I write these words into this book, not because I wish to remember. Nor do I wish to preserve my thoughts for future generations to know of them. I do not write this so as to beg for sympathy. I do not wish to explain or excuse what I believe is yet to come. I do this because if I do not, I shall surely go insane. I have to put it into words, in some way – and anyone I could speak these words to is now dead by my own hand.
Or perhaps it is wrong to use that phrase. My hands did no wrong. No, they did not slay those I loved. It was, rather, mine own blood, passed down to me by my parents. The same blood that ran through my sister’s veins, until my own blood spilled it.
No. No, this is wrong. This is not my blood’s fault. My parents had the blood. My sister had it. Hundreds of others have it, all over the world. It was not my blood which slew Friedrich and Anneliese, or sweet little Adelheid. It was not my blood which slew my beloved Gerlinde, or her brother Gilbert, bravest of all.
It was my own weakness, my weak heart and my brittle mind, which could not contain the power of my blood as it awakened. I… I killed them. All of them. Just two days ago, I slew everyone I’ve ever loved, and more besides. I am alone now, with naught by my blood left – and the hope that, perhaps, our glorious Leader can give meaning to this accursed blood of mine.
Yes, that is it. The one good thing to come of this – our Leader has taken notice of me; how could he not. 8644 people dead in minutes, by the power of one foolish child. Perhaps he wishes to punish me. I hope he does. I deserve punishment, yet I cannot devise one of my own which befits the crime I have committed. Or perhaps he, in his wisdom, can see the purpose of this – there has to be a purpose, right? Why would God bestow such power upon one such as I, if not with a greater purpose in mind? Why let me slaughter all these innocents, if not to prepare me for a grander fate?
Please, please, dear God, I beg of you, don’t let this have been for nothing! I can still feel my own sisters blood on my face, on my hands, please, please, don’t let this have been for nothing!
Basil looked away from the screen. Eudocia had finally finished the translation of Hartmann’s diary, and he’d sat right down to read the first entry.
None of the entries were dated, and Eudocia had commented that the only order to them appeared to be that in which they came to the author’s mind. The translation was precise, if a bit formal; translating from German into English lost a lot, unfortunately.
It didn’t lose enough, though, to make it easier to read. Basil had of course heard the stories of how Hartmann had manifested. The sudden onslaught of his power, the forest he’d created nearly instantaneously, destroying his birthplace. An entire village gone in moments, with less than a hundred survivors.
What few eyewitness reports remained of the event had spoken of the young man – a boy, really, younger then than Basil was now – standing in the centre of the forest, covered in blood as he looked up at the corpses of his family and laughed.
Obviously, this being Weisswald, it had largely been interpreted in the worst possible way – but unless this diary was an utter fabrication, he’d felt remorse – at least for a while.
<Father, is something wrong?> Eudocia asked him. <Did I make any mistakes?>
“No, no, that is not it,” he said, though his voice came out rather raspy. He reached for his throat, touching it gingerly. It’d been inflamed for a few days now. “Just… a difficult subject matter.”
<You are not well, Father,> she said. <Your throat infection has gotten worse. You should go to the doctor again.>
“There is nothing he can tell me which I could not figure out on my own,” Basil replied with some annoyance, turning back to his reading. “I only went there to get my medicine legally.“
<The medication isn’t working though, or it wouldn’t get worse, Father!> she said, exasperated. <You need to take care of yourself!>
He looked straight into his computer’s webcam, trying not to show just how fed up he was growing with her constant meddling. He’d already snapped at his friends too much lately, he would not do it to her, too. Even Prisca had been walking on eggshells around him lately.
Maybe that ought to tell him something.
With a sigh, he closed his eyes and admitted to himself that he should at least rest a bit. “I am fine. I will just go to sleep early before school,” he said.
<Father… it’s seven in the morning. On a friday. Classes start in two hours,> she said gingerly.
When he looked at the camera in surprise, she made an apologetic sound. <I tried to tell you, honestly, but you were just… completely down the rabbit hole for the entire night!>
Wait, that can not be true, he thought to himself as he looked down at his hands, which he’d put on his lap. They were pale, like the rest of him, thinner than was usual even by his standards. I… I was thinking about… about something… just an hour ago, or so… it was just barely past the afternoon!
“What did I work on?” he asked gingerly. Some part of him didn’t want to look for himself, not after the failures of the last week.
<I don’t know, Father,> she admitted. <I think you started out with a new power armour design, but then you scrapped it for… I don’t know. You went through at least seven different projects, but you didn’t get anywhere near completing even one. That is the only thing that’s left.> Her webcam turned to point at something, and he followed the motion.
