12 Sunrise

POV : Coil


Coil almost topples over from his chair as reality comes back into focus, his eyes flutter closed and he pins a finger to his temple from the painful backlash of his power failing him... "What on earth... Was that...?" he asks no-one unparticular, simply just enunciate how baffled he was over the situation.

His power had never failed before, he hadn't even thought it possible given what it was... The ability to split timeless certainly didn't seem vulnerable to typical Cape foibles... He was wise with it's use, using it as a 'get out of jail free card', a chance to explore options that were either perilously dangerous or resulted in an outcome he didn't like.

So, while he was safely sitting in his office doing work for the PRT, he was also in his secret base orchestrating the infiltration of Empire 88 properties, specifically to identify the civilian identities of their capes.

He still wasn't entirely sure what caused the disruption, but one moment he'd been calling an agent he had in ABB territory about an attack between them and the Merchants, and all of a sudden he was back here, his second timeline 'turning itself off', for lack of a better term.

He hoped this was just a random event, but wasn't foolish enough to stake all of his future plans on it. If he couldn't utilize his most powerful asset then everything he'd worked for until now would be useless, trash, refuse.

The only time something similar to this had occurred was when someone Triggered in the immediate vicinity of him in another timeline. It hadn't eliminated it, but caused his other self a complete loss of control. Thankfully he'd manually quelled the timeline before he could experience any other effects.

Further investigation had to be made before any other plans could be made. Find the anomaly and eliminate it.

But first, he had to nurse this migraine... Was this what they called a 'Thinker headache'? Because he was starting to sympathize with their plight.


POV : Kieu

I toss and turn in my bed, feeling lethargic to the extreme. Like a great cloud bigger than I'd ever seen had obscured any light in my life. I didn't need to sleep, but that just made me feel even shittier for spending three days like this.

I was made to feel even worse by the fact that everyone was worried about me. Tieu, Mr Hotaro, Takeshita... Hell, I couldn't even force myself to give a more detailed response to Canary's message and offer of help than 'The matter has resolved itself.'...

I wanted to sleep and forget the whole thing with the ABB had ever happened, but whenever I closed my eyes I saw that woman's face, the shock in her face as I levelled the gun at her, and the light leaving her eyes after I shot her.

I made me sick. It made me angry at the gang for making me do that. But it made me furious with myself for allowing it to get this bad. Surely I could have done something to avoid this? I'd ruminated on it every waking hour, what I could have done, what I should have done.

I could have avoided this. Left with Tieu as soon as I got on the ABB's radar, lack of funds be damned. I could have found a more deplorable person to stay with, to give Tieu reprieve from the trouble I'd bring.

I could have ignored Über and Leet and none of this would have ever happened.

Why did I do this to myself?


I'd only left my room to eat and drink whatever Tieu made for me. Or to socialize with those who visited, like my social worker Susan... She was the only one who probably didn't notice anything, I'd gotten pretty good at acting like everything's fine ever since I arrived in this shit-hole of a world.

"Come on, get up, you promised to take me shopping yesterday!" Takeshita exclaims as she tries to drag me out of bed by my limp arm.

"That was Tieu, go with her if you want..." I sigh.

"But I wanna go with you!" she pouts, releasing my hand and allowing me to turn over again.

"Mou... Fine! You want to be like that?" she stomps out of the room, finally giving me reprieve from her complaining.

Or so I thought...


I groan as someone smacks me in the face with a pillow... Not the light ones with duck feather's either, but a cushion that's been compressed by numerous backsides and hardened over time...



"OI!" I growl, blocking her next attack with a swipe. "Go away!"

"No! GET UP!"

"MOM!" I yell at the hallway, prompting Tieu to stick her head into view. "Take her out!"

"If you want, Kieu... Just let me get something first."




"Uh, that was Misses Tieu..." she girl sniggers as I turn, spotting Tieu with an innocent expression... Hiding a pillow behind her. She shakes her head and points behind me, "No, it was her."

Much to my shame, I actually fell for it...


My head snaps around just as Tieu smacks me a second time. "J-Just, why can't you all leave me alone...?" I hiccup, trying to contain my distress. "Is it too much to ask?"

"You've been like this for days now, Kieu! You've had long enough to whine and cry!" Takeshita exclaims, obviously unaware of the ordeals I'd recently gone through. I look to Tieu who just gives a reassuring smile.

"We don't have to go anywhere." she says, causing Takeshita to protest, only to stop her with a raised hand. "But, I ordered takeaway, and got a movie you said you liked."

