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Veder Universe (Greg Veder/is/Peridot) (SU Cross)

3.8 Ramping Up

Flutters Is Shy

Light The Fire, It's Time to Write!
Author
His hands grasped, holding the device before him as his digits flung themselves wildly across its surface. Electricity traveled from the flesh, reacting with the technology within. Processes and directives were carried out within the context of the program, information being carried on into the infinite abyss.

"Gots... to... go..." He grumbled out, mimicking the words his thumbs typed out into the chat program displayed on the face of his phone.

'Winged One' had contacted him years ago, one day out of the blue. He hadn't the foggiest what their real age, or even gender was but he liked to assume she was of course, a female of similar age. It made it feel less creepy. Of course, more accurately it would probably be best to assume she was older, probably in her twenties or so. She was just too good at sniffing out information. She had introduced him to a few sites over the years, encouraging him to persist with his ever expanding quest to sniff out ALL THE SECRETS. So, maybe it wasn't the healthiest friendship.

It was still one of the better online ones. Could be worse, she could have turned out to be an overweight dude in his mothers basement named 'Chuck'. Jury was still out on that, honestly, but he could hope.

When his mother had found him curled into the fetal position last night, she had been understandably worried. 'Mama bear mode engaged' and all that. An hour of explanations punctuated by hugging -Greg had forgotten how comfortable being cuddled by someone larger than him was, being small enough to be picked up turned out to not be the worst thing ever.- and she coerced him into an agreement.

'Greg will not go out and look for trouble unprepared'.

It was a simple rule, and one which he could apreciate. He had been so close, so unbelievably close to pulling it all off. He had gotten the money without anyone the wiser, had gotten away without anyone the wiser... If it hadn't been for the clod Stormtiger, she would have gotten away scott free! Some people just had no tact, foiling her plans before she was able to properly finish them. Rude.

His mom truly cared for him, and he did apreciate it. He loved her dearly, and all she had done for him over the years... She was his mommy. How could he not love her for that? Much better than his dad, at any rate. Small part of why he had taken to using her last name, that and another reason.

I mean really? 'Greg Universe'? It made him sound like a washed up rock musician. Moms name was just so much cooler.

After all that his mom had put him to bed, hoping they could both get some sleep in the few hours left before dawn. Greg had woken up to the tail end of his mom on a phone call, she had been asking her friend for something. She didn't elaborate, saying she would let him know the specifics once she got everything sorted out.

Greg had spent the majority of his day lounging around, sketching designs for improved 'chairs' on a pad of yellowed paper. This one could fly, and would have gravimetric dampness so that jerk didn't cost him again, and would have a grappling cable, and a harpoon and-

Okay, so maybe not a harpoon. Little need when he'd have a grappling ca- NO, a grappling BEAM! One step closer to true zero point energy systems, but just far enough out of reach that it would be a substantial hurdle to cross.

Around noon he roused himself from his sloth, changing back to normal so he could go out and about. He needed to go and pay a visit to the theatre.

What followed was as similar to previous events as could be for Greg. 'Can I get my paycheck?' 'No, you did not give it to me last Thursday.' 'No Tom did not give it to me, nor did he have permission to take it, as is outlined in the contract both myself and my mother signed, which if you had given it to Tom would result in you being fired.'

Gerald didn't have memory issues, he just didn't like Greg. Guy was always trying to trick him out of his paycheck, just so he could buy more smokes. Asshole. Clod.

Money in hand, -or as good as, once he hit the wallmart and got it out of the machine- he forged his path onwards. What he needed...

More toothpaste. The damned throne had used up the last of his bioplasm, he'd have to reconstitute his stock if he wanted to continue. Purchase secured from a corner store he never used, he could leave as someone who just came across as a tooth health nut. Neat.

A quick call to see if Sparky was up reaped pleasant results. He had been since before noon, and was amicable to hanging out for the rest of the day. So could he... was he ready for this? Sparky was his best friend, a true pal that stood by him through thick and thin. If there was anyone who could figure out anything 'power munchkinly' about his abilities, it would be him. He had an unerring ability to think up new views on the spot, turning any situation into another of a different light.

Yeah, he could trust him.

Which led to now.

Chat program disengaged, phone stowed in his pants, he knocked on the door.

"Oh, Greg!" Sparkys mom let out upon opening the door, and seeing him standing outside. "Rupe said you'd be over in a bit, come in, come in!"

Sparkys mom was the stereotypical 'friendly mom'. She threw everyone who crossed her path a freindly smile, and had nothing but polite words for those that entered her domain. But act like an assho-... clod, and she'd let you have it. Greg had learned that the hard way when he had accidentally sweared within earshot. A dressing down complete with disapproving glares his mother would have approved of had marked that day, guiding those that followed it.

Greg went up to Sparkys room, opening the door. His mom left after announcing that Greg had arrived, mentioning something about 'cookies' before she shuffled off.

Yes, she was that kind of mom. She'd deliver on them too, and if her previous efforts were anything to go on Greg would be enjoying a tasty sweet in no time flat.

"So, you said you had something to tell me?" Sparky drawled, closing the door behind him as he settled down into a beanbag that could have easily enveloped him.

"Yeah," Greg started, nervous tension strangling his words. "I just... It's like this... oh, fuck it," he finally let out, countless prepared speeches falling to pieces in his haste. "It'd be easier to just show you."

Greg concentrated, watching his friends eyes as his perspective quickly shrank. Before long it was over, leaving Greg standing in the center of the room fully transformed. Greg knew his friend, he could apreciate brevity if it was called for.

"Oh," Sparky let out in a slightly confused tone. His gaze didn't look all that surprised however, and before Gregs eyes...

Sparkys form was overtaken by a dimly glowing mass of light, slowly sinking into his flesh as his form was revealed once more. Where once sat a teenage male of what could be generously be described an 'overweight' frame, sat a slim woman who swiftly sank into the depression left by its previous inhabitant. Her skin was a light dusted blue, while her hair and dress stood as a stark contrast of deep navy.

"You too, huh?" Sparky let out in an amused drawl.

Authors Notes:
This chapter did NOT want to be written. Even now, it still mocks me, taunting me with its rough state. I swear though if I don't put it out as is, it's just gonna be deleted like the last three drafts...
And yes, needless to say I didn't get it done within the time frame I said it would be. It didn't want to be written, again.
 
A Knifes Edge 4.1 PHO Interlude

Flutters Is Shy

Light The Fire, It's Time to Write!
Author

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♦ Topic: Are These Two New?
In: Boards ► Cape Sighting
Bruce Lao
(Original Poster) (At Ground Zero: Brockton Bay)
Okay, so I'll admit, I'm not completely up to date on recent capes, but I'm relatively certain that I haven't heard of these two before. I'm just chilling at Fuglies, and these two girls walk straight in the door. No grandiose airs, no 'hey, we're capes!' They just walked in, calm as you please. Chatting between them. As you can see in this video, while they are both relatively normal... Well, except for the fact that they look like they each downed a life times supply of dye. I knew eating silver turned you blue... Dunno what turns you green. So what's the deal with them, are they new? Rogues, independents, Heroes? ... Villains?
(Showing page 3 of 17)
►Wormageddon (Verified First Commentor)
Wait, so, am I getting that right? They both ordered challengers, right? Fugly Bobs challengers? Several pounds of burger patty, tomatoes lettuce and onions. And then add to that a whole pound of fries, and the specialty extra large drink that only comes with the challenger. And they actually finished?!!? How? Where the hell did they put it? The green one ate nearly her entire weight! Powers are bullshit.

►TheRichmaster (Wiki Warrior)
So... Some sort of gastronomy based power? Beyond that oddity, they never displayed any sort of powers in the vid. Changer or Case 53? I highly doubt the second due to the similarity between them... Hmm. Any information from the PRT?

►Bagrat (Veteran Member) (The Guy in the Know)
Green girl is Peridot. She seeded a school with invisible cameras and racked up a few hours of incriminating evidence against a few bullies. Honestly couldn't have happened to anyone more deserving. The Protectorate hasn't released any information on the subject, for some reason they're keeping mum regarding her blatant illegal act of surveillance. Coincidentally, have seen both Miss Militia and Armsmater stepping up their patrols, almost twice as many in the past week or so since the video. Fancy that. Methinks they're looking for a little face to face. Too bad a fast food joint like ol F Bobs isn't the normal place they go past. Too bad, maybe next time.

►shadowace2400
I was there! I'm at 3:52 in the vid, there in the background wearing the red cap! Look ma, I'm famous! ... Damn, how did I not notice them behind me? I went to the bathroom and rushed out right after. Mom called, wanted me home. Practically ran out, didn't even notice them. How annoying, could have gotten an autograph or something...

►Vulpine Fury
shadowace2400 I couldn't bring myself to ask for one either, just felt kinda awkward. Despite the crayola colors... They just gave off an air, you know?

►Segev
Seems suspect. Two capes just turn up, out of nowhere? And we're supposed to just accept that without questioning it? Why were they so out in the open? Why did they do their darnedest to draw so much attention? (Why else would they both order challengers? They WANTED every eye on them.) Do we even have names?

