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Forum: Questions and Answers
 Topic: Bringing People Together
Bringing People Together [message #110309] Wed, 01 July 2015 22:45
Cryptic is currently offline  Cryptic
Messages: 2712
Registered: June 2012
Location: PA
I posted in the Incoming Freshmen thread about a character "Double Header" who starts out as two people, and Muse has been playing with the concept, mostly rejecting the Regen/Mad Science scenario in favor of "Magical Accident", but I'm trying to think of other ways two people could end up fused together in the WU.

I suppose a Warping accident could work? Screwed up teleport or reality warping effect?

I don't know, I'm drawing blanks right now. Muse is mostly focused on Kara's first taste of life on her own for two years in Karedonia's wilds.


Just keep the caffeine flowing, and the bad ideas will be kept to a minimum... Step away from the Caffeine and no one will get hurt. I am one of the Caffeine Heathens who prefers Dew over Coffee. Beware my Muse: She wants to Break the Writer
Forum: Fan Fiction
 Topic: The Cat and The Valkyrie
The Cat and The Valkyrie [message #110390] Fri, 03 July 2015 22:00
Domoviye is currently offline  Domoviye
Messages: 966
Registered: December 2014
Location: Canada

Alexandra Swanson, laid curled up on the big comfy chair that had a nice warm sunbeam shining right on the seat. A book of quantum physics rested in front of her, she was trying to relax so she only flipped the page every minute or so, rather than every two or three seconds. Her tail had other ideas and flicked with irritation.

"Well... Alexandra, you haven't said anything all day," her Aunt Veronica said hesitantly still unsure of the changes her niece had gone through. "How, how are you holding up?"

She rolled onto her back, letting her head hang off the edge, with her legs and arms tucked close to her body, her long tail flicked her nose, making her whiskers twitch. The damn thing seemed to have a mind of its own sometimes. "Half bored out of my mind. And the other half is worried about Mom and Dad."

Her aunt sat on the arm of the chair and began stroking Alexandra's belly, making her purr in pleasure, it was almost as good as chocolate, which she couldn't eat anymore.

"I know this must be hard on you, so soon after your, um, well, changes. But your parents know what they're doing, they can handle this Ghost Raiser fellow." Aunt Veronica stopped petting her suddenly, bring a hand to her mouth. "I'm sorry, do you... do you like being petted? It's just you look so much like a-"

Looking up at the embarrassed woman, Alexandra let out a long sigh. "A cat. I look like a cat. And just like a cat, I like to have my belly rubbed, and my ears scratched, and my fur combed. If I don't like something, believe I'll let you know."

"Oh. Well ok than."

Hesitantly the petting started again, a loud purr rumbled through her body making it feel like she was in a massage chair. Looking at her fingers and thumb, which were small but almost human, if you ignored the grey fur on the back, and thick pads on the front of them, she tried to remember what it was like to walk on two legs, to wear clothes, to speak without a strange whiny tone, and to be able to walk into a store without everyone staring at her. It had only been six months since she hadn't been able to go outside without covering every part of herself, and four months since becoming a cat freak, but it felt like a lifetime ago. She wondered if her therapist back in Portland would say this was just her accepting her condition or if this was a set back.

Pushing the thought away as useless, she tried to think of something a bit more positive. Her parents email that morning said they were confident they'd capture the Ghost Raiser the next time they fought, and then she could return home. It wasn't much, she couldn't see her friends anymore, but at least she'd be home, and she could ask her therapist in person.

Sparky, her aunts cat came into the room. Alexandra could see him tensing, smell a tiny bit of musk coming from his scent glands, all of it meant to say 'This is mine.' Too bad for the cat, she was bigger, smarter and a hell of a lot stronger. When she'd arrived three days ago, the cat had tried to scratch her nose and show his dominance by biting her throat. Big mistake for the cat.

