Progress 24/09/15 & Challenge

So, things are obviously not going according to plan. I’m having some major trouble with the university and had to basically start off a paper war that’s gonna take at least three months to get through.

I don’t want to whine too much, even though it really is a lot of unfair stuff I have to deal with, so I’ll stop here.

Currently working on the rest of the chapter, as promised. I’ll try to have it up soon enough to at least put out an interlude or a brennus file over the weekend, as well.

On another note – since a lot is going to be revealed presently, I was curious whether anyone picked up on a major oddity about Basil’s power. There’s a hint, an odd sock that goes all the way back to the Prologue.

In the interest of keeping you entertained, I challenge you to find that odd sock. If you do, there’ll be a reward 😉



66 thoughts on “Progress 24/09/15 & Challenge

  1. The obvious answer I’m going to give is his insane speed, which is beyond insane.

    Being the obvious answer, I feel it’s probably not what you are looking for.

    Two notes. One, are you going to announce when someone gets it right, and are you going to say who got it right, or only that someone got it.

    Second, I want to remind everyone about this

    This might help with the guessing.

  2. My guess is it’s that he doesn’t seem aware of what he’s doing sometimes. None of the other gadgeteers ever seem to be so unaware of what they were doing, while Basil seems to have times where he tries to figure out what he was doing in reverse. That said, it’s already been shown that somethings up with his memories so I find my own theory unlikely.

  3. There is so much oddness around Basil, at what point is it his power and what point is it his memories, or strange life, or displacement in time, or ptsd, or any of a lot of things?

  4. I think I found it! It’s something I thought was odd when I first saw it, but originally thought it was just the way Gadgeteers worked in your world. Then I read the Gadgeteers article and saw it was unique to Basil.

    One of the first things Basil builds is an extremely advanced computer, to do calculations. Now, according to the File, Gadgeteers just receive their inventions pretty much fully formed and already working. Basil, on the other hand, has to make prototypes and calculate, and doesn’t get what he originally wants.

      • Congratulations and thank you! Now, I have a question for Ties.

        If this is true, then what’s with the refinement that you mentioned in the Brennus File? You said how gadgeteer a need to use their inventions in order to get direct feedback for refinement. How does this and the above meld?

        I have no doubt it does, I’m just a little confused.

      • Smileyboy makes power armor.

        Smileyboy goes into battle with power armor.

        Smileyboy experiences performance of power armor.

        Smileyboy’s power analyses experience.

        Smileyboy’s power takes in lots of other information.

        Smileyboy’s power comes up with changes and improvements based on said input.

        Getting this kind of data – performance and the like – second-hand (like by watching someone else use it through video, or stuff) is far less useful than being there, in person, so the gadgeteer’s power can directly analyse stuff; though there are exceptions, such as gadgeteers who are better at letting others use their work than doing it themselves.

        But the usual gadgeteer works best when using their creations in the kind of situations they are made for, which is why a gadgeteer making combat tech will be found on the battlefield and not in a secure lab.

      • So that means that Basil can improve his work without outside input because he (or his power) functions in a more straightforward manner. It is perhaps incapable of doing the standard analyzing trick that Gadgeteers do, but it DOES leave him open to continue improving as long as he can enough computer power to do calculations.

        His brain seems capable of some manner of finer calculation (based on the bomb he used on the garden). Also based on his planning capability, it’s likely he has some manner of thinker power in addition (or perhaps as part of) his Gadgeteer one.

        Perhaps what part of his problem is… is that his second power runs somewhat in opposition to his power one. His first power wants to create aka Gadgeteer style, but his second power creates interference which, while it guides his overall designs, means his first power can’t do all the work alone. And his second power remembers how to do stuff, but he gets his headache because his first power wants to take over to do stuff, and his second power (and possibly free will), are saying no.

        Hmm, no, I think I’m off by quite a bit. Still, fun theorycrafting. If this prods anyone else’s mind in a direction, feel free to comment and expand.

        Ps. If he does have two powers, would that make his Gadgeteering one the Blazing Sun? And his thinker power the Man on the Moon?

    • Since word of God has confirmed this, lets speculate. Some theories

      A. Basil is not actually a Gadgeteer

      B. Basils specialty is improving on other work.

      C. Basils power is screwed up, and this is a bug, not a feature.

      D. Secrets!

      Any thoughts?

      • I think the not being a gadgeteer idea has merit. Most gadgeteers are essentially super inventors, where there power tells them what they need to do and they do it. If Basil is doing all the calculations himself, then his power is more like super intelligence. Rather than having the ability to invent things, he’s just using an ability to think better to invent things, if that makes sense.

