Pain lanced through Basil’s head, again, only to remain there, like a nail that had gotten stuck in his brain, a steady throbbing sensation, making him feel like his head was about to burst, or perhaps collapse, or perhaps simply burn to ash.
Pain was an old friend, one he didn’t really remember, yet familiar none the less. It had made it easy to ignore the many wounds he’d suffered throughout his short career as a hero so far, helped him compartmentalise the experiences, focus on taking the necessary steps to survive, rather than be preoccupied with the pain.
It helped here, again, even though this was a purer pain than ever he’d known before, a pain that was not in his body, but his mind, yet without any emotion to cause it. Still, he looked away from it, focused on what lay beyond his inner thoughts.
Frankly, focusing on the pain seemed like a more pleasant option. Desolation-in-Light still floated above the street, seemingly blind and deaf to the world around her, not that there was much to hear as everyone near her was deathly silent save for the occasional sobs.
He’d heard rumors, read stories of eye witnesses, many put off as mere attentionseekers, liars or crazies, of DiL appearing in places, isolated ones usually, only to do nothing at all but stay a while, floating in the air, and leave again, causing harm to none. Usually it was only witnessed by one or two people, in those stories, but they remained remarkably consistent and most of the reports had had the ring of truth about them.
A small part of him, a very small one, dared hope that she would disappear here, too, leave them be – leave it at a mere scare, rather than the sheer namesake desolation that was sure to follow if she struck now.
The pain in his head redoubled as a shower of light, like liquid, glimmered around her, starting above her head from a single point, spreading into a glowing halo, before it ran down, tracing a sphere around her as it expanded until the halfway point, then collapsed again, until it gathered into a single spot beneath her feet again and disappeared, as the pain in Basil’s head returned to its earlier, more managable throbb.
Tiny spots appeared all around her, as if stuck to the surface of the invisible sphere the light had just traced, the spots growing as they spun in place, tiny rocks that grew, starting to make grinding sounds as they cracked into many smaller pieces that ground against each other even as they continued to grow and spin and dance about her.
Basil was still unbalanced by the sudden surge of pain, but Vasiliki, fortunately, was not and she didn’t wait to see what this power, or whichever others she had picked, could do. Rather, she threw something at the ground in front of them, and a cloud of greenish smoke rose up and encircled them, forming a slightly glowing dome around the bench they’d sat on.
Rising up, she reached into her purse and withdrew an elongated package wrapped in white fabric several times the size of the tiny purse, throwing it at him.
He caught it, more out of instinct than conscious thought, recognising the emergency package he’d entrusted to her a while ago, for occasions such as these.
Unwrapping it, the white fabric was revealed to be a replica of his cloak with the corvid uroboros upon the back, having been wrapped around a pair of boots and gloves, as well as a sleek, yet boxy rifle made of silver and black metal, as long as one of his legs from toe to hip and, finally, a slender mask.
Vasiliki, meanwhile, had stripped out of her clothes right next to him, revealing that she’d worn her bodysuit underneath her clothes, just with the sleeves rolled up – what he’d thought to be stockings had been her costume’s pants. She finished tugging it into place, putting her clothes into the purse before pulling the outside cover off said purse, revealing it to be her bag of holding.
They dressed up, both of them, with Basil’s shoes and jacket disappearing into her bag as well, while she pulled out her belt, her cloak, her staff, boots, gloves and various other odds and ends she’d crafted over the months, lesser contrivances compared to the power she’d concentrated into her staff, belt and bag, but formidable nonetheless. She didn’t wear a mask, rather, her hood was enchanted to always stay on and shroud her face in shadows, only showing her jaw and lips, and only if she wanted it to at that.
Basil was done before she was, finally just holding the mask in his hands, looking down at it. It was a simple thing, not a helmet but a mask, yet without straps. Rather, its insides showed a lot of moving parts, as it was designed to shift and clip onto his face, molding itself to its contours, hiding it from his hairline down to his chin. Designed to look smooth, almost glassy on the outside, its lines barely implying the shape of a face, it was of the same jet-black ceramic as his armour was, except he had left that back home.
