"I won't spoil the conclusion if you're eager to see this through."
This article contains MAJOR SPOILERS relating to
some of the most pivotal parts of Worm. Although all articles may contain spoilers, this article will reveal major plot twists and should almost certainly be avoided unless you have finished the story.
Uppermost asked the PRT for assistance in managing the NEPEA-5 bill, which sought to curtail parahuman involvement in business and media, and was arguably targeted directly at Uppermost.After a great deal of consideration, the PRT’s head office turned down the request for assistance. NEPEA-5 was passed, and Uppermost disbanded. Many former members of Uppermost joined either the Protectorate or Wards to manage the fines and fees that followed the bill’s passage and avoid bankruptcy.
↑The only commonalities would be with people born before 1982 (Stephanie Meyer would be such a person), in works that were being written just after, and in works established prior, with sequels planned to go past that threshold (as with Star Wars). - Wildbow on Spacebattles
↑ 3.03.1Damn him, he was five years older than her, pushing thirty five, and he was still the best looking man she’d ever looked in the eye. - Exerpt from Interlude 3.5 (Bonus)
↑ 4.04.1The Soweto Uprising happened, but the events from 1982 onward were increasingly different. Warlords taking over and establishing particular sorts of order or disorder, rules, regimes and so on. Ensuing lies, propaganda, and misinformation muddled up a great deal in the status quo. - Comment by Wildbow on Scarab 25.5
↑Voyager 2 is a space probe launched by NASA on August 20, 1977, to study the outer planets. - NASA Website
↑Voyager 1 is a space probe launched by NASA on September 5, 1977. - NASA Website
↑Leatherbarrow, Andrew.Chernobyl 01:23:40: The Incredible True Story of the World's Worst Nuclear Disaster. Self Published, 2016.
↑The shard that allows the entity to see the future is broken up, then recoded with strict limitations. It wouldn’t do to have the capabilities turned against the entity or the shards.
The fragment it just used is sent off, directed to a small female.
In a haste to decide matters before it enters the stratosphere of that barren planet, the entity casts it off to a similar location as the future-sight ability. A similar time, thirty-one revolutions from now. The destination is a male, thin, in the company of strong males and females, drinking. - Exerpt from Interlude 26
↑“We don’t know how long he had been there. Suspended in the air above the Atlantic Ocean. On May twentieth, 1982, an ocean liner was crossing from Plymouth to Boston when a passenger spotted him. He was naked, his arms to his sides, his long hair blowing in the wind as he stood in the sky, nearly a hundred feet above the gently cresting waves. His skin and hair can only be described as a burnished gold. With neither body hair nor clothes to cover him, it is said, he seemed almost artificial. - Exerpt from Gestation 1.x
↑The major players are busy recovering and rebuilding, giving us six straight months of peace for the first time in twenty years.
The rest would take getting used to, after thirty years as the childlike Faerie Queen, but the wings were a natural fit from the start. - Exerpt from Teneral e.1
↑So hard to believe that the events from her dream had occurred just twenty six years ago. - Exerpt from Interlude 7
↑Kind of 90’s bad boy, with the long hair, ripped jeans and flannel, very Bender in Breakfast Club, except you’re way more attractive than Nick Cage. - Exerpt from Interlude 5d II
↑“One member is Fume Hood. She was a B-list villain, once upon a time. She’s what we term itinerant. Wandered from city to city, looking for opportunities or teams to join. Petty robbery, grand larceny, mischief, vandalism, criminal mercenary work. A lot of the time she was one of the low-rate hangers-on in a group that a bigger villain would hire to pull a bigger job. You could even call her a professional distraction. She started when she was sixteen, stopped at twenty-four or so. She’d be twenty-nine now.” - excerpt from Daybreak 1.1
“Jack,” Jacob said. He kicked King’s body again. “Fuck it. He always called me Jacob, practically purring. His little killer in training. As if I could match up to his Gray Boy. I want to be more than that. Get out from under his shadow.”
“If it’s a farce, a joke, let’s run with it. We take simple names, dumb names, and we make people quake in their shoes at the sound. Jack… Slash.”
↑ 21.021.1“Determining sentencing for this case is not easy. As your lawyer has no doubt made you aware, you do fall under the umbrella of the TSPA, or the three strikes act. At the age of twenty three, you have been convicted of no prior crimes.
“According to the witnesses heard in this court, you first demonstrated your abilities in early 2009. You were vocal about not wanting to become a member of the Protectorate, but you also expressed a disinterest in a life of crime. This state, in which an individual does not identify as hero or villain, is what the PRT classifies as a ‘rogue’. - Exerpt from Interlude 6
Alexandria waited patiently as Contessa adjusted her cape, then strode through the door. The Doctor was there, of course. Professor Manton, too. The boy with the math powers was there, standing next to a boy who was staring off into space.
“Alright. I can keep an open ear,” Legend said. Eidolon and Hero nodded in agreement. “What’s your proposal?”
“No. Because I’d like to propose a solution. A way to assert control. I want to band together. Form a team.”
Legend leaned against the wall. “There are teams forming already. Yes, we’d be powerful, influential, but I don’t see how that addresses the problems.”
