Community Service – Titan

This is a bad idea, this is such a bad idea. “OK, be ready for the next one,” said Delta, her hands gliding over the controls of the tanks. A light turned on, and the fluid began to drain from the tank of another dragon girl.

Skulker grimaced under his mask and readjusted his grip on his pistol. This is a bad idea, this is such a bad idea, he repeated to himself. He kept a watchful eye on the other dragon girl. She had backed away on wobbly feet, blinking rapidly at Olivia. She kept wings folded tight against her back, her tail with a blend of red and green scales twitching behind her. Seems confused. Let’s see if she’s anything like Little Bird. I should call her something. Red? Sure. Easy enough.

She’d noticed her nudity and covered herself with her arms and hands as best she could. She seems sane now. Clothes anywhere? He twisted around, searching the T shaped lab. Ah. He teleported over and grabbed a lab coat hanging off a hook by the door.

He walked over to her instead of teleporting. No surprises. He offered the long white coat to her. She blinked and took her eyes off Olivia to stare at him for a moment.

“I ain’t gonna bite, Red,” he said.

She snatched the coat of of his hands, her claws ripping small tears in the collar. She struggled to get it on around her wings.

“May wanna cut some holes in the back,” he pointed out.

She stared at him for a second before ripping the back of the coat out with her claws. It barely fit around her shoulders, and only came down to her mid-thigh. Better than nothing. Gives her some grounding.

“Hey, you alright, Red?” he asked, craning his neck up at her to speak. Damn it, she towers over me too.

Her gaze flickered between him and Olivia. She let out a hiss more tired than threatening and shook her head.

Skulker shrugged. “Yeah, I didn’t understand that.”

“Loud,” Red murmured. Olivia mentioned stuff like that. Sounds and shit. “What’s going on?”

He chuckled. “That’s a long, long story.”

She took her eyes off Olivia and faced him fully. “Who are you? All of you?”

“I’m Skulker, tha’s-” The release of the next dragon girl interrupted him.

He spun around to watch Olivia give her the same treatment as Red. Both hissed, before Olivia lowered her shoulder and rammed into the girl, then pin her to the wall. Behind Skulker, Red let out a low hiss of her own. God damn it. The third dragon girl let out a half scream, half roar and clawed at Olivia’s eyes.

The moment one of Olivia’s hand left the girl’s shoulder, she twisted away, still half screaming, half roaring. As she spun she smacked her tail into Olivia’s stomach, sending her reeling back a couple steps. Rather than continue the fight, the girl broke free and bolted for the door.

“Watch it!” shouted Delta, pulling Miya out of the way of the charging dragon girl in the nick of time.

The girl burst out the the room, Olivia on her heels. Miya and Gears followed soon after. Skulker readied himself to teleport before remembering the person beside him. Everyone just going to ignore Red? Come on, do you people not know how to deal with released captives? He holstered his pistol and turned back to Red. She had her claws out, glaring at the door the others had bolted out of.

“You still with me?” he asked. She blinked in surprise and curled up her clawed fingers. He waited for her to nod. “They’ll be back. Again, I’m Skulker, the one in grey is Delta,” he said, pointing out Delta, who’d stayed behind.

Delta tore her gaze from the door at the mention of her name. She waved and said, “Hello.”

“The tall one like you tha’ ya saw is Olivia, short one’s Miya, armored one’s Gears.”

Red stared at him. “What kind of names are those?”

“Code names. What can you remember?” How like Olivia are you gonna be?

She closed her eyes and grimaced. “I… nothing. What the hell? What? Just…” Her breathing picked up.

“Calm down. Was kind of expectin’ this.”

She reopened her eyes. “You were?”

“Yeah,” he replied. He looked around and spotted a stool off in the corner of the tank wing. “Wanna take a seat?” he asked.

She shook her head. OK. Not a big talker, then.

“We’re in a lab. We let you outta one of these,” he said, pounding on the empty tank beside him with a fist.

“Why?” she asked, her voice low. Not soft, low. Too much to hope for a second Little Bird.

“Because we ain’t assholes.”

“No, why… why was I in there? What did you call me? Red?”

“Red. Yeah, the scales,” he said, pointing to her tail. She curled it around to get a good look at it, and grimaced. “That ain’t yer real name. Hey, Delta? Those files say anythin’ ‘bout them?”

“Digging into that already,” she called back, face glued to a screen.

