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Riot Force 6 Year One: Street Sabre
Riot Force 6 Year One: Street Sabre
#1
As a Paragon native, Priss was no stranger to metahuman problems. Be it dealing with gang members making trouble at her concerts, or avoiding the cultists lurking in the shadows. Occasionally it had gotten violent, which usually hadn't gone well for her. Someone her size didn't do well against something like that without a serious equaliser, after all.

But the mess she was in right now was definitely the worst she'd ever experienced. And if she didn't find a way out of it fast, it would probably be her last.

As the Troll took her deeper into the caves, tucked under his arm like a bag, she resisted the urge to waste her strength in pointless struggle. Instead, she paid close attention to her surroundings, looking for landmarks, reference points, anything that might help her find her way back out. There were stories about the caves under Eastgate, that they went on for miles. If she just ran, she might never find her way out. Assuming she even outran her captor.

Then her captor walked past another group, and her hopes faded even further. The Trolls were dragging along a group of prisoners, maybe half a dozen people all chained together. Their clothes were tattered, their bodies frail and starved, and none of them even showed a trace of defiance.

Slaves. It was an urban myth as old as the Trolls themselves, but until this moment, Priss had dismissed it as a story used to make children behave. ‘Be good or the Trolls will take you away!’ her mother had said, once upon a time.

Wherever you are now, I am so sorry for proving you right, she thought to herself, closing her eyes for a moment. She felt the Troll carrying her turn another corner, grunt what she assumed was a greeting of some sort, before dropping her into the dirt.

Rolling over onto her knees, she looked up to see her fears confirmed. There was a pack of Trolls surrounding her, most of them the giant, deformed shape of long term Dyne abusers. Some of them moved closer, curious about the tiny figure dropped in front of them. Slowly, trying not to make any rapid moves, Priss climbed to her feet, meeting their gaze as best she could.

“Lunch?” one of them grunted, stomping even closer.

“Barely snack,” another one said, getting laughs from the rest of the group. Like everything about the Trolls, the laughter was loud and violent, echoing around the caverns in ways that made the woman's ears ring.

Her captor snarled, cutting off the laughter with a noise like cutting steel. “Not food!” He snapped. “Pet! Like Kitty!” Several of the Trolls grunted what passed for understanding with them, along with tones of approval.

Fear and caution vanished, washed away by a burst of disgust and fury. Before she could stop herself, she spun towards the Troll behind her. “Go to hell you rock brained assho-” A sudden blow from her left turned her defiance into a scream of agony, and she fell to her knees, clutching at her arm as best she could. 

Fighting back the tears, she forced herself to look up at her captor as he leaned over her, hot breath washing over her. “Little pets are animals,” he grunted, somehow managing to sound condescending despite stumbling over the longer words. “Animals no talk. Be good pet, or else.”

Logically, Priss knew there was only one real option. She was almost certain her arm was broken, but even without that, she was in a maze of caves with no real idea how to reach the surface, and there was no way she was going to outrun the monsters that surrounded her. Her only chance to survive, however faint, was to submit. Play the obedient little pet and bide her time, try and recover from her injuries, and seize an opportunity to escape when it appeared.

But right now, she knew it would take several miracles for her to survive even a day here. Besides, as the Troll leaned over her, grinning at her with massive deformed teeth, she was struck by a sudden urge, one from the very core of her soul that she knew she would never truly regret.

Before the Troll had time to realize the meaning of the evil grin his victim currently had, Priss lunged to her feet, slamming her head against the underside of his jaw. Pain consumed her world again, but as she fell backwards, she could see the Troll clutching at his mouth, blood leaking between his fingers

All the other Trolls fell silent, staring in disbelief. Not at Priss, or even the Troll she'd headbutted, but at the ground between them. Several oversized teeth lay in the dirt, ugly jagged things that looked like they were part rock. To the Trolls, those teeth were a symbol of pride and status. With one bold move, Priss had essentially castrated her kidnapper.

Lying in the dirt, Priss managed a weak laugh, snapping everyone else out of their shock. Bellowing in rage, her kidnapper stomped forward, raising a bloody fist above his head. But before he could bring it down on his victim, a new voice spoke up from behind him. “Stop.” The humiliated Troll froze, before being knocked aside.

