Source material: Worm, Buzz 7.7
Originally blogged: October 29, 2017
MORE DRAMA!!! MORE ROMANCE!!! MORE BLOODSHED!!!
Howdy! It’s time for some more Worm. 🙂
Last time, we watched an unfortunate outcome to Taylor’s confession to Brian. Now she has the heartbreak and awkwardness from that to deal with on top of everything else that’s going on in her life, which is kind of stacking up at the moment. Her confrontation with Danny (as well as the Decision) was yesterday, Sophia is pissed off to the point of brutal physical violence, the E88 are likely to come after her and the other Undersiders (though they seem to be taking it out more broadly, which I’m expecting more details about in this chapter), and now there’s this.
This chapter, we’ll probably start out with elaboration on the Empire’s answer to the email, which sounds like it involves widespread violence. If that’s something Brian and Taylor feel the need to go out and do something about, then we’re probably heading into the combat section of the Arc – otherwise, I’m (still) guessing something like that will come up later in this chapter, after a portion more about the heartbreak and awkwardness and what it’s like to stay at Brian’s apartment after the events of the previous chapter.
Whichever it is, it’s time to jump into it and find out!
Purity floated above the docks, an oversize firefly against a blue-gray backdrop of sky.
So, uh, is this something being shown on TV, or are we having the first instance of a non-Taylor POV outside an Interlude?
She came to rest over a building that had been half built and left abandoned, a small crane jutting out of the middle of it. A building I recognized as Bitch’s place. Her improvised dog shelter.
Ah, okay, still Taylor’s POV. I suppose she might be seeing this in person?
“Brian!” I called out. “You want to see this!”
The cameraman tried to zoom in and focus on Purity, but only intensified the lens flare effect that followed her.
That’s like trying to film the sun.
He zoomed back out just in time to see her take action.
The beams of light that blasted from her palm weren’t straight. There was a bit of a spiral to them, as they formed a rough double helix. The end result was wider than Purity was tall, tearing into the building to topple the crane against one wall. She turned the light on the other walls, obliterating them.
Let’s hope Rachel had gotten all the dogs out in time.
It took her less than a minute to level the building and pulverize any part of the structure that stood higher than the sidewalk.
She paused, and hovered there in the midst of the dust and the motes of light that had followed in the wake of her power. She turned and shot the next-closest building, directing a smaller, tighter beam at one corner where the structure met the ground.
Hm. Did she notice the lack of dog corpses and start wondering if she got the wrong building? Or is she just taking out more aggression, maybe?
She hit the next corner, then swept the oscillating shaft of light through the ground floor to obliterate any supports that stood within. The building toppled messily with brick walls sloughing off and cresting plumes of dust.
The building hadn’t even finished falling down before she started work on the next two, devoting one beam to each.
RIP entire neighborhood, I guess.
“Were there people in there?” I asked, horrified both at the idea and at what this woman was capable of doing. “What about those other buildings?
Brian was behind his couch, watching, “There might have been, and there might be.”
So much for Purity being sympathetic.
My need to hurry overrode my modesty. I stood and pulled off my top, leaving just my bra on, making sure to keep my back to Brian. I removed the sweatshirt I had tied around my waist and untied the arms of my costume.
“What are you doing?”
Well, that’s one out of two for feeling the need to do something about this.
“Getting ready,” I put my arm through one arm and worked my fingers into the gloves.
Brian walked around the couch and I hurried to raise the top half of my costume and clutch it to my chest, covering myself. He put his hands on my bare shoulders and exerted enough force to push me back down to a sitting position. I complied, stiffly, reluctantly.
Taylor may have officially decided to stay a villain yesterday, but she still has the heroic instinct. Brian, on the other hand, is very aware of how little a chance the Undersiders really stand in this, even if Purity doesn’t call in reinforcements the moment she spots Taylor.
He pulled his hands away a little more quickly than he might have a day or two ago, jamming them in his pockets. I hunched my shoulders forward self consciously.
Brian took a deep breath. “Not your job.”
It would’ve been if she’d never met the Undersiders, but she might’ve promptly gotten herself killed in the process. She’s cautious, but that seems to have been somewhat overridden by her heroic instinct in the heat of the moment.
“They’re doing that because of us,” I adjusted my grip on my costume top to free a hand so I could point it at the TV. The cameraman was retreating from the scene, and the image was wobbling as the camera rocked with his movement. The spark of light that was Purity was moving in his general direction as she leveled more buildings.
