B013.3 Call of the Sleeper

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Travelling with Irene was always an interesting experience to Melody, no matter how often they did it (and they did it quite a lot – Irene loved taking her all across the world at the drop of a hat); it always went a little differently. Even when they just teleported somewhere, the transition tended to happen in all kinds of ways; from the seamless ‘we’re-here-now-we’re-there’ that she’d employed to get them to Esperanza City, to that one time when they’d spent a few minutes walking across these strange, dark grey rock-paths floating in a vast sea of darkness, with stars all around – she still regretted that she hadn’t thought to bring a camera along to preserve that image.

Flying could also be pretty fun, if for no other reason that her power seemed to almost never use the same method twice; right now, for example, they weren’t so much being lifted as it was like space itself had wrapped around them, somehow, and was just… moving them along through the air. There was no pressure on them, no air in their faces; they simply moved.

Melody had quickly caught on to it and just relaxed, loosening her limbs to enjoy the ride, while Irene’s power held her pretty much in place. The others had followed suit soon, once they realised that they didn’t need to hold themselves up anymore. Apart from Tyche, that was, who’d taken to trying out different ‘flying poses’, sometimes asking Hecate whether one was cool or not.

For her part, Hecate seemed to be lost in thought, barely taking notice of her teammate, let alone the others that were travelling with them.

She closed her eyes and focused on her latest invention, a pair of earpieces that connected to her visor (pink, of course), which protected her ears from sudden spikes of noise (such as the one that’d taken her out for most of the fight against Crocell) while also improving her hearing by several levels.

Hecate’s heartbeat was a little uneven, faster than would signify calm. She was worried, and trying not to show it. Melody felt a pang of sympathy for the girl, she was clearly unhappy about this whole operation, even if she’d agreed to come along.

Tyche, on the other hand, was ecstatic. She didn’t even really need her gadget to tell, wouldn’t even have needed her already enhanced hearing – the girl was grinning like a madwoman, while she enjoyed the perks of this strange weightlessness. In other words, she was the same as every other time Melody had interacted with her. She was kind of envious of how that girl could seemingly enjoy any situation, no matter how horrible. And she still didn’t know what power she, because she sure as hell didn’t have just some minor physical enhancements!

Spellgun – Thomas – was quite scared, if in a different way than Hecate. He was more obvious about it, fiddling with his insane rifle or checking the bandoliers of ammunition strapped across his chest. He’d get more and more worked up, until Tartsche reached out to squeeze his hand, or his shoulder, or just pat his back, all but instantly calming down again, until he started to get anxious once more.

Tartsche’s heartbeat was the same as everything else about him, warm, steady, steadfast. She’d never known a person whose power fit them better, never known someone who was so at peace with himself. She’d never known Harry to lose his cool or lash out, or even appear to be nervous. Instead, he was spreading his calmness to his boyfriend, while also looking at the others to see if anyone else needed some encouragement.

One such person was Aimihime, Bakeneko, currently in her favourite form, that of a darkly furred catgirl (though thankfully with sane proportions, as opposed to what she used to look like in the past – not that Melody had any right to really complain about others sporting ridiculous bust sizes), trying to look calm while her eyes moved alternatively from Brennus to her boyfriend and back.

That brought a frown to Melody’s face, though she tried to hide it. Aimihime had been way too eager to come along and help them… she’d all but been lurking outside in the hallway, jumping at the chance to join Irene and her when they left, almost as if she’d known something was going to happen beforehand… but how would she?

It’s none of my business, Melody chided herself. She might just have felt stir-crazy, after having been unable to really contribute at all since the Hastur fight. If Melody hadn’t had the chance to help with the Arc Caster, she’d probably have felt quite badly about herself, too.

Underneath them, the scenery changed from land to ocean, as the day got brighter still.

Melody looked out over the wide, wide Pacific Ocean – surprisingly, she’d never actually seen it before, in spite of Irene’s frequent jaunts around the world. She took a few seconds to just look and pay the beauty of it its due.