►Markala (Shipper of Juice)
Segev Lapis and Peridot. I was within earshot. Green girl called the blue girl Lapis, Blue girl called the green girl Perri for most of the time. Called her Peridot once, so Perri is probably just a pet nickname. And guys? I heard most of what they were saying to each other. They may look like estranged sisters, but they acted more like they were on a date. It was in how they talked, you know?

►Baron Steakpuncher (Puncher of steaks)
Whats the text on their shirts say?

►Nicolaos (verified detective)
Peridots shirt says 'if lost, return to Lapis'. Other one says 'You can keep her'. Hilarious, but did they make themselves? Custom job? I know I sure as heck haven't seen these in stores any time recently, and I'm DAMN well sure that Parian hasn't lowered her prices any, especialty for specialty stuff like themed gear. Pretty sure she hasn't started churning out tshirts like hottopic...

►Xavion
You're always shipping, I can't trust a damned thing you say. How's that 'obvious infatuation' Panacea had for Glory Girl? HMMM, and yet, she's still with her boyfriend. Odd, that.

►Jamey Sharp
Markala
You have to admit, you do have a lackluster track record.
End of Page. 3
(Showing page 35 of 472)
►Aicidash
What's this I hear about crayola lesbos?
*watches vid*
Oooh~, me likey. Green midge is a bit too young for my tastes, but blue hair is tooootaly my type. Curves in all the right places~

User has received an infraction for this post.
While the cape known as Peridot has claimed her youthful appearance in age is due to a changer effect and the same might apply to her companion, the fact remains that they both look like minors. Please keep your comments in line with that assumption.


♦ Topic: A New Thread
In: Boards ► Cape sighting
Rageknight
(Original Poster)
Okay, what the hell is going on? Fucking Krieg just tore down the street, chasing two tie dyed chicks and screaming bloody murder. Fucker threw my car at them! I was in the store for five goddamn minutes, why couldn't he wait for me to get the fuck out of the way?

(Showing page 1 of 28)
►goldwolfmoon (Unverified Cape)
Seriously, just because they're nazis doesn't mean you can blame you crashing your car on them. Pretty sure they have a line or two like that on insurance forms. Pics or it didn't happen.

►TheUltimateBalanceChaos
He's not making it up. Here, managed to snap a pic. Am I seeing things, or did that chick have wings made of water?

►goldwolfmoon (Unverified Cape)
Huh. Well paint me surprised. Gues you can get that insurance form filled out after all.

►Harosata
Oh my gosh, they look so cuuute. Living in this city at times is a bit of a shitshow, but if we get capes like that I guess we have just another reason to stay and stick it out.

►Mackon (Verified Cape)
Saw this two in another thread. Peridot and Lapis, if the reports are anything to go on. Gotta say, I'm usually glad I don't live anywhere near your city, but sometimes there's a few drawbacks. Wonder if Lapis would be willing to transfer over once she joins the Wards?

►Pretending To Aspire
mackon IF she ends up joining the wards.

►RookdeSuit
Guys, I know the usual offering of good advice is to run the other way when you see a cape fight in progress... But this was more of a cape run so I... followed. Check my vid, might be shaky as hell, but you can still see everything in it relatively clearly. Both girls run (fly, whatever) and Kreig does his best impression of a nazi bulldozer. Then, right there at the end, they land and disappear in a in a flash of light. So, thoughts? Some sort of situational teleportation as well as flight? Why didn't they just land immediately if that was what they needed to do to tele?

And wait, there's more! After green and blue girls port out, Krieg got his ass handed to him by yet ANOTHER addition to the cape scene. Scary sword lady and the two additional purple girls. Are we growing them with different skin colors down here? Is there something in the water?
End of Page. 1




Authors Notes;
Okay, so my intention is to have a feeling of inclusion with this entry. If you think I've used your username without your permission, (which basically, I have) and you want me to remove your name, then please let me know. All views seen and displayed here are not meant to be viewed as an accurate or offensive view of whomever might be referenced. Any reference seen therein of any real life individuals should be taken as nothing more than a parody, for entertainments sakes.
 
A Knifes Edge 4.2

Flutters Is Shy

Light The Fire, It's Time to Write!
Author
Greg stood with eyes agog, staring at the prone form of his best friend. A few stuttered nothing's trailed past his lips, while his arms desperately tried to convey meaning through frantic twitch gestures. He finally settled on simply pointing and letting a guttural 'UuuuuuuuUUUuuuUUUUu," droop out past his teeth.

"Doesn't sound like a question," his friend mischievously noted as he... she... they let out a languid stretch.

"Nyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeah!" Greg verbalized as he frantically switched which hand was prominently pointing in his friends direction. "What!? When? I... How!"

Sparky twitched in his seat, relaxing back as he drilled Greg with an even gaze. "Well, in that order, this," he started, gesturing to himself as he smoothed down his dress with a curt movement. "Not really sure how I can explain that one in any more detail. Next, happened almost two weeks ago. Mom told the Peckers we had family business, that's why I wasn't at work."

He let out an embarrassed sigh, shaking his head as he recounted the memory, "Woke up turned into this and couldn't figure out how to change back. Freaked out my mom something fierce-"

"She knows?" Greg cut in, finally able to form a more complex thought process than 'eh? Eh? EH!?'

"Of course she knows," Sparky rebutted, "What, you think I could hide something like this from her? Anyway, I was stuck with tits," he eyed Gregs chest with an amused chuckle, "so my mom took some time off and drove us down to the cabin."

"Does your dad know?" Greg cut in once more.

"Nah, no reason to worry him. He'll be back from business by the end of the month, so mom'll break it to him then," Sparky confessed. "Now stop interrupting. As to the last one, that of 'how'... Well I don't really know. I woke up with a gem in the small of my back, and now I can change into this. Judging by a similar protrusion from your own forehead," he pointed, glancing at Gregs gem as he continued. "I would guess that we both have had a rather odd variant of powers."

"What," Greg focused on singular words. This was big, this was huge! Not since the unveiling of Jury Rig as a reformed villain had something like this come up.

"Not case 53s, and not normal capes," Sparky waved off the unspoken question as he carried on. "Mom pulled a few favors, got me a cat-scan and an MRI. Piled on a crapton of makeup and wore baggy clothes," he answered Gregs next question before he could even start forming it, "Anyway, did you know that Capes have tumors in their heads?" He waited for a short shake of Gregs head, "well they do. Called the Corona Polentia and the Corona Gemma. Pollentia for 'potential', and Gemma for after you've triggered. If you don't have the Pollentia then you just... don't. Can't."

Greg let out a messy sigh, sitting in the chair facing his friend. He knew what triggering entailed, he had come across that potential land mine early on in his investigation. 'Why don't the capes tell us how to get powers?' The answer had shaken him once he had found out. There was no 'powers in a bottle', no secret training regimen that would unlock such feats. It was simply based on having the 'worst day of your life'. This was quickly reasoned down to an extreme build up of tension, to a lesser degree for second generation capes.

"And you?"

"The machines at least think I'm clean, the normal tech no tinker crap. Well, my normal human form anyway," Sparky explained. "Weird thing is, scanning equipment can't seem to 'see' me when I'm changed. I'm willing to bet the sames for you. The stupid things couldn't see my gem either, which considering I have a chunk of rock jutting out of me is a bit worrying."

Greg sat in silence for a few seconds, gathering his thoughts.

"So anyway," Sparky broke the silence, "Mom took me to the hospital, got my scans done, then took me back once I changed back. De nada. Nothing going. So now this is me, powers and all."

"So... Are you gonna be a hero?" Greg asked, sinking back into his chair.

"What?" Sparky snapped in a disbelieving tone. "Heck no man, you know me. Just cause I got powers now doesn't mean I have any weak handed responsibility or nothing."

Greg nodded, knowing full well his friends stance on the Spider-Man motto. He should have expected it, but Sparky very well might have changed his tune once getting said powers... Apparently nope. As he had exquisitely stated in the past, 'If you expect me to have the responsibility to fight crime if I can shoot acid out of my ass, then I can very well expect the same of anyone who can go out and buy a gun.'

"Plus I promised mom I wouldn't," Sparky elaborated.

"Yeah?"

"Yeah, you know how she is, she didn't think I would anyway but she made sure to talk to me about it. Basically, if I want to go out heroing or anything I have to join the Wards-"

"What?"

"Nuh! Shush! I don't want to join the Wards, so I'll just keep my nose clear of any trouble."

"Huh," Greg let out, "So... Have you built anything yet?"

A curious expression crept over the blue maidens face, Sparkys head tilting slightly as he stared at his friend. "Build?" He nearly whispered out before a look of shock raced through his eyes. "Wait, wait wait! Can you do this?" He asked, reaching over to grab a water bottle off his desk. A quick turn of the cap exposed the contents, which swiftly swam out into the open air between them.

Greg stared, eyeing the trails of water as his friend formed them into an approximation of the LOZ triforce. He gathered his words, and let out a pitiful sounding "No." He swallowed to regain his voice, "I can not do... That. I can do this though," he stated sarcastically, levitating a small button pin off of his friends dresser. The text on the front proudly declared 'The truth is out there!' "Ferrokinesis."

"Sure it's not magnesis?" Sparky cut in.