Takeshita's eyes shimmer in excitement at that, she was a glutton at heart and I couldn't blame her, pizza was pizza, if that was even what she bought. I myself was already feeling exhausted from this 'intervention'...

I allow another sigh and look to her, "What movie do you think I like, Tieu?" I ask, I'd never told her my preferences after all.

"A movie from Earth Aleph, called Star Wars."


My heart thumps in my chest from nostalgia, the first realm positive emotion I'd felt since the incident... Just the name of it reminded me of better days, days with people I couldn't remember, but knew I loved regardless.

"I-I think I'd like that." I mutter quietly, drawing a cheer from Takeshita.

"Yeah! Movie night! Sleep over!" she babbles, tearing off my covers before pulling me off the bed and onto the floor. Even with how annoying she is and could be, I couldn't help but crack a smile. A misty silhouette of someone like her getting just as excited for the prequels manifested, only for a moment though.

"So... What'd you order?"


The morning after our sudden Star Wars marathon I was feeling better... Not like a new man, or someone who hadn't shot an innocent person. But more like someone who didn't have a choice in the matter, an unwilling victim.

Mostly though, I redirected my anger towards myself to the ABB. Bunch of psycho, child-abusing fucks. I'm tired of being a whiny cunt over something they forced me to do! I'd get them back, someway, someday, somehow.

That said, I finally got around to properly reading Canary's response, rather than skimming it as quickly as my eyes allowed.

♦ Private message from Canary_Cryxx:


OMG, are you okay? Srs that sounds horrible! Why would the PRT even allow something like that!? I didn't know it was u who hammered leet but I saw that!

Look dont worry about selling me anything, I wanna work with you too! Tell me what you need and ill send it to you as fast as I can! we can work on songs together after you and your mom are safe!


Kieu!? Did something happen!? rely to me already, ur making me worried!


seriously! this isnt funny anymore, say something or im gonna send people to get you, I swear to god!


The situation has been resolved.


What the hell does that even mean!? the only way you can say that is if th ABB got steamrolled over night. tell me what happened!

Canary_Cryxx*New Message*:

Kieu, I'm just trying to help! please let me help! we're supposed to be song-buddies, right!?


Hey, sorry about my earlier response. Stuff's just been alot lately... I wont go too into it but things worked out as well as they could. Thanks for offering to help but its over now, doing anything else might just make things worse...

Sorry for making you worry, but I'd like if we can just ignore whatever this was and go back to the start... So... Did your agent say anything? About commissioning a song or working together? Have you seen the songs I posted on my Youtube?

I sit back in my chair after sending the message, wondering if she'd take my approach to all of this badly. She 'seemed' to be kind, but I wouldn't put it past her to have some weird personality.

Thankfully I don't have to wait long before Canary replies...

Canary_Cryxx*New Message):

If you're sure... Im not happy with just dropping this but if thats what u want.

i spoke with my agent and she actually looked happy we were talking. said you were popular and had potential. I showed her the song you sent me and she looked like a Cheshire cat, i swear I saw dollar signs in her eyes too!

She said she she'd give you 10% on any profit on reproductions or streams on the first song u write. Lemme tell u that's way, way better than most people get, especially rookies... Or so I'm told. Don't take my advice at face value and check it yourself.

She said if your song does well on the charts then we can talk about a collab. TBH im really interested in trying a duet, but she said u'd need a vocal coach for an official release, that or autotune(which I try not to use). thats not to say your bad at singing but if we wanna do it together you need to match me? ik kinda unfair given my power but i think u have it in you!


God, this girl is so sweet she's gonna give my heart cavities and diabetes simultaneously. Honestly, I don't know if she realises just what she offered me, a thirteen year-old. Ten percent profit from any song she'd sing would instantly make me rich, it wasn't even a question... Even if I handed her a dogshit song her fanbase would buy it. Not that I'm planning on giving her trash...


Really!? That's great! I'll get starting writing it right away! I promise I won't let you down!

- Kieu


It would be an understatement to say I was excited. Was I on an emotional rollercoaster? Yeah, but this was a fresh break for not only me, but Tieu as well!

Now I just had to figure out what song I wanted to give her... First, it had to compliment her voice... Second, the instrumentals needed to be easy enough for me to replicate, or give a direction to with my limited knowledge on the subject... Last, it needed to be a hit. Well, I guess the importance of each thing could be swapped around but...


I had an idea... It'd be different from the pop songs she usually did, but I think it'd suit her perfectly...

Adele - Someone Like You

Yeah... Yeah! This'll work! I'm on the fucking gravy train now!

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