He held it to his face and felt it shift, attaching itself to it so finely he barely felt its weight once it was done and his interface booted up, the mask becoming seemingly transparent to his eyes as the all but invisible channels worked into its surface captured light (as well as other things), serving essentially as a big camera that covered the entire front of his mask. Two small extensions had folded out the sides and covered his ears, though they quickly picked up the sounds around him and channeled them through, allowing him to hear as clearly as if there were no obstructions at all. The mask did not nearly have his full suite of sensors and communication technologies, even he could only fit so much into such a small space, but it had enough to give him half a dozen vision modes and an uplink to his own personal network, the one he shared with Eudocia, his sole remaining raven and the equipment back at his base.
The gloves and boots were simple things, too. Both were meant to let him stick to objects by manipulating the forces that allowed molecules to stick together, creating temporary bonds between their surfaces and whatever he was touching. Both could also serve as contact-tasers.
Picking up his rifle – a small railgun which could also fire a grappling hook – he looked at Hecate.
”Sound test,” he said, a flick of his eyes making it so he could only be heard through their communications network.
“Hearing you loud and clear,” Hecate responded. “Oneiros’ Shroud will be down in sixteen seconds. What should we do?”
They, of course, hadn’t just thrown up a smokescreen while within such close range to DiL, blinding themselves to any attack that may come. The spell which Hecate had named Oneiros’ Shroud was an expensive one – it had taken her nearly a whole week to prepare this one, and they’d determined to only use it in an emergency. According to her, the smoke it generated transposed whatever it enshrouded into the world of dreams… well, he definitely needed to brush up his knowledge of Greek mythology, some day.
Either way, they ought to be safe until it went down. The fact that they hadn’t horribly died yet spoke to that fact.
Still, they’d need to act, and they’d need to act in concert in order to survive and save as many people as they could.
Feeling bone-wearingly tired, Basil took a deep breath and focused on his friend. “We make a move for the civilians. Try to get as many of them as far away from DiL as possible. Try to get in contact with other capes and cowls, coordinate as much as possible.”
No point in making too elaborate a plan when there was no way to tell how the situation was going to be. For all of her appearances, DiL rarely created the same kind of chaos twice and was all but impossible to plan ahead for.
Hecate looked at him, her face unreadable beneath her hood’s shadow. “Alright. Don’t die, Basil.” She reached out and took his free hand, squeezing it tightly. “There’s still… a lot we need to talk about,” she finished, her voice thick with emotion.
He looked down at their joined hands, nodding, though he didn’t get a chance to reply properly as the shroud dissolved around them and they found themselves amidst a wasteland of jagged rocks and shattered trees.
Looking about, letting go of each other’s hand, they saw huge growths of jagged grey and black rocks which seemingly sprouted from the ground all around, utterly savaging the park and the street DiL had appeared above, as well as the buildings there. The rocks had smashed trees and cars and buildings and impaled no small number of people, and crushed others.
DiL was not in sight, but where she had been was in evidence as the rocks all seemed to have spawned from around her, and lead back and up to it, twisted rock formations forming almost hand-like shapes as they reached up into the air, wrapping around what was now just empty air.
The area that Oneiros’ Shroud had protected was unblemished, untouched by rock, the outgrowths forming a perfect circle around them, sheered off where they had reached into the mist.
“I did not know it could do that,” Basil whispered.
”Neither did I…” Hecate replied. “I guess… we got switched back… and the rocks jutting into the shroud were pulled along as it returned to its rightful place.”
Basil nodded, and looked out over the devastation, switching through various modes of vision. “Over there. Survivors!”
He took off, running towards a particularly dense concentration of body-shaped… mostly body-shaped… heat signatures, behind a wall of jagged rocks, but without his grappling hooks, Hecate easily overtook him, shooting past him as a mass of green-black smoke, surging across the wrecked park, the broken street and into the ruins of what used to be a toy shop.
