B13.7 Call of the Sleeper

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Their enemies burst into motion before their teammate even had time to slide down the wall. The man covered in dancing lightning threw his arms out, unleashing four solid blue-white spheres the size of footballs that rose up into the air above the burgeoning fight.

At the same time, the woman in the bird-mask reached out and grabbed her shattered sword, without even looking at it, and dissolved into a murder of shaggy, black crows.

Just then, Gloom Glimmer waved her hand at them in an imperious gesture, sending forth a ripple that travelled through the wax floor, as if it was liquid.

Their enemies saw it coming, of course, and reacted much faster this time; the man in blue and Skulls jumped over the ripple as it reached them, avoiding contact – only to stagger as they sank into the ground, up to their knees, the wax seeming to liquefy, then immediately solidify again, trapping them.

The woman with the book landed on her feet, staggering, as the ripple moved towards her, barely holding onto her shredded book. Basil could see her eyes widen as she saw it coming towards her, with no way to dodge.

“Boltstar!” she shouted, almost a squeal, sounding younger than he would have guessed – he mentally re-assigned her as a girl rather than a woman.

The man in blue twisted around at the hip, throwing out a hand towards her. A crackling, unstable sphere of white-blue energy shot out, hitting the ground just a few feet in front of the girl with the book, where the ripple was.

The very moment it touched the ground, the four spheres he’d thrown up into the air flared up, releasing bolts of painfully bright lightning, one each, striking that point.

The wax was vaporised, making the girl with the book cry out – but the explosion also disrupted whatever power Gloom Glimmer had sent out, protecting the girl with the book from its entrapping effects.

Boltstar twisted around once more, shooting another crackling sphere, this time towards Basil – no, towards Gloom Glimmer, who was floating just over his shoulder and behind.

It hit her in the chest, the spheres above immediately releasing their lightning once more, converging upon her sternum.

He didn’t have the time to check on the effect it had on her, as the crows converged as well, reforming into the purple-clad villainess, to his left and out of his rifle’s firing arc, swinging her broken sword down at his weapon, still enough blade left to possibly slice through the barrel, or at least seriously damage the weapon.

It didn’t work out, as he triggered the force-field on his left arm’s gauntlet, the circular shield springing into existence, flaring up with circuit-like patterns of light as it absorbed and spread out the force of her blow, deflecting the sword.

There was no time for a counter-attack, however, as she immediately dissolved into a multitude of birds once more, obscuring his vision as some of them charged his head, fluttering their wings right in front of his face and cawing up a storm.

No, not playing that game, he thought, triggering one of the defensive modifications he’d done to his armor with a twitch of his eyes. The crows screamed as they were charred to death by a powerful electrical current, at least those who had been in direct contact with any part of his equipment, from his rifle to his cloak, as he rolled to the side, bringing more of them into contact with the cloak and dodging any possible attack at the same time.

He couldn’t smell the charred flesh of the dead animals – he’d sealed his helmet, just in case one of their enemies used a gaseous attack – but he saw their burned corpses twitch on the ground before going still.

The remaining crows pulled together again, reforming into the woman; not a willful action, because she reformed right in front of him; her costume was charred, burned, whole sections of it missing to reveal pale skin underneath; the only thing that protected her modesty being the burns covering most of her torso as she staggered, nearly falling over.

Basil shot her in the knee, the power of his rifle dialed down to where it didn’t tear the limb off, merely shattering the bone and making the woman cry out as she fell.

“Chronicle!” she screamed in pain even as she fell – and then she flickered and leapt at him, whole and unharmed, her the pristine blade of her katana slicing through the barrel of his rifle like it was made of butter.

What?

He rolled back, still holding onto half of his rifle, and saw the man – Boltstar – standing atop the wax, as if he’d never sunk into it, releasing another four spheres to rise up in the air as Hecate and Spellgun, who seemed to have engaged him, stared in surprise.

Coming up into a crouching position, he realised that those two weren’t the only ones suddenly unharmed – Skulls was free as well, once more and so were all her drones. The entire two dozen downed Skulls that his friends had taken out earlier were standing, unharmed and fully armed, surrounding them all.

And then the real fight started.

***

What just happened? Irene thought, feeling panic rise inside as she dodged one of Boltstar’s spheres, not wanting to test her defenses against twice the power it’d had before. His first hit had burned a hole into her costume, though it’d only delivered a painful, but not serious impact to her chest underneath; but that had been before he’d doubled the number of turrets, as she thought of the spheres above.

She combined her dodge with a spin, letting her see the result of the sphere impacting the wall behind her, across the hall – eight lightning bolts hit in a massive explosion, making her feel quite glad she’d dodged – while she completed her pirouette, to face the core of her opponents – Skulls, Boltstar and Chronicle.

The crow-woman was busy fighting Ba- Brennus, now that she’d been rejuvenated, but he was as slippery as usual, dodging her strikes or deflecting them with his new force-shield – Seriously, he came up with a force-field? Dad is going to descend into paroxysms – while he actually pressed the attack, striking at her with the butt of his ruined rifle, swinging it like an improvised tonfa, having reversed his grip on it.

She didn’t have time to admire his tenacity, though, because the dozens of Skulls around them had drawn her team’s attention from Boltstar and there was nothing to stop him from lobbing more of those targeting shots of his, every one of them triggering the eight turrets above to devastating effect, forcing her to dance through the air, cloak flying wildly, even as taser shots from the Skulls were bouncing off her skin, tearing tiny chunks out of her costume.

It was quite clear that her current power loadout was not up to the task of fighting off this assault, but to risk letting go of them… what if she got something unsuited to the task? Just one hit from Boltstar’s turrets would most likely knock her out, forcing her into her safe mode and leaving her friends to fight alone.

I need some breathing room, she thought, only to realise that she did have the means to get it.

Flight, impenetrable skin and reinforced organs, enhanced reflexes and liquefying ripples. The solution was there.

After dodging another one of Boltstar’s spheres, she threw her arms open, causing ripples to spread out from the ground underneath her, carefully restraining them so they did not liquefy the ground enough to trap anyone – that would’ve hit her friends, as well; no, instead, she caused the wax to buck, the ripples enlarging into waves, liquefying just enough to hold onto the feet of everyone, causing them to be thrown about, yet not lose their footing, disrupting the fight for a few precious moments.

She used them to stop holding onto her current abilities. Her power, which had already been aching to change, immediately switched them out, the current set rapidly fading away to be replaced by new ones.

Taking on new abilities was always a strange, yet familiar experience to Irene. The old ones would… fade, as if sinking down into a deep ocean, only for new powers to rise up from the darkness, taking their place. The strange part being when they settled in and knowledge of them filled her mind, as if she’d always had them. Not always complete knowledge, but knowledge nonetheless, letting her put them to use straight away, even if she didn’t always immediately understand every aspect of them.

A new form of flight, tapping into gravity around her, rapidly flipping it to keep her in place, accompanied by a light sense of vertigo before her inner ear adapted; it would allow her to corner at extreme speeds by flipping and enhancing the effect of gravity on herself, with the side-effect of being able to turn herself into a powerful projectile if need be.

A defensive power, a kind of discorporation, that would have her body instantly turn into smoke upon being hit, avoiding damage of all kinds.

Finally, an offensive ability, unraveling her limbs into countless tendrils that could snap out and crush or slash targets with incredible strength.

Irene frowned. The abilities didn’t fit. The flight was too powerful, taking up too much of her potential in one power that was wasted in such tight confines. Her defense made both the offensive aspect of her flight, as well as her main attack power useless, as she’d discorporate upon impact, negating any damage she might cause.

Her body burst into smoke as countless taser shots penetrated it, causing no damage whatsoever. The same held true for Boltstar’s shot, which simply flew through her, rather than trigger a shot from the eight turrets above.

It was then that she discovered another problem with her current powerset – while her tendrils were numerous and fast enough to strike the taser bolts out of the air, but she couldn’t suppress the smoke-defense, as it was completely automatic.