“Bueno,” replied Skulker. Turning back to Red, he said, “So yeah, patience.” She frowned and nodded, pulling the lab coat tighter around her shoulders. She seemed to wear a permanent scowl. “Don’ worry, we’re gonna get you outta here an’ fill in the blanks.”

At that moment, the others returned. “She got away,” announced Gears as he stomped back into the lab. “Fast an’ desperate. We didn’t wanna get too far away from here.” Miya and Olivia followed him soon after.

Now liv’ looks pissed. I’m getting a headache from all this. “Give me a moment,” he murmured to Red. Olivia stopped as Skulker teleported to her side. “She…” she began.

“You tried beat the shit outta her, what were you expectin’?” he asked. I’m kinda surprised Red stuck around.

“She was… she was…” Olivia grimaced. “I don’t know.”

“Confused as hell an’ gettin’ pummeled?”

“That wasn’t-”

“Tha’s exactly what happened,” he said, cutting her off. “You sure ‘bout releasin’ the others?” Together, they returned to the wing of the room with the tanks, still containing three dragon people.

Olivia hesitated, casting a glance towards Red, on the opposite side of the room from her. “Yes.”

Skulker raised an eyebrow, then remembered his mask would obscure the gesture. Gears read his mind. He asked, “You sure? That one nearly took out Miya.”

“Maybe don’t beat them right out of the gate,” added Delta.

“But… OK.”

Miya managed a shaky grin, the first Skulker had seen on anyone in a while. “I don’t know. Maybe she would have breathed fire everywhere before getting her head bashed in.” Skulker snorted. Just what we need. Fire!

Delta returned to the command console. “Alright. Try to hold off this time.”

Olivia’s face reddened as she nodded. Delta pressed a few buttons, and the release process began again. Skulker suppressed a yawn and teleported back to Red. Back and forth, back and forth. She jumped when he appeared next to her and uncurled her claws.

“Whoa, sorry,” he said, holding up a placating hand.

She took a deep breath and curled her hands back up. “She’s… like me,” she said, motioning towards Olivia with her head. “Claws and a tail and shit.”

“Yeah. She’s kinda the template you’re based on.” She nodded. “You’re takin’ this pretty damn well,” he added.

She barked out a quick, humorless laugh. “Day’s not over yet. I’m kind of overwhelmed right now. And… wait, based on? Her? Me?”

“Ya know what powers are, right?” She nodded. Huh. Didn’t Olivia need a reminder about that? He nodded to Olivia. “You got her power.”

“That’s not normal, is it?”

“Absolutely not. Ain’t the worst power in the world, though. I’ve seen her lift cars.”

Red’s reptilian silver eyes widened. She’s got gold flecks in her eyes. Cool. “Whoa. Really?” She looked down at her hands.

“Ready!” shouted Delta. Red and Skulker turned to watch.

The walls of the drained tank retracted into the floor. The girl inside simply curled up, hands over her ears. Red and Olivia both let out a hiss. Olivia’s tail swished in agitation, and a quick look over his shoulder showed Red’s doing the same thing. OK, is this an unconscious thing for you two?

Miya approached the new girl first. Skulker flexed his maimed hand. Don’t get your fingers clawed off. The girl let out a halfhearted hiss, not so much as twitching when Miya laid a hand on her shoulder.

“She’s in pain. Her ears and eyes hurt,” announced Miya after a moment, her gaze distant. “Something isn’t quite right. Her muscles aren’t responding as well as they should.”

“How the fuck can you tell?” asked Gears.

“Magic.”

“Right,” grumbled Gears.

The new girl didn’t protest when Olivia lifted her to her feet. She leaned on her heavily. Red’s hissing grew louder as Olivia approached with her burden.

“Over here,” said Gears, from his position by the door they’d entered the lab through. Furthest from me and Red. Together, Gears and Olivia set the girl down on a stool, where she huddled without a word.

Red hadn’t calmed down any. Olivia stayed back, unwilling to approach her. Thank you, Olivia. Keep the peace. Skulker snapped his fingers in front of her. “You with me?”

Her face contorted, and she let out another hiss.

“Hey, hey, listen to me. You know I am, right?” he asked, standing in front of her. Everyone in the room held their breath, watching the one sided exchange. “You got control over yerself or not?”

Red got her breathing under control. She curled up her claws yet again. She noticed Skulker and turned away. “The hell was that?” she murmured.

Everyone in the room seemed to draw a collective breath. “Next one?” asked Delta.

“Sure,” said Miya and Olivia.

“Alright, guy in the middle,” she said, pointing.

