A whistle. Brutus’ ears perk up. Already jumping off the bed as second whistle comes, just after the first. Two whistles like that means come. Master only asks for dogs to come to the front stairs if it is time for walkies!
Walkies are Brutus’ favorite thing!
Other dogs are bumping shoulders with Brutus in hurry to get to Master. Turn corner too fast, claws scratch at floor to get grip. Fall a little. Judas hesitates, sniffs, but Angelica is ahead of Brutus now. Bad girl. Brutus snarls a little at Angelica, she backs away, drops behind. Brutus is top dog. Angelica should know that. Brutus arrives at Master first, the way it should be.
Brutus is top dog, but Master is alpha. Leader of this pack. Not leader of her people-pack but that is okay. She bends down and scratches all over Brutus’ neck and shoulders, deep, rough. Perfect scratches because they dig through Brutus’ thick fur. Tail is wagging so hard that back paws are slipping on floor. Fall over and turn belly up so Master can scratch it. She does and it is ecstasy.
Master is hurt and hurting. Brutus knows this. When she bends down, she is moving more slowly, she is making little sounds as she makes bigger movements like bending down and standing up. She smells like dried blood and stress and sweat in ways she usually doesn’t.
“Angelica, Judas, stay,” Master says, “Not taking you two.” Brutus doesn’t understand but Master sounds apologetic. Like when she was walking up stairs and accidentally kicked Brutus in chin because he was following too close behind her. She scratches each of them in turn. Not enthusiastic scratches. They are happy to be scratched but they aren’t coming for walkies. Brutus’ tail stops wagging. Is Brutus not coming for walkies?
Master picks up leash. “Brutus, good boy. Walkies?” Tail is wagging crazy hard again. Master tells Brutus to sit, Brutus sits. Is good boy. Master puts plastic bags in back pocket, puts on backpack. Backpack unusual. Master doesn’t usually bring backpack for walkies. Errand?
“We’re going on an errand, okay boy?” Master speaks. Brutus’ tail wags. Brutus was right! Errands always interesting. Brutus eagerly takes a few steps forward before remembering to be a good boy. Master doesn’t like it when Brutus pulls on leash. She puts on shoes, gets the keys that jangle, gets crinkly wrapper things she sometimes eats that Brutus can’t because Brutus is a dog. Crinkly wrapper things go in left pocket. She gets treats for dogs to put in right pocket, stops. Gives treats to Judas and Angelica. Treat for Brutus?
“Treats later,” Master says. ‘Later’ is familiar word but meaning unclear. Brutus feels crushing disappointment as treats go in Master’s right pocket. Jumps up a little to remind Master she forgot to give a treat. Master makes angry clucking noise and Brutus is sorry now. Tail down, ears down.
“Bitch, hold up,” speaks the scentless man. Scentless man makes Brutus nervous because he is big but he has no smell. But he is Master’s alpha so Master stops and listens.
“You’re going out?” the scentless man asks.
“Work,” Master says.
The scentless man waits for something, then speaks again, “Are you okay?”
“Fuckin’ peachy.” Brutus knows Master only says fuck word like that when she’s mad.
“I have a hard time believing that, to be honest. You were in pretty rough shape when I found you with Über and Leet’s henchmen, and those guys from the ABB.”
“I’m fine now,” Master tells him. She sounds angry. Brutus steps forward, ready to growl to add own voice to hers, but Master tugs on leash just a little and Brutus stays quiet.
“When I found you, one of them had you tied to the ceiling by your wrists and was using you as a punching bag.”
Master breaks eye contact. Brutus knows this is a sign that Master sees the scentless man as her alpha. When she speaks, she still sounds angry, “I fucked up. I was bored, restless, figured I’d walk Angelica and see if I could meet you guys where the money was. Someone recognized me and tailed me. I was stupid, I took my licks for it. I’m fine now, we have the money, all is well.”
