Outsider Chronicles: Needless Hero
Getting reborn into a world of superheroes should be awesome. Instead, its a world threatened by godlike entities and most people aren't even aware of it. Still, at least I know a good way to stay out of trouble!...I just jinxed myself, didn't I?
Yeahhh, I really need to stop making promises I can't keep...I know that most people in the poll I put up seem to like the idea of Accelerator, but I sat down to write it and found that I had...absolutely nothing. Same with Imagine Breaker. Mostly, they were just silly ideas of our hero completely negating every attack sent his way and, while amusing, it wasn't really that fun. This on the other hand...well, lets just say that Needless and Worm actually share more than a few similarities. With that in mind, heres my idea. Bare in mind that I haven't finished the story yet (not even close), so I probably won't be continuing with this until I have. Anyway, lets get started! Enjoy!
You know, there are several things about dying that I never wanted to know. To start with, its bloody uncomfortable. Of course, being reborn is even more uncomfortable. Yea, I'm living proof that the Soul is real, despite the fact that I'm a sceptic at the best of times. Of course, that doesn't stop me from feeling like I've ether won the lottery or been sent here due to some horrific sin I committed in my last life. Why? Well, I'd been reborn in a world full of superpowered beings, but it wasn't one where heroes and villains balanced each other out and the heroes always win. It wasn't even My Hero Academia where EVERYONE has powers in one form or another. Oh no, I'm not that lucky. Instead, the world I now lived in was one where the greatest hero was actually its greatest potential threat and was definitely under threat from a bunch of OP monsters. Yep, I'd ended up being reborn in Worm. This is really gonna blow…
Interestingly enough, I ended up being reborn into the exact same town as I'd lived in in my last life and even went to school with my interdimensional duplicate...now that was fucking weird and caused me a minor existential crisis before I got my head on straight and managed to separate my new self from my old one. That didn't change the fact that passing 'myself' in the halls was incredibly strange. Fortunately, I was in a different class, so I didn't have to sit next to myself and a combination of already knowing everything and wanting to not end up in the same situation again meant that I was much better at, well, everything. Have I mentioned this is bloody weird yet?
Anyway, since I'm writing this, you can probably guess that my life wasn't all hunky dory with the only potential issues being falling afoul of a Villain or Endbringer to worry be (although to be fair, they were pretty big worries). No, I just had to end up in a horrific car crash during a trip to see my Grandparents, a crash that killed both my parents but somehow left me alive and only mildly banged up, a feat that the doctors said was nothing short of a miracle. Or a Trigger Event. Yeah, I ended up with powers from that, although I didn't find out until I got angry over all the false sympathy at the wake and nearly burnt the house down.
Yep, my power was heat based. I say heat not fire because to call me pyrokinetic would be like saying All Might just had super strength. It may appear to be the case, but the reality was much more. I didn't control fire, I controlled the vibrations of molecules, heating them up and burning everything I touched from within. There were plenty of powers that controlled fire, but mine is one of the strongest. And thats not arrogance talking, thats genuinely what the people up top concluded. Considering I could boil metal and even affect most 'indestructible' Capes, I'm inclined to agree. Oh, and I was also much more sturdy built than a normal Human, with most attacks that would cripple a normal person only causing bad bruising in me and my speed and strength were slightly higher than a well trained Humans. I wasn't indestructible by any means, but its still enough to allow me to shrug off attacks and keep fighting.
But thats for later. After my Parents died, I was taken in by my Aunt, a kind, if slightly ditzy woman who I had always liked, despite the few times I'd met her. See, my Mother was originally from America, having moved to Britain to attend University and ended up meeting my Father and staying there. Aunt May on the other hand still lived in America in a place that made me honestly think that whatever extra dimensional being that plonked me here was having a laugh. Yep, thats right, she lived in Brockton Bay. Great, this is gonna be a right pain in the arse…
Considering the circumstances of my move and the fact I had moved from England into an entirely different country, I was afforded some time of school to recover from it all. In truth though, I probably could have done without it. I'm the sort of person who deals with problems by doing something, not sitting around thinking. With that in mind, I decided that, if I had nothing else to do, I'd make a start on putting together my costume.
