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There were a number of abandoned buildings in Brockton Bay. Entire areas where apartment buildings were left mostly unused by their proper owners. In places like that, the homeless, gangers, druggies, anyone who wasn't welcome by society at large were welcome.

Not that I'd consider that kind of rabble to be anywhere near the same league as myself! But I too was now an outcast of society. A supervillain. At least until I gather enough power to show the world the truth: That I am a visionary, the girl who deserves, more than anyone else, to be the ruler of the world!

I find a relatively empty building. The few squatters that inside took one look at the primary colors, mask, and adorable robot, and decided to wisely vacate the premises. First things first, I need a bed.

"Moto Bug, guard duty." I order, once we find an old ratty mattress and some crusty blankets. First thing tomorrow, I'm going to go out and procure better supplies for myself. Clothes, food, blankets, a better mattress. And metal. Well... now that I think about it, this is Brockton Bay. The boat graveyards alone should be enough to provide for all my needs in the short time, and if not, I can hang around the fringes whenever the Empire goes on the warpath. Kaiser and Hookwolf leave behind so much raw metal all over the place whenever they fight other heavy hitters. Hmmm.

Ah well! A thought for another time!

I go over all the tools in my toolbox, as well as look over the box itself, and can't find any tracking devices. That doesn't mean that there aren't any, of course, but it does mean that if there are then I can't exactly do anything. These tools are too valuable to throw away on a baseless assumption.

I curl up in the blanket, pointedly ignore the terrible smell, and close my eyes.

When I awake from my nap, I'm still covered in bruises, of course, the night is young and I have plans!

Moto Bug of course doesn't sleep, and I can tell from the trail in the dusty floor that he had been quietly circling my bed for the last few hours without much deviation. Grinning, I stand up, fetch the tool box, and begin searching the building.

Most electronics in the building have long-since been hauled away and pawned, but some of the apartments have old ovens, old fridges, dish washers, etc. Within two hours I've gathered quite the large pile of scrap, and Moto Bug lugged it into the apartment I had chosen as my temporary base of operations.

The next twenty minutes involved a lot of cutting, bending, wrenching, and polishing. Armsmaster's tools are top-notch, and definitely up to the task. Without any computers to scavenge I have to create my own circuits from scratch. Mice and rats are plentiful enough in the area, and catching a few isn't too much trouble. The materials aren't the best, but they'll do.

I have decided to make some more robots. I can't just rely on Moto Bug for everything after all. Though I must say, I really do need a proper lab to work out of. The difference between Moto Bug and the other Badniks I've built (I'm a villain! I'll embrace the title!) is a stark one.

Moto Bug is a good deal larger for one, almost two and a half feet tall and about as wide. My newest Badniks, called Crabmeat One, Two, Three, and Four, are only about a foot and a half tall. Without any tires, they'll have to propel themselves with their legs.

When considering speed, they're seriously lacking compared to Moto Bug's blistering pace, but that's not where their strength lies!

No, that would be the packets of explosive Chaos Energy that each one of my four new minions are capable of launching from each of their claws every three or so seconds! It doesn't have half the potency of a grenade, but I don't particularly want that level of damage anyway. For the purpose of security and making believable threats, it'll be more than enough! Some preliminary testing showed that the Crabmeat's bombs could blow down walls, leave a smoldering crater in solid steel, and while I didn't have any real way or intention to test it, I was fairly sure getting hit by one would be fairly lethal for most people. 

"Crabmeats! Follow me! It's time we go do some shopping!"


A simple wagon was but the work of a few moments. I would ride on top of Moto Bug, and the Crabmeats would sit in the wagon, pulled along behind us. It was about the size of a regular car, and I had no choice but to use the actual streets. Dodging around pedestrians was easy enough when it was just Moto Bug, but now he had a huge metal cart following his every move.

I was still in the worse part of town. There were fewer cops, for one thing, and it helped I was more or less given a wide berth by just about everyone. You didn't get more obviously Parahuman than bright colors and robots. Merchant and E88 gang signs decorated just about every other street corner, and the few businesses that still ran nearby were pretty clearly a front for one group or another. But that suited me just fine.

I mean, I did technically mug that clerk at the costume shop when I took the beaglepuss and the pirate outfit without paying, but it was so small. And, for that matter, they were a pressing necessity. But I still didn't feel exactly okay stealing from innocent people if I didn't really need to. But if the shops were simply fronts for those druggie/nazi bastards I didn't give a damn.

