man remember project metis
here is literally everything i have written for the third chapter of Project Metis since i probs won’t get to it for a while
****Chapter Three: they told us we could be whatever we wanted, and we chose puppies***
FILE: TODOROKI SHOUTO
MILITARY RANK: Special Officer
DIVISION: Hybrid Strike Corps, Musutafu Base, PPDC
ACCESS: Omega Level
ALTER EGO: “Shouto”
PACK AFFILIATION: Apollo Pack
PACK RANK: Point
POINT OF ORIGIN: Endeavor Project
DESCRIPTION: Category Five; dragon-like; long, serpentine body; six eyes, heterochromia; spines and vents down back, spines trailing down to make a heavily spiked tail, note crown of horns and white shoulder spikes; red sheen over black scales
QUIRK: half-cold, half-hot; can expel magma from mouth and propel ice from shoulder spikes; can change temperature of hide at will
FILE: MIDORIYA IZUKU
MILITARY RANK: Special Officer
DIVISION: Hybrid Strike Corps, Musutafu Base, PPDC
ACCESS: Omega Level
ALTER EGO: “Deku”
PACK AFFILIATION: Apollo Pack
PACK RANK: Flank
POINT OF ORIGIN: Lycaon Project
DESCRIPTION: Category Three; lion-like; smaller but strong feline build; thick, curling mane; green sheen over black scales and mane; beaked face, thick hide, dull spikes, massive claws on heavy paws
QUIRK: “one for all”; incredible physical strength
MARCH 17, 2035 8:32 HOURS
LOCATION: LOCCENT Mission Control, Musutafu Base, Japan
Uraraka hides a yawn behind her clipboard and doesn’t notice the person sneaking up behind her.
“That’s a good look on you,” Aizawa says, coming to a stop beside her.
Uraraka squeaks and blushes, peeking out from behind her clipboard and glaring at Aizawa. “Sensei!” she exclaims. “You shouldn’t sneak up on a lady like that!”
The corner of Aizawa’s mouth twitches. “How are they?”
Uraraka lowers the clipboard and turns to the holographic screens displaying a herd of thousand-ton monsters running, swatting at each other, leaping, and all in all…playing around. On screen, Mina bites Kirishima’s tail and he yelps. Uraraka smiles. Then, straightening her back, she delivers her report.
“Artemis pack seems to be in top-tier condition,” she says. “The test run a couple days ago showed no sign of shifting pack structure—Bakugou is still clearly the point of the pack. Ojiro and Shouji aren’t showing signs of discontent as rear guards, and Tokoyami is as usual, submissive to Bakugou. Any worries we had about Kirishima vying for Bakugou’s position are null. All our results suggest that his insubordinate acts help Bakugou blow off steam. He’s acting as the regulator for the pack.”
“Good,” Aizawa says. “I’m still worried he’s a powder keg on the brink of exploding, but…”
But we need him. Uraraka nods. She gets it. “Apollo pack is due for a test run soon, but I don’t have any worries about shifting pack structure. As a rule, they tend to be steadier than Artemis pack anyway. That kaiju takedown illustrates just how functional they are as a pack. My only concern would be that they rely on Todoroki a little much, but all his psych analyses come back with negligible worries. He’s a machine when it comes to leading; I’ll never understand how you managed to pry him from Todoroki-sensei’s hands.”
“It came at a high cost,” Aizawa says. “Sometimes I wonder if I have yet to realize all I gave up for him.” He frowns.
“I believe Iida briefed you on the results of Alpha Strain’s routine check?” Uraraka says.
Aizawa nods. “Yes, and I did look over the test run results briefly when they came out. What I really need to know from you is how the officers themselves are doing.”
Uraraka rolls her eyes. “Well, Artemis pack is doing as well as their kaiju counterparts. They’re not…close…like Apollo pack is, but they have an understanding. They work together when they’re needed and their ties are strong. I think Ojiro feels inferior,” she says, frowning. “Tokoyami and Shouji balance and rely on each other. Kirishima and Bakugou balance and rely on each other. But Ojiro has no one. I want to look into that.”
“And Apollo pack?”
“Like a family,” Uraraka says proudly. “Midoriya and Tsuyu might as well be siblings. Mina gets along with everyone, and Kouda is protected and looked after by his pack. Todoroki is respected and loved.” Her smile fades a little. “Midoriya told me he’s been having those nightmares again. He had one so bad it woke up his packmates, the morning before the double event.”
