Glow-worm – P.3

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♦  Topic:  Amnesty & The Devil We Know
In:  Boards ► News ► Events ► Gimel.US
Posted on August 19th, Y1:

I’ve seen a few articles and wanted to compile them.  There’s a narrative here, if you don’t grasp it then bear with me an I’ll sum up my thoughts at the end.

Article: Strange Reversals: Villain to Hero & Forum Thread
The number of heroes is rising.  Multiple known villains have shucked off the black capes for white ones.  Which is a good thing, right?

Article: No Witnesses Remain & Forum Thread
The article identifies three villains who we know about in heroic groups – two with the Wardens and one with Shelter.  They committed crimes, we have some limited information or scraps of wiki articles, but the witnesses of those past crimes are either dead or yet to establish themselves.  We established standards for amnesty, but sometimes those standards can’t be met.  The ex-villains find places on the team with nobody to naysay.

Article: Two Black Raincoats & Forum Thread
Let’s get to the examples.  Four youths tried to get superpowers by working off of the ‘trigger’ theory of power gain, and became a newsworthy case in 2004. The event got out of hand, one boy and one girl took charge and preyed on the two younger members of the group, torturing them over the course of a weekend.  Nobody gained powers, the search for the missing children led to the two older children being identified as they went into town on the Monday to get food and buy power tools, including a circular saw.  They revealed the location of their victims; one of whom apparently lost fingers as the wire that was used to attach them to the toilet tank was too tight.  Unnamed Boy was sent to juvie.  Unnamed Girl was sent to psychiatric care.  Both gained powers while in care, both were released in or around 2009.  Reuniting, now with powers, they killed three people, wearing black raincoats to keep the blood off, and were not caught.  They have been spotted in several locations at the Rochester span, wearing the black raincoats.

“For the time being, the amnesty applies,” Chief Armstrong stated to the media.  “We know where they are and we’re keeping tabs.”

Good enough?

Article: “Rended”, “Torn Up”, “Dismembered” & Forum Thread
Written after Miss Militia and Vista, heroines under the Wardens, were seen on several occasions in the company of Hellhound, also known as Bitch or Rachel Lindt.  Raises questions about the moral compromise the amnesty has wrought and the longstanding allegations that the Protectorate team in Brockton Bay was cooperating with the local villains.  Once the relationship is established and we’re reminded of the past examples, the article devotes the latter half to reminding us of some of Rachel Lindt’s deeds when she was working with a group of warlords to seize Brockton Bay.

“Every day, I wake up and I try to move my leg.  The wind gets knocked out of me when it doesn’t move like it should.  If I’m active at all during the day, then the pain hits me in the evening.”

Article: Fallen: What You Need To Know & Forum Thread
The Fallen operate as a cult and they’re one of the largest cape groups around.  The article doesn’t talk about it directly, but the forum thread has some great posts on the subject (see page 3 and 12).  Their recruitment numbers are swelling and I (and others!) think it’s the amnesty that’s letting them get away with it.  There’s a lot of talk of Lachlan Hund [article linked] elsewhere and there might be a court case revolving around what others are saying was a powers-assisted abduction.  Totally Fallen M.O. for years prior, family says Lachlan never showed any pro-Fallen sentiment before this.

Article: No Cost & Forum Thread
Same article author as ‘No Witnesses Remain’.  Following up on several villains who didn’t turn hero, the author finds two villains, both anonymous, who claim they received accommodations, at a time when many were still living in the tent cities.  They got ahead of the ‘line’, they got basic apartments and utilities paid for, and they contribute nothing except the fact that they aren’t (as far as we know) committing crimes these days.  It’s like we’ve caved to extortion.

We need to have a dead serious conversation about the amnesty.  Justice shouldn’t fall by the wayside.  Absolutely horrific individuals get their second chances but they get them at the expense of the safety and peace of mind of others.  They get things easier.

We heard the arguments why at the start.  We had other things to think about and deal with.  Heroes had other things. We thought. We dealt. The heroes handled the biggest needs. That was then.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not buying into the anti-cape sentiment you see here and there.

But I’m anti-these-capes. I’m anti-this.

(Showing Page 52 of 52)

Dive Bucket
Replied on August 19th, Y1:
Where do they go tho? What are we supposed to do?
•  No birdcage
•  No max-sec prisons
•  Bare bones legal system
•  No stable government to put either of those in place
•  No resources
•  No records
•  No witnesses (as OP says)

Replied on August 19th, Y1:
We have strict control over the portals. Send them out to Bet.  Close the doors.  Or guard them

mlekk (is mlekk)
Replied on August 19th, Y1:
/mlekk oozes in
mlekk thinks that would cause more probselms than it solves
mlekk thinks they would want to attack the doors
mlekk thinks of the refugees who haven’t made it to us yet
mlekk decides BAD IDEA
/mlekk oozes out

Replied on August 19th, Y1:
What’s wrong with extortion?  What’s wrong with taking measures?

If you stand at the bottom of a hill and a car starts rolling down it with nobody in the drivers seat what do you do?

The way some of you imbeciles are talking about this I can’t help but think you would stand there bitching about the situation until the car hits you.

Get out of their way first and then make sure it wasn’t one part of bigger problem or disaster.

Then and only then do you address the problem with your indignation and sense of injustice cold, clear, and gripped in steady hands.  Find some weapon or power and take action.

Replied on August 19th, Y1:
@ Mangled_Wings
1) villains aren’t cars.  villains are humans. they’re accountable for their actions.
2) we have more choices than ‘get out of their way’.  We’re part of a greater society.  We have the choice of catering to them or treating them like the scumbags they are.  we’re accountable for how we respond to them.  our government is accountable for how they respond to them.
3) ‘imbeciles’ isn’t helping foster good discussion
4) can someone please ban mlekk?  They’re in every other thread.  Admin said they would deal with low-investment content
5) why the fuck is mlekk one of the only people with working badges?

Replied on August 19th, Y1:
There are three kinds of villain.  There are villains at rest that don’t do anything unless bothered and they may be easy to bother.  Don’t bother them unless you’re sure you’re stronger than them.  If you don’t have powers you aren’t stronger than them.

There are villains in motion.  They want something or they’re going somewhere.  Don’t get in their way unless you’re a lot stronger than them.  Catch them from the flanks or from behind if you’re strong and clever enough.

These two kinds of villain don’t budge.  I’ve known a lot of them.  I know how they operate.  It takes a lot to move the ones at rest and it takes a lot to change the course of the ones in motion.  You can’t do either.  Don’t try.

The third kind is the kind worth paying attention to and they’re the ones that are changing or that can change.  Objects in motion stay in motion and objects at rest stay at rest and the times and situations to watch out for are when they change states.

The people bitching here don’t know enough and don’t have the power to handle any of that.  Get stronger.  Get smarter.  Leave it to the people who know stuff to tell each group apart and to know when to handle things.