The scentless man sighs. Sounds a little angry as he says, “It’s not… no, nevermind. No use getting into it. But what if someone recognizes you while you’re walking him?”
“I’ll fight back sooner, harder. Or are you going to tell me I can’t walk my dogs anymore?” All of a sudden, Master is tense. Brutus can see it in her legs, hear it in her voice, feel it in her grip on the leash.
“I wouldn’t do that,” the scentless man replies, his voice quiet, slightly strained “And you wouldn’t listen even if I did. Just… be careful.”
“I can go?”
“Go. Enjoy your walk, both of you.”
And the tension leaves Master. One small whistle and Brutus knows to follow. Down the stairs and out the door into the outside world. So many smells! So many sounds! So exciting!
But can’t get too excited. Brutus is good boy. Doesn’t pull on leash like Angelica still does. Master always makes angry clucking noise at Angelica on walkies.
Master is walking slower. Favoring one leg. Brutus is eager for walkies but doesn’t pull on leash even if Master is walking slower.
So many smells! Being in own territory is good but being on walkies is smelling whole world. Always new things, always new things to smell about old things. Smell this pee and know almost everything about the dog who peed. Bitch. Maybe in heat soon. Lives with kids. Pee smells like stress and eating too much grass and sleeping too much and being a fat dog.
Smell that poo to know about dog who pooed. Hungry dog. Hungry dog’s master probably hungry too. Many like that here. Not like that in Brutus’ old home. No people or dogs there were hungry. But Brutus remembers being unhappy. Master was always ignoring Brutus. Leave Brutus in basement alone all day until Brutus stop bad man who came in basement window. Is okay now. Brutus is happy now with new master.
Smell that pee. Human pee. Not as interesting. Master whistles to remind Brutus to keep up. No more sniffing for now.
“Brutus, sit, stay,” Master orders. Brutus sits and stays while Master stands beside him. Is good boy. Gets scratched by Master. Little female human is walking up to Brutus. Smaller than Brutus. Pats at Brutus, pokes. One poke in eye. Brutus’ ears down, head down, tail between legs. Not good scratches. Little human laughs. Poke again in Brutus’ side.
Brutus looks up at Master. Pleading. Master not saying anything so Brutus stays while being poked. Little human grabbing Brutus’ fur on side and pulling too hard. Like Angelica when Angelica was new to Master’s pack, biting and pulling and making Brutus bleed. Bad memory. Growl starts in Brutus’ throat.
“No, Brutus, off,” Master orders. Brutus lowers head. No more growling. Still being poked. Still being pulled at.
Big female human that smells like the little human arrives. Is walking fast. Big female stops and laughs at Brutus and little human.
“Aren’t they cute?” Another laugh.
Master doesn’t laugh.
“Well, kids will be kids.”
Master speaks, her voice even but her body language is angry, “Watch your fucking child.” Brutus knows watch is order for Brutus to sit and stay and bark if anyone comes… but Master is talking to big female and not giving order to Brutus. Other word Brutus knows is fucking which means Master is mad but Brutus isn’t the one she’s saying fucking to so it is okay.
Brutus thinks maybe it’s okay to growl now because Master said fucking so he growls. Smells fear from little human and big female. Master doesn’t say no so it was okay for Brutus to growl.
Big female laughs but laugh sounds different than before, shrill. Waves her hand. Bends down to pick up little human.
“Brutus, guard,” Master orders. Brutus quickly looks at Master and Master is pointing at little human so Brutus moves between little human and big female and growls at big female. Big female backs away. Brutus smells lots of fear now. Smells sweat and stress and hears little noises of worry and fear from both the big female and little human.
Big female steps to one side and Brutus moves to stay between her and little human. She bends down again and Brutus growls, snaps at her fingers. Is good boy.
Big female talks to Master, “Please. She was just doing what kids do. She thinks all dogs are cuddly.” Her voice is submissive, sounding like more worry and fear.
