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Super-Powered Sneezes


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Title: Super-Powered Sneezes

Author: Chronosynclastic

Fandom: Original Characters

Summary: Superheroes, F

Part 1: The Secret Origin of Black Delilah

Lilah Delanuit never intended to become a supervillain. It just sort of happened.

As a child, Lilah suffered from severe sneezing fits. Doctors diagnosed her with severe allergies, though they were never able to determine just what she was allergic to: the fits could strike at any time, be it summer or winter, indoors or out. However, as she grew up, Lilah began to doubt this. She started to feel like there was something more to her attacks. She noticed that whenever she had a sneezing fit, other people around her would usually start sneezing too. She found that by concentrating hard, she could start or stop the fits at will. Finally, Lilah understood.

Her condition wasn't due to allergies or disease; it was a latent superpower beginning to manifest.

Lilah worked throughout her teenage years to gain greater control over her power. Eventually, she was able to turned it on and off at will. She herself no longer suffered from sneezing fits; rather, she had the ability to induce anybody to sneeze with nothing more than the power of her will.

After graduating from college, Lilah officially registered as a super. Then she applied to the Incorporated League of Superpowered Individuals, the world's largest employer of supers. The corporation was effectively a placement agency for people with superpowers; potential employers would send details of the jobs they needed done to ILOSI, and ILOSI would assign the super who best fit the requirements to the job. Only the most powerful supers could expect to be hired permanently as a public servant crime-fighter, but ILOSI did so much business that even those with more niche talents could expect a steady stream of jobs. Which is why the corporation's response to her application took her entirely by surprise.

They laughed at her.

They said that her ability was completely useless. That it didn't really count as a superpower. That since there was no way for them to monetize it, they didn't want her as a member.

Lilah was crushed. She'd always thought of ILOSI as a community of superheroes who supported each other out of a sense of companionship and charity, not as a heartless corporation focused solely on profiting from its members' abilities. She had discovered that she was a super, qualified to enter the exclusive world of the noble heroes who protect society, only to have her naive dreams of that world crushed.

Still bitter about her rejection, and angered that Lady Victorious was feeding the same lies of ILOSI's benevolence to another adoring crowd, Lilah decided on a whim to use her power to disrupt the event. She began concentrating on Lady Victorious, who was now speaking about the respect supers would receive for their talents at ILOSI.

Lady Victorious speech trailed off as she began to feel the tickle building in her nose. Her broad, strong nostrils flared in irritation. Lady Victorious rubber her nose, trying to relieve the itch; but Lilah knew from experience that nothing could stop one of her tickles from turning into a full- blown explosion.

The audience could tell by now that something was wrong. They started muttering among themselves in confusion as Lady Victorious continued to rub the reddening tip of her agitated nose.

Seeing the audience's discontent, Lady Victorious tried to resume speaking, but this was a mistake. As she inhaled to begin to speak, the fresh influx of air through her unbearably tickly nostrils proved too much to bear. Her nostrils stretched wide as her super-powerful lungs sucked in vast quantities of air. Her ample bosom heaved as her lungs filled to their max capacity. Lady Victorious made one last effort to hold in the now-unstoppable eruption — her chest puffed out, her eyes squeezed shut, her nostrils flaring spectacularly, her nose twitching wildly with the unbearable urge to release the pent-up pressure — and then she sneezed.

It was a sneeze unlike any other.

It was the first time Lilah had ever used her power on a super. And so it was not until this incident that Lilah discovered that the sneezes she induced caused supers to temporarily lose control of their powers. Lady Victorious was immensely strong. Normally, she could reign in that strength, so as to not inflict damage with every casual action. But this time, at the moment she sneezed, she lost all control.

The force of the wind that exploded from Lady Victorious's nose was like a hurricane. The entire crowd who had gathered to see her speech were sprayed by the fine mist of snot that jetted from both of her nostrils. The sound of her super-powered sneeze was like a sonic boom. So forceful was the expulsion that it lifted Lady Victorious up off her feet and sent her flying backwards into the building behind her.

That one momentary whim ended up changing Lilah's life forever. Since she'd registered her identity and power, ILOSI quickly figured out she was responsible. However, the news also spread among the underground supervillain communities. They regarded her as hero for publically humiliating one of ILOSI's most iconic spokesmen. Presented with a choice between appreciative villains and enraged heroes, she decided to take her chances with the villains. With the help of some questionable characters known as the Magnificent Misfits, she was able to escape capture and go into hiding.

Whereas ILOSI had rejected Lilah out of hand, the Misfits welcomed her with open arms. And while ILOSI had dismissed her power as useless, the Misfits were eager to make use of her ability. As a relatively minor group, they didn't have any members with superpowers that could match the average ILOSI crime-fighter. Whenever they encountered a superhero, they had no chance of actually winning; the most they could hope for was to get away. As such, Lilah's power to temporarily incapacitate a hero with a sneeze that made their powers malfunction was invaluable to them.

