B13.d 8 Bad People

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You’re going to die.

Sam half lay and half sat on the floor, curled up and whimpering, as the others gathered around Immanuel and the glowing sarcophagus-tank near him.

“Well, this went wrong,” the gorgeous young man – whom she’d only ever met once before, when he’d welcomed her to the Installation – said with a calm smile on his face, showing absolutely no discomfort at the stump of his left arm being poked at by the Tapirapé woman in the white labcoat kneeling next to him. “So, what’s the diagnosis, Fräulein Doktor?”

He’s going to die.

The middle-aged woman rolled her eyes and pulled the two needles she’d been poking around inside his biceps with out. “The diagnosis, Herr Schwachkopf, is that you pissed off the wrong centenarian demigod and you’re lucky it only cost you your arm,” the Ascendant told him in a biting tone. “But if you’re asking whether I can make you a replacement, the answer is probably. Whatever he did, thanks to Master Konrad’s swift intervention, it’s been neutralised.”

She’s going to die.

Sammy whimpered, looking down at the stump of her own left arm, where it ended just below where her wrist had once been, now neatly cut off and then bandaged by Tsukiko. Same as her left leg, just below the knee.

If it wasn’t for Konrad, she’d have lost more than that…

***

The tide of darkness was steadily advancing, grinding down their people. Chronicle was doing her best to stem it from where she stood next to Immanuel, along with Prism and Judicator, resetting the few she’d been able to record beforehand every time they took too much damage or died.

It wasn’t enough, not by a long shot. The shadow demons kept coming, over and over, and it wasn’t just their sheer mass that was slowly killing people, like they’d killed Brad, torn him limb from limb just out of her sight, so she’d been unable to reset him before he’d been dead for too long.

There was a mind behind them, one single mind. A malevolent intellect that wanted them all dead, dead and gone and she could see its hatred, his hatred, in every motion of his demons. Coordinating them, the small ones and the big, unique ones, the ones with powers of their own.

Fifty-eight people on their side, fifty-eight metahumans, and they were being beaten by a single enemy they hadn’t even been able to scratch yet.

Chronicle saw Karasuha reform out of her bird form, dropping down onto the Dark, only to be quickly dispatched like a fly to be swatted down, and reached out with her power, focusing on her love’s recording…

***

“Sammy,” Tsukiko spoke softly, kneeling down next to her in a graceful motion, having stripped off her armour and robe, wearing only the black bodysuit underneath and her boots. “Here, drink this,” she continued in that beautiful Japanese accent of hers, holding a flat bowl to Sam’s lips. “It will ease the pain.”

Look at her pretty face. It’s going to rot, after she dies.

Sam whimpered, drinking the slightly glowing, purple brew. It tasted… warm, and kind of earthy, and the pain in her arm and leg instantly eased.

You’re still going to die.

Tsukiko smiled, leaning in to kiss her on the forehead. “There, much better now, right?” she asked, looking down at her with warm, loving eyes.

Sam looked back with wet, tired eyes in turn. She didn’t trust her voice, so she just nodded, and got a hug in return.

You’ll both die, and never be together again.

Looking over her wife’s shoulder (her ring had been on her left hand… gone now…) she looked at the glowing sarcophagus. It was one of those used to store the Ascendant’s creations, repurposed to help its occupant recover from his wounds.

Within lay a nude man. He was tall and young, in his mid-to-late twenties, though she suspected he was much older.

Konrad, Immanuel’s partner and opposite, the right hand of their leader, where Immanuel was the left one. The sword, where Immanuel was the pen.

He was Immanuel’s opposite in appearance, as far as that was possible while still being from Germany. Tall and broad-shouldered, heavily muscled to the point where his abs had more abs, though his build was still slimmer than that of many a strongman, more like a ballet dancer who’d gone overboard with his workout. His face was merely attractive, instead of drop-dead gorgeous, with a slightly crooked, yet noble nose, visible beard-stubble and long, shaggy blonde hair. If Sam had been into men at all, she’d probably have already been crushing on him already, even before seeing his power.

He’s going to die.

His right arm had partially dissolved, scars of molten flesh winding up from his fingers all the way to his shoulder, but they were healing, even though he’d been touched more directly than either her or Immanuel, even though he’d struck the monstrosity…

***

A huge impact shook the Installation, causing Chronicle to stumble. She would’ve fallen, if Immanuel hadn’t reached out and gently pushed on her shoulder, allowing her to regain her balance. He hadn’t even been inconvenienced.

“Something’s coming up,” he said, stepping backwards, the group around him automatically falling into line. Sablo, the ribbon-haired, nude woman who’d been protecting them from the Dark’s wraiths, keeping up a glowing white circle on the ground that moved with the group as they retreated along the metal walkway they were on. Even the Dark’s greater demons had been unable to breach it yet, though they’d also been unable to focus on it to any meaningful degree, either. “All of you, brace yourselves!”

Chronicle did just that, grabbing a hold of the rail next to herself, as even the Dark’s assault briefly stalled.

Near the centre of the Installation, four objects burst through it in showers of metal and salt water, shooting up into the air above, the force with which they’d broken through so immense it briefly caused the entire floating city to tilt left and right like a ship in a storm.

Everyone paused and stared up as the water streamed off what appeared to be four perfect, kind of liquid spheres, each of a different colour – white, red, black and green. Each seemed to be about twice the size of a person.

“Oh, Heng, what were you thinking?” Immanuel complained. “Blindly injecting so many samples at once… now we don’t even know which ones produced these.”

The four spheres hung in the air for a few moments, then they suddenly shot in four different directions, away from each other, without the slightest sound.

Chronicle stared up, dumbfounded. What’d just ha-

“Watch out!” Judicator cried, pointing ahead, causing her to look towards their enemy again – only to feel her blood run cold. Colder.

Several of the individualistic shadow demons had gathered up. One, humanoid with wings instead of arms and but a single red eye in the centre of its face, was floating above the others, staring resolutely at their small group, while smaller demons circled around it, absorbing attacks upon it with their own bodies, sacrificing themselves to keep it safe from the attacks of the remaining defenders – twenty, at best, by now.

Beneath it, a muscular demon with a lop-sided build, upper body far thicker, heavily corded with pulsing muscle, while the legs seemed almost comically thin, was holding a sword that was easily twice as long as the demon was tall, and half as broad, holding it two-handed and pointed at their group. Another demon, a curvy female shape with twisted, almost U-shaped horns growing out of its smooth, six-eyed head and standing on her toes, was pointing its clawed hands at the sword, eldritch blood-red flames streaming from them to wrap around the blade in a double-helix that continued to grow more and more dense, more and more bright. A third demon, featureless save for its six eyes and tentacles instead of legs, was spinning some kind of web between its long-fingered hands, casting out strands of it to form another, larger web in the air in front of the pointed blade.

“If that is what it looks like… I don’t think I’ll be able to hold out, Sir,” their protector admitted in a strained voice, without looking away from their enemy. “I’ll try to lessen the blow, at least,” she affirmed, her arms still raised, fingers together in a box-like shape.

“Wait for it,” was all Immanuel said in response.

“We need Konrad,” Judicator spoke in a mellow voice, though the note of worry underneath was unmistakable. “He’s our only hope to beat the adversary, or at least manage a proper retreat.”

“Wait for it,” their leader repeated.

“Sir, something is sapping my shield’s power!” Sablo cried.

Chronicle could do nothing but stare as the Dark’s demos built more and more energy up to unleash at them – the ribbons of almost liquid fire around the blade were so dense the sword beneath could no longer be seen, and so massive they more than doubled its size. The web between them and the sword had grown fantastically elaborate, as well.

Beyond the demons, the Dark himself stood, seemingly impassive as he stared at them, his form writing softly, dripping shadows – only it was dripping them up, rising towards the sky and fading away. A small detail, but like everything about the sight of him, about his whole presence, it profoundly unnerved Chronicle.

Then he made a gesture with his hand, casually dismissive, and his demons loosened their attack.

The muscle-bound demon raised its sword high, the blood-red flames of the female sticking to it, and swung it down with all its strength, unleashing the stored-up energy. The flames formed a huge, bloody fireball, which hit the web of light the third demon had woven – and was multiplied, huge becoming gigantic, a sphere of almost liquid flames coming straight at them, big enough to swallow a city block whole before it even exploded.

Chronicle didn’t see her whole life pass before her eyes, as the saying went. No, she only saw Yukiko, and…

A figure dropped out of the sky, wearing a black longcoat over broad shoulders and wielding a curved short-sword in his left hand. Chronicle saw long, messy blonde hair, for a moment, before the new arrival swung their blade at the incoming fireball, striking it at the very moment it came within reach of the blade.

The entire fireball was reversed and swelled in size, flying back towards the demons and their master, twice as big as it had been before.

“Friss das, Goldschmidt!” Immanuel cheered, throwing his arms up in the air, as everyone else just stared.

They couldn’t see the effects of the fireball upon the demons, as its own flames obscured the sight, but Chronicle was sure it had already passed over their position, hopefully destroying them, and was now rapidly nearing the Dark himself…

The fireball fell apart, dispersed in every direction, leaving behind a molten scar along its way; at its end stood the Dark, right arm extended towards them, the hand clenched into a fist, as if he’d just grabbed the gigantic sphere and crushed it.

Within the path of the fireball lay the molten remains of a gigantic sword, with no sign at all of its former wielder. To the left lay half of the demon who’d woven the glowing web, its left arm and most of its lower body gone. There was no way for Chronicle to tell whether it was still alive – if it had ever been to begin with – so long as it didn’t move . The female demon stood where she had, completely unharmed – clearly, she was immune to her own power’s flames, no matter how amplified.

Their savior stood up, dusting himself off before he made what Chronicle assumed to be a playful salute towards the Dark – and then he turned his back to him, facing them with a smile.

He was tall, almost two metre in height if not a little above it, and very muscular, wearing what must have once been a very expensive longcoat, now frayed and partially torn along its edges. It was unbuttoned, showing off a chest and stomach you could grind meat on, as he seemed to wear only a pair of black pants underneath, and brown boots.

Chronicle would have been deliriously happy to see a face as friendly as his, the easy, confident smile even in the face of one of their greatest enemies, but there was just something off, about those dark red, almost black eyes. Like something was… missing.

“Konrad, deine eklige Fresse ist zur Abwechslung mal höchst willkommen!” Immanuel greeted him, as their savior bowed deeply.

“Ach mein Freund, wir wissen doch beide, dass du dich stehts nach meinem Antlitz sehnst!” Konrad replied with a smile. “Jetzt beruhigt ihr auch alle mal während ich unseren Gast des Grundstückes verweise!”

He had barely finished his speech – not that Chronicle could understand either of them, she’d only just started learning German – when he whirled around and slashes his short blade in a wide, horizontal arc, just as a literal tide of demons closed in on him.

They were all obliterated, the entire mass of demons simply blown away into Nothingness, all the lesser ones gone. Only the greater demons, the ones which differed from the formless mass and had stayed back, still remained.

“Los gehts!” Konrad shouted and jumped, a single leap taking him across a hundred metre towards the nearest demon – the horned female – at such speed he seemed to all but teleport.

The demon raised a hand, bloody flames wrapping around it, but she was too slow – Konrad swung his blade and she was obliterated. Not slashed, not split in half, just entirely obliterated, leaving nothing behind.

“I rather liked that one,” the Dark complained, his voice barely restrained, bubbling with hatred just underneath the surface.

“I rather liked Brad and Rhoda and Jonas,” Konrad replied with a cheerful shrug. “But you k-“

“I really don’t care,” he interrupted him, as he suddenly appeared right in front of Konrad, looking down at the shorter man, as Konrad looked up with a smile. “Ich habe viele Geschichten über dich gehört, Konrad.”

“Nur gute, hoffe ich?” Konrad replied in a conversational tone, making no move to attack.

“Man erzählt mir du wärst der Stärkste der Starken. Stärker als dein Meister, falls es ihn überhaupt gibt. Stärker, sogar, als Gwen und ich.”

“Ich weiss nicht, ob ich stärker bin als ihr beide,” the shorter man replied, then chuckled. “Aber stärker als einer von euch beiden? Das könnte gut sein.” He tilted his head to the side and raised an eyebrow. “Lust, rauszufinden ob die Geschichten wahr sind?”

The Dark struck him, delivering a right-handed punch to Konrad’s face with such force, it created a sonic boom and distorted the air around them.

Konrad didn’t even move from his spot, though the punch did snap his head to the side.

“Ow,” he grunted, touching two fingers to his bloody lip. “Been a while since I took a hit that strong.” He looked up at the Dark, smirking. “My turn.”

He raised his blade, swinging with his left hand – but the Dark reached out, pushing his hand against Konrad’s wrist, arresting the motion before he could hit.

“No fair, I gave you a free shot,” the swordsman complained, though he didn’t sound particularly put off.

“I’m not here to play games,” the Dark hissed. “Now be a good lad and d-“

Konrad’s right fist connected with the Dark’s chest – he was just plain too tall to easily reach his head – and launched him across the ruined Installation, until he slammed into the remains of the Ascendant’s and Dusu’s lab, twisting and shattering them further than they already were.

“I think my punch was bigger than your punch,” Konrad said, as they watched the remains of the structure collapse, burying the Dark beneath the rubble.

***

Konrad opened his eyes, looking around inside his healing pod, and through the clear glass front. He made no move to cover himself up at all, rather, he just smiled at everyone.

“Yeah, this is everyone who made it out,” Immanuel answered an unspoken question. Konrad frowned down at him. “Thanks to you – if you hadn’t shown up when you did, none of us would’ve made it,” the one-armed man consoled him. “Except, possibly, for Bira and her doll, here.” He looked at the Ascendant, who’d moved away from his side and was kneeling next to the quietly breathing form of Elysium, who was lying on her side, and was pushing a gadget which looked like some kind of gun with a long needle coming out of the muzzle into her ear, not paying any attention to the rest of the room.

Konrad relaxed, shrugging those huge shoulders of his.

