Sup, I got inspired by Wetware emulation agent version 1 Weaver, Dare from Gorrilaz, and an idea I've been poking around for Naruto. This is a oneshot, if you like any of the ideas and want to copy it feel free. just send me a link. Read-enjoy-REVIEW!
I don't own Worm
I watched as she ran, jumping across the rooftops, changing into her breaker state to help her get across and shrug off some of the impact.
"Hey, SS wait up," I heard, and at the same time hearing Shadow stalker mutter a curse under her breath.
"It's Shadow Stalker," she growled out.
"It's too long," a guy with red and gold armor with a red visor, no helmet, said as he hovered above us on a hover board, his laser pistols holstered. "Also, weren't you told to keep pace with us?"
"Not when your too slow, Kid. If you have a problem just go faster," Shadow Stalker.
"Its Kid Win!" I heard him whine. "And you know I can't, any faster I'll steadily lose control. I'm stil-"
"Yap-yap-yap! See how annoying it is?" She asked before she ran off and jumped to another roof. She reached up to her mask and pressed something, "You know how it goes loser, go do your thing with Mr. Morals and I'll go patrol this way."
"Shadow Stalker, remember what the Director said, she-" she did something and cut him off from her end. Some sort of radio or something built into her ballistic mask? I shook my head as she sped off, lunging from rooftop to rooftop and finally jumping through a building!
As soon as she was through she undid her breaker form. I watched her as she moved, she wore black body armor, a ballistic mask that that for some odd reason showed what I assume is electrical currents running through objects, and a camo cloak. Her weapon of choice was a crossbow armed with darts. She walked a few more corridors, phased through a room walked to a mirror and phased her hand through it. I could feel her pain as she hissed and she phased her hand out with a skinny bag. She unzipped it to reveal metallic arrows.
"Geez you're a psycho," I couldn't help from commenting. I saw her froze for a bit, then she shook her head and re-armed her crossbow.
"Scum use guns," she muttered to herself, "it's only fair."
"You're a huge bitch," I said as I leaned against the table at the right of her peripheral vision. "You're supposed to be a hero."
"I'm not like those pussies, I'm a real hero," she muttered as her crossbow was set and she phased through the wall, dragging me with her. I could feel her anger, extreme anger, "I'm not weak, I can do more good if I wasn't chained," I couldn't help but roll my eyes as we got outside.
I could feel her burning desire to shoot something. For the last few hours we have been running building to building, staking out guys that she thinks might commit a crime and waiting for something to happen. Nothing did. Her aggression was so profound. It was like she was a bomb ready to explode. As it was I could feel the emotion she gave off as she eyed a few thugs, just regular white guys with 88 stitched somewhere on their clothes as they drank outside on the patio of bar that was, I think if all the Asians were something to go by, ABB territory. I could feel how she was, anxious, hungry, just waiting for something to happen. Just begging to get an excuse to unleash a volley of arrows on her prey.
Maybe she wanted ABB thugs to come and defend their claim against the Empire 88 neo-Nazis that over stepped their bounds. Maybe she was waiting for one of the E88 thugs to force themselves on one of the waitresses and justify it as them being of an inferior race so everything was free gain. For all I know she could just be waiting for them to pay and walkout without realizing they forgot to leave a tip or something. Hell, knowing her as well as I did, I'm pretty sure she's about ready to lie and make something up just to shoot them.
Honestly when I thought about doing this I was hoping to use it to get ahead of my tormenters, maybe get an insight and turn it against them, I didn't expect this. I didn't expect Sophia Hess of all people, one of my fricken tormenters to be a hero. And even now she was a psychopath! What the hell is the PRT even doing? I shook my head as I sat off the edge of the rooftop she was hiding on top of. I stared behind her. The world outside of her field of vision turning into nothing but a black wall so black that not even light penetrated. I swung my legs off on the rooftop's floor and walked toward the wall that was essentially the end of my world. I placed my hand against it, it was an odd feeling, on one hand I feel a glass like wall keeping me confined to the world Sophia-the world Shadow Stalker perceived and at the same time I felt nothing at all. I can push past the glassy feeling and move in the darkness, and the world Shadow Stalker perceives looks like something on the other side of a window, and the window lets light in so I'm not completely in darkness. What she can see I can see, what she can hear I can hear.
I turned around when I felt an intense emotion. I saw her taking aim with her crossbow, she aimed at the thugs who were still talking and laughing among themselves. They hadn't done a thing. And she was going to shoot whether I liked it or not. Blood lust I realized, that was what she was feeling.
"Don't do it," I said, "they're just drinking they don't deserve anything." I could feel something, it's like she was licking her lips or something, like she was getting off on this and she was just teasing herself up until the moment set in. It was sick. "Sophia don't you fucking dare!" I said placing my hand on her shoulder, her shoulders slightly twitched but she didn't change her mind, I felt shiver of pleasure run through her spine. "For fuck's sake, they're just drinking!"
I could see her finger, it was slowl-
"Shadow Stalker," A male voice came out of nowhere.
"Jesus," she half shouted as she fell backwards in order to avoid being seen for that outburst. I couldn't help but sag in relief. "What the hell! Did you hack my-"
"I asked Kid Win and Armsmaster if we could install an "ON" switch for whenever you turn off the comms on your end, along with a GPS tracker."
"What the hell," she cursed loudly.
"You don't follow procedure, go off on your own, and don't report in, meaning we don't have eyes on you. Its logical."
"Fuck you Aegis."
"Language, now get back to base."
"What the hell for," she demanded.
"Your shift? It's time for your turn on console duty. Your late by the way."
"I spotted some E88 thugs,"
"Drinking-drinking-drinking-drinking!" I shouted at Shadow Stalker. It was usually at split seconds like these where I could influence her a bit, it was easier if it was more in tuned to what she wanted or what her personality was like.
"Drinking," she answered, then her hand curled to fist and she let a soft curse at the mistake she made.
"What? Drinking? Really?" Aegis asked.
"Yes, but they-"
"Are they harming anyone?"
"Wasting air! Wasting air!" I shouted again, hoping it's something she would say.
"They're wasting air," she said as if that was the answer to everything. Again, I could feel that frustration, I smirked.
"…Uhhuh, I see…how heinous…."
"Crap. Look, they-"
"Get back this instant or I'll write you up," he demanded.
"doitdoitdoitdoit!" I shouted incoherently hoping she went for it.
"Fucking do it I don't give a shit," she answered in the heat of the moment.
"Well if you're sure," Aegis replied nonchalantly.
"Fuck! No wait, I'll be right there. Out." She said as she turned off her comms and started making her way back while cursing. I could help but smile as I followed her. One perk, even though I had my body with my arms and legs, is that I could fly sort of. I mostly just floated a bit, letting the glass like black wall push me forward as the ride that is Shadow Stalker dragged me along. I floated next to her when I heard something vibrate. Her phone. It was a struggle to keep pace that in the end I just let the glass wall carry me. She was surprisingly very good at texting and jumping buildings. I could feel her get a twinge as she held the phone and went into her breaker form at the same time. I could visibly see the electricity in her phone, thanks to the lens in her mask. I guess I figured out what it was for. She seems to get a bad reaction in her breaker form to electricity. Useful bit of info.
This went on for a while as she made her way to the PRT building. Eventually I remembered I could float so I put my arms around her neck and felt her shiver and twitch as she stopped and looked around. When she didn't find anything, she continued to make her way to the PRT building shaking her head. I smiled, I gave her goosebumps.
I looked over her shoulder at what she was texting. It was Emma. Mostly it was stuff about how her hero-ing was going, what they should do later. Some of it was how to best torture me. Jeez what the hell was their problem with me, especially Emma? Why the hell did she have it out for me, it was my mother who died not hers. As I read the text I couldn't help but get both angry and sad at what she was suggesting. She wanted to remind me of my dead mother and what I had done afterwards. I was furious as tears leaked out of my eyes. Then I caught hold of an interesting tidbit. How Emma met Sophia. Emma just mention it and Sophia elaborated to which Emma quickly texted to drop it, but I could feel Sophia, she got a kick out of it….
"Is anyone really a friend to you, Sophia?" I couldn't help but ask. I couldn't see her face but I got the feeling that she had smile, a nasty smile after I had asked that. She jumped into the building where she kept her arrows hidden. I found that she had an easier time leaving object behind walls then retrieving them.
