Source material: Worm, Extermination 8.2
Originally blogged: November 22, 2017
[S] Game Over 8.2
Howdy– wait, that’s not right. Hang on.
There we go. As I was saying…
Howdy! Welcome back to the Penny and Clyde Show, with me, Jaune Arc!
Last time we met a bunch of people who are likely to die in the upcoming chapters, and I bummed myself out at the end by speculating on who would. On the horizon looms a dark storm and a terrible beast known as Gl’bgolyb. Soon enough our bug-themed protagonist K.O. will join her (formerly?) fellow Teen Titans and a slew of other capes – among them Spiderman, Enoby, Pumbaa, Garnet and the Triangle Clan – to fight this evil Doombot threatening their city.
I’m not sure the fight proper will start in this chapter, though there’s not much time left – Celestabellebethabelle said it’s on the order of minutes, so whatever he still has left to say in this briefing meeting, he’d better say it quick. Whether or not they actually start fighting Gl’bgolyb in this chapter or not, chances are we’ll at least finally learn a bit more about it, and the Doombots in general.
I hope I didn’t mix up any more names. That would be embarrassing.
Anyway! Let’s get this show on the road, and may the odds be ever in your favor.
(#hoo boy the fandom tags on this one… let’s see
#ultra fast pony
#the lion king
#the hunger games
#one of these i’m not actually familiar with beyond what i’ve heard of it
#can you guess which one?
#answer will be in the closing post tags if i remember to put it there)
There was a quiet murmur through the room at Legend’s words. One in four dead. And that didn’t mean the rest of us would get away unscathed.
Also a good point. You could easily get horribly maimed and still survive.
(Hear that, Coil? ;p)
“I’m telling you your chances now because you deserve to know, and we so rarely get the chance to inform those individuals brave enough to step up and fight these monsters.
Which I suppose means you get quite a few overconfident ones. That said, underconfidence, lack of morale, is possibly even more damning.
The primary message I want to convey, even more than briefing you on the particulars of his abilities, organizing formations and battle plans, is that I do not want you to underestimate Leviathan. I have seen too many good heroes,” he paused for a fraction of a second, “And villains, too, die because they let their guard down.”
Good heroes, good villains, good rogues… rest in peace.
Meanwhile in a completely unrelated conversation about Magic the Gathering:
@blue cat alien so there are several “psychographics” that they design cards for. Each of them got an obnoxiously adorable nickname way back in the day.
“Timmy” players like beating face with big dumb dragons.
King Krix the Pink:
@w///ybl///ogging “Just wait till I get my Leviathan…” – I am currently liveblogging something where a bunch of people are fount to be killed by something (or someone, though that’s dubious at this point) called Leviathan. I blame Timmy.
Dang it, Timmy.
Legend paused, glanced out the window. The storm clouds had reached the beach, and torrential rain stirred the water into a froth. Not just rain, but buckets of water.
We’re running out of time.
“We think of Leviathan as the middle child; he was the second of the three to arrive. He is not the physical powerhouse Behemoth is, nor the cunning manipulator that the Simurgh so often proves to be.
Interesting. So there are three Endbringers total: Behemoth, Leviathan and the Simurgh. The Simurgh, believed to possibly be a mind reader, is a cunning manipulator, which implies a fairly good intelligence.
Oh, I guess I haven’t actually made this explicitly clear yet, but I’ve been a bit unsure on how human these monsters remain, not just physically, but mentally. That the Simurgh is intelligent is a sign that they might be doing all this by choice.
I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.
So if Leviathan’s strength isn’t Strength or Wisdom, then what is it? Magic, as in powers that don’t involve enhanced physical ability or insight, maybe?
That said, I would advise you to think of him as having many of the strengths of both siblings at once.
A bit of a balance, I see. So he’s not as strong as Behemoth or as cunning as the Simurgh, but he’s both strong and cunning where Behemoth and the Simurgh probably each focus on one of the stats?
You’ve seen the videos on television and the internet. You know what he is physically capable of.
I don’t. Those videos would be spoilers.
I want to be clear that despite the image he might convey, he is not stupid, and he can display a level of cunning and tactics that can and will catch you off guard.
So he does appear to be stupid?
