Interlude 1: Danny Hebert

Source material: Worm, Interlude 1

Originally blogged: February 16, 2017


Alrighty then! *wipes off some coffin dust* Let’s see whether we’ve got a new arc or not…

Interlude? Interesting. That manages to be neither of the things I was expecting. Will we be following a different character for a moment? And are we going back to Gestation 1.7 or moving on to 2.1 when the interlude is over?

Let’s find out!

…well, okay, one of those things I won’t find out until next chapter, but you know what I mean.

(#damn now i don’t know whether to tag this as arc 1)


“We don’t know how long he had been there. Suspended in the air above the Atlantic Ocean.

I’ve heard of transatlantic flights but superatlantic suspensions is a new one.

On May twentieth, 1982, an ocean liner was crossing from Plymouth to Boston when a passenger spotted him. He was naked, his arms to his sides, his long hair blowing in the wind as he stood in the sky, nearly a hundred feet above the gently cresting waves.

Look, able to walk on water or not, this is a bad position for the Second Coming.

Religious jokes aside, are we hearing about the discovery of the first known super or something? Oh, or perhaps this is text from Triumvirate and details the first appearance of one of its members?

…a debut in the buff for such a presumably powerful character sounds… fun

His skin and hair can only be described as a burnished gold. With neither body hair nor clothes to cover him, it is said, he seemed almost artificial.

No body hair? Confirmed super. You know, if the “standing in the air” part didn’t tip you off.


“After a discussion including passenger and crew, the liner detoured to get closer. It was a sunny day, and passengers crowded to the railings to get a better look.

“Come look at this naked dude!”

As if sharing their curiosity, the figure drew closer as well.

Oh, good, he’s moving. I wonder which kind of movement, though – is it floaty flight where he just stands there as he moves? Or maybe he’s gotta walk in the air; that would be fun.

His expression was unchanging, but witnesses at the scene reported that he appeared deeply sad.

Hm, interesting.

“‘I thought he was going to crack his facade and cry any moment’, said Grace Lands, ‘But when I reached out and touched his fingertips, I was the one who burst into tears.’

This is absolutely reading like something from a biography or historical article. I think Triumvirate may have been a good call.


“‘That boat trip was a final journey for me. I had cancer, and I wasn’t brave enough to face it. Can’t believe I’m admitting this in front of a camera, but I was going back to Boston, where I was born, to end things myself.

Camera? Hm, either this is a transcript of a video (TV?) interview featured in the book, or this throws a bit of a wrench into the “this is from Triumvirate” idea. The former makes sense, though.

Also, yowch. I guess the fact that she’s alive to be in the interview suggests something good came out of this experience for her.

After I met him, I changed my mind. Didn’t matter anyways. I went to a doctor, and he said there was no sign I ever had the disease.’

Yeah, I was about to say, he might have healing touch.


Come to think of it, healing touch is a rather jesusy power. Was my tongue-in-cheek joke about his pose and flight above water a bit closer to the point than I thought? Like, I’m not saying this guy is literally Jesus – that doesn’t seem like Willyborb’s style – but perhaps there’s some inspiration.

Definitely too early to say, though.

“‘My brother, Andrew Hawke, was the last passenger to make any sort of contact with him, I remember. He climbed up onto the railing, and, almost falling off, he clasped the hand of the golden man.

If touching his fingertips briefly cures cancer, imagine what a full hand clasp can do. Andrew Hawke, healthiest man in the galaxy…

…it probably doesn’t work that way.

The rest of us had to grab onto him to keep him from falling. Whatever happened left him with a quiet awe. When the man with the golden skin flew away, my brother stayed silent.

Here’s a thing about magic: It usually has a human consciousness.

It doesn’t always literally have a mind of its own, but most magic understands human ideas of, for example, what makes up one object out of a bunch of nearby atoms. Magic knows how the object should ideally be, after human ideals. Magic sometimes even respects human societal conventions.