Skulker followed her finger to the tank in question. You know, given how big Olivia and Red are, I thought a dude version of them would be jacked. He returned his attention to Red. She kneaded her forehead with her knuckles, her frown deepening.

“You back with us?”

“Yeah,” she replied.

Don’t look it. He snorted in amusement. “Don’t look it. You sure?”

“Leave me alone,” she snapped.

“OK.” I’m not poking this particular bear anymore. “I’ll be over there if ya need anythin’.”

She just grunted in response. Skulker teleported over to Gears, who had knelt down by the other dragon girl, who remained huddled on a stool with a lab coat awkwardly draped over her shoulders. Gears met his eyes and shrugged.

Skulker joined Gears in kneeling down beside her. “How you doin’?” he asked. She flinched, not saying a word.

“Can’t handle the noise,” said Gears. “Can’t move well. Power hasn’t set in yet.”

“How the hell you know that?”

“I don’t. Total wild-ass guess.”

Skulker laughed. “Fair enough.”

Everyone froze as something rattled the entire bunker. Nearby, a beaker slipped off the counter and shattered on the ground. The girl let out a small whimper and clutched her hands tighter to her ears. At least she’s not berserk.

“So, any chance you could make this go just a tiny bit faster?” Miya asked Delta.

“God I hope so. But I doubt it,” she replied, leaning over to inspect the console more closely.

Skulker returned his attention to the girl by his side. Her tail, its scales a deep, dark green, had curled around the leg of the steel stool.

“Hey, can you understand me?” he asked, speaking slowly.

She managed a short, jerky nod, face still buried in her arms.

What did Olivia say? Something about concentration. Yeah, concentrating on things helped her. Well, fuck it. I don’t have any other ideas.

“OK. I want you to focus. Listen to me. I don’t know what else you’re hearin’, but I can tell ya it’s far, far away. Tune that shit out, it don’t matter.”

Gears added, “Yeah. We ain’t gonna scream an’ shout at you. Calm down, listen, get your bearings.”

The girl still huddled, though her hands had loosened around her ears. “You gettin’ a little better?” he asked. Another nod, and a small hiss. What is it with all the hissing?

Gears stood up. “About time for the guy,” he murmured to Skulker.

Skulker got up just in time to see the walls of the tank vanish. Just like before, Red and Olivia began to hiss. The guy got to his feet, letting out a hiss. Before Miya could say anything, he lunged at Olivia, claws aimed for her throat. Olivia turned and slammed her elbow into his face as he passed. He skidded to a stop on unsteady clawed toes. As he spun around to face Olivia again, she closed the gap, grabbed his shoulders, and drove her knee into his ribs. Scary Olivia is scary.

Olivia stood over him, foot resting on his back. He let out a final hiss and went still. Dragon hyper aggressiveness spans gender. Wonderful. Olivia stood back as he picked himself up, backing away from her. Miya guided him over the the end of the tank wing of the T shaped lab. Oh, right. Skulker grabbed the third and final lab coat from the hooks by the door. Last guy is gonna have to go freebird until we find something

Skulker walked over to the guy as Delta began the release process of the final person.

“Hey,” he called out, offering the lab coat. The dragon guy turned around and gave him a scornful stare. Skulker grinned. “It’s a war zone out there, buddy. I don’t care who ya are, you don’ want it all hangin’ out.”

The guy narrowed his eyes, then grabbed the coat and tied it around his waist with a crude knot. Tough guy? No. Buddy!

“Buddy! I’m callin’ you Buddy.”

The guy sneered and spat on the floor, on Skulker’s boot. Jackass, just what I was worried about. Skulker began to laugh. God damn it. He thinks I care? Buddy tried to backhand him. He leaned out of the way, still laughing. A bastard with Olivia’s strength. Just our fucking luck!

“Whoa there, Buddy!” Life is funny.

Skulker heard a familiar roar from behind him. He teleported to the side, and out of the way of the charging Olivia. Her shoulder hit Buddy square in the chest. They both hit the floor. Olivia grabbed his head and slammed it down before he could recover, cracking the concrete. Skulker felt his laughter subside. Funny old world, isn’t it?

Olivia released Buddy’s head and stomped away. As she passed Skulker, she wrapped an arm around his midsection, carrying him away.

“Stay,” she said a few paces later, setting him down.

“But I wanna poke him more,” said Skulker, pointing to a shaken Buddy on his hands and knees.

“Skulker, how long’s it been since you last slept?” called out Gears.