No, I need something else!

She flew up, still in smoke form – at least it still let her flight work, though it was slower than she knew it could be – and reformed above the battle, just in time to hear a massive caterwauling sound.

Below her, Melody’s attack left the villains reeling, though it did nothing to her team – the junior heroes all had protective earbuds, courtesy of Melody herself, and Hecate either had her own defenses or something made by Brennus.

The villains were not so lucky – the only one who seemed to resist was the crow-woman, who burst into a murder of crows, much the same way Irene had burst into smoke to evade attacks.

Osore was the first one to capitalise on the distraction, as he unleashed his literally fearsome, black blasts, shooting two Skulls in rapid succession. His body was already bulging, at least twice as heavy as he had been at the outset, sucking up the fear around him. Having the Skulls rejuvenated might have given the enemy more firepower, but it also gave him more fear to feed on, even if their emotions were suppressed – his fear blasts took care of that.

Still, the fight was not going well. Hecate was on the defensive, having erected a bubble made of a green force field as half a dozen Skulls focused fire on her.

Boltstar, meanwhile, kept shooting at her, preventing her from pulling herself together and focusing; at least until something hit his knee hard enough to shatter it, making him fall down and scream in pain.

Brennus. Somehow, his rifle was still functional, even with half the barrel missing.

Irene immediately reformed her body and let go of her current powers, mentally pushing them away, reaching for something new, something useful.

She started to drop as her gravity power faded, only to catch herself as a duo of new powers set in. A powerful aerokinesis, starting around her, stirring up the air to hold her aloft, more floating than flying, growing stronger as it spread further around her; the other was stranger, a power she’d had before, though rarely. A kind of pericognition tied to her sight, letting her glean progressively more information on powers the longer she focused on a person within her line of sight.

Boltstar, came the information as she focused on the man who’d been focusing on her in turn, charges up over time to create up to four turret-spheres that he can release and recall at will; trigger-spheres release lightning bolts from turret-spheres. Charging up new spheres takes longer than existing spheres persist.

She frowned, even as she dodged another one of his trigger-spheres, simultaneously recognising another use of her aerokinesis – anything that entered its growing sphere of influence, she could feel through the way it disturbed the air, giving her an edge up on dodging attacks.

This, this is good, she thought. I love it when I get a good one like this. Still, how did he make eight turrets when his limit is supposed to be four?

His form flickered, again, and he was standing once more, unharmed like before – and repeated the exact same movement as last time, releasing another four spheres, which spread out towards the walls, for a total of twelve.

Not his power, she thought. Someone else’s.

She sent a blast of air at him, forcing the man to dive out of the way instead of sending another trigger-sphere at her, buying herself time to focus on the crow-woman.

Karasuha. Contriver, specialising on enchanting items with animal-spirit th-

No, not her, she thought. It wasn’t Skulls, either – she’d already figured his power out. Which left only the last one, Chronicle. But she was out of sight, outside the tower in the hallway.

Got to get a good look at her, Irene decided, and dove down, both dodging Boltstar’s next attack – which utterly destroyed an entire fourth of the fifth and sixth level of the prison tower, as no less than twelve turrets fired upon it.

Irene dropped down in free-fall, catching herself just five feet off the ground and generated a gust of wind powerful enough to bowl over the Skulls around her, buying everyone but Basil, Spellgun and Tartsche some breathing room.

The former because he was busy kicking Karasuha’s ass, beating the woman senseless with punches and kicks, the latter two because Tartsche had his power active over both himself and his boyfriend, keeping them absolutely safe.

Osore had swollen in size, his body deformed, a huge pot-belly forming as his skin started to turn into a purplish red colour, his mask beginning to fuse with his face; Bakeneko rode on his shoulders, shifted into a cape-like mass of furry tentacles that lashed out at the Skulls around him as he waded through the enemy’s lines, smashing left and right with his enlarged fists, while firing more fear blasts inbetween to spark more fear, and thus more growth.

Then, the Skulls flickered, all of them, and they were whole again, as Osore dropped in size by almost a foot, the effects of his power on them reversed along with the damage.

Irene averted her gaze, looking through the gate at Chronicle.

Can record people and objects by touch, reset them to the state they were in when recorded. Requires line of sight to trigger reset. Favourable interaction with powers of her teammates.

She could see it now. Resetting Boltstar to a charged state, so as to release more turrets. Resetting Skulls, which somehow also reset his entire collective, fixing them all at once. Resetting Karasuha… there had to be an interaction there, as well, with her contrivances. She wasn’t going to check – Contrivers tended to give her a headache at the best of times, she really couldn’t afford that now.

If I take Chronicle down, it won’t matter. She’s the key member of her group, she thought, twisting into a spiral to avoid another trigger-sphere and letting loose another gale-blow, this time aimed at the main Skull, knocking him/her into the wall just as he/she had been about to shoot Melody in the back.

She might have made that blow more brutal than it needed to be, but… fuck it, he deserved it.

Next, she shot forward, flying so low her breasts nearly dragged over it, her cape billowing in the gales she used to propell herself.

Shooting past Boltstar before he could take him, she blasted him out of sight from Chornicle, helped by the fact that the girl saw her coming and dove out of the way, away from the gate into the tower.

The others reacted instantly, all except Karasuha, who didn’t have the leisure to do anything but try to fend off Brennus. Boltstar threw a trigger-sphere at her with what seemed to be alarm on his face, for the first time in this battle; no less than half the Skulls, including the main host, opened fire in her direction.

Gale-like winds shot out from her, violently, blowing the taser-bolts away as she also moved herself forward and around the corner, just barely dodging the crackling trigger-sphere.

Buoyed onwards by the explosion behind her, she shot down the hallway towards the fleeing Chronicle, relinquishing her aerokinesis to her power’s urge to change – the hallways were too narrow to use it effectively. Unfortunately, her power-sight went with it, torn away along with the power over wind to make room for another.

A new power rose up as she fell towards the ground, a familiar, warm one. It was a power she often drew upon, ripples and waves in various forms, affecting both matter and energy; every time she used it, she felt safe, even when it had nothing to do with defense. It was a big power, always, no matter what form it took, explaining why she had lost the costly power-sight as well as the rather costly aerokinesis.

She hit the ground rolling, the way her mother had taught her to take a fall and, as she came up onto a crouching position, she slapped the ground in front of her with an open palm.

Ripples spread from the point of impact, through the floor, towards Chronicle, over the walls and even onto the ceiling.

She could feel them spread, rapidly, propagating through the wax and the other materials beneath it, overtaking Chronicle who was only moving with the speed of a normal, if fit girl.

As soon as they had spread far enough, she triggered the ability, the way her innate understanding guided her to do.

The ripples congregated into six different points, focusing, and then the wax shot out in six spikes towards Chronicle, spearing through the heavy robe she was wearing, though not hitting her body – pinning her in place, standing up, coming out from all around and ahead of her.

“Shit! Shit, fuck you, fuck you you bitch!” she shouted, struggling, trying to break out of the waxen spears holding her in place.

Irene charged at her, pushing the ripples away, new, simpler powers coming up; a burst of speed, enhanced strength, toughness and a sense for weakpoints and resistance.

Using the speed she flashed forward, until she was right behind the girl. Using her enhanced sense, she hit the back of her head with just the right amount of strength to knock her out, without causing lasting damage. She didn’t actually want to risk killing anyone.

The girl’s body grew slack, the strength going out of it.

“That’s what you get for being a potty-mouth,” she quipped, grinning, before she whirled around to flash towards the door.

Before she could even reach it, there was a massive, ear-bursting blast of sound, and Boltstar was slammed into the wall, through the gate; he hit it so hard he left behind a man-shaped impression after falling off, unconscious.

