B004 Introduction to Metahuman Studies (Part 1c)

He’d changed. And it wasn’t a new change, not entirely.

Many small things he had noticed earlier now made more sense – the distance, the aloofness. He’d been acting deliberately ‘normal’, hiding the changes he knew they would pick up.

Or, perhaps, the changes only Tim would have picked up – Aimi wasn’t the most observant of persons.

Either way, Basil wasn’t hiding it, not here. He was sitting on the couch across from Tim, looking at him with a serious expression. He seemed both alert in that he was ready for trouble, but also relaxed in the way only a person could be who was sure they were capable of dealing with whatever came their way.

He’d beefed up, not like a body-builder, but more like a professional fighter, all lean muscle. His usual baggy clothes hid that, but right now his shirt was unbuttoned and he was wearing summer shorts despite the weather outside (apparently, he had been here in his hideout for a while). There was also a featureless black box about the size of a small water bottle or a large remote clipped to a metal piece on his belt.

But there was one thing that hadn’t changed. He still had the Basil-grin, that stupid grin where only one side of his face grinned and the other looked almost (but only almost) apologetic.

Putting a lot of little hints and facts together made Tim pretty sure that he knew what was going on.

“So”, he said to Basil. “Here we are. Finally.”

Basil nodded as if to apologize for the delay, but he did not say anything in reply.

“Aimi visited me last night, told me what happened the night she went out with the Onis, how she decided to join the Junior Heroes”, he continued, only pausing to sigh in relief. “You won’t believe how relieved I was to hear that things worked out like that.”

“Oh, I think I do”, replied Basil. “But that is not why you are here right now, right?”

Tim shook his head.

“Well, let us not beat around the bush. You are smart, so I guess you already figured out what is going on.” A statement not a question.

The pudgy boy nodded his head.

Basil stood up and walked over to the kitchenette at one side of the room. Pushing a hidden button made it slide open, revealing a metal plate large enough for two or three people to stand on it at once.

“Seriously? A hidden door in a kitchenette?”

Basil smirked at him. “Well, are you coming along?”

Tim stepped onto the platform.

* * *

The lift took them down to the upmost level of his lair in seconds. Basil watched Tim for his reaction upon seeing the wall screen and all the other equipment of the command center. He was not disappointed, as Tim’s jaw dropped down.

They stepped off the lift in silence as Tim turned his head, taking in the couch area, the fully equipped and stocked kitchen and, of course, the main computer console.

“What. The. Fuck”, he commented.

“Nice, is it not? My very own lair”, Basil replied, grinning.

“Lair? Not a secret base?”

“No, that would be just childish.”

Tim walked over to the bedroom next to the kitchen, looking in. Then he went to the stairs that went down to the workshop and laboratory.

Turning half around, he asked: “Can I go down there?”

Basil just nodded and followed after him.

* * *

It took Tim nearly five minutes of walking around the workshop, looking at everything, to finally talk again.

“You know, the moment I saw Brennus on TV, I pretty much knew it was you”, he explained while turning a half-assembled ravenbot around in his hands.

“Is my disguise really that thin?”, Basil replied, now sincerely worried.

“No, I guess not. I just know you well. Really, a black cloak on black armor with robotic ravens? That’s just you.”

Basil made a face that caused Tim to laugh out loud.

“Also, there was the fact that you already knew that Aimi was safe before the story hit the news. Also, we could barely get a hold of you these last few months. Put all of that together and there weren’t that many viable explanations”, he continued.

Sighing, Basil said: “Well, at least it is not something anyone could figure out.”

“True. But say, how does Amy think about this? I mean, she can’t be okay with you risking yourself like that.”

“Well, she is more accepting than I would have expected. She does not like me being a superhero-” She would prefer me being a supervillain, actually. “-but she has accepted that I am going to do it either way.”

Tim raised an eyebrow. “Huh? I wouldn’t have expected that.”

Well, you would need to know about her second life for that.

“Let us just say that the day she found out was a day full of surprises.”

“I guess. Who else knows?”

“My teammates. They both go to Diantha High and I already knew one of them. One of them has a friend who already knew about her costumed identity and we brought her in, more or less accidentily, as a kind of mission control. Also, Prisca knows as well. You can get to know all of them – except for Prisca – tomorrow after school. They are going to meet here at the lair while I go visit Prisca.”

“How’s she doing? I guess being kidnapped didn’t do any wonders for her health – I read up on her and, well, I can see why she wouldn’t want too many people to see her.”

“No shit. I bet once she recovers enough to really think about it, she will freak out over a picture of her being on national television.”

“Yeah. At least I finally know who your girlfriend is. I tell you, the way you refused to talk about her was really bugging the hell out of me.”

“Well, I do not really see a point in…”, Basil began to reply.

Tim cut him off. “Not to talk about the way you sprung her on us. One day, everything is as always, the next day, BAM! and Basil suddenly has a girlfriend”, he continued, slamming one fist into an open hand.