Replied on August 19th, Y1:
Like you?
You act like you’re the only one who understands the situation
What guarantee is there that they’re ever going to handle things?
People and institutions do what is easiest.
(P.S. Mlekk is only one deserving of badge.  Cult of mlekk!)

Replied on August 19th, Y1:
Adding articles, part III (Keeping to OP’s format):

Valkyrie Interviewed and Thread Link
Rising star in the Wardens.  Exceptionally powerful, many references to the Green Maiden or something?  Might harken back to before my time.  She is asked directly about this in the interview and deflects.

Shepherd’s Crook and Thread Link (not many posts)
Team started up and fell apart.  Reason why?  One ex-nemesis and lover of the team leader was invited to the team.  They went full yoko.  Shepherds no more.

Endemic is the word.

Replied on August 19th, Y1:
Like me, New_Ohmstar.  I have worked with more than twenty villains.  I am a villain.  When I give you recommendations about leaving sleeping dogs alone I am referring to myself.  When I tell you that you want to get out of the way if I have something I want? Referring to myself.

I am not one of the leeches.  I pay for my own apartment.  I make no trouble.  Yet.  Yes I am talking to the heroes.  They keep their eye on me and I keep my eye on them.  There are other factors.  This makes degrees of sense you are not equipped to comprehend.  For now it is fine and you should take my word for it.

I’m aiming to get stronger.  I’m aiming to get smarter.  I am not the only one doing this.  If you spend your time bitching on the internet instead of doing the same then you’re one of the imbeciles because things are changing and you will fall behind.

I can verify any of this if I must but I don’t know how as I am new to this site.

Replied on August 19th, Y1:
If you send me a private message, I can walk you through it.  It would be faster to contact an active admin directly.

End of Page.  1, 2, 3, 4, 550, 51, 52

♦  Private Conversation with Point_Me_@_The_Sky

Mangled_Wings: You said you’d help.
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  Hello to you too.
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  Click on your username while reading any thread you’ve posted in.  Go to the Help panel.  There will be a list of options.  Third box, second option, badge verification  You might want to open a new window so you can go back from this convo to that
Mangled_Wings: It says import image.
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  Take a picture of yourself in costume and a piece of paper with your username on it.  Connect phone or camera to computer.  Find the image and select it, hit the ‘select’ button on the bottom corner of the window.
Mangled_Wings: I don’t have a phone or camera.
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  Does your computer have a camera built into the monitor?
Mangled_Wings: Yes.
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  OS360?
Mangled_Wings: Yes.  I think.
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  Draw the circle in the center of the desktop to open the radial menu.  Hit ‘C’ and camera should be something visible.  Open it, wait for your image to appear.  You’ll want to be in costume.  Hit space.
Mangled_Wings: It made a shutter sound.
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  You were in costume already?
Mangled_Wings: It’s fine.
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  Sure.  You’ll find the picture in the ‘pictures’ bubble
Mangled_Wings: Thank you.  I found it.  I imported it.  It wants me to put in a label before I hit select.
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  ‘Villain’, I guess.  I don’t know if you really want to do that.  You might want to go ‘Cape’ if you want to fly under the radar.  People are sore about villains these days.
Mangled_Wings: I don’t fly under the radar.  I know what I am and I know what I’ll be, if I don’t die first.  Thank you for the help.  I respect this more than I respect the more self-pitying of the invertebrates out there.
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  Alright.
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  I’m unfortunately afflicted with desire to help people.
Mangled_Wings: A dire inflection, that.
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  0:)  I don’t know if you’re at rest or moving or if you’re open to change, but you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.  Things will go smoother if you don’t call them invertebrates or imbeciles
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  And maybe stay at rest a little longer, given the chance?
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  I think they really need it
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  We all need it.
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  Also. It just occurred to me. If you connect at a library, you’ll want to delete the image before you go. Overwrite it once it is deleted to be sure.
Mangled_Wings: You kill more flies with vinegar in reality.
Mangled_Wings: A person can rest only so long.  I’m restless.
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  What a pity.
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  Spend more time online.  Geek out.  Learn!  Less time spent being bad!
Mangled_Wings: I am not averse to learning.  We will see if there is any pity to be had.
Mangled_Wings: I am at a library.  I will do that.
Point_Me_@_The_Sky:  You can draw the circle and hit ‘o’ to find overwrite.
Mangled_Wings: I already found it.  Thank you.  Goodbye.

♦  Invitation to Group Conversation by Strange_Mammal

Strange_Mammal: aaaaand I think this is her…
Mangled_Wings: I’m here.
Strange_Mammal: we thought you’d be one of the stragglers
Mangled_Wings: I don’t straggle.  At worst I am fashionably late.
Strange_Mammal: you said you hadn’t really used a computer before
Mangled_Wings: I hadn’t.  I’m a fast learner.
Cap: this is A?
Strange_Mammal: it’s A…
Strange_Mammal: …we’re using first-letters to stay on down-low…
Strange_Mammal: …until we figure out what we’re doing
Cap: how long did it take to figure it out, A?
Mangled_Wings: Less than an hour.  Mammal is?
Strange_Mammal: C.
Mangled_Wings: I see.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: !!!  A!
Mangled_Wings: This would be K.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: i was viewing old videos and saw some vids of u
Mangled_Wings: I didn’t know I had any.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: so cool
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: so x-ited to b working with u.
Strange_Mammal: @ K / Heart_Shaped_Pupil…
Strange_Mammal: …type like a grown up…
Strange_Mammal: …my eyes are already bleeding
Cap: hahaha
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Got it!
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I’m saving vids.  Show you at next face2face meet.
Mangled_Wings: Okay.
Cap: we still waiting on S & R
Strange_Mammal: they said they would have some trouble getting access
Cap: yes.  I got to go.  we check in again same time.  hammer something out?
Mangled_Wings: Yes.
Strange_Mammal: I will keep an eye out for R & S
Cap has left the conversation.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Downloading downloading…
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Getting off chat to download faster.  Bye!
Heart_Shaped_Pupil has left the conversation.
Mangled_Wings: Bye.
Mangled_Wings: Ah.  That was fast.
Mangled_Wings: I’ll go too.
Strange_Mammal: fyi?
Mangled_Wings: I don’t know this word.
Strange_Mammal: for your information…
Strange_Mammal: …others can see time you spend online on your profile.  you spent longer than one hour…
Strange_Mammal: …you’ve been online all day.
Mangled_Wings: I am at the library.  Something to do with that, I’d think.
Strange_Mammal: it doesn’t work that way.  I am 95% sure.
Strange_Mammal: there is no need to lie, A
Strange_Mammal: the reason for this project is supposed to be we know each other
Strange_Mammal: K will find out if she does not already know.  she pays attention to those things
Mangled_Wings: If you are 95% sure there is still 5% chance you are wrong.  Assume you are wrong before you get on my bad side.
Mangled_Wings: You do not want to get on my bad side.
Strange_Mammal: ok
You have left the conversation.

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287 thoughts on “Glow-worm – P.3

      • One other thing matches. Mangled claims that you kill more flies with vinegar in reality. I still think it’s someone new, though.

