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Fanfic Ending Everything (Worm, Cauldron, fic)

Discussion in 'Scribblings' started by PuzzleRaven, July 1, 2018.

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  1. PuzzleRaven

    PuzzleRaven Member

    Thanks @Reader, that is brilliant!
     
  2. jessica

    jessica Citizen of Logres

    Got your homework for the weekend then?;) Please don't drop this story. I'm really enjoying it::coffee:::up:.
     
  3. Reader

    Reader Vile Critic

    If you are doing a rewrite as you said in your message, I will make one other suggestion. Do not have the time and date in the chapter title. Unless you are doing a count down it pins you to a time, while allowing time to flow naturally creates a little freedom for you and a more natural flow for the reader. References to the sun coming up and things that people naturally notice can create a flow of time without adding the restriction.
     
  4. Terry

    Terry Member

    Likewise - looking forward to the next part.
     
  5. Threadmarks: Chapter 3
    PuzzleRaven

    PuzzleRaven Member

    Chapter 3​

    The long-term intensive care ward was eerily quiet, the sole exhausted nurse almost asleep at the entry desk. Comatose patients were not a priority when the floors below were already filled with the critically injured, with more arriving every minute. The nurse didn't even notice as Panacea walked through the ward to the corner cubicle where Flashbang lay. Panacea had always like the place for its quiet, one of the few places her power could make no difference at all so no one bothered her – not that she'd ever tell Carol that. Any one she could save she had helped long before they came through these doors.

    Flashbang's - Mark's, she corrected herself - cubicle was empty aside from the unmasked, unconscious, hero. She pulled the drapes fully closed, and slipped the window open, listening intently for the sound of footsteps through the deathly quiet. There was nothing aside from the sound of his machine-regulated breathing, echoed by similar machines up and down the cubicles.

    Glancing at the medical notes, she lay a hand on his arm to check his injuries and cringed. The coma might be medically induced, but she could see the damage to his brain from oxygen deprivation, damage that he could not recover from. It would be trivially easy for her to fix it, but if she did, what would be left of him? Would his personality survive? Would she resist the urge to go further, to tweak another's personality to suit her? The depression was a illness she could repair. Was she doing the right thing, allowing an unknown cape to heal him instead of breaking her one rule?

    "Ames," Vicky whispered, and she jumped. With care, her sister manoeuvred herself and her passenger in through the narrow window, helping the tall cape to stand. The woman looked at Victoria, then at Amy, and then the man in the bed. "Well?" Glory Girl's voice was a rasp. "Heal, do your thing, whatever…" And Amy realised the flaw in their plan. How the hell to explain what they wanted?

    The cape looked confused, peered at Mark's face as the machine breathed for him, and looked at Glory Girl. She reached out, cupped Victoria's chin and examined her face closely. This wasn't working.

    Amy reached out, touching the woman's arm and used her own power to read the woman's physiology, hoping the healer would detect what she was doing. The cape's eyes narrowed. Then Amy placed a hand on Mark's arm, and guided the cape's hand next to hers. She triggered her own healing, cleared up the start of a lung infection, the beginning of a bedsore, but left the brain aside from a scan and highlight of the injuries.

    Sudden understanding filled the woman's alien face. Amy felt the change, his body's repair systems kicking in as it repaired the damage, controlled by another's will. The brain lesions closed, new cells forming and taking the pattern of the old. His immune system flared, ready to fight the infections that Amy had already cured.

    "She's like Othala, gifting powers," Amy said in sudden understanding. "He's regenerating himself."

    The cape staggered as Amy felt the healing complete. His brain was whole, the damage from spending so long underwater corrected, thought she could still feel the imbalance of clinical depression. She didn't care. She was never going to complain about that again, if it meant he could still walk and talk and think. The cape pulled her hand away, stumbling into Vicky who caught hold of her easily despite her height.

    "Is that it?" Vicky asked, offering a shoulder for the cape to lean on. Amy nodded, smiling with relief.

