Brennus File 14: Espers

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ESP, short for Extra-Sensory Perception, is easily the most common “power” in myth, folklore and popular culture – countless people are supposed or have claimed to be able to be able to see the future, see  things that weren’t there, talk to people who’re not present and receive messages from gods, spirits or the dead, among many other.

Perhaps it’s thus not surprising that the Perception classification – whose holders are usually referred to as ‘Espers’ – is one of the, if not the broadest one there is, covering a staggering multitude abilities, from the obvious to the strange. While classifications like Gadgeteer and Contriver cover a very specific powerset which stands apart from most, Perception is more of a catch-all classification for all powers that share a general theme.

To be precise, Esper powers cover all abilities that deal primarily with information in some manner.

Unsurprisingly, such powers are extremely wide-spread, though primarily as secondary or tertiary abilities, either in addition to or as support/enablers of other, greater powers.

Note: “Perception X” refers to the end result of the power, while “Esper”, usually, describes the source – for example, an Esper power might also warrant further ratings beyond mere Perception. However, they are just as often used interchangably in colloquial speech. Only scientists and cape geeks tend to insist on proper usage.

***

Sensory Enhancement

Hands down one of the two most common kinds of Perception powers are those which directly enhance or alter the Esper’s senses. Sharper, even telescopic eye-sight, enhanced hearing that goes to the point of echolocation, a nose that can make dogs turn green of envy, a touch so fine it can locate people through the tremors they cause by walking, all those and more make up a large part of Esper powers; they are also the ones most commonly to appear as tertiary abilities, without a direct connection to the main power, but supporting it in some fashion – such as Polymnia’s extremely enhanced, fine hearing, which aids her in her work with sonic technology.

Sensory Expansion

The other most common class of Esper powers has a great deal of overlap with Sensory Enhancement, often going hand-in-hand with it – powers which expand senses, allowing one to perceive things they normally could not. X-Ray vision, Ultrasound-Hearing, thermal vision, remote vision and many more make up this class of powers. Again, Polymnia’s hearing would fall under this classification, as she is capable of hearing the full range of sound, not just the frequencies which normal humans are limited to. Mindstar’s ability to have a second “viewpoint” which moves independently from her body also technically falls under this header.

Sensory Alteration

A rarer, weirder form of Esper powers are those which alter senses entirely. This can be such things as permanent Synesthesia (such as perceiving sound visually, or hearing smells) or any other sensory power which completely alters/replaces one’s sense.

Enhanced Communication

Often considered to have one of the most desirable powers for teamplayers, these Espers are capable of sharing information in exceptional ways, allowing them to enhance or outright replace traditional means of coordinating groups of people. Their power may allow them to transmit their voice across an entire area, create a network of telepathically connected minds or otherwise allow for information to be shared across distance or through obstacles which would normally prevent it.

Expanded Communication

Perhaps one of the weirdest of Esper powers is the ability to communicate with beings or objects one would normally not be able to, or in ways that are normally not possible. This can mean “talking” to animals, or being able to interface with computers with just your mind (this would usually be rated as a Control/Perception hybrid), speak to inanimate objects (such as paintings, statues, trees) or even the dead (whether or not one actually talks to the dead is another matter entirely). Chayot’s ability to read and project emotions are a form of expanded communication, though in her  case it comes at the cost of the usual means of communicating with other people.

These sub-types are the most simple, straightforward ones and require little explanation beyond simply being defined. What follow are more abstract abilities which make up the most interesting kinds of Espers.

***

Pretercognition

The three forms of Pretercognition are considered to be related due to sharing several attributes; in fact, as they stand apart from the ‘lesser’ Esper abilities, there have been repeat proposals to split them off into their own, separate power category.

All forms of Pretercognition collect, process and/or apply information, either from the past, present or future; how they do that is a question which has yet to be answered. Even pericognitive powers (those dealing with the present) seem to have leaps in the information they process which cannot be explained by sensory information available to the metahuman. If the vectors by which information is gathered are obvious, then the power in question is probably not any form of Pretercognition.

Furthermore, all forms of Pretercognition interfere with one another, especially with those of the same type; even when working together, unless Heterodyning is achieved, Pretercognitives are going to give each other a headache as their powers attempt to account for one another. This is most prominent with precognitive powers (the first predicts the second, the second predicts the first predicting the second, the the first predicts the second predicting the first predicting the second, etc) and least prominent with postcognitive ones. Pericognivite powers sit in-between, appropriately enough.

To be clear, one most not necessarily be precognitive to mess with another precognitive – peri- and postcognitive ones can do it, too, and vice versa.

Only very, very few pretercognitive abilities are resistant or outright immune to such interference, either because they deal with such specialised knowledge as to not butt heads with others, or because they are just so powerful they can out-perform all other pretercognitive powers; this last type is the rarest one, obviously.

Regardless of interference and barring a few lucky exceptions, overuse of any form of Pretercognition carries a great deal of risk with it:

  • Overusing Pretercognition tends to lead to powerful migraines – from mere headaches to crippling, day-long pain; in some extreme cases, it might cause the brain to hemorrhage or worse.
  • Pretercognitives who rely too much on their powers instead of using their own smarts may find that they go down strange, even non-sensical paths, as their powers run unchecked, building upon spotty foundations of mental leaps, lacking or plainly wrong information and a complete lack of (human) common sense.
  • All forms of Pretercognition – especially Precognition – carry the risk of making a mistake along the way, not noticing it, and going down a completely wrong path, as they draw conclusions based on faulty facts; this can and does often prove fatal, if not for the Pretercognitive themselves then at least for those who rely on the information they can provide the most.
  • There are certain powers/individuals who appear to be blind spots to Pretercognitives, and whose interference can thus seriously screw them up.
    • DiL, unfortunately, is the most well-known example, but there are others, as well.
    • Gloom Glimmer appears to turn into a blind spot intermittently.
    • Tartsche is a blind spot whenever he activates his power.
    • Pristine, much like DiL, is one all the time. However, some particularly powerful ones can work around her as she is a rather predictable person, even by mundane means.
    • Ember appears capable of becoming a blind spot at will, or even selectively, blinding some to himself and not others.
    • Emyr Blackhill appeared to have no protection from Pretercognitives whatsoever, yet he consistently defeated such powers – they would appear to work just fine on him, until they’d suddenly turn out to have been partially or completely wrong, for no apparent reason whatsoever.
    • Lady Light and the Dark have both shown themselves able to outwit Pretercognitives of all kinds; whether this is due to innate powers or due to a deeper understanding of powers is a secret they have so far kept.