Afterwards, she focused on Osore, curious about how the strange, quiet boy who’d joined them together with Aimi was feeling… only to barely hear a thing, his heartbeat being so calm she thought, for a moment, he might have fallen asleep; but no, he was quite awake, his dark eyes just barely visible through the eyeholes of his oni-style mask, calmly surveying the room.

She’d never known him to be anything but detached and calm. Or talk, really. She didn’t even remember his name from his introduction, it’d been so short and they literally had not exchanged a single word since. She wasn’t even really sure why he’d agreed to come along on this mission, other than perhaps for Aimi’s sake.

I’m just distracting myself, aren’t I? she thought quietly to herself, focusing her gaze forward, where Brennus was floating-standing next to Irene. Not that it’s surprising. This isn’t exactly the smartest thing I’ve ever done. Not even Top Ten.

That made her think again. Why was she going along with what was, essentially, a huge shot in the dark hoping to find something which could heal Dusu’s victims.

Or rather, one victim in particular, even if Melody was sure that Brennus was going to help each of Dusu’s victims equally, given the chance.

She focused her eyes (and ears) on Brennus, curious how he was dealing with the pressure…

Only to find him almost as calm as Osore. Cold. He wasn’t unnaturally calm – she could still make out his heartbeat as well as she’d expect, through his cloak and body armour – but he was definitely calmer than she would have thought, his heart beating steadily, quietly, his breathing as even as can be. There was something intense about him, his posture, his aura, as if his entire being was focused ahead at their mission.

Isn’t he nervous at all? If I’d been the one to organise an undertaking like this, I’d be a nervous wreck. How can he just ignore the pressure and remain so calm?

It wasn’t like this was new, either. When she thought about it, Brennus had always been way too calm during a crisis – when he wasn’t being maniacal, that is. She’d wondered, more than once, just what must have happened for him to turn out the way he did, thriving in situations in which she’d rather curl up and scream.

The fight against Crocell had been just another in a long list of occasions that had demonstrated to her that he was just on another level than her, no matter how much she tried to improve herself – while she’d been taken out in the first moments of the fight, he’d fought the entire time, pursuing and analysing the beast, until he actually came up with a way to defeat it – and then he’d led her and two other gadgeteers to implement it on the spot, even getting Sovereign (or rather, whomever or whatever controlled that Subjugator) to cooperate.

Melody was rather starting to feel inadequate, really, even though Hotrod had assured her that Brennus was very atypical for a young gadgeteer and that, compared to most, she was already plenty advanced.

It didn’t help that every time they’d run into each other, he’d sported a new or completely reworked gadget, like that gauntlet of his, which seemed to have replaced the sword he’d previously wielded, as well as the strange ovoid attached to it, both made out of metal rather than the strange ceramic which Brennus normally used for his inventions, their surfaces covered in circuit-like grooves and she really wanted to know what it did. However, with the way the mood was right now, she really didn’t want to speak up just to ask about what his newest gadget did.

She was quite certain it was going to make her feel envious and at least slightly inadequate, anyhow. Especially since most of the equipment she had on her was a downgrade, built from spare parts and some handouts from Hotrod (in exchange for her help with his own project) to be a more portable, if less powerful, version of her usual rig. Not that she’d had a choice, really, after the flood Crocell’s death had caused had ruined most of her equipment beyond repair.

Then she’d found out that the EMP countermeasures he’d gifted her as an afterthought, a little gesture of goodwill after taking some samples from her tech, way back during the fight against the Rabid Eight – God, it’s only been a few months! – without asking her, was being implemented all across the United Heroes’ infrastructure, nevermind their field equipment.

Even her own armour used it, all over, to protect against the dreaded bane of gadgeteers everywhere – a reliable EMP protection that was applicable to personal equipment was a rarity even among their kind, at least one that could easily and relatively cheaply be replicated.

She seriously doubted he’d gotten even a quarter as much out of sampling her tech as she had out of his handout, nevermind the boon it was likely turning out to b-

You’re obsessing again, Irene’s warm voice whispered into her thoughts.

