I stepped off the curb, and turned as I heard the screeching of tires, and saw the front grill of a semi truck baring down on me. I felt the impact, the bone shattering force as I was lifted off the ground and sent flying into the air, the pain consuming every inch of my being.
Somehow even my hair hurt, my but hurt, hell, even my nails hurt. And thats not bringing up everything else that hurt. And yeah, for anyone who's curious, that hurt too.
I crashed into a parked car, sending spiderwebbing cracks up its windshield.
I coughed once, a red bubble inflating and then popping between my lips. I idly realized that one or both of my lungs had collapsed as I wheezed. People clustered around me, some on their phones with what sounded like the police, other just recording me as I bled out.
Yeah, real helpful lady with the red shirt, recording me and repeating, 'shit, that looks bad, is he dead?' Will really help the situation even if I am dead. Time seemed to slow as I laid on the back of the car. Through a herculean effort, I moved my head so I was staring up at the sky, I looked on as flock of birds…
Holy shit, was the world actually frozen? The flock wasn't moving, I belatedly realized that the people talking had stopped, I flopped my head back around too see that yes, everything had frozen, with one odd exception, a man in a dirty white suit who grinned at me as he strode forward.
The man smoothed his white suit, which was actually pristine with the exception of the cuffs on both his jacket and pants. As I looked down, I realized that his feet were actually dripping with what looked like oil.
Still smiling, the man sat on the car next, right next to me, he fidgeted closer, and then spoke, his voice smooth and melodious, like a choir, speaking all at once.
"Hello. Doing alright there?"
I did my best to say hello, and mostly curse him out for asking such a dumb question, but just continued gargling on my own blood, and all it did was make him shush me by placing one ink or oil stained finger on my bloody lips.
"Shush, do you want to be better?"
I nodded as hard as I could, all it really resulted in was a sort of positive quivering of my head that he apparently understood. He clapped his hands in delight before leaning closer, his eyes aflame with an inner glow that sent shivers up my shattered spine.
"Gooood," He purred. "Now, heres the deal, I am going to send you somewhere else, you will have a letter when you wake up. It will tell you what your job is, I expect you to fulfill the end goal with all speed."
I coughed, my chest aflame with pain, trying to say that I needed a little more detail then that. Hejust patted my cheek, leaving a black handprint that looked almost like a tattoo.
"Don't worry about it my little errand boy, you will have power aplenty. But should you fail, even with all the power I plan on giving you?"
His hand grasped my shattered jaw and wrenched my head to stare directly into hellfire eyes that burned me to my very soul.
"Well, should you fail, you will wish that you died hear, in agony and alone, gawked at like an exhibit in a zoo. Clear?"
I gave another head quiver, whatever, this, this thing, was going to have me do, he obviously was going to give me enough to get it done. I had to at least try, rather then dying here, chocking on my own blood. The man clapped his hands in glee after my positive response.
"Goody goody, now, just remember, your there to fulfill what the letter on your chest says. Good luck, and good hunting."
And abruptly, darkness consumed me.
I opened my eyes too look at clear blue skies, dotted with the occasional white puffy cloud. I gasped as my lungs filled with air, I patted myself down, my hands searching for anything in pain. Finding nothing, I looked for the envelope, and there it was, pinned to my chest.
I took of the yellowed parchment and tore it open, and began reading feverishly.
First things first, Welcome to the Worm universe, second things second, your a girl.
I paused and placed one, tentative, long fingered hand down my pants and screamed. I looked back at the letter, ready to tear it too shreds if it didn't explain really, really well.
Yes, I know, but I wasn't joking about you being a girl. Your main goal in this is too keep Taylor Herbert safe. To that end, a friendly female figure that is not a villain would do Taylor a world of good before she gets stuck in the role as Skitter.
I sighed, really pissed about being stuck as a girl, but realized that there was probably a good point somewhere In there and kept reading,
But, to make it up to you and make you the epitome of a perfect bodyguard and assassin Ive gifted you with a suit of abilities.
You can turn on a Stranger ability that I call the SEP field, or in other words, the Someone Else's Problem. In essence, you turn it on, and you could walk up to someone in broad daylight, shoot them, and walk away, and no one would stop you. It also works over electronics and recordings, so think about that and just take a stroll into a bank vault, fill up your bag with cash, and walk out. A second stranger ability is mostly for cosmetics, you can call up a dark fog to scare the crap out of people.