What I sometimes think is “What if it didn’t?”

What if gold dude’s healing magic just healed the human dysfunction of having speech?


The rest of the way to Boston, my brother didn’t say a word. When we docked, and the spell finally broke, my brother babbled his excitement to reporters like a child.’

Spell… figurative or literal? Hard to tell, but it is possible that gold dude decided to put a “shut up” spell on the guy.


“The golden man would reappear several more times in the coming months and years. At some point, he donned clothing.

I can only imagine he’s an alien, god, or similar non-human figure, and it took him a few decades to figure out what clothing was for and why so many people kept staring at his crotch.

At first, a sheet worn over one shoulder and pinned at either side of the waist, then more conventional clothes.

A toga? More god imagery, kind of. Very Greek.

In 1999, he donned the white bodysuit he still wears today.

“What, the toga wasn’t good enough for you? Fiiine. I swear, humans are such prudes.”

For more than a decade, we have wondered, where did our golden man get these things? Who was he in contact with?

Let me get this straight.

A golden, flying man shows up out of nowhere, initially naked, providing healing touch to the sick at sea… and your question is “dude where did you get those clothes?”

I guess that’s what happens in a world with a bunch of supers.


“Periodically at first, then with an increasing frequency, the golden man started to intervene in times of crisis. For events as small as a car accident, as great as natural disasters, he has arrived and used his abilities to save us.

Golden Man take the wheel!

More powers than just flight, public nudity and healing, then, I’d presume.

(Of course public nudity is a superpower, why wouldn’t it be.)

A flash of light to freeze water reinforcing a levee stressed by a hurricane.

Um. How does this work, exactly? Wouldn’t freezing the water cause more pressure on the levee? Sure, the water might not flow out until it melts, but that seems to be just postponing the breach at best.

I wouldn’t blindly trust a guy who flies by way of magic or similar powers to have a good grasp of physics, anyway…

A terrorist act averted. A serial murderer caught. A volcano quelled. Miracles, it was said.

I’m clearly not just imagining the god imagery at this point.

Hell, aren’t Greek gods actually supposed to have kind of golden skin? *searches* …no, can’t find anything directly supporting that claim.

(I did find that googling “greek mythology gods skin” resulted in a bunch of image results for Minecraft player skins, though.)


“His pace increased, perhaps because he was still learning what he could do, perhaps because he was getting a greater sense of where he was needed.

Well, if he’s really an initially clueless alien/deity, he might not parse certain situations as dangerous because they’re not dangerous to him. Gotta learn that humans are squishy-squishy.

By the middle of the 1990s, he was traveling from crisis to crisis, flying faster than the speed of sound. In fifteen years, he has not rested.

Wow.

Wow.


“He has been known to speak just once in thirty years. After extinguishing widespread fire in Alexandrovsk, he paused to survey the scene and be sure no blazes remained. A reporter spoke to him, and asked, ‘Kto vy?’ – what are you?

“A gde vy poluchili vashu odezhdu?”

“Shocking the world, caught on camera in a scene replayed innumerable times, he answered in a voice that sounded as though it might never have uttered a sound before. Barely audible, he told her, ‘Scion’.

…hm.

I feel like I’ve heard that word before, but was it in the story? Also, if that is a species name and not a personal name (as if the reporter had asked “who are you”), then that implies he’s not one of a kind.

“It became the name we used for him. Ironic, because we took a word that meant descendant,

Hmmmmmm

Descendant, huh… from what? Maybe this is mostly a human after all, one with a line that can be traced back to an alien or a deity or something like that?

and used it to name the first of many superpowered individuals – parahumans – to appear across Earth.

Title drop!

Huh, it appears I was right at the start of the chapter. The debut of the first known super.

So before 1982, there were no known supers in the world. Which is interesting, because superhero comics have existed for at least fifty or so years longer than that, and would likely have inspired at least one real super to go public with their abilities in that time.

And now, in what I presume to be 2011, there are a lot of them. Enough to warrant large international organizations with local headquarters in several cities.