Basil rubbed the back of his head. “Well, I just wanted to wait until things were more definite, you know?”

“Yeah, but how about you never talking about her at all unless we prodded you first?”

“I do not know. It just happened that way. By the way, were we not talking about me being a superhero just a few seconds ago?”

“Yeah, but when I figured out that you were Brennus, I first thought that one of those girls on your team was your girlfriend and you’d been keeping your mouth shut so you wouldn’t accidently reveal anything. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that Prisca Fion can put on a costume and go out fighting crime – unless she has some kind of superpower I don’t know about?”

Basil shook his head. “Unfortunately, no. She would love to, if only because it is, by now, her only chance to ever be cured. But no, she is not a member of the team, even as some kind of support.”

“Yeah, so taking the chance that I might be repeating myself: Why do you always avoid talking about her? Even now you tried to change the subject!”

He noticed that Tim was actually getting upset – and after a second, he could see why. He had been avoiding the subject, and now Tim was asking himself just why he had not considered him trustworthy enough to share something like that.

Now that I think about it… Why did I try to keep it quiet? How come I did not tell them about meeting this new girl? About falling in love, about, well, everything with her? Tim has certainly told me about his crushes and all.

He wracked his brain, but he could not come up with a reason why he acted like that.

So he looked at Tim again, who had been waiting for an answer.

“Listen, I really can not say why I kept things quiet like that. But whatever reason I might have had at the time, I am really sorry. I should have told you at least something. Both about Prisca and Brennus”, he said, lowering his gaze.

He did not look at Tim to see his reaction to this, instead waiting patiently. After a few seconds, Tim finally sighed and spoke up.

“Well, I guess that’s alright. Just as long as you remember to trust me in the future”, he said.

Basil raised his head, smiling at him.

Tim continued. “So, anyway, about those girls on your team…”

* * *

He saw Tim off nearly two hours later, walking him out of the warehouse. Outside, Tim turned to ask a question: “Are you going to tell Aimi?”

Basil shook his head almost immediately.

“Good. Because I really don’t think that she’d be able to keep this a secret, especially around her new teammates”, replied Tim. Basil nodded, as he had thought the same.

They said goodbye and Tim went off to get home before it got dark.

Basil stayed outside for a minute, enjoying the tuesday evening. The schools would only open again tomorrow and since Amy had been off for some kind of mission outside the country (now that he thought about it, what kind of international mission would the Dark send his telepath off to do? Maybe he ought to keep a close eye on any sudden changes in international politics…), he had spent all his time in his workshop, living off what he had stocked there while he worked on various projects.

<A question, father: Why did you feel depressed over withholding information from your civilian friend?>, asked Eudocia, her voice originating from the black box.

Ever since she had completed the installation of her personality routines, she had adopted a clearly female personality – and one that was quite capable in terms of technical knowledge. While he could not tell why this particular personality had been codenamed ‘Chance’, it had been quite pleasant to have someone to talk to who could actually understand his rants. Though it was quite irritating how she insisted on calling him ‘father’.

“It is not… nice to not tell a close friend about things that are this important. Tim has been my best friend for years and yet I have barely taken the time to talk to him these past few months, I was so focused on my work”, he replied while walking back into his lair.

She went silent as she processed the information. While she apparently had a processor fast enough and memory large enough to simulate a human personality, she sometimes had slowdowns whenever she had to work through interpersonal – or, to be precise, emotional – topics. Unfortunately, it was impossible to access her hardware or software. The black box was pretty much impervious to any means that would not completely ruin the contents, her software could not be altered in any way from the outside and she herself was restricted from accessing her own code. Not to speak of the fact that, according to some logs she had access to, the installation had overwritten her entire memory drive – making her a blank slate, basically.

What was really infuriating about it was the fact that she was learning. And she was learning quickly. In fact, just yesterday morning, she had been far more like a child, both in terms of knowledge and in terms of demeanor. By yesterday at midnight, she had ‘aged’ to a preteen. It seemed that now her mental ‘aging’ had slowed down, but her learning had not. It seemed that she could use some kind of device inside the box to access any electronic appliance that was directly touching her casing – simply by lying on a computer she could control and access it (though she still needed passwords to access restricted systems and she was no more capable of hacking into systems than he was unless he gave her additional equipment to work with). She had been surfing on the internet freely – or almost freely, since he had ordered her not to access any pornographic content as well as restricted content in general – soaking up knowledge like a sponge.

Whoever Macian was, Basil would have loved to meet him. He could not even begin to imagine how he had pulled off an actual, life-like AGI. He had put her through every kind of test out there and even designed some himself, but there did not seem to be a trick involved – she was really, truly sentient, at least as far as he could tell at this point.

