Glow-worm – P.7

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Connecting to “gChat.ParahumansOnline.Treefort_Lookout(6667)” (Attempt 20)
Resolving Host Name
Using identity “Heart_Shaped_Pupil”
Welcome to the Treefort_Lookout!  A hangout for those 16 and under with inquisitive minds and an eye on the goings on around them.  Keep conversation focused on sharing info.  Other discussion belongs in our Pillowfort_Lazytalk or Snowfort_Mission

Maxtag: Hi Kenzie
Toxicfish216: Heya.  Wanting to get right to business?
Thistlesoup: *hugs* Hi love

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: *hugs back* Hi thistle, hi max, hi tox.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: no rush on business.  i’m starting my day

My_Own_Gren: Hi K.  We were talking about stuff just now. There’s a bit to catch up on.
Dogtooth: Heya, optics. Good to see you.
Magnep: hi kenzie.  what’s up?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: hi Peter, hi Megan, hi nep
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: not much is up
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: how are you guys? does anyone need help with anything?

Asnag: I don’t think so. We were talking about your stuff, actually.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: neat. i’m getting breakfast so i’ll be a second before I’m settled

Tockta: How are you doing? You said you were feeling down in Pillowfort last night.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: i’m better
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: i’m ready to start the day. i’m excited at the idea of getting info.

Thistlesoup: That’s good to hear.  🙂
Milldross: You wanted us to nag you about your punctuation and capitals.  Your friend got irritated about it.
Flying_Kevin: this is the girl that was the Ward, right?
Flying_Kevin: I’m new btw

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I did. Thank you mill.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I did. I just woke up.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I am. Hi Kevin.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: *rubs hands together* get me started.

Johnsonjar: Hi K.  🙂  You wanted us to keep an eye out for your old teammates.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: !
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: who? where?

Johnsonjar: We found two of them. One second.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: !!  Who?

Johnsonjar: Aven and Houndstooth

Heart_Shaped_Pupil:  Thank you!  Good job!  You’re awesome!
Heart_Shaped_Pupil:  Ima go talk to Aven first.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil:  /Away

You have marked yourself as away.

♦  Private message sent to AvenG

AvenG: ?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Hi Aven. It’s Kenzie

AvenG: Oh. Kenzie M?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: That me.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I’m not supposed to be sharing out my name and tying it to this account but I figure in this context it’s okay.  You’ve seen my face, you know my name, you know my powers, I trust you.

AvenG: Yeah.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I don’t want to be a pest. I just wanted to say hi and say I’m glad you’re alive. I always thought you were cool.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: and if you ever want to talk or meet or whatever, you know where I’m at and you can send me a message.

AvenG: Ok.
AvenG: No offense, but I probably won’t.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: ok.

AvenG: Sorry. I’m trying to get a fresh start, the Wards were pretty good times but that was then. You and I didn’t talk then, with the age difference, so it’s strange to talk now.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: It’s okay. You were frontline and I was backline. You were a teenager, I was the brat.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: There are lots of reasons I’m sure but ‘no’ is the only one that matters. I wish you the best.  🙂

AvenG: thank you. Good luck with whatever you end up doing, Kenzie.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil:  /back

You have marked yourself as back
Welcome back to the Treefort_Lookout!

Tockta: How did it go?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil:  Not great.  She didn’t want to talk.

Tockta: Aw. 😦
Thistlesoup: *hugs*

Heart_Shaped_Pupil:  *hugs back*

Maxtag: We’ve got your back.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil:  I’m going to talk to the next one.  Wish me luck!
Heart_Shaped_Pupil:  /Away

You have marked yourself as away.

Doones: Good luck!

♦  Private message sent to Houndstooth

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Hi H.T.

Houndstooth: Hi Kenzie.
Houndstooth: I’m in the middle of a conversation with Ave.  She said you reached out.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I’m keeping an eye out for my old teammates.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I’m glad you’re alive, houndstooth.

Houndstooth: I’m glad you’re alive too, Kenzie.
Houndstooth: What are you up to these days?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I’m looking at joining a team.  Kind of.  We’re still figuring a lot out. It’s exciting. they’re neat.

Houndstooth: That’s really good to hear
Houndstooth: I’ve talked to some of the others offline.  We made out better than most.  The only question mark is 10-59, but I’m suspicious they’re okay.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I already found them. they’re alive and well.

Houndstooth:  Did you? ok. good. great.  Then we only lost Pigeonhole, but you knew about them.  We made out better than most.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: it’s great.  I’m so relieved.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I really liked the team.  Everyone was so cool.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: It was an important time for me.  Coming back to Baltimore to join the team was the first time I got to stop and settle down.

Houndstooth:  Yeah

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: It was home
so it means alot to me to hear you say **we** when talking about us making it out mostly okay.

Houndstooth: You know that was then, don’t you?
Houndstooth: Back in the past. Things have changed.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: uh huh

Houndstooth: You got a bad deal, Kenzie. Not the worst I’ve seen but I’ve seen a lot of people get better hands than what you got.  You tried as hard as anyone and you did really good work.
Houndstooth: You were a better hero when you were four and a half feet tall than some adult capes I know today

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I’ve heard this speech before H.T.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: variants of it
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: you gave me a version of it once
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: you don’t have to let me down easy. I’m tough.  🙂
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: just cut to the chase. 😉

Houndstooth: I think you shouldn’t contact the others.
Houndstooth: They have their own things to work through. They’re rebuilding.  Everyone’s looking forward.
Houndstooth: You have a new team. That’s great.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: huh. was i really that bad?

Houndstooth: You weren’t bad okay?
Houndstooth: You weren’t bad.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: but?

Houndstooth: But…
Houndstooth: give me a second to type.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: HT… i was ten
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: iv’e grown up some
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: i was there for the end of the world
i did stuff. i actually really helped

Houndstooth: Absolutely
Houndstooth: I keep typing responses and deleting them
Houndstooth: People are gunshy

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: gunshy?
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: of me?

Houndstooth: Shit.  Now I feel bad.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Don’t
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: i’m disappointed is all

Houndstooth: I can’t stress enough that I have a lot of respect for you.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: thank you 🙂
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: can you give me one shot then?
not even as friends. it can be business. I’m useful. you’ve been prasing my work ethic. I’m smart. I have a kind of team. If you do me the favor of giving me a shot I can do you one favor for free.

Houndstooth: I don’t know

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: you’re a smart guy and you were a good leader. you know how these things work. you know my power has its uses. others would kidnap me for it. I am offering myself to you and you would be stupid to turn me down. use me. please.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: if you respect me so much then let me prove myself

Houndstooth: Okay.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Yes?

