(For Elizabeth) This could be considered a spoiler so use your judgement, but you might consider telling Krix that the “upsetting” part of the current chapter is almost over. He seems to be having trouble reading through it (as he did through similar scences in the Merchant’s mall party in Arc 11), and I don’t blame him…

“I don’t really feel up to liveblogging today either, sorry. Not sure why.” If it’s because of the grim situation where you left off, you should know by now that nothing in Worm stays the same for long. Keep reading a bit. 🙂

I think that did have a lot to do with it, yes, though tiredness from work didn’t help.

I think it might be in part the helplessness that gets to me. This was roughly how I felt for large portions of 8.3. It wasn’t quite as extended and thorough as it was back then (you may recall that 8.3 was the first and so far only time I went “if the story continues like this consistently, I’m not sure I can keep this up”), at least.

It’s not that the scene’s connotations bring up bad memories for me, like I imagine it does for a lot of other people. I don’t have personal experience with rape or abuse, and if it were straight up a trigger for me, I wouldn’t be reading the story, due to Wildbow’s general trigger warning at the very beginning. It still makes me uncomfortable and angry (at Sugita,

not at Wildbow), though, and it’s something I’d rather not be sitting through in most cases.

Charlotte was rescued from a Merchant party where she was being forced to dance and refusing to strip. They litterally rescued her by having one of Tattletale’s soldier “buy” her. You’re not the only one to draw the conclusion that she was raped. However WoG is that she wasn’t, though I imagine living in constant fear of possibly being raped while thugs leer at you for God knows how long is probably traumatic on it’s own.

Ah, yeah, that’s very fair.

The weird thing is I wasn’t even thinking of during her captivity. I was thinking more about before her captivity, about the events leading up to it. Still, though, you’re right, the events during her captivity, actual physical rape or no, would be traumatic enough to cause the kind of reaction she displayed on their own.

I love these chapters where we see Taylor from an outside perspective. Bugs covering the face and costume don’t even register in her narration anymore and while Atlas is just a means for flying for Taylor, for others it may look like a monster straight from a horror movie (Image Clocky’s reaction). And the Sierra bit with the kids shows us that not only the capes are affected by the situation in the city and even the muggles have character development, for the worse and better

Hi Krix, I think this is about the third time in the story you have seen Taylor from someone elses point of view. Is this noticible and impactful to you reading? Any thoughts about that as part of the story and/or part of the mechanic for telling the story?

Seeing how others see Taylor is a treat. Sierra in particular, as she and Charlotte have rather unique perspectives on Skitter, being in her closest circle but not being fellow supervillains or even parahumans (I think this is only the third Interlude to feature the perspective of someone without powers, unless you count the portions of Battery’s Interlude before she got hers).

It’s actually something I wish we’d see more often. Taylor is big on rationalization, and she’s gotten used to some really freaky things, so it’s interesting to get looks at how she comes across to someone who can’t hear her rationalizations and aren’t used to those freaky things.

Dear screener and/or Krixwell, I wrote some commentary on the Wildbow advice re: update consistency from my own observations, but it ended up more than twice the character limit. How would you prefer I submit such commentary, if at all? Multiple asks? A link to Pastebin or wherever?

Sharks: I’d prefer pastebin, but it’s up to you (and them.)

Multiple asks (usually marked with something like “(cont.)” or “(1/3)”) is the most common approach to this (it may not be as noticeable on this blog as on others because I tend to undo the separation when quoting the full text, unless there’s a reason they’re separated besides character limits), but Pastebin also sounds like a very good solution. Apparently Sharks prefers that one, and I’m fine with either.

I think that when Sierra says that “they have to pull their weight” and “we can’t baby them forever” she’s talking about the adults of the O’Daly clan, as she wants to give them a wake-up call with the children going door to door. Not sure because she says that they are eating their food and occupying their sleeping spaces, which sounds like she is referring to the kids, but other than that it sounds like she means the adults, plus she’s nice to the kids. Just wanted to share my interpretation.

It might be a bit of both, though quite possibly more targeted at the adults, yeah. At least the part about pulling their weight.

