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Betad by morde24
The Guild of Gamers: The Supervillain
Chapter 01: Welcome to the Guild
Honour, charity and kindness were tools used to control the masses, and prevent people from taking advantages that they deserved because the method of achieving it would make another person's life worse off.
But at the end of the day, you should only focus on making your life, and perhaps the lives of your loved ones, better and if that means making the lives of strangers and mere acquaintances worse, then so be it.
They'd do the same to you given the chance, and missing opportunities to enrich your life all because it wouldn't be honourable or virtuous was the height of stupidity.
When people around you make mistakes that leaves them vulnerable, you should take advantage of the opportunity to enrich yourself before someone else does it.
These are the lessons my father taught me as he trained me to inherit his business.
How to take advantage of your rivals' mistakes, how to make sure your underlings remain your underlings without allowing their loyalty to spot weaknesses in your targets, how to always get your way.
What he failed to teach me was how to deal with the randomness of the world.
You could succeed at everything, destroy rivals completely and expand your business throughout the world, only for the whims of fate to take it all away from you, never giving you the slightest chance to try and fight back.
I went through life, succeeding at every challenge, never hesitating as I made my mark on the world, and this is how it ends?
...why the fuck is there a truck on the sidewalk anyway?!
As my vision is blinded by the ridiculously bright headlights, I can only brace myself as the rogue truck plows into me, pain shooting through my body, I spend a moment cursing the world for the unfairness of it all.
Flying backwards, I land on a cushy chair and pause, the pain vanishing as quickly as it came. Slowly opening my eyes, I freeze as I look around the extravagant office I've found myself in.
It makes mine look cheap in comparison, and I've spent tens of thousands to make sure my office looks anything but cheap.
...a part of me is angered by it, but the well dressed woman sitting at the desk in front of me doesn't look like the kind of person I should risk offending.
Cold blue eyes stare me down as I resist the urge to squirm, looking around the office in confusion.
The uncomfortable feeling is made doubly so when I realise that however I got here, it didn't bother bringing my clothes, leaving me sitting naked before the admittedly very attractive woman.
She clicks her fingers and I find myself wearing a plain pair of black trousers and a white shirt, her disapproval not fading as she stares me down silently.
In the back of my mind, I finally catch on to what the hell happened. I died, and the afterlife isn't quite as ethereal as it is usually advertised.
"Correct, though not entirely." The woman says, her first words since I have arrived here, making me jump slightly as I turn to her. "You are dead, but this isn't a regular afterlife. In your world, there was no afterlife and the only thing waiting for you was an eternity of nothing."
"I see." he said, straightening up. "And yet, here I am. May I ask where here actually is, and who you are?" he asked, making her nod after a moment.
"You are in one of the offices of the Guild of Gamers Inc, brought here by one of our best scouts, Truck-kun, a few hours before your original time of death." she explained making him pause.
...Truck-kun? He was going to die anyway so the truck brought him here? Was this a fever dream, created by his dying mind.
"You have been chosen out of a literally infinite number of souls, to be offered a second chance at life as a part of our company and I am Lucille, daughter of one of the four founders of the Guild… I'm stuck here as part of my punishment for a slight mistake I made a long, long time ago." Lucille explained after a moment making him straighten up.
So he was dealing with the equivalent of a CEO's daughter? He could work with that.
"I see, it's a pleasure to-" he started, freezing as Noire's eyes narrowed slightly, an immeasurable weight coming down on him as she did.
"Save the small talk, I voted for someone else to be offered this opportunity but Truck-kun was insistent and I was overruled by Lord Kuro, you'd think he'd have given up his grudge by now." Lucille mumbled to herself, making him nod rapidly as he felt himself start to sweat.
"I… may I ask what this company does? I know that nothing in the world is free, certainly not a second chance at life." he asked, making her nod curtly.
"Correct. The purpose of the Guild of Gamers is to amuse its founders, my father Shiro, Lord Kuro, Lord Gray and Lord Kuro. If it had more purpose than that, only those four know and I wouldn't advise asking them. Immortal multiversal beings tend to dislike being questioned too much." Lucille deadpanned.
What the hell had he gotten himself into.
"As for what this means for you… you've been chosen to be sent to a new world with a prototype system, the specifics of which will be decided at this interview. You will have contractual obligations during your time in this new world and once you are finished in that world, we will have a performance review. This will decide whether you are allowed to keep your system and gain access to more worlds, or whether you are left in whichever world you are sent to. It's also possible that you may fail your performance review and find yourself promptly… fired, which also happens to involve your soul being devoured." Lucille said with a slight twitch of her lips as he shuddered.
"I take it that I have little choice in the matter?" he asked after a moment, making her giggle. It was a beautiful laugh, almost song-like in nature, but it didn't make him feel particularly comfortable.