Pericognition

The ability to intuit or just plain know facts in the present, as opposed to past or future information.

Pericognition refers to a great variety of powers, dealing with acquiring and processing information in the present, and so may often appear to be some form of sensory or communicative ability; while there indeed is a lot of overlap, the classification of Pericognition refers specifically to powers which gather and process information through unknown vectors, often seeming to work solely within the metahuman’s mind.

Such abilities can express themselves in a variety of ways, such as supernatural skill at planning, super-intuition, an extreme skill at reading people, combat intuition, the ability to use math or some other construct to analyse your surroundings, etc.

Of the three forms of Pretercognition, Pericognition is the one that’s most often overlooked, even though it is, in many ways, the most useful one – as it relies on facts in the present, it is not as easily fooled or led astray as Post- and Precognition.

Postcognition

Gathering information from/on the past, Postcognition manifests in powers such as being able to feel emotions an item’s owner has felt in the past, or see what has happened a few hours ago in some location, or otherwise access that which has already happened.

In many ways, this may well be the most ‘normal’ form of Pretercognition, as it’s not inherently too different from watching or reading a recording, even if it may go beyond just that.

Different kinds of Postcognition are reliable to different degrees – some seem to be all but absolute, always giving out correct facts unless interferred with by other powers, some appear to be able to go wrong somewhere along the way; however, the precise mechanisms by which Postcognitives work are as unknown as those of any power, ultimately.

Precognition

The master discipline of Pretercognition, this is the legendary power to perceive the future in some manner. It is, quite possibly, the most desirable power out there, provided it can be given proper support (which is why almost all Precognitives – even more so than other Espers – are part of some team); cape and cowl organisations worldwide recruit Precognitives as aggressively if not more so than even Gadgeteers.

Of all forms of Pretercognition, and ESP in general, Precognition is by far the rarest one – and even then, it rarely manifests in anything as straight as being able to outright see the future. Examples would include the ability to look someone in the eyes, mentally think of a course of action and see a colour which indicates how likely that person is to follow said course; or a danger sense that goes off like an alarm whenever one (subconsciously) perceives a threat coming, perhaps with the added advantage of intuiting an optimal response.

More powerful ones may be able to view a single possible future, and be unable to see ahead again until they have caught up to it; or they can only see their own future, from their viewpoint, or only the future of other people, from their viewpoint – never their own. Or any of countless other possibilities.

Straight-up seers who can look ahead at will or with only minor limitations, perceiving the whole of the future they focus on, are one of the, if not the rarest power there is, and the few known to exist are all top tier capes and cowls.

Precognition is the most fragile form of Pretercognition, likely because the future is ever-shifting, affected by countless constantly changing factors; as such, Precognitives are the ones most likely to go down completely wrong paths due to a single piece of misplaced or misinterpreted information; and they are the ones who are most strongly affected by other pretercognitive powers, as well as by blind spots interfering with their visions.

On the upside, even though other pretercognitive powers can seriously derail a precognitive’s predictions, they are also the ones who’re the most difficult to account for, and the ones most likely to be able to trump “lesser” forms of Pretercognition – though it may cause them one hell of a migraine to do so.

Precognition and Free Will

The age-old question – if someone can predict the future, is there even such a thing as free will? Can the future be changed, even if one knows what’s coming?

Barring a few specific exceptions of Precognitives whose powers forbid them from changing the future, the answer is “Yes, free will exists and the future can be changed.”

If there is a Precognitive out there whose visions are absolute, never wrong and impossible to change even by the metahuman himself, then they have yet to become known. As far as anyone knows, Precognition only gives one information of possible futures, not the one, inviolable future.

***

Common Origins

Usually, Espers come from Origins that are defined by a lack of information. The particular circumstances and nature of said lack are what then informs the individual Espers’ power.

Some example Origins:

  • Being lost in a dark cave, but not trapped; there is only one way to go, really – what is problematic are all the hazards along the way that one is incapable of perceiving and accounting for.
  • Struggling to make friends in a new town, but unable to penetrate the pre-existing social circles due to lacking knowledge of local customs and history, leading to a painful, perhaps humiliating rejection.
  • Having just stolen a huge package of drugs, the thief is struck by fear and indecision – they have the drugs hidden at home, but what to do now? Can they keep them hidden? Did someone notice they took them? Should they try to sell them as quickly as possible, or wait until the heat dies down? What’s the safe course of action?

***

Gadgeteers – Just another form of Espers?

In recent years, there has been an increasing number of proponents of the theory that Gadgeteers are actually a specific form of pretercognitive Espers. While such claims have yet to be proven, they are not without merit. The two most common theories are:

  1. Gadgeteers are subconsciously precognitive, reaching into the future to find technology which will or may exist in the future, and reconstruct it in the present.
  2. Gadgeteers are subconsciously post-/pericognitive, absorbing, analysing and correlating information through unknown means to develop their advanced technology.

Opponents of this theory often bring up the fact that Gadgeteers neither cause, nor suffer from pretercognitive Interference; however, proponents argue back that Gadgeteers may well just be such extremely powerful Pretercognitives, or so over-specialised, that they do not clash with other Pretercognitives or simply steamroll them with their own power.

Either way, the debate as to the true nature of Gadgeteering, ESP – and all other powers – goes on, still unresolved.

***

Espers and Intelligence

As one may have noticed, none of what has been said so far touches, in any way, on Intelligence.

Superhuman Intellects are a staple of fiction, and yet the closest thing to super-intelligent people, Espers, don’t tend to be more intelligent than normal people – in fact, since most Espers originate from situations in which they lacked or were unable to obtain information in some way, many of them tend to be less intelligent than average.

Espers have more information available than normal. Some have something in their heads – or maybe attached to their heads – which processes information better than any human could, before passing it onto them. However, they still must make decisions with their own intellect, based on the information which their power gives them – ultimately, they are no smarter than anyone else.

