End of Prey 14.3

This was a fantastic chapter! I love everything to do with Amy in it, and the chase scene was really good too. And then the more mobile members of the Protectorate and Wards showed up, along with Glory Girl for extra Amy goodness. Fortunately, rather than bombing them (I suppose this is too different from the plan to go through with that just yet), Piggot wants to talk to the Undertravelers, and for some reason she (or Chariot, if Piggot didn’t specify) went with Tattletale as the Undertravelers’ spokesperson in spite of all the data that tells them to avoid talking to her. That might backfire.

I suppose Piggot wants to know what they mean re: Siberian’s “creator” and how they found out, but there’s gotta be more to it. It wouldn’t warrant a dramatic chapter ender if there wasn’t. Maybe this is how they begin to set up the trap?

There’s also the issue that Siberian and the other Nine are still running around nearby, and who knows what the situation is for the other part of the Undertravelers, now that the PRT is involved. Hopefully we’ll find out next chapter.

Fuck, this situation is such a mess.

Amy. Amy, Amy, Amy. I love Amy’s character so much these days. If things do – this is against the odds but currently very possible – end up making her a permanent Undersider, I’m gonna have a new favorite on the team.

In this chapter, we got to see her development with Taylor pay off as she admitted things she wouldn’t say to just anyone, actively chose to help the Undertravelers out, and even – after a questionable pep talk by Lisa – joined them in the race against Siberian. This is major character and relationship development and I love it.

So… yeah. Next chapter, it’s time to talk to Jemily, hopefully find out how the other members of the Undertravelers are doing, and see Greg and Lisa’s first kiss. See you then!

He extended one hand toward Tattletale.  There was an earbud in his palm.

Oh shit, are the Protectorate really asking for Tattletale to be the one to talk directly to them?

“The Director of the PRT would like to have a word with you.”

…Piggot. Hrm.

Well, this ought to be interesting, at least.

“You’ve joined them, now?”  She spoke, breaking the brief silence.

Not officially. More like a temporary team-up that could blossom into something deeper if I’m lucky.

“I just wanted to help against the Nine,” Amy said.  Her voice was small, defeated.  “Can I-”

“If you open your mouth and ask if you can use your power on me, I won’t be held responsible for what I do,” Glory Girl growled.

Harsh, but understandable.

“Don’t hate me, please.  I don’t care what you think of me, but hate is too close to…”  Amy trailed off.

To love?

“Too close to what?” Glory Girl asked.  She shrugged.  Anger gave an edge to her words.  “Aren’t you going to say it?  Can’t you admit what you did?”

Amy hung her head, and her forehead rested between my shoulders, hair hanging down.  She shook her head, but I doubted Glory Girl could see it.


Poor Amy.

“Let’s put vendettas aside,” Chariot spoke.  He smirked.  “We have bigger fish to fry.”

Tigerfish, perhaps?

“The Nine,” Trickster spoke.

“The Nine,” Chariot said.  “But it’s not my place to talk tactics.  I’m just the rookie.  The messenger.”

I find it appropriate that the guy with the super fast power armor is the messenger. It feels like it ties back to Hermes, whether that was intentional or not, with the power armor standing in for his winged shoes.

Amy pulled back, and I grabbed her wrist.  Before she could hop off Sirius, Grue was directing the dog across the road.

Chariot and Glory Girl pulled off their helmets as we arrived.  Chariot was black, his narrow, triangular face largely covered in power armor.  He had the scruff of a weak teenage beard on his chin.

The design reminds me of Nino from Miraculous Ladybug, even though Nino doesn’t have stubble or power armor, is arguably more dark cream-colored than black, and his face can barely be called triangular.

So basically the description reminds me of someone who doesn’t look much like him at all.

Glory Girl bore little resemblance to any of the last times I’d seen her.  There were dark circles under her eyes.  She stared at me.  No- at Amy.

She’s been having sleepless nights, hasn’t she.

How much has her reaction to Amy’s leaving been affected by what Amy did to her?

The glare seethed with raw, seething hatred.  It made every line of her face hard.


Legend handed Cache to Ursa and gave chase.  I could see Chariot raising his hand to his right ear, pausing.

Got Piggot in your ear?

He, Battery and Glory Girl turned and advanced towards Tattletale’s group.