Krixwell wanted to know if TV shows are a possibility for what Wildbow has written Ahh, well, it’s a shame none of it seems to be working out, but hey, people in the business being interested is still a pretty good start! And if it were to end up in TV form (movie sounds like a […]

Haggis. Hummus. I don’t know maybe your language does something with the spelling. 

As for the “hummus” confusion, you were probably thinking of “haggis”

you might be getting hummus confused with haggis! I definitely did as a kid!

“Well, then. Why do I associate it with Scotland??” I’m not really sure, but the only logical answer I can think of was your brain confusing Scotland being the home of hummus instead of haggis. Bit of a stretch, I know, but it’s all I got.

Mixing up hummus and haggis?

Ohhh. Yeah, that sounds like something I would do.

Oh yeah, before I finish up, I had a work thought yesterday that I forgot to post about:

What’s going to happen to Battery if Cauldron determines that being controlled by Regent while the rest of the Nine leave means Shatterbird hasn’t escaped the city like Cauldron asked. Maybe they don’t count that as a failure until Shatterbird’s actually dead, though, expecting Battery to make an effort to free Shatterbird from Regent?

If she fails in Cauldron’s eyes, does she get another task, another chance to pay up her debt? Or do they send out agents immediately to get rid of the debtor? They do seem relatively agreeable, if amoral, so I feel like they might give her a chance, at least.

End of Interlude 14

This chapter was a mixed bag. It started out with some nice thoughts about the corpses and dealing with them, as well as setting up some Chekhov’s gunmen (though the one using the literal gun ended up being the woman), but then it proceeded to talk about soup for a while (admittedly we got a nice contrasting of Sierra and Charlotte, helping to expand on Sierra’s character, when they discussed caring for the children vs putting them to work), with a “Bryce is a little shit” intermission. It wasn’t bad, but it felt dull by comparison when coming down from the excitement of the miasma.

Then the ABB members in the crew threw away the hope of redemption, which I wasn’t thrilled about. I know this isn’t a story where redemption is easy, but I still kinda wish this had happened with some other people. Some jerks that weren’t introduced a couple Arcs ago as former antagonist mooks. Sure, it makes sense that it’d be them, and it helped make them a credible threat, but I had better hopes for them.

Sugita’s treatment of Charlotte and the way she reacted immediately made me very uncomfortable. I only tagged the initial bit of this with the rape and abuse TWs once I got to the later part where that was made a little more explicit by Sierra speculating on Charlotte’s behavior (the other post with those tags), because that’s when I realized I should probably go back and add those, but the warning bells for those things were definitely going off in my head when I first blogged that part too. I think this might be a part of why I had some trouble getting back to the chapter, mixed with the other criticisms I’ve mentioned so far.

I am interested in hearing Charlotte’s story later, though.

Things rapidly got better the moment Taylor showed up, though! We got treated to some fantastic character writing here as she displayed her theatrical and intimidating side while also being very transparently exhausted as fuck. I could almost hear the exhaustion in her voice, the matter-of-factness of everything, things said by someone who just doesn’t have the mental energy to feel the emotions right now. The casualness of her cruel punishments, even if some of that was for show. And then the way she briefly broke down afterwards, showing her human side to Sierra more than ever, before opening up about her plans. So much good character stuff in the latter part of the chapter.

This is exactly the kind of role I was hoping Sierra could play for Taylor, isn’t it?

So – there’s one more Interlude before we reach the end of Arc 14. I don’t know if I dare to hope that it’ll be Charlotte’s POV, though that’d be neat. She’s my favorite of the drones (Sierra didn’t manage to take over that spot in this Interlude), and there’s clearly a story to be told regarding her reaction to Sugita. And I’d like to hear how she perceives Skitter too.

But if it’s not her… maybe someone in the Chosen (Cricket in particular comes to mind) learning about Hookwolf having gone?

Or maybe someone who was deeply affected by the miasma, perhaps finding out the member of the Nine they killed in self defense was actually a family member or something? Except the Interludes usually have an impact on the main story somehow. Maybe they’d trigger in response to the realization, or something like that. But now I’m less speculating and more making up a fanfic premise (that has probably been done at least five times). What kind of power would that lead to… Maybe the power to know who anyone you see is?

Hmmm. Well, I’ll have to find out next time. See you then! 🙂