Disclaimer: I own nothing but my original characters and works, if you recognise it from somewhere else, surprise it isn't mine.

Betad by morde24, Atrius, Hermes, Priapus, Marethyu, Old man of the mountain, TheDonFluffles, Malcolm Tent and Mike, God of Lore


The Guild of Gamers: The Tinker

Chapter 04: Cleaning a Skidmark

Welcome to the Parahumans Online message boards.

You are currently logged in, MakeMeSqueal

You are viewing:

• Threads you have replied to

• AND Threads that have new replies

• OR private message conversations with new replies

• Thread OP is displayed.

• Twenty five posts per page

• Last ten messages in private message history.

• Threads and private messages are ordered chronologically.

Topic: Behemoth driven back in Hawaii

In: Boards ► Endbringer Attacks

Bagrat (Original Poster) (Veteran Member) (The Guy in the Know)

Posted On Nov 29th 2011:

So, big news people

Behemoth appeared in Hawaii, slowly making his way towards Mauna Loa, Hawaii's biggest volcano (and the largest active volcano on the planet)

From what we've seen before, the government was making preparations for the potential evacuation of the entirety of the Hawaii island chain in the event that the heroes couldn't stop Behemoth.

Fortunately, that won't be necessary because a combined effort of the capes gathered to oppose Behemoth succeeded in driving him off with the lowest fatality rate in any non-Simurgh attack so far (because dying isn't the concern when she's involved). Behemoth has an average fatality rate of 53%, today that dropped to less than half with a 22% fatality rate.

That's right folks, Behemoth, the Hero Killer himself, was driven off with less deaths than we'd expect against Leviathan on a good day.

Naturally, massive props to everyone involved, but the star of today was someone nobody expected, Zero. For those not in the know, Zero is a drone tinker from Brockton Bay, who focuses on street level crime, avoiding cape combat.

Shortly before the fight began in earnest, Zero sent Dragon a message that he'd be arriving to assist, right before he teleported in 'The Pride', his mobile drone command centre that happens to look like a massive metal flying ship, with sails.

[ThePride .png] [ThePrideInFlight .mp4]

Zero has been salvaging the wrecks of ships in Brockton's Boat Graveyard, and suddenly we know what he wanted all that metal for.

He immediately deployed a fleet of drones, made for medical and search and rescue.

The reason the fatality rate is so low is because anytime someone got injured, a drone would zoom towards them and teleport them away from the danger, where his medical drones were waiting with Tinkertech chems (Radaway, which massively helped with radiation poisoning, and Stimpacks which could heal most wounds in moments), with the drones handling the brunt of the medical work it meant the few healers we have, like Panacea, could focus on the absolute worst cases

Of course, that's not the only trick Zero brought to the fight, because he also brought a giant railgun that hit Behemoth from miles away, with enough force to blow parts of Behemoth's flesh off.

[ThePrideFiring .mp4]

Between that, Legend, and the other blasters, Behemoth didn't make it a quarter of the way before he turned around and retreated, admittedly leaving the national park an irradiated mess and a lot of good people dead (confirmed fatalities list [here])

Zero then set about using his new environmental tech (seen first in Brockton Bay, cleaning up the ocean), to clear the radiation (already reduced to safe levels) and repair the land from the desolate waste Behemoth left behind, returning it to the beautiful landscape Hawaii is known for.

Zero, the street level tinker. I don't think anyone is going to be seeing him as street level anything anymore.

Zero is, as almost always, unavailable for comment, presumably busy with handling the cleanup operation this time instead of just ignoring the world, but on behalf of everyone,

Thank you, Zero

(Showing page 1 of 1264)

Deadman

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

You know, I think I just heard Kaiser, Skidmark, and Lung collectively shit themselves.

Not gonna lie lads, I immediately went to half mast when I heard that massive fucking railgun fire

FlowerPower (Verified Cape) (Wards: Hawaii)

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

On behalf of all Hawaiians, thank you Zero

I doubt you even remember me, but I'm the pink-haired girl who your drones saved from being blasted out of existence by that bastard.

If you ever get bored of the mysterious faceless tinker thing, and you're in Hawaii, come find me!

ProPain

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Why was a ward even near behemoth?

Plus, Zero didn't actually show up right? He just hid in his base

FlowerPower (Verified Cape) (Wards: Hawaii)

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Because my island was about to be wiped out by a fucking Endbringer and I'm a powerful blaster? You think I'd run when the potential cost would be the entire state of Hawaii, my home?

And shut your mouth, Zero didn't show up in person but he did more from his base than most of the people who were there.

Only an idiot would risk his life when he could fight just as safely from a distance. You think I'd have been within a hundred miles of Behemoth if I had that kind of range? Fuck no, because there's a difference between bravery and being retarded, you [censored by a Moderator]

[Moderators note: I understand you feel a need to defend Zero, but that kind of language is highly unnecessary (and inappropriate for a Ward)]

GstringGirl

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Go Zero!

I wonder if he's going to fix the other places irradiated by Behemoth?

Dragon (Verified Cape) (The Guild)

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

He is, I've been sharing data with him about the situation of each Endbringer attack location, primarily Leviathan and Behemoth, working out the ones in need of attention first.

He's not actually ignoring people for once, just understandably very busy

FlowerPower (Verified Cape) (Wards: Hawaii)

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Whoops, sorry mods!

To be honest, there's a massive party going on at the moment and the legal drinking age seems to have slipped people's minds lmao, we're all in trouble tomorrow!