The small-time furniture store run by a skin-head didn't have any actual beds, but an okay fold-out couch was carried out by my Crabmeats and loaded into the Moto-Wagon. A corner store that passed drugs for the merchants didn't have much in terms of actual groceries, but it had frozen pizzas, waffles, energy drinks, candy, and other various foodstuffs. Also, as a fun surprise, I can't believe I didn't think of it, there's all kinds of useful things for sale! Electric toys, batteries, cigarette lighters, cell phone chargers, little electric fans, aerosol cans! Air compressors, brass connectors, wrecking chisels, smoke detectors, tire gauges, hamster cages, thermostats and bug deflectors! Things I can use! Individual parts I can scavenge rather than needing to make from scratch!

I was so thankful I didn't even break the door down on my way out!

Next on my list was raw materials for building. There wasn't much chance of a computer store being run by anyone I wouldn't feel a little guilty over robbing, but I knew that I wouldn't be wanting for scrap metal. But as Moto Bug pulled our clunky vehicle down the road, I couldn't help but feel that it was... inconvenient. If I tried to head into the busier parts of the city with this setup traffic would be infuriating, and might also mean needing to make a choice between fighting the police and abandoning the more cumbersome wagon so that I could flee on Moto Bug.

What I needed was some kind of cargo helicopter. Or something like it. Maybe quieter.

Filling my belly and positioning the couch where I wanted it, I decided to turn my genius towards this goal.

Among the supplies procured from the corner store are notebooks and pens, I lose myself in planning for nearly an hour, before I strike upon a design that just feels right. Mobile, adaptable, sturdy as hell, and would be able to get me around the city without needing to deal with traffic or drawing too much attention- because really, when did people ever actually look up?

Taking the wagon down to the boat graveyard I set the crabmeat on blasting apart the husks and dragging the more sizable pieces back to the wagon. Consigning myself to multiple trips, metal was piled until Moto Bug began to make nervous noises, at which point we headed back for headquarters.


The night came and went. The morning arrived, and with it, the framework of my beautiful vehicle. It was going to be a free-floating, almost silent, machine capable of interacting magnetically with all kinds of modules from its bottom side. The small wings allowed for greater maneuverability . In the front of the vehicle was a Chaos energy packet launcher, but modified for far greater output than my Crabmeats can handle! The vehicle was planned to seat one, and the dashboard would be arrayed with multiple monitors, every kind of input jack I could think of, keyboards, switches, and buttons! I think I might hit some computer stores for those parts just for the sake of convenience. The idea had evolved, from simply being convenient transportation, to a kind of mobile throne. 

I could see it now! From this vehicle I could integrate with, make contact with, and command all my other creations! It was designed to be extremely durable, fast, and powerful. It would out-run and out-fly any mundane helicopter with utter ease!

At some point in the night, it occurred to me the smooth black semisphere that made up its bottom and the magnetic module-connecting device gave the entire machine a kind of cute egg shape. Wider closer to the bottom, and then tapering up with the high, rounded windshield. The idea was charming to me, so I named it the Egg Mobile 1!

There was glass aplenty among the wrecked ships of the graveyard, but re-purposing that into the shape I desired for the windshield and also to make all my monitor screens was a bit complicated. All of it was, really. Without the stolen tinker-made blowtorches and my Badniks able to hold sheets of metal in place and bend it to my specifications, building something so big would have been a pipe dream! But who is Taylor Hebert other than the girl who will make her dreams reality!?

I worked through the day, occasionally going off when some necessary part had to cool to fill my face with more snacks.

Its tiresome work, bringing such marvelous things to life!

Now... while, technically, because Chaos power is essentially infinite, just one Chaos battery should be able to energize a Badnik for all time. But even though the battery acts as a connection to that infinite energy, there's only so much that can be pulled at a time. It doesn't matter that you've made a perpetual motion machine if all the energy it produces is only enough to keep a light bulb lit, even if that light can keep going on forever. It'll take more than what a rat produces per second in order to make this thing levitate, and even more than that for my CEP Launcher.

I could just grab a bunch of rats, but the Chaos extractor is only really built to hold one animal in stasis at a time. I could make a bunch of extractors, but it'd be a waste of metal, when I can just grab a bigger animal and make use of that.


Once I have one, it'll be complete. I'm thinking an animal about seventy pounds or more. Now... where to go for it?