August 07, 2019
06/27/2020 04:20 PM
It droned and droned, a deafening noise that played a sad song for a single dancing line. Up and down its rhythms went. A steady pace, a foreign harmony against the madness raging around her. Blinding green bouncing against an inky blackness. /That wasn’t her father./ It couldn’t be.
She wanted to feel sick, or sad, or angry, but it was all absent. A cold numbness that not even her quirk could rival. Breaths shallow and painful, as if she'd run a mile instead of standing still looking across the room, eyes fixated on the simple, drolling machine. She couldn’t look right at him. That made it too real, too real to see him under a white sheet, clear mask attached to his face, fogging seldomly with breath. His tan skin paler than she’d ever seen him and his form, typically mountainous, dwarfed between the raised arms of the bed. The world was muted, hushed, muffled sounds behind her, vacant stare forward at at the only hero she ever really had.
Something was broken. Something deep within her felt like it had shattered now the little pieces of what was left were stabbing her insides, little pangs of pain rippling softly against the numb devoid she felt. Vision started to blur with rolling, hot tears. Slowly, they flooded her eyes and began to pour, painting her face in streaks of heartache. Reality a merciless joke.
Not only had she failed her provisional, a blow enough on it’s own, but here her father laid, in Japan, clinging to life with a bullet wound to his chest. Even comparing the two made her feel guilty, that her personal failure had any compared to what was before her now. As if reeling in regret for her dreams being kicked again deserved some form of punishment and this was it. None of this was possible, she couldn't be here right now. She couldn't. How could something so real feel so unbelievable? He had been in Japan? For how long? Why was he here? How did this happen? How had a bullet taken his quirk? Why hadn’t he called her? Whys and hows choking her, nausea filling her throat and threatening to spill out. Chest beginning to heave, and she wanted everything to stop, to pause. Give her a moment to comprehend what was before her.
“Chiaki, I’m so sorry, w-we did everything we could, we tried to help him.”
The heavy German accent cracked her thoughts, gulping down the sickness that burned her throat. Feeling was returning and the world seemed now to tint in red. “E v e r y t h i n g?” Malice oozed in her repeated word, sounding in a venomous spat. Her head turning to look at the source of the voice. He’d been talking to her somber, sobbing mother, an attempt to console. His hands /already/ on her. Rough palms cupping her delicate, slender shoulders. Seeing him touch her father’s ex-wife, her mother, only stoked the flames. “Is that suppose to make us feel better!?”
“Tatsuo!” Her mother's voice piped in a sob, her head lifting from her hands, immaculate face twisted with sorrow and tears. It was a plea that Tatsuo ignored. Body quaking now, a raging tremble that rattled her form.
“Were you shot?” She turned fully now, hate in her words, a totally alien bitterness in her voice, something that even took her mother aback. “Were you injured? Did you lose your mutant quirk? Are you even hurt?”
“T-Tatsuo, he ran ahead we tried to follo-”
“There you go t r y i n g again. Is TRYING going to help save his life? Is TRYING going to bring his quirk back? Did TRYING HELP HIM NOT GET SHOT? HOW DARE YOU. HOW DARE YOU STAND THERE AND SAY YOU TRIED LIKE IT F***ING MATTERS. YOU DON’T GET AN EFFORT RIBBON.” Near roaring the words she stepped towards Germany’s number two, her godfather, and one of the people who benefited most from her father lay dying in a hospital bed. His lips parted and hands lifted from Tatsuo’s mother’s shoulder to raise in front of himself defenselevely as she approached.
“Listen, listen, you don’t under-”
“NO, DON’T F***ING PATRONIZZZE. SSSSTANDING OUT HERE,” a hiss beginning, “CUDDLING MY MOTHER ASSS MY DAD’SSS IN A HOSSPITAL BED. IF YOU WANTED MY PRAISSSSE FOR YOUR EFFORTSSS, YOU’D BOTH BE IN THERE.”
“T-Tatsuo, he ran ahea-” He stumbled, starting to repeat himself, clearly baffled by this shift, this unbridled anger from the little, cheerful girl he’d watch grow up.
“SSSSHUT IT. YOU’RE JUST GOING TO LET THEM HIDE THISSSS!? SSSSWEEP HIM UNDER THE RUG LIKE HE DOESSSN’T MATTER!?” Her ‘s’ sounds turning to a near fully hiss as her slit tongue numbed from the ever increasing potency of her mouth cocktail, only adding to the hostility in her words and frustrating her more.
“T-Tatsuo, bitte, there’s nothing we can do. It’ll cause panic if--”
“I DON’T GIVE A F*** ABOUT PANIC. I THOUGHT YOU WERE A HERO.”
She hadn’t even noticed that the rest of the German Pro-hero team that had apparently accompanied her father here for some top secret mission had entered the room, alongside some very distressed looking hospital staff. Shoulders rising and falling, panting softly as tears and saliva poured from her, both out of her control. Heart hammering hard against her chest, lightheadedness made her feel like she could faint. The air silent all but for her feral panting and--
That horribly comforting sound, the electronic mimicry of her father’s still strong heartbeat. A heart that longs to be a hero more than it had to be her father, a heart that was now shattered with the loss of his quirk. Where had been his hero? His best friend? U s e l e s s.
“F*** it.” Shaking her head, she spun on her heel. The most graceful any of them would see her. In a fluid motion, snapping her bag off the floor and into her taloned digits, storming out of the room and beelining for the elevator down the hallway. Dodging patients, staff, and equipment as she did. It was all too much and she was thankful to be the only person that burst through the metallic doors of the elevator. Her raging composure starting to crack, starting to give way to the deep seeded anguish and confusion.