There’s also this side of it – Taylor feels partially responsible for this happening in the first place. Her heroic instinct is thus compounded by the impression that if she doesn’t do something to stop this, she’s complicit.
“Because of Coil, not us. The heroes will be the ones to take care of it,” Brian retorted.
Well. They’re doing it because of Coil, but attacking that specific neighborhood because of the Undersiders.
“They could be hurting innocent people.”
“Given who these guys are, I’m pretty sure they’ve been hurting innocent people for a long time.”
I turned to frown at Brian, “You know what I mean. We-”
“Undersiders,” A female voice cut into the conversation. “Protectorate. Take note.”
Oh shit, a message. From Purity, I guess? We haven’t been told she had the side power to make her voice loud, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Or maybe the Empire hijacked the TV channels.
Our heads turned back to the television screen. The camera showed a brilliant glare that could only vaguely be made out as a face. The view shifted, and I heard her command, “Hold it.”
Ahh, looks like she was actually chasing that camera man down so she could give this message.
The camera steadied and focused on Purity’s face, from ground level looking up. I suspected the cameraman was on the ground.
“You took the most important thing in the world from me,” her voice was without affect, flat. “Until she is returned, this doesn’t stop.
Did Max take Aster to motivate Purity? Or did the Protectorate or child services take her because they found out who Purity was?
I will take this city apart until I find you or you come to stop me. My subordinates will murder anyone, everyone, until the matter is settled. I don’t care if they are genetically pure or not. If they haven’t allied with us already, they missed their chance.”
Damn. I wonder, if it’s the latter case, is Kaiser on board with this, or is he losing control of even his closer subordinates?
She bent down to take the camera. While the image swayed wildly, Purity spoke, “Night, Fog. Demonstrate.”
Well fuck. Good night, camera man.
The camera steadied, fixed on a man and a woman in gray and black costumes, respectively, featuring cowls and cloaks. Behind and to the side of them was an unnaturally pale and white haired young man.
The man in gray evaporated into a rolling cloud of white-gray fog, moving toward the camera.
Mister Fog, I presume.
Purity took flight, moving up and above the scene, keeping the camera focused on the cameraman. As the camera rose and the view of the scene expanded, I could see Crusader off to one side, leaning against a wall with his arms folded.
As the mist enveloped the cameraman, Night strode forward, disappearing into it. The timing of what happened was wrong, too soon after she entered the fog.
The power of invisibility, presented as being hidden by Fog for dramatic effect?
There was a ragged scream, and then blood sprayed out of the mist to paint the surrounding road in dozens upon dozens of long splashes of crimson.
The fog moved as though it had a mind of its own, congealing into the man once more.
That’s because it did.
When he had fully pulled himself together again, there were only a few spatters of blood six or so paces from where the body had fallen, and Night, standing in the middle of the road. No body, no clothes, no blood remained where the fog had passed.
Jeez. Must be good for cleaning up crime scenes.
“We are not the ABB,” Purity spoke, not bothering to turn the camera back to herself, “We are stronger, both in powers and in numbers. We have discipline, and thanks to you, we have nothing left to lose. I will have my daughter back, and we will have our restitution.”
Yeeah, the Empire seems to be going all out – or at least Purity is.
Purity dropped the camera, and the view spun lazily as the camera hurtled to the ground. There was the briefest of glimpses of the trail of light that marked her departure, before the camera hit the ground and the television went black. After a moment, the ‘BB4 News’ logo appeared on the screen against a blue background.
“Crap,” Brian said.
Where were the channel execs? It seems like they should’ve cut the feed when it became evident there was going to be an on-screen murder.
“So. If you’re not going to go after them to save people,” I wasn’t able to keep all the bitterness out of my voice. “Maybe you’ll do it for our rep, after we got called out like that?”
“That’s not- Taylor, I don’t want people to get hurt or killed, either. I’m not a villain that aims to hurt people. I’m just being practical.”
Yeah, going out there would very likely lead to the Undersiders suffering a similar fate to the cameraman.
On the other hand, it’s the thing that would allegedly stop Purity’s onslaught, at least for a moment. It’s a classic ultimatum for the heroes.
“You didn’t answer my question. What are we doing now, after hearing that?”
“We’re calling Lisa. Or you are, and I’ll take care of your ear while you do it.”
Yeah, better keep everyone in the loop.
