And she was back in the dark room, staring at the man.

Alright, so that was short, but very neat. Man, I love the Dandelion scenes.

The betrayer.

Of Hope? Sorry, too much Wheel of Time…

The memory was already fading, but she instinctively knew that whatever had happened to Sarah had just happened to her.

Hell yes. Go, figure out your power!

His gun was spent, which was good, because Sarah had fallen to the ground in the same instant Carol had, and the wall of light was gone.

Carol advanced on him, her emotions so wild and varied and contradictory that she’d seemed to settle into a kind of neutrality, a middle ground where there was only that confused sense of betrayal.

And perhaps purpose?

A weapon appeared in her hands, forged of light and energy and electricity.  Crude, unrefined, it amounted to little more than a baseball bat.

It’s a decent start.

…huh. We’ve seen precisely two people’s Dandelion experiences during their own trigger events (three if you count Battery’s) and they were both young girls who were given the power to summon weapons to fight back against armed captors.

Wait a minute.

I included Charlotte in the Wheel of Time crossover thing because I wanted someone from Worm to be able to channel the One Power subconsciously and only learn about it after ending up in Randland (this would be how they activated the portal stone), but didn’t want to give any of the Undersiders additional powers. In retrospect, though… I totally should’ve given it to Skitter.

I mean, who better to use a magic system themed after weaving than the spidery tailor?

And so it’s Rachel’s turn, unless we’ve got a couple more paragraphs of Alec.

There was a long pause where nobody spoke.

Nice, Alec.” Brian said.

Pffft. :p

Alec chuckled.  “What?  It’s true.  That Dinah kid said it was.  Don’t pretend it’s not going to happen.  Might as well live it up before everything goes to hell in a handbasket.”

You know, I’m seriously very glad it’s this brand of nihilism. It’s far less insufferable than the “why bother” variety, and actually kind of lines up with my own philosophies, except mine have a somewhat more optimistic bent.

“There’s a chance it won’t,” I replied, my voice quiet.  “And with the sheer variety of powers out there, there’s got to be an answer.”

You know the situation is globally fucked when Taylor is speaking up as the optimist in the conversation.

“That optimism’s bound to be wearing thin by now,” Alec commented.

“Enough,” Brian said.

I mean, to be fair, it’s not the first time she’s done it, but still. If Taylor’s the one holding onto hope you’re probably in a very bad situation.

“Why are you guys freaking out?  Because I’m calling you out on your willful blindness?  The world’s gonna end, and I’m okay with that.  Therefore I’m saying I’ll go along with your plan, whatever it is.  Why argue with me?”

There’s a distinct argument about resignation in the face of prophecy here too.

I’m already reexperiencing the Wheel of Time on the side. That story’s main theme is “it’s not that great to be bound by prophecy” and it has enough on this subject to talk about it for an Age. So, uh…

Crossover potential?

During an exhausting mission in the countryside near Brockton Bay, the Undersiders and Charlotte take a rest by a stone covered with strange markings. When they wake up, they find themselves far from anywhere they’ve ever seen before, unfamiliar mountains visible in the distance. As they explore their new surroundings, they discover a world in turmoil as the Dragon Reborn, savior and destroyer in one, breaks all bonds of culture and inspires wars, scheming and more and creatures of the Shadow advance on the world. And it all only gets worse when the residents of this odd new world begin to have trigger events…

Anyway, Taylor’s not going to stand by idly and watch the world end, whether she can help it or not. She’s proven that kind of determination already.

“No.  Her employer didn’t say anything on the subject.”

“We’ll take measures,” Eidolon said.  “Evacuation, we’ll also push for automatic shutdown controls on power grids and nuclear facilities.

Evacuation? To where? Mars?

With the Endbringers out there, it would be sensible to do it anyways.  We can reduce the potential damage.”

Yeah, I don’t know about evacuation, but this part is a good idea.

“Unless,” Alexandria said, “The numbers the precog provided are already accounting for us having this conversation and taking the extra measures.  If she does view the future, it’s very possible she saw this very meeting and everything that followed, in a manner of speaking.”

Right. That’s a good point. Things always get tricky when you try to circumvent prophecy.

(If this is a trope you like, go read both Homestuck and The Wheel of Time.)

That was sobering.

“We’ll do it anyways, of course,” Eidolon said.

I mean, yeah. The numbers may not be able to go below 33%, but you should still push towards that end of the range.

Legend and Alexandria nodded.

“Let’s remember,” the Doctor said, “The numbers already pointed to an endgame situation at the twenty-three year mark.  If the Endbringers continue doing the damage they’ve been doing at the current rate, things won’t be sustainable.

Good point. The End was already being Brought.

We’ll be forced to withdraw from damaged and dangerous areas, populations will condense, the Endbringers attack those pockets…  and that’s without considering the possibility that they achieve something big in the interim.

The Endbringers are the slow way of destroying humanity and even they’re making some big dents over time.

We’ve talked about the crisis scenarios: Behemoth triggering a nuclear winter, Leviathan obliterating or tainting the world’s renewable water supply.”

Nuclear winter from Behemoth? How exactly? Just by destroying nuclear plants, or does he have another element on top of earth and fire/lava?