His gaze drifted out over his workshop… or rather, the joke it had become. Whereas he’d used to have a lot of projects going on simultaneously, switching from one to another as the inspiration took him, he’d slowly but surely been forced to downsize, focusing his meagre remaining resources on fewer projects. Or at least he’d tried to do it, tried to conserve resources and focus his attention – but the more he’d tried to, the less it had worked. He just couldn’t get his power to focus, no matter how much he tried to guide its focus; he’d even gone online and searched out dedicated gadgeteer message boards (there was actually one, known as the ‘Think Tank’, which was exclusive to confirmed gadgeteers; the same place where he’d gotten many of the blueprints he’d used in his early days) to research techniques for handling your power.
None of them had worked. Instead, he’d only wasted more resources, started and aborted even more projects. Now… no, yesterday, he’d only had two left, one a garbled mess of an attempt to create a new power source for his equipment (he couldn’t even remember what it had been supposed to be, never mind knowing what it had ended up as) and a new weapon system, a glove that used electrical capacitors to massively enhance striking strength. It hadn’t worked out, either, as he’d lost track of what he’d been doing partway through.
Now… now that was gone, too. His workshop now mostly consisted of a few tables with but three computers and twice as many screens left (he’d resorted to cannibalising even his basic equipment to somehow try to make something, even though he was regretting doing so now… even though he’d known he would even when he’d done it), and several scattered remnants of projects – he’d worn through a lot of material, and there’d even been several catastrophic malfunctions ending in, at least, the materials being spoiled and useless and, in the worst cases so far, in explosions that destroyed even more material.
He’d never had to deal with malfunctions like that before. He’d never have thought he’d have to wear his armour for lab work.
Speaking of which, he’d finally gone through with his design to reduce his power armour to a more economic set of body armour with a few gimmicks. That, at least, had worked out well, and now he had a surprisingly tight, lightweight set of armour that was nonetheless almost as tough as his power armour had been, and far easier to move in without the need for servo motors. It didn’t absorb blunt hits as well as it used to, as it wasn’t rigid, but he wasn’t planning of getting as close to his enemies as he’d used to, anyway. The new set also lacked the enhanced strength, obviously, but he could live without that – Gilgul was stronger than he was ever going to make it, anyway.
At least his ravens were still running. He’d stopped producing new ones, but he had been able to keep up with maintenance.
On the other hand, whatever he’d been working on over the night would not be running. He’d be very surprised if he’d even be able to figure out what it had been supposed to be.
Let’s not waste any more time, he thought, making himself get up… only to realise just how tired and worn out he really felt. He fell back into his chair with a surprised grunt, unable to stay up. “Eudocia,” he said slowly. “How long has it been since I have slept?”
<Actual sleep, or microsleep and naps?>
If she even has to ask… “Actual sleep,” he specified.
<Five days, eighteen hours and twenty-three minutes,> she said immediately. <Furthermore, it’s been two days and forty-four minutes since the last time you ate an actual meal.>
Wow, that is… I did not even notice that. “I did not even notice,” he told her truthfully.
<I’ve repeatedly alerted you to the issue, but you ignored or brushed aside my warnings,> she said, and though her voice was still mostly monotone – she had trouble operating voice synthesisers, and he hadn’t had the time or inspiration to make one for her that she could use easily – he could still tell that she was quite petulant.
Or perhaps he was just projecting his own emotions onto her. “I…” He sighed, leaning forward to rest his head on his hands, and his elbows on his knees. “I do not know if I can make it through school today.”
<You are in dire need of nourishment and, above all else, rest, father,> she said through the speakers near him. <There is nothing high school could teach you which you could not teach yourself better once you’re recovered.>
“N-no… I have missed too many classes… people might… get suspicious,” he groaned, though he wasn’t even sure why it was so important to him to go to school. “Besaaa-” his sentence drifted off into a big yawn.
Once he was done with that, he pushed himself to his feet. “No, I will go to school. At least for the first two periods – then we will see,” he decided. “I should check out the new invention first, though. Just in case it’s actually useful.”
<Father, you are not well! You need to rest!>
“Enough,” he ordered her. “Leave it be.” She stayed quiet and he turned to his latest effort at inventing something.
To his surprise, the gadget actually looked functional. Not complete – but functional. At the very least, all parts seemed to be connected to each other and there weren’t any obvious faults.
It looked, at a glance, like an egg the size of a football made of metal and wire, with several plates of what he had left of his ceramic to armour the upper, thinner half. The lower half had several more such pieces, shaped almost like flower petals, which could open like a flower, attached to the bottom of the ‘egg’, which exposed several fin-like protrusion along their insides.
The egg lacked any discernible propulsion system, but it was too big to be a grenade or something of that kind. When he picked it up, it proved to be lighter than he would’ve expected.
Is it hollow?