“Brutus, mouth.” Brutus looks where Master is pointing and Master is pointing at little human. Brutus obeys by grabbing little human’s arm and holding it in his mouth. Is good boy. Little human howls and tries to pull away but Brutus closes mouth a little each time and little human soon understands that arm is staying in Brutus’ mouth.
Then Master tells big female, “He’s an abused dog, you know. Before I owned him, he was mistreated. Until he hurt someone so badly they needed amputation. I rescued him before he was put down. And you just let your kid walk up to him and start clawing at him. Do you understand what could have happened? That he could have killed or maimed your fucking mouthbreather of a child?”
Brutus only knows his own name and word kill. Other words don’t mean anything to Brutus. Kill is order to attack and not stop until that thing isn’t moving anymore. Master only gives Brutus and Judas and Angelica order to kill with squirrels and racoons and once a horse. Big female is on knees now and fear smell is all Brutus can smell right now. Is good to be lower than Master and showing submission. Big woman is saying things but Brutus can’t understand because she is talking and not stopping.
“Brutus, off. Come,” Master says and Brutus lets go of arm and walks to Master’s side. Little human still howling.
Then Master tells big female same thing as before: “Watch your fucking child.” Walkies begin again. Get scratched. Master says Brutus is good boy and Brutus is happy. Tail wagging.
Is long walkies before Brutus and Master stop at a place that smells like blood and dog fear and dog rage and pee and poop. Master knocks on door. Man who opens door smells like blood.
Master and man talk for a while, and Brutus waits because Brutus is good boy. Not paying attention to what they’re saying because of smells. Bad smells. Sounds of dogs yelping and barking from inside the door. Then Master says “Stay” and man starts touching Brutus. Touches like vet touches, not like Master scratching. Feeling each part of Brutus, fingers deep in fur to massage, check. Hands on Brutus’ private parts. Says things that sound negative, shakes head. Master talks some more. Man stands and shakes her hand.
Master takes Brutus into the place that smells like blood and dog fear and dog rage. Noisy. Lots of people sitting in dark. Smell like excitement and sweat. Most lights are in middle of room where blood smell is strongest.
Man from door tells master, “Put him right in the gate.” Master puts Brutus in something like kennel that smells like rage and fear.
Man talks in loud voice and all the people in room howl and make more noise. Man says Brutus’ name. He says kill which is a word Brutus knows. But blood smell is so strong here Brutus can’t pay attention to much else. So much blood from so many dogs. So many smells.
Then the kennel is open and Brutus has nowhere to go but center of room. Can’t go to Master because boxes are in way and there’s another dog here bigger than Brutus that smells like rage and his own blood and other dog blood and death.
Then Brutus feels it. Master is making Brutus stronger and it hurts but it’s a good hurt. Good hurt like when Brutus is stiff and stretches and joints snap and pop and Brutus feels better because of it. Only this stretch doesn’t stop and Brutus keeps popping and cracking and Brutus keeps feeling better and Brutus gets bigger. Master usually takes longer to make Brutus this strong but Brutus is in room alone with the dog that smells like blood and death and Master must know Brutus needs to be stronger.
Soon Brutus is bigger than Master and as big as car and Brutus is strong. Bad dog that smells like blood and death is cowering.
Then Master whistles twice which is order to come and Brutus is confused because there is no way to come. Master whistles again and calls Brutus’ name and Brutus lunges for boxes that are in the way. Boxes break and Brutus can come to Master like a good boy.
“Brutus, guard!” Master says and Brutus goes where Master is pointing, and that is door where all the people who smell like fear are going. To get to door and guard it Brutus uses paws to push people out of the way and grabs one person’s arm and flings her to one side like Brutus likes to fling favorite toys and person makes shrill howl.
Then Brutus is guarding door and people are running other way. Reminds Brutus of squirrels and how squirrels run. But people are not as fast or clever as squirrels and they don’t play unfair by running up trees.