I sighed, I didn't feel like spying anymore so I just floated with my back to the glass wall and let it push me forward.
"I'm here bitches," she announced as she walked into the private area only the Wards and "Official Personal" were allowed in, but if you took the time, like four hours of testing, you could get a chance to see "briefly" where the magic happens, so pretty much nothing of substance, yet people still did it.
"Yeah, you're only more than half an hour late," a man in a white full body costume with working clocks on it, said, "but hey, who's counting." This was Clockblocker, and he suddenly took his helmet off. Crap this was one of the things I didn't want to do with my powers. I didn't want to unmask capes. All before Sophia were the Wards in its entirety, Vista sat on the catch making sure her footwear was on correctly while her green visor and helmet laid next to her, she was wearing a green armor that protected her vitals and white apron like skirt with green lines and white leggings with green armor boots that go all the way up to her knees. Aegis was sitting on what I assumed was the console with in his rust-red costume with a shield print on his chest and his helmet beside him, revealing his tan skin. Clockblocker stood behind him holding his helmet that obscured his entire face looking less than amused, he was white redhead with blue eyes. Kid Win was resting on a couch with Gallant, who was dressed as a high-tech knight, the two tinkers were no doubt tired from their patrol and both unmasked. Kid Win was white, pale really, just what you'd think of tinker and he had brown short hair, his armor not really hiding how much of a stick he was, not that I could I talk. Gallant he was stall had blond hair and blue eyes and he was eyeing Shadow Stalker…Well granted Sophia was, as much as I hate to admit it, very pretty and fit.
I looked around the room, it was pretty boring really. It was dome shaped with walls that look both fake and sturdy, I wonder what they were for. There was a series of computers around the room, a table with a dozen chairs, two couches currently in use, and a big monitor that seems to be tracking a few blue dots on that was easy to tell was Brockton Bay. There was a countdown on the screen, don't know what it was for but it seems a bit cool. Huh. There was a white board, wouldn't be cheaper to have like a holographic white board or something? I mean there was two hero tinkers in Brockton Bay.
"Oh c'mon, you don't even have to do much. The little brat pretty much faries you everywhere and if it isn't her its Aegis who does the heavy lifting."
"HEY! I'm mature, ya know," Vista argued.
"Mature people don't say their mature idiot," she said.
"Lay off Missy," Aegis said, "you're late. Its stuff like this that gets you written up, Shadow Stalker."
"You said you wouldn't do it!"
"You said you didn't care," he countered. I smiled, even her team thought bad of her and at least here she gets in trouble. Finally, I get to see some justice get served.
"It's true, I heard it too," Clockblocker said rubbing his hair.
"Fuck off Dennis!"
"Holy shit," Gallant said, still staring at Sophia.
"What, you want add something Mr. Righteous?"
"Yeah. You're being mastered!" he said as he got up getting his helmet, everyone tensed.
"WHAT?" She said loudly. Yeah-what?
"Are you sure," Aegis asked.
"Yeah I'm sure."
"Oh fuck off! I'm not being mastered," Shadow Stalker said removing her mask. "What, did you see weird colors again Mr. nosey." Colors? What?
"Yeah, I'm seeing contradicting colors, and you know I can't turn it off. Earlier I saw rage and joy, right now I'm seeing anger, confusion and surprise; someone is influencing your emotions and making them weird." Seeing colors? What the hell? Wasn't Gallant a tinker? He could see emotions though colors, what?
"I'm not being fucking mastered, Jesus, I would know if I was not in control of my body."
"Isn't that what a mastered person says," Missy countered as she put on her helmet, flexing a little bit, as if she was getting ready for a fight. Sophia did the same and placed her mask.
"You twerp, I'm NOT BEING FUCKING MASTERED."
"Shit," I muttered, Gallant is not a tinker meaning he is some sort of cape who can see emotions and tell if someone is being mastered. Well at least he thinks it's only Sophia and not Sophia and me. Wait. Could this work?
I moved into the darkness, pushed passed the glass feeling and submersed myself in darkness as I viewed Sophia's perception of the world through something like a glass window.
"It's gone now," Gallant said.
"yes," I muttered, I can hide from the one guy who can find me.
"Yes," Sophia said, "because I'm not being mastered! You could be mastered for all we know and start accusing everyone!"
"And naturally he started with you, the most ps-" Dennis began but was cut off.
"Don't you fucking dare finish that," Sophia threatened. Dennis shrugged and put his helmet on. The wards looked at each other, Sophia was gripping her crossbow tight but it wasn't pointed at anyone.
"Sophia calm down," Aegis said as finished typing something, he stood up and approached her. "You know how it is," he lifted his arm offering something to Sophia. A bracelet. "Put this on."
"FUCK NO!" She shouted, the bracelet had an electrical circuit running through it. She pointed her crossbow at him.
"Shadow Stalker you know what the Master/Stranger protocols are. You are under a lot of suspicion right now, especially pointing a weapon at me. The quicker we get this over with the better it looks for you and the quicker you can leave and go home. Now PUT. IT. ON."
This was a good chance, I knew Aegis was a brute, he could handle, it. I stepped out.
"Aegis," Gallant said with his hands out, I knew he could shoot laser that change people's emotion, though now I think that was just his power and not technology, "It's back. Fear, anger, uncertainty and confidence, even pleasure."
"Shadow Stalker," he said, waving the bracelet. The wards were more or less alert.
"Sorry Aegis," I said, knowing he couldn't hear me. It's not like I wanted to this, not that much anyway, but I honestly don't need the wards knowing about me. "You're a hero aren't you Sophia," I began, "you're not like these guys, your words, right? You hate them all, don't you? This is your chance, one way or another you're doing this test." At least I think it's a test. "At the very least you can get something out of it. You can get satisfaction. He wrote you, up didn't he? You're already pointing at him." I could feel her glance at her crossbow. Through her anger I could feel the hunger, the bloodlust coming.
"Aegis," Gallant said in a warning tone.
"He stopped you earlier, he stopped your work, he deprived you of your right. This is your chance," I egged on, "Get even-no, beat him. Beat him and win." That seemed to do something, I felt her shiver. "You win all the time don't you. You can win this time. Just shoot and you'll win. Or, are you weak?" I felt it, the blood lust in full effect, before Gallant could say anything, she pulled the trigger. Win and weak huh? I'll have to remember that.
Aegis tried to dodge flying up and at Sophia's direction. The dart/syringe thing hit Aegis in the knee with a little bit too much force. Sophia from the glance saw something coming at her, Kid Win and Gallant's combined laser power, she dodged by going into her breaker state and running forward, the wall ceiling and floor suddenly became alive with electric current, she couldn't phase through. She side-stepped Clockblocker who got close way too fast, Vista's power I assume. She didn't have time to load another round so she did the fastest she could do in this situation. She took out one dart/arrow and stabbed Clockblocker on the back of his right thigh. He let out a cry of pain as Sophia and I found ourselves across the room and too far away from anything. Vista shortened our distance to get as separated and then lengthened it so that we couldn't escape. Well I could always escape, it's just that my escape is very-very-VERY far from pleasant and has a chance to kill me, so I would prefer to avoid having to fall back on it.
Well Sophia was cornered, though she tried to run towards the group, the crossbow already reloaded at amazing speeds, the distance did not shrink one bit. I looked, Aegis was fine, already pulled the arrow out of his knee, Clockblocker was more or less on a chair and looked out of it but did not dare to pull out the arrow-dart-thing, which I noticed she has two varieties of, one set with very long needles, and a set with tiny ones. Gallant and Kid Win seemed like they wanted to take a shot but-
"Guys wait," Aegis said, "Shadow Stalker, fight it. You know this isn't you. Just put the bracelet on and when can fix this."
Wow, got to give him points for trying to be a good person. Sadly, this was all Shadow Stalker, I'm not controlling or "mastering" her as they put it. My powers don't allow for that. So, when Aegis said it wasn't her-
"That did the opposite of you wanted," Gallant stated as I felt Shadow Stalker grow angry.
"No, really," Clockblocker said with a bit of slur but still managed to sound sarcastic, wow he was out of it, "why wrould she ever wanna shhootus, it snot like shesasvich."
"Clockblocker not helping!" Kid Win hissed as he stole glances of him.