I nodded. I took the opportunity to get my top back on while he got the first aid kit, and grabbed my cell phone. Brian used saline and a wet cotton wipe to wipe around my ear, and I dialed Lisa. She picked up on the first ring.
“Lemon J,” I told her.
J? I guess they’ve switched from the system that used their names.
Hm, to be fair to the channel execs, cutting the feed might’ve drawn Purity’s anger towards them.
“Bumblebee S,” she replied. “No immediate danger, but the situation doesn’t look good?”
“Right,” I replied.
I guess they found somewhere with a TV too. That, or Lisa Knows what’s happening, maybe.
Or maybe they’re yellow for other reasons.
J…S – Jonas? Julius?
Wait, could they use one of their surnames? If that’s the case, it’s one of the two I don’t know yet, though.
Brian put the cotton wipe aside. It was a red-pink with flakes of my dried blood on it. He prepared another to continue working.
“You see that bit on TV?” I asked her, “Hold on, I’m putting you on speaker for Grue.” I’d used his codename for security’s sake. I fiddled with the keypad to get the phone to speaker mode.
Yeah, probably a good idea. You never know who’s listening in – the code system makes it so they’re secure against listeners each speaker knows are there, but even if you discount wiretapping, there could easily be a parahuman with the power to listen in on any phone call.
Lisa’s voice was tinny through the low quality speaker. “Purity? I saw the bit on TV. From what I picked up, child protective services and a contingent of capes went into her place and walked out with her baby while she was at work, before she even had a chance to hear about the email. Mama bear snapped.”
Yeeah, kind of understandable, really. I mean, it doesn’t excuse any of what she’s doing (it’s a little… over the top), but it’s a reason that fits with everything we already knew about Kayden.
I feel like I’m probably just being dumb about the J…S thing, by the way 😛
“Tattletale,” Brian spoke, “Did you talk to Coil?”
“Coil says he told Kaiser straight up that he was responsible for the emails. I believe him.
Hm. But Kaiser hasn’t informed Purity about that?
If Purity and Kaiser’s other subordinates don’t know, Kaiser either hasn’t seen fit to tell them or he’s intentionally keeping them in the dark.”
“What? Why would he do that?” I raised the phone closer to my mouth to ask her.
Maybe he actually appreciates his subordinates targetting the Undersiders. This gives Kaiser an excuse to attack the Undersiders as well, which he may have been actively looking for in the Hookwolf case. Coil is the bigger enemy, but the Undersiders are also in the way of taking over the Docks.
“It makes a warped sort of sense to me,” Brian answered for Lisa. “He lets his people believe we’re responsible, with Purity’s group gunning for us and the Protectorate. Hookwolf hates us anyways, because of Bitch, so he goes along. Kaiser lets them deal with us, with all that fury and hate and no-holds-barred torture, murder and maiming that comes with blaming us. When we’re dealt with, or when it’s convenient, he tells them the truth, turns that bloodthirst against Coil. His people won’t ever be scarier or more vicious than they are right now. Why not maximize the damage?”
Ah, right, that’s a good point, too. He can turn it around and hit both enemies.
“Doesn’t that fall apart if Coil admits, publicly or to the members of Empire Eighty Eight, that he’s responsible?” I asked.
Yeah, but is he willing to go that far?
I suppose telling it directly to Kaiser wasn’t that different, given the assumption that Kaiser would send the information along.
“Yes,” Lisa’s tinny voice replied, “But Coil won’t. He was willing to talk to Kaiser, fess up to the man himself face to face, but going with a more public route risks putting him in the spotlight, drawing attention to himself, and he’s not going to do that. I suspect Kaiser knows that and is accounting for it.”
True, Coil is more the type to sit in the background, controlling the puppets and chess pieces in the foreground but being out of focus himself.
“So what’s next?” I asked, “I think we should do something to step in, but Brian was saying that he thought we should continue to lay low. Before Purity said her piece, anyways. Not sure if he’s changed his mind.” I gave him a look.
I don’t think he has. Not fully.
“I haven’t,” Brian spoke, loud enough to be picked up by the phone. He dabbed ointment on my ear, making me wince. “Sorry.”
I wasn’t sure if the apology was over his stance in the discussion or the medical care.
Heh. I first read it as the former, but both work. And hey, it could be both.
“According to the news and my, um, inside source,” Lisa spoke, referring to her power, “Purity hasn’t stopped. She’s doing strafing runs across the Docks. She moves too fast for anyone but Dauntless or Velocity to catch, and she hits harder than both of them combined.