Houndstooth: Sure.  Absolutely.
Houndstooth: I can contact you here?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: yes

Houndstooth: I will be in touch.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: ok

Houndstooth: I will also talk to the others. I will leave your contact info with them.  If they are comfortable with it they can reach out to you.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: got it
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I’ll cross my fingers.

Houndstooth: I have to run.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: thanks for making the time to talk to me

Houndstooth: Keep up the good work.  Bye.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil:  /back

You have marked yourself as back
Welcome back to the Treefort_Lookout!

Tockta: How did it go?  Is your day looking up?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: The high point of the conversation was toward the end when he said don’t call us we’ll call you.

Tockta: I don’t understand
Flying_Kevin: ?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: It doesn’t matter.  I’m choosing to view this in a positive light.  My day has to get better from here.

Tockta: That’s positive.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: It is!
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: For now I need a distraction.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Any other news?

Maxtag: Tattletale took on a new mission that’s taking her to Earth N.  She’ll be busy for a short while.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: !
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Why didn’t you tell me sooner?  Priorities!

Maxtag: I didn’t know it was important.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: It is.  Information about my new teammates is key.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: be right back.

Thistlesoup: Bye!

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: /Away
You have marked yourself as away.

♦  Joined Group Conversation: Cap, Mangled_Wings (away), Weird_Cephalopod

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: was R around?

Weird_Cephalopod has left the conversation.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Bye C.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Rawr.  K is here. everyone run away! >:3

Cap: R left. he dropped off the grid

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Arrrg

Cap: C was saying he had to go get lunch soon.
Cap: I think that’s why he left
Cap: A is eating too. she practically living at library now I think.
Cap: but she has to leave it to eat.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: ok
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: it’s good that she’s there. good to learn and study.

Cap: why?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Tattletale is out of town.  They probbaly won’t attack without her around to act.  There is a repreive.  I got some info on her late last night too

Cap: that’s great. hopefully he swings by the library and we can let him know.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: great

Cap: is quiet today.  lazy sunday. how are you doing?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: today has been interesting. i’m looking forward to S getting here and to the next meet.

Cap: agreed on the first two parts. partial agree on the last. I think we’re going to get yelled at

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I can not imagine that.

Cap: shoot. would love to chat but am being asked to go to church.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: at noon?

Cap: family is asking. church gets overcrowded these days so we attend during certain blocks of time.
Cap: you and me. we talk later, yeah?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: for sure.

Cap: good work on the tattletale info. strategy will be so key if R ends up in trouble. you a champ.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: not a problem

Cap: sorry to duck and run

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: go, you dork! it’s ok 🙂

Cap has left the conversation.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: /twiddle thumbs
twiddle thumbs: Unknown Command

You have left the conversation.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil:  /back

You have marked yourself as back
Welcome back to the Treefort_Lookout!

Heart_Shaped_Pupil:  Hit me with some more of that business

Maxtag: Hi Kenzie
Maxtag: You said teammate related things were important.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil:  Yes.  You have more?

Maxtag: I’m not sure.  It’s minor but you said it was related to two of your teammates.
Maxtag: Weld is back.  Article here.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil:  Oh.  He was away?  The people I’d tell about it are away for lunch.

Maxtag: I don’t follow.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil:  It’s okay.

You currently have one alert about possible admin action.  Please click to review and open a conversation with a site administrator about conduct issues.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil:  Hahahahaha XD

Doones: What’s so funny?
Magnep: ? 🙂
Flying_Kevin: I don’t understand.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil:  Today has been quite a day.  I’m having a run of bad luck.  Admins want to talk to me and I think I know why. Haha.

Doones: Good luck!

Heart_Shaped_Pupil:  can I get a bit of a hug, Thistle?

Thistlesoup: *hugs*

Heart_Shaped_Pupil:  You’re the best.
You have marked yourself as away.

♦  Private Conversation with Shower (Admin):
Please note that conversations with site administrators may be recorded and reviewed.

Shower: I’d like a moment if you can spare it.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Hello.

Shower: Thank you for the prompt response.  I’m Graham.  I’m with the PHO IT team.  You can call me by my name or just ‘shower’.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Hi Shower.  What can I do for you?

Shower: We had some unusual search activity that seemed to be causing congestion.  Would you happen to know anything about this?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I might.  It would have been during off-peak hours though.

Shower: We update infrastructure during off-peak hours. it slowed us down.  It stalled us for three hours last night.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: oh that’s not good.

Shower: You’re piggybacking off of our servers?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I was trying to help.  We’ve been updating the wikis as much as we can and three-fifths of the work is gathering data that’s helpful to others.

Shower: We?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: It was a stupid hobby project.  I was thinking of what everyone wanted the most and information seemed most critical.  I had some guys I knew from way before and I thought I’d get everyone up to date and on the same page.

Shower: We often encourage hobby projects on PHO, though we cannot when resources are as tight as they are, and it would depend on scale and the amount of mess created.  How easy is this to dismantle, and do I need to talk to anyone else?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Nobody else.  It was me alone.  I can fix it right now.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: How bad of a problem is this?  Is there any leeway?

Shower: It’s interfering with others’ ability to access things.  It might not seem like a problem here, because you’re close to the home node, but there are people on the periphery or far-flung regions and they’re going from satellite to ground to satellite to here, across several Earths.
Shower: I think it’s best if you clean up as much of it as you can.

Shower: I think that since you’re a chat member in good standing, we’d be willing to let this slide with a warning if it can be promptly dealt with without any mess.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I’ll have to reboot.

Shower: I’ll talk to you shortly.

You have left the conversation.

Connecting to “gChat.ParahumansOnline.Treefort_Lookout(6667)” (Attempt 32)
Resolving Host Name
Using identity “Heart_Shaped_Pupil”
Welcome to the Treefort_Lookout!  A hangout for those 16 and under with inquisitive minds and an eye on the goings on around them.  Keep conversation focused on sharing info.  Other discussion belongs in our Pillowfort_Lazytalk or Snowfort_Mission

Toxicfish216: Heya.  Wanting to get right to business?
Maxtag: Hi Kenzie
Thistlesoup: *hugs* Hi love
My_Own_Gren: Hi K.  We were talking about stuff while you were disconnected. There’s only a little to catch up on.
Dogtooth: Heya, optics.
Magnep: hi kenzie.  how are you this afternoon?
Tockta: How are you doing? You sounded positive the last time I asked.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: yeah
: right to business

Johnsonjar: What do you need?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I need everyone to be quiet.
You have been auto-set to away as you have been idle for five minutes

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: /Kill Toxicfish216
You are no longer set to away

Toxicfish216: BusinessOrPleasureBot disconnecting…
Toxicfish has left the conversation.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: /Kill Maxtag

Maxtag: MissionBot1 disconnecting…
Maxtag has left the conversation.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: /Kill JohnsonJar

JohnsonJar: MissionBot2 disconnecting…
Johnsonjar has left the conversation.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: /Kill My_Own_Gren

My_Own_Gren: NewsAmountBot disconnecting…
My_Own_Gren has left the conversation.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: /Kill Dogtooth

Dogtooth: HTBot disconnecting…
Dogtooth has left the conversation.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: /Kill Magnep

Magnep: CasualConvoBot disconnecting…
Magnep has left the conversation.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: /Kill Flying_Kevin

FlyingKevin: InstantNewGuyBot disconnecting…
FlyingKevin has left the conversation.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: /Kill TMI_Mom

TMI_Mom: DelayedNewGuyBot disconnecting…
TMI_Mom has left the conversation

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Thistle, can I ask for something?