So what happened?


“Just five years after Scion’s first appearance, the superheroes emerged from the cover of rumor and secrecy to show themselves to the public.

Ah, yeah, this is believable – that there would be a bunch of heroes around in the shadows, that hadn’t gone public and were reassured by the acceptance of Scion that it would be alright to do so – but it doesn’t fully explain why it first happened in the 80′s.

We still don’t know what the main sources of powers are in this ‘verse, and I feel like that might remain a mystery for a while.

Though the villains followed soon after, it was the heroes who shattered any illusions of the parahumans being divine figures.

Scion must’ve caused a huge uproar in the religious communities at the time.

The other heroes… maybe a bit less so.

In 1989, attempting to quell a riot over a basketball game in Michigan, the superhero known to the public as Vikare stepped in,

Tangent time: I like how “Vikare” “stepped in”, because in Norwegian, the word “vikar” means someone who steps in when someone can’t do their job, like for example a substitute teacher. Though of course, I doubt Whirlboop knew that.

Also who am I kidding, it’s always tangent time.

only to be clubbed over the head. He died not long after of a brain embolism. Later, he would be revealed to be Andrew Hawke.

Looks like being the healthiest man in the galaxy didn’t help against blunt force trauma. R.I.P.


“The golden age of the parahumans was thus short lived.

1982-1985 was right at the end of the Bronze Age.

…of comics. That distinction is probably important.

They were not the deific figures they had appeared to be. Parahumans were, after all, people with powers, and people are flawed at their core. Government agencies took a firmer hand, and state-”

Ahh, government meddling in super affairs. Newsflash: Governments also consist of flawed people.

Also, the quote that’s been running through the entire chapter so far seems to get cut off here. Are we cutting to Taylor reading Triumvirate, or maybe another book about supers? Her World Issues or History textbook, maybe?


The television flicked off, and the screen went black, cutting the documentary off mid sentence.

…ooor it can just not be a book at all. I guess the “camera” comment was meant more directly after all.

Danny Hebert sighed and sat down on the bed, only to stand just a moment later and resume pacing.

Hiya, new character! I initially read your surname as “Herbert”, just thought you should know that.

How do I pronounce Hebert? Hee-burt? Hebb-ert? Heb-aire? Herbert with a non-rhotic accent? I have no clue, but I’m going with the second one for now.

It was three fifteen in the morning, and his daughter Taylor was not in her bedroom.

I kind of had a hunch about this, just now! I should’ve mentioned it, but I got too caught up in pronunciation and forgot.

In any case… Taylor Hebert, you’re busted.


Woah, that wasn’t the end of the chapter!

It’s finally time to meet Daddy Hebert. I’ve been looking forward to finding out more about Taylor’s parents for a while.

Here’s hoping he’s a cool guy. Seems responsible, at least, so far.

Danny ran his hands through his hair, which was thinned enough at the top to be closer to baldness than not.

Well that completely changes my mental image of the guy, going way beyond just the hair.

You can’t just name someone Danny, make “balding at the top” the first physical feature you mention, and expect me to not think of Danny DeVito.


He liked to be the first to arrive at work, watching everyone arrive, having them know he was there for them.

How thoughtful!

So he usually went to bed early; he’d turn in at ten in the evening, give or take depending on what was on TV. Only tonight, a little past midnight, he’d been disturbed from restless sleep when he had felt rather than heard the shutting of the back door of the house, just below his bedroom. He had checked on his daughter, and he’d found her room empty.

So much for stealth, huh?

So he had waited for his daughter to return for three hours.

Nice to have a bit of a time frame. The fight against Lung and the Ablatives But Better, and the encounters afterwards, didn’t feel like they took that long, but I don’t think we knew how long Taylor had been out when she found them.

Besides, I’m really the last person you should ask about how long something feels like it took.

Countless times, he had glanced out the window, hoping to see Taylor coming in.