To be fair, Velocity doesn’t exactly add much to that last part when he’s at his highest speeds.
She’s knocked down four more buildings while we’ve talked, I’m pretty sure. How long before she happens to knock over our hideout?”
Brian pursed his lips.
Yeeah, the Loft might become a casualty here.
“And she leads her own sub-group within Empire Eighty Eight, so I’m betting that Fog, Night, Alabaster and Crusader are on the streets, doing their own thing.
Oh, so Alabaster is also in her group. Alright, maybe we’ll get to see their power before this Arc is over, then.
I dunno about you guys, but I have friends in our neighborhood. I’m very not cool with that.”
Brian sighed, “Fine. We go. But no direct confrontation until we have a game plan, especially not before we reunite our two groups. Where are you guys?”
Sounds like a good call. This is very much not a case where the Undersiders can rely on brute force.
Hm… I wonder what would win out between Purity’s light and Grue’s darkness. In theory, the darkness should stop it, but that’s pretty clearly not normal light she’s tossing around.
…I suppose the same can be said about Triumph’s shouts, except with sound instead of light, explaining why Grue couldn’t just cover Triumph’s mouth with darkness to incapacitate his power. (That said, I still don’t get why he removed the darkness from the heads of the Protectorate members in the first place.)
“Holed up on the far side of the Trainyard, with the dogs,” Lisa answered, “Not a bad spot. Better than the building Purity tore down. Don’t know why she was set up there instead of here.”
The Bitch works in mysterious ways.
I heard a voice on the other end that was probably Bitch’s, though I couldn’t make out the words.
“So. We meet?” Lisa asked.
Somewhere in the middle, maybe?
“We meet,” Brian replied. “I’m going to call Coil for a vehicle, and to ask him a few questions, hear for myself that he talked to Kaiser. However long it takes for the ride to get here, it should give me time to stitch Skitter up.”
Sounds like a decent plan.
“Patch her up? Why?”
“Not relevant to the current situation. We’ll explain later,” he said.
Oh, yeah, I can imagine that would sound bad out of context – or rather, put into the other context due to lack of awareness of the original one.
Did that make sense? I think so.
“Later then. Take care of yourself, Skitter” Lisa hung up.
Brian held up the needle and thread, “Let me apologize in advance.”
Let me say ow in advance.
“You see kids get their ears twisted in the movies and on TV all the time. What you don’t get is how much it fucking hurts,” I touched the part of my mask that covered my bandaged earlobe. It was throbbing, due in part to Brian’s ministrations.
Sounds like we’ve skipped ahead to the trip.
“Just leave it alone. The painkillers will kick in soon.”
We sat in silence for a few moments. I stared out the small window at the back of the vehicle. Very few cars were going in the direction we were.
Purity’s rampage area is quite understandably not where people want to be right now.
The interior of the vehicle that Coil had procured for us was filled with medical equipment. There was a gurney, which I sat on, a second smaller type of gurney that could be disassembled and reassembled as required, up near the ceiling. The interior was efficiently packed with medical supplies: an oxygen tank underneath the bench where Grue sat, a heartbeat monitor, lifejackets, tubes of all shapes and sizes, lockers and drawers with pills, splints and bandages.
Huh, nice. I guess that’d come in handy if the vehicle needed to pick up some hurt Coil lackeys.
I’m including the Undersiders in that term, for the record.
It was, to all appearances, a real ambulance. I couldn’t say whether it had originally been an ambulance, and Coil had added extra compartments for weapons and for my bugs, or if he’d gone the other way and built the vehicle from scratch, to accommodate his additions.
Does it look like an ambulance on the outside too? If so, that’s a good disguise for a vehicle moving towards a disaster zone.
We slowed down, and Grue leaned towards the front of the ambulance, “What’s the holdup?”
“Blockade coming up,” the driver spoke. He and the woman in the passenger seat were Coil’s people, decked out in paramedic’s uniforms. “No sweat.”
Yeah, probably a good call to block off non-ambulance drivers from going into the area.
He flipped a switch, and the siren blared. Seconds later, he was revving up and moving without difficulty. I looked through the rear window, and saw a line of police cars and PRT vans behind us, moving to close the gap they’d just opened in their formation.
“Hey, are we okay?” Grue asked me. He was outfitted in costume, helmet on and visor down.
Ah, here we go. Regardless of whether they are or not, the two of them really need to be on the same page about this, ideally before the combat.