Moreover, the hardware inside the box was beyond him, as well. He was pretty sure she was using quantum technology – nothing else would allow her to have sufficient calculating power and memory space in such a restricted space, along with the interface device, the speech device (it apparently vibrated her casing to generate sounds) and whatever kind of energy source she used (he hoped it was not a battery, because he was not sure that he would be able to recharge her). Not to talk of the fact that the box seemed to be perfectly insulated, not radiating any heat.

But at least he had someone to talk to about his work. And he had to admit that teaching her was quite fun, even if she would not stop asking questions sometimes.

She also helped distract him from Prisca, whom he was not allowed to visit until tomorrow, when she would be moved to her new room in the hospital. Visiting her was his prime objective for tomorrow after school.

Though he was also looking forward to school, for once. Not only were they going to finally start the Introduction to Metahuman Studies course – the lecturer for it was supposed to be Lady Light herself!

* * *

The next day, Basil met up with Tim and Aimi in front of the schools main lecture hall. He had already seen Dalia, Stephi and Vasiliki, but he did not want to draw attention to knowing all three of them. No reason to be even more lax about protecting their secret.

So he would sit with Tim and Aimi, the latter of whom was again looking subtly thinner and better than the last time he had seen her in her civilian form. She had also ditched her Goth look and was wearing simpler clothes, though nothing too flattering yet.

He could also tell that she could barely wait to ‘surprise’ him with something – almost definitely the ‘news’ of her manifestation and joining the Junior Heroes.

Hopefully, she would wait until they were somewhere private.

Entering the lecture hall, they moved to sit roughly in the middle. The hall was made to provide room for one thousand students along with a stage in the front for the lecturer.

They had arrived an hour early and still the room was already half full. The course was not only attended by the freshmen of this year, but also by several upper classmen who were either retaking it or coming just for the chance to see Lady Light – the latter group consisted mainly of males – as well as some college students and several faculty members – again, mainly males.

While Basil generally did not pay much attention to women’s looks, he had to admit that even simple photos of Lady Light had quite the… impact. He could not imagine what it would be like to have her in civilian clothing lecturing them. No wonder there were so many guys here.

He had actually done a search on fanfiction based on these famous lectures (Dalia had insisted). There was a lot of it. Three guesses what most of it revolved around…

Basil sat down next to a brown-haired girl with a pretty face but a very unflattering dark blue pullover and pants combo that hid any traces of her figure.

He greeted her politely and she greeted back with a nod, but then turned back to her notebook, where she was drawing a picture of the lecture hall from her perspective.

Basil turned around to where Aimi was sitting next to him, with Tim next to her.

They spent the next hour chatting about unimportant stuff, until the door next to the stage in front of the seat rows opened.

* * *

“I mean, my God, that guy’s a creep!”, whined Aimi as she slowly shifted back into her civilian form while standing in front of her locker.

Watching the new heroine shift forms was quite the experience – in battle as well as during training she always flowed from one form to another within seconds, but now she was taking her time to slowly settle into her new form. Her flesh was, for lack of a better word, flowing into the new form – it was oddly pleasant to look at, even though her brain was running into a wall trying to work out the implications of the movement – where is that part flowing into?!.

<Why does it take you so long to shift right now?>, Melody asked.

Aimi raised a hand, motioning for her to wait, while she finished her transformation. Then she began putting on her underwear, followed by her school uniform.

“If I shift too quickly, I get random stuff mixed up in my form. Since I want a single, specific look for my civilian identity, I need to concentrate on it”, she answered.

<How do you know you got everything right? You didn’t use a mirror or anything – do you have some kind of enhanced awareness of your body?>

“Right. I can picture myself perfectly. It’s just difficult to keep everything straight if I shift too quickly”, Aimi replied. “You know, you’re the first one to come up with that question that fast?”

<It seems to be an obvious. Now, back to your remark – who were you talking about?>

Aimi blew up: “That creep, Patrid! He wanted me to come talk to him before I get ready for school!”


“He explained to me that I needed to ‘improve’ my cape-form. Said it was too ‘cartoony’ and that I had to change it into a more realistic shape to look sexier!”, she half-shouted. “I mean, he’s got to be three times my age! That’s just creepy, when a guy who could be your dad talks to you about looking sexier! And shouldn’t they be more concerned with me not looking too sexy at my age?”

<You know, Patrid really creeps me out as well – but this isn’t his fault>, she replied while she finished putting on her clothing for the school. She didn’t wear her uniform; it was beautiful, which was a problem if you didn’t want to draw attention to your adonis-type body shape. There weren’t that many drop-dead gorgeous mute girls out there. <For starters, did you notice how I run around in public?>

Aimi thought about it for a moment. “Yeah, your armor is, like, half see-through and you only wear glorified underwear under it. What kind of institution is this!?”

Melody made a placating motion with her hands before going back to typing on her vocalizer. <There’s a good reason for that>, she said.

Aimi raised an eyebrow. “Alright, I’m game. Why do they want us girls to look sexy?”

