Taylor was a tall, rail-thin, pale, young woman with long, curly black hair and glasses. She had a thin-lipped, wide, expressive mouth she inherited from her mother, and her large eyes and gawky figure made her look a lot like her dad. She was approximately 5'6" at the story's outset Taylor didn't wear clothes that showed skin, or bright colors. Emma presumed this was an unconscious effort to blend in or hide. At various times, she wore a brown hooded sweatshirt over a green t-shirt.
As time went on, she began to vary her wardrobe more. Learning to vary her appearance to blend into situations. She also grew taller and gained some muscle from her training regime and activities as a parahuman.
Taylor wore various costumes made of spider silk.
Initially, she wears a black-and-grey spider silk bodysuit with armor panels made out of insect shells and exoskeletons augmented with more spider silk. The costume's prototype had fabric that was a dirty yellow-gray color, and the armor was colored dark mottled brown-gray. She later dyes it black with grey paneling before she goes out. The lenses of her mask are durable, high-end swim goggles tinted to help filter out bright lights, with lenses from an old pair of her glasses sealed inside with silicon. Her mask leaves the back of her head uncovered and her hair free to fly behind her.
She kept her costume clean by having bugs eat and clean any waste and wiping it down with a cloth.
The spider-silk fabric is too tough to cut with an x-acto knife, although it can be slowly cut through using wire cutters. It was mostly waterproof. The costume lacks the full extent of the armor paneling she planned, including protection for the back of her head, but the armor covers her face, chest, spine, stomach and major joints. Eventually it included shoulder pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, a chest guard and kneepads, possibly more. Each had "layers" resembling a pillbug. The mask design features dull yellow lenses and sections of armor designed to imitate a bug’s mandibles.
Later, after a redesign, she incorporated clawed fingertips into her costume.
Taylor has a utility compartment for storing necessary items, weapons, and insects in the shape of a spade-shaped armor panel that covers her back., Taylor's backpack contains "a set of EpiPens, a pen and notepad, a tube of pepper spray meant to hang off a key chain and a zippered pouch of chalk dust."
In Queen 18.3, Miss Militia takes a look at the contents and sees: A handgun, a length of spider silk fashioned into a long cord, pepper spray, a change purse, containing cotton swabs (to muffle the noise), needles, smelling salts, and change, a collapsible baton, and a combat knife (sturdy enough to be used as a crowbar if needed)
Taylor is initially a shy and awkward teenage girl with a keen interest in capes. She looked forward to the part of her World Issues class where they discussed capes "since the start of the semester". She had seemingly never heard of Trigger Events, but this may have been a mistake by the author.
She was "'surviving', for lack of a better word," from the point her mother died, and then surviving from the point she started getting bullied -- she just wanted to get by. She responded to stress with silence and withdrawal. She suspected that she would hurt herself before she hurt the Trio. However, Wildbow has stated that if she hadn't triggered, Taylor would likely have simply stopped going to school.
She was afraid of illegal drugs, saying she "had this sense" that they were like "an unstoppable black hole". Just the idea of being around someone that was high made her mildly anxious.
Taylor considered joining the Wards, but felt that "the notion of escaping the stresses of high school by flinging myself into a mess of teenage drama, adult oversight and schedules seemed self-defeating". She had no trust in organized institutions, and felt happier having some independence and control.
Taylor had a strained relationship with the students of Winslow High. Because she was bullied extensively by "other girls and a small handful of boys" with the "trio" - Madison Clements, Sophia Hess, and Emma Barnes acting as the ringleaders, she was reluctant to make friends and believed that boys didn't like her. She speculates that the few boys that bullied her sought approval from three of the prettier and more popular girls.
Taylor's Bullies Edit
Madison Clements, Sophia Hess, and Emma Barnes - The Trio of students responsible for bullying Taylor. Emma was Taylor's best friend from first grade to middle school, the two girls stayed at each other's houses every weekend. Upon entering high school, Emma suddenly abandoned her for Sophia and Madison. The three then tormented her - Sophia physically, Madison superficially and Emma emotionally. Because Emma knew some of Taylor's psychological weaknesses, such as the death of Mrs. Hebert, she was the only one really able to hurt Taylor.
Taylor resisted attacking the trio with her powers, no matter how much she wanted to. She considered the thought of her father's disappointment on seeing that she had attacked the Trio "daunting" but less than her anger and frustration with them. Emma Barnes' parents blame Taylor for their daughter's eventual death.
Taylor and her father both generally avoided the topic of her bullying. He felt frustrated that he couldn't help her.
Other Parahumans Edit
Taylor was initially somewhat overawed by Armsmaster. She compared him to Michael Jordan and referred to him as "one of the top heroes". She once owned a pair of underwear with his logo on them.
Alexandria was Taylor's favourite heroine when she was a kid. When she was nine, she went through a phase where wore an Alexandria t-shirt and had her mom help her look up pictures of Alexandria online; the only time she had ever been a fan of a particular hero.
