Disclaimer: Worm belongs to Wildbow, and Wildbow alone.
"YOU DID WHAT?!"
A small figure, about six inches tall, stepped back nervously. He was a robot, made of polished bronze with glowing red eyes. And he was fucking terrified.
"N-now Boss, c-come on now, i-it's not that ba-YEARGH!" He was cut off as he jumped to the side to avoid the spanner flung his way.
"NOT THAT BAD! NOT THAT BAD!? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND!?"
The small bot scrambled up a nearby shelf in an attempt to escape his crazed creator. "B-boss, calm down! Y-you're blowing this out of proportion!"
"NO, I AM PERFECTLY IN PROPORTION, NOW GET DOWN HERE SO I CAN DISMANTLE YOU!"
"Er, Boss?" The lanky teenage inventor whipped her head around to glare at another occupant of the room.
He was a bronze robot too, but unlike the subject of the inventor's ire, he was tall. He was about a head taller than an average human, built like a body-builder, a long strip of red cloth tied around his forehead. He had a mechanical cigar lit between his bronze jaws, smoke languidly floating out. Cogs could be seen at his joints.
"Look, I realize that Blitz screwed up," The small bot nodded vigorously from his perched position, "But I don't see why you're getting so bent outta shape! Fine, so he let the newbie out of her restraints by accident, sure she ran out, but so what? You gave her that new stealth tech and she has a tracker! We'll hunt her down before anybody sees her, you finish her up, and we're golden! Well, bronze, but the point stands."
Taylor growled in frustration. "Unless, Heavy, she were to actively disable the stealth module!"
Another figure in the lab tilted his head, the lamps in his eyes adjusting to signify a cocked eyebrow. He was heavily built, bulky, with thick plates of armor and large, club-like arms. "And why would she do that?"
"Because, Hammer," Taylor held up a small circuit board. "She doesn't havethis."
The occupants of the room stared in horror at the board. Heavy's cigar dropped out of his mouth. "Is that-?"
"Her logic processor? Yes, it is. So, to re-iterate, we have a rogue clockwork robot running around, who has fully capable stealth tech, an experimental combat-teleporter, and fully functioning weapons-systems, which are luckily set to non-lethal. Oh, and she's insane!"
The Heavy was silent for a minute before he reached into an opening at his side. He yanked his hand out, and along with it came a bronze mini-gun that he held firmly at his side. "Right, so I think I'll use this when we find her, and keep the bazooka warmed up just in case."
Taylor growled and shook her head. "Don't bother, I already dealt with it."
Blitz blinked. "Really?"
"Yeah, let's just pray that Streak and Deadeye find her before she finds someone else."
The ABB members were praying that someone would come and save them.
It wasn't supposed to be this way. They were supposed to be getting their orders about rubbing out the brats who had been screwing with them. They were supposed to march on the Undersiders, and make an example of them!
They were not supposed to be ambushed by a psychopath who was made of metal! And said psychopath was not supposed to be able to teleport and dodge so fucking fast that Lung couldn't even begin to put a hand on her!
And the aforementioned psychopath should most definitely not have been giggling and laughing like some kind of deranged school-girl!
"WEE!" She fazed into existence again, 3-foot long claws flashing again as they cut down the fleeing Asians. "THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!"
Her painted-on smile flashed in the dark, illmuinated by the street-lights as the gang members fell to the ground, screaming in pain. Their chests had furrows in them that were bleeding, somewhere between deep and shallow. Painful, but not immediately fatal.
"Who's next, who's next!" The insane figures head whipped around jerkily, searching out a target. Suddenly, it stopped as it watched a fireball scream towards her head. "Woopsie!"
She blurred, her form becoming fuzzy as it appeared in multiple places at once around her initial position before she blinked out of existence, the flames passing harmlessly through the space she'd once occupied.
She re-appeared down the street, laughing. "YAY! That was so much fun! Do it again, do it again!"
Lung growled, about to start stomping towards her again when a sound made him halt. An aggravating sound, which he really didn't have the time to deal with.
A motorcycle engine. A very powerful, Tinker-motorcycle engine.
Lung weighed his options before finally deciding to cut his losses. He roared at the lunatic one last time before he turned around and ran off.
Said loon cocked her head sadly. "Awwww, is the party over?" She perked her head up at the sound of a motorcycle stopping behind her. "YAY! More people to play with!"
Armsmaster stared at the scene before him, trying to process what he was seeing. Laying strewn about were the moaning bodies of what appeared to be a good chunk of the ABB's standing forces. Or at least, once standing before something had decided to put them through a blender. Either they were lucky to be alive, or the person who did this hadn't wanted them dead.
Said person appeared to be female figure entirely covered in bronze, with three 3-foot long blades sticking out of where her hands would be, and a deranged smiling face painted on her faceplate. She waved one of her arms wildly in the air. "HI THERE!" She shouted in a voice that was extremely high-pitched and chipper, way out of place coming from her blood-streaked body.
Armsmaster slowly moved his hand to grip his halberd. "Who are you?"
The person jerkily tilted her head, making her look even more manic. "My name's Smiler! Wanna play?"
"OK! LET'S PLAY!" Smiler began to blur out again. Armsmaster tensed, ready to move at any instance-
-when something impacted into Smiler's head at a high velocity. Her teleport immediately cut out, electricity arcing across her body as she jerked and shivered uncontrollably. "C-C-CRITICAL S-SYST-T-T-TEM ER-R-R-R-RORR!"
Her was suddenly put to a halt when another figure in bronze blurred forward at high speeds and burried his fist in her gut. When she doubled over, the figure quickly placed her over his shoulder and ran off again.
All in the space of a scant few seconds.
Armsmaster blinked, trying to process what had happened.
Streak slid to a halt and dumped Smiler off his shoulder, letting her twitch on the ground. "Well, that's that." He dusted his hands off. He was humanoid, sleek, compared to his brethren, with claws in the place of feet and legs angled backwards like a bird. Built so that he could get a solid grip on the ground and push off in a moment's notice.
"I still say we should end her."
Streak tilted his head to look at the figure perched on the roof above him. He was wearing a black cloak that obscured most of his body, but two important features could be seen. The sniper rifle that was pointed at Smiler's head, and his large circular right eye that had a crosshair reticle glowing out of it.
"The Boss said she wants Smiler back so she can fix her."
"She nearly compromised us. If we hadn't intervened, the Protectorate would have been on our asses, and they would have cracked down on the Boss, hard."
"You don't know that."
"It's a very possible risk. You've seen Piggot's records, read her files."
"Still say we shouldn't have hacked them. Even if we didn't ID the capes, we'll still be in deep shit." Streak grumbled.
"Our existence means we're in deep shit already." Deadeye continued unimpeded. "She was at ground zero, she was there at the rise of Nilbog. She's why we stay hidden, why the Boss can't go to the Protectorate! If the PRT found out about a cape like boss, a Tinker that makes sentient machines with powers, they'd tear us apart for scrap and put her in the Birdcage so fast that even your head would spin."
"I know, I know, I know!" Streak growled. "But that doesn't change the facts. Much as I'd like to kick this little nut-jobs head in for what she did, the fact is that the Boss gave us orders. And I don't intend to go against them. Do you?"
Deadeye's eye shone even brighter. "Not on your life."
"Then it's settled." Streak leaned down and picked Smiler up again. "Come on, let's go."
He sped off again in a blur, Deadeye following along from the rooftops.
A.N. Well, Chapter 4 of Chronicles is almost done, but in the mean-time, I've decided to repost my story from Spacebattles Forum to here. Enjoy!