2 Meeting the Heroes

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, SkyCaptain502, and Mike, God of Lore

The Guild of Gamers: The Gambler

Chapter 02: Meeting the Heroes

— Amy Dallon —

"Okay, seriously, you can't remember your name or where you're from… but you remember how to cook?" Vicky asked, swallowing a mouthful of the admittedly delicious breakfast Set had cooked. "That's weird, are all Case 53s like that, oh wait you wouldn't know."

"I know, right? I can't remember anyone I met before you, but I can remember characters from games I played, it'd be less disturbing if I'd just forgotten everything, but I can't really complain," Set agreed, eating far slower.

"You didn't have to make breakfast for us, Set, I do hope Vicky didn't bully you into this, she can be rather forceful at times," Carol said sternly, eating her own breakfast with an approving hum.

"She didn't, I volunteered. It's the least I could do for you letting me stay here last night," Set said gratefully, making Carol give him an approving nod.

Carol, actually approving of a cape? One that looked like Satan? Would wonders never cease?

She knew why, Set was doing everything by the book, he was apparently going to the PRT to register as a Case 53 soon and maybe join the Wards depending on how it went. He was polite, respectful and surprisingly shy for a horned Adonis. He was even embarrassed and apologetic about the damage he'd apparently done to a street in Skidmark's territory, like Vicky didn't do twice as much every fight, and that was usually in areas that weren't already falling apart.

He also didn't hide his actions behind a mask, because he couldn't. So he matched up with Carol's insistence on capes taking accountability as well, even if it wasn't through choice.

"Still, I must admit you are a fantastic cook. Far better than anyone else in this house, that's for certain," Carol praised, actually making a little joke, as Amy glared at him slightly before she hid it.

When was the last time Carol praised her, for her non-stop attempts to heal every single injury worse than a scraped knee in Brockton Bay. No, that was just expected of her, so she didn't get praise for it. But Set making breakfast?

Lavish the praise on the devil that had invaded their home, why not just give him a medal and a blowjob at this rate. It seemed like an over-exaggeration but even Vicky barely got praise from Carol.

Carol's simple words of praise were about the equivalent of her worshipping at Set's feet compared to her usual actions.

"Thank you, Mrs Dallon," Set said simply, obviously slightly embarrassed by the praise.

"Can we keep him? He followed me home and he's housebroken," Vicky half-joked, the unasked question clear. Why not have him join New Wave?

"I don't think so, dear. He isn't a pet you can keep, and most Case 53s end up having rather strange needs. The Wards will be better suited for supporting Set than we would," Carol explained, before pausing. "If once you've registered and have gone through power testing you would rather not join the wards for a good reason, I wouldn't be entirely opposed to allowing you to join New Wave, but I'd need to speak to my sister first, it isn't my choice alone," Carol explained to Set, sounding uncomfortably kind.

"I'll keep that in mind, Mrs Dallon, thank you. I'm still not entirely sure what I want to do, so I'm still hedging my bets," Set admitted, making her nod.

"Wise, considering your position. I have to go to work soon, so I won't be able to take you to the PRT myself, but I've double-checked with them, and you have a meeting with Deputy Director Renick and Miss Militia, which is a good sign. Renick tends to be more… diplomatic towards unaffiliated capes than Director Piggot and Miss Militia is a very reasonable person herself, so you should have few issues. Vicky, you can go with him, if you'd like. I will phone the school that you have heroic responsibilities and won't be attending," Carol continued, making Vicky beam.

"Hell yeah, I'll go with Set," Vicky said happily, obviously just looking forward to having a day off school. "Wouldn't want to leave him hanging. Look at him, they'd eat him alive without someone there to have his back."

"I appreciate the faith, Vicky," Set replied, clearly amused as she gave him a grin. God, she was unfairly beautiful, perfect teeth almost glowing white as Vicky hovered over to the sink putting her plates away.

"Vicky, aura," Carol scolded, before pausing.

Vicky looked embarrassed but all three of them looked towards Set, who seemed utterly unaffected by the aura. He just looked back in confusion.

"Set, did you feel anything strange just then?" Carol asked, making him blink and shake his head. "An immunity to emotional manipulation? I'm almost looking forward to the results of your power testing. Amy, Vicky, you two do the dishes before you set off for school and the PRT respectively, that was a lovely breakfast, thank you Set, but I have to head out now. Girls, Mark is still in bed, he's in one of his moods and I don't expect him to get up anytime soon, so don't bother him."

"Got it, mom," Vicky said, waving as Carol wiped her mouth with a tissue and grabbed her briefcase and set off.

Tch, she could do the dishes at least.

As she gathered the pots, Set helped her carry them over to the sink.

"Just sit down for a bit, Set, you've done enough," Vicky said, nudging him with her shoulder as he nodded.

