Between 14.9-14.10

This just in: Bonesaw works for, and/or is, MatPat.

(#jokes aside this video is actually interesting
#it talks in detail about the exact scientific reasons why each option for how to do this would be unlikely to work
#though I’m sure Bonesaw could get around some of those reasons)

Are we allowed to remind him of OTHER blonde-haired parahuman girls in Brockton Bay who have previously gone around asking people not to swear? Because seeing him completely miss one of the most heart-stopping lines in the story is just painful.

Hopefully the ridiculousness of my idiocy in the next chapter made up for it, rather than making it worse.

Sharks didn’t specify, but I suspect this ask:

Thanks, screener! 🙂

was in response to Sharks not letting this through. A decision I agree with, honestly.

I was blaming you not figuring out that “Tattletale” and “Grue” weren’t actually Tattletale and Grue on the fact that the liveread format means you’d already forgotten that “Hey! Don’t swear!” Is litterally Bonesaw’s reaction… But I have to side with others now: You’re wayyyy too trusting in Taylor’s internal narration.You haven’t figured it out yet so I’m looking forward to your shock when you do. I hope it’ll be before it’s spelled out though.

I didn’t really forget (how could I? it’s one of Bonesaw’s most endearing and hilarious features, I love it). It just fell into something that ended up being a recurring problem throughout the next chapter: I kept giving the miasma way too much credit. Much like Taylor did, but worse.

Like a couple other asks point out, I even called out that it was like Bonesaw. But instead of thinking “hey, this is actually Bonesaw, not Lisa!”, I went “hey, maybe Bonesaw made the miasma cause people to dislike swearing! but why isn’t that affecting Taylor? maybe the miasma caused her to forget why she didn’t dislike swearing anymore…”

You’re probably gonna see the word “idiot” a lot in this ask session, because that’s really what I was being. :p

You could argue less ‘dark’ and more ‘human’. The Wards don’t have them because they haven’t grown up enough to make serious mistakes. ALSO WELD POCKETS MONEY SO NYEH

“The Wards […] haven’t grown up enough to make serious mistakes.”

*looks at Taylor and many other characters of similar ages, and Vista, who is the youngest Ward and the one with the darkest side we know of so far*

Anyway, the “dark” vs “human” thing is a fair point. Sentinel definitely showed us the Wards’ human sides.

(Weld once made the mistake of trying to pocket coins instead of bills and was caught metal-handed.)

Of all the chapters so far, this is the one I wish you hadn’t split up.

That’s fair, but hey, at least this way, I wasn’t exhausted by the time Taylor spelled the twist out for me, probably making my reaction much better.

This is the tensest chapter of the read-through yet. I keep being half-convinced Krix has already realised, especially with “he just flipped a switch back to fake normality.” I can’t throw any blame around though: I can’t remember exactly when I worked it out, but it definitely wasn’t from the end of the previous chapter which I only got on hindsight.

Yeah, you’d think that, wouldn’t ya. :p [here]

But nah, I wouldn’t string you guys on like that, even for entertainment purposes. This blog is supposed to be open and honest. Whenever I realize something and don’t tell you immediately, it’s a mistake on my part that I try to avoid.

Anyway, good to hear I’m not the only one who didn’t get it. Do you remember if the closing line of 14.8 seemed weird to you at the time?

This arc in dramatic irony: you posting that “Rivers Run Red” song several chapters before all the water in Brockton Bay turns red.

ahahaha oh my cod i did [here]

Unfortunately I don’t think this red-run river is going to keep Amy safe behind the stone.

I can’t believe you believed Lisa and Brian to be coldblooded murderers (especially Lisa) and Brian to be an emotional manipulator. You don’t have a pretty good opinion about these two Undersiders, eh? I personally realized who they’re for real when “Tattletale” said that Skitter should not swear. Tattletale was never against swearing so far in this story.