“Brutus! Attack!” Master shouts and Brutus obeys like a good boy. Brutus uses paws and teeth and size to jump into the crowd of people who are running like squirrels and make them stop running. Brutus knows it’s bad to shake people like Brutus shakes toys or shakes squirrels. No shaking. No chewing. Bite arm and leg only. No biting heads. Using paws is okay but claws aren’t which is hard so Brutus mostly bites and slams into people with head and body to knock them over and make them stop. Sometimes uses tail which is new and fun. Brutus doesn’t have tail when small.
Lots of people. Every time Brutus thinks all people have stopped moving someone runs again. Takes a long time. Brutus’ tongue lolls out, panting. Tail wags and boxes break and Master makes clucking noise like Brutus did something bad. No more wagging tail.
People lying on floor whimpering. Smell like blood and fear. Nobody running like squirrel anymore.
Master shouts, “No more!” and it is word for the people and not for Brutus. Both are words Brutus knows. No means bad and is for things Brutus shouldn’t do. More is what Master says when giving treats or throwing balls or filling bowls with food. Brutus doesn’t understand because one word is bad and the other is good. But Master is alpha and Master knows so it is okay.
Master takes jangly keys from whimpering person and picks up cage with angry dog inside that smells like blood. Master takes cage outside and puts it in car and tells Brutus to guard the cars. Some people leave place but Brutus doesn’t let anyone near cars. Is good boy. Master goes inside and gets more cages with angry dogs and puts them all in the car. Then Master does it again. Master gets backpack and uses ropes from backpack to tie cages together and tie cages to car.
Then Master goes inside for long time and doesn’t come out. People are gone so Brutus doesn’t need to guard anymore. Brutus goes to Master inside.
Master is kneeling beside cages and dogs inside smell like blood and poo. But dogs aren’t angry, aren’t moving. Brutus nuzzles master with nose and lies down beside Master and Master wraps her arms around Brutus’ neck. Master hugs Brutus tight for very long time. Brutus knows it is a long time because Brutus stops being big and becomes smaller than Master.
Cars that make howling sounds start to come from far away and Brutus makes little barks like Master taught him. Master gets up and takes Brutus into the car and gets in other door and the car starts moving.
Master opens and eats crinkly thing from pocket. Master gives Brutus treat then rolls down window so Brutus can stick his head out in the wind and Brutus’ tail wags because Brutus knows he was a good boy.
maybe it’s just because i’m a dog person who’d be sorely tempted to treat dog fighters much the same way, but… i like it.
ditto. but still out of the undersiders the only likable one is grue and his too edgy for me to be completely confortable with him. and not because of the darkness (literal) but because of his father’s darkness (metaphorical)
I am utterly unashamed to say i was once arrested for assault. Some guy thought it was hilarious to kick a homeless dog as hard as he could.
Were any charges brought against ~him~?
Thats really terrible, lets hope for jail.
I’d be scared to mess with a random dog, even if it’s just the dog…
Good for you.
I’m seeing a common theme here. We’ve been shown several examples of the underside of humanity. It seems like the author is getting us to feel that maybe “Superheroes” are defending the status quo and not really defending innocents, because there aren’t many (human innocents, anyway).
I think it’s an interesting tension. Of course, it might just be because I’m enjoying the story so much 😉
Glad you’re enjoying it.
Very few people consider themselves to ACTUALLY be the bad guy.
Everyone has stories like this.
“All his life he tried to be good. Often, he failed. He was, as they say, only human. He was not a dog.”
heh, just noticed:
“‘Later’ is familiar word but meaning unclear.”
yep, basic domestic canine psychology, all too true. 🙂
Very nice little chapter. For some reason I just picture this question being asked later. “Mommy, what’s a mouth breather”?
fucking loved it
it’s so great to see this through Brutus and it made me like bitch more (she’s allot like me)
hope to see more like this
Look forward to Interlude 11, then.