      • Mangled_WIngs (awesome name, btw) apparently has a name that starts with “A”. The only cape I can think of off-hand with an A name and that arrogant personality is Accord. The careful, precise language supports this, and the tone is just right for how I imagine Accord would act on the internet.

        On the other hand, I have a very hard time imagining Accord actually participating in internet chats in the first place, and he was presumed dead after forcible amputation of most of his limbs courtesy of Perdition. Combined with the fact that it is fairly unlikely he was unfamiliar with computers, and the additional unlikeliness that he would need to ask for help even if he was, and this theory is pretty weak. Finally, K mentions having videos of A in action, and that also doesn’t fit Accord, a Thinker.

        So in conclusion, I have no idea who these people are. Tentatively labeling them new faces. I expect we’ll be seeing more of them, though…

        • Dammit, why does Word Press occasionally change my username without me noticing?!

          For the record, I do frequently use the name Poetically Psychotic, but not for Wildbow novels; too close to Psycho Gecko, and I can’t help but pale in comparison to that titan of the comments section.

    • I thought Taylor was rendered powerless and then dropped on Earth Aleph or some other sealed reality? Pretty sure she won’t be making an appearance in Parahumans 2.

      • I thought he was healed then taken to earth Bet. There was that epilogue where she had no power, had a prosthetic arm, and met her alternate reality mother who was still alive and had 2 boys

        • You’re half right. Earth bet is where the entire story of worm took place and where Taylor is originally from. She was taken to another earth after contessa sealed her powers using two bullets to the head (don’t ask).
          I vaguely remember wildbow saying he would most likely not base the sequel with Taylor although she may make a minor appearance.

          • WoG is that her being in the alternate reality is dreams from being in a coma because handgun brain surgery is impossible, and that he would make it more clear when he eventually got around to rewriting the story. This is one of many examples of Wildbow having critical research failure as handgun brain surgery is not only demonstrably possible, we have incidents of it happening, most famously when a suicidal man with crippling OCD shot himself in the head only to remove the section of brain responsible for his OCD. Given how ludicrously bullshit Path To Victory is, it should have been trivial. Since the story itself is pretty fucking vague on the point, and the evidence for the coma that Wildbow claims is rather limited, I’d say it is still up in the air until and unless we get story evidence one way or the other.

            • The handgun surgery could simply be undoing the mind-passenger manipulation fuckery Panacea allowed. PTV could well be keeping taylor as an ace up the sleeve.
              Do we know if the link between taylor and Khepri is known to everyone?
              Also, yay for wild speculation

            • Wrong. The ending was supposed to be ambiguous, not clearly saying she was dead, comatose, or alive. THAT is what he wanted to fix in a rewrite, creating more doubt in what was going on. WoG is that we don’t necessarily know Taylor’s current state.

            • The “WOG” you’re referring to was delivered on April 1st. It was followed by “Just kidding! … or am I?” And by a lot of people freaking out about Wildbow being an epic troll.

      • Did it not explicitly state she was simply disabled or knocked unconscious, then shipped to Bonesaw and Panacea for brain surgery? It wasn’t the bullets that did brain surgery.

        Honestly, I would absolutely adore the ending so much more if there’s a chance of Taylor simply dreaming and hallucinating it all. It adds a crazy, ambiguous, artistic touch to it. It gives Taylor’s sacrifice that much more weight, as an unsung and hated hero who gave up everything to do what is right. Wildbow did an excellent job pounding in the gritty darkness of Wormverse with the Leviathan fight, which IMO was one of the main pillars of Worm that put Worm heads and shoulders above everything else. Saving Taylor at the end of the Teneral arc instead of pounding in her sacrifice and despair, thus by extension an honorable attachment to her values no matter what, hindered Worm from becoming absolutely phenomenal.

        The Wheel of Time and Code Geass are also two masterpieces that went the route of having a tortured and brilliant protagonist who saved countless lives and died in the end, their deeds largely unacknowledged, with a semi-resurrection at the very end. Both are good references for how bittersweet and tear-jerking good endings could be.

        • If either Bonesaw and Panacea did the brain surgery on Taylor to remove her power then I am deeply upset on their leaving her without part of her arm.

  1. Are these characters we know? I’m trying to remember who they could be, but I’m not placing anyone.
    I’m enjoying the chat log/forum posts, it’s really setting the stage well for how society is coping with the change in the world!

    • Mangled _Wings sounds a lot like Shadow Stalker. Extremely arrogant, splits people into the strong and the weak. The lack of computer experience doesn’t fit, though. Pretty sure Sophia knows what “fyi” means.

        • I think it might be Lung we’re seeing. As far as I recall, he never died during Golden Morning. The aggressiveness, the pride, the not-laying low and the respect for action all seem to fit with his character. Mangled wings could be referring to his capacity to grow wings, and he was never mentioned to be particularly computer savvy.

          • Just from the voice, I thought it was Lung. Which made me think that Heart_Shaped_Pupil would be Ingenue and Capricorn be Satyrical, and this is some clandestine meeting of Teacher’s group.
            None of the letters they give match, though, and they call Mangled_Wings “her”, so the theory depends on half the data available being malicious lies. Which is not impossible! They’re active villains, of course they would be trying to mislead anyone who reads their discussion.

            • Hmm, this theory is definitely the best fit so far. That said, attempting to spread misinformation about Mangled_Wings’ gender immediately after they uploaded a picture of themselves to their profile strikes me as a pointless endeavor.

  2. Though it doesn’t really work, I was reading Gregor’s interlude recently and Mangled_Wings’ very blunt, factual style of communication really reminds me of Gregor’s. A good chapter! Still wondering if these are new characters or not, guess we’ll find out eventually.

    • I wouldn’t describe Mabgled_Winge as blunt… He or she is insecure and has something to prove. They want people, even online, to respect them. They seem inexperienced in terms of social interaction, but hearteyedpupil or whatever clearly has some reason to look up to him or her. My bet? Mangled_Wings has had some big single success, they did something that got them a lot of notoriety in one shot, made him feel like a big shot, and made him convinced he is a villain; either because of the reputation it earned him or the feeling he got.

      Despite this claim to fame, he or she is still inexperienced, still unbroken in to the realities of villainy, although he thinks he knows them, and deep down realizes that he doesn’t understand what he is doing. He is insecure, and he is one if those people who have been taught by life to just be more bold when you are less sure, act like you know what you are doing, double down etc.

      I think we all know people who act this way, they act popular and sure of themselves, even though if you look closely you can tell it is all posturing, people still treat them with more respect for it, at least initially, because their confidence in infectious. Certain people though, like Point_me_at_the_sky (who I increasingly feel I relate to) find thks really annoying, since they can see through it (not that it is hard) but let it lie since they are, in fact, confident in themselves and know that the reality of yourself gets exposed over the course of time. Who knows, maybe Mangled_Wings is all that and a bag of chips.