But I'm alive to get shouted at tomorrow, so wooooo!

Zero, if you're ever in the area (or need literally anything), look me up!

ArchmageEin

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

22%

Behemoth might lose his title if they can repeat this, Zero's drones are a game changer.

Also, it doesn't escape me that he had anti-radiation medicine ready before the attack started, Zero was preparing for this.

The first drone appeared eleven months ago from what I've been able to tell, and he's been remarkably quiet beyond fighting the unpowered members of the weakest but most prevalent gang in Brockton.

And then this? It's no wonder he's been so quiet, he must have been busy behind the scenes.

Deadman

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

wait, I heard he raided a bunch of Merchant drug labs a while back

did he steal skidmarks chems and make them into Tinkertech medical drugs?

lol that's gotta piss him off

Reave (Verified PRT Agent)

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

On one hand, Behemoth got driven away for the lowest cost ever.

But as a member of the Brockton Bay PRT, please don't tell me the Pride has been somewhere in the Bay this entire time. Not finding Zero is embarrassing enough, but how did we miss that thing?

XxVoid_CowboyxX

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

I knew it! I fucking knew he was making a spaceship, I told you all!

Eat shit and die Behemoth, get headshotted from the other side of Hawaii dumbass

Feychick

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Dude, it's an airship, not a spaceship

Agreed on Behemoth though

Zero (Verified Cape) (Verified Badass)

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Actually the Pride is capable of space flight, so he's right.

XxVoid_CowboyxX

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

OwO

…I WAS RIGHT!

Feychick

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Zero, I love you, you're an amazing hero and probably the best Tinker that isn't Dragon (and that's a maybe), but why did you have to say that?

He's never going to shut up about this

Chubster (Verified Cape) (Protectorate: Anchorage )

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

I know you've probably heard this a thousand times, but thank you.

I get to go home to my wife and daughter because your drone pulled me out of the fire

Auroch (Verified Cape) (Wards: Anchorage)

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Yes, thanks for sending my dumbass dad home so me and mom can kick his ass for going in the first place

Also, how does one get a Verified Badass tag, asking for a friend?

Ekul

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Be the MVP in an Endbringer attack and spit on Behemoth's Hero-Killer title probably

Oh, having a teleporting flying airship with a railgun probably helps because if they say no you can aim the railgun at them

LimeintheCoconut

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Zero, if you ever come out of your hiding place and visit Hawaii, don't bother bringing your wallet, you won't be needing it

Elastigirl (Verified Cape) (Protectorate: ENE)

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

I'll throw my own voice into the crowd and thank you for saving me from meeting the same fate my husband, Mr Incredible met.

If your drones had been at the other Behemoth attacks, I wouldn't be a widow, and if they hadn't been at this one my children would be orphans.

Thank you Zero

Laserdream (Verified Cape) (New Wave)

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Thanks for saving my mom! I had a heart attack when I heard her go down, but your drones grabbed her before she could even fall out of the sky

Are you planning on attending other attacks? I (and a lot of other capes) would be a lot more comfortable knowing that you were there

Lady Photon (Verified Cape) (New Wave)

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Yes, thank you.

I never even saw the lightning bolt that apparently downed me but I thought I was doomed, considering I was flying above Behemoth.

Then I woke up with a drone and Panacea hovering over me. I'd be dead if it wasn't for you, so thank you.

WagTheDog

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Elastimilf and PhotonMommy got saved by Zero? Is there a fan club I can join?

Or maybe a cult?

Laserdream (Verified Cape) (New Wave)

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Shit, if there is, I'll join it too.

So anyway, Flowerpower, you mentioned party and alcohol

End of Page. 1, 2, 3 ... 1262, 1263, 1264

(Showing page 2 of 1264)

Dragon (Verified Cape) (The Guild)

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Zero is planning on attending future Endbringer battles, or sending his drones at least.

It's one of the things we've been discussing.

Feychick

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

ZeroxDragon otp?

Long distance relationship between two tinkers who don't leave their home? BRB gotta write a fic

Vista (Wards ENE) (Verified Cape)

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

I know I should be worried about the sheer power an independent tinker in my city has (not because of him but because I can already see the villains drooling over him)

But I will do literally anything to ride that airship.

XxVoid_CowboyxX

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Anything? You hear that Zero? She'll do anything for a ride.

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

[Moderator's Note: Vista is very underage, take a two week ban. Again.]

Vista (Wards ENE) (Verified Cape)

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Eww, why are you like this Void?

I hope you step on a Lego, stumble around and stub your toe on a table then fall over and hit your head hard enough to reshake the few brain cells you have up there.

GloryGirl (Verified Cape) (New Wave)

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Lol, nice one Vista.

Do you think Zero would give us a ride back to Brockton on his airship. We're still around so Panacea can help with the other injuries.

She says thanks btw, your drones made things way easier Zero

Zero (Verified Cape) (Verified Badass)

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Eh, sure.

The Pride is sticking around for the rest of today before I recall it, but it can take the scenic route if the Brockton Bay capes want to ride back in style.

GloryGirl (Verified Cape) (New Wave)

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Oh shit really?

This is gonna be epic.

Antigone

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

…you can fly? And it's probably all machinery inside, you know for the drones? It's not a cruise ship

Zero (Verified Cape) (Verified Badass)

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

[ThePride'sLounge .png]

Antigone

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Or I guess it is a cruise ship.

…is that a cocktail bar?

