I do not own Worm or Ben 10. This will continue to be the case for the rest of this story.
Benjamin Kirby Tennyson was falling.
It started when an alien device did what it did. Some alien villain–a cerebrocrustacean if Ben remembered correctly–had a device he claimed would send the famous Hero of the Galaxy into a completely different universe, and lock it down so he could never come back. If that was even how it worked. After all, it was a cerebrocrustacean, not a galvan. Luckily, the villain hadn't understood the importance of defending himself. Or assuring that he could actually insert his target into the portal. Or the importance of not bragging so hard everyone in Undertown heard about his plan. Cerebrocrustaceans never really changed, not even when Ben himself was one.
So after hearing about a dozen shopkeepers in a row tell him about the new villain in town, Ben located the villain's lair, which even looked villainous from the outside. Gwen and Kevin came with him, having happened to be with him for the day for a reunion. After all, no better way to reunite than to once again kick ass together. The villain, shocked at the arrival, attempted to shock them back with his species' electrokinetic blasts.
It wasn't very successful against the wrath of Rath. He was going for Feedback, but wasn't one to complain when the Omnitrix actually gave him a useful heavy hitter. A few punches and suplexes later, the villain was mana-bound by Gwen and ready for detainment.
However, a grave series of mistakes led to Ben's current predicament, falling quite a great height at quite a great speed.
Firstly, he held on to his smoothie, courtesy of Mr. Smoothy, as he began the fight. Because he'd be dead before he'd give up such a delectable treat, villain or no villain.
Secondly, he dropped it while dodging an electric blast. The form of Rath had caused fighting to temporarily take priority over sugary drinks, preposterous as it would seem when he would eventually look back as himself. It spilled on the ground and laid forgotten during the action.
Thirdly, after victory, he didn't look where he stepped, and slipped on the puddle. Careening towards the portal's control panel, he slammed on dozens of buttons, causing a variety of beeps and boops punctuated with a sound not unlike a revving engine and an eerie cyan glow from behind him.
Lastly, he made the mistaken assumption that the villain did not plan for the difficulty of inserting his target into the portal. A massive, vacuuming g ust sucked him directly in. He got a glimpse of Gwen and Kevin losing their footing, but he wasn't sure if they were sucked in as well. Either way, they couldn't save him. Benjamin Kirby Tennyson, in the form of Rath, was sent to an alternate universe that would be unlike any he had previously lived in.
Unfortunately, the exit point of the portal happened to be quite high in the air.
"STUPID WIND, ACTING AS THOUGH YOU CAN TRULY CONTROL WHERE RATH GOES. SEE HOW YOU LIKE A TRIPLE PUNCH TO THE ESOPHAGUS!" He bellowed, enacting the attack he named, impressive despite having something intangible as it's target.
It took him a moment to realize that the wind was no longer from the portal, but rather, the rather extreme rate at which he was approaching the planet Earth.
"SO, YOU THINK YOU CAN JUST PULL ME INTO ANOTHER UNIVERSE, WIND? I'LL SHOW YOU! TAKE THIS!" He gave a spectacular spin kick for one lacking any sort of leverage or ability to change momentum.
"AND YOU TOO, OTHER UNIVERSE! TASTE THE RATH!" He gave an uppercut that would certainly dish out the hurt to any universe in which it occurred, if only universes could feel pain.
By that point, however, it became apparent that there was something towards which he fell. A landscape stretched out beneath him, composed half with land and half with ocean, and a city in between and directly underneath the falling cat.
"SO, IT'S YOU AGAIN, GRAVITY? YOU SHOULD HAVE LEARNED AFTER THE LAST BEATING I GAVE YOU! AND I KNOW IT'S YOU BEHIND IT ALL, PLANET EARTH! RATH IS GONNA MAKE YOU A CRATER SO BIG THAT YOU'LL LOOK MORE LIKE A DONUT THAN A PLANET!" He commenced something reminiscent of a suplex, despite the fact that he wasn't actually holding anything, and he simply ended up upside down.