"Of course you do, you may choose to leave through that door at any moment. Of course, you'll be sent to the endless void that is your world's afterlife but that's up to you. Oddly enough, very few take that option." Lucille drawled, making him nod.
He knew a thing or two about contracts that you could technically refuse, but he was usually on the other side of the table.
"I can imagine why, so I suppose the only thing left to do is begin this… interview." he said as he laced his fingers together, placing them in his lap.
"You seem to misunderstand, we aren't so primitive as to have to ask you questions. Our systems have been going through your memories ever since you arrived here. The results will be available momentarily, and then we can decide which system you will be granted and to which world you will be sent." Lucille said, tapping the desk as she looked over the computer screen off the side of her desk.
Humming as she read something he couldn't see, she turned back to him with a slight frown.
"It seems you have a few choices ahead of you. Firstly, the Business Tycoon system." Lucille said, making him nod to himself.
That sounded about right.
"This system is fairly low risk, but while it can make you incredibly rich it is limited in how much power it can grant you. It also has less challenging contractual obligations, making it a rather easy option." Lucille said, making him mull it over.
It sounded ready made for him, but limited power didn't sound enticing.
"Next, the Supervillian System. This one is new, and is marked as high risk, higher reward. It was designed by the Lord Kuros meaning it's more forgiving than those made by father, but it still has rather demanding contractual obligations." Lucille continued, making him pause.
That word had plenty of meaning, from the likes of Lex Luthor to the Joker. One of those was appealing, the other was less so.
"The system is very broad, allowing for either style of villainy and many more." Lucille said making him flinch, it was unnerving to have his thoughts answered out loud. " The Lord Kuros may be… slow workers, but they are very through and their systems have the highest rating for user enjoyment." Lucille explained.
She continued explaining the other systems, from the Strategist system which allowed the user to command entire armies to the Devil's Tongue system which allowed the user to gain power by making contracts with other people, but even as she went over his options, he knew he'd made his decision.
When he was younger, cartoons and comic books were his guilty pleasure, and Lex Luthor had always been his favourite. The genius businessman who challenged gods with just his intellect.
He was Batman but cooler in every way.
Sure, he always lost but that was because comics didn't let the villains win.
As she finished explaining the Thief system, he took a deep breath.
"I've made my choice, I'd like to choose the Supervillain system." he said calmly, taking his first step into a new life.
"I see, brave to accept a prototype system but perhaps it will pay off for you." Lucille said casually. "As it is a Kuro System, it comes with the Dating system preinstalled. Now, the world. Unfortunately for you, this particular system doesn't allow the client to choose their own world, instead it chooses one at random from a series of pre-designed worlds."
"Designed… worlds?" he asked, making her smirk.
"Our company is very powerful." Lucille said with a smug tone as she typed something. "And that's the world locked in, I'd say you got lucky, My Hero Academia is fairly low risk compared to many of the worlds included in the rotation, but it's a modified version and I'm afraid even I don't know how Kuro modified it."
"I see, I suppose I'll have to see it for myself." he said, frowning slightly.
He has watched the first season of My Hero Academia, but only because he was dating a weeb at the time and she made him watch it. She was amazing in bed but he had to dump her after she started calling him onii-chan in public.
Fucking weebs man, not even once.
He remembered very little, but he did recall the basics. It was a world where heroism had become a nine to five job, with schools made for training youths to become heroes, and almost everyone had a superpower.
But when everyone is a super, is anyone? Well, yes because not all powers are made equal.
This was not the ideal place to start on the path of villainy, but he would adapt.
"Now all that's left is to sign the contract, and you'll be ready for your second chance." Lucille said, pulling out a rather foreboding scroll, placing it and a pen in front of him.
Reading through the contract, he paused at parts before he sighed and grabbed the pen. It was remarkably vague, simply stating that by accepting the system he was also accepting that he would have to fulfil his obligations to the company as well, but when his choices were this or death, what choice did he have?
As he signed, he winced at the tugging feeling in his hand, and the red writing as the pen drew his own blood to write with, and as he finished his signature, Lucille clapped happily.
"Excellent, I do wish you luck in your new life, really I do. I get a bonus if you succeed." Lucille said with a smile making him chuckle, it was important to keep your employees motivated after all.
Before he could reply, his vision was blackened once more and he felt himself fall through the chair he was sat on, and the floor beneath it.
"Hm, are you sure Truck-kun got the right person?" Lucille asked, scratching her chin.
"Eh, Truck-kun is the best at its job. I'm sure it's fine." A lazy voice replied from her computer.
"...you said that when Truck-kun accidentally ran over that racoon, now there's an animal running around with one of our stronger systems." Lucille countered.
"Tanuki, not racoon. Besides, it all worked out fine in the end, trust in Truck-kun." Kuro replied, making her sigh.
Why did she get stuck working under a manager who didn't actually give a fuck what was happening as long as it was funny?