    • Mangled seems like a thinker of some sort to me, there’s an emphasis on learning and adaptation. The bluntness also seems like a thinker thing.

      • That said, if they’re a thinker, they’re a stupid one. Or at least a slow starting one. Many obvious mistakes. But I’m a bit inclined to view the mistakes as a consequence of the power altering the way they think.

      • I disagree. The fact that Mangled lied about how quickly they learned is a big sign of insecurity. Mangled is insecure, inexperienced, and has something to prove. Despite this, the others who know her admire her for some reason, so I think she has done some one big thing that earned her notoriety and respect, solidified her view of herself as a villaon, etc. But despite this she is still new at villainy, not fully aquainted with the realities and is just acting tough to make up the difference.

          • I agree that it is Rachels way of speaking, but at the end of her Arc I really got the sense that she was feeling confident, not insecure, and she wouldn’t lie to make upbfor her insecurity, she would act tough in other ways. She also wouldn’t philosophise on the nature of villains, and ahe wouldn’t care what other people think. Besides, Rachel on a computer all day?

            • Actually, that last part kinda fits. She does get very determined when she wants to learn something new, she’d be there all week if she feels like she needs it to use it confidently.
              BUT she wouldn’t use wings imagery in the username IMO. She’d feel like it’s a lie.

          • I disagree entirely. Even assuming she got this much more literate, which is plausible, there’s no way she’d be this verbose. Rachel would never waste this much time on words. I’d imagine this entire conversation from her would have been much, much shorter, assuming she ever did philosophy in the first place.

            “”There’s three kinds of villain, ones at rest, don’t bother them unless your stronger. Villains who are doing something, don’t get in their way unless you’re a lot stronger. Villains who are changing, they are the ones to give a fuck about. Don’t fucking whine about it, Get stronger or shut up.”

            Still pretty OOC, but closer I figure. I can’t see her version of this being any longer than that. Wing just uses too many goddamn words for me to believe it’s her.

          • Rachel is almost illiterate. She asked people to write letters for her and to read them for her. It’s the part of how her powers mess with her brain (see her epilogue for that). So I really doubt it’s her.

      • Valkyrie’s not a villain, though. Not now.

        I’m not sure Simurgh counts as one either, but I doubt she’s got money to play for a place. Kinda hard to work a day job when you’re an Endbringer. “Hey, didn’t you destroy my childhood hometown?” “No sir, I am but a simple barista. Get your damn grande java mocha latte and get out.”

        And Taylor’s in another dimension, without voyeuristic intention. Well-secluded, she doesn’t see all.

        Think outside the box. With a bit of a mind-flip, we’re into the time-slip…

      • It wouldn’t be Taylor, she is computer savvy, and MW isn’t. Besides Taylor wouldn’t be talking like that or calling herself a villain anymore, she’s just plain old Taylor at the end of Worm.

      • Agreed. It is doing a good job of explaining the general mood and culture of the new society, their fears and concerns, the current issues that they are aware of, and how general groups are acting. Villains are currently on the down low, but there is a restlessness brewing. The Heroes are trying to keep everything together, there is some major external threat (the endbringers? Other “nations”? The wild groups like those in the epilogue that Imp was fighting to control?) And they can’t deal with the villains at the moment so they are making major concessions to keep the peace, at least until they deal with the external threat. The population is wrapped up in concerns about survival, but are growing increasingly aware of trends, tensions, and the shape of the future. It is looking scary.

  3. Well, I get the feeling that a lot of these PHO bridge chapters are gonna lead to a lot of guess work and speculation on if any of them are people we’re familiar with already.

  4. So we’re starting to get some juicy info now. Staying with my theory that Point is Crystal.

    People aren’t happy with the amnesty, which makes sense.

    Valkyrie has been connected to GU. No surprise.

    Mangled_Wings is probably someone new, but there is a distinct possibility it’s an old character running “undercover.” There is a slight hint at it being Taylor, but I think it’s a fake-out.

      • The whole working with villains speech.
        The reference to “killing more flies with vinegar.”
        Being at a library on PHO, as Taylor was in Worm.
        Female, or at least assumed to be.

        All coincidences/fake-outs IMO, as there is still too much that doesn’t fit, for example the not having used a computer, not knowing what “fyi” means. This is why I gravitated to the Simurgh as another option; Ziz wouldn’t know much about human technology, etc.

        • Ziz has good enough pre-cog that she wouldn’t need hours to figure out how to use a computer. She’d need a few minutes, tops.

          Please she wouldn’t need to ask what FYI means; she’d have seen the answer via pre-cog.

        • Her middle name is Anne, so she might be using that now instead of Taylor. Also, she has lost a limb. But that’s assuming she really is alive and not in a coma, and despite Wildbow stating that Worm 2 wouldn’t follow Taylor. Not sure if that rules out an appearance though.

          • Didn’t Taylor get a powerectomy? Two shots to the head come to mind. Or did I misinterpret (or misremember) that scene?

            • Possibly (it was deliberately left ambiguous), though I lean towards her being alive (Contessa would only ever need one shot to kill anyone) but in a coma (the final epilogue didn’t seem to fit in with prior events, like Danny being alive).

              • So… do you think the Tattletale parts of the last episode are also part of the coma sequence? Because they give a reasonable explanation of why is Danny absent (to make Taylor think he dieded so that she wouldn’t realize that it’s Grue).

              • I’m working off old, faded memories here, but there was something about TT conspiring to not let Taylor know about Grue’s death, but she noticed something was up and assumed that it was her father that died. Other than that, I don’t remember anything implying that Danny died at all.

        • Remember that Sky what OS is being run? Remember that all the OS’s are legacy systems from the old world? Remember when Taylor was in computer class she was in the Advanced User group? Remember when she used the library computer it is stated that Taylor knows enough about computers that Lisa wouldn’t have been able to back trace her?

          Now with all that recalled explain why Taylor would need some else to tell her how to use a built in camera app? Mangled is not Taylor.

          • Brain damage.
            That also explains why she acts differently, and the reconstructive surgery to her face is why there’s a different actor playing her.

        • I don’t think it’s Taylor. That said, a lot of people seem to be forgetting that she lost most of her memories as Khepri. While she seemed almost fully recovered and adjusted in her interlude, that doesn’t mean she got all her memories and skills back. The fact that MW doesn’t know how to use a computer or what “fyi” means is not necessarily proof that this isn’t Taylor.

  5. What, first? Seriously? Well, I don’t have a lot to say about this chapter, so I’ll just recommend Twig. Haven’t even finished it yet, and it’s still one of my very most favorite stories. Taught me a lot about social stuff.

      • I mean, I haven’t finished Twig, but I’d rather high functioning sociopaths emulate Helen than deciding to exploit everyone constantly

      • Mostly from Sy, actually. Not his attitude, but from what he pays attention to. A surprising amount of that is probably just the degree of interest he has – I don’t remember more than two or three actual tricks that were explained onscreen, but I do think spending a lot of my attention on social dynamics, by reading Sy’s competent viewpoint, had spillover into the rest of my interests.
        Huh. Maybe that’s why my interest faded towards the second half, both in social analysis and in Twig itself. The initial reasons I’d found it useful had faded.