“Can we go?”  Amy asked, from behind me.  “I didn’t- I didn’t think-”

There was a pause.  We could fight.  My power would be largely foiled by those suits, but Grue had his power.

With this many capes around, Grue would be incredibly versatile.

“No,” Tattletale said.  “Come here, and bring Amy.  They want to talk.”

Alright. Good.

Though considering Glory Girl is there, I’m not sure Amy will want to.

Legend snapped his head from the words to us.

Shit,” Tattletale said.  No sooner was the word out of her mouth than Siberian came tearing out of the hole, truck held over her head.

Well, fuck.

Was Siberian just waiting for something to tip them off to where the Undertravelers were?

A section of the street was torn free and flipped through the air.  Legend blasted it out of existence with an indigo flash of light.

I guess that’s indigone.

“Cash!”  Legend bellowed the word.

I think you’re misinterpreting that, Taylor. They’ve got someone named Cache.

So is he ordering Cache to go swoop up the Undertravelers to protect them from Siberian?

He began pelting Siberian with lasers.  Beams capable of leveling buildings, and she ignored them.

Turns out Siberian isn’t a building.

Cash?  I saw the man in the black costume raising his hands.  Dark lines began to surround Siberian and the truck, forming complex geometric angles.

Oh, is he capable of containing Siberian with that power?

In the blink of an eye, as Siberian reached the peak of her leap, panes of glossy black material snapped into place between the dark lines.  The resulting geometry contracted as if he meant to squish Siberian.  It shattered instead.

Yeah, sorry, I think your pokéball just popped open.

She hit the ground in a crouch, holding the truck in one hand, and the man in the black robe staggered, blood gushing from his nose.  Legend caught him before he could collapse.

Oof, that seems to have not just failed, but backfired.

Cache.  Right.  I was dimly aware of him, though I’d never seen his picture.

Siberian charged the heroes, and they cleared out of the way in an instant.  The one in power armor -Chariot- slid across the ground with the aid of his jetpack and built-in roller skates.

Let’s see what he can do in a fight!

Legend and the one in red, Glory Girl by process of elimination, took flight.  Ursa whatever leaped to one side.  They were the mobile group, the group that was able to get here fastest.  They’d seen the sun appear, they’d seen it hit, and they’d come to step in.

Ahh, yeah, that makes sense.

Though by their outfits, they were already messing with the other Undertraveler group’s assault on the Nine.

Siberian didn’t stop to engage the enemy.  She continued on her course, charging through the ground floor of a building as she swung the truck in a lazy back and forth arc.  I could see the roof buckling as vital supports disappeared.

Whoops, there goes another building.

“Legend, Battery, Cache,” Tattletale rattled off names through the phone, “Chariot, Glory Girl.”

Oh boy, Glory Girl’s here too. How’s Amy going to react to that? I can’t imagine she wants Victoria to see her riding around with the Undertravelers.

Amy squeaked, barely audible, a failed attempt to speak.

The flying man in the lead pointed his hand towards Tattletale.  If that was Legend, one laser blast could take all of them out.

Don’t do it, man. You’re better than that.

I wasn’t sure if he’d spotted us through the mist and smoke.

“Want me to use my power?” Grue asked.

Well, if they haven’t spotted you, that ought to tip them off, but if they have… it ought to help you escape.

“No,” Tattletale’s voice came from my phone.  “Skitter?  Inform them.”

About Siberian’s true nature?

I drew words out with the flying insects, big and bold, with an arrow pointing down at the crater.  ‘SIBERIAN + HER CREATOR’

Nice. That ought to get the point through.

“Tattletale?” I asked, the second she picked up.

“She’s still down there.”  Tattletale replied.

“Why?  Hurt?”

I doubt that.

“Don’t know.  Planning her next move?  Don’t get the impression she’s tunneling.”

I like how we’re getting a “second opinion” on these things.

“My bugs don’t either.  Hey, I’m wondering if Siberian can affect her real self?  Why doesn’t she just grab him and run?”

“Good question.  But that’s not our real concern.”

Then what is?

“What is?”


…fuck, did we just run right into the battle with the other Nine? Or did the Protectorate show up?

It took three or four seconds before I saw them arrive, stepping through the mist to stop a distance from the hole.  Identical costumes, all-concealing, with gas mask filters on the front and tinted panes for the upper faces.

Fuck, they did. This is very bad, because it means it’s only a matter of time before Bakuda’s bombs come into play.

