Taylor Hebert lay in her bed as her father finally left for work. Nothing mattered, even having powers. Far from fixing her issues, she still sat in a gloom as she knew of all the failures that would be coming. They called it a dissociative disorder.
Memories that were not my own.
Except she could probably check things and prove the doctors wrong. Prove that they were worthless, yet again.
Taylor shuddered as she opened her eyes.
Dang. Only fifteen minutes. Can't even get tired enough to sleep.
Did I want to prove that Emma had been attacked by the ABB and then had her frail ego warped by the cruel young hero?
No. Proving that would mean all I had was Dad. And he was working himself to death.
Another fifteen minutes.
She felt a well of powers ebb and flow as one of her main abilities tried to find a mix of six powers that could help her. Teleportation, disintegration, flight (redundant, power!), time compression/expansion, a combat precognition power (not in combat, power!) and finally a defensive field to negate any attacks.
Nothing useful to help my... damage. With a mental flick, she turned them off.
Taylor just wanted her mom and dad back.
And then reality started to shuffle as another power worked to fulfill her almost unconscious desires as tears streamed down her face while she stared at the ceiling.
"Taylor? What's wrong?" Annette Rose Hebert asked.
After a long moment, Taylor looked over. "It's- It's all gone to shit Mom. Emma's become this horrible person that torments me all the time in school."
Annette leaned down to hug her daughter. "I'll always be here, you know."
"Except you died. You aren't my mother. Your some other Taylor's mom." Her brown eyes studied the shade of her mother. "It broke Dad. It broke me."
The mother frowned. "What are you talking about? I mean, it took most of a year for me to heal after the accident-"
"My power brought you here to this Earth. I'm so pathetic that I have to steal my mother from her real daughter." Taylor tucked her head down.
Annette sat and thought for a second. "But I'm here for you now and you can put me back afterwards? I'm pretty sure my other daughter Taylor would be happy that I helped you. Come here, Little Owl. Sit up."
With a lot of prodding, Taylor sat up in a slouch and let the faux-mother hug her. She started to cry a little more as she let the lie into her heart.
"So, you are a parahuman? With powers?" Annette asked a while later. "What can you do?"
The girl shrugged. "Just about anything I want. But it won't fix things like you being dead."
"If you can do anything, why couldn't you? I mean, you brought me here. Couldn't you bring your mother here, just before she died? You look a little older than my Taylor. And too thin, too." Annette ran her hand up and down Taylor's back. "Or maybe something to help heal your psyche? Like some ambrosia or nectar of the gods to cure you?"
Taylor blinked, then nodded. "I- Maybe? Can you stay and make sure it works?"
"I can stay until you have your own mother back," she promised.
Willpower started to rise ever so slightly as she thought over what she wanted. The ability to reshape, repair the mind and body. Ten glowing stars within her rose up and the merged into an incredible thing. Suddenly, she understood everything about her body, as if she could reshape everything about her for such a huge area.
Her inhumanly keen mind started to carefully pluck at memories and connections with the skill of advanced, futuristic psychology. She stopped, ten minutes later as she finally felt almost stable.
"Thanks, Mom. I'm going to send you back. This will all feel like some sort of dream." She tweaked the other woman, fixing any little wrong things and removing the scar from an accident that did not quite kill her.
"Goodbye, Little Owl. Go save your mother. Help your father." Annette leaned forward and kissed her daughter on her forehead. "Be the best hero in the world, why don't you?"
"I will." That shuffling power rose up and with a stutter, returned the woman to her own time and place. "Save Mom, fix Dad. Be a hero. I- I can do that, I think." She stood up and tried to think of her first thing to do.
Ten minutes later, Taylor Hebert (she had to be Taylor Hebert, she could ignore some of those other memories for now) stepped out of her shower and stood in front of the bathroom sink and mirror as she patted herself dry. She still looked like an upright frog. A little bit of a belly, no boobs and stick thin. Her Mom had even said so.
She could fix that too, but not too far, the fifteen year old girl thought to herself. The little bit of flab disappeared, moved upwards to give her almost a b-cup pair of symmetrical breasts. Muscle and a thin layer of fat filled her out a little bit as her hips widened in a more womanly manner. She only touched the little bit of her face to make it more symmetrical with slightly more full lips. Pimples and blemishes faded away.
Not pretty, but no longer ugly.
Then she realized she needed a costume. She went into her bedroom and found all the stained, ruined outfits in a box and started to shift molecules and atoms around. Almost white with silver accents, with the symbol of Ouroboros surrounding the symbol for infinity. A white and silver bodysuit with leather gloves and boots and a belt to break up the outfit. A face mask that covered most of her face and eyes along with the long cape finished off the outfit.
She looked like a young hero, she decided. Taylor turned and stepped out of the reality of Earth Bet.