      • Actually, he could be a Gadgeteer. The normal limitation is “create working tech of class X” along with “improve anything of class X, far more so if I have created and/or used it”. Now try it this way: X = tech experiment. So his stuff would both work and be an experiment, which would allow him to boot up to more powerful experiments.

        I actually think I am wrong, because some things still don’t fit, but that’s the closest guess I have.

      • I remember in Macian’s note book there was a note to research power sentience. Maybe the Blazing Sun is the product of that research, an attempt on Macians part to regulate his own powers. While the Man on the Moon is the personality of Macian, walled away from the Basil personality to make his disquise perfect(no idea how, Ember maybe?). The sentient nature of his powers, or at least the existance of some manner of sentient direction for them could explain both his seeming lack of specialty and his need to crunch numbers and prototype. My current theory (aka wild baseless speculation) is that the Blazing Sun allows Basil to shift focus meaning that he essentialy has no specialty. But that ability to shift impinges on the gageteer’s to jump straight to the finished product.


  5. One obvious thing is how he seems to tune out the entire world when his power takes over.

    I just noticed something. Basil and Amy’s dead “parents” are almost never mentioned or referenced. I would like to know what that is about. Who were those people posing as his parents? Did they even exist to begin with?

  6. I think I got it!

    According to your Gadgeteer file, one of the main limitations of Gadgeteers is that they don’t understand, mechanically, their own creations. All the knowledge and understanding is held by the power, which doles some out to the user, sometimes more, most times less. This drawback has the advantage, though, that the user doesn’t have to actually know/understand/calculate to create something. The power takes in input as inspiration, and then churns out a fully functioning invention. It either works, and the Gadgeteer has a working invention, or it doesn’t, and the Gadgeteer doesn’t even get any insights or knowledge.

    Basils first inventions from the prologue are a generator, a computer, and a ray gun. Both the generator and computer weren’t actually inventions in and of themselves, but things Basil needed to create other things, like the ray gun. HOWEVER, this shouldn’t have happened.

    Basil made the generator because he couldn’t get enough out of the power grid WITHOUT DRAWING NOTICE (or at all, but I’ll talk about that in a sec). His power doesn’t, or shouldn’t care about drawing notice and it doesn’t seem to be his specialty, so he shouldn’t have been able to build it. It was a separate invention that had no direct bearing on the objects of his specialty, so he shouldn’t have been able to make it, but he did.

    And then he made the computer to “handle the kind of calculations [he] needed”, when in fact he shouldn’t need calculations at all. His power should just supply all the numbers and whatnot, but the fact that he couldn’t make something without the computer, or even feels the need to use a computer at all shows his power is not supplying everything it should.

    So, I’ll end this with a guess as to his specialization. My guess is that he’s not a Gadgeteer at all! He’s more like a terminal that taps into other Gadgeteers’ power and uses a version of them, combining and refining them. That’s why Macian couldn’t use his powers on ‘powers’, because no living Gadgeteer had a specialization of that.

    Basil can use his abilities to cook, like Pollepel (Hannah Wenderman), has looked into making forcefields like Sovereign, can program/hack like Armitage (Jean Fries)/I<3U, has created almost autonomous birds like Sovereign, medical machinery like Atrocity, futuristic stun guns, batons, and vibra-sword like Armory III (Molly Hastings), has communications that are perhaps somewhat similar to Wyrm.

  7. So in the prologue we have:

    – “Basil had changed and a new thought pattern had taken over Basil’s mind.”
    >I’m not sure this applies to Basil’s specialty, or power mechanics. I am pretty sure it connects to the whole memory situation. So much speculation, but I’ll leave it out.

    – Room looks like: Blueprints covering the walls. Equation everywhere. Technology litters room. >Custom made tools hang on the walls.
    Seems pretty typical, really.

    – Custom tower PC. Built from parts salvaged from old computers. Hooked up to 4 22” monitors in a square. Basil says – Clocked at one and a half petaflops. “Built the individual parts from scratch and worked on them until he could build this”
    >Seems to be a bit of a mismatch here – is it built from salvaged parts, or parts built from scratch. Is this memory loss, or our missing sock? (or is Basil just using a given value of “from scratch”)

    – “A gutted toaster, a mobile phone, and a microwave lay around a half-completed ray gun.”
    >Are these the parts from which the ray gun was built? Seems like an impressive mish-mash of junk, if so. I feel like the microwave is the most critical ‘ingredient’ here. Something to do with electromagnetic radiation?