You might be wondering what I had in mind for it, whether I'd be a hero or a villain, but the truth is, I was just looking for something fun to do. It was odd as I'd never been a violent person in the past, but now that I was here and with enough power at my fingertips to turn a Human to ash in moments, the idea of a good fight was enough to get my blood boiling with anticipation. I had no intention of becoming a Villain, but I wasn't the type to save others . Oh, I'd probably help if they were right in front of me, I wasn't that cold hearted, but it wouldn't be to be a good samaritan. Oh no, not when I could get a decent fight out of the encounter!
I used the excuse of wanting to look around and get the lay of the land to move around, buying what I needed to put together my costume and made use of my Aunts unused basement, which I had claimed as my den, to do it. I don't think she even noticed what I was doing, but that wasn't exactly uncommon. She was the sort of person who tended to be airheaded and didn't notice things going on around her. Great news for me and my future career as a Cape!
It took me about two weeks to finish my costume, mainly because I had to experiment with my powers in order to fashion my mask properly and not melt it into a puddle of slag. However, after hours of hard work, it was finally done and I was stood in front of my mirror in my new get up. It consisted of a dark blue bodysuit that I'd obtained from a sports shop, black steel toe capped boots, metal bracers intended to serve as defence in close quarters that left my hands bare, a necessity for the use of my powers. A tattered, dark red cloak with a hood went over the top and a white, metal mask that looked like it had been machined rather than moulded like clay with a little help from my powers. Despite the fact it was clearly handmade, I was rather proud of my outfit, especially the mask.
I put my mask on, my yellow eyes clearly visible through the holes, and pulled my hood up over my silvery blonde hair. I smirked under my mask as my hands lit up with a ruddy glow and my eyes took on a bright, crimson hew in response to my powers activating
"Alright, lets see if this city is ready for me," I muttered.
Considering most of what I knew about the city came from reading Worm last time through and the small amount of exploring I'd done while piercing my costume together, I decided that the best place to go to get started was probably the docks. Yeah, it may be obvious, but I honestly don't care.
Using a combination of my enhanced physiology and the freerunning skills I'd gained in this life, I was able to traverse the rooftops of the many warehouses, occasionally helped along by melting handholds in the walls where I couldn't quite reach the next building. It was when I was crossing a particularly wide gap between warehouses when I realized that something was up. I was darting across an alley when I suddenly stepped on something, crushing it with a loud crunch. It also served to draw my attention to the fact that I could hear a low level scuttling sound around me. Curious, I lit up my palm, only to nearly jump out of my skin when I saw I was standing in a river of bugs, all heading in the same direction. I quickly jumped up, my hands sinking into the wall to hold me above the moving floor.
"What the hell?" I muttered, "What's...ah, Taylor, of course. Now then, lets see whats going on."
I turned and shimmied up the wall, taking off across the rooftops in the direction the bugs were going in. It didn't take me long to find it. A two story wearhouse, just like the others, but this one had people moving around it, all Aisan and wearing red and green. Ah, so that's when it was. I spotted a big, tattooed guy who had to be Lung and a glance up to the rooftop above him confirmed that Taylor was also present. Well, it looks like I wasn't the only one making my debut tonight. Still, unlike Taylor, Lung would be childs play for me. Between my bodies natural resistance to fire and heat based damage (I could handle molten metal bare handed. How do you think I made my mask?) and the fact my power could easily penetrate metal armour meant that there was little chance that Lung could beat me. Well, unless he gutted or crushed me with his draconic form, but I was confident that I could evade him if it came to that.
I was shaken from my musings by a loud buzzing sound and a loud cry from below as Taylor's swarm fell on the gang. I stood and padded over the roof I was on, making my way towards where Taylor was crouched. I had no intention of allowing the girl to get the shit scared out of her by Lung, even if it would cause canon to implode in on itself. Speaking of implosions...sort of, Lung chose that moment to release his explosion, sending the swarm scattering, followed by another a few seconds later. It was kinda hard to get an idea of how quickly events were happening in a story, but apparently it wasn't long between Taylors attempts because about 20 seconds later, Lung ignited, followed by his spine growing spines. I cursed and sped up, shooting across the gap still separating me from Taylor's building, just as Lung got a faceful of pepper. Now he was really pissed off. I jumped over the last gap, just as Taylor took off towards the fire escape. Apparently Lung had heard both of us as his hands snapped out, sending two blasts of fire, one at me and the other at Taylor. I ignored the flames licking at me, mainly because they felt more like a warm bath than the intensely hot flames they actually were, in favour of landing a powerful drop kick to Lung's head that probably rattled his brain something fierce.