2. Limited Changer ability. You can't make something out of nothing, but if you have the biomass and someone else hair, nail, or really anything with a good chunk of DNA, you can turn yourself into a copy of them for a few hours.
3. Mover, two modes, the first is a quick jump that shifts you from one point to any other in line of sight. The second in a much longer range version that allows you to teleport to anywhere that you can clearly picture, carefully with this one though, if you aren't, you might end up halfway buried into a wall. Have Fun!
4. Striker. Nothing spectacular, but basically you know Kung-Fu and how to kill people with kung fu.
5. Brute, again nothing spectacular, but you hit a little harder, and can take a little more punishment than even olympic athletes. What makes you special though is two fold. You can ignore pain, as in 'oh, is that a piece of rebar in my stomach and an arrow in my knee? Who cares? Not me, thats for sure.' And the second is, you recover much faster then a normal human, anything that fails to kill you, and you are up and about in a week, fully healed from anything short of a chopped off head in a month.
Cant have you laying down on the job now can I?
6. Final two abilities are what I classify as a Blaster ability. You can imbue any ranged weapon with a piercing ability to penetrate anything. Yes, ANYTHING, End Bringers included, two issues to bring up, the first is that once past the initial target, the weapon in question will lose the penetration power. The second is that there is a limit, nothing bigger then a standard sized 50 caliber round, and only one shot at a time. The second is a blaster/thinker ability that grants you the ability to use any ranged weapon like you've been using it for years.
Now, abilities out of the way, Ive made a background so you can get right to work.
Your name is Moira Grey, part of the Grey clan who were indented to Danny Herbert's older brother. This life debt came in the form of providing a dedicated and trained, often Parahuman bodyguard. Danny's older brother passed away recently, leaving a will that declares the debt shall be passed to Taylor, meaning that you, Moira, as the latest in what I am sure will be a long line of Grey bodyguards for the Herbert line.
Really? A line of bodyguards? Convient excuse much? Shivering as I realized just how much I sounded like a teenage girl there, I kept reading.
That is your way in, you approach Danny and Taylor and just say what I wrote down, and make it clear that you will be around in one way or the other for the foreseeable future.
Considering that I inserted you the day after Taylor got released from the locker, and she's still in the psych ward dealing with the her new power, you'll be excepted pretty damn quick.
Now onto your list of objectives.
Primary goal is to protect Taylor Herbert, you are now the Robin and Alfred to her Batman.
Kill Sophia Hess, now that you're on site, your powers make hers obsolete, deal with her and make it permanent.
Deal with Coil, I would like it if the cauldron got him to use for End bringer fights, but if not, bury him six feet under.
Pull Armsmaster's head out of his ass, If you cant, same solution as Coil, end him permanently and quickly. A loose cannon like him can not be allowed to persist.
Emily Piggot, get her healed, good lady, but needs to get over Ellisburg before she kills herself over it.
Undersiders, as a whole, really minor but usefull, don't allow Taylor to become a villain if you can help it, but still get her in contact with the Undersiders, if they get rehabilitated you have the groundwork for a solid independent team.
Triumvirate, make it clear you know all, see all, but your only concern in Taylor Herberts well being. Remember, they all have weaknesses.
Thats about it, remember though, fail, and its back to the car for you.
P.S. I left you on the roof of Brockton General, Herberts are on the 4th floor. Your gear is by the door.
I put down the note and looked over to where the roof door was and cursed, there it was, a coat of some kind, a cowboy hat, realistic half skull mask, and a gun holster.
Fuck, Im some sort of ghost cowboy hero aren't I?
Great, just great.
I sighed as I shrugged on a long duster, and belted on the gun holster, the holster itself, noticeably empty.
I looked, and there it was, underneath the coat, nestled easily in my hand, a silver revolver with a textured ivory handle that felt right in my hand.
Deciding to pointedly ignore the fact that I was know an attractive, red haired Irish or Scottish teen, I opened the roof door and walked into the hospital, to go talk to a man about his daughter on one of the two worst days of his life.