"Fairly sure. Doesn't magnitize stuff, can't feel magnetic fields, and I can pick up ALL metals," Greg boasted, a slight swell in his chest, "even the ones that aren't affected by metals. Magnets, whatever."

"Damn," Sparky let out, siphoning the water back into the mouth of the bottle. "I could have sworn she was just hovering cameras around with water. So you were floating them around with metal bending? Awesome."

"Her..." Greg muttered in slight confusion. "Oh, so you saw the video-"

"Of course I saw the fucking video man!" Sparky belted out, a manic expression gracing his face. "That shits everywhere right now! People on PHO are throwing theories left and right, according to them you're anything from a case 53 to a ward that's still under wraps to a tink...er..." He trailed off, drilling Greg with a piercing gaze. "Are you really a fucking tinker too?"

Greg nodded, causing his friend to seemingly deflate as he let the recapped bottle fall to the floor with a hollow thud. "Maaaaaan, that shits unfair. You got tinker powers too? Fuck man, that just... Fuck. All I got is the rinky dink water floating and water wings... Well, as well as the," he paused, altering his voice to sound more 'trailer fuel epic', "Mythic and overwhelming force... Of the cloooothes beam," he drawled, dragging his hands down his front as his dress reformed into a onesie jumpsuit similar in design to Gregs own. Blue, but similar. "But seeing as you have changer powers too that's not really all that unique..." He trailed off, noticing Gregs dumbfounded expression.

"How!?" Greg choked out, waving his arms frantically as he tried to gather his thoughts. "How you do dis?"

"Uh..." Sparky paused.

"And if you even so much as say 'back tingles' I will do my best to cycle all my future burps through your room before releasing them unto the great wide world beyond," he threatened. Certain inane DBS bullshit didn't need to be perpetuated, even in jokes. That shit just had to die.

"I just willed it? Green lantern clothes powers, man. What, can't you?"

Greg was silent as he contemplated his friends words. 'Just will it'? He shut his eyes, concentrating. It wasn't like he had exactly tried in the first place, he just tried to change back and forth between forms. So... 'just will it'. He pictured the exact same clothes he was wearing, and subtly... Tweaked it. He felt something actively resist inside, something screeching in mock outrage. Like a puffed up old man 'strawman' in a movie spouting lines like 'most unorthodox!'

He opened his eyes once the sensation settled, looking down at himself. The onesie was the same as it ever was (still covered by the judiciously applied 'clothing modifier'. Wear ones mistakes with pride, and all that noise.), save for a very specific change. The green accents were now blue, mirroring the design as well as the color.

"Huh," he let out along with a breath he hadn't been aware he'd been holding. "Wait, why did I spend so much time with the limb enhancer if I could just magic them up out of nothing?" He snarled out in barely held frustration.

"No idea what that is, but if it's armor of any kind it doesn't really work all that well," Sparky calmly explained. "At least mine doesn't." He got up slowly, scooting his beanbag back a foot. The clothing surrounding him changed once more, a dim glow that slowly suffused into a suit of western looking plate armor. He raised a hand, pressing it into the shoulder pauldren. Said piece of sturdy looking metal bent inwards, folding like cloth. "Just ends up looking like its the real deal. Not exactly bullet proof."

Greg nodded as his friend returned his clothing to 'normal', sweeping the bell of his skirt out as he fell back bodily onto his beanbag. Greg idly tried forming a gauntlet of burnished metal around his left arm, looking on in stark confusion as a metallic green sheet of armor encapsulated said limb. It seemed like green and black was the default. Hmm. A poke confirmed that yes, it was still fabric and not actually metal.

"So," Greg started, "How about you just tell me what all powers you've found out, and then I'll tell you if any of those are what I've found. If we find anything different, then hey! Bonus." Quick information salvos were what Greg thrived on, especially if they could shore up each other's lack of knowledge from some vague nugget of information they might have found.

"Ok," Sparky agreed, leaning over slightly to pick up a shoebox from his bedside table. His 'happy' box. "First off, drugs don't work when I'm not normal. I can still breath it in, but it don't do shit. Sucks, too. Don't have to breathe so I could have just kept a cloud in for evar."

"You don't have to breathe?" Greg interrupted, in the process of trying to get letters to form words on the front of his uniform. So far he had managed to get out the phrases 'eat my shorts' and 'don't have a cow'. He followed up his question by blowing out a huge breath, and sealing his lips shut. A hand reached up to seal his nostrils, just in case.

"Uh, yeah. Not sure how anesthetics would work if at all, but yeah, drugs don't seem to do anything. Mom wouldn't let me test if the same went for booze... Moving on, changer powers, as previously discussed, water wings which let me hover above the ground- NO, I don't consider it flight. I can barely get myself a foot off, and carrying anything just puts that much more of a strain on it. No rides," he warned, fixing Greg with a careful glare. "Past that, just basic hydro power as well as hammer space..."

"Like this?" Greg asked, abandoning the attempt to test his lung capacity. It appeared moot at this point, not even a slight strain no matter how long he waited. An interesting power, but not an altogether useful one. He instead reached up and grabbed a copy of the proto gauntlet out of his gem. He then decided to have a bit of a gaff, pulling another copy out with his free hand. "It's not really a true hammer space though, is it? Just copies..."

Sparky leaned forward, both to get a better view as well as uncovering his back. He reached behind himself, pulling what looked like his wallet out in front of him in a fluid motion. "Nope, mines a straight bottomless pocket. How are you doing that?" He gestured his wallet at the leftmost copy, before Greg dispersed it in a wave of glowing motes.

"I shoved my finished prototype in, and now I can only pull out dupes," he sheepishly elaborated.

Sparky nodded, "Tinker tech, right? Did you try putting anything else in? Anything... Normal?"

"Didn't want to risk losing it," Greg admitted.

"No prob, just use something you wouldn't mind losing," Sparky prompted, fishing a penny up off the floor. He flicked it across to Greg, the unfortunate teen almost falling from his perch as he juggled the minuscule object.

Hand firmly around the pathetic denomination of currency, Greg reached up and tried to shove it into his gem. The metal clinked against the solid surface, prompting an exasperated look from the azure haired member of such a bizarre scene.

"Try imagining that you're putting it in a slot like in Minecraft, that's what I did. Just like a grid based slot system," Sparky chuckled.

Greg closed his eyes once more, the surface of the penny slick against his gem. "I dunno man, maybe this is just another difference like the water powers, I'm not feeling anything like with my-" Greg cut off, the tips of his fingers sticking a half inch within his gem. He let go and withdrew his hand, staring at the empty appendage. "Huh."

He could feel it now, a space of his memory insisting that it was where she should put stuff, of course it was! A peridot had to have an ordered, organized mind. Just imagine if everything was a mess, she'd never be able to find anything when she needed it! Like this... primitive excuse for a proper limb enhancer. And this near worthless form of 'money', it wasn't even really useful as the base components. At least she still had the dress she made for-

"Ugh," Greg grunted, holding his head in his hands as he gathered his thoughts.

"You okay?" Sparky asked.

The bedroom door opened.

Sparkys mom dragged her gaze from her son to Greg, stuck frozen as he tried to formulate an excuse. She disapprovingly eyed the 'happy box', before bringing a plate heaped with cookies into view.

"It's not contagious, is it?" She asked meekly. "I baked cookies... Thought you... boys might like something to snack on," she carried onwards, apparently desperate to regain a sense of normalcy.

"Doubt it," Sparky muttered, accepting the plate as he shifted back to normal. "Sorry Greg, should have locked the door. You don't mind if my mom knows, right?"

"Yeah, I mean no, nah, I don't mind? Can you not tell your husband though? Unless absolutely nessasary?" He pleaded, his own form quickly shifting back faster than even Sparkys had.

"I won't lie for you," she grunted, "but I won't out you either. No sense in all of that now, is there? So... Will you be staying for dinner?"

"Maybe?" Greg admittedly hadn't planned long term on his current visit, having intended to just drop the bombshell on his friend and seeing where it went from there. His mom probably wouldn't mind, he had sleepovers at his friends house all the time. She worked late anyways, this way she wouldn't have to cook him dinner around eight at night. "I'll give her a call, unless I come down and say otherwise just assume she said yeah, okay?" he wheedled.

"Mm," she nodded, fixing him with a terse gaze. "I'll be starting in the next half hour or so, so please be prompt." With that, she turned and left.

[hr]

Greg woke slowly, a 'just right' mass of pillow clenched tightly under his hands. It exuded a comforting warmth, without being to oppressively hot. He slowly tore his eyes open, gunk clouding his sight as he let out a mighty yawn. What the hell happened last night? It didn't feel like his bed, too narrow. Plus, a thread of sunlight would be clawing its way through his blinds, torturously trying to burn through his eyelids.

Stupid sun, why couldn't it just bugger off and let him sleep more. Greg looked at his pillow trough a cracked eye, studying the blue expanse. Weird. He didn't have a blue pillowcase, his was black. It had stylized white dragons on it. Dragons were cool.

He had stayed for dinner, he remembered that much. Then Sparky dared him to try and find a limit to how much food he could eat. Sparkys mom told him off and said not to 'eat her out of house and home'... Greg had stayed later, watching two movies with his friend and ending the evening by lazily watching an old tv show on netflicks...