"Hey Lizardface, pick on someone your own size!" I yelled.
"Wha...who you?!" snarled the Villain as he tried to see through the damage done to his eyes.
I opened my mouth, only to hesitate as I realized I had no idea what to call myself.
"Er, I didn't think of that," I said awkwardly, "This is my first night on the job, soooo…."
Lung looked taken aback at that, before he scoffed.
"You not smart to pick a fight with me," he said, "This first night will be your last!"
He raised his hands and unleashed another wave of fire. I responded by punching it, causing the wave to separate and flow around me. No idea how that worked, but I'm going to assume its Cape bullshit. Lung looked surprised that his attack had done absolutely nothing to me. Hell, my cloak wasn't even singed.
"Sorry Lizardface, but fire won't work on me," I said with a smirk, "You might as well be flicking warm water at me.
"Then lets try this!" he snarled and charged me, claws leading the way.
I ducked under his swipe and cocked my fist back, my hand glowing bright red.
"Heat EXPLOSION!" I yelled without thinking and punched him in the chest.
The resulting explosion was massive and sent Lung careening back with a hand sized crater burnt into the scales on his chest and the scales around the hole glowing bright red. The Villain didn't cry out, but it was clear he was in pain as he struggled to his feet.
"Wha...how did you…?" he gasped, staring down at the hole in his armour.
The skin under it wasn't badly hurt, but it was reddening from the sheer heat of my attack. I grinned as my hands started to glow.
"Armour won't protect you from my attacks," I said, "I can easily bypass it with my power. Here, let me show you another trick!"
I slammed both palms into the roof and the ground below Lung began to glow brightly.
Before the dragonman could react, a massive pillar of fire erupted around him, giving out so much heat even I could feel it. Needless to say, Lung screamed in pain as the flames easily burnt away his armour and started on his skin, leaving him with second degree burns in the two seconds I kept up the heat. Once the flames vanished, Lung collapsed back on the roof, steaming lightly and completely out cold.
"Hmm, I may have overdone that," I muttered as I pulled my hands out of the puddle of molten roofing I'd made, "A little less heat next time."
I stood and turned to Taylor, who was still crouched where she had landed when Lung sent her flying.
"You OK Ladybug?" I called, not even noticing the unintentional nickname.
"I...wha...how?" gasped Taylor, "How did you do that?! Who are you?"
I coughed and rubbed the back of my head awkwardly.
"Um, well, like I said to Lung, I kinda haven't thought of a name yet," I said, "This is my first night on the job…"
I couldn't see Taylor's face, but it was obvious that she was staring at me in disbelief.
"Your first night...and you took down Lung that easily?!" she asked.
"Hey, you didn't do a bad job and its obvious tonights your first time to!" I protested, "I just got lucky. Lung was perhaps the best opponent I could face."
I caught Taylor's incredulous look.
"Well, I'm immune to heat based attacks, I can boil metal with a touch and I'm fast enough to evade his attacks," I said, "What conclusions would you reach from that?"
"That Lung got unlucky."
I jumped and spun around, just in time to see three massive, mutated mutts scramble over the edge of the roof. I pulled a face under my mask. I really hope these guys don't decide to make a fuss…
Apparently they were at least a little weary as the small group kept their distance. For a moment the two sides remained where they were, waiting for the other to move. I think I was putting them off due to the fact I appeared nonchalant in my stance, however, I was actually on alert. I didn't think they'd attack, but I wasn't about to be taken off guard if my interference caused a change.
After a few moments, the tall guy who had to be Grue stepped forwards.
"You really saved us a lot of trouble," he said, "When we got word Lung was aiming to come after us tonight, we were pretty freaked. We were arguing strategy for the better part of the day. We eventually decided, fuck it, we'd meet him halfway. Wing it. Not my usual way of doing things, but yeah."