    "Yeah. It's all healed. The only thing keeping him under now is the drugs," Amy replied, catching the cape's hand in both of hers. "Thank you. I know you don't understand but…" Amy's attitude switched abruptly from Amy the teenager to Panacea the medic as she scanned her patient. "Vicky she won't be doing any more. Get her back to bed and get her something to eat. I'll go the long way." The scarce resources the cape had rebuilt had gone, virtually depleted, and the churning light on her shoulder had dimmed. Her sister nodded, and as she climbed out of the window, Amy pulled the curtains back to half-open and shut the window behind them.

    ###​

    "If a villain has seen Shadow Stalker's identity, we need to transfer Stalker out, for her own safety," Legend instructed, in the medical consultant's office they had borrowed. It was typical that he would come back to the hospital and find the mess of an involuntary unmasking had got even worse. The local P.R.T. Director, Piggot, nodded.

    "And her family?" the Regional Director asked.

    "Relocation is possible," Legend said, less patiently. In the aftermath of an Endbringer attack relocating families was easy among all the other refugees who would be leaving. This was not something he should be approached about and Piggot finally cut to the heart of her real concerns.

    "Relocating her might be easy, but we're going to be down on capes compared to the villains." Legend was struggling tohide his irritation at being dragged into mundane bureaucracy when he had a world to save; a world to save from something he had always thought was a hero

    "I fully understand," he said, wishing he could snap at the woman that his concern was saving the world, not just one city. "And we will be moving some capes in to cover the shortfall. If there are any other capes you'd like rotated out, now would probably be the best time to approach the Chief Director. Now if that is everything?" Director Piggot nodded, recognising the dismissal, and walked out. As he went to follow, one of the Brockton Bay capes stopped him by the open door.

    "Sir?" He recognised Battery, but was surprised by her odd deference. He'd trained her through the original Wards system, and they knew each other far better than that formality. Still, no matter how much he needed to get down to business, shrugging her off would raise questions and she might have information.

    "Yes, Battery?"

    "We all saw what happened and-" she paused, her voice slightly awestruck. "What did it feel like when Scion spoke to you?" He blinked. If this was staged, Cauldron had worked fast.

    "I-" he was legitimately lost for words. It should have been one of the greatest moments of his life, but his world had fallen apart seconds before with a truth he almost wished he didn't know. Trying to explain the events of the day even following the official line was almost beyond him, but he knew he was visibly stalling in front of the crowd in the passageway, who were rather blatantly listening in. "Humbling," he settled for finally, and the words came easier as his natural charisma re-asserted itself. "I'm still trying to come to terms with it. Once I have, ask me again." Battery smiled, and the gaggle of eavesdroppers broke up. His comment would be shared all over the hospital in minutes.
     
  6. Threadmarks: Chapter 3 cont.
    PuzzleRaven

    PuzzleRaven Member

    Chapter 3 (Part 2)​

    Panacea found herself diverted several times on her way back, pulled in to consult or heal the worst cases. By the time she got back to the room she was guiding herself on the wall to stay upright, stumbling over her feet as she heard Carol talking in the corridor behind her. Ducking down so her mother would not see her, she dodged through a group of nurses and quietly pushed the makeshift-room's door open, sneaking in before her mother could see she had left. Vicky raised her voice to cover the hinges squeaking.

    "- remember anything at all?" Vicky was perched, floating lightly, on the side of the bed, holding one of the cape's hands. The cape looked at her with the same wary, broken, stare as before. Gratefully Amy sat down in the chair, noticing there were two empty cups and a vaguely warm soup by the bed.

    "Leek soup?" Amy said, taking the untouched cup as Vicky handed it to her.

    "It's what they had." Vicky shrugged. "Ames, I think she's a new trigger."

    "It might be more than that." Carol stepped into the room, obviously catching Vicky's sentence. Amy relaxed. If there was no shouting, Carol hadn't noticed she had left. "We couldn't find any records of her anywhere. Dragon doesn't have anything matching her on file." She held up a print out with what looked like an inverted omega symbol. "Panacea, can you tell if she has this symbol anywhere on her-" Carol broke off. The tubes on the left hand were retracting, leaving the twisted leathery skin that continued to smooth and fade, baring the pale blue skin below it. In the centre of it, a single symbol remained, black. Carol sighed.

