyoa choices I had made. I had chosen Tinker Taylor. Taylor was a fucking tinker. The woman who was supposed to save this miserable world and all it's attendant worlds from a multidimensional magic space whale didn't have the shard that let her do so. Or at least, I don't think she did. I may have fucked countless alternate earths.
Now you see why I'm in the bathroom. The toilet was only four feet away in easy reach.
Also of significance, I had also taken wifu mode. The perk that let…women get attracted to you. One of said woman was the ziz. I shuddered.
If I had known that this cyoa thing was going to be real I would have taken the Endbringer mode for 50 points, arrived well before canon, stopped Taylor's mom from dying, nipped her bully problem in the bud, stopped the Endbringers just as soon as they appeared and then knocked some sense into Eidolon before beating the crap out of Scion. Hindsight really was a bitch.
There was a tiny little silver lining in this situation tough. If this really was real then I had a parahuman power that increased my survivability even in this crapsack world. It might also be the only silver lining in this situation.
I drew a shuddering breath.
Well complaining about something I couldn't change won't help. I just had to take this situation as I found it.
What did I need to at the least survive in this new world?
Well first of all I would need an identity considering that I didn't exist in this world. Of course I had no idea how to get an identity.
I would also need money. Or at least a source of income. And while I did have enough money to last me a while I had the feeling it wouldn't last.
So…..short term goals, secure an identity and an income.
How about long term goals?
Help Taylor certainly. Help the city maybe. Help with the endbringers? Just as soon as I figure out how to. I refused to even consider Scion.
I decided to start with my short term goals and go from there.
Thus determined I arose from the shower cubicle and made my way into the hotel room.
No sooner had I closed the bathroom door behind me than there was a knock on the hotel room door.
No one had reason to come here. I had instructed the hotel staff that I wasn't to be disturbed. So who was at the door?
The knock came again.
Dammit. Horrific scenarios involving everything from Cauldron to the local police went through my mind. I glanced at the window almost desperately, I was far too high up to jump out the window.
The knock came again.
I closed my eyes, drew a deep breath. No help for it. I slowly approached the door and just as slowly opened it a crack.
A man stood outside. A man wearing a domino mask and business suit.
"Good evening sir I believe you hired our services"
"If I can come in I will take care of you in a second"
I blinked. Take care of what. Well this guy obviously has the wrong door. I just had to explain to him that and he will be on his way. Just as I opened the door fully and opened my mouth to say just that he spoke again.
"I have all the documents needed for your new identity. We just need to finalize a few details"
I closed my mouth with a snap. Then I silently stepped back and let this strange man into my room.
It turned out that my guest was a parahuman, a member of the organization known as the Elite, who are frequently hired out by the more unsavory members of society to provide a variety of services. I picked this up from the details he let drop while we made small talk.
He also had a set of papers all ready to give me a fake identity. Birth certificate, drivers license, the works. I just had to fill out a few details. The whole package cost me five thousand dollars, easily paid from the contents of my briefcase. And it was all over in twenty minutes.
I was now officially Victor Root. Age 19 (I decided to become a legal adult for convenience). As proof of this I had a birth certificate, drivers license and passport under my new assumed name. My thinker friend assured me that these records were being updated into the databases and even the paper files right this moment.
Just like that I was an official person.
I stood there in numb shock as the thinker took his leave.
Unless someone very very powerful was fucking with me, then I really did have a luck power. Half of my short term goals solved in less than an hour. I shook my head at the weirdness and decided not to look the gift horse in the mouth.
Once I had sat brooding for a few more hours I finally decided to get things done. I put my new drivers license in my pocket. Stuffed my other pocket full of cash, and left my hotel room and out into the great city of Brockton Bay.
My first destination was the library.
I had a lot of research to do about this new world that I had all but accepted was my home from now on.
I smiled at the nice librarian and paid for a library card before parking myself in front of a computer. First order of business, what was the history of this world and how did it divert from my own?
That turned out to be simple enough.
The almighty Internet that existed even here gladly informed me that the history of this particular Earth-Bet was practically the same as my own right up until scion turned up. He had been spotted for the first time by the passengers of a cruise ship in the eighties. The first public superheroes had turned up in the following years with the first supervillians following right upon their heels. The Protectorate formed in the early nineties and the first Endbringer came in the mid nineties.