“I don’t know that you two should be so happy,” a new voice spoke up, as a stocky, plain-faced Japanese woman with brown hair in a bun entered, her heavy, practical work boots, jeans and dark green jacket contrasting greatly with the way everyone else in the room looked.

She’s going to die.

“For all your talk, we got ourselves kicked in our collective posteriors by one enemy, after getting ourselves completely shown up by a bunch of teenagers,” Heaven’s Dancer snarled at Immanuel and Konrad, her new host’s rough appearance making her look even angrier than she otherwise would.

“Totally worth it, though,” Immanuel replied with a smile.

“Worth it? Worth it!?” Heaven’s Dancer almost shrieked at them, clenching her caloused hands into tight fists. “How, in the name of God, was this worth it? What, exactly, did we gain?”

Immanuel opened his mouth to reply, but she cut him off with a sharp hand gesture. “No, don’t tell me yet.” She reached into her jacket’s pocket and pulled out a phone. “He wants to talk to you lot.” She pressed a number and then held the phone out towards them.

“Immanuel,” a raspy, deep voice spoke through it. It was so deep, it was actually kind of hard to make out what the man – and it was very clearly a male voice – actually said. A voice so deep, it made one feel like their bones ought to vibrate.

Sam had never heard it before, but Tsukiko tightend up in her arms, as if afraid. “W-what?” she asked her wife in a whisper.

“That’s him,” Tsukiko replied, but before she could elaborate, Immanuel replied.

“What an honour to hear from you so soon, oh fearless leader of mine!” he greeted him, standing up just so he could bow with a fancy flourish of his one good arm. “I thought you would be busy-“

“Save the theatrics, please,” the leader cut him off, sounding exasperated, though not unfriendly. “I already know what happened. Tell me how we profited from it.”

He’s going to die.

“Well, first of all, we know about a herefore unknown metahuman factor – the so-called Journeyman,” Immanuel began to enumerate as he sat down once more. “Someone who’s not merely a blank to Espers, but is, in fact, completely invisible – I could not perceive him even when I knew where he was, could not even perceive a blank like with DiL. I’ve already combed our records and he shows up nowhere.”

“Such information is valuable, but limited and hardly worth our losses.”

“Secondly, he inadvertantly preserved a major asset for us,” the one-armed Esper continued, standing up. “Though Bira is probably better suited to explaining this one.” He walked over to Konrad’s healing pod and began to shut it down, draining the liquid he was floating within.

“Huh?” Bira looked up, confused for a moment, then seemed to realise what was going on. She went back to work, looking at the small screen on the back of her needle-gun, as she poked around inside Elysium’s head with it. “Oh, yeah. This. Turns out, I know how Elysium actually died, way back then.”

“She was killed by DiL,” their leader stated simply. “Are you saying that is not true?”

“Precisely so, Sir,” Bira replied politely. “DiL never defeated her – Elysium killed herself, through overuse of her power.” She clucked her tongue. “It appears there was a flaw to it, after all – prolonged usage put a strain on her brain. Not enough to be a danger under normal circumstances, but after stretching two hours of real time over what must have been several years, fighting the abomination, it became too much and caused a lethal stroke.” She frowned, looking at the readouts as she held the needle still. “She probably never had to push her power far enough to notice it before, and so didn’t know to pace herself in the battle.”

“Interesting,” he said, sounding pensive. “How did this Journeyman preserve her for us, then?”

“Simply put, their battle pushed her far enough that I was able to notice the side-effects when I did a quick scan of her immediately after our escape, but not so far as to kill her and ruin the last ten years of work I did to actually get her working,” the Ascendant explained. “Now that we know, we can look out for it. I might even be able to make some modifications which will eliminate her weakness entirely.”

“Which brings me, neatly, to our greatest prize!” Immanuel butted in after stepping back from the pod, the glass sliding out of the way to let the now merely moist Konrad step out, unbothered by the temperature or his own nudity. “No, I’m not talking about us finding out about the Dark’s little rage mode,” he cut Heaven’s Dancer off before she could even speak, pointing a finger at her. “Though that’s certainly good to know…”

***

Chronicle pushed herself up, having fallen to her knees without even realising it, as she tried to get a better look at the pile of rubble the Dark had been buried underneath. “Is, is it over?” she asked, her voice shaking, holding out a hand to grab Karasuha’s as she joined them on the metal platform they’d ended up on.

Beyond them, the few remaining demons – greater ones, each and every – were standing there as if frozen, not sure how to react after their master was so suddenly punted aside.

“I can still feel his power,” Konrad replied to her question, joining their little group and grabbing onto Immanuel’s forearm by way of greeting. “Definitely a no, unless he decides continuing the fight is too big a risk and bails out.”

“Perhaps we should ‘bail out’,” Judicator spoke firmly, still holding his scales and his crystal ball up in front of himself. “Whether or not the Dark intends to continue, we have to assume that more opposition will arrive soon. Perhaps even her. I don’t think I have to tell you how ridiculously non-existent our chances of survival are if we have to fight both of them at once…”

Immanuel stroked his chin, then nodded. “Yes, that would be for the best,” he replied, looking aside towards where his former aide, currently Heaven’s Dancer’s host, joined them, her clothes torn to near-indecency, her shoes lost, but otherwise unharmed. “Let’s fall back to-“

Konrad whirled around to stare towards the rubble he’d buried the Dark under, a mere moment before all the demons let out howling screams and charged – straight towards their master.

Dozens, hundreds of demons, most of them lesser, but a few more of the greater ones, which Chronicle hadn’t even noticed before, crawled out from their hiding places around the city-sized Installation, some literally stepping out of walls or other structures, all of them charging into the rubble and digging into it, disappearing where their master had gone; the rubble beginning to shake as soon as they’d done so, pieces of it getting dislodged and tumbling down.

“What is he doing?” Immanuel asked, a hand held over his eyes for some shade as he tried to look closer.

“Whatever it is, it’s big,” Konrad replied to him, sounding quite relaxed, all things considered.

The rubble burst apart, blown skigh high in a fountain of dirt and debris as, with a titanic roar, a monster arose from amidst it.

Chronicle blinked, briefly believing that she was imagining this, yet even when Karasuha squeezed her hand hard enough to hurt, the image didn’t change.

A colossal, jet black dragon rose ouf of the dust, shrugging rebar and steel girders off its wings before it unfurled them.

A hundred feet long at least, from its head to its tail, it seemed to made out of solid darkness, its body oozing with shadows – oozing up, just as the Dark had. Scales could be made out which extended into razor-sharp spines, much like its wings, whose many sharp spines and scales made them look almost feathery. Its head sported six glowing red eyes in two rows of three, and half a dozen twisted, crown-like horns which extended backwards.

It raised one of its forelimbs, its upper torso configured more like a human’s than a lizards or any other kind of animal’s, putting five-fingered hands with razor-sharp claws up onto the remains of the building’s wall in front of it, then the other, propping itself up as it spread its wings wide, it thrust its head forward, extending its long, sinuous neck and roared.

The roar was like a physical force extending forward, distoring the air, the metal, the concrete, everything and with it came not sound, but a thought which slammed into their minds like the hammer of God.

YOU WILL ALL DIE!

The beast beat its wings and leaped forward, not landing on all fours before it pushed itself off again, half running and half gliding across the city towards them, the world itself distorting in the wake of its passing.

“Because of course he can turn into a damned dragon!” Immanuel ran his fingers through his hair, as the beast simply charged on, shedding the attacks the remaining companions were raining on it as if they weren’t even there.

As it reached the first group – five metahumans – they ran apart to dodge out of its way, but it paid them no mind, simply charging on.

One of them was clipped by its wing as it passed, and Chronicle watched in horror as the young man withered and died, dissolving into ash that seemed drawn towards the rampaging dragon.

The others were only a little more lucky than he, as the distortion around the dragon passed over them. When it was past, they had all visibly aged, some to the point of death, falling over as their bodies were left too weak to live; the others simply crying out in agony and horror.

“Don’t get near it!” Immanuel shouted at Prism, to have him relay it to everyone else. “Everyone, retreat in orderly fashion! Sablo, keep your circle up, it ought to repel this form!” He started moving backwards, but the Dark had become too large, was moving too fast.

“I’ll take care of him!” Konrad shouted, exhilerated and leapt at the beast, drawing his sword back for a big slash. “Have at you!”

The Dark slammed his forelimbs into the ground, violently arresting his charge as he used them like a pivot, whirling around; his tail slapped Konrad out of the way, all the way across the Installation and nearly into the sea, repaying him in kind for the earlier hit.

As the monstrosity completed its spin, facing them once more, it roared again.

YOU WILL ALL DIE!

Chronicle cried out in horror as that horrible voice slammed into her mind once more, staggering back and falling, even letting go of Karasuha’s hand.

Someone was screaming as the dark dragon charged onwards towards them, everyone it passed by simply… dying.

There was Arresto, who’d once survived a nuclear explosion, if a small one. The dragon simply brushed him with its wing, and he fell apart.

Radger, who could regrow even his own head, fell just as easily. So did four others, before the dragon broke through their lines entirely, simply ignoring any power thrown its way as it bore down on their group.

When its hand came down on their group, its claws slamming into the circle of protection which Sablo had pulled up, pressing against it to slowly sink into the sphere of its effect, Chronicle realised who was screaming.

She was doing it herself, screaming as loud as her lungs would allow her, completely helpless to do anything – she couldn’t even rewind herself, if he got to her, not only would she be irrevocably dead, but so would Karasuha, her Tsukiko, and all the others whose records she’d kept.

Sablo cried out in pain and her protective power shattered, the clawed hand breaking through. One of the claws cut through the nude woman, splitting her from head to groin, the two halves dissolving into nothingness as they fell apart.

Chroncile lost hold of her book, and of her bladder for that matter, as she looked up at the colossal beast bearing down on them, reaching for Immanuel with one of its huge hands.

“Cover me!” Karasuha shouted and charged towards the beast at the same time as Immanuel dodged backwards, slashing at its exposed palm.

Her blade flared up with purple light and bit deep, cutting through the black, spiny scales to sink into the flesh beneath, but the Dark did not rear back – he simply pushed on, crushing her underneath its paw.

Chronicle cried out in despair – she couldn’t reset her if she couldn’t see her – but the beast ignored that and raised its hand again, the sword already falling apart, consumed by the same effect as the one that was breaking down Karasuha’s crushed remains.

At the last moment before they fell apart entirely, Chronicle pushed her power out towards her, and she snapped back to her previous, recorded state, sword in hand – and promptly burst into numerous crows which flew apart, away from the beast.

Several of them grabbed onto the shoulders of Chronicle’s robe, pulling her away with madly beating wings, while the dragon pressed on, reaching for Immanuel, too fast and with too great a reach to dodge entirely.

Immanuel had reached Chronicle, who’d stood several meters behind him, when the claws came down on him, and though he avoided a direct hit, one of them nicked his left hand.

As it began to fall apart, another claw touched Chronicle’s hastily held-up left hand – a stupid gesture, like that would achieve anything – and then her left foot, before it slammed onto the platform, cracking it and breaking through, briefly arresting the beast’s charge by sheer dint of the sudden loss of footing.

Sam screamed, louder than she ever had, as she watched her hand and foot dissolve, the flesh blackening before it fell apart, the blackness slowly spreading up her limbs-

A sharp, clear pain came next, and her corrupted, dying limbs were severed from her body in a single stroke, along with Immanuel’s arm, halfway down his biceps.

Konrad was back, looking as serene as before and no worse for having been hit directly by the abomination. though his coat was even more tattered and torn.

The Dark roared at him, pulling himself out of the wrecked and twisted metal of the platform they’d just been in.

YOU WILL ALL DIE!

And it swung its free fist at him, but this time, Konrad was ready, and he dodged, leaping forward to slide under the strike, before he launched himself up.

Using both a long wind-up and the momentum of his leap and spin of his body, he punched the colossal monster in its sternum and hit with force way beyond his size and proportion.

The dragon was blown away, launched through the ruins behind it, through walls of steel and concrete, almost all the way back to where it had first burst ouf the rubble.

Konrad landed on his feet, then flinched, looking at his right arm – it was starting to dissolve, too, though very slowly.

Clucking his tongue, he shook his arm out, visibly expelling a black mist-like substance from it.

His arm was mangled, but not gone, and he was still alive.

Chronicle fell onto her side, starting to feel cold as her blood escaped her through the raw stumps of her arm and leg, feeling Karasuha reform behind her and pull her into a warm, comforting hug, before she began to do something with her numb limbs.

Looking around, there was barely anyone left. Prism had been reduced to a mummified corpse, Heaven’s Dancer had lost both legs and was bleeding heavily. Judicator still stood, if shakily so, but his crystal ball lay shattered all around him.

Immanuel was using his own belt to tie off his remaining arm, looking pale and not entirely self-assured anymore.

There were less than ten of their number left, gathering around him and Konrad, looking for orders, for direction, for protection.

He looked around at everyone, then at Konrad. “We retreat,” he said simply. “Everyone, move to the nearest escape pod. We have to get away before he pulls out whatever next trick he has in… store…”

His eyes grew wide as the dragon rose out of the shattered rubble, howling in rage.

YOU WILL ALL DIE!

The beast rose up on its hind legs, spreading its arms and wings wide as it roared to the heavens, even more of its body oozing upwards and dissolving into the sky.

Chronicle’s consciousness was rapidly fading, darkness creeping across the edge of her vision…

No, that wasn’t just her fading consciousness… a shadow was spreading across the Installation, as something above blotted out the sun, causing the others to look up in horror, but she was too weak to do even that…

“Du willst mich doch wohl verarschen…” was the last thing she heard, an utterly disbelieving whisper from Immanuel.

Then, Darkness.

You’re going to die.

***

“Don’t look at me like that,” Immanuel complained as the others glared at him. “I had no idea he could do that!”

“Hey hey, relax,” Konrad calmed him, patting his back. “I took care of it, and we got something out of the whole thing, right?”