    – Basil says: “Well, that is supposed to be a remote detonator for inorganic, rigid matter. However, it does not quite work right. It merely overheats objects instead of causing them to explode. I apologize for using your hair dryer; I will get you a new one”
    >This is totally Macian’s ray gun. (Basil’s used other Macian inventions before, as well. The light cubes, for instance. Maybe other stuff I’m not thinking of too) This isn’t really surprising, all things considered. Personally I’m going for the “Brennus!Basil is Macian!Basil with a really screwed up brain” theory. Not sure if this gives any clues towards his specialty, except for pushing towards something that has AI within easy reach, IMO, for reasons listed in another comment thread. The ray gun specifically could also fit the whole radiation/electromagnetic spectrum thing with the overheating. And more random junk being used.

    – In the middle of the room: Contraption that looks like it has been salvaged from parts around the house, and other sources. Soft blue glow emanated from within. Cables to other gadgets. Basil says -it (or possibly something else) uses coolant from a junkyard. “It is an electromagnetic power generator” “the reason for the glow, it is an effect known as ‘Cherenkov Radiation” “It is safe”
    >Also fits into the electromagnetic theme that all the gadgets in the prologue seem to have. As well as that, it’s apparently also built from junk. I wiondered about the Radiation, but apparently it IS a pretty safe byproduct of electromagnetic stuff. Ater some (very quick) googling, I’m equating this generator to something analogous to the Advanced Test Reactor

    – Things that tie multiple inventions together.
    >They all seem to be built from scrap. I’m willing to discount the junk thing as being a clue – I feel like that ties into the lack of resources more than his specialty. Although.. Macian was using junk and being very successful But that could be form his super synchronisation. And if he’s using junk even before he depletes his resources, and when he’s being successful, why is he spending so much money on buying things anyway.. Unless he needs/can get by on a combination of junk and ordered parts)
    >And then there’s the electromagnetism thing going on. Polymina did guess that as his specialty at one point. Although some things, in later chapters, don’t quite seem to fit under that umbrella. At least in a directly obvious way.

    So in conclusion, I have no idea. Or really, I have a bunch of starting points. Is a shotgun approach cheating here?

    • Oh, and there’s Basil’s regular silly construction speed in here as well.

      Plus he mentions hacking into the mafia, which I ignored because in my head that’s explained by Robin Hood + memory issues. (Although Amy later gives evidence that someone really was stealing from the mafia. More evidence of shared delusions? Or is Basil’s memory crisis mimicking somehting that’s really happening – with him replacing the knowledge of Robin Hood stealing form the Mafia, with knowledge of him stealing from the mafia?)

      • Robin Hood is stealing from a lot of criminal organisations. The Mafia is one of his favourite targets, since they are determined to stay apart from the Syndicate – as such, they don’t enjoy the protection and watchful eye of Wyrm

      • Oh yeah, Robin Hood stealing from the Mafia makes sense.

        I was more thinking along the lines of *Basil* remembers stealing from the mafia, and yet later finds out that the scripts are half finished. Despite that, Amy comes in a little later and says that someone HAS stolen form the mafia in that same timeframe, and measures are being taken against it, punishments dealt out etc.

        I was wondering how the two lined up. I figured, since that we know that Robin Hood is responsible for stealing for Basil’s finances, and steals from Mafia, maybe he’s the one who hacked the Mafia’s accounts in this instance, not Basil, and caused the uproar Amy’s talking about, and Basil is somehow remembering being the one to do it – blending a real event with a false memory.

        Although now I think I’ve forgotten something obvious, that’d put a massive hole in this, so I should probably go back and check this all out.

    • Well, one possibility is that he’s re-creating other tinkers’ tech. Macian’s ray gun, some kind of force-field prototype, the birds I believe were said to contain someone else’s tech, the AI was definitely someone else’s invention.

    • I believe the weird part of Basil’s ability is how much he understands his tech. His ability actually gave him science knowledge.