        • For more explicit spoilers: Fl tbvat vafnar znqr uvz or pbafvqrenoyl yrff pbzcrgrag, naq nyfb fcraq yrff gvzr gelvat gb haqrefgnaq crbcyr, engure guna uvf bja vafnavgl. Nyfb vg jnf cnvashy gb jngpu uvz or fb zvfrenoyr. Gur Arj Nzfgreqnz/Rirggr nep jnf dhvgr qvssvphyg gb trg guebhtu hagvy Wnzvr pnzr onpx.

    • I’m pretty sure this isn’t Team Reach, but there is a good chance this is the “we” Cap was referring to when he was talking about keeping the professional on retainer.

  6. Oh my god this is fascinating/infuriating/engrossing/amazing! I want to know all the things. This might be my favorite of the three you’ve posted so far. It feels like everything is there, JUST out of reach!

    Also, mlekk. Behold the great mlekk, and rejoice.

  7. Weeeeell I’ve got fingers crossed for Damsel of Distress, between lack of experience with computers, attitude regarding villainy… Mangled Wings could be referring to her Bonesaw mods. Slim hope, but it’d be fun to see her.

  8. Just throwing this out there. I know we saw Simurgh’s kid get destroyed in the epilogue of Worm. But who’s to say she couldn’t make more? She’s supposed to only be able to use the powers of Tinkers in her range. But could she create an exact replica of a design she’s previously created? Or delve her own past to the same effect?

    I’m thinking we might see a/some human/Simurgh hybrid(s) in this story.


    • Maybe, but for a different reason. Blasto’s equipment used to try and hybridize Simurgh and a human didn’t quite work out, but someone else might be able to get it to work.

      Funny thing is, given what we learned of Bonesaw’s mentality, it’s entirely possible she didn’t want to bring along Endbringer samples because of what the Slaughterhouse 9 might have done with them when creating their clone army. Makes her “Even I’m not that crazy,” line a lot more sensible.

      • Be a pretty shit reunion. Here’s King, you remember King, Jack? He knows you killed him. Here’s Harbinger, back when he was a kid. Gray Boy, same as ever. Nice Guy, we all remember Nice Guy right? Oh, and The Simurgh. Well, I mean, she didn’t pass any tests to get in but are you going to say no to her?

    • I am of the opinion that the Simurgh would not have let her actual only child get killed by some Thinker and his goons.

      • I’d be a bit more concerned about said Thinker. His orders unintentionally led to the destruction of the Simurgh’s only child, and he has no way of knowing if she plans to seek revenge. Have you considered the effect that would have on his mental state? Because the Simurgh has.

    • It‘s been a while since I read Worm, so if anyone could explain to me what child of the Simurgh we are talking about, I would be gratefull. Because the only thing I remember that could qualify is Blastos failed Hybrid experiment.

      • Probable Eidolon clone inside the ‘fake’ gun Ziz is constructing through most of arc 29. At E.5, we see Lung find the gun/cylinder, and burn up the large-eared, large-nosed infant/child, in a vault. It is the first time the Simurgh moved after Khepri’s win iirc.

      • I don’t remember all the details well enough to explain it, but if you wanted to read about for yourself, it’s in one of the epilogues (I think second to last but don’t quote me on that), the one about Teacher.

    • >But could she create an exact replica of a design she’s previously created? Or delve her own past to the same effect?

      My pet theory is that that’s exactly what she did with the first child. That it’s Blasto’s tech, and although Simurgh Prime never met Blasto, the failed clone shared The Simurgh’s viewpoint. With her weird time-vision, the Simurgh possesses total and complete knowledge of everything that happened near Morrigan, and can tap into the tinker powers of everyone who was nearby. Which would be Blasto, Bonesaw, Damsel of Distress and Armsmaster.

      It was always a thing for the Endbringers to pull their punches a bit, and then ramp up the devastation if humanity resisted too hard.

      • I’ve been of the theory that her not being a Tinker is true in very specific fashion; Tinker powers seem to be the ability to pull technical knowledge from prior highly advanced civilizations the Entities visited, so if the Simurgh can’t do that she’s not a Tinker, but there’s no technical reason she can’t replicate their tech the normal way. With her extreme intelligence and future vision, plus anything she has extracted from Tinkers previously, she can probably accomplish quite a lot without technically being a Tinker.

  9. Heart Shaped Pupil, the name suggests a link to Teacher.

    Are the initials for cape names or civilian names?

    The way Mangled_Wings talks about being a villain reminds me of Shadow Stalker. Not that I think it really is her, but the manner seems familiar.

    What villains do we know who plausibly might not have used a computer before? Bonesaw and GU come to mind as possibilities, but Valkyrie was a hero when Worm ended.

    There aren’t many established capes with names that start with K. There are a lot more whose names start with A, especially if we consider civilian identities (Aisha, Aidan, Theo Anders). Looking over the list of known capes, I think I’m leaning towards these being largely new characters.

    mlekk is best commenter. Well, second best after PG, I guess

  10. Wonder if this might be Amelia. She did have a relation to birds, didn’t her memorial tattoo for Victoria have a bird in it? And it can’t be said she didn’t mangle Vicky. Additionally she was in the Birdcage, so another bird tie.

    Or…holy shit. Or it’s Aiden. Taylor’s adopted child who connected to her shard. That’d also fit being A. It’d explain why they know something similar to the name code the Undersiders used.

    • The problem with it being Amy/Amelia is that she would have no reason to fake being a new PHO user, and she has (almost) certainly used PHO in the past. If my “Point is Crystal” theory is accurate, that’s a fair bit of irony though.

      It’s most likely not Aidan. He’s too young and doesn’t fit the personality of Mangled. Then again, a lot can change in a few years…

  11. I got a laugh out of this one. Wibbles, I recognize bits and pieces of this chat from elsewhere. I can see a few of the others from there in the language you used. . Oozing instead of slithering, for instance. To be fair, you’ve had plenty of material for arguments between myself and a certain other fellow.

      • I know. It just wasn’t the same without the storm of puns whenever someone new introduced themselves. It was kinda a right of passage on the old Worm comments.

        Also we missed our oppourtunities for anything quite like the Ukranian Mail order brides. Not that that can happen this time around. I don’t thing the Ukraine exists anymore. Probably Earth Zet mail order brides or something.

  12. I’m left hoping that mlekk is the protagonist of the sequel, because he or she is clearly the hero (?) this suburb of the multiverse deserves. Some interesting sociological commentary on how capes are being treated (we full parahuman feudalism now, son) in the wake of Gold Morning, but nothing truly revolutionary. Anti-cape sentiment continues to be a prominent theme, but conflict is a challenge when one side holds all the cards.

    I can’t place anybody on a first pass, but Mangled_Wings reads like Damsel of Distress, right down to the pretentious name.