“Took care of it? Took care of it!?” Heaven’s Dancer shrieked. “You nearly died! He destroyed the Installation, beyond any hope of recovery! He killed everyone we had left, except those in this room, including my body, with one blow!”

Calm down,” the leader admonished everyone, and silence fell. “Immanuel, how is this worth losing the Installation and so many of our companions? Don’t tell me it’s because you figured out the Dark’s weakness, we already know several.”

“No no, oh wise and fearless leader of ours,” Immanuel assured him with a smile. “It’s not his weakness I figured out. It’s hers.” He grinned, and it went all the way up to his eyes. “Ironic, that it would be the Dark who’d finally betray her, if unwittingly – but now I know Gwen Whitakers one true weakness.” He made a fist, pumping that arm. “Now we can-“

“Leave it be for another time,” the leader cut him off. While he – probably – couldn’t see Immanuel’s face, Sam was quite sure he heard Heaven’s Dancer’s amused giggle at the sight of it.

Even Sam felt a smile tug at her lips, seeing it.

“Skyfall’s project is complete,” he continued, unperturbed. “And she has workable results to show for it. We are thus moving Project Chainbreaker to the top of our priority list. You are to provide her every resource she requires, including yourself.”

“B-but… Whitaker and Goldschmidt…” Immanuel stammered, looking, for the first time, like he was truly not sure what was going on.

“The Abomination has just appeared in New Lennston,” the leader pressed on. “While it’s unlikely either of them is going to die, they will be far too caught up in dealing with that, and with the aftermath, to interfere with Chainbreaker. Once that is complete, we’ll have plenty of time and opportunity to dispose of the both of them at our leisure.”

“But, seriously, we-“

“That was an order, Immanuel,” the leader cut him off. “Whitaker and Goldschmidt are ultimately of no consequence to our greater plans. We need merely make sure they don’t interfere with the steps leading up to our goal, which the current deluge of crises shall provide. Now be about your work.”

And just like that, he hung up.

Sam looked at Tsukiko, feeling endlessly relieved – anything, not to have to face the Dark again.

It won’t be enough, and you’ll die.

“Alright people,” Immanuel said, finally, after taking several deep breaths, his usual cheerful disposition returning slowly. “You heard our fearless leader. Let’s all get to work.” He looked at the stump of his arm, then over at Sam, who was curled up against her wife, still. “Bira, please start work on replacement limbs for Sam, first. I can make do with just one arm for the time being.” He nodded to the two of them, before looking out over everyone else in the room. “I thank you all for your bravery today. Fear not – our brothers’ and sisters’ sacrifice will not have been in vain, nor go unavenged.” He bowed his head to them. “Have a good night.” And with that, he left the room, followed closely by Konrad, who threw them a playful salute.

Sam sniffed, looking up at Tsukiko with a weak smile.

Her wife’s response was almost blinding, as she leaned down and kissed her, hard.

Sam wrapped her arms around Tsukiko and held onto her for dear life. They may have been doomed, but she was going to stay brave and fight on, even in the face of invincible opponents. Maybe they were all going to die, but she would try, at least. Even if it was pointless.

***

The cool blue waters of the Pacific Ocean made for a mostly uniform background over which Amy flew, trying to make her way back to the base of the Gefährten – though she was rapidly starting to think that it was pointless, as she had no way of making out where exactly it was.

Before, she hadn’t truly thought about it, having been beside herself with rage and worry, mindlessly flying in the direction her power told her Basil’s mind lay, but now that he wasn’t there, anymore, she had no way of tracking the place, other than flying straight towards the West, hoping to trace back the route they’d taken flying out of it.

Even so, she did it, focusing on casting her power out ahead of her, scouting for any signs of her goal, even if the largest reason she did so was not to support her boss, or make up for her lackluster performance, but simply so she wouldn’t have to think about what Basil had said to her, and what’d happened, and the ramifications of both.

However, with no goal in sight, those memories and the thoughts attached to them were beginning to creep back into her consciousness. She wouldn’t be able to ignore them for long.

Just then, though, she saw something which simultaneously filled her with elation – if the base of the Gefährten wasn’t there, then she’d never find it – and dread.

Who the fuck had summoned a meteor?

She flew towards the gigantic, glowing rock falling from the sky, tracing its trajectory towards its impact site, and could soon see, faintly, the glittering that indicated the huge metal city she was looking for.

What the fuck is going on? I hope the boss is still alive…

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123 thoughts on “B13.d 8 Bad People

  1. It’s not a good idea to piss him off.

    You’re all probably asking, why this and not Empty Dragon? Well, frankly… I couldn’t stomach it. Act 2 of Empty Dragon is seriously, SERIOUSLY fucked up, and there’s no way for me to really tone it down without obviating the point of it, so I’m putting it off a little longer, at the very least at the end of this set of Interludes, if not to the next end of an arc. Sorry, but I need a little less horror, after killing off one of my favourite characters.

    • I find myself deeply disturbed at the thought of something too fucked up for you too stomach. Don’t get me wrong, I love this story, but you have written some deeply fucked up shit in many, many chapters Tie.

      • The next chapter is going to be “Good People”, which is certainly going to be more cheerful. I hope.

        Then comes “The Man Who Knocked Out Lady Light”, and then, unless I feel up to Act 2 of Empty Dragon, we’ll move onto Breaking Point…

        Which is gonna be a DiL battle.

        Cheerful times ahead.

    • Yeah take your time with empty dragon. The first act had me crying nearly the whole time, and I still need more time to prepare myself for act 2.

      • Understandable, pity though as this pretty much confirms Prisca’s truly still hoped she would survive in her projection…And given what the first act of the Empty Dragon had in store I can only imagine that the second one will top it, so yeah a bit of time between what happened to prisca and that is not a bad idea.

  2. DAMN. I am a fan of darkness abilities, not necessarily ability with power over the dark but abilities that tap into evil and darker sources. Giant rage death dragon definitly fulfills that criteria. No issue with waiting for the next chapter of empty dragon. You are in charge, take your own pace

  3. Well now very very nice update, I liked to have it from Chronicle’s POV although I was a bit surprised that she and Karasuha are a thing as I did not expect the Gefährten to be that tolerant, should in retrospect given how things work for Metahumans still it surprised me.

    Damn The Dark getting angry is quite a thing to behold as he went all Dragon and apparently called down a meteor(though that might have been someone else), could not help to notice that his Dragonform’s effect looked suspiciously like the Mortal Coil’s effect…Also his demons truly are something one can see why he is at the place he is. I fail to see how him doing his thing exposed Lady Light’s weakness though, meh we shall see that in the future.

    Bloody Hell, Konrad is quite something and he seems rather easy going too even though something seems to be really off with him. Also damn the guy said to be stronger than Lady Light or The Dark…wonder what exactly his power is because damn.

    Another interesting point is that neither Konrad nor Immanuel are the leader it seems to be someone else who seems to have his age unlike Immanuel or Lady Light, well perhaps not entirely but still(Magnus ?)…Also Heaven’s Dancer’s bodysntaching wonder if there is more to her power than just that, methinks there is but I wonder what that might be.

    Also the bit on Diantha and her power DAMN that’s quite the thing but surprisingly that particular limit does not surprise me at all…Wonder if Lady light knows it is her own power that killed her daughter rather than her other wayward offspring. This also makes me question Journeyman’s long game here as he must have known about this and see the consequence of shortening the battle. And what exactly is the new Ascendant’s(who truly is one if not more steps above the previous one)speciality.

    So the mass injection into the Sleeper begat 4 beings, wonder whose blood bore fruit, I think Basil and Amy are among those but the others…no idea.

    Also what the fuck is project Chainbreaker ? To have such an effect… it is not just awakening the sleeper(even though the results of that could fit as I believe everyone would be fucked).

    Oh and as a sidenote would it be possible to have Arresto and radger full power sets for reference ?

    I was also wondering: The Gefährten were able to save the girl who absorbed people in a hivemind and whose every new inductee could take others without the dark’s knowledge(BTW I would imagine she is dead now, unless there were Skulls elsewhere) Did they also get the Vampire boy which could turn other who could make vampires of their own(was wondering about that one did/Do those”Vampires”have the classical weaknesses too or not ?)

    PS, what The Dark’s dragonform might look like:

    • I don’t find it all that interesting that both Immanuel and Konrad are not fearless leader seeing as a few people mentioned having met Immanuel, and it was stated that only fearless leader’s three ‘generals’: skyfall, heavens dancer and the other one who’s name I don’t remember. Have met him

    • Gwen doesn’t know about that, no.

      Arresto could lock objects (and people) into their current state, for a limited time. They could still move, but couldn’t change – couldn’t be harmed, existing wounds didn’t worsen nor get better, etc. He had it near-constantly up on himself, thus being nearly perfectly invulnerable.

      Radger had insanely fast regeneration as his main power (blow off his head, it’d be regrown before he hit the ground), as well as several physical adaptations (multiple arms, extendable bone-blades in the forelimbs, digitrade feet adapted for extremely powerful jumps, a poisoned bite, horns for goring, stinger-tipped tail, massively enhanced senses), none of which was that major, but played well into him being essentially immortal so long as any piece of himself remained. As a side effect of this, particularly the enhanced senses, he was near-constantly pissed off.

      • – If/When she learns about that this is going to be a big shock for her, also forgot to say: if this is The Dark going almost all out(because I think that despite his rage he STILL has one or two things under his sleeve)I wonder what Lady Light going all out or at least at that level looks like…and to think Hemming would be able to put up a very good fight against one of them…*shudder*.

        – Okay he could basically partially Alexandria(yes it’s a verb now)people and himself…Well that was a very high end power, did strength come with it too ? The Gefährten are really good at finding talents, I already know that but still those level of power are just that rare. Also I pity the enemies Arrestor freezes while they are in excrutiating pain.

        – So a Wolverine with further physical augmentations(Chimera type right ? Not things that appear while he fights ?)I like the idea as he seems like the type with several lesser powers melding into something that’s greater than the sum of it’s parts, like Aheri if not on the same level…If I did not know better I would swear the Gefährten were making those Metahumans somehow, then again they might well get started in doing just that with their new Ascendant(another good catch and,I’ll say again’ heads and shoulder above the wreck who held the title before)eh, wonder what basil and the new Ascendant could create if they worked together.
        Also the side effect of enhanced senses making someone constantly pissed off might explain a lot of things about Wolverine…

      • Arresto didn’t give enhanced strength or anything, no. His schtick was using various means to inflict pain or debiliating wounds, then freeze his opponents in that state until they gave up – if they could even act at all anymore.

        Chimaera type, yes.

      • – Hmm so I guess he did not have it himself either, oh well his power is more than dangerous/awesome as is(guy could survive a bloody nuke, small one or not that’s a thing and he could make his allies just as tough). As for his way of fighting it does not surprise me,guess the guy was highly trained in martial arts(perhaps not as much as Diantha but still)as well as the use of various weapons and of course medically trained to know the body as much as possible.

        – Eh better that way if those were adaptations that popped during the fight to help him win it would have been a bit much also Radger(contraction of rage and Badger) man must have been terrifying when runing ops in more normal circumstances(well arrestor too even more so in fact)

        – Would I be wrong in saying that when looking for high end metas the Gefährten recruit the stable ones and seel the others like they did for Ciara ?(who now that I have seen Konrad and Immanuel I understand how they captured)

        – Another question: If a power granter granted Chronicle a 360 degree vision and the ability to see through things would she be able to use her power on people she perceives through those gifts ?

      • He wasn’t quite THAT well-trained, yet. Mostly he had a few gadgets to inflict pain, martial arts training and was getting instructions on torture techniques.

        Radger and Arrest often worked together (Arrest being immune to Radger’s rampages)

        Not always, but it happens. Ciara was unusually unstable, though – Immanuel can usually manage even unstable ones.

        Yes, she could.

      • – Ah so he was still in training then, as for the gadgets I should thought of him having that, as for instruction on torture technique is it was par the course, though I did expect Medical training too but since he was still training…

        – Oh, makes sense though they certainly made a very good team, especially with Arresto there to use his power on the people Radger went to town on…Poor saps, BTW how dangerous was Radger’s poison and how painful was it for it’s victims ? And did him and Arresto get along despite Radger anger issues ?

        – Ah so that means that the Gefährten have a lot of instable ones in their ranks too kept in check thanks to Immanuel. Does the Gefährten having to sell/kill metahumans they discover because they cannot manage them happen often ?

        – Good, guess it is something for the Gefährten to look into for future deployments then. Oh and while I am at it, good job on making them actually sympathetic and feeling like people as opposed to generic murderous scumbags or monsters, I liked how they interacted with each other and how they treated themselves as companions as their organisation’s name implies.

        – unrelated query: What kind of manifestation did Blauschwinge have to develop the power set he had ?

        Ah and thank you for putting up with my questions once again.

      • They had only recently started to work together and were still feeling each other out, but Radger is actually not that unpleasant a person, once one gets past his explosive temper. His poison was extra-ordinarily painful (think bullet ant, but spreading from the bite further into the body)

        they do. it’s not always immanuel who manages them ,though. He usually only takes care of the worst cases, or the ones who fit onto the installation.

        It doesn’t happen that often, no. If they can’t manage them and selling them is not profitable, they just let them run rampant. They rarely kill metas if they don’T absolutely have to.

        thanks.

        He was a jock who got repeatedly overshadowed by another guy. Always second best to him, be it at sports, picking up girls, school, or just general popularity. He kept trying to push things, tried to outdo him, until he overdid it once. Pushed the other guy too far, to the point of almost getting a serious beating.

        The guy restrained himself and decided to leave it be, but Blauschwinge couldn’t. as he was almost gone, he called after him, mocking him and trying to prop himself up. The rival blew a gasket and came charging towards him, and Blauschwinge freaked out, knowing that he stood no chance. manifestation followed

      • – Ah, a strike team in the making with the possibility of them becoming true friends all this nipped in the bud…Oh boy if Radger’s poison was so nasty his synergy with Arresto is even better than I thought, I pity whoever has had(because they DID a few missions together right ,)to face them on the field.