I’m re-reading the series, and this is one of my favorite interludes. Definitely my favorite so far.
I just found Worm, and I like it. Looks like it’ll be one of my regular reads 🙂
Oh, there’s a repetition in the final sentence: “was a was a good boy.”
Thanks for the typo notification.
Glad you’re enjoying. Where did you come from, if you don’t mind my asking?
If you’re interested I got directed here from TvTropes from one of their examples pages I’m not sure but i think it was from Lethal Harmless Power
Tvtropes as well.
Recommendation from Eliezer Yudkowsky, author of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.
Same, Eliezer Yudkowsky, in the latest author update is a link to this, greatly enjoying so far, well done, and keep up the good work
Same, same update. Absolutely loving this story so far. Two arcs in and I was already able to convince someone else to read it too.
I also heard about it from Eliezer Yudkowsky.
Same. I wouldn’t normally have read something like this. I enjoyed HPMOR so I followed Eliezer’s recommendation to read this and haven’t regretted it. It’s been great, especially this interlude.
Sort of same here, saved for later the link suggested by Eliezer Yudkowsky and now I read from start to here in 2 looong sessions.
Wow I really blow away by Worm! Great job so far 😀
Rereading the series, was also originally directed here by Eliezer.
I am also coming from HPMOR by Eliezer Yudowsky. Loving the story!
My friend recommended this to a mutual friend of ours and as they were talking so much about it i was feeling left out. This is an awesome story and i love it so far.
I found this while reading The Games We Play from spacebattles forums. So many comments made references towards this story along with recommendations. I’m eally enjoying it.
4chan, of all places.
I came a bit late to the party, but came from a deviantart post of bitch and 2 dogs as well as an “endbringer behemoth” or something? Whatever it is, it sounds and looked) awesome and i love your story sooo much
oh boy. Behemoth, huh? Hold on to your hat.
dropping in from a recommendation from the “let me tell you about” podcast on youtube from their homestuck episode
I first heard about this some years ago. I read the firs chapter, then stopped (i forgot why). Some weeks ago, i reheard of this on 4chan and decided to give it a try again. And i love it.
That was fun, the only thing I noticed was a potential inconsistency.
Brutus is described wagging his tail several times while he is small, but then he narrates that he doesn’t have a tail when small, maybe that was supposed to be “doesn’t have a long tail when he is small.” ?
He has a docked tail. It’s a nub. It still wags (I have a Brittany that had her tail docked before I got her), but you couldn’t call it a tail.
Further, it’s a form of self expression. Even if Brutus doesn’t realize about his tail, he still ‘wags’ his tail in his mind.
Let me tell you that, while docking puppies’ tails is an inhumane and horrible thing to do, a Rottweiler with a docked tail wagging its stump so fast that it’s almost vibrating is an adorable sight.
I read some dog breeds can break their tails repeatedly just because of how they are (long, thin).
This chapter was freaking weird.
Hah. Loved the chapter.
Writing like this that breaks from the norm is always infinitely more interesting to me then something well written but generic.
“Brutus only knows his own name and word kill. Other words don’t mean anything to Brutus.”
… Except sit, stay, hurt, and the other commands that Bitch uses.
That line refers to the previous line of speech, not his general vocabulary.
Rereading, I noticed something.
“Then Master tells big female, “He’s an abused dog, you know. Before I owned him, he was mistreated. Until he hurt someone so badly they needed amputation. I rescued him before he was put down. And you just let your kid walk up to him and start clawing at him. Do understand what could have happened? That he could have killed or maimed your fucking mouthbreather of a child?”
Brutus only knows his own name and word kill.”
Assuming that this isn’t meaning that those are the only words Brutus knows, which we know isn’t true (as noted by Cal), it means that those are the only words he recognized. But unless I’m missing something, Rachel didn’t actually say “Brutus”–she said “he” and “him,” which presumably Brutus wouldn’t recognize as referring to himself.