No wonder he turned off the TV once it started talking about parahumans dying and being flawed. The guy is worried as hell.

I wonder if he was aware of Taylor’s fascination with supers.

For the twentieth time, he felt the urge to ask his wife for help, for advice, for support. But her side of the bed was empty and it had been for some time.

Hm… maybe they’re not quite divorced, but just separated? This reads like it’s recent enough to still be an… ongoing thing, and he still calls her his “wife”.

Reminder that Taylor calls him “dad”, but her mom is “mother”.

Daily, it seemed, he was struck by the urge to call her cell phone. He knew it was stupid – she wouldn’t pick up – and if he dwelt on that for too long, he became angry at her, which just made him feel worse.

“Dead” is also an option still. There are several reasons why someone might not pick up their phone… and there’s bad reception in the grave.

He wondered, even as he knew the answer, why he hadn’t gotten Taylor a cell phone.

It would be a good safety to have, and based on what you’ve been teaching Taylor about going out on the Boardwalk and how you’re acting here, you seem to value her safety a lot. You should get her one.

Danny didn’t know what his daughter was doing, what would drive her to go out at night. She wasn’t the type. He could tell himself that most fathers felt that way about their daughters, but at the same time, he knew. Taylor wasn’t social.

Sometimes, the more traditional parental fears would be preferable.

She didn’t go to parties, she wouldn’t drink, she wasn’t even that interested in champagne when they celebrated the New Year together.

Makes sense. She probably doesn’t think too highly of people polluting their brains with alcohol.


Two ominous possibilities kept nagging at him, both too believable. The first was that Taylor had gone out for fresh air, or even for a run. She wasn’t happy, especially at school, he knew, and exercise was her way of working through it. He could see her doing it on a Sunday night, with a fresh week at school looming.

Ominous, because of the shady figures lurking on and/or blowing up the city’s streets at night?

He liked that her running made her feel better about herself, that she seemed to be doing it in a reasonable, healthy way. He just hated that she had to do it here, in this neighborhood. Because here, a skinny girl in her mid-teens was an easy target for attack. A mugging or worse – he couldn’t even articulate the worst of the possibilities in his own thoughts without feeling physically sick.

At least unless she’s got an army of bugs to defend her, but you don’t know that. Yet.

Besides, they do take a while to come to the rescue if they’re far away.

If she had gone out at eleven in the evening for a run and hadn’t come back by three in the morning, then it meant something had happened.

Well shit, good point.


He glanced out the window again, at that corner of the house where the pool of illumination beneath the streetlight would let him see her approaching. Nothing.

Hm… would he actually see the entrance she’d be using?

I forget which one she’s going to be using, if it was mentioned.

Also, if she comes home in hero gear, she’s even more bugsted. This is why you don’t make a costume with no room for clothes underneath, Taylor.

The second possibility wasn’t much better. He knew Taylor was being bullied. Danny had found that out in January, when his little girl had been pulled out of school and taken to the hospital. Not the emergency room, but the psychiatric ward.

ooooh

are we about to learn about

origins? 😀

She wouldn’t say by whom, but under the influence of the drugs they had given her to calm down, she had admitted she was being victimized by bullies, using the plural to give him a clue that it was a they and not a he or a she.

That’s… how plurals work, yes.

Danny knows just enough to concern him without letting him help. Poor guy.

She hadn’t mentioned it – the incident or the bullying – since. If he pushed, she only tensed up and grew more withdrawn. He had resigned himself to letting her reveal the details in her own time, but months had passed without any hints or clues being offered.

I like Danny so far. He’s a concerned dad who wants his girl to be happy and safe, but doesn’t push past her boundaries too much.


There was precious little Danny could do on the subject, either. He had threatened to sue the school after his daughter had been taken to the hospital, and the school board had responded by settling, paying her hospital bills and promising they would look out for her to prevent such events from occurring in the future.

…yeah. Because they’ve done such a good job with that.