Irene took the corner and got ready to intervene, but there was no need – Karasuha was already down, and so Bas- Brennus had joined forces with Hecate and Melody, the two of them hiding behind his force-field, while systematically taking down the Skulls whom Osore – who was halfway towards looking completely like one of the mythological Oni his power had styled itself after – and Bakeneko were not already taking care of. Tartsche and Spellgun were supporting their efforts from another angle, and without Boltstar’s deafening, powerful blasts and, most importantly, Chronicle’s continuous resets, they were mopped up quickly.

The main Skull went down last, snarling as he/she tried to dodge a shot from Melody’s gauntlets, only to take a blast of smoking green fire into his face after it curved around Brennus’ force-field.

And just like that, it was over.

They looked at each other, as they surveyed their enemies. “Wow, that was…” Irene began.

“… intense,” Spellgun finished her sentence, stepping away from Tartsche, out of his protection.

Irene nodded, approaching Melody. Her friend looked like she had taken a few hits, chipping away at her armor, as well as some bigger hits.

“What happened?” she asked, worried, letting go of her powers.

“I got caught in one of turret-sphere-guy’s blasts. Only at the periphery of it, but it was enough to shake me up,” Melody replied, making a pained expression.

Irene felt her face screw up, briefly, trembling all over as she had to fight herself not to whirl around and cut loose with the fiery blast that had just come up, obliterating the unconscious Boltstar for his offense – but at the same time, she also got a kind of healing power, a slow, but versatile ability to fix matter.

Helping her friend was more important than punishing the guy who’d hurt her (not to mention more ethical), so she stepped forward, reaching out for Melody.

The musician reached out in turn and took her hand, clasping fingers; whether she knew Irene had a power that could heal her, or just wanted to show some affection, it was enough to use the ability.

Melody shuddered as the power spread through her body in ripples, starting from her hand where it touched Irene’s, repairing both the (fortunately superficial) damage to her body, and to her equipment, working from the inside out. A sigh escaped her lips as the pain disappeared.

Brennus walked up to them, followed by Hecate.

“Would you mind using that on my rifle?” he asked, holding out the two pieces of his weapon.

“Not at all,” she replied with a smile, taking them and holding them together as her power worked on the weapon. “Though, it doesn’t seem like this was enough to break it…”

Hecate snorted derisively. “If that idiot had known Brennus at all, she’d have known that he builds redundancies into his equipment.”

Brennus chuckled as Melody looked curiously at the weapon. “Yeah, I built it so it can work with up to seventy-five percent of the barrel gone, though the more it loses, the more both accuracy and range drop.”

“That’s a smart design philosophy,” Melody praised him.

“You probably won’t like this, but you really remind me of my dad sometimes,” Irene joked. “He’s always on me about having safeties, redundancies and generally being prepared for everything possible.”

He tilted his head, as if surprised. “Hm, is that just your father? What about your mother?” he asked with curiosity clear even through the distortion in his voice thanks to his helmet.

“She pretty much says the same, but she’s not as obsessive about it as dad,” she replied lightly.

The others joined their circle, Osore back down to his normal size, Bakeneko clinging to him, back in cat-girl form, her arms wrapped around his neck from behind. Tartsche and Spellgun were holding hands, as usual, but in such a way that both of them could still hold their rifles – Spellgun in his right, Tartsche in his left, as he didn’t have to worry about recoil.

“Not to break up the fun, but what are we going to do next?” Tartsche asked calmly. “This thing is already borderline-FUBAR – should we retreat, or do we press on?”

“My goal has not changed,” Brennus replied while inspecting his repaired rifle.

‘My’ goal, not ‘our’, Irene thought.

“I am going after Dusu and getting that cure. If anyone wants to retreat now, I will not hold it against you, nor will anyone else who is sane,” he said calmly.

Tartsche frowned, seeming almost insulted. “Like I’m going to abandon you in this place, alone? No, I’m in this to the end. I’d just rather advance with a plan – do we even know where to find Dusu? We already know that Gloom Glimmer can’t locate her.”

Irene sighed, still annoyed that her power was betraying her on that count – but at least it’d helped properly in fighting the enemy, so she’d cut it some slack on that front.

Still… She took out her bottle of pills, swallowing three of them. Better safe than sorry. I almost lost it a moment ago, after all.

As soon as she took them, the constant pressure that was her power – like water held back behind a valve, constantly trying to break through – eased, calming her.

“We will just have to interrogate one of our captives,” Brennus replied calmly. “At least one of them ought to know where she-“

“Tyche!” Hecate shouted, suddenly, bursting into smoke that rushed past Irene.

She whirled around, surprised, to see her reform at the gate, throwing her arms around a stunned-looking Tyche, bowling the girl over as she hugged the life out of her.

“You’re alright!” Hecate cried, sounding like she was sobbing.

“Ugh… breath… can’t… dying…” Tyche flailed her arms, though she didn’t actually seem to try and push her friend away.

“Oh, sorry!” Hecate shouted, leaping up onto her feet. Then she reached out, offering her friend a hand, and pulled her up onto her feet in turn – only to wrap her arms around her again, this time more gently. “I was so worried, though! What happened?”

Irene watched the reunion, a smile on her face. I wonder if she feels the way I felt when I found Melody? She could feel a power rise up, to find just that out, but she resisted it, pushing it back down again. That would have been a waste, surely.

Brennus joined them, putting a hand on Tyche’s shoulder where Hecate wasn’t draped over it.

“Welcome back,” he said, softly, the relief audible.

“Thanks, guys,” Tyche smiled a brittle smile, hugging both of her friends, one with each arm.

Irene frowned, studying her closer.

She looked… horrible. Her face looked like she’d been crying, her eyes were bloodshot and her mascara was running down her face.

Her face! Irene thought in shock. She’d taken off her mask, thrown it back like a hood, her face free for anyone to see. Why? What had happened to her.

“Tyche, what-” Brennus began, obviously noticing the same thing while pulling back from the hug.

“I know where she is,” Tyche cut him off, as she leaned into Hecate’s embrace. “I know where Dusu is, and what way to take to her. But we need to hurry.”

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73 thoughts on “B13.7 Call of the Sleeper

  1. -> Writing happily away at the chapter
    -> Gets a delayed notification from Patreon about new patrons
    -> checks out pledge amount
    -> descends into mouth-frothing paroxysms

    There’ll be another chapter within the next few days, most likely on Sunday. Brennus again.

    I’m honestly not too happy how the fight here turned out, but… I never like my fights, no matter how I write them. Do you think it’s adequate at least?

    • Perfectly adequate. Maybe not one for the history books, but it was interesting and it made sense (both in ability of the audience to interpret and the decisions made by the combatants).

  2. The fight is nice, although it becomes clear that the enemies were not ready to face the versatility of this group.
    Now, I wonder if the group is being let to a trap.

  3. Hmm…Nice fight, though it was clear that the enemy team was not taking Basil’s group as seriously as they should have, had they been a bit more careful I think things would have ended very differently, said enemies truly have interesting powers and good synergy, especially since I am sure we haven’t seen everything Karasuha is capable of with her contriving, also it would seem Chronicle’s power does not work on herself nor does she seem to have anything else if that’s the case she should have been protected better, as for Skulls something tells me we have not seen her at her best either. The scary thing is that this team(aside from maybe skulls)is likely not the best the Fellows of the Future have to offer.

    It seems I was right about Osore, the guy had another power that makes him even more dangerous, I think gven his other powers that he is some kind of fear based hulk who uses other people’s fear to power up, creating the fear he needs by using the power that made Basil go apeshit on the Spiteborn way back when.

    Tyche is back with her friends, good, but still we see the aftermath of what Immanuel did to her and despite being in such a bad place she still helps her friend…Meh I truly hope they will help her and she will get well again because damn.

    Also out of the outback question: can the australian Tick Tock pull what Chronicle pulls here ? I ask because in my head cannon this is one of the things she can do.

    By the way I hope we see that Gefährten team again and that they get fleshed out a bit, they might be good to see a bit from the organisation from the inside through an interlude.

    • Tick-Tock can do something superficially similar. She can’t “record” people at an arbitray point in time (like right after they have fully charged up their power) to reset them to it, but can set a time (“X seconds ago”, for example) and expand that much of her stored time to send someone back, but there are different nuances.