The Portland MCO, listed her as an exemplar 6, with the strangest Bit they'd ever heard of. The claws had tickled her, and the teeth on her neck had only mussed her fur. When it tried to mount her, she had thrown the animal across the room, jumped on top of it and proceeded to let it know who was boss. Because her Aunt loved it, the cat had survived, but it was still missing some fur.

Sliding off the chair, upside down and head first, she headed for the window, walking on all fours. "I'm going for a walk, I'll be back for lunch."

"Are you sure?" Aunt Veronica asked worriedly.

"I'll be fine. Nothing can catch me if I run, and if a car hits me, it will be the one that breaks."

Her aunt rushed to the entrance way. "Just a minute. Remember to take your MID."

Trotting over to her aunt, she took a specially made collar that had a small pouch attached to it with her MID, and fifty dollars stored in it. According to her Mom, it was waterproof, but she had no desire to see if that was true. Drying her fur was a pain, so unless she was taking a bath, getting wet was not something she wanted to do.

Clipping it around her neck, she opened the window and jumped into a tree that was only about forty feet away, scaring a couple of birds in the process. Jumping to the next tree, Alexandria headed for the woods that surrounded the small town of Fort Kent. Along the way, she grabbed a bird out of the air. Without any hesitation, she twisted its head off, slit the body open with a claw that could cut through a metal plate, and tore the breast free of the skin and guts. Sitting on a branch high above the ground she ate her snack, being sure to pick the meat from the bones rather than trying to swallow them. Licking her bloody lips and fingers, she continued her walk.

**

Two hours later, bored of the forest, and not hungry anymore after catching a rabbit, Alexandra made her way into town. Sticking mostly to the rooftops, so no one would be surprised by what looked like an enormous house cat with hand-like forepaws, she watched the college students of the small town wander around, shopping, drinking coffee, talking to each other, and doing everything normal people did.

Her large, pointed ears twitched, she could just hear something interesting across the street at an outdoor cafe. Jumping the distance, she landed with a soft thud on the roof, a little hop and she was walking along the awning, her claws digging into the fabric just enough to keep her balance.

"- know where Brynhildr will show up next?" a young woman asked, before taking a sip of her coffee.

"Nah. She only shows when something interesting happens, and except for a few accidents what interesting stuff happens here?" her handsome companion said.

"There was that fire last week where she helped out. I actually got a picture of her flying with the fire hose to put out the fire at the top of the house. That was pretty cool."

"I come from New York, I've seen so many superheroes and supervillains fighting, a firefighting hero just doesn't seem like much," the young man said.

The woman snorted, "Not all of us are as jaded as you. It's cool that we're probably going to school with a superhero. I'm going to ask for her autograph the next time I see her."

Alexandra looked around, what could this town possibly have that warranted a superhero? Her aunt hadn't mentioned anything about that. Of course for the last few months her aunt had been worried about her, so she might not have thought it important, and it wasn't like they'd talked a whole lot before then.

She wondered if the superhero was like her parents, or a mutant like she was. Maybe she could meet her somehow. Despite her parents being superheroes, they didn't do much with the other heroes in the nearby cities. Her Dad, Tear Gas, said most heroes were reckless, thrill seekers, Mom just didn't care about them, she had her hands full with just Portland she always said.

The wind shifted, bringing the smell of coffee, pastries and perfume to her sensitive nose. She breathed deep, enjoying the smell. Her fur rose, a snarl rose in her throat. There was another smell there, rot and death.

She'd only smelled it once, but she would never forget it, or the person who it belonged to.

Slinking away, almost crawling along the roof, she got out of sight and took off running. She had to get to her aunts and phone her parents, if Ghost Raiser really was in town, she was going to die.

Jumping a hundred feet in a single bound she was soon across town and at her aunts. Some people had probably seen her jumping amazing distances, but between worrying about people calling the police about a jumping cat and a supervillain who wanted her very, very dead, she'd take the police any day.

The window she'd used was open, jumping from the tree she went straight through the narrow opening, her whiskers and fur just brushing the sides. "Aunt Veronica! Call my parents, we have to g-" her voice died.