Like I mentioned earlier, a recurring problem for me in 14.8-9 was that I gave the miasma way too much credit. I thought they were deeply corrupted, all while (more quietly) questioning why changes like these didn’t seem to be happening to Taylor yet.

Y’know, instead of questioning whether the changes were actually because of the miasma at all (beyond “maybe this is a side of them they’ve never shown Taylor”, which was largely dismissed).

yeah, the intention was for people to figure out at the end of last chapter that it was the Nine, creating tense dramatic irony in this one. we’ve been tearing our hair out in #worm_spoilers this whole time.


“And it was all hinted towards at least as early as the last line of last chapter, which I found really weird. Someone smarter than me could probably tell from that line what was going on” – This was WB’s intention I’m pretty sure. The last line of 14.8 is treated by the fandom as one of the best reveals in the story, not as early foreshadowing.

Yeah, absolutely. The most telling part about that being the intention is that if you don’t get the implication (like, ahem, a certain doofus over here who’s currently talking from experience), it doesn’t really work well as a chapter-ending line. It’s written to be understood as “this is Bonesaw”, and if you don’t get that, the line just… flops.

Which, to be clear, is not criticism. The line works quite well when understood properly.

Aaaaah god Krixwell hope you don’t think I’m overreacting or rambling but those last few days have been the MOST emotionally invested that your liveblog has made me feel ! I was SO sure you would get it at the “Don’t swear !” ! Lisa swears all the freaking time ! You even said it was characteristic of Bonesaw !

Then I went and re-read ahead to try to guess when you would get it. And I guess it’s understandable that you didn’t question their super OOC behaviour once you had convinced yourself that it was really them, but how come you didn’t question it at the very start ? Taylor had every reason to be unsure but you just treated it as paranoia, while acknowledging that she had good reasons.

And man, Bonesaw obviously doesn’t know a thing about Lisa’s power. How could she keep an eye on Battery without any external clue ? She is not a seer ! Obviously Taylor can’t remember than but you can ! Hope you don’t think I’m screaming at you it was just a very exciting time

I felt as if YOU were Taylor, unsuspectingly trapped with the Nine and unable to realize the trickery… I want to emphasize that I’m not saying you’re not smart or anything, anybody can miss things, but those were some frustrating sessions !

Yeeeah, they fooled me even harder than they fooled Taylor. They were legitimately better actors than they needed to be considering how much Taylor couldn’t remember, and I was quick to accept the premise that Lisa could work around the miasma with her power (something like that already being established with regards to Imp helped to reinforce that). And like you say, a large part of why I didn’t question their identities as much as I should have later on was because I had already been convinced.

I did catch the thing about Bonesaw not getting that Lisa needs a thing to base her knowledge off of, but I was already under the impression that the miasma had made “Lisa” overconfident in her power.

Did Bonesaw and Jack really fool you so long even after the “Don’t Swear”-reveal? After saying that’s more a Bonesaw than a Lisa thing and that the emotional manipulation was uncharacteristic of Brian I totally thought you were just playing along. I recommend not getting caught up in agnosic miasmas anytime soon 🙂

This is one of many ways in which I’d be fucked if I had to deal with the Nine. :p

When Krixwell is finally freed from the effects of the miasma, please ask him to do a liveblog of his past few liveblog sessions. I want to see him scream at both Taylor and Pastwell.


You really should reread this chapter and the previous one, now that the bamboozle has been revealed. It’s a whole different experience where you notice all the inconsistencies and hints, and see Taylor’s decisions in a very different light.


Now, can we have a couple of retrospective posts of Pastwell for these chapters? Pretty please?

Upd. on my previous ask: I guess you delivered on retrospective, yay!

Yeah, I was right there with you guys in deeming this a necessity, before I even moved on from the reveal and finished 14.9. 🙂

Also in meta-dramatic-irony, watching as Krixwell completely misses the dramatic irony the reader is supposed to be experiencing.

