B13.4 Call of the Sleeper

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Part of Basil’s inner self was admonishing him/itself for using an untested gadget in such a situation, nevermind bringing it along on such a sensitive mission in the first place.

Another, far larger part of him was jubilating at the fact that the force projector worked. It was just its most basic function that he’d used – in this case, using the stored energy in its batteries to generate kinetic force, which was then projected onto the door he’d pressed his palm to – but nevertheless, it had worked.

Had the situation not been so dire, he would likely have danced a short jig.

However, it was dire and so he focused on the room ahead of him instead. The door he’d launched into it had slammed into a group of armed, armoured men, knocking five of them over – painfully so, judging by the groans and broken limbs he could make out.

Which left seven more standing, raising their rifles to aim at him.

They were all clad in heavy, padded body armour, all black save for a crude skull apparently hand-painted onto each of their left breast’s, each sporting a belt with half a dozen grenades clipped to it as well as a combat knife and a baton in a holster, as well as wielding blocky rifles of a make he couldn’t identify, topped by scopes casting red dots, now rapidly centering on his body.

Alright, let’s hope the next one works, as well, he thought, his left arm rising up even before the trained soldiers could squeeze their triggers, presenting the broad side of his gauntlet to them.

They pulled their triggers just as he twisted his fingers in the correct activation sequence; their guns made surprisingly quiet pops, firing glowing blue projectiles at him; his gauntlet’s circuits filled with light, and a small disk, the size of a saucer, appeared above it. A thin circle appeared around it, wide enough that it shielded him from his head down to his thighs. Both looked like they made of crackling, unstable electricity, flickering like crazy.

Then the projectiles fired by the Skullmen impaced the seemingly empty space between the central disk and the outer circle, only for tiny bolts of electricity to arch between said centre and the circle, the force-field becoming visible as it absorbed the kinetic energy of the glowing darts fired at him, deflecting the projectiles themselves, bouncing them back and onto the ground.

He knelt down, slowly, gesturing for Polymnia to do the same, until his shield was covering him entirley, before one of their foes got the bright idea to aim for his or her legs.

Soon, the hail of glowy shots stopped, leaving the ground in an arc in front of him covered in rapidly darkening darts, as the Skullmen reloaded their rifles, without exchanging a single word.

“You can make force-fields now?” Polymnia asked from behind. “Why am I not surprised?”

“I got the idea after working on Sovereign’s equipment. It uses- actually, let us talk about this later, we need to take these people out,” he replied calmly, or as calmly as he could, feeling as exhilerated as he did right then and there.

“You’re right. So,” she spoke, as the soldiers finished reloading and aiming again, filling the air between them with glowing darts once more, causing lightning to dance through his shield as it continued blocking their attacks. “How should we do that? Can that gauntlet attack while it’s also projecting that shield? Because at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it did.”

“No, it can not. Do you know what else it can not do?”

“No, but I assume it is important?”

“It is fully permeable to sound, and sound-based attacks,” he replied quietly enough that only she was likely to hear it.

“I could kiss you right now,” she said, instantly picking up on his meaning, as she reached with her arms over his shoulders, one on each side of his head, so as to remain behind the safety of his shield.

He saw the speakers built into her heavy gauntlets – if they were as heavy as they looked, then he doubted he’d have been able to use them without power armour, but her current set seemed to lack servo motors – start to vibrate. There were eight of them on each one, six arranged in two rows of three down the length of the forearm, while two more were facing forward, built into the part of the gauntlet that stuck out over her hands, at the wrists. The ones on the back began to oscillate, visibly, making a dull, thrumming sound for several seconds – but it was the ones aimed forward which actually performed the attack.

Concussive sound so powerful it visibly distorted the air shot out of the front speakers,  in two pairs of two, passing through his shield as if it wasn’t even there – which was just how he’d intended when he’d set the shield’s harmonics – and impacting the two rows of armed Skullmen.

As there were only seven of them, and they’d bunched up in a formation of one kneeling in front, with another standing behind, they were all hit by the blast, bowled over as it impacted the front row and burst.

It was a rather impressive display of raw force, Basil thought, watching their weapons be smashed to kindling, their bodies launched with such force they slammed into the walls around them – even the ones his attack had already taken down were moved, though not nearly as violently, sliding towards the sides of the room.

When it was over, there was no foe left standing – and judging by their lack of motion, few of them were even still conscious.

Still, it paid to be careful. “Can you determine whether they’re all unconscious?”

Polymnia left her arms as they were, aimed into the room beyond. After a few seconds, he saw her left hand’s fingers twitch. “Judging by their breathing and heartbeats, they are all unconscious.”

“Good enough for me,” he spoke, and rose up after she pulled her arms back. Deactivating his shield – it would not do to waste battery life – he walked into the room and did a quick triage of the Skullmen, both to make sure that none of them would die due to the wounds they’d received, and to get one of their communication devices.

Fortunately, he was successful on both accounts – they would all, likely, survive, and he got a boxy communicator off the belt of one of them that hadn’t been shattered by Polymnia’s attack.