He peered closer at his pillow.

'That's no moon', his mind traitorously supplied. He jerked upright, staring at the still softly snoozing form of his best friend. 'What? How?' Were on the forefront of his mind, along with the traitorous though that maybe he could still go back to bed. She had been comfy, after all...

No! Bad end lies this way! Straight friends do not mack on their other straight friends! Even if they look like a totally hot blue skinned babe... Focus! How could he fall asleep like this, they were only chilling out and watching tv! How could 'netflicks and chill' ever have led him astray, such a pure pastime that had never let him down before...

His friend grunted, a body wide shiver as she reached for her errant heat source.

Nope.

Greg plastered himself against the other end of the couch, and pretended to still be asleep.

The morning continued relatively normally, at the very least Sparky seemed to not be aware of last nights ending. Once they were both fully awake, they began plans for the day. 'Wanna do anything' turned into 'wanna go see a movie?' Which quickly led to the biggest find of the day.

Camp Pining Hearts. A trashy, badly acted tv show that Greg was hopeless enthralled with. Thankfully, his friend had just as much appreciation for the trainwreck as he did, allowing himself someone to talk about it with. The movie had come out earlier that month, prompting a wave of disappointment from both of the boys. They couldn't very well go and see it in theatres, it was a romance riddled affair. Not quite a chick flick, but still. They couldn't very well go and see it with each other, if anyone saw them it'd ruin their reputation for months. Teenagers were vicious little bastards. Couldn't very well hang about and watch it on the job, either.

They had resigned themselves to waiting the half a year until they could download it illegally. Or order it from wallmart, or something.

Now, Greg realized they had a fool proof disguise! Two girls would be given a much less strict eye than two guys going and seeing such a movie together, even if they were as obviously cape as could be. When Sparky had leveled the point 'what about changing back?' With the express desire for no one to tie them back to his mom, Greg had dropped the bombshell.

Teleporter pads. He only had single use ones that he could carry with him, but they could port to his newly constructed public pad! It was only a block and a half from the movie theatre, and from there they could just change back at his place. Wasn't like anyone could follow them through...

Plans made, the two set out with fire in their hearts.

Faces sallow and drawn, they both exited the movie. Ignoring the pointed whispering regarding the 'two capes' within the crowds midst, they conversed amongst themselves.

"I can't believe they saddled Sarah with Brian," Greg whined, pawing at the hem of his shirt. He had managed to customize it how he had wanted, finishing the mustard yellow shirt off with the text 'If Lost Please Return To Lapis'. "She was obviously into Jake, but then whoosh! Cassie and Rachel right the heck out of nowhere!"

"I was rooting for Marco and Rachel, they were obviously a god couple," Sparky agreed, "But nope, they had to screw it up.

It was a slightly disappointing outcome, but hey. The transition from tv show format to full theatrical movie is almost never without consequences.

"Wanna get Fuglies?" Greg offered.

"Hell yes."

Authors Notes;
Come on, with a picture like this nugget of gold, how could I not?
*giggles maniacally*

[/hr]
 
A Knifes Edge 4.3

Flutters Is Shy

Light The Fire, It's Time to Write!
Author
Greg glared at the man across the counter, daring him to repeat himself.

"Just take my money," he griped, waving the two twenties in front of his face.

The Challenger. A gigantically proportioned fast food item, one which Greg never would have thought he'd have the courage to tackle in the past. He'd seen countless people try to tackle the beastly meal, only to fail either halfway through or right near the end. There was a reason why they had you pay for it beforehand, as well as forcing you to sit in the reserved corner seating.

The seats in that booth were different than the rest of the resteraunt, made of some sort of easily washable plastic. It was like sitting on a hard bench, but if a customer couldn't handle the influx of food the employees were oft glad that the clean up was slightly more convenient than in the other booths.

If you finished the entire order before an hour passed, they'd refund your money as well as putting your picture up on the wall. They used to also offer a five dollar gift card upon completion, but they'd been forced to rescind the deal following a lawsuit. The only pictures on the wall currently showcased a plethora of portly looking males, along with one slim looking woman.

She had died later that year, ironically due to food poisoning from a now defunct street vender. Such is the price of fame, known for but a whisper as 'that one woman who ate a lot' and now joked about as 'the reason you should never eat gyros'.

It was never proven if she was a cape or not. A reasonable postulation, given her achievement. Still, no proof.

"Same for me," Sparky chimed in, shoving a couple bills forward as well. The poor cashier peered down at the bills, eyes flicking timidly back and forth between the two apparent capes.

"Uh... Sure," he relented, taking the money and tallying it up. He handed back their change and pointed off to the corner of the resteraunt. The challenge booths. "If you take a seat, an employee will bring them out to you."

"Can I get my cup now?" Sparky asked, gaining a dumb expression from the lad.

"Uh... Sorry. The cup is brought out with the rest, it's a required part of the challenge..."

"Bummer," the blue skinned cape groused, frowning slightly.

Greg led their forward path, cutting through the various gaggle of random teenagers and pithy few other aged patrons. "Sure, if I ask for one I must be mistaken, I obviously secretly wanted the kiddy meal instead. Then you ask for the same da- darn thing, and he doesn't give you a single bit of lip," Greg complained, resting his head in his hands.

"Maybe cause I look like I can actually pick up the order if I wanted to," Sparky joked, miming a hand up and down before he settled on a space slightly above the table, "Whereas if we balanced all of it on top of itself I'm pretty sure you'd still be shorter than it..."

"Hardy har," Greg shot back. "Make fun of the shortness while you can, soon it's gonna be a non issue," he confided.

"Ooh? Got a magic bean in your pocket? A stepladder?"

"Ha ha Lapis," he stated in a deadpan tone, using the name they had decided on beforehand for Sparkies 'secret cape identity'. If they decided on actual cape names later on they could always just claim that the 'given' names were just what they used in regular day to day activities. And seeing as the gem on Sparkies back was a Lapis Lazuli, the choice was an obvious fit. Sparky hadn't fought it even an iota, frankly thankful he didn't have to waste the brainpower to come up with a silly cape name in the first place.

"I'm a tinker, in case you forgot," Greg continued. "I got stuff in the works, should clear up the 'midget-itess' in no time. Well, for as long as I'm wearing them at least..." He trailed off, noting as two employees stopped in front of their table. Their arms were occupied with a tray each, topped with food.

Greg... wasn't worried, persay. He'd learned from Sparky last night that there apparently wasn't an 'upper limit' to what they could consume. But it was still slightly daunting to look over the pile of biological mass that had been dumped in front of them. As well as the giant gas station sized cup they thumped down besides the trays. Sucked that you could only order Coke with the challenger, but it was a sponsored thing.

The second employee took a stopwatch out of her apron, showing it to the two as she explained, "I'll be setting it for an hour. If you don't finish everything, or if you end up puking it up-" Greg was slightly affronted that the lady drilled him with a gaze when she said this point. He wasn't that small, was he? "-then you lose automatically. I'll be 'watching' to make sure neither of you don't have like, food teleportation powers or some shit, but whatever."

The teen took out her phone, then sat down at the adjacent table. "Like, feel free to start the timer whenever," she stated in a blasé tone.

"Well Peri?" Sparky asked as he picked up the stopwatch. "You ready?"

The next twenty minutes passed in near silence from the two, a single word or sentence being thrown back and forth as the meal dragged on. There simply wasn't time to waste by filling the air with sound.

Greg was slightly disappointed, the burger tasting slightly bland. Guess they had to strip back the spices so they could afford to potentially lose all that meat, he figured. At least the soda was able to wash it down. Fry after fry disappeared, until finally Greg and his friend stared down at empty trays.

"Well, damn," the disillusioned teenager stated, "That has to be some kind of a record or some shit. If you'll step over here real quick..."

Greg knew why the girl was hurrying them, having asked about why an employee could afford to just sit and watch someone for an hour when their job description held a ton more duties than just 'sit here'. Apparently an unlucky employee would inevitably draw the short straw, getting saddled with a period of 'reduced pay'. It was basically 'you get money for making sure a customer doesn't stiff us, but not as much as your actual job'.

Greg and Sparky stood and smiled for the pic to go on the wall.

Two happy faces stared out into the world, one green skinned girl brightly smiling as she mugged for the camera, whilst the older looking blue maiden calmly gave the audience a serene smirk.

Authors Notes:
Posted this originally near my birthday, so whatever. May 31st is my birthday, so here's a present for all of you. Goodnight, and may your mornings be bright.
 
A Knifes Edge 4.4

Flutters Is Shy

Light The Fire, It's Time to Write!
Author
Greg liked to think that he had at average, a normal level of 'whatever' luck. Never too unbelievably lucky, either good or bad. An average level of luck, for an average sort of guy.

Hmm.

Unfortunately, nowadays his status of 'painfully average' was at tremendous risk of being toppled. Shrink a foot or two and everything just turns all out of whack. Not to mention the terrible crime of misplacing 'Greg junior'. It wasn't his fault, the darned thing just up and disappeared without his say so! Whats a growing lad to do, when his body just up and decides to switch back and forth between lad and lass? Whine, complain, mope and whine some more, apparently. There's just nothing to be done otherwise.

