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A Change in Priorities

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INV ONLY A Change in Priorities

Post by REDSHEILD on April 24th 2019, 11:08 am

BEEP BEEP BEEP

“Ugh…” Alyssa groaned, rolling onto her back. “Five… five mo… no, ten more…”

Her words slurred into a snore as she drifted back to sleep, sprawled out on her bed and wrapped haphazardly in sheets and blankets, the sounds of the city drowned out by the air conditioner droning on.

BEEP BEEP BEEP

“FUCK!” She yelled, arms desperately flailing about, groping for the alarm clock. It took a few tries until she finally grabbed it, flipping the off switch and silencing the infernal sound.

She struggled to open her eyes, blinking at the bright light peeking around the blackout curtains. Sitting upright in bed Alyssa puzzled over it: she never, ever woke up before sunset. Fatigued, she let her head droop downward. An expanse of pale flesh, round and taught, greeted her.

Oh shit… right. She thought, glancing about her apartment, looking for clothes to wear.

Delivery day.

~~~

Choosing the dress was a mistake. White at the shoulders, pink at the hem, with flowers sprouting upwards onto the white forming the border between the colors. It had been cute and stylish, cut to roughly knee-length. Loose enough to be flowy, but with the right cling to emphasize any figure in a flattering way.

That was before her added circumference. Now the tightness of the cloth made her look less ‘young fashionista’ more ‘sixteen and pregnant’ and it hovered at half-thigh length. Given what she wasn’t wearing underneath, it was dangerously close to ass-length.

And if the dress was only a mistake, heels were turning out to be an absolute disaster. Alyssa rarely wore them: her figure was of the stocky sort, she just didn’t have the hips for them. She’d hoped that, with her laden state, her weight would be carried low enough to make balancing easier. Which it had, until she’d started walking.

Problem was the extra weight wasn’t just low, it was forward. Normal uterine content, a baby, was a fairly dense thing made of muscles and bone and cartilage, so it tended to stay in place. Her current payload, as it were, liked to slosh. With the heels giving what hips she had a sway with each step, she felt like one of those… swingy things, in the old clocks.

All the more reason to hurry up and get it over with.

In summertime working hours ended well before the daylight ran out, leaving the streets fairly empty as the nightlife lingered at the edges, waiting for evening.

It meant there weren’t too many people who’d see her, and she didn’t really keep track of whether they did. Alyssa had learned from experience now that if she acted like she knew where she was going, like she belonged, people wouldn’t bat an eye. Not even at a pregnant woman walking into a dank alleyway at sunset.

Didn’t quite work everywhere. She’d gotten a few judging looks at the coffee shop while ordering a very oversized iced latte with extra espresso, which now lay three-quarters empty in a nearby trash can. Then there was the half-empty vodka bottle, still clutched tightly by her right hand. Buying that was an experience she wouldn’t soon forget.

Before the onset of her powers Alyssa had teetered on the edge of addicthood, though she never used anything too wild. Now? She hated it all: alcohol meant full-body burning, caffeine felt like the bad sort of being electrified. She didn’t even want to know what acid or ecstasy would do to her new senses.

But they had their uses, stimulant and relaxant both. Since she’d woken up the layers of smooth muscle at her core had been shifting, some tensing while others stretched, all building up to one big push. The right flood of hormones, with some neurotransmitters thrown into the mix, and the whole cascade would set off. One day, when she’d had enough practice, she would be able to summon the necessary chemicals at will. Until then the two drugs were an acceptable crutch, just as they were for the normals.

Show time Alyssa thought as she stepped into the alleyway.

With the closeness of the buildings it was already halfway dark despite the yellow glow of sunset in the rest of the city, helped in part by the poorer nature of the area. Paint was worn and chipped, concrete stained, metal rusted. All things that served to absorb light instead of spread it.

The place seemed deserted, not that there was much to it. Little more than a ramshackle collection of dumpsters and rusting storage units framed by abandoned buildings. She took out her phone, glancing at it. Early, but they always showed up before she did.

“Helloooooo?” She called out, quietly.

Movement at the back of the alley caught her eye, almost startling her. The outlines of three men emerged, though still shaded enough that their details were hard to make out.

“You’re early.” The one in the front said.

She shrugged. “Better than late.”

The man shook his head slightly, but beckoned to her anyway. As she approached her eyes adjusted rapidly to the darkness, letting her asses the three. For thugs they were fairly well dressed, wearing worn but still presentable button-down shirts paired with slacks. The leader had his shirt tucked in neatly, while the other two wore theirs casually.

Alyssa took up a position across from the three, leaning up against a dumpster.

“So, where’s Doc?” She asked.

“On sabbatical.”

“Eh, didn’t take him for a real doctor. No biggie.” Alyssa shrugged again, more emphatically. “Not like I need any cutting, anyway. You boys know my deal, right?”

The man’s eyes narrowed, and he nodded slowly.

“C’mon then, get the cooler out, don’t have all day.”

One of the subordinates disappeared into the building, returning shortly with a large red ice chest, topped with a white lid.