“Brennus, take a look at this,” said heroine spoke up behind him. When he turned around, she held up one of the darts the Skullmen had fired at them. It was still glowing, slightly, though the light was growing steadily more dim.

“Looks like a knockout dart,” he observed, taking it from her hand to look closer. Running a simple spectrometric analysis revealed it to be filled by a commonly used sedative – one employed by most police forces, among others. That much made sense. What did not make sense was why they were built to glow (as were the rifles they’d been fired from), as it didn’t seem to serve any function he could make out. “Pretty common sedative, all things considered.”

“That’s kind of my point,” she spoke through her vocaliser. “These are the people who created those monsters, right?”

“As far as we know, yes, though I am reasonably certain of it,” he replied, wondering what she was getting at.

“And one of their members is Dusu, a woman who wiped out a large part of Hawaii’s population – almost a million people.”

“Yes, they are horrible people. What are you getting at?”

“Even though they are, at the very least, responsible for a number of casualties in the six-digits – likely even more – they… made an effort to create a teleport-interdiction system which split us up and deposited us – presumably – in separate rooms meant to disable and contain, instead of killing us. Their security forces even wield strictly non-lethal technology – those are flashbangs and other non-lethal grenades on them, no?”

He aimed his spectrometre at a grenade belt, analysing it. “Yes, they are…” he answered her, as he caught up to their thought process. “Which raises the question, what kind of group participates in wide-spread slaughter on a scale that’d make Weisswald proud…”

“… yet takes great pains to spare the lives of anyone who attempts to infiltrate their very stronghold – the place in which they ought to be at their most vicious when defending it!?”

He looked down at the knockout dart in his fingers, contemplating the question, but came up empty.

“It does not matter,” he answered, wrapping his fist around the dart and squeezing. When he opened it again, the crushed remains of the dart fell down on the ground. “We have to fight them either way – let us be on our way.”

***

Leaving the room proved to be no problem at all – the door behind the Skullmen had been open, leading out into a hallway with an octagonal cross-section, which however led straight to their first problem – hub where it crossed with three other similar hallways, giving them a total of seven options for where to proceed, but no indication as to which path they ought to take; there were no markings or signs whatsoever in this part of the structure and neither of them had any way to determine where to go; Basil had a compass built into his interface, but he had no idea where they were, within the structure they’d seen earlier on, and so could not say at all which direction was the wisest one to take.

In the end, they had to rely on Polymnia’s ability to pick up even the faintest sounds; though the only ones she could get, other than the heartbeats of the fallen foes behind them, were too faint to truly identify, she could determine which direction was the loudest. In this case, the hallway that intersected theirs at a right angle, specifically the right-hand part of it, was the loudest one by far.

Next, of course, they had to decide whether to move towards or away from it. On one hand, it was likely to be the least safe direction to go towards. On the other, it was also the one most likely to yield some information, which they were in desperate need of.

Which was why Basil had taken one of the unbroken communicators off the fallen soldiers (Polymnia had taken the sole other one that wasn’t ruined), and was now leaning against the wall, a cable running from a pouch on his belt to the communicator, plugging into a small port to give him direct access to it.

He could, of course, just turn it on and try to listen in on the enemy’s conversation, but he didn’t relish the idea of deliberately tipping his hand like that. While it was quite possible the enemy already knew he had a communicator on hand – though he’d so far failed to make out any cameras or other surveillance in the hallway, it paid to be paranoid, which was the reason why he was modifying the programming on this communicator. Fortunately, it wasn’t a gadget or – even more fortunately! – a contrivance, so he was able to make it no longer transmit its location, as he’d quickly determined it was designed to do. He also blocked it from being remotely turned on so as to listen in to what happened around it, then did the same for the one Polymnia had brought with her.

“How do we know they don’t have other means of listening in on us, though?” she asked once he was finished. “Microphones are much easier to hide than cameras – I ought to know – and they may well have people with powers that allow them to surveil us.”

“There is nothing at all we can do about power-based surveillance, as we are,” he replied, rolling his shoulders. “If Gloom Glimmer was here, then she could do something about it, but she is not – which, honestly, worries me more than anything else that has happened over the last month – what could possibly keep her occupied against her will?”

She screwed up her face, her shoulders rising into a slightly hunched posture. “Yeah… I can’t imagine why… she hasn’t come find me yet… I hope she’s alright.”

“I am reasonably certain that she is safe,” he replied calmly, as even he couldn’t overlook the fact that her eyes had grown quite wet in response to his concerns. “More safe than we are, certainly. Speaking of which, I am far more worried about the other members of our party – they are much less likely to have resisted whatever means our opponents deployed to subdue them than you or I, and certainly far less so than Gloom Glimmer.”

“You really think so?” she asked, her voice seeming completely calm, even if she looked more than a little choked up.

