B009.3 Family Matters

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4th November, 14:11

Irene wanted to commit murder.

No, that wasn’t quite right.

She wanted to call up her dad and tell him to come over. They could do all that sappy tv-bonding while they slowly drove Melody’s family insane. They could invite Melody to join in and teach her to let all that repressed anger out. Much healthier that way. Dad would make the bodies disappear, and then they could all go and eat some ice cream.

And that would be wrong. The driving-people-insane-before-killing-them part, not the one that involved eating ice cream.

In fact, she was quite sure that going to eat ice cream would be a very good idea, whether or not they ended up going supervillain on these people. It should cheer Melody up.

It wasn’t that Melody’s family was impolite – her brothers had certainly kept their eyes glued to Irene’s body, despite her clothes not showing all that much, but that was to be expected – or actively mean, but… they were treating Melody like some kind of Pariah, all while being all nice and hospitable.

Her power had already suggested twenty-three different ways to painfully murder them, by way of switching between some of the nastier powers Irene had ever held. Some, Melody wouldn’t even have to know were her w- No, don’t even start to think like that!

She took a centering breath and refocused her attention on Melody’s grandmother, Amelia, who was sitting at the head of the table, the matriarch of the family. A short, but still surprisingly agile and energetic woman in her late seventies. Her pure white hair had been tied up in a bun, she was wearing a simple blue dress (the family seemed to favour blue a lot) and eating slowly, in small bites. She was looking at her, as if waiting for something.

Her power focused, replaying the last few seconds for her – she’d been asked why she’d decided to be a superhero.

“It’s rather simple, ma’am,” she replied, putting fork and knife down. She was glad for the excuse to stop eating – she wasn’t hungry and the food wasn’t bad, but her mood didn’t let her enjoy it, anyway. “I want to make a positive difference in the world. The heroes desperately need more power on their side, so I joined to provide that.”

The old woman smiled, nodding. That was the worst part of the day, so far. They weren’t anti-metahuman, or anti-superhero or anything. In fact, except for Melody’s mother, who seemed to have a chip on her shoulder. Irene hadn’t peeked into her head (yet) to find out what it was about.

No, it was way, way worse. But she’d promised Melody she’d play nice, so…

“Though, to be honest, Melody has done far more good so far than I have,” she continued while she picked her cutlery up again. Everyone at the table, including Melody – who had barely used her vocalizer so far, staying quiet – looked at her. “It’s true,” she said, throwing a look around. Five people, not counting her and Melody. Her two younger brothers, her parents, her grandmother. The rest of the (rather big) family wasn’t there today, which was just as well. “She’s created a gadget for protecting United Heroes personnel against sonic attacks. That’s going to save a lot of lives.”

“Yes, Melody always had a hand for practical stuff,” Cadance, Melody’s tall mother (she looked like a taller, older version of her daughter, minus the massive bust and more wrinkles), said with a just barely non-condescending tone. Irene felt her small finger twitch, almost blasting a hole in the wall. Almost. “But I’m sure you’ll be able to match her – someone with power like yours can surely keep up with anyone.” The woman smiled at her, which only made Irene angrier.

She opened her mouth to remark that Melody’s music was even better than her gadgets, but her friend kicked her leg under the table. ‘Please don’t. You’ll only ruin the mood’, Melody spoke into her head, having apparently guessed her intentions. She closed her mouth, feeling the anger boil inside her belly.

Because, it wasn’t that the Stenton family had anything against one of their members being a superhero, or a metahuman. No, it was just the fact that Melody’s powers were musical. More to the point, they’d turned the only non-gifted member of the family – the daughter they’d already written off – into the most successful musician it had ever known.

As far as they were concerned, Melody was a cheater.

And Irene was this close to cracking, because ever since they’d entered the house, Melody had acted like she believed it herself.

‘You don’t have to take this,’ she told her best friend as she returned to making meaningless chit-chat. ‘You don’t have to let them make you feel like less than you are.’

‘They’re family,’ Melody said, looking sideways at her with a gentle smile. ‘They’ll change their mind, eventually.’