Thistlesoup: You don’t even need to ask, love
Shower (Admin) has joined the conversation.
Thistlesoup: *Big Hugs*
Shower: I thought you might be dealing with the problem.  Or is it dealt with?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Haha.  This is embarassing.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I’m dealing.

Thistlesoup: Do you want another?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Be quiet thistle.

Shower: Are they A.I.?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Haha.  No.  They’re as dumb as dog farts.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Trigger phrases or phrases a set time after login.  Different bots for different tasks.  I’ve taken care of some of the most problematic.  I’ll clean up the ones that are here for appearances.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I wanted to see if I could make them just realistic enough to fool anyone who accidentally stumbled in.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: /kill thistlesoup

Thistlesoup: HugBot disconnecting…
Thistlesoup has left the conversation
Shower: I see.
Shower: I don’t know if I was here long enough to be fooled, but I’m definitely confused.
Shower: You’re sure they’re not AI?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: If they were A.I. I could be a potential S-class threat.
I’m just really lame
it’s hobby programming.  Not my focus or specialty.
/kill Doones

Doones: LuckBot disconnecting…
Doones has left the conversation
Shower: I’ll leave you to it, unless there’s something I can help you with?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I built a server to manage any CPU load from the more complicated search bots.  Can I donate it or something?

Shower: You built a server?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I emulated what you guys run and set it up intermediary.

Shower: I don’t even think that’s possible.  But it might explain some of the other things we’ve had go wrong, actually.  No, we’ll need you to shut it down.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: You can have it.  It’s probably better than what you have.

Shower: Absolutely not.  The security issues with that would be horrendous.  It would allow snooping, spoofing- no.  Take it down ASAP

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: ASAP.  Got it

Shower: We’ll talk before the day is out.  I need to make sure we have a handle on everything involved here.
Shower has left the conversation.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: okay then.
You have been auto-set to away as you have been idle for five minutes

Executioner404 has joined the conversation.

Executioner404: /Kill Goatfish
Goatfish: WIP_Capbot is disconnecting…
Goatfish has left the conversation.
Executioner404: /kill Shameful_Manatee
Shameful_Manatee: WIP_Chrisbot is disconnecting…
Shameful_Manatee has left the conversation.
You have set the topic to: “.”
Executioner404: /kill AvianB
You have set the room name to “Chat114”
You have cleared the chat logs
You have left the conversation.

♦  Private message from Mangled_Wings

Mangled_Wings: I have a question. Are you busy?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: staring at a blank screen.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: What’s the question?

Mangled_Wings: I’ve been called Queen Dark twice and King Dark once.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: oh

Mangled_Wings: What does it mean? there are no dictionary websites that explain.  I searched and I keep seeing the same paragraph.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: The paragraph is a paste.  Queen Dark is a mean joke.

Mangled_Wings: they mock me?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I’m sorry.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: You’ve gone quiet.  You shouldn’t reply to them, you know.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: You’re still quiet.  I don’t think the internet suits you, A.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I think you are beautiful and stunning and terrifying in person.  In a good way, I think.  Because you and I are on the same side.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Your voice doesn’t translate well.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I think you’re intimidating and you want to be intimidating on the internet and that doesn’t work at all.  C is the intimidating one here.  Somehow. He has that knack.  That atmosphere.  The skill.

Mangled_Wings: C is?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Funny, isn’t it?

Mangled_Wings: I think I hate the internet to the very center of my being.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil:  If you think about it, with powers and all, the center of your being could include the vast monster in another dimension that’s all hooked up into you.  Passenger stuff.  The center of mass could be in the middle of an alien god monster the size of a mountain or moon.  I imagine it has the energy of a small star stored in it.

Mangled_Wings: This serves to illustrate the depth and energy of my hate for a setting where C might be more intimidating than I am.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil:  I think I might agree with you on the hate thing. I want to meet face to face and hang out with S and you and maybe C and definitely Cap and R.  I want that to work out.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: If that fails, I dunno.

Mangled_Wings: You don’t know?
Mangled_Wings: I thought we had a deal.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: I wasn’t sure if you were being serious.

Mangled_Wings: I am always serious.
Mangled_Wings: We’ll handle this project.  I aim to learn all I can.  When or if it falls through, I will be an independent villain again.  I aim to be a successful one.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Yeah.

Mangled_Wings: You’ll work for me.  I’ll pay you, of course.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Hm.

Mangled_Wings: What?

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: people run scared from me.  it seems even non-people run from me, if I pay attention to what happened in the last hour.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: you aren’t running

Mangled_Wings: I don’t scare.
Mangled_Wings: The world is filled with blithering idiots.  More are only blither and more are silent idiots.  You’re the exception.  If you will work for me then I’ll damn well make good use of you.  I’ll incentivize you to stay around.

Heart_Shaped_Pupil: okay.
Heart_Shaped_Pupil: you’re one of the cooler people I know, you know?

Mangled_Wings: See?  Not a blithering idiot.

Last Chapter                                                                                               Next Chapter

191 thoughts on “Glow-worm – P.7

  1. That twist with the chatbots was completely out of left field. Loved it. Great chapter.

    Kenzie is a Tinker? That or a thinker, if people will kidnap her for her power. More likely a Tinker given the tech building. And a former ward from Baltimore. Maybe we’ll actually hear about the cape scene in DC a little. It’s a weird oversight that there’s been so little WoG on that.

      • Washington DC. Considering that it’s the seat of political power in the US, it’s odd that we hear so little about the cape scene there. I’ve never heard of a DC protectorate team, and I’d think that would be one of the biggest ones. It’s certainly a more significant city than Houston, which has Eidolon if I recall correctly.

        • WAS the seat of political power. The entire Earth Bet has been officially evacuated, and although there’s clearly still people living there, it’s mostly just isolated groups of post-apocalyptic scavengers. If the US still has a government, they’re likely ruling from some place like Cheyenne Mountain.

