"We will never speak of this again," said Taylor Hebert.

"I'm not sure why you're reacting like this," admitted the Chaos Kitty.

"Because you're extremely powerful, extremely alien, and not able to understand human culture and morality maybe?" asked Taylor.

"Possibly," admitted the cat. "There are a number of things that I've never quite grasped about mortal four-dimensional existence."

"I could tell," said Taylor. "Which is why that particular power-set and approach received a 'absolutely not' and will never ever be spoken of again."

The cat let out a dramatic sigh, but went on to consider alternatives.

"You know," said Taylor, "what about something like Panacea? She's well liked, doesn't get thrown into fights where you could die at any second."

"So, a Bio-Tinker maybe?" asked the cat.

"No, Nilbog has pretty much given that whole thing a really bad reputation," said Taylor. "Torch-bearing mobs chasing you down level of bad reputation."

"That doesn't sound too amusing," admitted the cat. "Maybe this?"


"A staff?" asked Taylor.

"Hello. This is awkward," said the staff.

"Hello Awkward," said the cat.

The staff sighed despite having no lungs to sigh with.

"What IS this?" asked Taylor of the cat, then considered and addressed the staff. "No offense."

"It's fine. I'm a magical focus, self-aware. If you think of me as an Artificial Intelligence computer system with advanced computational abilities, access to alternate forms, and the ability to cast various spells when you initiate them - you have the general idea." The staff shifted and shrank, folding in slightly unpleasant-to-see ways to become a bracelet. "Bracelet form for when a weapon is not an appropriate accessory."

"'spells'?" asked Taylor.

"Basic functions are, of course, basic," explained the bracelet. "You simply say my name - Grinder. Then indicate which form you want me to take: staff, pistol, shield, axe, or broom. Each of those forms has specific functions available they are most efficient at. My current bracelet form is a 'rest' or 'default' form in which I can advise you but am largely inactive."

"That's a form of magical Intelligent Device I've run across, and thought it was kind of handy," said the cat.

"Indeed," said the bracelet.

Taylor looked at the bracelet, then held up the arm. "Grinder. Shield."

The bracelet shifted to become a bracer that covered that arm from just above the wrist to just below the elbow in blue metal with slightly glowing yellow bits. Extending from the bracer was a mostly-transparent dull yellow force field.

"Protective abilities?" asked Taylor.

"Shield mode can provide a full body forcefield slightly in excess of what Glory Girl can manage, or a variable size one-side shield that is considerably more powerful," said Toltiir. "Humans are fragile, so I made sure that was an option."

"What does 'broom' do?" asked Taylor.

"Flight, from a hover to supersonic," answered Grinder. "Vehicle mode includes a force bubble effect to maintain atmospheric conditions."

"Sort of a magical Swiss Army knife," reasoned Taylor. "'Maybe' column."

"Suggestion," said Grinder. "Combining with worldwalking abilities, this unit would be able to 'tether' to home reality in order to negate worst downgrade of that scenario."

"Definitely a 'maybe' then," said Taylor, thinking this DID add some appeal to things but not wanting to commit and end up getting locked into something.

(POP!) vanished the bracelet, replaced with a deck of cards.

"How about this?" asked the cat. "Each card allows you to summon an elemental spirit or cast a specific spell. For example, the Shot Card allows you a Blaster rating."

Taylor started picking up half the cards which she'd fumbled almost immediately.

"Maybe not then," mused the Otherworldly Thing That Walked Like A Cat.


"Why isn't it making the same sound twice?" asked Taylor.

"Even if it sounds the same, there are variations, because otherwise it would be boring," confessed the Thing From Outside The Universe. "This is the ability to create a temporary duplicate of any weapon you see."

"I don't get to see many weapons other than guns, and that's Miss Militia's ability," protested Taylor.

"Gate of Saberhagen," said Toltiir manifesting a bunch of swords.

"Erk," managed Taylor, staggering under the mental impact of Twelve Swords of Power.

"Wrong gate, I think," said the Cat From Dimension X. "Gate of RIFTS?"

"Gkkkkk," managed Taylor, now twitching and foaming at the mouth after beholding various power armors and overpowered weapons from a RIFTS universe.

"Too much?" asked the Not-Really-A-Cat. "You're spasming on the floor. That's generally not a good sign, if I recall correctly. Wait. It was Gate of Babylon! I remember now. Oh, you really don't look good."