‘Bollocks,’ Irene replied, focusing on the casual conversation Melody’s father and brothers were trying to draw her into, about her costume. They wanted to know where she’d gotten the idea.

“The cape belonged to my mother – she used it in the years before she became pregnant with me,” she replied casually. This wasn’t all that interesting. “The bodysuit is just comfortable, and a nice contrast. White and black, light and dark.”

“Interesting. So, you’re proud of being their daughter?” Amelia asked, her voice curious and very precise (she was a former opera singer).

Irene turned her head to look at the old woman. “Of course I am,” she spoke with utter conviction in her voice.

“Even though your father is a monster?”, the old woman continued, her voice harder. Everything fell silent in the room.

I will not blow off her head, I will not blow off her head, I will not blow off her head…

“Whatever else he may be, he is my father,” Irene said carefully, enunciating the words slowly, deliberately, to prevent her voice from slipping into its usual abnormal form. “And he has always been good to me. I will judge him by that, first.” ‘He’s certainly a better father than yours seems to be,’ she thought towards Melody. She didn’t reply, but Irene felt a surge of sadness and shame that made her feel bad, instead. She shouldn’t put this on Melody.

“That is both admirable and dangerous – just because he is good to his family doesn’t mean he’s a good man, do you understand that?” Amelia continued, keeping her gaze steady.

“No, but that’s where it starts,” she countered with more vinegar in her voice than she’d wanted. At least it didn’t slip. “I know what he’s done. What he still does. But I can’t very well take any influence on him if I shut him out, now can I?”

The atmosphere at the table grew colder.

“And how does your mother justify being with him?” Cadance asked, drawing Irene’s attention to her. She looked as furious as Irene felt. “She’s had more than a century to work on him, and he hasn’t gotten better. I’m not even sure she’s trying. And yet she still calls herself a superhero, being together with a man who murders countless innocents!”

Irene called on her power, and for once found it responsive, reaching out, assembling data without actually invading minds.

She lost someone to dad, or to his subordinates.

“I don’t know what happened to make you so mad,” she said, calming down a little. “But whatever else you may think of me, or my father, don’t presume to judge my mother.”

The temperature in the room fell, again, as she put steel into her gaze.

“It’s the fourth of November today, of the year two-thousand and twelve. It’s fourteen past two,” she said, slowly. “It has been eighty-nine years, ten months, three days, fourteen hours and two minutes since she gained her powers. Eight days later, she put on what later became her costume for the first time. In all that time – nearly a century – my mother has never, ever called herself a hero.”

She put her cutlery down, folding her hands on the table in front of her. “Superhero, Queen of Superheroes, the Paragon of Modern Virtue… those are all labels the public put on her, labels she’s protested against more than once. There is a reason she is not actually a legal member of the United Heroes, only an independent advisor. My mother has never, ever pretended to be anything but what she is – a woman with her own set of beliefs, who does what she thinks is right and asks others to do the same.”

Looking up, she circled the table with her gaze, looking them all in the eyes one after the other. “If people expect her to be a paragon of virtue who always does what they feel is ‘good’, that’s their problem, not hers. She wants to be together with my father – who may well be the only man in the world she can really share her life with – and no one has the right to tell her not to. Besides, have you ever stopped to think about how bad my father could get if she wasn’t doing her best to moderate him?”

“That isn’t… it doesn’t… he’s still a monster! How can she be with him!?” Cadance threw back, flustered. “Even if what you say is true, how can she consider herself a good person!?”

Suddenly, Irene’s anger vanished. Or at least, it died down. She’s just lashing out… why? Her power surged, but… no. She quickly took a few pills, calming herself and her power.

“My mother has literally saved billions of lives – and that’s not even counting all the people saved by her charities, or the people she trained or advised – so I think regardless of what she may or may not call herself, no one has the right to criticise her for anything until they’ve spent most of a century doing nothing but helping people,” she said calmly. “And before you say anything else, I think it’s pretty fucking low of you to bring up this kind of topic at a friendly get-together. And that’s nothing compared to how you treat your own daughter.”