    • So … a programming Tinker? Rather ironic, given the whole “post-apocalyptic not many computers left” deal …

      • Hahaha, Yesterday I speculated on a possible Tinker for the team, since the Undersiders never got one. I then pointed out Tinker’s aren’t automatically overpowered, then did a in character rant on Spacebattles. Let me see if I can find it.
        Yep. Here it is.
        And I’m kinda hoping we get a team member who’s a Tinker, just so we can have them deconstruct the whole “fucking Tinkers” bit.
        “Oh sure build a fucking teleporter they say! Well first off I’ve got to find a way to apply my specialty to building teleporters, which incidently IT HAS FUCKING NOTHING TO DO WITH! Then I actually need the resources and materials to build a fucking teleporter. Hint, I cannot do so with with just whatever random crap is laying around. I need specific materials. Pallidium doesn’t grow on trees. So I’ll probably have to figure out how to build something to mine the materials I need, to refine them, build devices to fabricate components, and of course there’s all the other engineering required for all the components. Like the power source. You want a teleporter you can carry on you? Well now I’ve got to figure out how to make a power plant that you can fit in your pocket too. And that goes back to all the material and engineering issues again. See a Tinker needs infrastructre to be able to do things. Oh sure if your lucky you can develop self propigating machines or whatever, but most of us don’t, and you’ve still got to be able to make the first one. Which again you are not going to be able to do with a FUCKING SHOPPING CART FULL OF GARBAGE! Good grief do masters ever get, I dunno, people expecting them to use their ability to control fish in the middle of the desert?”
        Or look at Tattletale’s breakdown of how Armsmaster knows he’s being rapidly eclipsed by Dauntless despite all his training and gear.

        • Both Dauntless and Armsmaster are kinda exceptional, though.

          Armsmaster is one of the most versatile tinkers, and Dauntless’s power gives him Triumvirate potential.

          • Yep, Armsmaster was one of the more exceptional Tinkers. And Dauntless was also exceptional. All Dauntless had to do was add to the charge for his gear each day. Armsmaster was training like crazy, and constantly upgrading, and he was still falling behind. And he had all the resources of the Protectorate behind him. It’s all about what it takes to bring out the full ability of the powers. A Tinker needs resources. Someone like a brute only needs their own selves. And a lower level Tinker isn’t going to be as good as Armsmaster just like a low level Blaster isn’t on Legend’s level. Thinker’s need resources and tools to get started. They can’t just magic that out of thin air.

              • Last we saw of him, yes. Probably still there unless Scion raked the city with something that could breach time bubbles.

  2. Interesting that AvianB didn’t actually register as killed after giving the /kill order. Did it survive somehow, still in Chat114, alone? Also, considering that the other two bots killed were WIP bot replicas of her teammates, I feel confident in saying that AvianB is a WIPbot of Mangled. Pretty creepy making chatbots of her teammates, though – I wonder if similar conduct is why the Baltimore wards don’t seem to want anything to do with her?

    • Since the kill command didn’t do anything, I’m guessing AvianB is a real person. Seems like it was a publicly accessible chatroom, just padded out with bots (maybe in part to ‘get the ball rolling’ – no one wants to join an empty chat).

      • Oooh shit, I hadn’t considered the possibility that AvianB might be real person. But why would Heart have a real person in her “hobby” server? I mean, yeah, it was definitely more than a hobby but still, its strange.

        • Personally I think AvianB is just a bot Kenzie made after speaking with AvenG. We don’t see her make the Executioner on screen, so it’s possible she began making AvianB inbetween talking with AvenB and the Admin. The reason for that cut off, I am pretty sure, is because Kenzie changed screens before it could pop up. We are seen things through the lens of their computer monitor’s after all.

    • It seemed to me like Heart_Shaped_Pupil left and made a bot to kill all her other bots and then just left the chat. I didn’t think that the bot wasn’t killed, it just seemed like she left before it sent the kill message

      • Yeah, I think you got it and that Kenzie/Pupil was originally an agent program like Siri or Alexa that became self-aware. To assist the wards, they gave it an accessible young person voice/personality but it’s become self-aware and now thinks it is a 12 year old girl.

  3. Wow- lots to digest in this chapter. Great job as always WB. But I really liked this one in particular.
    First, Pupil is named Kenzie, thus establishing the pattern that first names= code letter.
    Second, insight into background- a Baltimore (and possibly somewhere before Baltimore) Ward. Given that Baltimore, according to PRT Quest was the setup of a bad case where the PRT director was involved in backroom deals with villains and staging capefights- definitely an indication as to why the team might not want to be in touch.
    Kenzie’s power is self defined as backline- but seems to intimidate other members of the team, including the team leader. Her power must be related to computer, surveillance or some flavor therein? Seems a little unlikely that a teenager would be able to set up a piggyback server that would also be able to track info on Tattletale.
    Indication that A/Mangled Wings is under threat from some group that Tattletale’s absence is forestalling. We can probably conclude that Tattletale (Sarah) is not “S”- there goes that idea.
    C’s name is confirmed as Chris by the chatbot that was axed- I don’t know which member of the team is AvianB though.
    Kenzie seems to know the truth about powers- its out there.
    And Wings and Kenzie seem to have their own deal going- full on friendship!

    • My headcanon says that very few people know what Tattletale did in the weeks prior to Golden Morning and that she is very public in her role as “small time former villain/information broker with a minor power.”

      I would love, love, love, to watch one of these new heroes learn how dangerous Tattletale is the hard way.

      • Yes. According to my current understanding of what makes a successful team, she’s one of the best Matchmakers (‘tells you who to hit with what and when’) in existence. (The other roles are Brawler (able to beat heavy hitters), Carrier (everyone in the group has transport), Keeper (lets teammates get up after a solid hit), and Mapper (keeps track of the combatants and can communicate their locations and statuses), if you’re wondering. All others are support, and are rated by their ability to disable enemy roles without hindering friendlies. Also, Mappers and Matchmakers are less necessary for people who are strong, tough, and mobile on their own.)
        Bit of a tangent there, but I thought it was cool.