Okay if I wanted to escape and not go out the very unpleasant way then I would need to take a chance. The wards all had their eyes covered so it wouldn't work but, again, Aegis might handle it.
"Are you a weak phony, Sophia?" I asked without expecting an answer, "are you just going to take that? Then again you are caged, aren't you," God this was a bit of rush, I could say things I would never dare to say to her without my power. Though it did suck at lot that I was encouraging her on any level, and that in this particular instance I was in all likelihood a villain. Oh well, it's not like they'll know.
"C'mon Shadow Stalker, this isn't you. Fight it," Aegis tried again. Around that time several black armored PRT troopers walked in armed with stun batons. One walked close to Aegis and handed one to him.
"Director's orders," he said. Aegis seemed frozen for a bit before he nodded and took the baton.
"Maldición," he said, huh Spanish? "Shadow Stalker don't make me do this."
"oh'lax, she roves it," muttered Clockblocker.
"See that, they all think your weak and pathetic. What don't you show them Sophia. Show them who you really are. He wants a fight Sophia, don't hide yourself, get angry! Show them-show HIM that you're are not weak!" That did it.
She took off her mask and screamed as she ran forward again, entering her breaker state to gain a bit more distance that Vista was making and shot an arrow that I suspect was enhanced with her power. Except for some odd reason the arrow went off course and nicked Kid Win, crap!
The shot luckily hit his visor, shattering a side of it, and for the brief instant, when Aegis tackled Sophia and reintroduced her(I'm pretty sure) with the business end of a stun baton, she locked eyes with Kid Win's uncovered right eye. I felt it.
For that brief instant, a bridge was formed and I could feel something at the other end, letting me know its there. A question just for me appeared.
In less than a second, probably not even a quarter of a second, my world had changed to the world as perceived by Kid Win. His vision was filled with beats, unlike Sophia's heart that reveled in situations such as these, Kid Win's was much more erratic, he was in fear as he hit the ground and in a bit of pain. He seemed to tremble a bit.
"Hey hey hey," one of the PRT troopers said as he went to Kid Win's aid. "Your fine, just a scratch," the man said. I nodded to myself as I pushed behind the glass wall and submerged myself in darkness.
"Gallant anything on anyone?" Aegis asked. Said hero looked around.
"Not that I can see, no," he answered. "But it has disappeared before," he pointed out.
"But it was only on Soph-Shadow Stalker, right," Vista asked. "And it came back only on her."
"…She's right. Knowing the director," Aegis before shaking his head, "if anyone else had abnormal emotions she would have had us all in quarantine, thankfully we still need to make our rounds and it was only limited to Sophia. But just to be safe Master/Stranger protocols are in full effect, none of the wards can go home, if anything is out of the ordinary, for ANY of us, quarantine. No visitors today." No one seemed to complain, some of the wards had their attention split between Aegis who walked to the console and the PRT troopers who put many armbands on Sophia, ones she can't take off by herself. "Kid Win," Kid Win snapped his focus to Aegis who began to type things into the consol. "I know what you want to do more than anything, but you have limited access to materials, no access to the ATLUS library, and try to keep your designs on paper. I know that modeling helps you better but-"
"I know, this isn't the first time," Kid Win said.
"Sorry," Aegis said, the count down on the screen seemed to have been canceled, huh guess that was for visitors, they only had 20 minutes left. Aegis turned to Gallant, "I know you just got back from patrol but would you mind taking over for Clockblocker?" At the mention at the name everyone, myself included, turned to look at Clockblocker who had his head in his arm sleeping.
"Should we take the arrow out now," Vista asked.
"Probably, but let's leave that to the doc," Aegis answered. "Well," he asked Gallant.
"Yeah," he said out in a sigh, "I'm probably the best person to go outside with, my powers and all. Just can we…wait a few minutes? I'd like to rest for a bit."
"Deal," Aegis said as he continued to type, "I need to report to Armsmaster before we leave anyway so it's fine. He's on his way. Three guesses as to how he feels."
"He's mad isn't he," Kid Win asked.
"You'd know better than anyone how tinkers are when they get dragged away from their workshop," was Aegis' response. Wow, I didn't need my powers to know that Armsmater angry was probably something nobody wanted to deal with.
"Don't worry Gallant," Vista began, I don't know if it was to break the awkward silence or she just wanted to talk, "I'll make sure to make patrol easier on you."
"…Thanks," Gallant said after a very brief pause.
"You're welcome!" She beamed with a smile. I could help but smile and snort a bit, I also didn't have to be a thinker to know a kid crush when I see one.
Kid Win began walking as he took off his Visor and inspected it. "Do you know if I'm able to make another one of these? Right away I mean."
"…it shouldn't be a problem I would think," Aegis said, "but you would have to get it cleared first, just to be sure."
He just nodded, "still, I know she complained about the dart messing her aim but, I didn't think it was that bad," he said. I guess it was pretty obvious who she was aiming at.
"Well…cope I guess."
"Do you guys know if this is a new thinker or if its Regent or you know another…."
"Regent's power doesn't work like that."
"But its mind control, isn't it?"
"Body control," Aegis said.
"SEMANTICS!" Clockblocker yelled making Kid Win, Aegis, Vista, and I jump.
"F-" Aegis put a hand on Vista's mouth. She huffed and crossed her arms.
"Ha-ha-ha-ha, wooorth it," Clockblocker cheered in his drugged state.
"Jesus, Dean, little warning," Aegis said.
"Sorry the room was too tense, I think we needed that," Gallant answered, I guess he was Dean without his helmet.
"I'm not little you know," Vista said taking her helmet off, "I know what cursing is."
"Missy, you're young, you know how it is," Aegis said. Still the girl huffed and pouted, it was adorable.
"Damn how is he still up," Kid Win asked.
"I think he said that he tries the drug every night or so, you know, incase Shadow Stalker ever tried to use it on him," Gallant said.
"Smart," Vista said, I couldn't help but agree, "I mean if she ever has a small ditch out in the woods for any of us, its," she nodded to Clockblocker who seems like the drug finally put him down.
"Yep," Kid Win said. "So, you still going to try tonight?" Aegis looked at him, "You know, the blue guy."
"Browbeat? I was going to but you know how it is, Master/stranger protocols. I'll try again tomorrow. But I've seen the Undersiders talking with him, especially that girl with the silver tongue." Everyone groaned. Huh, undersiders, never of them. Seems like it's worth a look later on.
"I really hope they don't recruit him. I've had it up to here with the fuckin' mutant dogs, last thing I need is for them have a brute." Mutant dogs? Brockton Bay had something like that?
"Well…try hard I guess," Kid Win said, "look would it be-"
"Go man," Aegis with a slight chuckle, guessing what Kid Win wanted. "I already locked you out of the stuff per protocol and I should be enough to debrief Armsmaster. Plus, you're due for down time, just make sure to make it up to Gallant."
"How the hell do I that? The guy has everything," Kid Win whined walking away while looking at his Visor.
"I'll settle for a jetpack if you can make it," Gallant said from where he sat on one of the couches, Missy taking a spot next to him.
"Yeah yeah, it's in the works," Kid Win said walking away. As he walked he would try on his visor, almost as if he was wishing it wasn't broken. As he did the world he saw changed, not drastically mind you but it did. You know how shades would protect your eyes from the sun, well this did that and made your vision clearer rather than darker, like it eliminated just enough light or the right rays our eyes catches to give a clear vision. Of course, every time he tried it on cracks in the world would appear. I laughed a little as I followed him (I didn't get the benefit of the glass pushing me when I was behind it in the darkness), I honestly thought it would make everything red or orange looking, I felt silly thinking that. He was an actual tinker of course, not like Gallant apparently, so of course he wouldn't actually have something like cheap glasses. We got to a door that had an electronic padlock and Kid Win's hover board on the wall next to it. After a few seconds of thumbprints, complex password that went a bit over my head, retina, and even a bone scan, and we were in.