      • Not sure if it counts but Wildbow said at one point that he wanted to run sequels to the CYOA PRT quest he did. One of the potential options he mentioned was a quest following Damsel of Distress before and after GM. I take this to mean that its possible Damsel (or a clone) survived but not confirmed cannon, so its entirely possible Mangled is a socially stunted and tech-ignorant Damsel.

  13. A good internet geek-out isn’t bad. There are lots of handy ways to enjoy the internet while also learning. I, for one, have consumed a podcast or two. Some have even been educational, even the fiction ones. Learning about Fortean stuff in a few of them, like Black Tapes and whichever one discussed the concept of the Super-Sargasso Sea. Or stopping over at Revolutions to see the interconnections of the American, French, Haitian, and South American Revolutions. Not the formal name for that last one, but there was a lot of revolving going on.

    I have to wonder why Sky wanted a photo of Wingy. I understand that the internet tends to involve a certain amount of anonymity as a general rule, especially related to a capes forum during a time when anti-cape hits are in high demand. The villain doesn’t seem to fear too much, but I know firsthand that anyone can be gotten. In her case, I’d say a puppy ought to do it. Address the card as coming from Sky, implant some explosives in the thing, and wait for Wingy to get attached to it. Give it a few months. Then, boom. Either she dies, or it’s an instant grudge match with someone I’m pretty sure can take her.

    Anyone else get an Unbreakable vibe from the Black Raincoats?

    Finally… the “types of villain” thing is going to bug the crap out of me. Thanks, Wibbles. This is going right up there with the eternal theme music debate.

    • I don’t think Sky wanted (or got) a picture.
      I got the impression that the probably automated “confirm your identity as a cape” process wanted a picture and Sky was just helping Wingy with the technical bits.

      What I find surprising about that is that the “verified cape” process is open for villians not just rogues/heroes. Especically because I got the vibe that this isn’t a new thing in the post-GM world.

    • Sky wasn’t trying to get a photo of Wings, they were just walking her through the process of getting a photo uploaded to her account so she could be a verified cape. Sky only guesses at Wings being in costume already because of how quickly she responded saying she had the picture taken.

  14. Suddenly intrigued by the story of the youths who tried to force their Triggers then did it naturally years after.

    The story behind Shelter… Ex-nemesis and lover? I wonder if all these backstory snips will evolve into GoIs in the full story.

    • If I remember correctly, Sleeper is on Earth Zayin. I’m guessing his power is to annoy people online and it manifests from worlds away on Gimmel as Mlekk.

      Nobody on Zayin uses the internet. it is a lost cause.

    • My personal theory is that everyone except Mlekk and Point Me At The Sky are Dragon’s sock puppets. Mlekk is Abbadon and Point is the Simurgh.

  15. I get the impression people have read so many fics where Winged_One is the Simurgh that their theories about Mangled_Wings don’t seem that farfetched to them, but come on, guys.

    Also I’m calling it. Just like Worm 1’s big antagonist, mlekk will seem unoffensive early on but will turn out to be a major threat. Until then though… #CultOfMlekk

  16. I just realized …

    We have a group called the Wardens.

    And now people are trying to start a group called the Shepherds.

  17. Chief Armstrong? I assume that this is Director Armstrong, AKA Weld’s Director. Seems like someone’s gone somewhere. No longer a lowly Director anymore!

    If this is a post (the “Chief” post) related to the Wardens, then I’m not that surprised. He always seem to get along better than the parahumans and understand them better than the other Directors, which probably has a lot to do with his background of studying parahumans.

    He’s also the one who advocated for opening up the Birdcage. This might or might not be worrying.

    But, who knows? Will just have to wait and see.

  18. Thinking Mangled Wings is a Damsel clone right now. Most of the weirdness fits, and it’d be fun to see them running around.

  19. Why hasn’t anyone suggested that Mangled_Wings might be Rachel? The way she talks to people, the things she says about herself and other villains, and her (seeming) lack of secret identity all SCREAM Rachel, at least imo. I get that the username would be weird, and the part at the end with the “first-letters” doesn’t make sense, but her personality itself seems extremely Rachel.

  20. domt like mangled to bitchy and knowitall
    i am very interesting to see this …villain cape team? probably.
    very happy to see interactions with previously established characters
    all praise the church of mlekk

  21. Anyone have thoughts on the timeline here? I see folks talking like this takes place _after_ the epilogues but I’m not so sure. TBH, it kind of feels like _before_ them. We know it’s the first year of their new epoch (Y1) is that the year immediately following Golden Morning? Or is that some later point in time, after society had built itself back up?

    Like, some kind of infrastructure and Internet within a year is pretty impressive, TBH. On the other hand, they do have a lot of tech they can scavenge and 90s era Internet tech isn’t actually that complicated (there are those of us still around who remember how it was built.) So I dunno, I could go either way.

    If it _is_ the year after GM then the Epilogues definitely happen later (see, for example, references to Bitch’s age, but also the Great Taylor Memorial Get Together that Tattletale holds clearly had some real time pass).

  22. Honestly? No theories on this. I do find it interesting that we’re getting some input on the long term nature of the arrangement between Bitch and the Wardens. It’s also interesting that there’s not much in the way of real effort to bring the public around to the Warden’s way of thinking. Also, Capricorn knows Mangled_Wings?

    Why do I feel like Parahumans 2 will have multiple major perspectives, the way Bow originally planned for Worm?

  23. I really hope none of these people are Taylor. Or that Taylor just doesn’t appear at all in the sequel.

    She’s earned her retirement. She has escaped a Wildbow story alive and sane. She’s earned her rest.

    • Would almost bet money that either a) Taylor is actually in a coma and probably won’t be showing up in the story or b) walked into the sunset of Aleph to that well earned rest and retirement. After a recent re-read, I’m really leaning toward the subtle hints that indicate her in a coma, and the epilogue being a dream.

      In some ways, I think I prefer her not showing up in the story.. leave her legend where its at.

      • That would be the best way for Taylor to feature in Worm 2. As a legend that young heroes and villains try to emulate (for different reasons), that old heroes and villains remember with fear (because they experienced Khepri and never found her body) and that only grows in the telling thanks to the efforts of Imp and the Heartbroken to preserve her legacy. By the time Worm 2 finishes I want Taylor Hebert to be more myth than history to all but a few, spoken of in hushed whispers around the fire.

  24. I don’t think Taylor is anyone there. If I had to guess, Taylor’s appearance will be both a great event and one that comes surprising.

    Aiden seems plausible though, and I always thought he could have been used more.

    • Wildbow is saving Taylor for the summer DTV movie. Also it’ll be a time travel story, so it’ll be Taylor from her Chicago days, and thus reveal nothing about her ultimate fate.