Of course, Lilah was initially wary of the Misfits; she'd been raised to believe that supervillains were all crazed psychopaths and that ILOSI was the only thing standing between them and the total destruction of society. But spending time with the Misfits, Lilah realized that most of them were not that different from her. All of them had been deemed undesirable by ILOSI for one reason or another; some had been rejected right away for insufficiently useful powers like her, while others had been fired for making mistakes, or failing to turn enough of a profit, or for being disliked by higher-earning coworkers. And once ILOSI had passed on you, you didn't have many options left; even if there wasn't an arrest warrant out for you like on Lilah, everyone believed that a registered super who wasn't working for ILOSI must have something wrong with them. Mundane people viewed all supers as either superheroes or supervillains; and everyone knew that all the heroes were at ILOSI.

If that was right, Lilah decided she wanted to be on the side of wrong.

Of course, if she was going to be a supervillain, she'd have to dress the part. She designed a costume, and the Misfits provided her with the clothes. A knee-length frilly black dress. Black lace gloves and black leather boots. And, for the finishing touch, a black flower tucked behind one ear.

From that point on, she was no longer Lilah Delanuit; rather, the world would come to know her as Black Delilah.


I wrote this to serve as a lead-in to a series about different superheroines sneezing. If anyone's interested, I'll continue it.

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Love stories with giant, out-of-this-world sneezing - I am certainly interested in reading more :) Pretty much, as many colossal sneezes as pssible please :D

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I agree with NoV, enormous sneezes are awesome, and so is the super hero genre! You did such an awesome job on this story, I am eager to read more :)

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Love stories with giant, out-of-this-world sneezing - I am certainly interested in reading more smile.png Pretty much, as many colossal sneezes as pssible please biggrin.png

I love them also
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Part 2: Fireball Sneeze

It was an auspicious day. Today was the day that Lilah Delanuit, now known as the supervillain Black Delilah, would be participating in her first crime. The criminal organization she'd joined, the Misfits, had given her some time to settle down and get used to living in their lair, but now it was time for her to get out into the field and make them some money. Crime did, in fact, often pay; but living in constant hiding from superheroes cost enough that they often barely broke even.

Black Delilah's first assignment was to join a team that was attempting to steal some crates from a warehouse and sell them to a wealthy major-league supervillain who was willing to pay a handsome commission for the robbery. Black Delilah wasn't told what exactly was in the crates, but her teammates assuaged her conscience by reasoning that it couldn't be anything too dangerous or it would be kept at a secure site instead of a civilian warehouse.

This was actually the Misfits's second attempt at the job. On their first try, they'd lost the element of surprise when the Mad Scotsman had jumped screaming through the window, and had been forced to beat a hasty retreat. Though, in his defense, Black Delilah wasn't quite sure what the others had been expecting when they'd brought him along. He did after all call himself the Mad Scotsman, so it really shouldn't have come as any kind of surprise.

This time, they'd had the good sense to have the Mad Scotsman sit the mission out. However, they were concerned that security might have been increased as a result of the botched first attempt, which was why Black Delilah was taking his place. If ILOSI had assigned a superhero to watch the warehouse, it would be Black Delilah's task to set his or her powers haywire with a sneezing fit.

Black Delilah couldn't help but feel slightly out of place. All of the other members of the team were comfortable in their familiar roles: Tekk-Grrl was handling the security, Mr. Intangible was standing lookout, Moleman was preparing the getaway car, and Schrodinger's Catgirl may or may not have been there. While they went about their assigned tasks with practiced efficiency, Black Delilah stood awkwardly off to the side. There really wasn't anything for her to do unless a superhero showed up.

Tekk-Grrl, Black Delilah, and possibly Schrodinger's Catgirl entered the warehouse and had just located the crates when the dark warehouse suddenly blazed with light and an authoritative female voice shouted out, "Halt, evildoers!"

The two or three Misfits whirled around. Standing behind them, her hands on her hips and a satisfied smirk on her face, was a young woman. Based on her bright red hair and the small cloud of glowing embers swirling around her, Black Delilah recognized her as Cindy Nova. She'd never seen Cindy Nova in person before, but she'd certainly heard of her; the young woman was one of ILOSI's brightest rising stars. She had single-handedly defeated such top-tier villains as The Innuminous, Dr. Moebius von Infinity, and the Synergy Sisters; and had even fought alongside Lady Victorious against Hugo Herbert, the self-proclaimed God-Emperor of America, during last year's infamous attempted coup. In other words, she was far too big of a heavy-hitter for the Misfits to have any hope of defeating her.

Really, her talents were wasted on something as common-place as a warehouse robbery, but ILOSI was really trying to shine a spotlight on her. They must have figured this was an opportunity to rack up an easy victory for her, maybe get some nice publicity photos of her standing atop a heap of defeated supervillains.

"You're up, Black Delilah." Schrodinger's Catgirl might have said.

Black Delilah focused on Cindy Nova's petite nose and began to concentrate. Itch. Tickle. A small, nagging sensation slowly building to a crisis that could not be ignored.


Cindy Nova's eyelids fluttered and her nostrils flared. The cloud of embers dancing around her grew brighter.

"Ahhh... ha... haaaa..."

Cindy Nova's nose twitched and trembled in response to Black Delilah's irresistible irritation. All the muscles in her body flexed as she tried mightily to resist the torment; but once Black Delilah triggered a sneeze, it was impossible to suppress.

