There was a helluva lot
going on, she thought as her eyes darted back and forth to keep track of anything. Ink gave his orders and she moved to comply, shifting out of cover, only to pause, glancing at Ira. She gave a nod and a small smile of acknowledgement, going to Ira's booth with haste to don the piece of tech. By the time she was properly equipped her projection had gathered several hundred material samples, accruing sufficient physical traits for her to begin the more difficult work. She took refuge further back, near the crowd, with Tiger Lily between herself and their adversaries. She watched as each hero put their various talents to use to the best of their abilities, some taking orders, others taking initiative. Her eyes lingered for a moment on Outsider's titantic, alien form, and she shivered. The forum posts hadn't been kidding, he really was like a mini-Endbringer. Good thing he was a hero.
Taking in a deep breath she pulled her projection to her, its silver light glowing more brightly than usual with stored power. She looked like she had some kind of aura, her skin and costume cast in a silver light, refracting it, making her almost seem to glow. She took one more steadying breath, having calmed her heart rate once more, and then closed her eyes.
Ink had told her to try to immobalize Ceramix, but Outsider and co seemed to be doing that fairly well already and the longer civilians were in the hall, the more likely one of them was to get hurt. She wanted to follow orders, but her own internal compass was just louder
than Inkscape's order. It felt like less an order and more of a suggestion, one that was out of date with current events.
She made her decision.
The aura shrunk, rapidly, doing so until her projection's silver 'shadow' was inside
her body and impossible to observe. However, with it there she found she could sense the changes to its physical shape and constitution more clearly. She could control it better. It was something she'd done entirely without thought, but it seemed she was onto something.
A smile curved her lips and she opened her eyes. Again she took in the positions of everyone in the room, her mind racing through possibilities. Since she was trying new things and the situation had so many capes on scene, she decided not to list materials like she usually did, but instead create a framework in her mind, considering the bigger picture, rather than the microcosm of things.'I want something fast. There's not a lot of room in here, so something small. Manueverability. Most small things are fragile though, so that's a problem. I can't make it fragile. I want it to get hit and when it is hit, I want the aggressor to stop in surprise when it doesn't move. I need something small, fast, durable, and deadly. I want to evacuate the citizens and I want to punish the villains for ruining this for everyone,'
she found a fiery passion build in her chest and spread through her as she thought things through. Then, with her goals set firmly in mind, she willed the projection to fall into the mold of her wishes.
Within her body, the silver light shrunk, suddenly the size of a small child, maybe four feet tall, no longer taking up the space of her whole body. She felt each shift of its form, she noticed it form hands and feet, a total of six limbs, two pairs of arms and two legs...and a tail, no two tails. A subtle shift in its digits notified her of complex mechanisms involved, retractable claws maybe? Its limbs were all thin, though its tails less so.
Slowly she added embellishments, feeling the shift in density on the various levels of her projection's shadows. It was kind of like feeling the texture of something with your fingers, but she was doing it with every part of her body. It was a strange feeling, but not altogether unpleasant.
Changing her focus she considered its internal structure and sensory capabilities. Suddenly she knew it would see and hear and smell and feel. The density shifted as she considered the durability of her projection and she started calling on specific materials, linking them in a mental diagram.'Crystal and glass, linked and interwoven | Stone below that layer, combined with flesh and rubber . | Metal and rubber, interwoven. Bone.'
Then she noticed something, her mind shifting through the list of materials at her disposal. There among the other materials were strange outliers that, for some reason, she hadn't properly taken account of before. Things like 'air'
and, even more bizzare... 'light'
. Not feeling confident enough to mess around with the sheer scope of the possibilities those traits opened up, Evelyn instead wove them into the structure of the body, using them as slight modifiers, rather than core elements. Light with crystal, air infused into everything, implying a low weight despite the intended density of the projection. She put water in it, like a circulatory system, but she altered the material adding traces of fire and metal to the mix. Adjusting everything minutely.
Finally, satisfied, she took stock of the situation in the hall, and then knelt behind cover, closing her eyes and shutting the world out completely. It was time to sift through powers...and she needed 100% of her focus dedicated to the task if she wanted to get something workable and not also take too long to do it. As a result she propped herself against an upended table and then...let go
. The sensations of her body drifted away as she poured her awareness into her projection, into her thinker power.
First general awareness, her hearing, and the sense of vibrations as things moved around nearby. Then the movement of air against her skin, then the deeper motions of her muscles and pumping blood, and then, more swiftly, everything else. She tried to take a deep breath, and knew she was doing so, but she couldn't feel it. It was like being trapped in the between when she'd triggered, and for a moment it was more than she could handle. She felt some of the sensation of her body return and made an effort to steady her breath, before—calm now—sinking back in. This time she had the trance right and didn't lose her cool.
This time she could work.
Centered, Evelyn 'pulled' all the powers she'd scanned into her awareness, considering them even as she took them apart rapidly—her mind having already processed some of the information while she was focused elsewhere. She expanded all the individual elements and again considered the form of her projection and the goals she wanted to accomplish.
Rescue, protect, stay mobile, restrain, tank damage, and deal more back. She wanted to get the civilians to safety and she wanted to take the villains entirely out of the picture.... She paused, and then ammended that. She wanted to take them non-lethally out of the picture. Detached as she was, she didn't realize how disturbing it was that she'd considered killing people as a viable solution to their current predicament.