      • I see, very interesting and I’ll bet that this also works on herself explaining why she says she cannot be killed like her Queen albeit I am sure for different reasons and I am sure that’s only the surface of Australian!Tick-Tock’s timefuckery.

        Also I would not be surprised if Tick-Tock version of the power also reverted back the mind of the targeted person thus depriving said person of the memories he/she had gotten since that point. Of course I also think Tick- Tock can actually chose if she affects the mind too, hell I would not be surprised if she could chose to only revert the mind. Damn I need more Australia soon.

        Time powers are always powerful one of my favorite types actually, I was wondering are they rare in the setting ?

      • Pretty rare, yes, at least the obvious ones. There’s some more subtle temporal abilities (like Outstep’s super-speed) or Contrivers that mess with it, that are more common, though not actually common), but actual time manipulation is very rare, very feared and very coveted.

        Do notice that the two biggest official teams of powerhouses (the Shining Guardians and the Dark Five) both have no time-manipulator on them.

      • Ah okay makes sense and I can see why the Australian idiots er Rebels shat their pants thinking of Tick- Tock. that in itself makes me wonder how well known she is in the right circles given the nature and apparent potency of her power.

        Contrivers messing with time being not that common might be a good thing given their usual stability problems. Besides that makes Hecate a rare one then since she does it on some limited level with her aging fire spell.

        I had not noticed actually as Severance managed to keep his power under wraps since his beginnings and well done right one could do so with Time manipulation and it could have explained why Karquok’s arms when cut by him regenerated more slowly. So my theory of Severance being a space/Time manipulator goes down the drain, oh well…

      • Fair enough, so that theory is not dead yet at least until you reveal Severance’s power which is likely to be in quite some time.

        Another completly random questions: Do Queen Madeleine and Journeyman know each other ? Will we see Coyote again ?

      • Okay, thanks for the answers and sorry about bugging you with Australia but well I just love that part of your world.

        Eh thought of something just now: A pity Chronicle was not discovered by the heroes as she would be very useful to them in the big battles to limit casualties and “heal” their members and that’s not even mentioning the synergies with others or possible heterodyning, the Gefährten are truly good a finding strong and/or useful metas.

        I wonder how Chrnoicle’s power compares with Vek’s, well aside from the fact that Vek doesn’t seem to be able to affect living beings(that is if I recqall correctly).

      • Chronicle has a limit as to how many people she can record at a time.

        Yeah, the Gefährten are good at talentfinding.

        Their powers are very different. Vek’s is non-living objects only, has no limit to how many can be affected at a time other than how many she can touch, and she has a few power tricks. For example, she can “hold” something in time, essentially making it indestructible and immovable while she’s touching it.

        I never mind being bugged about my work xD

      • Ah, but she can also do inanimate things given Gloomy’s power description of Chronicle’s so the question is is Chronicle’s limit globat or has she one for inanimate and one for people ?

        The Gefährten being good at finding talents does ot surprise me, especially if I am right about Immanuel’s power. now of course they also have to have a killer infrastructure to have survived that long that is longer than the syndicate so that means they do not just rely on Immanuel’s power.(again IF his power is what I think it is)

        My Vek is even better than I thought she was, she is quite the useful one to have on your side, but if she can pull what amounts to a Clockblocker on the top of the restoration ability it is quite the thing and the best is that you said that this was but ONE of her tricks…cannot wait for the next Aap segment.(or a Matriach one, works too)

        Well then if I am not bugging you I shall ask some more:

        – What exactly are Slough and Jabberwocky’s powers, we got some hints about them pointing to Slough having a shifter power and we got a run down on Jabberwocky’s perception ability and him being immune to them but is that all ? What exactly do their powers entail ? are they on the same scale as Henessy and Dearheart ?

        – What exactly were Palechuck’s and Rebar’s ability in the Spirit of the hunt ? I gathered that Rebar has some kind of power charging but is that right ?

        – is Prospero’s daughter a powerful Meta in the same league as her father ?

        – Would I be right in thinking that the AMU royal palace is where there are the most true second generation metas due to all the powerful Meta that live and Heterodyne there and the children on the premises.

        – Is it possible to have some details on Pazuzu and Asag ?

        – What is Rising Tide’s power exactly ?.

      • Chronicle can not, for example, “hold” objects in time. She resets instantly back to the point she recorded them at.

        Vek’s power is not quite as inviolable as Clockie’s. For example, if she’s using it on a wall, and a sufficiently strong opponent pushes against it, they could overpower her ability, though they’d need to be VERY strong to do so.

        Slough, Jabberwocky, Chayot and Dearheart all manifested simultaneously and their powers are connected, each variations on the same central themes.

        Slough can “slough off” his current “skin”, like a snake shedding its old scales, though it happens near-instantly, as his old form basically melts and slides off. Every time he does this, he comes out with a new look and a new power. He has no control over the form and power that results – rather, they are influenced by people around him at the time of the change; not in a way that makes him a power mimic, but more in the same way that Chayot is influenced in her behaviour, analysing emotions, personalities and his relationship to the persons present to construct his new appearance and power. For example, if he transforms in the middle of a gang he is fighting against, he’ll get a more fearsome appearance, tapping into the primal fears of the gangsters, and a (usually minor) power more suited to fighting groups of people in melee.

        Dearheart got several distinct powers around one major one. Mind control as her major power (though she rarely uses it, preferring to rely on her lesser powers – morals, you know?) and an enhanced body that’s pretty much as beautiful as a teenage girl can be, the ability to mess with other peoples’ powers via a projectile attack, briefly disrupting them and a personal force-field that gives her minor super-strength, super-toughness and wingless flight.

        In Chayot’s case, all the powers merged into the one big power we’ve seen, centered around reading/absorbing emotions and using them as patterns to design a variety of powers out of (her tenant does the load of the work here, only tapping her mind to gain context).

        Jabberwocky was an outliar in that manifestation event. Instead of getting one major power with several minors merged into it or along with it, he got several distinct major powers.

      • He turned into a monstrous draconic form that’d adjust on the fly as needed (grow wings or pull them back in; form tentacles, or a stinger on his tail; extra heads; included a regenerative effect)
      • He had a telekinetic power tied to his breath – by breathing onto something (like a dragon breathes fire) his power would seap into it and give him telekinetic control over it. Worked on both living and non-living targets.
      • He had a very unusual ability that interferred with Pretercognitives. Basically, any such Esper who focused on him became “infected” by his power, which would distort the visions they were seeing without them noticing, giving false information, usually in such a way as to obscure his movements and use them to set up traps for his enemies (they’d unknowingly drive their troops into ambushes, such as areas suffused with his breath or completely overlook him coming for them, even reassign the people meant to defend them to other areas).
      • Palechuck could launch spears out of solid material within his line of sight.

        Rebar? The only Rebar I have showed up in Born At Sleep, as a villain helping in the fight against Crocell; specifically, one of Weaver’s recurring foes.

        No, she’s not. None of his children have manifested powers so far.

        You would be wrong.

        Rising Tide’s name is very literal. He can merge himself partially into any material (concrete, water, rock, etc), leaving only parts outside of it that he needs (like his head, to be able to see) and attacks by charging people that way (he doesn’t have enough control over it to, say, form arms or anything). The more he moves around, the more material he can gather up into this form, making for bigger, stronger attacks with wider reach.

        Pazuzu and Asag were childhood friends who manifested in their late teenage years, when their village was attacked by the Kangaroo King’s Killeroos (less funny than it sounds, I assure you). They were both very powerful, obviously, and instrumental in taking the mad king down. Afterwards, they basically declared themselves the protectors of Australia, splitting it into two halves, one for each, though it soon became clear that they were no better than their predecessors, ruling as capricious tyrants.