By the time he got there, she was already triaging the survivors, applying her healing salve to only the most immediately dangerous wounds – she didn’t have much of it and it was by far one of her most expensive contrivances in terms of materials required to make it.
Basil joined in as she pulled a first aid kit out of her bag, throwing it at him. He caught it and went to work.
There were eight survivors in the toy shop, half of them children and more corpses than he cared to count.
Of the eight, two were in critical condition – one six-year-old boy had had one of his legs shorn off by a razor-sharp blade of stone and had nearly bled out before Hecate had gotten to him, and a woman had been impaled through the abdomen by a thin spear of the same material.
The children weren’t even crying yet, still not having processed what was going on it seemed.
Basil tied off the boy’s leg stump after Hecate applied her salve to it, and tightened the kn-
He gasped, bending over, as the pain spiked again, his vision briefly going white as his whole world was nothing but agony for a moment.
“Brennus, what’s wrong?” Hecate asked in worry as she reached over and finished tying the knot.
“I do not… some kind of headache… since she appeared… momentary spikes of white-hot pain,” he gasped, the agony dying back down to the steady throb of background pain he could actually deal with.
She spat some kind of curse in Greek and slid over on her knees, finishing his work on the boy’s stump. “Can you help her?” she asked with a nod towards the woman who’d been impaled.
Getting up and walking over, he took a closer look, as the woman looked up at him with eyes that were nearly delirious with pain, as she held onto the hand of a toddler in a stroller, the little girl staring at her mother in confusion – unable to understand what was wrong, but still grasping that something was off, he guessed.
He couldn’t help with that, but he could help the woman, and told her so, his voice calmer than he felt as he knelt down next to her.
She was young, just a little older than Amy if he had to guess and had the kind of thinness he usually associated with out-of-practice athletes – she no longer worked out to maintain the muscle tone, but hadn’t really put on much weight either. She was healthy though, clearly, and that might make all the difference.
A sharp spear – more of a rough blade, really – had thrust up out of the ground, impaling her through her green pullover. She was half bent over, on her knees and trembling from head to toe; fortunately, the blade had pierced her at an angle and had missed her spine, at the very least. It was, however, in position to have pierced through her intestines, her stomach and perhaps even a kidney.
”I can not remove the spike in these conditions,” he told her calmly. “I will cut it off beneath you, so we can move you someplace you can get the surgery needed.” Right then, the spike was likely the only thing keeping her from bleeding out, and he didn’t have the equipment on hand to operate.
She looked at him, blood running from her mouth over her lips and down her chin, nodding when she couldn’t find the strength to speak.
Basil switched places with Hecate again, telling her what needed to be done. He checked over her work on the boy – he’d passed out – and then went on to apply first aid where needed, while Hecate used one of her charms to simply disintegrate the spike beneath the woman as a store clerk helped hold her steady, then lowered her gently to the ground.
It was good, but it wasn’t enough. The woman, the boy, at least three more, they weren’t going to make it unless they got them somewhere sa-
He flinched, briefly stunned by another spike of white-hot pain, before it receeded again.
They had to get them somewhere for proper treatment, else they’d die. But they were in no state to be transported and survive it.
As cruel a catch twenty-two as any-
He shook his head, trying to centre himself again. A shorter interval, this time. Is it just going to get more frequent, until there’s nothing but the pain?
He’d counted the seconds between episodes, in the back of his mind, and he could not yet see any regularity to them. No pattern.
Not that he had the time to really analyse what was going on…
He looked up, moments before the air before the shattered storefront window twisted, condensing into a whirl of shadows, then snapped apart again, a familiar figure appearing out of it and landing nimbly on her bodysuit-covered feet.
The people in the shop, especially the children, looked at her in awe, some cheering weakly as Gloom Glimmer smiled at them, trying to look reassuringly friendly, even as Basil could see a pain that put his headache to shame behind those brilliant blue eyes.