His fingers felt along the shell, and into the openings exposed by the petal-like parts of the armour (carefully avoiding the razor-sharp fins – he could not think of a use for them, it wasn’t like they were positioned in a way that would allow using them as weapons, and they weren’t long enough to be able to cause serious damage anyway), but his power was not co-operating – it did not help him understand his invention.
He tried to open the petals fully, but found that they only opened by about sixty degrees – which meant that the fins would always be aimed towards the inside of the egg, anyway.
Finally, he figured out how to open the egg properly – a little pressure here, a little pull there – and the incomplete gadget opened fully.
He could immediately tell what was wrong, and this time, his power actually did jump in and help.
The core of the gadget was missing. It had no less than four of his crystal programming cores built into the insides of its shell, one on each side of the ‘egg’ – which suggested that it would require some heavy programming to work properly – but the connections to whatever was supposed to actually make it work were sticking out, unused.
He’d wasted an entire night’s sleep and… yeah, about half of his remaining materials to build the world’s most expensive (and useless) Easter egg. It wasn’t even colourful, just dull black.
Really, you’re gonna waste time thinking about that? the Man in the Moon whispered into his head. You ought to rethink your priorities, mate.
“Shut up,” he said, too tired to raise his voice.
<Did you say something, Father?> Eudocia asked.
He sighed and shook his head. “No, no, it is all alright.” He put the egg down again. He still had no idea what it was meant for.
What a waste of time. What made it sting even more than just the waste of time was the level of craftsmanship on the inside – what little of the wiring he’d completed was among the most complex he’d ever made – and just the fact that it had four programming cores, when even his ravens – which contained programs far more complex than even his power armour used to have – had only ever needed one per unit. His armour had used a grand total of two, and one of them had been redundant, just in case the primary core was ever damaged.
He’d never made anything which had actually required so much as two programming cores, and this one had four. What could it possibly be meant to do?
I will probably never know, he thought surly.
You’ll survive, the man in the moon replied.
That does not help me, Basil rebutted angrily, anyway, where’s the other one? This ought to be the Blazing Sun’s job.
That one’s… busy, the other one replied.
Busy with what?
Can’t say. Literally, so don’t bother asking, the other guy replied. Seriously, I’m not enjoying this any more than you do, but I can’t even begin to guess what’s going on with us. And before you ask why I care, I am in your body, and a part of you – I feel everything you feel.
<Father, Vasiliki has just entered the base,> Eudocia chimed in, oblivious to the exchange going on inside his head.
Better go greet her, the man in the moon suggested. And tell her you’re not going to school today.
Fuck that, he threw back empathically. Not that he wasn’t going to go greet her. It was just that second part he objected to. At least Vasiliki won’t pester me about that. She’s the last person who’d skip school, no matter the reason.
Throwing the image of a webcam onto a monitor, he used it as an impromptu mirror – and found himself rather wanting. He had to do something about his hair, and he needed fresh clothes; he was pale and drawn out, with dark bags under his eyes and he probably didn’t smell all that nice, either.
How did I let myself go like this? He was usually so intent on staying clean. But there was nothing he could do about that now – he’d just have to take a shower before he left for school.
Shutting down all the electronics down here – save for Eudocia’s webcam access, of course – he threw one last look at the empty egg, and took the winding stairs up to the common room of his base.
He hadn’t even had a chance to greet her or even look around for Vasiliki before she assaulted him with food.
Just as he stepped off the stairs and into the room, she shoved a fork into his mouth, before he’d even realised she was standing next to the doorway.
“Eat,” she ordered firmly, her hair pulled up in a tight knot that made her look a lot like a stern (if disconcertingly pretty, for the average student) teacher.
The taste of grilled meat, fresh onions and thinly cut French fries filled his mouth, and though he felt barely any appetite, his body was more than happy to start chewing once she’d drawn the fork out of his mouth again.
In spite of said lack of appetite, it still tasted wonderful. He chewed, though it was surprisingly difficult to swallow it, even once he’d chewed it to paste.
“Hey-” he tried to say, but she just shoved the next forkful into his mouth the moment he opened it.
“Don’t talk,” she said firmly. “Sit and eat.” She pointed to a chair by the table he’d set up next to the kitchen, and she was reminding him way too much of a grade school teacher to disobey her, so he went and sat down while he chewed the food and swallowed.
Before he could say anything, she put the plastic plate and a fork down in front of him – it was from her family’s restaurant, a pretty big meal and still hot – and walked around the table to look at him from the opposite side, looking at him as if to make sure he actually ate everything.
He got a good look at her – unlike him, she was immaculate, her handmade replica of the school uniform (far superior to the genuine article) looking just-pressed and utterly spotless, her hair in a perfect bun, with a pair of fashionable rimless spectacles on her nose (she’d admitted that she’d used to need glasses, and now she mostly pretended to use contacts, but apparently she still liked wearing glasses). Right now, she had the facial expression to go with the look, stern but not unkind.