        – Okay so they do have people for that those guys and gals must be very good at what they do. Do they have others among the unstable on Ciara’s level(not of intability but of power and/or threat level)?

        – I see, and when you type profitable I take it that you do not only mean in monetary terms but also in how selling those Metahumans could advance their own plans right ? As for not killing them, well given what they seem to be about it makes sense.

        – Calling it how I see it.

        – Ah I see the type of guy and it makes perfect sense when you look at his power and it also indicates that he was a douche even before manifesting and that it was not his power which made him as we saw him in Monkey family.

      • They have others on Ciara’s level, or at least near it. She really was… out there, in many ways.

        They really don’t care about money. The pricetag they attach is mostly to weed out the flakes. The price is always set in such a way that their “customer” CAN pay it, but high enough to mean they really have to commit to it. They wouldn’t even offer it to someone who couldn’t serve their goals.

        He really was more of a turd sandwich.

      • – Oh my, this does not bode well for the Gefährten’s opponents in the future…And yes Ciara was quite a thing and unique in some ways and quite frankly the People of New Lennston got lucky she died like she did because in the end it was just that luck that save them. Eh is it a coincidence that the most sadistic of the living Trinity’s first name is also Ciara ? Got an ex named Ciara or something ?(insert Mrgreen smiley here)

        – Ah, I see quite a well oiled machine here but then it makes sense given how long the Gefährten have been a thing…I was wondering have they been messing with the Sovjets at some point ?(yes that came completly from the left field, lots of things there)

        – Yeah, that he was pity someone like him got such a good power but eh.

        – Another thing I just realised: when talking about Arresto I forgot a key point: his ability to affect objects, which means the guy could create invulnerable weapons that he could actually wield unlike stuf affected by Clockblocker this just has a great potential for abuse. He was usig this right ? and in an intelligent fashion I hope. Speaking of which how big of an Object could he affect ? What effect does that have on a gun IE can the affected gun still shoot ? If so since the object is supposed to be unchanging does this mean that under the power’s effect the gun has unlimited ammo(well yeah loaded is part of the gun’s”status”and since this power is supposed to make objects unchanging…)and are the bullets invulnerable too making hem extrmely deadly projectiles or are the bullets counted as other objects not part of the gun ad thus are not affected ?

      • – no, that’s merely a coincidence.

        – yes, they have. They mess with everyone, pretty much. Yes, that includes Australia and GAIN.

        – normal guns would still work, mechanically, but wouldn’t fire (the mechanism would operate, but the gunpowder in the bullets wouldn’t ignite, etc). SOME kinds of guns would still work just fine (say, Basil’s railgun), but in that case, the projectiles would no longer be affected once they left the gun.
        He could affect anything up to the size of, let’s say, an average car (though not a minivan).

      • – Was a little joke but eh.

        – Oh ? I am a bit surprised that they would mess with those too but then they have to be world players, still I thought they would leave those places relatively alone.I note you have not mentioned them messing with the Califate…But then you might have mentioned GAIN and Australia because you knew I would have asked.

        – Thanks for the answer, now in the case of the railgun I guess that if the projectiles were also imbued independantly they would retain the effect when launched(they should be since the power does not make thing impossible to move).

        So a big car, not bad lots of things can be done with objects up to that size, I take it the car would not be able to function though right ?(unless the car created with local tech could, which is whyI ask)Also the sheer damage you con do with a sword of other things imbued with that power…

      • A sword would not be substantially improved by the power. It would be no sharper nor hit any harder, it would simply not take any damage.

        No, a car would not work if affected by his power, unless it worked on a purely mechanical manner (such as pedals, i.e. a bike). Chemical processes (such as combustion) are interrupted by his power.

        While he could affect a railgun and the ammunition seperately, it would tire him out quickly if he kept doing it.

      • – Ah, my comment is missing two words I think and I did noteven realise: Monomolecular edged sword, because under Arresto’s power effect that edge would never dull all the problems such a blade could have would simply vanish.

        – I see so the setting’s car are not so different, regular electric cars I guess ? perhaps more efficient than what realworld has ? Also just to be sure I got it right: Arresto’s power would not only prevent the engine from being started but would also stop it if the car he targets is already on ? BTW if his power locks people and object in the state they are in when he uses his power that also mean the affected people don’t get hungry, Thirsty if they weren’t when the power is applied not only that but they should not get tired either if they were not when affected, eh wonder how things work for breathing.

      • It would improve a monomolecular blade, yes.

        It depends on where you live. If we take the USA, then electric cars are the standard. However, as they use chemical-based batteries (I am no expert on the matter, so take this with a grain of salt), the processes by which they are powered would be halted by arresto’s power. it would both prevent turning them on and turn them off if they are currently running.

        People would not grow more or less hungry, thirsty or tired while under the effects of his power, nor do they need to breathe. However, remaining too long under its sway can lead to very unpleasant psychological side-effects, as well as shock once one comes out of it.

      • – Eh a monomolecular blade was one of the first things I thought about as part of his equipement when you told me the guy’s power.

        – Well from what I know about Electirical cars they also use stored chemical energy, though they release it electrochemically, without any kind of combustion, as electrons ping from their slowly discharging batteries which is why there are no emissions of any kind produced by the cars themselves.

        So if Arresto’s power also stops also stops the energy from being released electrochemically as it would stop the combustion of a combustion engine then yes his power should stop it from working too, eh this closes some uses for the power but opens others.

        – Okay then Arresto’s power makes him into an Implacable man can’t be hurt does not tire and does not need to sustain himself, as for the psychological effects on people I can Imagine, does that include him too ? I mean you said Arresto almost always had his power up on himself.

        – This power would be rated High protection and Meta right or would it just be Protection ? Oh and while I am at it, say you have a power granter that grants limited time powers(say mid grad Pyrokinesis for an hour), if he grants one to Arresto and Arresto then uses his power would he be able to keep the granted power longer if he kept his own power up longer ? or does Arresto’s power effect not encompass granted powers ?

      • He’d have a protection and probably a manipulation rating. No meta.

        He had his power on all the time while active; he did take regular downtime, specifically to avoid unpleasant side effects

        he’d retain the power as long as he kept his up, provided it was granted to him before he activated his own; but there’d likely be SEVERE side-effects once he turned his own off, if he did so past the point of the granted power’s time limit.

      • – Manipulation ? mah guess it fits with the locking things and people in a given state, though I thought that the capability to make other people almost invincible would give him a meta rating even if it is just a side effect of his main power, I mean if you send people against the guy you would have to take into account that he can make normals around him or the meta he is with invincible unless you have the right power to break it which must be very rare. Well that is when you use rating as indications for the field as opposed as for academics. As for the protection I would guess it is God Tier.

        – Ah, I see well that pretty logical though I am wondering how did the Psychologial issues linked to his power become known ? Was it because at the beginning he used it too much on himself and then realised the problems tht entailed or was it through abusing his power on other people ?

        – Hmmm…Interesting, but when you say severe side effects do you mean for him, the power granter or both of them ?

        – Another question about his power: did it protect against mind powers and such ? I mean telepathy and all change things in the mind but is the mind locked too or not ?

      • eh… maybe a meta rating. Honestly didn’t think of that. It’d be pretty low, though.

        Overuse on himself and friends/family.

        himself

        depends on the mental power. some would work, some not.

      • – Again, happens to the best and yes i get it would be rather low and the given”power”is not very flexible or that dangerous to others but having to face multiple invincible foes especially when you are not made aware of the possibility…yeah, especially when they do not tire or need to breath cutting options you might have against other”Invincible”metahumans/regular people being gifted powers.

        – Makes sense that he would want to protect himself and those he cares about and thus used his power much on them and himself, hell that micght even have played a big role in his manifestation. BTW I wouldbe interested to know the specific issues HE got from overusing his own power on himself.

        – Ah, so just for himself then, so he does screw the granter still when you say severe side effects what exactly does that entail ? Say in the case the given power was Mid to High Pyrokinesis if a power is needed as an exemple.

        – Ah, I was asking that because of the “Vampire” boy: you mentioned that him, and thus I imagine the other “vampires”, were immune to Mind Control and such due to essentially being moving corpse and thus that there was nothing there to affect, given that I expected a locked brain and body in general presenting the same issues. Speaking of the “Vampire” Boy what kind of event could entail a manifestation like that ?

      • Body Disassociation Syndrome is the term, I think. The victim’s brain (including his own), lacking the kind of input it expects to get from its own body (getting hungry, getting sleepy, getting tired, etc etc) started to disassociate from their own body. Eventually lead to phantom pains, hallucinations, paranoid delusions…

        Power might lash back at him once he deactivates his protection; worst case, burning him to death from the inside out, if he kept it for WAY beyond its expiration date. usually would be lighter backlash, getting burned, having possessions destroyed, etc.

        The vampire boy was killed by a contriver who drained his blood for a magic ritual, while he was fully conscious. Manifested post-death within his own grave.

      • – Ah, so he would have the same issues as other people would not different ones, what you discribed as the issues linked to that power was more or less what I thought would happen(minus the hallucinations)to the people exposed to that power too long but not what he himself would experience, for some reason I thought he would get a different kind of backlash if he used it too much on himself.

        – OW, nasty any particular reason the powers would react like that ? Eh I guess this would also happen with granted powers with no time limits but which are limited in a number of uses as if Arresto activates his power right after he gets the limited number of use power is fully charged it would stay fully charged no matter how much he uses it. BTW would Arresto using his power right after Aheri gave him one of hers prevent her from taking it back if she wants to ?

        – Ah, that explains a lot of things and makes him a Wyrd origin if not one of the”known” ones, eh was the Contriver who performed the ritual aware of the boy’s manifestation ? and if so would it have fit his/her delusion ?(IE my magic made a vampire!!!)

      • Trying to violate another power’s domain is rarely a smart idea. Forcibly keeping a power beyond its expiration date counts.

        It would, until she ripped his spine out of his body and took it off his bloody corpse.

        He was aware in the “OH GOD THEY’RE TEARING ME TO PIECES WITH THEIR BARE HANDS” way. Suffice it to say, his personal delusions were not on his mind at the time.

      • – Okay, the tenants are rather territorial I get it you take something(orkeep something given to you longer in this case)you should not they punish you, alright.

        – So he could prevent her from taking it back with his power, got it and damn Aheri can bypass Arresto’s power ? That’s not the kind of thing just everyone can do, really hope to see her in story at one point.

        – Ah, the Contriver got what he was owed good guy deserved and I am pretty sure this boy was not his first victim.

        – Oh and speaking of Endowers, can one person receive several powers from different Endowers(say could someone get a Power from Aheri, something from Coach and then get Locked by Arresto or if Arresto does not really qualify as an endower then I dunno geokinesis from another ramdom endower) and how many endowers does the united states goverment have ? And how many does the UH have ?

      • Every power has a flaw, including Arresto’s. Aheri could exploit his.

        Any number of endowers, really, unless their specific powers somehow interfere with each other (like one endower granting power immunity, or one granting the power to turn into fire, another to turn into ice).

        I don’t really have an accurate count of every power type in every organisation. I’m not THAT obsessive (yet). But probably only a handful in either. the UH likely more than the US government.

      • – Oh ? And how would she know of that flaw and exploit it(then again her power list is almost”yes and the kitchen sink” so…) ? and What is that flaw I am curious. Also is a south African interlude in the cards for the future ?

        – Okay so unless bad power interactions are in play people can get Endowed by as many Endowers they can convince to give them powers without problem, the potential for abuse of this is ridiculous and this adds even more in why those people are so sought after.

        – Heh, was worth asking since you got the setting figured out so well as for the UH having more than the Government that does not really surprise me and I would guess the Gefährten and the Syndicate also have more than the government.

        – Still about Endowers, have there been many of them that were S class threat or at least A class(I mean the”Vampire”Boy technically was an Endower.

        – BTW, I was wondering if the Metahumans who attacked Aap in Monkey family 11.1 were Part of Skulls’ hive or not ?(I think no since IIRC correctly he could not just take Metahumans but then he DID have a Metahuman body in the installation so…and yes I am basing that of the fact they wore skull themed helmet which is pretty thin)

        – Old Timey Question: were the Gefährten already around when Dread Roger was a thing before he took a stroll to other dimensions and never came back(at least to people’s knowledge)?

      • The defense he applies can be overwhelmed (as the Dark demonstrated). It could tank any hit, no matter how big (including a nuke), but continuously being hit over and over with enough force would eventually break his power’s effect.

        Not many S-Class levels, at least no more than any other power classification.

        No, they weren’t. Skulls can’t take metahumans. His main body just happened to be really pretty to the point of being comparable to a meta with adonis physique, during that time (before his power started rotting it). Those metas were mercenaries, unrelated to the gefährten (remember, they were hired through a syndicate lawyer, by proxy)

        Yes and no. Their predecessors were (the Thule organisation and a handful of others that were later merged into the Gefährten)

      • – Ah, I see well to be honest I saw what the Dark did to him more involved with the type of power used than regular overwhelming of the defense. So Arresto’s power could be broken with enough attacks of sufficient forces at the same time or in a row…Makes sense I guess, and with Aheri’s Laundry list of powers I can see her capable of doing just that…to think the powers you listed for her are not even the full list, seriously I so want to see her in story not just because of her power level but because would like to see what kind of person she is.

        – Okay, I asked tht in relation to the spreading capability this kind of power has and also the subversion potential that might be attached to some of those gifts.

        – Good, just wanted to keep my facts straight, as I said I did not think they were but on the off chance…well let’s say that it’s handy to have a nice author who puts up with annoying people like me always nagging him with questions. As for the main body used on the installation, nice to get that cleared up too did he spend time aound looking for such a body ?

        Oh and speaking of nice authors, question: will there be an update before Christmas ?

        – Ah I see that was before someone put together all the likeminded groups, interesting to see the Thule society among those groups, I am curious did the first Gefährten and their predecessors believe in the genetic theory for Metahumans at the beginning or had they someone who knew better from the start ?