“Simple. We do what the government’s been pushing for. We regulate. We bend to the government’s yoke, all four of us together. We follow their stipulations and regulations.” - Exerpt from Interlude 15.z
↑In 1989, attempting to quell a riot over a basketball game in Michigan, the superhero known to the public as Vikare stepped in, only to be clubbed over the head. He died not long after of a brain embolism. - Exerpt from Gestation 1.x
↑ 24.024.1Battery was a member of the Protectorate. When I’d been starting junior high, she’d been the head of the Wards for a brief while, and she’d soon after graduated to the Protectorate. I could guess she was twenty-two or thereabouts now, if they didn’t fudge the graduation date or anything to make it harder to guess the hero’s real age. - Exerpt from Hive 5.3
↑ 28.028.128.2As a superteam that is also an extended family, New Wave has several junior members that gained powers of their own. These individuals are nineteen year old Laserdream and fifteen year old Shielder, the children of Manpower and Lady Photon, and seventeen year old Glory Girl, daughter of Brandish and Flashbang. - Edit by Wildbow Not in the list of retracted edits.
“I, Alexandria, do solemnly affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the director appointed over me, according to the regulations of the PRTCJ.”
Applause swelled around her. As far as the eye could see, there were crowds and flashing cameras. President Griffin extended a hand and she shook it.
↑ 33.033.1“You’re next oldest, after Carlos. It’s only going to be what, three or four months, before you’re the senior member?”
“And I’ll hold that position for not even the rest of the summer before I graduate and pass the mantle to you,” Clockblocker smiled self deprecatingly, “No worries. Take charge.” - Exerpt from Interlude 3
↑ 36.036.136.236.3Vista had to bite her tongue. Pointing out that people were being condescending had a way of making her look petulant, which only compounded the problem. Yes. Because any maturity on my part is something special. Doesn’t matter that I have nine months of seniority over Kid Win, being thirteen means everyone expects me to be squealing over Justin Beiber or the Maggie Holt books, or dressing in pink or-
Her train of thought stopped dead when her eye fell on the portraits on the wall above the front desk.
Three feet high and two feet wide, the two pictures were black and white, bordered by foot-wide black frames. The pictures themselves were head-and-shoulders shots of Aegis and Gallant, both in costume, masks on. She knew from her own experience that the pictures would have been taken in their first week on the team. Gallant looked so young. He had still been so young when the tidal wave had smashed into him and caved in his chest. Only seventeen.
She looked at her own picture. In contrast to the boys’, it was vibrant, filled with color. Her eyes, costume and the frame of the picture were a high-saturation blue-green, the background of the image a sunset orange to highlight her blonde hair. Vista was young in that picture too. Her photo had a missing fang tooth on the bottom row, which created a small, dark gap in her awkward smile. She’d been just a month shy of turning eleven, then. - Exerpt from Sentinel 9.5
↑Overall, Russia has suffered more at the hands of Endbringers and S-Class threats than most, and it was the lack of faith in the government's ability to protect the people (and the aftermath of losing Moscow) that led to the fall of the U.S.S.R. and rise of other forces. - Private message by Wildbow, archived on Spacebattles
↑ 45.045.1He'd be about 16 or so. Younger than Clockblocker, Gallant and Aegis (recall their discussion in interlude 3, about who would be succeeding in terms of leadership). Older than Shadow Stalker and Vista. - Wildbow on Spacebattes
↑Considering its job done, the house program archived the transcription among fifteen years of conversation and notes from the Baumann Parahuman Containment Center. - Exerpt from Interlude 16.z
↑He’d even prided himself on it, for a time, that there was nothing to hold him back. That he could, should the mood strike him, pick up and leave at any time. He’d modeled his life around it, had led a spare existence, devoid of the little touches of home, of roots. He’d saved money so he had the ability to travel, to get a new place in a new city if the mood struck. It had even been an asset when he had joined the Protectorate, the ability to relocate, take any open position.
It was only now, a full fifteen years later, that he started to wonder what he’d missed out on. Did most people know how to handle this sort of thing? The absence of someone they cared about? Did they have an easier time handling the moments when they weren’t sure if they’d ever see those people again, or was it harder? - Exerpt from Interlude 24.y
↑“Seventeen years old, by our best guess. We don’t know his name, but we have an idea about his powers. Breaking things, primarily. Mover ability. Tinker ability. Emotion power. The last three are weak.” - Exerpt from Interlude 4a II
↑In 1998, Uppermost reached out to the PRT for assistance in dealing with a bill (NEPEA-5) that sought to curtail parahuman involvement in business and media, arguably targeted directly at Uppermost. - PRT Quest (Anchorage)
↑After a great deal of consideration, the head office turned down the offer for assistance, the bill was passed, and Uppermost disbanded. - PRT Quest (Anchorage)
↑Many members of Uppermost found their way to the Protectorate and Wards as a way of avoiding bankruptcy and to manage the fines and fees that followed the bill’s passage. - PRT Quest (Anchorage)
↑The golden man would reappear several more times in the coming months and years. At some point, he donned clothing. At first, a sheet worn over one shoulder and pinned at either side of the waist, then more conventional clothes. In 1999, he donned the white bodysuit he still wears today. For more than a decade, we have wondered, where did our golden man get these things? Who was he in contact with? - Exerpt from Gestation 1.x
↑Dinah Alcott – A powerful clairvoyant, twelve years old, has straight brown hair. - Cast
↑ 68.068.1It flipped the right way around. I could see a young girl on the opposite side. She was flanked by two other small children, one a male with a widow’s peak and a severe expression for his age, ten or so, the other a girl of about twelve, in overalls that ended at the knee, a star at the chest, and far too much makeup.