    "Well, that makes it a Protectorate matter." Amy stared at her cup, trying to think. She had not detected the tattoo when she scanned the patient, and there was a distinct feel to the ones she had seen before. Was the patient faking it?

    "But, mom, why can't she join New Wave? It's not like she can have a hidden identity. And-" Vicky stopped, before her words ran away with her. Eric and Neil had been dead less than a day. It was too soon to be recruiting new members, too soon to know if New Wave would even survive as a group.

    "We don't know her, Vicky," Carol said. "Maybe later, once we know how your father is." Amy and Vicky exchanged quick glances, but neither spoke.

    "I am sorry," Their mother continued, suddenly professional, reaching passed Vicky to offer her hand to the patient, "I've been very rude. I'm Carol, and you are?"

    "I don't think she can speak," Amy said, as the cape looked at the hand blankly.

    "Oh. Then can you write?" Carol offered a notepad and pen, but the cape just edged backwards, never taking her eyes off Carol's face. Carol gave up and put them down. "I am so glad this is the Protectorate's problem. Do we even know what her powers are?"

    "Healing and Brute," Glory Girl said, pointing to the head of the bed where the cape had backed into it. The metal was bent in a v-shape, cracks running up the drywall where it had indented. "And Changer. She's got weapons under her skin."

    "Victoria, find and brief Armsm- Ms. Militia." Carol corrected herself and Amy tried not to flinch. She hadn't heard that Armsmaster was injured. He'd survived the Endbringer but there were always casualties from the fallout from the battle and the rescue work. It would be days before the final count was known. "Amy, get her medical notes in order. We'll cover any medical bills. I don't want the Protectorate claiming we missed something and suing us."

    There was a quiet knock on the door, and a nurse opened in gingerly, nearly hitting Carol in the tiny space.

    "Mrs. Dallon? Mrs. Dallon, it's about your husband. He's awake, and he's asking for you. Could you come with me?" As Carol froze in shock, Vicky snatched Amy into a hug, floating them inches off the floor. Vicky didn't even notice as her shoulder knocked the thankfully empty shelves to matchwood. Amy looked at the mess and giggled as she hugged her sister back.

    "Girls?" Carol was staring at them.

    "We're just-I mean-" Vicky said, catching Amy's eye and shutting up. Lamely she brushed a few stray splinters off Amy's shoulders as she put her down.

    "It's good news," Amy cut in, halfway between tears and laughter, "finally, some good news!" Carol stared at them for a moment before her face relaxed into a smile.

    "Panacea, Glory Girl, remember your conduct reflects on New Wave," she chided quickly, pulling herself together. "Coming?" Vicky bolted out of the window, obviously not remembering that Amy had shut Mark's cubicle window behind them.

    Panacea made one final check on the patient, who had lain back on the pillows and closed those disturbingly blank eyes. A touch on the arm reassured Panacea that her patient was simply going to sleep, and she followed Carol down the hall. Someone had to let Vicky back in when they got to the ward.

    ###​

    The concrete slab had been the top floor of a car park before Leviathan struck. Now Alexandria settled it over part of the wrecked ground outside the hospital as she landed. Medics rushed onto it to collect the casualties she had flown in, loaded hastily onto her makeshift transport.

    "Legend!" she called as she saw him, flying to him at near her top-speed. She was slower than the real Alexandria, but no one would expect Alexandria to rush around the packed casualties. She lowered her voice, pulled him aside as the medics worked. "Costa-Brown called. It's here."

    "In the hospital?" he asked, aware of the number of super-powered eavesdroppers who would be focused on him. Even talking around the subject risked parahuman intuition working out things Cauldron did not want known.

    "A monster cape or Case 53. Carol Dallon ran it over." He didn't ask for details, rushing inside as she followed. If the message had been passed on by Cauldron, they were sure of their target. The ward chart was visible at the far end of the corridor and he scanned it quickly, the doctor's handwriting giving him more trouble than the distance. The hastily added name at the end for a new room, noting A. Dallon as the attending, drew his eye. He stepped in front of the nearest nurse, catching her attention.