"Ah... ah... AHHHH..."

As Cindy Nova's inhalations deepened, a blazing aura began to glow around her body. For the first time, Black Delilah realized the danger of causing supers to lose control of their powers. Heroes employed by ILOSI followed a strict code to never do harm, and as such usually reigned in their abilities when fighting. However, when under the effect of Black Delilah's powers, they lost control at the moment they sneezed. Nobody had been harmed in the incident with Lady Victorious; however, that had been because she was standing on a stage far from the crowd. Close up, in an enclosed space, her super-powered sneeze might do actual damage. And Cindy Nova's powers were a great deal more destructive than Lady Victorious's.

"Run!" Black Delilah shouted. "Everyone get away from her! She's gonna blow!"

Once Black Delilah had triggered a sneeze, not even she could stop it. And so there was nothing in the world that could prevent what would happen next.


Unable to hold it in for any longer, Cindy Nova had finally surrendered to her tortured nose's demands and let out a tremendous sneeze. At the moment of the sneeze, her powers went completely out of control, and jets of flame shot from her nostrils. The force of the sneeze was enough to propel flames across the entire length of the warehouse; they expanded as they spread out, becoming a fireball that filled the entire space. The Misfits, who had turned and started running towards the door, were propelled out of it like corks out of a bottle. Moleman, quick to recognize a botched mission when he saw one, hurriedly herded them into a van and then pressed the pedal to the metal. Behind them, the warehouse was engulfed in flame; Cindy Nova must have let out another explosive sneeze, because a pillar of fire blew off the roof and stretched high into the night sky.

The Misfits didn't relax until they were safely back in their lair. Fortunately, all of them had escaped mostly unscathed. The only injury was to Schrodinger's Catgirl, who had gotten a light burn on one arm; since none of them were able to figure out exactly which arm with any degree certainty, they finally ended up bandaging both of them. Unfortunately, however, the mission had failed again. And since Cindy Nova's fiery sneezes had burned the warehouse down, they wouldn't be getting a third shot at the job.

It was, Black Delilah thought, an inauspicious start to her career as a supervillain.

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Dang, this is great!

I love all the little side characters you're setting up. Schrodinger's Catgirl is frankly hilarious, and I hope she sticks around at least for the laughs.

I'm also really curious to see what powers the other characters have too. Tekk-Grrl definitely has my attention.

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I'm a little surprised Schrodinger's Catgirl is so popularsweatdrop.gif .

I didn't think she was a particularly original concept. I know it's been done at least twice before: a recurring character in Hellsing Ultimate (though he's a catboy rather than a catgirl) and a one-chapter joke in Empowered. I wouldn't be surprised if there were others; it's a fairly obvious pun.

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And yet it is still very funny. Because really, who makes Schrodinger jokes? Yes, those TWO publications you mentioned. Out of how many millions?

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Part 3: Let It Snow

After botching her first mission, Black Delilah was eager to take on another so she'd have the opportunity to redeem herself. However, no new assignment was forthcoming. While the Misfits sometimes committed crimes on their own initiative, they mostly preferred it when they were hired to do jobs by other supervillains. Apparently they'd didn't have a direct connection to any reliable fences, and had gotten burned in the past stealing things that they'd had no way to sell off afterwards. Better to have a known client and a guaranteed payoff at the end.

At one point, the Misfits were contacted by Baron Treason about a potential team-up. Black Delilah was surprised that such a major player would consider working with them; Baron Treason was leagues above them in the supervillain hierarchy. More importantly, though, he was fabulously wealthy, so Black Delilah figured their money problems would soon come to an end. However, the senior members of the team unanimously voted to decline the offer. Mr. Intangible later explained o her that the only reason an A-lister like Baron Treason would want to hire a group of C-listers like them was because everybody better than them had already turned him down. It seemed the Baron was getting a reputation for living up to his name, and now nobody with an ounce of sense was willing to work with him. He'd probably been hoping that the Misfits hadn't gotten the word yet — but while Black Delilah hadn't heard, several other members of the Misfits had connections with others in the supervillain community.

Finally, just when Tekk-Grrl was starting to suggest that they should rob a bank for some money to tide them over to the next job, Moleman announced that he'd gotten a request for help from the Absent-Minded Professor. The senior members agreed that the Absent-Minded Professor was trustworthy, and decided to bring him to their lair and hear out his proposal.

The Absent-Minded Professor was an elderly gentleman with a bushy white beard. On top of his head sat a complicated helmet, covered in whirring fans and sparking protrusions, that kept his body connected to his displaced brain. The Absent-Minded Professor had transported his brain into a higher dimension, where it was constantly absorbing otherworldly knowledge — but in order to make room for that knowledge, he was constantly forgetting mundane things, such as where he'd parked his car.

Where he had parked his car turned out to be in a fire lane. By the time he'd managed to recall, it had been towed to the impound lot. Naturally, being a known supervillain, he couldn't exactly go and ask for it back. Normally he'd just buy a new car — despite his flakiness, he had managed to make enough money off his inventions that a car or two was small change to him — but there was the small problem that he'd left his latest diabolical device in the trunk.