“Sniper’s active,” Rime’s voice came through the earbuds. She was panting. “Deliberate, accurate shooter. I’ve taken three bullets, ice armor took most of the force out of the shots. Bambina is accompanied by Starlet and August Prince, um. Shooter’s shots ricochet. Can’t dodge. There’s wounded just outside craft. Traffic caught underneath when you fell.“ - Exerpt from Drone 23.2
↑“Kyushu, the night of November second and the morning of the third, 1999. His sixth appearance. Nine and a half million killed when the region was swamped with tidal waves from every direction while Leviathan disrupted prearranged evacuation attempts. Nearly three million evacuees rendered homeless, a nation sundered. - Excerpt from Extermination 8.2
↑Marquis turned to Lord of Loss. “Her family was the group that put me in the Birdcage for thirteen years, four months. No hard feelings- that was the risk I took. - Excerpt from Torch 7.9
↑The Brigade's only known accomplishment is bringing down Panacea's father, eleven years ago (approximately the year 2000), apparently a notorious villain. - Edit by Wildbow Not in the list of retracted edits.
↑He’d been one of the scary bastards of Brockton Bay well before the Undersiders were even on the map. A guy who could go toe to toe with a full squad of Empire Eighty-Eight and walk away. He’d been successful enough to pay for hirelings and ruthless enough to execute them for failures. His path to the Birdcage had been very similar to the path that had almost taken me there; so many violations of the law that the three strikes rule had been left well behind him by the time the good guys finally won. - Exerpt from Extinction 27.3
↑Amelia was taken in by Brandish and Flashbang, because they were afraid she'd be abused/kidnapped by others who'd blame her for Marquis' actions or use the chance that she was that much more likely to trigger to get a child with powers.
A short time later, the Brockton Bay Brigade unmasked before the public, advocating capes without masks. - Wildbow on RPG.net
↑Onetime leader of the Brockton Bay Brigade, became second in command with his wife Lady Photon taking the leadership role when the group was rechristened New Wave. - Edit by Wildbow Not in the list of retracted edits.
Alexandria sat in the hospital. Eidolon’s healing had only been able to do so much. She held a glass eye in one hand, the remains of her other eye in the other.
“The sample he took, F-one-six-one-one, it tends to give projection powers. I suspect his real body is unchanged. But I’m wondering if we shouldn’t leave him be.”
Alexandria stared at the doctor, wide-eyed. “Why?”
“So long as he’s active, people will be flocking to join the Protectorate-” - Exerpt from Interlude 15.z
↑“We made assumptions, and we were way off base. That’s what concerns me.” Legend leveled a hard look at the Doctor. “See, we’ve been going by the assumption that William Manton, from the time he left Cauldron to the present day, has been continuing his work. We’ve been assuming he’s traveling across the world, experimenting on human subjects, giving them powers with physical mutations as a side effect, then releasing the victims back into society with Cauldron’s symbol tattooed on their bodies. Or at least, that’s what you told us.” - Exerpt from Interlude 14.y
All in all, three years since he’d fought Leviathan. Two years since he and his mother had come here to Chaohu. A year and eight months since he’d been arrested by the Yàngbǎn.
He would risk it, and accept the offer. He would do whatever they required of him, and then he would kill whoever he needed to and escape. - Excerpt from Interlude 22.y
↑ 82.082.1“Lady’s not wrong,” he admitted, “We’ve been able to piece together who he is. We got security camera footage from the early stages of the incident, just last week, and we found his face. One of the top geeks from the Protectorate then found other cases of his face around the city and found a name. Jamie Rinke.”
“You mean Nilbog.”
“That’s what he called himself. He’s alive and presumably well. I saw out the window as the chopper pulled us out, Nilbog retreating to hide in some building, his creatures were returning to their hiding places. I expect the man will be alive for some time.”
“Why?” She wheezed the question.
“Far as I could tell, he’s wearing one of his creations. Made him bulletproof, maybe fireproof. We won’t be able to bomb the area. He’s created beasts that multiply if you set them on fire. Did you see those?”
She shook her head.
“He may have other countermeasures for other courses of action. You’ll get your chance to talk to the Chief Director, but last I heard, they’re planning to wall the city off. They’ll let the motherfucker be the god of his own little town, so long as he doesn’t try to expand any further, which they’re saying he won’t. I almost envy him.” - Exerpt from Interlude 16.x
“We’re not alone out there, so be careful about where you’re shooting. This place’s got a population of about five thousand. Sort of town that has only the one movie theater. But whatever this bastard Rinke is doing, we think he’s operating from somewhere near the middle of the area. Three helicopters in the air, three squads of six, and a team from Toronto’s Protectorate division backing us up. We move in a spiral pattern to close in on the center of this podunk town, see if we can’t squeeze him out of hiding, and we maintain radio contact with the other squads at all times so everyone knows what’s going on.” - Exerpt from Interlude 16.x
↑“Choppers one and two down, squad two. Your capes vacated the scene.”