Skulker chuckled. “Too long, probably.”

“Yeah. Shut up and stay,” said Gears.

“Jackass,” Delta murmured under her breath.

They settled into an uncomfortable silence as the last guy was released. The walls of the tank retracted. He burst to life for a moment, thrashing off the pedestal like a fish out of water before the dragons in the room had a chance to start hissing. He lay on the ground and twitched, foam at his mouth.

Miya rushed over. “His heart is going crazy. We’re losing him,” she shouted.

“Do something!” replied Olivia, hovering over them.

“Do what? It’s not a heart attack. It’s… I don’t know.”

“Something, anything!”

The guy’s twitching and foaming stopped. His chest lay still. Miya cursed. “He’s gone. Something went wrong, I don’t know. He’s not human.”

“What? No, no, no,” said Olivia in desperate voice. “Maybe…”

“Olivia, there’s nothing we can do. Something was wrong with his heart,” said Miya, blocking Olivia.

One moment you wanna beat the shit out of them, the next you care. Why? He closed his eyes, and the urge to curl up and sleep nearly overwhelmed him. Fuck it. Just fuck it. This is tomorrow’s problem. Figure it out later.

“Anyone forget we’re in the middle of a robot fortress? We’ve spent way too long in here as it is,” spoke up Gears after a moment.

“I didn’t. I just said fuck it and downloaded everything I could,” said Delta, retrieving a pair of flash drives from the computer. “These should have everything on these guys. Ready when you are.”

“Olivia, we need to get out of here,” said Miya, guiding her away from the body.

Gears helped the nameless girl to her feet. Despite her good half a foot in height on him in armor, he managed to keep them both upright. Skulker spared a glance at Buddy. I like Red more. He teleported over to her. She’d remained in the same spot he’d last left her. She stood up taller, however, and straightened her shoulders.

“We’re outta here. Comin’?” She nodded.

“Same way we came in?” called out Gears.

“Any other ideas?” responded Delta.

“Nope.”

“Then back to the elevator it is.”

They filed out the door, making sure to keep Olivia and the others as spread out as possible. Skulker kept himself between Gears’ charge and Red. Another quake shook the bunker. The hallways were still empty of any people or robots. You know, I don’t really miss getting shot at by those bots. As they traveled, a flash of color in an otherwise soulless and grey corridor caught his eye.

He held up a hand. “Hold up. What’s this?”

He poked his head into the room. Six bodies were laid out on tables, all in colorful costumes. One large blond man had runes all over it, another looked like a knockoff of a plant woman from a comic book.

“Tha’s a pile of bodies right there,” said Gears.

“Aren’t these guys the Chevaliers?” asked Miya, crowding the doorway.

“Where do I know that name?” Skulker asked the group at large.

“They were on TV. They said they were going after Overlord,” whispered Olivia.

“Well, they found him,” said Gears. Skulker chuckled. Idiots probably thought it’d be good PR.

Olivia smacked him upside the head, sending him reeling. “Don’t be mean,” she said.

“Ow. Fine then,” he replied, rubbing the back of his head.

They froze again as a much larger quake hit the bunker. Dust fell from the roof, and all of the dragon people hissed in pain, Buddy and the nameless girl covering their ears.

“Let’s keep moving,” said Delta from the corridor now dust filled corridor.

Their travel ended by the next corner, where they came face to face with a massive pit that lead all the way up to the surface, if the distant sound of gunfire above them was any indication.

“Well, Olivia, you wanna pull us all up on an elevator or climb.”

“Oh thank god. Climb,” she said.

They began the laborious process of climbing out of the dusty pit. Skulker had a slightly easier time of it than the others, teleporting from solid spot to solid spot. Olivia took flight, landing to help anyone in trouble. Above them the winds howled, drowning out any other sounds. Is this what a tornado sounds like? Like, one of those monster tornados? The sky is clear, though. I can see the sun through the dust. That’s Cyrus, isn’t it?

A grueling half hour later, Skulker made it to the top, followed by the others. The dragon people even seemed too tired to snap at each other. The winds up top forced Olivia to land beside them. In the distance, two specks hovered in the air, rocketing towards them.

“Shit, outta here!” yelled Skulker.

He led the way towards a shell of a building as Cyrus and a sleek armored figure he took as Overlord approached. Overlord slammed into the street, leaving a twenty yard gouge in the asphalt. Cyrus hovered in the air, with Overlord between Skulker and him. A few tiny rockets burst out of his shoulder, streaking towards Cyrus.

