"There was no long-term, and trying to cling to one would only spoil it all."
This article contains information about events after the end of Worm, and as such will contain spoilers regarding the ending of Worm and plot of the sequel. Click here to visit a redacted version, although remember that all articles contain minor spoilers.
When first released onto Earth Bet Sveta was sleep-deprived and almost starving. When in the asylum and provided for Sveta was very shy and kind, and her inability to control her power distressed her greatly. She valued the friends that she made there.
She is driven by the large amount of guilt she has for those she inadvertently killed.She was desperate for laughs when she was in the asylum and eventually found an outlet through the internet. She confessed that she would rather have died then have gotten her powers.
In the years since Golden Morning she has opened up emotionally, though some habits remain. She constantly apologizes, even when fighting a dangerous villain.
A role she has come to occupy more and more is as the emotional center of the teams she was on. Weld called her the Heart of the team while Victoria called her the team Mom. Sveta disagreed with this assessment.
Her first 'real' friend that she was able to talk to and interact with. The girl's force-field was resistant to Sveta's tentacles. Sveta felt very guilty about leaving Her behind when she went to the Irregulars.
Weld was Sveta's idol and role model. Eventually they met at the advice of Jessica Yamada; they got along well and agreed on many matters together. They became partners, with Weld carrying Sveta around.
They eventually started a relationship together. She has described their relationship in terms similar to matrimony.
Got along with Weld and shared information about her personal experience with other members of the team.
After Gold Morning she, as a Weld supporter, is heavily shunned by surviving Irregulars. She even thinks its possible that they would hurt her if given the chance. Although she is still willing to provide support for fellow monstrous parahumans.
Sveta is little more than an almost impossibly pale face having no ears or scalp, but with long, pencil-thin, black coiling tendrils streaming around it like hair. Small organs dangle from the largest of the tendrils that extends from the back of her face while a small "C" is tattooed on her cheekbone. She speaks with a quiet slavic accent.
Used an advanced full body ceramic prosthetic with ball-joint articulation, that she manipulated with her tentacles from the inside. She's used her artistic skill to paint it and add her flair to it. Further she has started wearing a black wig. She has taken to covering up her tattoo with makeup.
Sveta is incapable of fully controlling the strength of her tendrils which leads her to instinctively crush any stressor with them. This also means her power is reactive to any threat against her no matter the source. Her powers' behavior may stem from Sveta having little connection with her Shard, and it functions largely independent of her.
This makes computer use hard but not impossible with the right equipment, further she is able to use her appendages for drawing and painting, showcasing a talent for the arts.
Her body has it's own mind that she could not always override. This included an instinctual hunter behavior that made her body conceal itself before people entered her room in the asylum. This instinct is likely responsible for her high kill count. Similarly her body ensures she is healthy and not close to death and will make her eat food, regardless of quality if it senses her close to starving.
A single tendril can easily rip a limb off of someone, several at once possess enough strength to bend steel bars and demolish concrete barriers.
When she couldn't control herself the only way for a normal human to safely interact with her would be to wear what was essentially a walking tank, one that needs regular maintenance between visits. She is even able to affect Weld thanks to her strength.
In her full body Prosthesis (see above) she retains her durability, but is restrained somewhat by the confines of the humanoid body. She moves somewhat clumsily. This is due counter-intuitive movement that is required to control bodysuit from the inside. Nervousness has been known to exacerbate this problem.
She can unlatch her joints, allowing her to extend her limbs a considerable distance, as she can when she is completely out of the body, and use them as grappling hooks. She is able to remove part of the prosthesis to allow out more appendages.. Her body is, however, not smart enough to get get out of the suit without her conscious input,, including above the "neck", where tendrils are loosely restrained with a series of metal rings.
For example, she was confident in her ability to use her arms to snatch Kenzie out of Ashley's way. Even with her grip strength being less then adequate and Ashley being able to move faster then her.
Sveta was a fisherman's daughter living in a small village with her family, probably on an alternate Earth. She was taken in the middle of a storm while delirious by several other 'monstrous' capes, and given a Cauldron formula. Following her release from Cauldron's custody, in an area that was not America, she accidentally killed well over hundred people over the course of several years.