Alyssa walked over to them. When she got close, the first man grabbed her by the arm.

“Don’t be hasty.” He said.

She wriggled briefly but couldn’t get free of his grip, lacking leverage. The man wasn’t tall; she was just short. He wrenched her around, looking her in the eye.

“There’s been a change, on our end. You’ve been screwing us.”

“Dude. One kay each is a fucking bargain. And, I throw in a heart for only two grand! That was the deal. Ya want to change it? Wait until after this sale, then we can talk about the next.”

“The deal?” The man growled. “The deal was that you would sell exclusively to us. Turns out, you’ve been a very busy girl. Chicago’s a big city, but by the numbers you’ll crash the organ market in another year or two, all by yourself.”

Fuck fuck fuck Alyssa thought. She focused on her arm, where the man’s hand was. Deep under the muscle she formed a spur of bone that grew outward, elongating into a needle, tip placed right under her skin. The muscles of her upper arm shifted around it, anchoring to the needle.

“Alright, okay, my bad, I fucked you guys. How about I give you this batch half- no, seventy-five percent off, and we’re back to exclusivity?”

The man shook his head.

“No. This one is free. So’s the next one, and the one after that. Until you’ve paid back what you owe.”

“Uh, yeah, no. Fuck you.”

“Too bad. Guess we’ll just have to take it, then.”

The man’s free hand darted to his side, and Alyssa caught a glimmer of steel.

In an instant the modified muscles in her arm contract, jamming the needle through the man’s hand. He recoils from the pain, the needle breaking off as his hand pulls away, and she uses the opening to smash the vodka bottle across his face.

Free from the man’s grasp she runs back toward the main street, only to see a fourth and fifth man step out onto her path, one wielding a baseball bat, the other a knife.

Outnumbered, jittery, and more than a little drunk, Alyssa cries out the first thought that comes to her mind:

“HELP! HELP! THEY’RE TRYING TO STEAL MY KIDNEYS!”
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INV ONLY Re: A Change in Priorities

Post by inquisitor on April 24th 2019, 8:32 pm

Errand days were normally easy days for Gavin. He went into the city, bought his groceries for a month, picked up his mail, and had his truck loaded with whatever he had ordered that needed to be taken out to the shop. Today was no different. Except he had run over a nail on his way to load the truck, and needed to get his tires changed. So he was taking a walk while he was waiting for that to be finished, so he could finish his errands and head back home.

As he walked, he stopped every now and then to get his bearings. He even helped an older lady cross the street, before he continued on his way. While walking, he did see what appeared to be a pregenant woman in a flowery step out of a building clutching what appeared to be a bottle of vodka. Gavin hadn't given it any thought. What people did was up to them, after all.

However, he did pause when he saw her again, a short time later, walking into a dark alley. The bottle has half-empty now, and still clutched in her hand. He watched her for a moment, and when he saw her heading into a dark alley, he adjusted his satchel and turned, so he was walking in the direction of the alley itself.

He was glad he did. When he reached the mouth of the alley, he was just in time to see the woman smash the vodka bottle over a mans head, and run towards the mouth, only for two other men to step out of the shadows, and block her escape.

“HELP! HELP! THEY’RE TRYING TO STEAL MY KIDNEYS!”

Gavin straightened his back and made his way into the alley, slipping a hand into his satchel as he did.

"Well, now. This just won't do!" he called, as he moved. "Why don't you gentlemen let this nice young lady leave, and I won't have to hurt you or call the police!" he offered, eyeing the five men.

He hoped that none of them were metas. Regular people, he could handle. Metas would be a different story, based on their powers. But he wasn't about to back down and let them steal her kidneys.

Hidden inside his satchel, his fingers found the steel arrowhead, and wrapped around it. Slowly, the steel began to creep up his arm, hidden by the shadows of the alleyway.
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Quote : Fellas, you can walk out of here on your own two legs, or the EMTs can wheel you out on stretchers. Make the right choice. -Gavin Clough

Warnings : 0 Warnings
Number of posts : 59
Location : Exterminating a Heretical Planet in the name of the Holy Emperor.
Age : 29
Job : Inquisitor
Humor : Not child friendly.
Registration date : 2019-03-30

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INV ONLY Re: A Change in Priorities

Post by REDSHEILD on April 25th 2019, 12:01 pm

Damn, he got here quick. Alyssa reflected. I should try screaming more often.

The stranger had changed up the odds. She hoped he had a weapon in his bag: a knife, or better yet, a gun. Strength and height only went so far in a fight like this. He’d caught the guys at the mouth of the alley off guard at least, giving her some space. Alyssa backed up against the wall, hearing a distinctive click as she did.

The lead thug held out a large revolver in his left hand, his right bleeding, the needle still protruding through it. He pointed the gun at the newcomer.

“This doesn’t concern you, asshole.” He glanced at the men beside him. “Jethro, Gibbs, get the girl. Don’t do anything permanent.”

The men nodded. One held a hatchet, the other had produced a pair of knuckle dusters. Bad odds. Alyssa had hoped to stun the lead, when she’d hit him with the bottle. She needed more strength, focusing on the muscles of her arms. Myoblasts begin to multiply, differentiating into new muscle fibers. Second by second the muscles of her arms grow larger, more defined. It wasn’t much to start, but every little bit helped.