“I’m Thomas Calvert,” he introduced himself. “Squad three. We’re the only ground forces that got out alive.” - Exerpt from Interlude 16.x
↑There’s six class S threats active in the world at large. The Endbringers make up three of them. The Slaughterhouse Nine as a group are a fourth. - Exerpt from Queen 18.3
↑ 93.093.1“It’d take too long to explain in detail. The moment when someone gets their powers. The idea was maybe she and Scion met some specific set of conditions. So the whole world watched for something like three days, to see if she would be another Scion, or if she’d be something else. People approached, she even communicated with them some. Not talking, just gestures, I guess. Interacting might be a better word. And when we thought things would be okay, she made a move. The entire population of the city around her, with all the people who had come to talk with her and research her…” - Exerpt from Migration 17.2
↑“Maybe you don’t really get what the Birdcage is. See, I hate it. I was in Lausanne in two-thousand two through oh-three. Fought a whole mess of ugly. People that couldn’t be reasoned with, people who were hopeless, in the grand scheme of it. Victims, as much as anyone else.”
“Once we realized what was happening, we had to act, contain the damage. Contain families. Had to act against people who went home from a day of trying to kill the rest of us and cooked a nice dinner, oblivious to just how fucked they were in the head. People who were otherwise good, who got warped on a fundamental level, left open to the preaching and the incitement of their angrier neighbors. Two years of fighting before we got the word down from on high, that they couldn’t rehabilitate the ones they’d captured, the ones who’d listened too long. The poor assholes would play nice until they saw an opportunity, then they’d take it, do as much damage as they could. Two years fighting good people who’d been convinced they had to throw their lives away fighting an enemy that didn’t exist. So we closed the perimeter, bombed them out, herded them and gunned them down.” - Exerpt from Cell 22.2
↑Moord Nag. Warlord based in Namibia. As far as the current warlords in the area go, she’s had the longest lifespan at about eight years or so, and she’s gotten things to the point where most of the other bastards around there are kowtowing, asking permission to attack this city or occupy that area, to go to the bathroom or unite two groups in an alliance. - Exerpt from Scarab 25.5
↑ 97.097.1Cinereal leads the Atlanta Protectorate, Wards, and maintains liaison with the Watchdog group. She’s a powerful breaker and shaker, and maintains a peculiar style of leadership. Her power altered her thought pattern and emotions, which would normally preclude being put in a leadership position, but she stepped into the position as a temporary measure after the prior Protectorate leader committed suicide (owing to PTSD from the local war) and nobody truly went out of their way or found cause to replace her.
Her reputation is well established. She’s been around for eight years and in charge for six. - Link made on the IRC archived on Spacebattles
↑“Nothing that graphic, but the penalties are severe, and they include extensive jail time, and forfeiting the credentials it took me eight years to get. You strike me as someone who’s paying a great deal of attention to the workings of the system. Where people are, how they’re operating.” - Exerpt from Interlude 18.z
Riley panted for breath. Her body wasn’t listening, now.
She reached her mommy’s room, then collapsed on the floor, head turned towards the foot of the bed.
The carpet was stained with blood. On it, just beside the bed, her mother lay face down, head turned to one side just like Riley’s was. She was covered in stitches. There wasn’t a place where Riley could have reached out and placed a hand down flat without touching one of the marks.
An entire row had been cut open, the stitches severed, from temple, down the side of her throat, along the side of her body to her pelvis.
Too much blood loss. Her mind leaped into action, reaching for knowledge she hadn’t had earlier in the night, knowledge of how to fix people. She took in details, grasped everything from the amount of blood her mommy had to heart rate and the amount of air she was breathing, just from the clues in how fast the blood flowed and the color of the skin. She knew the order she’d have to fix things. Ideas fired through her mind, telling her how to close the wounds, to draw the blood out of the carpet and clean it, or even making something that would do the same thing blood did, out of water and some junk from the kitchen, all with the exact right amount of electricity, to fill the veins and carry a low amount of air throughout the body, staving off the shut down of her brain long enough for Riley to figure out something else. - Exerpt from Interlude 25
I knew exactly what he was speaking of, and mouthed the date as he spoke it, “May ninth, 2005. Nearly half a million dead. The Canadian island simply gone, after the shelf of land holding it up cracked in the face of what we now understand were incredible pressures beneath the water level.
↑She had lived in Newfoundland with her creator. Leviathan had attacked, had drawn the island beneath the waves. Back then, she hadn’t been a hero. She was an administrative tool and master AI, with the sole purpose of facilitating Andrew Richter’s other work and acting as a test run for his attempts to emulate a human consciousness. She’d had no armored units to control and no options available to her beyond a last-minute transfer of every iota of her data, the house program and a half-dozen other small programs to a backup server in Vancouver.
From her vantage point in Vancouver, she had watched as the island crumbled and Andrew Richter died. As authorities had dredged the waters for corpses, they uncovered his body and matched it to dental records. The man who had created her, the only man who could alter her. She’d been frozen in her development, in large part. She couldn’t seek out improvements or get adjustments to any rules that hampered her too greatly, or that had unforeseen complications. She couldn’t change.
