Haze Gray 2
Taylor nodded sleepily and a tiny little man appeared on her shoulder 'Hey!' Danny nodded "Right Chief." Danny scooped Taylor up and grunted. Kurt moved to help him, Lacey got the door to the basement open then went down the stairs in front of Danny and Kurt carrying Taylor. They had observed Taylor not fully controlling her weight when she was doing several things at a time already. She had cracked the four-foot-thick reinforced concrete wharf she had been standing on at the time. The decision to move her into the basement was an easy one. Lacey and some other ladies from the union along with workers from every shop had spent the afternoon while Danny and Taylor talked to the registrar, lawyer, police, and PRT, getting it ready, the now finished basement with the uprated physical plant of the house and a radon system was very nice. Other than being you know, a basement.
Amy, Panacea, possibly the best healer in the world, looked at Vicky, Glory Girl, a high rated Alexandria package and her adopted sister "Wut?"
Vicky nodded "I know right? I think it's all bullshit. The spec four mafia, what even is that? Anyway, Dean had some wild stories after we met up. Now you are telling me director Piggott came in and got healed. So, something is going on." She trailed off looking at the living room full of New Wave. Their family and parahuman team.
Mark Dallon, Flash Bang, their father nodded "Well that clinches it. The E four mafia is right more than they are wrong, Part of their shammaster skillz."
Amy shook her head "Wut?" Vicky nodded along, Shielder, the girl's cousin nodded as well. Laser Dream, their other, older, female, cousin rolled her eyes.
Carol Dallon, their mother sighed "So a bunch of lower enlisted troopers know better than anyone."
Manpower, Neil Pelham the girl's uncle nodded "They would, they're where the rubber meets the road."
Sarah Pelham closed her eyes for a moment then looked at Amy "You healed Director Piggot?"
Amy blushed a bit "Kind of jacked her up too? She had the biomass. Probably ones in brute, thinker, and mover, depends on her motivation to train? I think it was the best I could manage. Just so you know we don't have to worry about her triggering ever."
New Wave blinked. Carol nodded "Did they pay?"
Amy frowned but Vicky nodded "Well. Ames might get a contract to do all the troopers."
Sarah sat up "So someone triggered high rated, they don't have control of them. "She cast her phone to the TV and opened PHO. Vicky pointed to one response "That guy seems to know what he is talking about. Though he called it a battle damage assessment and crater analysis."
Amy read through the threads "So someone at Winslow triggered. Not surprised, I mean the things you hear. High rated blaster, then they disappear? Stranger? Twelve-inch naval rifle! What?"
Mark Dallon nodded "Fortunately shooting AP. HE would have been bad."
Laser Dream, Crystal Pelham, pointed to the hole with the cracks radiating from it in the two feet thick reinforced concrete wall "This says that's from a three hundred-and five-millimeter round, that's twelve inches. Worse than that?"
Mark nodded "Thousand-pound bomb really. Not that much explosive but a thick strong casing. For perspective a sixteen-inch shell, well two of them, take out a grid square. A thousand-meter square, probably three of the twelve inch to do the same."
Vicky frowned "Shadow Stalker got transferred to LA. She went to Winslow."
Shielder sat up "The plot thickens. Oh wait, damn! That was the best ass on the Wards team."
Crystal, Shielder's, sister slapped him in the arm at the same time as his mother, Sarah, Lady Photon snapped "Eric!"
Taylor woke up with her face angled down and her forehead resting on the sheet. She worked on figuring out why her whole face wasn't buried in the sheet and mattress then smirked as she realized she was lying face down and spread eagle with her chest kind of holding her up. Then she sighed, this might be the end of her face sleeping days. It was harder to breath like this.
She rolled over and sat up and looked around for the bell that rang and then where the whistling was coming from. "Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey!" Taylor frowned "Watch change?"
She watched as a whirring noise happened and a erector set platform road in four rails down alongside the stairs and hundreds of her little crew clambered off of it while hundreds more clambered on. The ones that had clambered off the lift moved over to her and disappeared into the legs of her pajama pants as she sat slack jawed. The ones who had left clambered on the platform and the whirring of motors broke her out of her reverie. She followed the platform up the stairs.
In the Kitchen she found her father, Lacey,and Kurt. Drinking coffee and eating breakfast. Taylor sat a bit numbly and a tiny steward in whites appeared and set a tiny plate in front of her "Hey?"
"Tea please?" The Steward set down the tea service and suddenly it was all normal sized not tiny.
Danny nodded "Damnedest thing. Must be magic."
Kurt nodded "SGMBS"
Lacey frowned at them both. "You forgot an S. Hush you two, be glad you don't have to cook."
Taylor looked toward the stove and counter, or had been the stove and counter and was now a mess deck? "What?"
Danny chuckled "You have eighteen hundred crew Taylor. The Chiefs like to keep them busy, keeps the mischief down."