Melody threw her a wild, scared glance, but Irene ignored her. “Don’t think I haven’t noticed! I literally have a nigh-unlimited breadth of power at my beck and call, and I don’t need it to get it. You’ve been making snide comments about her all the time, when you weren’t just ignoring her, and I find it pretty fucking sad that the Dark is a better parent than both of you,” She pointed her finger at Melody’s parents, who looked utterly shocked, “because he at least isn’t jealous of me for being better at something, nor does he treat me like a pariah!

She rose from her seat, the chair flying backwards across the dining room of the old colonial mansion. Grabbing Melody’s hand, she dragged her out of the room.

‘Irene, what are you doing!?’ the startled girl asked, just barely remembering to grab her vocalizer.

She stomped out of the house, slamming the door shut. “We’re going to Italy. I know the best ice cream parlor in the whole world, and we can visit the Colosseum, too!”



* * *


4th November, 21:25

In Basil’s hideout, Prisca, Dalia and Vasiliki had spent the last two hours blowing stuff up.

Well, that was a little inaccurate. To be precise, Vasiliki had been trying to blow Gilgul up. Having picked up a lot about proper research from Basil, she’d made sure to include control samples (which meant she always tried to blow something else up along with her, to see how each attempt worked). So far, nothing had worked on Gilgul, which made Prisca feel quite smug.

The hour before that, they’d been following Basil’s advice, testing Dalia’s power against Gilgul. The results had been too random to make sense off, and they’d decided to wait for Basil to make sense of that stuff. It was his speciality, anyway. So they’d been blowing stuff up, instead. But now Gilgul’s time was running out, because apparently being covered in acid that ate through steel, set on fire and then blown up with enough force to rattle the walls of what Basil called his Fun Room (the one set apart for explosive testing) was actually taxing for her power. And that was just a single experiment.

They’d reached number thirty-four now. And Vasiliki claimed she could still come up with more.

“Wow, you must be… a nightmare to fight out there,” Prisca commented as she let Gilgul sit down on the floor, conserving time.

Vasiliki, who was naked (apparently, some of her rituals required nakedness, and she’d also remarked that there was a worrying tendency for her clothes to get torn up all the time, so she was taking precautions now) and quite sweaty enough to have Dalia’s eyes glued to her, breathed deeply and replied, “Not really, I… I can’t pull this stuff off on the fly… nor can I enchant something with… all of this. What I can do… on the fly, or through artifacts, is nothing compared to what I can do with a ritual, but they take too much time. Besides, I don’t want to… strip naked outside… you know?”

Prisca nodded, letting her spear fade away, followed by her armor, which she quickly replaced with a simple green sundress. “But if it comes down to it, you can pull out the big guns?”

“Whoa, whoa, wait a minute!” Dalia threw in, jumping up. “Did I see that right? You can just… change clothes, at will!?”

The other two girls looked at her in surprise – she’d been rather quiet since they stopped experimenting with her power – and rolled their eyes.

“Yes, I can wear anything I want, in this form. Now, back to important stuff,” Prisca said, turning back to Vasiliki. “So, about my question?”

The girl shrugged, still breathing hard. “N-no, I’m… unable to really go beyond the… the paragon tier. Biggest thing I’ve ever managed was when Basil and I were testing my power. I managed to blow up some whole cars at the junkyard, and melt some others. One time, I took a bus apart.”

Prisca eyed her suspiciously. “And did you do that stuff… naked, with him?”

Vasiliki blushed, and nodded. “B-but I made sure he promised not to look!”

The redhead in front of her nodded, satisfied. “Not like he’d be interested, even if he hadn’t promised it. Basil is weird about girls.”

They all chuckled about that.

“Yeah, how do you feel about that? He kinda totally ignored you in favour of his sister!” Dalia threw in, sliding over to sit next to them, dressed in sweatpants and a shirt.

Prisca shrugged, drawing Dalia’s gaze to her barely covered chest. She wasn’t into girls, at all, but she enjoyed peoples attention… after years of having nothing to draw it to herself. Except, of course, for… “Look, I know Basil. That’s just what he is – bloody oblivious. I knew that going in, and honestly… even disregarding how he’s saved my life twice now, he was with me even… before I got my power and turned into this.”