Oh right, she tried to kill him.
Looking down at the contract, she glanced at the signature briefly before she filed it away.
Jin Yukimura, huh?
He better succeed, after the last four she processed failed their performance review meeting (or just died before the meeting) she needed a success or it was going to look bad on her own performance review.
My Hero Academia was marked as low risk anyway, and surely as lazy as he was Kuro hadn't made too many changes.
She'd check in on her newest client later, but her shift ended in five minutes and she had a well deserved day off coming up.
...I have been lied to.
Staring up at the city sign in front of me, I realise that I should have been a lot more worried about what 'modified world' meant.
WELCOME TO BROCKTON BAY
I have been played for a fool, and as I stare up at the proof of my idiocy, I rapidly try to remember as much from Worm as I can.
It isn't much, but just enough to let me know this isn't going to be the power of friendship and training montages anime bullshit I came here expecting.
...the sign has seventeen bullet holes, but the condition of the paint implies that it's fairly new.
I can hear gunshots in the distance, and as I check my pockets I quickly find my wallet, with a driver's license and a couple of hundred dollars.
My suit is definitely worth more than the contents of my wallet, but for once I wish I wasn't so well dressed because I must look like a very easy target.
Perhaps it's time you got acquainted with your new powers?
A voice deadpan into my head, making me jump quickly, looking around before I stop myself, hearing the voice in my head chuckle.
"Hello?" I say cautiously, making the deep male voice chuckle again.
You can just talk to me in your head so you don't look crazy.
I see, I take it you are from the Guild?
Yup, normally I'm not so hands on but since you're using one of my prototype systems, I thought I'd come say hello. The name's Kuro, one of them anyway, and I'm the architect of your new system.
Ah, it's a pleasure to meet you… in a manner of speaking, you have my thanks for giving me this second lease on life.
You can skip the flattery, I'm not Shiro. Though trying to stay on the good side of the all powerful, immortal being is a good policy in general.
Anyway, like I was saying… you should probably start the tutorial and get acquainted with your powers, this world has a pretty high danger rating and the sooner you land on your two feet the better.
Lucille said this one was a low danger world…
Because she was too lazy to check the modifications, and her shift was almost finished so she wanted you out before them.
I won't spoil the surprise, but you'd be surprised at how many clients take days to work out their menus, and I wanna see how the new system works out so you being killed in a mugging gone wrong wouldn't really help with that.
Fair enough, I'll take any help I can get.
Just think 'Game Menu' to open your menu up and 'Start Game Tutorial' to make the tutorial start up, it should be able to guide you from there.
Good luck, you'll probably need it.
Oh, that reminds me. Check your perks, I threw a freebie in there since you got this world…
You'll kinda need it if you want to survive the next 24 hours.
With no response, I took a breath and took his advice.
Opening my menu, which is frankly disorienting as purple transparent boxes fill my vision, the first thing I notice is that almost every option is currently blocked, claiming that I need to go through the tutorial first to unlock it.
I can take a hint, and with a thought I start the tutorial so I can try and work out how fucked I actually am.
The Supervillain System v1.05 online
[Beginners Guide to Villainy]
Objective 1: Select a Villain Archetype
Objective 2: Build a Simple Lair
Objective 3: Acquire 10 Minions
Objective 4: Acquire a Henchman
Objective 5: Level up your class or acquire a new one
Objective 6: Acquire a piece of Unique Loot
Objective 7: Gain 100 Infamy
Please select your starter villain archetype
The Warlord is a combat based start, granting you a random Brute power, a random Striker power, a Warlord perk and a group of combat minions.
The Assassin is a combat/stealth based start, granting you a random Stranger power, a random Blaster power, a Assassin perk and a bonus to starting funds.
[The Serial Killer]
The Serial Killer is a stealth based start, granting you a Changer power, a random Stranger power, a Serial Killer perk and a bonus to starting Infamy.
[The Cult Leader]
The Cult Leader is a deception based start, granting you a random Trump power, a random Master power, a Cult Leader perk and a group of assorted minions.
The Warlock is a combat based start, granting you a random Blaster power, a random Shaker power, a Warlock perk and a Tinkertech staff.
[The Mad Scientist]
The Mad Scientist is a research based start, granting you two random Tinker powers, a random Thinker power and a Mad Scientist perk.
[The Master Thief]
The Master Thief is a stealth based start, granting you a random Stranger power, a random Mover power, a Master Thief perk and a piece of unique Loot.
The Trickster is a stealth/deception based start, granting you a random Stranger power, a random Illusion-based power, a Trickster perk and a bonus to starter funds.
[The Terrorist Leader]
The Terrorist is a combat/stealth based start, granting you a random Thinker power, a random Blaster power, a Terrorist perk and a very small group of specialised minions.