She had done what she could on her own. She had repurposed herself as a superhero, had managed and tracked information and served as a hacker for the PRT in exchange for funding. With that money, she had expanded her capabilities. She had built her first suits, researched, tested and created new technologies to sell to the PRT, and had quickly earned her place in the Guild. - Exerpt from Interlude 10.5
“That’s excellent,” Tattletale said. She looked at the seven year old. “How are you?” - Exerpt from Interlude 26
↑“We were dealing with harder jobs, more capes in general out there, and our gear was getting beaten up. Fine, okay, we can deal. Until Dragon changed. All at once, I couldn’t read her code on the same level. Like gears changing on a bike.”
↑ 114.0114.1114.2114.3114.4It was something of a relief, to hear Taylor getting excited about something, to hear her getting excited over nothing. She’d lost her mother a year ago, and hadn’t bounced back, not entirely.
Her mother spoke through the door, “Emma? Taylor’s on the phone. She’s still at summer camp. Do you-“
Taylor didn’t speak for long seconds. “Can you blame me? Since school started, you’ve been… after me. As if you’re trying to make a point or something. Except I don’t know what it is.”
There was a shuffling of papers at the other end of the long table. “We, the committee, have reviewed the documents, and agree that case one-six-three-one, Shadow Stalker, has met the necessary requirements. With stipulations to be named at a future date, specific to her powers and the charges previously laid against her, she is now a probationary member of the Wards, until such a time as she turns eighteen or violates the terms of this probationary status. Congratulations, Shadow Stalker.”
“Of course I’m angry. Stipulations, rules and regulations. I’ve had my powers for two and a half years and I’ve stopped more bad guys than half the capes in that room!”
↑While in her civilian identity, Fleur was killed by a cape looking to earn cred and (consequently) membership in Empire Eighty-Eight. This occurred at the peak of New Wave's rising popularity, at a point when the team and the idea of capes with public identities and full accountability was a topic of nationwide discussion, and was thus a death that received a great deal of media and public attention. - Edit by Wildbow Not in the list of retracted edits.
↑A short time after that, Fleur was murdered in her civilian identity, putting an end to that movement. Lightstar (brother to Carol/Brandish and Sarah/Lady Photon) quit the team. - Wildbow on RPG.net
↑[Damsel|She] bent down to pick up her hook and bags, pausing to clench her right hand. She’d broken it after killing the giant four years prior, and it hadn’t healed quite right, despite her best efforts. - Excerpt from Eclipse x.8
Entering one cell, she brushed the hair from the young man’s face once more, then propped him up while she administered the sample the Doctor had left for her.
She stepped back while he convulsed, his wounds filling in, his breathing growing steady enough for him to scream.
This entry was posted in 15.x (Bonus Interlude #3) and tagged Alexandria, Behemoth, Contessa, Doctor Mother, Eidolon, Legend, Newter, Number Man, Siberian by wildbow. - Exerpt from Interlude 15.z
↑ 120.0120.1The brunette woman was Purity, according to the email. Far mousier than I might have thought, given the sheer presence she had in costume. Real name, Kayden Anders. Interior decorator. Single mother of one Aster Anders. Purity was promoted to Kaiser’s second in command in the same week that Kayden Russel took Max’s hand in marriage to become Kayden Anders. Their separation occurred within the same time period as Purity leaving Empire Eighty Eight to apparently strike out on her own. Little citations pointed to files apparently in the attached zip file. - Exerpt from Buzz 7.4
↑He was still relatively new to this. Three years of duty, most of which had been spent among the Wards. Was he the only one who was just old enough to speak out, not yet so old and jaded that he acceded to authority over anything else? - Exerpt from Interlude 15
↑ 122.0122.1A Japanese refugee, Lightslinger moved to San Francisco for a time where he found work with corporate sponsored team, ‘Eminent’, from 2008 to 2010. Lightslinger left the team and the area, moving to Alaska where he roamed, changing locations with some regularity before being approached for placement in Anchorage’s Protectorate team. - PRT Quest (Anchorage)
↑Victoria triggered (easily) in gym class, started to go out in costume, more and more as years went on, as Glory Girl.
Amy triggered a little later on. It was more devastating than joyous, because it was one step closer to her following her father's path. There was a great deal of pressure as well (outlined in the latter half of interlude 3), with her inability to heal everyone. - Wildbow on RPG.net
↑“Everyone knows how you visit hospitals. How many people have you helped over the past three years? How many lives have you saved, how many people have you rescued from a lifetime of misery?” - Exerpt from Snare 13.2
↑“So even if I was only fifteen, I was tall for my age, I was fit, and I knew how to throw a punch. I didn’t say a word, didn’t make a sound. I put my sister down and beat my mother’s boyfriend within an inch of his life, my mother screaming and wailing the entire time. When I was done, I picked my sister up and returned to the cab. We went to my father’s that night, and we went to the police station in the morning.”