Given her accent, it's likely that she spent some time in Russia, either before or after her transformation.
After a point when she was in the asylum she gained computer privileges, though she had to share with someone else. She eventually found Parahumans Online and choose the username GstringGirl, for a laugh.
Dr. Yamada visited Sveta in June 16th as part of her regular rounds. The Case 53 girl was waiting above the doorway to her special containment room when Dr. Yamada arrived for their session. Her tendrils wrapped around Dr. Yamada's suit and then constricted before Sveta apologized. Dr. Yamada told her to focus on her relaxation exercises, but Sveta said that it was just making it worse. An airbag gave way and Sveta apologized again before saying that they should've talked through the mirrors and that she didn't want Dr. Yamada to die. Dr. Yamada told her that the point of the sessions was to socialize her before hushing her and telling her to focus on her relaxation exercises.
Eventually, Sveta was able to uncoil from Dr. Yamada's suit and move herself over to her 'bed' while settling her organs on a shelf on the post. She apologized again, but Dr. Yamada said she understood. Sveta asked about the patient that Dr. Yamada had seen, only for Dr. Yamada to remind her that she couldn't talk to others about her patients. Sveta said she understood before asking if the patient was a bad guy like she had been - saying that she had killed people before. Dr. Yamada told her that it was her power that had killed them and that they would talk about it in their session before telling her that a doctor might be able to tell her about the new patient through the intercom.
Dr. Yamada asked if she had been keeping her journal and Sveta grabbed it. The doctor asked if she could look at it and Sveta allowed her to. Dr. Yamada then asked her what had her so agitated before Sveta asked her why she wasn't scared of her. Dr. Yamada told her that she had no reason to be.
Yamade informed Sveta of the larger plan behind her treatment. And told her that there was a new patient at the asylum. They were eventually introduced and became fast friends.
Sveta was with the Irregulars when they were deployed to the oil rig. Was heavily damaged by Scion while shielding her team. Was still intact afterward but still injured.
She later took part in the mission to Cauldron's headquarters. During the mission, the container the Irregulars stored her in cracked, forcing Sveta to choose a target to attack. Sveta attempted to focus her tentacles on Scion, but was unable to maintain focus solely on him and inadvertently killed Doctor Mother.
Helped halt Scion from destroying Taylor's group and bought them time to escape. Sveta herself was able to escape later.
Like the other capes she was snatched up by Khepri and was deposited in New York when Doormaker lost power. She rapidly tried to separate herself within an apartment and tried to calm down.
Two years after surviving Gold Morning, Sveta took a five-day trip with Weld to discover her homeland. While it ultimately failed she did have a very nice vacation. It involved sailing along a cost and got the chance to try swimming, an activity that she enjoyed. She found her self ostracized from the Case 53 community given Weld's actions, as well as her own. She took this in stride by deleting her PHO account and starting a new one.
Sveta, which means "light" or "pure", is unlikely to be her birth name; though it may be phonetically close to it. By her own admission she choose it after being released, possibly under the influence of Dr. Yamada.
Additionally "Karelia" is not a "proper" Slavic family name, but the name of a region, shared between Finland and Russia.
“Finally. Fresh air,” the girl inside said. She had a quiet voice. More the type of voice I’d connect to a shy librarian at a party or a sheltered preacher’s daughter in the company of boys.
“Sveta?” I asked. “We met on the oil rig.”
“She also goes by Garotte,” Satyr said. “The only reason the PRT didn’t put her down was because she’s rather hard to kill. She has quite the impressive body count.”
“Don’t say that.”
“She was part of the original invading party,” Satyr went on, ignoring her. “They attacked the Doctor, setting this whole mess in motion.”