Now I want to ride the flying ship.

GloryGirl (Verified Cape) (New Wave)

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Sure, I can fly but there's flying and there's flying in style.

Even if it was all machinery, tell me you wouldn't want to stand on the deck and feel the wind in your hair as you flew over America.

Wait, isn't it like a 12 hour flight on a plane? Guessing the airship is a bit slower lol, still doing it.

Guess I'm gonna see that lounge in person.

Zero (Verified Cape) (Verified Badass)

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

The Pride could do it in twelve, it's faster than it looks (or it could teleport back in an instant but why have an airship if I'm not gonna show it off)

I'm setting it to cruise, so it'll be about 24 hours, don't worry, the Pride is stocked up and has guest bedrooms (just ask the butler drone for directions)

Feychick

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

…butler drone?

Zero (Verified Cape) (Verified Badass)

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

His name is Cogsworth.

[Cogsworth .png]

…I got carried away.

Good Ship Morpheus

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Of course it is

Antigone

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

lmao

Behemoth got beaten up by a pleasure cruise (air)ship

winged_one

Replied On Nov 29th 2011:

Behemoth is dumb like that.

That is a very fancy ship, and a fancier weapon.

I wonder if I'll get to see it in person?

End of Page. 1, 2, 3, 4 ... 1262, 1263, 1264

Driving along, she felt her mind go wild as she opened every picture of the Pride she could, excitement filling her as ideas flooded her brain before she felt her heart drop.

She could make her own flying ship, with the right materials. Materials better than anything she'd ever gotten to work with, making resentment fill her as she closed her phone and focused on the road.

Skiddy didn't understand how hard tinkering was, he just said 'oi cunt, make me a submarine' and expected her to make a miracle out of whatever scrap she could gather, and she fucking did it.

She could make so much better stuff, if Skiddy would just use some of the drug money (that he got by using her tech to smuggle his drugs) to get her some better shit.

But no, the money was wasted faster than they could get it and that was before Zero started constantly harassing them.

She was down to one workshop, and several of their cloaked trucks had been stolen, millions in cash and even more in drugs.

Skiddy didn't get it, Zero wasn't like the capes who'd show up, kick some thugs around and maybe arrest a cape who they could bust out later, Zero hit them where it hurt.

Their guys didn't have the loyalty of the Empire fanatics or the fear of Lung's men, they were junkies working for three things.

Money, pussy and drugs.

Their labs kept getting hit so Skiddy was rationing the drugs, selling the ones they had and not sharing his stash with anyone but the capes and highest ranking members and as a reward, half their crew were in withdrawal.

They were fucking broke, because Zero looted every stash, and no amount of pussy could stop the bitterness that was brewing.

She was the hottest piece of ass in the merchants and she could personally spend 24/7 stuffed with cock in all three holes and it'd barely help. They were getting deserters constantly, and Skiddy still didn't see that they needed to change tactics.

When the gang saw what Zero could do, most would flee the fucking city. Trainwreck basically shat himself at the idea of getting hit by that giant fucking cannon.

Zero's railgun might as well be his massive cock, weighing a thousand tons or some shit, and he'd just slapped the entire Brockton Bay criminal underworld across the face with it.

Mess with him and they'd be getting fucked by that fifty meter metal cock, and even she couldn't take a pounding that hard.

Nothing she built would survive a single shot from that beast, all he had to do was fly it above the Bay and he'd be aiming a gun at all their heads, and apparently it was currently taking a fucking cruise across America, on its way here.

Arriving, she shook her head. Skiddy, fucking genius that he was, crashed the last fucking truck they had outside the city and now she had to fix it.

Because she didn't have enough crap on her plate, Skiddy decided to pull down his pants and take a steaming shit all over it.

Getting out of her van, she looked around in confusion. Where the fuck was the dumb bastard? Did he leave the cloaking device on?

Pulling out her phone, she was too high to hear the extremely quiet footsteps behind her, or to feel the blow that knocked her ass out.

If she was still conscious, she'd think she was tripping from the sight of a woman who looked just like her getting into the van and continuing to drive it out of town as an attractive man with perfectly styled brown hair appeared, decloaking to reveal the black military style advanced outfit.

Undeniably handsome, the man looked down with dark eyes at her carefully, watching for a reaction as the blue LED ring in the side of his temple lit up briefly.

"This is Connor, I've got the target," he finally said, picking her up with ease and tossing her over his shoulder.

A flash of light later and they were gone.

Later —

Waking up, she sat up with a surprisingly clear head, blinking several times before her eyes widened in shock, looking around the room she found herself in.

Her dirty clothes were gone, replaced with a simple grey jumpsuit, even her underwear had been replaced because she wasn't wearing a bra before and the sports panties weren't her thong.

The room was very simple, a comfortable bed in one corner, a small table with a chair in the other, a second smaller room that she found was the bathroom, with a shower, sink and toilet.

It even had a couch and a small tv, but she knew what this was.

A prison cell, she'd been grabbed. Did someone steal Skidmark's phone and use it to lure her out of the city?

She couldn't see any cameras, but she also couldn't see a door, so either they built the cell around her or she was teleported in.

Zero.

A flash of light made her jump, pausing as she spotted a small platform attached to the wall, she hadn't been sure what it was for but as a simple meal appeared there, she sighed.

It was where he'd teleport her food into the room, so he never had to come in and risk her trying to escape.

Fuck.