        Asag was able to transmute minerals within a certain range of herself (including within living beings, though not within other metahumans) into dense, black crystals comparable in toughness to steel. Someone pissed her off? Crystallize their legbones and make them grow blades and needles out through their flesh. She also had telekinetic control over the crystals so created, which got stronger the closer to herself the crystals in question were; one of her favourite tricks was to form an armor of black crystals around her body, directly on her skin, that she could use to fly around (usually adding wings, horns and hte like for the sake of intimidation) and, if need be, grow into a building-sized behemoth from whose every part she could grow blades and spears at will, and also launch them for ranged attacks; among many other power tricks she developed over time. She also made Pazuzu’s throne, as a present.

        Pazuzu was almost the opposite of her friend, her power more abstract, less obviously dangerous. She could manipulate air on a vast scale, but it wasn’t really aerokinesis as you might think; the effects she generated were long-lasting (thus why her throne still appears to be floating in the sky), more illusions than actual physical changes, using air to manipulate light, sound and even, to a certain degree, touch and smell, covering entire stretches of land with fata morganas that’d confuse and mentally assault victims (airy shapes taking forms vaguely reminiscent of deceased loved ones or other subjects, speaking gibberish that translated to accusations and intimations in the victim’s mind, just as an example), or plainly redirect them (someone would think a hated enemy had broken into their house and kill them, only for the illusion to lift and them to see that they just choked the life out of their spouse/child/friend). Even after her death, there are several areas in Australia (caves, a swamp, an abandoned village, a mine) where her power still lingers, essentially “haunting” them.

      • Well first of all thanks for taking time to answer my questions now:

        – Okay not unmovable and indestructible object but close enough to count, again that makes Vek’s power quite useful especially since this is only one of the many tricks she developped with it. So in short unless you are the Protector or someone with that level of strength or have other God level damage power you don’t get past objects she”freezes”.

        – I remember those four manifested simultaneously and that has always made me wonder what they could accomplish if they heterodyned after all one of the other examples of such a grouped manifestation was the Living Trinity, true causes are most likely different(as we do not really know the conditions of the Trinity’s manifestation)but still.

        – So to simplify, Slough can pull an Orochimaru skin shedding and gets a new form with a new power influenced by those around him every time he does it…Interesting, I wonder how potent the various abilities he can get can become, another thing does the change heal him ? IE if he is heavily wonded and sheds his skin would his new form be fully healed ? Does he instinctivly know how to use his new power like Gloomy does ?

        – Oh ? You did not mention her regenerative ability nor the ability to extend her field to others that was mentioned in 11.8. Also I dunno why but i can’t help to feel there is something very wrong about Camille and that was even before I knew of her power.

        – Didn’t he also have a tricked out danger sense that allowed him to locate the greatest threat to him flawlessly ? Anyway, damn this guy was truly dangerous that’s a very nice powerset you thought up, I could have seen him be useful to a variety of groups.

        – Oh, so Palechuck had nothing more that what was shown just a vanilla power and god tier super idiocy.

        – I meant Redrocker, dunno where Rebar came from quite frankly.

        – Oh ? Well I guess living in the palace makes Manifestation worthy events rather rare for them and the positive ones are harder to get. of course if they are sencond gen it should be easier for them but that’s a big if.

        – Really ? but there has to be at least some OR that could mean there are lots of second gen but that there’s a place somewhere where there’s more of them…Verdammt Gefährten der Zukunft.

        – Yeah…I get why the guy is the leader of the New Lennston forrester chapter, this power can be downright nasty, good thing he didn’t”fall in love”with Ciara because the result could have been very very nasty.

        – Damn, Pazuzu(her name was kind of a giveaway that her power had something to do with air) and Asag are great the powers you came up with for them are very nice, especially Pazuzu’s which is downright nasty and I am sure their character and story is suitably good too and tragic, at first from what Prospero said I thought they were contriver who became unstable as most of them do past a certain point, but no…and now I am paranoid and can’t help to wonder if someone didn’t help them to lose their minds. And Prospero was right it’s a pity they couldn’t hold until Madeleine came to be.

        – So is it possible to have any details about the Kangaroo king ?

        – And for the sake of curiousity could Madeleine have repelled/killed Weisswald if she had existed at the time ?

        – Are there many S Class Metas in south Africa(or at least were there as i do not doubt Severance tends to…clean up quite a lot).

      • Yes, Slough heals when shedding his form, but it’s tiring to do it too often in succession. The powers he gets, aside from his new form, are usually minor (such as fiery breath, or acidic spit, able to stretch his limbs, etc)

        Forgot to list those, yeah. Though they’re relatively minor compared to her other powers.

        He didn’t actually have a danger sense, the heroes merely misinterpreted his abilities (remember, he actively messed with people trying to analyse him).

        Redrocker built up charges of power (on the order of 1 every X minutes, with the exact amount of time necessary depending on how much adrenaline was in his system – more adrenaline, faster charge), holding up to six at a time. He could spend them to increase any of his physical characteristiscs for about 5 minutes per charge – strength, toughness, recovery, senses, etc.

        Places like the installation are actually remarkably unlikely to produce second-gen metas, for a variety of reasons.

        Don’t need to be a contriver to lose your mind. Don’t even need to be a metahuman. There was nothing power-related about their behaviour, other than their abilities enabled them and let them get away with more. They were born into a mad place and grew up to be mad people. That’s all there is to it.

        The Kangaroo King was one of those metahumans that people still have trouble classifying. Some argue he was a contriver, others that his power simply took a very strange focus. Basically, he had power over Kangaroos. It wasn’t just that he could command them, but he could change them, too. Using his power on a kangaroo would cause it to be encased in a cocoon from which it would emerge changed, enhanced. And he had a boatload of augmentations he could attach, like turning some into basically living baby factories to make more kangaroos, or into hunter-killer drones (his Killeroos) with enough physical power and intelligence to rival elite military units. First year of having his power, he spent in the Outback building up his army, refining it by pitting the kangaroos against each other or against stragglers and wandering metahumans or raiders, then he unleashed them in a bid to take over Australia, terrorizing it for several years before a coalition of warlords and independent metahumans (such as Pazuzu and Asag) finally put him down; however, he went down killing most of the established warlords, paving the way for Asag and Pazuzu to take over.

        Madeleine vs Weisswald? Dunno, I never actually considered that matchup. Would depend on the circumstances, I guess? She has way more raw power, but it wasn’t simply his superpowers that made Weisswald so dangerous, it was his charisma and his keen tactical and strategic mind, the way he employed his fanatic followers.

        Yes, there were and are, though not as many as there used to be before he took over. Sovereign hates the idea that anyone or anything might be more powerful than him and just having a power or powers like that is reason enough for him to come after them. Either they swear allegience to him or he kills them.

      • – Ah, so it seems he is the one who got the comparitvely weaker power of the whole event, but given what it seems to have done to the toehrs this might not be a bad thing.

        – A regenerative ability stated to be rather powerful by the Dark himself relatively minor ? Okay then.

        – Ah a misinterpretaion of his power, that happens especially given the circumstances, a pity though as it would a fit quite nicely with his other abilities as it would have shared their theme.

        – So I got redrocker right, guy was a bit like Battery with some differences, on a completly unrelated note I wonder if they are still S class people around in Australia that do not work for her Majesty.

        – Hmmm…I would guess such places do not yeild second gen due to lack of emotional connection between the Metas and normals. But then the AMU Royal Palace is not like the Instalation.

        – Okay, I just thought that was it given the high possibilities of mental derangements for high powered Metas and Contrivers in particular, should have considred Australia being well Australia and this having it’s effect on people.

        – Okay a cross between a tricked out Bitch and Teacher focused on Kangaroos that’s both silly and very terrifying.

        – And here I was hoping to sneakily get details on both Weisswald’s and Queen Madeleine’s powersets with that question, oh well at least I know Maddie has more raw power than Adolf. Would I be right that Weisswald WOULD have attacked the AMU if it had existed in his time or am I misjudging the guy’s personnality ?

