15 Highs and Lows

"How do I feel...? I feel like punching someone." I admit. Throughout that confrontation I'd expected to maybe get sucker punched, but for one of them to pull a shiv on me? I should've realized my experience in my past world is a bit wonky compared to this one. When capes are running around being prepared to shiv someone on a dime is probably a good idea. That said, maybe forcing a searing hot wok into the guy's face exacerbated things.

Panacea's voice brings back my thoughts, "I'd probably be the same if someone did that to me, I've never been stabbed but I imagine it hurts a lot."

I idly shrug, "Honestly? Not really. Maybe it was the adrenaline or shock but the pain didn't hit me until I was on my knees passing out..." I blink, "I-is Tieu, my mom alright? She was there too-, shit, how long's it been?"

"Relax, you were bought in a couple of hours ago, your mom came to check up on you too." she lets out a low chuckle, "She invited me over to have tea with both of you."

An exasperated groan leaves my lips, "Don't tell me you agreed?"

Panacea shakes head, "I have enough trouble keeping up a schedule as it is, you'd be surprised how many people try to hook me up with their kids."

"I guess, marrying up is common." I reply, "With how inheritable powers seem you're probably the top bachelorette in the world."

A frown slips onto her face before she covers it with a 'doctor' smile, "Anyway, you'll be happy to hear that the guy who attacked you got caught."

"Good. You'd think people would be more hesitant to assault a thirteen year old." Really though, Takata and his goons were either crazy or monumentally stupid.

Her brow wrinkles, "Ah, right, it's kind of easy to forget how young you are, you don't really talk like someone your age."

"I'm going to interpret that as a compliment... Right, we never did formally meet did we? I'm Kieu."

"Not John Doe?" she sniffs, "Panacea."

"Drop the cape shit, I didn't introduce myself as Mogorr Giantfist, and it isn't like your identity is secret either." I point out.

She barks a laugh, "Mogorr Giantfist?"

"A DnD character I used to play."

"You're really comparing capes to a game character you created?"

I shrug, "Why not, I'd rather seriously roll play as an orc barbarian than run around the city with a embarrassing name and eye-searingly colorful tights. I mean come on, I get tinker tech armour, but most cape stuff looks like it comes from some comic book reject store." I rub my face and stop myself from going into a full blown rant.

I get why capes used such ridiculous costumes, or well, I get why heroes did it. It was all for PR, the more recognizable you were, the more adverts you could take, toys you could sell, etc. I had no idea why villains did the same, it wasn't like they'd have merch to sell, even if they had a shop front to sell it, no one would want to buy it.

Panacea glances down at her own costume with a frown, "I'll have you know this is practical!"

"Oh yeah? I know for a fact you didn't design it, and do you even have any pockets aside from that 'apothecary pack'?" I say, jabbing a finger at the medieval-style fanny pack.

She blushes under her hood and glowers at me, "M-moving on! I need to talk to you about something important!"

I crook a brow at her suddenly changing the subject, sure she might just wanna get away from my criticizing her costume, but the way she'd gone all serous and started gripping my arm harder put me on edge. "Important?"

Panacea makes an effort to glance around for people nearby, before leaning closer and lowering her voice, "Okay, don't take this the wrong way, I promise not to tell anyone but... You're a cape, right?" she questions conspiratorially.


How the fuck did she know that!?

"Uh..." I trail off stupidly, the widening of my eyes alone all but handed her the answer on a platter anyway.

"Relax." she says, likely noticing how I'd begun to panic. "I'm not going to tell anyway, but I just wanted to ask a few questions... It's all health related, mind you."

"... I'm sure..." I reply doubtfully. "Your power probably told you, then?"

"Really, I promise not to tell anyone-," she cuts herself off, "As long as you aren't a villain or something. That I'd need to do something about."

"What happened to doctor patient confidentiality?" I retort.

She smiles sheepishly, "I never even went to medical school so..."

"Fine. Ask your questions, but I choose if I wanna answer or not."

She nods, "Well, what's your power to start?"

"Isn't that like, really personal to ask?" I question.

"Sometimes... You don't have to answer-"

"You go first, then I'll tell you." I cut her off.

"What do you mean? You already know what my power is."

I shake my head, "Healing, sure, but there's lots a theories about how you go about it. Confirm it for me and I'll tell you."

She frowns at me, not even taken a moment to consider it when she replies, "Parts of your brain have been altered, along with your lungs and stomach. Those are only the main changes though, but from what I can gather, you're a Noctis Cape."


Ok, ignoring whatever she said about my internal organs having apparently gone through a change, probably due to my power removing my necessities for survival. "The fuck is Noctis Cape?" I ask, never having come across the phrase.

"Language," she chides me like I'm a child... Which I technically am... "Noctis Capes are those whose powers, in addition to their main ability, never have to sleep, and in some cases get enhanced recall of memories... This would match the alterations I found in your brain."

Huh... So, aside from never eating, breathing, or getting tired, parts of my power could be notched up to being a noctis cape? Question is then, do I have a 'main' ability or is it only the ability to ignore basic necessities.

Regardless, I wasn't about to let her roll over me like this. "Ability to scan the entire body, along with healing it, to the extent or being able to grow back missing limbs from external biomass. I read a theory online speculating that you were a biotinker." I retort, causing her eyes to widen.

"T-the atrophying of your lungs and digestive systems lends me to believe you don't need to eat or breath for long periods of time." she continues, electing to ignore me.