Kei Hayashi —

Connor was a badass in the game, and I needed someone to take actions more dangerous than Kara's errands.

Equipped with a modified Stealth Suit Mk2 from New Vegas, several Fallout weapons and gadgets, he'll be my hand against the gangs.

Naturally, I gathered a fortune in points for the Behemoth attack, but again I'm saving up for emergencies, I don't need anything new to deal with the Merchants.

I did buy one specialisation with my Behemoth prize points, a special something to help me in all aspects of my work.

[Specialisation: Miniaturisation/Efficiency]

You excel at making the most of everything, getting every last drop of power out of your energy, shrinking your tech to allow you to pack so much more into your creations.

Sorry, Armsy, but I needed it.

I'm not really sorry.

"Master, they have agreed to your offer," a soft voice says, making me turn to the beautiful blonde, looking like a model in her thin white dress, with long legs and a curvy frame.

Chloe smiles at me softly, she's the best at playing 'human'. If it wasn't for the ring on the side of her head and the fact that I made her, I'd struggle to tell she wasn't a real person.

"Good, make the arrangements for the pickup, the Observer will send you the details," I ordered, looking back at my map.

Squealer is neutralised, but that leaves Mush and Skidmark himself, and more importantly a lot of unpowered members.

Less than before, they're haemorrhaging members faster than a haemophiliac with a paper cut, but I'm not going to sit around and wait for them to fall apart.

"Of course, master, I'll handle it," Chloe promises. I didn't need to make them look like their game equivalents, but realistically, why not?

Chloe has already proven her use by negotiating with a group to help make sure the Merchants stay down, now I just need to do my part.

Tomorrow night, the Merchants fall, all while stage two of my Big Brother Zero plan is proceeding.

Can't fuck around so close to an Endbringer attack after all. Even Skidmark gets the protection of the Truce, for tonight.

…assuming he doesn't kill himself with all the drugs he's taking. Huh, he took Squealer's 'abandoning' him hard, he even sent Trainwreck to chase her down.

'Squealer', or the Android calling itself Sherrel, is currently in Boston, I'll have her disappear soon.

Victoria Dallon (Glory Girl) —

Leaning against the railing, she admired the view of the country beneath her. She wasn't sure which state they were currently flying over, but she had to admit, Zero travelled in style.

If he travelled at all.

She'd also learnt that he apparently enjoyed old music, given what played in the background of the lounge but his robot butler could switch it to basically anything.

Come fly with me was a very appropriate song to start their flight to, so credit where it was due.

Amy had already turned in for the night, in one of the fancy first class bedrooms, but she was too hyper to be tired, adrenaline still coursing through her body.

Crystal was passed out drunk in another room, she was going to miss most of the flight. Apparently she caused quite a scene making out with some cute Ward from the Hawaii department, so that was probably all over PHO. Two hot female capes getting handsy in public was alway going to get attention.

She'd been posting pictures of her flight, Cogsworth and the ship (with Zero's permission).

Heading back inside, she waved to her dad who was also watching the passing countryside, spotting her mom and Sarah chatting, each with a wine glass as the strange robot held the bottle in one of its… hands? What even were the things popping out of its circular body called? Arms?

"I think it'd be good for us," Sarah said, making Carol frown again.

"We'd be putting our faith in someone who won't even meet with us. This Kei-"

"Is agoraphobic and has social anxiety, as his assistant explained to us. And Wonderland has done wonderfully with the implementation of PRT and other Independent capes. You yourself said that the contract was perfectly legit," Sarah countered, making Vicky blink.

"What's going on?" Vicky asked, catching the back half of their conversation.

"Wonderland Productions would like to add New Wave to both TTD and Capewatch, and to negotiate a contract to use our image in future projects," Sarah explained, her eyes widening.

Capewatch was fun as fuck, Dean actually introduced it to her to show off that he was in the game (she wasn't going to lie, he was kinda bad at it. Vista literally bullied him in it.)

Meanwhile, she was… embarrassingly high level in TTD, she'd ended up with detention for playing during class. Three times.

"So what's the problem?" Vicky asked, making Sarah shrug.

"That's what I want to know, because Carol wants to reject it," Sarah explained, making her eyes widened.

"Are they not offering enough? Wonderland works with the PRT just fine, people love their games, so what's wrong with it?" Vicky asked, making Sarah laugh.

"Not enough?" Sarah asked, smirking. "They're offering a lot, for each of us, it's essentially free money and public relations, giving us visibility outside of Brockton Bay, so why not? I could certainly use the money," Sarah asked, making Carol sigh.

"We'd be putting our brand in someone else's hands, you realise that this contract would let them use us as often as they wanted?" Carol asked.

"And we'd get another payout every time, dependent on the scale of the project and our inclusion, if you refuse I'll accept for my side of the family, Eric might just cry if I lost him a chance to play as himself," Sarah joked, making Carol frown as she downed her drink.

"Fine, but when he sticks you in some trashy role or gives you a 'skin' that barely covers your body, don't come crying to me," Carol grunted. "Another glass, Cogsworth."

"Of course, ma'am," Cogsworth said, his upper class British accent making her grin as he poured her mom another glass of wine.

"Still, I'll admit one thing. Vicky, you were right. This is better than taking Dragon's transport home," Carol admitted, looking around the high class lounge as smooth jazz played.

"See, I told you! We needed some relaxation, and Zero said it was fine," Vicky said, seeing the slight frown on Carol's face as she left.