The lead motioned at the other two with his wounded hand.
“Lee, Tucker, be ready to catch her if she runs.”

Tucker, the knife-wielding thug, glanced nervously over his shoulder. “Uh, Jim, what about good samaritan over here?”

“If he’s smart, he’ll leave. If he really wants to get involved, well, he can have a chat with my good friend Samuel Colt.”

Alyssa considered the situation. She had to seize the initiative, take one of them out of action. Jethro and GIbbs were already approaching her, and both were well-armed. Lee was the least threatening in physical terms, but he seemed well composed.

Which left Tucker. Knives were bad, but not so bad for her, and he was clearly nerved-out. Not the best target, but, weakest link and all that.

Alyssa strikes the wall behind her with the vodka bottle, shattering the bottom of it. She kicks off her shoes and charges at Tucker, jagged glass held forward, letting loose what she hoped would be a decent warcry.

“AAAAAAAAA!”


Last edited by REDSHEILD on April 28th 2019, 10:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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INV ONLY Re: A Change in Priorities

Post by inquisitor on April 25th 2019, 2:54 pm

"Now, there's no need for name-calling," he remarked, as the lead well-dressed man called him an asshole. Frowning, he moved further into the alley. Seeing the gun pointed at him, he nodded slightly. "Yes, well, I do believe you need a bigger friend than old Sam there," he continued, as he pulled his hand out of his satchel. It was clenched in a fist, the arrowhead palmed tightly.

Eyeing the five, he took note of the weapons each was clutching. Hatchet, knife, brass knuckles, gun, and a baseball bat. Nothing he couldn't handle, with the right approach. Smiling softly, he moved forwards, deeper into the alley.

"I'd advise you all to go ahead and run. Before things go badly for all of you," he commented. "Leave the weapons, though. Don't need you hurting anyone else with them."

As he approached, the woman moved. At first, he thought she had panicked. But then he saw that she had smashed the bottle against a wall, and was rushing Tucker, the nervous one, the broken bottle raised, pointy end first.

“AAAAAAAAA!”

Quiet a warcry, he thought, as he moved forwards, his empty hand, just now turning to steel, reaching out to catch the baseball bat Lee swung down. He caught it, just in time to jerk it back from nearly clipping the woman in the head.

"That's not very nice," he stated, as he drew his other hand back and then forward, punching Lee in the gut and dropping him to his knees. "You could have hurt her."

Turning his head, he eyed the other men. Jethro and Gibbs were rushing forward, towards the woman, while Jim was aiming the gun at Gavin himself. Shaking his head, he moved forward, to take up more of the alley space, and provide a larger target. Which was a good thing, as his movement towards Jim caused his hand to spasm, and pull the trigger. The sound of the gun froze the thugs, and Gavin. The bullet hitting him was a small concern, as, meeting solid steel in it's flight path, it flattened against him, and then dropped to the ground.

"I just bought this shirt!" cried the steel giant, glaring at Jim. His hand clenched around the baseball bat, and the metal crumpled with a protesting squeal.
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Quote : Fellas, you can walk out of here on your own two legs, or the EMTs can wheel you out on stretchers. Make the right choice. -Gavin Clough

Warnings : 0 Warnings
Number of posts : 59
Location : Exterminating a Heretical Planet in the name of the Holy Emperor.
Age : 29
Job : Inquisitor
Humor : Not child friendly.
Registration date : 2019-03-30

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INV ONLY Re: A Change in Priorities

Post by REDSHEILD on April 25th 2019, 11:58 pm

Ears ringing from the gunshot, heart pounding, Alyssa rams into Tucker shoulder-first. He’d been wise enough to brace himself, so she couldn’t bowl him over in the tackle. Nerves got the best of him otherwise: he’d lowered his arms, trying to block the jagged bottle aimed at his gut. She stopped it just short of stabbing him, raking it across his arms instead.

Tucker reacted violently, bringing his knife hand up and rotating the weapon, aiming to bring it down on her. Alyssa dropped the bottle and grabbed his arm. With her other hand she grabs her purse by its strap, swinging it at the man and trying to wrap it around his neck.

During the struggle over the knife Alyssa catches a glimpse of her surroundings. Lee was on the ground, rolled over and twitching. The stranger had been unphased by the gunshot and now she could see why, the already impressively built man having turned to steel.

Jim still held his weapon out, but his eyes bore a mix of panic and reckless abandon. His finger twitched and Alyssa braced herself, nerve blockers flooding her inner ears. She felt the revolver’s repeated report deep in her stomach, and yet, the giant still stood.

Idiot. If the first shot didn’t work, the next five won’t either.

Tucker hadn’t been so lucky as her: the sound stunned him enough for Alyssa to get the upper hand. She tied the shoulder strap of her purse around his neck, pulling tightly on it. Tucker’s hands flew upwards, clawing at the strap, and she kicked him onto the hard ground. Wasn’t tight enough to really choke him, but enough to make him useless for now.

She’d gotten turned around while fighting Tucker, and now faced into the alley. Sounds returned to the world as the blocks on her auditory nerves faded, though some ringing persisted. Focusing on each ear, she cleared the symptoms manually.