The other two nodded, slightly uncomfortable. They’d both quickly learned that Prisca preferred to see her projection as her real body, and neither of them was quite comfortable with that. But neither did they confront her about it.

“So I guess I can forgive him for being… himself. Besides, his sister is really nice,” Prisca continued, oblivious herself. “Even after I tried to… um…” She blushed, suddenly cutting off.

“Whaaaat?” asked Dalia with a grin. “Does this relate to… the Incident?” Prisca had let it slip, days earlier, how she’d tried to get Basil into bed with herself, and failed. Even Vasiliki had laughed herself sick, and was now leaning in curiously.

Blushing even more, Prisca answered, “Well, two days later, I visited… in this form, because Basil said his sister knew about him, anyway, and he thought it’d be pointless to keep my power a secret from her – she wouldn’t rat us out, anyway. So, um, Basil was still asleep – he’s been sleeping a lot, lately, recovering – and we got to talking and… she’d kind of… sort of… listened in on us, on that night. And she, uh…”

“Totally berated you for not seducing her little brother properly?” Vasiliki helped her along with a grin.

“Um, yes…” Prisca replied, wide-eyed. “How did you know? I mean, this isn’t normal behaviour, I think…”

Shrugging, Vasiliki rose to her feet. “I’ve gotten to know Amy a little. She’s just the type to go that route.” She looked at Dalia. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she’d actually encourage us all having an orgy with Basil. She’s just the type for liking the idea of her brother scoring with two – or three, now – supernaturally hot girls. She’s probably been encouraging him to do so, actually.”

“Y-you think she’d do that? Sounds more like something a guy would say to his little brother!” Prisca threw in, exasperated.

“That’s Amy for you. Basil is not one to tell, but I can read between the lines, and it sounds like she’s quite… promiscious. Not in a bad way, I think, because Basil would totally have a cow about that, but still,” Vasiliki finished, leaning on her staff. “Anyway, I’m tired. I’ll get a shower, then go home.”

“I’ll come along. You shouldn’t be going around alone at this time, not with the way things are right now. And I can just wink out once you’re safe home,” Prisca said, standing up, her clothes melting and reforming into heavy winter clothes. “What about you, Dalia? Want me to walk you home?”

The other redhead shook her head. “Nah, I’ll shower and crash here. No school tomorrow, anyway, and mom probably won’t notice, anyway.”

“Alright… call if you need anything,” Prisca said, a little unsure. Dalia rarely talked about her mother, she’d found out, and it was never good. She wondered what her home life was like, if she preferred sleeping in Basil’s underground hideout alone. “Actually, keep the console on – we can play some games or something, later.”

Dalia raised an eyebrow. “I thought your time was running out?”

“Which means I’ll be waking up soon. I can just use the computer Basil made for me to link with this place, and we can play games, or watch movies. I’m sure Eudocia will j- uh, forget that!” She slapped her hands in front of her mouth.

“Eu-what?” asked Dalia.

“Eudocia… ‘good thought’? Sounds like the kind of name Basil would give to something. Or someone. Who is Eudocia?” asked Vasiliki, suddenly looking far less tired.

“Uhm… I guess… I need to explain some stuff…” Prisca said, looking down at her feet, drawing a circle with one as her clothes melted back to a comfortable sundress. “Let’s go to the console room, boot up the screens and all…”

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52 thoughts on “B009.3 Family Matters

  1. You know, as soon as Cadence started questioning why Lady Light was with the Dark, I was getting ready to write out a justification for it (largely for Theant’s benefit). Then you went and had Irene lay out most of the points I would have, and also tossed out that she never called herself a hero.

    • good to know a character that hasn’t had a line since a flashback nearly 80 years ago, is sympathetic enough that we’ll jump to defend her.

      • Honestly, it’s less that I like Lady Light, and more that I dislike her detractors. Some people seem to have a massive hate-on for her, and near as I can tell, she’s done nothing wrong. They just dislike her for what she hasn’t done, which is stopping the Dark.

        I believe that no one has a moral obligation to be a slave to the well-being of others. I believe that we should be grateful for every kindness we receive, because we have no right to expect it. So when people complain that someone didn’t do enough to help, it offends me.