      • Most endowers have some pretty big limits on their ability to grant powers. Like only being able to grant them to a limit number of people at a time, or very short (minutes) time limits, etc.

        No, he came across her by accident while his then-main body was taking some off-time. He just grabbed her off the street.

        Yes, there will be. MIGHT be tomorrow (thursday).

        Yes.

      • – Well yes most, but one that could become an S Class threat would most certainly lack the usual limits,otherwise said Endower would most likely not be an S class threat, hell most S class(those that are not due to political and cultural power anyway) likely lack their class usual limits and something that spreads like endowment seemed like a catergory rife for S class things(proportonally speaking compared to other power sets aside from Spawners) BTW could Aheri give all of her powers or has she to keep at least one for herself(not that I think that she would do that even if she could but still)?

        – Ah, the woman had very bad luck on that one and he was extremely lucky, eh shit happens.

        – Ah, that is a very good news!! BTW how many donation interludes are still in waiting ?(asking in case the Donate page was not updated)

        – Ah the famed Mathematican’s answer also known in the Webserial criccles as the Wilbow answer, oh well I tired…(unless I misunderstood and this is a yes that they had someone who knew better among them…)

      • She could, but she’d never do that. Only ability she couldn’t give away would be the ability to give and take back her powers.

        The page is up to date, though I’m going to have to rework the donation rules. Forgot to do that, even though I’m on patreon now.

        Yes.

      • – Of course she wouldn’t, hell nobody would but it was just to see if that was a limit to her power or not.

        – Okay, well I’ll see when the rules are reworked then.

        – Heh

        – Something Ihave been wondering for some time: When you say Patrid has god tier physique power that means impervious to anything short of armor piercing rounds as well as punching through concrete right ? Along with an enhanced brain and assorted functions ?

      • Pretty much, yeah. Though in his case it’s mostly focused on the mental aspects and enhanced senses and reflexes. Still, he’s not likely to die to non-AP ammunition, unless he just stands there and takes it

      • – So non AP munitions could still hrut the guy a bit, as for him just standing there it is highly unlikely especially if among his mental stuff he also has some kind of accelrated perception which is likely given he has enhanced reflexes, as for the mental aspect given the number of doctorates and capabilities he has it is not surprising, guess he has the works(enhanced processing speed, information retention, memory, enhanced mathematic abilities…)Now the most important question: Is the creepyness part of his power ?(InsertMrgreen here)

        – Something I forgot to ask after everything on Arresto, can’t believe I did: Could his power lock a shapeshifter in a given shape or would the Shifter’s power somehow override Arresto’s ?

        – Was the effect the second Chevalier applied to objects of the same nature as Arresto’s or did he make things Invulnerable differently ?

      • It’s an unfortunate interaction of his power with Melody’s. Won’t say more.

        Depends on the power. Some would be locked, some would overcome it.

        Different nature. He manipulated nuclear forces to make the bonds between molecules nigh-unbreakable.

      • – Ah, though Melody is not the only one finding him creepy…Now that being said, the guy chose Public relations and I hardly think the UH would put a Metahuam in this position if he had not something compatible with it, so he has the intellect and all and I suspect now that he has something in his voice too that perhaps make people listen to him more than they usually would(not outright control, then again he might be capable of it but is not using it like Dearheart), and since melody’s hearing is way better than normal and that she is specialised in sound she perceives the harmonics of that effect which creep her out, but the thing must be subtle enough that she does not realised said harmonics are the cause of that or even that they exist to begin with(likely a part of patrid’s power preventing people from realising)

        – Okay, so there is no absolute here and some could simply change despite Arresto’s power, got it. Thought shifting in general being a change of state might be prevented in general oh well powers are powers.

        – Good to know, I like that kind of thing: Powers who look as they could be the same but work completly differently, researchers must have lots of fun with that.By the way do the Dark and Lady Light interfere/still interfere in the research about powers ?

        – Are clashes between the UH and the various goverments a common thing ?(not really counting Japan as they seem to not like the UH so tht’s clear)

      • No, they don’t, really. Lady Light once tried to support it, but that went wrong, so they just stay away from it. The Dark does have his own research division within the Syndicate, though

        Not really. The UH do their best to play nice, since they could pretty easily be labeled unlawful and become enemies of the state, which would be a bummer.

      • – Okay then, aas for Lady Light’s attempted contributin which ended badly I guess it is the incident refered to in the Meta Brennus file with most of the notes she shared ending being destroyed, pity that as I am sure those notes contained a wealth of knowledge.

        As for why I asked well it is partly because of what the Dark did for the first rating system, he told Gloomy that it was to have fun and while this could fit with his personnality I doubt that there was all there was to that so I expected him and perhaps Lady Light to steer people away from some thing they did not want discovered about powers. As for the dark having his own research wing on the subject this does not surprise me at all, and I am sure Lady Light also has her own equivalent or at the very least continues her own researches. I wonder if they are planning to pass on their knowledge to Gloomy, true she seems to already have had some bits as she recognised the Sleeper as a Steward/Tenant still that’s far from the whole.

        – Well I was mostly thinking of some Governments getting a bit too demanding with the UH and trying to control them as opposed to the UH trying to go against the governments, surely something like the UH has to make some people in power wary at the very least, they are not the syndicate but they DO hold lots of power.

      • Irene has already been told a lot she hasn’t shared with anyone, but they wouldn’t teach her everything at once.

        That does happen, yes. And the UH is not active in every country – only those that give them at least some autonomy (thus why they’re not in the Sovjet Union at all, nor in some of the German states, and a few others they’re not welcome in).

        When it does happen in places they are operating in, they generally resist with every legal measure they have available. And sometimes less legal ones, within reason.

        As a last resort, they might just plain pack it up and leave a country, though that usually only happens in smaller countries that aren’t as important.

        Otherwise, while they make a LOT of people nervous (they’re basically one big middle finger to every government ever), they have a lot of influence, enough to deflect most attempts to control them (though there are factions within the UH pushing for more government affiliation, too)

      • – Okay so they are teaching her about it and will likely pass everything on to ther with time and not keep things to themselves. As for them not telling her everything in one go well this makes a lot of sense too as it would not be a very good teaching method, not only that but despite everything Gloomy IS still rather young. Eh another thing I wonder is how much Lady Light uncovered with her research the Dark does not know and Vice Versa and how much of those things they just BELIEVE the other doesn’t know.

        – I see, so they use legal power and let’s say grey things when the governments get a little too pushy and flat out leave when said goverment try to control them, okay. Also them not being present in the Sovjet union makes sense given how they see and treat metahumans, there is no way they would accept an organization like that as for the german states well after Weisswald it is more than understandable, in fact I am surprised that some would allow them in.

        As for the faction pushing for more government ties I hope it is minor because well this does not strike me as a good idea as it may create various problems down the line. guess they are the same not really liking Lady Light having a say in things despite having no official position.

        – BTW how does say the US government recruit Metahumans and get them before the UH since people willing to sign with them come from more or less the same pool than those who sign with the UH.

      • Both the US gov and the UH heavily advertise and try to attract new metahumans by offering, well, incentives. Great pay, training, professional resources, legitimacy, prestige, fame. Same as any job, really.

        It’s not too unusual for one side to woo people away from the other, wherever legally possible.

        The government tried to restrict this in the past, but it didn’t work out.

        They’re not the only faction who dislikes Lady Light, though they’re the biggest one. There’s also people who push for LESS government affiliation and dislike her for being, essentially, kind of a non-elected dictator whom no one can really second-guess or in any way reign in.

        Not that she necessarily IS, but some perceive her as such, especially since a lot of the UH’ top brass, particularly on the metahuman side, is staffed by her ‘students’

        pretty much every member of the Shining Guardians except for Quetzalcoatl was either trained by her or is a descendant and heir of her closest confidantes; the woman who single-handedly staffs some of the most crucial administrative positions in the group is also firmly in her camp, as is their Chief PR Manager – an extremely important position for a group which has to rely so heavily on public goodwill in order to function, as they often oppose the governments of the nations they operate in.

        And that doesn’t even get into her relationship with the Dark, which a LOT of people rightly criticise her heavily for.

        Or the fact that the most promising (in terms of power levels) hero of the new generation, her daughter, appears to be groomed to ascend to a similar position, in spite of the heavy influence the Dark has on her, or her very questionable escapades in the past (even if they weren’t wholly or not at all her fault – you’ve really only gotten to see Irene after she started getting a hang of her powers, in some small way).

        Accusations of Nepotism also fly around a lot.

        My point being, the UH is a very, very diverse group that firmly operates under the principle of being united towards the outside even while they’re tearing themselves apart on the inside; thus they appear to be much more monolithic than they actually are.

        Oh, and let’s not forget that we’re basically on the cusp of World War III at this point in the story and the ONLY thing that’s prevented a full-blown escalation of hostilities is MAD through nuclear weapons. There’s factions within the UH arguing that, in the face of that, the UH should tie itself closer to the PATO and their respective national governments, both to prevent them from being seen as potential traitors during wartime, and out of nationalistic considerations, to support their lands in the war to come.

        Phew.

        And that’s not even ALL of it.

        Point being, shit’s complicated.

      • – Nothing to be sorry about, thanks to your”rant”I got all the information I asked for and even more, a very good explanation which shows that the UH is as I might have suspected(though not necessarily for those reasons I was thinking the instability might come more from the big differences between the different Branches, I mean the methods of the Sotuh African and South American branhces and perhaps the Asian too might clash with those of the American and european branches)not more united or stable than the Syndicate, hell it is perhaps even less so.

        – As for their perception of Lady Light well they are disliking her for doing things intelligently a getting some mesure of control that ensures that what she created continues to work following the ideas she had when she created it without all the problems that come with official leadership. As for her relationship with the Dark well she knew him before they both became what they are and quite frankly I think this relationship is a good thing because otherwise I can see things between Villains and Heroes getting near Sotuh Africa/America like in the other parts of the world rather fast. But I see why people have a problem with it.

        – Yes there is a 3rd world war coming can explain some things about people wanting more government ties, still I see this as a big mistake but eh.

    • Skulls and the girl the Dark talked about back then are separate people. Only the main body could add people to the collective and HE couldn’t do it instantly.

      No, they didn’t get the vampire boy. No, his creations lacked the usual weaknesses. THey did share his heavy distaste for cucumbers, though

      • – Hoh, Skulls was a guy…eh explains why he let everyone have fun with his Adonis feminine body, messed up though. Pity I would have like if the Gefährten had somehow saved and recruited one of the Children the dark went after, plus it would have made sense given those were most likely extremely strong, wonder what the others that were not mentioned to Ember were capable of.

        – Pity, but then from those mentioned I could have seen him survive given the vampiric power set especially without the weaknesses, of course it depends on what set of Vampiric abilites he and his creatures had by the by did he have control over the ones he sired like vampires fo in a lot of works ? And did he and his Vampire sparkle ? If so The Dark was totally justified.

        – While I am here some more questions if you do not mind(not about Konrad or Heaven’s Dancer since you do not seem to answer things about them):
        1)What are Brad’s,Judicator’s, Prism’s and Sablo’s full power sets ?(yes because I think there is more to them than what was shown)
        2)Is it normal that the dark’s Dragonform’s effect seems suspiciously akin to the Mortal Coil ?
        3)Does the Dark get a meta rating for his powered creatures ?

      • He and his vampires had super-strength (medium grade), tough to the point of being bullet proof against small calibers. They could regenerate, hypnotise with their gaze (didn’t work on metahumans), turn into bats or wolves, turn into mist, stick to walls and create more of themselves by draining a victim’s blood, then giving it of their own. If killed they’d dissolve into mist and return to their resting place, rising by the next sundown.

        Their weaknesses were that, while they were nearly immortal, their powers were disabled by direct sunlight – including their immortality. So while sunlight didn’t kill them, it did allow for them to be killed relatively easily. He did control them, yes, though they weren’t mindless. They did not sparkle.

        Brad was Boltstar.

        Prism was a chimaera type. He grew crystal shards out of his body and could pull them out to use as thrown weapons or cutting implements. He could also transmit thoughts to anyone in physical contact with one of his shards, both for utility and offense. As a side effect, he was always perfectly aware of the location and state of his shards and would spread them around an area to surveil it (if one is crushed, then probably someone stepped on it or such).

        Sablo had a very powerful defensive ability. She could choose from a selection of broad concepts to be protected from (people, inanimate objects, powers, natural forces), then choose one of several modes (self, target person, area, shape) and convey protection from that. It wasn’t absolute (as seen, the protection could be overloaded), but very powerful and very broad. The more precise she was about what she wanted protection from, the stronger her shield (defending against the Dark’s power made for a better shield than all powers; defending against electricity was stronger than all natural forces). Her manifestation also replaced her hair for silky white ribbons and she was a nudist.

        Judicator was a contriver, though a rather lucid one. His contriving was built around creating connections between objects and people, synchronising them to some effect. For example, his crystal ball reflected him and those close to him, and absorbed damage done upon them unto their mirror images, until it shattered. His scales were meant to protect several people he’d marked by applying negative effects they took upon whomever inflicted them (he was the cause of a lot of dead wraiths), but that was less useful than usual, since the wraiths didn’t care about being harmed themselves.

        Remember that new metahumans ping off of other metas they are close to, and Kraquok spent years at the Dark’s side before manifesting. His power took some data from the Dark’s, some inspiration, and added an ability that he would not otherwise have had.

        The Dark’s rated as a high-end Meta, yes. God-tier, just about.

      • – Hmmm…So the fairly standard Stoker set then without the vermin and weather control along with the control of the”lesser blooded” which is more a very very strong suggestion that outright control, not bad at all. the question is was he stronger/more powerful than then as the progenitor/Master or not ?

        The weakness on the other hand is disappointing, not because it makes the power less but because all of a sudden the justification for the Dark killing him is not really that good anymore.