Brass-packaged bullets clattered on the ground as Jim fumbled with a speedloader. Desperate, he looked to his henchmen.

“Go on! Get them!” He yelled.

Jethro, hatchet held confidently, moved to face the steel goliath. Gibbs, dusters at the ready, set his sights on her.

Alyssa held her own fists up, exerting her power.

“Ow… Ow… Ow…” She muttered as rows of molars erupted from her knuckles. The teeth grew larger than those located orally, fusing together into weapons of her own.

“Two can play at this game, fucker.” She sneered.
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INV ONLY Re: A Change in Priorities

Post by inquisitor on April 26th 2019, 12:41 am

Six shots. Six holes in his brand new shirt. Growling now, Gavin dropped the slightly crumped bat and moved towards Jim, aiming a kick at Lee to keep him winded and on the ground. Stepping past the man, Gavin let his eyes wander for a moment, and he watched as the woman slashed at Tucker with the bottle, and then, when Tucker flinched from that and the gunshots, she wrapped his bags strap around his throat and choked him with it. When he panicked and tried to remove the bag, she kicked him, dropping him to the ground.

Smirking softly, Gavin nodded in satisfaction as he kept advancing towards Jim. The man was fumbling with a speedloader now, and looking more panicked by the second. He order his other two thugs forward, and Gavin paused, to eye the two. Hatchet and knuckle dusters. Raising an eyebrow, he glanced towards the woman and saw her grow bones out of her hands.

"OK....That's a thing, then," he remarked, blinking. He turned his eyes back towards Jethro, hatchet raised. "Son," he commented, "the bat didn't work for Lee. You think you're gonna have much luck with that?" he asked. Jethro let his eyes drift from Gavin to the hatchet, to Lee, to the bat, and back to Gavin.

"Maybe not. But Jim said to get you," the thug replied, before rushing forward. He brought the hatchet up, and then down in a swift chop, aimed right at Gavins head.

The steel giant watched as Jethro rushed him, swinging the hatchet down. He nodded slightly, and then tensed his neck and back muscles. The hatchet smacked into his head with a resounding CLANG, and Jethro swore as it did. He dropped the hatchet, clutching his wrist with his free hand.

"I can respect a man who sticks to his guns. Even when he knows the odds are against him," remarked Gavin. "But I'm afraid you're gonna have to sit the rest of this fight out," he continued, before bringing an open hand up and across, to CRACK against Jethros cheek. The man dropped to the ground, both hands now clutching his head.

Which left Jim and Gibbs. Glancing to the side, Gavin saw that Gibbs was moving in low, his fists up infront of his face, his feet dancing. Trained boxer, then. Jim, however, had finally gotten his gun loaded, and pulled the trigger three more times. The first bullet missed, smacking into one of the buildings to the left. The second smacked into Gavins chest, adding a seventh hole. The third rang out as it struck the man in the face, and then ricocheted up into the sky.

Gavin lifted his eyebrow again, and frowned. "You're gonna kill someone with that pea shooter," he remarked. "Put it down before you do."
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Quote : Fellas, you can walk out of here on your own two legs, or the EMTs can wheel you out on stretchers. Make the right choice. -Gavin Clough

Warnings : 0 Warnings
Number of posts : 59
Location : Exterminating a Heretical Planet in the name of the Holy Emperor.
Age : 29
Job : Inquisitor
Humor : Not child friendly.
Registration date : 2019-03-30

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INV ONLY Re: A Change in Priorities

Post by REDSHEILD on April 26th 2019, 9:28 am

Gibbs started to move in, orbiting to the side, probably looking for an angle where he could go after Alyssa without entering the giant’s reach. Jim messed with the revolver; trying to load loose rounds?

Alyssa tried to match Gibbs’ movement when possible, kept herself close to the wall, so he’d have to risk getting near her ally to try and go after her.

“Gibbs, back off.” Jim said, his voice surprisingly calm. “You’re blocking my shot.”

“But the girl…” Gibbs protested, but withdrew nonetheless.

“To hell with the girl!” Jim seemed to spit the words, as he leveled the gun at Alyssa. “She’s more trouble than she’s worth, for us. Iron giant over here seems to like her, though.”

God damn it. Alyssa cursed to herself. I hate hostage shit.

“Now, asshole” Jim said, looking at the steel stranger. “You’re going to get far away from here, or her brains will be splattered all over that precious shirt of yours.”

“AAAHHHHHH!” Alyssa screamed, breaking into a charge.

Jim managed to get a few shots off before she tackled him, knocking him onto the ground. Hopped up on adrenaline Alyssa couldn’t tell if she’d been hit, and didn’t really care. She pummelled his face, the teeth on her fist leaving deep gashes where she struck, until Gibbs kicked her off the fallen man.

That worked to her advantage. She rolled over, managing to find the revolver.

Alyssa aimed the weapon at Gibbs as she rose to her feet. Only now did she realize the extent of her wounds. At least two shots had struck home, one leaving a large hole in her cheek, another embedded somewhere in her right lung.

Despite the pain she managed to speak, doing her best to sound intimidating.

“Do- Do you feel- feel lu- lucky, pu-” A dry heave interrupted her before she could finish the line, as she realized where the third bullet had struck.

“Oh fuck.” Was all she could say as the muscles in her abdomen, no longer held back, did in three seconds what usually took three hours of labour.