Greg thought he had prepared enough. He made a kickass robot arm, and a whole fleet of robo minions! True, that asshole Stormtiger had crushed a bunch when he decided the building they had been standing on should... NOT be standing anymore, but who needed an army of minions? Dumb people, that's who. Mom said it wasn't how much you had, but how well you used it. Sure, dad had laughed uproariously at that, but Greg held faith in the message itself. Too bad that asshole had also wrecked his throne, that thing might have been a bit useful now as well.

Aforementioned musings of luck reared their ugly heads once more, as Greg was forced to admit that as of late, his day on average had ended up being rather unlucky. Sure, he had been blessed to wake up to such a sight of beauty this morning but- NO, Bad Greg, not the time- the day had only seen fit to cap off what had been rather enjoyable with something that rather wasn't.

Greg found himself running a lot these days, he mused morosely to himself. Running away from guys with guns, running away from nazis with fart powers, running away from more nazis but now with bullshit powers...

"Your powers shouldn't friggin work, you clod!" He yelled out behind him as he ran.

"Are you seriously taunting the angry nazi? Seriously?" Sparky nearly screamed in his ear, feet beating against the street below them almost as swiftly as Gregs own. He had to take more steps due to shorter legs, give him a break.

"He's a nazi, it goes without saying that he's probably angry," Greg reasoned, dodging to the side as a tire bounced between them. It continued on its way, crashing into a car and disappearing down a side alley. "Could be blacks, maybe jews. perhaps his eggs were too runny with slightly burnt toast, I dunno." Greg didn't know why he couldn't shut up. As Sparky pointed out, riling up the roid filled nazi did little to improve their current situation. Despite that, Greg felt yet another quip sliding its way down out of his brain, struggling to escape from his lips. "Ha, juice. Nazis hate juice."

"Fucking seriously?!?" came the frenzied, almost desperate cry from Sparky once more.

"Only when I have to be."

Greg wasn't sure why Krieg was chasing them. The burly nazi had done little to explain himself beyond hurling obscenities at them as soon as he had walked in through the front door of Fuglys. A shame that, wouldn't be good advertisement for them, for people to know that nazis can just walk in the front door. Need to have a slogan, 'leave your swastikas at the door', or something. Nazis didn't leave home without them, right? No shirt, no shoes, no swastikas, no service... wait, no, that doesn't sound right. Whatever. Suffice to say, Greg wouldn't be visiting that Fuglies any time soon. They'd more than likely be shutting down for a week or two to fix the giant hole they had in the front window. And replacing the fryer that Krieg had thrown through said window.

Yes, Greg had been standing in front of said window when Krieg had thrown the fryer, why do you ask?

So, they were forced to run. They could have stayed and tried to fight... but the fryer rendered that as a slightly foolish idea. Running was much safer for everyones health. Especially for all the innocent civilians, who might have gotten caught up in such a fight. Krieg didn't seem to give much thought to the safety of others. Speaking of...

"Car," Greg blandly mused, ducking slightly as he jerked to the side.

"What?" Sparkys confusion was short lived, the flying remains of the shattered Buick hurling overhead and barely missing Gregs own.

"Where'd you learn how to drive, ya rube!?" Greg hurled back. If he couldn't throw a two ton car back at the bastard, then he'd have to settle for annoying the shit out of him.

"Fucking stay still and just die already!"

"Stop trying to kill me and maybe I would!" It wasn't the best comeback, but Greg wasn't operating under the best of circumstances.

Dodging another flung mailbox -and really, who even used those anymore? What was the point of dotting them across every street corner?- Greg turned to his friend with a questioning glance. "Can't you fling something back at him?"

"Maybe if he was allergic to cups of water, but I don't think that's gonna do much good!" Sparky snarled.

"I dunno, maybe he's like a cat!" Greg parried back, "Or a wicked witch!"

"He is a bit of a bitch," Sparky found himself joking.

"That's the spirit- AGH, watch it ya clod!" Greg screeched back at Kreig as the man decided to throw another manhole cover at them. Greg had tried to throw the first one back at Krieg, but he was still inexperienced with his ferrokinesis. The mass was simply too large, moving too fast. He might be able to control such a thing with practice, but at the moment it was out of his expertise. "You could have killed me with that!"

"I'm trying to, you stupid slag!" was the frenzied reply. His further comments were cut off as a splash of water temporarily blinded him.

Greg spared a second to glance behind, watching as Krieg pawed at his eyes.

"Can't you do something bigger?"

"How bout you do something bigger?"

Greg paused, the comeback jogging his brain worse than the actual jogging.

"Didn't you say you could make water wings?" he asked, dodging around a flying trashcan. "Like, flight wings?"

"Yes? No! I mean, kinda...?"

"So fly us away or something!"

"I can barely get off the ground on my own, how the hell do you expect me to be able to carry your fat carcass too?" Sparky punctuated his words with a flourish of water collecting from a nearby stormdrain behind her back. She then flexed them twice, lifting off from the ground by a mere inch.

Greg snorted, juking around a a pothole. "So just make the wings bigger! They're just water, right?"

Sparky started, an expression of surprise flitting across her features. A slight burst of effort, and a fishtank in a store window we were running past lost a couple inches and a goldfish. Poor goldfishy was deposited down another stormdrain, occupational hazards of living anywhere near a cape. Living in Brockton Bay, it was perfectly understandable for more than a couple goldfish to be lost to the nefarious wiles of evil.

Sparky grabbed Greg around the midsection, lifting her bodily as they rose... another three inches off the ground.

"More water!" Greg crowed, wiggling in Sparkys embrace.

"It's not doing anything!" Sparky panicked, jerking to the side as Krieg screamed behind them in incoherent rage.

"How 'bout you stop chasing us, ya dink!" Greg yelled back over Sparkys shoulder. "Turn right, up here! The pads just up here!"

"That's what you said last time!"

"Its not my fault they have three different streets called Alexandria street!"Greg replied vehemently.

"They're not all called Alexandria!"

True, they weren't all called the same thing. But what did you expect to happen when you just added Blvd, Ave, and other such nonsense to the same name? Wasn't it enough to have different names?

Turning at the end of an alley, dodging various debris the musclebound dumbass threw their way. Greg knew that the transport pad had been completed by the robonoids she had deployed to construct it, but the silly things liked to procrastinate. Who knows what could go wrong, especially in the most dire of moments? She let out a loose snort at the thought.

"Here, here, here, here!" Peridot crowed as they skidded to a halt. The pad was a flat platform of raised crystal, camouflaged to look like the asphalt surrounding it.

Jumping up on the platform, they both beheld the sight of an enraged musclehead rounding the corner.

"Smell ya later," Peridot called out as light slowly bloomed around her and Lapis, "Ya Clod!"

Just before the last vestiges of trasn-light swallowed them, Peridot saw someone fall from the sky and land on the road behind Krieg. A halo of brown hair framed a silhouette, a rose tinged blade held aloft.

A twinge in her heart heralded the absence of the shadowed woman.

"Shit," Sparky wheezed, staggering to the side of Gregs basement.

Greg stood silent, stunned at the last traces of memory desperately tried to maintain their hold on him. She had been familiar.

"Yeah..."
 
Interlude: The Ones Who Waited

Flutters Is Shy

Light The Fire, It's Time to Write!
Author
He watched the fracas lead ever on down the street, the sounds of chaotic and frenzied escape dying off the further the trio ran from his position. A man he recognized as a villain belonging to one of the more vile gangs littering the port bound city, Krieg. A low end strength and durability boost, as well as some sort of kinetic redirection manipulation. Nothing too overpowered in the grand scheme of things -heck, he was fairly certain that he could take the cape if need be with relatively little effort- but still not the type of individual that one of the newly awakened could be expected to take on their own.

He readied himself, letting loose a terse breath as he proceeded to do what no sane individual should do, especially if they happened to live in Brockton Bay. Run toward a cape fight in progress.

"Hey kid, you crazy?" A man he raced past called out as he sped by.

He dug a burner phone out of his pocket, flashing the crappy flip phone above his head for the nosey passerby. The cheap piece of plastic and metal could barely make phone calls, but the random passerby didn't have to know that. "No way I'm missing this!" He inanely called out over his shoulder.

There, the perfect disguise for a disillusioned populace. No longer was he a potential 'cape' racing towards a fight with the intention of participating. Now he was just another dumbass teenager in their eyes, risking his life for a couple minutes of fame. What else would he do with a phone, but try to capture video of a cape fight?

"You're gonna get yourself killed!" an old man called out from a storefront.

Predictable as clockwork.

It was surprising what continued to persist as normal, even throughout the years. If one saw naught but a teenager, then they would oft expect nothing more than the mindset of such.

"Shit," he muttered to himself, eyes scanning back and forth along the street and side alleys for a secluded area. Most everyone's eyes were glued to the ongoing struggle of the would be 'master race' to hit the mans fleeing targets. Despite that, it would be the utmost of foolishness to assume there wouldn't be some stragglers eyes following him as he tried to don a disguise. Cameras everywhere, at that.

Gaze tracking to the roof of a nearby building, he felt himself gasp in surprise as he skidded to a stop.