  2. Yeah, Yeah. I’m sure all the people the Dark has murdered, all the people his followers have raped, enslaved, corrupted, beaten, terrified, and murdered over the last few decades, really feel for Lady Light. He is still a murderer, she could have stopped him, she did not. Doesn’t matter whatever label she gives herself. Maybe Irene can pull a power so she can relive the memories of a loved one of the mom being hurt. Irene is still a kid. She hasn’t seen or felt the real repercussions of just what her dad does. If I’m wrong and she has then there probably is something a bit off with her moral center. I said it before, where is the line for family? If you found out a family member was a serial killer, who had just literally killed a child just before seeing you, wouldn’t most people turn them in or try to stop them? You cant control your family, and you can’t control who you love, but there has to be a line. You can still love them, but I think most people would try to stop a family member from murdering someone else.

    Granted the mom was an asshat. Immature, illogical, and full of spite. You don’t blame kids for their parents mistakes, and she has to keep in mind that Irene is still twelve years old. Hate the dark all you want, consider Lady Light whatever you want, but you don’t push that on a preteen.

    This chapter helps explain Lady Light, but honestly it just made me dislike her more. I equate Lady Light with worm’s purity. Both fight crime despite knowing and letting nasty people get away with terrible things. Honestly it isn’t even her letting the Dark go and hurt people that bothers me, its Irene’s birth. She gave birth to something that committed genocide killing millions, destroying the world, and causing a huge amount of suffering, death, and destruction. Then she decides to have another child. Granted Irene doesn’t seem to bad, and she probably did produce a new big good for the world, but am I really the only one who considers her having another child with The Dark incredibly selfish and dangerous for the world? She could at least adopt from an area that her previous child destroyed.

    • I’ll have to disagree with you there, from what I gather, Lady Light would have to kill The Dark in order to stop him and if a loved one was a serial murderer, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t kill him/her despite everything. What she does is reign him in (not sure if I got the phrase right), she makes sure he does not cross the line and in the meantime she saves billions of people. Besides, The Dark hasn’t been portrayed as the monster you make him out to be, he has rules, and he enforces at least some of them in his followers, him and his organization seems to me like the Undersiders taken to their logical conclusion assuming success, a criminal organization in control of worldwide crime that makes sure most supervillians don’t become Weisswald, and it is he who makes sure that the villain community doesn’t become too unhinged, it is he who keeps the world from becoming as crapsack as the Worm universe. He is clearly the lesser of two evils, if any evil at all.
      And on the point of Gloomy and her birth, is it so selfish to want a child who isn’t a female evil Scion? They only wanted to be parents, and they learned from their mistake, they were prepared and took measures to prevent DiL 2.0, perhaps it was a gamble, perhaps it was selfish, but after all they have done, after all the world owes them, they are entitled to be selfish, they are entitled to take their chances after due preparations.

      • Fair points. But you can argue that she is indirectly responsible for even more deaths since if she had turned in the Dark, Desolation in Light would not have been born. Plus I do think it is very selfish. Don’t use the word child, use the phrase 100 megaton, teleporting, reusable nuke. Lady Light accidentally gave birth to a100 megaton, teleporting, reusable nuke. The 100 megaton, teleporting, reusable nuke killed millions, maybe more. Causing terrible suffering, death, and destruction. The 100 megaton, teleporting, reusable nuke has NEVER been stopped, and may even be getting smarter. Lady Light to the Dark,” Hey I know you’re a villain, and I now our last attempt to have a child created a 100 megaton, teleporting, reusable nuke that killed MILLIONS!, but I want another child with you. Sure, don’t worry we will use every precaution. What’s that? A few people are angry that I didn’t turn in the Dark and that I could potentially create another 100 megaton, teleporting, reusable nuke? Well I deserve a child so who cares what the devastated world thinks. Seriously, there has got to be a sizable population in the world who hates her hypocrisy and selfishness. Her own thoughts/feelings are more important than then the world’s dead. Hey my country was destroyed and my family was killed by Desolation in Light. What if you create another? Don’t care want a child. If I was a meta in this world, I’d be professional and polite because the world needs her. But I would never like her, and every time Desolation in Light attacked, or the Dark and co. attacked a president, promoted a rapist, or welcomed a cannibal than I would simply remind her that if she had stopped the Dark, none of this would have happened. Granted you do raise the point that we truly don’t know the full extent of the Dark’s crimes. So for now I have to withhold complete judgment until we hear his side. But yes, Lady Light is incredibly selfish and a hypocrite to me.