“I get the feeling you’re angry.”
“If I’m angry at anyone for that thing outside the mall, it’s myself. Can we just drop that topic forever and forget it ever happened?”
From a rational point of view, I don’t think you should be angry at anyone for it, but I get it.
“No, no. I mean, are you angry that I didn’t jump out of my seat to go fight Empire Eighty Eight, before we knew everything that was at stake?”
Ah, yeah. I should’ve mentioned this too, two comments back. I thought about it, figured there might be some residual bitterness about that on top of the mall thing. Not sure why I didn’t say anything.
That said, I don’t think Taylor is the type to hold a grudge about this kind of disagreement, but it might make her view of Brian a little less overwhelmingly positive.
“Oh,” I flushed, and my ear throbbed in response to the rush of blood. Could’ve kicked myself. “I honestly don’t know. I wasn’t expecting it. I see the lengths you go through to take care of your… family member, I think of you as a pretty honorable guy, you know?” This was veering closer to the conversation-that-was-not-to-be-spoken-of than I’d like. I deliberately left that thought hanging.
I guess Taylor is seeing that Brian is closer to true neutral than neutral good on the DnD alignment chart.
Grue rubbed the back of his neck, “I’m not sure I’m as good a person as you’re making me out-”
An impact rocked the ambulance, tossing Grue out of his seat and nearly knocking me heels over head. The ambulance veered out of the driver’s control, tipped, and landed on its side, bringing Grue against the underside of the stretcher I’d been sitting on.
Well, then. This surely isn’t a good thing.
Did Purity spot them?
The spare gurney and the contents of drawers and lockers around the interior spilled free and scattered around us.
“Fuck!” the driver swore. “Fuckshit!”
*pat pat* Don’t worry, it’s okay, just let it out.
I pulled free of the tubes and the half of a gurney that had fallen around me, and crawled toward the front to look between the two front seats.
It didn’t look so different from Bitch’s dogs in general shape. It was a little larger, too, maybe, but that was a hard call to make.
It was hollow, its limbs were thinner than the dogs, and I couldn’t really draw a line between what was the actual ‘meat’ of the body and what wasn’t, because the entire thing was a chainsaw whir of serrated blades, hooks and needle points, shuffling and shifting around one another, rising and falling, all moving too fast for the eye to follow. Altogether, it maintained a general quadruped shape with a tail and elongated snout.
This is clearly Hookwolf’s doing. I mean, it’s literally a wolf made out of weapons, among them hooks.
Or maybe this is a transformation-based power and this is literally Hookwolf himself.
Walking on either side of it were two people. There was a pale, tall man with the sort of muscle-heavy build you only saw on cons and bodybuilders. He wore black slacks that were in tatters around his feet, had chains wrapped around his forearms, hands and calves, and a blue-white tiger mask.
Stormtiger. Definitely does look like a tanky fellow.
I guess the other person is Cricket, then?
On the opposite side of the metal beast was a twenty-something girl with a gymnast’s build and scars criss-crossing her exposed skin. Her hair was shorn to a bleached blond buzz cut, and her face was covered by a metal cage.
Named after a tank model in turn named after the animal, dressed like a player of the sport. Well played. :p
[And her power is based on the animal, completing the set...]
The blender of dangerous looking metal bits dissolved, each of the hooks and blades retracting into the skin of the man at the center of the thing’s chest. As the front legs withdrew into his shoulders, he dropped into a crouch on the street.
Eyy, I was right. Transformation power!
He wore a wolf mask of sheet metal that had been crudely bent into place, framed by long, greasy blond hair. Hookwolf.
Rumor had it that Hookwolf, back in the day, had been one of the top fighters in a parahuman fighting ring in New York. He’d grown greedy, killed the man that ran it for access to the vault with the night’s earnings, and had made a good number of enemies in the process.
A parahuman fighting ring, huh? Interesting.
And these days he’s running dog fighting rings, at the very least. The more things change, the more they stay the same, I guess.
It had been a group of white supremacists local to that area that had given him shelter and support, happy to side with him because the man he’d killed had been an ‘acceptable target’.
Maybe the ideology was real for Hookwolf from day one, maybe it was an act that had become reality when he found he enjoyed having people celebrate him for enacting his most twisted impulses and racking up a body count. Either way, I suspected that there were few things he wouldn’t do for his ‘Empire’ nowadays.
Either way, he’s a piece of shit.