“I will tell you what you may not know from the videos. He feels pain, he does bleed, but few attacks seem to penetrate deep enough past the surface to seriously harm him. He is like the other two Endbringers in this respect.
So how do you defeat him? Just annoy him until he goes away?
Also Taylor has enough problems with doing damage to people like Lung or Hookwolf. What exactly does she expect to accomplish here?
“What sets him apart is his focus on water.
Makes sense. A Leviathan is traditionally a sea monster, after all.
You’re likely aware of his afterimage, his water echo. This is no mere splash of water.
I’m not entirely sure what this means but it doesn’t sound good.
At the speeds Leviathan can move, surface tension and compressibility make water harder than concrete.
So does that mean he runs around on the surface like some bugs do, but can’t slow down or he’ll sink?
He also has a crude hydrokinesis, the ability to manipulate water, and there will be water on the battlefield. We believe that this is what lets him move as fast as he does when he is swimming. Faster than he is normally, far faster than any speedster we have on record.”
Actually maybe we don’t want him to go under the surface.
I wonder if the storm is a result of him manipulating the water vapor in the sky. That said, it seems like it needs something more to go from clear day to maintaining a “buckets of water” rainstorm.
He went on, “Were it just that, this fight might still warrant a show of force like what we’ve gathered here. But things are more serious than that, which brings me to our primary concern. As much as Dragon and Armsmaster’s advance warning might give us the opportunity to make this a good day, other issues threaten to make it just the opposite.
Hrm. So besides the early warning, things are even worse than usual, huh?
“I spoke of Leviathan as a hydrokinetic. I can’t state this enough – Leviathan is primarily a hydrokinetic on a macro scale. There is no better illustration than the days where Leviathan won.
…tsunamis? Floodings? That kind of thing?
Or worse, we stop getting all this rain in buckets and get it in one big droplet?
“Newfoundland,” he spoke.
I knew exactly what he was speaking of, and mouthed the date as he spoke it, “May ninth, 2005. Nearly half a million dead.
Rest in peace.
Mondays, am I right?
The Canadian island simply gone, after the shelf of land holding it up cracked in the face of what we now understand were incredible pressures beneath the water level.
Welcome to beautiful Newfoundland, Atlantis.
(#dang it timmy)
I just kinda… had a hunch that that would be a Monday. Dunno why.
“Kyushu, the night of November second and the morning of the third, 1999. His sixth appearance.
At least it doesn’t sound like the Endbringers appear super often overall.
Nine and a half million killed when the region was swamped with tidal waves from every direction while Leviathan disrupted prearranged evacuation attempts. Nearly three million evacuees rendered homeless, a nation sundered.
“These were errors, grave mistakes from defending heroes. We had but one strategy at the time – to hem him in, minimizing the effects of growing waves and casualties until Leviathan was beaten into a retreat or Scion arrived.
Hm. Does Scion scare him away? Or just kinda pick him up and cart him off somewhere?
These areas, however, were too vulnerable. Waiting let Leviathan build up the strength of his attacks, and we lost.”
Does he get stronger the longer he fights, kind of like Lung, or is it simply a matter of him building up more… ammo in the form of sea water? Something like that?
He paused. “We have since classified the locations the Endbringers target as either hard targets or soft targets. The hard battlefields are where we stand our ground, buy time, wear him down. The soft ones are locations where we cannot afford to do this.”
And Brockton Bay is one of the soft targets?
I wonder if this is based on Wildbow researching the subaquatic geology of the northeastern American coast. Maybe specifically in the area around Plymouth, Massachusetts.
I mean, it seems like something he’d do.
Of course, making Brockton Bay one of the soft targets is something he’d probably want to do anyway as a writer, to add tension and a sense of even more urgency to the situation, and this is certainly something he’s well within his rights to do as a matter of artistic license. It’s not like Brockton Bay isn’t a fictional place to begin with.
Although I kinda suspect that Brockton Bay might have replaced Plymouth and Kingston, Massachusetts. That would be a little strange considering Plymouth’s importance in American history in our ‘verse, but I guess it could just have gotten a different name.
There’s also the possibility that part of Massachusetts is gone in the Wormverse – as I’ve mentioned a long time ago [here], there is an inland city named simply Brockton near Boston and Plymouth, which is the other county seat of Plymouth County. Maybe that’s a harbor town in this world for some reason?
