For full context required, you need to read my other story, 'My Completely Normal Parahuman: Tantric is Magic! The Divergence between this story in that one is on chapter 9!
Now that that's out of the way, let's get on with the show!
It was a quiet day, at least by Taylor's standards. Nothing big was happening, only a single pot was on the boil, Squiggles hadn't escaped confinement and the Behemoth quietly hummed as it was pumped full of enough magic to blow a hole in a small mountain through a jury-rigged leyline shunt.
This was quite possibly her greatest achievement to date. Greater than her body. Greater than her suit. Maybe even greater than the pool at its very best.
Taylor hummed, the sound deeply muffled by the welding mask she'd salvaged from the garage as she prodded at the Behemoth's power button with a stick. After three to five near misses and fumbles from twenty feet away, Taylor finally pressed it, threw her shields up, and watched it light up with a glow comparable to a small red star's. Taylor then ooh'd and aah'd a bit as the wax started to bubble and roil, a liquid, blinding, beautiful white and purple.
Using the conceptual link between the toy and the real Behemoth, Taylor had done what scientists of old had once considered impossible… She'd created a perpetual engine, a source of effectively unlimited power…which she was going to use to power her house.
Lisa, before she'd gone quiet and jammed her face into Taylor's pillow, had compared it to 'jacking a microwave into a nuclear reactor'... Which was something that Taylor just found silly to think about. It was more like stealing cable. Nuclear reactors gave you cancer, unlike magic. Stealing cable did not give you cancer, like magic... The possibility of sub-atomic disintegration in both of those things, while noticeable, was another thing altogether and not something worth thinking about.
Either way, there were no laws against this. That was the only thing that mattered.
A shimmy backward and a mad, mood-appropriate cackle threw up the bunker shields, dimming the red light in the room significantly as they took up some of the strain and allowed her to take off her mask with yet more cackling. She then started coughing.
And, of course, that was when everything went wrong.
Light. Fire. Lisa's incomprehensible screaming and a jump to the left along the lines of time, space, and eternity...and Taylor remembered that she'd forgotten to carry the one. It was always the one that got you. She'd forgotten that...not that it mattered now as everything settled down. The Behemoth's glow was not nearly so bright. The stench of ozone was almost choking as Lisa escaped up the stairs, gagging on said stench as she made to open the door.
Taylor wasn't far behind her, honestly. Mostly to keep her safe if her experiment had ended up obliterating their little corner of the surface world... Also, she really hoped she hadn't just accidentally destroyed their little corner of the world. A lot. That wasn't exactly heroic...and the thought of it made Taylor sad.
Her dad lived there and so did she. That was enough reason to feel bad...besides the horrific loss of life. That too. Who knew that sticking a conceptual representation of one of the world's greatest threats into your power box could go so wrong? Well, she had obviously...but now she knew.
When Taylor stuck her head out of the hole in the floor she'd found herself in, only to see Lisa throwing up on hardwood flooring, she made a sigh of relief. Over the hacking and gagging noises from her friend, she could hear birds. The gentle sound of traffic and the rush of air. Apocalyptica and biker scene bondage suits had passed her by for another day.
"Well...that was dramatic," Taylor said as she made her way fully out into the building. A building that wasn't her house. An obviously empty one, thank god, but not her house. Not enough carpet for that. Not enough dust either. It seemed that they'd been displaced. "But at least we're alive, and the free electricity is working."
Lisa wiped her mouth, spat, and gave Taylor the eye. She hadn't taken the spacial transference all that well, obviously.
Taylor pretended not to notice, hoping it would just go away if she ignored it for long enough as she, carefully, took a look behind the curtains.
People walking. Old fashioned cars puttering by as a man put milk out on a doorstep...and the green. Grass and trees everywhere she looked...and it was very picturesque. Pretty...and nowhere near Brockton that she could think of.
Lisa angrily hip bumped her out of the way and got some space for her own spot of gawking.
How far had they gone? Hopefully not too far...the power requirements went up substantially once you got past a certain range... Ah well. Even if it was a little farther than she wanted, she could take something away from this. It was a learning experience. One that she would never forget again.
Lisa let the curtain fall back into place. Her hands clenched into fists, then loosened.