He nodded, reaching out awkwardly to pat her on the shoulder. “Think about it. They had some kind of contrivance that reacted to our attempt to teleport in, then divided us up based on our power sets and sent us into separate rooms, each likely meant to nullify our specific powersets in some fashion – almost certainly via contrivances of some sort, except for the EMP dishes in our cell, which I am certain were mundane technology or gadgets. Now, if they had a cell which can counter every possible power there is, then they would not have had any need to split us up – we would all just have been dumped into the same place. And since nothing short of that could contain Gloom Glimmer, she is likely already free and wrecking this place, or making her way to us – though she is probably refraining from simply teleporting here, so as to avoid a repeat performance of their teleport interdiction.”

She took a deep breath, calming herself. “That does make sense… however, I just had a thought. Maybe… they do have some manner of universal power nullification, and it’s just you and me who were separated from the others? After all, power nullification would be useless against you, and would only slightly impede me.”

He paused, surprised. “Oh… I had not thought of that.” He lowered his hand from her shoulder. “That is… certainly possible.”

Leaning against the wall again, he contemplated quietly, for a few moments. “Unlikely, but possible… however, you just helped me realise something.”

“What?”

“Assuming Gloom Glimmer’s analysis is correct, then you and me are currently on the Northern half of this city – they do seem to keep Contrivers and Gadgeteers apart; their system would have sent you and me North both for subduing us, and to put us right where people could analyse our equipment, once they pilfered it from us. Meanwhile, power nullification is not something we have ever seen gadgets do – that would be done by way of contrivances, unless they use a metahuman for that, which I doubt, considering their setup here…”

She picked up on his train of thought easily, getting a thoughtful look, wrapping one arm around her torso and putting her other hand under her chin in a classic ‘thinker’ pose. “Which would put them on the Southern half of this place, giving us an idea of which direction we ought to move towards!” Her lips had turned up into a smile towards the end, which he was quite happy to see.

Girls should be smiling, not looking depressed and on the verge of tears, as far as he was concerned.

“Conveniently enough, South lies in the opposite direction from where you are picking up the loudest sounds,” he added, pointing down the respective corridor which lined up exactly with the South his compass was displaying.

“Then let’s go kick some ass and find our fr- there’s something coming our way from the South!” Her exclamation turned into a shocked shout, her eyes widening as she picked up something Basil couldn’t begin to sense yet.

Whirling around, he dropped to one knee, raising his gauntlet to project his shield, as Polymnia joined him behind it.

Soon, he saw black-and-white blur race down the hallway towards them, far faster than either of them could track it.

“Wait, is th-” he began to say, but then it was upon them – and it simply ran around him, faster than he could have turned with it or attack in some way.

He heard a gasp behind him, and then the groaning sound of heavy-duty armour being compressed hard.

Dropping into a roll, he came up facing towards Polymnia, switching his gauntlet from the shield to its attack mode…

But he needn’t have bothered, as all he saw was Polymnia being hugged by Gloom Glimmer, who was squeezing so hard her friend’s bulletproof armour seemed to be on the verge of cracking.

“I was so worried!” she sobbed, squeezing harder, making Polymnia groan, though she did so with a smile. “I came as fast as I could, but my power wouldn’t give me teleportation again!”

“It’s alright, Gloomy,” Polymnia said, her voice coming out calm. “But if you don’t relax a bit, I’m afraid my head is going to pop.”

“Oh! I’m so sorry!” The daughter of the world’s chief heroine and villain let go of her friend, shuffling back with an embarrassed look. “Are you, are you alright?” she asked, clenching her hands behind her back, as if afraid she’d just hug her friend again if she didn’t hold them there, looking down at her feet.

“Yes, I am,” Polymnia replied to her friend, reaching out and giving her a light, brief hug. “Me and Brennus kicked butt here.”

Gloom Glimmer turned her head, looking at Basil – who’d stood up again, now that it seemed like they were at least temporarily safe – as if she’d only now noticed he was there.

Before he knew it, she had her arms around him, and gave him a squeeze he felt even through his armour.

Ugh… definitely super-strength…

“Thank you so much!” she said, before stepping back to wipe a few unshed tears from her eyes. “I’m sorry things went so wrong… my power didn’t warn me about this trap at all.”

“Well, how many people have a teleport interdiction system?” Basil replied with a shrug, as he rubbed his sides. That had been a really tight hug. “No one blames you for not expecting such an arcane security system, even in a place such as this.”

“W-well, that shouldn’t be a problem anymore,” she mumbled, looking chargrined. “I’ve got a danger sense now, and I’ll hold onto it for as long as I can.”

“That’s very useful!” Polymnia exclaimed brightly, stepping up to stand next to her friend, taking her hand and squeezing it softly. “Don’t beat yourself up over getting surprised by this – we all were, and it’s not your job to be ready for everything.”

Gloom Glimmer sighed, relaxing visibly enough, as soon as their hands touched, for even Basil to pick up on it. “Well, it won’t happen again… I’ve had this power before, and it’s a strong one. Should let me steer us around any big threat. And I’m pretty sure I can track down our teammates, too.”

“Any insights so far?” Basil asked. “We need any information we can get.”