Huh? Melody perked up, looking forward at her friend, who was looking at her over her shoulder with a gentle gaze, her hood thrown back to reveal her head. She blushed, thinking about how obvious it must have been for Irene to pick up on it in this situation. S-sorry. I didn’t mean to, it’s just…

I know, he can be pretty intimidating, Irene replied, turning forward again even while keeping their mental conversation up. He’s kind of like mom, you know? Seemingly effortlessly out doing everyone around him.

Having him compared to Lady Light of all people does not make me feel less inadequate, Melody grumped mentally. He’s my age, for crying out loud! He’s had his powers for less time than me. And yet both his technology and his skill in combat make me look like an amateur… I’ve had my powers for years!

Some people just get lucky, her friend tried to soothe her. Exhibit A, I myself. Exhibit B, my big sister. Exhibit C, Brennus.

Wait, which sister are you…

The one who’s not going around wiping out entire cities at a time.

Oh. Yeah, uh… sorry, but that doesn’t make me feel better, either.

You’re putting him on too high a pedestal, Irene continued calmly, while the day grew darker around them.

You’re the one who just compared him to Lady Light, yourself and Elysium in basically one breath!

I was merely illustrating that some people get luckier than others. And I bet he’s not as good as he appears to be. You of all people should know that – you see the end product, you don’t see all the hours he spent training, or working on an invention just to have it turn out to be a dud, the sleepless nights…

Alright alright! Melody had to restrain herself a lot not to throw her arms up – that would just have looked strange, considering the circumstances. I’ll stop feeling sorry for myself!

Irene looked over her shoulder again, briefly sticking out her tongue at her and winking, before she faced forward again.

Ohhhhh…

***

Almost an hour of relatively quiet travel later – a brief argument between Spellgun and Tyche regarding her opinion that he really should call himself Spellrifle, as he didn’t actually wield a gun, notwithstanding – there was finally a change in the scenery (Melody never would have thought the ocean would get so boring when you were just flying across it).

In the distance, there was, at first, a glint, followed by, as they approached, a a multitude of lights – they’d travelled far enough west quickly enough that it was still dark, even if sunrise wasn’t far away – in an irregular line, clustering around the middle and the edges, like a W.

“Is that it?” Aimi asked, her form shifting slowly, teeth and nails lengthening slightly as her whole appearance grew less cute and more feral. An unconscious effect, Melody knew.

“That’s where Brennus’ coordinates are leading,” Irene confirmed. “Wait, I think I can zoom in…”

The view in front of them distorted itself, then rapidly came closer much faster than they were actually moving across the water.

“Oh wow…” Melody couldn’t help but say, even if it felt kind of silly at times to type that kind of sentence fragment into her vocaliser.

“Yeah, ‘wow’ is a pretty good description,” Hecate whispered as they stared at the floating city.

An actual, floating city. At least, it was big enough to be a city, with skyscraper-sized towers in the centre and the edges. They were looking at it from above, at an angle, and so could see that it was a huge disk roughly divided into six projections out from a central cluster of towers, with more towers at the tips of the two biggest extensions, the ones pointing directly to the left and the right, from their perspective – the Northern and Southern ones, that is – the whole thing forming a pointed star-shape that was further divided into two, with the Southern part looking somehow… stranger than the Northern one.

Melody didn’t even know where to start describing it. The Northern part looked like it had jumped straight out of one of those Japanese Cyberpunk shows, all grey, black and silver, with glowing neon lights all over and more cables, wires and pipes than she could easily count, or even guess at the number of. Everything, every single building – if they really were buildings, and not just extentions of the structure underneath – was interconnected not just on by the platform they stood upon, but also by a multitude of pipes and free-hanging wires, some of them glowing in various neon colours, others coloured a dull, boring gray. The whole thing looked like a riot of colours alternating with dull steel, in winding, twisting shapes that made her brain twist itself in knots trying to follow, except for the circular tip of the North-Eastern extension, which instead looked like a bonsai tree four or five storeys high, surrounded by floating platforms holding even more bonsais, as well as other, more exotic plants, some of them in colours that no natural plant should have, as pretty as they looked.