        Had they kept their full power under the sun or even just Half of it minus their immortality or them being killable only under sunlight yes but them losing everything by day ? Doesn’t seem as much of a threat to justify the Dark intervening like he did, that being said I still wonder what the other children whose power he did not identify could do for him to go out of his way to kill them.

        – Ah, Okay then.

        – Good powerset, like it. How Strong/Disturbng the offensive verion of his thought broadcasting on a scale of”uuh dirty images in my head ” to Mindfuck ? And how sharp exactly were his crystals ? My favorite part of this power though is the exploitation of the sideffect in order to turn it into a very useful ability.

        – My, another pretty potent power one which would have been very very suited for heroism I am pretty sure the UH would have just loved her(nudism aside not only because she flashes everything but beccause of the connotations that come with Metahumans going around naked)Lacking offensive power though, but eh given how good her power is that’s not a problem, by the by that power is high Apex/Low God tier Protection with a dash of Meta for protecting against powers too isn’t it.

        – Now I love that power set, sympathetic magic:the Contriver just what he had on him was very very good gear I wonder what he could make by pushing his power, what kinds of effects he could achive because I can see a lot of applications for that power, Apex tier right ?

        – Ah, so that’s where these similarities come from the pinging before manifestation not the Dark somehow cribbing his subordinate’s attack’s effects for his Dragonform.

        – Okay then, just like Lady Light. On that note I cannot wait to see her in a fight where she gets serious(next arc being a Bree battle means that I might get to see that soon)

      • I should probably mention that the transformation turned each victim into a remorseless monster with the primal desire to create more of themselves.

        He could transmit anything he could imagine, but it wasn’t like, a psychic attack assaulting the “mind”. it was only as disturbing as his imagination could make it – which was a lot.

        High-tier protection, with meta rating attached

        he would probably get apex protection, paragon damage and a few other sub-ratings. his contriving would likely be paragon tier, if evaluated. He could pull out a lot of diverse sympathetic effects, though he was more into versatility than raw power.

      • – Hmmm…yes dangerous, but still given the other things that prompted the Dark to kill manifested children it still seems less if the turned vampires and the”Master”lose all of their power under the sun…Don’t get me wrong that is a threat and is dangerous but compared to Hivemind girl, the Healer who was not a healer and did not know it and bloody Ember I just don’t see this as enough for the Dark to kill said child himself like that. So to give me an idea of what kinds of powers justify a Dark”intervention”would a random child having Diantha’s power instead of her have rated for such an intervention ? or one with the power to control any technology on a large scale ?

        – Ah, rather nasty then but not full fledged mind attack still very useful in a fight.

        – Okay then good to know

        – I’m a bit confused by that: I mean I thought the sheer versatility a power gives also contributed to high ratings and unless I am wrong the guy can do quite a lot I mean the things you can do with Sympathy…BTW I was wondering about his damge reflection thing: Do the damage reflected bypass the enemy’s defenses IE if Metahuman A who has High Physique/Protection and Lavablast blasts Metahuman B who has normal durability but is protected by Judicator’s scales would Metahuman A take as much damage as Metahuman B would have taken or only as much as he would normally take if blasted by his own power ? Also Judicator survived right ?Judicator died after Chronicle Blacked out right ? Or did I fail basic reading comprehension ?

        – What were Nancy, Rhoda and Jonas’ full power sets ?(wanted to ask along with the others but for some reason did do it)

        – And while I am here, what exactly is Karasuha’s contriving all about, given her name and some of the things she does I see that there is a crow/Tengu theme to it but I still would like some precisons about it if you would be so kind.

      • I think I wasn’t clear. Every one of his vampires could produce more – any one of them was, on their own, a vector to further spread the “plague”.

        By the time the Dark tracked down the source of the infection (the boy), there were already over ten thousand vampires running around, each an intelligent, monstrous, infection carrier. They’d split up and spread out over a large part of Central China, the mongolian lands, southern asia and were moving towards eastern europe at a rapid pace. As long as the boy lived, his descendants could create more new vampires. The boy was too twisted to be convinced to stop, and he was immune to mind control (living corpse, no brain to affect). Power nullification didn’t work (it only shut down the boy’s ability to use his powers, didn’t effect descendants)

        The Dark had a choice: spare the child, take him somewhere safe, try to deal with an exponentially spreading vampire plague (a single vamp could convert a whole village in one night). Or kill the child and “merely” have 10.000+ vampires who can no longer procreate to deal with.

        A single child with Diantha’s power would not be something he’d just kill, no. Only exponential threats.

        Judicator was limited in a lot of ways. Slow to work, his powers relied on his opponents taking action. On his own, he was a threat, but he was more of a force multiplier than a powerhouse on his own. Metahuman A would resist with his own toughness, not take damage as B would have. And B would still take damage themselves – it didn’t negate the damage on those it protected, merely punished those who harmed them.

        Nancy was Sablo.

        Jonas didn’t show up on screen. He had a kind of teleportation – he’d disappear, reappear somewhere and generate crystalline copies of himself inbetween. The copies had enhanced toughness, strength and were made of really sharp crystals. They’d persist until destroyed or until he teleported again. He originally wanted Bismuth as a codename, but it was already taken, so he called himself Crystal Road.

        Rhoda, aka Distill, had the power to absorb liquids through her skin, storing them inside. She could mix them, concentrate or dillute, etc, then either secrete them or shoot them out.

        Karasuha’s contriving is about summoning various “kami”, then binding them into items in order to empower them. The rest, I shall keep to myself.

      • – Ah, there was a rather big outbreak already that explains much also just to be clear on another thing: the boy was immune to mindcontrol even under the light of the sun ? So the”vampires” count as living corpses even under the sun when deprived of their power or was it just the source ?

        So only exponential threats…Given he went after Ember I am guessing that this is as much because of the nature of their powers or the consequences their powers can have over the world, have thre been a lot of the latter ? And why, even if she was not a child, am I thinking Su ling was on the receiving end of one of those “interventions” ?

        – Ah, more limited than I thought him to be then but still great also given the scale was said to protect people I thought it made it so they took no damage and shifted it to attacker, like the crystal ball shifted the damage from people reflected inside to their reflections.

        – Once again interesting powers we shan’t see and those are more demonstrations of the Gefährten’s talent finding skills…

        – So a shinto influenced Contriver, makes sense for a Japanese woman/girl, but not giving the whole power ? Hmm guess that bit will be important in the future then.

        – If Hemming went all out and used his aces could he push the Dark as far as he has gone here ?

        – Does Bree’s weakness lie in her human perceptions and her lack of familiarity with them ? or more to the point Tartsche using his power still has access to his senses and so has Pristine to a degree so power using those senses a a vector might be able to get through and affect them, after all what hanabi used on Bree to make her flinch was a sort or contrived firework and fireworks are both loud and can be blinding and if effect were worked in that sound and light(and there most likely were)then those effect might just have affected Bree if only a little.

      • He turned “alive” under the sunlight. while he was susceptible to mind control in that state, he also lost his ability to command his minions. once he got out of the sunlight (including just walking into shadows), he regained all his powers, including command, but also became undead again (freeing him from any mental effect).

        The Dark would likely not have killed Ember, even if Ember hadn’t impressed him so. He’d was already pretty conflicted about it, and would likely have ended up just kidnapping him to test his power out and train him (both in terms of using his power and in terms of being loyal).

        That likely wouldn’t have worked out, either, though. (Hint: Lady Light).

        @Hemming: not gonna answer that.

        @Bree: Not answering that.

      • – Now see, I just realised that all my”bitching”about the Vampire boy was without ground: I understood that him and his vampires could not use their powers when the sun was up full stop, when in truth they just needed to be inside or under some shade for them to still have them during day so yeah even without knowing all the rest guy was a threat that justified a Dark intervention.
        My bad for failing at reading comprehension you DID type “under DIRECT sunlight” should have gotten it right away.

        – Thank you for the information about the Ember situations, this helps a lot in the understanding of those intervention as well as a bit of the Dynamic between him and Lady Light.

        – As for the Hemming thing and the bree thing well I tried, can’t win them all eh ? Besides if hemming would be able to put up a good fight against Lady Light even though he would ultimatly lose I personnally believe he could at least push the Dark this far before getting beaten.

        – Oh just something I forgot last time: If Nancy is Sablo why is Konrad talking about her as if she was dead before she actually gets killed ? Another thing that surprised me was that Sablo was not kept by Chronicle.

        – So Jonas’s power made one copy by teleport and there could be only one as the one in play would be destroyed if he teleported again, no multiple compies around right ?or were there a number of duplicates depending on the distance of the teleportation and all of them would disappear if he made another jump ? Also sharp crystal ? How sharp exactly ?

        – Distill’s power has a lot of potential depending the mixes she could make and to what liquids she had access to, like say Contrived and/or gadgeteer liquid chemicals, also the big question: could she absorb the liqud inside living beings by touch(I know the ability to affect fluids inside living beings is a rare one but this IS a Gefährten Metahuman we are talking about so the question is valid).

      • Konrad talking about Nancy like that is a continuity error on my part.

        Chronicle takes time to record a person and she can only keep a limited number of records at a time. She didn’t have Sablo on record before the battle and couldn’t have recorded her during it.

        Multiple copies. The longer his teleport, the more copies he made. Each teleport destroyed all previous copies and made new ones depending on its distance. Sharp as glass.

        No, she couldn’t drain people unless they’d been cut open and were bleeding out anyway. She didn’t so much “suck in” liquid as she absorbed through her skin so even if a person had an open wound, she’d only get the blood that came out of it.

      • – Meh, that happens to the best.

        – I am aware that she is limited in the number of people she can record I was just merely surprised that Sablo was not in said record, if I had a cape like her who handles the protection I would be sure to have a way to fix her if needed, now granted that particular battle was not expected so there might have been no need for her to record anyone besides her team, still it was something that surprised me when I read the chapter.

        – Okay so he could potentially mob his enemy in superstrong, supertough and somewhat sharp construct…yeah good power indeed, I think his enemies were glad that the crystal making up the contructs was only as sharp as glass as opposed to some absurd sharpness.

        – Well that’s still something but if she had been able to drain liquids from someone on touch she would have been terrifying that’s for sure, eh even as s I am sure she was nothing to laugh at.

        – Now to finish with the mentioned Gefährten Metahumans in this act: what were Thoughtseize and Bulwark’s full power sets, sure they both showed some stuff and the former’s name is pretty clear but I was wondering if there were things or nuances we did not get to see.

        And again thank you for taking the time to answer, hope I am not intruding on your writing time.

      • I don’t mind answering questions, so long as they do not tread upon spoiler territory^^

        Sablo was called in from outside the installation, to reinforce the troops on it. There simply wasn’t time for Chronicle to record her (it takes a while).

        Thoughtseize’s power allowed her to focus on a single human mind within ~1km of herself (as a side-effect of her power, she had an esper ability allowing her to sense all active minds within that range) and ‘enter’ it. Once inside such a mind, she could explore it, manipulate it (full control was hard to do, and frought with difficulties, but she could manipulate choices, shut it down entirely, overwhelm it with singular thoughts/emotions, etc) or simply communicate with it. However, she was only partially aware of her physical surroundings while doing so (akin to being in a drunken haze). The effect was really powerful, but as said, could only affect one mind at a time.

        Bulwark could create flat, rectangular force-fields of immense strength (powerful enough to deflect two or three direct hits from DiL) and variable size (though not shape) anywhere within his sight, though he only had to have line of sight to create them, not to maintain them. He could maintain any number of separate fields at a time, but the more he made, the weaker the individual ones became (if he made, say, more than 20, each would only be about as tough as regular glass)

      • Well then here I come:

        – Ah, she was outside reinforcements I get it that plus the battle no being planned would do it.

        – Damn another powerful and possibly terifying one, while she is no Mindstar she still is a thing and her detection range is very useful hell her range is useful full stop, I take it she was the one that made Bulwark seem to be Chronicle in the eyes of Basil through her power and also hid herself and Chronicle.

        – That…Okay that’s a tough forcefield and not having to concentrate to maintain it:them once made and being able to make them anywhere in line of sight is quite abusable even if they become weaker the more there are, not just that but IIRC they were practically invisible too…And with a team this is so very useful heh can’t help to wonder if Skulls’ team didn’t underperform because they underestimated Basil’s group despite Gloom Glimmer being among them.

        – Among those people(ie every Gefährten Metahumans present sans Konrad, Immanuel and Heaven’s dancer as you won’t answer anything on them)were there people that can/could have heterodyned ?

        – How rare are matter controllers and transmuters ?

        – Are there Martial arts Contrivers and/or Gadgeteers ?

        – Is Caliban the cause of Ciara’s escape ?

        – How widespread are crackpot theories like the old ods were metahumans or the ancient marvels like the Pyramids and Stonehenge were made by Aliens/metahumans or the Godking of Mars never existed and that it was all
        a cover to hide the truth about extraterrestrial life(IE people thinking the martian were real aliens and that the goverment, the UH and everyone tried to hide that”truth”by pretending a metahuman made them)?

      • No, the only time she affected Basil was when she got eaten by the raging heart.

        They did underestimate them, having expected the group to be largely declawed once Gloomy was down; not an unreasonable assumption, mind you, as they WERE defeated, until Osore triggered Basil’s rampage.

        Yes, there were.

        Depends on how you define those terms. Free controllers/transmuters? Extremely rare. Limited forms? Pretty common.

        Contrivers, yes, gadgeteers, no.

        No.

        as widespread as in the real world, really. Perhaps a little more so.

      • – Ah, so it was Kasuha’s contriving that hid Thoughtseize and Chronicle while making Bulwerk seem to be Chronicle, eh ninja style not surprising given Karasuha’s theme.

        – Well yeah they were right, still as a rule of the thumb you cannot underestimate anyone when powers are involved(in any setting with powers)and have to be careful even when the enemy if unconscious as you never know what might happen even then. But I can understand why they did so, after all on the top of everything else they HAD the homefield advantage.

        – Ah, can you tell me which ones or is that restricted information covered by the spoiler clause ?