She nodded. “Yeah, uh… there are a lot of dangers around here. Especially in the centre of this installation. The top level of the centermost tower, in particular, it’s glowing brighter than anything else around here.”

Both gadgeteers tilted their heads to the side. “What does that mean, exactly?”

“Oh, right, um,” Gloom Glimmer scratched her cheek with her free hand. “This danger sense highlights threats. Colour and intensity of the glow tell me what kind of danger it is, and just how dangerous, irrespective of whether they’re actually an enemy.”

“Meaning?” Basil pushed for more details.

“Um… meaning that, whoever or whatever is at the top of this place… they glow white. Which means, the danger they represent covers every base, physical, mental, social, emotional. And… they glow brighter than my dad.”

She took a deep breath, and looked South, and up – presumably towards this bright glow. “Whoever that is… they’re more dangerous than the Dark.”

Basil looked in the same direction, feeling… oddly calm, all things considered. It wasn’t like he hadn’t expected things to get worse.

“Super.”

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42 thoughts on “B13.4 Call of the Sleeper

  1. Wow, I actually made my self-appointed deadline! Weeeeee!

    On a side-note, I had some trouble actually publishing this. I mean, mechanically. WordPress was being WEIRD, trying to schedule it for days that had already passed, at first. Figured it out though, after some trial and error.

    Now, this is not a hard promise or anything, but I am TENTATIVELY setting the coming Tuesday OR Wednesday evening as the release date for the next chapter. I’m not certain that I’ll make it, but there is a reasonable chance that I’ll have enough time (and energy) to write the next part until then.

    Sincerely,
    Tieshaunn Tanner

    • Nice. Being honest, I didn’t expect this for some time yet. I remember you saying something about focusing on the Dreaming, instead.

      • Ah. I misinterpreted your first comment on the Origins file. I’d read it as, “two more updates to the Dreaming before Brennus’s next update.” Then I did not actually check if the Dreaming had updated or not, so I just assumed that it would be a while.

  2. Any day that Brennus updates is a good day, so thank you very much for the chapter 🙂

    It seems that Gloomy’s power has defaulted to giving her a standard-ish mix of superspeed/strength and a strong danger-sense which is a pretty good load-out for a variety of threats. Speaking of which, her description of what’s in the middle of the island is worrying. Also, what sort of circumstances was Irene in that her power gave her danger sense while her Dad was present? I was under the impression that they had been keeping her away from major incidents until recently.

    The description of the Island’s ‘capture-them-alive’ setup for Gadgeteers has the implication that the intention was to enslave them by some means, because a conspiracy of this level has to have some form of mind-control, right?

    Speaking of mind-control, Amy has probably caught up by now. With a bit of luck she’ll evade capture/death from the Island’s passive defences and be able to help, hopefully without cluing people into the connection with Basil.

    Also, was I the only one wondering how Basil appears to Irene’s danger sense there?

    • If you recall, the Dark took her on “ride-alongs”, introducing her to the Dark Five and showing her his business, before she decided to join the heroes. She first got this particular power during one of those trips, when she got curious about how powerful certain villains were compared to her father.

  3. It’s Tyche, the great big threat is Tyche, Ties has spent so much time hyping up how strong she is, and how Crocel reacted to her with what was most likely a danger sense that it has to be Tyche.

  4. Typos : “A thin circle appeared aroudn it” (7th para), and for “nevermind” (1st para), it’s one or two words? Google had both.

    On the content, Brennus has a forcefield, some pants will go brown. I see a problem if Mindstar appears to help her brother, anyone else in the Dark Five would better appreciated.

  5. So, has anyone else noticed how…affectionate Polymia has gotten toward GG lately? Not just this chapter but the last two arcs, her feelings have seened to move from friendship to a kind of unknowing…crush? possiably Irene’s power’s ifluence over their emotions has become so subte that neither has detected it yet, or its initial push awoke a side of Polymia that she has not realized is a part of her yet. OR im just a cold hearted perv who doesnt understand real human interactioms. anywho in other news it is looking more and more like Basil’s specialty is electricity. also a mistake? last chapter Polymia said there were 8 guardr and this one there were 12.

    • Basil knocked several guards out when he blew the door out of its frame and into their group, so they only had to deal with the seven which remained.

      • 13.3 Polymia says she hears eight heart beats. 13.4. Basil’s blast takes out five and leaves seven still standing. Which gives 13.4 four more guards then 13.3. also you left the t off (impacted) when he blocked their first shots. lol still not as bad as my typing most days.

  6. So new guy here who finally caught up after an archive binge(just in time for the update), and I must say that this story is great, the world is very well thought out and the powers are rather well used and there are some very interesting twists in some of them good job.

    Eh while reading I noticed a good and steady improvement in the writing too which is a plus and the character are very interesting to follow(Aap is my favourite up to now, Basil being third after Tyche BTW I hope we’re going to get more Phasma).