Head and fists towards the ground, Rath stared at the city below. From what he could tell, he was going to land near the coast, among a group of dilapidated structures. Suddenly, beneath him, he glimpsed a strange duo atop a roof: a young woman and a large man spewing a great deal of fire.
"AWW NO, DEFINITELY NOT A LITTLE GIRL. AIMING FOR THE MONSTER IS WHAT RATH DOES!"
Taylor Hebert was not having a good day. It wasn't the monotony of school or relentless bullying that put her in such a negative mood. No, it was her choice to go out and try to be a hero, and the subsequent, moronic choice to pick a fight with the draconian gang leader, Lung. She wasn't quite roasted to a crisp just yet, but she was feeling the heat, even at a distance that kept her from being ripped apart by emerging claws.
Lung was an armored, regenerating, fire-breathing villain who could take on entire Protectorate teams solo once he had time to grow. Because the longer you fought, the stronger he got. And Taylor doubted she could take him when he was merely the towering, muscular human. Sure, she did have a power of her own, but controlling bugs wasn't the most helpful for staying alive or hurting an honest-to-god dragon. It may as well have been a Pokémon battle. Bugs got burnt.
It was hubris, she supposed, to think that she could survive attacking the leader of the Azn Bad Boyz. She overheard him ordering his minions to be ready to shoot some kids, and just had to be the big damn hero and try to stop him. Months of planning and biding of time, holding back on her bullies even though she could shut them up in just a few stings, and the countless hours spent constructing her awesome spider silk costume all went to waste with a single kneejerk decision. It was the right thing, for the right reasons, but also a stupid thing for stupid reasons. One more kid he'd get to kill.
The plan was decent, at first. Holed up on a dark rooftop, he wouldn't know just how to fight the sudden assault of bugs. But of course, fate decided Lung's escalating transformation also enhanced his hearing. She nearly had a heart attack when he made it to the middle of the second floor in a single jump.
So there Taylor was, on a rooftop with a dragon, as good as deceased. Stings failed, venoms failed, even the backup pepper spray failed. He slowly approached her, confident for good reason.
Suddenly, Lung perked up. A second later, she knew why. His enhanced hearing had alerted him first to the strange, falling, screaming orange shape above them, though perhaps in a second or two, 'above' would no longer describe it.
That second or two later, the orange shape landed directly on top of the villain, with an impact that destroyed the very rooftop on which they stood.
Taylor Hebert was falling.
And while the object's momentum certainly continued downwards, the crash had lowered its speed, and therefore lessened the doppler effect, enough for Taylor to hear the triumphant shout of "BOOYEAH!"
As strange as it was, it barely registered in her thoughts, her mind being more occupied with the sudden change in velocity, scenery, and noise volume. Though the signals failed to be sufficiently processed, her eyes did record the shape pressing down on Lung before twisting and shooting upwards, a motion which sent the villain hurtling down even faster. Taylor then momentarily lost all sense of gravity or position, before suddenly feeling solid ground beneath her feet once more. She ventured to put her weight on it, and received a satisfying sensation of stability.
A less pleasant sensation arrived when she observed what had saved her. First, she saw large, orange, muscular arms.
She adjusted her mask slightly.
Large, orange, muscular arms on a large, orange, muscular, upright tiger.
"ARE YOU ALRIGHT?"
"WHATEVER. JUST TELL ME BEFORE I POUND THAT GUY'S SKULL IN: AM I GONNA BE POUNDING IN THE SKULL OF A BAD GUY?"
A meek nod confirmed it.
The tiger nodded back, the turned towards the building Lung had collapsed in. Huh. Taylor had been brought all the way to an adjacent rooftop without realizing it. Having oriented her position relative to gravity and her reason for safety, she began to orient herself within her surroundings.