On a related note, he recognized “fucking” earlier–any reason he didn’t that time?
> “I wouldn’t do that,” the scentless man replies, his voice quiet, slightly strained
You’re missing punctuation after “strained”.
It’s nice to see Bitch unwind like this. And I’d be very surprised if she didn’t have a significant fanbase in-universe; she’s definitely more vigilante than villain. I’m drawing interesting parallels between her and Glory Girl, actually…
She has at least two fan sites as noted earlier.
I’m new to your stories, and loving them. This one was amazing, really hit close to home.
“Do understand what could have happened? That he could have killed or maimed your fucking mouthbreather of a child?”
Missing the ‘you’ in ‘do you understand’
I never thought I’d say it about a chapter featuring Bitch and her most ferocious dog but this was just adorable.
+1 🙂 “Beautiful” (and unexpected)
Fuck, now i am rooting for Rachel, i am a dog person who loves dogs, and i have worked on many volunteer kennels and such and i have seen some fucked up shit, so go Rachel.
For the record, this is the first time I’ve ever read first person limited from a dog’s perspective. xD
Really loving the sympathetic view of Rachel – really shows us the depth in her character that doesn’t come across in the normal course of the plot.
“Later’ is familiar word but meaning unclear.”
Brutus is totally the best POV and deserves much treats ’cause he was a good boy. Beautiful chapter.
Rereading, and this is definitely one of my favourite interludes. Just the idea of the POV and the way it was written is perfect, especially as I have a dog.
I for one found this chapter pretty damn disturbing. Sure, Rachel might have done a good thing breaking up that dog-fighting ring, but she’s still a dangerous and extremely unpleasant person. The way she treated that child and her mother was horrifying.
Yeah, it was definitely horrific. And if the horror teaches the child not to go poking unknown and potentially lethal animals then Bitch has done the kid a favour. Because the other way to learn that lesson is even more horrific…
She could’ve just ordered her dog to bark & growl threateningly at her.
Not threaten to mutilate a mother’s child and let her dog clamp down on said child’s arm.
and subsequently the child will be scared of dogs for the rest of their life -_-
Yes! Thank you!
When Rachel says “I’m fine now, we have the money, all is well,” the last bit (“all is well”) seems out of character for her style of speech. I would think she would instead say something like “I’m fine now, we have the money, so everything’s fuckin’ peachy.”
I ‘heard’ her saying it in a somewhat mocking tone, like it’s something Brian has said to her (or about her) before and she’s tossing the words back at him.
Amazing piece, this one, I love the added perspective and how it furthered Bitch’s (and Brutus, gotta love the furry guy and his devotion to his alpha) characterization,
Really, I can only say that, this interlude is AWESOME
And as of this chapter, I now like Rachel. I wasn’t that much of a fan of her before, mostly because the most we’ve seen of her outside of the bank robbery was when she had her dogs attack Taylor.
Though her abhorrence for animal mistreatment has been mentioned before, this chapter got inside her head (despite actually being inside Brutus’s head), and showed just how much it really bothers her. She may be a murderer, but even she has a line she won’t cross.
“Shades of Gray” morality is one of my favorite things, especially when applied to a superhero/supervillain universe, since even now they usually tend towards black and white.
Holy crap, it’s a story from a canine POV that doesn’t break your heart anywhere. I already love Worm but I am bookmarking this installment in particular.
“‘Later’ is familiar word but meaning unclear. Brutus feels crushing disappointment”
have you no empathy? the treats went back in the pocket and he doesn’t understand why
This chapter made me actually like Rachel. Great job!
I honestly liked Rachel before. She may be antisocial, but it was obvious enough from much earlier that she had seen far too much of the worst of humanity. Besides, her big thing is loving dogs, and I would have a very hard time really thinking ill of someone like that.