It was a feeble promise made by a chronically overworked staff and it didn’t do a thing to ease his worries.

I’m glad Danny recognizes that.

His efforts to have her change schools had been stubbornly countered with rules and regulations about the maximum travel times a student was allowed to have between home and a given school.

What, that’s a thing? I guess that’s when you need to move to a different location, but it doesn’t sound like that’s an option, given how he talks about the neighborhood they’re currently living in. Seems like he’d have moved earlier if he could.

The only other school within a reasonable distance of Taylor’s place of residence was Arcadia High, and it was already desperately overcrowded with more than two hundred students on a list requesting admittance.

There’s something about the name “Arcadia High” that just oozes essénce du high-quality school.

…I wonder if there’s some connection between that and the Wards.


With all that in mind, when his daughter disappeared until the middle of the night, he couldn’t shake the idea that the bullies might have lured her out with blackmail, threats or empty promises. He only knew about the one incident, the one that had landed her in the hospital, but it had been grotesque.

Bullying can be damn brutal.

I’m so glad I haven’t had that problem myself.

It had been implied, but never elaborated on, that more had been going on. He could imagine these boys or girls that were tormenting his daughter, egging one another on as they came up with more creative ways to humiliate or harm her.

Pretty accurate.

Taylor hadn’t said as much aloud, but whatever had been going on had been mean, persistent and threatening enough that Emma, Taylor’s closest friend for years, had stopped spending time with her. It galled him.

I was about to mention that Danny probably knew Emma, when I glanced over at the text and saw her name.

I guess from Danny’s perspective, Emma seems to have bailed out to save herself from the bullying. In reality, it’s even worse.


Impotent. Danny was helpless where it counted.

Dude now is not the time to bring up those prokay this joke has been done to death.

But yeah, Danny strikes me as very much trapped in helpless concern, on several sides.

There was no action he could take – his one call to the police at two in the morning had only earned him a tired explanation that the police couldn’t act or look for her without something more to go on.

What, “my daughter is missing” isn’t enough for them? …alright, fair enough; I guess they need some ideas as to where she might’ve gone, which Danny doesn’t have.

If his daughter was still gone after twelve hours, he’d been told, he should call them again.

Also fair.

All he could do was wait and pray with his heart in his throat that the phone wouldn’t ring, a police officer or nurse on the other end ready to tell him what had happened to his daughter.

Helpless.

Concern.


The slightest of vibrations in the house marked the escape of the warm air in the house to the cold outdoors, and there was a muffled whoosh as the kitchen door shut again.

The Return™

Danny Hebert felt a thrill of relief coupled with abject fear. If he went downstairs to find his daughter, would he find her hurting or hurt?

If you do, at least you’ll be able to do more than worry about it.

Or would his presence make things worse, her own father seeing her at her most vulnerable after humiliation at the hands of bullies? She had told him, in every way except articulating it aloud, that she didn’t want that.

Hm, valid thinking. Wrong premise, but valid conclusion from that premise. I still think you should go down and see if you could help even in that case, though.

She had pleaded with him, with body language and averted eye contact, unfinished sentences and things left unsaid, not to ask, not to push, not to see, when it came to the bullying. He couldn’t say why, exactly. Home was an escape from that, he’d suspected, and if he recognized the bullying, made it a reality here, maybe she wouldn’t have that relief from it.

Makes sense. When you’re finally away from something unpleasant, you probably don’t want to go right back to thinking about that unpleasant thing.

Perhaps it was shame, that his daughter didn’t want him to see her like that, didn’t want to be that weak in front of him. He really hoped that wasn’t the case.

Danny seems very understanding, except he’s got limited information to understand based on. And in this particular case, he’s trying to understand the wrong thing.


So he ran his fingers through his hair once more and sat down on the corner of the bed, elbows on his knees, hands on his head, and stared at his closed bedroom door. His ears were peeled for the slightest clue. The house was old, and it hadn’t been a high quality building when it had been new, so the walls were thin and the structure prone to making noise at every opportunity.