She looked at him and Hecate. “We’re gathering up at the Memorial Plaza. Make your way there while I take these people to the medical camp.”
Basil and Hecate exchanged looks, then nodded to Gloom Glimmer, briefly telling her the most crucial details on the people there before they made their way out of the former toy shop, not even taking the time to look back as they heard the twisting snap of Gloom Glimmer’s teleportation.
The Memorial Plaza stood where the centre of Old Lennston had once been, making up one of the three central points of New Lennston, the others being the Town Hall and the United Heroes’ headquarters, the three of whom were connected via a ring road encircling a big, circular park with several small lakes and ponds within.
While the plaza had originally been designed for the sake of remembering Old Lennston, it had evolved past that singular purpose – there was now also a memorial to Lennston’s fallen superheroes, as well as those of its scions which had gone off to war and never returned alive. There was also one for the casualties of the police force… the place had in general become a place for remembering all that had been lost to Lennston, both Old and New.
Nineteen capes and cowls stood in front of the obelisk which made up its centrer, at the steps of which stood the unmistakable figure of the Dark, who was addressing the others.
Basil and Hecate landed near the group, just in time for another surge of pain to nearly knock him off his feet.
If this goes on I may well grow used to it…
The Dark looked at them, his expression as unreadable in its absence as ever – but his form was unlike anything they’d ever seen before – rather than the thick, almost liquid darkness of his customary wraith, his form now was smoky, billowing around his form; just as hidden as before, but somehow less… substantial, both in appearance and presence.
Exhaustion? From the fight against the Gefährten?, Basil asked himself, and immediately felt guilty – they needed the Dark in this, he was one of the most effective and efficient counters for DiL, and if it was his utterly failed excursion which drained him just in time for his deranged daughter’s attack…
Hecate punched his shoulder, staggering him out of his contemplation.
When he looked at her, he couldn’t see her face but he could tell she was glaring at him. “You can’t go around blaming yourself for everything. We each made our own choices,” she said firmly.
Basil looked away from her and down, taking a moment to absorb her words. Then he nodded, quietly, which seemed to please her as she grunted in a rather unladylike fashion and turned away to focus on the other gathered capes and cowls.
He only looked around briefly, but he didn’t see Amy… he hoped she was alright. He hoped she’d gotten out of that hellscape. He hoped she hadn’t gotten hurt.
How did I not worry about her? he asked himself as he followed Hecate quietly, staying behind her as they joined the Junior Heroes. All this time, I was just thinking about myself, while she was out there fighting, risking her life because I dragged her into that madness. I…
There was a hard impact on the ground nearby, causing Hecate and the Juniors to stagger, while Basil just adjusted his stance slightly, turning towards the source – only to get a face-full of Amy’s spandex-clad breasts as she drew him into an almost literally bone-crushing hug.
I heard. I’m sorry, she whispered softly into his head, even as she squeezed the life out of him. Deliberately, surely – she was still angry with him.
Basil raised his arms, giving her a light hug back – he really didn’t care whether more people found out about their relationship now; anyone who mattered already knew or would know regardless.
He saw Amazon glare daggers at the two of them through his raven, but most people were focused on the Dark.
Another spike of pain caused him to flinch, his legs buckling briefly at the sudden interruption to the soothing embrace.
”Brennus! What’s wrong?” Amy asked worriedly, looking at him with wide eyes as he let go of her and staggered back. Our connection was interrupted for a moment!
”Pain… ever since she showed up, there’s been this constant pain in my head,” he replied, holding his head with one hand. “And sometimes there’s a spike of even worse pain, but I don’t know why.”
”When did you first feel the increased pain?” the Dark interjected suddenly, having moved closer. At the same time, Rounds and the other adult heroes – save for Bismuth, who stood apart from the rest for some reason – came closer as well, their leader looking worried and more than a little suspicious.