"But no one knows it's there, right?" Black Delilah said. "So there's no reason any superheroes would be around."

"Unfortunately, the device constantly emits anti-tau-lepton-neutrino..." the Absent Minded Professor paused for a moment, whacked his helmet on the side with the flat of his hand, then continued: "...that is to say, it is a powerful emitter of tau antineutrinos. If there are any nearby ILOSI facilities with the proper monitoring equipment, they'll probably detect it eventually and send somebody to investigate."

In other words, there was a chance they would run into a superhero at the lot. Which meant the time had come for Black Delilah to go on her second mission.

The team sent to recover the Professor's invention consisted of Black Delilah, Schrodinger's Catgirl, and the Stupendous Schlimazel. Back at the lair, Tekk-Grrl was serving as mission control. The plan was fairly simple. Tekk-Grrl hacked the impound lot's computer system, determining the location of the Professor's car and shutting down the lot's alarms and security cameras. Black Delilah, of course, was there to handle any superhero who might show up. The Stupendous Schlimazel was there to run interference. It was hard to say with certainty why Schrodinger's Catgirl was there, or even if she was actually there at all; Black Delilah had learned fairly quickly that thinking too hard about her just led to headaches. Lastly, Forget-Me- Now was the one who would perform the retrieval, since her powers would prevent... anyone...

It was at this point that they realized that they'd forgotten to bring Forget-Me-Now.

From the chorus of groans, Black Delilah guessed that this wasn't the first time they'd had this problem. Tekk-Grrl ordered the team to just continue on; if they turned around now, odds were by the time they got back to the lair they'd have forgotten why again. Black Delilah admonished herself for the hundredth time not to forget Forget-Me-Now, but she could already feel her knowledge of her teammate sliding out of her mind like water running through her fingers. She couldn't recall what Forget-Me-Now looked like. Had they ever even met...?

The second problem occurred when they climbed over the fence into the impound lot. While Tekk-Grrl had disabled all of the computer security, it turned out the lot was protected by police dogs. Tekk-Girl could have handled an entire pack of Cyber-Wolves commanded by the Machine Huntress, but she couldn't hack a regular old flesh-and-blood dog.

The dogs immediately fixated on Schrodinger's Catgirl. They slowly advanced on her, teeth bared. Schrodinger's Catgirl looked like she was desperately trying to make it uncertain whether or not she was actually there; but while dogs don't know much about quantum physics, they do know a cat when they smell one, and weren't having any of it. Then, at the last moment, they suddenly turned about began running towards the Stupendous Schlimazel instead.

The Stupendous Schlimazel's powers made him a lightning rod for misfortune. If something bad was going to happen to someone nearby, it would happen to him instead. It really sucked to be him — but it could be incredibly useful to have him nearby. In fact, ILOSI probably would have hired him, but his powers had made him suffer someone else's misfortune of being rejected. Schrodinger's Catgirl watched with relief as the Stupendous Schlimazel jumped the fence and ran down the street, the dogs still in hot pursuit.

Fortunately, no one seemed to have noticed the commotion. Black Delilah and Schrodinger's Catgirl were able to proceed into the impound lot to the location Tekk-Grrl had given for the car. However, they drew up short when they saw that a superhero was already there.

It was a woman. She had pale white skin, and her flowing hair was an unnatural, vivid blue. In one hand she held a device that vaguely resembled a Geiger counter, which beeped and pinged as she ran it over the trunk of the Absent-Minded Professor's car. Black Delilah recognized the woman as the superhero Ice Queen. She'd once commanded a fair bit of respect at ILOSI, but her fortunes must have fallen if she was now being sent on errands like this.

Schrodinger's Catgirl signaled Black Delilah, and Black Delilah began focusing her power on Ice Queen. She concentrated on the woman's slender nose, on her delicate nostrils, willing them to begin to itch. The tickle would start small, but grow with each passing moment until it was impossible to resist.

Ice Queen paused scanning the trunk with her device and rubbed her nose. However, there was nothing she could do to relieve the growing irritation. Her nostrils trembled as her beleaguered sinuses cried out for release.

"Eh... heh... hehhh... ha-chooo!"

Ice Queen's nose convulsed as she let out a forceful sneeze. The burst of air that sprayed from her nostrils had been super-cooled by her powers, and caused a thin layer of frost to begin forming on the Professor's car. But that first sneeze had not relieved the irritation; already a second, stronger sneeze was beginning to build within her.

"Ahhh... HAAA... heh... HEHH... ha-ATCHOOO!"

This sneeze was more powerful than the first. As it exploded from her nose, a sheet of ice spread out from her feet and spread across the parking lot asphalt. Several cars had their tires pierced by icicles which formed in the wheel wells.

Ice Queen could already feel a third sneeze, the biggest yet, beginning to torment her. She had realized by now that these sneezes were causing her powers to run wild, and that her next eruption might seriously damage the parking lot. Not wanting to destroy police property, she began running towards the exit, trying to hold the sneeze in until she could get clear. Black Delilah and Schrodinger's Catgirl quickly took advantage of the opportunity. They opened the trunk of the Professor's car with his keys, located his invention — a bizarre gadget that Black Delilah couldn't even begin to guess the purpose of — and snuck away.


