• Published 12th Dec 2013
  • 9,989 Views, 574 Comments

A Friend In Need - sopchoppy

Something has happened and Twilight finds herself in a strange and dark new world. The Bipeds here have strange magic, advanced technology, and a lot of problems. She needs a few friends, and they just might need her. WORM crossover.

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Interlude 7 - Taylor

Interlude 6 - Taylor

Taylor was about to call it a night. Even though tomorrow was a Saturday and thus she had the ability to sleep in, a week of late nights and early mornings was catching up with her. She was wandering around an industrial section of the city north of the train yards that looked like it had last seen industry sometime before the first world war. Honestly if Bakuda bombed the area she wasn’t sure if anyone would notice. There were however a great many abandoned textile mills and foundries that might be appealing to a villainous tinker set on blowing up the city and looking for a discrete place lay low. She was wearing her homeless thrift store outfit #2 on top of her spider silk costume to try to keep her profile low as her swarm spread out over the blocks in front and parallel to her. If she could somehow capture Bakuda and claim the reward, not only would she be ridding the city of the person responsible for the worst crisis in her memory, she felt it could cement her desired moral mercenary image. Possibly make a big enough impression to sway public perception of her from villain to rogue and certainly up her credentials for future clients.

Just as she decided that this block was going to be her last for the evening the bugs at northern most edge of her control ran into what she could only interpret as solid air. After days of finding nothing of any real interest at all it required no thought to head in that direction. As her area of control spread out in that direction she was slowly able to find the edges of the anomaly and form a picture of it in her head. A dome roughly 35 feet across in a large brick building that was probably three blocks long and one wide. A medium sized stream ran along the northern side that might have at one point in the past driven the machinery there. Once she got within sight of the building she paused to consider her options.

Constant practice with her bugs had expanded her ability to sense things through them, but anything visual was still beyond her. There didn’t seem to be any activity at all outside the dome, not in the building nor in the blocks around it. Noise of some sort was coming from inside the area, but while she had been making more progress on sounds than sight, it wasn’t enough for her to identify anything specific. She didn’t get the impression of conversation or of machinery, which likely meant that this wasn’t Bakuda’s lair. It was something however, and Taylor had already figured out that information was the most valuable currency in the cape community. With no other options in front of her she made her way to the side of the building farthest from the anomaly and looked for a discrete way inside.

On the stream side of the building she found a window lacking both boards and glass just outside of her reach. Keeping an eye on the dome and the surrounding area with her bugs she searched around and found a handful of bricks that when stacked up gave her just enough height to grasp the windowsill and pull herself in. As her stomach slid over the rough glittering sill she was once again grateful for the time she took in constructing her costume. Gently levering herself over the edge she eased onto the floor inside. Glass crunched under her feet as she looked around the darkened room. Dust swirled in the moonlight filtering in from the window, illuminating a hundred years of litter and faded graffiti, but not much else. It was obvious that it had been quite some time since even vagrants had graced the building with their presence. A building with more spiders and less cockroaches than one closer to human habitation would have.

Cautiously she made her way through the room and past an arched brick doorway into a wide hallway littered with mouldering scraps of lumber that looked like they had fallen from the ceiling high above. At the far end of the hall a purple light flickered from an open doorway. Something about the shade of the light seemed familiar, but she couldn’t quite place from where. When she got close enough to see through the opening she couldn’t quite believe her eyes, but she did have a answer to why that shade of purple was familiar. Twilight Sparkle, the alien unicorn that she had met on her disastrous first night out as a cape. The unicorn who had, however inadvertently, gotten her labeled as a villain. Any resentment she might have had at that thought wilted at the miserable sight in front of her.

Twilight lay in the middle of a massive room, the ground underneath her looked blackened like it had been exposed to fire and as the unicorn shifted small puffs of ash rose around her and stained her coat with dark smears. She wasn’t currently crying but tear tracks ran down the dirty fur of her face as she stared morosely at a scroll floating in front of her. A shimmering purple dome centered on the unicorn took up most of the room and started only a few feet from the the other side of the doorway Taylor was standing behind. She had heard that the PRT building where Twilight had been staying had been leveled by one of Bakuda’s bombs earlier today, but there hadn’t been any word about the unicorn in the broadcast. How had she ended up here? And in the state she was in? Taylor supposed there was only one way to find out.

“Twilight?” The unicorn startled at the sound, the scroll that had been floating in front of her lost its purple glow, rolled up, and fell to the floor. Her head swung in a frantic movement towards the sound and small flickers of flame sprung up around Twilight’s hooves.