      • I think all of you are overthinking it. Lady Light and the Dark have enough power to do whatever they want. Each of them chooses their path, and does as they see fit. If the Dark is “Evil” then that’s one thing. If Lady Light is “Good” then that’s another. But they’re not. They are real people blessed with extraordinary power.
        And, looking symbolically, they’re yinyang.

      • Hmm. That was poorly worded. Let me put it this way:
        No one is accountable to anyone else for their actions, except for words and promises. If someone says nothing, and then kills someone, fine. If someone else says, “I will not kill this person,” and then they kill that person, then that is bad. So, the Dark and Lady Light have never claimed to be anything that they are not.

      • Wow, this discussion has escalated quickly, but I think I’ll try to wrap this up.
        Sevenfoldrage, I think I agree with you, contrary to what Spider-Man might say, great power comes alone, responsibility is something you take upon yourself.
        Theant87, correct me and forgive me if I’m wrong, but your answer to my previous argument seemed a bit hostile and despective, not to me, but to the lady, and it kind of ruins the mood of this otherwise quite pleasant discussion.

        Now back on the defense of the birth of one of my favorite characters, it is true that, despite the preparations, giving birth to Gloomy was incredibly risky, to the point of being perhaps irresponsible, not hypocritical, in the sense that the world is barely coping with a single DiL, but as I said before, it was a gambit, so far, the best they have been doing against DiL is contain her until she leaves, the strongest metas have tried and failed to stop her, tactics and teamwork have failed, Ember has failed, Macian has failed, Sovereign has failed, Queen Madelaine has failed, everyone who has tried has failed and the only one who maybe could stop her is sleeping and probably just as dangerous and destructive, so how do you stop such an invincible incarnation of destruction, the simple answer is, you send in someone just as powerful or more, you cross the Godzilla threshold and that’s where Irene comes in, she is the world’s current best shot a taking the female evil Scion ( better represents her than the bomb and also shorter) down.
        So basically, you can think of her birth as the highest risk highest reward gambit ever, and the reward seems greater.
        So, I’ll pose you a question on a what if scenario, the world is gradually but certainly being destroyed, and the only possible solution has a 50/50 chance of either cleanly saving it before it is ravaged beyond repair, or immediately destroy it, would you leave the world to its slow certain doom? Or would you gamble on the chance of saving it? I know my answer.
        I want to make it clear however, that they didn’t give birth to Irene with that intention, or at the very least I don’t believe it

    • Assume that your opinions are shared in-universe. But even Cadance ain’t stupid enough to bring THAT point up in front of Irene (I pity anyone who ever does).

      On another note, Lady Light does adopt children from disaster areas, either directly or through charities. More on her later on, don’t wanna spoil 😛

    • To be fair, we know precisely zilch about the incident that started the powers and for all we know, LL killing Dark would throw the world out of balance and unleash some cosmic horror on the universe. And as for “turn him in” the only people who would have a chance of containing him are DiL, Ember, African King Guy (mind blank), or Macian. None of them are known for being co-operative. My point is that there could be some unknown reason why The Dark still lives, regardless, I agree with Nafram and GG on this one.

      • Not Ember, the Dark has shown he can beat him, and neutralize his power, and given the versatility he has shown and outside support from Wyrm and co, I think we can rule Macian and Sovereign( the African king guy).

      • DiL as well, once she changes her power set, the Dark could go free, the only one I can think of capable of reliably containing him is the Journeyman

  3. On a lighter note, I have to ask about popular culture in your universe. Did superhero movies take off? Are metas in all the fiction? Pick a famous TV show or movie that supposedly takes place in the real world and that means it has to have metas in it in your universe. Watchmen had pirates, maybe fantasy took off instead. With a million movie adaptations of fantasy book series instead of superhero comics.

    • The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings were adapted in the late sixties and hit the fantasy boom off.