From behind them came the sound of a tremendous sneeze; then the temperature dropped precipitously and fat snowflakes began to fall from the sky.

They returned to their car and drove until they found the Stupendous Schlimazel — he had been chased into a tree by the guard dogs — then headed back to the lair. Black Delilah felt a strange sense of pride welling within her. She had completed her first successful mission as a supervillain. She was now a true member of the Misfits.

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Wow, how did I miss this before?

These little stories are a ton of fun! I love all the characters, and I must say Forget-Me-Now may be even funnier than Schrodinger's Catgirl. Jury's out on that one.

Nice to see things finally looking up for the Misfits, and I can't wait to see what they do next.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Part 4: The Super-Museum Super-Robbery

The Misfits had been commissioned for a job.

The supervillain Lightbender was considering coming out of retirement, and wanted the Misfits to recover his Prismatic Staff. Though, to be frank, calling him a supervillain may have been overstating matters a fair bit. People reacted to him more with amusement than fear, and ILOSI usually let him off with just a slap on the wrist.

People like Lightbender were useful to ILOSI, in their own way. They liked having silly, harmless "villains" who could be defeated with a minimum of fuss. It have superpowered battles an air of spectacle, rather than a threat to society.

Lightbender had retired some years ago, saying he was getting too old for this line of work. However, he'd apparently begun reconsidering after the failed coup by Hugo Herbert, the man who declared himself God-Emperor of America. He felt that people needed to be reminded that not all of the people classified as "supervillains" were megalomaniacal psychopaths — that some of them had legitimate reasons for standing in opposition to society.

When he retired, Lightbender had donated the source of his powers, his Prismatic Staff, to the Museum of Super-Nature and Super-Science, where it was currently on display as part of the supervillain exhibit. The museum was an intimidating tough target. Because of all the old villain- tech stored there, some of it still in working order, the museum had correspondingly strict security. Normally, a minor group like the Misfits would never try to rob somewhere so well defended. However, the fact was, the museum was also a very tempting target. Pretty much all of the Misfits wanted to get their hands on something or other from one of the exhibits. And, in the end, they decided to go for it.

The team would consist of Tekk-Grrl, to disable the museum's security; the Mad Scotsman, in case physical strength was needed to break something; Black Delilah, in case any superheroes showed up; and Schrodinger's Catgirl, for no reason that anyone could be certain of (probably, she wanted to get in on the looting). Moleman would fill the leadership position.

To Black Delilah's surprise and slight disappointment, the Mad Scotsman's choice of attire for going on a mission turned out to be a dapper business suit. Whenever she'd imagined him in action, she'd always pictured him as wearing something more showy, probably involving a kilt.

The Misfits gathered outside of the museum after closing time and waited. And waited. And, after a bit, began to realize with a growing sense of discomfort that, while they were certain they'd had a plan to get inside the museum, none of them could actually remember what it was. Everyone stood around awkwardly, wondering what to do but not wanting to be the one to look stupid by asking.

The mystery was finally solved when Forget-Me-Now opened the museum doors from the inside. Black Delilah had completely forgotten that she was even a member of the Misfits, let alone a participant in this mission; but upon seeing her, the plan came back to her. Forget-Me-Now had gone in as a visitor during regular hours and simply waited; museum security had forgotten all about her when closing up, and now she was able to let the rest of the team inside. From there, they quickly made their way to the supervillain exhibit.

Black Delilah stared in awe at the exhibits, memorabilia of the greatest and most terrible villains the world had ever known. Names of legend, which she'd learned about in school. The Staff of Aeons, once wielded by Primordion. Mordred's Hammer, pried from the gauntleted hands of the Black Armor after Enchantrice finally reversed the spell animating it. The Shroud of the Shadow- Stealer, which ceaselessly fluttered even though there was no wind. And there, at the center of the display, was the most recent of the items: the very crown that Hugo Herbert had placed on his head when he'd publically declared himself God-Emperor of America. It was bent out of shape, having been partially melted by the incredible heat of Cindy Nova's fire during the battle when he'd finally been defeated, but still exuded an air of imposing malevolence.

They were able to locate the Prismatic Staff fairly quickly. Although Lightbender had never been as powerful or threatening as most of the other villains in the exhibit, he had been fairly popular, and so had his display in a prime position. Schrodinger's Catgirl was able to extract the Staff from its case, using some quantum slight of hand that made Black Delilah's head hurt to look at and which left the alarms uncertain whether or not they should go off. And with their primary objective in their hands, they could get to the part they were really looking forward to: stealing all the trinkets and treasures they desired for themselves.

However, as they prepared to split up and loot the place, a bolt of lightning shattered the museum's skylight and struck the floor in front of them. As the blinding flash faded, the Misfits found themselves facing a young woman in a black catsuit with a stylized lightning bolt emblem on the chest. Black Delilah quickly recognized her as the superhero Elektrika. Forget-Me-Now shot a glare at Schrodinger's Catgirl, who raised her hands in protest. Personally, Black Delilah thought Elektrika's arrival far too quick for it to have been Schrodinger's Catgirl's fault. They must have somehow triggered a silent alarm at some other point, alerting the museum to the break-in; and the museum in turn must have alerted ILOSI, who had dispatched the nearest superhero to capture them.