The new arrival was another Troll, but even bigger and deformed than any Priss had ever seen. His skin looked like mottled rock, and his arms were horribly oversized compared to the rest of his body. There was still a glimpse of cruel intelligence in his eyes though, and they almost seemed to glow as they studied Priss. “You have fire.”

“Get lost, or you're gettin’ what he got,” she shot back.

To her annoyance, he simply laughed. “Better idea,” he grunted, leaning down and grabbing her by the blouse. Her arm and head exploded in pain as he picked her up, before the world went black.

***

Standing in front of a rickety wooden door, two Trolls considered the beauty of the Red River, a place reclaimed by nature ever since the Hollowing. Incredibly clear waters, plants and animals reclaiming the area, with a sense of peace and serenity rarely found in Paragon City these days. “Bored. Wanna blow something up.”

“Yup,” the other one agreed. “Can’t though. Gotta stand guard.”

Groaning, the one on the left let his shoulders slump. “Whyyyyy? No one gonna come in here. Everyone know Trolls own caves. Cops, Thorns, Outcasts, Trolls smash them all.”

“People dumb,” his friend said, his voice reasonable. “We smash them, they still no learn Trolls strongest. Come back again. We have to smash again. That why we guard door.”

“Still dumb.”

“Look on the bright side,” said a new voice from behind them, making both Trolls jump and spin around. Sitting on top of the doorframe, a small brown cat considered the pair. “It’s a sign of how much trust your bosses have in you, to have you standing guard at such an important entrance,” she continued in the sort of voice one would expect from a young woman.

“... Talking kitty,” the first Troll said, looking up at her in disbelief. “Wat.”

“It’s a talent of mine,” she replied, stretching. “It’s a pleasure to meet you. My name is Neko, and I’m a distraction.” The pair stared at her a moment longer, then one howled in pain as an arrow shaft slammed into his arm, making him drop his gun. A heartbeat later, flames wrapped around the head of the other Troll, causing him to panic.

Before either of them could recover from the sudden attack, a silver-blue suit of power armour appeared out of thin air, blades popping out from each gauntlet. The clearly female figure stepped between the two Trolls, blades lashing out, and both monsters fell to the ground. Retracting her blades, Silicon Sabre turned to look at the cat. “Really? ‘I’m a distraction’?”

“Sometimes blatant works,” the cat replied, unconcerned. “It let you get in close, didn’t it?”

“My stealth systems were more than sufficient for this task,” Silicon said, pretending to protest. Her initial unease at dealing with a talking cat had quickly faded, as she found that the feline was not only as smart as any human, but competent and friendly as well.

The sound of footsteps caught her attention, and she turned to see Nekos partner approach, bow in hand. Safely hidden behind her helmet, her smile faded slightly as she considered the small, purple haired catgirl yet again. She hadn't been able to confirm her suspicions yet, but Purrfect Archer showed far too many signs of being homeless for her liking.

Despite that, there was still a cocky grin on the girls face as she tilted her head to the side, letting Neko land safely on her shoulder. “It's the rock heads. Some of them wouldn't notice a rock concert when they're in the crowd.”

That comment earned a musical laugh from above them, as the last member of the team floated down. “That might be an interesting experiment to try one day,” Flashover said, as the flames she'd summoned to incapacitate the Troll came apart in a shower of sparks, dancing along the intricate patterns on her suit jacket. “But for now, I believe we have work to do.”

“Agreed,” Silicon said, politely ignoring the fact Neko was digging her claws into Archers shoulder to stop her staring at the Fae. Ah, teenagers. Kneeling down next to the Trolls, she removed a pair of metal strips from a storage panel in her armour and locked them around the pairs wrists. As she watched, the handcuffs unfolded into a larger mechanism, a status light in the center blinking green. 

Stepping back, Silicon watched both Trolls disappear in a blue light, the teleport network in the War Walls transporting them to a secure location. She'd seen the effect many times in the past few weeks, but it still fascinated her. Pushing the sense of wonder aside, she activated her suit radio. “Officer Wincott, this is Silicon Sabre. We’re in position.”

“Copy that Silicon. We’re set here. Breach and clear as planned.”

Unsurprisingly, the door was unlocked, swinging open the moment Flashover touched it, revealing a wide tunnel behind it, angling down into the Earth. Flames danced across her fingers before she waved her hand, sending them spiralling down the path as makeshift torches. Inspecting the floor, her lips twitched in a thoughtful scowl. “Quite a bit of traffic through here.”

