Amy and the girl I learned was her sister Vicky finally calmed down enough to let me bring the former someplace private for a proper explanation. It might seem a bit cliché, but the place in question was a warehouse in Kenta's territory. I'd been staying here on and off. It was furnished for the most part, and even had power and water.
"Vicky can wait in the main area while we talk." I told the two of them. Monica was sitting on the couch watching television, a bored expression on her unmasked face. It was likely that both Amy and Vicky had no idea who exactly that was.
Though, to her credit, Amy seemed to catch on. "I- is that the-"
"Yes." I said with a grin. "That's Fourteen."
"She looks so…" Amy trailed off as Vicky plopped onto the couch next to Monica. "…normal."
"Yeah, it's amazing what suddenly not having thirteen voices in your head telling you what to do does for your sanity." Amy was taken aback by my statement. She glanced back at the couch where Vicky and Monica were talking, the former having a broad smile on her face. It seemed that Vicky had made a new friend.
"You fixed her?" Amy whispered incredulously without taking her gaze off Monica.
I waved a hand in a 'so-so' motion. "I can tell you more in private." Thankfully, Amy didn't say anything further as she followed me into a private room. I flipped the light on revealing the unconscious form of Victor, tied to a chair.
Amy inhaled sharply and backed away a step. "Meet Victor, the man responsible for taking the livelihoods of dozens of upstanding citizens, which almost included another doctor at the hospital where you heal patients." Emma and a squad of three former ABB members had tailed Victor while he was trying to get close to the aforementioned doctor. He'd been eating dinner at a burger joint with his family while Victor sat three booths down.
The Mind hates thieves, but it wasn't above making one repent for their sins.
"What the fuck is this!?" Amy turned to glare at me. "You can't just kidnap someone like this."
I pointedly ignored her, grabbing a file that I'd obtained from the PRT off of a nearby table. "Claimant's name: Marshall Steinberg." Amy gasped. Given what was to come next, it wasn't a surprise that she recognized the name. "Occupation: Former M.D. at Brockton Central Hospital. Claim: Assault with a Parahuman Power. Assailant: Victor of the Empire Eighty-Eight. Claimant's testimony: Victor leeched Mr. Steinberg's ability to perform surgery, costing him his career. Claim status: Denied due to lack of evidence." I tossed it back onto the table and looked Amy in the eyes. "There are almost fifty files just like this. Skilled workers who suddenly found themselves unable to do their jobs. All denied by the PRT for lack of evidence."
"That… that still doesn't justify…" Amy trailed off. It seemed that she didn't believe her own words anymore.
I growled, taking Victor by the chin and holding his head up. "Can you honestly say that this leech on society doesn't deserve everything he has coming to him?" Amy didn't reply. I let go, Victor's head dropping back down to rest against the back of the chair we'd tied him to.
"If I'm right," I sighed. "I believe that you already know what I am. I can still see and hear through the cells that you have, by the way." In what was seeming to be a pattern, Amy recoiled from me. "Not very well, mind you. But I get enough of a sensation to know where they are approximately. All I really know is that you have them."
She flushed with embarrassment. "They're incredibly virulent. Dangerously so, even. But also smart. After my third time preventing them from replicating, they stopped trying." A small cluster of brownish-green appeared on the back of Amy's hand.
"What would you think if a regular human," I glanced at Victor. "Or parahuman were exposed to these?"
Amy's eyes widened, but I still didn't smell any fear coming from her. A quick check with Butcher II's power told me that her heartbeat was only slightly above average. "I think that after several minutes, maybe half an hour, a person would be entirely overwritten by these cells. What that would accomplish exactly, I don't know. Though as far as I know of, horizontal gene transfer only occurs in bacteria."
"What I am is so much more than a simple microbe." I smiled mischievously. "When these cells infect someone, they overwrite the host by creating cells that function identically to the one that was overwritten. Skin is still skin, bone is still bone, muscle is still muscle, brain is still brain. Though as you've seen we do not necessarily need our brains to function normally. In fact, my body could be completely vaporized and I'd still live on until another body was created for me."
"That- you can't be serious." Amy spoke incredulously.
"Very serious." I answered. "One last thing. I remember before the restaurant you wanted to know what the presences inside me were." I held up a hand, letting one of the infection forms slide out. It seemed that Amy was finally desensitized to shocking things, because she actually leaned forward to get a closer look.
I had to keep from smiling when Amy reached a tentative finger out and poked the pod. It wrapped its feeler tendril gently around said finger. "It almost looks like a jellyfish." She commented idly. "I see clusters of those cells inside it. They kind of look like little pills. I also see something sharp-" Her eyes widened. "Does this do what I think it can do?"
"Yes, it can." The infection forms that I'd utilized were a modified version of the ones used during the Mind's last Great War. They were smaller, about the size of a softball instead of a basketball, designed to coexist with a host rather than overwrite them. The pod scuttled onto Amy's hand entirely and perched on her outstretched finger like a parakeet.
"Now then," I said, turning my attention to the slowly stirring Empire cape. "How about a proper demonstration?"