The Horror is a fear based start, granting you a Case 53 form, a random Brute power, a random Shaker power, a Horror perk and a bonus to starter infamy.
The Schemer is a deception based start, granting you a random Stranger power, a random Thinker power, a Schemer perk and a small group of basic minions.
Please note that this is simply your starter skillset, and you can expand into other archetypes later on.
A part of me immediately wants to take the Warlord, I remember enough about the different power classifications to know that I very much want a Brute power, but I certainly don't want to be a Case 53.
I suppress my initial reaction and stop and think, in all honesty I have no interest in fighting outright, the other villains can play cops and robbers all they want but I don't feel like joining in.
The Warlord sounds like it would give me the power to protect myself from common thugs, but in a world where powers are common the smartest move is not to get into fights in the first place.
A Brute power won't help if I get into a fight with someone who can just blast through it.
With that in mind, do I want any of the combat focused starts? At least for now, I think the answer is no.
Which leaves the Trickster, the Master Thief, the Mad Scientist, the Cult Leader and the Schemer.
The Mad Scientist is too risky, I remember how rare and desired Tinkers were, and the fact that Tinkers need materials and tools means I'd be more likely to be discovered and forced into one of the gangs, or the PRT which is basically the same thing.
The Cult Leader is also risky because Master's are very much frowned upon, I can't risk getting too much attention before I'm ready.
The Trickster is interesting, but it doesn't feel… me, the same with the Master Thief.
Which makes my decision fairly simple.
The Schemer selected.
Tutorial Objective 1: Complete
[Just Another Face in the Crowd - Stranger]
This power causes the user to perfectly blend into crowds, making them near impossible to pick out or notice. The larger the crowd, the more powerful it becomes. Acting unusual or drawing attention to yourself will make this power fail, as will leaving the crowd.
[The Vision - Thinker]
The power causes the user to gain flawless vision, allowing them to spot tiny details at great distances. In addition, the user gains the ability to selectively see through most obstacles. Overuse of this ability will cause Thinker headaches, and temporarily disable all aspects of this power.
[I prefer the term 'coerced loyalty']
The perk gives you an edge when attempting to blackmail people into obedience, allowing you to push them further with less intel than you would normally need.
Your minions will arrive when you have chosen a lair location.
As my eyes burn briefly, I wince and reach up to rub at them, blinking rapidly as I look around my surroundings in slight awe, everything is so much clearer now.
Looking around, my vision homes onto a small ant as it crawls through the grass, I can easily see its little legs moving despite it being a good thirty meters away from me.
Nothing that will help me in a fight, but that's about what I expected.
With that selected I can access my perks, and see what the freebie Kuro gave me was.
Welcome to Worm, where a scary woman in a stylish hat will put a bullet through your head in the first five minutes of you arriving if you don't have this perk. This Perk grants you an immunity to Thinker powers, including all forms of precognition. You're welcome.
...I have no idea who that is referring to, but I'm glad I don't have to worry about her.
I don't… right?
Well, regardless of scary women in stylish hats, I have work to do.
First things first, I want to work out what the situation is, this world was supposed to be My Hero Academia, but it is clearly Worm and I need to work out why.
Plus I need to pick a place to work as my lair, since right now I am effectively homeless.
It's midday at the moment, given the position of the sun, so it's time to head into the city and find a computer.
Also something to eat.
Thankfully, despite Brockton's reputation and the gunshots I occasionally hear, keeping to the main roads leaves me mostly undisturbed, the only person who attempts to stop me being some homeless beggar, hoping for an easy mark thanks to my obviously expensive suit. I have limited funds, and frankly he'd have to pry them from my cold dead hands if he wanted so much as a penny.
It doesn't take me long to find a public library with computers I can use, and as I finish the crappy fast food burger, I head inside and make myself at home.
I'm going to be here for a while, so with the cheap coffee I got from a questionable fast food restaurant in my hand, I sit down and get to work.
First things first, what day is it? Where am I in the timeline, which I admittedly barely know.
Is canon already going on?
Finding ParaHumans Online (affectionately shortened to PHO), I scour the site for recent events and mentally thank the nerds of the world for doing my work for me.
The biggest event? The Simurgh attacked Canberra just over a month ago. It's the third of March, 2011, and I can already see signs of the MHA changes.
The thread on the Simurgh attack has a lot of people arguing about a specific question. Why didn't All Might take part in the Endbringers attack?
There is no definitive answer, but they don't know that All Might has a time limit, if he tired himself before the Simurgh moved, he wouldn't have been able to help at all.
But why wouldn't they have someone like Panacea fix his injury?
Hm, I'm missing something but I also quickly found out why I didn't start in Japan, in Musutafu? That's where MHA takes place, so that's where I should be right?
Well, no… because it doesn't exist.
Something in Worm canon history changed, and Leviathan never attacked Kyushu. It attacked Tokyo instead, and it was just as devastating as Kyushu had been, meaning that Tokyo and its surrounding areas are still uninhabitable.