  8. it seems to me that Basil is a separate person from Macian, but Basil has through a so far unknown series of events which probably involved Henry/ember ends up inhabiting Macian’s body/mind. He has somehow taken over but Macian is still in there somehow and affecting him.
    There are multiple reasons for this conclusion.
    1. the gun Basil makes in the prologue is like Macians ray gun.
    2. in 12.3 the unknown man examines Basil’s work and claims that it is based of atrocities.
    3.The fact that after that his sisters name is Amy. In 5.2 he talks about how he liked his sisters name having A’s in it. I know amy is not the same as Amanda but it is similar. also amy could just be a contraction of amanda.
    4. This is the most important part. and it is the opening of Book 3. where he finds out where the AI (Eudocia) was hidden. While looking at this memory an unknown thought who seems to be basil thinks “The first time… I was not there, back then. And yet, a tool made to solve a problem. The first invention…” This means that Macian was a gadgeteer and somehow Basil(who i am assuming to be the voice because who else could it be?) got into his body. we know that it was Macians body and not Basils because just after this it shows mason hidding the AI.
    5. some of the problems with this is the damage to Macians body. I ignored that due to the sheer amount of mindfuckery and how advanced the technology is. Either Macian managed to fix his body or the mental manipulation was so strong that he still has not noticed that he has some robot parts.
    6. 9.4 in family matters when basil talks to blazing sun and moonboy. If it was Macians power it would make sense that he could not control it. Also Moonboy(or whatever you call him) talks like Henry/Ember making it more likely that Ember brought Basil into Macians body for some reason.

    probably other stuff but thats all i feel like looking up for now. if you can think of any reasons this is wrong we will see if that will help make a better argument.

  9. Remember that interlude where Calculass was chatting with The Dark about how she was getting interference from something and that the most likely “something” was a powerful “mastermind” type power with especially high chances of the power being precognition?
    It would also tie in with how Brennus knew about the source of the money and more importantly it would allow Brennus to speed up his work by “skipping steps” when designing (if you already have seen what the prototype will do then there’s no reason to build one before moving on to a finished product). This would further explain why he kept disassembling his projects for parts; if he couldn’t see them working out in the near future then he moved to a different project.

  10. I think Brennus has a secondary power to manipulate somehow atoms so he can make microchips better. (Really the only way to improve them, since it would be nearly impossible, to upgrade them and still have them work with normal technology.)

    Also his other personalties and his anger should be looked into, but those two weren’t mentioned in the Prologue.

    Btw he is Macian and someone (Ember?) created this life for him. Pretty sure at this point.
    Would be useful to know which one of Savage Six are his parents. Quite sure Mindfuck is the father of Mindstar. But they don’t need to have the same parents. -.-

  11. Just finished reading the archive, and I just wanted to tell you how much Im enjoying reading this. Which is quite alot by the way.
    As to weird stuff regarding Basil’s power. Hmm, well I dont know if it can really count as “a major oddity”, but one thing Ive noticed is that Basil hasn’t related how he got/activated his power.
    Ofcause that might just be because he just havent bothered telling it, but it still seems strange to me since its come up in conversation for so most of the other main characters, but not Basil.

  12. I think something different about Brennus is that his power is always “on”. Hearing that most gadgeteers don’t necessarily understand what they make was a bit of a surprise, as our first introduction to a gadgeteer seemed contrary to that idea.

  13. sooo too late for the odd sock thing…but i do think i know what Basil is now. A Mastermind Gadgeteer! and his specialty is replicating and enhancing existing technology including other gadgeteer tech. my reasoning is this is the only specialty that would require understanding of what he was doing and how he could apply it to other things. btw i konw someone already thought this might be a possability but I’M going all in.

  14. On a separate topic, what power did Martin Luther King Jr. get when he manifested? I thought it would eventually come up in story, but I just have to know now.

  15. It seems fairly obvious to me that if Basil is in fact Macian, he was forcibly age-regressed into his current form. It’s been established early on that even the most powerful psychics can’t erase memories, but age-regression would side-step the problem by restoring the physical memory storage system (the brain). Of course, there’s a lot of details that suggest that Basil isn’t Macian, but if they are the same person, then that’s probably how it is.

  16. One more thing I don’t get is that Basil has no trigger event. Everyone else had one, with the possible exception of GG and DiL, but they could’ve had their events before birth.
    You could explain this away by saying that Basil is Macian, but he lost/hid his powers for a long time and even Amy had a trigger event. My theory is this: Amy has a primary power of mind stuff and a secondary power to shape-shift, which she subconsciously uses to look older than she is. If this is true she she’s had her powers for a long time and only regained her tele-stuff after her trigger. In much the same way, Basil has whatever powers he’s got locked up. The genius we see now is the ‘light’ spilling through the cracks. The rest of his power is stored in the other personae.

  17. Soooooo, the current theory is that Macian/Brennus is actually a Meta and not a Gadgeteer. The question now is what is his rating. I am guessing a 12 but maybe close to 13. Since he is limited to gadgeteer powers, I think it is a 12. I now wonder why he hasn’t been able to replicate the advanced batteries of Hot Rod. I think that is the guy’s name, the one polymnia found snooping in her workshop.