At least this one was pretty dry.

“Oh no.” She deadpanned, staring at the pulsating string of kidneys between her legs. “My baby.”
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INV ONLY Re: A Change in Priorities

Post by inquisitor on April 26th 2019, 3:56 pm

Gavin wasn't expecting Jim to turn the gun on the woman. Or the woman to rush Jim. Three shots sounded, and then she crashed into Jim, swinging fists. He moved forward to help her, but was too late, as Gibbs kicked the woman off of Jim. Gavin paused for a moment, as she rolled, and then came up, the gun in her hand. Gibbs froze, staring at the gun, a foot raised to kick her again,

“Do- Do you feel- feel lu- lucky, pu-” she started before dry heaving. “Oh fuck," she finished, as she spasmed.

Gavin pushed forward and kicked Gibbs' supporting leg out from under him. The man grunted and fell forwards, landing face first right infront of the woman. Gavin took a moment to sucker punch the thug behind the ear, to knock him unconcious. The large man then reached forward and grabbed the gun, pulling it out of her hands. He slipped his clenched fist into his satchel for a moment, and then pulled his open hand back out. Using both hands, now turning to the same steel as the gun, he squeezed the pistol into a crumpled mass, and then dropped it to the ground.

Once he was flesh and blood, he reached out a hand to the woman. "Are you OK?" he asked, before realizing what she had said. "Your baby?! You're pregnant?!" he exclaimed, his hands fishing for his satchel, and the cell phone he kept there. "I'll call 911. Is there anyone you need to meet you at the hospital?" he asked, as he pulled the phone from his bag and turned it on. "A husband or boyfriend?"

Noise behind him alerted Gavin just in time to start moving, as Jim brought Jethros hatchet down. The steel blade missed Gavins head, but bit into his shoulder. With an angry, pained grunt, the blacksmith turned at the hips, dropping his phone as he did. He brought a hand up to grip the handle of the weapon, trapping Jims hand between his own and the haft. Holding the hatchet in his hand, he turned to wood, and brought his other hand up to grab Jims throat.

"That wasn't very nice," he commented, as he pulled the man down and forwards, headbutting him. Now out of the fight, Gavin let go of his throat and lowered him to the ground by the hand, still holding the hatchet. He turned back to the woman. "Right. I was calling an ambulance for you, right?" he asked, panting slightly, as blood began to run down his right arm.
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Quote : Fellas, you can walk out of here on your own two legs, or the EMTs can wheel you out on stretchers. Make the right choice. -Gavin Clough

Warnings : 0 Warnings
Number of posts : 59
Location : Exterminating a Heretical Planet in the name of the Holy Emperor.
Age : 29
Job : Inquisitor
Humor : Not child friendly.
Registration date : 2019-03-30

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INV ONLY Re: A Change in Priorities

Post by REDSHEILD on April 26th 2019, 8:11 pm

Alyssa let out a deep, drawn out laugh.
"Ha ha, guy, I'm not goin' near any fuckin' ambulance."

Her voice had wavered from its usual cadence, distorted by the hole in her cheek even as it started to stitch close.

"You want to go to that house of horrors, have fun. I can take care of myself."

Illustrating her point, Alyssa focuses on her injuries. The small scrapes and cuts healed almost instantly, while the gunshots wounds ceased bleeding as flesh started to swell and seal.

"Don't be worried about junior, here." She said as she knelt down to retrieve the vine-like mass.

"Oh fuck, the heart always gets stuck. Hold on."

Alyssa tugged on the umbilical vine, firmly but carefully, grunting as the heart and placenta came free with a wet pop. She held it up, so it was clearly visible.

"Ain't the prettiest kid, is she? Heh-heh, kid. Get it?"
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INV ONLY Re: A Change in Priorities

Post by inquisitor on April 26th 2019, 9:46 pm

"Well, you may not need an ambulance, but I don't... have that neat little trick," he remarked, watching as her cheek stitched itself closed. "And these gentleman need to visit both a hospital and the police," he continued, as he stood and moved back towards Lee. He used his left hand to grab the mans shirt collar, and started to drag him back towards the others.

He ignored the throbbing pain in his shoulder, and the blood running down his arm, as he moved to grabbed Tucker next, pulling him towards the group. The thugs gathered together, he moved to collect weapons next, making sure to pile them away from the thugs, where he could keep an eye on them. Hearing the woman talk, he turned to look at her, and grimaced, and paled.

"No. Not the prettiest," he stated, turning away, before he lost his lunch. "But you must be proud," he continued, clearing his throat.

Taking a deep breath, he moved over to where he had dropped his phone, and picked it up. "Now, if you don't mind. I'm going to call 911, so the police can come pick these guys up. And I'm going to ride with them to the hospital, so I can get my shoulder stitched up." He dialed the number, and waited until someone picked up.

"911, what's your emergency?"

"Yeah, hello, I was just invovled in a fight in an alley just next door to Joe's Liquor and Gun Cabinet, and I'm afraid I need the police, and an ambulance."

"An ambulance, sir?"

"Yeah...One of the guys hit me with a hatchet, and I'm bleeding in the middle of this alley," he continued, rolling his eyes slightly at Alyssa.

"They'll be with you as soon as they can, sir. Please, try not to move."