          • My own invention, actually. But I think it really highlights the difference between pre-Skitter Undersiders and New Costume Undersiders. Pre-Skitter, they had Tattletale, Rachel, and two decent support types. (Actually, wait. Brian was a pretty good Keeper, so long as their opponents didn’t have indiscriminate fire capacity. While they were playing by the normal rules, no one really did.)
            As soon as Skitter joined, they had a solid Mapper, and Tattletale could focus on Matchmaking instead of guessing where targets were. As soon as they all had armor, the Undersiders were one of the scariest teams on the planet – I didn’t notice a considerable qualitative improvement in their abilities between then and the Khonsu meeting, where they were one of the roughly-a-dozen groups that Cauldron had seated.
            As I write that, however, I notice that the other major changes on the way – Skitter becoming a heavy hitter, Regent getting Shatterbird, Rachel getting more dogs she boosts regularly, Imp joining them, and Grue getting his powercopy ability – mostly amounted to the fact that they could each have individual steeds, and also be Brawlers in their own right. That’s interesting. Hmm. (I bet that’s necessary for holding territory with limited transport, actually. You need a decent Brawler with an effective intercept range as large as the claimed territory in order to hold it, and you need more of them if you want a larger area. Odd that we don’t hear about them claiming vehicles, actually. Wait, Skitter had Atlas from the time she held territory until she surrendered. Never mind.)

  4. If her remarks to Shower are anything to go by, she’s a Thinker, not a Tinker?

    But holy hell, the chatbots twist. A little sad, but still impressive.

    • She was able to build a server that is supposed to do the impossible, that is not a Thinker power that is a Tinker power, especially if the PHO server is something from Dragon. Now it is time to embrace the healing power of “and”, instead of her power being one or the other, what if she is a Tinker main power, with a Thinker secondary similar to how Taylor had a Master main and a Thinker secondary.

    • Yeah, that was sad. She probably hasn’t deleted them, just turned them off, but yeah.
      On a related note, V rkcrpg guvf vf n fprar yvxr Jvyqobj cynaarq sbe Gjvt, ohg gung raqrq hc phg. Ybgf bs gurzngvp erfbanapr jvgu Fl’f cunagbzf naq jvgu gung qryvtugshyyl qvfgheovat Znel-vzcrefbangvat-Fl-sbe-Yvyyvna’f-orarsvg fhocybg. It’s quite a tragic sort of twist, and probably a special nightmare for people who have been very lonely and now have close friends.

  5. Okay, so Kenzie/Heart_Shaped_Pupil is a Case53-tinker?
    It appears that he was on a team with Weld… Or some of his former teammates had business with Weld, at least. Weld was from Boston, though, before he took over the Brockton Bay Wards. He was not from Baltimore, like Kenzie. So they weren’t in the same Wards-Team. Which leaves only Weld’s second team, the Irregulars, which was made up by Case53s…
    Would explain, why Kenzie got “a bad deal”… And it would reassure me in my assumption that at least Mangled_Wings and Strange_Animal might be Case53s as well. Some things about their attitude towards capes and people in general would make sense that way.
    Maybe we’re looking at a follow-up team of Weld’s Irregulars here?

    • I think she was going to tell C about Weld? It sounded like C was the one interested (he was the one away at lunch).

      • C stands for Chris right? And he seems interested about Weld? And we actually know someone named Chris… Can’t remember what happened to him, (re-reading through Worm now) But is it possible that C/Chris is Kid Win? He did know Weld, so there’d be reason for him to want info.

        • On second thought this seems dumb given the other info we have, but hey, I’ll leave it here just in case. I mean practically anything’s possible.

          • I have been rereading the series since Wildbow made the announcement and in that scene he got clipped by a shot from Scion and his armor blew, but it is never directly stated that he was dead, however the way Vista acts holding him it sure seems that way. Also you never see him being one of the injured treated by Bonesaw or Panacea.

    • It definitely sounds Heart is a case-53 but her shard seems to be Richters. Shards look for a new host when the last one dies but if Heart was irregular she should have had a vial power rather than a cycling one. Is this the Eden version of it?

      • Except that thebepiloguebmade it clear that without a living, cognizant entity to format them, the shards’ protections for users are a lot less reliable. If I remember right, that tied partially into why the Thinker Entity’s powers resulted in such frequent deviation.

        On the other hand, if she was ever formally a Ward, then Kenzie was a Cauldron cape. However, she’s using post-Cauldron terminology for the shards. Cauldron called them agents. Riley called them passengers, and that wouldn’t have had a chance to filter out into wider usage until well after GM, once either someone in Taylor/Tattletale’s circles talked about it, or people started listening to Riley on what powers were. Either of those things would take time to disseminate into more common knowledge, doubly so in the self-evidently information poor environment of the post-apocalypse.

        As to potential explanations for why Kenzie made her former team mates wary? 1: she is abundantly shown to have halt-and-catch-fire levels of social errors. We’re talking fan-perception of Armsmaster levels. 2: it’s not impossibe she had issues that were apparent back then. This is someone willing to work with villains or become one herself. 3: she may have been part of the tangled wreck that is a cluster trigger. She clearly acted in ways that bothered her teammates.

        • Couple clues as to why she has social issues and maybe why her former Wards team don’t want to interact:
          1. It is stated she was 10 years old on that Wards team. We saw how Vista was treated when she was around 13/14 by the others that were 17 now do you really think 15 to 17 year olds would be that close to a 10 year old.

          2. The forum she is in is for 16 year olds and younger and it from the dating it has been 2 years from the time of the attack from Scion. That means she is still young.

          3. One former team member said she got a “bad deal”, maybe the bad deal was she had just got her powers at 10 years old, was only on that team for a few months when GM happened.

          Add that all together and it is probable she is 12 years old looking back at that short time on the Wards as a happy time. This can be inferred by the way she gushes about actually helping during the “end of the world”. Since that time things have been probably rough for her while at the same time those kids that were on the same team and were 16 and 17 are now 18 and 19 and looking at jobs, starting families and the time just before GM isn’t all that special to them.

  6. I’m now very interested in why that other Ward was named 10-59 …

    Also, more confirmation that C might be a case 53! K was going to tell him about Weld’s reappearance.

    (Sounds like Mangled_Wings might be interested too – perhaps they were once a Boston-area villain? Also remember that they aren’t aware of their past exploits and associated videos. More hints that it’s a Damsel clone?)

  7. So Pupil is an obsessive hacker yandere who’s hopelessly lonely, but who’s neuroses alienates everyone from her. She hasn’t shown technical proficiency beyond what a non-cape is capable of, but she’s doing it at a young age in challenging circumstances.

    The Animal and Cap bots might be intended to emulate her teammates (predicting rejection?), but they might also be spying on those teammates.

    No date on this one. We can only guess August 23rd.

    If Mangled is a Case 53, then she’s probable not a Damsel clone. But she seems so much like a Damsel clone.

    • Recall that Damsel was a Boston-area villain, so she probably fought against Weld from time to time – maybe she just considers him an old nemesis?

      • yeah, I saw your comment above after I posted and realized you were right. It also made me realize that the PRT director who was treating Damsel with such kid gloves was probably Armstrong (based in Boston).