The pink lion carrying it's precious cargo spared him a single glance, as if to acknowledge his presence and the years that had passed since their previous contact. The women riding the lion were oblivious of Lions gaze, their own focused ever onwards on the prey they had selected.

"Hm."

He slowly walked back down the street, making for his house. The passerby jostled his shoulders as he passed, leaving him with mocking jibes regarding how he had apparently decided against risking his life for a couple seconds of blurry, shaky video depicting a zoomed in fight scene. He took them on the chin, laughing along with those he passed. It was harmless, and in the end it would serve no purpose to return their words with ire filled ones of his own.

He returned home, the carefree demeanor he held cast off as soon as he had secured the door behind him. The weight of the world fell once more upon him, the memory of ages gone by refusing him any solace. He made his way to the study, grasping a book contained on the bookshelf and tilting it towards himself. The levers connected to the underside of the facade creaked with their displeasure, but the mechanism within responded regardless.

The floor beneath him descended, the hidden elevator carrying him ever downwards. The floor above his head shifted back together, once more hiding the secret shaft. Concealed within the inner reaches of their base, he allowed himself a low sigh. He reached a hand inside the collar of his shirt, twisting a series of knobs and sliders on the amulet he wore within. The dusky tan of his skin receded, leaving behind stretches of untainted pink. Not the caucasian tint of a normal human, but the same shade adorning the lion he had seen only minutes before.

The doors at the bottom silently slid open, and he made his way onwards. At this time of day, she would be in...

He stopped at the third doorway, smiling once he saw who was inside. A short woman in her late twenties, with lines etched out from her eyes from a lifetime spent smiling. Her pink tinged hair spilled forth from her crown, falling just short of the start of her legs. Her skin held the same tint as his own, though he would always claim she wore it better.

"Sadie," he called out, startling her as her paintbrush dipped wildly, leaving a smear of green across the painted bowl of fruit she had been concentrating so hard upon.

"Lars!" she returned, unperturbed by the minor snafu. "You're back early, or did I lose track of time again?"

Lars smiled, watching the visage of his childhood friend mirror his own. "I'm back early, had better things to do than keep track of a couple crack heads."

"Oh?"

The two long time lovers embraced, their kiss lingering far shorter on their lips than either quite cared for.

"Yeah. It's the big times," Lars confirmed, his expression turning serious.

"Garnets predictions... It's happening. They've started to awaken."

Authors Notes:
*Laughs maniacally*
 
Interlude Those Who Waited

Flutters Is Shy

Light The Fire, It's Time to Write!
Author
"Hey man, the fuck is that?"

Josh stopped what he was doing, Turing to look fully at his long time friend, he cocked an eyebrow as he returned his friends abrupt tone. "Gravity diffuser field generator. We put these on the karts, and we'll be able to go zipping around at seventy miles without feeling a single g! Speaking of, did you decide which character you were going to be? If you're gonna be Donkey Koong then the suit will be able to fit more tech, but I really think it'd be funny if you went as Peach or Daisy..."

"You can crossdress if you want, I'm feeling a bit Bowser actually. And that's not what I was asking about. What the hell is that?" With this, he pointed directly at Josh.

"My face," Josh replied evenly, tapping his ear with the wrench he had been using to tweak the stabilizer. "I realize I'm unfathomable more handsome than you can ever hope to be, such to the point where you gaze upon my brilliance and are struck dumb..."

Trevor leaned forward, and before Josh could react poked him hard in the face. That normally would have been bad enough, but for where he had been poked...

"Ahhh! My friggin eye! What the fuck man!" He snarled, before he could even think about stopping himself. He swiftly wound down, pawing at his face as a stark realization hit him. His friend has poked him, directly in the eye. Despite that, he could quite plainly feel a blatant absence of pain from the ocular socket. "The fuck?" His pawing became more frenzied as his fingers came into contact with what his friend had seen. "The hell is this?"

"You have a friggin rock in your eye!" Trevor shouted, panic lacing his words as he stared at the finger that had touched said stone in disgust.

"There's a rock in my face!"

"Why the heck is there a rock in your face?!" Trevor continued his panicked assault on his friends ears. "What did you do? Am I going to start growing crystals out of my face? What the heck did you make?"

"Mirror, mirror, mirror," Josh huffed, digging through a utility chest. He found his prize moments later, an old compact mirror he had dug out of a dumpster a year past. It had been useful when applying the eyeshadow for their batman suits. Makeup was a crucial part to any costume that had portions of their faces visible. "I didn't make anything that would do anything like this. At least it shouldn't," he groused. "It's bad enough that half my shit blows up in my face, now it's started restructuring it, too? What the hell does a G defuser have to do with transitional transmutation of organic material into peridot?"

~=~

She sat among a litter of canines, each eagerly coming forth to sniff and play. They first were shocked by her sudden new appearance, but her smell was apparently similar enough as well as the half growled commands she had trained into their heads since the first night she had brought each one into her tight family.

The gem had been there on the back of her hand when she had woken up, the crimson sheen standing stark against her pale skin. She hadn't thought much of it, if it was dangerous then the one who talked too much would say something about it. She was always yapping on about the most unimportant of things, like a puppy that hadn't been trained not to.

After the change had overtaken her body, she had floundered for but a few seconds before she had rallied. So what if she was smaller and shorter? She was still just as strong, if not stronger. She could feel heat flowing through her limbs, giving her strength. The dogs could still see that she was herself, and so she would continue as if nothing was wrong.

The only thing amiss... Even amongst the pack she had formed, had protected, had saved... She felt lonely for some reason she couldn't properly ascertain.

~=~

Ethan sat with his back to the wall, stewing in the silence given by the room around him. Three hours he had been sequestered in a tidy M/S room, having checked himself in upon discovering his transformation -in the middle of walking through the common room- and prevented himself from devolving into hysterics.

"Ethan?" The intercom crackled to life near the door.

"... Hey Colin," he tiredly replied.

"Any changes?" Trust the stick in the mud to be all business. Truth be told, Ethan was thankful for any spare bit of normalcy he could get his hands on.

"Nope," Ethan groused. "Still... female. No changes."

"Any mental abnormalities so far?" Colin continued, as if he was reading the billeted points off of a list. Knowing him, he probably was.

"Nothing beyond the usual terror I would hopefully find upon learning my mini-Ethan decided to disappear..."

"Crass jokes aside," the voice on the other side of the intercom continued, nonplussed at Ethan's attempt to relieve some of his mounting stress, "Any further physical changes?"

"No. Purple body, chunk of amethyst in my shoulder. Nothing new. Pretty kickass rockstar hair, though..." He mused, running a hand through the large bush of hair that had sprouted from his head. The swathe of hair grew long, right down the length of his back.

"The hair was previously noted, Ethan. Any urges, odd sensations since last time?"

"Nothing new,"

Did the world just hate him, to land him with such a fate? Ethan groaned, resigning himself to the torturous future hours.

At least he was the only one showing symptoms so far. They thought at first that it might have been some sort of master power transmitted via Peridot due to the significance of the gemstone, but Ethan hadn't even met the cape yet. So that hypothesis was most likely inaccurate.

At least it was just him, for now.


~=~


The man looked down at his hand, knife resting on the soft tinted flesh beneath. The week had progressed as normal as previous weeks, an uninterrupted stint of carnal approval. There had been that family at the greasy spoon they had passed a few days ago, they had sated the Girl for a while. The Worm had taken a greater amount of effort to quell his whining, but passing nearby a nuclear power plant had worked wonders. A quick bath in a spilled mess of nuclear waste had made the disgusting thing act happy as a puppy.

The Nudist was unfatigueable, simple standing by with a placid smile forever stretched across her face as she lounged against the side of their stolen conveyance. It wasn't like that football team was going to use the bus anymore. The Girl had made sure of that. They all made such lovely floral arrangements, of that he was sure.

The Shatterer and the Burned were the easiest to placate by far, simply point them at a male with passing resemblance to their former flings and they would go to town for an hour or two. It truly was a blessing to be able to witness the twisted anguish that flitted across their faces when a lance of ground glass slowly tore it's way out of their insides, or when they slowly cooked within their own skins.

The Ugly was far less labor intensive. You could simply put any woman in front of the brute and he would go to town. He was slightly happier to receive a poor cape instead of a mundane, but he didn't truly care. Flesh was flesh.

The Lover was the hardest to satisfy, the dumb broad still thinking herself untouchable. She whined and cajoled, childishly instant on her particular selection of venue. Males, the richer the better. Sure, their billfolds were a boon to their ever onward path of 'holy' purpose, but the Lovers insistence on keeping her toys around for so long was taxing on his patience.

They had recently passed by into a small town, a rinky dink nowhere kind of affair. He had woken same as every day before, yet with a crucial difference. A pale dome of crystal alighted upon his brow. A polished oval of pearl, sunken down into the skin such as that when he had tried to cut it out, he found that the surface of said crystal extended far beyond just a simple dome.

"I can't understand it," the Girl complained, looking up at him with her told clutched tight in her little hands. "It's there, and yet it isn't. It extends beyond the depth of the skull, but it doesn't extend into the brain itself, nor does it disrupt the natural curvature of your skull. It doesn't make any sense."

"But it's not harming me?" He ventured, eager to make sure.