Hehe, yeah. I got to experience some of that meta-DI myself, too, while looking back at my bloggings. :p

they played you like a damn fiddle

They really did. The Nine and me during 14.9:

Taylor, the first person we know of to touch the leader of the Slaughterhouse Nine and not only not immediately dying after, but actually getting a hug. And the best is that Jack said he loves her while pretending to be Grue. I don’t have seen a Taylor/Jack Slash shipping fic yet, but kudos to everybody who could write one while keeping everyone in character


Sharks: i mean bonesaw but does she count as a person? :p

I know, right? [here] Jack isn’t exactly the hugging type (no wonder the hug was awkward), which just makes it even better that it was he who initiated it.

The weirdest thing about Jack talking about Brian x Taylor is that Taylor didn’t question the indication that there was something between her and a guy who I’ve never thought looks near her or Brian’s age. Does Jack look a lot younger than I’ve been imagining and all the fanart I’ve seen depicts him as? I’ve been thinking he’s in his thirties.

It’s possible he was in a fake costume that hid his face and thus his age. Because of the vagueness/lack of descriptions in 14.8 and 14.9 (even though “Hey! Don’t swear!” was clearly supposed to be the reveal, Wildbow didn’t let down the pretense entirely in 14.9, which I appreciate – see also the way Taylor not knowing who Battery was reflected by literally only her gas mask and female figure being described), we can’t easily tell what he’s wearing.

I do suppose he also has a plastic surgeon who could help him look young if he wanted to.

FINALLY! Readers were going mad at the end of the last chapter. How did it take you so long to figure out it’s The Scentless Man and his secret mastermind minion Bitch!

Anyway, thanks for showing us the alternative interpretation for the last 1.5 chapters. It was fun seeing you rationalize so much things.

His unsmellable machinations continue, and nobody has caught a whiff of his plans yet! His ploy to cover Brockton Bay in deodorant is proceeding unhindered. It is only a matter of time.

The funniest thing here was that the “no swearing” line was supposed to be the reveal, a wham line the readers would catch (and most DID catch) but not Taylor, but you missing it made it all more entairtraining. It is good that you do not read the comments :p

I’m glad some of you enjoyed it! Many of the askers seem to have found it more frustrating than entertaining, but it’s good to hear that it wasn’t all bad. 🙂

I’m pretty sure I’d be on the “this is hilarious” side myself if I were among you. That’s certainly what my stance was on @zephyrthejester‘s Triangle Clan.

I think if Bonesaw wanted she could make the spider-bots have artificial nerves or something to match Taylors power. Bonus points for biological bug-to-human nerve signal translators for implanting in her Frankencape creations so Taylor can control these too. (Night/Grue would be a really effective combination btw.) While Amy/Taylor team-ups are most broken, Taylor/Bonesaw teamups would be nothing to sneeze at.

Oh man, yes, that would be very powerful if they could do it.

AU where Taylor leaves the Undersiders to form a new team with both Amy and Bonesaw. And let’s invite Lisa too, just so we have all my favorite characters on one team. :p

And yeah, an amalgamation of Night and Grue would be terrifingly effective. Especially now that Grue has his second power, though considering that the amalgamates’ powers are weakened, Grue’s second power (which already only gives him a small portion of the power) wouldn’t let him borrow much at all. Still, though, that is an added bit of versatility on top of everything Night’s monster form can do.

I don’t know about Michael Jackson, but in 10.6 Taylor compared Jack Slash to Johnny Depp

Hah, yeah, she did!

“Especially him using those weighted shoes MJ had that let him dip really far forward.” Those weren’t weighted. They were slotted, and there were nubs on the floor he could step into and lock. Also, you should revisit the last line of 14.8 with new eyes.

Oh, huh, I guess I misunderstood when I found out about them. This does make much more sense, since otherwise he’d need to have heel weights almost as heavy as he himself was. That’s only slightly less of an issue for mobility than being locked to the floor is.

Bonesaw, probably asked Skitter to tell her when Battery was outside of her range, so that Skitter wouldn’t notice that Battery was being murdered by mechanical spiders.