The room was big like about the size of a large living room. It was square-ish (not quite a square but not a rectangle either), standard four walls with a camera in the room, each wall had a mirror, for what I don't know but it actually helped reduce the darkness (when Kid Win looks at it) at least. At the backend of the room there was a large desk with a computer (like a screen built into the wall with a keyboard in front of it), a scanner/printer that seemed to be tinker tech, papers, several writing utensils and what I suspect is a light board, and it had tons of drawers. The walls on the sides had several tools hanging about, some looked normal others I had no idea what they were even were let alone what their function was. There were a few more tables set up with devices and gizmo that looked nowhere near complete. And finally, there was a small quaint bed near the door, a trashcan, and hand sanitizer and a cover. Kid Win walked to a small charging station where he plugged in his pistols, and a battery for his hover board, after that he walked up to the cover and pulled out a pack of M&Ms. He walked over to the keyboard and sat down on a revolving chair with wheels and snacked.
For the last hour and a half I have seen Kid Win tinker, parts interesting and part boring. First, he started drawing, sketching things out, he had lots of pages for different things, well its more tracing to be honest, it's like a highlight appears and he covers it. He had designs for guns that didn't seem to go anywhere, several new designs of his visor but he couldn't settle for one, especially since he just kept toying with ideas and shapes and no actual work. Then he started using his internet privileges, some of it was for youtube videos, other was researching scientific principles (inspiration maybe?), and some of it was the PHO site. He talked to a few fans of his argued with a few people, it was funny. He got stuck on a few comments so I gave him a little nudge here and there. Nothing bad or anything, I wasn't good at retorts and neither was he it seems. In the end we just gave nice comments, recited the laws or codes of ethics, mostly the morality of why the wards didn't go overboard with criminals. Honestly half of it was copy and paste.
After that he started watching videos of, well, himself. He saw how he built things, how sometimes he would go into a trance. He took notes of it, almost as if was trying to figure what his process was. Well It's not like I knew how it was for tinkers.
He was dedicated I could give him that. He kept watching and re-watching himself, it was mostly when he built his armor, the guns, and the hover board, but he had some of the stuff he half made too. He kept at it, growing more and more frustrated. Eventually he shook his head and exited out of the video library.
I was sitting on the desk with my head in my palms as I stared at him. I would take glances at the dark wall behind, him, the void outside his perception and sometimes the mirrors to see around. I could leave if I wanted to but again it was very far from pleasant.
After a while he pulled out a backpack from underneath the table and took out some textbook. It was the typical high school stuff. Grammar, brit-lit, history, even a bit of computer classes, nothing advance just java it seems. He knocked out his homework pretty fast. Then he got to math. It was weird, I would see him do well with a lot of equations, but at times he would get stuck simple ones. I noticed that with equations dealing more with letter than numbers or theories he would be fine, but on ones with mostly numbers and rely on a large amount of theory he gets discouraged and ends up struggling. Through the entire time he was working on math he felt distraught I guess. Then it hit me.
He would use a calculator function in his keyboard to come up with accurate number for his sketches but in all honestly some of those could have been done by hand and it might have even been faster to do in your head. I would have figured that he would have had better time with math and maybe even be a wiz at it thanks to his Tinker powers. Then again, it's not like I knew how it works. He did well with letters but struggled with numbers.
"Hey, Kid Win, do," I know he couldn't hear me, but I still felt bad for asking. "Kid Win," I said again surer of myself this time, "do you have Dyscalculia?" I felt it, both frustration and sadness. Crap now I feel guilty.
I placed a hand on his shoulder, I felt a light twitch as well as confusion as he reached up and placed his hand on top of mine, feeling for something. I grasped a little harder. "It's not a big deal, everyone hates math. You just have a little more reason to." I felt the feeling lighten but not by much. I wonder.
"Here," I grabbed his right hand, which he stares at curiously. I couldn't force it but I could nudge it a certain direction, he didn't seem bothered and seemed intent to let the hand move. I moved to the key bored and using his index finger, I moved the mouse that was a portal trackpad, started a new search and typed it in. After a few seconds of scrolling I found the page I was looking for. It was a page my mother put up a long time ago for a class, a project she had to do. It was about memorizing, how there was a method for it, how people who aren't thinkers use this method to compete to see which normal human has the best memory.
"In the past, Rome or Greece, people couldn't go into courts or the senate with a stack of paper. They had to memorize everything. Large stacks of notes, enough material to count as a book, and they had to memorize it all." Perks of being the daughter of a university professor, "They memorized everything front to back then from the back to the front, and lastly they used pictures-images," I corrected myself, "to help them remember paragraphs or even whole pages." I talked as he read and scrolled down. Then I felt something. Inspiration? I have felt it before from other people, Sophia included. But this one was different. It was more pronounced and complex, was this a tinker inspiration?
I could feel him grow excited, but I shook my head. One thing at a time.
"Focus," I said as I moved his hand away from the mouse and keyboard and maneuvered it to the math homework. I moved his hand to the pencil.
He grabbed his pencil and began to move it around his fingers, playing with it. I rolled my eyes, boys. "Focus," I said once more smacking the side of his head making him both blink and jump a little. I guided his hand again "This formula here, you could probably remember it better if…."
After an hour, we finally got done. I didn't give him any answers. I just gave him nudges with some ideas, had to repeat the ideas, a lot before he finally got the message and started using the ideas. He still struggled but I could feel that he was happy, not overly so but it seemed like he made progress. I guess that was a good reason as any to be happy. After his homework was done he started sketching the inspiration that was bothering him the entire time he did homework. He was quick this time, he finished in ten minutes, only instead of visor, pistols, armor and tinker gismo, he had sketched out a notebook with plastic pages of sorts. Both of us were stumped as to how this was an inspiration or even tinker tech. He kept working on the strange thing making notes here and there as his inspiration demanded but he seemed pretty confused. I was too but I was first one who got it, so I nudged him towards the answer.
"You were looking at ways to memorize things," I said. That didn't work. "It's a notebook right, the thick plastic pages seem like it can be written on then shaken away, like an Etch-a-Sketch toy." The idea seemed to make it through, but just to be sure. "You can use each page to practice with, make notes, study with and then shake it away and see if you can do it again. No, I'm sure you can use it anyway you like. It's a good study tool." After I said that he kept working on it before he was satisfied, he added stuff like a light so that he can sketch things, flip a page and turn on the light (like his light board) and sketch again as if he was animating. Not only that he added something to it so that the pages could "memorize" what he wrote. I gave him a few nudges so that the notebook could interact with computers and send or order files from it. It was like a smart pad or something only it seemed both better and inferior. He seemed like he wanted to add a feature for videos but I nudged him away, I told him it was a learning tool, that if the user wanted instructions better to add an audio function have the page "animate" the problem while the audio played. After that he wrote what I suspected is a code, program I think.
After that he swung himself to the printer/scanner, doing a quick spin in his chair (pushing me around in the process thanks to the glass wall, but I enjoyed it) and scanned his designs and code. He swung back to his keyboard without spinning. Got his scans, went to a program on his computer, brought up his sketches, added a few notes, like what it might be able to do (with the right program), what features it has, what was the inspiration and what not. After that was done he sent it in for review.
After that he went back and collected his sketches and put in a drawer with other sketches. When that was done he sat back in his chair relaxing, content, happy. I played a small, very small part but I felt happy too.
Then there was beep on the screen.
I clicked it, a message apparently. Shadow Stalker was still in quarantine but the rest of the wards have had the Master/Stranger protocol lifted but to remain vigilant. Kid Win smiled. He logged out of his operating system, restarted the computer, wherever it was, and instead of accessing an operating system I knew, he used a completely different one called ATLUS. As soon as it was done booting he entered a password and username and logged in. It instantly opened up to what the page named "ATLUS Library" full of tinker tech. I could visibly see his eyes grow and his mind go to work. I didn't need to feel his emotions to know that he was like a little kid in a candy store, or the equivalent with a boy and a computer. I saw something weird. I see things from what people perceive, for instance, if I was in someone's world view who was red-green colorblind, well if you want a clear example look up red-green colorblind simulator on youtube. But what I saw from Kid Win's perspective were highlights, just like when he was sketching, what hell? Tinkertech was highlighted, names, descriptions certain sentences were highlighted just for his eyes. I could feel it, his inspiration coming, but unlike earlier it was a mess, I felt things clashing, connecting, and work against each other, yet Kid Win took in full, almost relishing in the feeling his mesh of tinker inspiration put him in.
He groaned as he looked at a recent unfinished gizmo he's been working on. I think it's some sort freeze ray or something, I don't know, I couldn't really tell. Turns out the wall has panels that have equipment in them. Stuff for him to make things out of I guess, unless he's restricted. I, once again, sat on a desk and watched him work.