<Ever heard of ‘Metahuman Shock’?>

“Uhh, no?”

<Well, you’re going to learn the details in the seminar, but it basically describes how normal humans – and even most metahumans – react adversely to metahumans, especially those whose powers are more unreal than usual>, she explained.

“You mean like when people go crazy just from having been too close to DiL?”

<No, that is more a direct effect of her power. I mean, for example, how the Protege basically destroyed Christianity just by being, well, himself. Of course, that’s one of the most extreme examples. But there was the mass panic back when Lady Light and The Dark first manifested in the twenties. People don’t react well to metahumans.>

“Alright, I get that. But what does that have to do with us looking sexy?”

<One of the main purposes of the United Heroes, apart from coordinating metahumans, is to integrate them into society. Since it is very, very unlikely that we’ll ever be able to truly fit in without standing out, they at least want us to stand out in a positive way – depending on power set and appearance, that could mean looking as sexy as possible – even if it means turning a fourteen-year-old into a sex symbol – or as cool as possible. Outstep summed it up like this: ‘It’s better – and healthier – if they wave their cocks at you than pitchforks and torches’.>

“I get your point”, Aimi said.

<And this is doubly important for people with more dehumanizing powers and even more so for those with the really scary stuff – like shapeshifting. Now, I know what you want to say. ‘Shapeshifting ain’t that scary, right?’ Wrong. Your power lets you be anyone at any time – no one can be sure whether the person they are letting into their home or lying in bed with is really who they think they are. That’s right up there with mind control and mind reading on the paranoia-meter. So it’s important to carefully control your public image, so that people don’t even start getting scared.>

Aimi thought that over while they left the locker room and took the elevator. They took it to the garage downstairs, where what looked like a normal taxi waited that would drop them off close to school.

“Alright, it makes sense. I still think Patrid is a creep, though”, she said.

Melody giggled – though Aimi didn’t notice it, since she wasn’t looking at her and she didn’t make a sound.

<Yeah, I think the only one of us juniors who isn’t creeped out by him is Irene>, she replied.

“Makes sense, I guess. What could creep out someone who grew up with the Dark for a dad? Can you spell ‘Worst Dad of the Millenium’-Award?”

<From what I hear, he’s more of ‘Best Dad of the Millenium’-Award material. She actually likes spending time with him.>

Aimi shuddered a bit. At the same time, the taxi left the garage. They were both sitting in the back and they were separated from the driver by bulletproof one-way glass – they could see him, he couldn’t see them. The driver would also close his eyes for three minutes once he dropped them off, minimizing the chance for them to be identified in any way. Then, he would do several rounds like a normal taxi driver to maintain cover.

Melody wanted to steer the conversation to safer territory. Unfortunately, for her that meant talking about music and/or technology. And she had already had to find out that Aimi could not keep up with her on either account, nor did she react well to feeling less smart than others. That left…

<So, you’re going to show me your two pals? What were their names again?>

“Basil and Tim. Yeah, I’m going to be sitting next to them. Why are you so curious about them?”

<Simple curiosity. After all, one of them knows about your cape and you said the other one might figure it out by himself.>

“Well, Basil might figure it out – if he manages to get his head out of whatever cloud it’s stuck in at the time”, Aimi replied with a smile. “That’s actually one of the reasons why I like him so much.”


“You may not have noticed yet, but I tend to really lash out at people if I am in a bad mood. It’s gotten better since I got my powers, but I had a real anger management problem.”

I noticed already, Melody thought, remembering the scene in the training room yesterday. <What do you mean?>

“Well, the two of them are the only ones who haven’t been avoiding me after being on the receiving end of one too many insults from me”, explained Aimi. “Tim’s got a real thick hide, so he doesn’t really care about stuff like that. And Basil never even notices snarking or any insult that is not delivered with a rocket-powered sledgehammer.”

Rocket-powered sledgehammer… Replace the rockets with sonic repulsors for enhancing the strike…

“Hey! Melody! Can you hear me?!”

Melody shook her head. <What? Sorry, I got lost in thought.>

“Yeah, I noticed. We’re here”, Aimi said as she got out of the Taxi. Melody followed her and they went on their way – the taxi had dropped them off a block away from the school.

A sonic-powered sledgehammer…

* * *

After Vasiliki’s powers had manifested, she had done what any sensible metahuman should do (at least in her mind): read books about it.

One of the first things she tackled was how to protect her secret identity. The greatest problem for most newly manifested metahumans was that they went through large, if not extreme physical changes in a very short amount of time – scrawny geeks turned into bodybuilders, overweight girls with bad skin turned into visions of beauty that made most models green with envy – due to the extremely widespread Adonis-power. People tended to pick up on that.

