Hey, would you mind ordering the S9 from your favourite to least favourite member so far? Also, i believe the anniversary bonus lacking from some of the chapters is because these were posted on regular update days.
Interludes 11a, 11d, and 11h were published on a Saturday/Tuesday/Saturday. Wildbow consistently updates on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and anything else is a bonus update. That’s why those don’t have a bonus tag but the others do.
Ahh, that makes sense.
My thoughts when I read that Bonesaw was five years younger than a high-school student: “Wait that puts her in Jr. High at the oldest and she’s been at this for years OH GOD! What the hell psycho murderer elementary school event triggered her because holy shit that is messed up.
Yeeeah. She’s about twelve years old (Interlude 10b has Marquis saying that Amy would be 17), which makes her a little younger than Vista and the same age as Dinah.
Which suggests high power, too, if what was said about young triggerers in Agitation is true. For tinkers, high power is a vague term, but it can’t be easy to do the sort of things she does in only four hours when she’s taking her time.
As evidence for pony Skitter controlling parasprites I submit to you this amazing piece of art by ChromaCurves. They have also made some equivalent pictures for some other groups but those are still spoilery.
I just realized that you said Breezies instead of parasprites, and also that someone had already shared that my little undersiders picture. My bad. Still pr. her conversation with Brian where she controlled a crab, Taylor controls things with simple minds not strictly bugs, so both breezies and changelings would probably be safe.
That’s probably true, yeah. Especially the changelings.
SPOILERS for MLP: That said if they weren’t the changed lings wouldn’t be immune as they are beetles not deer (the deer horns are pincers).
Oh, huh, I never put that together. That’s a pretty neat detail and explains a bit about the transformation.
Beetles or not, “fairy deer” is very much their aesthetic these days, but this does make them more susceptible to Taylor’s power.
Another species that might be susceptible to Taylor’s power if you ignore the possible limitation of “simpleminded”: Homestuck trolls.
Well, there was a fic some time ago where she became a changeling. She was fucking brutal.
Huh. Sounds neat!
Taylor would actually fit really well as not just a changeling, but a changeling queen, I think.
May I suggest Krixwell watches any further Worm YouTube content on incognito mode?
I don’t think the problem arises from what I watch in this case. I don’t watch on YouTube itself, but rather through this site, Polsy, which embeds the videos without showing any related video thumbnails or titles (it’s a very valuable tool for livebloggers and their ask screeners). I don’t think anything I watch through that counts towards the algorithms, though I’m not 100% sure.
For instance, I watched this Homestuck video several times while setting up the recording, but haven’t seen any impact of this on my recommendations – though if YouTube did count that, it might’ve only counted that as one view since I don’t think I reloaded the page, whereas watching Worm Abridged Arc 1 and 2 once each was starting a series.
If it turns out I’m wrong and watching embedded videos does count, then it might help to switch to this other site, nospoiler.com, which does the same thing as Polsy but uses Flash instead of plain embedding. Or, yes, incognito mode might help.
But yeah, what I believe happened is that the algorithms noticed that I uploaded a video titled “[REACTION] Worm Abridged | Act 1 and 2” (whoops, that’s supposed to be “Arc”) and figured that I’d be interested in a video titled “Parahumans Worm Abridged Arc 3”. As such, my first step to avoiding this will be creating a channel on a separate YouTube account to upload Worm videos (and other reaction videos I might do) to, so that I won’t see whatever impact they have on recommendations, because I’ll be using my original account for those. I’m going to delete the video I already did and re-upload it there, too, though I’m not sure that will remove Worm Abridged Arc 3 from my recommendations.
[YouTube has since changed its embed function in a way that broke both of these sites’ main function with respect to livebloggers. GG YouTube.]
“I’m bringing sisters together” “I’ve found a way to never stop screaming!” “No I did that too”
he did the mash!
Panacea’s power *definitely* doesn’t work on herself, and I’m pretty sure this has already been made clear; it’d be hella fucking overpowered if it did.
Hm, I suppose it would be. Good point.
Neil is Manpower, and Manpower is dead. Seems like Glory Girl telling Amy to have him watch Mark was a mistake, though I guess it’s possible that Victoria was caught up in the heat of the moment and forgot he was dead.
That’s a good and heartbreaking Watsonian explanation.
I assume the line about touching is referring to Amy’s power to look at people’s insides (including their brains cough cough) with a touch.