The Mad Scotsman placed one hand on the hilt of his claymore sword and took a step forwards, but Moleman held him back and nodded at Black Delilah. There was no sense in getting into a fight when she could incapacitate Elektrika non-violently. Black Delilah concentrated her focus on Elektrika's slender nose and willed her powers to activate.

"Hi... hiii... hichuuu!"

Elektrika gave a small sneeze almost immediately. However, such a tiny release wasn't enough to relieve the irritation that Black Delilah had induced in her. She rapidly descended into a sneezing fit, one small sneeze after another erupting from her delicate nose.

"Hi-chu! Hi-chu! Hi-iii-chuuu!"

Each sneeze was accompanied by a discharge of electrical energy. Bolts of lightning flew through the air. Static electricity made the fur on Schrodinger's Catgirl's ears and tail stand on end.

"Ih... ih... ihii... Ichuuu!"

A final sneeze, larger than any that had come before it, sent streams of electricity arcing in every direction. Some of the bolts struck exhibits of villainware, inducing power surges that caused the old tech to reactivate. Numerous alarms began to sound as dangerous old devices sprang to life once more.

"I believe these circumstances warrant a retreat." Moleman muttered, glancing around nervously.

As Elektrika turned away from them, her attention drawn by a reactivated Mecha-Minotaur that was trying to break out of its display case, the Misfits hastily slunk away. Unfortunately, their opportunity to loot the museum had been lost. However, since they had gotten the Prismatic Staff, the mission was technically a success; at least they'd get their payment from Lightbender.

Not the way they'd intended the mission to go. But when you were a supervillain, you had to take your victories where you could get them.

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I can't express enough love for these characters. They're all simply brilliant.

Also, just realizing this now, it's a lot of fun getting to see things from the villains' perspective. My own super hero series was generally from the heros' point of view, but this feels a lot more interesting, getting to see the other side of things.

Can't wait to see what happens next!

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Villains are people too! So what, did Lightbender turn homophobes' clothing rainbow-colored or something? Supervillain social protester?

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This story just keeping getting better and better, I am looking forward to reading more! Black Delilah is going to make every super heroine sneeze by the time she is done xD

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  • 3 weeks later...

Part 5: Machine Huntress

The Misfits had been hired for a job.

Doc Technic was a doctor and scientist specializing in nanotechnology and cyborgization. Recently, a canister of nanomachines had been stolen from his laboratory. Normally, such a theft would be investigated by ILOSI. However, while he was officially licensed to practice super- medicine, the good Doc was not always that particular about who he practiced it on. In particular, the stolen nanomachines had been a special order for a supervillain, and Doc Technic would rather ILOSI not learn about that particular fact. Instead, he decided to contact a former client of his who might be in a position to help: Tekk-Grrl, the Misfits' resident technical expert.

From the lab's security footage, the Misfits were able to identify the culprit behind the theft as Copy-Kitty. Copy-Kitty was not very well respected in the supervillain community. For one thing, she didn't have any superpowers. Many believed that you needed to have a superpower, or at the very least be a mad scientist, to qualify as a supervillain rather than a common criminal. For another, she didn't do anything original. She merely stole and utilized items belonging to other supervillains.

It was not difficult to locate Copy-Kitty. Only a few days after the Misfits had been hired for the job, she appeared in a local park, proudly announcing her presence to all in the vicinity. She was the kind of supervillain who couldn't do anything subtly; she always needed a crowd of bystanders as an audience. The Misfits thus received news of her appearance almost immediately; and Black Delilah, Schrodinger's Catgirl, and Tekk-Grrl went to the park to confront her.

Copy-Kitty was a young woman with short, dark hair. She was dressed in what appeared to be a generic catgirl outfit purchased from a costume shop, complete with fake ears and tail.

"Poseur." Schrodinger's Catgirl muttered under her breath.

"G1ve back the nan0tech and n0b0dy has t0 get hurt." Tekk-Grrl said.

"Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!" Copy-Kitty cackled. "You're too late to stop me now, heroes—"

"Hey!" Schrodinger's Catgirl protested. "Who are you calling a hero, punk?"

"— for my master plan has already been put into motion! I..."

And she proceeded to launch into a full-blown villain speech. Not a single cliche was left untouched. They had laughed at her, but she'd show them, she'd show them all... It actually made Black Delilah embarrassed to be a supervillain. It made her shudder to think that the general public might view her the same way the viewed Copy-Kitty — an arrogant, selfish, self-deluded bimbo who was angry at society because it wouldn't hand her everything she wanted on a silver platter. Black Delilah had been forced to join the Misfits because of her rejection by ILOSI and the unfortunate incident with Lady Victorious. Copy-Kitty had become a supervillain to satisfy her greed and envy. She was just... just...

"What a bitch." Schrodinger's Catgirl said. "Could you please shut her up?"

Black Delilah was happy to oblige. She focused her powers on Copy-Kitty, who broke off mid- speech as the urge to sneeze overwhelmed her.

"Nya-chu! Nya-chu! Nya-chu!"

