While I’m at it, here, have another one. Meet Armor Gadget, the disgraced former leader of the Ponyville Protectorate, codename Hoofsmaster. (The manestyle on the right is less accurate to how I headcanon his hair and more accurate to how vriska he is.)

Snare 13.9

There’s a lightning storm outside. Let’s read some Worm.

So! Last time, shit went downhill harder than a cross between a bicycle and a sailboat with a strong wind on its side.

Shit obviously doesn’t belong down there, so now Taylor and co. need to figure out a way to beat their paralysis before Bonesaw fucks them up too much, and ideally to convince her to fix one mr. Brian “living freezer room” Laborn, so they can transport the shit back uphill.

Yeeeah, this ain’t gonna be easy. The wind and the hill are against the sailcycle now, and it’s intent on picking the vehicle apart and reshaping it into something completely different, like a biboat.

My extensive use of this analogy may or may not have something to do with me having just been out biking against strong wind.

As for more specific predictions, I’ll defer to Pastwell:

The situation reminds me a lot of when Bakuda got her hands on the Undersiders, with our protagonists being paralyzed at the mercy of a crazed villain who intends to fuck with their bodies. The stakes are higher, though, because of how Bonesaw does things, and this time, I don’t think they’re coming out with just a concussion.

I do think at least three of them are going to make it out of this situation alive, not counting Grue, but there’s little chance this isn’t going to lead to permanent changes for at least one or two of the protagonists, unless they somehow manage to convince Bonesaw to fix things without using that to her advantage.

Which, incidentally, is the only way we could get Grue home.

Regent is are out there still, but he has no reason to believe something’s wrong inside yet, so I doubt he’s going to be coming to their rescue. I suppose it’s possible that a stray light blast from Purity could cause an opening for the Undertravelers somehow.

I’m guessing there’s either one or two chapters left in this Arc (not counting Interludes). The next one’s probably going to be horrifying and hilarious and I’m very much looking forward to it.

(See also this ask about whether Grue will live or not and a couple more long-term things. TLDR: His chances are really bad.)

In hindsight, I’m going to up the minimum survival number to four or five. And that’s still not counting Grue, so if he does survive, he doesn’t count against that.

Other than that, I don’t really have any other solid predictions. I just want to move on and see what creative way Taylor gets out of this one.

Let’s go!

I felt something heavy on top of me, then three quick taps on my shoulder.  A signal?  Grue.

What are you doing, pal? It seems like Grue has some form of plan, but I’m not sure what it may be.

I didn’t fight him as he used what must have been his jacket to pat me down and splash water onto me.  I felt the water touch bare skin.

Yeeah, looks like her costume really didn’t handle the fire. Makes sense. I’ve been talking about how it might not handle heat, but this wasn’t just heat, this was the costume actually catching on fire, making it the fuel.

The pain and the heat continued as Grue hauled me to my feet, but the rational part of me knew he wouldn’t do that if I was still on fire.  I was burned.

Makes sense.

It hurt, but I wasn’t in imminent danger from anything or anyone except Burnscar and Mannequin.


I fell in the same moment we finally got free of the flames, and Grue fell with me.

Hey, make sure you get those feet out too.

There wasn’t fire underneath us, but I could still feel the heat, intense, accompanied by a blinding pain.  I was on fire.

Hey, maybe it’s a good thing you fell. You’ve both already stopped and dropped, now it’s time to roll!

The water was too shallow to extinguish the fires as they licked around us, and even rolling in it failed to do anything substantial.

Well, shit.

Uh, what other ways are there… covering the flames in some sort of fireproof fabric? But I doubt there’s much of that nearby.

Grue smothered us in darkness.  I’d fought alongside him before, I’d been under the effects of his power countless times, but this was different.

…interesting. Can he modify the exact properties of the darkness to make it better suited to putting out fires?

I was hurting, I wanted to find solutions, and now I couldn’t see.  I couldn’t even use my swarm sense to assess the situation, because the flames Burnscar had spread around the area were limiting my bugs’ movements.

Oh, that kind of different.

Our enemies, Mannequin and Burnscar, were similarly out of my reach.  I felt a swelling panic as I thrashed, trying to immerse myself. 


He was trying to maneuver the arm I was holding to grab onto me, his fingers and wrist bending at unnatural angles as he sought a grip on my hands and wrists. 

He changed tactics, making the blades in the arm spear out at random, to make it as impossible to hold as he could.

That sounds quite effective, honestly.

When that failed, he whipped the chain.

But apparently not enough.

I let go of the hand just in time to avoid being caught by the tail end of the whiplash.  He reeled it in, and it got about three-quarters of the way in before he ran into a slight snag.

Hopefully it won’t go in or out now.

End of Plague 12.5

That was a very good chapter.

We had a nice sense of urgency running through the first part of it as Taylor saved as many people as she could on her way home. Then the Shattering hit, just too late for Taylor to really save Danny from it like she was trying to, but fortunately, Danny’s a smart cookie and knows to take Taylor seriously.

Then at the end we had a bit of paranoia directed at some paramedics who, indeed, turned out to not quite be what they seemed. I liked my explanation for why they could be regular paramedics, but that wasn’t what the story needed right now. Right now it needed someone who could bring Taylor the message that Coil wanted her to take care of her territory.

And with another painful departure from the Hebert family house as Danny begged her to stay, Skitter took off to do just that.

So next chapter, it’s time to find out how badly things went there. I’m going to refrain from speculating much right now because I fucked up and did a chapter in one really long session again, and all I really want to do right now is go to sleep. More on what I expect for next chapter in next chapter’s intro post!

Until then, I leave you with this:


See ya!

A couple friends sent these images in our Discord server:

…and since I was already in a headspace set on “Worm and image editing”, I couldn’t help myself.