She knew why. Zero was the complete opposite of Cape Accountability, even if he only seemed to be doing good.

Forget a mask, nobody even had the first idea what he looked like, and only Dragon and very few other people had ever heard his voice.

Sure, he was doing some serious good with both his Endbringer stuff and the whole environmental thing (the beach was already looking better, summer was gonna be amazing), but nobody knew anything about him.

But those kinds of thoughts were from another time, she had exploring to do.

Eric Johnson —

Eric wasn't anyone particularly special, in the grand scheme of things.

He wasn't a cape, he wasn't some PRT elite troop who could go toe to toe with the lesser capes.

He was just a police captain, and in Brockton Bay that meant being useless, because all gang crime was classified Parahuman crime.

Which meant the PRT got all the budget, and the police sat oin their hands feeling like they were getting swept under the rug.

But tonight, he was actually doing something as he pushed the next Merchant into the back of the police van.

He gave the man, one of the better drug peddlers in the Merchants a glare, because he knew what this fucker enjoyed.

Zero approached the Mayor, or his assistant did anyway, with an offer. He was going to take down all the Merchants tonight, and wanted the police to process their non-powered members, offering the results of his thorough investigation.

The police had been going over the data Zero gathered, and he had the names and faces of every single important unpowered member of the Merchants, and unlike most capes he also had a veritable mountain of evidence of their many, many crimes.

Capes didn't usually bother with that part, but Zero had conducted the largest investigation he'd ever seen, and the changed laws for heroes meant that they could use the evidence to put these assholes away for a long time.

They weren't doing the raids, though Zero was sending them the recordings of his drones swarming merchant dens, drug labs, weapon stashes and strongholds all over the Trainyard and Boat Graveyard (they'd have to rename that soon enough).

They were just here to take the scum in, and they'd already processed hundreds, and the PRT were too busy with something else to notice the chaos.

Hopefully they'd be good and done before the PRT pulled their heads out of their asses and noticed what was going on. It'd sting the glory hounds so much to be left out until it was over.

He knew they'd have to be brought in eventually, to take the capes off of Zero's hands. They already had Skidmark, apparently he was so high he didn't notice the drones just flying up to him.

Squealer had been seen fleeing the city, and the texts on Skidmark's phone made it clear they'd been arguing about Zero, Squealer was understandably worried about the giant airship, Skidmark wanted to do… something?

He wasn't entirely sure that Skidmark was even texting in English, because everything that wasn't a swear word was spelt incorrectly.

Heavy footsteps drew his attention to the street, seeing a large bulky figure charging towards them, but while a cape would usually cause fear in him, Mush having come here to save his boss, Eric just watched in anticipation.

Flashes of light filled the clearing, because Mush was not subtle and Zero had warned them damn near ten minutes ago that this idiot was on the way.

He moved, his men pulling the unsecured Merchants away as the van drove off, and as he looked back he snorted.

Mush had frozen, a dozen heavily-armoured figures aiming Tinkertech rifles at the trash-covered figure.

"Stand down, and you will not be harmed," one of them said, its voice surprisingly life-like for a machine.

As he watched Mush try and run, getting hit by a dozen lasers before he immediately surrendered, seeing the trash turned to ash, Eric snorted.

The Brotherhood of Steel, ah the PRT were going to hate this.

Sucks to be them, because for the first time in years, a gang was being completely pushed out of Brockton Bay.

And they didn't have anything to do with it.

Emily Piggot (Next Day) —

The Merchants were gone, and if you'd asked her a month ago she'd have told you that she'd be thrilled to see them gone.

She was not thrilled.

"Does anyone want to explain to me how the hell this happened?" Emily asked calmly. "Or tell me what the hell happened for that matter?"

"I've spoken with both the Mayor and Zero, so I can help there," Dragon said cheerfully. "Last night, Zero massively upped his game against the Merchants. Using the information he collected he struck at every location the Merchant's were using at once, using his drones to capture basically every important unpowered Merchant. They also captured Skidmark who was on so many different drugs that it's a miracle he isn't dead, and Mush when he attempted to retrieve his boss. Mayor Christner had been contacted by Zero to arrange for a joint-operation, I've gone over the details and it's all above board. Zero also revealed his newest drones, taking the shape of power armoured humanoids. I've confirmed that there's no one alive inside the suits."

She knew that part, given the hundreds of Merchants the police were in the process of transporting out of the city, and the two capes in her cells.

"And you didn't know about this?" Emily asked, giving Triumph a hard look as he shook his head.

"No, ma'am. My father didn't mention anything before it happened, apparently it was all done on very short notice. Zero said he was doing the raids with or without the police getting involved," Triumph answered, holding her stare for a moment before she looked away.

"So, let me get this straight. Our 'street-level drone tinker', that's what you called him, right Armsmaster, street-level?" Emily asked rhetorically, feeling her heart rate increase as she gripped her pen. "Just drove off Behemoth, made himself the newest big damn hero and came home for all of a day before he decided to wipe out an entire gang, and we saw none of this coming? Because there's a bit of a jump from small drones that don't even fight capes to an airship that took on Behemoth."

Silence filled the room, nobody answering her venomous questions. If Zero was a street level tinker, she was a fucking super model.

"So now, not only do we look incompetent because one man has done what we've failed to do for years, Zero has for all intents and purposes claimed their old territory as his own with his brotherhood of steel patrolling the streets and his massive fucking airship just blatantly flying above the Trainyard?" Emily asked, her pen creaking under the pressure she was putting it through. "All while his drones apparently engage in some beautification, repainting walls and fixing the damage the Merchants left behind?"