It was nothing compared to the Southern half. Melody’s eyes watered just from looking at it.

It was… it was…

It was impossible to put into words, unless she took the time to write an entire book. There were… floating parts and crystal spheres… obelisks covered in glowing runes… patches of greenery and twisted trees with glowing leaves… and so much, much, much more, the most impressive bit being a huge sphere of what appeared to be liquid mercury floating above a circular pit at the Southern-most tip.

The only remotely normal part was in the centre, a cluster of skyscraper-sized towers that gleamed even in the darkness, serving no purpose she could easily guess at.

“Two halves, one for Contrivers, one for Gadgeteers,” Irene said calmly. “They’re keeping the two apart to avoid unfavourable interactions between their work, yet keeping them close enough that they can both study whatever it is they’re studying at the same time.”

“How do you know that?” Spellgun whispered, sounding awed.

Irene tapped her temple without averting her eyes from the… whatever it was, Melody couldn’t think of a good name for it. “I want to know it, and this time, my power is cooperating. I’m getting all kinds of data on this place, it… it’s amazing. It’s even bigger than it looks, below the surface. This is just the tip of the actual structure.”

“Alright… we’re all sufficiently intimidated, so how about we turn around and go home now?” Hecate asked in a nervous voice, her hands clutched tightly around her staff.

“May I remind you that I did not want any of you other than Gloom Glimmer to join me in this endeavour in the first place?” Brennus asked flatly. “If you want to go, please, go and be safe. It is bad enough that I have to drag her into this, nevermind all of you.”

“N-no,” Hecate stammered, sounding embarrassed. “I said I’d help, and I will. I just wish you would stop, but if you won’t, then I’ll back you up.”

Brennus turned around to look at her, for the first time during the flight.

Though Melody couldn’t see his face – obviously, with that featureless full-face mask – she could hear his heartbeat, and she could tell that it briefly sped up.

“Thank you kindly,” he said softly.

“Yeah, I think it’s a wee bit late to turn around now, unless we abort entirely,” Aimi added, with Tyche nodding her assent.

“I just hope you actually have a plan for this,” Spellgun mumbled, his eyes glued ot the huge construction before them. Tartsche reached out, putting a hand on his shoulder.

“Mmm,” Brennus turned to the front again, as everyone focused on him. “It’s relatively simple… though now that there’s so many of us, I’m not entirely sure it’s still the best way to go. I was planning to infiltrate this place quietly, under the guise of Gloom Glimmer’s powers, track down Dusu and her lab and either steal the cure for her plague, force her to give it up or kidnap her back to New Lennston to get it out of her there.”

“That still sounds good,” Tyche said, slamming her fist into her open palm. “Especially if we add beating this bitch up a bit,” she added with what Melody was sure was a savage grin beneath her mask.

Tartsche gave her an uncomfort glance. “Let’s focus on getting the cure. Vengeance is not our goal here, so let’s stay focused.”

Brennus and Irene both nodded to that, as did the rest, except for Tyche and Osore (who’d remained completely quiet so far).

The black-and-white-clad gadgeteer pivoted around, weightless, to look over them as he folded his hands behind his back, his intense gaze coming to a stop on the quiet boy from Japan. “What about you, Osore? Are you in on this? No one’s going to hold it against you if you decide to sit this out.”

Finally, the young hero showed a reaction, lifting his head to look straight at Brennus. “In all the way,” he said, his voice quiet, gentle even.

Brennus nodded, briefly looking down. “Alright. Let’s get to it then.” He turned around to look at the city, of sorts, that lay ahead of them. “There is no way this thing is staying hidden from satellites, ships and over flying planes without some serious security measures, nevermind what they probably have to detect intruders,” he explained, as the vision ahead of them moved back again, then came closer naturally, the actual distance between them decreased enough that it no longer required a zoom to see. “We will need to find a way to pass into their perimeter without setting off their alarms.”