Love following your live-read Krixwell. Have you read anything else that you found as consistently engrossing?

Glad to hear you’re enjoying it!

Hmm… I’m not sure. I don’t read anywhere near as much as I used to many years ago, except for this, so a lot of my reading experience was a) when I was way less critical about my reading material, and b) long enough ago that details about my opinions on the parts rather than the whole things slip my mind.

I have been reexperiencing the Wheel of Time series in audiobook form recently (I’ve found that the format change helps me with some of the same things liveblogging does). That’s a really good series if you’re into magic, cosmic struggles of light and dark, reluctant heroes, prophecies, cultural worldbuilding, fantasy politics, badass ladies and boys who have no idea how to talk to girls.

Fair warning, though, it’s pretty long. It clocks in at about 2.75 Worms. Also, being able to keep track of a lot of names is a plus. Seriously, there are 2782 named characters (admittedly that’s largely because many of the bit characters get named), and many of the important ones have multiple names and/or titles.

Siberian flickered violently as she crouched beside Jack and Bonesaw, one hand on each.

Dammit, of course!

But wait. Is the real body dying because they focused on saving Bonesaw and apparently Jack?

In between the three of them was a man, hunched over.

Oh, okay, so he’s still with them, and may have been protected too for some of the time, but he seems to have gotten hurt. Possibly badly.

Damn, of all the characters to go out with a heroic sacrifice, Siberian certainly wasn’t one I expected it from.

Legend raised one hand, but he didn’t shoot.

I suppose he knows shooting Jack and Bonesaw won’t do anything and he doesn’t want to shoot a man when he’s probably dying anyway.


“They haven’t seen us.  I would like to take out Jack or Bonesaw while they’re distracted and unguarded, I just need Siberian to step away or let go of them.”

Oh. That works too.

The group shifted positions, so the man had an arm around Jack’s chest and an arm around Bonesaw’s shoulders, Siberian behind him.

Group hug! 😀

(I’m kidding, I can tell it’s a matter of support.)

“See that?” Legend asked.

“What?”  I could barely make them out from our vantage point.  “I can’t.”

“My eyes are better than most.  A minor benefit of my powers.  The backs of his hands, perhaps you can make out the tattoos?  A cauldron on the left hand, a swan on the right.”

Ooh! Well, that confirms one thing – Siberian is a Cauldron client or otherwise related to them – and opens up another major question: What the hell does the swan mean?

I know what herons on the hands mean, but a swan is a new one to me.

I hurried back to the scene of the fight.  Clockblocker’s power lasted anywhere from thirty seconds to ten minutes.  Weld had been on the defensive when I’d left, and the Wards were relying on pure chance to determine if they’d make it out of this okay.

That might be a good idea if your name is Matrim Cauthon, but I don’t think he’s on the team.

…I’ve been on a Wheel of Time kick lately.

I could hear the fight before I could make anything out through the smoke.  The fires were still burning, but most seemed to have burned through whatever fuel sources they’d found. Beyond what was in the bombs themselves, anyways.

The fires are barely a threat compared to what’s coming down next.

It was probably dangerous to be taking in too much smoke, both for me and for the beetle, but I had to be close.

Which is not to say that the fires aren’t dangerous. Just less dangerous. Much less.

I did find a liveblog of the other thing I wanted to look for a liveblog of, namely the Wheel of Time series.

holy fuck they’ve gotten through 14 out of 16 books (including the prequel and the companion book) in three years i did not expect to find any bloggers that had gotten past like book 3.

Anyway, the blog is @neuxue if you’re interested too.

Huh. I forgot how early in the Wheel of Time series the Gray Men / Soulless were introduced. I’m listening to the audio version of the third book in the series and the concept of them was just introduced, only a few days after I read Aisha’s Interlude.

Aisha had never killed anyone, but here she was, holding a lethal weapon.  She could slice Shatterbird’s throat and they wouldn’t even realize she was there.

Yep! Or stab her in the back, whichever works for you.

They would, she suspected, realize that Shatterbird was dead or dying.  There was a fifty-fifty chance, anyways, that it would force them out of whatever effect her powers had on their brains.

Hm, intriguing.

I’m kind of partial to the idea of Imp staying unnoticed, if only because of the Wheel of Time analogue having been known to stab people in front of others and still not be noticed.

It had happened to her before.

But yeah, it makes sense that there’d be a limit to how far it can stretch.

I wonder if it has to do with whether people are actively looking for her. Maybe they might not notice her due to focusing on the victim, Shatterbird, rather than looking for the attacker? I don’t think that’s likely except in Bonesaw’s (and maybe Burnscar’s, if I was onto something and wrong about the one-sidedness) case, though.

Except that Shatterbird would kill her in her last moments, using the glass that had been swept to the corners of the room, or one of the others would.

Quite possible, yeah. Unless she died immediately, there would be retribution.

Burnscar or Crawler could deal a hell of a lot of damage, even if they didn’t know who they were attacking.

Their biggest limitation would be Bonesaw. I’m sure Crawler is immune to fire and Shatterbird would be too dead to care if Burnscar just set fire to the whole room, but Bonesaw has no such luck. She probably wouldn’t appreciate her work being torched either.