    "Where is B. Room 1?" he asked, urgently but trying not to frighten her. "A. Dallon attending?" She shrugged, not knowing, but Alexandria was already at the reception desk, asking the same question. He saw the receptionist's lips move, read her speech, and moved. People got out of his way as he flew up the stairs, shadowed by Alexandria, not caring about the rumours that would start or the explanations and apologies he'd have to give later.

    The door flew open under his foot, sending a chair clattering across the floor. Something sat up with a start, and Legend's first impression was that there was a silhouette in the bed. The shape was somewhere between skeletal and female, the face an attractive woman's, over-sharpened to the point that all the lines were edges. It was his first clear look at his enemy but the sense of wrongness, the same reflexive fear, identified it beyond doubt. As he saw her, she'd seen him and was already reacting. Her body flickered, folded in on itself and the bed was empty as his lasers seared it to ash.

    "She teleports?" Alexandria said, from behind him. He had other concerns.

    "You felt it too?" he demanded.

    "Sick fear, just from being near it?" The woman nodded. "Whatever that thing is, it needs to die. Where could it have gone?"

    "If it was short range than it might still be in the building."

    "The kill order is prepared." Legend grimaced. Alexandria's double might be playing a role, but she could be just as authoritarian as the original. And as arrogant.

    "Hold off for now. We do containment foam," he ordered.

    "Do you think containment foam will work on a teleporter?" She sounded incredulous. His response was the same.

    "You'd use live fire in a hospital full of Endbringer survivors?"

    "Is this really a time to care about casualties-" Hell, the women even doubled Alexandria's utter lack of ethics. Legend gritted his teeth and interrupted. She was wasting time they didn't have.

    "One friendly fire incident with guns and there'll be a panic. You want to try catching a teleporter in a riot?" She backed down, still looking mutinous.

    "Understood."

    "Once we've flushed her into the open then we take her down hard." He switched to Breaker state, ready to fly. Alexandria pulled the chart from the end of the bed.

    "Updated medical notes," she said abruptly.

    "Useful. You handle the search. I'll find New Wave."
     
  7. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire Scribe

    Sorted your threadmarks for you. Bookangel can do your index post when she's around. (Not sure what the chances are two members would be awake at 4 a.m. but in ten minutes I certainly won't be.)
     
  8. PuzzleRaven

    PuzzleRaven Member

  9. Reader

    Reader Vile Critic

    @PuzzleRaven, please check your messages. I believe the next chapter may require some further work, if I am correct on a matter of Worm canon which I freely admit I do not know very well. My notes are attached to the message.
     
  10. PuzzleRaven

    PuzzleRaven Member

    Reader is very kindly beta-ing this for me, and found a timeline issue with Chapter 4 and five, so I am rewriting round them. It may be a few days.
     
  11. jessica

    jessica Citizen of Logres

    Typo alert: Panacea had always like the place :p

    oh yeah

    :):)YAAYYY!!!:D:D:D NEW CHAPTER!:):)
     
  12. PuzzleRaven

    PuzzleRaven Member

    Chapter 4​

    “She’s not in the hospital,” Alexandria said, as she caught up with Legend. “I’ve had Costa-Brown put out an alert nationwide for an out-of-control new trigger.”

    “Do we have a description?” Legend asked, and she smirked under her helmet.

    “Better. Dragon managed to isolate a still from the admission security tape. The Chief Director is circulating it.” She flipped to a page in the medical notes. “The injuries were Blaster damage. Carol Dallon insisted appeared she came out of nowhere and fell on top of the car.” That would match the teleportation they had just seen, and the medical notes were reassuring: the injuries were consistent with his blast, not Leviathan’s water attacks. He hadn’t attacked an innocent by mistake. “Have you found New Wave? The staff think Panacea left with a concussion earlier - ”

    “She came back. Flashbang was discharged an hour ago,” Legend interrupted, rubbing at his mask with one hand at the unwelcome reminder of the time. The sun would be coming up soon. He had hardly slept in two days, coming straight off the Endbringer fight, while ‘Alexandria’ was fresh. “I checked on the house. Sarah and Crystal Pelham are at Carol’s house, but there’s no sign of the Dallons there yet. The P.R.T. have a squad watching and will call in when they show up.” It wasn’t purely concern over their target. Having the city’s best healer out of contact during the aftermath of an Endbringer attack was not ideal. If the P.R.T. didn’t call in soon he’d be searching the city. “The hospital are getting me legal access to the records. Anything else?”