Just as the wind shifted the rockets’ trajectories, they exploded, spraying a fine grey mist at Cyrus. Grey goo spread along Cyrus’ front half. He paused before blasting off the goo along with flecks of blood off himself before it could form into the ball of goo that had menaced Skulker and the others earlier.

In the meantime, Overlord floated back into the air and aimed his wrist at Cyrus.

“Oh shit!” shouted Delta.

The air shimmered as Cyrus bolted out of the way. A hole melted in the building behind him. As Overlord spun in place after him, carving three buildings in half before an uprooted tree slammed into Overlord from behind. The fight moved on, leaving Skulker and the others staring at three collapsing buildings.

“We should help. We should do something,” shouted Olivia over the wind.

“‘liv, Overlord just shot an invisible beam through three buildin’s,” shouted Skulker. “This is outta our league. This is outta everyone’s league. Best thing to do is keep ourselves alive, an’ that means gettin’ outta here.”

A high pitch screeching sound brought everyone to their knees. Through blurry vision, Skulker watched as Cyrus flew past their shattered window, the screech emanating Overlord close behind him. They couldn’t move for an eternity, before the screech cut off entirely.

As they picked themselves back up, Skulker asked, “So, what were ya sayin’ ‘bout helpin’?”

“Not now,” replied Olivia with a sigh.

They ran as fast as they could back to the mint, dodging debris and the odd rocket. Delta and the nameless girl flagged, Gears and Olivia supporting them. They passed piles of ruined bots and burning vehicles, not to mention the odd body. The military seemed to have pulled out. They came to Gears’ truck, with a street sign resting on the hood.

“Damn well better work,” said Gears, pulling the keys from a small box on his hip. The dragon people piled into the bed with minimal hissing. The truck started without a fuss, and soon the maelstrom of lasers and debris was behind them.

Skulker grinned. We’re alive. We’re alive and not dead. Overlord is someone else’s problem now.

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31 thoughts on “Community Service – Titan

  1. So that’s the end of Community Service. This was an arc that I was looking forward to for a long time (it and Overlord’s Robotic Legions), although I’m not sure I’m happy with how I executed it, especially towards the beginning. Purifier and Guardsman felt kind of extraneous, and given time to edit I’d probably just overhaul their bits entirely. But enough of my self doubt. Next arc up: Homecoming.

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    • Yeah,
      All’s good.
      Extraneous is also good, as it rounds out the tale and adds another dimension to it.
      While the characters may be second rate and rat-bags as far as the tale goes, they do fill out the normality of the Stone Burner Universe.

      I would also point out that tales of the past were often full of macabre and gruesome twists and endings.
      For reference, I would point out the likes of Grimm or Han’s Christian Anderson.
      However, for a truly enlightened reading, we have but to browse the old testament.

      Not for it’s religious nature, but the insight into ancient society, it’s mores and laws.
      In this we find that real history was far more macabre and gruesome with very strange and often unforeseen twists and endings.

      So, yeah, the problem with real life, is it reads like fiction.
      The problem with fiction, is if it wasn’t for real life, you wouldn’t believe it.

  2. I’m not sure i like these dragon people. They make a unique interesting character less so. If overpowered unusually intelligent feral Oliva isn’t the only super strong magic dragon girl it makes her less a unique character and more of a cookie cutter, one of many protagonist.

    • About that, I do hope Olivia maintains distinction despite being merely the first and no longer the only. 3 girl dragons, 1 male dragon, and 1 somewhat defective female dragon that is loose and may or may not survive for more than an hour depending on what her particular defect is. The three that made it might have minor defects of their own. I wonder what the problem was with the one who ran? Maybe she retained her memories and didn’t get any of the dragon instincts? There are so many possibilities. I can’t wait to see more. What I fear happened to the one who ran is that she got a much more complete mind wipe and retained almost no knowledge as well as inheriting practically no dragon instinct.

      I also worry for what will happen during dragon mating season. Do the females menstruate? The chance seems 50/50.

  3. i like the way Olivia is semmingly being much more asertive in this chapter. kinda find meek and shy dragon lady annoying at times. also can i have a side chapter of cyrus and overlord’s epic baule it looked awesome as hell!?

  4. Just caught up 🙂 (As Emrys the author of Winter’s Tale said to me: the tragedy of every archive bing is that it must eventually end)

    Anyway I really like this serial and it is definitely one of my favorites, I was a bit worried at first that Olivia would end up as a boring character in the long run because the “Oh no i cannot remember anything and i am a monster” thing could not be kept going forever, but you pulled of the character exceptionally well and I can only say that I have come to like her more and more.