“Is it a problem?” Aizawa asks.
“As a researcher, it’s not my place to say,” Uraraka says. “It’s Todoroki’s responsibility to get Midoriya in to a psychiatrist if he thinks the nightmares are affecting Midoriya adversely. I trust his judgment. He’s logical and clear-headed, and if he thought Midoriya was dragging his pack down, he’d do anything to fix it. But Midoriya performed well during the battle, so it can’t be affecting him that much. As a researcher, I think it’s okay to let it go.”
“But as a friend…” Aizawa trails off.
Uraraka sighs. “As a friend, I don’t like to see him suffer. I worry Todoroki is being too cold, but I’m not in their heads. I don’t feel what they feel. I don’t know if Midoriya can handle it, even if he thinks he can.”
“Thank you, Uraraka,” Aizawa says. “For now, I’ll advise the Marshal to withdraw Apollo pack from any encounters with return kaiju until we can get Midoriya analyzed properly. No special treatment aside from that; if he thinks he can handle it, I’ll let him try. But I’m not throwing one of my best officers into a situation where a trauma-induced moment of hesitation could kill him if I can help it.”
“Is it because he’s a good officer, or because he’s Alpha Strain?” Uraraka asks quietly. Not quietly enough, though, because Aizawa gives her a sharp look.
“If you want to talk favoritism and human rights with me—”
“No, no, I’m sorry,” Uraraka says. “It just slipped out. I understand even if I don’t like it.”
“Good,” Aizawa says. “We don’t look it, but we’re skating on thin ice here. The last thing I need is one of my closest to start doubting our cause.”
“I don’t doubt us,” Uraraka says. “But they are my friends, too.”
“Then you know better than any of us why we can’t have anyone too nosy poking their head into what we do,” Aizawa says.
Aizawa jerks his head towards the door. “I’m going to check in at R&D. Make sure our officers don’t kill each other, won’t you.” He turns away sharply.
Uraraka sighs and collapses into a chair, rubbing her temples. Ah, she had ruined her good mood. Why couldn’t she keep her mouth shut?
She looks up at the kaiju moving millions of gallons of water like it was nothing as they pounce on each other and roll and snarl, jaws parted in what might as well be smiles. Aizawa-sensei was right that they were soldiers who lived to fight, but they were also human underneath the mass of scales and claws and teeth and fur. They were human and they needed to be treated as such. Aizawa-sensei couldn’t separate their human and kaiju selves, couldn’t help but see the whole picture; it was only logical, but also terribly heartless.
She wishes Iida were here. Iida always knew how to phrase his concerns logically. He was always on the same wavelength as Aizawa-sensei, but Iida had a heart. He cared for their friends as much as she did. He knew that Aizawa-sensei’s ways weren’t fair and he would find a way to word it so that Aizawa-sensei would agree. Uraraka thinks about calling him, just to hear his steady voice and have him talk her down but no, she had taken this shift to allow him to sleep in for once. She wouldn’t wake him up even if the sound of his voice, heavy with sleep, brought peace to her mind.
Besides, she loved this part of her job. She loved the kaiju. That’s why she was here and why she put up with the ethical dilemmas of their work. And to think Uraraka Ochako, a woman fresh out of graduate school, could befriend the groundbreaking hybrids and work alongside the legendary Aizawa-sensei to keep them all safe—
She frowns, and then swears softly. Speaking of safe…
She pounds the com. “LOCCENT to HYCOM, what the hell are you guys doing? They’re going to kill each other! Get on it, officers!”
MARCH 17, 2035 8:15 HOURS
LOCATION: Musutafu Training Bay, Musutafu Base, Japan
Enrichment days, Midoriya thinks, are awesome.
Uraraka had told him why enrichment was an important part of keeping their kaiju healthy and their mental health stable, but Midoriya couldn’t really fathom all that science-y mumbo jumbo. All he knew is that his hundred-foot long lungs were heaving and he hadn’t felt this alive in days.
Ojiro’s ear frills lift and then lower, a taunt. He’s poised and ready to leap, rear in the air and spayed out in front of him, a reptilian dog ready to play. Midoriya tenses his own haunches and leaps out and to the side, ready to pounce on Ojiro’s unprotected flank. Ojiro tears away from him, long blue tongue hanging out of his mouth as he pants. Midoriya chases him, hind legs bunching as he picks up speed.