    “Yes. There was something else on video. You need to see this.” With a sinking feeling he let her take his arm, steering him into the security office and ignoring the star-struck security guard.

    “There wasn’t a camera in the broom closet, but there was one outside. Before the patient woke up, the door was ajar enough to see inside, and it had sound. Watch.” She started the footage on one of the screens, a short section of the tape isolated. Legend focused on the video and sat back as it finished. Then he looked down at the medical notes sharply and swallowed.

    “Well, isn’t that interesting?”

    ###​

    “Ames? Ames, wake up!” Amy barely opened her eyes, hardly hearing Vicky. “Amy, Legend’s downstairs.”

    “Ishedyin?” she muttered, still asleep, and pulled the pillow over her face.

    “Amy!” Vicky grabbed the pillow away from her, waking her with a start.

    “Vicky, not funny.” Amy snapped, making a grab for the pillow.

    “I’m not joking. He wants to talk to you. It’s urgent.”

    “Shit.” Amy scrambled out of bed, staring stupidly at the blood-soaked costume on the floor until Vicky shoved a pair of jeans at her and hissed a warning not to wake Mark. She struggled into them, cursing at the clock that showed she had only had fifteen minutes sleep, as her sister pushed a T-shirt at her. Halfway respectable, she rushed downstairs barefoot.

    “-might have come out of nowhere.” She heard Carol say as she swung round the door, skidding and clinging on to the frame to keep upright. Vicky caught her shoulder from behind to steady her. Carol glared but Amy’s attention was on one of the three most famous parahumans in the world, sitting in her kitchen in front of Carol’s computer, and she ignored her. Yeah, Amy knew it by heart, her actions reflected on New Wave, be at her best at all times, and she’d give a damn when it wasn’t five-screwit-am.

    “Who’s dying?” she asked.

    “No one,” the Triumvirate member said. “We need to speak to you urgently about one of your patients.” She blinked wondering what couldn’t wait.

    “I can’t-”

    ”We have a judge’s order.” He held up the paperwork, signed. She recognised the emergency order, but she’d seen them very rarely, only when a parahuman was deemed a threat. He sat down, gestured for her to take a seat. She did, nervously, and he opened the medical notes. “It’s about the parahuman Brandish hit with the car.”

    “Is she alright?” Amy asked. Carol tensed, but Legend did not react.

    “As far as we know. We’ve reviewed your notes, but there are a few things we need to confirm urgently. Panacea, you said she couldn't talk?"

    "That's right. She didn't seem to understand what I was saying."

    "Did she say anything when you were in the room?" Legend sounded unusually serious. Amy thought hard, and shook her head.

    "No. Vicky, did you hear anything?" Her sister looked baffled.

    "No. I mean, I rushed in when I heard you shout, but she didn't seem to understand anything."

    “Glory Girl, are you sure you heard Panacea shout?” Legend asked and she shrugged.

    “Yes.” Legend actually looked worried. He turned the computer round so she could see the screen.

    "Then, Panacea, do you remember this?" Amy looked at the picture, a freeze frame of her sitting by the patient's bed, partly hidden by the broom closet door.

    "Yes, I think that was right before Vicky came in."

    "Just watch," Legend said and started the footage. For the next 30 seconds the tape showed only a comatose patient, with Amy checking her vitals through a hand lying on her wrist. In the thirtieth second the patient sat bolt upright, opened her mouth, and exclaimed "Fuck you!" in clear English. Amy went pale.

    "I didn't-I don't remember that. At all," she stammered. Legend stopped the tape.

    "Panacea, she mastered you," he said, as gently as he could, while Amy sat, stunned.