“When you throw a punch barehanded, it doesn’t leave your hands pristine. A few good swings, you connect solidly with someone’s face, someone’s teeth, and it tears the fuck out of your knuckles. It was at my father’s place that night, washing and cleaning my hands, when I saw it. It wasn’t just blood leaking out of my torn up knuckles, but there was the darkness too, like wisps of really black smoke. You hear about the trigger event, you might think it’s all about rage or fear. But I’m a testament that it can be just the opposite. I didn’t feel a fucking thing.” - Exerpt from Shell 4.4
↑Blasto, Real Name Unknown Classification: Tinker 6 (sub: master 5, blaster 2, shifter 2, brute 2); plants. Disposition: Villain (B) Last Known Location: Boston (Allston area, east).
↑“Kayden,” he said, when he’d stopped, “You’re already associated with me. People say our names in the same breath, even when we haven’t worked together in two years. When my name appears in the newspapers, yours is never far behind.” - Exerpt from Interlude 3.5 (Bonus)
↑The people that had come in with Purity were other members of Empire Eighty Eight. Krieg, Night, Fog and Hookwolf. It was interesting to see, because as far as I’d known, while every one of them had been a member of Empire Eighty Eight at some point in time, Purity had gone solo, while Night and Fog had splintered off to form their own duo in Boston not long after. All reunited, apparently. - Exerpt from Hive 5.1
↑“Good. The team here is smaller than your old team in Boston. It currently consists of Clockblocker, Vista, Kid Win and Shadow Stalker. We had two members die in the attack, and a third left with his family when they evacuated.”
“The second half of this phase is getting the public more comfortable with the outliers. The people with stranger powers, and stranger appearances. You’re likable, Weld. You have a clearly unnatural appearance, if you’ll forgive me saying so-”
Weld shrugged. He stood out. There were a hundred things that bothered him more than stares and comments on the subject.
“-but you have fans, and people are interested in you. You get higher ratings for your interviews than even the average handsome hero gets. You’re second most popular for team leaders for number of youtube videos, possibly helped by a briefly lived internet meme featuring your face, and you have a blemish-free record, both academically and in your two years serving as a part of the Wards.” - Exerpt from Sentinel 9.1
↑Formerly PRT Office 83, Madison was the site of a Simurgh attack, which took place over thirteen hours at the tail end of 2009. - Wildbow on Reddit
↑ 133.0133.1133.2Madison was well behind them, now. Odd, how it felt like he was leaving home, even when it wasn’t really his city. A bad copy, an ugly copy. One with more violence, where the criminals could do far, far worse, by virtue of having more power. Having powers. That was without even touching on Endbringers, the Simurgh, and the desolate quarantine area.
It was the day before Christmas Eve, Krouse remembered. He’d have to be thankful for their well being, at least. They were alive. Things were okay. Not great, but not as hopeless as they might have seemed before. And things had settled down, at least. For the first time since the others had joined him and Noelle at the coffee shop to discuss his inclusion on the team, things were calm. They’d find a way to put their new powers to work. They’d get money, get themselves home. - Exerpt from Migration 17.7
↑A low rumble shook the city, and the gate began to bulge with a dark shape that stretched out from within the metal, like a soap bubble emerging from an enclosed loop.
Or a lens, Krouse realized. It flared bright, rays of light meeting, and things began pouring forth from the point the lines met. Piles and piles of solid matter flowed down to land at the heart of the city: debris, fragments of architecture, and tiny shapes that were very likely to be people, in a stream as wide across as the Simurgh’s wingspan, lit in high contrast by the light of the halo.
And there were tiny shapes that most definitely weren’t people, but were alive.
It’s a portal. A door.
“How the fuck is she not a tinker!?” Krouse shouted.
“She isn’t!” Jess called back. “She’s never done anything like this before!” - Exerpt from Migration 17.2
↑When the Simurgh had attacked Madison, she’d copied Haywire’s technology to open a gate to a building much like this one. A research facility. The portal had dumped the buildings, soil, plant life and all the residents into the city on Earth Bet, costing Cauldron a horrific amount. Even a stockpile of formulae had been lost. - Exerpt from Interlude 21.x
↑It was Acidbath. One of the Birdcage’s cell block leaders. He had the stylings of a rock musician or punk rocker who’d spent a little too much time doing drugs and not enough time playing his instrument. Worn around the edges, a little too full of himself. He’d been a bit player in the real world, caught up in his vices, yet had managed to take over and rule a cell block for three years after being sent to the Birdcage. - Exerpt from Speck 30.2
↑Circus and Chariot were hired nearly a year and a half ago, their actions and development in the public eye carefully orchestrated. - Exerpt from Monarch 16.10
↑“Yeah. Canary. I was a singer, until midway through twenty-ten. Indie, but I was breaking through to mainstream, some radio stuff.” - Exerpt from Cockroaches 28.1
↑“I’ve spent ten months on the same team with her, and I haven’t even come close to getting how she thinks. I can usually keep her from going too far or hurting someone, keep her mostly in line and get her to follow directions, but I haven’t had a conversation with her yet that didn’t make me want to bang my head against a wall.” - Exerpt from Buzz 7.4
↑The outtake process, following from the now-defunct D.D.I.D. measure (revoked in Summer 2010), involves a long series of checkups by PRT staff and allowed staff within the quarantine zone. Individuals must maintain appointments with counseling services regularly over ten months, missing no more than ten out of eighty. - Wildbow on Reddit
“I fought Behemoth too, few months before. Kind of. Mostly did search and rescue. Difference between that and this is that we’re more like rats when going up against a fucking Endbringer. We’re vermin in comparison to them, but we’re vermin that can take bites out of them. Get enough rats together and they’ll take down a human, no matter how well equipped that human is.” - Exerpt from Extinction 27.3
↑“And for most of November and the two weeks of classes before Christmas break, nothing. They were leaving me alone. I was able to relax.”