They tear around the group of kaiju in an outer circle, so fast Midoriya can feel the wind whistle past his ears. Ojiro makes for the relative safety of Shouji’s tentacles. He’s right—Midoriya won’t run under Shouji’s body because he doesn’t have a death wish. Shouji eyes him with what Midoriya guesses is amusement. Tokoyami, draped across the slope of his back like a black, feathery ridge, ruffles his wings in irritation at the disturbance. Midoriya huffs. He bats at one of Shouji’s tentacles and gets another two slithering out after him.
Yelping, Midoriya jumps away. Shouji makes a sound that is definitely amusement. Tokoyami, decidedly woken from his dozing atop Shouji’s back sits up and glares at Midoriya for a moment before beginning to clean Shouji’s scales with his beak and claws. Shouji makes an appreciative noise and lowers himself into the water. Ojiro, realizing his protection is about to crush him, scurries out and right into Midoriya’s waiting paws.
Midoriya body slams him, knocking them into a wrestling match in the water, jaws parted and snarling, the flats of their paws batting at each other. They’re careful to avoid each other’s spines. Ojiro gets to his feet and starts to run again, but Midoriya grabs onto his hind leg and drags him down, pushing him onto his back and holding him down with a heavy paw. Ojiro huffs.
The hivemind is alive with emotions and thoughts and impressions from all the hybrids but Midoriya can pick out Ojiro’s voice easily, warm and amused, just a little disappointed. This is why Midoriya was a flank and he was rear guard, though. It was only a natural result.
Midoriya lets Ojiro get to his feet and bumps shoulders with him affectionately, brushing their hides together from shoulder blade to hip. Midoriya feels a spike of pain and hears Ojiro exhale sharply and he pulls back, alarmed.
Shoulderouchpulled, Ojiro projects and Midoriya can feel the faint throbbing as if it were his own pain. He sniffs at the sore spot on Ojiro’s shoulder, projecting his own worryconcernwasitme?
Ojiro shakes his head; he had landed funny on his leg when running from under Shouji. Midoriya laps at the sore spot anyway, as if he could take the pain away just from cleaning it. Ojiro pushes at Midoriya with his nose, appreciating the sentiment. He pads off to see Bakugou probably, who will look at his injury, snort, and say well, what do you want me to do about it?
More likely he’ll point out that it’ll heal when they shift back so Ojiro should just deal with it, but Midoriya doesn’t want to give Bakugou that much credit. Ever. Hey, when one of your own kind nearly shreds you for trying to play fight with him, it sticks with you.
His partner gone, Midoriya turns back to find a new bloodmate to brawl with. Mina has taken to leaping up in the air and swatting at Tokoyami on Shouji’s back, who screeches at her and claws back. Shouji doesn’t seem too perturbed by Tokoyami’s distress. Their section of the hivemind is an almost sibling-like squabble, easily dismissed as not real fighting.
Ojiro and Bakugou are together. Kirishima is dodging Tsuyu’s attempts to smack him with her tongue, and underestimating her speed if that yip is anything to go by. Todoroki, predictably, isn’t engaging in the fun and instead sits off to the side, still managing to look elegant with the long column of his neck extended and the sun glinting off the sharpness of his facial features. Kouda sits beside him, the only kaiju bigger than Todoroki, head on his paws and eyes closed, taking in the sunlight on his rock-like hide.
Midoriya approaches Todoroki, bobbing his head. It’s a causal invitation to play. Kouda looks up, senses Midoriya’s intention, and moves off towards Shouji with a passing good luck offered to Midoriya. Todoroki blinks slowly.
He regards Midoriya with passing interest, showing no intention of getting up from where he’s comfortably splayed in one hundred feet of water.
Midoriya tries again. Runchasejumpcatch? He suggests. Bitepawgrowlplay?
I don’t, Todoroki replies. You go.
Midoriya whines. Not pack without you.
Artemis is here, Todoroki points out. Bother them.
But Midoriya doesn’t want to bother them. He wants to see Todoroki get up and do something, enjoy himself for once. Todoroki’s always so stone-faced and business-minded; he never got a break. This is their break. Their scheduled time off to play like the puppies at heart they all were.