Well I was bored he wasn't leaving the room so I figured why not help him make something. Again, and again, I have no idea how tinkers work. But hopefully I could put him in the right mindset.
I read that tinkers have a specialty, something they are really good at. Sphere, before he became a psychotic lunatic named Mannequin, had a specialty of making biosphere's, enclosed systems. Before he went psychotic and replaced his entire body as mannequin parts he had created dozens of designs for ways to improve the earth, even how to solve world hunger, but sadly and endbringer attack happened, killed his family, destroyed his life work, and he went full psycho. Armsmaster, the only other hero tinker in the bay has a specialty of taking a bunch of technology together, like cramming it together, and making it work…still don't know why he chose halberd. And finally, the last tinker in the bay is Squealer, a female drug addict who specialty is large vehicles, like monster trucks and what not.
Kid Win, however, doesn't have a specialty, at least not an apparent one. People have tried to take apart his armor, pistols, and hover board, not the actual equipment, and tried to see if they can figure out what they all have in common. No luck.
From what hear Kid Win's visor is fair tinker wear, same as the armor, the only specials things are the guns and hover board. From what people suspect, they worked differently. The hover board is some sort of gravity manipulation people suspect and the guns shoot bolts of light.
"Hey Kid Win, do you have any idea what your hover board and guns have in common?" He didn't respond. I rolled my eyes and asked him again. My powers were on the weak side of "mastering." He didn't get it. I phrased it a different way and he still didn't get it. So, I tried a few more time and…then I realized why he probably didn't react. Why he was frustrated…the entire time he was actually thinking about what connection the two have.
Okay…how about this.
"Kid Win, what inspired you to make these. What made you want a hover board and pistols?" That got something. He sat back, pushed himself to his keyboard and typed a search for "Hero" on the Library. The picture of man in costume came up, it was Hero, the first tinker and original member that created the Protectorate and also deceased. He was killed by Siberian, another psychopath in slaughterhouse nine along with Mannequin. He scrolled down to some of the stuff he created, well, damaged stuff that was recorded. I guess they didn't start making a library until after he was killed. Among the stuff there was a hover board and a variety of weapons he created from grenades to different types of pistols. Also, his color scheme for his broken armor it's red and gold.
He modeled himself after Hero I realized. Can he copy tinker tech? No. He's not going around using a halberd or riding around a giant monster truck, so that isn't the case. It would have been too easy. Okay, what has Kid Win created? He said a jetpack was in the works but he only half sketched one, Gallant was confident asking for that.
"Hey Kid Win, what have you created?" He leaned back and seemed to reminisce. Right. "you viewed yourself working, maybe seeing a list of what you created might show a link." I saw a bit of interest. "It might help," I egged on. "You might find your specialty." That did it. He searched himself on the library and brought up his work.
"Thanks," I said as he nodded, then he got a confused. Wait did he actually hear me that time? I shook my head, not the time. I looked at the list that was his work. It was a gallery really. I influenced him a bit to scroll down but he did so fast enough that I didn't get to read the description. It was mostly pistols, some add-ons for his hover board, that would mean taking apart the hover board and put more stuff on it, different type of visors that were not cleared for issues on invading privacy. Some, like grenades he made were too dangerous or simply had too much potential to involve civilians or cause to much collateral damage. Then I saw the power armors. I took a bit of influence but I had Kid Win isolate them. There was only two, Kid Win's armor and Gallant. From what it says, Gallant's armor was a "spare" Kid Win made when Gallant joined, it was further modified to look like a gun-metal colored knight. It said that it does give Gallant strength but 80% of that is just for him to be able to move around. But the cosmetic touches weren't just for show, it actually helped toughen his armor, also making it heavier. It was customized for him. It hit me.
The book Kid Win designed, he made it to help him learn, he customized it, added features that were easy to use and change functions! He personalized it! He had a variety of half built guns, lots of sketches that didn't seem to go anywhere, he had myriad of different alternate version of his guns! He emulated himself after Hero who created a variety of weapons so Kid Win's power helped personalize that part of the tech to suit him! The note on Gallant's armor said that Gallant wanted to be seen as a knight of justice so Kid Win made the alteration that increase the strength of the armor and gave Gallant (I'm assuming) the look he was going for.
Sure, Gallant wanted a jetpack but that would clash with his gimmick, but if Kid Win did something like a horse or hovercraft shaped like a horse he might have a better time creating it. But how to test it? Maybe….
"Hey Kid Win, Miss Militia wants something like a Swiss army knife but she wants it accessible without needing to use her power or reach for it. What would you make?" That got the inspiration working. "What do you think Armsmaster would make? Like a watch or wristband." Okay I was cheating here. Dad and I saw a commercial where they were marketing something called a Leatherman Tread Bracelet which is basically a wearable a Swiss army knife that you could use as a watch. Dad laughed and said it was almost like the "multi-tool" MacGyver used, a paperclip. I hope Kid Win is a nerd. "It's something MacGyver would use instead of a paperclip." Oh boy did that work.
Kid Win jumped from his chair and rushed to the panels and began collecting stuff. He came back and started making something, a gauntlet of sorts. Over the course of making it he consulted the library for something every five minutes, it was his pistols (which were apparently called Spark pistols) and some data Armsmaster collected, and near the end he started to code something from scratch. Okay, I did not expect that. After half an hour construction and forty minutes of nonstop coding, he was done. "Alright," he said as he eyed his creation. It was a gray gauntlet looking like it was made for punching, had a circle in the palm with lines running through the center of each finger, the gauntlet had white buttons on the side for typing. He laughed as he put it on. This was not what I was expecting at all! I was thinking more like a wearable wristband multi-tool or something!
He grabbed a bunch of tools, connected his gauntlet to a computer, pulled out a scanner from a drawer on the table and then began to scan each tool. I could feel him bursting with excitement, honestly it was infectious and I couldn't help but feel excited too. I mean I did help with like two percent of the work.
After he was done he walked up to one of his half-finished devices, a visor he started making earlier, and put his right hand in front of him and turned it on.
The gauntlet powered on with hum that sent a shiver down our spines. Both Kid Win and I were excited. He pressed a few buttons on the small blank keyboard on the gauntlet (must have been set to a keyboard Kid Win did have memorized because there weren't enough keys for the alphabet and he would press two buttons at once some times) and then he took a deep breath.
"Screwdriver- flat head," he said clearly. The gauntlet began to make a high pitch hum, as if power up and then there was a white light that condensed into the shape of a screwdriver.
"Holy crap," Kid Win laughed out. As he held the white object in his gauntlet as if it were an actually screwdriver. Then he started using a variety of tools he scanned. He kept using each one seeing if it works. At one point, he threw one of his white tools only for it to instantly disappear.
He kept testing things as I saw something from the mirror at the edge of his peripheral, the door to his room was silently opening. Crap. I quickly ran behind the glass and hid in the darkness, just as Gallant and Armsmaster entered the room.
"Hey Chris," Gallant called out, now Dean I guess. He wasn't in his armor. Chris jumped as he turned around.
"DEAN! What the hell!"
"Sorry couldn't knock," he answered with a shrug.
"A new invention," questioned Armsmaster. As he walked in, blue midnight armor, beard and helmet with V-shaped black visor, his iconic halberd on his back. Wow the Bay's best tinker in front of me, so to speak.
"Yeah, I just got this inspiration, like, 'what would MacGyver use,' and this, I ended up with this."
"…who?" Dean asked. Understandable, I didn't know either until my dad told me about it.
"An old TV show, it was cool. He had a multi-tool, a paperclip, and I'm sure he would love one of these. It's basically Dauntless' energy only instead of firing hard electricity I'm molding it into tools I scanned," he pointed to his scanner with tools around it.
"Any tool?" Armsmaster questioned.
"Well…" Kid win trailed off, "basic tools anyway, I can't get drills and soldering irons to work, yet. Eventually I want to make it so that the tools are at my fingertips."
"Interesting," Armsmaster said as he eyed the device. "Can you make knives and batons with this?"
"Probably but I found that any tool made this way only stable in the immediate vicinity of the gauntlet. So besides the power restriction, there's also a shape and range restriction. I'm not sure if I can get around that. Plus, the thing is bulky. Do you think you can help me?" Chris asked Armsmaster who took a minute to think about it.