Annette scowled as she heard her cell phone ring. She glanced over to her purse and reached for it. With a little fumbling, she pulled it out. "Danny? I'm on my way home." She listened for a second. "For the party on the 10th? Sure-"
She never saw the light change earlier than expected as her phone beeped with a text message. Nor did she see the big truck swerved around a car to stay at ten over the speed limit to punch it through the green light as it turned. So the crash as it t-boned her car seemed to come from nowhere. Glass shattered and the door broke her arm and all of her left side ribs to lacerate her lungs.
Then, between one blink and another, she found herself on a roof overlooking an accident as the four door car spun around and hit two more cars.
"Oh god. Oh god! Did I just die?" she said as she started to hyperventilate.
"No, but you would have if I hadn't interferred," the floating figure next to her said as the world ignored them.
"Who are you?" Annette asked.
"Mom, its me." Taylor pulled down her mask. "I came back in time to save you."
"Taylor? What happened?" The mother felt her heart break, because she knew well enough what created parahumans.
"After you died, I- I got bullied in school. No one would stand up and Dad and I were just broken. Still are, really. Even with powers to fix my mind. I got shoved in a locker filled with tampons and pads." Taylor shivered there and pulled her hands tight around her torso. "I guess that's when I 'triggered'." The lie came easily, all the better to ignore the source of her powers and knowledge.
"Oh, honey. That won't happen now," Annette said and she pulled the girl down into a hug.
Taylor looked away. "It kind of does have to happen, or I won't get the power to save you. But I think I can trick things. Make it look like you died like in my memories, but bring you into the future. That way I can have the power to be a hero. Maybe save Brockton Bay." Or all the Earths in existence.
Annette stared at her daughter with a deep frown. She did not like this idea at all. That did not mean it might be the only way. "So what are we going to tell everyone about why I'm alive years later?"
"Um, a parahuman rescued you from a death in the past?" Taylor shrugged. She might have to rewrite some people's memories. Reality folded-stuttered around them for a long minute and they appeared in the living room of the Hebert household.
Her mother looked around to see the slightly messy room. "Honestly, you two. You really do need me around to keep the house together, don't you?"
Taylor winced and started to fix and clean things. "Sorry."
The house even groaned as the foundation came together as the buildings went back to square again. Even the one rickety step on the porch no longer wiggled.
"So how are we going to tell Danny about this?" Annette mused to herself.
"I can call him, but he only finally went back to work after I woke up yesterday." Taylor suppressed a small shiver at that as she felt her psyche tremble under the weight of her many problems.
"Right. And what about you? There's no way I am going to send you back to that school if it caused you to trigger. I just wish I had some way to protect you," Annette muttered mostly to herself.
Taylor reached for those sparks of power again, only to feel that it would not happen soon. Did she have any other way? Biomanipulation, psychokinesis and opening her psychic pathways with her own mental powers could work.
"Mom, I think I can give you some low level powers for now. Help keep you alive. Maybe even explain your survival as a parahuman trigger thing?" she thought allowed.
The older woman studied her changeling daughter. "Yes, at least that much. You'll do that later for Dad, too?"
Diseases and weaknesses disappeared from her mother's body even as she strengthened her bones to something stronger than any normal matter. Muscles and sinews adapted to something stronger than anything in nature.
And then the spark of psyker energies filled Annette's mind as she became equally capable in the five mental arts. But no understanding of her powers yet, that would take time and effort.
"That- That was something. I feel better physically and I can feel things with my mind," Annette said in wonder.
"Um, yeah. I sorta turned you into a low level brute, thinker, shaker, master and mover." Taylor grinned slightly. Kind of broken, but handy. She would have to make her proper armor for her and Dad later.
"Well, let's get some lunch and then we'll talk until your dad gets home from work," Annette said as she moved to the kitchen.
Taylor's mind reached out to her father's own mind. A very slight nudge turned his thoughts into action to leave early to check on her.
Danny Hebert sighed as he stopped the truck in the driveway and then turned the key to off. He hoped that Taylor felt better, but he knew in his heart that it would take far longer than a day of rest to fix his poor, wounded angel.
He frowned as he noticed that the troublesome step didn't wiggle and something looked off about the house. Like it had been washed somehow, even though snow covered everything. He should shovel the walk again.
Unlocking and opening the door, smells assaulted his nose and filled him with nostalgia. "Taylor?"
"Dad! Um, can you come to the kitchen? I want to show you a surprise."
He walked over there and saw a ghost at the kitchen table. "Annette?" he asked as he felt his knees weakened. "How? You- You died."
She stood up and hugged him tight as their lips met. "Taylor saved me with her powers. She went back in time to snatch me from death, while making it look like I died."
"How? What? No, that's-"
"She triggered in the locker, Danny. Our little girl has so much power," she explained.
Tears streamed down Taylor cheeks as she watched her parents reunite.
Danny pulled Annette over to Taylor and then hugged them both so tight. "Oh, god. Please let this be real. If it isn't I don't want to wake up."