True Super-Intelligence was long thought to be a myth (with two exceptions), and to this day, there is no publically confirmed case of true Super-Intelligence.

Hemming may actually have such an ability, at least according to Macian – however, it has not yet been proven, nor is the specific mechanism by which it works known; does he simply think faster than normal? Does he have multiple brains to mull a problem over with? Does he just have really powerful pericognition that makes him act as if he was super-intelligent?

No one knows yet.

Lady Light, the Dark and Super-Intelligence

There is no question that Gwen Whitaker and Peter Goldschmidt are scientific geniuses. After all, their research somehow led to the advent of apparently supernatural, reality-warping superpowers. And even before that, they were far ahead of their time, making numerous scientific inventions over a wide variety of scientific fields, while also being very accomplished fighters, detectives, tactitians and writers.

After gaining powers, they each created huge, international organisations which essentially equal, if not outstrip, most nations in terms of political and economic power. Even though they are not invincible (in spite of Lady Light’s reputation of such), nor have the strongest powers there are, they have consistently remained at the top of the world of metahumans, over almost a hundred years of activity. They have even shown, consistently, that they can outwit, if not outright defeat, most pretercognition they have found themselves at odds with (when they can’t just plain overpower them on account of being physical powerhouses).

To which extent that is caused by them being just naturally that smart, and how much their powers play into it is unknown – some argue that they have to be just naturally super-geniuses, as they already performed so extremely well before Point Zero. Others argue that they were smart before, and only became smarter, not just more experienced, after, by gaining powers that enhanced their already considerable intellect.

Even more extreme is the theory that they were the first metahumans to begin with – long before Point Zero. Whatever they did on that day then allowed for others to become metahumans, or perhaps it would have happened anyway, and Point Zero merely hastened the process. Perhaps the two – the Advent of Metahumans and Point Zero – are not related at all, their connection a false correlation!
Much like with anything else about Point Zero, Lady Light and the Dark refuse to speak on the subject, if they even know the answer.

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69 thoughts on “Brennus File 14: Espers

  1. This was supposed to be SHORT. But I got carried away and now it’s as long as most of my chapters and probably the longest Brennus File yet.

  2. Damn, I love just how much work you put in every aspects of your universe and how the various power types works, I just love this type of things I think this is one of my favorite things about this setting.

    I shall comment on the update’s content itself later when I have a bit more time.

  3. lol altered sese would suck if say your sense of touch and taste got switched, going to the bathroom would be awful. though seeing smells might be useful, and thats not even getting to the other lesser kmwn senses like balance. also Lady Light seems more and more like kind of an awful person. she helps fuck up the world and then refuses to help people understand how and why things are the way they are? thats messed up. i wonder if Vra is clasrified as A pericog(yay! with pretercog i learned two new words today!) os if her power dips into all three? and finally if Gadgeteers were precogs wouldnt then constantly bringing tech from the fuvre to the present make so many ripples in time it would make it unseecle?

    • That’s one of many, many reasons why the Gadgeteers-as-Precog’s theory is contested^^

      As for Lady Light, do notice that it’s not like she says “I know, but I won’t tell!”. She might not know the answers herself. Or maybe she does and has her reasons not to share.

      Or maybe she really IS an awful person at heart.

      Obviously, I’m not going to answer that question here 😛

      Vra’s power dips into all three forms of pretercognition, when she’s using it right. Its true mechanism hasn’t been shown yet.

      Yeah, altered senses are not usually worth it, if they’re permanent.

  4. Now then this contains very interesting bits of information as most of the files do, I particularily like the bit about the various interactions between the powers but I am mostly curious about the interactions between Pericognition and Precog, so let’s say for Exemple that Calculass and Glik are on two opposite teams how would their powers interact ?

    I mean Glik can see every single way the next 256 minutes are going to unfold and choose which way she wants things to unfold thus appearing preternaturally competent while Calcullass can get data on things and use said data to do quite a lot, now the question is would Glik’s power take Calculass’ into account(I would tend to say yes)and allow her to work around it, would calculass’ power get what Glik’s power is through observation and then determine what option she go with thus allowing Calculass to counter Glik or would they both end up with killer headaches and be of no use at all ?

    About the Gadgeteers I am a bit surprised that nobody in universe is arguing that both could be true and that it depends on the Gadgeteer, speaking of which I wonder how things work for Atrocity since she is both a precog and a Gadgeteer I am curious about how those aspects of her power synergize ad additionally I wonder what the researchers would have to say about her(powerwise of course not about her somewhat unusual hobbies) if they knew she was both a precog and a Gadgeteer.

    The point about superintellect is nice and to me it should be possible by simply enhancing everything the brain normally does just as some powers for the rest of the body. As for Hemming my theory is that his conciousness is run on some dimensional strata connected to his everchanging body and that said dimension thing allows for better performances all around.

    As for superintelligence being thought of as a myth, well if someone has the thing hiding it would be the best way to be able to make use of it to it’s fullest capability.

    • Glik beats Calculass 10/10. If Calculass managed to figure her out and get enough numbers on her power, that’d go down to 8/10.

      But as far as precog’s go, Glik is top.

      • Okay now I feel guilty about that example and having done that to poor Calculass(because yes I do like the character, there needs to be more of her).

        As for Glik well if she has other powers to go with her 256 minutes thing , well that’s a scary thought not mention her sister’s teleportation which also seems to be quite something even if she doesn’t SEEM to be able to pull a Noelle Alden(though if I could do that I would keep it hidden as long as possible so she might be doing the same as the twins seems very very competent and not just because of Glik’s power )I pity whoever ends up on the twins’ shitlist as I am sure we haven’t seen them really fight yet. Can’t wait to get more on those two.

        Anyway, was I right in taking Calculass as an exemple for this ? I mean is she as high up on the Pericognition ladder as Glik is on the Precog one ?

        And speaking of precogs, how good is Atrocity’s brand of precog when compared to Glik’s ?

        On a completly unrelated note, How many manifestations are the Six responsible for ? and does Hemming speak german ?

      • Hemming speaks almost every language spoken on Earth.

        Not gonna speak on Atrocity’s precog, other than to say that it’s a big one.