That was when the history of this world diverged from that of the real canon Earth-Bet. In the Early two thousands portals had started to randomly open throughout Earth-Bet. The protectorate thinkers had identified these portals as leading to alternate earths. And the residents of said earth were using these portals to come to this earth. And sometimes the residents of this earth made use of the same portals to leave this earth. Because a portal only lasted for a few minutes before closing forever. And as far as the Protectorate could determine, no two portals ever opened into the same earth. It was usually a one way trip.
While most people would find this terrifying, several enterprising criminals of Earth-Bet had made clever use of these to escape justice. Also several parahumans from alternate earths were now wandering around Earth-Bet. Some of them benevolent, some not so much. This meant that while the protectorate had a few new faces, there were new villains around as well.
The membership of the Protectorate was unchanged. Hero was resting in pieces after meeting the Siberian. And the three remaining founders were Alaxandria, Eidolon and Legend. Canon power sets as far as I could determine. In the international sphere...China had the yangban, Japan was submerged, Newfoundland was gone. It was mostly the canon wormverse with a few quirks here and there.
Next up I check the local situation.
How had Brockton Bay fared in this Earth-Bet?
Answer, not so well. The Lords Port had ended up the Boat Graveyard after the now famous Brockton Bay riots. And the city had been under the heel of several parahuman gangs for decades now. In the beginning it had been the Teeth, the E88 under the Allfather and finally the Marche under the infamous Marquis. In the modern decade it was the E88, the ABB and the Merchants. I did find mention of a shadowy organization under a possible supervillian called coil.
On the side of the angels there was the futuristic Protectorate base floating in the bay. The more down to earth PRT headquarters within the city itself. And the local hero and Ward teams that operated out of both. There was also the famous new wave, who had their own website and who worked out of a couple of houses. A few independent heroes scattered here and there completed the lineup.
On the civilian side, industry in the bay was all but dead. The only major corporations working in the bay are Mehall and Fortress Construction. That was really sad. The two companies keeping the bay alive are both supervillian fronts. This place really was a hopeless dump.
I checked one last thing. The newspapers at the beginning of the year did report a girl found stuffed in her locker at the local high school. Students identity withheld on account of her being a minor. And surprise surprise, no one was punished for it that I could see. The only mention of it I got again was an 'investigations ongoing'. And there was still a Shadow Stalker in the Wards.
Yup, I decided as I closed the browser window and leaned back in my chair. This was Worm.
Now, what should I do? I was here. I had meta knowledge. What to do?
Should I try to help? That wasn't even a question. Of course I would. If the world was about to end, then I sure as shit would help.
But how to go about it?
Go to the Protectorate and tell them everything? I shuddered. No. Not with the Clairvoyant and Contessa around. Hell not with the ziz around. Before I could get two words out I would be dead and I really didn't want to test my still unverified luck power against the Path.
So what else could I do?
Take out the local gangs? Taken down Coil and help clean up the Protectorate? I really wasn't in any shape to take on Endbringers or talk sense into Eidolon.
In the end, I decided to take it from the bottom and work my way up. I would help people within my easy reach first and then work my way upwards. Hopefully acquiring the friends and panoply needed to tackle bigger and bigger problems along the way.
Well that was way too optimistic but I'll do that. And the first order of business should be helping Taylor. I would gladly help with her bully problem, see that the trio get their just deserts and help her become the badass hero I know she could be. It was also something I could do with a clear conscience, unlike the prospect of working with Cauldron which left a bad bad taste in my mouth.
Hopefully helping her would give me an in with the Undersiders and let me hook up with them. Hopefully them we could all team up to take on Coil, save Dinah and use the victory to establish the Undersiders as heroes.
I should also find the time to help pan-pan in some way. Hopefully Lisa can help for that.
It was a sketchy plan, but it was a plan.
But for all this I needed to find Taylor first. Turning up at her house would probably be a bad idea. I decided to wait until her school ended and stalk her like a true creep. Then I would accidentally bump into her and introduce myself. I grinned to myself. I had experience with this. Yup that was a good plan.
I used the trusty computer to get the address of Windslow high school and added it to the small stack of notes I had already taken. Then, while whistling a merry tune, I pocketed my notes, locked the computer and stood up from my chair.
Then I turned around and walked right into Taylor Hebert.
In hindsight, that might have been my power telling me that my original plan was stupid.
There we go. Chapter one. Please do tell me what you think. Praise. Flames and Corrections are all welcome.