As they walked past each other, her hand briefly brushed against his, and everything froze for her. His body was magnificent, not just in terms of outward appearance but on a biological level.

He was damn near perfect, in the brief moment they touched she couldn't sense a single thing wrong with him. It was fascinating, she'd never felt this when touching a Case 53 before, but as quickly as it started, they moved past each other as he went to take a seat, her hand reaching out towards him desperately before she pulled it back.

She wanted more, staring at him as he sat down, making him blink at the intense stare she was directing his way, becoming slightly uncomfortable as the stare pushed into the creepy duration.

"Amy?" Vicky asked, making her jump and shake her head.

"It's nothing," Amy muttered, starting cleaning as she ignored the pair of confused looks.

Stupid devil, disrupting her important daily schedule of going to school, being miserable, going to the hospital and healing until they kicked her out.

— Set —

Vicky's sister is cute but weird.

I keep catching her giving me looks that range from curiosity to outright hostility. I'm not sure what I did to earn Panacea's annoyance but once more my amazing personality wins again.

Once the dishes are done, Amy leaves with a half-hearted goodbye to the pair of us.

Apparently Vicky is her usual ride to school and she's feeling a little betrayed that Vicky isn't going. That's what Vicky thinks anyway, and she knows her sister better than me.

What I didn't realise is that I also signed up for a shopping trip by having Vicky come with me, because apparently looks are everything, and I should be well dressed to make a first impression so our first destination is the boardwalk.

Naturally, I attract a lot of attention, I'm wearing a large tank top now so I'm not shirtless at least, but I'm pretty sure if Vicky wasn't with me these people would be running for the hills.

It works out to be honest, her presence stops people from panicking, some people even approach us, but Vicky handles them because I'm terrible with the public.

Entering a shop, I get used as a dress up doll for what feels like several hours (it was twenty minutes) until she's found an outfit she approves of.

…I'm not sure I approve of the black leather trousers, matching boots and black tank top but apparently she thinks I should lean into the demonic thing.

I look like I've walked off a metal album cover, but Vicky is the expert here and frankly I don't care enough to argue since she's paying.

The tank top is loose and lets my wings out without any discomfort, and thankfully my tail comes out just above the waist so it goes over my trousers.

I definitely get attention as we walk through the boardwalk, Vicky giving me a tour since the meeting isn't for a few hours, showing off her favourite places as people take pictures of me.

I even get asked to sign an autograph, apparently being next to Vicky means they've already decided that I'm a new hero, despite having done exactly nothing so far.

I sign my new name in a fancy handwriting, which is something I can apparently do, now if only I could remember why I could write in such a fancy way.

I also get asked if I was the streaking devil running around the docks last night, which makes me rather embarrassed since apparently their videos got rather popular on something called PHO. Vicky backs me up but I think it's safe to say my reputation has taken quite the hit.

Or maybe not, as a girl gives me her number and PHO handle, giving me a flirty look as she leaves.

Our walk is interrupted by the sound of shouting, slurred words and a gunshot which makes Vicky immediately go from joking and smiling to frowning.

Out of a pharmacy down the street, three men burst through the doors, all armed and carrying duffle bags, shitty stockings pulled over their heads.

"Merchants? On the boardwalk? I don't know whether they're brave, stupid or just too high to know better," Vicky scoffs as she takes to the air, but I see an opportunity here.

As they go to run towards a nearby car, which I can see another 'masked' man inside, I kneel down and place my hand on the ground.

Nature is everywhere, even in these concrete jungles it survived, and with a little help from me it can thrive.

The Merchants, the city's premier gang of drug dealers and pimps, shout in surprise as roots burst from the ground and engulf them, binding them in place as their arms are pulled tight against their bodies by the rapidly-growing thick roots.

Spell Learned

[Root Bind]

Call upon the roots beneath you to grow and constrict your foes, binding or even crushing them if you feel like introducing the fools to the wrath of nature.

They swear as the roots yank their weapons away, foul mouths making me pause before the roots grow under my command and gag them. There are children around and nobody should hear that kind of language.

I wouldn't mind if it was just regular swearing, but the threats to rape all the holes of whoever is doing this, then cut more holes, is a little much for the younger audience.

The car immediately tries to drive away, but Vicky has a thing or two to say about that as she flies forwards and simply grabs it from above, fingers digging into the metal as she lifts the entire thing of the ground, it's wheels helplessly spinning as a root grows up and opens the unlocked door, grabbing the driver who probably wishes he was wearing a seatbelt as he is yanked out of the car and made to join his immobilised friends.

This is somewhat draining, and I can feel the mana within me being drained by my first spell but the drain isn't enough to be worried about. I can feel my mana starting to regenerate already.

"Nice work, Set," Vicky says as she gives me a thumbs up and an encouraging smile. My first act of heroism I suppose.

Feat Achieved

[First Victory]

Pull Granted

The smile on my face becomes less awkward and more pleased as I get a mental notification, my thanks going out to these useless drug-addled fools.