Apparently this tiger had fallen, landed on Lung, then kicked off of the villain to save her from falling to the ground. The original building was almost entirely rubble, only a few walls left standing. It was lucky Taylor confirmed it to be empty before she chose it as a vantage point; any denizens would have either been crushed, or stuck in the middle of an impending cape fight.
The tiger jumped. "LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING, LARGE FIRE DRAGON! RATH IS GONNA HIT YOU SO HARD THAT YOU FORGET WHO HIT YOU, EXCEPT THAT IT WAS RATH!"
Well… he was certainly a character. Perhaps not the brightest, but beggars couldn't be choosers. Taylor considered what kind of hero he was. To assume that he was a hero was reasonable enough; he had saved her, and seemed concerned with what side of the law Lung was on. She hadn't heard of any Changers or monster capes that looked like humanoid tigers, but he could easily have been a new Protectorate transfer. Or hell, he could have been another newbie. She gave humorless chuckle. It was unfair that he got a power which let him stand up to Lung, while she was stuck controlling creepy crawlies. She was only still alive because a miracle falling from the sky, heh. A fight with Lung could have gone so, so much worse.
Still, her power wasn't useless. "Rath", as he called himself, seemed tough, but unless he had similarly escalating powers, he might not be able to win alone. They said Lung had matched Leviathan. Some of her swarm may have been burnt, but bugs were harder to take out than one would think. Taylor gathered all within her range and sent them out to assist however they could. Buzzing in Lung's ears, blocking his vision, and above all else continuing to sting him. While he may have been able to soak up much more venom than most due to his growing body mass and regeneration, she was certain a limit existed. And thanks to Rath, she was no longer the gang leader's target.
Bugs working, Taylor then focused on the details of the ensuing fight. Unfortunately, Lung was already look a lot bigger than before, likely due to the presence of an opponent who could fight him directly. Rath was dishing out some impressive strikes, to the point that he seemed more a martial artist than a typical brute. But Lung had the clear size advantage, not to mention metal scales and pyrokinesis.
"Oode fuggahyo!" Lung suddenly shouted, his transformation apparently having altered his vocal chords, enough that he couldn't quite accomplish English anymore. Still, it was easy to decipher as "Who the fuck are you!"
"WHAT'S THE PROBLEM? DOES A CAT HAVE YOUR TONGUE?" Rath replied, stepping off rubble to jump for Lung's head. He extended a large claw from his hand and swung for the villain's head. It was dodged, but not enough, letting it strike the chest instead. "BECAUSE IT WASN'T RATH WHO DID IT!" He finished.
It was hard to judge whether Rath was surprisingly clever or a complete idiot. Taylor leaned towards the latter.
As Lung recovered from the attack, metal scales visibly emerged across his entire body. After a quick roar and a few flames to ward off Taylor's bugs, he swung his clawed left arm towards Rath's feet. But as the hero jumped to dodge, the dragon grabbed a foot and swung, throwing him towards a pile of rubble.
"OH YOU DID NOT JUST DO THAT TO RATH! PREPARE TO HAVE YOUR INSIDES MANGLED INTO YOUR OUTSIDES!" With that, Rath charged again. This time, both collided and slid back, but the tiger noticeably farther. Another burst of flame then prompted an immediate dodge.
Moving back, Rath seemed to decide on a slightly safer strategy. He hefted up a large rock and hurled it towards Lung. It was blocked and broken, but not before three more were in the air.
As Rath continued his ranged assault, Taylor began to worry. It was getting harder and harder to find holes in Lung's armor through which bugs could squeeze. The flames felt hotter and hotter, sometimes killing minions merely by heating up nearby air. And while he could summon flames from all around his body, he was happy to breathe it out of his mouth, thwarting attempts to send bugs in that way. Not the worst problem, Taylor decided. She wasn't particularly happy with the haptic images it sent, basic as bug senses were. Every so often, Lung glanced in her direction. Even though he didn't attack, it freaked her out enough that she ducked.