The television screen showed a cross section of Brockton Bay as seen from ground level. The West end of the city was bordered by hills, and the terrain sloped gradually from the base of the mountain down to the water.
It’s unclear to me from the maps and Wikipedia whether this is the case for our world’s Brockton or Plymouth, Massachusetts, but one thing I did find out was that Plymouth is in an area called the Plymouth Pinelands.
I think we’ve had enough pines for a while, so I should probably move on from trying to figure out an exact location for the city for now.
Directly below the image of the buildings that marked the city’s location, there was a large cavern, bordered by rock on all sides except the part nearest the beach, which was sand. It was marked blue – filled with water.
This is the kind of formation that causes sinkholes, and here we have a villain who can use the water inside the hole to make it unstable. If Leviathan knows the cavern is there (and there’s a good chance he can sense water like Taylor senses bugs), he can theoretically make sinkholes swallow large portions of the city.
That would be a teeny tiny bit inconvenient.
“Brockton Bay, this location, is a soft target. The city was originally founded at this location because of the proximity to the coastline for trade routes and an aquifier that provided the first settlers with access to fresh water.
This aquifier, essentially an underground lake beneath the city, is our weak point. From the moment Leviathan shows himself, we expect Leviathan will stir and manipulate this underground reservoir to erode the surrounding sand, silt and rock. Add the tidal waves from above, with the resulting tremors and impacts…”
…plop, suddenly Brockton Bay is a jumbled mess in a wet pit.
I doubted anyone failed to understand what would follow. A section of the city, perhaps most of the city, could collapse into the aquifier.
He paused, “We have to end this fast. Each wave he brings on top of us is stronger than the last.
There’s that bit about him getting stronger again. It really does sound like it’s a part of his power that it gets stronger each time.
This means we have two priorities. First, we cannot let him out of our sight. From the moment the battle is initiated, we hem him in, sustain an offensive onslaught. If we let him slip past our defensive lines, precious time will be wasted chasing him, getting him in another situation where we can contain his movements.
Plus he’d be able to get to a more tactically advantageous position for himself if he wanted.
“Our second priority is that we need to find ways to hurt him. If you cannot, if your attacks are deflected or prove otherwise useless, work to support those who can.
Sounds reasonable. I guess that’s the situation Taylor ends up in.
It is vain to hope to kill him, but he can be whittled down enough that he will flee back to the ocean, and if we hurt him enough, it may delay the time before he is capable of making another attack elsewhere.”
Legend frowned. The windows were rattling with the force of the rain against them. It was almost impossible to see through them with the water that streamed down, and the overall gloom beyond.
I genuinely do wonder if Leviathan has weather manipulation as a power of its own.
Either way, the rain gives him a clear advantage that he can use even if driven away from the sea.
“This is what the Endbringers are.
Yeah, I’ve been wondering about that. Thank you for all your answers.
As of yet, we’ve been unable to stop them, unable to get through even one confrontation without grievous losses, be it civilian casualties, the loss of a city, or the loss of the lives of some of the bravest and strongest of us. And they will keep coming, one after another, winning these small victories, and winning some major ones.
And that’s when they come alone.
Can you even imagine if they hit a location together? Damn.
“You are doing a good thing. The greatest thing. Thisis why we are tolerated, why society allows and accounts for the capes that walk the streets and fight in its towns.
Those pesky capes can play their little game, as long as when it really matters, they put their lives on the line to protect everyone from the true threats.
Because we are needed for situations like this. With your assistance, we can forestall the inevitable. Your efforts and, if you choose to make them, your sacrifices, will be remembered.”
Even those of the villains? I mean, you did bring up the villains who had sacrificed their lives in the past in this meeting, but I mean by the public. Will the public remember their sacrifices? Or will the Protectorate gloss over it like they did with the villains’ efforts against the ABB?
He looked to Armsmaster.
Okay so in response to “sacrifices”, I was thinking of maybe repeating that I think Armsmaster might end up performing a heroic sacrifice (and if he doesn’t, he still has a huge death flag). I decided not to because it seemed a bit redundant, but that was before Wildbow put this immediately after a line about being remembered for one’s sacrifice.