“I can probably teleport us inside,” Irene supplied, drawing closer to the structure. “I can see some kind of… force-field, around it.” She waved a hand, and the air in front of them rippled, refocusing until it showed a kind of net spread in a dome over the entire structure, flickering with electricity. “I’m not sure what it does – it’s a Contrivance, those are always hard to figure out – but it shouldn’t be a problem if we just teleport past it… no wait, yes, that’ll work.” She clapped her hands, lightening up. “It’s both an early warning system and an interceptor – if anything without the proper authorisation tries to fly through it, the entire field will focus its power on that spot and fry the interloper – but it won’t affect teleportation.” Melody could hear Irene’s grin, with no need to actually see her face.

“Can’t you just port us straight to Dusu and out again?” Tyche asked.

Irene’s shoulders slumped a bit. “No, I wish I could, but I can’t home in on her. Dunno if that’s because they have something that hides her, or because I don’t know her well enough or…”

Or because you don’t want to get to her enough, Melody finished the sentence in her thoughts, feeling sorry for her friend. As powerful as she seemed to be, she doubted most people ever considered how frustrating it must be to have so much power and not be able to use it as well as you’d like to.

“She will most likely be in the Northern half of the structure,” Brennus pointed out, moving the conversation along. “If you can teleport us onto the Northern half of the central disc, there might be some map or some other way to determine Dusu’s location, or that of her laboratory… or someone we can simply extract the information from.”

Irene nodded. “Ok… ok, I can do this. Hmm…” She crossed her arms, concentrating. “Teleportation… yup… a stealth power… remote targeting… danger sense…” She took a deep breath, then let it out. “I love it when my power plays along. Everyone ready to go in?”

There was a chorus of agreements, some more firm than others, and Irene raised her arms as if about to conduct a ceremony.

“And here we g-“

Space began to warp around them, drawing together in a mind-twisting way – and the sphere to the South of the construction rippled all at once, tendrils of liquid mercury shooting out at incredibly speed, even as time seemed to slow around them.

Irene’s eyes flew wide – “Wha-“

***

Melody’s head hurt abominably, as she picked herself up off the floor she suddenly found herself on, her display flickering with some kind of interference.

What the hell…?

She could hear someone next to her… Brennus, she recognised him by the particular sound of his heart… and there were more people, just outside the room she was in, as she slowly pushed herself up, looking around in confusion.

They were in a bare room, the walls, ceiling and floor all made of steel, with three large radio dishes above them, all pointed to the central area of the room she and Brennus lay in.

Brennus picked himself up just moments after her, standing up and looking around. “My head is killing me…” he groaned, raising his right hand to touch his mask’s forehead. He twitched, his head dipping to the right. “Some kind of… teleport interdiction? Did they know we were coming, or was it an automatic response to someone trying to teleport into their territory?” He looked at her, but she knew no more than he did, and so just shrugged.

Then he looked around them, and up at the radio dishes. “Shit. Those are EMP dishes,” he said, causing her to suck in a startled breath. So that was why her interface was flickering – the EMP shielding still held, but it wasn’t perfect and they were being bombarded with electromagnetic waves at point-blank range.

Yet her armour was working, and guessing by his ability to instantly analyse what those dishes did, so did at least the sensors in Brennus’ suit. And if the most sensitive parts of it worked, then so would the rest.

Right then, she didn’t feel jealous of him anymore – she just wanted to kiss him.

“No reason to smile, I am afraid,” he spoke, looking at her, causing her to realise that she’d been doing just that. Then she blushed, of course, stupid cheeks. “Even if our equipment is safe… I assume yours is safe, at least…” She nodded. “We were still split up, apparently sent into a room meant to specifically lock Gadgeteers down.” He took a deep breath. “Which means our friends were likely also split up and teleported into similar rooms, tailored to their abilities.”

She took in a sharp breath, blanching. Irene was probably safe, almost definitely, having so many powers at her disposal, but the others

“We need to find them,” she spoke, the words coming out slightly distorted.