Basil looked up at him, too numbed by… by everything, to really feel anything at his presence. Cycling through his raven’s memory, he found the moment. “When she first assumed a power-set,” he replied, his mind already leaping apart to a possible explanation…
The Dark nodded, as if a thought was confirmed. “You’re reacting to her power changes,” he replied with the tone of absolute certainty. “It might be useful to know if we lose sight of her to be able to tell whether and how often she changes powers.” He reached into the shadows enveloping his body, causing strands of jet-black mist to drift off, then held his hand out. “Wear or connect to this communicator.”
Basil reached out and took the flat, disc-like gadget – he wasn’t sure whether it was actually made by a gadgeteer, but it looked so compact and well-crafted, he strongly suspected that it had been – and turned it over. The palm-sized disk was smooth and silver on one side, but had several exposed circuits on the other.
Touching the circuit-covered side to his mask’s forehead, he found that it activated and synchronised with his mask’s systems easily – too easily. Wyrm’s, I suppose, he thought to himself as he pulled the disc away and attached it to his belt, where it stuck by itself.
”You’re now connected to our local network. Send a single ping whenever you sense a power change and we’ll route it through to everyone with a communicator,” the Dark instructed him.
Before Basil could reply in any fashion, even to agree, the wispy figure turned away and walked up the steps towards the monument, turning around to talk to the gathered capes.
“If I may have your attention, please,” he spoke, his voice deep and powerful enough it easily covered the plaza without any obvious amplification. Once everyone had turned to look at him, he went on. “We don’t have much time, so I’ll be brief. Most of you have never fought a battle like this before. You all think you know what to expect, from television, reports, books and whatever else told you about these fights. Most of them don’t know much. Here’s the facts as we know them: DiL is utterly invulnerable to damn near any effect ever used against her. Her personal, permanent defense makes it impossible to affect her with anything, including moving her in any way she does not wish to be moved. Sensory and mental attacks are just as useless as spatial and temporal ones. Her hair, teeth, finger- and toe-nails glow with a bright white light which acts as disintegrating contact poison that can eat through most defenses and constitutes a certain death unless you sever the affected portion of your body. She can fly and she has no known top speed – it ranges from walking speed to what is effectively short-range teleportation, especially since her invulnerability means that anything in her path will be obliterated rather than stop or even slow her. She does not rely on mundane senses whatsoever and appears completely unresponsive to such stimuli. It is theorized that she senses powers in some fashion, though she has demonstrated the ability to perceive baseline humans in the past, as well. However her sense or senses may work, they appear to pierce any kind of shroud. She is an impenetrable blindspot to Espers of all kinds, particularly Pretercognitives. Do not rely on danger senses or their like.”
“Your goal must not be to attack her but to interfere with and, if possible, counter whichever other abilities she assumes,” he clarified, looking around at the gathered capes and cowls. “She always assumes three distinct powers which can broadly be classified as offensive, defensive and utilitarian, respectively. Her powers start out world-class and grow from there. Whenever at least one of her abilities is interfered with to any meaningful degree, she changes her entire loadout and the new abilities she assumes start out at base level again. Why she acts in this fashion, we don’t know. If she’s allowed to build up for too long, the consequences tend to look like Mexico, Old Lennston, Portland or Okinawa. Do not let her build up.”
He stopped, giving them a moment to digest that. “Furthermore, the Desolation Field. Normally it extends to a radius of roughly two miles around her person. This time, she appears to have simply extended it over the whole of New Lennston and left it stationary, though fortunately she has not ‘hardened’ it as she did during her last appearance. The field blocks any kind of signal from crossing its boundary. This includes powers – Espers can’t perceive into or out of the field, even precognition is blocked. Power effects can travel across, but powers can’t reach through it – so if your power lets you, say, create a fireball you lob somewhere, it will travel across, but you won’t be able to, say, target someone for teleportation across the boundary, or affect them with any kind of mental power. Any such power will work properly within the field itself. Also, though it’s likely not useful to know, but maybe it’ll spark an idea somewhere, no one has ever manifested while within range of her Desolation field. People have manifested during her attacks, but only while outside the range of her sphere of influence, never while within it. Heterodyning also appears to be impossible while within range of her desolation field.” He paused again, looking out over the gathered crowd, as if searching for something, his gaze briefly stopping on his daughter as she stood together with most of the other teens – Outstep was missing – before moving on.