Fortunately, for her, she’d always been a very good-looking girl from a family with above-average looks. In fact, she wasn’t even the most beautiful member of her family. There were two family members she could bring to mind immediately who were more stereotypically beautiful than she was, even after she manifested powers, and she was pretty sure the two of them (her mother and one of her many female cousins) were not metahumans. So there hadn’t been any extensive, sudden changes to her outward appearance.

Still, there was no use in taking chances. Reading a guide to how to dress in public to avoid attention, she had reorganized her wardrobe. According to the guide, there were two approaches an Adonis-type could take: one could hide in their clothing, doing whatever they could to conceal their physiques. Or they could follow the approach Vasiliki had chosen: hiding in plain sight. Instead of outright hiding her looks, she chose good, but not outstanding clothes and she did not hunch her shoulders or anything – instead, she moved about with an air of self-importance, which was the easiest way to make people dismiss her as unimportant.

It helped that Diantha High, for some reason, had a high number of good-looking students. And they weren’t required to wear their school uniforms outside of special events. The uniforms were not off the rack, but rather tailored by a (superpowered) seamstress that had an exclusive contract with the school.

Her books told her that years ago, it had been the standard for schools with uniforms to expect their pupils to have them tailor-made. Much like it had been a custom for men to have tailor-made suits and women equally personalized dresses, instead of buying off the rack. Apparently, Lady Light liked sticking to tradition.

Then again, she still wears the same costume and hair-cut she had back in the twenties, she thought.

She’d tried to teach this to Dalia herself only to get frustrated again – the girl had been homely for so long that she simply couldn’t resist the chance to be one of the popular girls, turning heads wherever she went.

At least she’d agreed to wear something other than the miniskirt and microtop she had put on her first day at school.

Vasiliki had seen it coming and had ambushed Dalia outside her house, all but forcing her to change into more modest clothing. The redhead had only agreed after she’d all but beaten her over the head with how quickly she would pop her secret identity – and how she would have to give back the money she’d won at the lottery, since she’d technically cheated. Even if she had no control over it.

At long last, the two of them had reached an understanding – Vasiliki would be allowed to help Dalia choose her clothing for school but in return she would stop complaining about her costume.

Now, she, Dalia and Stephi entered the lecture hall for the Introduction to Metahuman Studies. They were a bit late and so had to take some seats in the back of the hall. At least they wouldn’t have to sit on the steps.

“Oh, I can’t wait – I’ve been looking forward to this lecture ever since I signed up for this school!”, said Stephie, all but vibrating on her seat. The lecture had been the main topic of discussion these last few days.

“Yeah, wonder what she’ll be wearing”, replied Dalia with one of those disgusting leers of hers.

Vasiliki looked around, hoping that no one had heard Dalia – fortunately, the hall was quite loud and no one seemed to have noticed.

She let out a relieved breath, then said: “Please watch what you say. We don’t want any unwanted attention.”

Dalia waved her off. “Yeah yeah, I’ll play nice.”

Vasiliki huffed once while Stephi, who was sitting between the two, looked nervously from one to the other.

Then she said: “Umm… so, why do you think is Lady Light giving these lectures? I mean, she ought to be really busy, especially with the situation over the wall!”

The distraction worked and they spent the time until the start of the lecture guessing at possible reasons.

Then the door next to the stage opened.

* * *

Basil could hear jaws hitting the tables all over the hall.

Why do I still bother trying to predict how my day will go?, he asked himself. He really did not have a good track record with that, at least not since he had put on his costume for the first time.

The lecturer was not Lady Light. She was a Whitaker, so he guessed that this was not a case of false advertisement. And she was probably competent enough for the job (there were more than enough academics of the field who would sell their soul for a chance to hold this course in Lady Light’s absence).

But he would never have expected to attend a lecture held by Gloom Glimmer.

Then he had a horrible, horrible thought…

According to her public profile, she gets whatever power she needs to deal with any given situation. What if she gets the power to detect metahumans?!

64 thoughts on “B004 Introduction to Metahuman Studies (Part 1c)

  1. Alright, I’ve been thinking about something and I’m going to try out a new system for chapter updates outside of the regular schedule.

    Instead of just making a new post every time I write something new inside the week, I’m instead going to attach the new content directly to the weeks chapter.

    To make sure everyone knows that there has been an update, I’m going to attach letters to the (Part X) after a chapter. So, the first update will change the chapter number to (Part Xa), the second to (Part Xb) and so on.

    these letters will only indicate an update in content, not spelling and grammer – that will be done independently.

    I’m doing this because posting whole new chapters in the middle of the week might not only be confusing for people who don’t read them as they come out, but it also splits up the comments too much if the new chapters come too quickly.

    Let’s see how this works out.

    • a friend asked if this means that I’m going to be writing in smaller parts over all. The answer is no. There will still be normal, longer chapters every sunday, this system is just for smaller additions in the middle of the week.
      I realize that this chapter is a bit shorter than usual, but that’s both because of university starting up again (and me having to run around to deal with paperwork for the first week) and because of some unexpected stuff getting in the way. since I want to publish at least 5000 words per chapter, I’m going to make at least one extra update to bring this chapter up to that amount. and I’ll strive to have at least 5000 words in the initial version of next weeks chapter.