Japan has been devastated, and it has barely started to recover from losing close to a quarter of its population.
Musutafu wasn't in Tokyo, but it was close enough that it's still destroyed.
UA was rebuilt, but it was rebuilt in America because that's where most of the staff ended up after being forced to leave Japan. America took in the most refugees from the attack, and the PRT funded the school because all Hero schools seem to be under their control.
This led to me discovering the biggest change, why Hero schools even exist in Worm.
Quirks exist here, but so do Worms Parahumans. Quirks are far, far less common than they were in MHA because they are caused by Parahumans having children.
If a Parahuman has a child, that child will almost always have a Quirk which awakens in their adolescent period.
For a group like New Wave, that's fine, but if you're a cape with a secret identity then having your child suddenly start breathing fire or shooting lasers out of their eyes is a bit of an issue since it basically says 'one of my parents is a cape'. That's not even mentioning the increased chance of physical changes, Quirks change the users body far more than Triggers.
So schools were made to help them learn their powers, to keep them under control and stop them from being walking, talking middle fingers to the unwritten rules.
UA is one of these, and it was built in between Brockton and Boston, teens from all over are sent there to learn how to control their powers, and possibly become Protectorate heroes which is why the PRT are so interested in funding it. They are built away from cities to help keep things private, and the names of students kept highly classified.
The wards still exist, but that's for teens who trigger normally.
At least that's what I can work out from sources of questionable reliability on an internet board and Wikipedia.
The gangs of Brockton seem fairly similar to canon, though each of them seems to have more members than I remember, with the Azn Bad Boys having a new cape who sounds an awful lot like the crazy blood girl from MHA and a Case 53 Mover who I'm pretty sure is the teleportation villain who worked for the creepy hands guy.
The weirdest part is that they also have a cape whose power is that she is completely invisible, which sounds like one of the classmates from UA, but she was a hero. Maybe something to look into.
Which led to another discovery, and a highly confusing one at that.
There was a vs thread about whether Yūrei (the ABB's invisible girl) was stronger than the unnamed daughter of Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl who had the same power.
The answer was a resounding no, as while Yūrei was more active than the invisible member of the Incredibles, she could only turn invisible while Violet Parr has force fields as well.
...why are the Incredibles here? Their existence complicates things because that means I can't rely on my Worm or MHA knowledge, as spotty as it might be.
On the bright side, there is no Skitter yet as far as I can tell. Lung hasn't been captured, and that means I have some time before Worms canon starts.
So now I just need to work out one thing, where the hell do I build a lair?
Brockton Bay has an excess of unused real estate, entire portions of the city are run down and abandoned, but it also has a massive gang problem.
Someone on PHO put together a helpful map of Brockton, keeping track of which gang controls which parts of the city, and it tells me that the PRT are borderline useless.
The Empire has the most territory by far, the entire commercial district and over half of the downtown district under their control. They've pushed into the docks as well, but it appears the ABB are holding them off.
The ABB themselves are in second place, with two large parts of the city carved out on opposite sides of the city, and looking at the older versions of the map it looks like they managed to steal some Empire territory over the past few months. Apparently Yūrei poisoned a bunch of higher-up Empire mooks and they took some territory during the chaos.
Then there's the Merchants and the PRT sharing third place. The PRT holds as much territory as the fucking Merchants.
Admittedly, the PRT holds the more upper class areas of the city, like the Boardwalk and a lot of downtown, while the Merchants occupy the run down parts of the city, but still.
It's ridiculous, how they could let some drug-addled idiots control as much of the city as they do, all while claiming to be the law.
Well, the answer is fairly easy to understand.
They could push the Merchants out, but then another gang would move in and they don't have the manpower to hold any territory they clear.
New Wave barely leaves the Boardwalk and the wealthy side of the city, and if they cleared out the Merchant territory then all that would happen is that the ABB would move right in since the Merchant territory shares a border with them.
Then the ABB would be in a position of power with more territory than the Empire, and that would probably start a gang war.
They can't push into the Empire territory because the Empire has far more capes than New Wave does, and they can't push into ABB territory because the one time they tried Lung went on a rampage and they barely escaped with their lives. Their capes that is, the grunts very much didn't.
Basically the PRT are borderline useless, desperately holding onto the small piece of the city they've been able to grab.
Going through the threads, I can see people calling them out for it, but I can see both sides. If you live in gang territory, having the PRT basically abandon you to your fate must hurt, but ok. On the other hand, they aren't only protecting the wealthy areas because it's profitable or good PR (though it undoubtedly is), they are doing the because they lack the manpower, and spreading their forces any thinner would be a death sentence with the Empire and ABB waiting for them to give them an opening.
They used to have more territory but after their attempt to push into ABB territory, the Empire took advantage of them exposing their flank and captured a lot of the downtown district from them.