This reinforced all of that, of course. I cannot and do not believe that people who pay to watch dogfights would be any better towards humans. One could hope that something as terrifying as what happened to the spectators might force some of them to reconsider.
The bit about walkies at the beginning made me laugh. So sweet.
I have to say, Bitch is really growing on me
Brutus uses Tailswipe.
I couldn resist. Good chapter.
I’ve read through the whole story before, but I’m going through the audiobook version from audioworm.rein-online , and just wanted to point out that I really love this interlude. I might have cried a little bit, and the audiobook really helps put it in perspective. Check it out!
I really love dogs and this chapter was one of my favorites. It was funny the way it showed how the dog thought. Lots of emphasis on smells which is very good.
Not something most people would do. Unique and a superb edition to the story. And something about a trained-to-kill Rottweiler saying “walkies” was adorable.
It’s been said before but it deserves to be said again, this is a great chapter. Really shows your, wildbow’s, committment to and skill at getting inside the heads of all the various characters. We’re made to sympathize with not only who we were set up to think was the least sympathetic major character so far, but also her dog. It tells us a great wealth of things about Bitch, and the world, and some things about pets that we might not learn anywhere else but here and in Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s “We3”. It’s a real brain wrinkler.
And it’s really sad. Makes you wonder about Rachel’s perspective. Dogs are more like people to her than people are – the basic empathy she has for them is not like that of your average dog lover, but like what you and I feel for our fellow man. Imagine if you were the only person in the world with anything like basic personal freedom, and everyone else were considered lesser animals, with no protection of the law, no rights, no education, no power, but left to live or die at the whims of a hostile species who have decided they get to run the world, everywhere you look made into toys or food or performing puppets or made to suffer or fight each other or get beaten or raped to feed the ego of the dominant species, or not even because they enjoy being cruel but because they just don’t give a single shit about your people. It’s remarkable that she kills as few humans as she does.
I was maybe 95% into the story before, but after this chapter I’m all in.
Wow. I loved this. Very humorous while at the same time touching. Nicely done.
Hi. I’m a new reader and I have to say I love this chapter just because I like seeing new perspectives, especially those from dogs and how each writer portrays them. Also, I found a pretty funny link considering Brutus:
I think its terrible what happens to dogs and other animals in terms of cruelty and such, it shows a lot about the humanity of the world.
That was an interesting perspective; thanks for the chapter
I find it interesting that Bitch is far more empathetic for her dogs and dogs in general than Taylor is for her bug even though Taylor is literally in their minds they don’t really matter to her as much as people.
It could be that the simple nervous systems of invertebrates don’t have anything to empathize with. Or, well, read on to find out if something changes. . .
To be fair, when the nervous systems get that simple they often become on the level of organic robots (especially hive animals like ants) – debatable whether they even have a pain signal for some of them.
Compared to the level of complexity of vertebrates, understandably more sympathetic to them
ZOmg this is freaking adorable.
Brutus top dog.
Rereading this, first comment.
This chapter is weirdly adorable.
Hi, I just caught up to this chapter and noticed something that might be a mistake but not sure. In 4.4 you wrote ““Where’s Rachel?” Brian asked, as he returned from the other end of the loft, Brutus and Angelica trotting behind him, tails wagging. “Only two of her dogs are here.””, when the group without Rachel gets back to the loft.
Here you wrote “I was bored, restless, figured I’d walk Angelica and see if I could meet you guys where the money was. Someone recognized me and tailed me.” So did Rachel take Judas or Angelica out when she was caught by ABB?
I was on the fence about Rachel because she’s so bad but she likes dogs which normally makes me respect people. Loved this chapter
I’m a bit confused who the scentless man is. Has to be Brian, right? (Because maybe his power also masks scent.) But is he really Rachel’s “alpha”?
Loved the dog’s perspective. Nice mix of humor and horror.
