AN: This has officially been split off from my snippet thread (A Late Night Walk). It has gotten quite a warm welcome over there and has finally reached a point that I feel comfortable confirming that I can easily continue this story as the characters are growing into themselves.
One note, in this continuity, the canon timeline's a bit different. Lisa arriving in Brockton Bay and the Locker Incident happen at approximately the same time.
Coil stared at the feed from his soldiers' cameras and couldn't help the smile that spread over his face. It had taken quite a bit of effort to track his newest pet down, she was slippery and far too smart for her own good. She'd led him on a merry little chase for most of the day, but now the sun was set and the crowds had diminished and her cover was gone. She'd fallen right into his web. Just as they all did. Just as this city would.
His pet would show him the secrets of all of his enemies, whether she wanted to or not. He would rule here. His victory was all but assured now.
Dropping the timeline where he held the team back, Coil chuckled and split the timeline again as his soldiers handed his pet - Tattletale, he would name her Tattletale - the phone.
In the first world he brought his mirth under control and crooned, "Good evening, Miss Livsey. It's a pleasure finally getting to speak with you."
"You have me at a disadvantage," his Tattletale responded. She kept up a good act, her voice didn't waver at all. Yet he could see the fear in the way her eyes were flashing from one soldier to another, never settling for more than a second. The alley had no way out except through the three soldiers. Three trained soldiers with pistols and automatics vs. a single girl whose only skill was to talk. Ah how he loved to see the moment of despair.
"You may call me Coil, or if you prefer, Boss. I have a business proposal for you, Miss Livsey. I would like to purchase your services."
Her eyes centered on the phone and he saw her swallow hard.
The second timeline had just picked up the microphone after leaving her to stew for a few moments longer. Now to see how she responded to outright threats.
"Miss Livsey, I am Coil," his second iteration asserted. "You now work for me."
"I don't remember being hired."
"Oh you're not being hired, my dear. You simply work for me or you die. It really is that simple."
A shudder ran through her form and he grinned wider. Delightful.
In the first iteration she had taken a breath and shifted her eyes to focus on the pistol held by the soldier with the phone. "So, Boss, what happens if I say that I'm pretty happy staying out on my own?"
"Well, Miss Livsey, I would be very disappointed, and I believe you would have to be careful of consequences from such a choice. Brockton Bay is a dangerous city for young women after all."
Before either iteration of his Tattletale could respond, the light in the feed changed. One of the soldiers turned and Coil could see another teenager standing at the mouth of the alley. Really, the torn black formal dress and long hair were the few clues to her gender. The dirt caked onto her skin, primarily around her fingers, and the grass and wood chips in her hair were doing an excellent job of obscuring the girl beneath the grime. Coil frowned as his soldier barked at her to move along in both iterations. The girl just walked a step closer, stumbling after she had barely moved two paces and leaning against a nearby wall.
"Didn't you hear me, get the fuck out of here kid!" the soldier snapped. He pulled his pistol, leaving it aimed towards the ground as he glared at her. "This girl is under arrest for shoplifting. Enforcement is handling this. Get. Out."
In his first timeline, his pet gasped, her eyes widening. "No fucking way…You guys need to leave. Now. Don't antagonize her. Don't provoke her. Don't make any sudden movements. Especially Big Guy A, yeah you knucklehead, with the assault rifle."
"You think we're stupid, Livsey?"
Coil stared closer at the screen, trying to take in everything about the interloper. In Timeline B his Tattletale remained silent, still apparently too distracted with processing his direct threat to bother focusing on the child. Perhaps he should drop that option and have one set of soldiers attack the girl?
He shrugged. Why drop the timeline at all? He'd already threatened his Tattletale in that one, a bit of visceral demonstration would certainly drive home his message that she was his.
"Kill the dirty one," he said in the second timeline, while his first iteration said, "Hold your fire."
The soldier in the second world didn't bother responding. He just lifted his pistol and shot the girl in the head. His Tattletale screamed and dropped backwards onto her hands and buttocks and scrambled deeper into the alley. He snorted at the pathetic display and was nearly about to have the cellphone brought back to her when the dirty teenager stood up from the alley's ground.
