• Published 12th Dec 2013
  • 8,726 Views, 559 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.

  • ...
15
 559
 8,726

Interlude 1 - Armsmaster

Armsmaster strode away from the parahuman holding cells at a brisk clip. Getting Lung secured and an IV-drip started that would keep him in his induced coma had certainly been the biggest priority, but he didn’t want to leave the strange new parahuman up on deck, watched only by a couple of PRT troopers, any longer than necessary. Thankfully, the security feed displaying in his visor had showed that the only thing she had done since he left her was turn to look out towards the bay.

That was both a good and bad sign in his experience. Though his software was having trouble interpreting her foreign body language and appearance, she wasn’t acting guilty and she had seemed eager to comply with all his requests to the letter. Those were all good indications that she was not a villain or leaning in that direction. On the other hand she had moved too little. Nearly all people brought to headquarters would gawk a little at the facility, glance curiously at some of the equipment or at the guards on hand. She had done none of those things. His software wasn’t feeding him anything, but it looked like shock symptoms.

As he entered the elevator that would take him back to the deck he shifted his right eye in a specific pattern. The connection rang only once before Miss Militia answered the call.

“How’d it go?” she asked and a small smile flashed across his face. When it was important, Hannah always got straight to the point. It was one of the things he liked best about her. He never had to guess her motives or rely on his social suite with her. It was a big reason he counted her among the handful of people he considered friends rather than teammates or coworkers.

“Lung is in cell p-5.”

“Congratulations Colin. So I take it the new drugs worked? Casualties?”

“A handful of non-cape ABB members needed to be taken to the hospital for burns or wasp stings, one serious.”

“Wasp stings?”

“New master, villain, engaged with Lung and fled before my arrival. I put the preliminary info on her in the database.”

“If she fled before you arrived how…Witness?”

“Yes, parahuman, possible case 53, also engaged Lung before my arrival. Signs of shock and other mental issues. She’s on deck now. I’m about to escort her to the secure visitor wing. Can you meet me in there?” Armsmaster asked as the doors opened and he stepped back outside and started approaching the outside holding area.

“Yes, I’ll be right there,” Hannah answered and closed the connection. He estimated how much time it would take for him to get within speaking distance of the new parahuman and then had his software run an analysis of whether Director Piggot would be more displeased to be woken in the middle of the night, or having not been told until morning. He made the call.

“Armsmaster,” the tired and irritated voice of the Director Piggot stated.

“Lung is in custody, two new confirmed capes. Master that was part of the reason for Lung’s appearance, villain. Bystander, likely case 53.”

“Have a briefing ready by 5 am, I’ll be there. We need to get a response plan set before news of this breaks.” The connection clicked off just as he turned the last corner and closed the last 30 feet between him and the new parahuman. He nodded to himself internally, his software had correctly estimated the length of his conversation with the Director within 2 seconds. He stepped up next to…her and observed her posture for a second before speaking in his best reassuring tone.

“Miss, I have secured the man that attacked you.” She shuddered slightly before turning her large eyes up towards him. He noticed she had been crying. “Is there something wrong?”

“I…no…maybe? The shield,” she sniffed again. “It just reminds me of someone.” She brought one of her legs up to her head and pressed a…hoof?…To it. “None of this makes sense. I’m so confused,” she finished sounding pained and exhausted.

“You’ve had a rough night, follow me inside and we can find someplace to get you something to eat and drink.” She nodded and wiped a foreleg across her eyes, visibly pulling herself together.

“Thank you, that seems like a good idea.” She hesitated a second before continuing with a small uplift in tone, “Do you have a library?”

“Not on base, there are several in the city however,” he replied as he turned around and began to walk back towards the elevator. His HUD still showing the security feed and allowing him to see her trailing slightly behind without turning his head. When the doors opened and they stepped inside she seemed interested in the glowing array of buttons but made no comment.

When they reached the secure visitor’s floor the doors opened once more and, besides a couple of half second pauses where she seemed to be examining the hallway and doors, she followed him without hesitation. When they turned the last corner before the room he had selected for her to stay in tonight Miss Militia was waiting for them.