So much for stealth.

There was the faintest sound of a door closing downstairs. The bathroom? It wouldn’t be the basement door, with no reason for her to go down there,

Heh. Taylor is changing out of her hero costume, then, so I guess the secret will stay secret for now.

and he couldn’t imagine it was a closet, because after two or three minutes, the same door opened and closed again.

After something banged on the kitchen counter, there was little but the occasional groan of floorboards.

Now what is she doing? Night meal after the exhausting battle?

Five or ten minutes after she had come in, there was the rhythmic creak of the stairs as she ascended. Danny thought about clearing his throat to let her know he was awake and available should she knock on his door, but decided against it.

Poor Danny.

He was being cowardly, he thought, as if his clearing of his throat would give reality to his fears.

Poor Danny.


Her door shut carefully, almost inaudibly, with the slightest tap of door on doorframe. Danny stood, abruptly, opening his door, ready to cross the hall and knock on her door. To verify that his daughter was okay.

He’s not going to do it, is he.

He was stopped by the smell of jam and toast. She had made a late night snack. It filled him with relief.

“At least she’s eating.”

He couldn’t imagine his daughter, after being mugged, tormented or humiliated, coming home to have toast with jam as a snack. Taylor was okay, or at least, okay enough to be left alone.

And this time she’s eating in a way more hygienic location!


He let out a shuddering sigh of relief and retreated to his room to sit on the bed.

Relief became anger.

You should’ve gone in there before this kicked in, dude. Please don’t get motivated by anger to confront her.

He was angry at Taylor, for making him worry, and then not even going out of her way to let him know she was okay.

She thought you were asleep, and you willingly let her think that.

He felt a smouldering resentment towards the city, for having neighborhoods and people he couldn’t trust his daughter to. He hated the bullies that preyed on his daughter.

…yeah, from what we’ve seen so far, this place is kind of a shithole.

Underlying it all was frustration with himself. Danny Hebert was the one person he could control in all of this, and Danny Hebert had failed to do anything that mattered. He hadn’t gotten answers, hadn’t stopped the bullies, hadn’t protected his daughter. Worst of all was the idea that this might have happened before, with him simply sleeping through it rather than laying awake.

Poor. Fucking. Danny.

I’m not being sarcastic when I say that; I genuinely feel sorry for this poor helpless father.


He stopped himself from walking into his daughter’s room, from shouting at her and demanding answers, even if it was what he wanted, more than anything.

Thank you.

Where had she been, what had she been doing? Was she hurt? Who were these people that were tormenting her? He knew that by confronting her and getting angry at her, he would do more harm than good, would threaten to sever any bond of trust they had forged between them.

Yeah, anger is not the right emotion to trust with this kind of situation.

Danny’s father had been a powerful, heavyset man, and Danny hadn’t gotten any of those genes. Danny had been a nerd when the term was still young in popular culture, stick thin, awkward, short sighted, glasses, bad fashion sense.

Danny backstory!

…You know who starred in a film where his character got all the bad genes despite having a bunch of athlete fathers?


What he had inherited was his father’s famous temper. It was quick to rise and startling in its intensity.

Fortunately, he’s already shown us that he’s willing to, and in this case capable of, controlling his temper rationally. I like that.

Unlike his father, Danny had only ever hit someone in anger twice, both times when he was much younger. That said, just like his father, he could and would go off on tirades that would leave people shaking.

Mostly verbal anger outlet. Much like my own father, to be honest.

Incidentally, something about the way this is written makes me feel like it’s implied that grandpa Hebert hit Danny.

Danny had long viewed the moment he’d started to see himself as a man, an adult, to be the point in time where he had sworn to himself that he wouldn’t ever lose his temper with his family.

Yeah.

He wouldn’t pass that on to his child the way his father had to him.

Yep.


He had never broken that oath with Taylor, and knowing that was what kept him contained in his room, pacing back and forth, red in the face and wanting to punch something.