    "Dad!" Victoria yelled, flying for the door. Legend was faster, catching her mid-flight before she could leave the room.

    "We are reviewing all the tapes," Legend said, loudly enough to capture her attention. "And that is the only discrepancy so far. Don't panic yet." He guided Vicky back to her seat, and sat down himself. “We need to know everything you know about her. It’s a matter of national security.”

    ###​

    "Was that what it looked like on the roof?" Doctor Mother asked, the Contessa behind her watching silently as she held up the still from the hospital. "The video from your helmet shows only light and an indistinct shadow." Costa-Brown took a breath, smoothed her skirt even though it was out of sight of the video chat.

    "No. On the roof it was like hands and faces, lots of parts of people drawing down into a single human form. It was sending off impressions. I saw alternate worlds around it, and visions of what Cauldrom were doing." Doctor Mother paled. It would have been imperceptible over the video link, but for the unflappable Doctor, any change of expression seemed as loud as a scream. It was the first time Costa-Brown had seen the woman scared.

    "Couldn't you have told Legend they were lies?"

    "When the first thing he did on leaving was Door straight to the dead Entity and Doormaker let him?" Costa-Brown asked pointedly. "I nearly didn't manage to follow him through in time."

    "The first thing he did was go to the garden?" Doctor Mother was as tense as Contessa beside her. "Could Scion know where it is?"

    "I don't know if we were tracked. Scion hasn't gone there, and his movements are accounted for, so he may not know. Can you move-"

    "No." Doctor Mother shut that hope down immediately. "What exactly did Legend do while he was there?"

    "Asked questions about Cauldron and the end of the world. He was flying the whole time, but didn't use other powers or physically interact with the corpse. I can write you a transcript from memory." A shame her helmet camera did not function within Cauldron, but the tight security made that precaution necessary. Now that lack was a liability.

    "Please do.” Doctor Mother didn’t have to say they would cross-reference it with a similar account from Legend: that was basic procedure. “Could it have mastered him?"

    "It is possible. If it was at Scion’s level, its powers are unknown. If it did, you should consider me and my double both potentially compromised as well." It hurt to say, but Costa-Brown had never flinched from hard truths.

    “You’re immune.”

    “In his Breaker state, we thought Legend was.” She shook her head. "I don't think he knows everything, but I only just headed him off from the cells."

    "Good."

    "No. We need to tell Legend about the Case 53s," Costa-Brown said, before Doctor Mother could end the discussion.

    "Absolutely not. Our thinkers say he would never understand or accept the experiments."

    "And if it tells him while we're fighting it?" Costa-Brown asked empahtically. "What if the omission was deliberate to split the Triumvirate?"

    "And what if this is an attempt to split Cauldron by forcing us into telling him?" Doctor Mother answered.

    "Why would Scion bother?" Costa-Brown snapped. "He's going to kill the whole of humanity, he might have got the weapon he’ll use for it, and right now we have no way to stop him."

    "Then we need to find one," Doctor Mother said, still calm, "or find a way to turn his weapon against him."

    ###​

    “Where’s Eidolon?” Legend asked, pulling out his radio and calling Alexandria as he left the house. The Dallons were being loaded into the back of the PRT vans, over Carol’s protests that she could not leave her sister. Costa-Brown was ‘unavailable’, leaving him stuck with her double. Of all the times for her to be out of contact. He pushed away a suspicion he was being frozen out. It wasn’t helping.

    “Asleep,” Alexandria said. “Where you should be.” He nearly retorted that she hadn’t been at the fight, caught up to himself a moment later to realise that was exactly what she meant before he said something stupid, and sighed. The real her was still up and working on politics somewhere, so his resentment was pointless. “What do you have?”

    “Master ability confirmed. She wiped Panacea’s memory, and possibly made the healer well-disposed towards her. They allowed an unknown parahuman to work on Flashbang’s brain.” Alexandria’s one word response matched his opinion. As the last van door shut and the convoy started moving he took flight, heading back towards New York. “New Wave are under M/S protocols, but I got her power ratings: Major Brute and Mover, minor Changer, Striker, and Master.”