“Eudocia told me everything,” she said while he tried the salad that came with the meal. “I should’ve known something would be wrong, when you didn’t show yourself for days and cancelled your patrols. But this? What have you been thinking!? Do you want to get yourself killed?”
She ratted me out? Damn, he thought, though he couldn’t get particularly worked up about it. “I just got a little caught up with work.” He picked at his food, trying to make himself eat the rest.
“And how much, exactly, have you invented?” she asked calmly, going straight for the kill. “Let me guess – you haven’t actually finished anything, or am I wrong?”
Ow. He looked away, unable to respond.
She sighed, and he heard the fridge open and close again. Then she put a chilled bottle of water and a glass next to his plate, filling the latter with water from the former. “Drink.”
“I’m not thirsty,” he said, sounding almost petulant. He hoped.
He couldn’t see her facial expression, as he was still focused on the floor next to the table, but he was pretty sure he was picturing it right when she said, “Drink, or I swear I’ll get a chute, jam it down your throat and empty the entire bottle into you.” She sounded dead serious.
The water was used up in moments, an entire bottle emptied in pretty much one go – he’d ignored the glass. He didn’t feel thirsty, but apparently his body had different ideas.
“Now eat, or do I have to chew it for you and feed you with a chute?” she asked.
Again with the chute… “Alright, alright, I’ll eat already!” he said and focused his attention on his meal.
“And afterwards, a shower. You stink. Be glad Prisca isn’t here, I wouldn’t blame her if she dumped you for that,” she continued as she leaned against the fridge, her arms crossed beneath her chest.
“I love you too,” he replied calmly, before he filled his mouth again.
“I certainly hope so, considering I’m giving up first period for you,” she shot back.
He chewed thoroughly, then swallowed his food. “What are you talking about? We still have plenty of time before school starts…”
“Not if you keep talking instead of eating. So eat, shower, dress and we can go. And don’t think I’m not telling Prisca you’ve been letting yourself go – I can’t look after you all the time, after all.”
“Oh, please do not! You know she will overreact!” he begged half-heartedly.
“Tough luck for you – it was your choice to have a girlfriend like her,” she shot him down. “Now eat your meal, empty that bottle and go shower.”
“Yes mother…” he mumbled.
“What was that?”
The hot water was doing wonders for Basil. He couldn’t believe he’d gone almost an entire week without a shower! He usually showered every day, and twice on hot days. Wasteful, perhaps, but he loved it too much.
And yet I completely spaced out on cleaning up. He was taking too long, really, and if he didn’t finish soon, he’d probably have Vasiliki storming in to finish the job, and he really didn’t want that.
He took the soap and a long scrubber (he could have invented an automatic full-body washing machine, but he’d decided it was better to leave some things be) and went to work, cleaning himself up thoroughly. They’d probably be late to school… but then again, it was kind of weird for him to worry about that. It was just school. Compared to fighting spiteborn and Hastur, school was really barely a blip.
But for some reason, there was a part of Basil that was just… so firmly attached to the idea of a normal life. Living with his sister. Going to school. Going out with his girlfriend.
Just thinking about it made him feel fuzzy and nostalgic, in a really weird way. And even though he’d been… pushing himself lately, he’d barely missed a day of classes, even though, thinking about it in retrospect, he’d avoided his friends.
I wonder why.
Maybe it’s because part of you knows you’re going wrong, and you didn’t want them to help you, mate.
Why wouldn’t I want their help?
I cannot say.
Yeah great, that’s so… wait. That’s what the Blazing Sun always says!
“Great, now he’s giving me the silent treatment,” Basil said, before he wondered just what it meant for his mental health when his own multiple personalities were ignoring him to avoid questions.
I am so fucked.
The downside of taking a nice hot shower was that it was even harder now to stay awake. He’d have to focus a lot to stay awake through the drudge of school. Maybe Vasiliki can help me with that…
He stepped out of his bathroom, wearing a shirt and shorts, only to see Prisca sitting on the table in a cute red minidress and black thigh-high socks. He froze, staring at her, for more than one reason (reason a) cute. Reason b) what was she doing here at this time? She was supposed to be awake!).
Which was why he didn’t notice Vasiliki step up to him from next to the door.
“What i-” he began, before she blew a handful of green dust into his face and the world drifted away.
Prisca watched as Vasiliki caught Basil as he went slack, and quickly glided over to take him off of her – if anyone got to manhandle her boyfriend, it’d be her!
“Alright, you got the plan?” Vasiliki asked as they carried him to the single bedroom he’d built into the base.
“Let him sleep, if he wakes up make sure he eats and drinks a lot and above all, no letting him work on any inventions until we’ve all met up and talked to him,” she said in a serious voice.
“Right. And you’re sure you’ll be able to stay asleep for this?” Vasiliki asked to be sure.