Behind him, one of his teammates, Bitch by the look of it, gave a scoff. Grue ignored her and continued.
"Wouldn't you know, his flunky Lee is there with a half dozen guys, but Lung and the rest of his gang are nowhere to be found," he said, "Lee's no slouch in a fight, but there's a reason he's not leader of the ABB. He got spooked without his boss there and ran. I guess you two are responsible for that?"
I glanced at the still steaming Lung and raised an eyebrow behind my mask.
"What do you think?" I deadpanned.
"Point taken," said Grue "So, um, what exactly did you do to him?"
"Pepper spray, wasp and bee stings, fire ants and spider bites," said Tattletale, "Combine that with being burnt from the inside out and he's not going to be feeling well when he wakes up."
I have a feeling that Grue raised an eyebrow at that, but he didn't say anything. Well, not about that anyway.
"Right, introductions," he said, "That's Tattletale, I'm Grue, the girl with the dogs...We call her Bitch, her preference, but in the interests of being PC., the good guys and media decided to call her Hellhound instead. Last and certainly least, we have Regent."
"Fuck you Grue," said the white clad teen.
"Nice to meet you all," I said, "I'm...you know what, you can call me Agni for now."
"Huh, thats...oddly fitting," said Tattletale.
I couldn't help but notice that the girl was giving me a very strange look.
"Whys that?" asked Regent.
"Agni is Sanskrit for fire," I said, "Its also associated with the Hindu god of fire."
"What he said," said Tattletale.
"Fair enough," said Grue, before glancing at Taylor, who looked utterly confused, despite her mask covering her face, "Hey, you okay? You hurt?"
"The reason she's not introducing herself isn't because she's hurt," said Tattletale, "It's because she's shy."
The Thinker turned around and it looked like she was going to say something else, but she stopped, turning her head. The smile she'd been wearing faded.
"Heads up, we've gotta scram," she said.
The Undersiders scrambled to mount Bitch's dogs.
"Do you two want a lift?" asked Grue.
"No thanks," I said while Taylor just shook her head.
"Hey Bug girl," said Tattletale, "What's your name?"
Taylor jumped, apparently not expecting to be addressed directly.
"I don't… I haven't picked one yet," she stuttered
"Well, Bug, Agni, a cape is gonna show up in less than a minute," said the Thinker, " You two did us a solid by dealing with Lung, so take my advice. Someone from the Protectorate shows up, finds two bad guys duking it out, they're not going to let one walk away. You should get out of here."
"I think we'll be fine," I said, smirking under my mask.
"Oh, I'm not worried about you," said Tattletale, "I'm just worried about who'll have to clean up the mess if you get into a fight with a Hero."
I let out a bark of laughter as the Undersiders jumped over us and vanished into the dark.
"Well, that was certainly interesting," I said as I lent against the lip around the roof.
Taylor's head snapped up.
"Interesting?!" she spluttered, "They think we're villains! And now a Heroes on the way...oh god, this is gonna…"
I cut her off with a snort.
"Your worrying too much Ladybug," I said, "Its pretty much a given that new capes are thought to be villains unless they say otherwise. So long as we don't do anything stupid, we'll be fine."
Taylor took a few deep breaths, before her mask shifted slightly, as if she was frowning.
"What did you call me?" she asked, "Ladybug?"
"Sure, why not?" I said, although I honestly had no idea why I was calling her Ladybug, "You've got the insect thing going on and it seems to suit you for some reason."
Better than Skitter at any rate and Weaver always made me think of someone with string or precognition based powers. Taylor didn't say anything, although that may have had something to do with the loud roar of a motorbike that was definitely not factory standard arriving, followed by a loud clunk as a grappling hook latched onto the edge of the roof and Armsmaster shooting up from ground level.
The Hero scanned the roof, tensing slightly when he spotted us, before he spotted the still unconscious Lung and froze.
"What happened here?" he asked.
"We took down someone that gave even you lot pause," I said.
Armsmasters visible mouth tightened slightly.
"Are you going to fight me?" he asked.
I smiled under my mask.
"Not right now, although I wouldn't say no to a sparring match at some point," I said.