I'll always take an easy win that rewards me with a pull.

"It was easy enough, these guys aren't exactly criminal masterminds," I say, it didn't even trigger my escalation since they never actually fought me.

Soon enough, the police arrive since this is the good part of town, they were probably already on their way here and after introductions I release the roots enough for the struggling thugs to be cuffed.

As the roots retract, I notice the damage to the ground that they've left, having burst through the pavement, but the police officer waves me off when I apologise for that.

"Cape battles have a habit of being destructive. Compared to what we usually deal with, a few holes in the pavement is nothing." he reassures me. "Nobody got hurt, not even these idiots, honestly when I heard Glory Girl was involved I figured we'd arrive at a destroyed street again."


Vicky gives the cop a dirty look, but she noticeably doesn't refute his statement. The Superman problem, huh, living in a world made of cardboard.

After they're hauled away, me and Vicky finally set off towards the PRT Headquarters, apparently they give tours to the public since apparently heroism is as much about PR as it is about being… you know, a hero?

I've already noticed that they treat capes like celebrities, noticing merchandise for various heroes during our boardwalk exploration, and I'm really not sure about that. I'm not someone who thrives in the spotlight, unlike Vicky, but I suppose my strength will undoubtedly get the spotlight shining on me as I grow.

To distract my mind from the unpleasant thoughts, I turn to the one thing I can truly count on. The Gacha.


Result: Common Magic Tome

[Tome of Household Magic] (Generalised School)

It's only common, but magic is magic as a new section of my library gets added. This tome isn't about magic used in battle, it's about magic to make your life more convenient. Enchanting things to be self-washing, repairing simple items, ect.

It's not amazing but I can't say it's useless either. Convenience like that saves me time, which can be better spent on more important things like studying magic.

Feat Achieved

[10k Words]

Roll Granted

What does that even mean? Actually, don't question the Gacha when it's feeling generous. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth or it'll bite your head off or something.

All hail the mighty and generous Gacha.


Result: Minor Curse (5 Pity Points Granted)

[Minor Curse of Lust]

You have less control over your lustful nature, growing aroused far easier and having a need to achieve release at least once a day. If ignored, your arousal will build up more and more until settled, making you unable to focus on anything but sex. Your own touch will take longer to bring you to completion and feel unsatisfying.

…all hail the mighty and generous Gacha, indeed.

Following Vicky, I feel my eyes wandering her long pale legs, the short skirt leaving a lot on display (even if I know she wears shorts under it). I've thought she was hot since the moment I saw her but it takes a considerable amount of self control to make sure I'm not outright ogling her as we land in front of our destination.

I'm not sure I succeed as she pauses, giving me a light smirk and a knowing look but she doesn't call me out on it as I try and keep my eyes above the shoulders as I follow her in.

The Gacha is mysterious indeed, luck just wasn't in my favour today. The cheapest pity pull is five points for a guaranteed common item, going all the way up to two hundred and fifty points for a divine pull.

Junk pulls give one point, major curses give me twenty five and ultimate curses give me fifty so it's not entirely terrible to get a curse but also it's not that valuable either. I certainly don't want to end up with a dozen curses to get one good pull.

Especially since I don't want to see how bad an ultimate curse is to be worth ten minor curses.

Entering, Vicky immediately goes to the receptionist who clearly knows her and without any delay we're led by some fucking death trooper looking dude to a small but fairly comfortable meeting room.

So, do they know that the PRT troopers look like they work for a shitty sci-fi dictator?

We aren't waiting long before a middle-aged man in a nice suit walks in, barely pausing at the sight of me, followed by an olive skinned woman in military fatigues, using an American flag bandana as a mask, a pistol holstered at her hip.

Her curvy hips.

Don't ogle the hot heroine, don't ogle the sexy armed and dangerous heroine.

"Hello, Set, it's a pleasure to meet you. I'm Deputy Director John Renick, this is Miss Militia, a decorated member of our Protectorate team," the man says as I'm grateful for the distraction, taking the offered hand and shaking it. "Glory Girl, a pleasure as always."

"Don't mind me, I'm just Set's emotional support hero, pretend I'm not here," Vicky says easily, and I notice Renick and Miss Militia share a brief look as Renick sits down.

Miss Militia doesn't, practically standing at attention by his side, until he coughs into his hand and she almost sheepishly takes a seat.

This isn't a military operation, but she might be ex-military herself?

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Deputy Director, Miss Militia, thanks for agreeing to a meeting so quickly," I say politely, not wanting to make a bad first impression with the 'good guys' no matter how this goes.

"The pleasure is all ours, the world would be a simpler place if more people followed the procedure and registered like you," Renick says approvingly, putting some files on the table. "Now, from what Brandish has told us you'd like to register as a Case 53 and go through power testing, correct?"