The powers understood, their parts comprehended, Evelyn began to pull them apart, reorganizing the various aspects of the eighteen powers currently at her disposal. Finally, she managed a combination that suited her purpose.
'Form Modifiers: Altered state: Extradimensional mass-energy translocation. Limit, personal. Modifier: State retention—matter recycling | Force absorption. Limit, personal. Modifier: Internal hydrothermal storage. Energy transmutation, dispersal/redirection. Vocal Output: Extra dimensional phase. Sensory input: Primary and secondary senses | Vibration detection. Enhanced physiology. Focus, Strength, speed, dexterity, and resistance.
Integrations: Time-space bredth compression. Modified limit: Non-personal. Qualifier: Activation-initiated mass spatial escalation. Error correction success: 92% Desynch result: Dual function precision loss. Areas: Kinetic dispersal/redirection; External Time-space linking.'
As she locked the powerset into place, synchronizing it with the form of her projection, Evelyn slowly let her awareness trickle back into her body, until she could fully feel the steadiness of her breath. A minute had passed.
Shaking herself, Evelyn rose to her feet and noticed that the 'shadow's' size had swelled. It was now roughly 6 feet tall. She could accept that. After all, when she reached out, trying to condense it, she found that it wouldn't. Apparently making it any smaller caused issues. Not a concern. She turned from the projection and hurried to ferry civilians out of the room, then when their focus was turned away, she turned towards the conflict and willed her projection into being.
Oddly, there was a delay, but it wasn't long, as the silver light suddenly took on a solid quality and then, all at once, a breeze swept outwards from the projection's location, air being displaced violently by its appearance.
This time her projection was roughly 6 feet tall at the head, with four arms of medium thickness, and two legs like that of a raptor, perhaps reminiscent of one of Tiger Lily's smaller forms. It had two tails, which individually weren't very thick, but together—entwined as they were—looked thick enough to act as an effective club. By and large it was humanoid and bipedal, not even stooping forwards despite its tails.Its entire body, its skin, was composed of a substance similar to quartz, but clearer and without any impurities. Looking at it, one might find it difficult to take in, as within its dense layers of crystalline dermis their ran a mixture of light and electrical energy, flowing over its entire form, distracting the eye and slightly obfuscating its movements. The projection turned its head, surveilling the area with all its senses. On and moving back from its head was a large tangle of elongated scales. They twitched and vibrated faintly, detecting vibrations in the creature's surroundings. Individually they looked almost like quills, but together they looked like hair, flowing down from its head and short neck.
The Tulpa flexed its fingers, and wicked talons extended, before it relaxed. It crouched and then sprang into motion, but before it had even covered eight feet, it vanished in a flash of light. Another flash of light and static signalled its reappearing high above where it clung to the ceiling. Focusing, Evelyn willed it to speak with her voice, but it came out sounding hollow and faintly distorted, if otherwise crystal clear."Use the stage and side exits. Stay calm and follow the instructions of capes and authorities on scene. We are here to ensure your safety. The glowing creature is on your side. Anyone with injuries or children should group together. The projection can get you outside faster."
The projection then fell silent and pushed off the ceiling with tremendous force, dislodging dust and dirt, but doing no other damage. There was a flash and it vanished. However, this time when it reappeared, a blast of wind burst forth from its body and it was directly in front of the golem's chest. The flash of light and static was more intense this time and as it appeared it did something else, propelling its own body in a spin, its tails lashing out with centripetal force, augmented by a focused eruption of kinetic energy as it—hopefully—struck the chest of the golem, without hitting the coiling form of Outsider.
Not a second wasted, the projection teleported again as its move completed, reappearing about 12 feet above the ground. It released a wave of light, static, and wind, as before, and then—as if light as air—fell to the ground without making any sound except that of its passing through the air.
It crossed the distance between itself and a group of children and injured people in the space of not even two seconds. Again Evelyn spoke through it, walking up to the group as she did. "Not to worry. This one's under my control. If you'll let us, I can get you out of this room and somewhere safe. Sound good?"
She said the words from her own lips and the easily projected words of the Tulpa. Some of the civilians looked to her, but some couldn't take their eyes off the projection. She smiled at them warmly, despite the direness of the situation, looking comforting...even if she was only 17 years old.
Discarding that errant thought, she noticed some of the civilians nod or give their consent, at which point she signalled her projection with a wave of her hand—entirely for the effect, rather than the necessity. Instantly the projection lowered itself and gathered the group around itself. Evelyn had already turned to walk away, her attention on the fight. She paused and smirked back at the group, "Safe travels,"
she said, winking. The very moment after the projection vanished, this time with naught but a gentle breeze to mark its passing.
Four seconds passed and it was back.
Evelyn activated her comms, "Inkscape, get mad at me later if you must. I'm alternating my projection between evacuating civilians and harrying Ceramix. Prioritizing the safety of civilians so we can fight without hurting anyone."
That said, she ended the communication even as her projection dashed forwards, teleporting three times—towards the conflict—with each reappearance a small shockwave of air and light was released. The effect was growing more intense as it continued to teleport.
Moving at speed, and with teleports, it was headed right for Ceramix, ready to strike. Evelyn wasn't going to hold back, but she also wasn't about to lose control like she had before. This was serious. Lives were on the line and this might very well be her first successful capture of villains. Even if she did have help, she wanted this and she wanted it bad