      Also, there’s a whole subgenre called “Subzero Realism”, works of fiction that play in a theoretical setting where Point Zero never happened

  4. honestly it seems like there is a lot more going on in the world than is apparent on the surface here you guys, it seems like all these big time players are clued into something the rest of the world doesn’t know about and its possible that lady light has other reasons entirely apart from her personal feelings as to why she hasn’t put the hurt on the dark, maybe it would be a lot worse in the long run without him something to do with the weird recurring prophecy and that disembodied friend thingy from the Vra arc. Or maybe Lady Light is the REAL secret final boss and the Dark has always secretly been her bitch

    …shut up! you don’t know.


  5. no but seriously let me ask you guys a hypothetical. so say (for whatever reason) there this criminal holding a child hostage and you are trying to stop said criminal. now your only choices in this scenario (also for whatever reason) are to kill him or let him getaway unmolested upon which the kid is dead. and unfortunately he has some kind of tamper proof dead mans switch pace maker thingy connected to an armed nuke in the middle of some random innocent city. let him get away and the kid dies but you get to recover the nuke, what do you do? Slightly different scenario, some crazy mofo built an actual Armageddon machine, if it goes of no more life on earth. Its going to activate in 5 minutes and (again for whatever reason) your only option is to nuke the city it is in which will definitely save the world so what do you do?

    • I’d kill him, if left alive, he could do it all over again, the potential damage he can cause if he could pull off the dead man switch is greater than a single city, and I couldn’t bring myself to not save a kid right in front of me, in the second scenario, I nuke the city, lesser of 2 evils.
      Given a third choice in the first scenario, I’d try to injure him, maybe shoot his arms and legs or cut them off so the child and the city would be safe and the madman wouldn’t be a danger anymore, once the nuke was found and deactivated, the guy would die, painfully.

    • What I’d do? I don’t have enough information to know. As far as what I believe the moral choice would be?

      1st scenario: If I think I can capture him later, let him live, even if the kid dies. If I don’t think I can capture him, I’d have to kill him. As Nafram said, there’s too much trouble he could cause even if you stopped one nuclear plot.

      2nd scenario: Nuke the city. Either everyone in the city dies… or everyone else dies, along with everyone in the city. There really isn’t much moral dilemma with this one.

      • seconded. the second one isn’t a moral dilemma at all. This isn’t a question of “should the ends justify the means” or “have we reached the godzilla threshold” or such – complete planetary destruction kind of throws our value system out the window, since it’s not something that has ever been seriously considered

    • i probably shoul have been more clear but the morale dilemma wasn’t my really point it was more that given the right set of circumstances most anyone can be capable of seemingly monstrous acts and i’m not saying that to defend the Dark (you cant assume that some villain has justifiable reasons for killing people) but holding Lady Light responsible for things the dark has done ( especially when we don’t know what circumstances are governing her choices) is just unreasonable

  6. Eudocia is supposed to be a secret from everyone. WTH Prisca the facts she is an AI if the secret gets out will have literally every super of the world after Basil especially the ones who are after that super Gadgeteer who Basil may be a clone of.

      • Still it wasn’t like she couldn’t have played it off as it just being a computer Basil designed for her. Yeah Eudocia is a computer he made for me and just say I dunno why basil called it that he does weird things all the time she could have played it off as his version of apple or microsoft. Or say something like oh Eudocia is just what he refers to the operating system of the personal computers hes designed.

      • I think Vasiliki and Diana have been around Basil long enough that they would know the names of every inconspicuous machine or program made by him, and that he would not name a mere computer, there is also the fact that Prisca mentioned Eudacia as one would a person, and Hecate caught on to that. Last, but not least, they are teammates, it’s better to tell them than to cause a rift in their trust by way of them knowing they don’t know the full story

      • They are weak links it only takes one to get captured or desperate say having a family captured and then they will spill the beans. A secret between 2 people is only safe if one of them is dead. Plus Basil has scary mental defenses not very likely a telepath would be able to read his mind.

    • If you value more the secret than your team, sure, weak links, if you value the team more than the secret, then it’s still better to tell them. Besides, it was an accident.