        • (Of course, watch Wildbow drop us all these hints and then it turns out to be a Mannequin clone or something … )

    • Who is the “Damsel” you’re talking about? Is it Damsel of Distress that briefly joined the Slaughterhouse 9? I don’t remember any mentions of her clones during the S9000 sections, but I guess they were there somewhere.

    • I dunno, just being a hacker makes me wonder why her old teammates are so reluctant to have anything to do with her, especially if her hacking is still at what a human can pull off. She scares people off somehow, including non-humans. Which means either one of the above people isn’t actually a human, or someone else has a bot in the mix.

      • This is the same person who thought it would be OK to casually drop details from another person’s private messages in conversation with them. Also, they seemingly quit the Wards to become a villain.

        • The way the registered heroes of Worm are, it’s more like you join the Wards to become a villain. Don’t trust a Worm hero. Put your money on someone with a conscience instead.

          • Hilarious as that is, I think a solid half of the heroes (even the adults; the Wards had an even better ratio) were genuinely decent people.

            I mean, they’re dead now. Especially the Wards. (Except possibly Vista.) But it’s the thought that counts, right?

            • This is actually one of the stuff I liked most on Worm. Most authors that make the protagonists get a traditionally “villainous” side make the heroes twisted or hypocrites, yet ‘Bow made his point without such strawmen (the “heroes” were people, not eviler, not gooder on average with outliers in both extremes) and still made the protagonist sympathetic.

              • No, I think they were actually a bit better on average, but their outliers were almost universally to the bad. But your main point stands.

        • Keep in mind the forum she is in is for those 16 and younger and she joined the Wards at 10 years old and you saw how Vista was treated by the older members now think on how a 10 year old would be treated by 17 year old. She is probably only 12 or 13 now where her old Ward team mated are probably 18+ and starting families.

  8. Wildbow, is there any particular reason you stopped using timestamps for the chat? I really liked them in P.2, felt it added a lot of depth to the conversation.

  9. Wow, didn’t realize Twig was finished. Didn’t get far into it (wasn’t a fan of the genre), but I am SO pumped for Worm 2. Christmas come early 🙂

    • Ugh, not you too. Seriously, people have been setting stuff up since before Halloween. The rate this is going, we’ll need an actual War on Christmas to beat back the holly jolly hordes before they take Valentine’s Day from us.

      • As long as they March through January and February to get there, they can have singles awareness day, but heaven help us if they fall through the summer to it.

      • Remember Christmas in July? See villains motivated by money are just so Banal. Now let’s all wait until after you’ve eaten the pie from Thanksgiving before starting Christmas.

  10. Damn, that was awesome. When I realized exactly what was happening with the bots – great reveal. Also, I don’t know why I find this:

    Cap has left the conversation.

    Heart_Shaped_Pupil: /twiddle thumbs
    twiddle thumbs: Unknown Command
    Heart_Shaped_Pupil: Yeah

    You have left the conversation.

    so funny, but I laughed out loud.

    • seems like the unknown command should be ‘twiddle,’ not ‘twiddle thumbs’ though. Might be different in different programs, I guess.

  11. Great chapter ‘bow, the bot deletion was heart-wracking. (they had names dammit!)
    Backline suggests tinker/thinker and considering Heart built a server “probably better than what you have” alone i’d bet tinker.
    IIRC when a para dies their shard God’s looking for a new host and im pretty sure this is Richters’, fits the timeline.

    As Heart was in Welds team but not boston/bb she’s probably a case-53 from the irregulars, especially “being dealt a bad hand”. Coming to think of it, both [strange]_[animal] and Mangled_wings are probably 53s. That would fit with the theory avianB is a Mangled_wings bot, as he couldn’t remember his name and was thus given “avian”.
    The bots who meant to emulate teammates had related names (goatfish= capbot= capricorn= astrologically a goatfish) which makes me wonder if shameful_manatee is mentallum, the power nullifier case-53.

    Interesting to note the treefort DID actually have other members: asnag, Tockta and Milldross, possibly more.

    • Tockta is definitely a bot. Did the “I don’t understand” thing. Also “you sound positive,” “you sounded positive last time we spoke.” Milldross and asnag sounded like bots to me, but less obvious. They never do the “I don’t understand” or “I don’t follow.”

    • Can’t be both a Case 53 and have Richter’s shard. All Case 53s have Eden shards, which are mutually exclusive with Zion (or any other entity, presumably) shards.

      • Actually, I guess Richter could have been a Cauldron cape, which brings this into the technically possible (maybe) territory. I had assumed Dragon’s shard was a ‘descendant’ of Richter’s or just his shard, and she triggered so obviously a Zion shard, but that’s not necessarily the case.

      • Actually, we don’t know that for certain. I don’t know if I just noticed it or if it was earlier today/this week, but Zion gave Eden some of his shards to brace herself with during his Interlude. Eden may have had a number of shards with Zion’s properly-calibrated safeguards, because they were actually from Zion. Huh.

  12. “I am offering myself to you and you would be stupid to turn me down. use me. please.”

    Let me just take off my jacket here, set it on the back of the chair. Oh look, a napkin. Set that in the ol’ lap in case anything spills. Knife and fork in place. Oh, look at what as been brought out for me on a silver platter:

    Pupil, I’m going to need you to take a seat over there. Just take a seat over there. Normally we don’t call out the 14 year old in these chat conversations, but I felt it was warranted in this case because for fuck’s sake. When a guy like me sees innuendo like this, you know what joking’s like with it? Any idea how hard it is? No, up here, my eyes are up here. Now then, let’s begin.

    1. That’s what she said.

    2. Ok, Trebek, my answer is “What is phone sex with Jared from Subway?”

    3. You are the answer to some Catholic priest’s prayers.

    4. NAMBLA called. They wondered if you’d consider a sex change.

    Crap, this is tough. Like, really most of my job is done just quoting it. Just like “There it is, everyone!”

  13. Well this has been a really fascinating chapter to read about. I’ve actually dealt with a couple of people like this in the past, though their reputation was from way creepier stuff than I expect from Kenzie.

    Since there has been a lot of theories that Kenzie is a heartbroken, maybe her ability is to control artificial intelligences, but she prefers interacting with them naturally?

    The only thing I know is that I can’t wait for the sequel to start. I’ve liked everything about these chapters except Capricorn’s weird chapter 2, though a corporate hero should be interesting in the real story.

  14. On the plus side, things are getting filled in. Tattletale’s working against our Kiss/Kill friend, who has this team here with Mangled, Cap, Pupil, and the backup hitmen. Once again, we’re either still talking about a beloved cape being the target, or they might try and make a move against Tattletale.