If they attack one group, two more are waiting in the wings to punish them, and they are trapped in between all three gangs.
But I digress, I have work to do and with everything I've learnt I know where to start building my lair.
The Merchants are the weakest of the factions, and they are the most incompetent. I have the best chance of going unnoticed and undisturbed if I pick one of the abandoned buildings in their territory as my first base.
I'll move onto bigger and better things eventually, but for now I just want a place to rest and plan.
Looking over a map, and spending some time researching the different buildings, I eventually pick a location and nod to myself.
It's deep in Merchant territory but that is by design, near the waterfront and as far from the ABB and PRT territory as possible. Neither of them should come this deep into Merchant territory without me giving them a reason to, but it's a decent distance away from the main Merchant hangouts.
At least the ones I can map out with the help of internet strangers, I'm sure there are hidden hideouts where they actually make the drugs but I can only work with what I know.
Leaving the warehouse, I mentally plan out my route as I set off to the other side of the city, keeping to the crowds as much as I can. It takes a couple of hours to reach the Merchant territory, and the sun has started to set which admittedly makes me somewhat nervous.
I keep moving, as the buildings slowly get more run-down, the streets less cared for with graffiti, trash and potholes appearing in increasing numbers. I blatantly ignore the reddish brown stain on the sidewalk as I walk around it, not stopping to think about what caused that or why it leads into one of the alleyways. Using my new power, I focus my vision into the alleyways ahead of me, making sure they are completely clear before I cut through them.
I can hear police sirens in the distance, and the amount of homeless men has been steadily increasing the later into the day it gets.
A few glance my way, but I guess my determined stride and expensive suit scare them off. Maybe they've mistaken me for a member of the ABB, but I can deal with that later. I should have gotten a mask, but masks draw attention and I don't need Skidmark thinking a new cape is in his territory and coming to deal with me, even if I am a new cape in his territory. There are very few homeless women, and I already know why. The Merchants don't have brothels like the ABB do, but that doesn't mean they aren't involved in the same business.
Reading through the Merchant thread told me that they tend to grab any homeless women, drugging them up to get them addicted and then pimping them out, and I'm pretty sure I've seen a couple of their victims already, wearing barely anything as they linger around street corners, under the few working street lamps.
It's been a while since I got laid, but I'd rather remove my manhood with a steak knife then stick it in some disease ridden hooker. Besides, as a super villain doesn't it make sense for me to have a scantily-clad henchgirl? But first I need a lair, my minions and a source of income. Henchgirls in skimpy outfits can come later.
It doesn't take me long to find a Merchant, my enhanced vision seeing through his ragged clothes and spotting the gun he has tucked in his belt… with the safety off and the clip loaded.
Thankfully, the man is also as high as a kite and asleep on the sidewalk so I just sidestep him, I consider grabbing his gun for myself but there are a few people lingering around and I don't want any more attention than I'm already drawing.
I should have bought some cheap, second hand clothes, but honestly? I was the CEO of a powerful, global company in my past life. I'm not dressing up like some street bum, I have standards.
Reaching the warehouse district, the crowds start to disperse… with the exception of a single warehouse that has a few too many people around it, and peering through the walls out of the corner of my eyes shows a lot more Merchants inside.
An underground drug lab from what I can tell, but as I try to look though the ground I wince, my head throbbing as one of those infamous Thinker headaches hits me.
I've been looking through walls and clothes for hours, I suppose I overworked myself, but with a wince I take one last look through the walls surrounding the warehouse as I watch them load boxes into a truck, a very stacked blonde yelling orders at the men.
The welding mask she has covering her face tells me who she is, as her tiny jean shorts and stained white tank top certainly don't scream 'Cape' but I do believe that would be Squealer.
Girlfriend of Skidmark, Tinker of the Merchants, and a complete junkie from the rumours in PHO. I'd say they are right, from the sheer amount of drugs she has managed to fit into the pockets of her very small shorts.
She also has a considerable amount of needle marks on her arms, my perfect vision letting me see them as clearly as if I was right next to her.
Closing my eyes, I move away from the area before the Merchants 'on guard' take offence to my lingering. My head is burning up, and even trying to use my power again sends jolts of pain through my brain, so taking the hint I rely on my regular senses.
That drug den is closer than I hoped to my chosen lair, just a few streets away, but I can work with that. I'm going to take the fight to the Merchants eventually and knowing where one of their drug dens is will help.
But that's for the future, for now I need to get set up. Reaching the run-down warehouse, I mentally sigh as I think about my mansion from my past life, before I start looking for a way in.
The reason I picked this one is because it had a rather sturdy stone wall built around it before it was abandoned, and taking a chance I use my power again to peek inside, focusing through the pain as I make sure this isn't another Merchant hideout.