        – I was thinking more about South Africa as in where Severance is chilling as Sovereign killing off or”recruiting”those metahumans is pretty much a given, btw does he have many Metas workng for him ?

        – How old Is Patrid ?

        – What exactly is Amazon’s power set ?

      • – minor as in, minor impact on her combat ability, not minor in strength. Compared to mind control, being able to disrupt superpowers and a personal force-field, simple regeneration, even a powerful one, is not all that “major”

        yes, there are some s-class threats she hasn’t taken care of. She doens’t have any working for her, though.

        more like a tricked out bitch meets nilbog, if you wanna insist on Worm comparisons 😉

        I can’t say whether you’re misjudging his personality unless you tell me what you are judging him AS. why do you think he would attack it?

        Yes, there are plenty of those South of Sovereign’s territory.

        Patrick is… I think about 40 years old? I don’t remember the exact number right now, would have to check. He looks younger than that, though, like early-to-mid thirties.

        Amazon can manifest a partially transluscent golden armor in a fantasy-greek style around her that gives her super-strength, super-toughness and protects her from mental powers and sensory attacks (she can’t be blinded or deafened, for example) and it filters the air she breathes, too.

      • – Hmm…I can see that

        – Oh , Tick Tock, Prospero, Totemiac and Coyote do not rate the S rank ? Bah I guess S class are too instable to properly work with or that they tend to anger Madeleine sooner or later causing them to meet an early end.

        – I did not use Nilbog to compare as he makes his creatures from raw Biomass as opposed as turning animals into them and used Teacher because of the fact that he gives his Killeroos the intellect to rival elite Military units and giving such things makes me think of Teacher. As for the worm comprisons well they are merely simplifications to see if I got the power correctly plus I did also use one Naruto comparison for Slough.

        – Well the reason I think Weisswald would attack AMU if he was still around or if it had exited in his time is because the Queen lets the unmanifested live in her country without problems and does not try to force people to manifest not even the Orphans she has taken in or her own Lieutenants’ children, not only that but I could see him demand her to fight for his cause which, if I got the Queen right, she would refuse.

        – Heh, so Severance has plenty of well Severing to do then.

        – So Mister Putrid is not around since the 1930s or something like that, just wanted to be sure since the guy IS a God tier physique type and seems to have at the very least an above average intellect.

        – Ah not the run in the Mill brick then, nice eh given the immunity her power affords her when active what Amy did to her(well what she thinks was done to her at any rate)must be even worse for her.

        – Speaking of flying brick is it just me or does Kakitsune have something else aside from the flying brick package like say some fire based stuff or some level of shapeshifting ?

        – Are we going to see Chronicle again ?

        – What does Australian!Tick Tock think of Lady Light ?

        Also did I tell you that I greatly respect you for having put such a setting together ?

      • S-Rank is meant to describe someone or something that’s dangerous enough to draw coalitions of heroes and villains together to put it down. Usually threats on the scale of Hastur, Crocell and so on. Few sane metahumans qualify, other than the like of Lady Light and the Dark who are (informally!) given these ranks due to being just so damn powerful both politically and personally
      • She does, however, have a metahuman nobility, which he’d like.
      • That he does. Though he prefers smashing.
      • It’s been stated before that Mindstar got her hooks into her while her armor was down, as even she couldn’t penetrate its mental defenses.
      • She can spread her invulnerability to anything that’s directly in contact with her bare skin (such as her clothing), which is also the reason why she wears so very little – makes it easier for her teammates to touch her skin so she can protect them in a pinch. Though she also enjoys showing off.
      • Yes.
      • She respects her, is a little scared of her and hopes she’ll never have to fight her, given Gwen’s track record of winning nearly every fight she’s in.
      • Yes, you have, but feel free to keep doing it!
      • – Point taken about the S class, though I would think Madeleine herself is among the few sane or at least mostly sane S class Meta humans around.

        – Hmmm Yes I bet he would like that, so that would be enough for him not to attack ? Oh I thought him a bit more…enthusiastic about the spread of his views about forcing regular people to manifest or die.

        – Ah so he prefers smashing to cutting them to pieces odd given his name oh well. Also why do I feel the urge to pity the poor sods crossing him ?

        – Okay Mindstar got her when her power was off but still having a power allwoing her to resist Mind effect when it’s on and still get caught by telepath even if the power is off might still make it worse for her I mean it adds yet another layer to the whole ordeal just knowing that if she had had her power on at that time she might have avoided the whole thing.

        – That’s a very very interesting side power, what level of invulnerabilty are we talking about here ? And while I am at it how resistant is Eloise physically ?

        – Good news, oddly enough even if did not see that much of her I would like to see more, if only to see what a young Meta recruited in the Gefährten is like(well unless she is older than she seems but still)

        – Hoh despite her power and experience Australian!Tick- Tock would hesitate fighting Lady Light well I guess that should not be surprising after all Tick- Tock DOES have a working brain and uses it…hmmm You know I always found strange she always prevailed like that, methinks she knows something about powers that allows this this is not linked to her power she knows how to exploit something(most ?) the others are not even aware of. Though that being said Cannot wait to have more on Ms Whitetaker senior’s power.

        – How good exactly did Amy do in her fight against Lady Light(well as much as we can say it truly was Amy as I suspect she was in a state analogous to the one Basil was way back when he went to town on the spiteborn)she was defeated in the end but how did she do ?

        – And last question here as I’ll wait for the next chapter to bug you more: Am I right to think that Phasma would be the perfect person to kill Amy easily ?(which i hope won’t happen because I like both of them and since Amy did not actually do most of the things she is known for AND current Amy is the result of Mindstuff)

      • Madeleine is not considered an S-Class threat herself.
      • Oh, eventually, he’d probably move against her, too, if he couldn’t turn her to his viewpoint via diplomacy, but there would be much higher priority targets (such as the SU, which espouses a metahumans-as-serfs to normals/the common good policy)
      • Invulnerable enough to survive a direct hit from a battle tank’s main cannon, though not without some damage.
      • Eloise is tough enough that low-caliber shots wouldn’t penetrate her skin.
      • Lady Light isn’t still the top dog among heroes just because she was the first.
      • Amy managed to rip a piece off of Gwen’s cape and then still escape her, even without outside help. It’s what made the Dark take notice of her.
      • Amy’s telekinesis could affect Phasma’s ghost-form, pushing it away or even tearing it apart, causing her enough harm/pain to force her to turn solid again, at which point she’d be vulnerable to both a killing blow and mind control. So unless she manages to catch Amy completely by surprise, I’m gonna say no. ALso, don’t forget that Amy is both a high-level Adonis/Physique power AND a shapeshifter with some regen… she’s hard to kill, even when you get past her major powers.

        Speaking of the next chapter, I should get back to writing it… should be done soon, it’s coming along nicely.

      • WTF happened here? This is one huge infodump.
        Paradigm, you are either really good at digging for information or just really, really lucky…
        Quick, ask if there is any chance Weißwald is still alive in your next comment before your winning streak ends.

        @tieshaunn: I am already waiting. Very, very much looking forward to it. And did you edit the index lately? Cause I could have sworn that the three points weren’t there on Friday.

      • Index, Book 13 after chapter 8.
        Are they a hint? I think I can remember the number 3 having an important meaning somehow.
        Think it was something positive. (Joy and forthcoming?) Oh, and Earth is the third planet of our solar system. Not counting earth it would be Mars. And three also has something to do with fate. So many possibilities.

        Or you might just have realized that you needed another chap for Book 13. Who knows? Guess this will stay an unsolvable mystery forever…

      • Oh. Yeah, it’s meant to say that I don’t know how many chapters exactly it’ll take, since I have another fight and a pretty big confrontation to squeeze in, at the very least.

      • – Seriously Madeleine is NOT considered an S class threat !!!? But she has the power both personnal and political, I mean she rules her own damn country and has an entire Metahuman Nobility at her beck and call inluding people like Tick Tock, Prospero and Coyote and has SEVEN god Tier powers not counting her physical powers(can’t wait to know what those are, I mean we know three: the Reincarnation power, the Power Control and some form of Weather control although that one could merely be the expression of something else).