        Calculass is not just a pericog. WIth enough numbers, she can reach into post- and pre-cog, as well. Her level is big enough to impress the Dark, though its mostly the sheer versatility that he’s intrigued by

      • Eh I notice you did not answer on the number of manifestations…Hmmm and Hemming speaks german, perhaps he secretly works for those fellows with a love for the future, who knows what his true agenda is(because he has one, come on a superintelligent well known villain without a hidden agenda which even his pawns..er….teamates are not aware of ? preposterous!!!)

        The fact about Hemming knowing all those languages is very interesting especially since he did that with languages I am pretty sure he did that for other fields too which in itself makes the guy very dangerous and when you know what his other power is…yeah.

        And I still stand that his mind is in it’s own dimension which has tailored physic for optimized processing, storage etc and that it is connected directly to the mass making up his physical body.

        I understand about Atrocity, I guess her precog is a big plot point…Also why I am now wondering about what a date between her and Hemming would look like ?

        Well yeah her power is awesome, (SHE is great too!) and she caught the Dark’s attention still since you said Glik was extremely high as far as precog go well you know…Incidently if the Dark had Glik(well someone with her power at least)in his ranks she would most certainly have caught the guy’s attention too.

        Another thing I just thought of: How do the Esper powers(most notably the whole pretercognition set)react to power copying, IE what happens when the same power is pitted against himself.

        Say the independant hero ScyPhonn copies Syndicate hitman Nemesisbob’s power with his ScyPhonntron(a contraption that allows to copy the power any meta it detects by syphonning his connection the the flow of the universe which is obviously the source of powers as ScyPhonn discovered through his totally not delusional and totally scientifical and legit researches on the harmonics of 53 dimensions of reality) who can see the future from his enemy’s(or enemies if faced by more than one opponent) perpective for the next 20 minutes and what his enemy(or ennemies) did in the twenty minutes before they fight and tries to subdue and arrest Nemesisbob using his own power against him what would happen ?

      • They cause a great number of manifestations, yes, but not in a meaningful way, ie. not more than you’d expect from people that brutal, torturous and infamous.

        Remember that power mimics USUALLY have some limitation, like getting any power slightly or greatly weaker than the original, or some such. THat would usually take care of that.

        If not, then it depends on the user. How skillful they are in applying the information they get.

        In your example, while ScyPhonn would leach enough Empyreal Particle-Waves to empower himself with the ability to see across the timestream, as Nemesisbob does without even thinking about, the ignorant fool, he would be using a new power he has never trained with, while Nemesisbob is intimately familiar with it, having had no other power, ever.

      • About the languages – why does speaking German automatically associate him with the Gefährten? I mean, it IS a rather important language to know (it’s not spoken just in germany) and it wouldn’t be so weird that someone like Hemming would know it, independently of any allegiance, especially in case he does have to deal with german power groups.

      • Okay, thanks for the answer it was actually something I wondered about since
        reading the origin Brennus file.

        Fair points about the usual limit, I guess not everyone can be Daijisi eh ? But then I guess even HE does have some limits to his power albeit different ones.

        Okay so just the user’s skill no intereference caused by two adversaries using the same power, got it.

        Well then it’s a good thing that ScyPhonn set up up his Aetheric recaller before the fight and programmed to bring him back to his Lab using the overflow of aether from the 47th dimension if he was grieviously injured.

        …I was not being serious about the whole Gefährten thing just poking a bit of fun as to why you did not answer about the manifestation thing and since I also asked about german and what one of the Gefährten’s legacy is all about well let’s just say I couldn’t resist but it seems I did not manage convey it, I was serious about the hidden agenda thing though because I am sure as hell he has one.

        As for why I asked about Hemming knowing German it was in relation to the Berlin attack.

      • He does make sure to speak the language(s) of any place they attack. Hard to mock people or torment them psychologically if you can’t make yourself understood, after all.

        If Hemming has any agenda, which most people believe he does, then he’s certainly managed to keep it hidden from anyone who’s willing to speak about it.

        Regarding two same powers directly working against each other, whether that causes any specific problems depends on the power in question. Some might not be a problem at all. Some might make INTERESTING stuff happen.

        Ah, but ScyPhonn forgot to account for the 46th dimensional fluctuations caused by Nemesisbob’s sidekick, Ragequit! Her hyper-spatial pseudo-motion means that her mere presence is going to screw up his Recaller’s targeting and send him into a cinema playing a special three-in-one feature of the star wars prequel trilogy!

      • Thought it might be something to that effect…Nice to have confirmation.

        Well Hemming is a villain with Superintellect so it would be a bit disappointing if he did not manage to hide what he wants to hide.

        Eh, I’ll bet some interesting things can happen in those cases but two users of Glik’s or Calculass’ power working against each other must be at the very headache inducing for everyone involved. Eh now two users of the exact same power working for the same purpose might also get intresting and unexpected results.

        Ah but that where ScyPhonn’s four pronged fortune siphon saved him!!! At the very least he did not get stuck with the Disney star wars movies which would have happened if the dastardly Ragequit had her way!!! Next time he will be sure to plan for that wench who threw a wrench in his plan!!!…That is if he doesn’t die from his wounds first.

      • Eh, I’d rather take the disney movies than the prequel trilogy. The disney movies at least involve my favourite star wars character (well, at least the main ones do)

      • Meh, to each his own I guess…

        Discussing Star Wars made me think of something which might not be the subject of this particular file but still: have there been Contrivers whose delusions came from big entertainement franchises, like say a guy who suddenly can build lightsabers and use “the Force” and has to be careful not to fall to the “Dark side “?

    • For Hemming i figured he just gave himself a few extra brains with his power, hell his power isnt restricted to organic, so maybe he made his braim a super dupeq quantum computer, or maybe his whole body is a brain.

  5. This is a lot more thought than usual meta origins.

    Although I do perfer the ones were superhumans have their powers from birth or early childhood.

    I find it keeps the setting more stable and reduces power creep.

  6. I have a new (For me) theory about Basil’s specialization

    Innovation. He had problems with his long-range setup because it merely integrated existing techs in a different way; if he isn’t pushing boundaries (And maybe replicating his existing techs) he hits a wall.