“Sure, I pushed myself to stay up late just for this, so I’d sleep through to noon at least,” Prisca replied.
“Good. I’ll be back after school then,” Vasiliki said and left. “Then we’re going to figure out just what’s wrong with Basil…”
“And we’ll damn well fix it,” Prisca agreed.
At least Basil realize he’s got a problem! And his friends are not going to let him slip again hopefully.
I wonder if his power stress is a result of him trying to downsize his projects? Maybe his power need to work on several thing at once to avoind getting lost working on one? Basil need ressources… Maybe he should work on a machine to extract material, maybe from the soil or thrash, he probably won’t get anything high quality that way, but having a pile of low quality material would allow him to make prototypes on several different projets. Then once he’s got something solid he can rebuilt it with high quality material.
Seems more and more like Basils specialization is making stuff. Making lots of stuff.
I wonder why the lack of resources is such a drawback for him. Macian managed to make stuff out of random consumer goods (basically trash).
guess which one of them was in tune with his tenant, and which one is having trouble with it?
Ooo, Basil for the latter and Macian for the former.
Also, are all still pretending that we don’t actually know that Basil is actually Macian? Because it is kind of out there now to the point only a complete and utter fool couldn’t work it out with all the bits of information that Tieshaunn as put out there.
I think the only disagreement is the exact relationship between Basil and Macian. My own guess is that Macian truly wanted a normal life, and convinced Ember that it would make him more stable. So a false personality, Basil, is left in control, while what’s left of Macian is making sure that Basil doesn’t go too far off the rails. The man in the moon, of course, being what’s left of Macian.
Or maybe it’d be better to say that Macian is in pieces. His aggression is the Raging Heart, his desire to be normal is Basil, and most of his memories are held by the Man in the Moon.
That makes a lot of sense. I only brought that up that fact that Macian and Basil are the same person as it is pretty much impossible for Tieshaunn to convince us, the audience, otherwise (unless he introduces new, radically different information into canon).
He didn’t have this problem before, I think it was during the aftermath of the Hastur arc when he started having problems with his power, so either something changed which got the out of tune, or his power grew too much when he heterodyned with Melody……. I’m getting a yes for an answer, aren’t I
And the no could be either to my theories or my assumption on the yes, well played Mr.Tanner, well played
Not neccesarily trash. As he was within the Savage Six dimension he could freely loot other people property, nobody was going to blame him from doing his best to survive. He was able to raid harware stores, computer stores… cars… etc…
Basil on the other hand has high quality material but in limited supply. So I guess the lack of ressource is a drawback because he’s limting himself to only the best and can’t just grab whatever is at hand. These self imposed limits might be what’s preventing him from being in tune with his tenant.
What in the world turned that remorseful boy into Weisswald? Assuming the book is accurate. Questions within questions…
At a guess? Hitler.
That remorseful boy really looked up to someone, and he was begging for any cause to devote himself to. He would have been easy pickings for anyone callous enough to turn him into a tool.
Personally, I wonder if the insight into Weisswald’s mind will allow Basil to negotiate with the Spiteborn. After all, Basil may soon know more about their creater than anyone living.
there’s a reason the Dark was so pissed that Kudzu lost the two books
Most likely, he was picked up by the Companions. He was a kid looking for a purpose in life, and their Fearless Leader was an experienced manipulator who specialized in converting powerful young metahumans to his cause. Once young Weiswald was a properly indoctrinated supremacist, he could be cut loose to kill mundanes and force new manifestations with minimal links back to the organization. But the personal journal of somebody who was that important to the Companions would have information on their Fearless Leader, which would make it very interesting to the Syndicate and anyone else trying to take those monsters apart.
Great to be able to read this before Sunday. I can’t wait to see what Vasiliki, Prisca and the others have planned to try and help Basil.
I’ve edited the table of contents. In the interest of bringing Brennus to a close, I’ve cut out the breather arcs between Call of the Sleeper and the finale. I’m seriously trimming things down to only the necessary stuff, so we can finally get to all the revelations
As long as you don’t rush too much. I have read too many books that have great stories, but it feels like the author just rushed things in the end to get it finished (especially compared to the pace of the rest of the story). That said, it does feel like we’re getting to the close of the story with this and last couple of Basil chapters being the calm before the storm. Especially with so many questions feeling like they are going to get answers soon.
Somebody oughta inform that boy that sleep deprivation can cause permanent brain damage.
I would have guessed Eudoica would have translated the diary much faster than that. Although now I’m thinking about it, it kinda makes sense. She seems to be a lot more ‘man’ than ‘machine’ in a lot of ways, her capabilities and how she thinks (at least for what I imagine when I think AI). Maybe she’s still ‘growing’? It would make sense, most all of the protagonists are going through their own power arc, why not her as well? And Weisswald is sympathetic! Or, at least, has reasons doing what he did. Could his ‘blood’ be his word for having powers? He’s seemingly a bit more of a puppet than I had thought. I’d figured he was somewhat independent of the Gefharten/their leader.