Rath's situation didn't improve much either. Lung was starting to tower over the tiger, his reach growing longer and his flames hotter. Eventually, he managed to strike so fast that the hero couldn't dodge or parry, both clawed arms striking the torso and sending him straight through a wall. Rath was sprawled on the ground and didn't seem to be easily getting up. Things may not have been able to get worse.
Until something happened, something that seemed to give Rath the idea that they could. The green symbol on his chest began blinking red, with a series of beeps decreasing in pitch. "AWW MAN, NOT NOW!" He complained.
Then blinding green light flashed.
And left there was a perfectly ordinary, probably screwed, human teenaged boy.
Ben Tennyson was not having a good day.
Now, he wasn't against starting a brand new universe with a fight. Admittedly, with Rath in the picture, he didn't quite have a choice. But one time, that decision led to him meeting an awesome cyborg hero who appreciated the art of mid-fight witty quips. In all the other universes he visited, there was nothing else as cool as that.
But the single thing Ben hated about his fights was that they were often cut short by the cruel time-out function of his watch. If he was still Rath, he would have insisted that with just a bit more time he could have won. But he wasn't any longer, and that let him make two observations a bit too much for that alien form's single-minded brain.
Firstly, his opponent was capable of growing larger and stronger the longer fought. At that point, he was more than a dozen feet tall, covered with spiked metal scales, and shaped like a crossbreed of human and dragon. Secondly, if he was growing to strong for Rath to handle, he was definitely too strong for ordinary Ben to handle. And therefore, the only option that would really serve his needs, needs like staying in one piece and at a survivable temperature, was to run away.
And so he jumped to his feet and did exactly that.
Strangely, however, he was immediately surrounded by a thick cloud of bugs. Thick enough that he couldn't make out the dragon in front of him. Once again, the fact that he no longer possessed an Appoplexian brain in lieu of a human one served him; he connected that observation with several that he had previously disregarded, and pieced together the realization that someone was controlling all of the nearby bugs.
Suddenly, someone shouted. "RUN!"
Swirling to look, Ben found that there was a hole in the swarm, and through it he saw a girl on a roof.
The girl on a roof who he earlier saved from the dragon-man.
The girl on a roof who for some reason was locked in combat with the dragon-man, and still hadn't run away. And who wore a black armored costume, ragged as it seemed.
Well, that made sense.
Wasting not another moment, Ben ran. And not another moment after that, he saw a burst of flame on his previous position. Luckily, the swarm moved with him, as well as in two other directions, successfully hiding his real choice of escape route. The buzzing of the bugs also served to mask his footsteps.
Taking advantage, Ben ran down an alley, then turned a corner down another. A few bugs hit his face, prompting a glare up at the girl again, who shrugged. He glanced down at the Omnitrix, but it was still red. Well, it wasn't the first time he waited for it to recharge while in danger for his life, and it certainly wouldn't be the last.
Eventually, he found himself at the end of an alley. He had no idea which or where, but that wasn't a priority. Though if he was in an alternate version of Bellwood, he might be able to figure it out. The odds weren't great, however. He could see the girl at a distance, but she was ducked down and wouldn't give him away. The dragon-man could still be heard, but he didn't seem to know the positions of Ben or the girl. Good. If it wasn't for her, he may not have been able to get away.
"Thanks for the cover!" He shouted.
The girl brought her palm to her face.
After a second, Ben did the same.
The other end of the alley he was in opened up to a larger street. And in the middle of that street, was the dragon-man, huffing and puffing.
Ben got ready to run again. He knew from experience that being big didn't mean being slow. He could only stay away for so long. But it would probably be long enough that the Omnitrix would recharge, and then he could pick an alien even stronger than Rath. Besides, he was at the opposite end of the alley, and it was a thin passageway at that. It would definitely slow down the dragon-man.
Of course, he didn't expect the dragon-man to jump on top of the building. Ben ran. The next alley was safe, but he could hear how quickly he was followed.
Then fireballs started careening towards him. He even had to pick a different route when one turn was entirely blocked by the heat.