Basil looked around, once it seemed that the Dark was taking a break, and what he saw was a mixture of determination, resignation and sheer hopelessness spread liberally and to varying degrees over any face and body he could see. They all knew that this was a fight which could at best end in a phyrric victory which could only delay the destruction, not eliminate its source.
He would likely have felt some such emotions himself, but he was still blissfully numb.
“In spite of all this, our situation is not hopeless,” the Dark drew everyone’s attention back to himself. “Our biggest advantage is that DiL is not intelligent. She has no sense for tactics, forethought or subterfuge. Any such instances perceived in the past were ultimately just coincidences, never to be repeated – and they are incredibly rare to begin with. Furthermore, we-“
There was a shout, followed by another, as people pointed upwards at the sky, interrupting the Dark.
Basil looked up just in time to see a huge figure drop through the Desolation field, its descent slowed by blue-hot jets of flame shooting out of its feet.
And then another.
And more besides.
Dozens of hulking, glimmering figures dropped out of the sky, some of them accompanied by strange objects and weaponry – the closest one, which dropped down and lended with a pavement-cracking thud a dozen metre away from the gathered capes and cowls was reaching out, its hand laying flat on the side of a pillar as thick as two people and twice as tall as a schoolbus was long, made apparently from hundreds of chest-sized, silver-and-gold tesseracts shifting and moving into and through each other in a dizzying display of reality-defying engineering.
The figure next to it was no less impressive, though more familiar. A hulking humanoid made of steel, brass and gold, crafted as much for aesthetic appeal as raw functionality, was twice as tall as the Dark himself, easily four times as wide if not more and moved with mechanical perfection as it looked around them, its head encased in a dome of what read as see-through diamond to Basil’s sensors, holding a human-sized mechanical head within, its inner workings exposed, showing wires, chips and lots of clock-work-like bits which moved to give it the illusion of facial expressions, a pair of glowing red lenses making up its ‘eyes’. It looked out over the gathered capes and cowls, its expression neutral, as dozens more of its kind landed all across the city, each accompanied by a different device, some of them immediately joining in the battle against DiL in the distance.
“Huh,” the Dark looked at him in what appeared to be surprise, while a ripple of pure relief went through the other gathered metahumans. “Good to see you’re not sitting this one out again, Memento.”
Oh boy Oh boy Oh boy Oh boy Oh boy Oh boy Oh boy Oh boy Oh boy Oh boy Oh boy Oh boy Oh boy Oh boy Oh boy Oh boy Oh boy
I need to say some things, but I haven’t yet properly formulated them, so here’s a few brief points:
I am in reasonably good health, the serial DOES continue, I DO intend to change several things about my Patreon and the donation structure and no, I’m not dead.
I have no excuse for my long absence and silence, but I do have an explanation. Whether or not it’s a good one, you’ll have to decide. I won’t post it here, rather, I will make a separate post for it once I’ve found a way to put it into proper English in a way that doesn’t sound like a madman’s disjointed ramblings.
To all of you still sticking with me – you amaze me in ways even I have trouble putting into words.
It’s good to have you back. And thanks for the chapter. Reading it is going to be the highlight of my day.
For Patreon, I saw one setup where people subscribed by the chapter. Perhaps that would work better for you. People would only pay for what they got, and you wouldn’t feel bad when you have to take a break…
Welcome back. As always, your story is amazing.
Good to see you back. I’m happy to hear that you are reasonably healthy :)!
Tieshaunn are you alright? I’m glad to see a new chapter but I think I can speak for everyone here and say that if your health is still unstable please take the time you need to fully recuperate.