Stormtiger, the man with the chains and tiger mask, and Cricket, the girl, apparently tied back to the same circles of parahuman prize fighters that Hookwolf had once been part of. I couldn’t begin to guess their motivations for following him, but I suppose it hardly mattered. Hookwolf was dangerous enough on his own. With friends?
“We run,” I muttered.
Yeah, if you can, you should. It’s the only way to salvage the “no direct confrontation before meeting up” thing, and also what gives the best chance of survival at this point.
So, uh, the driver? Is he still alive, or…?
Hookwolf and his buddies had their backs turned to us and were walking toward the police barricade. Stormtiger flexed his hands, and the air blurred around them, congealed into a half-dozen pale, translucent blades that jutted from each hand.
“We have guns,” spoke the driver, “We shoot them from behind.”
Okay, so a) the driver is alive. I think I misinterpreted the exact location of Hookwolf back there, reading him as having ended up inside the car, while he was actually just in front of it.
And b) Stormtiger, as expected, has an offensive power on top of his tankiness. It seems to be a form of airbending with which he can form things such as these “claws” out of thin air – literally, by thickening it to the point where it’s practically solid?
“No,” Brian spoke, “It won’t hurt Hookwolf, and I suspect Cricket and Stormtiger could do something about it, or they wouldn’t be so brazen about walking towards those cops. Skitter is right. We retreat. Ready?”
Yeah, let’s go.
Grue blanketed the back doors of the ambulance in darkness to mute the noise as he cracked it open to cover the outside as well. Noiselessly, the four of us backed out of the ambulance.
Four…? The driver, Grue, Skitter… *scrolls back* Oh, there was a woman in the front passenger seat. I completely missed that, focusing too much on the dialogue surrounding that bit of narration.
Grue flooded the block with darkness, and I scattered my bugs out from the surrounding area and the compartments in the ambulance’s interior to follow in the wake of the darkness, spacing them out to cover the ground and the other objects around us, giving myself a swarm-sense of my surroundings.
I know I’ve said this a few times now, but I love how this has become a standard tactic.
I grabbed the hand of the woman ‘paramedic’ and pulled her away from the middle of the street, toward the sidewalk. Brian brought the driver in the same general direction.
My bugs felt someone come after us, fast.
Ah, shit. I guess Hookwolf’s metal form might have some way of sensing through the darkness?
I didn’t have time to get out of the way and lead Coil’s faux paramedic to safety as well, so I shoved her in one direction and leaped in the other. The man leapt into the space we’d vacated, and I felt a rush of wind set my hair to whipping around my face.
Hm, wind seems to imply Stormtiger.
There was an explosion of sorts, a blast of wind powerful enough to lift me off the ground and push away a fair share of Grue’s darkness. Stormtiger stood in the epicenter of the clearing, reforming the translucent ‘claws’ around his raised left hand.
Definitely an airbender.
I wonder, is Cricket obnoxiously loud at night?
He used one of the translucent blades on his hand to tap the side of his tiger mask’s nose as he turned to look down at me. When he spoke, his voice was deeper than Brian’s, “Don’t need to see you, sweetie.”
I was really, really growing to hate enhanced senses.
Haha, yeah, that’s caused quite a lot of trouble, hasn’t it. Lung’s enhanced hearing, Bakuda’s apparent ability to detect the Undersiders in the darkness (although didn’t that turn out to be her simply predicting their movements?), Armsmaster’s tech workaround for the darkness (which shouldn’t work unless different types/wavelengths of sound are differently affected), and now this.
End of Buzz 7.7
Welcome to the combat section. 🙂
I’d say I was spot on with my prediction at the start of the chapter, which I feel is worth noting because that doesn’t happen all that often. 😛
Purity seems to be the Arc boss, which ought to be interesting, but first we need to deal with the first airbender (of the story), mister dog and sportsbug. More specifically, Taylor needs to deal with Stormtiger, seeing as his enhanced sense of smell and ability to push away the darkness makes Grue’s power somewhat ineffective against him.
Once Stormtiger is defeated or outmaneuvered, the two of them might be able to make a run for it, but I wouldn’t bet on it succeeding. Although… it’d be very difficult to take out Hookwolf with bugs. Taylor would have to strike while he’s not transformed, and during battle, I’m not sure that’s ever going to be the case. As such, the continuation of the plot might actually require either backup or escape. (Doesn’t mean Cricket can’t get in the way first, though.)
But we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves. See y’all next time for Taylor and Brian versus Stormtiger!