I don't mind them knowing what I can do, because what I can do will change over time. Even if I don't join up, them knowing my capabilities shouldn't be a problem in the long run. A few pulls and who knows how my skill set will change.

"That's right, Mr Renick," I say, not sure what the correct address for him is.

"Excellent, now I'm afraid I'll have to introduce you to the horrors of bureaucracy as we have quite a bit of paperwork to fill in, but it shouldn't take too long between the two of us," Renick jokes. "Once that's done, Miss Militia will take you to the power testing, and after that if you're interested there should be some wards on base for a little meet and greet. We don't have any other Case 53s at the moment, but we thought you'd like to meet some other capes in your age group," he says kindly, and while I respond gratefully I can already see the groundwork for the recruitment pitch being laid.

"Ooh, you'll like the Wards, I work with them pretty often," Vicky promises me.

Renick doesn't seem thrilled at her being here, maybe he's worried New Wave are going to grab me first, but he doesn't say anything as we start the paperwork.

My name gets brought up, and Vicky gets a little lecture on naming people after possibly evil Egyptian gods.

I don't want to change it but we quickly come to a simple solution, registering my name as Sett, said exactly like Set.

Personally I think being named after a League character is far more evil than an Egyptian god, might as well just call me Satan and be done with it. Apparently they either don't have League of Legends here or Renick doesn't play.

I'm guessing the second, or otherwise they'd have world peace.

Vicky ends up talking to Miss Militia while we do the paperwork, who turns out to be far less stern and commanding than I expected from her military looks and bearing, and Renick goes over what I'm entitled to.

As long as I don't use my powers to commit crimes, I'm basically entitled to what is essentially disability welfare since getting a job is difficult for freaks like me. I am apparently very lucky since I have a mostly humanoid form.

The payments are enough for me to get a cheap apartment and survive, if not entirely comfortably, they also require you to come in for a welfare interview once a month for the first year, and then once every three months afterwards.

I end up being registered as being sixteen, with yesterday being my 'birthday', it's a wild guess and I'm pretty sure it's a little younger than I actually am but I don't know for certain and apparently that's how old I look. Vicky does tease me for being a year younger than her, I responded by saying she'll go grey and wrinkly first.

"Now, I'll get all this filed and sorted and you'll be a legal resident of the United States of America,"

Renick says cheerfully as he passes me a box, opening it I find a small cellphone. "This is just a basic model, designed by Dragon, to allow us to get in contact with you when your documentation is ready. We'll also be setting you up a bank account and arranging for lodgings until you can find your own home, if you need them."

"Or you could just keep crashing on our couch, you actually managed to win over mom so she won't mind… you'll probably get chores though," Vicky laughs, making me smile.

Renick and Miss Militia briefly share a glance again.

"Now, do you want Glory Girl to join you during the power testing?" Renick asks, making me nod.

"Sure, I've got no reason not to and she's taking the time out of her day to support me so it'd be rude to send her back to school," I joke, making Vicky snort.

"I see, the power testing room is just being set up as we speak. Brandish mentioned that you are still undecided between becoming a Rogue or a Hero, correct?" Renick asks, making me nod.

"I don't want to rush into anything given my current state," I explain, making him nod easily.

"Of course, the Wards will be happy to answer any questions you have about the program, as will I and Miss Militia," Renick says, making me smile even as I forcibly suppress myself from rolling my eyes.

"Plus, if you don't like that, mom's already basically said you can join New Wave. I know she said she'd have to talk to Aunt Sarah first but Aunt Sarah is really nice and you already won over mom," Vicky says, and Renick's smile becomes a little more fragile at that.

"I'm not sure Amy would like that, given the way she was drilling a hole in the back of my head earlier," I joke, making Vicky shake her head with a grin.

"Ah, Sett, Sett, Sett… Amy has a crush on you, idiot. She couldn't take her eyes off you, don't mind her grumpy act, she's just not a morning person," Vicky says confidently as I pause.

I… really don't think that's right.

"Trust me, I know my sister," Vicky says, seeing my doubt. I'm not gonna refute that statement because I value my health.

"Well, that's for later. Let's focus on power testing first, and imaginary crushes later," I reply awkwardly.

"Heh, fine~ but I'm right, you'll see," Vicky says confidently.

— Amy Dallon —

Stupid Set, stupid demon, stupid fascinating body. She'd kick him in the nuts the next time she saw that stupid handsome bastard.

Her mind had been wandering since she'd seen his biology, and she'd completely zoned out in class because she was too busy wondering about his biology to care about maths.

And now she had detention because she'd been less than polite to the teacher when she'd tried to get her attention.

"Amy, are you okay? You seem rather… distracted today," Dean said as he approached her, stepping back at the look she gave him.

Oh great, now she had to deal with this guy.

"I'm just fine, now go away," Amy demanded grumpily.