“I could hear everything you guys were saying,” the girl said. It was only when she said the longer word ‘everything’ that I noticed the rasp to her voice. It would be part of the reason for her being quiet. - Excerpt from Venom 29.6
↑ 2.02.1Garotte – Inmate at the Parahuman Asylum, a living mass of tentacles with a lethal fight-or-flight reflex. Also goes by Sveta. - Cast (spoiler free)
↑ 3.03.13.23.3The Sandman:Odd, because once I saw the tags I thought GstringGirl was Sveta (aka Garotte). Given that “wrapped around a pole” is basically the equivalent of a chair for her and that her “body” is more-or-less made up of fleshy wires, her username is sort of a joke about her condition. And it also explains why she’s not wiling to send any photographs. wildbow:Dingdingding. -
Comment by Wildbow in Interlude 19.y
↑ 6.06.16.26.3“I’m not playing,” Sveta said, and the anger was gone, just as fast as it had appeared. “I’m- I’m telling you that if you’d asked, at any point along the way, I’d probably have told you I’d rather be dead. I’d rather be dead than live this new life you gave me, where I spent years killing people by accident, unable to sleep, killing stray animals for food because my body decides when I eat, not my mind…” - Excerpt from Venom 29.7
↑ 12.012.1I can’t repeat those things, but I worry more than I used to. I get anxious. There’s a part of everyone else in the group in me, and when they struggle it feels like I’m struggling.”
“I can sort of relate to that.”
“I need people and I scare them away. Tristan told me what Houndstooth said. None of it’s too surprising. There are people who know a dangerous amount about me and I think they’d hurt me if they had a chance. I’m a killer. I’m constantly at war with another side of myself. I’m perpetually off balance and I don’t know if I’ll ever have that balance.”
“That kinship might be why you’re able to connect to the others.”
“Don’t say it. Don’t sound like Weld.”
“It’s true,” I said. “You’re the team’s mom.”
“Oh no,” Sveta said. “That’s so much worse than what I thought you were going to say. I thought you were going to call me the team’s heart, like Weld does. I can’t be a mother. No!” [...] “I’m not a mom,” Sveta said.
↑ 14.014.1“It’s a matter of professional courtesy,” she said, more like she was talking to herself than to me. She was still getting herself sorted out, her raincoat hung up, rain boots replaced with slippers she’d been holding beneath the coat. “Being prompt, it indicates that I respect and value your time. You can’t confide in me if I don’t respect you.”
I looked down at the floor for a moment. She was looking at me when I raised my eyes to her. “With all sincerity, it was due to forces entirely out of my control, with complications at every turn.”
“Bureaucracy,” I said.
“You’re not wrong,” she said, “But it was something else. A patient of mine, institutionalized, she’s reacted badly to certain events in the last month. Someone she idolized left the Wards, and-”
I could see her stop, composing herself, the stress and preoccupied attitude melting away.
“Weld has been telling me things about what’s going on elsewhere. Things he shouldn’t be telling me, but I think a lot of it is the kind of thing like a husband with a certain position might tell his wife, sometimes, even when those things are confidential.”
“Wife?” I asked. I raised an eyebrow.
“Shut up,” Sveta said, lifting her chin a bit, looking mock-affronted. “Not another word about that.”
↑ 16.016.1“Traveling?” I asked. Her smile was contagious.
“Traveling. We had a boat, and when we weren’t around people, I got out of my hamster ball. We stayed pretty close to the coasts, Weld sailing or driving the boat and me swimming. It was really, really nice.”
“I can tell you got a lot of sun,” Tristan said.
Sveta smiled. Her face was so pale that her complexion was borderline impossible for a human. “I like swimming. I want to find a way to get out and do it more. It’s the first time I can remember moving and having there be resistance. Everything else is too hard or too reflex.” - Excerpt from Flare 2.7
↑From the other end of the fight, Sveta had Valefor, the wig stuffed in his mouth and tied in place with lengths of hair knotted together. Her head seemed slim without ears or hair to bulk it out. She looked more intense in expression and demeanor, her ‘scalp’, the sides of her head and her neck formed of the muscle-like gatherings of tendrils. Everything was bound down firm with the metal rings, only the shortest of tendrils curling up and out, an inch or two long, each. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.12
↑She moved her hair, showing the edge of her face, the mass of pencil-thin black tendrils behind it. - Excerpt from Shade 4.7
↑ 19.019.1Like a dozen frog’s tongues, tendrils snapped across the length of the room to the ‘bed’, encircling it. In another second, as though each tendril were elastic bands stretched to their limits, Sveta had shifted there, her tendrils gripping the post as she hung from it. Jessica was free.