Books, statues and other objects flew around the room like a slow moving tornado. A tiny, frail looking man of maybe thirty, with pitch black eyes, golden blond hair and an evil grin sat in the big chair, Aunt Veronica in his lap held tightly by her long brown hair, a knife at her throat.

"Hello Alexandra," the man said cheerfully. "I've been waiting for you."

**
Nineteen year old Axel Nilsson loved a good cup of coffee. Not in the obsessive way that so many people he knew seemed to, it was just that he knew how to appreciate the subtle flavors, and with so many mediocre blends out there, finding a truly good one was really worth something to him.

Needless to say, the aromas emanating from Petite Madeline as he approached the corner café were enough to set his mouth watering. The little shop with its outdoor tables was a popular hangout among his fellow students during this time of year, when everyone was trying to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible before the weather started getting too cold. Even now most of the people in sight were clad in hoodies or fleece pullovers to combat the cool morning breeze, many of them the familiar green and gold that Axel himself was wearing.

As he made his way through the small courtyard with its scattering of tables, a waving hand caught his attention. With a smirk he realized that a couple of his classmates had already beaten him here.

"Morning, Rachel! Morning, Brody!" he greeted warmly as he approached the table, "how was your morning class?" Axel very intentionally did not sit down at the table with them yet. The café itself was still calling his name.

"About as good as can be expected," Brody replied with a grin, "Don't get me wrong, bro, your grandpa is a great professor, but there's only so much you can do to make old books interesting."

Rachel opened her mouth as if to argue, but didn't say anything. After a moment just shrugged her shoulders and offered Axel a sheepish grin, apparently conceding the point to their mutual friend. And while Axel himself would have liked to argue about the value of these so-called "old books," he did have to admit that he was somewhat biased on the matter. Professor Keegan was his grandfather after all, and had instilled in him a love of literature and stories from a young age. Brody on the other hand was an athlete, not the star but a key player on the varsity soccer team, and though he had a healthier appreciations for academics than a lot of his teammates, it was still a different perspective.

"Fair enough," Axel found himself agreeing with a chuckle, prompted mostly by Rachel's reaction. "You'll have to fill me in more in a bit," he added, flicking his head to indicate the storefront that he still hadn't reached yet, "the siren song is still calling out to me."

Axel grinned as he made his way into the café, his friends' laughter ringing pleasantly in the courtyard behind him.

"Morning Axel, your usual?" asked the red-headed girl behind the counter. Axel couldn't help smiling when he saw that it was Janette, another of his classmates.

"Yes ma'am, that would be great," he replied, smirking a bit when Janette made a face. As much as the girl acted put out by the "ma'am" comment, Axel knew that she really enjoyed it. She had once confided in him that she had never really gotten much respect around her small hometown back in Tennessee, and that she thought it was sweet when he showed his respect that way. So it had become something of a personal joke between the two. He would make sure to address her as ma'am, and she would act all offended as if he was calling her old. Maybe it was a bit odd, but he had fun with it, and he could sense that Janette really did too.

And speaking of sensing, Axel could feel that something was a bit different about Janette today as she set about preparing his honey sweetened Irish Roast latte. She seemed somehow even happier than usual after one of their exchanges. There was a feeling of something...respect? Admiration? Longing? It was a complicated mix of emotions that radiated out from her, but Axel had felt it many times before. He knew what a crush felt like, but he hadn't expected it to be directed at HIM. For the next few minutes, all he could do was watch her as she worked, trying to sort out his own feelings in the process.

"Here you go, Axel, all ready!" she finally called out with a smile as she set the hot beverage on the pickup counter. She flashed him another smile as he approached and Axel sensed another spike in her emotions. Yep, she was definitely crushing on him. How long ago had that started?

"Yeah, um...thanks, Janette," Axel replied more nervously than he'd felt in a long time as he handed over his debit card and reached for the drink. Then he took a deep whiff of the strong aroma both to help settle his nerves and hopefully mask them as well. Unfortunately it didn't seem to work as well as he'd hoped, as he could sense worry slowly creeping into Janette's emotional mix as she handed his card back.