Lacey nodded "Not just crew, shore side support too. One of every trade at least, scientist, engineers, naval architects, doctors, nurses, sort of your own little naval base."
Taylor blinked "I may not make it to school today."
Danny frowned "Certainly not Winslow. We will work on it. You are going somewhere else while I sue them into the poor house."
Lacey shrugged "The dry dock. Taylors people can set her base up there."
Taylor looked at the small figure now sitting at the long table full of other small figures on her right then nodded "The captain would like to see it anyway."
Taylor lay in the dry dock on her back. It was calming. Her entire crew was running around doing something and several tiny motor whale boats, motor boats, and work boats ran a continuous path from her to the sides of the dry dock. Lacy sat at a table on the edge of the dry dock taking a steady stream of orders and looking in the inventory of the DWU to find the material. Steel filings, bauxite, coal, limestone, all kinds of chemicals, which had to be bad for her right? Most of which was then ground to powder, put on the work boats and sprinkled in the water around Taylor. Somehow it was like the best bubble bath ever though. Her outfit was going to be ruined. Which was bad as she didn't have any other clothes that would fit her anymore.
Her crew might be a little crazy. Meanwhile work parties worked on the dry dock, other work parties rummaged through the nearby warehouses. Occasionally coming back and talking to Lacey who got on the phone and then fork lifts with loads of stuff showed up. What they planned to do with ten fifty five gallon drums of haze gray and eight of deck blue paint she had no idea. "Hey!"
"What, roll over? How am I supposed to breathe?"
"Hey hey hey hey hey."
"Fine, when I need to breathe I am rolling back." Taylor rolled over and sort of snuggled into the water. This was pretty good actually. Are those fish? Eww, Urchins, this needs a clean.
Lacey watched and arched a brow at a female crewmember with a slide rule and calipers "Hey hey hey hey hey."
"Have I ever heard of a ship needing to breath? What?"
"Hey hey hey."
"The ventilators are on? Fuck, my life."
Taylor heard the raised voices, sighed. raised her head and gently breast stoked to the edge of the dry dock and the stairs there trying not to create too many waves for the now seemingly hundreds of work and other boats in the dock with her. The amazingly clean dock. She stood up and took a minute to get her balance. She looked over the top of the double five inch fifty four on her right shoulder and grinned at the sort of superstructure there in its brand new paint. "So, uh how do I take this off?" 'Hey' "Oh really, just will it not to be there? Holy crap you guys are bullshit of the highest order!" The little person with the clipboard in her A line skirt arched a brow at Taylor and tapped her tiny foot. "Fine BS then. Sheez." 'Hey!' "Officer and a gentlewoman, OK, right."
Taylor looked up at her dad "Hey Dad, why are you and the admiral yelling?"
Danny opened his mouth and got cut off "Hey Hey hey. Hey hey. Hey!" He glared at the tiny figure "Taylor doesn't need a shakedown cruise, or to be worked up, and won't be doing any missions!"
Another little person in a tweed jacket and with a pipe nodded "Hey hey hey. Hey hey hey hey hey hey."
Danny rubbed his hand over his face. Taylor frowned "Really? Parahumans have a conflict drive and if it isn't satisfied in a useful way they tend to turn to villainy? I think I want to see that data."
Tweed Jacket nodded and did something to the phone in his hand and Lacey's monitor was suddenly full of research papers from .edu sites. The table suddenly got crowded with officers up to and including the admiral and his staff. Everyone read silently for a while as more and more phones and now some tablets came out.
Taylor sipped the tea, she was seeing hundreds of documents, she realized as her people read them she saw them and digested what they got of them. She shook her head and took another sip of her tea. "OK so this isn't about abyssal or the fleet of fog or any of that shtufff. Her yeoman had fisted her hips. This is you guys studying actual parahuman psychology.
"So my agent, passenger, shard, decided to be a ship because it plays Kancolle? It likes Arpeggio of Blue Steel?"
Tweed shrugged "Hey hey hey hey."
"Or it identifies with defending humanity against monstrously powerful beings. And what, it played the games in the agent passenger shard green room waiting to come on? How do I know you aren't it talking?" Tweed blinked and the Captain grinned at Taylor.
Lacey laughed "Existential crisis later, this stuff seems to say you need to have some conflict and exercise your powers or you are going to get a little crazy Taylor, and I don't think we can manage a blaster nine gone off the deep end."
Lacey pulled up PHO. Taylor scanned the page "That's not official."
Lacey nodded "It isn't. However, these are the smart guys talking in a serious forum where they stomp on the tin hats hard. It will be within one either way and I don't think they are going to rate you higher than Legend, who these guys say is a nine, PRT says eight. They think that's a PR move.
Kurt looked up "What are we going to name you, Omorbaltatbufmoinska is a bit of a mouthful." Everyone turned to look at him. "What? I worked the Atlanta class in there after Baltimore." Lacey facepalmed.