So Basil seems to be out of sync with his tenant. What could be causing that? Is he doing (or not doing) something that the Blazing Sun wants? There was a hint in the comments a while back that Basil has some misconceptions about his power, so possibly he’s just coming at building things from the wrong angle. Or it could just be that Blazing Sun is too ‘busy’ (presumably w/ keeping Basils mind together) to function properly. To further complicate things, I’m wondering if Basil has ever been really in sync with his tenant – he has (had?) a habit of finding gear he has no memory building. That lack of control seems characteristic of what he’s going through now in a lesser way.
Curious as to how the team is going to ‘help’ Basil. I’m imaging they’ll just strap him down after he’s eaten/rested/etc. and force him to tell them about what’s going on with him. Can Basil even voice his issues (memory/voices)? I remember there was some hint suggesting he couldn’t.. although he did tell Amy some, after being prompted.
There’s more evidence that he’s Macian (do we need more? Feels pretty locked down to me) in some shape or form with the “why do I want to be normal”. Harks back to Amy’s flashback where Macian & his Amanda were all excited talking about a normal life, after all their time dealing with the Six. I have no idea at all what Basil will look like after being ‘put back together’ or whatever. The man in the moon acts be pretty different to Basil as we know him in a lot of ways. On that note, iIs Basil using more contractions relative to earlier in the story? It feels that way, at least. And if he is, does that mean he’s becoming more like the man in the moon? He did say “mate” way back, after heterodying w/ Polymnia.
I can’t quite decide if I like that the ending of the story has been accelerated, 3 chapters becoming one chapter. On the one hand, I’m very keen to get some answers, but on the other I’m not sure I want to miss out on the journey. I think the Monkey Family arc ended up being better for its extension– I can’t quite picture what it would have been like compressed. Maybe this is a case of less is more? I’m really torn up. Either way, full compliments to you Tieshaunn for creating a story I’m not ready to leave.
Thank you very much 😉
Weisswald was refering to Adolf Hitler, not the leader of the Gefährten, in his writing.
About the shortening: I haven’t actually cut out anything crucial to the story. Instead, I simply intend to take the (relatively few) plot- and character-relevant parts of the story from those breather arcs (Rifts & Gloom & Doom) and redistribute them among the others; maybe there’ll be a mini-arc of two or three chapters instead, as a breather/preparation, if it turns out I can’t fit it anywhere else
I got a theory! The unfinished egg gadget that Basil made is actually a forcefield generator, but he was unable to finish it because the Darkwraith in his head is blocking his ability to make forcefield.
I had a similar thought, but I think the Darkwraith is expanding its self. I was think maybe Basil had more idea’s that are considered to dangerous to build so the wraith had to basically stunt Basil’s thought process or something. Wild theory I know.
I was fairly certain the darkwraith was destroyed when mindstar was expelled from Basil’s mind by the man in the moon. After all, right afterwards Basil felt as if a blockage had been removed from his mind, which is exactly what the darkwraith was.
Actually it as been confirmed by Tieshaunn that the Darkwraith split itself and only part of it was destroyed. I’m pretty sure the feel that a blockage had been lifted is due to other things, like his sister coming close to the man in the moon and seeing the raging heart.
Well, after reading this entire thing up until now, I will proceed to dump the entirety of my thoughts on the story into the following. Overall? I absolutely love this story. The world created is absolutely breathtaking in its complexity and believability. Brennus is an awesome character. I am definitely glad you are cutting down on the “breather arcs” they were really really annoying me. I really liked the ones starring Aap Oordra, his story was great, but all those other stories, kept annoying me because for all the chapters they took up and all the time it took to get through them, very little that was pertinent to the story came to light. The twin girl’s story annoyed me so much I had to put down this story for months before I could brute force the chapters and get back into the story. One more thing that I found to be pretty annoying was the extreme overabundance of lesbians. It seemed like 1 in 3 women was at the very least bisexual. Not that I have anything wrong with it, however it made it somewhat apparent the lack of homosexual males, or many boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. (Though I love the main character’s relationship, they are adorable.) I do remember at least two gay males distinctly, that being mindfuck, and this one junior villain that they fought like once and was barely mentioned earlier in the story.
*Breathes out* Whew. Now that the rant is finished, I can go back to praise! Your character development, world building, and lack of plot holes make for a story that is so gripping you feel as if you are actually in the world, or at the very least, wish you were. Your overall skills as an author are easily professional level. To tie this in with the rant (I am sorry, I said I was done, and I should be after this) it just feels that you get sidetracked easily onto side stories I care less about than the main story. (Very sorry, I should have finished with that…but…sorry.) In any case, there was not a single character in any part of the story that immediately comes to mind that I did not feel like I could relate to, or that they were believable. They were all unique and amazing.