"Maybe, I'm busy with my own projects. This," he pointed at the gauntlet, "has a lot of potential. Send it for review, when it passes I'll take a look at it. Maybe we can slim it down, add an extra function or two to it. Beside lab uses, we might be able to use this on the field to make modifications or even tinker if we really have to." I couldn't feel Kid Win anymore but I knew he felt proud and happy.
"You do realize that you would have to get close to actually do damage with that," Gallant stated.
"I did not," Kid Win said with sigh. "Um is Sophia okay?"
"She's still in quarantine and in deep trouble." Armsmaster answered.
"They found some incriminating evidence on her personal phone," Dean clarified. Huh, that might actually be a good thing.
"Right now, I'm doing rounds with Gallant before he goes home." Armsmaster continued form where he left off, "from what he described I find that there is a possibility that there's a Stranger with master powers running around rather than a range master."
"Really?" Chris asked. GODDAMNIT! I thought I was in the clear. "Is that's why you came in without asking."
"Again, sorry about that. You're fine," Gallant said, "the theory is that the contradicting emotions I found earlier was actually two people rather than one. However the stranger is doing it, his power allows him to blend with one person. Well it's just a likely theory, so we don't actually know for sure."
"Still, we had to make sure," Armsmaster answered nonchalantly. "I made sure that Gallant isn't mastered, and with you, that makes everyone. Besides, this, "multi-tool," and that book you sent to review. I doubt a master/stranger will compel you to make that." If only he knew.
"You made a book," Gallant asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Something to help me learn," Chris answered with a shrug but I knew he was embarrassed.
"We're done here," Armsmaster said, "I let you get back to tinkering."
"Actually, I think I'll hit the hay, I'm pretty tired and for once I got two complete devices for review." Oh crap, I didn't think about that. I don't know what will happen, I might go into his dreams but probably not and right now is not the time to experiment!
Armsmaster gave a nod, as both he and Dean began to leave.
"Oh wait, Dean, do you have time for a quick chat?"
Dean looked at Armsmaster who gave a quick nod and left.
"Sure, what do you need?"
"I need you to hook me with Glorygirl's hot sister," Clock-Dennis said as he walked in before the door closed in his civvies.
"NO!" Chris quickly denied.
"You up already?" Dean asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Dude it's been hours plus I built up a tolerance," he replied. "And I'm pretty sure our local whipped boy can do it."
"I'm not whipped," Dean defended, "and we're off at the moment."
"And that's not what I wanted to ask," Chris said, earning looks from both Dean and Dennis. "Okay it's in the ball park, but I'm not asking about Amy."
"Ah the young'on wants to know how to get a girl," Dennis said in a sage voice, "and you're whipped," he directed at Dennis.
"Do you pay for her stuff?"
"Well, yeah, bu-"
"Do you get together whenever she wants?"
"Well it would be crime ot-"
"Does she give you shit and you take it?"
"See, whipped?" he said as if that was the winning argument.
"Look here, my kid wonder" Dennis said grabbing Chris from the shoulder and sitting him on the bed, he grabbed the chair as Dean sat next Chris on the bed. He sat reversely with his arms crossed on the top of the headrest. "In order to catch a fish, you got throw the lure out there, you got get out there first," he said pointing behind Chris.
"I agree with him," Dean commented.
"See, and just keep throwing and keep switching bait until something catches."
"Well I might not agree with that but he has a point, I mean were you expecting us to bring you along with us when went to Fugly Bob's or Zombie Burger and introduce you to girl?"
"Well we can do that," Dennis said, "but the chicks we know that would go out with us aren't into…well…this," he waved at Chris. Neither Dean nor I had to be parahumans to know what Chris was feeling. "Look I don't mean it in a bad way, girls like brain yeah, but what they hang out with the most is the body. And you…well you're a stick." Chris looked at Dean, probably looking for support.
"Sorry, the girls I do know that I'm sure with the right nudge would go on a date with you, they already have boyfriends. Well, one has a girlfriend." Chris let out a sigh, he was about to ask something but Dennis cut him off.
"If the question has something to do with online dating, then don't bother." And Chris shut his mouth. "Gotta lose the stick bud, especially if you want Glorygirl class chicks."
"Ehhh…well I wouldn't say it'd be a bad thing, especially since were heroes," Dean added. Chris just sagged.
"Yeah," he said.
"Hey-hey, look at me." He did and I felt the bridge, I'm sure I couldn't hide fast enough before Dean caught me so didn't take it. "Cheer up bud," Dennis said rolling in and playfully slapping his hand Chris' shoulder and grasping it. "Armsy does it, I mean we can all agree he's a tad bit obsessive and bit a dick, but he juggles working out and tech-ing out just fine. Next time you should ask him for pointers."
"You'll be fine," Dean said putting his hand on the other shoulder.
"Tell you what," Dennis said snapping his finger to a point at Chris, "next time we get a break. You, me, pennyworth and fuckface will go out to a joint, Bob's or Zombie or something, doesn't matter, and well help you. We will coach you." He pointed to himself, "I got the moves," he pointed at Dean, "he can find the girl, and Carlos" he thumbed behind him, "he can help you deal with this," he gestured at Chris' body. If I didn't know any better I wouldn't have thought he was referring to Aegis.
"…Wait isn't Carlos gay," Chris asked. Really?
"He goes both way," Dean said. Oh. Wow.
"And not only that, he makes us all look like shit. Look, me? I take my time, I choose what to wear. A hat, jacket, maybe even a necklace, you know, what the ladies like. Pennyworth? He's got the top-notch clothes, so he just picks whatever looks good and the girls can smell the quality. But fucking Carlos? All he does is put on a white t-shirt and a well-worn pair jeans that happens to be ripped in the right way and he makes us all look like shit. If any of us can help you that way, its him."
"…I'll agree that last part," Dean said.
"See, next time we get the chance, we'll get you a girl. But you got throw the lure man!" Dennis said getting up and walking to the door.
"He's right," Dean said looking at Chris' and standing up with him, "well help you, but you have to go through with it, alright?"
He nodded. "Right, right, right" Chris answered. I felt the bridge. Okay risk time.
Okay and now I just-OH WOW IS DEAN ON ACID? Both Chris and Dennis had something lik-oh wait colors. He did say emotions on people are colors to him. Huh. This is kind of weird. Both Chris and Dennis looked the same, same colors (skin, clothes, hair, ect.), but they had "colors" that didn't affect the way they looked. It was weird.
"Oh wait," Chris said stopping both Dean and Dennis, his color, I didn't know what it was, but Dean seemed relax. "What did they find on Sophia?" …worry or maybe curiosity?
"Oh, her phone, turns out she's been bullying a girl, someone named Taylor Hebert, um one r. Turns out they were planning something…really gross." That…doesn't sound good.
"Fucked up is what it was," Dennis said, okay I think this mixture is anger or disgust or disbelief or all three, "Jesus who the hell would collect a bunch of used tampons." Used tampons? What the fuck was she planning?
"It's fucked up," Dean admitted. "Turns out she has "friend" that will help collect it and keep them from getting in trouble."
"Well if that's not suspicious," Chris said.
"Ooooh it gets better," Dennis said, "Piggot had the school 'checked,' you know, used Armsy's connection to Dragon to check something out. They found out the teachers had been receiving questionable amount of donations to their accounts. Same amount, different dates."
"What the hell?" Yeah-what the hell! The teachers were getting paid to see me suffer?
"Wait, it gets better, while she didn't see any changes Sophia's or her mother, or her friends bank account, she has gone through the phone, tracked where she's been, and used the cameras to see what the smoking nutjob's been up to. Camera's caught her making huge purchases on a credit card but their accounts didn't deduct anything around the time."
"…Wait…holy shit, you don't mean…" Chris said in disbelief, "no, Sophia's violent, deranged, but…."
"Someone's paying her off," Dean confirmed. "Combine that with the fact that the area she patrols is opposite of us but always toes one territory..."
"Not to mention the only other rich asshole who could afford this and would want to keep a ward of all people in their pockets," Dennis continued.
"Coil," Chris finished. I've heard of him, he's the one guy who controls a good chunk of the Bay with just regular mercenaries. "Fuck, what's Piggot planning?"