Sveta was little more than a very pale face with thin tendrils streaming around it like hair. Small organs dangled from the largest of the tendrils that extended from the back of her face. A small symbol marked the girl’s cheekbone: a stylized ‘c’, in black.
It took Sveta a second before she relaxed enough to let the tendrils uncoil from the post. The tendrils settled in the air, in a rough facsimile of where a person’s limbs might be. She’d positioned herself so that the organs could rest on the ‘shelves’ on the post.
“I’m sorry,” Sveta said, eyes downcast.
“I’m fine. I understand,” Jessica soothed. She shifted position, and one tendril snapped out to catch her leg, gripping her around the knee, squeezing and twisting with a strength that could have torn every ligament in her knee and wrenched Jessica’s calf from her upper leg. Sveta flinched, closed her eyes for a second, and the tendril moved back to the post. The suit had held. No damage done. - Excerpt from Interlude 18.z
↑He began undoing the little clasps of metal that bound Garotte against his body. She unfurled, reached out to railings, to edges of metal.
Where the tendrils surrounded the railing, a barrier that might have stopped a speeding car, the metal bent, crushed tight.
The tendrils continued to find their way to things to grip. There were more of them than I’d thought.
One tendril seized my claw, faster than I could react. Just as fast, it pulled back, found something else to hold.
She and Weld both stopped.
I watched as she closed her eyes, drew in a deep breath, and then exhaled.
Weld released her organs, hidden in a space in his broad back, and she was free of him. She collected herself around the railing, her eyes closed, drawing in deep breaths and then exhaling slowly. Slowly, the tendrils released, and she stretched out to her full length.
She looked like a fish underwater, a lionfish or jellyfish with dramatic, crazy fins or fronds. Where they weren’t bound to her surroundings, the fronds fell in line with one another, moved with their own rhythm, a mind of their own, that searched the surroundings. - Excerpt from Extinction 27.5
↑She was pale in a way that skin didn’t tend to be, and she had a mane of black hair. A small black tattoo marked her cheekbone, partially obscured by skin-tone makeup that had streaked in the rain. For all that she was almost monochrome from the neck up, she was a riot of color from the neck down. Sveta. - Excerpt from Flare 2.5
↑She can’t kill herself, or she would have, it’s obvious enough. Her body would react and destroy external threats, even ones she’s trying to leverage against herself. - Comment by WildBow on Venom 29.7
↑Some people have very little connection to their shards. Look at Leet - his shard actively sabotages him. Look at Echidna, or Sveta. You end up with disconnects, and stuff starts to stand out as the shard's behavior becomes more distinct, either in 'episodes' or a pattern of the power not cooperating. - Worm Web Serial Discussion III : After the End (Wildbow, SpaceBattles.com, 2014-01-15)
↑Very rugged design, kind of like Weld has his super reinforced chair.
Of course, she's not the only patient who needs a rugged computer, ergo her 'sister' needing to use it.
Drawback being that if you have a computer built for someone with a degree of super strength they can't wholly control, and worked so that the keys can be both pushed & pulled (with screws in each key for the tentacle girl to grip), sensitivity becomes a secondary consideration. - Post by Wildbow on RPG.net
↑ 28.028.1“I remember, you know,” Sveta said. “I dream of home. I was a fisherman’s daughter. There were these beautiful little huts with flat roofs, orange clay brick against gray mountains, with green-blue grass and ocean. It was cramped, and I had to share space with my family, my siblings… but I was okay with it. There weren’t any boys my age to marry, and I didn’t want to move to another town to look for a husband, so I just stayed by myself. I’d draw, and there was a peace in it. I still like to draw, I find it helps me relax… but it’s hard because my tendrils break the brushes and pencils. And then I don’t feel relaxed anymore.” - Excerpt from Venom 29.7
↑"Come on out, Sveta," she said. She clenched her teeth and braced herself for the ambush.