"Zero has no interest in claiming territory, he's simply expanding his patrols to prevent the ABB or Empire from moving in, the Pride is there to deter Lung," Dragon explained. "He has the mayor's blessing for the repairs he's performing as charity work as he isn't willing to take payment for it, and has already reached out about the possibility of the PRT expanding our patrols to that part of the city."

Oh, now he reaches out. And they couldn't refuse without coming out of this looking even worse.

Zero was the fucking saviour, Tinker Jesus, the public was about ready to knock down the Rig and replace it with a hundred foot tall statue of Zero (or they would if they had a clue what he looked like).

If he drove out the Merchants, pretty much single-handedly, and the PRT refused to even help patrol the areas to stop criminals from reclaiming them, they'd come out of this mess smelling like rancid shit while Zero smelt of roses and rainbows.

The biggest win against the gangs in years, and they weren't even slightly involved. No amount of PR magic could make 'we picked up a high-as-a-kite Skidmark and terrified Mush' into some grand victory for the PRT.

"So, the Merchants are finished then?" Elastigirl asked, focusing on the important matter.

"Squealer fled the city days ago, apparently Skidmark was trying to make plans to take down the Pride from his rambling, and Squealer wisely decided she didn't wanted to test her tech against something that blew a hole in Behemoth's face. She was last seen in Boston and seems to be heading south with no intention of stopping for anything but fuel. Trainwreck, who we aren't sure even is a Merchant, was following her but ran into some of Accord's ambassadors and was driven out of Boston, he's heading west," Dragon explained, making Helen smile.

"Wonderful, perhaps without the Merchants peddling their filth we can finally start to make a push against the drug issue in this city," Helen said, unbothered by the fact that Zero had a fucking army of power armoured drones with laser weapons.

Armsmaster hadn't said a word this entire time, going through the data and recordings they had with a severe frown, a hint of confusion on his face.

…fucking Zero.

Kei Hayashi —

Haha, get fucked Merchants.

Who'd win, some dude whose power was covering himself in trash or a dozen combat androids in upgraded T-51b power armour armed with a variety of laser weaponry.

My combat drones have been upgraded as well, better armour, better weapons, better combat data to improve their performance.

Miniaturisation means I can pack a lot into those drones without compromising its structural integrity, thanks Armsy.

Fuck you, but thanks. I saw him malding over my performance at the Behemoth fight, and I can't imagine he's feeling much better at this point.

Honestly, how petty he and Eidolon seemed over us winning is why I decided to not let the PRT get some of the glory from this, because I'm annoyed. At least Alexy just wanted some of this, which means Cauldron wants me, which is concerning, and watching her seethe at Dragon inviting me to the Guild was very funny.

The last thing I need is Eidolon bringing an Endbringer down on me. I swear if one shows up in Brockton Bay I'll blow him up with a mini-nuke powerful enough to even get all his ego in the blast radius.

I don't know what to do about Cauldron, they've done more damage than some of the people on my kill list, but they are trying to save all the worlds.

They just fucking suck at it. They get a pass, for now, unless they do something stupid I won't add them to my kill list.

At least until Scion is dealt with. They can still be useful, even if they're a bunch of fuck ups.

As I get a message, I chuckle to myself.

Dragon: You realise that the PRT are freaking out about your army?

Zero: I think I've made it clear that I don't care what they think. The PRT have failed to make a difference in BB for years, now I'm doing their job for them.

Dragon: I'm starting to think you enjoy causing people to freak out. Is the show of force really necessary?

Zero: If I don't want the Teeth, Elite and who knows who else to take this as an invitation to move into Brockton Bay, yes.

I've already invited Saint and the Nine, let's not make this party too crazy.

Dragon: Fair point. The Elite are showing some movement, but they'll likely try and recruit you first. Unless it's Bastard Son, but he doesn't seem to be moving. The Butcher isn't moving at the moment either.

Zero: So who is moving?

Dragon: The Nine, but I'm guessing you were expecting this. Mannequin was bound to come for you, and while they might not be able to find you, I fear for the chaos they'll inflict upon the city trying to find you.

Zero: Then I just need to make sure they don't reach the city, do you have their location?

Dragon: Not their exact location, but they were spotted in New Mexico, heading towards Brockton. They travel slowly, so we have time.

Zero: We?

Dragon: The Guild was made to deal with threats like this, the world will be a better place without the Nine in it.

Zero: Fair enough.

Dragon: In better news, your Radaway and Stimpacks have passed testing, so you can use them without the PRT causing issues, and your Rad-X is considerably better than the current anti-radiation pills we have. Chief Director Costa-Brown has requested you make a large stockpile of Radaway and Rad-X by the next Behemoth attack, and is offering to supply any materials you need as well as a fairly large payment for each batch.

Zero: Good to know, I'll set my chemist VI to make more of both, I'll send the materials list later now that the Merchants are out of drug labs for me to rob, but they're fairly simple. I don't want the payment though, not for this anyway.

Dragon: Thank you. The Brockton Bay PRT is also going to extend their patrols into the former Merchant territory, both unpowered troopers and Protectorate Capes.

Zero: Understood, I'll pull my Brotherhood Paladins back once things have settled down, I want to move the Pride to Kyushu once the negotiations there are finished anyway.