The only life I spot is a couple of homeless people sleeping on the ground floor, but I can probably get rid of them.
Thankfully someone already did my job for me and one of the gates has been broken, allowing me to get inside easily as I sigh outwardly.
It stinks, it's barely standing, it's in the middle of enemy territory.
Are you sure you want to make [Run-down Warehouse] a lair?
Obviously not, but I don't have much choice. Yes, I'm sure.
[Run-down Warehouse] claimed
Cost: Free (All tutorial items are free)
1% control of the Docks area
It's not much, but it's a start.
As I accept my fate, mentally swearing to either improve this dump or get a better lair as soon as possible, a cough they'd my attention making me jump and spin around, freezing in place as I stare at the dozen or so men and women standing behind me.
10 Worker Minions added due to start choice
Workers are the most basic of all minions, specialising in construction and simple tasks. They can fight, but they usually can't win.
Every single one of them is wearing a bright yellow jumpsuit as they stare at me in anticipation, and I feel another function of my Game unlocking.
"What's your orders, boss?" The lead minion asks, making me smile to myself.
"Follow me for now, we have some vagrants to send on their way." I say as I turn and head into the warehouse, I feel more confident with ten followers at my back, and the stomping of feet makes the few vagrants wake up quickly as they pale, seeing us heading their way.
"Hello, poor people. Who here wants some money? All you have to do is agree to leave this place and not come back." I say loudly, making them freeze as they look over at me.
I don't want to kill some random hobos, and I don't want to draw any attention.
"You… you serious?" One of the bums asks, slowly approaching me. "How much?"
"How much will it take to get you to leave?" I ask, I need a starter price to start the negotiations, turning to the one who spoke making him pale slightly.
"Fi- no, ten bucks!" he says quickly making me pause, before I sigh and pull my wallet out.
"I'll give each of you twenty if you agree to leave and keep this to yourselves." I say pulling four twenties out, one for each of them as their eyes light up.
Or I could skip negotiations because I'm not squabbling over pocket change. This district has a lot of homeless people and communities talk, even if the community is made up of vagrants, junkies and beggars. I want to delay the Merchants hearing about this for as long as possible.
Handing the notes out, I watch them scurry away quickly, not wanting to stick around while they are outnumbered by an unknown group, before I nod to myself.
Closing my eyes, I access the new function of the Game and start to plan out what I want my Workers to do.
I've played enough base builder games to see where the Guild got this from, and while it's strange to be planning out a construction in my head, it's fairly intuitive.
There are different room types, and it doesn't take me long to get the hang of it.
As I mentally command them, my minions start to work as they pull out their strange tools and start to dig out a new basement. They are… bafflingly fast, laying out the corridors I planned out in minutes, before they start digging out the rooms.
Firstly, the barracks, because even minions need to sleep, then the mess hall because they need to eat as well (and so do I).
A power station room is next, because this warehouse doesn't have electricity and that is unacceptable. It doesn't have wifi either but I can't fix that just yet.
The final two rooms, built on a level below the first basement, are the special ones though.
A vault, for all my ill-gotten gains (though sadly empty at the moment) and the Inner Sanctum.
My room, essentially.
I don't have access to any of the more useful room items yet, just basic bunk beds for my barracks, a small kitchen and table in the mess hall, and a generator just labelled 'Generator' in the menu.
How does it make power? Good question. Where does the food come from? Also a good question. Where did the minions even get the bunk beds? More good questions.
But after watching my minions build an underground lair in less than half an hour, I find myself willing to accept that my power isn't exactly… logical.
[Beginners Guide to Villainy]
Objective 1: Select a Villain Archetype [x]
Objective 2: Build a Simple Lair [x]
Objective 3: Acquire 10 Minions [x]
Objective 4: Acquire a Henchman
Objective 5: Level up your class or acquire a new one
Objective 6: Acquire a piece of Unique Loot
Objective 7: Gain 100 Infamy
Moving to my Inner Sanctum, I sit at my (somewhat) fancy desk, looking around the room with a slightly approving smile. The black and purple colour scheme is very cliche for a villain, but it's cliche for a reason. It works, and it looks nice and intimidating, which is the entire point.
Pressing the suspicious button on my desk, I watch as a holographic map appears, hovering in front of me as I stare at it with a raised eyebrow. Aside from the tiny purple spot in the north of the docks, most of it is covered in a fog of war 'due to lack of intel' but a few streets over there is a building marked with a large green M.
Just something else I'll have to deal with in the future, I can't have a drug lab on my front lawn… unless it's my drug lab.
My company worked with pharmaceuticals, and really the only difference between drug dealing and big pharma is that we paid off the law enforcement to not bother us.
Please select your first Henchman.
Please note that while you can theoretically recruit all of the following Henchmen, each of them is currently in a position where recruitment will be easier as part of the tutorial.
Once you select a Henchman and start the recruitment quest, the others will move on and become far harder to acquire.