My doubt is dropping. I think Armsmaster is going to sacrifice his own life in a way that may be critical to the victory of this battle.
Armsmaster spoke, authoritative, less impassioned, but confident,
To be clear, the fact that Legend looked to Armsmaster because it was Armsmaster’s turn to speak changes nothing about my previous post. I wasn’t saying Legend looked to Armsmaster because the former was expecting the latter to sacrifice himself or anything.
“The Wards are handing out armbands of Dragon’s design. These are adjustable to slide over your arm and should be tightened around your wrist. The screen on the top of the armband notes your position on a grid, as well as Leviathan’s last updated location. Use this.
You’ll also note there are two buttons. The button to the left lets you send messages to everyone else wearing an armband. It will not, unless you are a member of the Protectorate or otherwise a veteran of these fights, directly communicate what you say to everyone else wearing an armband.
So basically the expert channel? Any exceptions for this? Maybe that it does go in to Dragon or someone else who can redistribute it if it’s important?
Dragon has a program screening messages and passing them on through the network based on priority, to cut down on unnecessary chatter that could distract from crucial information.
Something else, fair enough.
Unless it’s an AI that’s advanced enough to be a person of its own, the limits of which is grounds for endless philosophical discussion.
If you must bypass this three to five second delay, speak the words ‘Hard Override’ before conveying your message. Abuse of this feature will lose you the ability to send any further messages.”
Good call adding in an override. Sometimes that short delay can be dangerous enough.
“The second button is a ping. Use it in the case of an emergency, to alert others if you are in danger or hurt.
Do the grids on the other people’s armbands start showing the markers of people who are pinging differently? Maybe pulsing circles?
If it is not an emergency, but you want assistance, such as a flier to get you to another vantage point or you see an opportunity to turn the tables, press both buttons, tell the armband what you want.
Dragon’s program will prioritize your needs, with assistance being directed your way if others are not occupied with more pressing matters. The armband tracks your condition and will automatically send a ping if you are badly injured or unconscious.”
This is some hella useful tech. Good work, Dragon.
Legend called out, “Capes! If you have faced an Endbringer before, stand!”
I guess that’s how they find out who to clear for unmoderated chat.
I watched as the rest of the Protectorate, about a third of the out-of-town Wards, Bambina, half of a commercially sponsored cape team and the Travelers stood.
Bambina evidently has more powers than “looking young” if she’s faced down one of these before and is still confident (and alive) enough to take on another.
I couldn’t help but notice Armsmaster lean over toward Miss Militia, whisper something in her ear, and point at the Travelers. Miss Militia shook her head.
Huh, that’s interesting. Are they lying? Although Miss Militia wouldn’t know everyone who’s ever been up against an Endbringer any more than Legend does, so that’s probably not it.
Maybe Armsmaster is just taking the opportunity to as if Miss Militia has seen them around town before. They did only arrive a couple weeks ago, and I don’t know how active they’ve been since then. Armsmaster has met them before, but they might not be terribly well-known to the Protectorate in general.
“When in doubt, follow the orders of the Protectorate first! We have trained, organized and planned for this! The others who are standing, now, are the ones you listen to if we aren’t contradicting their order! They have been through situations much like this, you go with their instincts!
“We are splitting you into groups based on your abilities! If you are confident you can take a hit from Leviathan and get up afterwards, or if you have the ability to produce expendable combatants, we need you on the front line! You will be directed by Alexandria and Dragon!”
The former criterion isn’t really the case for Taylor, and she doesn’t produce the bugs. Not that the bugs are likely to do much directly against Leviathan anyway.
As a share of the crowd moved toward one corner of the room, Armsmaster stepped down from the podium to approach Tattletale, Grue and Regent, “Where’s Hellhound?”
Ah yeah, I was wondering that a bit myself, considering Tattle indicated that they had all agreed to help out.
Did she change her mind?
“At least call her by her real name,” Tattletale glared up at him,
Which one, Rachel Lindt or Bitch?
“She’s not here. You knocked her dogs around enough to know they aren’t that tough, and that means you’re implying they’re expendable. Be glad she wasn’t around to hear that and figure that out.”
Who knows if Rachel would’ve respected the truce if she heard that.
Armsmaster opened his mouth to respond, but broke off when Legend called out his name.