He nodded, and turned towards the only visible exit out of the room, a very solid-looking, circular door that was very, very tightly shut.

They walked out of the circle in the centre of the room, out of the dishes’ area of effect, and her interface stabilised again; though she had no doubt in her mind that, without Brennus’ EMP shielding, it’d all be destroyed entirely by now, its circuits fried beyond hope of repair, much less use.

“There’s… twelve people outside. Calm, confident heartbeats,” she said, causing him to turn his head to look at her in surprise. She smiled at him again, this time more confidently, tapping her ears. “New earpieces. Protect and enhance my hearing.”

“Interesting. I could use something like that, if you do not mind a trade, later on,” he said, almost making her giggle at the thought that he wanted something she made.

“We’ll see. Let’s survive this, first,” she said instead, as she focused on the door, trying to figure out how to get through it… trying to ignore the gnawing, paralysing fear in her chest, trying to reach out and strangle her…

He nodded, turning towards the door. Then he reached for his new gauntlet and… pulled the ovoid off of it, as it detached at his touch, then touched its long side to the side of his thigh, attaching it there with a clicking sound.

“Step back, please,” he said, lifting his left arm, fingers spread, to aim his palm at the door. “I have not had the time to test this thoroughly.”

She breathed in, sharply, and stepped back, though watching eagerly to see his new invention at work.

His arm was pointed straight at the centre of the door, his right hand resting on his left forearm, steadying it. A light humming sound began to emit from the gauntlet, clear to her ears, likely barely audible to normal people’s, as light began to fill the circuit patterns on the metal, a blue-white light that moved from the back to the front, like water flowing through channels dug in the earth.

“Here goes nothing…” Brennus whispered, and then the gauntlet flared, momentarily.

There was a huge booming sound, a flash of light, the screeching, ear-rending sound of torn metal, followed by the screams of startled and injured people.

When Melody could see again, she saw a huge hole where the door had been, the edges torn and ragged, the door itself gone, shoved into the adjacent room by the force of the blast.

Brennus lowered his arm as the light faded from its grooves, as he looked at it, turning his hand up and down as if studying it in awe.

She certainly felt awed.

“Well, that went well,” he quipped, chuckling.

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35 thoughts on “B013.3 Call of the Sleeper

  1. Curiously enough, eight-and-a-half hour work shifts, seminars AND sick family members are not helpful when it comes to writing.

    I will do my best to fulfill my responsibilities to my patrons this month, even if it means putting out one or two chapters a day.

  2. Don’t feel bad Melody, he might have all the best toys, but you could theoretically rip his arm off and beat him with it in a bikini.(is it weird how hot i think that sounds?). Slight nitpick, why didnt Breamus send pics and the informatiom they gainered while on approach? you know in case something weird happens and they cant give the heroes the informatiom on the huge secret villain base in peson.(kids, man! never wanting to tell the adults about their day.). oh, one last thing. ive just realized that i only know what maybe half the hero/villain manes nean or referenbce, anyone want to help me out?(yes i could google it, but im really really lazy.)

      • i willi admit i am not a tech guy and just assumed he could bean it to the nearest satelite. and the names are tartsche, vra, gilgul. all the asian names, is polymia a thing?. educia, and while im at it is vasliki a real greek name? cause it kind of sounds like a pokemon. i am actually surprised she would keep going by such a odd soumding mane cause most innegramts like to americanize or change their manes entirely especially kids, cause we ‘mericans can be kind of dicks and our kids even more so.

      • Vasiliki is a real Greek name, yes. The female version of Basil, actually. And she’s pretty proud of her heritage, like most of her family (national pride is a much bigger thing in BrennusEarth than in our earth)

        Tartsche is the german name for a kind of shield.

        Vra is Afrikaans for “Question”

        Gilgul is the name of a spear from Irish myth, a weapon that is supposed to be able to hit/kill anything

        Bakaneko means “foolish/idiot cat” and is also the name of a shapeshifting ghost-monster from Japanese myth

        Osore means “fear”

        Polymnia is the name of the Muse of sacred poetry, hymns and dance, from Greek Myth

        Eudocia is also a Greek term, meaning “beautiful voice”

        Any other names in particular?