    Hmmm…What Gloomy’s(now that I think of it I like her and Polymnia quite a lot too, also nothing against Prisca but to me Melody is best girl for Basil) power gives us here is very interesting especially since her power covers all the types of dangers which could mean that the person corresponding to it might have a hobby of fearlessly leading his/her fellows.

    Speaking of that power I wonder how Lady Light would register on it(if she even does as her power might spoof her daughter’s)and if Lady Light really is more powerful than the Dark, I mean it might seem so but somehow I am kinda doubting that.

    Oh and out the Blue two questions that came to me while I was reading:
    – How many powers does Lamarr really have and can he telefrag people ?
    – How many powers did the Protector have and how high was he on the scale compared to the Shining guardians or the Five ?
    – Are we going to see Sovreign”on screen”at one point and did he meet Diantha ?

    Also am I the only one thinking that Amy’s power might be a lot higher than what we see her use now a bit Like with Macian/Brennus and that her power is the origin of all the mind tempering going on around B6 and her and not Ember ?

    Anyway great work cannot wait to read more.

    • Thank you, and welcome to my little blog!

      To answer some of your questions (btw, you asked 3, not 2):

      – Gloomy has never used this sense in the presence of her mother.

      – There will be more Phasma. She has yet a role to play, and not a small one at that.

      – Lamarr has 4 distinct powers: Chorokinesis, Photokinesis, Telekinesis & visual hypnosis. He has a limited ability to telefrag people, but he can’t kill with it (the parts remain connected)

      – The Protector had only one power – a permanent force-field that covered and permeated his entire body, protecting, repairing and empowering it. all his many abilities (super-strength, invulnerability, flight, regeneration, energy blasts, super-senses) came from that. He was up there with the Shining Guardians and the Dark Five in terms of power levels, but preferred to work alone. Too humble to lead a team or take on greater responsibilities/political power

      -Yes, you will see him, no he never met Diantha. Not sure why you’d think that.

      • Well first off Thank you for and the welcome and the answers.

        Ah yes, I typed two and asked three, well that’s because the third one came to me while I was typing and I forgot to go back and change the appropriate word…

        – Oh ? She was not curious about how her mother would rate on it ? Oh well…anyway about that power, does the targeted person’s morarility play a role on the assesment the power gives ? IE the Dark registering as less dangerous than Skyfall or whoever was tagged a such a danger on the fellows of the future’s facility because he has a code and morals of some sort while Skyfall or person leading fearlessly have none as opposed of being just a powerlevel thing.

        – Ah, that’s godd news very good news because as you might have guessed I kinda like the character. And her playing a big role, that’s great!

        – Oh, very very interesting list that makes for a very powerful Meta. I mean full on Chorokinesis(well a bit limited since he can’t teleportcut, still you can kill by telefrag without having to cut them…)and all the other appplications(holding spaces, space stretching à la Vista, use of space for protection…)is quite a thing on it’s own but combined with Telekinesis and Hypnosis…yeah the guy is terrifying, add to that photokinesis(which by the way means he does not really shapeshift and only makes it looking like he does through illusions) yeah guy won the Superpower lottery and must be a nightmare to fight when he cuts loose. People must be relieve he cannot pull what Move from the tior can with her power(hope to see them in action at some point).

        – Ah, so he does not have some kind of mind influencing power that works through his voice as I thought he might have. So the guy was very very strong, eh I guess he must have been if only Lady Light and the Dark managed to hurt him a little before DiL did her thing on him.

        – Well while typing my questions I suddenly remembered that Gloomy got to travel world with her parents and meet queen Madleine so I thought why would Diantha have gotten to travel around too and met people from all around and perhaps Sovreign(who I imagine as the unholy fusion of T’challa the Blackpanther and Doom btw which is awesome)before he became Sovreign or at the beginning of his rise to power there was really no other reason.

        Oh and I forgot in my last comment congrats on the French heroes, they are a nice touch. And I love your take on Australia even though I am a bit confused on what Prospero and Totemic are capable of and did you name one of Maddie’s royal guard Tick Tock like the New Esperanza Gadgeteer on purpose ?

      • – Do remember that Gloomy’s power doesn’t always cooperate. She may just not have been able to call that power up when her mother was around.

        – the power only takes potential threat into account, irrespective of morals or the threats relationship to her (the Dark is really barely any threat, functionally, to Gloomy, since he’d never willingly harm her)

        – Sovereign is not on good standing with either the Dark or Lady Light. In fact, he hates both.

        – Doomsie would tell Sovereign to dial down the ego a bit. He’s overdoing it.

        – Thanks! I’m glad you liked the French heroes.

        – It’s not on purpose so much as it fit both of them, and there was nothing stopping Tick-Tock (Esperanza) from taking it on, since Tick-Tock (Australia) is not officially a superhero, or registered with the UH.