“Armsmaster and Chevalier will be leading the hand to hand combatants who do not fit in Alexandria’s group!
I guess that includes Grue.
Anyone who thinks they can harm or hamper Leviathan in close quarters, you’ll be assisting and reinforcing the front line!”
Armsmaster strode away from the Undersiders, and I saw Assault, Battery, Brandish, Night and Fog move to join that group, among others.
Maybe not? To be fair, his abilities in close quarters aren’t quite on the same page as people like Night and Fog. They’re just normal human abilities, albeit trained.
Smaller than the first group, but I suppose it took a certain amount of bravery to be willing to get close to an Endbringer when you weren’t invincible or close to it.
The boy with the metal skin began to pass through my row. He handed me an armband from a bag, and I slid it over my hand and cinched it in place.
A flat, square screen showed a satellite view of the building we were in, and the surrounding parking lot and beach. A display read: ‘State name’.
“It wants your cape name, miss Hebert.”
I pressed the communicator button and spoke, “Skitter.”
My name appeared on the display, with a yes and no display in the corners over the respective buttons. I confirmed it.
I feel sorry for any capes in the room with a Scottish accent. I mean, sure, Dragon is extremely skilled, but some things never change.
Legend was still organizing the groups. “-forcefields, telekinesis, whatever your power, if you can interrupt Leviathan’s movements or help reduce the impacts of the waves, you’re the backup defense! Bastion will direct you!”
Regent, you’re up.
If there isn’t a group for messing with his senses, I guess obscuring his vision could count as falling under this? Probably not, though.
I was also all too aware that the size of the group that was still sitting was dwindling, and I had no place to go.
“Movers! We need fliers, teleporters, runners! You’ll be responding to pings! Rescue the fallen, get them to emergency care, assist any others where needed! Myrddin will give you your orders!
I’m sure you’ll find somewhere to be. If nothing else, parahuman abilities are so varied that there has to be a misc group.
Meanwhile, Taylor can be Twilight Sparkle for a moment:
Leviathan wrap-up, Leviathan wrap-up
Let’s finish our all-alive cheer
Leviathan wrap-up, Leviathan wrap-up
‘Cause tomorrow we’re not here
‘Cause tomorrow we’re not here
The track I paused to listen to that MLP song just now has a far more appropriate tone for this Arc so far.
“Long ranged attackers, with me! If you fall in more than one category, go with the group where you think you’ll be the greatest assistance!”
I guess Taylor is a long ranged attacker if anything, even if I don’t think she’ll be able to do much damage.
Putting that note about people who fall in more than one category here seems to imply that he’s done. Did they seriously not make a misc group? Where is Tattletalesupposed to go?
Did I count as a long ranged attacker? No, my power wouldn’t hurt Leviathan. I turned to look at those of us who were still seated. I recognized Grue, Tattletale, Regent, Othala, Victor, Panacea and Kaiser. There were a half dozen more who I’d never seen before. People from out of town.
It seems to me that Panacea should go with the mover team, at least if there’s someone on there who can teleport more than one other person at a time.
So Kaiser doesn’t think he fits in either of the close ranged attacker groups or in the ranged group. Interesting.
And Regent, why are you not in the “interrupt Leviathan’s movements” group? What better power is there against a speedster than the ability to make him trip?
Anyway, yeah, there’s plenty of people here for a misc group.
“The rest of you-” Legend was interrupted by shouts. Bastion bellowed, pointed, and the people in his team moved.
Uh oh. Did we run out of time?
Spit out the words, quickly!
Layers of forcefields went up around the far wall in front of and behind the front windows, and they weren’t enough to take the hit. The building rocked with an impact, the forcefields to the left collapsed, and the water began to rush in, carrying chunks of brick, glass and the metal windowframes into the lobby.
Leviathan: “You people need a bath before we fight.”
One of the television screens toppled in the onrushing flood. The other two showed a flickering series of images, a half second of each. The coast of Brockton Bay being struck with a wave. The ferry, the harbor down at the south end of town, the boardwalk, all smashed by the initial wave. I saw a glimpse of a tall figure in the middle of one shot, little more than a blur behind the spray of water and the rain.
If Leviathan gets his way it’s gonna be even harder for Danny to get that ferry running again.
For, uh, several reasons.