"Nothin'" Dennis said. WHAT?
"The evidence was gained illegally and there's no solid proof of connection. Just guesses. If anything, she'll probably tighten Sophia's collar and maybe give her mandatory activities that give back to the community, probably a transfer, but that's it. Probably not even mention the how Coil thing and focus on the bullying. We think we might be able to feed Coil bad info through Sophia. But if we let her know that the jig is up, send her to juvy, not only do we lose someone who can help in endbringer fights, but what will the guy with a ton of mercenaries do?"
"…They'd bust her out of anywhere that isn't the birdcage," Chris said in realization as both Dean and Dennis nodded.
"With her gone, hopefully the teacher can do their jobs, but the PRT and Protectorate won't intervene, you know, ward identity," Dean said. "But that girl is on her own with her other bullies."
"Jesus, can't we, I don't know, have her transfer or something," Chris asked.
"Already thought of that," Dennis answered with a shake of the head.
"Again, PRT involvement." Dean said, "Dragon did say a request was put in to transfer to Arcadia, but she's from a low-income household, one parent, and her grades, probably because of the bullying, are low. She's also skipping classes. She can't afford Arcadia and we can't justify bumping her up the list without merit. She can transfer to other schools but Dragon thinks that the reason she hasn't is because Arcadia is far away as it is, the other schools are even further out."
"It sucks but it is what it is," Dennis said.
"The best we can do is threaten the teachers to do their job and that's it," Dean said.
"Unless, you know, you transfer to that shithole and protect her yourself," Dennis offered.
"…I'm good," Chris answered.
"Then yeah, that's it. Night," Dennis said walking away. Dean gave a nod a muttered "night." And Chris reciprocated it.
As they walked out in the hall in a silence Dean asked "Pennyworth?"
"Only rich comic book guy I could think of," Dennis answered with a shrug.
I was pissed, after a long campaign of bullying and all I got was one girl with a tighter leash and maybe a bunch of teachers scared into doing their jobs. Well it was better than nothing, but I was still pissed! Well, yes, I did technically incite her to attack the wards but STILL!
Dean, it seems, can see weird colors on people and I think I have a grasp on what each color mean, only a very basic grasp, but Dean can't see his own color. It makes sense, he knows he what he feels so it'd be redundant. It was interesting, seeing how Dean reacted to people, how people I think knew how his powers worked reacted to him. It was kind of sad, the wards were cool with him, but the adults, the troopers, they didn't trust him and even felt scared of him. And the way he acted with some people, it felt so smooth and he was so gentle. I could see why he went with Gallant the high-tech knight. It suited him.
At the moment, he was driving home. I was sitting on the obscured seat next to him at the edge of his peripheral vision, a little hard because of the glass wall, but hey no seatbelts. Huh. Better not get into that habit. His car…fuck, he did have everything.
So far, we were going in the right direction. Then he made a right. Crap. And he was in a car so very little chance he would make eye contact with someone. No other car on the road either. CRAP.
He came to a stop at a red light. Whelp, looks like I'm doing this. I pushed back on the glass and became engulfed in the darkness, only the light from the window to Dean's world giving me comfort. The green light came and he quickly left me behind.
The light fully gone, the connection severed. His window disappeared and I was left alone in a black abyss.
Right away I had a panic attack. I couldn't breathe, I literally couldn't breathe. There was no heat or cold, no wind, no smell, no light. I shook trying to suck in air but I couldn't do it, there was no air. I wasn't standing on anything. There was nothing. I didn't need to breath but my body still demanded air and still I tried to satisfy as I trembled.
Complete and utter fear took hold of me. There was a light source. Thank god, she's still awake. I made my way towards it, ignoring the lights below me. I knew they could see me and I knew from the way they looked at me that they were jealous. Maybe they could easily weather this but it was a struggle.
When I finally got to the light source I felt relieved, I could see her, she was awake watching some old rerun with dad. I walked closer, there was still a window only this one meant one thing. I was home.
I looked at the girl in front of me, the original, Taylor Hebert. I pressed the glass wall and-
I jumped and shivered as the memory of the clone that came back to me, my headache getting worse.
"You alright sweetie," Dad asked with a bit of concern.
"Yeah," I lied, "I just realized I forgot a textbook at school. I'm probably going to have to go to the library to get information for my essay tomorrow." He chuckled.
"Yeah that'll happen. If you wake up early tomorrow I can give you lift." I shook my head as I processed the information my last clone gave me.
"No thanks, I rather sleep in."
"If you're sure," he said. I just nodded. I could feel my blood boil a bit; Sophia Hess, of all people, was a fucking hero? FUCK. The only thing that calmed me down was the stupid stunt my clone pulled with Sophia, she made her attack the wards and got her in trouble. And not only that she was somehow getting someone to pay the teachers to ignore her bullying me, WHAT THE HELL? The teachers were literally making money off my misfortune.
"You alright," Dad asked. I took a deep breath.
"No, I shouldn't have left that textbook."
"It's a mistake sweetie, it happens," Dad assured me, I just nodded. The only good thing is that she was getting a tighter leash and the teachers were getting a very stern warning to do their jobs. Fuck my head. The longer my clones stay away from me, the more information they collect, and when they return, I got that information. It's nothing like a perfect memory, more like you learn a vocab word from class and then forget it as soon as the test is over until you suddenly feel like you want to use it, which is rarely. And as with more information taken at once, the more my brain has to sort it out, find a place for it, and then sift through it; the process gives me a huge headache. Thankfully it was disappearing.
I triggered a few weeks ago. I didn't even notice. The bridge I could feel when I made eye contact was distracting and then when I finally did it.
[Propagate? 3 Available]
[2 propagation available]
I didn't know what I did. All I knew was that I replicated something. Then when my clone returned I learned that I could make a mental copy of myself, have it travel around with people. I can't read minds, I can feel emotions, and I'm limited to what they perceive. How they see, how they hear, how they feel and how they smell, that kind of world. I can't do much. My voice, no matter how loud I get, it ends up being nothing more than a whisper from the very back of their mind, my touch ends up being nothing more than an odd sensation; my clones are basically the equivalent of a whisper on someone's shoulder. My cape name, for when I actual get invovled, is Earworm.
Tonight, was a boon I guess. My goal was just to see if I can get ahead of whatever my bullies had instore for me. But this was good too. I knew all the wards name and faces, Sophia was in deep shit, I got some dirt on Emma, and I helped Chris with math and tinker out. Sadly, I had to go through the dark abyss to get back to…me? Crap having clone memories was messing how I view myself. One cool think I found was that I could bring stuff with me as a clone. Binoculars and what not. Not that I could record or film anything, I mean my clone could but all I get are memories. But I can use binoculars to see stuff faraway…that's what I did in the abyss.
One thing I found is that my mental clone can jump from people to people through eye contact. And through the abyss I can make my way back to the original or to the original target, my clone I mean. Fuck my powers.
Then I noticed all the other windows. They were so faraway that I needed to telescope in order to view the windows. It was pretty simple. I just held it as I cloned myself on someone's mind. What I found was scary as hell.
It was the Simurgh. I heard that this endbringer looked like an angel and used sounds to drive people insane and her schtick was that despite all the damage she does, she targets individuals that cause massive damage. Like Sphere who became Mannequin. Yeah if she comes here I'm running. If I had to guess, she uses the sounds the same way I use direct eye contact to make mental clones. The song just programs her consciousness into someone as they hear, like hypnotism. And then she does what I do. She whispers. People can ignore a whisper but as I've proven today, that if you can find the right moment, the right words, you can persuade or nudge someone the direction you want. My clones can stay out too much because it hurts my brain with all the information they gather. The Simurgh doesn't seem to require the information to return, or at least she needs to collect them "manually." All the Simurphs seemed confined to the worlds they inhabit. Hence the jealousy. Sigh, the fucking Simurghs is jealous of me, that cannot end well.
Sometimes I wish I had more direct powers, like controlling bugs or something. At least then I might be able to make money off spider silk, honey, or even breed crabs or something. Speaking of powers, the way both Dean and Chris affected their view of the world was kind of cool. Dean's colored people's emotion, Chris' highlighted things as his inspiration demanded. It was kind of cool, Sophia's power didn't do anything perception wise.