      • Duso, and thank you very much. im curious which do you find more difficult to come up with real names or hero/villan ones. lol io all my various head stories all females are called Mara and all males are calked Barette.

      • Dusu means “poison” which ought to tell you pretty much everything you need to know about the woman

        hero/villain ones. I try to avoid “(theme) man/girl/woman” names or the other staples, which makes it rather hard to come up with cool new names, especially since wildbow snatched up a LOT which I wanted to use, originally^^

      • if you’re having trouble coming up with names, try “behindthename.com” and “surname.behindthename.com”

        They’re really great for coming up with names.

      • Thank you ill check those out. if it helps i only read like 4 arcs of Worm (Wildbow is one of the most skilled writers out there right now, but GOD were those charecters self centered and unlikable, especially the MC. add a depressing tone and a horrible nightmare about bugs going down my mouth and i was done) so i at least wouldnt notice you using any of his names, course everyone else will.=-)

    • On Brennus ‘notifying the adults’. I assumed that he already did so, and left on his little adventure before getting a reply.

      That said, we don’t know if he took Eudocia along. She could submit the files upon losing contact with Basil.

      For that matter, Basil doesn’t know it, but there’s a good chance that Amy notified The Dark. My prediction for how this arc is going to go:

      1) Brennus & Co will escape their cells.
      2) Something will go catastrophically wrong afterward.
      3) The cavalry will show up to bail them out.
      4) ‘The cavalry’ will contain some people who do not get along.
      5) We will see some juicy drama between Amazon and Mindstar.

  3. “Melody looked out over the wide, wide Pacific Ocean – surprisingly, she’d never actually seen it before, in spite of Irene’s frequent jaunts around the world.”

    Possible error here. Didn’t Melody just see the Pacific when they went to Esperanza City? It’s supposed to be on the West Coast right?

    • She didn’t really have the time to focus on the ocean, or admire it, while they were fighting a huge monster (which also happened to knock her out for most of the fight in the opening minute)

  4. Taking Basil = Macian as a given (which I feel we’re allowed to do at this point), this makes for the second time someone has compared him with Lady Light. The first being back in an Ember interlude, where The Dark compared a description of Macian to her. Which… sort of strikes me as significant, although I’m not sure what it could be building up to. It could just be coincidence, of course. Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing Lady Light get some screen time outside of interludes. I’ve always seen her and The Dark as the fulcrum points around which this world turns, in a lot of ways.

    • The problem for me is, if I bring Lady Light within, let’s say a hundred metre of Basil, she’ll blow the entire plot of Book 1 wide open, so I gotta keep THAT meeting up my sleeve until it’s time to resolve things, if I go with that way of resolving them.

      • That sounds rather suspicious. It makes it sounds as if either one would instantly recognize the other. And since we do not know the true origins of neither Basil nor Amy (nor Macian or the other Amy if they are different peopel). That leads to the conclusion that LL was somehow involved in it. And given the fact that The Dark and Irene have noted similarities between the 2, and that Irene used herself and her sister Elysium as examples when alluding to Basil’s “power level”…….that makes me think that you’re foreshadowing.
        So theory number 1 is that Basil is blood-related to her, somehow. Perhaps he was artificially created with her DNA, perhaps he is her son, displaced and lost in some way or another.
        Maybe he is her Grandson instead, born from the daughter that died defending New Lennston from DiL, one way or another. Or maybe I’m just grasping at straws, and I’m nowhere near close to the truth.

        Only one way to know, eh Tieshaunn?