Welcome back!! 🙂 I’ma fan
It’s good that you’re okay. Thanks for the chapter!
Who cares. Welcome back 😀
“Can you take help her?”
fixed, thank you kindly
Holy fucking shit your back. I believed but I was getting worried, glad your ok and welcome back. Oh and sorry about the cursing.
All that matters is that you’re alright, you’re back and we have a new update to read. Nice update by the way
good to have you back, man. keep it up
You´re back!!! Everyday I looked into the site if anything was known about you. Truth is I thought you were dead. Good to know you are ok man. This made my day
[“Will explain more soon.” -Tieshaunn, 193 days ago]
So, closest thing to a victory condition we’re gonna get is Brennus being in constant blinding agony until Bree wanders off, so none of her powers have time to build up too much?
What the heck is the connection between them though? B doesn’t have anything like this reaction to Gloom Glimmer, who’s supposed to have essentially the same powers. Doesn’t seem like there’s a personal connection between the two. Maybe whoever meddled in Basil and Amy’s heads was related to Bree in some way? The obvious factor is how a lot of gadgeteer stuff doesn’t work properly within the Desolation Field, but neither his mask nor his medical skill seems to have been affected so I don’t think it’s as simple as her power fucking with his power…
I’ve mentioned before that while their powers appear similiar on the surface, Bree and Irene have actually fundamentally different abilities.
Oh, hey, Tieshaunn’s back! Glad you’re all right, T. Good update, too. Have to ask, have we seen Memento before? He doesn’t seem familiar.
look at the very first interlude
Noted. That’s one heck of a call-back. Thanks!
Wait so Doctor Despair survived?! Damn that guy is persistent.
heh heh heh
Wait wait wait…Is that Author confirmation that memento really is Doctor Despair ? If so that’s huge, but then again given the name and appearance he could be a construct the Doc left behind to kill his enemy after his death…But then Contriver constructs are supposed to die with the power’s wielder, of course, Weisswald’s Spiteborn are still around but then the guy was a spawner and then one could argue at the reality of Weisswald’s death saying the Spiteborn might be something put in place to resurrect himself.
But if it IS the doc then his second manifestation(because he must have had one as Memento seems to be capable of more than his Doc Despair persona was, hell if it is the Doc he found a solution to his little health and aging problem)
Glad you are alive. I always have a nagging fear that authors have a ridiculous mortality rate for some reason. Can’t wait to read more and no matter your explanation it is fine.
Welcome back Tieshaunn good to see you are in good health and that the story is not dead!! As for your silence well shit happens so yeah…Had a bit myself this year.
welcome back, cant wait to see more!
So happy you are back
Honestly I don’t mind about any explanation or whatever, I’m just happy you’re ok, and it’s a bonus to get new chapters 🙂 Seriously this is the only webserial I check or care about anymore…and I’ve been checking once every 2-3 days for the last half year. LOL!
In two of my browsers, it is part of my top sites.
Typo thread : Basil joined in as she pulled a first aid kit out of her bag, throwing it at him. He cought it and went to work. It should be [caught]
fixed, thank you
I am humbled. Though this is hardly the best (Ward is looking magnificent so far, just to name one)
TBH I am not such a big fan of wilbow’s fictions. His stories have a tendency to get caught in a downwards spiral of misery and suffering. A bit too dark for my taste.
I tried it for a bit (~5 volumes) and as far as I can tell half the team members either have serious psychological issues or are already planning to betray the team. And in addition he also hinted at quite a few upcoming, and potentially world ending, crisis in the interludes.
Felt very similar to the earlier Worm chapters. And that story ended with a disgraced and crippled MC, thousands of dead heros and villains and probably a few billion dead civilians. Oh, and let’s not forget that the entire fucking world was destroyed.