      • still “test”, still not updated
        just wanted to say it since you are trying out a new system and don’t jet know about possible errors, so incase you have updated it we cant see it

      • ok updating worked (“a” now)
        good think the link didn’t change
        thanks for the new part

    • Does this mean that the new additions will not appear on WordPress? If that is the cast, I would strongly request not doing so, or to somehow notify people when you make a change. Otherwise any of us using WordPress will just completely miss all of your additions and just skip the the next chapter.

  2. question to all my readers:

    do any of you know a free site where you can create your own forum-rp, including some means of throwing dice?

    I’m thinking of opening an online-rp that would take place within the universe of brennus. It would not take place in new lennston, but there would be opportunities to interact with official characters.

    and, if you have particularly engaging characters, I might incorporate them into the actual canon storyline^^

    but all of that would hinge on finding a place to play. Any ideas?

      • there is a tab at the top of the page labeled “dice bot”. I haven’t actually used it for a game, but I’ve played with it a bit. You can set it up for any number of dice of any sides, and can set it to send the results to the account of the person you’re playing with, I believe.

  3. Nice chapter.
    I m not sure i d trust child safety programms to keep an AI out of all the unsafe content of the internet. I mean sure she is following orders by Brennus and the mental state you described makes it likely at least for now she does follow explicitly.
    But the learning ability in connection to an AI that aparantly is able to simulate emotional responses and a characterization thats summed up as Chance for me at least speaks of the possibility of a truly independent Being in the making here and following that its only a matter of time until she learns curiosity.
    Not surprised about the guys comming to the lecture the way you have repeatedly showcased Lady Light s hotness^^
    If Brennus keeps up his fashion focus like with his neighbor i d not be surprised to see some gadgeteer designed Fashionlines in the future 😀
    Sorry no idea about forums though good luck finding one

    keep a close I on any sudden changes in international politics
    shouldn t that be close eye?

    • fixed, thanks.

      in melody’s case, it’s more a question of hiding the fact that she is a high-level adonis. if there is a mute girl with an incredibly hot body running around, well, so long secret ID. you can bet that she hates dressing like that.

  4. hi
    thanks for the new chapter

    Basil made face
    word missing–>Basil made a face

    more expecting than

  5. “He still had the Basil-grin that stupid grin where only one side of his face grinned”
    Missing punctuation.

  6. [he had to admit that even simple fotos of Lady Light had quite the… impact.]

    Photos, not fotos.

    Also, random question I’ve been wondering. How do you pronounce Aimi? Because I would pronounce it the same as Amy, which seems like it would be really confusing.

  7. An hour wait for a high school course, and it’s a high school course where apparently the world’s #1 hero is the lecturer?

    They must be so prestigious that Ruth Bader Ginsburg coaches the basketball team.

    • the wait is simply because it is always so full you can barely get any seats if you come later (I’ve had worse situations in my university X-P)

      lady light is the founder and main backer of the school (she founded it in the name of one of her daughters, after all) and giving lectures is kind of a hobby of hers.

      but yes, it IS very prestigious and it is also known for having quite a few openly metahuman staff members

    • actually 1 hour wait seems short
      that is a time you can expect if
      a professor is about to officially anounce some findings (rare but happening)
      a professor is about to make a special lecture (chrismas, easter, random event [happens all the time])

  8. Small update for now.

    I’m currently working out the plot for the rp I’ll be starting on elliquy.com. Don’t worry, I’m not going to be cutting down on the actual chapters – there will be several smaller updates over the next week (at least up to c) and then a full chapter next sunday.

    for those interested in taking part in the rp, you’ll need to register on the elliquy forum. there is a link to it on my blogroll. You need to be at least 18 years old to register and there is a test period where you’ll have to answer questions by other users before you are approved for the private parts of the forum (among which is the rp section). I already passed, so it doesn’t take too long. and there were some very interesting questions asked.

    • Interesting questions is an interesting choice of words since its neither positive or negative.
      Its a shame its in a private part of the forum so no followers except the signed up people?
      Btw you are a tease i was looking forward to the seminar for today but i guess i ll just have to recheck here during the week^^
      Have fun plotting your adventure

      • I’m writing the next part of this chapter right now. don’t know when I’ll finish, ’cause I’ve got some other stuff going on right now, but you will get the seminar itself in this chapter, that I can promise

        unfortunately, the rp’s on the forum are always private ’cause it’s an adult forum. and since I couldn’t find another (free) website to host it that also had a dice rolling application AND accepted adult content (and let’s face it, any rp in this setting will have at least some adult scenes), this one will have to do.

        though I must say, I find elliquy to be quite interesting. I’d recommend signing up just to get to know the community there

      • Take your time i m just funning you about it. Also did i understand that right Polymnia is thinking about building rocket-punching gloves or maybe sonic-punching ones? classic
        Makes sense about the adult stuff though i ll probably not sign up. I wouldn t really interact there and i guess if anything becomes canon we ll learn about it here too.