        – Prospero can “draw/summon” spirits out of any element he touches, with the spirits having powers based on the element. Easiest are air spirits, of course, since he is almost always in contact with air. By summoning several spirits of the same element, he can have them work together for bigger and more complex effects, or combine spirits from several elements for more esoteric effects (like combine earth and fire spirits to create lava)

        – Totemic can take on the aspects of any animal (real or not) that he has personally killed, gaining powers that fit it (he kills a chamaeleon, by taking on the aspect of the chamaeleon, he can turn invisible; a boar gives him a frontal force-field that bowls everyone over as he charges them)

      • – Okay that’s a very good point

        – Ah so it just takes into account how much of a threat to Gloomy whoever it detects is on multiple fronts, which means whoever she detected is a dire threat to her(which is kinda obvious given the power is a danger sense)boy the Fellows of the Future have some truly frightening people(yes because I do not think it is the sleeper she is detecting as I think the thing would be immune to the power plus I do not see how it could be a danger on the social side of things, the remaining “sibling”of Crossell on the other hand…I mean getting turned into some kind of super Zombie MIGHT qualify as a social threat from a certain point of view but that’s stretching it quit a bit).
        – Yeah, well that does not mean he could not have met Lady Light’s daughter I mean they could have visited Severance and Soverign might have been around for a reason or another(maybe before actually becoming Sovreign mind you)but since they never met there is nothing more to say about that. Also is him not getting along with either of them truly a bad thing ?

        – …That’s kinda frightening when you think about it, but given he managed to take over most of a continent and keep it and turning it into a very very advanced country I would say he has some things to back his Ego especially since I am sure that he must have bested a lot of other Metahumans doing his thing some of them I am sure he fought personally instead of throwing a Subjugator at them.

        – Eh they are well done and I truly hope to see more of them.

        – Ah, so I guess that the Australian Tick Tock is not as well known as her her colleagues Prospero and Totemic(whom you called Totemiac in the Spirit of the Hunt by the way)despite being rather scary(time powers always are).

        – I assume that when you say elements you mean the classical Platonian elements rather than elements of the periodic table, still that power is great and very very versatile I can see why the guy is well known. I like the idea, this guy is not someone to trifle with.

        – Ah, that is rather scary when you think about it I would imagine that’s how he was able to make clones in the Spirit of the hunt, which is something I did not undertand by the way: why did he not do that against Crossell I mean one more Dinosaur thing to attak it would have been a good thing…unless of course I failed at reading comprehension and Totemic and Totemiac are two different beings instead of spelling error/name change for a character.

        – Speaking of Australia, what are it’s relationship with GAIN ?

        Also once again thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

      • I didn’t say him not getting along with them was good or bad; I simply pointed out that they wouldn’t bring their treasured daughter to meet a megalomaniacal dictator, ESPECIALLY if they don’t get along with him in the first place.

        She couldn’t have met Sovereign before he became Sovereign – he was around quite a good long time before she was born.

        – Tick-Tock (AMU) is not exactly obscure or unknown, but since she doesn’t really do much outside of the Australian Monarchic Union (it’s overall pretty isolationist), few people would hear “Tick-Tock” and think “that scary lady from australia!”, especially since that title already goes to Madeleine anyway

        – Fire, Water, Earth, Air, yeah. No Aether/Mind, though, for which his opponents are duly grateful.

        – splitting himself results in each duplicate only having a fraction of his power (split in two – each 50%; split four ways – each 25%), so fighting a monster like crocell, he chose to go in with 100% of his power concentrated in one body. Also, he can’t use the same totem several times – each duplicate would have to use a different one

        – the AMU and GAIN are quite indifferent towards each other, so far. Both are isolationist, and they are situated very far apart from each other

      • – You did not say if it was a good thing or not, in fact that particular question was more rhetoric than anything else, also their daughter ? I thought Diantha was just Lady Light’s with some other guy…Was this a mistake in the answer did you just put a spoiler out there ? Still wondering what her power was though as it seems to have been powerful.

        – Ah so Sovreign has been around for that long…I missed that somehow, eh that must mean h has to have something against aging either a power or some tech(for instance his cloning being a lot more advanced than what is known and him uploading himself to a new body periodically).

        – Makes sense, I just thought that she was well known around the world as Totemiac and Prospero seem to be.

        – Eh, so more Platonian than Aristotlelian then, a pity though as the Aether aspect would be a nice Ace to keep up his sleeve: make it known that he can pull his thing with the four basic Platonian elements and then do coverts stuff for Maddie with the fifth and have an edge in a fight if he truly needs it, I am sure a lot of Metas must do that. But then I guess his opponents must already be shitting themselves fighting him as is, I shudder to think what he could accomplish if truly pissed off.

        – Ah, that clears it up and once again makes perfect sense this is one the things I like about this story: It is well thought out. As for his Totems since it also works with custom made animals wouldn’t it be possible that a combination of two bodies with different complementary totems to be a lot more effective than they are individually or any other individual Totem, I mean he could play on synergy between Totems(well maybe he does but it just did not do it the Crossell situation or he did not go all out to not show too much of his abilities to foreign Metas as well as not really caring since Ezperanza was not his home)

        – Okay, I was just wondering as those are both great powers ruled by Metahumans, eh I wonder what the Forresters and other Meta supremacists think about those countries.