Sveta had been waiting above the door. Tendrils snaked around the neck of the protective suit, and cinched tight in a moment. [...] "So sorry," Sveta whispered. "Sorry."
Jessica felt her arm jolt as one set of tendrils lashed up the length of her right arm to catch her gloved fingers. Each finger was pulled in a different direction, but the metal reinforcement in the outer glove held, and her hand wasn’t crumpled like tissue paper.
“Relaxation exercises, Sveta. Don’t try to fight the instincts all at once, don’t worry about me…” - Excerpt from Interlude 18.z
↑ 30.030.1Scion erupted with golden light. It wasn’t the sort of attack one dodged. Instantaneous, hitting everything in every direction.
My skin began to blister, the golden light searing through it, appearing in the ridges between spots where flesh was simply being eaten away.
I scrambled for cover [...] The light faded. I checked, then climbed back over the edge.
Weld and his people had taken cover. Sanguine was covering injuries with scabs, but the damage was bad. The tendril girl’s tentacles were worn so thin they were barely there. - Excerpt from Extinction 27.5
↑"I'm fine. I understand," Jessica soothed. She shifted position, and one tendril snapped out to catch her leg, gripping her around the knee, squeezing and twisting with a strength that could have torn every ligament in her knee and wrenched Jessica's calf from her upper leg. Sveta flinched, closed her eyes for a second, and the tendril moved back to the post. The suit had held. No damage done. - Excerpt from Interlude 18.z
↑“-But I have to go over them anyways. There are regulations, Jessica, as you well know. You’ll be wearing a type-C reinforced protective suit. The suits include both an inner and outer layer, the inner layer-”
“Has a button in the palm. I can withdraw my fingers from the outer glove and press the button. At random intervals, you’ll buzz me surreptitiously…”
“And we expect you to press the button to verify that you’re okay. You can press it twice in the event of an emergency.” [...] “It’s what we have for the time being. If you don’t verify your own safety or if you signal an emergency, we’ll employ containment foam through the sprinkler system.”
Jessica pulled on the protective inner-suit. The suit fit close to her body, smelled faintly of someone else's sweat, and consisted of a stretching mesh covered in fine chain link. The entire thing was reinforced by a grid of metal bars, complete with oiled hinges at each joint, so she had a near-full range of motion. Zipping it up, it went straight up her neck, the bars running vertically down her throat. She couldn't look down without getting jabbed in the soft flesh beneath her jaw.
It made it harder to get the outer suit on. The entire thing was one piece, like footie-pyjamas, and the fabric was heavy, with alternating layers of insulated fabric and more chain mesh. [...] Now that she had a better grasp of what her patients were capable of, it was easier to hope the people designing the safeguards were doing everything they needed to. It was better than researching it and knowing they weren't.
The heavy fabric exterior suit fit her like hazardous materials gear, bulky, broad, leaving a great deal of empty space between her body and the fabric. Protective airbags of more reinforced cloth inflated to fill that space - Excerpt from Interlude 18.z
“Me too,” Tristan said. “Your control gets bad when you’re nervous, right? You have more reflexive movements?”
“It gets so fucking shitty,” Sveta said. “I’m sorry. I’m worried I’ll be terrible because I’m all over the place inside here. I don’t know if you can hear it, but I keep fumbling because I’ll reflexively reach out to grab something off in the distance and hit the wall of the suit instead, and then I have to reach for the right control ring again.” - Excerpt from Glare 3.3
↑She didn’t touch or move anything external, but the joints of her elbow shifted, and the forearm and hand dropped. Ten or so tendrils extended between elbow and forearm, like a muscle with gaps between strands.
She moved it, tendrils bending, flinging her hand and the attached segment of arm out fifty feet. She tried to grab a branch, missed it, grabbed another, and seized it, before pulling her body to follow. I saw her turn her head away as she pulled herself through the intervening twigs and leaves.