      • sonic-powered sledgehammers. seems like a logical thing to invent, right?

        a shame you won’t sign up, but to each their own

      • sry have to disagree conserning the “sonic-powered sledgehammers”
        but i am propably overthinking it^^,
        considere it a challenge, i am curious whether you can write it/ pull it of, and what comes out

      • You see for me Sledgehammers are sort of a brute force weapon which is something i don t associate with Polymnia.
        On the other hand the Gloves would be more into the nerdish area and now that i write this something that would be more fitting for Brennus for that fact alone.
        But anon is right it depends on how you write it and maybe we both have very different mental images regarding Sledgehammers compared to you.

      • actually my probleme isn’t with Polymnia using a Sledgehammer but with that thing being sonic powered.

        it is very “difficult” to convert sound in another energyform,
        first converting the energy from her battery into sound, just to than somehow(!!) convert the sound into velocity for the Sledgehammer, that is one unnecessary energy transformation making it very inefficient.

        or he could try a Sledgehammer, including a sonic system to create “resonance disaster”, in which case it is not realy sonic powered but using sonic as a cause for destruction making the “sledgehammer”-part of the weapon redundant.

        or what i hope: he is planing something different and i have no idea what

      • I was somehow only thinking of the resonance approach in which case the sledgehammer would act as a measurement tool to find out the right frequencies for resonance at least thats what i figured.
        I didn t even consider the velocity because i think you are right that would be wasteful but maybe we are thinking too much in terms of RL science it is after all a superhero/sci-fi setting.
        I guess you are right tho the only thing we can do is relax and see what tieshaunn comes up with.

      • 1) Guys, I’m pretty sure that was just a throwaway joke about those wacky gadgeteers who are always thinking about inventions. 😛
        2) She can use her tech to make sonic blasts and sonic forcefields, and you’re worried about her making a reaction engine with it? Seriously? How does it make less sense than what we’ve seen?

      • And while I’m at it: she specifically thinks about replacing rockets with “sonic repulsors”. That seems to make it clear her idea is about a sonic-powered sledgehammer hitting really hard, not about resonance.

      • I don’t remember that, but I do remember (and by “remember”, I mean “I’m checking it out right now”) that in Rising Stars Part 2 she makes a “sonic cage”/”sonic shield” (those are quotes) that blocks blasts of water and ice. And possibly fire. Exposed was throwing fire around, but the only times that specifically refer to Polymnia, instead of Polymnia and Tartsche, she’s using ice, so it’s possible she never actually used fire against Polymnia.

      • And I’m not sure pistol shrimp are such good models. It seems to me that a gentler, subtler approach using disorienting sounds would be a better fit for a superhero than knocking people out with big booms.

        A sledgehammer (if she actually decides to build the thing) is the kind of thing she would use when she wants to destroy stuff, like spiteborn and robots and whatever. Adding a mechanism made for stunning people to a lethal weapon seems like an odd choice.

        Of course, she could go all the way and make a sledgehammer that releases lethal shockwaves, but if they’re going to be strong enough to hurt super-tough enemies, they’re also probably going to create more collateral damage than is desirable. 😛

      • Found it. Forbidden Garden Part 8:
        , threw Polymnia in.
        “Really? I mean, you see all those guys with power suits or something…”, said Tyche.

        Well, I’m not sure what she considers to be the difference between her sonic shield and a “proper” force-field.

      • Considering that my comment that started this was kind of a throwaway bit of nostalgia that somehow triggered by reading about rocket delivered anythings i am kinda proud about this conversation XD

        @Bobby sure you are right triing to figure out what kind of tech is or isn t probable in this story doesn t really make much sense but then since gadgeteers are supposed to do real science just way advanced thats the one kind of superpower for which thats actually viable. That said in a superhero story of this quality i m willing to suspend disbelief if its for something sufficiently awesome which i have a feeling whatever she comes up with probably will be.

        Plus its fun and the rest of the update a doesn t really give that many things to discuss since most of the main points are preemptively discussed in-story already(Metahuman shock sexy hero outfits pro and cons).

      • 8-o
        Didn’t expect the sonic sledgehammer to create this kind of discussion^^

        @Ellert: thanks for the praise :-$

        Does the update to this chapter show up on wordpress?

      • oh, a ‘sonic cage’ can only repel kinetic attacks as well as anything that can be affected by wind (since it is basically a vibration in the air).

        energy attacks would go right through it – force-fields stop those as well

      • Yeah the update shows up we are at 1b.
        I m wondering if that urge to force other people to dress up more moderately is connected to the name or if Brennus is slowly infecting his team with his kind of thinking^^
        Don t get me wrong it makes sense but still funny.