  5. Ignoring the Chevaliers was a mistake. They’re going to wake up with a chip in their head and Overlord’s #3, or that doctor, speaking to them.

  6. Ok, my money is on the other dragon people not having magic like Olivia does. I still think the magic came first and corrected her transformation when she triggered. Crossing my fingers.

    • from what delta said they should be more specialiized versions of Olivia’s power. so it will depend mn what overlord wants them for, but i doubt he needs more flying bricks. robots and techies are already mubh better versions. so im pretty sure magic is what he wamted.

      • What he wanted and what he got are two different things. As far as I can tell those specialized versions you mentioned are more like dysfunctional versions. Reproducing something is easier than fiddling with it.

  7. @Captain Amazing. agree about the copy vs, tinkering thing. disagree about them all being disfunctional. only two showee any probblens and that could have been caused by pre-existing probblems. hell the run away seemed both stronger and faster than Olivia. though this is a book and then being ticking time bonbs is more interesting so im probably wrong. i just dont think after all the research overlord did on powers and magic that they would all be duds.

  8. Syphax1 has wrought a good tale so far, however, there is so much on the table, that this tale could easily become a Saga of of Tolkien Proportions.

    As an example, @Captain Amazing has a point.

    A clone of Olivia would be a painful thing to control, and unpredictable and dangerous when matured. Yet a matured Olivia would be the Goal.

    Then there is the whole playing God thing.
    Just because Overlord is a super Powered Bad Ass, with a preference for Advanced Technology, doesn’t mean that he is infallible.
    Not to mention that good help is hard to find.
    The cell full of his scientists and their previous history are proof of that.

    In this, @Captain Amazing has another point, although I would tend to disagree slightly with some of it.

    The assumption that Overlord wants weapons grade and specific outcomes from a Jurassic Park style monster breading program is reasonable.

    Proof of this is to be found in the real world militarism and use of Animals to the Dolly the sheep project.
    Also in advanced fiction, AKA Ripley of the Alien genre.

    While it may have seemed like a ‘good idea at the time’ and coupled with the usual, ‘what could go wrong’ and the ‘we know what we are doing’ attitude, history has often proved the logical fallacy of these arguments.

    The other problem with Overlord, is that much in the same vane as the Jurassic saga, is that they had to make a few mistakes and then kill them off, before they got something extremely dangerous and predicable and somewhat stable.

    Yes, I can see the obvious oxymoronic point, but then, that is the point, others, as above, did not, or would not.
    Oxymoronic or not, the whole thing still went predictably off the rails, as those involved discovered, well, the ones that survived, anyway.

    One could wonder what Overlord’s plan be would be, faced with a similar scenario.
    More likely, hubris and arrogance was the plan. As in, kill them if they look like trouble.
    This gets back to the ‘good idea at the time’ and ‘we know what we are doing’ , until proven otherwise. However, it’s usually too bloody late, then.

    Then there is the Chaos Theory of evolution versus the Darwinian view of evolution.
    Darwinian views are based on the strict interpretation of the Red Queen hypothesis. Adapt and Evolve or Die.

    The Chaos Theory of Evolution accords that Darwin was mostly correct.
    However, evolutionary leaps can and do happen and tend to explain what Darwinian evolution does not.
    While the cause of the Chaos Evolutionary leap can and does vary, that it exists was postilaued even in Darwin’s time, even by some of his peers.
    Although even then, it’s still subject to the Darwinian Adapt and Evolve or Die.

    The problem with playing God with the Chaos Theory of Evolution is your results may not be what you expected or for that matter, desired.

    As for Olivia, given that she is the source and genetic parent of these Jurassic style, Chaos Evolutionary inspired products, it stands to reason that she would also be their Big Sister and predator pack queen.
    Remember, these things aren’t vegetarians.

    Also, bear in mind the fact that the usual fate for Chaos Theory evolutionary by products that present as unstable and or dangerous is the local land fill.
    The alternative is that those that are deemed of interest and can be captured is to be locked in an underground bunker, for life.

    We have Dragon’s.
    We have no idea how this will play out, as they Adapt and Evolve.

    As for them all being barren, yeah, I refer you back to The Chaos Theory of Evolution’s Darwin clause, Adapt and Evolve or Die.
    Add to this, we have Magic in the mix.
    What becomes a matured Dragon? Is sterile natures way with immature Dragon’s?