By the way, at this point it seems that the Endbringers remain in human form both physically and mentally, but I’m not going to call someone who kills nine and a half million people in one night just for the hell of it a human.
There was a loud groan, and the ceiling at one corner of the room began to descend swiftly toward the ground. Narwhal flicked two fingers up in that direction, and shored the ceiling with some forcefields, but I saw other portions of the ceiling begin to sag, gallons of water pouring through the gaps in the ceiling tile.
Hm, seeing Narwhal in action makes me think: Why can’t Narwhal kill an Endbringer? We’ve been told extensively that Narwhal can cut through people with forcefields. What is protecting their bodies to the point where a forcefield through the stomach won’t kill them, or won’t be able to go through in the first place?
“Strider!” Legend bellowed, over the noise and chaos, “Get us out of here!”
TG: oh okay
TG: sorry i was listening to this sweet beat i just made hang on
Homestuck aside, I guess Strider might be a mass taxiporter
and also a coolkid DAMMIT I SAID HOMESTUCK ASIDE!
A voice sounding from the armband, female, synthesized, except I couldn’t make it out over the noise.
Ah, shit, Strider’s female? Now I have to resort to AUs if I wanna make more references… or just pretend Dave’s a girl, that works too.
That said, the voice being synthesized kind of makes it sound like Strider is an AI or something. That’s fitting if true.
Another option is that she’s mute.
The air was sucked out of my lungs, and there was a noise like thunder.
Much like when those out-of-towner heroes were taxiported in.
My entire body was rattled down to the core, and I thought I might have been struck by lightning. I was outside, I realized, on my hands and knees in what I first took to be the middle of a shallow river. The rain that pounded down on us was more like a waterfall than any rainstorm I’d been in.
Is this shallow river perhaps a street?
The taste of the salty ocean water filled my nose and mouth. My soaked mask clung to my lower face, forcing me to hang my head to keep my breaths from pulling more water into my mouth. A few coughs and heavy exhalations cleared the worst of it away.
So is she alone? Did Strider end up scattering people?
We’d arrived in the middle of a road,
Well, one for two so far in this post.
one I’d crossed several times when going to the loft or leaving it. It was still dark out – either the sun either hadn’t started to rise yet, or the storm was enough to obscure it. The ‘river’ that I was kneeling in was the ebb of water from the first tidal wave, receding downhill toward the beach and the ocean. It brought waves of trash, litter, broken windows, wooden boards and dead plants with it.
It has begun.
I looked around, saw the other heroes and villains composing themselves, climbing to their feet in the knee deep rush of water. A few fliers were conveying our ranged combatants up to the rooftops.
Wasting no time, I see.
At the end of the road, downhill, was the Boardwalk, or what was left of it. From what I could see through the downpour, the wooden pathways and docks had been shattered by the initial wave, to the point that many were standing nearly straight up, or were buckled into fractured arches. Water frothed and sprayed as it rushed back against the ragged barrier that had been Brockton Bay’s high end shopping district.
R.I.P. the Boardwalk.
I think I’ll count that as a death for tagging purposes, and that’s before considering that it might not have been empty when the wave hit.
He was there, too. I could see his silhouette through the rain and the spraying water that was the tidal wave’s aftermath, much as I had on the television set. Thirty feet tall, the majority of him was was muscled but not bulky.
Ah, okay, so he is huge. I had just begun to think he might not be.
He’s not quite as huge as the Lovecraftian monstrosities would’ve been, but still a lot bigger than a regular human.
His hunched shoulders, neck and upper torso were the exception, bearing cords of muscles that stood out like steel cables. It gave him a top-heavy appearance, almost like an inverted teardrop with limbs and a tail.
Not gonna lie, the comparison to steel cables just made me think of Weld.
So Leviathan has a tail, huh?
…I just realized what a suitable comparison might be. We’ve got a tailed monster attacking a city, with associations to natural disasters, being fought against by the locals and other parts of an organization in this case sort of analogous to the army.
It’s a kaiju movie. Leviathan is like a kaiju.
Although admittedly he’s a really small one compared to even the smallest iteration of Godzilla.
(#dang it timmy)
Also I guess Godzilla isn’t really associated with natural disasters.