Now onto my theories! With all the revelations that we learned from The Dark in his conversation with Wyrm, I am theorizing that the metahuman’s ability is reality manipulation. It is possibly Brennus doing it unconsciously, but more likely it is Ember doing it to keep a cover around Brennus/Macian and his sister. My only problem with the Ember theory is that all that cruelty seems way out of character from what we know of super softhearted ember.
My theories on the Brennus/Macian relationship! I am thinking that Brennus is likely either Macian’s clone with Macian uploaded to something like a subconcious (not the main conciousness) or that Ember did some fiddling.
Anyway. I love this story, and from this amateur writer and anonymous person #16468249852 of the internet I would like to thank you for this story.
For the gay males part: I know that Spellgun and Tartsche are in a romantic relationship with each other, and they’ve been featured in the story a decent amount.
Thank you very much 😉 And don’t hold back on the criticism – it helps me improve my work, after all!
Hm, are there really that many bisexual or homosexual girls, and so few others?
Basil is straight.
Macian was straight.
Tim is straight.
There’s Dalia, who’s bisexual.
Vasiliki is straight.
Prisca is straight.
Terry is straight, as was her sister, Laura.
Foxfire/Barbara is straight.
Leet is straight.
Fulcrum is straight.
Razzle is straight.
Wyrm is asexual.
Amazon/Jessy is straight.
Aimihime is straight (and in a relationship)
Harry/Tartsche is gay.
Thomas/Spellgun is gay.
Jared/Outstep is straight.
Jason Widard is gay.
Patrick Patrid is straight.
Osore/Goudo is straight (Aimi’s boyfriend)
Ember/Henry is bisexual.
I’m not counting Amy, since she is far form mentally sound enough to feel real attraction.
Irene has a similar problem, with her power exaggerating even the slightest bit of affection. Without her power, she’d be completely straight.
DiL is… DiL.
Melody is straight.
Gwen is straight.
Peter is straight.
Journeyman is bisexual.
Aaron is straight.
Warren is straight.
Hennessy is gay.
Camille is gay.
Tamara is straight.
Elouise is straight.
Sara (the lawyer) is straight.
Volca is straight.
Lag was straight.
Vek is straight.
Lamarr the Purple is bisexual.
The Dowager is asexual.
Dajisi is too much in love with himself to be attracted to anyone else (except perhaps the Dark)
Kraquok lacks a biological sex. He used to be straight but after nearly 90 years of not having the equipment or drive, he’s lost all interest in the subject.
Hellhound is straight, though he’s sworn off romance since his wife died.
Queen Madeleine is asexual.
Prospero is straight.
Totemic is… Totemic.
Tick-Tock is straight.
The Coyote is straight.
Minerva is gay.
Belle Rose is gay.
Canary is bisexual.
Mindfuck is a heterosexual pedophile.
Atrocity is straight and in a monogamous relationship
Heretic is asexual.
Hemming is bisexual (though he only has sex with men as a woman and with women as a man – so perhaps it’d be better to say he’s double-straight?)
Pristine is straight (despite her attempt at a relationship with Fire Burial – that was more just desperation for ANY kind of closeness)
Fire Burial is gay.
These are all I can think of off the top of my head.
That leaves us with…
Straight Females: 16
Straight Males: 15
Gay Females: 5
Gay Males: 3
Bisexual Males: 4
Asexual Females: 3
Asexual Males: 2
Messed up: 3
That’s 31 straight people, 19 alternatively sexual people, 1 who’s got his head too far up his own ass to feel attraction, 3 who are messed up and one Totemic.
Keep in mind that the tension between Irene and Melody is entirely down to Irene’s power messing with them. Neither girl has the least natural sexual interest in each other.
Atrocity’s in a monogamous relationship?
That’s…surprising. It must be with one of her henchmen or something. Or she’s got a secret identity outside of the Six.
Mindfuck is heterosexual? Wasn’t he planning on raping Henry/Ember? I would have though him bisexual. Or maybe he make exception for the sake of shock value?
I’m arguing about the sexual orientation of a fictionnal pedophile… Maybe I’ve done enough Internet for today…
Wow. I had no idea. That makes it a lot better really. I guess for some reason it felt like there was an inordinate amount of women with women. Or women pursuing women. Ember is bisexual? That’s awesome. I wonder if he had a crush on Macian. I had Ember pegged as the super traditional hometown boy. Attrocity is in a heterosexual monogamous relationship? That seems oddly normal for her. I don’t know, I guess it just felt out of place because of how little you hear girls talking about their boyfriends. I guess I was just ignoring the straight people because it felt so normal. Thanks for the cheat sheet. It is awesomely informative.