Each was color coded.  Four flew, one using a jetpack.  One was on the ground, a style of super-speed I recognized as Battery’s.  Rounding out their group was the ghostly image of a bear.  Ursa something, from Legend’s squad.

Ghostly bear, sounds about right.

Also how did they expect the Nine not to recognize that one by the power??

She had three forms, or she duplicated herself into three states, or something.  I wasn’t sure about the naming convention.

…interesting. So it’s kind of a hivemind between three different ghostly bodies, then? Or is the word “duplicated” a bit misleading here?

One for the big bear, one for the small, and one for the woman.

An Ursa Major and an Ursa Minor. Nice.

This wasn’t a victory.  It was a stall.  We couldn’t stop Siberian so long as she was able to grant invulnerability to her other self, but we could keep her from reaching her teammates in any meaningful amount of time.

And you can force her to continue granting invulnerability to her other self in order to limit how much she can do to help Bonesaw the other Nine.

It was interesting, I had to note, that she was affecting the truck and not her maker.

I mean, so far that’s been logical enough, since they needed the truck… but I suppose they could’ve just picked up their real body earlier on the trip, ditching the truck. So maybe they can’t grant invulnerability to themself?

A limitation?  A drawback?  Could she not use her power on her real body?

Clouds of white steam intermingled with the black tendrils of Grue’s darkness.  We stopped running, but we didn’t approach.  I focused my power on the bugs in the ground.  Ants, earthworms.  Was she tunneling?  No.  As far as I could tell, the ground was intact.  She wasn’t moving.

Maybe they’ve realized they can’t get out without exposing their real body to the Undertravelers?

“What did you do?”  Amy whispered from behind me.

I didn’t have the breath to explain.

The Travelers have some really destructive powers.

“Drop the darkness?”  I asked.

Grue nodded.  The darkness cleared, but the steam didn’t make it any easier to see.  I saw the shadowy silhouette of Tattletale, a distance away.  I practically had to peel Amy off of me to get to my cell phone.

Poor Amy. 😛

“Let me know-”  She grunted as Bentley stumbled over a pothole.  “Let-”

“Got it!”  I replied.

I tracked the people in nearby buildings, and kept my arm extended to point at Siberian.

Timing is everything here.

Though I’m not sure this is going to work?

“Got to use my power again!”  Grue shouted.

“Signal us!”  Tattletale called out.

We pulled right, plunging into the darkness.  It was thinning out, and faint shafts of light were piercing through.We crossed the road behind Siberian, and Grue blasted them with darkness, replenishing the effect.  We continued across the street, moving behind cover.

Nice work.

Only a few people in the upcoming area.  We had to be close to Regent’s group.  Time was short.

This chase would be really cool in motion.

I drew images with my bugs to point her in the right direction, and then formed the word with my bugs as the other group continued forward.  ‘NOW’.

Go, Sunny!

We passed out of the darkness just in time for me to catch sight of the orb.  It was larger now.  Large enough that when it fell, it had to be touching both of the sidewalks on the four lane road.


Even with a building between us and the impact zone, I could feel the wave of heated air, and I saw the billowing steam.  Grue took the reins and guided Sirius away before it could reach us.

Probably a good idea, yes.

Sundancer hadn’t hit Siberian.  She’d dropped the orb straight into the road a hundred feet ahead of them, and she’d plunged it down, hard.

Well. Are they going to drive right into it?

My bugs died as Siberian approached the impact site, burned up by the heated air.  I could imagine what had happened.  The miniature sun would have burned a hole into the ground, melted or even vaporized pavement.

Ohh, right, of course – the car is invulnerable, but it’s still a car. It shouldn’t be able to get out of a deep crater easily, let alone safely.

Affected by Siberian’s power or not, they were still affected by gravity.

I couldn’t say what would have happened in the long run.  Had they hit the wall or floor of the pit and used Siberian’s power to make it as invulnerable as they were?  Or had they plunged through it, burying themselves some distance underground.

Either way, they’re stuck.

Or rather, the truck is. The Monochrome could still pick up Siberian and carry them to their destination, but leaving the real body behind to go help the other Nine would be even less of an option under those circumstances.

A nearby building was burning.  I saw Sundancer forming another orb near the site, I wasn’t sure what she was doing, but the flames on the building were shrinking and dying out.

Fighting fire with fire, I suppose.