Abilities and Powers Edit
She can make her subjects do things that they would not normally do, such as walk into fire, produce so much web silk that they physically couldn't produce any more or stinging while injecting little to no venom. She doesn't require "organized" insects. Once she stops controlling them, her bugs revert to their normal behavior patterns.
Taylor has an almost limitless ability to focus on multiple insects at once, or to focus on other things while also using her insects. She can give general instructions, in which case she is only vaguely aware of their movements, or guide individual insects through complex tasks, in which case she is more precisely aware of their movements and environment. However, she could be distracted by the difficulty of focusing on her insects' senses, and by Panacea's modified insects providing contradictory signals. As of Colony 15.7, she was only capable of holding one conversation at a time, even while controlling multiple clones.
Taylor would sometimes use her bugs to "channel" her emotions, lending her an "aura of indomitable calm". This could sometimes cause thinkers who relied on body language to think she was calmer than she really was.
Practicing doesn't seem to produce results. However, over time, Taylor does learn to more reliably hear through her bugs. As of Cell 22.4, she was unable to understand a phone message heard with her bugs, but was able to identify it was a recording. She was only able to discern tone of voice at "rare moments".
Based on the combined sensory input of large numbers of insects, Taylor can gain a very clear mental picture of whatever they're interacting with. She can also sense the biology and location of every bug she can control. This gives her enhanced aim and the ability to dodge attacks with supernatural reaction times. However, in environments where bugs are scarce, or when dealing with materials that they don't interact with well, her image of the area can become less reliable.
Taylor has a limited range. During periods of stress, it would increase, once reaching over six and a half blocks. The increases aren't permanent. Nevertheless, her base range did slowly increase over time, from two blocks as when fighting the ABB to three blocks when she began to claim territory.
Her power doesn't work on creatures below a certain size. At different times, she speculated that she could control anything with an exoskeleton or shell -- which wouldn't explain how she could control earthworms -- and that it was the subject having a non-complex nervous system. Her power does not affect squid. It's possible that she could control bug-like Case 53s, depending on their brain makeup & chemistry. At one point, Taylor attempted to distract a foe underwater by forming simulated bodies out of sea creatures.
Taylor was rated by PRT analysts as a Master 5, which was later upgraded to an 8. A rating of Thinker 1 was officially added when Emily Piggot deduced she could see through her bugs in a limited fashion. Piggot suggested that this should be upgraded when Taylor admitted she came up with the plan to raid the PRT to stop Dragon and demonstrated the ability to anticipate incoming attacks through her bugs, but she was still classified as a thinker-one after Piggot had left office.
Later Director Tagg ordered her to be treated as a Master 10, Thinker 3 with an additional rating of 2 in every other category; in order to make sure his soldiers didn't underestimate her and to authorize additional means of containing her.
- (To Lung): "Don't underestimate me."
- (To Triumph): "Sorry. I didn't want this to go this far."
- (To Doctor Mother): "I know what that's like, I've walked down that road. Maybe not so ugly a road, but I've gone that route. All the way along, I told myself it sucked, but I wouldn't do it differently. I did everything I did for a reason. Except now, having reached the point I was working towards, I finally do regret it all. The last two years, the way I treated my teammates, leaving the Undersiders... I'd change it all in a heartbeat."
- (To Tecton): “Being good or bad was never a thing for me. Not really. It was all about the actions I was taking and why."
- "I didn’t follow that stuff, didn’t buy into the hero worship. I’d always found the capes interesting, I’d followed the non-gossipy news about them, but with the exception of a phase around the time I was nine where I’d had an Alexandria t-shirt and had my mom help me find pictures of her online, I had never really got giddy over any particular hero." - Tangle 6.7
- Taylor likely triggered Monday the third of January 2011 as it was described as the first day of school in the new year.
- "Khepri" is a god in ancient Egyptian religion connected with the scarab beetle, because the scarab rolls balls of dung across the ground, an act that the Egyptians saw as a symbol of the forces that move the sun across the sky.
- Glaistig Uaine calls Taylor "Queen Administrator", queen being one of the regal titles that Glaistig Uaine uses for those with powerful and fully developed shards, which became a popular fan nickname for the power.
Fanart Gallery Edit
|Leaders||Grue • Skitter|
|Members||Bitch • Foil • Imp • Parian • Regent • Tattletale|
|Minions||Atlas • Barker • Biter • Cassie • Charlotte • Forrest • Bryce Kiley • Sierra Kiley|
|Tattletale's Soldiers||Brooks • Dmitri • Jaw • Minor • Pritt • Senegal|
|Associates||The Ambassadors • Bitch's Dogs • Coil (see also: Coil's Organization) • The Heartbroken • The Needlepoints • The Sons of Bitch|
|Leaders||Myrddin • Revel • Shuffle (second in command)|
|Members||Anomaly • Brazier • Campanile • Gauss • Stardust|
|Members||Annex • Bearach • Cuff • Garnett • Golem • Grace • Raymancer • Romp • Wanton • Weaver|