Dragon: That's another thing I wanted to discuss with you. The Japanese government has offered you salvage rights for the entirety of the sunken island in exchange for your help clearing the waters and restoring the fishing industry.

Zero: Interesting, but my plans are a little bigger than just clearing the water. You should know by now that I don't do things half-assed.

Dragon: Oh?

Zero: Sending a file.

Zero: [KyushuRestorationPlans]

Dragon: Oh.

Dragon: You really don't, do you? I'll help as much as I can, and I imagine the PRT will want to get involved (yes, because they need the good PR, but they can still be very helpful).

Zero: I guess I can let them stand around and watch me change the world.

Dragon: I'll speak with the Japanese government again, and continue trying to track down the Nine.

My mother was Japanese in my last life, and the state of my mother's homeland is… dissatisfying to me.

I'm not going to just undo some of the damage Leviathan left in its wake, I'm going to restore the entire fucking island.

Because I have plans for Kyushu, including the creation of the first Solarpunk city. I'll drag Japan back into being a first world country by myself if I have to.

[Specialisation: Terraforming]

You have gained the knowledge of how to reshape the very planet, changing desolate deserts into thriving jungles, arctic tundras into fertile grassland. With enough time and resources you could even turn the most uninhabitable planets into fertile garden worlds.

Thanks Behemoth, for the points needed to slap your dumb lizard brother across the face.

Lisa Wilbourn (Tattletale) —

Hanging out with Kei in a video call, she paused as a very attractive blonde came into his room, lighter blonde hair than her and beautiful blue eyes.

She was dressed in a very tight blue dress, showing off her curves as she approached Kei, who in his typical way, barely even acknowledged her.

"Sir, I've finished the negotiations with the owner of what's left of Nintendo, congratulations, you now own all the copyright for their products," she said, her tone sultry as Kei finally looked over at her.

"Already? Guess they were desperate, nice work, Chloe," Kei said, immediately turning back to his game before he paused. "Did Brandish get back to you?"

"She did, New Wave have also accepted your offer. We also have multiple requests from various heroes to be added to the game, along with several villains," Chloe explained, making him snort.

"Lemme guess, half the requests are from Uber and Leet? Compile them and send all the requests to my pc, I'll look into them," Kei said, making Chloe nod obediently.

Chloe sees Kei as her saviour, she'd do anything for him.

"Of course sir, I'll get right on that," Chloe promised, leaving as Lisa blinked, Chloe's hips swaying as she walked away.

"You're the CEO of Wonderland," Lisa said, finally realising what Alec had been laughing about for the last month.

Kei blinked, tilting his head.

"And the head developer. Have you really never checked my profile in game or on discord? It's right there in my description," Kei said, lips twitching as she opened up his player profile (needing to work out how to do so first). "Or the patch notes, I always sign them with my real name, but I guess you don't read those."

She wanted to be angry that he'd kept a secret from her, but there it was. Kei Hayashi, CEO and Head Developer of Wonderland Productions.

She started to go red, embarrassed to realise that she'd been trying to avoid looking into Kei's secrets but he'd put them right there in the open.

"Aren't you breaking NEPEA-5 with this?" Lisa asked, realising that he was using his tinker powers to make games.

"Nope, Chloe went over the laws very carefully, I'm not selling Tinkertech, I'm just using Tinkertech to make games faster. It's a grey zone but there's enough loopholes for me to slip through," Kei admitted, she'd never actually asked him about his powers before, enjoying the fact that their friendship wasn't about superpowers. "Dragon herself checked the games, and they're just games."

"Who is Chloe?" Lisa asked quickly, an ugly feeling bubbling in her chest.

"My secretary, I don't like meeting people, you know that, Chloe handles all the social aspects of this job for me," Kei explained. "She's very good at it, probably because she's a drop dead gorgeous blonde, people do like listening to hot girls."

The feeling grew, making her clench her controller.

Lisa is jealous. Kei is attracted to Chloe. Chloe is more traditionally attractive than Lisa.

Thanks power, she couldn't have worked that out by herself.

She was jealous, she was jealous that Kei had an attractive woman around him because she was attracted to him. She'd never been attracted to anyone since she got her powers, but here she was seething that Kei had…

Oh god, that was why she didn't like Kara. Kara wasn't as attractive as Chloe, but the fact that Kei had a fairly attractive maid at his beck and call had been getting under her skin and she didn't even realise why.

"Lisa? You're zoning out on me," Kei said, making her shake her head and sigh.

"Sorry, just thinking about something," Lisa said, hesitating. She wanted him.

Looking at the screen, she blushed slightly at the minor amount of concern in his normally blank eyes.

"Don't worry about it, let's just get back to the game," Lisa grumbled. Was Kei interested in romance? Was he interested in her? He found her attractive but that was before she knew he had a supermodel secretary who she could tell would do anything he asked.

He was probably in Brockton Bay, that's where Wonderland Productions was apparently located, she hadn't known where Kei was but wasn't that just good fortune?

They were close enough to potentially meet in person, but Kei never left his home, she'd have to think of a way to convince him.

Oh fuck, Coil. She'd kinda forgotten about him, so she still needed find Zero-

No.

Nononono.

A agoraphobic tinker in Brockton Bay with a resistance to thinker powers. She had all the pieces right in front of her and never put them together, but the fact that Kei was in Brockton Bay was the last piece she was missing.

No.

No, she was just jumping to conclusions, that was it.

She wasn't jumping to conclusions.

Oh, you can shut up.

Lisa is coping and seething.