        – I was thinking on freeform ones à la Mold if you want an exemple, so they are very rare I would guess those that exist are rather dangerous, does the UH have some or other hero teams ?(say the Greek Pantheon)or perhaps some well known villains ?

        – Ah so there are martial arts contrivers, I would guess they are centered on the Wuxia/Xianxia archetype with Cultivation(not Maddie’s type of Cultivation)and the use of Chi and such or the Ninja archetype or even the Yogic practices in India, now I wonder can some of them”teach” their styles to others ?

        – Did not really think it was, but eh might be a bit slow but I just can’t figure out what the guy did in new Lennston, i guess it has nothing to do with the Rabid Eight either.

        – Ah, I was curious how that worked in a world with powers and real secret societies, now I can’t help to wonder how many people who actually uncovered those real secret societies and other stuff are associated with the hacks or how many of the hacks have accurate things among their ramblings. The funny thing is that some of these people might manifest and make some of their delusions real so to speak(oh look I was right Atlantis existed and was an advance cilizations that taught everything to the others, look a survivor of the flood came to me and gave me the understanding their lost tech and I can now recreate it!!)

        – What is Aap Oodra full power set and what are his limits ?(Guess this might fall under the Spoiler clause but eh, I can try)and when are we going to himand the rest of the Monjey family cast again ? Also will we see him go all out soon ?

        – Way back during Gloomy’s lecture on metahumans you mentioned a contriver name Archmage can you give some details on him ? Also you refered to Doc feral as Doc Savage in the same chapter.(part three of the Introduction to Metahuman studies in section about Contrivers.)

      • Some of the contrivers and gadgeteers on the installation would regularly heterodyne. As for the fighters, to be honest, I didn’t sit down to work that out in detail, so I’m just gonna say, assume about a tenth of them could heterodyne with each other.

        Aap Oordra can manifest a monkey-skin/body around his real body which protects him from damage, giving him super-strength, super-speed and vastly enhanced senses (and he’s already superhuman even in his base form). While the skin is up, it regenerates his body (thus how he survived being staked to the ground for years). He is all but immune to most overt mental powers (no mind control, his senses tend to penetrate most illusions, mind-readers usually get a brain-full of pissed-off-rage-monkey rather than anything useful out of him, messing with his emotions usually just leads to rage). A few other tricks I’m not gonna reveal yet.

        Fixed the bit about the Doc.

        Archmage is a legacy hero from Ireland. It’s not quite clear whether the current one is a man or a woman (dresses in all-concealing, fancy robes, voice muffled and distorted), but they’re a powerful contriver using very versatile elemental magic (aristotelian elements, think Dresden Files)

      • – Okay then, and I can undertand why you did not sit down to do such but I was curious if you did, as fr the fighters I could see Sablo and Bulwark maybe heterodying his forcefield and her protection zone becoming something more as for the others well not really sure, prehaps something with Arresto and Chronicle: he locks things and people in a given state and she records people and things at a given point in a given state, there might have been something there.

        – Thank you for answering that even though they were mostly things I had already deduced and I also note you kept the limits of the strength, speed, durability,healing and senses for yourself(which I kinda expected)on the other hand I had not realised the thing about mental powers, even though for some reason I am certain Camille’s power could still get through if she tried it.

        As for the rest, I always had the theory that Aap’s power came from Sun Wukong and that part of Aaron’s tricks were some of those Wukong is capable of not sure which ones, but still that was ans still is my theory and given his power took it’s cue from the Dark’s he can have some of those out there abilities.

        – Glad to have helped, If I spot others I’ll let you know if do not mind.

        – Ah powerful one then and I guess with symbolic properties of the elements also playing a role on the top of the Basty abilities and just to check when you say Dresden Like you mean in attack and protection spells involving the elements not mind magic ,Thaumaturgy and potions right ?

        – Not to be pushy but I am still wondering about the Matter controllers and transmuters as well as the teaching martial arts contrivers, I mean I could see a Xianxia like contriver create a medecine that opens another acupunture points and their dantien allowing them to use their Chi if using this potion with the proper training and breathing methods(in short such a contriver would be a power granter but thorugh his”teachings”after all being able to pass on the art fits a martial art themed delusion)

      • You’re not wrong about the Sun Wukong influence on Aap. He did have two very learned, even bookish, parents.

        He mentioned it in his arc that he was surprised that Hennessy’s emotion projection just went straight through his usual defenses.

        He has some thaumaturgy, but primarily elemental evocation a la Harry. Only even more powerful. He can brew potions, though.

        Contrivers can do anything (within the limits of powers as a whole) which fits their story. All the examples you gave would work (though they’d stop working once the contriver in question died, even if they could “pass on” their techniques).

        Mold was at the very top of matter manipulators. There’s maybe two or three others who could match her in that regard. The average matter manipulator or transmuter (very few are capable of both) has stuff like “control sand” “transmute water into rock, shaping it as it hardens”,

        Of those very few near or at Mold’s level (less than ten, world-wide, not counting power-shifters/mimics/thieves or contrivers) you can assume that there’s at least one amongst the UH, at least one amongst russian teams and at least one in Sovereign’s employ.

      • – That…Oh boy that says some very interesting things if his power really took cues from that on the top of the Dark’s power and that means that the UH regarding him as an A class combattant(to be fair they went with what they know of the guy)are severly underestimating him.

        – Well yeah, but after learning he was the Dark’s son and was trained by him and reading how the Sovjet though he was part of a Metahuman wetworks outfit(wonder what those are like btw) I took the defenses refered in that line as being a bunch of things he learned from the dark to stave off mental attacks not as an innate power related defense.

        – So, in short the Archmage has less good Thaumaturgy than Harry but better elemetal attacks and utility(à la Furycrafting from Codex Alera ? to take another of Jim’s works)and equivalent Potioneering. The Archmage won’t be coming to New Lennston for the Bree battle will he(or she since his gender is unknown right ?) ?

        – Okay, so it is possible duh, should have thought about the”Contriver can potentially do everything”rule as for the powers disappearing when Contriver dies well that’s what happens for all of them, though I could see one of the Students manifest at his Sifu’s death and get a variation on the dead contriver’s ability which would be”his own style forged on his master’s teachings”(I would have said I could see this type of thing going on in China but since the Sovjet took it over…I doubt it, well aside from perhaps undetground rebels oh and perhaps in some america Dojo). Speaking of Chinese themed stuff mind sharing information on the Dancing dragon Triad from new Lennston ?

        – Okay ten worldwide about what I expected, I guess Cultivators are not included in this either anyway I did ask that because of Sovereign as I was pretty sure that to accomplish what he does he needs lots of very specific materials and thus supected him to have one as well not right handman/Woman given Sovereign’s personnality…let’s say privileged collaborator yes that will do, as for the other I suspect the Dark nabbed one too as did our good friends the Gefährten as for the UH if they have one I am surprised he or she is not a shining guardian(but then they would need a free spot of which they have none)on the other hand I get why the Dark would hide such a person at his service.

      • New Lennston’s DDT is a branch off of one of the three major Triads of China. In China, they’re the equivalent of the Syndicate (and one of them is actually partly under the Dark’s control), though not nearly as powerful outside of China. The Dancing Dragon, the Prowling Tiger and the Flying Turtle. They fight each other, mostly, but also oppose the Chinese local government, and in other countries, fight against heroes and police interfering with their business (mostly drugs, but also sex trafficking; the Syndicate has too strong a hold onto gun trafficking to really get a foothold into that; but it also refuses to traffick in children in any way, so the Triads put a lot of effort into that).

        The DDT managed to win the Triad wars of New Lennston back in 1996, when the three major triads were fighting over dominance in the reconstructed city. They are relatively “calm”, having only three metahumans to their name, though none of the three is a pushover, and avoid drawing as much attention as, say, the Morning’s Children or the Black Panthers. It doesn’t help that their local leader is utterly terrified of Rounds, after a particularly brutal loss.

        LESS than ten. The Gefährten have no matter transmuter on that level, no. The UH have two, but one of them has a non-combat power and the other is six years old.

      • – Okay thank you for all that information, also Flying Turtle ? Really ? They are surely dangerous and all but well yeah.

        Now two other questions about them: would be kind enough to share their metahuman personnel’s names and capabilities and would the New Lennston dancing Dragon boss be the guy Rounds beat up for during his manifestation ?(Would explain why the guy is terrified of him if he could do that as a baseline then what he could do to him with the strong power he got…)And eh methinks we are going to see Round soon.

        Also while we are still on Chinese stuff: Was the ability to tell when people lie the Iron Dragon’s only power or was it what people thoguht it was ? Did the Iron Dragon have ties with the Gefährten (the similarity between what Weisswald did and he did is rather intriguing to say the least, true he could have had the idea by himself but still you never know I mean the guy was unaccounted for for five years plenty of time to chill with the Gefährten )How did the Dark react when he learned what the guy was doing to China ?

        – Less than ten, true still the Gefährten did not manage to nab one of those despite their talent finding capabilities, I am surprised bah they most likely have Alchemist style Contrivers for that but still. As for the UH one is no combat and the other is Six now I see why they are not in the spotlight, is the Six Year old a rue second gen Metahuman or a”regular”one ?

      • Yes, really.

        Not gonna share them yet, they’ll come up soon.

        No, that villain has long since been locked away.

        It was his only power, yes. He didn’t have any ties with the Gefährten (they hadn’t spread to asia yet, at that time).

        The Dark mostly just plain didn’t care. He was busy fighting Weisswald and his people.

        Regular one.

      • – Okay, well turtles can be badass and Kamesennin HAS a flying turtle so…

        – Duh!! Bree is in New Lennston and thus everyone local will come out to play them included so of course you’ll keep the people whose powers you have not revealed yet close to the chest can’t wait to see Rounds in action as well as the otherNew Lennston adult heroes, and all the others from everywhere coming for the fight.And Basil meeting Lady Light face to face that ought to be interesting in more ways than one given some hints that have been given.

        – No enhnaced intellect or other Esper power and no link to the Gefährten to get additional help…Damn that guy was a monster but I cannot help but to respect him for what he accomplished with only that power.

        – That surprises me, not in the way that he does not care for people but that he did not immediatly see how what happened in China was similar to what Weisswald did and how China could have become an ally of Adolf, of course other people realised and managed to do something about it but I expected the Dark to be the first to realise that and do so at the very begining oh well. Weisswald was quite the thing to fight against so…Speaking of Adolf is it possible to have some intel on some of his main Lieutenants ? Like Sturmwaffe who most likely was a weather manipulator with perhaps a dash of spawning(eh this is the guy who guy killed the third Chevalier)

        – Can you give details on the Amaterasu that succeeded the first one and the other uniquely named Japanese capes(all named after the various Kami I suppose)

        – Out of the left field: What is Polis Megalos’ full power set ?

      • You have to remember tha tthere wasn’t any internet or such. All most people knew was that, in the middle of superpowered warlords rising all over the world and waging war, some guy did that in China, too.

        Sturmwaffe had the ability to absorb electrical power and turn himself into a figure of living lightning.

        Another was Hauptmann Krauser (no cape name), who was basically immortal. He could be harmed, but nothing actually killed him (hack his head off, his body would crawl over to put it back on. Stab his heart, it just hurts. And so on. As long as he got to his parts he could put himself back togehter)

        Gonna do a historical brennus file sometime, detailing them more.

        Not right now. Probably gonna do a brennus file on that, if it doesn#t come up in the empty dragon chapters.

        Polis Megalos, I’ll keep to myself for now.

      • – True but then the Dark has Wyrm and is a high end Spawner who could send out wraiths to get intel all over the world not to mention the other powers his people might have to help information gathering, still I agree information was harder to get at this time in some ways.

        – So when absorbing electricity he could turn to living lightning, that’s a rather powerful ability and such an energy form must have been very hard to fight with the speed it must have had and all, true it had some weaknesses linked to what he was made of but still not to mention that this form lacked any organs or biological processes to affect, guy was strong wonder how he died.

        – Was this he only power ? Nothing else to go with it ? as for a cape name he is now Hauptmann Zombie.

        – Ah, good this is going to be very interesting.

        – Okay, I get it well then here is hoping it will come up soon ah and since you want to keep that information may ask if the first Amateratsu’s second husband was a metahuman as well as what her son’s full power set was and if her daughters also had powers ?

        – Okay then, but this guy seems rather powerful and lots of people must be terrified by him even though he is a hero. can I at least know of his relationship with the Pantheon ?

        – Will we get information on Diantha’s lover and on her father ? and was at least one of them metahuman ? and while I am at it I’ll ask this though I doubt I’ll get an answer: What was Brightchild’s power ?

      • The Dark hadn’t figured out how ot make wraiths at that time. He only figured it out during WW2.

        Weisswald wouldn’t have made a pushover his elite troops’ leader.

        Nothing else.

        No, he wasn’t a metahuman. None of her daughters had powers, though they may yet have manifested (they were all younger than ten when they were murdered)

        He’s an affiliate of the Olympians, but mostly independent. Powerful enough to survive as such.

        Yes.

        I’ll reveal more about Brightchild in the future, but not now.

      • – Ah, that explains a lot okay then, got the idea from fighting Weisswald on the field ?

        – No he wouldn’t which fits the guy IE he was smart so putting someone competent with a strong power in charge is par the course, the strong power part also being related to his ideology most likely on the top of logic. BTW when will we know more of what is in Adolf’s Diary ? And I hope it does not get destroyed somehow during the battle against Bree.

        – Well Hauptmann Zombie it is then he has hereby been given a capename.

        – Okay, so her son was the only one from her family aside from her who had powers at that point, got it. Also no information on the son’s full power set ? Hmmm well then I guess he was”just”a powerful telepath then.

        -An affiliate ? then that means the relationship he has with them must be good(unless they let him be an affiliate to keep an eye on the guy)as for him being powerful enough to be on his own yeah I have no problem believing that, does he have a Nemesis ?(and for that matter is someone using the name Nemesis ?)