After several more alleyways, Ben spared a quick glance back to see how big of a gap he maintained. It wasn't very good. And while looking back, he didn't notice cinder blocks lying on the ground in front of him, or their unfortunate proximity to his feet.
He landed flat on his face.
He didn't need to move to know the dragon-man was right above him. The heat was constant save for some wide gusts he assumed were breaths.
"Hey, dragon-guy. Mind letting me turn around before you kill me? I can't deliver dramatic last words very well like this."
No response. Well, he didn't seem eager to get the murder over with. Ben turned his head up to see the villain several feet away, and not even looking at him any longer. Instead, he seemed to be searching, staring into the darkness in several directions.
Any questions of why were answered when a small explosion appeared on the dragon-man's torso, knocking him back. Ben felt the shockwave, and it left a painful ringing in the ears; enough that he didn't notice when someone landed right next to him.
He was rubbing his head when someone tapped his shoulder and spoke. "Grab on."
A man with an awesome beard and an awesome blue power armor was next to him. He held a long metal rod with a small rope extending to the top of the adjacent building.
When Ben gripped it, he and the man next to him were suddenly yanked up, as the rod ate up the rope and brought them to the roof. Up there was the other end; a bladed shape that, once connected again, revealed itself to be the head of not a rod, but a halberd. Crouching a few feet away was the bug-controlling girl from before, as well as another hero dressed in a red suit, with racing stripes.
"Velocity," The halberd-wielder said. "Search for anyone else in the vicinity. Once we're clear, rendezvous with me."
"You got it, boss," 'Velocity' answered before zooming off in a blur that explained his name. It was a pretty good one, Ben had to admit, though he still preferred XLR8 and Fasttrack.
The bearded halberdier looked back at Ben. Probably glaring, but his eyes weren't visible. His mouth was obscured as well, but it seemed to be in a frown. It was really the posture that gave it away, as well as the gruff tone he proceeded to speak in.
"You two. What did you do that made Lung so strong. He does not get this large save for extremely dangerous fights. The whole team was necessary to deal with this." The point was punctuated by a few more shouts and explosions in the distance.
"Uh," The girl said. "I already told you-"
"I'd like to hear it from him." The girl looked offended, but he wasn't even looking at her anymore.
"Well, I was hanging around, shooting the breeze, when I decided to drop in." He noticed the girl cringe at the pun. Victory.
"I noticed the fire-breathing dragon attacking a teenage girl. Of course, turns out big ugly gets a lot bigger and uglier the more you hit him." His smirk and tone seemed to grate on the older hero, but he showed no sign of backing down.
"You're telling the truth." Came the response, unusually firm. Something else seemed to occur to him a second later. "You implied you weren't aware of the nature of Lung's powers before tonight. Are you from out of town?"
"Sure, you could definitely say that." Ben answered. He was then answered with a sigh.
"I suppose a lot is explained by that. In the case that you are not aware, I am Armsmaster."
"Now," The bearded hero continued, "I can gather that neither of you are currently capable of damaging Lung. Stay here until someone comes back."
While Armsmaster walked away, Ben sat down next to the bug-controlling girl. Beneath the bangs and booms of the nearby fight, he could hear her muttering "Armsmaster. I just met Armsmaster."
"So, how's it going?" But she didn't respond.
He tried again. "So, how're the insects?" Still nothing.
He tapped her on the shoulder. "Hey, Planet Earth to Bug girl? You in there."
That seemed to be enough to wake her up. She winced and shook before looking back at him. After a second's worth of a disappointed look, or so he presumed considering her mask covered her eyes, she answered.
"My name's not 'bug girl', I hope you realize."
"Well then, what do you go by?" Ben asked, it being the logical question. Something told him she wasn't expecting it.
Because as soon as he asked, she looked away, first at the floor, then at the buildings in the opposite direction of her conversational partner. She seemed to slightly squirm, before sighing and supplying a sufficient response.