        – Ah so he would attack her eventually but he would simply be charming and:or diplomatic first got it.

        – Hmm that’s handy givenhow she can extend it to others, there’s better out there but still.

        – Ah Eloise is reasonably tough even without her shadow then, good to know.

        – So it IS her advanced knowledge of powers that allows her to stay on top, would really be a pity if others made strides in that domain now wouldn’t it ?

        – That must have been quite the fight then, I wonder how she foguht during that particular confrontation and how different it is from her usual fighting style.

        – So Phasma is not the perfect anti Amy assassin got it and quite frankly this is good news for me . Can’t wait to get more Phasma in the future!

        @Ansrarer: nah, I am merely lucky tieshaunn puts up with me asking him stuff, now let’s ask your question then:

        – I know I said I would wait for next chapter to ask ore, but this one is for Ansrarer: Is there any chance Weißwald is still alive ? Could the Spiteborn’s final purpose be his return ? Is his resurrrection what comes after the Blossom ?

        There covered the Weißwald question.

  4. Whoop, another upcoming chapter!

    Fight was good, but the first few paragraphs felt a bit mechanical. It was more like a turn by turn fight report. But after that it got a lot better. Felt way more dynamic towards the end.

    Kinda surprised that no one was really shocked when he started using forcefields. Expected a bit more of a reaction from his teammates considering how rare they are supposed to be.
    And when did Irene figure out Basil’s identity? Because I don’t think she ever got face to face with his civil identity. Did her power just tell her his name?

    • Prisca let Basil’s ID slip when she was dying during the Hestur incedent and GG was trying to save her.

    • That’s precisely what I always fear – the mechanical bit, that is. I try to avoid it, but it keeps slipping back in all the time.

      Irene can literally get almost any power she wants. Even without Prisca, figuring out Basil’s true identity would take her like, five seconds, tops, on a good day.

      As for the force-field surprise, wait for the next chapter^^

      • Usually she always had combat focused powers when she was around him. And we know how reliable her powers are. I think it would be more likely that she got a power that gave her access to Basils complete DNA or his fast food preferences than one that simply told her his name. Might have forgotten about the part when they saved Prisca.

        And hell yeah, I am waiting. Still want to know what other new toys he brought to the party. Though it will be hard to top forcefields. Maybe an Emergency Getaway teleportation? First Aid nanobots? A small nuke so that they can go out with a boom? At this point I wouldn’t even put it past him to bring his own sample of Dusu’s bio weapon. He seemed really pissed when he decided to come for him.

      • Please keep those suggestions of yours in mind. You’ll know why one of them is so funny by the end of the arc.

      • Oh boy…so basil will infect Dusu with a sample of her own stuff in order to force her to make a cure to save her won life, yeah Irene will see even more of Daddy in him than she did before.

      • Maybe Dusu panics when he sees his forcefields and accidentally infects himself with one of his samples? And then he simply dies. That would probably make me cry, laugh and rage. (And it would force B to seek out Ember. Which would confirm one of my theories. yay!)

        Less than 24 hours left until we finally get some answers. And the next arcs name (Breaking Point) has so many implications. Especially considering that the next arc is named “All masks fall”. I am really hoping that we will get a, as cannonfodder called it, “clusterfuck” of epic proportions.

        Totally offtopic, I know, but how do you write tieshaunn? Do you write rough drafts on your smartphone and then flesh them out on your pc or do you write everything at once at home?
        And how far ahead do you have your story planned? Do you already have an exact plan for each chapter for the entire series or do you only have rough ideas for each book/ark?

        Btw the last Brennus File and the last chapters are not linked in the index/Brennus files list.

      • Fixed the links, thanks for reminding me.

        I wish I had one of those big blackberries with a proper keyboard, then I could write so much more on the go.

        Problem is, I’ve gotten used to ten-finger touch-typing, which is impossible to do with a cellphone, let alone a touchscreen. Having to use just my thumbs, or a finger, having to actually look at the screen while writing, it throws me off majorly.

        I have the story planned out until the end (I could release a list of all arc names until the end of book 3 right now, if I wanted), but it’s not all in detail. Some arcs just have a “this and that is the theme, this stuff needs to happen” and nothing else.

        Titles and content of the final chapters are already set, and I’ve written several big chapters/interludes already, at least in rough drafts.

      • […]with one of her samples? And then she dies.[…]

        goddammit. Why do I always get Dusu’s gender wrong?

      • Funny how your comment somehow got between my comments.

        Does this mean that you have no current cast because your cast is already at the end of book three? Or did you keep some older versions? And will Book 3 really tie everything up or did you leave things open for a possible book 4?

        And no, you definitely don’t want a big blackberry. Just trust me, you don’t want one of them. The physical keyboards sound great, but the buttons are way too small to be actually useful. I think that combining a smartphone with a big enough screen (4.5 inch and up) with WPS office for android is the perfect combination. I usually write rough drafts of my assignments on my smartphone which it then uploads automatically to google drive. Once I come home I only have to turn on my pc, let autocorrect do it’s thing and fix all the typos it didn’t find by hand. Kinda embarrassing to admit since I spend most of my time writing code in front of a computer, but by now I am probably faster with my thumbs on a phone.
        Should you really want a physical keyboard go for a small bluetooth keyboard instead. It’s bigger, yes, but that’s what makes it use able. And some of them are still small enough to fit in a small bag pack/laptop case.

        tl;dr: Don’t buy a device with a physical keyboard.

      • Re: phone with physical keyboard – noted

        My cast list is way, way, WAY too full of spoilers to publish. I pretty much have to write the one on the site from scratch to avoid slipping in any spoilers, especially since my own notes include the actual power mechanics behind several character’s abilities.

        Book 3 will tie up pretty much every major plot point of Basil’s story, though there will be several issues beyond that that I will most likely not resolve, if I ever write a sequel series. If I do, though, then Basil will most certainly not be the protagonist.

      • Yeah im going with the theory that a cure is not possible or it will be too late. also you guys are forgetting that Basil made some rather nasty concoctiom specifically for Dusu a long while ago. also awhile back Ties posted about an article that talked about teleportation with technolngy and that it would haue meaning in story sometime.

      • I think the cure is possible but that there is a distinct possibility of Basil and the rest to be too late to give it to Prisca. Eh perhaps THAT is what will motivate basil to make Teleportation tech, to never be too late anymore and also to get into the Protectorate and circumventing all it’s defenses which might be calibrated against powerbased teleportation but not against a tech based one.

        That’s what could make teleport tech important: it voids all that was made to deter people to appoarch Ember and shows it to the world not only that but it being a technology means anyone can use it if they got access to one of the devices, the kind of thing to have everyone hounding Basil.

    • Well about the forcefields the teams both allied and enemy were in the middle of combat so they did not exactly have the time to gush on Basil pulling a Sovereign and Polymnia, Gloomy and Vassiliki were around him enough to be somewhat used to him pulling bullshit tech out of his ass, not only that but there hasn’t been any other gadgeteer around to see the fields(as I said Melody doesn’t count at tis point she must be used of Basil pulling suff like that, plus you know busy fighting)but when the team goes getting Duzu they will be where the fellows keep their gadegeteers and when these guys see his force field I think lots of bricks are going to be shat.

      Completly unrelated i wonder if the Dark would approve of Basil as a suitor(yes let’s keep it old style)for his daughter or if Lady Light would, I know the chance he and Gloomy getting together is next to Nil but I cannot help to wonder.

      • The Dark is pretty old-school when it comes to suitors for his baby girl. And by old-school I mean “shotgun and implied torture/murder”, only with superpowers and a global organisation of supervillains at his call.

        Now if a guy could actually stand up to him despite that, he might get curious… but no dating guys before she’s thirty!