        – You’re welcome, I am glad to have helped a bit.

      • Ah, my bad. I mixed up Gloomy and Diantha a bit. Let me clarify:

        – Sovereign never met either Diantha nor Irene.

        – Sovereign is an adult man, and so is older than Gloomy by quite a bit; but he wasn’t sovereign when Diantha was alive

        – Diantha was the daughter of Lady Light and a so far unmentioned man, not the Dark

        – Diantha was thus never taken on “ride-alongs”, that was something the Dark did with Irene

        – I am not sure what you want to say about Totemiac’s power. Suffice it to say, he was fighting at peak efficiency against Crocell; or rather, peak efficiency against such a creature. most of his totems are not suitable for fighting a kaiju

        – the Forresters often cite the AMU as an example for why they are in the right, as it is, essentially ruled by a metahuman nobility and has become infinitely more safe and prosperous than it was before (neatly ignoring the fact that it was the fault of metahuman warlords that Australia had become such a hellhole to begin with). They have similar opinions regarding GAIN and are one of its most fervent supporters outside its own borders. Same for most metahuman supremacists.

      • – Ah so I had it right, Sovereign was not in power in Diantha’s time nor is Diantha the Dark’s daughter(though that could have been an unwilling reveal on your part, I mean you never know, eh I wonder if we will get to know who Diantha’s father was one day)

        – Oh ? Lady Light doesn’t do ride alongs ? I would have thought she might have taken her daughter along to meet her guardians in their respective”turfs”at least but eh.

        – What I meant about Totemiac’s power is that since he gets powers derived from the animals he kills he might have some of those that might synergize with each other when used together in such a way that said synergy might be more effective than him focusing his power on a single totem.

        – A logical opinion for them to have, but I was not sure about Weisswald’s followers since the guy wanted to force everyone to manfest or die while both GAIN and AMU still have normals living there, rule by metas but still…By the By did Weisswald have children ?

        – Is is just me or is Coyote very very scary ?

        – And completly unrelated, but a thought that occured to me while reading the random fact about Hemming: is he the only guy with real superintelligence ? and most of all does his intellect allow him to understand Gadgeteer tech ? I mean said tech is supposed to run on science as opposed delusions like the Contrivers’ so an extremely smart guy should be able to undertand how it works and maybe use it.

        Damn you must start to hate me with all of my questions.

      • I have never and will never hate anyone for asking questions. Questions are the foundation of enlightenment.

        She did introduce her to the guardians, but in a private setting – she didn’t take her along for “business”.

        Totemic CAN combine totems, but it works the same way as his splitting – use two, only get 50% of each, etc. In some cases, this is preferable, but that’s mostly for utility, where a variety of powers is preferable to one big one (such as combining a chameleon and an owl for uber-stealth flight). in a combat against a physically superior opponent, he was better off busting out his biggest, most powerful totem and sticking to it.

        The Forresters (or at least those among them who are actually credible threats/powers) have long since realised that the time for enforcing the genocide of non-powered humans is past; and may not come again until such a time as when metahumans outnumber baselines anyway, which would obviate the point.

        Weisswald had children, but they were murdered shortly after his defeat, as was his wife.

        Coyote is very, very scary.

        He’s not the ONLY one with super-intelligence, but his seems to be the best one (I’ll get into it more in the next brennus file, which will be about Espers of all kinds), as far as those who know about it can tell.

        Hemming can maintain but not produce gadgets, if he has enough time to study them before they break down – assisting or observing a gadgeteer as they make the gadgets makes it easier for him to maintain them (he and Atrocity thus cooperate a lot)

      • – Well that’s a good thing and a nice mentality to have.

        – Eh, less formal than the Dark then, which is not really surprising you know I really hope that we’ll get to see those two together to see how things work between after all these years bonus point if Gloomy is there too, just as I cannot wait to see Gloomy being introduced to Aap and his daughters.

        – Ah so most of his combination are for utility, makes sense I guess but given the fact that his power also works on custom made animals he might have had high end combat synergies up his sleeve too.

        – Oh so the Forresters are”reasonable”too, well the higher ups at least for some reason I thought the smart one joined the Fellows of the Future(some dumb ones too given Blauschwinge…but then guy was a loan).

        – One wife ? Hoh, I thougt the guy would have lots of concubines to bear his children, seemed the type, not counting all the probable rape victims which might also have ended up pregnant. I take it his was was a powerful Meta, as for his children were they young or already in their teenage years after all Weisswald reign was long ? I also wonder how people are sure they got them all.

        – I would imagine given his power, plus he seems rather smart because I am pretty sure that he did not need dodge Palechuck’s attack(by the way what are this guy’s powers) but just did so in order to fool the idiots er I mean rebels(which I am pretty sure are really what’s left of the Warlords from before Madeleine). Is Coyote known outside of Australia or at least flagged as a threat ? I mean given his power to posses stuff and people and having control over those he should be.