(these are separate asks)
It’s never explicitly spelled out in story, so I think it’s important to note that the Manton Effect is more intended to be worldbuilding about how people *react* to powers than worldbuilding about powers themselves. The Manton Effect isn’t… a *thing*. It’s a term some academics invented while grasping at straws trying to express their confusion at how powers work. Powers that it’s relevant to aren’t *that* common; scientists just had their minds blown by the fact that they *exist at all*.
Hmm. That’s fair. But then why do we have things like Faultline being unable to cut through living wood?
My headcanon is that there are 3 parts to the Manton effect, depending on the power. Living/unliving (or organic/inorganic), self/others (like Othala giving other people powers, but not herself), and parts/whole (like teleporters not moving only your head to decapitate you). Some capes will be able to break one or more from the beginning, but it takes a second trigger to break limits that were set on the powers from the start.
Yeah, that makes sense, from what we’ve seen, although they could be seen as separate criteria for what a valid target is.
Manton Effect already doesn’t apply to Panacea. Manton Effect isn’t a power boost/debuff like you put it, its a interaction limiter between, VERY mainly, direct biological effects. Its an effect that goes both ways most of the times: a fireproof pyrokinectic cant burn himself, nor can he create flames from inside someone. A teleporter can’t be imploded by teleporting inside an object, but he also can’t teleport other people inside walls for the very same reason.
Hmm, that is a very good point. As Bonesaw put it, the power eliminates ways it could hurt its wielder, so maybe that extends to others in some cases.
Hack Job’s power being weaker than Hatchet Face’s seems to mostly mean that it has extremely reduced range.
Bonesaw mashing two capes together makes both powers less effective, so Hack Job had a much smaller power canceling field. That’s why Mark was able to keep firing blasts. HJ could theoretically have just teleported to Mark and grabbed him, but he’d have to be ordered to do that, because he was stupid even before his “death”.
Ahh, right, that works. When he was blocking Amy’s power, he was right up next to her, after all.
Remember how in the interlude after the bank robbery Gallant talked to Panacea about how he thought she loved him? His power made him see emotions as a colored cloud around people, and whenever he saw her she had the love color around her. But really, it was only that color because he made Panacea think of Glory Girl.
Damn, quite the crafty foreshadowing right there.
Hey remember in Victoria’s interlude when she tried to use her aura on Amy and Amy said she’d been exposed to it so much she’d become immune? *hint hint*
According to Wildbow, one of the reasons Amy had feelings for Victoria was because of Victoria’s aura being used on her repeatedly while she was emotionally vulnerable due to puberty.
Sharks: This actually has an ambiguous response by Wildbow. We don’t really know if it’s true or not
I vaguely alluded to this at the end of this post [here, search “immune”]. It’s certainly a possibility, and not an unlikely one, but I honestly appreciate it being ambiguous how much of a hand the aura had in this.
Worm had several initial drafts, where many character’s backstories were explored, along with tons of worldbuilding. One of them had Amy and Victoria as the main characters. This is something that had been planned for a while.
Ah, yes, Guts and Glory. Had that been released to the public before this reveal made it into Worm?
Remember all of those discussions we had back in 6.x/7.1, about the idea of accidentally doing something horrible with a superpower, and about the idea of using a superpower to make someone fall in love with you? Now you know what Wildbow was setting up by introducing those two concepts back to back. So now for the question everyone wanted to ask you back then, but couldn’t: What do you think about the legal/ethical implications of *accidentally* making someone fall in love with you?
Well, legally… we’ve already seen how the legal system around here treats accidents sometimes. It’s not pretty, even if what happened to Paige wasn’t the norm.
Ethically… it’s not really that bad. Accidentally causing someone to feel a certain way is a very different thing than intentionally manipulating them. Exploiting that accident on purpose is not a great thing to do, though. It’s pretty clear that Amy had no intentions of doing so, though.
If you think about it, Bonesaw is a lot like Cupcakes!PinkiePie. Down to the dislike of swearing, even. So maybe you guessed yet another thing correctly.
Bonesaw makes your april fools joke even funnier to us rereaders, and now you know why.
What are your current thoughts on Pinkie Pie being an alternate-universe Slaughterhouse Nine member?
So how do you feel about your April Fool’s Day joke theory that Cupcakes is actually a pony version of canonical events in the Wormverse being proven right?