“Armsmaster…Your description did not do Ms Twilight justice.” She turned to fully face the new parahuman. “It is a pleasure to meet you Twilight Sparkle. My name is Miss Militia. Armsmaster gave us a short summary on what happened. I apologize that you had such a introduction to our city, but thank you for your part in apprehending Lung. You have done a great service to the city.” Armsmaster noted that besides what appeared to be a blush response, ‘Twilight’ seemed to relax slightly. As he suspected. He was glad he called Hannah.

“Um, you’re welcome but it was really those other poni-people that,” ‘Twilight’ replied, and hesitated as she appeared to search for the right words, “…took care of Lung. What I did was more an accident of circumstance than anything else.” Miss Militia nodded in response and lightened her tone even further.

“You are probably ready for this night to end. We have a room set up with some food and a bed. We can talk more in the morning.”

’Twilight’ sighed and her body sagged even as she spoke. “Yes, sleep is probably a good idea, thank you.”

Armsmaster waited in the hall while Hannah showed ‘Twilight’ the room and got her settled. He worked on a few designs while he waited. Less than ten minutes later Hannah emerged and closed the door behind her quietly.

“Exhausted.” Hannah said as he closed down his schematics display and started walking, Hannah falling in beside him.

“Shock.”

“That too. I made sure to get some food and a glass of water into her before she fell asleep. Cute.”

He considered that for a moment before nodding, he supposed ‘Twilight’ would fit that aesthetic.

“The Director has called for a 5 am briefing. She wants to develop a response plan,” he said as they neared the lifts that would take them to the personnel area.

“Makes sense, this is going to draw a reaction from every faction in the bay. Busy week ahead,” she replied, her tone serious, but also congratulatory. She knew how much this meant to him. He was both irked that he was that easily read, and glad that he did not need to hide it from her. She was his friend, she understood.

He frowned a little at the thought of all the project time he was likely to miss this week, but shook it off. Capturing Lung was worth it. Even if he had looked beaten before he arrived, it was his tranquilizers that had enabled his capture. He had proved he was able to do something entire divisions of the Protectorate had been unable to accomplish. Now they just had to contain the aftermath. Challenging, but he already had a series of contingencies planned out, it shouldn’t be a problem. When they got to the lounge Hannah dropped down onto a couch in front of a pile of folders and papers, one stack a printed copy of the initial report he had sent. Sections already highlighted or notated. He didn’t understand her need for hard copies.

“Breakfast before the meeting? Say 4:30?” Hannah asked as she picked up a yellow highlighter and picked up a large folder marked ABB. He almost declined, he had nutrient paste for a reason after all, but…he could spare the time. She might also have a few suggestions for his plans before he presented them.

“Yes, see you then.” With that Armsmaster turned and walked towards his lab. There were a few things he could work on while he was dictating his reports.

—————————

Dauntless walked in and closed the door behind him, he was the last one that was going to be able to make it. He took a seat next to Velocity who was gripping a coffee mug and looked like he was struggling to stay awake. Miss Militia sat across from them and Director Piggot sat at the head of the table. Marion May, Brockton Bay’s information officer, sat beside her. A protectorate thinker called Snap looked on tiredly from a monitor on the wall.

“As we all know each other, I’ll forego the formalities.” He nodded to everyone in the room. “At 12:20 am this morning we got a report of a possible parahuman fight involving Oni Lee and an unknown group. I was prepping my motorcycle to investigate when a second report was called in saying that Lung had been sighted in the same area. Having received prior approval to attempt to use the tranquilizers I had developed for Lung, I immediately departed in response to the second call.” He paused as he clicked a button and a map of the docks area was projected on the wall with about a block and a half highlighted red, another couple of blocks by the edge were colored yellow.