They stood together, babbling calming nonsenses for ten long minutes.
"Sit down while I make you something to eat. What do you want?" Annette asked him.
"Just a sandwich and some soup," he said as he slid into his chair.
"Um, Dad?" Taylor fidgeted for a second. "I can give you some powers, so you can protect yourself a little bit. I already did that with Mom." She sat down across the table.
"You can just give people powers? That's... pretty amazing," Danny admitted. "Why do I need powers, though?"
"So you can't die accidentally in a car wreck or in case someone figures out who I am. I can do more later, but this is enough to start with."
He reached across the table to put his hand on her own hand. "I can understand why you would want to do that. Is it going to hurt?"
"No, I can control any sensations while I do it. You'll have to practice the mental powers until you can figure out which ones work for you," she explained as she started on the same process she used on her mother. Biological brute without actually being a parahuman and channeling psyker abilities within his mind. "Like I explained to Mom, you are now a bit of a Brute, Mover, Shaker, Thinker and can be a Master. I would not recommend going there if you can help it."
Danny blinked as he felt better than at any point in his life. It looked as if he put on twenty pounds of fit muscle. A quick check of his hair and he frowned.
"Dad, if I gave you your hair back, people will know you have super powers. Now you can fake it a bit by wearing loose clothes.
"So, Taylor, when are you planning on going out to be a hero?" Annette asked as she sat down at a third side of the small kitchen table.
"Tonight or tomorrow night." She tried hard not to wilt back under the gaze. "I'm pretty sure I'm not in any danger to any of the local villains. Or even heroes."
"What are you powers? You sound confident," Danny said as his frown deepened.
"Um, think a powered up Triumvirate plus Dragon/Armsmaster with psychic powers and the ability to control matter and access alternate dimensions. Like all the dimensions. Oh, and some biomanipulation that I used to give you Brute type abilities without being Parahumans." She looked between them and sighed. "I told you I pretty much have 'yes' for powers."
"You think you are more powerful than the Triumvirate?" Annette asked.
"I think so, but it's not exactly that easy to go test. But no one right now locally but Lung can even get close to my physical side. And he would take a while to ramp up. I'm, well, pretty ludicrous." Hmm. She should probably make it that these memories were not accessible when she wasn't around. "I'm going to make it so Thinkers can't figure it out from me telling you guys, okay?"
"Sure?" Annette asked. She sniffed and then released her breath. "I don't want you to go out alone."
"I don't want you to go out at all, but I'll agree to not going out alone," Danny agreed as he nodded his head emphatically.
"Uh, but that will really put you guys in danger." And Taylor really wanted to go out and start fixing Brockton Bay. "Wait, I have an idea! Can I take over the basement for a workshop?"
"How does that make it so you aren't going out alone?"
"I'll make you guys the best armor I can invent! What? I told you I'm like Dragon and Armsmaster, but better!"
Danny and Annette Watched her reshape the basement into a larger, two story workshop pushing down into the ground further for about an hour. Then they disappeared upstairs.
Taylor very specifically did not need to know what they were up to. Nope, not at all. Half an hour alone and she stopped remaking reality and sat down in a chair as it struck her how alone she was again. Tears started to leak down her cheeks as she fought off waves of self-loathing and shame.
Her parents deserved happiness. She was being selfish. She was an adult- Well, a big girl at least. She would have someone like they had each other. The thought of Brian or Lisa passed through her mind for a second. She snorted a bit of hysterical laughter. She hadn't even met them yet. They probably wouldn't even like her-
She stopped that as she forced her biomanipulation to try to calm down her brain chemistry and head off a long bout of depression. Taylor needed to go out tonight. She could 'accidentally' maybe meet the Undersiders. She desperately needed some friends her age.
Taylor stared off into the distance. As easily as someone else could look across the room to see a person sitting in the room, she could feel the damaged psyche of one Emma Barnes. The anger and glee at putting down someone, but it merely covered that Emma was broken and desperate to not be hurt anymore. And poisoned by Sophia Hess and her stupid, Parahuman driven conflict mindset. She could feel that, too. The alien impulses appearing in the twisted mind of the 'superhero' and track star.
Maybe when she went back to school she could fix them. But changing them that much would change them as people. They'd no longer be who they were.
The heroine floated into the air and slowly started to turned the dirt and rock into more tools. She probably didn't even need those, as she could psychokineticly just reshape matter into what she needed. But she remembered that actual Tinkering would be safer and better. So she made tools that created more tools.
She reached for that well of powers that imitated Eidolon's own power and pulled up that time compression power again, ignoring the other powers for the most part. Though she would have to remember that ability to amplify parahuman powers. That could be useful when she fought Endbringers.
Taylor paused at that point. No. Not fought.
She would destroy them. All twenty of them if needed be. Earth Bet would be protected.