      • vasiliki is just a control freak and she has very old-school sensibilities

        basil only cares about making sure his sister dresses properly. he really doesn’t care much about what other girls wear (remember that he rejected Dalia’s armor-design due to inefficiency, NOT indecency)

  9. Currently working on the actual chapter. Unfortunately, I had completely forgotten that this weekend is the greek-orthodox easter weekend. which kind of threw a wench into my plans…

    • Gloom Glimmer’s power is public? She didn’t seem happy when she realized she’d let on to Brennus that she didn’t control what power she got, back in Forbidden Garden Part 8.

      • the public description basically boils down to “gets any power she needs to deal with a situation”
        it does not mention that she has no actual control over her power selection

  10. Well thats a late realization for brennus, but its probably he did not know the full power details until recently on the other note I am trying to get into the rp hope thats still possible, did not read the commentary for some time so icatched on somewhat late.

  11. “perfectly isolated, not radiating any heat”
    ‘isolated’ technically might make some sense here. ‘insulated’ is the word you are looking for though, I think.

  12. “In fact, she wasn’t even the most beautiful member of her family and she was pretty sure the two of them (her mother and one of her many female cousins) were not metahumans.”
    You are missing an identifying phrase or something in here, and might want to break up the sentence?
    “In fact, she wasn’t even the most beautiful member of her family. There were two family members she could bring to mind immediately who were more stereotypically beautiful than she was, even after she manifested powers, and she was pretty sure the two of them (her mother and one of her many female cousins) were not metahumans.”

  13. I thought Melody wasn’t ok with Aimi knowing her secret identity? Even if Melody didn’t outright tell Aimi her last name, going to school with her would allow Aimi to find that out rather easily.

    Speaking of which, hiding breasts the size of Melody’s would be very difficult.

  14. You know, I was all looking forward to Basil meeting Melody. I can also see Aimi wanting to show off to Tim and Basil by having them meet her UJH teammates (In their costumed identities only, of course). There’d even be room for dramatic tension due to the possibility of Basil’s cape being uncovered.

    Of course, that risk would be just as obvious to Basil, so I suspect he’d find some way to avoid meeting the UJH without his costume.

    Now that I think about it, having Aimi introduce Melody to Basil would pretty much instantly blow Melody’s identity. Especially after Falling Hearts.

  15. “we brought her in, more or less accidentily, as a kind of mission control.”


    ““Yeah, I noticed. We’re here”, Aimi said as she got out of the Taxi.”

    uncapitalise Taxi…

  16. Bad rationalization is bad. One of the most outrage inducing and polarizing issues in the world is oversexualization… it does not make a public icon “more relatable,” it makes them MORE alien and less human, angers those who see it as vulgar, demeaning to women, exploitative, promoting of unrealistic body image, etc. To say nothing of the way family values people would go ballistic at the sexualizing of UNDERAGE GIRLS.

    And being sexy has never been a barrier to people rounding up torches and pitchforks. If anything it’s been a rationalization…. and not just amongst the stuffy Bible Belt set. Look at the public reception of Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, etc. after they turned eighteen and started making their performances more “mature.” They did not become more accepted… instead they went from America’s girl-next-door to “that disgusting slut” and their popularity tanked—Even people who couldn’t care less about sexual mores found them disgusting.

    Aimi’s right: their PR man is just a filthy old man, and in the real world he would have been fired– if not castrated, tarred and feathered– for “sexing up” a bunch of teenagers…

    Second issue: Anyone who thinks that Christianity could be undone by the existence someone with superhuman powers, REGARDLESS of what those powers WERE, knows nothing about either human nature or religion, much less Christianity. Christianity has survived 2000 years of suppression, oppression, persecution, pogroms, propaganda, bible burnings, and everyone from would-be philosopher kings to kiddy-TV witlings attacking and ridiculing it…. a clown running around in a cape? Not a chance.

  17. Getting real tired of this girlfriend crap, it’s abundantly clear by now (especially with all the misinformation) that he is being manipulated into this relationship without any recollection of it. But what’s really bullshit is how literally EVERY person around him is not noticing anything weird about the guy just walking into a hospital and start dating a girl that supposedly looks like a mummy already.

  18. Man, not sure why I am commenting on a post from 2013, but here I go.

    I find it funny that Protoge nearly wiped out Christianity in this world. I mean, religion doesn’t work like that. Even when given clearly observable evidence, most religious people would still believe. It’s not a logical thing.

    • I really ought to rephrase that section. He didn’t “nearly wipe it out” but he gave a lot of religions a MAJOR crisis, on account of the seemingly free-for-all Resurrections. Christianity was just hit hardest because of, well, the Jesus connection.

      I might expand on this sometime in the story… or maybe I’ll edit that part out entirely.
      The plotline it was meant to lead to doesn’t really seem like a good idea to me anymore

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