    • I’m pretty sure (can’t remember why) Brennus’s specialization is adapting other tech. He improves upon other peoples work, making it smaller and more efficient. Hes a natural for heterodyning. His problems come from when he has to invent completely new things without a solid base to build from.

      • ummm…Basil already tested Astrumvicis’s theory in story and ruled it out. it was in the last arc. and im sorry Club, but you are theorizing that Basil’s specalty is inventing advanced tech. which is what all Gadgeteers do. also we kmw that the headaches were caused by his power being blocked by The Dark. who was hiding the force field from B6. which is closely related to his specalty sense blocking it nearly broke his power.

      • it wasn’t JUST the Dark’s fault that he was having the headaches, though it did contribute in a major way.

        As far as I know, no one has yet guessed Basil’s actual specialisation. Looking forward to your reactions when it is revealed 😀

      • Energy? Cause his forcefield works by canceling kinetic energy, most of his inventions use electric energy to run and his armor and other non electric stuff was created using magnetic energy.
        Would also explain why it was so easy for him to build revolutionary EMP shielding.

        BTW, can we expect a new chap this week?

      • cannonfodder, I have to disagree with you.

        It seems to me that gadgeteers (in general) do three things – 1) skip design, prototyping and refinement steps, 2) integrate existing tech into off-schedule uses, and 3) invent advanced tech, in advance of current design & theory.

        In the examples given of Peregrine and SmilyBoy, neither invents tech; it’s all re-purposing and construction. In fact, I can’t see a reason that a specific un-named gadgeteer wouldn’t be completely unable to advance beyond current theory, or that a different gadgeteer wouldn’t have a limitation making them unable to construct anything unless it was pushing the limits of theory.

        We weren’t told what Basil was trying to build for his long-range rig, but if he was trying to off-the-shelf it, that might have tripped him up.

    • Nah I think him having had problems with Amy was also a major reason for his power having been less than cooperative. Those two are linked by more than blood: they are also linked by whatever messes with their minds and everything else.

      As for Basil’s specialization well I think it would help to look at his original inventions and not things he got from other people’s designs. So the material for his armor and team costumes, the force field and the gauntlet and the anti EMP stuff(yes I do not count the neural interface thing he used to get the intel on Crocell’s birthplace because I think this tech comes from Atrocity just like the medical stuff he made for Prisca)and the chips within his ravenbots that he destroyed before anyone could get them.

      …always going forward, perhaps the movement of any form of energy then and how to harness it as well as how to prevent it(say by creating a force field or a materials that is very very resistant to kinetic impact and such o something that blocks the energy from EMPs)but not the generation of it.

      • Energy has been suggested a few thnes already. also i have mentioned this as well a time or two EVERYTIHNG that is or does in the universe is energy in one form or another. I think Basil’s specialization is force manipulation.

      • I think you misunderstood what I typed: I was not saying Basil’s speciality is energy itself but it’s movement and how to harness it and block it and of course understand it.

        Besides this was just a Half arsed speculation from what little we have seen and we haven’t seen all of Basils new toys in action(which we might get to see soons)so…

        My own theory is a bit more out there, one might even say it’s a bit on the crackpot side of things but eh:

        – We know from the Dark that both Basil and Amy are second Gens(see Monkey family 11.8)hence both their powers are different and come from others, wel take inspirations from them. From the Dark(Monkey family 11.15)we know it takes two metahumans to make those and from the file on the origins we know that their powers are related to their”parents” and show aspects of them even though their actual powers might be different at their core, so from that my theory is that Macian’s/Basil’s(even if they are not exactly the same Basil has enough of Macian in him for that to work)poer is the Child of Hemming and Atrocity’s power and that basil’s power took the super intelligence aspect of Hemming’s power alongside with the Gadgeteering aspect of Atrocity’s power which is why Basil is so good at a lot of things and learns fast and can build things/hack stuff etc fast because he undertands it much fast even compared to other gadegeteers thanks to Hemming’s power’s”contribution” and he can incorporate other people’s tech that much better and heterodyne with them that much easier because that’s what he got from Atrocity’s power: tech fusion and integration, I mean Atrocity’s power is Man/Machine fusion and everything that it entails well Macian’s/Basil’s is integration of pretty much everything in his tech or integrating it in things. So yeah to me Basil’s specialisation is “integration” just like Sovereign’s is”automation” and that with what I think he got from Hemming…yeah Basil/Macian is up there.

        On that note I’ll add that I think Amy’s power comes from Atrocity and Mindfuck(I do not think I need to explain what I think she got from Mindfuck,and from and from Atrocity she got her ESP from the mad Gadgeteer’s precog) and that the physical aspect would come from a reaction to the continued torture Atrocity subjected her to.

        I will also add that I believe that both basil and Amy as they are now are, on the top of being subject to mindstuff, heavily restricted when it comes to their respective powers.

      • @cannonfodder: If you know what you are doing almost any interaction with any type of energy could be described as some type of force.

        @paradigm: Finally someone else who supports my theory about Macians parents. I think my full thoughts on the matter are on the cast page. But I am not sure if “integration” really is his theme. Sure, we have seen him use stuff that was designed by other gadgeteers and Macian also had implants, but he also created his own stuff in absolute record time. And how could he get his hands on an example of AI/forcefield tech to study while he was stuck in the S6s pocket dimension?

        My personal favorite would be a space/time/quantum physics themed power (would explain forcefields, his fusion reactor and how he could have escaped from the pocket dimension) that gets boosted by an above average intelligence (Think I once read somewhere that most people with higher IQ tend to be restless and constantly need something to keep them busy. Sounds a lot like M) which allows him to branch out into so many other fields.

        Kind of a far fetch, I know, but other than manipulating space and time the only other way to create a forcefield would be to either block, absorb or redirect any form of force/energy that hits it (heat, kinetic, magnetic, gravity, electricity,…).
        And since we know that his theme is not energy the only other thing he could do would be to either stop time in front of him to block or to bend space to redirect all attacks. And considering how much power this would take it would also explain how short the forcefields Macian used lasted.

        Ok, to be honest this theory has more holes than swizz cheese.
        I don’t think we can make much headway unless we can either get a clue from tieshaunn or figure out what exactly the giant space station invention is the man in the moon is working on inside Basils head. Considering how huge this invention is it should be closely tied to his power.