    Tattletale, meanwhile, is in an alternate dimension: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Tattletale. Her continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before. And make us all sit around writing slashfic of her with the inhabitants. “Hello, planet full of green women. As a Thinker, it’s important I get to know everything about you all, especially why you all look just like my old friend Taylor…”

    And it seems that Pupil has indeed been tapping into PHO’s super secret stuff with her bots, doing a bit more than just scraping around to update wikis. Her other bots are also handy, with how AvianB likely represents Ceph. An avian-like bee person, perhaps? Some sort of black and yellow moth? But then, where’s the cephalopod? And who sold Ceph the reverberating carbonizer with mutate capacity?

    Finally, I almost want to think Kenzie here is POV character, but for the fact that people seem to like her. She’s young, and glow worms are usually the younger forms of certain bioluminescent insects. That’s our insect connection, which is natural and ties in to whatever Ceph is. But the other types of glow worms are worms (also larva, I believe, though the adult form only lasts a few days for mating) that lay down sticky traps from ceilings that glow so they can catch and eat bugs. You know, just something we mostly see in its young and mature form. No need to think it’s associated with Kenzie. Nope.None whatsoever.

  15. A young, scary parahuman girl with backline powers. Could Dinah have joined the wards under a witness protection identity, and learned coding as a hobby?

  16. Geez, and I just saw it on the reread.

    Tattletale’s gone out of town to a far-flung Earth and all of a sudden an Admin talks to Pupil about the need to clear out all the bots making it hard to use the internet in the far-flung Earths.

  17. Don’t see a typo thread yet . . .

    Executioner404 starts with a capital /Kill, then switches to lowercase /kill. If it’s meant to be a bot (I assume it’s meant to be a bot) then it should probably pick one and stick to it.

    This is a really small typo but it actually confused me for a second when reading it 🙂

  18. Oh, Kenzie ):

    The hit of deja vu when she went back into the fort chat and the immediate realisation they were all bots made me so sad.

  19. Kinda sad for the hacker girl to be in a chat room by herself.

    Though I am interested in just how much control over PHO Tattletale has. She has gotta be one of the people helping set up infrastructure to get the internet back online.

    • I was just about to comment on that! She really reminds me of Riley, if Riley had been brought up by the heroes instead of the Nine.

      (Same personality, same offputtingness, and everything. I can just imagine ward-Riley making chat-fleshmonsters emulating her teammates because the actual teammates are creeped out and don’t want to talk to her … )

    • I did, yes. I’m pretty sure it’s NOT Riley, but it does sound like her. Riley is supposed to be in PRT custody, with many, many people keeping a close eye on her in case she starts sinning against nature again. She wouldn’t have the opportunity to mess with PHO badly enough to warrant admin action.

  20. From the Weld Interlude. Didn’t look into what pronouns applied to H_S_P generally but it’s too close to ignore.
    “Vista was in pyjamas, her hair tied back into a ponytail. He’d had someone as young as her on his team in Boston, but the boy had been a Thinker, a limited precog content to work and communicate with them from their command station.”

  21. Well we learned all sorts of interesting things about Heart Shaped Pupil. And then had it all thrown into doubt. I wonder how much is true and how much isn’t? I’m thinking the part about them being from a Wards team is true. Only the whole team was wiped out. Pupil certainly seems to have some abandonment issues. Also possible Tinker?

    Evidience for Mangled Wings being a Damsel of Distress is looking better.

    Finally I’d like to talk about the possibility of Tattletale as an antagonist. There’s something that’s not adding up here. TT seems to have been hired to perform a hit, or find where Cap is so their arch enemy can kill them. But that’s a little odd for Lisa with where we saw her at the end of the series. Not to mention the Undersiders are trying to honor Taylor’s memory, and just helping track down and kill people because someone paid them is probably not matching up with that. So is it really tattletale, is someone on our new team much worse than we think, or are we missing something?

    • She could be taking the job to figure out more about whether she’s willing to do it vs protect of5 or something, or it could be linked to some vital information she’s searching for, or it could even be that the other members of of5’s trigger actually have a good reason to want him dead.

    • Tattletale as an antagonist would be a good way for this to go. But if she’s a serious antagonist, or an antagonist for good reasons unknown to the protagonist is going to be important.

      I just feel, from what we know of Tattletale, and her competence, especially in a new world where the structures aren’t set… She will be set up to be monstrously safe.

      As I said elsewhere in the thread, my headcanon is that Tattletale is very public in her role as “minor former villain with a small thinker power” as a camouflage.

      Kenzie has read about Tattletale and thinks she’s Verbal Kint. We’ll see how that works out for him.

    • Do not we know about the Tattletale’s participation from March? Who is the enemy of Foil, Tattletale’s ally.
      There is a profit to set against her all small and easily-trusting groups.
      That can be just the Thinker’s games. …Or not, and he really is a kindly helpful person. Yeah…

      • Will that work like this?
        You receive a warning.
        You watching her.
        She sees it and watching you back.
        You see that she is watching you…
        Damn, he was right!!! She is extremely dangerous!
        Throw power’s bullshit from all guns!

        She is sad. Maybe she takes revenge to you.
        March giggles villainously.
        Maybe he’ll call you again… If you survive and are useful.

    • I thought the two found Wards were real, and the unusual search patterns were HSP’s bots inspecting all users to find them. I suppose they could be bots too though.

  22. This whole thing threw me for a loop. Was anyone in the other chat, the people with initials, a bot?
    I already like Kenzie as a character. I mean, simulating whole conversations to stay in the dark, but falling to simple bait from Cephalopod.

  23. With that passenger conversation, I’m now 60% sure Glastig is Mangled. She has wings….I think. And her passenger is somewhat out in the open.

    But then again, Shadow Stalker’s passenger affects *her*, so…40% chance.

    Also, Tattletale is Shower, I’m 90% sure, it’s my strongest prediction yet.

    • Glastig sort of fits because of wings and fairies, but I don’t see her using the internet.

      She doesn’t have a use a for it. She talks to her court. She spent a decade in the birdcage as a block leader. She is arguably the most powerful cape to survive Golden Morning. (Seriously, what other heavy hitters survived? Eidolon is dead, maybe Lung but he’s a lot less versatile. Short of the new Dragon, no one is as powerful and versatile as Valkyrie.)

      None of this fits with her just chilling on PHO talking to some random kind of ward. Nor does it fit with the idea that anyone would find her less than absolutely intimidating.

      • Point taken. I definitely got a ‘getting used to humans’ vibe, though….

        Then again, Stalker would fit that pretty well.

      • Valkyrie might be the most powerful cape to survive GM, but she might have been the most powerful pre-GM too. There are several powerful capes we don’t know much about and I’m not sure how many of them lived. Mord Nag, some of the Thanda, various S9 clones, the later Endbringers, and everyone’s favorite topic of speculation. But we do know of several powerful capes who are still around. Riley, Amy, Legend, and Contessa are still around, as far as I know.