      • I note that, if I recall correctly, gadgeteering is the one power which Irene cannot manifest. But I seem to remember DiL definitely has something like that, and in every other way Irene’s power set seems to be just ‘DiL but suppressed to the point where she can stay mostly sane’. Anybody for the theory that Brennus and Irene are two parts of the same thing somehow, that he got the wild gadgeteering and she got the everything else and that was enough to leave them both barely stable in a way DiL could never be? Main problem I see is that it doesn’t leave a place for Amy coming from the same place as Basil…

        Okay, we know The Dark is a Gadgeteer, and at least one of his children is too. But is Lady Light? We don’t know much of her powers, and she is a mundane genius, but I never got any impression that she had powers to build anything. So maybe Basil is related to the Dark but not LL. Except wait, The Dark has met him personally, and at least one of those chapters was from The Dark’s pov, so it wouldn’t make sense for that kind of relationship to be something that Dark didn’t notice but Light would. Okay, but what if Basil is totally unrelated, but *Macian* is son of the Dark, and the current Basil is Macian’s creation, just far enough removed for Grandpa to miss it, like Aap’s kids?

      • The Dark is not a gadgeteer, though he is smart and experienced enough that he could build some pretty gadgeteer-like stuff, if he invested the time and effort to do so.

        The same applies to Lady Light.

        Irene cannot manifest gadgeteering nor contriving

        DiL has never shown gadgeteering nor contriving.

        WoG, DiL’s and Irene’s powers work in totally different ways. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before in the comments.

      • hnnn interesting LL as Basil’s mother or grandmother. i had never even contemplated that before. it has a nice reverse Star Wars ring to it. but just for fun, here are a couple counter arguements. im not completely sure of this but i believe Elysivm was only a high schooler. thats certainly not a real disqualifier, however high profile teens tend to be more cautious about such things then the average teem. and if she did have a child, let alone two, that would have been a huge deal for far far too maoy people, so it would have been mentioned by now, as well as the fact that they were dead or missing. that last bit goes for LL as well, also she seems to take being a mother/guadian pretty damn seriously so i believe the S6 would be pretty fucked if they nabbed one of her kids, she destoyed an entire city whem Wiesewald killed her SIDEKICK.possiably they could have tricked her somehow. though i am again pretty sure it would have been a very big deal that she lost three family members. and before anyone mentions secret children, neither LL or The Darl have shown aoy ability to keep their kids hiiden. and finally LL and Amy have fnught and Amy blanked out, sure you could say that she just went batshit and lost it, but that is also an indicator when she and Basil are close to remembering thimgs. but LL dient seem erpecially moved by confronting Mindstar. so as fun and interesting as long lost relations are, im currently thinking it has to do with LL’s healing aura then anything else.

      • Do remember that almost NO ONE knows that Aap is the Dark’s son, other than their immediate families and a few very trusted friends/confidantes – and Journeyman, but keeping a secret from HIM is nearly impossible.

        Macian would be 14/15 years old, right now. The story is still taking place in 2012. Diantha died at the turn of the 80s to the 90s, together with Old Lennston.

        On another note, the S6 are fucked anyway, if she gets her hands on them. If they didn’t have Heretic’s god-like dimensional fuckery, Hemming’s one-of-a-kind super-intelligence and Atrocity’s (secret) precog, they’d have been wiped out a long time ago.

        Mind you, they need ALL THREE.

      • That’s rather impressive, considering that The Dark vetoed the idea of a full on assault against them. I don’t remember whether the reason was that there would be too much collateral damage or that The Syndicate would incur cripling losses, but I think it was the latter. This would suggest that Lady Light is stronger than The Dark 5 and The Dark himself put together.
        Which is weird, since both The Dark and Lady Light manifested at the same time, with powers directly in opposition to one another, one would expect for the 2 to be roughly evenly matched.

      • The nature of Lady Light’s powers lets her counter the Savage Six’ trump cards. I shan’t say more.

    • She was the homeless girl who’d gone to the Goldschmidt estate to get some food scraps (more like full meals that Gwen and Jake were leaving out for her) and got caught up in Point Zero

      She became Lady Light’s sidekick/adopted daughter, and died during Weisswald’s final assault on London, at his hands.

      Her death sparked Lady Light’s rampage that ended with Weisswald’s death

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