Oh, I think Hive 5.2 clears up my confusion.
Rereading. Oh my god, if I was a tad smarter, I would have realized here some things about some other things. DAMN… I wasn’t paying enough attention.
Good job, wildbow!
The caveman speech… Brutus doesn’t seem to be able to grasp how indefinite and definite articles (a, an & the) work, but he doesn’t even speak English! He doesn’t think using English words and grammar, so when translating his feelings (or “thoughts”) into English, why would you leave out the articles? Finnish doesn’t have indefinite & definite articles at all, but you wouldn’t leave them out when translating from Finnish, would you?
Because it’s adorable!
I just found and started reading your story, and I cannot stop! It is SO good, and I love the different sides to the characters! This story is really well written, I’m interested to see what happens next. I also love dogs so I love this chapter. So original! People are missing out on your story though, because I don’t see it around the web or anything even though its really good
Easily my least favourite chapter by a longshot. There wasn’t a single moment that didn’t irritate me throughout. I was constantly thinking back to one of Rick’s first lines from Rick and Morty S01E02 because of my distaste for dogs and for almost every other animal that isn’t a cat. The fragmented writing did not help.
I’m really liking Worm aside from Rachel and particularly her dogs, though. I actually liked Rachel before reading this chapter.
this was cute interlude..cute as in the dog’s perpective not what this was about…
That was certainly an interesting perspective lol! Wonder what Rachel would think of being called beta to Brian’s alpha.
And hope she doesn’t lead the heat back to them they just got out of one mess.
Brutus is best character.
“Brutus only knows his own name and word kill. Other words don’t mean anything to Brutus.”
Brutus also knows “good boy”, “walkies”, “treats”, “mouth”, “off”, “come”, “stay”, “guard”, “attack”, “no”, and “more” evidenced just from this interlude alone.
From that sentence, he only recognized ‘Brutus’ and ‘kill’
I know I’m pretty late on this, just encountered it and storming my way through the story.
It’s kinda funny to read about Bitch like that, she reminds me of my mother – called “cracy dog lady” by the locals – but younger…
Mum is also pretty, well, big, and she is trained in street fight and Jiujutsu and stuff, and she has those five big dogs that live with her… dunno, if you search for “Saupacker” and look at the pictures you’ll get the idea…
Well, with the difference that my mother only ever TALKS about killing and/or crippling dog-abusers.
What got me to make the connection was the way Bitch commands her dogs, the similarities are just amazing. Little bit weirded out here, though in a good(?) way… maybe?
Love this interlude. Dogs are the best. Brutus is a good boy.
Nobody asks how they found Bitch? It was never said that they had hostages to interrogate, so how did they find her?
Overall, a really cool arc.
It was nice to see the various conflicts throughout; I think the one that shined the most was the fight with Bakuda. Not to say Uber and Leet were bad, but they were clearly not to be taken to seriously in comparison.
Lots of development on Taylor’s part and even on the other Undersiders, and I have to say I was pretty surprised that her father got to meet some of them so early on. Granted its in their civilian lives, but I sense that will be significant in the future for sure.
And to top it off, the interlude with Rachel was great. Telling it from Brutus’s perspective was both creative and clever.
Looking forward to more!
Think I can see how she has a bit of reputation. Also, nice POV on the dog.
This is my favorite chapter of the entire book. I selfishly wish there had been more doggo pov.
This interlude is somehow always a pleasant surprise every time I reread Worm. “Oh yeah, the dog interlude! That was great.”
I wonder why that sort of thing doesn’t show up so much in Wildbow’s later works. I don’t remember anything like this in Twig, and that had plenty of inhuman characters to get into the heads of.
> Already jumping off the bed as second whistle comes, just after the first.
Too many spaces before this sentence.
> Hungry dog’s master probably hungry too.
> Brutus is happy now with new master.
> Man from door tells master,
All three instances of “master” should be capitalized.