"Are you alright?" she asked quickly as she glanced at the door to see that another customer was coming in. "You seem nervous about something..."

"Yeah, I'm fine," Axel shot back, perhaps a bit too quickly, "just got a lot on my mind at the moment." Boy, did he ever.

"Oh, well okay then," she responded with another smile, though this one wasn't quite so easy as her previous ones had been. Axel could tell that she was still worried. "I guess I'll see you later for class then?"

"Yeah, I'll be there," he replied as he turned away to walk back outside, "I'll see you then!"

Once back out in the courtyard, with Janette safely outside of his empathic range, Axel cursed himself. He'd just let someone else's emotions cloud his own and mess up his reactions enough that the person had been able to tell something was off. It had been a long time since he'd messed up that badly. It probably hadn't happened at all since his sophomore year at Whateley, almost four years ago, or at least not so badly. Why were Janette's emotions affecting him so much? Was it because they resonated with his own, perhaps? Did he maybe have the same feelings for her that she did for him? He'd gotten so good at keeping his own emotions in check over the years that he just couldn't be sure at the moment. Dang sometimes it sucks being an empath.

With a shake of his head and a sip of his coffee, Axel started making his way back over to Rachel and Brody's table. He needed some conversation to help get his head back on straight. He groaned however as he approached and realized that their topic of discussion had turned to an area that always made him a bit uneasy.

"...going to ask for her autograph the next time I see her," Rachel was saying, and her dark-skinned companion's amused smirk just confirmed Axel's suspicions.

"You guys aren't talking about Brynhildr again, are you?" he asked needlessly as he settled into a seat across the table from the others.

"Bingo, you guessed it," came Brody's snarky response.

"And why wouldn't we be talking about her?" Rachel asked smugly, fingering a silvery sword-shaped pin that was attached to her UMFK sweater. "Even if I wasn't a leader in the Valkyrie of Fort Kent Appreciation Society, I'd probably still be talking about her. Do you have any idea how cool it is for a town the size of Fort Kent to have its own superheroine? I mean just think about it. Chances are she's one of our classmates, probably our year even, since she only started showing up after we all arrived as freshmen last year. We probably walk past her, maybe even TALK to her, every single day! How can you not find that cool?"

Axel ducked his head and took another drink of his coffee to hide his involuntary blush. If only she knew...

"As I said," Brody replied, completely nonplussed, "I'm from New York. I've probably been walking past superheroes every day for my whole life."

"Yeah well, we don't have that many back home in Mississippi, so cut a country girl some slack why don't ya?"
Axel could only chuckle at this all too familiar exchange. Rachel and Brody were hardly alike at all, but in spite of that they were great friends. In all honesty, he was beginning to wonder when he'd start picking up the same kinds of emotions from them that he'd felt from Janette this morning. That would have made sense. That wouldn't have thrown his own emotions and thoughts so far off track.

Then he felt it. A cold chill that had nothing to do with the rapidly warming morning breeze. This wasn't a physical kind of cold, but rather he felt it much like he did with emotions, and in fact it was tinged with other emotions as well. There was...fear? Anger? Annoyance? A deep, agonizing impression of loss and longing? Somebody was having a VERY bad day, and they were somewhere close by.

Going on instinct, Axel quickly lifted his head and looked around. The feeling was coming from somewhere on the side of the courtyard near the street, but as he gazed in that direction he couldn't see a source for it. Even more strangely, it felt like whatever was causing this feeling was moving away, following the street southward to one of the residential parts of town. Within a moment the feeling was gone, and Axel was left with a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. Something was very wrong.

"Oh crap!" he shouted out suddenly as he jumped up from his seat, startling Rachel and Brody, "I forgot Grandpa asked me to help him pull together some research on the Icelandic Sagas, for a project he's working on." He very obviously glanced at the watch on his wrist. "I'm supposed to meet him in five minutes!"