I’m really glad it turned out this way. In part because I quite enjoy Cupcakes!Pinkie, and in part because this helps to prove me right about the main reason I chose Cupcakes for the April Fool’s liveblog: Its interpretation of Pinkie would fit into the Slaughterhouse Nine quite well.
Back in 3.12, you noticed how Tattletale said Panacea would feel heartbreak if her secrets were revealed. Now you know why.
And Tattletale was right as usual.
Now that you know all the Nine’s powersets and have a general sense of their personalities, could you rank the living ones in terms of how difficult you think they’d be to beat in direct combat?
Ranking that is pretty difficult once the versatility of powers gets involved, especially without knowing who’s fighting them. Let’s take a stab at it, though:
- Pinkie Pie
- Jack Slash (but he’s not gonna die)
Bonesaw is my favorite villain. Er, antagonist.
Good taste. 😉
1) Suggestion to reread the Gallant-Amy conversation in Interlude 3, now that you know what is going on under the surface. 2) Which S9 member (if any at all) do you find the most viscerally horrifying? For me it is Cherish without a doubt. The idea that she can twist my feelings and make me want to kill myself… *shudders*.
1) Yeah, I should do that.
2) Oh yeah, I agree. Cherish’s power is quite horrifying. It’s either her or Bonesaw.
[The quotes below are excerpts from Interlude 3, unless marked otherwise as excerpts of my original comments on it. On Tumblr the quotes from Pastwell’s commentary were marked by being italicized, but WordPress automatically italicizes all the blockquotes anyway. (I’ve been looking for a way to disable that.)]
Gallant hesitantly raised his hand, “One of Hellhound’s dogs slammed into me. I think I might have a broken rib. Paramedics cleared me, but I want to be extra sure I’m not risking a punctured lung or something.”
Panacea frowned, then gestured to the far end of the room, “I’ll take a look at you over there?”
Hating Gallant due to jealousy explains why she frowned here.
“Go figure, Glory Girl’s boyfriend gets special treatment,” Clockblocker grinned to make it clear he was just poking fun. Gallant just smirked in response.
And here we have a well-timed reminder of Glory Girl and Gallant’s relationship.
The pair went to Gallant’s alcove, and she sat him down on the bed before laying a hand on his shoulder. She pulled her hood back and furrowed her brow.
“You don’t have a punctured lung. You’ve got one fractured rib, but you’re not even in that much pain. Why-”
“I lied. I wanted to talk to you, alone,” he took her hand.
Dun dun dunnn.
She scowled and pulled her hand back like he’d bitten her. As if to make doubly sure he wouldn’t grab her hand again, she folded her arms.
“You know I can sense emotions,” he said, “Everyone’s emotions, like a cloud of colors around them. Can’t turn it off. It’s just how I see the world.”
“Victoria mentioned that.”
“So you’re an open book to me. I know you’re scared. No… you’re terrified, and that’s why you’re not talking.”
This would be because of what Tattletale said, and the fact that Gallant is the one calling her out on it doesn’t help.
She sighed and sat on the bed, as far from Gallant as she could.
“I never wanted these powers. I never wanted powers, period.”
“But I got them anyways, and I got international attention over it. The healer. The girl who could cure cancer with a touch, make someone ten years younger, regrow lost limbs. I’m forced to be a hero. Burdened with this obligation. I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t use this power. It’s such an opportunity, to save lives.”
This is the part of this conversation I remember better.
The international attention suggests people who can heal others are very, very rare. Maybe even unique to Amy.
…hah, apparently I was already comparing her to Spiderman back then:
“With great power comes great responsibility.” This is exactly the kind of situation that quote refers to – Panacea could probably relate to Peter Parker if they met and talked for a while.
Spiderman may sound like he’s enjoying the superhero work, and on one level I think he does, but he’s motivated to pick it up by the lesson his uncle’s death taught him: That if he has the capability to help people, he has a duty to do it.
It’s a similar story with Panacea, but unlike Spiderman, she doesn’t seem to enjoy it.
“But at the same time… I can’t cure everyone. Even if I go to the hospital every night for two or three hours at a time, there are thousands of other hospitals I can’t visit, tens of millions of people who are terminally ill or living in a personal hell where they’re paralyzed or in constant pain. These people don’t deserve to face that, but I can’t help them all. I can’t help one percent of them if I put in twenty hours a day.”
“You have to focus on what you can do,” Gallant told her.
“Sounds easier than it is,” Panacea answered, with a touch of bitterness, “Do you understand what it means, to cure some of these people? I feel like every second I take to myself is a second I’ve failed somehow.