Gavin groaned and ended the call. Sighing softly, he slipped the phone into his satchel, and reached up with his left hand to clamp down on the bleeding wound on his right shoulder.

"So, since we've been involved in a brawl in the middle of a Chicago alley, I suppose we should introduce ourselves. I'm Gavin."
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Quote : Fellas, you can walk out of here on your own two legs, or the EMTs can wheel you out on stretchers. Make the right choice. -Gavin Clough

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INV ONLY Re: A Change in Priorities

Post by REDSHEILD on April 26th 2019, 10:20 pm

“Oh, you have no idea.”

Alyssa grasped one of the kidneys in her free hand. With a thought the connective tissue binding it to the rest of the bundle broke away, and she plucked it off as one would a tomato from a vine.

“Each of these bad girls is O-negative, like yours truly. Cleaned ‘em of any immune markers, so they should fit in just about anyone. I think. Sad to let them die like this, but I can’t really shove ‘em back up there, y’know?”

She slung the kidney-string around her neck, wearing it like a scarf, skipping down the alley to where Tucker had managed to pull her purse off his neck, retrieving her heels along the way.

“Wait a minute, vaginas push out…” She muttered, thinking out loud. “And throats push in… So maybe… Nah, not worth the effort.”

Purse in hand Alyssa sauntered back over to Gavin, leaning up against a wall.

“I’m Alyssa. Neat trick you did, turning metal and all.”

She put the kidney back on its string, residual blood on her hand being absorbed through her skin. Then she dug her phone out of her purse.

“Nice to meet someone else with, uh, powers. Wanna trade numbers?”


Last edited by REDSHEILD on April 28th 2019, 10:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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INV ONLY Re: A Change in Priorities

Post by inquisitor on April 27th 2019, 12:25 am

Gavin watched the woman pull one of the kidneys free from the string like a ripe tomato, and grunted softly.

"That's... actually pretty cool," he remarked, staring at her, as he turned his hand into cotton. He pressed harder against his shoulder and groaned softly. He took his mind off the pain by focusing on her. She skipped down the alley to her purse, the string of kindeys wrapped around her neck, like a scarf.

"Gross," he muttered to himself, as she leaned against the wall next to him. He blinked, and grinned up at her. "Yeah. I can do it with any solid material I can hold. Steel, iron, wood," he paused a moment, to gesture with his right pinky, before continuing, "cotton, concrete. Anything solid, and non-living," he finished, as he sighed softly.

"What about you?" he asked, as he pressed a few buttons on his phone, and then offered it to her. On the screen, a blank contact screen, for her to add her number. "Sure. Trade numbers," he offered, smiling softly, as he lifted his right hand up a bit, to take a peek. Still bleeding, and not slowing. Stitches, maybe staples, he thought to himself, before pressing his hand back against it.
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Quote : Fellas, you can walk out of here on your own two legs, or the EMTs can wheel you out on stretchers. Make the right choice. -Gavin Clough

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INV ONLY Re: A Change in Priorities

Post by REDSHEILD on April 27th 2019, 8:52 am

“What about me, huh? I usually don’t like to talk about me too much.” Alyssa started as she typed out a phone number on Gavin’s device. Not her real number, but it would call a server that would forward the call to her, and if Gavin ever became an issue, she could be free of him with just a few taps of an app. She held out her phone as well, giving Gavin a moment to input his information.

“But since you’re so nice, I think I’ll make a little exception. My power lets me grow. Not like ‘oh she’s a giant’ or ‘look at her, her arms just grew twice as long!’ Nah, I can control real, cellular growth. Any cell that can split, I can make ‘em do it at a thought. Think the medical term is mitosis or something.”

With their information exchanged Alyssa put her phone away, then hefted up the string of kidneys.

“And not just splitting. I can tell them how to split or what to become after they split, if that’s an option. That’s how I made these. Just, uh, knocked myself up, and instead of letting junior become a baby, I made it differentiate into kidney. Can do it as fast as three days without exerting myself, but that means eating a lot each day, so I usually spread it out over a week. Fetches twenty-six grand per delivery. Or, well, they did until these fuckheads got involved.”

She looked at the vine of organs wistfully, plucking one off again.

“Really sad these are going to die. Took like, thirteen thousand calories to grow. Hm, well, waste not, want not.”

Alyssa twisted the kidney in her hands, reworking the flesh so she could pull off a smaller piece without having to tear it. Roughly bite-sized, she popped it into her mouth.

“You know.” She said, speaking as she chewed. “Your shoulder’s bleeding pretty bad. Couldn’t you just, like, turn that into metal, and weld it up or something?”

Another piece of kidney found its way to her mouth as she swallowed the first.

“Damn, I did pretty fuckin’ good with this batch. Would love to take ‘em home and fry them. I guess I could reattach them, so they’ll survive the heat… Nope, won’t fit under my dress. Oh shit, that’s right, these bozos brought a cooler!”

Alyssa bounced over to the cooler, throwing the lid open and revealing it to be full of finely crushed, glistening ice.

“Yeeeeeessssss! Jackpot!” She cried, throwing the kidneys into the wheeled container. Making sure they were packed properly, she grabbed the cooler and pulled it back over to Gavin.