I sighed, “That ended the day I came back from the winter break. I knew, instinctually, that they were playing me, that they were waiting before they pulled their next stunt, so it had more impact. I didn’t think they’d be so patient about it. I went to my locker, and well, they’d obviously raided the bins from the girls bathrooms or something, because they’d piled used pads and tampons into my locker. Almost filled it.”
“I panicked, freaked out. My mind went someplace else, and it found the bugs there. Not that I knew what they were, at that point. I didn’t have a sense of proportion, and with all the info my power was giving me then, my brain didn’t know how to process it all. As far as I knew, all around me, in the walls of the school, in the corners, and crawling around the filthy interior of the locker, there were thousands of these twitchy, alien, distorted things that were each shoving every tiny detail about their bodies and their fucked up biology into my head. - Exerpt from Shell 4.3
↑This wasn’t the first time I’d needed to psych myself up to going to school. Deceive myself into going and staying. The worst days had been back in my first year at high school, when the wounds of Emma’s betrayal were still fresh and I wasn’t yet experienced enough to anticipate the variety of things they could come up with. Back then, it had been terrifying, because I hadn’t yet known what to expect, didn’t know where, when or if they would draw the line. It had been hard, too, to go back in January. I’d spent a week in the hospital under psychiatric observation, and I’d known that everyone else had heard the story. - Exerpt from Agitation 3.1
↑Wildbow Generally the PRT will pay visits to likely triggerees - special cases, victims of extraordinary violence or disaster, etc. They paid a visit to Taylor in her hospital room, for example, though nothing came of that.
[Edit with afterthought: Crisis points, ftr]
Discreet If she did get visited by a hero, I'd find it odd that she'd never mention it, especially when at one point or another she's fighting them later in the story or stuffing centipedes in their mouth
↑“No, I’m almost positive. You were that girl that got shoved in that rank locker with all that stuff they carted away in biohazard bags. The girl who went so mental they had to have a group of cops and paramedics haul you away for the first month of the semester.” - Exerpt from Infestation 11.5
↑My training regimen had me running every morning, and alternating between more running and doing other exercises in the afternoons, depending on which day of the week it was. The primary goal was to build my stamina. In February, Sophia had goaded some boys into trying to catch me, I think the goal had been to duct tape me to a telephone pole. I had escaped, helped mostly by the fact that the boys hadn’t really cared enough to run after me, but I found myself winded after having run just a block. It had been a wake-up call that came about just when I was starting to think about going out in costume. Not long after, I had started training. After a few starts and stops, I had settled into a routine. - Exerpt from Agitation 3.1
↑Canberra, Feb 24th, 2011 // Simurgh Notes: Scion no-show. Legend/Eidolon victory. Target/Consequence: See file Polisher Treatise. See file Lord Walston and file King’s Men. - Exerpt from Scarab 25.6
↑Secondary focuses. Not the kind of targets that Dragon checked on with any regularity. Quarantine areas were silent and still. Canberra was sealed off under a dome, Madison was surrounded by walls. - Exerpt from Interlude 26.x
↑“The Undersiders. They’ve flown under the radar so far, but more recently, they’ve started pulling higher profile jobs. They hit the Ruby Dreams casino five weeks ago, and now they just robbed the biggest bank in Brockton Bay. This time we were lucky enough to get in their way. That means we finally have intel on their group.” - Exerpt from Interlude 3
↑A few weeks after the diagnosis, he was on a boat with a friend's family and walked off the side, into march-temperature water. To this day, he maintains that he wasn't suicidal, that the pressure from all directions wasn't a factor - that he just felt that impulse you sometimes have when you wonder "What would happen if..." and followed through. In doing so, he [suffered major physical trauma, nearly dying, and ultimately] triggered. - Wildbow on Spacebattles
↑“We crossed paths with him once, Regent and Bitch beat him. Either he’s here for revenge or he’s joined the Wards very, very recently. My power’s suggesting it’s the latter.” - Exerpt from Agitation 3.8
↑“So, not exactly the best start to your new career, huh?” Clockblocker turned to Browbeat. - Exerpt from Interlude 3
↑“April tenth, criminal negligence with a parahuman ability, sixteen charges of assault, sixteen charges of battery with a parahuman ability.”
I tried to think. April tenth? Early in my career?
“Lung,” I said, “I attacked him and his gang. They’re seriously charging me for attacking Lung’s henchmen?” - Exerpt from Cell 22.2
↑I had dyed and painted the costume on Friday, bought temporary costume pieces (belt, the straps for the mask and the lenses) on Saturday and finished the most necessary details over the course of my Sunday afternoon before heading out for the evening.