        – Okay so we will learn more about them and at least one of them is a Metahuman got it.

        – That’s fine, as I said I was not really expecting you to spill the beans on her right now but it was worth a shot,also good that we will learn more on her in the future she IS an important figure in the setting after all(well her death and what hapen because of it was but still)

      • No. Weisswald didn’t spawn anything until his dying moments, when he created the Spiteborn.

        There’ll be more on it next arc.

        Not a full telepath. Just mind control, via eye contact and voice.

        Their relationship is ok. Some olympians like him, some are indifferent, some dislike him. And vice versa.

        He doesn’t have a specific nemesis.

        There’s someone who uses the Nemesis name, yes. Quite a lot of people, actually

      • – Oh , so he “just” used his forests and the other stuff he had(whatever that was, though given he fought a whole war Naked he had at least something that worked as a protection effect and surely high Physique too)Damn cannot wait for you to reveal his full power set. I would ask more about the Spiteborn but guess that would be going into heavy spoiler territory so I won’t.

        – My this is good to know as I am very curious about what was ggoing on in the guy’s head as well as his story as a person and his view on the various events of the war and what went on in his life before that.

        – Okay Mindcontrol through eys and voice, nothing else ?(mainly wondering if his power took clues from his mother’s here on the top of that)but then again this was devastating enough on it’s own so…BTW Amaterasu had some Physique/Protection power right, I mean if she was flinging herself at high speeds with it she had to be resistant enough to not destroy her own body doing so.

        Oh while speak of Japan, what are the country’s relationships with the other powers ?

        – Oh normal stuff then, good that he is not universally dislkied/distrusted or loved/trusted by the whole team, better that way.

        – So the Cyclops is not his Nemesis ? Then again the guy might fall a bit short against Polis Megalos.

        – Oh ?guess it’s not very surprising and I’s wager that a lot of them have powers fitting the name or perhaps a motivation that would fit. Eh since Nemesis was a greek Goddess do the Pantheon have one ? And out of curiousity what’s the current Athena like ?

        And once again i wanted to thank you for taking the time to answer me, even if you like discussing your work I have been asking quite a lot of questions…

      • Your guess would be right.

        He has several recurring villains, just none he considers a “nemesis” or who hate him enough to consider themselves his nemesis.

        There’s like, five Nemesis in the USA alone. Three in Greece (one’s an affiliated member of the Pantheon, which is NOT the name of the main team – that’d be the “Olympians” – but the name of the overarching (loose) organisation/association that most greek teams belong to (mostly for the sake of sharing information and occasionally calling in support).

        The current Athena is a former college student who manifested and broke off her studies to become a heroine. She’s the tactician of the team (as is traditional for her position) and one of the ‘core’ members, the ones who really keep the team together and running. She’s a bit of a hardass.

        You’re welcome

      • – Yay me I guess then.

        – Ah, nothing on Amaterasu or her son pity because I was wondering about the flinging herself around with her power bit or about her son, though once again Mindcontrol is pretty terrifying on it’s own. Another thing that surrised me about her: is that when describing Amaterasu you did not use the metric system to describe her range.

        As for the absence of response on Japan’s diplomatic relations(they are part of the PATO but still seem rather isoliationist and I got a feeling that if the Sovjet were not a thing they might be at odds with the other members)I guess it has to do with the fact that the Empty Dragon will shed some light on them.

        – Well he is fortunate then I guess.

        – My that’s indeed quite a lot of people with the name as for the main team thanks for the clarification.

        – So she fits the name, guess she is an Esper of some sort but some combat capabilities too. As for her studies I am curious what was she studying ?

        – No problem, credit where it’s due

      • there’ll be a lot more on Japan soon, so I don’t wanna spoil it, yes.

        Amaterasu’s son was only a mind controller. Nothing else. His power was unrelated to his mother’s.

        Amaterasu had some minor protection – her body would partially phase out of reality whenever she used her power to fling herself around, or brace herself, but she still had to be careful and needed protective clothes and so on.

        No reason why I didn’t use the metric system. Just happened.

        Agricultural Studies

      • – Okay got it well I’ll wait for it then, pity you destroyed Okinawa though it’s very nice there oh well.

        – Ah thanks for the answer, still as I said this was terrifying enough on it’s own not to mention that I am sure the Little monster did what he did even as he was not good with his power just as like when his mother nearly killed Weisswald right after manifesting I shudder to think what he could have done had he lived.

        – Ah that explains how she could launch, or brace, herself with her power, thank you for the information as that was bugging me a bit, at one point I even thought she had an uconscious Telekinetic field around of her protecting he from things(which would have fit her power).

        – Ah, not the filed I thought, for some reason I had her pegged a a Psychology student, dunno why.

        – Oh and about Sturmwaffe his power allowed him to take a bigger electrical form the more Electricity he took in to transform or the more he absorbed while transformed right ?

        – Will there be a Chapter tonight or can I go to sleep soon without missing the update by a few minutes ?

      • Sturmwaffe could only take in electricity while he was in his human form. Once he transformed, the amount of energy he’d stored up beforehand would determine how big his shifter form was, and how long it lasted. While in said form, he was “simply” immune to electricity, he didn’t absorb it.

        There’s going to be an update before Christmas, but that’s all I can promise right now. Pre-christmas family stuff is taking its usual amount of time, and the new chapter has one part that’s really difficult to write, otherwise it would already be finished.

      • – Ah, so that’s how it works eh “just” that is already enough especially since I am pretty sure his form could become humongous depending on how much power he took in.

        – Nah, no problem, I just asked because one of the previous updates(don’t remember which)happened like five minutes after I last checked and went to sleep did not want that to happen again that’s all, and boy do I undertand the time taken by Pre family Christmas stuff.

  4. Anyway, I read the four orbs as a single monster rather than four, so we still have potentially six more to worry about if I recall my numbers correctly. I’d guess it’s spawned from Basil’s blood, given the parallel between its form and his brain voices, but honestly there’s no evidence yet. That would offer a way out from Bree’s attack though; the first four monsters were comparable to her parents in power and much less restrained, so it would be the perfect distraction.

    The meteor… I don’t think a real space rock was summoned by anybody on the ground. Space is big, so they would have to have started pulling it long before the fight started, or created it out of nothing, and I don’t think anybody involved had that kind of ability. So I’d guess that it’s the four orbs coming back, after flying up high and maybe picking something up. The monster returning would also explain how The Dark stayed distracted enough for long enough for the Companions to escape.

    And learning that four of the remaining ten Companions are currently gay couples makes me hate them a little less. I mean I still hate the organization and most of the people in it a lot, but points where points are due.

      • More like really, really comfortable around each other (they’ve been friends for decades).

        The Gefährten really don’t care about sexual orientation, religious beliefs, race or anything like that, so long as it doesn’t get in the way of their goal.

      • I suppose that explains how somebody could have learned Lady Light’s weakness by looking at the sky while The Dark was raging out. Presumably the meteor summoning thing gets closer to the origin and nature of their powers than either of them comes during normal operations.

      • Teleportation?

        I mean we know he can grant powers to his wraiths, and that would explain the travel time. You only need to teleport it to the edge of the atmosphere and it’ll still have time to gather plenty of momentum. You’d need to give the same wraith some kind of trajectory calculating power, but we already know his wraiths can have mental powers.

        So I’m imagining he made a Wraith with powerful teleportation, flight and mental abilities, then sent it off to the asteroid belt decades ago. This is just the first time he’s been pissed enough to use it.

  5. This was an intense chapter. The fight scenes in this chapter stand out as particularly good, it really sold me on the Dark as a threat of colossal proportions. The first flashback especially stood out to me, I quite liked the almost mythological tone it took and how all the actual horror and devastation was implied more than it was directly spelled out. There was a little bit of the “let’s stand around and have a casual chat in the intermission” happening in the fight and that sometimes gets on my nerves, but it makes more sense for these guys in particular to be doing it, and there was less of it than normal, I think. But I quibble.

    Also, confirmation that the Fearless leader is a thing, whoo!

    • I didn’t really intend for anyone there to seem casual, other than Konrad. Immanuel was ‘standing around’ in the safest spot in the entire area (Sablo’s circle) and using Prism’s power (transmitting thoughts directly to anyone touching a shard drawn out of his body, and all the combatants there had one slipped under their skin or sewn into their costumes to constantly be in contact) to coordinate the effort.

      Only Konrad was casual (and Immanuel, a bit, while reacting to his appearance), and he’s obviously quite… off.

      Was that confirmation of his existence or was that just a show put on for the minions? >:)

      • Thinking back, there was actually, like, one moment of “casualness” with Immanuel and Konrad, which makes some sense given who and what they seem to be. I think I’m just particularly sensitive to that trope, or things I see as coming near to it.

        But Ties. Fearless Leader. Why do you do this to me?!

      • I generally dislike talking being a free action, so when I have characters chat during battle – outside of barking commands or warnings – I try to justify it.

        So, unless it slipped by me at some point (in which case, I apologise), you’ll only see it happen in one of three cases:

        1. At least one of the characters is so overwhelmingly powerful compared to their opposition that they can afford to be casual about it (the Dark often does this, as does Konrad)
        2. They literally can take a time-out (imagine Gloomy putting up a time bubble to buy herself and her friends some time to recover and strategize)
        3. It’s a stratagem to manipulate the enemy (or allies)

  6. Chainbreak sounds like some sort of insane prison break plan. And I was so sure about my S6/Tartarus Star theory. 😦
    I also worry about how they apparently already knew some of the Dark’s and now also Gwen’s weaknesses. And the fact that they still have Elysium makes things even worse.
    I really hope that Journeyman has a plan.

    Not sure if I would call this “less horror” than the last chap. I have a bad feeling after reading this. Liked the dark dragon though.

    Oh, and did the Dark put one of his wraiths into one of their minds? Would make sense considering how much he apparently wants to kill them. He must have known that he probably couldn’t finish them off right there and then.

      • I hoped so. Now let’s just hope that this one has more success than the one that was supposed to keep an eye on Basil.

      • While the Darkwraith seemed the most obvious explanation it COULD have been a pervert sideffect of her power: the girl who can save others by recording them being constantly reminded by her power that no matter what she does death always gets it’s due in the end.

        – heh wonder how many of the survivors have been infected(I think the word fits)like Chronicle was, because I am sure the Dark did not limit himself to one. By the same token I can’t help to wonder just how many Wraiths The Dark has out either in people’s minds(spying in the world leaders’ minds or other important people after he said he had the best intelligence network and this along with Wyrm being herself could just explain that) or just out normally chilling in various country or even in space or other planets like say Mars.

        – As for Chainbreak I do not believe it involves Tartarus(or if it does not JUST Tartarus but also freeing Koschei from his Prison)but that it involves breaing the chains of something else at the very least metaphorically something that has to do with the tenants I would guess.

        – Concerning Journeyman’s gameplan I could see him having “spared” Elysium and allowed her to flee with the Gefährten so the Ascendant can fix her power’s flaw so that when she becomes herself again(because I am sure it WILL happen)she can help to counter whatever fucked up things the Gefährten do in the future.

        – Oh and about gwen’s Weakness being discovered I would not worry to much as I am sure she is aware of it and has contingency plans against people trying to exploit it just as I am sure the Dark has against those trying to exploit his own.

      • Are you sure? This could have direct consequences for our favourite characters. 4 monsters based on their powers, the possibility that the Gefährten might actually killing LL or the Dark, chainbreaker. Any of these possibilities would suck for Basil & co. And I kind of pity Elysium. (probably because her powers are awesome)

        Empty Dragon should be limited to Japan/Eastern Asia. Worst case scenario I can think of right now is a civil war. And it’s not like there are that many characters there that we really care about.

      • I meant, more horrible on a personal, realistic level. Harder to write that, for me, especially since the viewpoint character is a pretty normal, innocent girl, not, well, Basil.

        That may not make sense, but I have never laid claim to being perfectly rational.

      • I actually understand that logic as these sorts of things generate more emotional pain as they hit closer to home. For instance the loss of her family in the first part was one of the most gripping thing in the story for me right next to what hapened to Prisca(and I am still in denial about that one, hoping she survived thanks to her projection and that she is no living in that).

      • I have no trouble believing that Empty Dragon Act 2 will be far more horrible than this.

        For me, the overall tone of this chapter was shock. And maybe awe, as in the root of both awful and awesome. Chronicle was mostly reminiscing about how thoroughly they got pwned… but both she and her SO survived it (barely).

        As I said about a week ago, I expect ED2 to be some depression and helplessness, then a Hope Spot, followed by betrayal, leading into despair. That’s a lot more negative emotions to hit.

        Besides, a single wrecked life is a tragedy. A modern Sodom getting wrecked by a demi-god? That’s hard to really place on the negative side.

  7. That was fucking EPIC. Even better than I’d hoped from the little peek we got at the end of 13.19. I flipping loved seeing the Dark remind these upstarts of just WHY he’s been the King of Supervillains for a goddamn century. I hereby dub his “rage mode” as *Void Dragon Shintai!*

    As for my guess on Konrad… I think his powers are opposite to Immanuel’s as their appearances. Whereas Immanuel’s are mental, and operate on a very subtle level, Konrad’s are extremely overt. I’d peg him as the only person around with Physique 13.

    In case it wasn’t clear, not complaining at all about the lack of Empty Dragon part 2. You do you. I also went and reread part 1 because I honestly couldn’t remember which one it was… and yeah, nothing good is going to happen there.

    • He’s enough of a drama queen to deliberately keep it a secret, so as to have a bigger impact when he does unleash it.

      Also, there are some pretty hefty downsides to him using it, so it’s not something he can or wants to spam.

      • At a guess, I can think of two downsides to the dragon-form:

        1) It uses up his wraiths. Probably faster than he can spawn them. So he has to spend a while spawning minions to create usable “fuel”.

        2) It makes him a target too big to miss. Thus, he will suffer a lot more hits. Also, unlike D&D, I’m pretty sure that being bigger means that AoEs do more damage.

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