I want to hug her.
Can I hug her please?
Hehe, it’s fun to see the ways I’m still in tune with Pastwell’s feelings and thoughts about Amy.
For two years, it’s been this… pressure. I lie in bed, awake at night, and I can’t sleep. So I get up and I go to the hospital in the middle of the night. Go to pediatrics, cure some kids. Go to the ICU, spare some lives… and it’s all just blending together. I can’t even remember the last few people I saved.”
She has a hard life.
She sighed again, “The last person I really remember? It was maybe a week ago, I was working on a kid. He was just a toddler, an immigrant from Cairo, I think. Ectopia Cordis. That’s where you’re born with your heart outside your body. I was putting everything in the right place, giving him a chance at a normal life.”
Sounds like a mess.
Heart outside your body? Yikes, that sounds like a mess of a disorder.
I know right, Pastwell?
“What made him so memorable?”
“I resented him. He was lying there, fast asleep, like an angel, and for just a second, I considered just leaving him. The doctors could have finished the job, but it would have been dangerous. He might have died if I’d left him on the table, the job half done. I hated him.”
Gallant didn’t say anything. Scowling, Panacea stared down at the ground.
“No, I hated that he would have a normal life, because I’d given up mine. I was scared that I might intentionally make a mistake. That I might let myself fuck up the procedure with this kid. I could have killed him or ruined his life, but it would have eased the pressure. Lowered expectations, you know? Maybe it would have even lowered my own expectations for myself. I… I was just so tired. So exhausted. I actually considered, for the briefest moment, abandoning a child to suffer or die.”
Seriously. She needs a hug.
Then again, that worked out quite well when Victoria gave her one, didn’t it.
“That sounds like more than just exhaustion,” Gallant replied, quietly.
“Is this how it starts? Is this the point I start becoming like my father, whoever he was?”
There’s a way stronger sense of continuity between Interlude 4 and Interlude 11h than I remembered.
Gallant let out a slow breath, “I could say no, that you’re never going to be like your father. But I’d be lying. Any of us, all of us, we run the risk of finding our own way down that path. I can see the strain you’re experiencing, the stress. I’ve seen people snap because of less. So yeah. It’s possible.”
Gallant was a good man. This is possibly the best thing he could say here, being honest but also clear about the fact that Panacea’s chance of becoming evil is not strictly because of her heritage.
“Okay,” she said, just under her breath. He waited for her to elaborate, but she didn’t.
“Take a break. Tell yourself it’s something you have to do, to recharge your batteries and help more people in the long run.”
“I don’t think I can.”
They sat in silence for a few moments.
That’s the problem, but he’s also right. She needs a break. And a hug. Definitely a hug.
All the hugs for Amy.
He turned towards her, “So what does this have to do with what happened at the bank?”
“She knew everything. That Tattletale girl. She said she’s psychic, and from what she said, what she knew, I believe it.”
Y’know, Amy told Victoria that she hated Gallant, but she doesn’t seem to act like it at all. She treated him like someone she could confide in.
Whether that means she’s just that good at controlling herself or that hatred wasn’t the only thing she felt for Gallant is unclear, but I’m leaning towards the latter.
“You know what it’s like, to talk to people like her? Like you, no offense? You build up this mask, you delude yourself into thinking everything is normal, and you force yourself to look past the worst aspects of yourself… and then these Gallants and Tattletales just strip you naked. Force you to confront it all.”
“You said yourself, you can’t turn it off, right? Can’t really blame you. It’s just… it’s hard to be around. Especially after dealing with Tattletale.”
But yes, it’s not like she could hide much.
“What did she say?”
“She threatened to talk about stuff. Stuff worse than what I just told you, I guess. Threatened to tell me things I just don’t want to know. Said she’d use what she knew to ruin my relationship with Victoria and the rest of my family,” Amy hugged herself.
At least someone hugged her.
Good to see someone’s hugging her, even if it has to be she herself.
“My sister’s all I’ve got. The only person with no expectations, who knows me as a person. Carol never really wanted me. Mark is clinically depressed, so as nice as he is, he’s too focused on himself to really be a dad. My aunt and uncle are sweet, but they’ve got their own problems. So it’s just me and Victoria. Has been almost from the beginning. That smug little monster threatened to tear my sister and I apart using yet another thing I didn’t want, another thing I had no control over.”