I don’t see how being bisexual would contradict being a wholesome hometown boy 😛
Ember never had a crush on Macian. His feelings for him are brotherly and friendly; then again, he went into exile long before he hit puberty and hasn’t really had any chance to experience romantic or sexual feelings for anyone. so who knows how he’d feel about him now?
I just noticed!
“Macian was straight”
Either Macian isn’t straight anymore or… Macian isn’t anymore. At that point we’ve got enough proof that Basil is Macian, but this could shed a whole new light on it. Up until now we mostly assumed that Macian and Basil where like… two in the same body, Basil being the dominant personnality or Macian purposefully letting him control everything. But now it appear that Macian was litterally turned into Basil, there is no Macian anymore, except fragments hidden in Basil’s head.
It’s possible Ember did it at Macian’s and Amy’s request. Using his power to turn them into different people while still being the same?
Well, Macian could still be sharing his body or letting Basil control everything. It’s possible that since he’s been in there for so long he no longer really has a sexual preference anymore, or maybe he ‘was straight’ indicates that’s how Macian felt when he had a body of his own.
Besides, since it seems that his personality, power, and memories are still intact inside of Basil’s head, then Macian is not completely fragmented, just locked away for safekeeping.
Tieshaunn already gave an answer about the prevalence of lesbians, but I thought I’d add my own thoughts. Some arcs of this story struggle to pass the Reverse Bechdel Test (this is not a complaint, btw). That just means that a large portion of the story will be focused on women.
This is addressed in universe, with there being twice as many female metas as males. Since this is a cape story, they will get the most page time. If there are equal rates of homosexuality, I’d expect there to be far fewer visible cases of gay male couples.
As far as Ember being cruel by covering for Amy? How? My reading is that most of the cruel acts never actually happened. The Sorority doesn’t seem too traumatized by it and Switchbitch was put down before much of anything happened to her. Amazon is arguably the only victim we know, since she clearly loathes Mindstar.
A little OT, but I’m not even sure Amazon was a victim. Maybe her psychology requires her to hate someone, and this trickery focused that on someone who wanted the hatred. Maybe the event was a growing experience for Amazon. With a name like that, she might have had some feminazi (not feminist) leanings. After acquiring memories of being abused by Mindstar, she’d be more focused on evil people regardless of gender, than on evil men.
It’s also possible that whoever was putting together the false history just needed a big terrible crime to cement Mindstar in the role of Complete Monster in the public mind. That one event has always been what established her as a villain; it’s what got the Dark to notice her (at least according to numerous less than reliable sources regarding his knowledge and motivation), it’s the first example most people come to for why she’s a monster, it’s what got her name in the news in a big way… Once that specific story was told, it takes minimal effort to make everybody believe in the fake identity you built for Amy. Amazon might have just been a convenient Patsy.
Found a spelling mistake – “and a glas next to his plate”
I assume that glas is meant to be glass.
fixed, thank you.
In Germany, it’s just “glas”, so I sometimes forget that second ‘s’
Completely understandable. Your writing is so good, it is easy to forget that English is your first language.
Medicine, legally“ > the >” Friday
can not > Apparently, in situations like this, “cannot” is the grammatically preferable word choice. Can not is still acceptable, if less common. I imagine you’ll leave it as is to emphasise Basil’s tendency to avoid contractions.
armor > amour for Btritish English (appears a bunch)
meagre > Meagre (again the british spelling)
labwork > lab work
slowy > slowly
easter > Easter
what could it possible > possibly
rebutted angrily, Anyway > anyway
french fries > French fries
geniuine > genuine
was picturing > (there’s an extra space in there)
Alright alright > Alright, alright
(reason a) cute. reason b) > “Reason B”. Also, not technically a typo/grammatical thing here, but with all the brackets.. it looked a bit weird to me when I read it. I had a moment where I broke out of the story to work out how it all fitted together. Not really sure how it could be fixed (commas replacing brackets?) or if it’s even an issue for others.
she was supposed > She
And, while I’m here… Basil isn’t sleeping, and hasn’t been doing it properly for a fair while (despite the fact that he needs to). I’m starting to think there must be a connection of some sort between this and Macian, who said he NEVER sleeps. Not sure about the interplay with Basil foregoing food, as Macian (presumably) had to eat. Oh, and Basil’s love of showering is reminding me of Macian’s line way back in Embers interlude about loving rain “washing away the filth”, or whatever he said.
fixed, thank you very much for pointing all this out^^
Cudos for picking up on the rain
I agree with the bulk of the grammar corrections, except for the armour and the meagre ones. I understand that those are the proper British terms, but Basil is supposed to be American, so he wouldn’t really be using them. Maybe if Macian was talking, yeah, but not for Basil.