"I… see. Just one more thing, do you know where Vicky is? She didn't mention she wasn't coming to school today and-"

Ugh, right. They were currently 'on' on their endless cycle of dating, breaking up, getting back together (usually with makeup sex that she had to help her reckless sister not end up pregnant over), before breaking up over something stupid.

Spite overcame her as she looked at Dean's stupid handsome face. Why were the ones that annoyed her always good looking?

Was it her problem that Vicky didn't tell her boyfriend where she was going?

"She's on a lovely boardwalk date with a demon she found on the streets," Amy said snarkily as she turned and walked away, ignoring his confused calls for more information.

Stupid Dean, Stupid (beautiful and amazing) Vicky, and Stupid Set.

Maybe if she was lucky this would put them back in the 'off' state and she wouldn't have to deal with them being so lovey dovey all the time.

'Amy! Dean looked at another girl's breast for 0.1 microseconds, please make my boobs bigger.' 'Amy, I've got a date tonight. Can you make my hair perfect?' 'Amy, Dean forgot to pull out and we didn't use a condom, please save me!'

She loved her sister, she truly did, but god damn could she be unbearable when she was with Dean.

Now, to classes, and then to detention that would delay her getting to the hospital, which meant she'd be there even later than normal, which meant less sleep, which meant fuck Set.

— Sett —

"I'm sorry, just to be clear. Your power grows by itself, seemingly at random or in response to you doing things, and sometimes it gives you knowledge or different powers and sometimes it gives you actual physical things?" the man in the lab coat asks me, making me nod as he stares at the Horn of Plenty.

Vicky still seems rather shocked as I shrink, our spar having triggered my escalation. I couldn't actually hurt her because her forcefield kept blocking my hits… until I got fast enough to hit her twice back to back and send her flying, coughing up some blood.

Okay, in my defence she said not to hold back and my mind gets a little clouded the larger I get. I enjoyed it, watching Vicky go flying, injured. When she looked up at me, in all my ten-feet of glory, she looked genuinely scared and a part of me wanted to break her.

Then I got it back under control, summoning my healing roots and healing the damage I did.

[Healing Roots]

Gift someone the blessing of nature as you envelop them in gentle roots, healing their wounds as long as they are in contact with the roots.

"So you're the unholy demon love child of Lung and Eidolon?" Vicky asks, trying to hide her awe as she watches me shrink slowly.

My clothes are a lost cause, again. I don't just grow tall, I grow buff. I gained around four feet in the half an hour or so we were sparring, which is apparently a fair bit slower than Lung's own growth, but I also grew about twice as wide, and it was all muscle.

Thankfully, Vicky bought spares. I get the feeling this will be a common occurrence, but people were nice enough not to mention it. Vicky had stared since let's just say I grew an appropriate amount everywhere.

In addition, my horns grow much longer and spikes grow out of my back, while my skin grows a much deeper red. I can also summon on a black fire when I grow large enough, I'm glad I didn't use it on Vicky because they're still trying to work out how to put it out as it eats away at the reinforced power testing floor and I certainly don't know.

It also gets increasingly hot around me, by the fifteen minute mark Vicky couldn't actually get that close to me because of the sheer heat I was putting off. By the half hour mark I was melting the metal ground I was standing on.

"And some of these items are… spell books that you can study to get more powers, in the form of spells?" another asked, picking up the tome of sanctuary and opening it, immediately wincing as he closed it and put it down.

Yeah, apparently trying to read higher-level books is painful for them, while lower-level tomes like the Tome of Roots are just nonsensical and indecipherable.

They tried to copy some of it down to decode before realising that the text was changing constantly.

"That's correct, yes," I say simply, of course they don't believe it's actually magic. That's why I didn't mind showing them, they can't use the tomes, I can recall them at any time and they will just assume it's a Parahuman power.

"Ah, Lung, Eidolon and Myrddin, should have known," Vicky says, grinning to cover her barely concealed awe.

We tested my healing already, it's actually what they wanted to test first. My healing roots are useful but slow,

But I also have this.


Return a lost soul to their rightful state, fully restoring any injuries, curing any diseases and removing any negative effects upon them. The light will protect them, granting them increased defences for the next day.

This spell is exhausting to cast, it's laughably above my level but I can just pull it off. I could cast it maybe three times if I pushed it before I just collapsed from exhaustion, I had to take a break after casting it twice.

Of course, the lab guys went wild, realising I'd effectively granted a low-level brute rating in addition to fully healing someone who was crippled moments ago.

My lucky target apparently lost his legs to Hookwolf, and volunteered to test if my healing could restore limbs. It does.

The second one was terminally ill, but they didn't tell me what he had. Apparently it was brain cancer, and now it's gone. Tah-dah!

I don't need to know what I'm healing like Panacea does, I just hold my hand over someone and call upon the light within me to bring them to order.