        – Okay so there are others who are not just fed data through their powers but who are genuinely super intelligent..those are the ones to look for because genuine super intelligence is a very very dangerous thing especially when combined with other powers. Very curious to get more on the Espers, which makes me think that we also need more Calculass.

        – …Is that how what they call a date ? and on the top of that you say that they do it a lot oh boy…(and then the reveal Macian in Atrocitty’s and Hemming’s son and he is a second gen with a power inspired form his mom’s gadgeteering and his father’s super intelligence and all that was done to him and Amy was parenting as seen by Atrocity…I am not truly serious on that one by the way)On a more serious note though the two of them have awesome synergy: her speciality seems to be body modification and manmachine integration and Hemming is one of the best(if not THE best) shifter around and can undertand her tech with some study, so yeah scary as they can help each other quite a lot.

  7. Thanks for the update Tieshaunn. Loving this infiltration arc, can’t wait to see where it’s all headed to. I hope one of them comes face to “face” with the Sleeper.

    Question, about this part: “…the force-field becoming visible as it absorbed the kinetic energy of the glowing darts fired at him…”

    Does the force field recharge the force projector when it absorbs the energy of projectiles?

    And unless it’s a secret how powerful is the field? Could it tank a tank?

    • It does not recharge, no. “Absorb” is meant here in the way it would apply to body armour or an actual shield – it absorbs the kinetic energy, instead of letting it pass through.

      I assume you mean a tank round, and not being charged by a tank (which would be way too slow to hit Brennus). In either case, yes and no. The shield would likely not break, but his arm sure would. And probably a large part of the rest of his body, too.

      Unless he managed to catch the shot at an angle, in which case he could deflect it, though it’d still cause quite a lot of damage to whatever it hit instead.

      • Haha yeah I did mean a tank round, sorry.

        And I figured about the field. The synergy would be way too convenient, not to mention probably necessitate it being a more fragile system in some ways. Any way you slice it, I’m loving the new tech on display. Hope there’s some surprises more in store.

      • huh, i think i misunderstood something. i thought the ovoid thingy was a component of the gaunlet’s system. obviously i was wrong, is this the thing Basil built at the beginning of the last arc? also with the gauntlet alone Breamus has seriously uped his threat leuel and what ever the ovoid does im sure that it will only go higher once he reveals what it is. lol with some tweeks and maimtance he could make a pretty damn good career whuh just what he has mw, in a few years and a steady income he will be an absolute monster.

      • Well the simple fact that he made a forcefield will put him very very high on the list of threats or”I have to get this guy to work for me” since aside from him the only other person who did that was Sovreign as far as most people are concerned(since I do not think Macian is widely known )oh boy this might mean the Six might come to bug Basil again, also revealing that in the base of the Fellows of the Future might not have been the best of ideas…pretty sure Skyfall would love to have him.(also am I paranoid or did B6 and Polymnia get out way too easily ?…this could have been set up to see the value of their equipment when used by their creators)

      • No, the trap just wasn’t prepped for gadgeteers immune to the one big weakness most of their kind tend to have. Those were some REALLY heavy-duty EMPs, enough to not just shut down, but outright fry almost any piece of technology they’re used on.

      • Okay so that’s just me being paranoid and everything is as it appears to be with the Fellows not being prepared for EMP resistant gadegeteers.

        But then when it comes to those guys I think a level of paranoia is warranted as they seem to be a very serious and through organization, well except for outliers like the previous Ascendant and Blauschwinge(who had a great power set, had he had brains to go with it he would have gone far)

      • Blauschwinge was only a member of the Gefährten in the most technical way. More like a thug they rented from an associated, but lesser organisation (german chapter of Forresters).

      • Ah, that explains it because he DID feel a bit out of place in the Fellows even if his powers were good, as for the Ascendant well I think he was a lot more stable and useful in the beginning. heh wonder how Weisswald will react to the forresters when he comes back when the cycle of the Spiteborn manages to end somewhere and grow him back to the lands of the living(what ? This totally makes sense I swear)BTW was Telepathy included in the guy’s list of powers ?

        Also on a side note Ia m a bit worried about Amy: if she comes and attacks the base just like that she might anger some of it’s denizens and given what Gloomy’s power is telling her this might not be a good thing for Amy.

  8. I am so looking forward to the UHs reaction when they learn of Basil’s new toys. And the fact that Mindstar will probably make an appearance soon is for sure not going to help. Please give us another interlude about them. Though should you really plan to wrap up the first book soon-ish and plan to reveal his relationship with Ember it might be worth to wait. The reactions to Brennus coming to pick up Ember could be even better.

    BTW, why did Basil stop talking to the man in the moon? I might have asked this before, but especially now after he managed to invent force field tech I would have expected a few answers. There are quite a few MitM/Ember/Macian theories I would like to confirm.

    • he got frustrated that the MitM wouldn’t give him any actual information, other than cryptic hints, so he stopped talking to him and focused on research and training

      • Which totally was the Man in the Moon’s plan from the beginning…Now I’ll just wait for the Twins to realise that Basil was the one they were looking for all along.

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