“When I arrived at the area colored in red on the map I found evidence of a wide ranging battle. Fire damage, smashed brickwork, bullet casings and several wounded ABB gang members were scattered down the street. Lung was laying here,” he used a laser pointer to indicate the location, “Suffering from a number of large bite wounds. He was conscious but delirious. I noticed signs of accelerating regeneration and quickly used my halberd to administer the tranquilizers. Within thirty seconds the visible signs of his regeneration had ceased and he fell unconscious. After securing his body and checking for any life-threatening injuries I examined the scene in more detail.”

“Do you believe your tranquilizers would be effective against other high end regenerators?” Snap asked from the monitor, looking more engaged than he had been at the start of the presentation. Armsmaster shook his head slightly before he responded.

“Not currently, they were explicitly developed for Lung. However, I do believe that the research could be adapted into a more general use. I’ll forward the notes to your office. To continue, I observed broken brickwork surrounding Lung’s fallen form and scaring on the ledge above him and deduced he had been thrown off the building. I ascended to the roof to gather more information, which is where I encountered the parahuman calling herself “Twilight Sparkle.”

He clicked a button and the map was replaced with a screen capture of his visor’s recording of last night showing the quadruped seated on the roof calmly making writing something on a piece of paper.

“My first impression, and still most likely theory is that she is a case 53. When talking with me she admitted to large holes in her memory and having no idea where she was.”

“If she remembers anything at all she would be the first.” Marion interjected.

“Yes, there are several divergences between her and the other known case 53’s, the biggest being that she claims that she was born that way and comes from either another dimension or planet where those that look like her are the dominant species. She claims to have never seen a human before last night.”

Dauntless let out a slow whistle and Velocity spoke what everyone was thinking.

“So she’s completely crazy?”

“No, she hasn’t exhibited any signs of schizophrenia or active delusions. Since my first interaction with her she has been polite and cooperative in every way. She hasn’t asserted in any way that the world she is seeing is any different from what we observe, only that the past she remembers doesn’t include it. Again, this could be some new variant of case 53’s where memory is altered or twisted beyond recognition instead of erased.”

“It's also possible that it’s her own invention to protect her from some trauma,” Snap chimed in from the monitor.

“Or she could be telling the truth. We do have examples of other dimensions coming in contact with ours,” Miss Militia responded.

“She was speaking english earlier on the video,” the thinker from Chicago stated.

“She claims her proficiency in our language stems from a “spell” she cast on herself after running into the new villain that was battling Lung. Other “spells” her notes mention include teleportation and a concussive blast.”

“Unlikely, but, well, we all have seen a lot of unlikely things in our lives. Can’t rule it out. Hmm, a blaster powerful enough to knock Lung around and teleportation?” Snap replied as he rubbed his chin as he jotted something down on his computer. “Do you have someone on site that could do a professional mental evaluation?”

Piggot leaned forward slightly causing her chair to creak and spoke up for the first time.

“Those could be useful abilities to have on team, if she wasn’t crazy. We have Dr. Yamada on hand this week, I would recommend Twilight have a visit with her and get some qualified feedback on her mental health before any other considerations. Where would you peg her age?”

“I’m unsure. Her mannerisms tend to be all over the map maturity wise. Maybe early-adolescent with a possible thinker classification in addition to her other stated powers,” Armsmaster replied. Director Piggot scowled.

“Very well, all the more reason to get her examined by Yamada.” She turned to Snap. “In the unlikely event she is an alien, how do you think we should proceed?”

“I’ll contact PRT headquarters and the state department to brief them. Their guys can start running some scenarios and drawing up a contingency plan if it does turn out to be the case that we’re dealing with first contact.”

“I agree that she should see Dr. Yamada, and before any other plans are made. Regardless of her origins, she has been through something traumatic. We should respect that in our actions,” Miss Militia interject and even Director Piggot nodded slightly at that before she cleared her throat.

“Now thats settled, lets get to the most important part of this meeting. How exactly is the city going to react, when it learns Lung has been captured.”



“My guess?” Velocity spoke finishing a sip of coffee. “Not good.”

Author's Note:

Part of the re-write of chapter 2