Also, we learnt that even if there's no ground around, my roots will find a way, growing out of the metal floor without a care in the world about the logistics of it.

"Has your… 'mana' recovered yet?" the lab guy says, making me pause as I focus inwardly.

"Mostly, but not completely," I admit, making him nod and write something down.

"I'd like to test your 'Sanctuary' spell some more," he says, humouring me with the terminology. I guess he's seen some shit with how well he rolled with it. "I believe you're supposed to be meeting with the Wards, would you mind leaving the Horn of Plenty and your Tomes with us while you do so, and returning afterwards to demonstrate your healing again?"

"Sure, I can do that," I say easily, because the more easygoing I am, the less reason they'll have to be paranoid about the whole demon thing. I can pull all my items back immediately anyway, and they can't be destroyed.

Honestly, they've got some good resources here from what I've seen. Resources I wouldn't mind having access to.

If I join the Wards, I'm going to be tied down for two years until I turn 'eighteen', where I can choose to join the Protectorate or leave the PRT. What's two years in the grand scheme of things?

Still, I might as well meet with them first.

"I'll take you to meet them, I believe Vista and Shadow Stalker are currently on base," Miss Militia says kindly. I get the feeling she's kinda the team mom in a way.

Even still, I catch the hint of shock in her tone.

"Lead the way," I say simply.

— Emily Piggot —

"I'm sorry, can you repeat that," she said in a very calm and collected voice as she stared at the lab coat responsible for handling the new Case 53s power testing. Every single one of her underlings knew this time meant they needed to correct whatever dumb shit they just said.

She didn't like Case 53s because they were usually a major problem, walking middle fingers to the Unwritten Rules. It wasn't that usual for them to decide that if they didn't get a civilian life, why should anyone else? Plus they almost always turned to villainy, can't get a job and the money they got from the government wasn't enough, so why not just use their powers and trample over the powerless.

That's not even mentioning the ones so twisted they couldn't exist in human society, either full villains or locked away in a Parahuman Asylum.

At least this Sett, terrible name, had registered and agreed to power testing. But the sad fact was, they wanted him just from the small amount of information they'd gotten from Brandish since Sett claimed to be capable of healing.

Healing Parahumans were incredibly rare, and ones that didn't have a mountain of side effects were even more so.

"Sett is the devil lovechild of Eidolon, Lung, Myrrdin and Panacea," the idiot said excitedly as he offered her the file. "He's a self-trump, his main power grants him new powers at random, but unlike Eidolon he doesn't lose any of his old ones, or at least if he does he hasn't hit that limit yet, his healing is quite possibly more powerful than Panacea's though it's also more draining on him. In combat, he grows into a much larger demonic form, gaining massively increased strength and speed, a strange form of pyrokinesis that produces black flames that we can't put out. We've had to close that lab while we try and work out how to stop it from eating through the ground. Thankfully it doesn't seem to spread, and his powers give him physical enchanted items, like a horn that produces quite literally infinite food."

Every word he said made her stare grow less amused, if this was a joke he'd be food soon enough.

And yet, pulling up the files on her computer she watched the recordings of Sett doing exactly what they said he could do.

"Thank you, that will be all. I expect a more in-depth report on his powers later," Piggot said, watching the man leave, as she sighed deeply.

She didn't miss the part of the power testing document that said he grew more brutal and violent as he grew in size. Or the part that said he called his various grab-bag powers spells.

"Renick, what did you think of him?" Piggot asked after a long awkward pause.

"Surprisingly polite and respectful, entirely different to how he looks. Patient, didn't mind all the paperwork, and socially awkward, but seems to be comfortable with Glory Girl, beyond that it's too soon to tell," Renick replied easily.

Glory Girl who saw his entire power testing because they didn't want to tell him he couldn't bring his friend and risk an incident with New Wave. Glory Girl who would tell Brandish about the absolute game-changing powerhouse New Wave had stumbled upon.

Brandish who had apparently already offered Sett a spot in New Wave.

She'd be damned if New Wave got both good healers in Brockton Bay, the sheer mountain of favours they ended up owing Brandish and New Wave for Panacea's services was mind-boggling.

Glory Girl wouldn't have gotten away with her habit of being so reckless, damaging both allies and buildings alike, if it wasn't for the fact that pushing to punish her would have Brandish stop Amy from healing their heroes.

Panacea was a godsend, as much as she disliked capes in general, because heroes that would have been put out of commission for months could be back at work the next day. It was all that was keeping them from being overwhelmed, and Piggot hated that.

The fate of the Brockton Bay PRT shouldn't depend upon an independent teenage cape.

"Anything else?" Piggot asked, seeing Renick pause.

"Well, I wasn't going to mention it because it's unsurprising for his age, but he seems rather… healthy. When he followed Hannah to the power testing room, I noticed that his gaze wasn't exactly at eye level," Renick admitted, making her sigh.