His proportions were wrong – his calves and forearms seemed too long for his height, his clawed fingers and digitigrade feet doubly so.
Basically, scratch “seem to remain in human form physically”.
He moved with a languid sort of grace as he advanced through the spraying water. His arms moved like pendulums, claws sweeping against the water’s surface, while his upper body swayed left and right, as if to give counterbalance to his great height.
I feel like this is reminding me of some kind of specific animal, but I can’t quite place it.
His tail, forty or fifty feet long and whiplike, lashed behind and around him in time with his steps, perhaps borne of the same need for balance that gave him his teetering gait.
Oh jeez, he’s a long boi.
Gallons of water poured around him in the wake of his movements, roughly the same amount of mass as the body part that had just occupied the space. This ‘afterimage’ streamed down him and splashed violently against the water he waded through.
Ahh, that’s what it means.
As if the ocean didn’t make it hard enough to deprive him of ammo, he just needs to move a little to create loads more.
As he got closer to the heroes and villains that were organizing into lines, shouting something I somehow couldn’t hear over the buzz of fear and adrenaline, I could almost make out his face.
It’s a little late for “buzz”, don’t you think? :p
It was something you never really saw in the videos or pictures. He had no nose or mouth, no ears.
That would be a weakness Taylor could exploit. She’s got experience in getting rid of that particular facial organ.
His face was a flat, rigid expanse of the same scaly skin that covered the rest of him, like the scales of a crocodile’s back. The hard, featureless plain of Leviathan’s ‘face’ was broken up only by four cracks or tears – one on the right side of his face, three on the left.
Huh. Scars from previous attacks?
In each of those dark gaps, the green orbs of his eyes glowed with a light that pierced through the rain.
Huh, never mind. Asymmetrical eyes. It’s unusual, but I can dig it.
His head moved faster than the rest of him, twitching from one angle to the next like someone’s eyeball might flicker left, right, up and down, taking us all in, uncannily out of time with the rest of his body.
Not expecting so much immediate resistance, pal?
“Get ready!” Legend howled the words.
It was hard to say whether Leviathan heard the command or if Legend had spotted some tell, but Leviathan dropped to all fours at the same time Legend gave the command. With Legend’s cry still ringing in the air, Leviathan moved.
Something about that italicization and what we’ve been told about Leviathan’s mobility tells me he’s not gonna be moving just a few feet.
He was fast.
Fast enough that his clawed hands and feet didn’t touch the road beneath the water – after the initial push, his forward momentum was enough to let him run on the water’s surface.
As long as he keeps moving, at least, but I have a feeling water never particularly hinders Leviathan.
Fast enough that before I could finish drawing in a breath, to scream or shout something or gasp in horror, he was already in the middle of us, blood and water spraying where he collided with the lines of assembled capes, and the armbands were beginning to announce the hopelessly injured and deceased. Carapacitator down, CD-5. Krieg down, CD-5. WCM deceased, CD-5. Iron Falcon down, CD-5. Saurian down, CD-5…
Let the bloodbath begin.
No pun intended.
(#dang it timmy)
Endbringer of Extermination 8.2
So is this where we call in Godzilla to step on Leviathan and save the day? I dunno, I haven’t watched any of those monster vs. monster kaiju movies (or really any kaiju movies at all).
The battle has started and at least one formerly unnamed cape, WCM, is dead and many injured. Dang it, Timmy!
At least we’ve learned a lot about the Endbringers, finally. There are three of them: Behemoth, Leviathan and the Simurgh. Behemoth is the strongest one physically, the Simurgh is the most cunning one, and Leviathan balances the traits out more and has a focus on water. Leviathan’s known powers so far include monstrous form, macro scale hydrokinesis with extreme range and capacity, “water echo” leaving water behind every time he moves, high movement speed (especially when swimming) and possibly weather manipulation.
And Brockton Bay just so happens to be situated on a sinkhole-vulnerable aquifer. Great.
We’re certainly in for a ride here, folks!
Next chapter, Taylor needs to figure out what she’s supposed to do in this battle as her comrades fall around her. This won’t be easy.
See you then!
I apologize if anyone is disturbed by the occasional morbid jokes I make. Humor is how I default to dealing with some things, and I’m really sorry if it ever seems like I’m trivializing things that mean a lot to you.