"Not that I can tell. If anything, your epidermis and skeletal structure is stronger? Again, I'm not sure how. There's no new tissue, nothing's denser, it's just... Tougher." the Girl crunched up her adorable little face, pale blonde ringlets bouncing with her consternation.

The day continued, nothing more of interest to note. Reaching a stopping point, they drove up and parked behind a motel. A quick bout of pest extermination, and the rooms were theirs for the night.

He stood silently in the motel bathroom, poking upward at the pearl that had encroached upon his personal space.

"What the hell are you?" he questioned, not truthfully expecting a response. The Girl hadn't felt the presence of another cape on the jewel, stating that it had felt like him, but more. Whatever more could possibly mean. "You show up out of nowhere, and you do nothing more than just sit there. What purpose do you have?"

A fit of childish whimsy struck him, focusing on the gem. He felt himself pushing at it from within, as if there was a a flimsy wall he could but shove aside. He felt his body shift, a rush similar to his power flow out to his extremities. He peered once more into the mirror before him, momentarily startled by the feminine features therein.

A wave of familiarity passed as he continued to gaze at a face he was positive he had never laid eyes on before. A memory, a hidden longing raced through his limbs.

"Her," he growled, the voice coming through what should have been his mouth a dangerous lilt. "I almost forgot her," he mused, dainty fingers tracing an equally dainty chin, "Her... I can't remember... Who?" Questioning the face in the mirror did no good. She didn't know, and refused to tell him anything.

He resolved there, that he would not rest. Not until he found her. Until her found her, he wouldn't feel complete.

"I'm coming, my dear."
 
Interlude; End Log 317994211119848332148

Flutters Is Shy

Light The Fire, It's Time to Write!
Author
She puttered around the room, twisting dials and flicking switches in an irritated manner. Grumbling under her breath, she kept her voice down despite knowing that there was no longer anyone else to disturb with her ire.

She was alone.

“This…” she started, struggling to be put into words the ever gnawing depth of her isolation. What was it the halfbreed had used to say? … “This sucks,” she admitted, hanging her head in frustration.

Her wandering feet found her once more in front of the main machine, the centerpiece of her lab. It's size dwarfed everything else in the already gargantuan sized bunker, even towering above the building sized mech-suits she had once touted as her greatest achievement.

“Trash,” she muttered, turning from that which she once claimed as pinnacles of her creative genius. “Pointless, worthless, meaningless…”

She stared down at the last. A small disk, the transient liquid inside a radiant blue that seemingly swirled with light from within. The light was no more bright than any of the other hundreds of thousands that had come before it, shuttled off to places unknown. Despite this, the light within this blue disk held that much more than any other.

It was special. She was special.

Peridot reached forward, freeing the disk from its socket and cradling it in her nerveless hands. So small, yet its potential so endlessly fathomless.

Peridot jerked in surprise, noting that her sight was becoming obscured. There was… ‘liquid’ staining the inside of her visor.

“What the,” she stuttered, her voice coming choppier than she ever believed possible. Reaching up she dispelled her visor, fat droplets falling free to crash upon the disk in her hands. “Darn it Lapis, I'm leaking,” she chortled mirthlessly, the smile she desperately was trying to force to her lips refusing to come.

Why? Why did she have to be so stubborn, so foolhardy?

“Why couldn’t you just… stay with me?” she let out in a near whisper, bowing her head under the weight of it all.

“Can… can you promise me something? Please?” she asked, knowing she would never receive the response she so desperately craved. “Whoever you are… after this… whoever I am…” she stopped, the ever coming watery dredges of her shame falling freely from her eyes. “Please… find me. Please… don’t leave me alone again.”

With a titanic burst of will, she jammed the disk forward, back into its socket. Without looking she slammed her clenched fist into the button beside what used to be the gem that was her everything.

It was anticlimactic, a slight whine of sound without even a flash of light to signal the departure of the gem that once was Lapis Lazuli.
 
A Knifes Edge 4.5

Flutters Is Shy

Light The Fire, It's Time to Write!
Author
Greg jerked awake, lifting himself bodily from the floor he found himself on. He flinched at the smear of watery residue coating his face and front, the tears even now still falling freely. Wiping them away as they tapered off into nothingness, he sat back in a cross legged position.

Why had he been crying? He remembered crying in his dream, but he couldn’t for the life of him remember why he had been crying. The entire dream was hazy, echoing vestiges that scattered away from his consciousness like wisps of cloudy nothingness.

Greg looked around, noting that he was back home. Safely ensconced within the walls of the basement, his scattered tools and half finished projected littering the shelves and counters.

They had gotten back, he remembered that much. A harrowing escape from a telekinetic debris flinging racist asshole, a short trip back through the portal network…

“Oh,” he eloquently stated, his head jerking up to stare at the empty stairs leading back to the rest of the house proper.

[hr=3]

“Huh, guess I’ll have to hide another pad in that area,” Greg mused as he sedately meandered off the warp pad and over to a map he had defiled with notes of where he had planted additional warp pads.

“What the hell was that?!” Sparky shouted, cradling his head as he rocked back and forth on his heels.

“Sparks?” Greg probed, reaching a hand forth to rest on his friends shoulder, “It’s okay, we’re back home now, he can’t get through the network-”

“No seriously,” Sparky cut him off, slapping his hand away as he turned on Greg frantically. “What the
fuck was that?!!? We almost died man, and here you are just… calm as you fucking please! What the hell, man? We almost died.”

“It’s not that big of a deal,” Greg calmly stated, trying to placate his frazzled friend.

“He threw a fucking
car at me!” Sparky screamed, throwing his hands up in anger. “Are you insane, or is this entire thing just sailing over your head? Cause I for one know that the normal fucking response to someone trying to kill you is not just bland… acceptance!” he spat out, turning and walking towards the stairs.

“Sparky,” Greg called out, making to follow his friend.

“No!” Sparky spouted, whirling on him with fury in his eyes. “Just… just no. I… I need to clear my head man, and I… I can’t do that with… with
this,” he snarled with a pointed flourish indicating his body, a flash of light masking his form as he transformed back to his normal self. “Just stay the fuck away from me man, till I get my head ‘round this shit,” he continued, making his way up the stairs.

Greg tried to call him back, but was rooted to the spot. Voiceless and breathless, unable to move, unable to think properly. An empty hole in his chest begging him to cajole her into staying. If only for a minute, a second, a moment…

The door to the top of the stairs slammed shut, heralding Gregs silent descent to the floor. Tears flowed freely as a deep sense of loss permeated her entire being. Echoes of
her back lingered in her eyes as she walked away, once more too foolish to put down her pride and possessiveness.

As she swiftly lost consciousness, she could only release the barest of whispers.

“... please…”


[hr=3]

Greg started, the phantom emotion threatening to overwhelm him once more.

“Fuck,” he muttered, turning his back to the stairs. “Fine, leave... I don’t need you,” he continued, plunging his arms down to the elbows in his most recent batch of bioplasm. “Good consistency, smells like it’s staying fresh, should be able to use the rest for the next parts too,” he noted, before bringing up the two hard form casts he had left within to cure.

They were large and blocky, designed to fit directly over his lower legs. They didn’t have the additionally power sinks and tech required for the form enhancements that he had been hoping for, but regardless they should still serve to enhance his base abilities. He might not be running any award winning marathons any time soon, but if he got the fluid conduit dispersal rate right then he’d have access to feats of strength… slightly above that of what his physical stature would otherwise indicate.

He wouldn’t be going toe to toe with someone like Lung, or even a low rank bruiser such as Miss Militia. There was no real winning against someone whose powers consisted of ‘can I haz all guns plox?’.

Against someone like say… Uber? A normal-’ish’ guy whose only abilities apparently was just ‘being good at stuff’? Lame.

Diverting power from their main systems should allow him to perform superhuman jumps, coupled with the grav dampers he had originally installed in the throne. Gem Tech was weird, some times he could almost swear he was packing more junk into a space than was possible to hold it.

Well, he always had sucked at Tetris. Not his fault that puzzle jazz didn’t sit right with him.

The rest of the day passed in a blur, which he sporadically spent online while waiting for certain integral pieces to cure and trying to get Sparky to respond to one of his many messages.

Sparky had all but blocked him, leaving every last one of his PMs unread and waiting. It was infuriating, his friend didn’t even pick up the few times he had called his cell phone.

PHO had blown up, it turned out that his and Sparkys adventure on the town was one of the less interesting events to occur that day. Which was kind of irritating, when a girl dresses up and hits the town they wanna be noticed darn it!

Ahem. Gender phrasing notwithstanding, it was still disappointing. Sure there was more than a dozen different threads dedicated to the ‘bubblegum capes’ who had gone out to a movie, more than a few of those bordering on creepy lesbian speculation between him and his friend. Wasn’t Tinmother supposed to put a stop to that sort of stuff?

Hypocritical mods. When it's Greg asking if anyone got upskirts of Glory Girl, well that's a temporary ban! But flashing pictures of his ass as Peridot and that's just fiiiiine and dandy.

The pictures looked amazing, but it was still weird to attribute the alien physique as his own.

Delving into the more popular threads of the day, it turned out that as soon as he and Sparky had left a new cape had turned up. He thought he had seen a woman show up riding a lion while he was being whisked away by the warp pad, but had been unsure as to if the view had been real or a warp energy enforced hallucination.