Remember the one. That was all. Yep.
"Taylor." Lisa turned around, her face perfectly flat. "Do you know what you've done?"
"... Yes?" Taylor replied hesitantly. She then began to sweat, and back away as Lisa came towards her with open hands. Hands at neck height, to be specific.
"Oh. You do, do you?" That flat look disappeared, just as Lisa's feet left the floor and she dropped Taylor to the floor in a running charge. Rage, pure and strong. Almost enough for Taylor to reconsider if Lisa had a bit of the gift after all, even as the blonde tried to choke the life from her... "WE'RE IN THE 70's, YOU FUCKING MORON! IN BRITAIN!"
Even as Lisa tried to beat her to death, and got absolutely nowhere, Taylor could focus on one thing only... She'd fallen on Lisa's sick...and her dress was soaking it up like a sponge.
"I HATE YOU!"
It was the better option when compared to thinking over the fact that your quest for free power had ended up in you being thrown four decades into the past.
"I don't care if you think it's a fad!" Lisa roared into her phone as yet more of them rang around her. All of them color-coded in ways only a Thinker, or Taylor could understand. "I want all of my assets in Microsoft right goddamn now! Don't you fucking test me, Wilson! I'll fucking ruin you!" Slamming that phone down Lisa picked up the next, a red and white one that had Lisa becoming all smiles. "So, since you're calling this number, I assume you're interested in further talks?" She then began nodding.
Taylor looked up from her stacks of books. Doing what Lisa had termed economic sorcery upon them, all for the sake of wringing out every cent... It was surprisingly relaxing, once you got into it...the fact that she was actually making money now instead of losing it was a heady feeling.
No laws against using powers to trade stocks here...it made for a happy pair of teenage girls, yes it did. Better than beating up gang members for pocket change anytime.
"I'll have to stop you there." Lisa interrupted the individual on the other end with a sugary sweet tone. "You aren't the only one that's interested in our phone technology now, you see. We have some pretty lucrative contracts that people have been positively throwing at us and...well..."
Taylor could hear the panic on the other end of the phone. Subtly controlled, but there... To Lisa, whose grin had grown so wide it threatened to split her face in half, it must have been as loud as a declaration over a megaphone.
"If you want a taste of this goodness, we're going to have to..." Lisa took a deep and satisfied breath. "Renegotiate... Let's talk royalties, shall we?"
Taylor licked her lips as she felt the lust in the air. The subtle energy of a minor climax...and the signs of a storm that would, if she played her cards right, lead to a very fun night for the both of them. "... Wow."
Lisa gave her the finger and a smile...and Taylor smiled right back before she got back to work.
"... That's a...?"
"Does it...you know...?"
"... Get over here, Dork."
"APPLE! GOOGLE! AMAZON! MICROSOFT! NOKIA! I'M GOING TO OWN THEM ALL!" Lisa cackled hysterically from her seat on her pile of one pound bills. "I'M RICH! STINKING RICH!"
"WE'RE RICH!" Taylor shrieked back, not quite so content as to just sit on the money... Which was why she was rolling around in her own pile. It only got truly fun when Lisa joined her for the roll around.
Taylor, uncomfortably, held Lisa's hair back as the blonde vomited into the toilet. It wasn't the vomit that made her uncomfortable, no... It was most definitely the death threats involved.
It just wasn't fair...it wasn't like she was the only one involved in this mess... Lisa hadn't exactly just laid there when it was happening after all...
Lisa rolled her eyes in her sleep as Taylor cooed over the bundle in her arms...and the doctors milled about, looking terribly confused about things.
Lisa took a sip of her coffee as Taylor and her looked out the window. Watched their four-year-old daughter make a perfect circle in the dirt with a stick before she started filling in the borders with what was, even to Taylor, complete nonsense.
They wouldn't do anything... but Hermione was a precocious little thing, Taylor would give her that.
"When does training normally start?" Lisa asked.
"... The basics?" Taylor scratched her head as, contrary to her expectations, a bird exploded in a flash of fire and flame when it tried to fly over the circle, leaving nothing but dust. Hermione looked up, confused...but just shrugged it off and continued. "Normally it's around ten..."