Great, so he was a typical horny teenage boy… that wasn't supposed to be a pun.

"Get him in the Wards, do not let Brandish steal him from under us," Piggot ordered, preparing a report for the Chief Director.

Sett could be the next Triumvirate level cape, a possibly unlimited self-trump, and she'd be damned if he slipped through her fingers and became a Rogue or joined New Wave.

She didn't trust Rogues not to go villain the moment it benefited them, and he'd probably get grabbed by the Elite within a month when they inevitably learnt of him, and she wasn't going to let New Wave hoard two super-healers.

— Sophia Hess (Shadowstalker) —

Fucking PR duty.

If she knew this would happen she wouldn't have come in so early today, but Emma was being annoying now that Hebert was off sick. Fucking pussy couldn't take a prank.

So now she was stuck with Vista, playing happy host for some new cape.

She didn't like Vista, the girl flipped between being a powerful badass cape and a crybaby little girl who spent half her time following Gallant around like a lost duckling, sitting in the corner and barely avoiding crying whenever Glory Girl was around, taking Gallants attention.

At first she'd actually been impressed with Glory Girl marking her territory, but she realised the simple, hilarious truth. Glory Girl wasn't showing off her relationship to get Vista to back off, because she didn't see Vista as a threat to her relationship at all.

It wasn't a show of marking her territory, she just didn't consider Vista at all, which brightened Sophia's day as the door to the Wards rooms opened and Glory Girl walked in, looking around before slumping down slightly, seeing no Gallant in sight. They never got back from Arcadia that quick, even with it being the closest school to the PRT headquarters. They probably went to grab something to eat, or just hung out after school. Fucking kids playing heroes.

She kinda respected Glory Girl. Sure the other girl was kinda a vapid bitch but she didn't hesitate to bring the hurt when she needed to.

Miss Militia walked in next, at least it wasn't Armsmaster. Actually, maybe not, since Miss Militia was more likely to waste her time with dumb questions, and at least Armsmaster always seemed as interested in talking to her as she was to him.

And finally, the new cape walked in and her thoughts were immediate.

Holy shit.

Or unholy as he walked in, blazing gold eyes scanning the room as a pair of leathery black wings closed to allow him to step through the doorway before opening wide, a forked tail swishing around.

He looked like a complete badass, wearing all black with what looked like leather pants, a pair of twisting horns coming out of his head.

"Vista, Shadow Stalker, this is Sett. He's a new arrival to Brockton, a Case 53 as you can probably tell," Miss Militia explained as he gave a half-assed wave. "He's here for power testing and to register as a Case 53, but we thought it would be a good idea for him to get to meet some fellow capes his age."

Code for: we want to recruit him into the wards because we're desperate.

She was half tempted to tell him to run, but if he was half as badass as he looked, she'd enjoy having him as a teammate instead of the current clowns she had to deal with.

"Wait, I know you. Didn't you take down some merchants on the Boardwalk earlier?" Vista asked, making him blink and turn to her. "It was on PHO. Apparently you took them down in seconds."

"I really need to check that site out, but yeah that was me. It was no real challenge, they were small fry," Sett said easily, waving off her praise. Merchants were small fry, but still she was kinda impressed with him.

"What can you do?" Sophia asked bluntly, getting a disapproving look from Miss Militia which Sett couldn't see.

It was the world's strongest Barbie girl who answered first, cutting off Sett's response.

"Ha, what can't he do? He's basically Lung, if Lung was a demon instead of a dragon and could also use magic," Vicky said proudly, making her pause.

Not only at the words, but why did Vicky seem proud?

"Magic?" Vista asked, making Sett chuckle.

"My power is weird, and a lot of my abilities come out as spells. Don't ask, it doesn't make sense to me either," Sett chuckled, his hand glowing with golden light for a moment before it faded.

"Lung?" Sophia asked, focusing on the important part of the statement. "You're saying he's as strong as Lung?"

"No idea, but my… primary power works in the same vein. I grow during combat, getting stronger, faster and more powerful as time passes. I doubt I'd beat Lung from what I've heard about him, he apparently grows faster than me, for now at least," Sett explained. "Basically, I'm a Self-Trump, my power is constantly growing and adapting. Unfortunately the growth is pretty random, and I have no real control over it."

She was about to respond to that ridiculous statement before alarms went off, making her look around quickly, spotting her crossbow.

Grabbing it, she froze as something descended through the ceiling into the room with them, dropping her crossbow in a rare admittance of being entirely outmatched.

There, in all his shiny golden glory, was Scion. Floating in the middle of the room, Miss Militia cycled through dozens of weapons as if she could even scratch the apex predator.

Scion ignored her, as he ignored all of them but one, his blank gaze locked entirely on Sett as he floated towards the devil.

"Erm, hi? Is there something I can do for you,"

Sett asked, seemingly uncaring of the presence of the most powerful parahuman in existence.