        PS: tieshaunn, if you read this, please let it be an orbital anti DiL weapon. We NEED a Deathmoon.

      • Deathmoon? DeathMOON? Why settle for a tiny DeathMOON when you can have a proper DeathSTAR!?

        Other than copyright issues, of course.

        As for hints, I can give you something. I never said the options given before are NOT it, only that his SPECIFIC speciality wasn’t guessed. By which I mean, it might be energy, or quantum, or donuts – but it’d be more specific than that, rather than “anything X”

      • Why should copyright be a problem? Disney would only need to have a small accident involving a meteorite and all problems would be solved.

        But there already is a moon in orbit that is ready for the taking. Shouldn’t be too difficult to send a few drones up and let them transform it into an orbital spacestation of death. And renaming it to deathstar afterwards would be ridiculous. Especially considering that its the man in the moon, not in the man in the sun. (Wait, he also has the “blazing sun” thing…)

        How else could he build a real Deathstar? Cool down the sun, keep it from reigniting itself (even though it has a few hundred times critical mass) then turn it into a weapon that is roughly 1 million times the size of our planet, and finally figure out how to move it, and all the stuff orbiting around it, to a suitable spot to shoot at another system? Sounds more like something a mad contriver would try to pull off. (<– great plot idea here. Seriously, give us a waaay to powerful contriver that tries to get the solar system involved in his one-man-war against aliens.)

        And I noticed that you didn't deny the DiL level weapon part. 😀

      • Or he could use the heaping helpings of excess energy to create a portal system that lets him fire the beam through, obviating the need to MOVE the battlestation.

      • Oh ? I thought a Deathmoon was what happened when Su Ling tried to build a remote controled flying toy for her little brother.

        Also you know you suggesting a portal system here has very very interesting implications given the context of the conversation about a certain someone’s speciality.

        @Ansraer: Well “power parents”at least, also I am not quite sure if Hemming can even still have children or not.

        As for the”Integration”speciality well Soverign’s is “automation” and look at all the stuff he makes, I mean the guy even made bloody cloning chambers…

        As for inspiration for Macian, well the Six did attack quite a lot of locations and at the very least SOME of those had to have heroes or even enemy villains in them trying to defend them, enoough to give inspiration to him, and I am not even talking about the ideas he could have gotten just watching the Six’ powers…

      • Hemming, Heretic, Atrocity, Mindfuck and Fire Burial can still have kids; only Pristine can’t (one of the many things she’d like to do)

        If Su Ling tried to build a remote controlled flying toy for her little brother, he’d get a transforming mech/jet

      • I came up with my Macian S6 theory before we had all the information about how powers are connected and passed on.

        However, I still think it’s likely that he is genetically connected to the S6. With their biotech it shouldn’t be too difficult to have a child even if Atrocity herself couldn’t give birth to it. There are not many other reasons why they would keep him in their pocket dimension for more than one “game” considering that they usually always release everyone else. And he knew personal stuff about them that only their little family (not sure if that is the right term for whatever it is they have) should know.

        And yeah, the part about portals IS interesting. Messing around with Space, Time or Quantum Physics would open up so many possibilities…

        @tieshaunn I think I just realized something. Compared to all the others that have been mentioned in the story so far, where does the Godkling of Mars rank in terms of overall Power? Is there anyone who is/will be more powerful than him in the future? And by how much? And could you also try to compare Gloomys power (in case she holds nothing back) with DiL?

      • I think it’s been mentioned before that the Savage Six keep several permanent residents in their pocket dimension. Both minions, support staff and prisoners they like to play with over and over again.

        If DiL and Lady Light are 100 on the power scale, then Emyr is 9001.

        Gloomy going all-out would still lose against DiL. While she’s probably even more versatile than her sister, she plainly lacks both the raw power and the stamina DiL has, as such her fears of becoming a second DiL are ultimately unfounded.

        Now, if the cap got screwed off her power, then that’d be a different thing, but pretty much any metahuman could be as bad or worse than DiL if that happened.

      • Wart, Wiederhole Tieshaunn did I get that right, you are saying that Lady Light has the same rating as”oh god please no”DiL(BTW will we get to know how her parents named her or wanted to name her before the poor girl’s power went off reservation) ? Damn that’s something…Is the Dark also a 100 then ? and at what level would Queen Madeleine or the five be ?

        Ah, okay then for some reason I do not think that’s a good news especially for the possible kids. I mean they do keep prisonners to work on again and again and I could see them give special attention to their own kid, plus given how Fire Burial turned out…yeah.

        Hmmm…So a Contriver having realised his delusion but keeping his/her power could be as dangerous if not more than DiL ? Interesting, heh I wonder what vassilike would be capable of achieving if that happened to her. Speaking of Contrivers you mentioned a particularily powerful one named Memento, are we going to see the guy at one point ?

      • Which contriver are you talking about who supposedly realised his delusion was, well, a delusion and became more powerful than DiL?

        Memento is… special. More on that when we get to a DiL battle, since Memento only cares about taking down DiL and NOTHING else.

        DiL’s real name will be revealed soon.

        Don’t take the power levels too seriously. I just threw out those numbers for fun’s sake, the setting does NOT have such neat and tidy power levels.

      • “power levels are bullshit” to quote the great Tien Shenhan. after all the Godking was killed by a spear thrown by a relatively weak power. Skill. experience, strategy, and intent usually count far more in a fight then raw power. personally i think GG would lose even wiuh the cap on her power taken off cause she wants to save her sister not kill her. @Ansraer what makes you think that the MIM is building something real? i always assumed that the moonbase thing was a netaphor for a portiom of his power being occupied elsewhere. also why would Basil attack DIL. i didnt think he had any real strong hatred towards her? in fact he seemed to feel a little sorry for her.

      • Tien Shenhan is as wise as he is inconsequential to the larger DB universe.

        The spear used to kill Emyr was a Hax power. Far from weak.

        Basil does feel sorry for DiL. Not that he wouldn’t do his best to take her down, if he had the means.

      • Yeah no, Emyr got beaten by Gungnir’s power while she was rocking her swan song which elevates one’s power to new high at the cost of their own life and that’s not even going into the fact that said villain was one of the Dowager’s so odds are she was under contract and those do things to powers, not to mention we do not even know what Gungnir’s power even did to begin with.