Midoriya not-so-delicately swipes a paw through the water and splashes Todoroki in the face.
Todoroki, to his credit, doesn’t react as angrily as he could have. His shoulders tense, but other than that he doesn’t move, dripping with water. His scales glitter and then he’s covered in steam, burning away the salt water. He exhales loudly once, expelling salt from his nostrils. He’s not amused.
Midoriya, however, is. He runs in a circle around Todoroki, continuing to splash him while Todoroki burns away all the water. He paws at and chews on Todoroki’s tail until Todoroki shifts and growls at him. He actually gets Todoroki to whip his head around and shift towards him. Midoriya leaps back, but Todoroki doesn’t follow. He’s almost got him, though. Midoriya pads back towards him and headbutts his shoulder affectionately, rubbing against him like a cat.
Todoroki growls again and Midoriya does it again. He can feel the tension in Todoroki’s body and his mind, irritated by Midoriya’s pushiness. As always, his mind is impenetrable, but Midoriya can tell it’s a swirling mess right now. He probably shouldn’t taunt Todoroki too much—he was much stronger than Midoriya, and bigger, too.
Midoriya flicks his tail across Todoroki’s nose almost flirtatiously and Todoroki snaps. He gets to his feet faster than Midoriya expected and swipes at him. Midoriya’s fast enough to get away with only a few scales off his hide, but Todoroki can reach far.
The chase doesn’t last long. Midoriya knows to run hard when he’s irritated Todoroki this much, but Todoroki has speed, length, and power and Midoriya’s only purpose in agitating him was to get him up and running anyway. Todoroki swipes Midoriya’s legs out from under him and Midoriya goes down, rolling onto his back.
Todoroki is on him in a second, hovering above Midoriya and prodding at him with one paw while Midoriya flattens his ears and growls, his muzzle crinkled into a snarl. Todoroki prods at his cheek and Midoriya hisses, swatting at his paw. Todoroki jabs at him again and again, Midoriya on defense but still belly-up, vulnerable.
Then Todoroki lets out a low, rumbling growl and parts his jaws, making a clicking noise. His paws are on either side of Midoriya’s shoulders and he dominates the hivemind, pushing against Midoriya’s consciousness and subduing him.
Midoriya’s growl peters out and his muzzle flattens. He makes a small, chuffing noise and lowers his paws, allowing Todoroki to nose along his neck, nipping at the soft skin he finds there. He’s completely limp under Todoroki’s ministrations and when Todoroki nips at his chin, Midoriya dares to lick his chin. Todoroki growls softly, pleased. He parts his jaws and wraps them around Midoriya’s mouth. Midoriya goes still and allows Todoroki to shake him a little and press a paw over his heart, claws kneading Midoriya’s vulnerable underbelly.
This is complete submission.
Todoroki releases him a moment later and steps off him, eyeing Midoriya one last time. The hivemind is grudging fondness from Todoroki and a sense of satisfaction from his kaiju specifically at Midoriya’s submission. The rest of Apollo pack are pings against Midoriya’s mind, vying for Todoroki’s attention next. Todoroki steps away from Midoriya, but not before the tip of his tail brushes against Midoriya’s nose.
Midoriya’s heart sings with so much pleasure, he knows it reaches the rest of his bloodmates through the hivemind. Mina snorts, but she’s Todoroki’s next target, rolling on her back easily and grabbing at his face to lap at his chin, playfully submitting to her point.
Kirishima, inspired by Midoriya’s display, bumps Bakugou. Unlike Todoroki, though, Bakugou doesn’t tolerate any kind of playfulness. Her turns on Kirishima in an instant, snarling. Kirishima barks back, pawing at Bakugou, playing with fire. Bakugou charges him and Kirishima hops back swatting at his face. Bakugou knocks him off balance immediately. Kirishima falls onto his belly and Bakugou climbs over him, grabbing him by the scruff of his neck.
The fight goes from Kirishima’s body immediately and he lets Bakugou give him a few rough shakes, snapping his head back and forth. Midoriya winces in sympathy. It looks like it hurts, but when Bakugou releases Kirishima, there are no teeth marks in his neck. Kirishima sinks bonelessly into the water, turning over curling his paws over his chest, whining.
Bakugou ignores him. Kirishima whines louder. Kidding, kidding! The hivemind says.