    Although there will be likely many that would like to fulfil the die part, as a Clan of Matured, Powerful Dragons, united under a battle hardened Dragon Queen would be a formidable, world taming, or dominating and ruling, force.
    Who would the Dragon Queen listen to, take council from, ally with?

    Then there is the politics, as a wedge against Overlord and other like threats, Cyrus would be crazy not to use, empower and protect Olivia and her clan.

    Overlord would also become concerned that creating more Dragons could backfire, if they all bow down to, or ally with, the Dragon Queen.
    As for rogue Dragons, all hands would be against them.
    What to do?

    So yeah, Syphax1, I like your work.

  9. I wondered about the sterility thing before. Sure that seems to be the case with past Ferals but, they’ve never really had a pair mutate close enough to try breeding before.
    Also lets not forget that Olivia may not be a natural Feral either. It was remarked on several times in the first Arc that she didn’t have a normal awakening. Its possible she was either “released in to the wild” by overlord to see what would happen.

  10. lol seriously people!! why is everyone wanting to talk about a 15 year old kids ability to breed? Your all as bad as Dr. Grey. buuuut. unless they are immortal. they only have emugh people for like 4 or 5 generations before they have to start imbreeding which does not end well for any species. course this brings up the fact that they were all created from Olivia’s DNA in the firrt place. meaning they are all already related. so lets all hold off on buying little dragon onesies.

      • No thank you, that means that I actually have some reading material around I can recommend without having to worry to much about how old the the audience is… If you are not planning other kinds of sexual stuff because then I will reconsider giving the link to some 3rd graders I know.

    • Because it is an interesting topic.

      We discus it because is an interesting world-building factor, would ferals be able to breed under the right circumstances? What effects would that have?

      Further more as menstruation can cause rather angry irrational behavior it is a valid concern to bring up.

      And as Olivia said “It would have been nice to have the choice” (Or something in that direction), we rather like the idea that our all time favorite dragonness at some point in her life could settle down and have a family.

      Also maybe inbreeding would not really be a problem for dragons because: magic. And maybe interracial breeding would actually be possible because: magic.

      Not that i think this is necessarily something that should be brought up in the discussion but it is an interesting topic nonetheless.

      • *Not that i think this is necessarily something that should be brought up in the story but it is an interesting topic nonetheless.

        (I was and is still kinda tired when i wrote that sorry)

      • no sexual content in story, the commemt section however might be a little mature for 3rd graders lol. though i think the story is a bit too violent fnr them any ways. examples being, when rob stomps a guys head to paste for shooting his truck. when ben beats the hell out of maya for…talking in a bitchy manner? when cris explaines that it doesnt matter when people die cause theres too many anyway. and not to nention the horde of people our heroine kills during her awesome dragon rages.

      • Meh they will probably survive it, it’s nothing worse than you can find in some of the other fantasy target at people in that age group. The fact that we have Olivia to be disturbed by it also helps to tune the darker parts a bit down.

        It is also important to note that these are people that can read english novels even though it is their second language in 3rd grade this kind of people are often kinda mature for their age. I still set a line at sexual content though. 🙂

        For the comment section: that can be worked around.

  11. On the more serious side of things, there must be a Delta-Gear baby! I don’t care if it is born in a lab from splicing their genes or whatever. It simply must happen. It would be super adorable and terrifyingly intelligent. It would be like overlord, but tiny and not quite so insane. After ha-BOOBY kills Overlord, the world will need a new super brain to fill the void. Baby Delta-Gear will be this techno messiah to fill the brain gap, and s/he will even be on the good guy’s side!

    Not now of course, but eventually. . .PLEASE!!!!

      • are they the good guys? cause its hard to tell…most of the time. on chris, i dont think he is dead. theory reasoning is as follows, chris states that he dies every time he activates his power. cyrus fully died during his power deactivation, but was fully able to heal a few minutes after olivia destroyed the null bot. so until i see his dead body again. i think they just didnt have enough time to properly wait for his power to work.

  12. Yeah,
    Read the text of the opinion first, then read it again.
    I can’t see where I floated the idea of teenage sexual promiscuity or inappropriate sexual behaviour.

    I believe I referenced the term, ” a Clan of Matured, Powerful Dragons, united under a battle hardened Dragon Queen”, in context with or without Overlord making more Mutants and/or Monsters.

