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Fanfic Ending Everything (Worm, Cauldron, fic)

Discussion in 'Scribblings' started by PuzzleRaven, 1 Jul 2018.

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  1. PuzzleRaven

    PuzzleRaven New Member

    Last edited by a moderator: 14 Jul 2018 at 14:15
  2. Threadmarks: Prologue
    PuzzleRaven

    PuzzleRaven New Member

    Prologue: 15th May 2011

    The video passed one billion views in the first hour. The servers crashed, but by then it had been copied, duplicated, reached the major news networks across the globe. Watched and re-watched, speculation on what it meant, on what had actually happened, was running rampant. Only two things could be known for sure.

    For the second time, Scion had spoken.

    And Legend had fired.

    Leviathan had retreated, it was true. He had paused in that bizarre moment when Scion had ceased his assault on the Endbringer, had turned his expressionless gaze to the top of an office block. That moment when the Triumvirate had paused, Legend and Alexandria looking to that same roof, Eidolon staggering as the tidal wave against his force field abruptly dropped to nothing. And then Scion spoke and Legend fired, obliterating the rooftop and the three storeys below it. Leviathan had reached the edge of the bay by then, dove into the water and near instantly vanished. The water in the city began to drain back to normal levels and the rain began to ease. As Eidolon, battered and befuddled, flew to join his colleagues, Scion watched the space above the rooftops for a heartbeat. Then he was gone. Reports came in later of a school bus saved, a lost child returned, and heroism as usual resumed.

    Leaving the world with fifteen seconds of video, leaked from a Ward’s camera phone, and a frantic debate over four short words.
     
  3. Kindler

    Kindler Active Member

    Hey cool, new Scribblings :)

    I really need to go and look this one up properly, I've heard bits about it, but it might help understand the story.

    Is this a long one or a short one?
     
  4. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    If you're looking for Worm it's at: Worm Just watch for the 1 million words+ length!
     
  5. Threadmarks: Chapter 1
    PuzzleRaven

    PuzzleRaven New Member

    Chapter 1: 16th May

    "’You will help me.’" Dr. Mother said, in a white room somewhere other. "What did it mean by that?"

    "Who was it talking to?" Eidolon asked, his mask on the table in front of him out. "Legend?”

    "No." The other Triumvirate member was staring at the frozen shot on the wall, Scion caught mid- speech. He almost started as he realised they were waiting for him to answer. "No, there was something else on that rooftop."

    "I've pulled all the tapes I can find. There are no clear angles on it, but Dragon's cameras gave the best footage and they saw nothing," Doctor Mother said, sceptically.

    "It was there," Alexandria said, "I saw it too. It wasn't clear, but it looked like a person, or it was forming into one."

    "And then Scion said 'you will help me' and Legend obliterated it," Dr. Mother said to Alexandria, who nodded. "That will be easy for the P.R.T., to spin, at least."

    "I have my people on it now. Scion asked for help, Legend helps, Leviathan retreats. Handled correctly it will improve our ratings and reduce the perception of Scion's invulnerability." Alexandria looked at Number Man for confirmation, who nodded once precisely. It was rare for Cauldron to call a full meeting. This warranted it.

    "Scion has taken no action to contradict the narrative. The numbers say he will not." Dr. Mother nodded as her bodyguard shifted slightly in her seat.

    “Make the statement,” she said, making a note. "Which brings us to the core issue. Why did Legend fire?" All eyes round the table turned to the hero.

    "I –" he stumbled on his words, knowing the table was waiting on him, but without a good answer. "I don't know. I just reacted."

    "And if Scion asks for help, you provide it?" Eidolon asked cynically.

    "He wasn't asking me," Legend said, his voice cutting desipte his best attempt to keep it level. He hardly cared. "And we know there's only one thing that Scion would want help with."

    "Removing his allies would seem wise," Dr. Mother said, "But are we certain that wasn't what he wanted?"

    "You think that thing would have answered 'Fuck you'?" Eidolon suggested bluntly. The green-clad hero had been on edge since the start of the meeting. Legend quietly suspected the man was jealous. Eidolon was undisputedly the most powerful hero on the planet, but it was Legend who everyone was discussing right now; Legend, who Scion had chosen to speak to. That had to grate on the other hero.

    "We don't know." Dr. Mother was still calm. "We don't know what the target was." Legend drew breath, and looked at Alexandria. They had discussed this before, but it made it no easier to say. He braced himself.

    "I think it was another entity. It reminded me of the dead one. I thought if it had any chance to gain power at all, we didn't stand a chance."

    "I think he was correct," Alexandria said, backing him up before anyone else could speak. "You didn't see it. There was something half-formed there." There was a stir at the table.

    "Is it possible that ours-" Legend shook his head, not waiting for Dr. Mother to finish.

    "No. We checked." It had been the first thing they had done, still battered and soaked from fighting Leviathan. Seeing the flesh garden twisted, silent, and dead, had brought Legend the first relief he had felt since he fired. Alexandria had felt the same way. One god-like entity trying to destroy humanity was quite enough.