There was so much about this that made no sense. Her father in Japan, a bullet taking his quirk, the authorities informing them to keep this ‘hush, hush,’ especially his quirk bit. None of it made sense. Like some nightmare made real. Memories, like cruel jabs, taunted her.
”You know, I heard there’s some foreign pro getting his nose where it don’t belong.”
“Ya’ might wanna be careful, I hear there’s some nasty sh*t on the streets lately. Quirk altering sh*t. Scary.”
Her heart sank. Why hadn’t she paid more attention to the rumors? Isn’t that the reason she stopped turning in all of the thugs and nerdowells that she ran into? The foreign pro must have been either her father or one of his team, but probably her father with his boisterous, nosey ways. And the drugs.... Altering didn’t mean destroying though, but if it was some drug, then couldn’t there be a cure? Heart and mind flooded with grief, still trembling.
Elevator doors slowly slid open greeting her with her reflection in the darkened windows of the hospital's long since closed cafeteria. The realization of why she hadn’t done more with the information gained during her vigilante moonlightings slowly settling in as she stared at herself.
She was alone.
No team backing her up.
No one but herself. Good ol’ me, myself, and I.
Chasing after drugs on the streets would be a solo mission and she wasn’t prepped for something like that. Not alone, but how could she sit around and do nothing? It was readily apparent, even in the first few hours of this that nothing was going to be done, “he was in good hands” at the hospital. Everyone "did there very best." Good hands and college effort weren’t going to fix his quirk, that much she was sure, all those good hands were baffled at his condition, despite stabilizing him to the best of their abilities. Not to mention, he, much like her, was a mutant. What would happen if his quirk fully dissipated. Right now he still had his horn, and looked somewhat the same, though weak and feeble, especially hooked to machines and in a hospital bed.
Walking from the elevator, down sterile but uncannily welcoming hallways, like a facade of home and comfort and finally into the night air outside the main entrance. The cooler air was inviting on her heated cheeks, lungs swelling as she breathed it in deeply. A rush she hoped would push everything else out, but all it did was raise her chest before leaving in a drawn breath. Her feelings baffled, a tingling sensation of reality settling on her skin, mind still buzzing with thoughts,clawing for answers. No, not answers, solutions.
It didn’t take long for the adrenaline from her fit of anger to subside and she collapsed on a bench. She was tired. This had been too long of a day. Aimless walking making her legs ache and her face feeling puffy from sobbing and getting the bacteria her quirk produced so angry. Sighing, she opened her bag and rummaged for something to eat or drink, poking her thick skin on something sharp, a small exclamation of pain chirping as she pulled free her assailant, a black, wooden mask.
“Ugh, you’re the last thing I wanna see right now.” About ready to tuck her vigilante, Puk, mask back into the abyssal depths of her bag, when she noticed something falling from inside the curve of her mask, it drifted gracefully to the ground. A small card. Curiosity piqued, she gently snagged it and pulled it into view.
And a number.
Blinking, absent eyes stared at the sloppy writing. Realization hitting her with a small gasp, eyes widening.Today was a total sick joke and she wasn’t laughing. He’d seen her kick around a few thugs that had been harassing her, and a local convenience store owner, a few weeks ago and was really impressed with her, or at least he seemed to be. He was strange, but oddly likable. Mentioning he had a group of ‘like minded’ friends that would love to meet her and how she’d fit right in. He’d been pretty insistent, which was flattering, and finally relented with giving her his contact. The number of a supposed member of the league of villains. This was either a sign from the cosmos or the cosmos bullying the sh*t out of her.
This was a bad idea. She shouldn’t do it. But what choice did she have?
She pulled her phone from her bag.
This was a bad idea. She’s a hero in training and in a deep enough hole having failed her provisional.
Talon tip pressing against the specialized glass that would register nail instead of finger pad.
This was a bad idea. Heartbeat racing. But, who else was going to do something?
Bead tipped talon gently pressed the phone icon, slowly punched in the numbers from the scrap of paper, hovering over the green phone icon that glared at her. She pinched her eyes shut.
This was a bad idea. But, her father needed a hero.
She pressed it.
The sound far away at first, she quickly smushed the phone into her cheek. Riiiiiiiing. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiing. Gulp. Riiiiiiiiiiiiing.
“He gave me a fake.” Nervous laugh following the mutter made to herself. Was her happy or disappointed by that possibility? She didn’t have long to mull on that obscurity.
“Hiya hiya. WHO THE HELL’S THIS?”
“AH. I-I UH. H-Hi, is this...uhhh…. T-Twice? This is P-Puk, we met a few days ago--” She was pleased her ‘s’ had mostly returned to normal, just a small, nearly negligible, like a tiny sibilant on the sound rather than a full blown snake hiss.
“That drooling dominatrix girl!?”
“I-uhm.” She paused a moment, at first embarrassed, but if the shoe fit. “Y-Yeah, the drooling dominatrix.” That certainly didn’t sound flattering, accurate, but not flattering. Puk, The Drooling Dominatrix Vigilante. That was even more questionable than The Voracious Hero, Deathgrip.
The conversation was brief, but productive. In three hours, she was meeting at least one of the members of the League of Villains...to join them. She stared down in disbelief at her now darkened phone, her stupid ass didn’t even block her number. A deep sigh rolled past her lips as she mulled over exactly what she was doing. A talon gently rapped at the back of her phone, this was a bad idea and she knew it. She was going to end up dead, maybe even tonight yet, but she couldn’t do it alone and she sure as hell couldn’t turn to heroes to help her save her father, they didn’t help him in the first place. Her classmates weren’t very close with her, a cheerful distance between her and just about everyone she knew, and besides, she couldn’t drag them into this. A deep, chilling loneliness set in, eyes still locked on darkness. Who else was there?
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