Hermione threw the stick down and raised her arms. Gibberish came from her mouth and the circle started to glow.
"... But I guess it's never too early to start on learning."
"You get on that."
"Now try not to crush the sto—"
Hermione looked up, tears in her eyes as pebbles slipped through her fingers.
"—oh. Never mind then." Taylor picked her daughter up and started to rock her as Hermione began to sniff. "There, there..."
"This is hard..." Hermione sniffed again. "They're just so...squishy..."
"I know, hon. I know... Want some cookies?" Taylor cooed as she patted her daughter's back. "Would that make you feel better?"
"Alright then." Taylor stood up, her daughter over her shoulder as she made her way towards the kitchen. "LISA! COOKIES!"
"With milk!" Hermione piped.
"It's just boarding school, Dad." Hermione rolled her eyes but patted her sobbing father's back anyway, ignoring the slowly spreading damp patch on her shoulder like the professional she was. "I'm only going to be gone for a little while. Not even enough time for it to really matter, once you think about it." What were nine months to what was functionally eternity, really? The blink of an eye. No time at all. Question answered. "I'll be back before you know it."
King's Cross. Ten in the morning. Much too early for this or anything of the sort...not that father cared.
"But schoooooool!" Dad wailed harder somehow and whipped their head back and forth. Curls were everywhere, so many that Hermione couldn't tell where her hair started and her father's began. "My baby! She can't! No! Not like this!"
They were strange like that. Loveable, but strange... Who was the adult again?
"What did I say, Hermione? What did I tell you was going to happen if you got too close?" Mum, finally deciding that it was time to intervene with an annoying smile, grabbed her father by the hair, wrapped it around a fist, and started to pull... All while people walked past the lot of them, pretending that they hadn't seen anything as they went about their day. One of them talked about how 'progressive' they were, but that was about it. "Come on, Taylor. Off. Git."
"Nooooo!" Taylor howled as mother and daughter worked together to loosen her grasp and they made slow but undeniable progress. Tears ran down her face, but it did nothing to detract from her beauty. She was the type to look good, no matter what she was doing let alone crying... Hermione looked forward to growing into it eventually. "What if the kids make fun of her!? What if they envy her natural intelligence and easy grasp of economic principles!? I can tutor her!"
"Dad," Hermione hissed as more and more people stopped pretending not to look and actually looked. Embarrassment was something that she'd never get used to. "This isn't your old school!" Thank the Lord. It had sounded like a mess she wanted no part of... A mess that she was sure had been censored for her young ears. "It's the best school in all of Britain! I'll be fine!"
Or so her parents had found. Or, at least, it was the most magical around which was close enough. If they hadn't found anything else to the contrary, it was most likely true. They were good judges of that sort of thing.
"I know you'll be fine, dear," Mum started before, with a swift right hook to the side that made Dad blink and loosen her grasp just enough for Hermione to skip back and out of it, she continued on as if nothing had happened at all. Someone gasped. "But childhood traumas can last a long time...and she isn't wrong. Thugs are everywhere, no matter how you look at it." Her smile turned up into a positively foxy grin that Hermione couldn't help but return. "But you know how to deal with that, don't you?"
"... Hit it until it goes away?"
"If it works, don't fix it." Mum shrugged as she put Hermione's father into an extremely uncomfortable looking hold... Uncomfortable to be in and uncomfortable to look at, honestly. But if an armbar and a chest to the back of her head calmed her down... "But please. Don't splatter anyone who doesn't deserve it if you can get away with it. Going into hiding is tiring work."
"I won't. Who do you think I am? Dad?"
"What have you been telling her?!"
"That's my girl," The blonde ignored that cry to give her daughter a wink. "But get going. Before Taylor breaks free." As if to emphasize that point, Dad jerked in her grip. Like a dying fish, inches from the water. "Having the train leave without you wouldn't exactly make a good first impression would it?"
No. No, it would not. "Later, Mum! Bye, Dad!" Not even looking back to see if they waved back, Hermione was off like a shot. Trolley rattling as she ran towards her future.
"Dear Lord, Harold! They're lesbians!"
Hermione kept her head down and kept running towards her future...faster.