“Not all of it willing,” Neko added, looking at several small trenches made by desperate feet digging into the first.

“Then we’re in the right place,” Silicon said, her voice now focused and devoid of humour. “Let's be about it.” Deploying her arm blades, she marched into the Troll tunnels, her friend at her side.

Behind them, Purrfect Archer paused, watching them with a somewhat awestruck expression on her face. “Seriously, how do they do that?” She muttered under her breath.

“Heels, hips and experience,” Neko replied. “None of which you have yet.”

“Dammit.”

***

“Wake up!” The demand was accompanied by a violent shaking, the sudden agony forcing Priss awake with a gasp. For a moment, there was only pain, confusion, and the stench of bleach, before the memories returned. Opening her eyes, she flinched at the light, before forcing her eyes to try and focus.

“Oh, it’s you again,” she muttered, giving the Ogre holding her up by the shirt the best unimpressed look she could manage. Despite being in incredible pain, probably going into shock, and potentially having a concussion, it worked rather well.

Studying her, the Ogre grunted, clearly amused. “Got Spunk,” he said. “Good. Can use that. Need work, but you make good Troll.”

For a moment, Priss stared at him in a mixture of disbelief and confusion, wondering if her injuries had caused her to start hearing things. Then her expression darkened. “You fucking kidding me?!” She snapped, wincing at the pain raising her voice caused. “What, is breaking that assholes teeth a turn-on for you freaks or something?”

He grunted again, shaking his head. “Look at you. Trapped, hurt, helpless. No way out. But you no break. You no kneel. You fight. Me respect that,” he admitted, before pulling her closer to his face. “But you not strong enough yet. You need be stronger. Me can make you stronger.”

As her vision blurred again, Priss tried to consider what was being said. Most Trolls only understood physical strength, lacking the mental capability for anything else. So if he was offering strength, it had to be physical. But with the way her head was pounding, she just couldn’t seem to make to make the connection. “How?”

Smirking, he carried her across the cavern, bouncing her back and forth in his grip as he did so, leaving her gasping in agony. “With this,” he said, gesturing with his free hand. Slowly turning her head, Priss saw a filthy old bathtub, filled nearly to the brim with a thick green liquid, chunks of undissolved powder floating in it.

“Craaaaap,” she groaned, closing her eyes in horrified understanding. Superadine, the bizarre, super addictive drug that created the Trolls. Opening her eyes and wincing in pain, she glared at the Ogre. “You’re really trying to homebrew this shit? Gotta say, ballsy. Rock stupid, but ballsy.” His expression darkened, and she felt her lips twitch in an instinctive smirk. “Come on, the Family keeps the recipe to themselves, and there’s no way they’re gonna share it with you guys. You made some wild guesses, threw some actual Dyne in the tub for luck, then mixed it all together. I give you points for ambition though. What, you’re thinking you can dunk me in it, get me hooked, then keep me around while I turn green?” Ignoring the pain pulsing through her head, she let her smirk evolve into a full on sneer. “All it’s gonna do is kill me, and you’re gonna look even dumber than you already are.”

Growling, the Ogre lifted her into the air again, swinging her over the bathtub. “Need lab rat. You die, no loss. But if you live… Me get new Troll. Win win.” And with that, he dropped her.

***
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RE: Riot Force 6 Year One: Street Sabre
#2
Priss as She-Hulk, essentially.

... ok, kinda, yeah, I can mostly see it.

Though, to be fair, what's mostly running through my head now?

Big city we stand here heart to heart
Kid lost, seek love out in dark
Big city still survive day by day
Will you ever ease the pain
Tears not take 'way?
--Priss and the DYNE-Amos
Paragon City Pummeling Tour
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RE: Riot Force 6 Year One: Street Sabre
#3
Makes me think of the Sabres working with Mag.

"Ok, folks. Stack on the door and we'll breach and cle-"

"Oh! She said OK!" *Mag goes hurtling through the door, sans benefit of opening it*

"Just... try to keep up with the idiot."
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RE: Riot Force 6 Year One: Street Sabre
#4
Yeah, it's kind of funny.  In the intervening time, Mag has become more Terr-like and Terr has become more Mag-like.

Dogs and cats, living together -- mass hysteria!

--sofaspud
--
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