She hated that her power had picked up the same lingo she'd picked up from her new hobby.

Kei was Zero. Kei might be Zero.

This was good, if he was she'd already succeeded in her plan to get close to Zero, so why was she so fucking annoyed?

Lisa missed the obvious and feels like an idiot.

…no.

"Kei, I'll be back in a few minutes, something came up," Lisa said, making Kei nod easily, still focused on his game.

It wasn't particularly unusual for one of them to step away for a bit, and they'd been on call for like four hours already.

Calmly heading to Alec's room, she let herself in as he ignored her, shittalking someone in PvP before she moved forward and pushed the power button on his pc, making him squawk angrily.

"Did you know?" Lisa asked, glaring at Alec who blinked briefly before he snorted.

Worked it out a month ago. Was laughing behind your back.

Rachel Lindt (Bitch) —

Taking another picture of Brutus, she paused as the sounds of violence came from upstairs, Alec yelping as the sounds of things being thrown around made her blink before she shrugged. He probably deserved it.

Her new phone had a much better camera, and so much space, lots of room for pictures. It vibrated distracting her from how cute Brutus was, he really was a good boy.

'Enjoying the new phone?'

She read Zero's message carefully before she replied, typing slowly.

'Yeah'

She didn't really know what Zero wanted, but he kept sending her the location of Dog fights, and helped her get in contact with a place that would take in and look after the dogs she saved since she couldn't keep them all.

'Another dog fight?'

'No, something bigger.'

Bigger than dog fights?

'Hookwolf is heading to the Trainyard, alone and against Kaiser's orders. Want to help me take him down?'

Freezing, she whistled and her dogs immediately gathered, pausing to take one picture of them all looking so serious.

'Where?'

Alec's screams for mercy went ignored as she got a location and headed out, ignoring Brian's questions.

Bonus Scene — Danny Hebert —

Relaxing for once, he sat in the bar as he sipped at his drink. Some of his men were celebrating the fall of the Merchants and the clearing of the Bay, maybe now they could get the ferry back up and running…

Kurt nudged him, making him look up.

"That girl had been eyeing you up," Kurt whispered, making him blink and look where Kurt was subtly gesturing.

Sat at the bar with two other women was a woman who looked around a decade younger than him, dark brown curly hair, brown eyes hidden behind some glasses as she blushed and looked away, her friends teasing her.

The woman looked back, giving a shy wave his way as he felt his heart clench, because she looked so much like Annette.

It wasn't an exact clone, the unknown girl was curvier than his wife,and she had a softer face, but the hair, eyes and even the glasses looked so much like her. She could have passed for Annette's little sister.

He awkwardly waved back, making her smile cutely, Kurt elbowing him with a laugh.

Taking another sip of his drink, he tried not to think about the girl who looked so much like Annette, unable to stop himself from looking back over at her.

When Kurt and the unknown girl's friends decided they wanted to sit together, he couldn't bring himself to argue, ending up sitting next to the younger girl who introduced herself as Lily.

She even smelt good, giving him a shy smile as they started to talk.

Taylor Hebert — Later —

Covering her head with her pillow, she tried not to think about the sounds drifting through her bedroom wall, moans and grunts making her blush and scowl.

Really, dad?

It had been years since her mom died but she still felt angry on her mom's behalf that her dad was apparently having a drunken one night stand.

They could have at least gone to the woman's house instead of interrupting her sleep.

Kei Hayashi —

Taylor can't be trusted to be left to her own devices, fucking Queen of Escalation, and while I still have about a month to decide what to do about the locker, I can at least make sure I've got eyes on Taylor herself.

Danny is a lonely, sad middle-aged man, he didn't stand a chance against an android designed to his tastes and programmed to be the ultimate 'companion'.

The BL100 model is designed to play the part of an intimate partner, and combining their programming with a few others makes the ultimate companion, nigh-indistinguishable from humans.

BL100 Model #001: Lily will be Danny's new companion, his lover, his best friend and Danny will never know that she's just programmed to act like that.

And BL100 #001 is far from the only model currently in the city, getting jobs, slipping into society with ease, the next step in my Big Brother plan.

Hey, it worked for the Institute and I have the Wasteland boogeyman's tech. Between Detroit Androids and Fallout's Synths, my androids will infiltrate society in all its aspects.

Mwahaha.

Anyway, back to my games. I don't need to watch Danny's sex tape.

Author's Note: Ah Merchants, we knew you well. Skidmark was never going to be a real threat to Kei, especially once Kei said fuck it and built himself a brotherhood of steel chapter and Connor.

Kaiser and Lung better thank their lucky stars Kei is more focused on other things instead of just expanding his efforts into Empire and ABB territory.

Much bigger, and I don't mean the Nine.

Anime will rise again.

This chapter was weird to write, I got a new phone and the keyboard is slightly spaced differently than my old one so I keep pressing the wrong keys.


I am entirely motivated by praise and interaction, so leave a review and I'll probably write faster.

I have a discord server (technically someone else's but my name is on the server so it's basically mine) with a bunch of other authors and a load of porn. Here's the link for that: discord .gg/wd3tUYWVCd

If it says it's expired, add my (The Pumpkin King#1234) and I'll invite you myself.

I've finally started to use my pat reon for something, mostly I've just added some discord integration so that my pat reons can read early previews of chapters. This won't affect regular posting, but if you wanna read my works a day or two early then consider checking it out

Link: Pat reon TheDarkWolfShiro