    • if we are going with the meta theory then it has to be that he has mot come across any hot rod tech yet. he needs to study it before he can do anything. eveo when him and Polymnia “traded” tech he only got her computer chips and not hot rod’s batteries. on a sidenote i saw that Jim Butcher’s new steampunk series just dropped. be honest Ties, is that the real reason this chapter is taking so long? lol

    • Tieshaunn does like Meta characters. Lady Light, The Dark, DiL, Gloom Glimmer (I know they’re all a family, but they are all prominent characters), Prisca, Hecate…

      The last two have somewhat on demand capabilities, so I think they count.

      • hmm… I AM taking way too long with this chapter, so here’s something to keep you guys busy:

        Hecate is not a meta (she’s a contriver, with very strict limits to what she can make)

        Prisca is not a meta at all

        if people knew how DiL’s power actually worked, she wouldn’t get a meta rating.

        same for Lady Light

      • WHAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?

        My mind is blown, and I am so glad I follow comments.

        How could DiL not be a meta? Her whole power is having other powers!

        If this is something that gets revealed three books from now, I can’t even.

  18. Wawa didn’t read for a long time and forgot most of everything shame shame same I will probably wait till you finish this book and then read everything from the beginning again and let it be said that I rarely want to read something from the beginning again

  19. In response to those who seemed to be convinced that DIL / Gloomy and lady light had meta powers, . . . what? Just because worm might have provided some inspiration, does not mean Tieshaunn just copy-pasted Eidolon’s power onto DIL. Also, Hecate and Prisca?? Really? Their powers are some of the most clearly spelled out in this series. There is also very little to suggest Lady Light being meta. Gloomy might be meta in the sense that she might channel her sister’s abilities the way Macian would channel the abilities of other Gadgeteers. If so, it seems she is prone to also channelling her sister’s mental issues. I could be wrong though. She might just have the same ability and not be meta at all.

    I now have a question. Would it be possible to tomehow teleport Gloomy’s suppressor pills into DIL’s mouth?

    • Lady Light being Meta Is what they believe in universe. To quote

      “Physique 12
      Damage/ Protection 7
      Meta 12”

      The definition of Meta in universe is

      “The Meta descriptor describes all powers that deal with powers. That means, all methods of enhancing suppressing bestowing mimicking stealing or shifting powers.”

      Gloom Glimmers Meta ability, which is not confirmed as actually being Meta, is she “[gets] whatever power and skill [she] needs to deal with a situation”.

      Lady Light’s Meta ability, which Word of God says is only rated this because they don’t know how it works, I believe is considered her “aura, [which] reinforced the defenders, calling them to arms once more and with thrice their former fierceness.”

      And DiL has what I believe appear to be two Meta abilities, which are confirmed to be rated that way only because we don’t know how her power works
      1. Her Desolation Field, which blocks powers from entering or leaving it, and
      2. How she can attain and switch high level offensive powers, which become more powerful the longer she has them.

      Based on this definition of a Meta power, all three meta humans have what appear to be Meta powers, at least on the surface, although two of them are confirmed that the mechanics are actually different.

      Did I interpret the text appropriately Ties?

      • Hecate can bestow abilities or capabilities with her enchantments. Prisca was based on the shifting aspect, as she can alter her capabilities by expending some of her charge.

      • Hecate is classed a contriver. she works within certain limits and though her power might seem to overlap with the meta rating, she is a pretty straight contriver

        Prisca does not change or influence her own or other’s powers – she can simply expend more of her charge to “overdrive” a set of fixed attributes (toughness, speed, striking power, etc). that would give her a massive potential damage/protection/movement rating, but it’s a far cry from a meta power (as it always works the same way, each time, and does not affect other people’s powers)

      • Or at least, that was my opinion. I admit that Prisca was a little loose, but I still think Hecate counts. Perhaps she’s more limited that I thought.

      • mostly, yes

        Lady Light can ostensibly create “hard light constructs” (weapons, armor, other items), each of which holds different kinds of powers (like a whip that prevents teleportation, a bow that fires explosive arrows, an armor which absorbs kinetic energy, a torch which bolsters morale, etc), reforging them in order to switch powersets.
        at least that’s her “official” power.

        Gloomy deserves her descriptor. unlike DiL, she actually does shift between distinct superpowers.

        DiL’s power is rated meta mostly because no one knows what else to call it, and because it looks to be one on the surface.

    • No, and even if it was, they wouldn’t work on her.

      There’s a reason they’re not making them wildly available to people. They are custom made to work on Irene.

    • It seems the definition of meta I was using was a bit too strict. I guess I can see DIL having the one meta ability, but the shield blocks whatever she wants to block via some sort of space-time manipulation as previously explained in the story. Also, Hecate is still quite a stretch.

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