  7. Still waiting for them to really question the blackouts basil has been having. I don’t know about you but suddenly finding myself with holes in my memory and not losing hours would be really really worrisome, and it’s not something is just brush off for weeks especially if I was a meta who had powers effecting my mental process. It’s a little unrealistic how basil is just like meh whatever every time it happens, I’d be freaking out the first time it happened

  8. Irene’s power is frightening. It appears that every time she has an idle thought her power lines up abilities to fulfill it and, if she doesn’t specifically derail the thought or the power, starts putting it into practice. Previously, we got the outside view and explanation of this, but it is clearer and more frightening when we can see her thought patterns. She must have had some quite good teachers in order to even be able to put up a normal front. And said teachers had to be near-indestructible also, or a casual tantrum would have killed them. I guess D & LL can afford the best.

  9. Theory – Lady Light has something is her head that forces her to do the ‘right thing’

    Now first keep in mind that LL was raised in the first decade of the 1900s. Second, read the end of Shakespeare’s ‘The taming of the shrew’ – specifically, the speech feminists hate.

    LL’s duty to do the right thing as a wife (patriarchy version,) might be overriding her ability to do the right thing as a ‘hero.’ Remember, people do not come out of triggers sane. Her insanity just sounds more socially acceptable than her husbands

  10. I can’t wait to see how Macian arranged the whole Brennus situation (assuming he is the mastermind behind Brennus and not some yet-to-be-revealed character). I wonder how much was actually planned out. I also wonder what he thought the benefits would be?

    • Was it mainly for Amy’s benefit, or did he have something bigger in mind? So many questions yet to be answered…

      • I highly doubt it was Macian who did that, think about it, the Blazing Sun, the man on the moon and the other creepy one I can’t remember, could gadgeteering really do something like that? Could it alter memories, rejuvenate people and whatever else Im forgetting right now? I don’t think so, it sounds more like Ember’s doing to me, or someone else with power like him

  11. We have the fourth of November today, of the year two-thousand and twelve. It’s fourteen past two,” she said, slowly. “It has been eighty-nine years, ten months, three days, fourteen hours and two minutes”
    The first sentence is … Wrong. Don’t know the term, but maybe
    – today is the fourth of November
    Is better? I’m not a grammar professor( although that would be so cool! Anytime i saw a typo, i would correct it, and i’d lord my PhD over everyone and my profile photo would be my doctorate amd i’d have all the power! MUAHAHAHAHA- oh, sorry, got a bit carried away. Sometimes when i go on these tangents i start daydreaming about THE POWER! MUAHAH- sorry, sorry. I’m done. For now.)
    SO yeah.
    I think
    If I’m wrong, tell me. I’ll improve after i get over the shame and stop planning a convuluted revenge plot to utterly crush you even though the Brennusverse is awesome so i probably won’t crush you and i’m rambling again.
    If you are still reading, advice- caffeinated soap is a bad idea for end of day showers.
    So, keep up the fine work!

    You’re still here? It’s over. Scroll down. Scroll!

    • where is that? which chapter, because it’s not in this one.

      You do realise you’re talking to a student of english literature and language? I can only say, BRING IT ON, WHIMP!

      • Unless I’m hallucinating again, section 36 of this page. Yeah. I just looked, it’s still there. And it’s not singing folk songs, so i’m pretty sure it’s real. I don’t know.
        And i am almost certain THAT 🔼🆙🔼
        Is a typo. You can’t have a date, just a section of time
        Por ejemplo/beispielsweise/για παράδειγμα/ Orfay ampleexay
        We will have today and yesterday to defeat the kangaroo hordes.
        There you have a section of time that is being possessed. Not the days themselves.
        I think. I am not the great and powerful Tieshaunn, Master of Fiction, King of Grammar, Thing of Nouns. So i could be wrong. So sue me.
        Note- please address all lawsuits to Angela Merkel
        Klingelhöferstraße 8
        Berlin 10785

      • ah, found it, fixed it. The issue was the all too common (for me) German/English structure confusion

        I wouldn’t send any mail to Merkel, dude. With the speed the German government goes at things, it’d probably take a few years before it even reached her in-tray

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