"Well crap, you better hurry then," Rachel replied with an understanding nod, "Sure he's your grandpa, but he's a stickler for being on time." Then she turned a sly grin on Brody. "Isn't that right, Brody?"

"Uh...yeah, that's definitely true." Brody rubbed the back of his head as he offered a sheepish grimace before turning to Axel. "Hope he doesn't get too harsh with you. He actually made me stand at the back of the classroom today, and I was only running a couple of minutes behind."

Axel had to suppress a laugh as he turned away to dash off with his latte in hand. That definitely sounded like something his grandpa would do. "Thanks guys, sorry for bailing. I'll catch you both later some time." And with the he took off at something close to a brisk jog, heading north toward campus and trying not to spill his coffee.

Only a couple of blocks later, Axel made sure there was no one around to see him as he ducked into an alley and stepped behind a dumpster so he was hidden from view. Then he took off his backpack and pullover, which he immediately bundled together before pulling a small, key-fob-like device from his pocket. This was in fact a devise, a gift from one of his former classmates at Whateley that had proven invaluable to him again and again over the past year. He pinned it to his bundle before setting it down on the ground, close but not too close to the dumpster, then hit one of the devise's two buttons. After just a moment and a brief flickering, his bundle was suddenly wrapped in a holographic projection that was adapted to match the current environment. Currently, it looked like a small but particularly nasty bag of garbage, complete with holographic maggots crawling along its surface. That ought to keep any random passerby from messing with it for a while.

That small bit of business taken care of, Axel steeled himself for the next part, which still always made him slightly uneasy after all these years, though admittedly nowhere near as much as it had at first. With a quick mental nudge, Axel suddenly felt the sensation of his hair growing longer as a second skin manifested around his body, altering his figure into something that was decidedly unlike his own.
Exactly why his primary PK shell made him look like a striking Nordic female with long snow-white hair was something that neither he nor the powers testers at Whateley had ever been able to figure out, but after living there for four years as Brynja Elizabeth Nilsson pretty much full-time, he'd managed to adapt well enough. In fact, after coming to Fort Kent he'd finally started to realize that looking so different with his powers active was probably a good thing.

Now if only it didn't make his clothes feel so uncomfortable! He'd taken to only ever wearing loose, baggy clothing whenever possible, for just such a situation as this, but they still didn't feel right with his altered proportions. The fact that this shell also transmitted sensations could certainly be annoying at times. But oh well, now wasn't really a good time to complain about it.

With another mental nudge, Brynn activated her secondary PK shell, which manifested with the appearance of her signature silver armor. This was the real source of her combat powers, since it was rated at PK-4 and when combined with her primary shall gave her an overall rating of PK-5, meaning she could lift approximately 5 tons, shrug off considerable damage, and fly at a decent clip.

Brynn smiled under her helmet. As awkward as it could be at times, having her powers felt good, and the fact that she could use them to help people made it even better. Taking off into the air with a thought, she veered off southward toward the residential district.

Time to find out what was going on.

**

Alexandra arched her back, her long grey fur rose up, doubling her size, teeth bared, claws unsheathed, she glared half in fear, half in anger at the mutant wizard. "Let her go!"

"Of course. As soon as you get into the bag, I'll let your lovely aunt go, and we can go visit your parents," Ghost Raiser said. One of his invisible ghosts came close to her with a bag that looked like it was made of black silk, dark red runes were painted on the side. She could smell the dried blood coming off of it.

"Go to hell!"

"All in good time, Alexandra. All in good time. I suppose I could kill your aunt, capture her soul and turn it into a hunter. Every time you go to sleep, you'll see her screaming face, and you'll know she is coming back to me telling me all your secrets." He smiled gleefully. "You know I may do that anyways. Think of the fun I'll have when I show your dear father what I've done to not only you, but his sister. I'm sure you have other family members I can slaughter, cousins, grandparents, maybe even a sibling."

Her ears went back, it took all she could not to go for his throat. Her little brother Ryan, who hadn't been seen by the maniac, was hiding in Seattle with their grandmother. The thought of him being anywhere near Ghost Raiser sent spikes of fear and rage through her.