      • Nothing on Lady Light ? Oh well…

        Eh I was mainly wondering because of the similarities between the Dark and Basil Gloomy always points out I mean pretty sure both the Dark and Lady Light would notice that in the completely unlikely(as in totally nil) case of them getting together.

        As for the answer itself well that’s pretty much what I could see him do, along with a Darkwraith chilling in the guy’s mind to monitor him 24/7.

        Now that makes me wonder how the dark would react to such a case with his newly discovered granddaughters well mostly Eloise since Hennessy has Camille(and I have my theory on that couple and it’s not a nice one for Camille).Pity the possible guy because he would also have Aap to deal with.

      • As far as he’s concerned, that’s something Aaron is welcome to deal with – he has his hands full with his kids (including Aaron) xD

        Gwen already spoke a bit about this back during her chat with Irene

      • Oh so Eloise’s potential suitor would just have to worry about getting beaten to death by a supersonic angry dark monkey okay then.(BTW I am sure we haven’t seen all of Aap’s powers for some reason). And yeah handling Aaron has to be quite some work.

        Well at least she would allow her someone when she becomes a teenager, but I was more curious about the reaction if said someone shared lots of traits with the Dark oh well.

        Also from that chat we learned of one of Lady Light’s power: Her mommy sense, which is a key power as senseing Brightchild’s death at the hands of Weisswald through it ended a war.

  5. oh come on! one glance at Basil Irene and years of frustrated curiosity would have finally been satisfied. sigh, good fight otherwise. lol, im starting to feel like a tween girl with the way i ship anyone who hugs or touches too enthusiastically. thogh i have wondered in the past if Hecate’s dislike for tyche was just an act and if there wasnt a deeper reasom for said act. She does seem to enjoy playhng the magging wife a lot with Tych.

    • I’m not sure where you see the romance there. Hecate is glad that one of her best friends and teammate is alright. So it’s a friend who constantly annoys her and makes her want to slap her over the head – but who DOESN’T have a friend like that?

      • (shrugs) it IS a silly conclusion when you spend more than five secounds thinking about it. my only excuses are; 1. its unusal for Hecate to show such great emotion. 2. Irene compared Hecate’s reaction to her own for finding Polymia and last i checked Irene was about 75% sure she was in love with Melody. 3. i have a deep and imence hatred for the nonsense that are harems and love triangles and was just hoping that she had potemtial for someone other tham Basil. especially sense its highly unlikely that he will ever returm or even notice her feelings.

      • I can’t stand harems and love triangles. Well, love triangles can be interesting when handled properly, but Basil is not the type.

    • The way hecate reacted here is rather easy to explain without ging into the shipping side of things: this is the first time since they have known each other that Vassiliki sees Tyche in such a sorry mental state, the first time she was boisterous, happy or teasing so she immediately spotted something wrong with her friend and wanted to support her as much as she could.

      As for for the so called harem nonsense and love triangle nonsense well given that they ARE teenagers and the effects on sexuality powers can have it makes perfect sense here in context.

      • Higher sexuality and youth does not negate simple self pride. it is a rare persom indeed who is willing to stand around and wait for the object of their affection to notice them or decide if they are good enough to commit to. Hell it didnt work all that well when it was a real and accepted thing. There is an anime/manga(cant remember which) called School Days, in which the MC(a guy) sleeps with all the girls in his “harem” and all the girls go a little crazy aod brutally murder ome another. this is the most likely outcome to me when a guy/gal decides to string along a bunch of emotionally charged people.

      • Yeah, uh, there’s not gonna be a harem solution. No, just… no.

        I don’t have a problem with polygamy, but the whole harem concept from manga/anime seems stupid to plain insulting at worst.

      • Now do NOT get me wrong I do NOT want harem solution here nor do I LIKE it, I was merely pointing out that love triangles and such made sense in context.

        The fact that tieshaunn saind no to the harem solution or that he is not a fan of love triangles is something that makes me happy.

  6. I was /so/ sure Gloomy was going to turn that power on Brennus. Ties you tease 😛

    I thought it was interesting that she seemed to be having issues with thinking of him as ‘Brennus’ and not ‘Basil’. I figure that either something in her head has shifted and she’s seeing him primarily as Basil, the person beneath the mask, or else she’s just fallen into one of those “don’t think of purple elephants” traps, where she knows she’s not meant to use that name but can’t help it.

    It’s fun to see Gloomy having trouble picking up the right power to use. We’ve heard her apologising a lot for her power not being helpful in a fight, but IIRC this is the first time we saw it on screen from her perspective. Seeing her power tie itself up in knots here definitely helps in understanding what’s going on when she says it’s not cooperating. Plus I kind of suspect that there’s some sort of clue buried into the various descriptions of her power changing

    More Basil-Dark comparisons! Now I’m just about certain that this is going somewhere! (Personally I’m tentatively betting that we’ll get more more references to Ember-Lady Light similarities at some point, setting up a new dynamic duo / further exploring the differences in the two big figures of the world and the approaches that they represent).

    Again, poor Tyche. She’s just a wreck at this point, isn’t she? And I’m a little suspicious of her, given that we didn’t see how her conversation with the hostile master manipulator who knows how to press all her buttons actually /ended/. Hopefully the gang is and not too distracted about the state she’s in to be very, very careful in questioning Tyche about where she got the info from.

    I saw that the upcoming chapter list has updated, which is always fun. Good job on the titles btw, there’s just the right amount of detail in them to fuel rabid speculation. (I think I’ve been eyeing 13.A suspiciously for a year+ now).

      • Yep! That the first of the three explicit comparisons. Then there’s other moments that can be taken as more implicit comparisons – for example, the Dark himself saying Basil is “too ruthless” to ever be a proper hero

      • Wait, I’m an idiot. I was remembering that conversation as comparisons between the Dark and Macian, and LL and Ember, and somehow that expectation made me misread what you said. Thanks for setting me straight.

  7. I actually have a few questions about Tyche: What’s the win condition here?
    I can only see this going one of three ways:

    1)It’s revealed that her power isn’t actually uncontrollable, she just hasn’t had the proper “mental” training required of a probability manipulator to direct and refine their power.

    2)They get a power-nullifier to turn off Tyches power and then turn it back on in the hope that it resets and stops targeting her mom. // Get another probability manipulator to counteract the bad luck on her mom.

    3)Emotional support and take Tyche to therapy when her power inevitably kills her mom.

    • I see a couple other possible outcomes.

      4) Immanuel turns her to the dark side by offering some way around her power (or just the promise of finding a way with all his resources).

      5) She quits superheroing. After all civilian life would draw on her power far less, and thus incur far less backlash. There is the potential problem of falling out of sync with her tenant and the possibility of her power just finding more opportunities to use itself if it isn’t used enough, but it would be worth a shot and even if she did suffer the effects of poor synchronization, it would likely be her suffering not her mom. And that may be a trade off she would be willing to make.

      • @Tieshauun

        That’s already one of the ones I listed:
        “3)Emotional support and take Tyche to therapy when her power inevitably kills her mom.”

        It just doesn’t seem like the route you would take since that would mean Tyche would literally have no other problems in life.

        This barely even qualifies as a problem since all she can do is just wait and cope with the consequences of something she has no control over.

  8. I had seriously underestimating the sheer speed with which Gloomy can switch things up. I’d been thinking of her like somebody who gets a strong powerset that is usually appropriate to the encounter she’s in but then acted like a “mundane” high level powered combatant after that unless her life was seriously threatened. Looking at it from her perspective, the raw power level is lower than I was imagining but she can switch up fast enough that she doesn’t even hit the ground when she gives up a flight power in mid-air. She would be an absolute nightmare to fight, given how much of super-combat is figuring out your enemy’s strengths and weaknesses and playing to those; as soon as you figure out a weakness she loses it, and as soon as you counter one attack she uses something completely new with no warning.

    • Provided she gets a useful power, that’s huge, yeah. She doesn’t always get one.

      Also, switching powers drains her endurance, just like using them does, though her pool is big enough that it’s not an issue normally.

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