He smiled, two capes for the price of one. This could not get any more perf-
"RAWWWWWHHHHHH!" The inhuman screech she let out was so loud he pushed back from the console and covered his ears. Even worse, as her mouth had opened he'd seen fangs in her visage. She dropped to all fours and before Coil could say anything, she pounced forward onto the soldier that had shot her. One reached down to try to pull the girl off his partner, but the man was far too slow. She had already brought her teeth down onto her prey's neck and torn a significant chunk away with just her jaw. Blood spurted across the alley and she clamped on again, nearly tearing his head off from the force of her second bite.
The other soldier's hand had finally reached her. He barely grazed her shoulder before she let go of the dead mercenary. She twisted so fast it was hard for Coil to follow her movement. She grabbed his hand with fingers that had extended into claws. Her other hand came up and she raked her other clawed hand through the armor plating on his arm. The soldier screamed, blood spurting into the air as the armor split like butter. The cape clamped her mouth onto his arm sucking in a spurt of the flying blood.
The third soldier had managed to bring his weapon to bear in the meantime and he laid into her with a fully automatic spray directly into her head and back. The girl barely even flinched, the holes closing almost as soon as they had formed. As soon as the bullets stopped flying, she launched herself from the, now dead, second mercenary and landed on the third. Growling and snarling, she ripped the weapon from the man's hands hard enough to take two fingers with it as she tossed it down the alleyway. Then she leaned down and bit into his neck as well, sucking greedily at the wound as the mercenary spasmed and died underneath her.
Coil could only stare at the monitor in front of him as the girl's blood red eyes met his own. There was nothing left in those eyes. Nothing human. Nothing he could manipulate, nothing he could talk to, nothing he could reason with or bribe. She was rage and pain and hunger.
And she was staring right at him. She dropped the dead man and stood, crushing the camera under one foot, the sound of flesh caving in echoing through the speakers from the other cameras' monitors. One of the men had fallen in such a way as to still show the alleyway as she stepped off the corpse and started further into the alley.
"Please! I can help you! I can help you remember! I can help you get food! You don't need to do this!"
"No, no, no, please!"
His Tattletale's scream echoed through the alley. Carnage. Complete, utter carnage. In less than 10 seconds the dirty cape had killed three professionals without a scratch and murdered his newest pet. And she showed no signs of stopping. And she somehow knew he was there.
Coil dropped the timeline, breathing hard, his hands clenched on the arms of the chair he was sitting in. He shuddered as the first soldier in his initial iteration reached for his pistol, the girl stumbling towards the three men.
"I said hold!" Coil screamed into his microphone. The man flinched, his hand moving away from his gun. "Get out of there! Do not shoot the girl, don't touch her!"
He split timelines again. In one he screamed: "Get Livsey and get out!" while in the second he shouted: "Leave Livsey as a distraction and get out!"
In the first one, Livsey snorted. "Hey, girl! Help me and I can get you food! I can help you, just get me away from these guys!"
The girl looked at Livsey then at the soldiers. She snarled, her mouth revealing the fangs and this time he could actually see her fingernails lengthen and sharpen as she took one step forward and leaped towards the man holding Livsey as they ran past her.
In the second iteration, Livsey waved as his men started to run past the girl. "Bye bye! Hi there Miss, I think I can help you." The men were gone before the camera was able to pick up anything further.
He scowled as his men died again in the first iteration and the girl came to a rest in front of Livsey, not even breathing hard. Not even breathing. Livsey just smirked. "Had your fill? Great. Now let's get you cleaned up and I can help you. And then we have an asshole to find before he finds us. Cool?"
"My name is Lisa. You saved my ass. As long as you don't eat me, I can help."
"Okay. Let's see what we can do about that."
He dropped the timeline, and fell back into his chair, nearly panting. Letting Livsey have nearly free reign over the feral girl was unfortunate, but it was better than the alternatives. At least this way, he could potentially salvage this. Even if he couldn't recruit either of them, he could at least potentially prevent them from becoming enemies. Forced recruitments were common in Brockton Bay. Livsey had to know that. If he was careful with how he approached her next time, he could simply pretend to have been trying to drive a hard bargain. He wouldn't have to worry about her setting a regenerating blur of fangs and claws loose to hunt him down.
Yes, he could salvage this.
Or…he could just leave town and try again in a different city.
Surely, there was a city without a crazy nightmare vampire whose loosely held leash was in the clutches of a girl with a grudge against him?
AN: I have a Pa tr eon and Ko-fi now! If you want to support my efforts and see some work-in-progress chapters a bit earlier as well as have a say in what I focus on please feel free to take a look. Both are under my other pseudonym 'Slider'. More descriptive links are in my profile.