Emily looked at the briefing room full of her senior people "Blaster nine. Mmm, nope." She looked at Armsmaster' scowl. "Yes Armsmaster, we will let all our troops know, however we will not put that number on a parahuman in this city and have the Air Force doing targeting data on us. Nothing heard from this parahuman since the event and we can't find her, or him, them. I will agree that the damage looks like damage caused by an all gun cruiser. However we haven't seen them need to launch missiles yet either. So there is a possibility its something else. No one heard large caliber guns firing, no one was bleeding from their nose and ears from overpressure. I'll go seven and that's it. Of course it will be my career if she fires up cruise missiles and wipes out somewhere, if they are nuclear I'll get to look through bars for the rest of my life but I dont think she has them."
"My objections are noted then."
Emily nodded "Yes. OK people we are looking for one of twenty-seven students who did not return to the school this morning and were unable to be contacted by the school or the BBPD. You have the names and last known's, lets get out there and find them. Before Kaiser or Lung does."
Assault, a member of the protectorate, looked up "And if they are Merchants?"
Emily shook her head "They might have been lucky enough not to kill someone by accident, I however have never been that lucky. Speaking of which, what about the analysis of suspects based on whose cars were shot up among the staff?"
Miss Militia shook her head "The coaches and the computer science teachers were the only ones not and that's because they were parked off campus we think."
"Lisa?" Brian, the parahuman Grue, walked over to Lisa, the parahuman Tattletale and looked over her shoulder. She was watching a web cam that was looking at the docks area. He poked her "Lisa?"
"Arglebargle." Lisa fell out of her chair. Brian sighed.
Danny hooked Taylor with the boat hook and pulled her to the side of the dry dock. She lifted her head. He shook his. "How are you not shriveled up like a prune? You have been in there all day."
"Not all day."
"How are you clothes not even wet, or your hair."
"No idea, wait a minute got to get the crew on board."
Danny watched as tiny boats pulled up and crewman got out and disappeared in Taylors pants legs. He shook his head and grinned. Taylor held up a finger "Not one word, I've heard em all, from them." She waved at the ground.
Danny chuckled and led her up the stairs to the truck. "Your guys got through about twenty warehouses today. Keep that up and we will have to buy some of the stuff they need cause we will run out of abandoned warehouses."
"Surely they can't use it all?"
Danny shrugged and set the blinker after waving to the guard "Long as you don't need a life extension overhaul maybe?" He chuckled at the glare he got.
Taylor's face turned crafty, Danny waited, this should be good. "I know everything my crew knew."
Danny nodded "That's disturbing, so are there really those shows in Tijuana?"
"Dad!" Taylor pouted for a block. "I could test out of school."
Danny nodded "Been thinking of it. Did some reading. First the schools won't let you until you are sixteen. Second they talk about socialization."
Taylor huffed "Now you sound like Tweed Pipe and the Chaplain."
Danny smiled "And?"
Taylor sort of whined "My Yeoman."
Danny chuckled. "So I'm in good company then. Relax. its going to take a week and you are a cruiser. Who is going to hurt you in a high school?" Taylor grimaced. Danny sighed.
Emily looked at Glenn Chambers the head of PR for the PRT "If I hear one 'poi' out of you I am going to clap you in M and S screening. You pedo weebs are worse than the teenaged weebs. The whole show is big titted, big eyed, scantily clad, underaged girls giving panty shots."
"Game and some anime. I play the game myself. Now what are we doing to find our best boat?"
Emily narrowed her eyes "You already know, you've been here all day, you wouldn't be in here unless it was to tell me how to do my job so spit it out. I want a drink and to go home."
"Noticed you availed yourself of Panacea. This one got you worried."
"Glenn, there is every possibility I have a toddler with nuclear weapons on my hands. Please get to the point."
Glenn winced "Yes, well. I think you are on the wrong track. I believe you assumed that the parahuman in question ran and ran away from all their support here. From what I have read I think its one of the children identified as victims of Shadow Stalker."
Emily nodded "Whom we have had contact with and gotten statements from. Of which none of them tripped any alarm in any of the investigators they talked too."
Glenn nodded "I know. I'll do some more analysis."
Emily eyed him "Do you have anything more than a feeling and a dream?"
Glenn shrugged as he stood up "No, looking good Emily. We will have to talk about a product line." He chuckled as he got growled at on the way out the door.
Max Anders, the parahuman Kaiser, leader of the Empire 88, a neo Nazi organization, drummed his fingers looking out his corner office into the dark Atlantic, beyond the lights of Brockton Bay. "Well, no matter, they will turn up eventually."
His second, Krieg, nodded "They always do."
Kenta, Lung, Leader of the parahuman organization The Azian Bad Boys looked at the suddenly cleaner more organized area of the docks one of his lieutenants had told him about. It was in the area of the DWU. Not his concern. Something they were doing obviously. As long as they did not overreach.