His next story, Pact, was even darker. Can’t say much about Twig, but the first few chapters felt similar to Pact. (Dropped it because I had problems with the MCs)
But if you are still reading it could you maybe tell me what the later chapters are like? (Stopped reading it after vol. 5) I desperately need something to read on the beach and there is no denying that wilbow is a gifted author.
Ward’s like a rollercoaster ride – it goes up and down, and the lower it goes, the higher the rise after. So far it’s been pretty balanced between bad and good stuff happening, with the good stuff edging out the bad stuff (the team has already had two or three big wins and Victoria is well on her way to reform the cape world in some fashion).
Also, the humor is great. Which I greatly envy, cause I can’t keep up steady humor, it mostly happens by accident when I write.
Is Amazon angry at Basil too?
kinda. it’s complicated, since he did save her boyfriend’s life but on the other hand, well… Mindstar.
She’s probably planning to enact that kill order as soon as Bree is no longer an immediate concern, and before it gets rescinded…
So instead of being a gadgetgeer, could Brennus’ power be more of a precog? A type that analyze and digest how other people’s power works, and since gadgetgeers use real science, he is also able to adapt and use them as will.
Would also explain why he is so good at copying and replicating other people’s works (for example, being able to create force field after seeing Sovereign’s or creating techs that Melody spent months making).
Kind of doesn’t fit with what we know about howhis mind looks like. And we know that he created forcefield tech in the pocket dimension before he ever had a chance to see one of Sovereign’s creations.
But you have a point that most of his tech is not really anything entirely new. Was one of the reasons why I had the theory that he was somehow borrowing other gadgeteer’s powers.
nice to have you back!
Just glad to have you back.
*hug* Good to have you back. 🙂
Great to see you back Tieshaunn!
Very glad you are back! The Dark, the Monkey family, how Powers developed and affected the world…some of the best Superhero world-building I’ve seen. Worst cliffhanger in media for me in the last year: “…with one punch!” — you gotta let us know why she let him get away with that!
I will DEFINITELY get to that, as his story is actually going to be plot-important – for book 2.
However, I’ve decided to put all non-plot-critical interludes for book 1 on hold until I finish the main storyline. Ferrolith’s story, the empty dragon, a handful of others, I’ll write those inbetween Book 1 and 2.
Welcome back, Ties! Seeing a new Brennus chapter was the best surprise I’ve had in quite some time! I was downright *giddy* for a couple minutes there.
I’m glad to see that you’re back Tieshaunn. Looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us.
Wait… what? I caught up?*dart vader voice* NOOOOOOO!!!!
On a side note ,how completethe book 1 already is?
look at the table of contents. only three arcs left, not counting the current one, and they’re more of one super-arc split into three pieces.
Congrats on getting here just *after* the half year hiatus, instead of just before!
I’ve been following this story since almost the beginning. I’m not about to stop now! So glad to see you are back. You are well recieved. Welcome back.
This has always been my favorite web serial but after several months of silence I started checking back in less and less.
When I saw that it had been updated?
I had a mini heart attack right then and there. It’s great to have you back man.
Wow. I wasn’t expecting to find anything when I randomly checked the main page.
Also, that info-dump about DiL’s Desolation Field has me even more sure of my theory about her power. As a recap, I think that her power’s theme is a refusal to “connect” with other people. The way her field forbids heterodyning and manifestation ties into that, as both of those rely heavily on interpersonal connections.
So the key to beating her is to do something that works around her power’s effort to censor the world around her. At that point, assuming she doesn’t squash the person responsible, her power should force her to flee.
I just had a shower-thought, and think I understand why Basil is getting his headache from DiL.
We saw evidence in the Hastur arc that Basil is in communication with the Man in the Moon and the Blazing Sun. So who wants to bet that the Desolation Field is interfering with that?
I’m pretty sure that the mental construct we know as Basil is sustained by his connection to Ember. With that connection cut off, Basil might revert back to whoever takes over when Osore uses the fear blast (Macian? The Man in the Moon?).
So her last line, perfect defense is an AT field.