The Eco-Terrorist - Combat Henchwoman
Pamela Isley has triggered, and it isn't going to end well for anyone who isn't a plant. Convince Poison Ivy to join up with you, before she can stand on her own two feet.
If this Henchwoman isn't recruited now, she will become a rival Crime Lord later on.
Warning: Due to her ability to create self-replicating life, having this Henchwoman serving you will result in massively increased heat from the PRT as long as Emily Piggot is in charge of the local branch.
The White Rabbit - Stealth Henchwoman
Jaina Hudson likes to be chased, but she never thought she'd actually be caught. After getting overconfident, the White Rabbit has found herself caught in a PRT trap. Free her before she can escape by herself to recruit her.
If this Henchwoman isn't recruited now, she may target your vaults later on.
The Mechanic - Support Henchwoman
Sherrel Bailey isn't the smartest woman around, which is why she's currently crashed into a ditch in a drug fuelled coma. Grab her before the Merchants can find her and convince her to work for you, by any means necessary.
If this Henchwoman isn't recruited now, she will increase the overall power of the Merchants.
The Scarecrow - Science Henchman
Dr Johnathan Crane is… well, he's a bit of a lunatic to be honest. He really, really, likes fear, and that's something you can use. Fund his experiments and gain his services, before he finds a new source of funding.
If this Henchman isn't recruited now, he will become an Independent Supervillain and may pose a threat to you later on.
...closing the map, I take a deep breath and proceed to slam my head into the wooden desk, groaning out loud as I do.
Man, fuck this world. I don't want to be here anymore, I want my mansion back, away from all this superpowered bullshit.
Gathering my wits, I look back at my options and sigh to myself. Basically, pick one to be on my side while I have to deal with the other three… and so many more threats.
I wanna have a polite word with Lucille over what 'low risk' means.
Helena Bertinelli (The Huntress) -
Being an Independent Hero meant a lot more than just not having a team to back you up on patrol, or having to pay for your own costume and equipment.
It also meant you didn't have access to the PRTs information network as well, as they guarded their intel jealously, so when it came to patrolling as an Independent you had two options.
One, literally just wander around until you came across a crime, which admittedly didn't take too long in Brockton, or you had to make your own information network.
The first option was probably more fun, but it meant you barely made a difference. Sure, stopping a mugging here, a rape there, made life better for the people you saved, but it didn't hurt the gangs at all. All three major gangs had more low-level thugs than they knew what to do with, and she could put dozens away in a single night without them caring.
The second option let you work out where you needed to hit them to really make them feel it, and that was why she did it.
It wasn't anything complicated, she just had a few of the cities homeless on her payroll, paying them for any useful intel they could give her.
But it meant she had to work out what was a real tip, and what was just bullshit made up to try and get paid.
So when one of her informants claimed to have seen a high ranking ABB member heading into a warehouse deep in Merchant territory she was pretty sceptical.
The location he gave her was literally on the other side of the Merchants territory from where the ABB were situated.
But she felt the need to investigate all the same, because as much as she despised the Merchants, if they were beaten by the ABB then things would go south fast.
The main reason the Merchants survived as long as they did despite a bunch of drug addled morons was simple, the PRT stopped any of the other gangs from taking over their territory.
If either the Empire or the ABB took over the Merchants territory, they'd control more than half the city, and the PRT Thinkers were sure that it would lead to a full on gang war between the two, and that which ever gang won would be able to push the PRT (and Independents) out of the city entirely.
The Merchants were a necessary evil, for the good of Brockton, because while they hurt a lot of people they were also unambitious, lazy and frankly too incompetent to be a real threat.
The Empire and ABB were far more dangerous.
Skidmark wasn't as cunning as Kaiser, or as powerful as Lung, and having him be 'in control' of the most run-down parts of the city meant that he'd just keep peddling his drugs and just generally keep being a nuisance.
Not a threat, just a nuisance.
Both the Empire and ABB would put the territory to much better use.
The one problem with the Merchants is that they tended to be so drugged up that they forgot to follow the unwritten rules, which could be a problem.
It was a good job that none of them were smart enough to work out any other capes real identity, Skidmark wouldn't hesitate to go for a hero or rival villains family if he could find them.
It meant that if the ABB were trying something, she needed to know and be ready to try and put a stop to it.
AN: This isn't SA, I know. Blame Evil Genius 2, it gave me a powerful urge to write a super villain fic, and where better than Worm?
Originally I could decide between Worm, MHA or Gotham, so I decided fuck it and did them all.
Obviously it's set in Worm, but it has a lot of concepts from MHA added in, and characters from DC and possibly some other superpower worlds as well.
Why the Incredibles? Because Helen Parr is extra thicc, there is no other reason.
The next chapter of SA is half done, and so is the next Freedom because I'm easily distracted.