She twisted around, pointed a hand, and used tendrils to push her fist out.
She seized the wheel that Byron had left embedded in the earth, and pulled herself to it.
There was a bit of gracelessness to the landing, her pants leg and the side of her body rubbing against the grass, a few clumps of earth flying, but it served to put her in our midst again. She wobbled as she stood and Tristan and I caught her between us.
She made a small ‘phew’ sound.
“You’re made of grappling hooks, basically,” Chris said. Kenzie, sitting on her box, stuck out her toe to jab Chris in the shoulder. - Excerpt from Glare 3.2
↑It was Sveta, perched on a branch, flag in hand. Another blur, moving the clock back.
Sveta removed one of her prosthetic hands. Fifty or more tendrils snapped out.
“You grabbed every flag,” Tristan said.
“I grabbed at every flag,” Sveta said. “I had to reposition a few times, so I probably grabbed at some fake ones several times. It didn’t help that I couldn’t see that well after being shot.” - Excerpt from Glare 3.3
↑“Positive side is I just found out I’m all instinct when I’m forced into attack mode. My body isn’t smart enough to figure out how to get out of the suit.” - Excerpt from Shadow 5.3
↑“She’d undone a clasp at the shoulder. She brought her head out, twisting it around in a way a neck couldn’t. Her tendrils were bound with metal rings into a loose column that disappeared into her suit.” - Excerpt from Shadow 5.10
↑When Kenzie was out of earshot, but before she had reached Ashley, Sveta raised one hand and said, voice quiet, “If there’s a problem, I’ll haul her back.”
“That takes a second or two,” I said. “Sparring with Ashley, I gotta say she moves faster than that.”
“And your grip isn’t a hundred percent,” Tristan said.
↑“Sveta idolizes me. She sees me as a hero, a spokesperson for our kind. Her therapist asked me to come visit, because she heard about what happened in the Echidna attack, what Cauldron was doing. All of her progress, gone. So her therapist wanted her hero to show up. Give her guidance, support. It worked.”
“That’s a good thing, isn’t it?” I asked. I saw Eidolon open fire, not a dramatic attack, but a subtle one, a series of darts that left dark streaks in the air. My entire body tensed, as if I could jump into the fight. - Excerpt from Extinction 27.5
↑Sveta's tendrils continued to extend, stretching out.
Each one chose the Doctor as the mark.
"Had to pick someone," Sveta whispered. "Couldn't focus on him alone. I'm sorry, but you're the best choice."
The tendrlis found points closer to the Doctor's midsection, crushing.
The Doctor's screams became strangled.
Sveta coiled around the Doctor, burying the woman beneath overlapping tendrils, until there was a cocoon and a girl's face, curled up on the stairs. Blood pooled beneath them. - Excerpt from Venom 29.7
↑I focused on my bugs. Searching the area. I didn’t have many, but two bugs floating a foot apart could fly at chest level and run into most people standing in a corridor.
A cluster of bugs died, wiped out by lashing tendrils.
↑A rooftop overlooking New York, Earth Bet. My New York. [...] I watched the monsters and the lunatics. The tentacle girl was hanging back, hiding inside an apartment, trying to calm herself. - Excerpt from Speck 30.6
↑“I want my name, Doctor,” Sveta said. She wasn’t running, so her voice was level, free of panting or anything of the sort. “Not even my old name, from before you wiped my memory. Tell me the name you gave me, after you sent me to the fourth floor. Because you do that for the ones you think are worth studying, right? Or tell me the name I took after you released me into the wild, as some kind of smokescreen for Scion. It starts with ‘S’, if that helps.” - Excerpt from Venom 29.7
↑Weld closed the door and settled in the reinforced chair she’d brought into her office in anticipation of the appointment.
“Have you picked a name?” she asked.
He chuckled lightly. “I’m Weld. That’s it for now.”
He was at the door when she called after him, “and Weld, I want you to pick a proper name!” - Excerpt from Interlude 18.z