    As I recall, it only takes three to make a clan, not Three Hundred.
    That’s without getting all hot and sweaty.
    I also don’t remember any discussion or even any speculation about hot or sweaty.
    Much less, with teenagers.

    So, regardless as to whether you went ‘Mills and Boon’, or ‘Debbie does Dallas’, i your wild imagination, I also don’t see any benefit to the story in recanting tired old tropes about the mechanics of, or even sex in general, much less sexuality.

    As for the story in context, I also don’t remember anybody getting all excited about naked teenagers, much less, any character wanting a romp on the furniture or floor.

    As I re-read both the original syphax1 content, I see everyone at hand worrying about their immediate health and well being.
    Also story content consistent with waking up powerful and dangerous Monsters, naked or otherwise.

    As for the current naughty bits, we have had naked teenagers. Whoop-tee-do.
    That they are Monsters also gets a mention.

    As for the nakedness, that came about because they were in a bio-tank.
    The entire story line at that point was consistent with that scenario.
    As was waking up aggressively.

    The alternative, that modern science would dress you in a three piece suit would be inconsistent in anything other than a Victorian Steak Punk reality.
    Well probably not even then.

    The reference to “a Clan of Matured, Powerful Dragons” also pre-poses a longer time-line, unless syphax1 goes nuclear.

    As for increasing the ranks, that was floated in two parts, again, without describing teenage sexual promiscuity or inappropriate sexual behaviour.

    The first was Overlord managing to get away from the Haboob, and then striving to correct his first mistake, by creating an even bigger and better one.
    Failing that, more of the same, with outcomes not beneficial to himself.

    Then there would be the outcome that the Haboob terminates Overlord.
    As I read it, there are still enough dangerous things referenced and walking loose in this syphax1 universe that the Gang would be mopping up for decades.

    That’s also without any more Unfriendly Aliens, Evil Enhanced World Dictators or any other home grown threat emerging.

    As for Cyrus / the Haboob, or even the gang themselves, breeding Teenage Monsters for warriors comes at a price.
    I would point out that Pregnant Teenage Monster baby Mamma’s don’t make Good Warriors. Magical or not.

    Who says Cyrus / the Haboob, or any other player, either mentioned or unmentioned so far, would not use a more genteel Overlord style solution?
    Much cheaper and safer to use Overlord’s bio technology, even just to regenerate themselves.

    As for the central cast, should they decide to make use of it for their own needs, they already have Overlord’s working notes.
    Let’s not forget, we have more than one mutant here, that could be stabilised, even just a bit, by using the Overlord bio technology.

    We also have a couple of our favourites that would seriously benefit from a Genetic refit and or upgrade.
    Bearing in mind, if they don’t use it, understand it, or master it, someone else will.

    Yes, as for creating a few more dragon’s, or even just fixing the ones you have, or just fixing up our favourite Geekette or masked clown, you can do some gene manipulation and “kick the can down the road”, long enough and hopefully far enough to see if you get a reasonable and/or predicable and beneficial result.

    As far as bad Genetics goes, you can splice in other DNA to offset it, but of course, such things come at a price…

    Either way, however, whether you breed or bio -tank them, you have an upper limit to the number of functional Dragons, or for that matter, Super Powered Beings.
    That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
    Again, that’s just evolution, hitting a dead end.

    So, in this story Universe, Mad science, yes. Certainly. We are knee deep in that.
    Empire spanning Tragedy and Grand Space opera, yeah, part of the territory.
    Freaking everyone out, both friend and foe, because Monsters have the capacity to breed, yes, good storyline.

    Yet all this and still no promotion of ‘Mills and Boon’, much less, retrograde porn.

    I would point out that even Shakespeare penned, Murder, Death, Lust, Betrayal, Incest and other horrid and horrible things between Nations, Families and Mankind.

    Although missing from his genius was any extend discussion and descriptions of the biological mechanics of coupling during fornication. And at any age.
    Maybe he thought that bit to be somewhat moot as well.

  13. With the introduction of the other draconic people It has honestly ruined a big portion of what made this story unique and awesome. A terrible idea that should not have been implemented since it destroys the unique awesomeness of Olivia. Adding them takes away so so much from the story and it was going so well. Too bad such a good story took such a terrible hit with them being introduced. The mc is now nothing special nor is she unique since there are five others with the exact same abilities. If she was actually still unique and far more powerful then them then sure, but the fact they are the same as her really ruins a special part of the story. In fact they almost seem MORE unique then Olivia which is even worse

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