"But you couldn't be a biotinker since you've never been observed using an external device to heal people. So, either its some kind of nanites, or your manipulating flesh directly... Which would make you-"

"No!" she exclaims, causing me to trail off. "Just no..." she shakes her head and tries to take her hands from my wrist, only for me to rest a hand over hers.

Really, I was just recalling the various ideas from the forums about her power, but her reaction just now means I was getting close... Add how fearfully she was reacting, and maybe her being along the lines of Nilbog wasn't so farfetched.

Then again, restraining someone who potentially had the ability to turn me into chaos spawn was a stupidly retarded idea.

"Looks like we both got secrets, huh?" I release her hand, allowing her to slump in her seat, "Let's start off?" I hold out my hand, a sign of trust given what she knew I knew, or at least suspected, "I'm Kieu."


It takes her almost ten seconds to regain her composure, from looking like she was about to flee to merely scared shitless. Like a child who didn't just steal from the cookie jar, but smashed it to bits and fed the shards to the dog, killing it before the chocolate could.

Reluctantly, she takes my hand, "Amy."

"Nice to finally meet you, Amy. Maybe we could introduce Panacea to Mogorr sometime... And I promise not to tell anyone about your powers." I say, throwing her words back at her with not a small degree of satisfaction.

At my words she metaphorically melts into her chair, looking as if she would burst into tears in sheer relief.

Wait... Was that why she'd been holding my wrist the entire time?

"Can you tell if I'm lying?" I inquire, more amused than anything.

"Yes..." she admits, finally stopping our overly long handshake.

"Well, whatever. Hey, since we're friends now, any chance I can check out? I wanna makesure my mom is good." I was more worried about what the ABB would do in response to one of their guys getting arrested because of me.

"Friends? As if, we're acquaintances at most."

"Nuh-uh, you can't say that after you proclaimed yourself my personal doctor. You didn't say if I could leave or not either."

"I'm not your personal-"

"You are, it's not like I can go to anyone else with my 'condition' now, is it? You volunteered when you sprung that shit on me."


"It can't be anything official." she lets out a tired sigh and reluctantly states before standing, "Let's get the forms filled and send you home then. I don't know if I can stand you any longer anyway."

"Ah, thanks. Your care really warms my heart, fake priest."

"Not a priest! Do you want me to delay your discharge!?"

I keep my comebacks about 'delayed discharge' wisely to myself. I'd rather not be afflicted with E.D in retaliation.



"Weird..." I mutter to myself as Tieu fails to pick up her phone. I know the morning was still young but Tieu was an early riser, the chance of her forgetting to charge her phone was higher than her sleeping in.

Regardless, I catch a cab home but just stand there on the sidewalk at the sight of our utterly destroyed stall. It was sitting where it always is when not in use, smashed to pieces and covered in ABB graffiti

"Fuck." I growl as I sprint up the stairs to our apartment, sliding to a stop outside our door and using the hidden key to step inside. Empty, aside from the lukewarm pot of tea on the table, a huge red flag given Tieu's proclivities.

No sign of struggle either, meaning they'd taken her some other way, or simply blackmailed her.

"Fuck!" I shout, punching the wall and likely fracturing a knuckle.


My head darts to the door and I make my way over after retrieving the biggest kitchen knife we owned. I throw the door open and barely avoid giving Mr Hotaro a new orifice as I see his face. "T-this isn't a good time." I growl and try to keep the venom from my tone.

"Boy, they took her, Tieu." he says, looking grave.


"They just, knocked on her door and dragged her out when she opened it. I saw it all through the peek hole... I'm sorry I couldn't do anything to stop them." he shamefully admitted.

"No, this is my fault. They took her because of me." I wouldn't blame him regardless of how fucking furious I was, he's an old man with a grand daughter to look after, against a group of ABB thugs he'd do worse than nothing.

"Do you know where they might have taken her?" I ask. Even if I myself couldn't do anything I could certainly put the PRT on their asses. Just tell them they were holding someone famous hostage and they'd be there faster than you could say 'Public Relations'.

"No-, you can't look for her. There's no telling what they would do to you-"

"You want me to sit back and do fuck all while they have Tieu!? Fuck me, who knows what those vile cunts are doing to her!"

He shakes his head, "You will die. And... I have started taken matters into my own hands"


"What do you mean?" unless this old man was some secret agent or retired cape I highly doubted he could even touch the ABB.

"I have begun speaking with others in the neighborhood who are tired of the ABB's tyranny. They have made many enemies after everything they have done."

"Meaning?" I press, "The fuck is a bunch of elderly people gonna do!?"

"We're arranging a protest-"

"ARE YOU CRAZY!?" I shout in response to his monumentally stupid plan. "A protest against a violent gang who owns the whole fucking area!? Which has two murderous capes in charge!?"

"W-we plan to have the PRT oversee it. I believe we can solve this peacefully, we, the people who live here just need to put our foot down." he says, sounding earnest in his desire... Whether that could actually be achieved is another matter entirely.

Though... Thinking on it, maybe a protest is just what the PRT needs to finally do something about this shit hole city. Make a big enough movement, get enough eyes on it, and the public will demand they take action.

"This is idiotic." I say, still not believing it could be pulled off.

He rests a hand on my shoulder, "I believe this is the only way to get Tieu back." he states with a determined gleam in his eye.

Brushing his hand off, I step past him and down the hall, "Do what you want, I'll find her myself."

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