Copy-Kitty let out a series of petite sneezes, then wrinkled her nose in irritation.

"Did you do that!?" she demanded. "Now you're asking for it!"

"Maybe, maybe not." Schrodinger's Catgirl said. "Question is, what are you going to do about it? Unlike me, you have no powers."

"I have all the power I need... right here!" Copy-Kitty said.

She hefted something into the air. After a moment, Black Delilah recognized it as the Staff of Aeons, which she had not long ago seen on display in the supervillain exhibit of the Museum of Super-Nature and Super-Science.

"Some third-rate villains recently broke into the museum." Copy-Kitty purred. "I don't think they managed to steal anything themselves before their bungling set off the alarms; but since they were kind enough to short out all the security systems with some kind of lightning storm when making their escape, I figured I'd take advantage of the opportunity to held myself to a few things. And with this, my plan can commence!"

The upraised staff began to pulse with mystic light.

"Stop her!" Schrodinger's Catgirl shouted.

Black Delilah was already focusing her power on Copy-Kitty once more. However, while she could cause a super to lose control of their ability, Copy-Kitty was just an ordinary human; it was the Staff of Aeons which held the power, and Black Delilah had no way of interfering with that. Thus, even as Copy-Kitty doubled over in another sneezing fit, a pulse of energy from the staff split the air. The Staff of Aeons reached across the ages and pulled something forwards through the mists of time. From within the rift there came a stentorian roar; then the ground shook as a Tyrannosaurus Rex stomped out. It glanced around, looking highly displeased by its abrupt displacement.

"...Any ideas?" Black Delilah asked.

"...Try to look unappetizing?" Schrodinger's Catgirl suggested.

"Hahahhahaha! Nya-chu! Phase one of the plan — nya-chu! — is complete!" Copy-Kitty said through her sneezes. "Now beginning... nya-chu!... phase two! Ha ha ha — nya-chu! Nya-chu! Nya-chu!"

She tossed something at the feet of the T-Rex — the stolen nanomachines. Now active, they began to carry out their programming and work a transformation on the dinosaur. The change began at the creature's feet and rippled upwards, cybernetic implants erupting from beneath its scaly skin and linking together to form strength-enhancing exoskeletal armor.

"Behold — Cyber-Rex!" Copy-Kitty said exultantly, though the drama of the moment was slightly ruined by the streams of snot dangling from her nose.

"Ha." Tekk-Grrl said, beginning to grin. "I was w0rr1ed f0r a m0ment, but th1s I can handle."

Tekk-Grrl splayed her hands in front of her and flexed her fingers. Her digits started to twitch manically as she began typing on her virtual keyboard. The cyborged Tyrannosaurus froze in confusion, its tiny reptile brain struggling to interpret the contradictory electrical impulses being provided by its cybernetic implants.

"You'll never crack it!" Copy-Kitty said between sneezes. "This is top-tier nanotech! Even one of ILOSI's top heroes would have difficulty with its defenses — and if cat-lady over there was telling the truth and you aren't really heroes, then ILOSI must have rejected you. That means you can't possibly have the kind of hacking ability necessary to break this level of security."

The Tyrannosaur took another few faltering steps, then froze again.

"I wasn't rejected by IL0SI." Tekk-Grrl said flatly. "I qu1t."

"Huh?" Copy-Kitty said.

The dinosaur took another shuddering step, then tossed its head.

"ILOSI's the best racket in town." Copy-Kitty said. "Why would anyone accepted by them quit?"

"The j0bs they placed me 1n were inf0rmati0n c0ntr0l p0s1t10ns." Tekk-Grrl said. "P0l1t1c1ans want1ng t0 erase scandals from the 1nternet. C0mpan1es want1ng t0 c0ver up negat1ve 1nformat10n ab0ut the1r uneth1cal pract1ces. G0vernments want1ng t0 cens0r d1ssent1ng vo1ces. I c0uldn't g0 0n w1th th0se k1nds 0f th1ngs 0n my c0nsc1ence. S0 I made a dec1s10n: better t0 d0 r1ght as a v1ll1an than d0 wr0ng as a her0."

"And we're all very proud of you." Schrodinger's Catgirl cut in. "But in case you hadn't noticed, it's still moving this way; so maybe you want to do a little less talking and a little more hacking!"

"D0c's nan0mach1nes really are the best." Tekk-Grrl said. "But I th1nk I can shut them d0wn."

"Good." Schrodinger's Catgirl said. "Can you do it soon? Sooner would be better."

At that moment, a high-pitched howl pierced the air. There was an electric quality to it, as though it were being digitally modulated. Black Delilah, Schrodinger's Catgirl, Tekk-Grrl, and even Copy-Kitty all looked around in surprised. A pack of Cyber-Wolves rushed into the park — cybernetically enhanced creatures half again as large as ordinary wolves, their improved joints allowing them to run with a speed no purely flesh-and-blood creature could match.

"Cyber-Wolves... the Machine Huntress!" Schrodinger's Catgirl shouted, her fur standing on end.