  25. Hm. Ex-Nemesis of a hero becomes his lover and tears his new team apart? Maybe I am reading too much into it, but I am reminded of Ingenuine. (Or however her name was spelled. Former birdcage inmate, entered several relationships with heroes, buffed their powers but corrupted the hero in the process. Teamed up with Chevalier during Gold Morning.)
    And has anybody thought about Mangled_Wings being an Irregular/Case 53? Would explain the name and why he said “It’s fine” when PM@TS asked if she was already in costume. As a villain. In a library. Having strangely colored skin or scales or feathers etc makes your cape status plain to see. Plus, Case 53s where plucked from different worlds, dosed and locked up by Cauldron. Would explain why she is not savvy with technology, slightly hostile to everyone and not that good at social stuff…

      • It would take sveta a bit to figure that out. Plus, many people (both in real life and in the Worm universe) have names that end in similar letters.

      • Didn’t Sveta already have a online presence? I seem to remember something about her chatting with Greg about games they were playing and then he got mad because she was reluctant to meet up with him in real life and he thought that meant that she was just stringing him along. I’ve got to go reread some of those sections one of these days.

  26. Oh come on person Bitch maimed, you were probably showing her your bared teeth, how was she supposed to react?

    And for some reason I now am imagining the Smurf going on message boards with the inpenetrable disguise of spelling Ziz backwards.

  27. I love how distinctive each character feels despite the chat format.

    “Written after Miss Militia and Vista, heroines under the Wardens, were seen on several occasions in the company of Hellhound, also known as Bitch or Rachel Lindt. ”

    Awww, Rachel’s okay and she’s besties with Miss Militia and Vista 😀 (Let me dream)

    mlekk offers great insight, we should all join their cult.

    • Aisha is tech savvy, and knows what FYI means. She’s gotten more patient, and wouldn’t complain about people being weak or imbeciles and advocate for shunning all villains.
      It’s only two years or so after golden morning, and Aisha would still be rolling with the undersiders and heatbroken, unless they all died by now, which I’m pretending won’t happen, despite this being a wildbow story.

      There would be a LOT more uses of big words, allegories, and references to literary works.

  28. Not surprised the fallen are still around, what with the endbeingers helping to fight scion. Probably got a big boost from that.

    Am surprised the undersiders aren’t bigger names.

  29. “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh mlekk R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn”

    So, this seems to be an intruduction to some of the major players later on. I’m also gonna go on wild guess and say that at least one of those articles refers to characters in the previous snippets. (Possibly to Mangled_Wings as well).

    I got pretty interested on the two torturers and I have the impression they are going to be some of the most proiminent ones. I also can’t help but see the article about Miss Militia and Vista as some sort of foreshadowing. Thus far, Mangled_Wings seems to me the most interesting PHO user (right after our lord and saviour ‘mlekk’, obviously).

  30. Ah, cap’s still alive?

    Taylor probably isn’t around yet.
    Definitely isn’t the “MC” of this chapter- she knows what “FYI” means, wouldn’t take an entire day to figure out computers, only to lie about how long she used, and wouldn’t care as much about the “imbeciles” that are allowing others to take advantage of the amnesty.

    Also, she knows perfectly about the secret code the undersiders have about using the first letter of someone’s name (and a color, but that’s a different part of it), so she wouldn’t need someone to explain that to her. Nor would she make such obvious threats.

  31. An unexpected pleasure, this Thursday chapter, and so much juiciness tying the prior two together in chat.

    *hype intensifies*

    Really feeling like these guys are mostly OCs; exception of Sky (who really feels like Crystal/Laserdream) .. Agreeing with one of the earlier comments though, it really felt like Ziz was being clever on PHO for a moment at one point.

    I’m interested to hear more about the hero/villain dynamic since GM – seems like the game of “cops and robbers” TT spoke of has new rules, new boundaries. Also feels like the atmosphere is pregnant with violence waiting to happen, from the villains getting restless to the undercurrent of mistrust vs capes.

  32. Yay! The official description of the cape-verification mechanism on the PHO!

    Wings are very irritated with flies. What she says about the weakness is just like Stalker… But her name is not on A.
    …But in the Internet there are no true names.
    By the way, Emma’s sister name is Anne. And she has reasons for hate flies and ont specific hero.
    Speaking about Amy, she may indeed not have the experience of verifying herself or real online socialization. And she can consider herself a villain, want to rest and at times can be mean.

  33. Heart-Shaped Pupil kinda feels like Aisha to me, but I don’t know why she’d be ‘K’, so that’s likely not right.

  34. Mangled Wings is so mean. Mlekk was extremely contributive to that conversation. He was telling His cult which side to be on. Also, Strange Mammal is my kind of person.

  35. This was an interesting chapter; Mangled Wings was pretty interesting and I’m curious about mlekk, too but the thing that stuck out to me most was Erasmus’ comment on being able to close the portals.
    Since when could non-parahumans do that?

  36. Christ, if I could log onto PHO I’d be semi-trolling on all the capes:

    Axle: I’m a villain too (from a certain perspective)

    Mangled_Wings: If you’re making fun of me, you’ll regret

    Axle: I leave the milk unattended after using it

    Strange_Mammel: You monster!

    Mangled_Wings: You have ten seconds to stop

    Axle: I eat butter from the stick

    Mangled_Wings: Pray we don’t meet

    Axle: One fish, two fish, we all see villain friendships!

    (Mod message: Axle has been banned from the chats)

  37. Dammit, I’m going to sleep tonight brainstorming possible identities for mangles…..may the sheep be with me….

    • My guess is Glaistig Uaine, the faerie. No understanding of how to deal with people, talks in an odd way, never used a computer before. Everything fits, even the username, if she is going with being a faerie.

  38. nobody talking about how the third article is a Twig reference, kids, fucked up kids that would think of using torture, wire, black coats, come on its too obvious.

  39. Percentages at the end there, is it Dinah?

    But ya great chapter again, world is slowly putting itself back together.

  40. Wildbow, is Parahumans 2 going to be stand-alone*, or do I need to go back and reread Worm? I have been waiting for your edited re-release to reread…

    *where “stand-alone” means we will get in-narrative reminders of anything from Worm we would need to know

  41. I find myself more interested in the OS360 than the new (or old) character. All this talk about drawing circles in the middle of the screen leaves me wondering how this OS works

    • You know what, for me, it seems like an OS designed with touchscreens in mind. You draw a circle for the console, when you need to use a command, and probably mark the context with the touchscreen itself. Or at least, it seems that way for me now.

  42. Let’s get to the examples. Four youths tried to get superpowers by working off of the ‘trigger’ theory of power gain, and became a newsworthy case in 2004. The event got out of hand, one boy and one girl took charge and preyed on the two younger members of the group, torturing them over the course of a weekend. Nobody gained powers, the search for the missing children led to the two older children being identified as they went into town on the Monday to get food and buy power tools, including a circular saw. They revealed the location of their victims; one of whom apparently lost fingers as the wire that was used to attach them to the toilet tank was too tight. Unnamed Boy was sent to juvie. Unnamed Girl was sent to psychiatric care. Both gained powers while in care, both were released in or around 2009. Reuniting, now with powers, they killed three people, wearing black raincoats to keep the blood off, and were not caught. They have been spotted in several locations at the Rochester span, wearing the black raincoats.