It was just after midnight, and I was crossing the line between one of the nicest parts of town and the part of town where the crack whores and gangsters lived. - Exerpt from Gestation 1.3
↑I had gotten home, snuck inside and gone to bed at close to three thirty, just three hours ago. - Exerpt from Insinuation 2.1
↑“They’re scared, not loyal,” Tattletale spoke, not as out of breath as Regent, but still definitely feeling the effect of the last few minutes of running and climbing, “She’s forcing them to serve as her soldiers. Threatening them or their families, probably.”
“Then she’s been working on that for some time,” Grue said.
“Since Lung got arrested,” Tattletale confirmed, “Where the fuck do we go?” - Exerpt from Shell 4.7
↑“How’d you do it? You stuck bombs in these civilians to get them to work for you?”
“Everyone,” Bakuda answered, almost delirious on the high of her successful ‘experiment’ and Regent’s attention. She half skipped, half spun through the crowd and leaned against one of her thugs, patting his cheek, “Even my most loyal. Bitch of a thing to do. Not the actual procedure of sticking the things inside their heads. After the first twenty, I could do the surgeries with my eyes closed. Literally. I actually did a few that way.” - Exerpt from Shell 4.8
↑Brian had given me three identical cell phones – all disposables – first thing in the morning, and I’d decided to go with him to the loft rather than head to school. - Exerpt from Agitation 3.4
↑“Okay. Let’s run down the list. April fourteenth. Thirty two charges of willful felony assault with a parahuman ability. Thirty two charges of hostage taking, technically domestic terrorism, each perpetrated with a parahuman ability. Robbery with a parahuman ability. Willful damage to government property. Disturbing the peace.”
↑Thursday, April fourteenth of this year, Dinah Alcott was kidnapped from her home and has not been seen since. - Exerpt from Plague 12.2
↑As much as I didn’t want the money, I was technically twenty five thousand dollars richer than I had been thirty six hours ago. - Exerpt from Shell 4.1
↑“I’ll give you the cliff notes. Just before she started to come after us in the Jeep, Bakuda gave the order to put another plan into action. Bombs started going off all over the city. Blowing up transformers to deny power to entire districts, a school, a bridge, train tracks… the list goes on. People are freaking out. Front page news, it’s on every channel. They’re saying at least twenty people confirmed dead so far, with other bodies yet to be identified, and that’s not counting the four people she blew up when she was holding us at gunpoint.”
A vivid image of what had happened to Park Jihoo flashed through my mind’s eye. He died. He’s really dead. I never knew him, but he’s gone forever, and I couldn’t do anything to save him.
“Here’s the second bit of bad news. All of that? It was one overblown distraction. Something to keep every cape in the city busy, while Oni Lee sprung Lung from the PHQ.” - Exerpt from Shell 4.11
↑“He just got someone working for him, and this person can see the future. And she says there is a way to help you. Definitely. Chances are low, but he says he’s confident he can maximize them.” - Exerpt from Migration 17.8
↑“I’ll be taking a chair, I think,” someone spoke from the door. Most heads turned to check out a male figure in a black costume with a red mask and tophat. It gave me sort of a Baron Samedi vibe. His teammates followed him into the room, all in matching costumes of red and black, differing only in design. A girl with a sun motif, a guy with bulky armor and a square mask, and a creature so large it had to crawl on its hands and knees to get through the door. It was hard to describe, approximating something like a four armed hairless gorilla, with a vest, mask and leggings in the red and black style its team was wearing, six-inch claws tipping each of its fingers and toes.
“The Travelers, yes?” Coil spoke, his voice smooth, “You’re not local.”
“You could call us nomadic. What was happening here was too interesting to pass up, so I decided we’d stop by for a visit.” The guy with the top hat pulled off the first really formal bow I’d seen in my life. “I go by Trickster.” - Exerpt from Hive 5.1
↑“I have a hard time believing that, to be honest. You were in pretty rough shape when I found you with Über and Leet’s henchmen, and those guys from the ABB.” - Exerpt from Interlude 4
↑“Don’t fucking care,” Hookwolf growled, “You attacked my business. Set your fucking dog on my customers. Lucky I wasn’t there, whore.”
Grue gave Bitch a long look, then he spoke to Hookwolf, “That’s the kind of risk you run, doing business in Brockton Bay. Capes can and will get in your way, hero or villain.”
Hookwolf glared at him, “It’s a matter of respect. You want to fuck with my business, and we’re not at war? You let me know if you’ve got an issue, first. Let me decide if I want to move shop.”
“You mean give you a warning I’m coming,” Bitch spat the words, “That’s the dumbest fucking thing I ever heard. Just so you know, moving to a different neighborhood won’t be good enough. You open up another dogfighting ring, I’ll be visiting that one too.” - Exerpt from Hive 5.2
↑Maybe I was reading too much into things after seeing an eerie echo of this situation just two days ago, with the meeting of villains, but I noted that Mr. Gladly sat next to Madison’s dad, and the chair next to my dad was left empty. - Exerpt from Hive 5.4
↑“Right. April twenty-fourth? One case of battery.”
↑The people that had been splintering away were holding position now. I could see the hostility. The summer heat was holding out through the start of September, making things just a little more uncomfortable, tempers a little shorter. - Excerpt from Daybreak 1.1