Ah, yeah, that makes sense.

Honestly most of Brian’s detractors are arguably fans who wish he wasn’t boring and wanted to see more of him. He’s the most mundane of the group (Taylor’s time with him was basically mundane shippyness) and due to being so reserved we have to piece his past together. Just a consequence of being around a show stealing cast tbh.

That makes sense.

There’s something similar going on in the MLP fandom, where Applejack keeps coming last in Mane Six popularity polls, in part because she’s often the straight mare of the group, the reasonable one (though Twilight gets her share of that role too).

And in the Homestuck fandom, I don’t see people saying John Egbert, who starts out as an audience proxy and often ends up as a straight man towards the ridiculousness of other characters, is their favorite human kid very often. (I do like him, though. He’s a relatable dork.)

[reblogging the ask response where I talked about the Jack/Skitter age difference]

I got into an unrelated discussion with a friend and I think I stumbled across an explanation:

The miasma makes everyone look like they were drawn by Hirohiko Araki, artist of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, thus making it impossible to tell ages.

Skitter has the weirdest Rogues Gallery.

Yeah, but damn if it’s not a fun one!


FUCK now I’m picturing Grue with Applejack’s voice 😂

“Ah’m sorry,” he said. “Ah’m on edge. Ah’m spooked. Ah can’t calm down. Ah shouldn’ta said what ah done.”
“And you can’t stop thinking? I feel like that, all the time, and I have for a while.”

“They had Aisha. So much ta what ah’ve done, ah done ‘cause ah wanted ta s’port her. Make up fer the fact that ah wadn’ there when she done needed it, before. Only we’re puttin’ her in mawr danger, and she don’t respect me ‘nough ta let me keep her outta danger.”

I turned around.

“And long as ah’m bein’ hawnest and upfront,” he said, “ah was thinkin’ about you when ah had mah trigger event.”

I swallowed.

“Ah ain’t fixin’ to lah and say ah’ve suddenly reelahzed ah’m in love with you. Ah don’t really know what ah feel, so ah can only comment on what ah think. Ah can say ah respect you on a lot ta levels, even if’n ah can’t figger you out.”

“Sure as hell didn’t sound like you respected me thirty seconds ago.”

“Ah worry about you. You throw yerself into these situations lahk you don’t care if’n you dah, lahk you got nothin’ ta stick ‘round fer ‘cept fer those people ye insist on protectin’. Dinah, the people from yer territory. People you barely know, if at all. And then you actually make it out okay, so you do it again, only mawr so. Riskier stuff.”

I folded my arms. This was uncomfortably close to what he’d been saying before.

“Ah start thinkin’ ‘bout how ah’m s’posed ta protect you, get you ta stop, get you ta focus on a goal that’s actually attainable, ‘cause you’re so capable that you could be amazing if’n you stopped actin’ all suicidal-lahk. Then ah get pissed at mahself and ah get pissed at you, ‘cause ah can’t figger you out, and you move forward so fast ah can’t keep up. Ah let mah guard drop fer one evenin’ ta focus on other things, and then ah fahnd out you done gotten in a faht with Mannequin.”

“It’s not your job to look after me. If you want to get on my case because I’m putting you and the others at risk, that’s fine. It’s your right to yell at me for that. But don’t make me feel bad because you can’t be the macho stallion, protecting me.”

“That’s not-” he stopped. “No. Ah’m tryin’ ta say ah think about you mawr than ah should.”

I looked away. I might have asked whether he thought about me more than he should because he cared, or because I was a fuck up. I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear the answer, either way.

“Stay? When ah asked you ta keep me company, ah was bein’ genuine. Rather not be alone with mah thoughts.”

(#i based this largely on a general description of southern american english
#couldn’t find any sufficient guide on applejack’s particular variant
#so there may be some features in here that aren’t actually part of how she speaks
#there may also be other fuckups
#in short
#don’t scrutinize the details of the accent too heavily :p)

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