Amy’s thoughts on her parents were established already? Huh.
Gallant started to speak, then stopped.
“Does… does this have anything to do with the, erm, rather strong feelings you have towards me?”
Panacea went still.
Here we go, the juicy part.
And yes, it did have something to do with that, just not directly.
Ahaha, nice work there, Wildbow
I’m not being sarcastic: It comes enough out of nowhere to catch the reader off-guard, but it’s not unforeshadowed either – did I not point out that Panacea was acting more shyly than usual and suggest that maybe there was someone here causing that? There’s also her reaction to Gallant taking her hand. Nice work.
Man, the dramatic irony there must’ve been when I suggested Gallant was going for Panacea behind Glory Girl’s back… ahaha
Ah, yes, Pastwell, you go on believing that, sure.
“I’m sorry,” he hurried to say, “I shouldn’t have brought it up.”
“You shouldn’t have,” she stood up and started towards the door.
“Look, if you ever need to talk…” he offered.
“You probably won’t want it to be me, okay. But my door’s always open, and you can call me at any hour. Just letting you know.”
I like this guy.
Me too, Pastwell. Me too.
“Okay,” she replied. Then she reached over to him and touched his shoulder, “There. Bruises gone, ribs touched up.”
“Thank you,” he replied, opening the door for her.
“Take care of my sister, okay? Make her happy?” she murmured, as she hesitated in the doorway.
“Goes without saying.” They rejoined the main group.
And of course that’s Amy’s main concern.
This whole conversation was fantastic. Revelations about Panacea, Gallant being an excellent friend and sort-of therapist, the awkwardness at the end… everything about it was well done.
Yeah, I think I can stand by this. Knowing the truth about the awkwardness just makes it even better.
[reblogging the ask about Panacea’s power not working on herself]
While making my way to the relevant portion of Interlude 3 for the previous post, I came across confirmation of this.
“So it’s Glory Girl up in the sky, then. Excellent. I like their dynamic and Victoria is the one Amy felt closest to and whose rejection she took the hardest.” Where to begin…
Hehehe, yeah. Their conversation did fulfill part of what made me say this, though: It was very interesting.
Now the question is, would Mark really have been so forgiving and understanding? Or did Amy do that subconsciously? We can never really be sure, and I think that’s the most terrifying part of Amy’s power.
Hmm. I got the vague impression that he was forgiving and understanding even before Amy healed him, but we know she’d been healing little things for him. So the next question becomes whether she would be liable to accidentally do something like that before Bonesaw forced her, without noticing it herself.
But yes, it is possible.
I’ve been waiting for you to get to 11.h basically since you started. That reveal at the end is probably my favorite moment in anything, ever. I never saw it coming, yet in retrospect it makes everything click into place perfectly. Plus it’s just extremely tragic. Where do you think Amy’s story is going to go from here? Would she ever join the S9, even having lost basically everything?
Reveals that you don’t see coming but that make perfect sense with all the foreshadowing are the best kind!
I don’t think Amy knows where she’s going herself. On top of that, she’s going to be a target for the Slaughterhouse Nine, and Cherish can help them keep track of her movements.
There’s a good chance she’ll get in trouble pretty quickly.
I don’t think she’ll end up in the S9, but she will continue to be troubled by her growing resemblance to her father. If she survives the trials, she’ll need to find a new place to stay. Maybe she’ll join the Wards? Except she knows Victoria is considering that, so that might be a bad idea.
I would expect this one more from fanfics than canon, but it’d be pretty fun if she somehow ended up joining the Undersiders. 😛
So, about Amy’s interlude… Yeah, fuck off Vicky. I get that you wanted an explanation, I get that you were worried about your sister (emphasis on ‘were’), but if the person with touch-based absolute, near-subconscious control of biology tells you she’s not in a stable frame of mind so you shouldn’t touch her, then you don’t get to get away with blaming Amy for the consequences. No way, no how. Not with your aura probably worsening the whole situation on top of that.
Yeeeah. Amy did warn her, and it’s not like Victoria wasn’t fully aware of Amy’s power.
To be fair, Victoria may have momentarily forgotten about the power and interpreted it the same way I did at first – as essentially “don’t try to comfort me, let me go, don’t make this harder for me via physical contact”. But even under that interpretation, she disrespected Amy’s request personal space in the moment.
Want some more livebloggery to read?
If the idea of a Twig liveblog appeals to you, go check it out: @katliveblogs