      • Gungnir did not use her swan song. she didn’t have that potential (no cap to screw off her power).

        Her power was a Hax spear. Not really a spear, more like a tear in reality, which only she could move – without her to actively and deliberately move it, it was an unmovable, inviolable rift in space that could cut through anything and everything, across any reality or dimension. If she let go of it, it just remained in position, only moving to remain at the same relation to the planet she left it on (so it’d rotate along with Earth, or Mars).

      • lol yes that is what Strategy is. Using resources to overcome overwelmhng obstacles, such as allnwhng a woman who normally wouldnt have a snowflake’s chance in hell in beating LL to defeat a person 100x stronger than said heroine.

      • Eh, I was not taking power levels that seriously per se it’s just that well I’ll take any kind of data about the setting and powers no matter what form they take so since you have given an answer in the form of power levels well I tried to get some more as it is a form you yourself used.

        Oh to my knowledge there is no Contriver who realised his delusion yet and kept their power but it was something you talked about in the Contriving Brennus file
        it was also mentioned that if they managed that somehow they would attain great potential(something I don’t think you mentioned for nothing btw) so I was wondering if such a contriver could theoretically be on DiL’s level.

        Sorry if I wasn’t clear about that, meh that’s what happens when you are doing multiple things at once.

        Hmmm…given his name and the fact he only cares about offing DiL has some interesting implications about why he manifested, wonder if he used to live in LA or maybe in Lennston ?

        Good as I am rather curious about her name…also Basil pities her just like Magnus ? Hmmm, Magnus has two bodyguards called H and M and Brennus uses those as his symbol, this is rather troubling really.

        Have you ever thought that Tenshinhan was (sadly)irrelevant in Dragon Ball BECAUSE he is wise ?

        Ah so to grossly simplify Gungnir was the local Flechette but who instead of imbueing objects with the effect has a weapon made of said effect …could have sworn I read she used her swansong to beat Emyr, oh well nobody’s perfect.

        I truly like the idea of having to use brains to figure out how to beat a seemingly nvincible power(like how they had to figure out how to get around Hastur’s regen)and how certain powers that could belong to weaker can work against otherwise top tier near invincible people. Everyone can be beaten it’s just a question of how.

      • Well, you’ll be happy to know that Gungnir’s team had to put some serious brainpower into even getting into his throne room, nevermind maneuvering her into a position where she could actually hit him. And they still all died.

        Emyr’s power was not a joke.

        It’s hardly that weird to pity DiL, if you think about it. She shows little to no signs of intelligence, certainly no signs of comprehending what she’s doing. THere’s no few people who see her as a victim of forces she, as an unborn baby, could never have reigned in.

      • Also, no, I don’t think Tenshinhan was irrelevant because of his wisdom. I think he was irrelevant because he wasn’t a saiyajin or some other uber-powerful alien.

      • Yep, you are right I am happy to know that and I hope that we might get a glimpse of that particular confrontation”on screen”at one point.

        Yeah, given what he did I can only Imagine you know for some reason I cannot help ut to believe that if someone removed Gungnir’s spear somehow Emyr would be good to go again.

        As for DiL seeing all the devastation she caused I am a bit surprised that pitying her is not that rare, but then I guess metahumans at least can understand what she goes through up to a point.

        Yeah Tenshinhan and the others being irrelevant is all the editors’ fault.

        Oh and completly out of the blue question: Is Severance as scary as Quetzacoatl ?

      • All the members of the Shining Guardians are scary in their own way, but Severance and Quetzalcoatl basically play “can you top this?” with “who’s scarier?” among each other. They are scary in very, very different ways, though, except for one – you can’t run from either of them and they can strike at (nearly) any time, without warning.

        More on that in time.

      • in regards to DIL, ive been wondering what would happen if they found a null that worked on her, would she revert back to a baby? ive also wondered what would happen if a telepath could give her the knowledge she needed to take cotrol, also could ember do it? well other than a shit ton of people trying to kill her. as for Tenshenhan, it could be worse, he could be Yamcha. that is the problem with most shonen anime and manga, if ynu aint the MC then ynur basically useless, as far as i have seen only One Piece(sometines) and My Hero Academia(though the potential is there) differ from the useless side charecter tropes. hell both shows have even shown that a side charecter can beat the MC.

      • Damn, the Shining guardians reunions must be funny with those two I wonder how they get along, I know the cast page says that only Lady Light and Lung Xukong(or was it Kong Long) genuinely like Quetazlcoatl but still.

        Also strike at any time, damn with one being the top weather controller(with other things in there too most likely)and the other with his unknown power…you know Severance being able to be on that level and still able to hide his power(or powers if he has more than one) from everyone else for so long is scary on it’s own.

        Also why can’t i stop imagining a south african warlord and a south american druglord walking in a bar and exchanging stories about their respective bogeyman.

        Oh and by the by has nobody ever compared to two to villains due to how they are operating ? I mean what with Quetzalcoatl eating a villain, Krakok must a been peeved at the guy for stealing his thing.

      • …That, well I do not even know what to say about it aside from damn and this must have been quite the thing to see, well perhaps not if you value your life but still.

        Also I was wondering, is the update coming today or is it coming tomorrow ?

      • @canonnfooder

        Man, this is getting confusing. Not sure if I replied to the right comment. 😀

        I Don’t think that Basil wants to kill DiL, but she is one of the most powerful supers and also one of the most infamous ones, so ranking a weapon based on the damage it could do to her seamed like a reasonable thing to do.

        And yeah, I do think that the MiM is building something. My current theory is that the MiM is Macian, who for some reason decided to create Basil and took the backseat while he was working on this gigantic invention. We know that he has access to what looks like a pretty major prophecy and also has his own agenda. (maybe Wiping out the S6? That would probably take a transdimensional death Ray that is on a similar power level to DiL) And given how self aware he was when Ember showed him his inner world and how he always seemed a bit off I wouldn’t be surprised if he managed to pull it off on his own. (Maybe with some help from Atrocities tech/Ember)
        Basil’s constant headache and his powers instability could be a symptom of how much mental resources this invention is taking to finish.