“Now in my, uh, experience, the fuzz take about… one… two…” She counted out on her fingers, before holding up four.

“‘Bought five minutes to show up. So unless you can come up with a really good reason for me to stick around, I’m gonna scram. Thanks for showin’ up. If you’re trying to do the whole hero thing, though, might want to get a better costume. Don’t get me wrong, they’re nice threads, I dig, but that doesn’t cut it with the capes, you know?”

Alyssa couldn’t hear sirens yet, and she wanted to be far away by then anyway. Still, she figured it wouldn’t hurt to spend a few more moments with Gavin.


Last edited by REDSHEILD on April 27th 2019, 9:29 pm; edited 2 times in total
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INV ONLY Re: A Change in Priorities

Post by inquisitor on April 27th 2019, 8:32 pm

Gavin punched his name and number into her phone, and handed it back, taking his own as he did.

"That's actually pretty neat. The world is turning into an amazing place," he replied, as he leaned against the wall and took a long, slow breath. He looked up at her as she hefted the string. "Have you considered maybe selling to a hospital or medical group?" he asked, before groaning softly as she popped a piece of one kidney in her mouth. He turned a little green this time, and closed his eyes.

"No. It doesn't work that way. Besides, if I were to weld my shoulder shut, it would just open again when I went back to flesh-and-blood, unless I stayed metal until it healed. Doing stitches is easier, since the hole and thread will remain in place if I need to change. A weld won't hold between changes."

He opened his eyes, and watched as she popped another piece of kidney into her mouth. This time, he turned green, and had to take a long, deep breath. When he looked again, he saw she had found a cooler, and was placing the kidneys in it.

"You need something to place between the kidneys and the ice. Otherwise, they'll get frostbite, and won't be any good," he stated, staring at her face. "And then you won't get anything back from them," he continued.

He leaned forward slightly, and pulled his satchel off. He turned it upside down, dumping the contents into his lap, and tossed it to her. "That should work. As for my threads, I'm not trying for superhero fun times. I was just passing by," he remarked, a grin sliding into place. "Right time, right place, I guess. Happens to me a bit, actually. Now, go. Unless you want to answer cop questions. I'll just say the lady they attacked ran off when I stepped in," he told her, waving his right hand at her and smiling.
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INV ONLY Re: A Change in Priorities

Post by REDSHEILD on April 28th 2019, 2:11 am

“I don’t- I tried donating, really, I did. But, you know, they gotta run all these tests. Take your blood, whatever a biopsy is, all that shit. After all that, I’d be able to donate one measly fuckin’ kidney, and maybe a bit of liver. They wouldn’t let me donate more unless they figured out what I am, that I’m different. That’s a big problem, ‘cause hospitals are for fixing people, you know? Medical hospitals, mental hospitals, all that. You stick broken people in them until they’re all fixed. And I’m not broken.”

Alyssa paused at that point, letting it sink it.

“Plus, I wouldn’t get a single pretty penny for my labor. Lotsa organizations about organ donation talk like it’s sacred. Does this look sacred to you?” She said, pushing the last morsel of kidney into her mouth.

“It’s not sacred. It’s scarce. And like, I get it. We’re a bunch of meat meating through our lives, and most of y’all will only ever have the meat ya got. Offering money for something like that kinda is scummy, ‘specially when having two doesn’t mean you have a backup, just that you could do without if you had to.”

She looked at the thugs, propped up and bound.

“Everything’s got a price, even if the law says it shouldn’t, so you get these guys here. I thought I’d do good, get my money, maybe keep these creeps supplied so they don’t go around shanking hobos or preying on hookers. But they’re dumb, so they had to fuck it all up.”

“I, uh, sorry, that got a bit heavy and shit. Thanks for the advice, but I don’t care about frostbite or anything. The cooler’s so they don’t rot, ‘cause boy, do lone organs rot fast when they die, when they’ve been handled like this. I mean, I guess I could reattach them, use some macrophages to break them down but like, what’s the use? I’d have to set up all this stuff just to move the material around and store it somewhere.”

Alyssa patted her stomach, already flat and trim.

“Why bother when I can eat ‘em? Sure, I didn’t get paid, but at least I’ve got nine pounds of groceries to bring home.”

Pausing for a moment she focused on her ears, enhancing them. She could hear the police cars, now, the ambulance not far behind.

“Anyway, uh, that’s cool if you’re not into cape stuff. Keep up the timing though, yeah? Mighta had to kill a few of these guys if you hadn’t shown up. Nice meeting you, keep in touch, blah blah blah, all that stuff. Bye-bye!”

Alyssa took off with a girlish sprint down into the now-dark alleyway, waving behind her with wiggling fingers, until she turned a corner and lost sight of Gavin. She stuck to the alleys and backstreets while she undid the growth from the fight, only returning to the main road when she looked suitably normal. Or, as close to normal as she could manage. The blood on her dress that was hers had been easy to remove, she’d just wicked it into her skin. With the blood gone the gunshot holes wouldn’t look so conspicuous, hopefully. It was a long walk home, and she’d had enough attention for the day.