Scion didn't respond, he never did, instead just staring for almost a full minute of increasingly unnerving silence.

Then, he held out his hand and a mirror-like object formed, showing the image of a pillar of multicoloured light.

"Oh, yeah… that was me. I think? It's how I got to this city," Sett admitted, rubbing his neck. "My bad?"

Scion didn't respond.

The image changed, to the scene of Sett standing over a bed with a legless man in it, hands glowing gold as the man's legs returned.

"That was me too, is it about the gold thing because I can't change that," Sett admitted. "So you're going to have to share the colour."

Sett just told Scion that he would have to share, it was a surprise that Brockton Bay hadn't fallen into the sea with the sheer weight of his balls.

Scion reacted, shaking his head before he pointed at the image, and then at himself.

"Oh, sure I can do that," Sett said as he moved forwards, the image dispelling as Sett held out his hands, glowing with golden light as Scion let him press them against his chest.

The light engulfed him as both of them gasped, Sett stumbling back as he let out a deep breath, Scion looking down at himself for a moment.

"Thank you," Scion finally said, making them all gasp at the sound of his deep voice. Did Scion ever speak? "I will return."

And with a flash of light, they were alone again as Sett scratched his chin.

"What an odd guy," Sett said simply, making them all stare at him in sheer bemusement.

Sophia considered everything she'd just seen, looking at Sett carefully before she said the only thing that made sense to her.

"I want your babies."

Everyone turned to her as she froze, hearing Glory Girl snort as Vista giggled, her face blushing under her mask.

"I mean, what the fuck just happened?"

It was a sign of how shocked everyone was that Miss Militia didn't even give her a half-hearted glare for her language.

— Sett —

Well, that was interesting.

I wonder who that guy was? He felt ridiculously powerful but he was rather polite and I didn't mind healing him of… whatever he wanted healing from. Oh wait, was this part of the testing?

Feat Achieved

[Meet Scion]

Three Pulls Granted

…I get three pulls for just meeting him? I have found my new best friend, he said he'd be back? Shit, he can move in with me.

We can be golden roomies.

Pull, pull, pull!


Result: Junk Magic (1 Pity Point Added)

[Scroll of Cast: Fist]

Allows the reader to learn to cast fist, dealing physical damage equal to their strength.

That's… that's just punching someone, right? Okay, that could have gone better.

Result: Uncommon Knowledge

[Martial Arts Mastery: Adept]

You have learnt how to use a martial art with the skill of a new black belt. You won't be taking down any true masters but you're a set above the rest. You can rapidly learn any other martial art up to this level, simply by observing masters in action.

Arts Known: Kung Fu

Okay, now we're getting somewhere. I know Kung Fu, now I just need the power to become a panda and I'll be set.

I'll take that for something as easy as meeting my shiny new friend, but let's see what else I've got.


Result: Mythical Power.


You have the ability to form stable gates between two points in space, with unlimited range. You simply need to know the terrain of where you are attempting to form your gates, so a simple picture of your destination would suffice. These gates are permanent unless you close them, and allow instantaneous travel between two points in space. You can close them at will, without needing to be at the gates themselves. You also gain a perfect memory for locations, never forgetting anywhere you have seen.

My first mythical power, the ability to make portals in space anywhere in the world as long as I understand the terrain.

I don't even need to be there, I could make a gate in the Dallon house and in the boardwalk while standing in the PRT building. Shit, give me a good internet connection and a half decent picture and I could make a portal between Sydney and London, without leaving Brockton Bay.

I don't know the other 'Movers' but I'm pretty sure I just became the best one in the world.

Thank you, strange golden man, I owe you my life.

…but who the fuck was he?

— Bonus Scene — Rebecca Costa-Brown (Alexandria)

As the Chief Director and a member of the Triumvirate it was safe to say she saw a lot, very little could truly surprise her anymore.

Endbringer attacks were met with a cold calculation of how many capes she could get to the fight, the Slaughterhouse Nine got a roll of the eyes, she just wasn't easily disturbed.

That said…

What the fuck was that!?

Why did Scion break his pattern, zoom across the entire world to go to Brockton Bay of all places, approach a Case 53 (when he usually avoided them), and demand the Case 53 use a healing power on him?

Scion was unharmed, and yet there was a clear reaction when she watched the footage back, Scion gasping at Sett's touch, the blank expression shifting ever so slightly before he smiled, a tiny barely noticeable smile and spoke.

Thank you.

I'll be back.

What did he want, why was he doing this? Was Sett a threat? Was Scion wounded and they didn't notice until he got fully healed? Had they missed a massive opportunity?

Why Sett, what did Scion want with him, why was he coming back later. What did Scion even want?

She was freaking out, she knew it, entirely unprepared for today, forcibly calming herself as she stood up.

She needed more information.

"Door me."

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