"Well… I actually… still haven't picked a hero name. I haven't thought of any good ones." To his look of confusion, she explained. "Do you know how hard it is to pick a bug-themed name that doesn't sound either downright villainous or too cheesy to take seriously?"
"Hey, what's wrong with the cheesy?" He protested, given his own preferred naming style.
"Well, as you can probably guess from my costume, I'm not trying to be Mouse Protector."
"Let me try. What about Beetle Brain? Winsect?"
"Okay, to the first, hell no. I thought Ladybug seemed cheesy. To the second, I'd rather not seem like an insect version of Kid Win." That was the second time she dropped the name of someone he presumed to be a Hero. Third, if he counted her mumblings about Armsmaster. Those were weird, though. He could have sworn he heard the word "underwear" somewhere in there.
But anyway, that meant that this world might have had a larger number of active superheroes. Which was awesome. Back home it got lonely when Ben was the only hero among a boring bunch of police officers. Even if they were space police. And the only people who showed hints of similar inclinations were losers like Overlord, Kangaroo Kommando, and Billy Billions. Essentially villains, and third-rate ones at that.
So he got a bit excited hearing he might have some contemporaries. Back to the relevant discussion, he already had another name ready.
"You don't want to be ganking someone else's style? Fine. How about Stingsect?"
"As I said, villainous. Plus, I just don't like that one." If Ben didn't know better, he'd say she was getting difficult. And he didn't. She was getting difficult.
"Hmph. Be that way. Because get ready for your mind to be erupted. Your superhero name will be: Hivemind!" And of everything he said so far, it got closest to the reaction he wanted. She actually put her hand to her chin. After a few moments of rubbing, she replied.
"I'll consider it. Anyway, I have to ask. How does your power work? Why the time limit and the… personality change?"
Ben held up the Omnitrix and tapped it. "It's all thanks to this baby. That form in… particular comes with some anger issues, but for the most part I'm like me."
She stared at it. Then began muttering again. Something about "tinker?" was audible. But Ben didn't pay much attention, because at that moment, finally, the Omnitrix beeped, announcing its recharged state.
"Aww yeah!" Ben just had to scream. He pressed it down, revealing the circular hologram. The girl he stood with, whom he had already decided on calling Hivemind, seemed particularly interested. Rotating it, he knew just what alien would be perfect for the situation. He even had a couple of clever, topical lines ready for mid-fight. Slamming down triumphantly, he shouted.
"It's hero time!"
Taylor was just looking at the possible tinkertech device on the boy's wrist when he twisted it around and slammed on it with a shout.
"It's hero time!"
He did not just say that.
Taylor, the entire Protectorate, Lung, and everyone else within the Greater Brockton Bay area glared at him, wondering who in the world would be so stupid that they would choose that for their catchphrase. A full ceasefire for the sake of recognizing a line as idiotic as Endbringers were dangerous.
But when they looked, they didn't see a teenaged boy anymore.
Instead, they saw a huge blue winged bug, with a slender humanoid body in between giant dark wings. The shape almost reminded Taylor of the Simurgh, though it was much smaller, and strangely, less human-like yet still less threatening. Perhaps it was merely the years of conditioning to fear the Endbringer that explained the phenomenon. The bug had blue markings on black across his torso and limbs, large antenna, insectoid eyes, and a strange green and black symbol on it's chest. She didn't realize it before, but that same symbol was on Rath's chest, and a similar pattern had decorated his watch.
"Big Chill." He said, loudly, yet in a whisper. Probably his name in this form. Saying it didn't exactly strike fear into anybody's heart, but his appearance might have. He flew past the gaping Protectorate and over to Lung, who glared again, first at his face, then the symbol below.
"Baahh arh!" The dragon roared.
"You seem a little hot headed. You should really chill out." Big Chill quipped. At first, the onlookers were all confused. Then Lung sent a burst of flames for the hero.
Then Big Chill proceeded to, with his breath, push back the entire burst and cover Lung's right forearm with ice. It was thick enough to attach to the torso as well, restricting the villain's motions. His audience would have been impressed if they weren't groaning at the string of puns. Most of them, at least.