[Replicate? One slot available. Two options]
what the hell? This was new. What even is this?
[Expansion through replication]
Expansion? Expansion of my powers? How?
[Expansion through replication]
okay no help there. Let's try this.
[Recent Data Compilation Complete]
[Expansion due compiled data available]
[Current Facility for Neural Faculty cannot support all expansion packages]
Facilities for neural faculty…did it mean my brain?
[compile data gathered allows for replication of foreign neural faculty behaviors]
[two options available]
[Replicate? One slot available. Two options]
Okay…does that mean I can expand my powers if I chose one of these two options? Wait…the only time the world I was in changed was when I was in Chris and Dean, when their powers highlighted things. So does that mean I can get either Dean's power or Chris' power? To what degree though…maybe….
[(expansion detail. Complete replication?)]
[replicate observed behavior, total replication currently unviable.]
okay that didn't really help much. Let's try...
[expansion package interchangeable]
[changing packages requires 32 hours of reconfiguring Neural Faculty]
[Propagation will be unavailable at this time]
[Neural faculties will operate at 71.556% normal capacity]
Okay so it's not permanent and I can change at any time, but doing so requires 32 hours to change powers in which time I will not be able to use power and I'll be opening at about 71% normal brain function. So changing packages is something I have to really think about first before I actually do it.
[(initial expansion package configuration time?)]
[3 minutes 13 seconds]
[Two sample options available]
[(sample option 1)]
I felt something click but nothing different happened. Then again, I was just staring at the screen. I turned to look at my dad and I saw it. I saw it. Colors. Sadly, the colors weren't as thick as the ones Dean perceived, it was only a light mist of colors; so I only a gain a portion of his power. I had some practice studying the colors Dean saw and the way he acted around different colors. Dad was worried, concerned, fearful even, probably his job, but at the moment he was content, happy.
Not only would I be able to use it on a regular basis but I got the feeling my clones could use it. On top of my clones be able to sense people's emotion, sensations, and even inspirations, my clones would be able to see the emotions of others. If I get good manipulation my clones could manipulate people better around other people.
[(label sample as "emotion-color perception")]
[(Sample option 2)]
This time the changes were more pronounced, I saw things highlighted and I felt…inspiration. I got this huge urge to take apart the TV and collected everything highlighted. Earlier dad brought home a box of electronic goodies the parents of a subordinate gave to dad. The guy committed murder suicide because someone made fun of his favorite cape…people are weird; the parents knew dad had me and that their son talked fondly of him, so they figured I could do something with it. Well I did really appreciate the new laptop, and the password was easy to figure (the favorite capes name) and right now I wanted to do nothing more than dig into that box. I wonder would I get Chris' specialty?
Huh…I see. so then do I get my own specialty? ...no reply.
[(how does this expansion work?)]
[expansion takes observed neural faculty behavior, and configures behavior to (user) faculty]
I think that means the inspiration I get are different from Chris' which means…yeah I think I get my own specialty.
[(label sample as "tinker-inspiration highlighter")]
cool so certain people grant me certain expansions. I wonder…
[(can expansions of similar behaviors compile?)]
Cool. So I if I have more clones go to tinkers, thinkers, or capes who use brain power rather than actual power in general I can get a portion of their power and the powers stack up if they are similar. Okay with this I can probably do something as a cape instead of just one-stepping my enemies. Now what to choose.
Deans power would definitely be more practical for everyday situations but I get the feeling that I would see things I wouldn't normally like…but with Chris' inspiration I could make my own technology…my own specialty.
[(select tinker-inspiration highlighter expansion package)]
[reconfiguring faculties now]
"I think I'll hit the hay now kiddo," Dad said as he got up. It took a while for me to, I honestly felt numb.
"Okay," I managed.
"Don't stay up too late."
"'kay," he kissed my forehead and left.
That was a long three minutes.
After I chose tinker powers I got a huge sense of inspiration. I quickly took the box and went down stairs to the basement with my new laptop. I went through the box that had old wires, old consoles, messed up phones, broken headphones, even a small square teal iPod Nano and a Gameboy advance, the square one. But what I found that really set me off was a peregrine glove and an OCZ NIA (Neural Impulse Actuator), a head band. I quickly went to work. I didn't have any of Chris' tools but I found that it didn't stop me. I got by rather well with what I had on hand and some stuff I MacGyvered together. Wow, I didn't think I'd get so far with a paper clip! The highlight helped a lot and working with it in mind. It wasn't as clear as Chris' but I got feeling that Chris couldn't really see the highlights. It must have felt like intuition to him.
By the time I was done modifying the glove and headband I got to typing code on my computer, mostly it was just altering the programs for the glove and the headband and somehow getting the separate programs to talk to each other. After I was done I went back into the box and found an old Nintendo Power Glove. I got to work and removed the power glove logo and replaced with the Gameboy screen, replaced the memory thing for the peregrine glove with the iPod Nano. Hacked the power glove added code, which took a while, and got it to work with the other two programs. After a while I realized wire were inconvenient so I took apart the phones and took some items my inspiration highlighted and I was able to make my Neural Impulse Actuator and both gloves wireless.
By the time I was done the sun had come up, my eyes were red, and was grinning ear to ear. The NIA on my forehead and both gloves on. My left hand wore the peregrine gloves, the screen was my radar. My right hand wore the power glove, where the "keyboard" could be used to give command. The NIA scanned my brainwaves and was sensitive to how I move the muscles on my head. It was cool.
With my left hand, I found a lot of them I pressed my thumb against my index fingers and got them all to converge at my feet. BUGS.
My specialty, apparently, was being able to control bugs…I know what I said earlier but, hear me out, counter argument…KID WIN HAS A FUCKING HOVER BOARD! Alexandria was my Hero growing up, I want to fly goddamn it!
I rolled my eyes and huffed. I spent all night creating a device that controls bugs, my power glove I programed a command which I used my jaw muscles for and had the bugs gathered thus far to eat each other. That done I walked upstairs and went upstairs. I figured I might as well get it over with. I my house wifi, dad uses my mom's old desktop for his job, it was slow wifi but it did the job. I logged onto the PHO website. I made a dummy account and at the same time used my tinker inspiration to help mask my IP address. I went to the ward thread and started one there.
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Topic: Kid Win Specialty.
In: Boards Brocton Bay Wards ENE The Index
Earworm (Original Poster) (Temporary Account):
Hey I had some time and I figured I'd get this out of the way. Also, I felt like I owed Kid Win anyway. A little bit about me. I'm a new cape in the bay, not sure where I fit in the power rankings. I was experimenting with my powers and I found a few cool things. Any-who, on to the actual topic at hand. Kid Win's specialty is something around the lines of Customization and Personalization. He modeled himself after Hero, the first tinker that people actually respect and so his power adjusted to fit this image. He'd have an easier time creating a hover horse or a hover craft that looks like a horse instead of a jet pack for Gallant. As for Kid Win himself. Just get selfish, try to make things that suit you, not Hero. Whelp, hopes he takes this seriously. I mean I hope I didn't nudge the multi-tool for nothing.
With that done I did a bit of research on the Undersiders and decided that Tattle Tale is a good target as any. No one really knows what she can do but if she has a name like Tattle Tale then her power must be compatible. But first I have to figure out what to do with all these bugs. I mean i can't really do anything at the moment, but I'm sure after a good night sleep, some research and some tinkering i can find something. Hey, when life gives you a specialty to control bugs, might as well give it a blast and see how much you can control them and see if you can breed the scariest critter the world has seen. I wonder what my tinker identity would be…Skitter maybe? I wonder, would Chris date a fellow tinker if the opportunity presented itself?
yeah for some of these the idea came as i wrote along. i hope you guys enjoyed it. Also, for those of you who read worm, C'mon whats more believable? That the PRT and Protectorate ignore something as severe as shoving a girl into a locker full of used Tampons (even though it didn't happen in this oneshot) or that Coil is paying the teachers off so that he can have some fabricated dirt on the PRT to make taking it over easier and who knows maybe even recruit Sophia too. I mean we all know Coil can be very persuasive.
Yes i know the glove and NIA are pushing the release date and the wearable swiss army knife is from 2015 but its still cool. Also I mean the old MacGyver, i haven't sen the new one.
Also thanks goes to conceptualist for creating the PHO interlude Generator. That is cool bro!