        My second most likely theory is that the MiM is the embodiment of whoever is helping him keep his memories suppressed (Probably Ember, cause I don’t think that there are many other psychics that are powerful enough to not only keep someone from recalling his memories but also capable of instantly wiping out two other “Intruders” without a home field advantage) and the moon really is only a piece of scenery. But given how Amy described it as something under construction I think it’s more likely that it’s an invention.

        I hope that we will get some answers soom. Given how the S6 are coming to NL and tieshaunn hinted at DiL coming too we will probably get some very interesting chapters when Basil either gets caught into their dimension or has to find a way to break into it on save everyone should he come back too late. Will be very interesting to see how the Basil/Macian plotline comes to an end and to finally learn more about Ember. (If you guys haven’t noticed it yet, the Macian/Ember ark was one of my favorites. Bring them back! Oh, and please let the S6 incident happen at the same time DiL attacks! The more chaos the better!)

        On a more serious note, could you please update the cast page after you post the next chapter tieshaunn? It’s embarrassing to admit, but It took some time to figure out who some of the characters you guys discussed were.

      • I really need to get to work on the cast page again, yeah.

        I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but “All the Lost Ones” is going to be about Macian, Ember and the London Incident. Among other things.

      • And wait, tomorrow like tomorrow on Saturday or tomorrow which is now already today on Friday?

      • huh i cannot find fault with either theory, though i believe Ember is a big part of what is going om with Basil and Amy. Dont forget to add the Spiteborm to your future clusterfuck. last i heard they escaped underground with the remainder of their dying Acre.

      • huh, didn’t realize that some of them got away. I am not sure if the spiteborn are capable of staying undercover without someone leading them. Most of them seemed more interested in causing as much damage as they could as fast as possible without caring about any long term goals. It would probably have some very interesting implications should they follow such a plan considering that tieshaunn never outright confirmed that Weisswald was dead for good when we asked him.

        But adding them would make things even better. Just imagine the S6 pulling another city into their dimension only to realize that they managed to get the Junior Heroes with GG, DiL, Basil/Macian (+Amy and maybe Ember/twins), all the resident members of the Syndicate, some remnants of the Spiteborn (should there be any) and maybe Tim, assuming my theory about him is correct (I know, it’s a far fetched one…). And I don’t think that DiL would let them expel her again once they pulled her inside. At least not until she has killed everyone.

        Interesting that Hemming decided to attack NL (don’t believe for a minute that it really was a fair vote to come to NL) considering who they would be up against.
        Combined with Atrocities precog power this should be very interesting.
        Even without adding Macian, Ember (assuming that my theory why he is suffering from too much psychic feedback is correct) and DiL into the mix. the Dark at least thinks he would be capable of killing them, should he be willing to expand the resources. Getting his only sane daughter involved in their “game” seems like a vary bad idea if they plan to stay alive. And that is ignoring LW and all the Heroes she works with.
        This might be their endgame… Kinda hope that Hemming has a very good reason for everything he has done and has been working for the greater good all this time. Don’t really believe that he turned to the Dark Side together with his best friend for no apparent reason…

        @tieshaunn I have another question. Does Hecate’s search for psychic traces work across multiple dimension? Asking because just designing a super weapon without building it somewhat useless. And I think there is a conveniently empty warehouse somewhere…

        (It would just work so perfectly. Can’t find the chapter, but if I recall things correctly the “moon” was being built by robots controlled by the MiM. And we know that Macian/Basil has access to neural interfaces. So it shouldn’t be too difficult for him to control some robots from inside Basils head. And where else to build a secret weapon you want to use in another dimension than in another dimension? And the weird warehouse would be the connection between dimensions.)

      • Hecate COULD theoretically come up with a way to access other dimensions/realities, but she hasn’t so far, and may never – it’s quite out there, even for Contrivers, to do that.

        The spiteborn get progressively smarter, as was said – branchlings are just mindless drones, trunks have basic cognitive functions, roots are near-human level intelligent but can’t leave the acre, blossoms are human-level (or better) and can actively plan and organise the others.

      • I knew that they could get very smart, but I always thought they wouldn’t be patient enough to work on a plan over multiple months. And I wasn’t really sure whether or not the smarter ones survived the explosion. If I am not wrong the more powerful they get the more immobile they are. So they shouldn’t have been able to stay undiscovered by the cleanup crews.

        And Friday sounds good. Friday sounds very good.

      • @tieshaunn: Mah sleep as much as you need

        As for the updating of the cast page I fully concur and I think a bit about Australia should be added to it(yeah I just love what I know about that part of the setting, well I like the rest too but still…)

        Concerning Hecate and other dimensions: Well I do not think it would be that out there for her given her particular focus on witchcraft but eh.

        About the Spiteborn I always had that idea that there is another level after the blossom said level entailing the return of Weisswald to the land of the living. Now if that happened wouldn’t it be a right clusterfuck.

      • And now I have done it and replied to the wrong comment. Repost:

        Interesting. Do comments work different for you tieshaunn? Cause I didn’t see your comment about the lost ones ark today in the morning at eight when I checked in last.

        And I am very much looking forward to this ark now that I know what it will be about. But I hope that they both will also play a more active part in the future once the multi personality stuff has been cleared up. (Assuming that Ember is suffering from too much psychic feedback because he is constantly connected to everyone who has memories about Basil’s past. Don’t think he would be very useful should his condition be permanent)

        To be honest Macian feels like a better character than Basil. At least I think he has more depth and is more unique. Basil is, idk, somewhat plain. There is this world full of crazy characters and it just feels off how he is so “normal”. (Not that I don’t like Basil, especially how cool headed and calm he is in difficult situations, but since we will probably only get one of them I hope he is gonna be more like M)

      • Sometimes wordpress messes comments up for me, showing them out of order or not at all until I reply to another comment. It’s all very annoying.

        I deleted your double-post, by the way, hope you don’t mind.

        Well, Basil is supposed to be “normal”… kinda…

        Also, one could stay that being normal, or at least very calm, among characters like this, is it’s own kind of crazy 😉

  7. Calling it here. Basil’s specialization is donuts. He’s is merely a ludicrously specialized cooking Gadgeteer who’s rating is so high that he’s better outside of his specialization than most Gadgeteers are inside their’s.

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