Kirishima places a paw against Bakugou’s muzzle and Bakugou’s lips pull away from his gums with the force of his growl. Don’t touch me.
Aw, Bakugou…Kirishima plays cute harder, this time wagging his tail.
Bakugou snorts. I hate you, he says.
Kirishima doesn’t say ‘I adore you’ in so many words, but his love for Bakugou isn’t exactly subtle across the hivemind. Even Midoriya can feel the force of it. This time, when Kirishima presses a paw to Bakugou’s muzzle, Bakugou knocks it aside so he can lean down and nip at Kirishima’s chin. Kirishima’s tail goes wild.
Bakugou steps off him and Midoriya huffs at Kirishima. Gross, he says.
Kirishima might as well grin at him, tongue lolling out of his mouth. He flips onto his stomach and growls gently at Midoriya. Midoriya growls back, tensing to leap on him.
Bakugou throws himself between them, jaws parted as wide as he can spread them, and roars.
Bakugou is not Midoriya’s point. But he is a dominant member of a pack and Midoriya, a lower rank than him, cowers back, tail tucking between his legs and ears folding back. He shrinks into a ball, unable to run as his muscles lock.
Bakugou doesn’t have a chance to make a move. Todoroki is at Midoriya’s side and in front of him with an ear-splitting roar of his own.
The two points square off, roaring at each other and posturing. The rest of their packs slink away save for Midoriya and Kirishima, frozen with fear and confusion that innocent playing had instigated a point-versus-point battle.
Bakugou’s jaw frills extend and shake, brilliant red-orange sunbursts against the pure white of his scales. He’s intimidatingly large and fierce, but Todoroki is not shaken. He flares his own spines and ear frills, and the vents running down his back hiss and spit steam. Their heads starts low but slowly rise in tandem with each other until Todoroki’s height beats Bakugou’s.
Bakugou strikes first. He swipes at Todoroki’s neck, but it isn’t with the flat of his paw as he had swatted at Kirishima—this was with claws extended, hoping to tear Todoroki’s throat open. Todoroki bats him away, but then Bakugou is throwing himself at Todoroki, standing on his hind legs to use both paws to punch at Todoroki’s face. Todoroki mirrors him and they fight like tigers, dueling with their front paws and then dropping to all fours so they can try to ram each other with their bodies before standing back up again.
Todoroki should be faster than Bakugou, but Bakugou is angrier. He manages to sink his claws in the flesh of Todoroki’s hind leg and hold on as Todoroki snarls and tries to throw him off. Bakugou locks his entire body onto that haunch and tears at Todoroki’s leg with his back legs, trying to cripple him, but Todoroki doesn’t let him. The steam that spews from his vents grows hotter, as do his scales, and in one burst, he forces super-boiled steam into Bakugou’s right three eyes and burns the skin off the pads of the paws hooked onto him.
Bakugou howls in pain and lets him go. When they stand face-to-face again, Bakugou is blind in three eyes and his scales are ashen and flaking off where Todoroki burned him. Todoroki is limping, his back left leg shredded. They circle each other and Midoriya feels for the first time, the seriousness of this fight.
SPECIAL OFFICERS BAKUGOU AND TODOROKI STAND DOWN, IMMEDIATELY, Yaoyorozu shouts over the hivemind, using HYCOM’s controls to amplify the volume of her voice so that it drowns out the rest of the thoughts and voices of the hivemind. Bakugou, Todoroki, and the rest of the hybrids wince at the loudness. Kouda tries to cover his ears with his paws.
All of you are to return to base for a debrief at once, Yaoyorozu commands. You are not to engage each other on the way to base or I will personally see you turned off from the Hybrid Strike Corps.
Before he can help himself, Bakugou thinks, Sure you will. There are so many places for a kaiju hybrid to go.
It would be my absolute pleasure to turn you off and watch the Jaeger teams tear you apart, Yaoyorozu says heatedly.
Let them try, Bakugou says, bearing his teeth.
Bakugou, Mina speaks up before anyone else can. That’s enough.
Like I wanna hear that from you, Bakugou says, but the fight is gone from his mind and his limbs. He and Todoroki limp back to their exit bays, tension still humming across the hivemind. Their packs follow, subdued. The mood of contentment and relaxation fizzles out like steam in open air.
MARCH 17, 2035 9:07 HOURS
LOCATION: Shatterdome, Musutafu Base, Japan