That earnt me two stunned looks.
"You two don't really look the parts of heroes," said Armsmaster.
"That's… not intentional," I responded, not a little defensively, "I was more than halfway done putting the costume together when I realized it was already looking more edgy than I'd intended, and I couldn't do anything about it by then."
"Eh, thats fine by me," I said, "I'm not really a hero anyway."
Armsmaster and Taylor both tensed at that.
"Your...telling the truth," said the Tinker, "But...if your not a Hero, why did you stick around?"
I grinned under my mask.
"Because this world isn't split into Heroes and Villains," I said, "I'm no Hero, but I'm certainly not a Villain. I refuse to be pigeon holed like that and I'm much more interested in having some fun with my powers. I figure the best way to do that is by wearing a mask and fighting folks who like causing trouble. If I happen to do some good along the way, I'll count that as a win."
Taylor and Armsmaster stared at me, apparently rather taken aback by my rather blaise admittance that I really didn't consider myself a hero. After a moment, Armsmaster pulled himself back together and glanced at Taylor.
"Do you need a hospital?" he asked.
"No, I don't think so," said Taylor, "Agni stepped in before Lung could get close."
Armsmaster turned his gaze back on me.
"Your name is Agni?" he asked.
"Hmm, your new," he said, "Both of you are."
"First night on the job," I said, "For both of us."
"I haven't even come up with a name yet," said Taylor, "You know how hard it is to come up with a bug-themed name that doesn't make me sound like a supervillain or a complete dork?"
"How about Ladybug?" I muttered, only to be ignored.
"Your working together?" asked Armsmaster.
"Not really," I said, "I just happened to stumble on her fight with Lung and decided to step in before she got hurt. She was doing a pretty good job until he set himself on fire."
Taylor shot a glance at me. I think she was surprised that I complimented her, although I don't know why. Nearly taking down someone like Lung solo was an incredible feat after all.
"So, what are we gonna do with Lizardface over there?" I asked, jerking a thumb at Lung.
He'd stopped steaming, but was still well done and I highly doubt he'd be waking up anytime soon.
"I'll take him in," said Armsmaster, walking over to Lung and restraining him with a set of futuristic looking handcuffs.
"Good," muttered Taylor, "With him in jail, I'll feel like I accomplished something today. Only reason I started the fight was because I overheard him telling his men to shoot some kids. Only realized later that he was talking about some other villains."
Armsmaster turned to look at her and she told him about our encounter and chat with the Undersiders.
"These guys, they knew I was coming?" asked Armsmaster.
"I think that Tattletale must have some sort of precognition or advanced reasoning skills," I said, "Or it could be enhanced senses. That bike is kinda loud after all."
Armsmaster nodded absently, apparently ignoring the last bit.
"That explains a lot," he said, staring off into the distance, "They're slippery. On those few occasions we do manage to get in a toe to toe fight with them, they either win, or they get away more or less unscathed, or both. We know so little about them. Grue and Hellhound were working on their own before they joined the group, so there's some information there, but the other two? They're nonentities. If the girl Tattletale has some way of detecting or tracking us, it would go a long way towards explaining why they're doing as well as they are."
"It's funny," said Taylor, sounding thoughtful, "They didn't seem that hardcore. Grue said they were kind of panicking when they heard Lung was coming after them, and they were casually joking around while the fight was going on. Grue was making fun of Regent."
"They said all this in front of you?" he asked.
"I think they thought I was helping them out," said Taylor "The way Tattletale talked, I think she thought I was a bad guy too or something. Dunno, I guess it was the costume that led them to that assumption."
"Could you have taken them in a fight?" Armsmaster asked, glancing between the two of us.
"Most definitely," I said, "Although maybe not all of them at the same time. It would honestly depend on what powers they have and if I could get close. However, I'm pretty sure I could win."
"Hmm," mused Armsmaster, eyeing me up and down for a moment before turning his gaze on Taylor.
"I don't think so," she said, "Like you said, we don't know a lot about them, but I think that girl with the dogs-"
"Hellhound," Armsmaster said.
"I think she could have kicked my ass on her own, so no. I probably couldn't have fought them."