The Machine Huntress was a figure of legend. An elven warrior from an alternate world, she had fled her home's destruction at the hands of malevolent machines by escaping to Earth. Too inhuman to be easily categorized as a hero or villain, she had continued to carry out the skills she'd devoted her whole life to honing: hunting and destroying complicated machines. No-one knew exactly how she located targets, but the creation of the Cyber-Rex by Copy-Kitty seemed to have somehow caught her attention. When her pack of Cyber-Wolves appeared, the Huntress herself was never far behind.

Sure enough, the Huntress soon sauntered into view, riding on the back of an enormous blue elk with antenna-like metal horns. Little was known about her mysterious steed, which had given rise to a whole host of rumors. In particular, some people said that it was a fae-elk, a sentient being, which had submitted to serving the Machine Huntress as her steed in exchange for being taken with her when she fled their doomed homeworld.

The Huntress's body was statuesquely beautiful and taut with muscle. Her normal eyes were an inhumanly vivid green and her ears rose to delicate points. Her dark, tangled hair was so long it fell over her shoulders like a cape. It was impossible to mistake her for anyone else: she was the Machine Huntress, and she had come to hunt.

The Machine Huntress comported herself in manner that was difficult to describe. She was not proud, or haughty, or arrogant. Those words were much too vulgar to describe her demeanor. She was vainglorious. She was a living legend and she knew it, and she carried herself with appropriate poise. One could almost feel a palpable pressure radiating out from her: the weight of myth and legend accumulated by a being who had lived for uncountable years in a world where magic was ubiquitous as air.

The Cyber-Rex turned its attention away from Tekk-Grrl to face the Machine Huntress. Even it, consisting as it did of a walnut-sized reptile brain and some appended computers, could sense the majesty of elven woman. But before it could react further, the Machine Huntress had raised a spear into the air and then thrown it directly at the Cyber-Rex's heart.

Still mostly paralyzed by Tekk-Grrl's continued hacking, the mechanized beast couldn't have dodged even if it had possessed the mental capacity to figure out it should. The elven spear, glowing with arcane energy that kept its course true and kept it accelerating even after it had left the Huntress's hand, plunged into the side of the Cyber-Rex's chest with a loud, metallic CRUNCH.

It had apparently struck some vital mechanical component constructed beneath the skin by the nanomachines, because the entire cybernetic exoskeleton went dead a moment later. The slain Cyber-Rex collapsed to the ground, becoming the latest mechanical monstrosity to have fallen before the unerring aim of the Machine Huntress. Another round of howling rose from the Cyber- Wolves, celebrating their mistress's successful hunt.

Then, as though just noticing their presence, the Machine Huntress slowly turned her eyes towards the Misfits.

"She wouldn't attack us, would she?" Black Delilah asked. "I mean, she only targets machines, right?"

"Mach1nes... and cyb0rgs." Tekk-Grrl said grimly.

Indeed, the Machine Huntress had set her sights on Tekk-Grrl now, and was already beginning to raise another spear. There was nothing Tekk-Grrl could do to defend herself; the spear was specially designed to bring down machines and cyborgs. Schrodinger's Catgirl came up behind Tekk-Grrl and wrapped her in a bear hug; she was probably going to try and extend her power to Tekk-Grrl to confuse the Machine Huntress's aim by making it uncertain where exactly they were standing. Black Delilah also felt the needed to help out, and focused her concentration on provoking the Machine Huntress to sneeze.

At first, Black Delilah couldn't tell whether or not her ability was having any effect. As far as she knew, her powers only worked on humans; she wasn't sure whether or not they would affect an extradimensional elf. Then the Machine Huntress's nostrils flared powerfully, and Black Delilah smiled. The tickle had begun.

The Machine Huntress tried admirably to stifle the sneeze, but nothing could repress a tickle induced by Black Delilah. The Huntress's eyelids fluttered as she began to lose the fight to hold in the pending eruption. Her impressive chest heaved as she took great, gulping breaths of air. And finally, she wasn't able to hold in the explosion any longer.


The Machine Huntress didn't exactly have any power for Black Delilah's induced sneeze to send haywire. However, the sneeze was nonetheless remarkable. It was a tremendous explosion of force which caused the Machine Huntress to bend double on the back of her elk. A huge spray was shot from her nostrils with such velocity that it managed to catch Black Delilah and Schrodinger's Catgirl in a shower of snot droplets despite their considerable distance. Black Delilah had to wonder if this was something unique to the Machine Huntress, or whether all of the elves of her old world had sneezed this way.

The Machine Huntress slowly rose back to her full height, but her air of vainglory had faded somewhat, and Black Delilah could sense some embarrassment working its way into the cracks. She was no expert in elven culture, but she was pretty sure letting loose a ferocious sneeze that blew snot over everyone in sight was not proper manners. Rather than proceed to have a fight after demonstrating such a mortifying breach of etiquette, the Machine Huntress decided to make a hasty exit and pretend the whole thing had never happened. She tturned her back and rode off with false haughtiness, leaving everyone to heave a sigh of relief.

Copy-Kitty had scampered away the moment the Machine Huntress had arrived, but the Misfits were at least able to recover some nanomachines from the slain Cyber-Rex and return them to Doc Technic. Another mission completed, another satisfied customer. It was all in a day's work for a supervillain.

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