~~~

The stairs leading up to her apartment were quite old, the railing pitted and rusty. Alyssa made the mistake of using the railing when she was a new tenant, and had contracted lockjaw after one too many cuts palms. That led her to discover that somewhere in her power’s manifestation, her immune system had managed to forget most of her vaccinations.

But she cracked tetanus and beat its ass. And the common cold. And flu. A part of her wanted to get AIDS or something, just to cure that, too. Now she didn’t fear the railing, using it with little regard for its burrs and notches.

On the apartment door were four separate locks, making it stand out from the others. The wind kept sweeping her hair into her face, despite it not being too long. She didn’t need to see the locks that well, at least. Bone erupted from the tips of the digits of her right hand, save for on her thumb, forming into distinct keys. One by one she turns each lock open, inserting the literal skeleton keys with care.

The door opens with creaks and groans from its frame, warped by the hot and humid air. She shoves the cooler in first, then slips in behind it, closing the door quickly but quietly. Getting the cooler up the stairs had been a challenge, especially in heels. Better than trying to get the kidneys up five flights of stairs without them being seen. Plus, it was a nice cooler.

Inside her apartment was hot, even with the air conditioner running all day. Alyssa kicked her heels away and tore off her dress and bra, throwing them across the merged kitchenette-bedroom, where they landed… somewhere. She’d find them when she did laundry in a week or so, at least. The adrenaline from the fight had faded long ago, caffeine and alcohol following a few hours later. It left her in a state of absolute exhaustion coupled with, annoyingly, severe hunger pangs.

Opening the fridge felt great as the cool air wafted over her. She dug around, fishing out a tupperware full of fresh-enough frying batter, tossing it onto the counter. Then she opened up the cooler, plucking away three of the remaining kidneys and throwing the rest of the organ vine into the fridge’s meat drawer. She sliced the kidneys widthwise into little discs of offal, bathing them in the batter and tossing them into her countertop pressure fryer.

Wobbling on her feet now, she stumbled into the bathroom. Her pajamas were still there, the cozy cotton garments all the more tempting now. But she’d stayed naked for a reason, a very important reason.

Alyssa stood in front of the bathroom’s floor-length mirror, examining herself. She never left home with the same face twice, or even the same skin if she could help it. This one had been a bit of a rush job, similar enough to be mistaken with her real one except on close inspection. Her focus went to her skin, to the muscles of her face, as the changes started to be undone. Moles and freckles migrated back to their original locations, some new ones emerged, others fading entirely. Her visage rippled as its true form reasserted itself: that familiar, goofy face with its oversized hazel-brown eyes and curved-up button nose.

She’d save a lot of time if instead of reverting she just made the next day’s face before bed. That was risky, though: she might forget where everything went. She had pictures, of course, but they weren’t good ones.

A part of her thought that maybe, it wouldn’t be too bad to forget how she looked. No one ever accused her of being pretty, after all.

The fryer’s buzz shocked Alyssa out of her momentary melancholy. Satisfied that she was herself again, she slipped on her pajamas and trundled back to the kitchen. She burned her fingers while scooping the kidney chips out of the fryer and into a bowl, the oil sizzling on her flesh. Too tired to care Alyssa simply summoned up a whole load of nerve blockers and stopped feeling her hands, though she did will the skin to heal.

Bowl in hand she managed to make it to her bed, collapsing on it. Managing to right herself in a cross-legged position, she set the bowl in her lap so her hands could be free. One grabbed her laptop from her nightstand, the other fished the TV remote out from the covers.

“Mmmmm…” She murmured as she bit into the first of the kidney slices, barely keeping her head upright. The TV turned on before her laptop finished booting, a hospital drama that she had recorded. Ironic, but they showed weird diseases sometimes, and that helped her get ideas.

Blue light filled her vision as she squinted at the login screen, hammering in her password with the finesse of a drunkard. Alyssa managed to open her notes and started typing as her thoughts turned to the events of the day. Bits about storage, melting, pumping, as she remembered her conversation with Gavin.

Ideas came to her faster than she could find the keys to type them out, straining her already tired brain. Alyssa let out a deep yawn, and finally let herself drift off to sleep.
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