"Ha! Nice one! I love this new guy!" Assault shouted, chuckling.
Lung didn't take too kindly to the comment, however. While his flames steadily freed his limbs, he charged. Only for the hero to reveal the second ability of his form.
Lung reached out with his claws for the coming impact with his foe. Unfortunately for him, it never came.
"Sorry, pal, but you can't hit what you can't touch." Big Chill whispered from behind. Behind, where he could promptly freeze Lung's shoulders, constricting his movements even more. Behind, where he got by turning his body intangible.
Did he have any more forms beyond the two they'd seen? Because he was already more versatile than most capes.
While Lung tried to free himself yet again, Big Chill flew down to the feet, and promptly froze those as well. While Lung then directed the flames there, Big Chill got his head and neck. Then Lung changed tactics and attempted to strike Big Chill again. In response to which Big Chill went straight through his arms and froze them together.
Though his pyrokinesis was impressive, the gang leader was getting less and less capable of keeping up. Eventually, the hero was taking breaks to attach the ice on the villain to the ground, and even nearby buildings.
Finally, Lung was contained within a veritable glacier that stretched across the entire street. He was barely a blur through the translucent mass, but he was clearly shrinking deep inside.
Taking an opportunity before the few remaining openings were shut, Armsmaster jumped in and thrusted his Halberd into Lung's thigh. Big Chill moved to close those off, then landed on the ground and turned back into a human in another flash of green light.
"I've given him some tranquilizers. That should calm down his powers and let us take him into custody." Armsmaster announced
"Alright, alright," Ben began gloating, "Now, let me stop you all and save you the trouble of saying it yourselves. Yes, that was incredibly cool."
Armsmaster sighed. "Look, we-"
"Ha, 'cool'! Another one! The kid does it again!"
"Assault!" Armsmaster grumbled.
Miss Militia seemed to sense the tension, and stepped in. "We'd like to thank the two of you for your assistance in taking down Lung. If I'm not mistaken, both of you are new to this. Would you mind coming in for debriefing?"
"Er," Taylor mumbled, "It's kind of late, and I have… business tomorrow morning, and..." She didn't think it was fitting to talk about school, not to mention the fact that her dad didn't know she was out, in front of professional heroes.
"That's fine," Miss Militia replied as Taylor trailed off. "Just come in the next day or two. We can also discuss possible recruitment for you two."
Of course. The Wards. That was a can of worms Taylor did not want to pry open again. It was good in theory, but-
"And recruitment to what exactly?" Her reverie was broken when the boy asked his sudden question.
"The Wards program." Armsmaster answered. At the look of confusion he received, he continued. "The safe group for under-18 parahumans to train for heroism?"
It was unusual to see someone unfamiliar with the Wards, but that seemed to be the case with the boy in front of them. Taylor had considered the possibility that he as from out of town, but even in the most remote places in the US, people knew of the Wards. And he was definitely American from the voice alone.
But his face remained just as perplexed, an expression of satisfaction only arriving after several seconds. "Ah, yeah, forgot. No, no thanks. I'm not really interested in that sort of thing. Thanks for offering, though."
Something else seemed to suddenly occur to him. "Oh, and if you don't mind, I need to know something. Have you heard of a chain restaurant called Mr. Smoothy?"
One of the Protectorate heroes answered.
On that night of April 11th, 2011, it was said that even those in Boston heard the desperate scream of, "NOOOOOOOO!"
Yup, this is the new story I'm starting. I know the Worm fanbase seems to vastly prefer fics where Taylor gets a different power instead of the kind where characters from different stories meet each other. I don't care, I like this kind, and I'm the one writing it.
You should review this story. You could say "I loved it!" or "I hated it!" or "I think it's a pretty good start and I'm interested in seeing more!" You don't need to have strong feelings on it to tell me what you thought. Just give me your reaction, because my writing ability feeds off of it!