Don’t usually get lions in Brockton Bay, despite all the other crazy crap that goes down.

The woman -Girl? Older teenager? Her age was speculated on endlessly throughout PHO but he had been unable to find anything concrete. She looked nineteen, maybe?- had turned up alongside two others, also riding bareback on the pink furred lion.

And wasn’t PHO making a stink about that too. ‘Oh, that poor kitty, that's inhumane’ seemed to be the main discourse revolving around people who thought the new cape had dyed a lion pink. Others claimed it to be a changer power the lion had, or maybe the lion was just another cape entirely?

Greg didn’t know what to think, he’d never seen the darned thing before in his life but staring at the various pictures…

He was absolutely sure he knew the chick. And the lion. Which considering he had never seen either, was quite odd.

Scary Sword Lady -patent pending~- had shown up like a knight in shining armor, sword flashing and cutting Krieg down to size. Slicing through the various random crap he had tossed her way, eventually she slammed him to the ground and waited until the cops showed up.

He was knocked out, sure, but Greg hoped the cops had some sort of sappy handcuffs with the bastards name on them. As Sparky said, the jerk threw a car at them.

At which point she got back on her lion, and peaced out. Some sort of portal teleporter power the lion showed, roaring a portal into existence and simply jumping through it.

The other two she had shown up with though… purple and orange skinned, respectively. A spark had shot through Gregs head at the sight of both of them, ideas careening and crashing into each other as yet even more possibilities surfaced.

Amethyst, Jaspar.

Uniform, yet malleable. Mass producible.

Greg wasn’t sure how he knew, but he knew he could make them too. It wouldn’t even be all that hard! Simply construct the cutting apparatus, set up in a place people wouldn’t randomly stumble across him, and bam! Instant helpers!

Minions, little helpers that could assist him in his efforts. Mom would be pleased, she had been oh so worried as of late thinking about him getting into trouble all on his lonesome. He had been hoping that Sparky would be willing to get out and about with him more now that he had also gotten powers…

Another message shot to him and a call also went unanswered.

Oh well. What did he need him for? He could just make his own friends, so there!

It took another hour to create the parts needed for a low rate cutter, an oblong box the size of a suitcase. It only had enough stuffin for a couple cuttings, if he wanted something with a little more shelf life he’d have to pour a ton more resources into the project.

Something for another day.

Surely there was some sort of taboo about creating sapient life, but Scary Sword Lady had done it so why couldn’t he? Couldn’t just let some random cape stealing all his glory have all the best toys.

Which brought to mind the fact that this SSL also had access to gem tech. Probably the source of the other purple skinned girl that had snuck into his house. A worry, that. All the more reason to bring more firepower on board as soon as possible!

It was kinda scary to think that a bunch of other people could be stealing credit for the tech he was making. He put hard work into this stuff, thank you very much!

Another few hours went into creating the arm casts. It was the absolute last dredges of his bioplasm. He’d have to get more toothpaste post haste if he wanted to continue with his efforts.

He needed the Throne 2.0, gosh darn it! And StormTiger needed a zero point energy blast straight to his stupid face. Piss all over his hard work and drop a building on him? He would feel the wrath of the Thrones progeny. Blood feud upon the blood bigot!

Oh yeah, and also for trying to kill him. But mostly for breaking the Throne.

Suiting up felt amazing, a surge of energy pooling at his fingertips and racing across his chest.

“I kinda look like megaman,” he mused, looking over the chunky knee high boots. Sliding on the arm mounted limb enhancers didn’t help that image, them only being slightly slimmer than the leg units.

They didn’t immediately fall off when he walked from one end of the room to the other, so that was a plus.

The five ‘fingers’ on each limb detached from the enhancers when he powered them on, hovering a few centimeters from the surface. He hadn’t been able to fit this set with an internal logistics system like he had wanted to on such short notice, but the standard zero point energy diffusers worked like a charm.

“I have the poooowah!” Greg crowed, levitating a paint bucket up and down with a concentrated zero point energy beam. There was no tangible feedback like if he had lifted it via ferrokinesis, but he could almost feel the object dragging pressure on his limb as he moved it around.

They were supposed to be able to pick up and displace up to four tons. Maybe. He hadn’t been able to test them up to that weight. How was he supposed to? It was all theoretically possible at this point.

And he most certainly was not going to test the concussive blasts in the basement. Or in the backyard. Digging holes in the back lawn had gotten his backside beaten raw, he didn’t want to think what his mom would do if she found him blowing it up.

Cutter and helper orboids gathered, Greg set off.

Sending himself to a deserted section of the train yard via warp pad, Greg set up in a nearby abandoned building. He had the orboids take up surveillance positions so that he wouldn’t get snuck up on, and set up the cutter.

There were so many different gems he could make, and with only two sets available he knew what he needed to grow. Two peridots would be for the best, in his opinion. That way he could have them build stuff when he was out and about, doing his own thing.

More hands being busy!

And if he was right, he could probably make them in practically any environ. Inputting the selection into the cutters limited processor and just plopping the device face down on the neglected concrete floor, all Greg had to do was wait.

And wait.

And wait.

And wait.

“Gaaaaaawd this is friggin boring,” he whined, shooting another text to Sparky.

Nothing.

‘Nyeaaaaaaaahhhh,” he let out, tapping away at his phone.

There was only so much PHO one could trawl through before they got bored, after all. Winged One had been needling him all night, sending cryptic ‘I feel you have good fortune’ messages and the like. She was probably drunk, what with her sporadic texts.

“Yo,” he mouthed to himself, typing away, “Is you are the drunk. Question mark, you be soundings like you the drunk.”

True, he could very well type his texts like any normal damned person. But where was the fun in that?

' I predict you are going to turn around and be quite surprised by an unforeseen event,’ she texted back almost immediately.

“What you mean,” he typed in response, having looked all around himself in a panic before deciding she must have been jerking his chain.

To his surprise, she didn’t respond after that point.

“Great, someone else that's ignoring me,” he sulked after waiting for a response for about five minutes.

Another call to Sparky, another message to the PM.

Nothing.

Finally, at one in the morning the cutter was finished with its task.

“Now, rise my minions!” Greg cackled, posing in a way he was sure looked imposing and impressive. The orboids gathered up the swiftly decomposing cutter, hopefully he could reuse its base components for… something else. Left behind were two depressions in the earth, both human shaped holes that sunk down into the ground.

After several seconds passed, he realized that his ‘minions’ were failing to produce themselves.

Peering into the holes, he did not see the expected bodies of his two new peridots. He didn’t see any peridots, period. In one hole was a gleaming, pale pearl glinting in the sparkling moonlight. In the other was what he first assumed was a ruby.

“Padparadscha,” he said aloud, stunned that he actually knew what it was called. “A red sapphire.”

Staring into the holes, he swept up the two gems in a hand each.

“... and NOT what I specifically programmed you to make!” He hissed, glaring balefully at the already cooling goo that once had been a perfectly serviceable cutter. Except for the fact that it had almost completely not worked at all!

“What does a padpar even do?” He asked no one in particular. It and the pearl were both undesired outcomes. There went his grand plan of having lab assistants.

They lay inert, even after he arrived back home. Secreting himself once more in the basement -LAB!- he slotted both gems into his makeshift gem tech operating system. It was basically a bulky laptop, which was neither portable nor suitably small. It weighed almost forty pounds, for crying out loud! Still, it ran faster than his personal tower up in his room, and could play Crysis too!

He connected the OS to the gems, settling them both in hastily constructed bases.

“Well there's yer problem,” he mused, puzzling out the flowing lines of code. There wasn’t anything in the gems, they were just a hollow structure. Not to say that they had space inside of them physically, they just didn’t have anything going on in terms of software.

“How the hell am I supposed to get this shit in you?” he grumbled, racking his brain for a solution. In the end, he settled on writing up a simple search program. Setting it to look out on the Internet for applicable information, it would hopefully copy over the relevant data the gems needed to produce a full form avatar.

Maybe they could still be useful for carrying out simple instructions?

At this point Greg was desperate for any kind of result, for the amount of time and resources he had poured into what was progressively looking like a wasted effort.

Sighing deeply, he decided to call it a night and check what progress had been made in the morning. Better than just staying up and fretting over the fact that SPARKY HADN’T READ ANY OF HIS FRIGGIN MESSAGES…

Yawning, he stepped on to the first step.

A flash of light bloomed behind him, casting the stairwell and the room around him into deep shadows. Turning around, he saw one of the gems floating above the table, the glare softly building to a fever pitch. It coalesced into a vaguely human figure, a caricature that echoed the form of a young girl.

The light disappeared in a flash, a small girl in a flowing red dress floating gently down to the floor. She had a reddened gem showing in the center of her chest, the light of the basement glinting off it in brilliant arcs.

She peered up at Greg, her eye half hidden by her sweeping bangs.

“I predict you are going to turn around and be quite surprised by an unforeseen event!” The unknown girl chortled, clapping her hands gleefully.


Authors Notes:

What, you thought I was just going to drop a pitiful little 500 word entry and expect you to be happy with that? Have a 3k chapter. You lot deserve it.
 
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