"Then count it as a good thing that they got the wrong impression," said Armsmaster.
"I'll try to look at it that way," said Taylor, sounding a little put out at the idea.
"Atta a girl," he said, "And while we're looking forward, we need to decide where we go from here. Who gets the credit for Lung?"
"I honestly don't care," I said, "Tonight was more for me to get the lay of the land and get some experience fighting in costume. They'll be plenty of time to gain some notoriety later on."
Taylor on the other hand looked even more put out, but Armsmaster cut her off before she could speak up.
"Hear me out," he said, "What you've done tonight is spectacular, you played a part in getting a major villain into custody. You just need to consider the consequences."
"Consequences," muttered Taylor.
"Yeah, I imagine that plenty of Lungs flunkies will want revenge on whoever took their boss down," I said, "I suspect that a gang leader is a bad foe to be your first catch."
"Exactly," said Armsmaster.
"You're saying I shouldn't take the credit," said Taylor.
"I'm saying you have two options," said Armsmaster, "Option one is to join the Wards, where you'll have support and protection in the event of an altercation. Option two is to keep your head down. Don't take the credit and fly under the radar."
I could see Taylor's mind ticking it over and patted her on the shoulder, making her look up at me.
"My advice, take the safe option for now," I said, "There'll be plenty of chances in the future to grow your notoriety without getting a bunch of psychos on your arse."
Taylor hesitated for a moment, before she nodded.
"Alright, please keep my involvement in Lung's capture secret," said Taylor.
She sounded disappointed, but not as much as I was expecting. Armsmaster smiled
"I think you'll look back and see this was a smart decision," he said, turning to walk to the other end of the roof, picking up Lung as he went, "Call me at the PHQ if you're ever in a pinch."
He stepped off the edge of the roof and dropped out of sight. I let out a sigh and stood, stretching out my limbs with a groan of relief.
"Well, that was entirely more bracing than I was expecting," I said, before glancing at my watch, "Well, its late and I've got school tomorrow so I should probably be heading home."
"Yeah, probably…" said Taylor as she slowly stood.
I smiled at her, although she couldn't see it through my mask.
"Hey, don't look so glum Ladybug," I said, "Its your first night and you've already helped take down a major player. Even if you don't get credit, thats still an amazing achievement."
Taylor shifted awkwardly, although she did stand a little straighter. I patted her on the back and walked to the edge of the roof.
"See ya Ladybug!" I called as I jumped to the next one.
"Bye!" called Taylor as I shot away in the direction of home.
As I jumped across the rooftops, I played the events of the night back in my head. Well, I was off to a flying start, first night as a cape and I've already met the hero and got to flex my powers somewhat. I grinned under my mask. I couldn't wait to see what would happen next!
And done. Whoo boy, this was a long one. Do NOT expect the rest of the chapters to be this long, although saying that, they probably will...eh, whatever, so long as you like my stuff, I don't care.
So, what do you think of Adam's power? Oh, thats our heroes name by the way. He'll be properly introduced next chapter. Anyway, his power is Agnis Schiwattas, the Fragment possessed by Aruka Schilds from Needless. Its also completely unchanged. I really didn't need to change it to make it work for Worm. Hell, most Fragments would work easily, with only the issue of each Needless getting one power needed to work around. Hell, I could probably even remove that as an issue if I did some hard thinking.
With that in mind, you can probably guess what I have planned for this story. Expect a few more Needless characters to show up and even a few Worm characters getting altered slightly to fit the mould. It won't take that much with what I have in mind, trust me.
I don't know if I'm going to have Taylor adopt the name Ladybug as her actual handle yet or if it'll just be a nickname Adam will use, but I can guarantee that the two will be friends and teammates. In what team I'll keep to myself though, although I can tell you that my ideas are going pretty wild at the moment. This may end up being more AU than some of my other works. No promises though.
I don't think I'm going to keep with the named attacks, although Adam is enough of a geek to do it. Oh, and before anyone throws a hissy fit, DXD will NOT be in this story. Incinerate Anthem is just a cool sounding attack name for a powerful fire based attack.
And with that, I'm gonna be signing out here. Don't forget to leave a review! Considering how long this chapter is, I think I deserve it...I need a rest.