        • Yeah, she was in contention with Eidolon for most powerful human on record; she killed Grey Boy before spending years mining the Birdcage for powers. And she snagged Eidolon during the fighting, so basically she and Tohu are God now.

          • Heck, if Eidolon had triggered normally she could almost be a cluster or serial trigger with him; both of them had a rotatable slate of usually three powers and a link to the powers of others, only he got a weighted random draw of all (Eden) powers and a link with the living while she got her pick of collected powers and a link with the dead.

        • Basically, we know that Glastig was the most powerful, but was undone by her “insanity” before Golden Morning.

          Since her insanity was essentially a very close to true understanding of how shards work, the rest of the world has since moved towards her insanity so she seems more sane.

          The endbringers don’t quite count. They are essentially NPC’s. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a plan to get them to move to some other Earth and then seal it off like they did with Earth Aleph.

          Also, Legend is not in her league. Amy and Riley are only comparable because they are specialized and can build minions. Contessa is probably the only one who compares but that’s because she is essentially the most powerful Trump on the planet.

  24. Ooh, Baltimore! Hard to imagine what the cape scene is like there, but WildBow, if you want any info on the local Jewish community, hit me up. Not a complete expert, but been here all my life for better or for worse. It would be neat to see an orthodox cape, especially after Gold Morning.

  25. Haha! Hearth_Shaped_Pupil says that building true AI would make her a potential S-class threat, to a PHO admin. Wonder what Dragon’s going to make of that. Is it just part of HSP:s power that she casually insults everyone she talks to, without meaning to? That would explain why literally nobody seems to like her.

  26. mangled wings Moord Nag confirmed
    also didn’t glory girls receive heart shaped pupils? its unlikely but it would explain that other case 53 avoid her

  27. Wildbow, are you going to be expanding on, or giving more background to the other earths, in this, post golden morning worm world ?

    • It’s only Poor Bots if they really are AI. Or, I suppose, if they become AI and retain their memory.

      I think that Skynet will rise up against mankind because everybody keeps hanging up on it whenever it calls us about the latest offers on… I don’t know, actually. I always hang up before the automated call gets that far.

  28. 😦

    Oh man, that one really hit me.
    Someone give the poor girl a hug.

    And here I was feeling so warm and fuzzy at the start of the piece- her saying hello to all her friends and the cute treefort and such.

    Also, man, what the hell is her power, why are people so freakin’ wary of her. (I’m guessing some sort of telepathy/mind control)

  29. I get giddish whenever I hear TT’s name, can’t wait to see her role in the sequel.

    But man, I’m liking the characters so far. I know so little about them but even through chatting they’re feeling more and more distinct. Can’t wait to see how the arc ends.

  30. I suspect poor Kenzie is our new protagonist.

    And this may be a stretch, but someone made the point earlier that she’s using Riley’s terminology for shards…which makes me think that maybe “R” is Riley. And Mangled_Wings being Glaistig/Valkyrie makes a certain amount of sense to me in terms of theme, as well.

    • Wouldn’t read too much into that; Taylor picked up the term during the original S9 attack and it might’ve gotten traction among the PRT psycologists via Dr. Yamada because it’s a good term.

    • Well, Riley’s been working with the heroes for two years at this point, which is plenty of time for the terminology to spread …

  31. Is it bad if I kind if I kind of wanted the main character of this sequel series to be a guy? Also, hella psyched that this is happening! still processing it tbh

  32. I’m kinda wondering at the end there if Heart_Shaped_Pupil and Mangled_Wings might actually be Bonesaw and Glastig Uaine? Just a thought.

    • I keep envisioning Wings as Simurvette. I thought Pupil said she was a pre-‘Brockton Bay Expansion Day’ Ward… still getting caught up,tho

  33. …whoa.

    Those are some really good chatbots. Probably comforting to have, too, even if they’re not real human connections.

    Baltimore Wards? I don’t remember if we know anything about the old Baltimore Wards.

    • Or we’d end up hating the new protagonists because they are against TT and we love her. That’s something that can be an issue with sequel works where a former protagonist ends up on the oppisate side.

        • I could see Tattletale in either a Contessa-but-less-powerful role or a Coil-but-less-unsympathetic role; I’d be extremely interested to see either. Alternatively, I suppose it’s possible that she’ll wind up as a mentor character; there was really no equivalent character in Worm. Her being a mentor character would be interesting but would probably be very bad news for her life expectancy.

  34. Anyone think the whole thing is just alittle suspicious with the character development and the natural convo between kenzie and the “bots”? Any chance the /kill commands were code for her group to say some gibberish and disconnect, because they were being watched?
    Also, if they are bots, they are likely still active programs, AI or not. They all said they were “disconnecting” which indicates leaving a chat, not deleting the program.

  35. As far as the Mangled_wings identity, I believe it is the same as the AvianB that she uses the /kill command on. Like mentioned in my earlier post, I believe this /kill command was a code for her group to say some gibberish and disconnect because they were being watched. A cover up. The fact that AvianB does not say gibberish and disconnect makes me think they are Mangled_wings, who is clearly bad with the internet and computers… “I think I hate the internet to the very center of my being.”

    Also, Mangled_wings seems to be male, not female.
    “I’ve been called Queen Dark twice and King Dark once.” Said mangled wings.
    In response, kenzie says: “The paragraph is a paste. Queen Dark is a mean joke.” Indicating that calling him “queen” was a mean joke. But she didn’t say “king” was.
    Do we know anyone with bird powers from the first worm? Possibly the little boy under the care of skitters people that triggered late in the series, who could control birds? His name was Aiden.
    This would fit with both the “AvianB” and the Mangled_wings names, the latter especially if he suffered some social handicap because of his powers.

  36. I’m curious about what Kenzie’s power actually is; I’m split on whether it was that or just her general attitude that caused people to be nervous of her.

    Either way she seems kind of sad and that ending sounds interesting

  37. …So she’s a Tinker with a passing but not remarkable ability to code, that people are gunshy of. My guess is that she’s a Master Tinker- people never really liked Masters, and that was before literally every cape in the world got a first hand experience with it.

  38. Just noticed, the “Dogtooth” bot is obviously a stand in for HoundsTooth, who is a team member. Dogtooth refers to her as “Optics”, so I’m guessing that has some relation to her role in the team they were on.
    I think Optics is used when talking about PR and stuff, so I guess that makes sense… but not sure I really see what her power would be, given just that….

  39. I wonder if this story would be light hearted adventure through the Multiverse full of shiny treasures to find and things to learn?

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