    Alexandria swore. “And that’s just what they saw. Are those all confirmed? Could she have mastered us into thinking – no, never mind, the teleport was on the tape.”

    “You’re as stressed as I am.” He smiled, vaguely amused. “I’ll take the hint and go home. I can relieve you in six hours.”

    ”Make it eight. A six-foot ten woman with black leather skin and a giant tumour on her shoulder should be easy to find.”

    “Unless she masters people into thinking that’s not what she looks like.” That was a grim thought, and half an hour later, collapsed into sleep with Arthur, it brought him disturbed dreams.
     
  13. PuzzleRaven

    PuzzleRaven Member

    Interlude: Coil


    Coil paced in his office. He should be delighted, he knew. He had survived an Endbringer attack, paid off a major favour with only one phone call, and made himself more useful to his backers, but what he had overheard in the hospital had him uneasy. Legend and Alexandria’s public charge through the hospital, followed by the exploded bed and the dubious cape announcement requesting aid? He was not a stupid man, and he recognised a cover-up when he heard one.

    Finally he was allowed off shift and in another time and place right now, he was finally asleep at home. If he had not had this reality to act in, he was very sure he wouldn’t be sleeping at all. Even with reality divided, he had had to keep one with the P.R.T. running, and use the rest for information only if he didn’t want to get caught. Since he knew he wouldn’t keep those lines, he had abused them completely and what he had learned from that was downright terrifying.

    Two of his mercenaries were settling his pet down in the chair, waking her all too slowly, and scurrying out. If he had not been using a reality for sleep, he’d have wasted one to shoot the pair for taking so long. He took a breath, controlled himself, and kept his back turned as he watched her reflection. With the drugs she was on, the young pre-cog couldn’t lie, and he hadn’t been present to ask her questions for days. Now it was urgent, and he couldn’t wait for the morning.

    “Chance this city will be completely destroyed before the end of the month.” He ignored her resentful glare and watched her face change as she answered.

    “99.9%,” she said. Her head snapped up, eyes darting frantically as she tried not to think about what she had just said. He continued mercilessly.

    “Chance the world ends by the end of the month?”

    “100%” He swung the chair round. She sniffed, rubbed her eye with a sleeve, as surprised by the words as he was. He stood up, beginning to pace. It was a bad habit he’d tried to overcome, but it helped him think.

    “Chance of anything we do averting it?” he asked emotionlessly.

    “0%”

    “Chances of escaping it?”

    “0%” Dinah had shrunk in her chair, her head in her hands. He laughed bitterly. He was so close to getting everything, and it turned out that everything was going to be taken away. He only had three questions left. If they could not escape or avert it, then asking about killing or removing the cause was just wasting questions.

    “Can we delay it?”

    “0%” she said again, muffled. “Please, can I have my candy now?” Couldn’t the girl focus on anything important? He nearly snapped at her, recognised darkly that her addiction was his own fault.

    “Two more questions, pet,” he said, not certain there was any point delaying her dosage to ask them. The drugs that killed her headaches and made her more controllable also reduced her to a state where she could not answer questions, but the value of those answers now were limited. “Why not? There’s no chance anything I do matters after the end of the month.” He was speaking to himself, not her.

    “12.6%” Her answer was pure reflex, as much a surprise to her as to him. Sheer shock silenced him for a moment. He turned on his heel, meeting her wide eyes from behind his faceless mask. Then he moved with careful purpose, sat down opposite his pet and steepled his fingers in front of him.

    They talked. In its final form of twisted realities and percentages it took over an hour to plan. By the end Dinah slumped, sobbing, nearly unconscious in her chair. Then, in the reality he now knew he had to keep, Coil created a series of messages and set a schedule on the computer for their release. He signalled for Creep, his most loyal servant, bound to him beyond any thought of betrayal through money, resources, and the twisted appetites that his master had let him fulfil. Coil shot the man through the head.
     
    Terry likes this.
  14. jessica

    jessica Citizen of Logres

    There's a bit more on Fanfic.::suss:: Anything after theCoil bit? Pls2havE:cryingcat:
     
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