"Alexandra, you can save your extended family all of this pain. I just want to show your parents to not stick their noses in my affairs. You can do this well enough, one life in exchange for a dozen? Two dozen? Your parents are heroes they'll understand."

The scariest part of this was that the man was saying everything so reasonably, it was as if he was discussing buying a car, trying to explain to a hesitant customer that it really was a good deal. Then she smelled something, something that was a little like rotten eggs.

"If you're going to kill me, and you will because there's no way I'm letting her make this deal, can I have one last cigarette?" Aunt Veronica asked.

"Those will kill you, you know," Ghost Raiser told her.

That got a little laugh, and a wince as the knife dug into her aunts throat. "If that's my biggest problem in five minutes, I'll consider it a good trade," Aunt Veronica said.

The villain laughed happily. "It's going to be a shame ripping your soul out. Do you think I could convince you to become my apprentice?"

"You're a little young for me. I've never thought of myself as a cougar."

His body shuddered and faded for a second, where a thirty year old man had been seated, a distinguished, but still tiny, man of fifty took his place. The only way to tell it was the same man were the pitch black eyes, and the knife he still threatened her aunt with. "How about now?" he asked.

"Never been a fan of the soul ripping, sorry. Now about the cigarette?" her aunt asked.

With a sigh, Ghost Raiser waved at a pack of cigarettes and a cheap lighter that were flying in the air. They came forward and Aunt Veronica took them slowly and carefully, eyeing the knife at her throat as best she could.

Alexandra could smell the gas getting stronger, it would be impossible for a human to smell it but it was there, and more was coming from the kitchen every second. She wanted to scream, to tell her aunt not to do it, but there wasn't anything she could do. If she moved or shouted a warning, Aunt Veronica was dead.

She flinched as the cigarette was lit, but the gas was still not strong enough and too low to the ground. Her aunt savoured the smoke, taking another drag from the cancer stick. With a nervous smile, Aunt Veronica threw the thing behind her, it landed just in front of the kitchen door. Looking straight at her, her aunt said, "Tell your parents to kill this guy for me."

There was an explosion as the gas leaking under the kitchen door ignited, and the kitchen walls burst outwards.

Everyone went flying from the force of the blast.

Alexandra hit the wall feet first and bounced off straight at the fallen and dazed Ghost Raiser as flames engulfed the house. Her aunt was on the ground, not moving. With a snarl of fury, her claws went for the villains eyes, only to stop a fraction of an inch away by a PK shield. One of his ghosts grabbed her by the scruff of her neck and stupidly threw her away from its master. She rolled in the air, jumping from the wall to the ceiling and fell like a guided missile on the villain.

Despite his PK field, Ghost Raiser who had been slowly getting to his hands and knees, slammed into the ground. Her claws scratched uselessly at him, animalistic rage filled her. Again a ghost picked her up, but this time the bag came towards her, opened wide like a hungry mouth. She couldn't find any leverage to get out of the phantom hands, the bag seemed to be pulling her in.

Someone else grabbed her, a real hand this time. Alexandra was wrenched out of the air and thrown through the shattered window. She heard her aunt screaming at her to run.

With tears in her eyes, she fled, the moans of the ghosts hard on her heels and smoke filling the air.


Hero Initiative a web serial of a world thrown into chaos.
Forum: The Padded Room
 Topic: I think this experiment needs to be ended.
I think this experiment needs to be ended. [message #110196] Mon, 29 June 2015 06:23
Baby Valentine is currently online  Baby Valentine
Messages: 1627
Registered: May 2014
Location: Central Illinois
It was perhaps a noble effort, but I think there are only two solutions.

A. Terminate the padded room. (Probably the best.)

B. Delete messages that make "factual" claims without citational support. (Way too much work.)


Edit: PS This is solely my opinion and may not reflect those of anyone else.


Don't Drick and Drive.

Good thing I ain't never read them laws.

[Updated on: Mon, 29 June 2015 06:24]

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