"Well, that's no good," said the Dimensional Being, restoring her. Then watching as she collapsed again. "Huh. I'm pretty sure I got that right. Let's see. Ah, there."

"Don't! Do! That! Again!" stated Taylor. "By the time I got to the powerplant of a Glitter Boy armor I was seeing flavors and smelling colors."

"And you normally can't?" asked the Pseudo-Feline, undoing the enhancement and trying another. "Fine. Maybe Spellsinger? You sing a song and it casts a spell?"

"Other than 'Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire' what would be a possibility?" asked Taylor.

"The drawback is you don't always know what you're going to get as it is a form of chaos magic," said Toltiir.

"Pass, I think," said Taylor.

"Hmmmm," hmmmed the cat-shaped Being. "Time travel maybe?"

"I've seen some of the movies, that seems to be a bad idea all around," said Taylor.

"True, it often causes more problems than it solves," agreed the Beast That Was Licking Its Paw. "Super-stretchy powers?"

Taylor eyed the weird-looking fruit that had just appeared in her hand. "How does that even work?"

"Transforms your entire body into a cohesive non-organic form that only mimics human flesh - though it does that very well. Acts almost as if your body has become a particularly stretchy rubber."

"That doesn't sound very appealing at all," said Taylor.

"No?" asked the Otherworldly Visitor. "Oh, well, then... There!"

"That priest guy again?" asked Taylor. "I thought he was dead."

"I've died a few times, it's never pleasant," said the priest. "Should I ask WHY I am back?"

"Her. Batman Beyond," said the Entity.

"Oh, so I would build her gadgets and a suit and she'd be the hero?" asked the priest. "I could do that."

"You could do what?" asked Taylor.

"Be your Tinker support and supplier, you get upgraded with skills or a power that allows you some Brute or Striker rating," the cat-like creature explained. "Flying car, power armor with glider extension, other resources."

"Magical support as I'm a 17th level Cleric, providing magic works in your world," said the priest. "I take it this is a suprhero world and not the DC or Marvel versions?"

"Not quite as grab-bag, single origin, rather more dark and no plot armor," said the Being.

"Something like Dragon Highway then?" asked the priest.

"No supernatural beings or mass transformation of humanity in an Event," stated the Being, who then frowned. "You stop, this is all Taylor's decision."

Taylor considered that, because having some minor Striker or Brute abilities might be handy and having some gadgets available didn't sound all that bad. She could always choose NOT to use stuff and having some abilities meant she might be able to avoid three girls in the future. "How about a Stranger rating?"

"Easily done with the suit," said the Being.

"Might I suggest something?" asked the priest. When nobody objected, he spoke further. "Ninja training, particularly if she has access to some ninjutsu skills would give her some fighting enhancements."

"Ninja? Like in the movies?" asked Taylor.

"I think he's talking more like Naruto," mused the Being. "No Nine-tailed Fox though, that's native to a different reality. I could make one, but that's a bit of work and this has already dragged on so much. Maybe..."

"You've already offered the Kryptonian package?" asked the priest.

"One of the first ones," admitted the Elder god.

"Something that always bothered me about the common depiction of Kal-El," said the priest. "He was from a VERY advanced civilization. Usually a Type II, and frequently a two point six on the Kardachev scale. Yet he settled most of his conflicts by punching things. Even when he had access to Kryptonian technology through the spaceship that delivered him to Earth, he relied on the super-strength and near-invulnerability to solve problems."

"In the case of the fictional depictions of him in other universes, that's likely the shortcomings of the writers of those chronicles and not a reflection on the individual himself. So you're suggesting giving Taylor access to information of a highly advanced technology and their scientific knowledge in lieu of the superpower package?" asked Toltiir. "Just the materials sciences would take some time to get off the ground and be useful."

"Hmmm, true," agreed the priest.

"Besides, there's already a line where Taylor ends up a polymath who is tuning into alien broadcasts and basically dragging the world around her into new levels up that scale," pointed out the Reality-Manipulating Cat-Being.

"Can I try one of these things out and see how it works?" asked Taylor.

"Interesting concept," said Toltiir, who was beginning to get bored. "Yes, let's try THIS one. Oh, do you want a flashy appearance, or something less obvious?"