I wonder if Taylor can hear the pacing and is now thinking “oh shit, he’s awake”.

It’s likely, given how easily Danny was able to track hermovements through the house.

While he’d never gotten angry at her, never screamed at her, he knew Taylor had seen him angry.

Never ever gotten angry at your ~15-year-old daughter before? Damn, even without a high temper, that’s a feat. You go, Danny.

(Just not into her room right now.)

Once, he had been at work, talking to a mayor’s aide. The man had told Danny that the revival projects for the Docks were being cancelled and that, contrary to promises, there were to be layoffs rather than new jobs for the already beleaguered Dockworkers.

Well that’s unfortunate.

…I wonder if the mayor is a super.

Taylor had been spending the morning in his office on the promise that they would go out for the afternoon, and had been in a position to see him fly off the handle in the worst way with the man.

Did he make an acrobatic fucking pirouette? Without that, flying off the handle is totally wasted.

Four years ago, he had lost his temper with Annette for the first time, breaking his oath to himself.

…oh shit.

…shit.

That had been the last time he had seen her. Taylor hadn’t been there to see him shouting at her mother, but he was fairly certain she’d heard some of it. It shamed him.

If it was in this house, she probably did.


The third and last time that he had lost his temper where Taylor had been in a position to know had been when she had been hospitalized following the incident in January. He’d screamed at the school’s principal, who had deserved it, and at Taylor’s then-Biology teacher, who probably hadn’t.

Can’t really blame him. The school is responsible for the students’ well-being as long as they’re in school… or at least that’s the case here in my comparatively utopian home country, Norway.

It had been bad enough that a nurse had threatened to call for a police officer, and Danny, barely mollified, had stomped from the hallway to the hospital room to find his daughter more or less conscious and wide eyed in reaction.

“more or less conscious” and “wide eyed” sounds like an odd mixture.

Also, Danny again being rational about his anger by not taking it to the point where he gets arrested.

Danny harbored a deep fear that the reason Taylor hadn’t offered any details on the bullying was out of fear he would, in blind rage, do something about it. It made him feel sick, the notion that he might have contributed something to his daughter’s self imposed isolation in how she was dealing with her problems.

Damn. This guy can’t catch a break, huh.

Of course, he doesn’t know that she’s been having thoughts of doing something similar and even more extreme herself.


It took Danny a long time to calm down, helped by telling himself over and over that Taylor was okay, that she was home, that she was safe.

But see, that’s the thing. Home and eating doesn’t necessarily mean she’s okay on a longer scale.

He should’ve checked on her. Though I’m glad he didn’t do that while angry.

Danny, you’re a very good man.

It was something of a blessing that, as the anger faded, he felt drained. He climbed into the left side of the bed, leaving the right side empty out of a habit he’d yet to break, and pulled the covers up around himself.

They say it takes three weeks to make or break a habit.

This one has survived four years.


He would talk to Taylor in the morning. Get an answer of some sort.

Good. Cod knows you need one.

He dreamed of the ocean.

Sleep well, man. It’s been a long night.


End of Interlude 1

This was a great chapter! The Interlude (the first of several, judging by the number in the title) came as a bit of a surprise to me, and while I did predict that it might follow a different character, the introduction of Taylor’s dad came as a pleasant surprise within the surprise.

As I’ve mentioned, I had been looking forward to meeting him for quite some time, and he did not disappoint – powerless, concerned and a wellspring of controlled fury, Danny DeVito Hebert is an excellent character so far, and I’m very interested to see where Projectile Launcher Located in the Wilderness takes his story and his relationship with Taylor from here.

We also learned a little about the early superheroes – or as I should probably start calling them, parahumans – and their emergence from hiding in the 1980’s. Whether there was a sudden rise of people gaining superpowers around this time, or if Scion just jumpstarted a “come out of secrecy” party, remains to be seen.

All in all: Great lore, great character, great Interlude.

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