“Who’s there?” The forcefield’s glow seemed to intensify as Twilight stood up and backed away from the door. Slowly Taylor walked into the light of doorway, pulling the hood the sweater she was wearing down to reveal her costumed mask as she did so. Twilight startled again and did a short hop backwards before a look of tentative recognition came over her equine face. “Ta? No you said that wasn’t your name. Bug?”

“Skitter actually.” The unicorn nodded and looked thoughtful for a moment before a weary look over took her.

“When we were on the roof Tattletale called you a bad guy, and you were friendly with her. Those people on the roof really hurt my friends when they robbed that bank. I..I don’t have a lot of control right now, so if..if you’re here to hurt me..”

“I’m not here to hurt you Twilight, and I don’t work with the Undersiders because I don’t want to hurt people. I wasn’t at the bank was I?” Twilight shook her head, tension in her body easing a little. “I’m not a villain Twilight, I might not be in the wards, but I’m not a bad guy either. I live here and in my own way I want to make the city a better place.”

“I wan’t to believe you, you don’t sound like a bad person. But he didn’t sound bad, and he..he killed all those people and talked about it like we were having a discussion over tea!” The flames flared around Twilight’s legs and a small piece of litter caught fire and was carried upwards by the heat. “I..I don’t know. How can I know anything anymore?”

“Who killed people?” Taylor asked in her best attempt at a calming voice, while at the same time preparing to dive to the side behind the brick doorway if it looked like the distraught alien might lash out. The unicorn shivered and her eyes went a little glassy and distant when she responded.

“He..He called himself Jack. He showed up after the tower collapsed, said he and a little girl he knew had been wanting to meet me…He had a knife, he..before I knew he was there he had killed everyone! Everyone! Even the people I had just saved…he said I deserved a proper show, like he had done me a favor…and then I…I…oh how can I ever face Celestia again?” Twilight trailed off as fresh tears trickled down her face and she turned slightly to the side. Taylor tried to put what she had just heard together and after a moment came to a horrifying conclusion. A murderer named Jack, who used knives, and talked about a little girl that he wanted to introduce Twilight to. Suddenly it seemed like a much worse idea to be wandering around Brockton Bay by herself. The slaughterhouse nine, an alien, Bakuda. What the hell was going on?

She had been a cape for a little less than two weeks. After that first awful night and her decision to go rogue she had slowly been getting her bearings. Now she felt completely out of depth all over again. Tattletale had called her exactly once, but not for a job. She had given her a number and a name and said it was a bad idea to work alone. She wasn’t sure why Tattletale had called her to offer the advice, maybe some lingering feeling of gratitude over the Lung situation, whatever the reason the advice had been good. Having people to talk to, capes that had been in the business, had saved her life at least once. They hadn’t been interested in pursuing Bakuda, but this was bigger than her, it was time to make a call.

“Twilight I know you don’t have at lot of reason to trust me and I don’t know why you haven’t gone back to the Protectorate..”

“I can’t!” Twilight interjected frantically. “He said they’d kill them!”

“Ok, It’s ok Twilight. Did you escape? Teleport?” Twilight flinched and turned her head away, just when Taylor thought she wasn’t going to respond Twilight murmured so quietly that she almost missed it.

“I killed him.” Shock, shock and disbelief. Taylor stared at the huddled unicorn without response until the muffled sobs carried to her ears. Pulling herself together she found her voice again.

“That must have been hard. But Twilight you shouldn’t let that or what he said stop you from going to your friends. People like him, they like to make you think they have more power than they do. The fact that he’s dead, I guarantee you he didn’t plan on that..”

“I can’t..I can’t take that chance. You didn’t see, what he did, I just can’t.” Twilight was crying in earnest now and had Taylor not been prevented by the forcefield and the fact she was talking to someone who had just claimed to have killed one of the worlds most feared villains she would have been tempted to go over and hug her.

“Ok, if you can’t go to your friends, maybe mine can help. Do you trust me?” Twilight choked out a half sob as she turned to face Taylor fully. She looked hesitant, to sad or to scared to hope. Something pinged in her chest, a deep sympathy, and impulsively she pulled off her mask and asked again. “Do you trust me?” A range of emotions washed over Twilight’s face and she looked upwards as if struck by a memory.

“I..ok, ok..I think If I don’t try, I might..ok..I’ll trust you.” Taylor let out a sigh of relief and returned the trust by fully entering the room and sitting down next to the doorway. Reaching into her pocket she pulled out a cell phone a dialed a string of numbers before bringing it up to her ear.

“Faultline, this is Skitter.”