    “For the time being, the amnesty applies,” Chief Armstrong stated to the media. “We know where they are and we’re keeping tabs.”

    Good enough?

    What the fuck?

    No, seriously, *what the fuck*? You do realize that those kids could’ve gotten the death penalty in some states, right? That was premeditated murder, and the prosecution would’ve labeled it as such. The jury would have agreed, and they would have also agreed that the torture was less a pursuit of a trigger and more an excuse to hurt someone. If the state had capital punishment, those kids would absolutely get the death penalty. And this world’s government just lets them wander around willy-nilly because someone is “keeping tabs”?

    What the everloving fuck is this? You cannot honestly expect me to take this seriously.

    • How much of that is your commentary? Because cape stuff almost invariably gets messy. Who were they killing? What was their prior relationship to those people? Or to the kids they tortured, for that matter – for all we know they were taking turns, and the older ones just got the blame because the prosecution wanted to make all the charges stick. (I’m not sure it’s likely, but it is plausible – if there’s one thing Taylor versus Sophia, Canary versus her ex, and Rachel’s origin story have taught us, it’s that the official record is often very biased. Since this time the capes are basically in charge (and Bonesaw set a precedent), they’ve decided to give everyone a chance to go straight. So far, it seems to be working pretty well.

      • Ah, I appear to have forgotten a ‘)’ after ‘plausible’, and also to mention that the murder victims may have been horribly abusive to them while they were in custody or beforehand. They both triggered while in custody, after all, which suggests considerably less care than they should’ve had.

        • “My commentary”? We’re talking about letting two *kids* who committed first-degree murder roam the streets. What kind of judicial system agrees to this? One that wants to see innocent people murdered, that’s what.

          I’m not going to touch your implication that murder is okay if you’ve been abused. Instead, I’m going to look at how this would appear to the courts:

          Two underage kids both tortured other underage kids, ostensibly to give them powers. Didn’t work, kids were injured, the torturers were locked up. After they triggered while in care–which is vague enough a statement that it could mean “they were abused by caregivers” or “they were abused by other inmates”–they escaped, and committed *premeditated murder* of three people. The courts are going to see two twisted little psychopaths who got powers they shouldn’t have gotten (because really, what kind of sick little fucker agrees to straight-up torture another human being?) killed people, and then disappeared into the night. The courts aren’t going to know those kids won’t kill others. Even if some violence-predicting cape were able to see that those kids didn’t pose a risk, not everyone would take that cape at their word. Many people would not.

          To the courts, these kids are a menace to society and should be locked away as soon as humanly possible. These are not the kind of people you “keep tabs on.” These are the kind of people you lock up and throw away the key.

          • Are you saying that is morally superior, or that it’s more plausible? If the latter, it’s considerably less nuts than giving Bonesaw parole, and that was on testimony of a thinker that she’d been acting under Master influence. If it’s the former… Eh. We don’t know what was going on. We know with reasonable reliability, from inference:
            There were at least four kids, at least one of which was probably reported missing, involved in some highly questionable activity.
            Two of them were detained while shopping for several items, including a circular saw. We don’t actually know if those two were reported missing, since “you resemble a missing child” is a great excuse for detaining someone.
            One of the younger kids was missing fingers by the end, apparently due to being tied to a toilet with too-tight wire.
            Both kids whose fates were mentioned eventually Triggered while in custody.
            Two people wearing black raincoats were involved in the deaths of three others, and presumably had powers matching the description of the pair that triggered in custody.
            That is not conclusive evidence of anything criminal, and unless they show up later (I hope they do), we won’t really get more than that. I get that it’s suspicious, but I don’t really think Alec or Rachel or even Riley deserve punishment for their many prior crimes, and I expect that something similar may have happened with these two. (Also, the only evidence for premeditated murders we are given is that they were wearing black raincoats to keep the blood off, which sounds an awful lot like accusing them based on costume choice.)

            On the other hand, I’m also biased. Worm gave a lot of stories where decent people fell afoul of the law through little fault of their own, and showed that with the partial exception of Cauldron, origin stories are always messy. The Black Coat Kids may be really awful people who should never be let loose upon society, or they may be foolish teens who were victimized by an incredibly corrupt system and struck back, or maybe the article was slandering a couple of superheroes who played a weird game with a friend who was already missing fingers, and got sent to jail for it. Or any combination of the above. That’s it, really. I don’t know, neither (so far as I can tell) do the Wardens, and it’s almost certainly one of a very large group of similarly-messy backstories which they have better things to do than check.
            Does that clear things up?

          • Which is actually one of the points of this interlude. Normal people start to feel threatened because, after the amnesty, the rule of law is skewed for capes, instead of against them like before, and indeed, many people do not take the capes words for granted.

            • Yeeah, I think any system where the rule of law is skewed toward the defendants is morally superior to one where it’s skewed against them to the same degree. And I think the system is actually less skewed overall than it was before, so…
              They need people in power who can solve the social problems, but otherwise I’m pretty hopeful for this world.

    • Shouldn’t it happen? maybe.

      Wouldn’t it happen? well, in our world, pedophiles and rapists get away if they have connections and/or are powerful (not always, but still). Thats on first world countries.

      Here, we are on a post apocalyptic world, where these capes are both needed and feared, because they could do a lot of damage to a budding infranstructure. Plus, the “amnesty” is what keeps a lot of them in line, if the governmentshows signs of violating it, I am pretty sure a lot of criminals will react violently, ensuring chaos. I dunno if its moral, but it is very much realistic- something that could happen under rational people.

      That assumes that there is not a shadow capeocracy instated already, which would make arresting capes even more unlikely.

      And even the moral part can be argued. The government promised amnesty for help, is it moral to recant it? Is it moral to punish a person that may be rehabillitated because of his past crimes when they can be a useful part of society? is it moral for judiciary sentencesto focus on punishment instead of rehabillitation? Is it moral to punish someone without conclusivee evidence just because they are the prime suspect, when they could be innocent within reasonable doubt, even if their chance of innocence is less than 1% ? I am unsure, but so is humanity. But moral or not, I must say, its certainly realistic.

  43. It’s hilarious how, in lieu of an identity for MW, everyone hears their voice differently. Throughout the comments I have seen “sounds like…” Accord, Lung, Aisha, Aidan, Tattletale, Bitch, and Taylor, among others.

  44. Best guess is that MW is Damsel of Distress, it even fits the naming scheme (her civilian name is Ashley), fits that she would be immediately noticeable as a cape and an overblown personality and needing respect. I find the concept of Winged_One hilarious, but unlikely. If not DoD then my guesses are: Panacea (villain bit doesn’t really fit), Valfor (male), or Crane (Seems a bit old for the group that is forming).

  45. Probable error:

    “When I tell you that you want to get out of the way if I have something I want? Referring to myself.”

    “if I have something I want” is the part that doesn’t seem to make sense. I can think of several ways to reorganize it, but no way to be certain what you meant it to say.

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