    "So another then, if we assume you are both correct."

    "If you're not, Legend just obliterated some poor Case 53," Eidolon said, rather snidely, but Dr. Mother took the comment in stride.

    "No Case 53s or Cauldron capes were in the region. I checked the records."

    "So Legend fired on an unknown something, possibly another entity, and yet Scion hasn't acted against us," Alexandria said, "so we might have done exactly what he wanted."

    "Or it isn't dead," Number Man suggested, and there was a hush. "Our agent reported in before the meeting. At the exact time the disturbance began, his second timeline collapsed. Issues have been reported by other Thinkers. I myself noted a sudden and unprecedented shift in the numbers, and they have not reverted.” Legend considered if he should have fired sooner, and realised it would likely have made no difference. Doctor Mother nodded.

    "Alexandria, manage the P.R.T. The Chief Director will be needed more than Alexandria.”

    “Send my double to Brockton Bay then. We need Alexandria to be visible, and rescue efforts are well within her abilities. Legend, you’ll be needed at Brockton Bay,” Alexandria commented, standing up. Legend stood, tense.

    “I agree. I'll arrange for our assets in the area to monitor for anything, and see what less-official resources can be brought to bear." Doctor Mother said.

    “And that’s it?” Legend said, his voice stone-cold.

    “Do we have time to discuss anything else now?” Doctor Mother asked, quite calmly.

    “If I find out you’ve lied to me about anything else, we’re done.” He struggled to keep his voice level, not to let the anger take control. Shouting and raging would be too easily dismissed by the monsters, his colleagues, in front of him. “I will go public with everything.”

    “Now is not the time for the Triumvirate to be publicly divided,” Alexandria said, just as coldly.

    “So you said. That is the only reason I haven’t walked out.” He could feel his hands clenching into fists, his power rising as it presented options to strike at her. Eidolon was watching carefully, doubtless trading powers for something to take him down. If he hit first, he could take the green-clad so-called hero out before the power had reached full potential. But this was David, his colleague, who had had his back through fight after fight. He hesitated. “You all knew. And not one of you told me.”

    “We don’t have time for -” Doctor Mother started.

    “Shut up.” Alexandria cut her off without even looking at her. The superheroine removed her helmet for the first time since the fight, setting it down on the table with a quiet click, and met his gaze with one real and one artificial eye.

    “We needed one of us who didn’t know. We needed someone who still hoped so they could inspire it in others. If you had known the final enemy was Scion, could you have been the inspiration for so many? Knowing they were just going to die, could you have recruited and trained them?”

    “Every. Endbringer. Fight.” He met her gaze and Alexandria flinched first.

    “I am sorry. We should have trusted you.” He drew a breath, relaxed.

    “No more secrets?”

    “We don’t have time for them,” Doctor Mother said. “Now you know, can we count on you?”

    “I shot it.” He laughed dryly. If he had known, he could have shot faster, possibly killing it. Having to learn in the field, because his friends had not trusted him, had stalled him at the critical moment.

    “Understood. Remember we need to find the new creature quickly.” Doors appeared in the walls as the meeting ended and the conspirators hurried off to their assigned roles.
     
  6. Threadmarks: Chapter 1 cont.
    PuzzleRaven

    PuzzleRaven New Member

    [cont.]
    ###​

    The roof of the car dented as something heavy crashed down on top of it. Amy Dallon screamed, jolted out of her exhausted stupor as Carol stamped on the brakes. A black shape rolled down the shattered windshield and catapulted into the road in front of them as the car skidded on the wet street. The body tumbled through the debris, struck a shattered bollard and came to an abrupt stop, ominously still.

    "You hit someone?" Amy said incredulously, blinking to clear her bleared vision. Carol shook herself, staring at the limp body in the street.

    "No, there was no one there!" she insisted. Amy was already unbuckling her seat belt. Carol reached across to catch her daughter’s arm.

    "Where are you going?" she demanded, her eyes already picking out the spines and blades that made up parts of the body lying in the road.

    "To offer first aid." Amy pulled out of Carol's grasp and slammed the door on her mother’s warning of 'but it might not be safe'. Running across to the body, she knelt down and tried to turn it over. There was a risk she’d make the injuries worse but screw it, she was Panacea. Her powers would let her cure any damage she caused, once she was up to healing again.

    The crash victim was female, tall, covered in something that might have been plastic, leather, or its skin, she couldn't tell, and as it rolled onto its back the extent of the injuries became clear. They had not been caused by the car. They could not have been.

    One arm wasn't there, severed at the shoulder with knotted black tendrils of that bizarre skin covering the amputation site. There was no blood seeping from the wound: either the skin was containing it or it had plugged the arteries. The torso and hip looked as though a shark had bitten it, right rib cage gone, lung and kidney missing if this thing had human biology, pelvis on the right gone, and down to the hip joint where more of the bizarre skin was all that held the severed leg to the torso.

    “Fuck,” she said quietly under her breath. Healing anything while she was exhausted and concussed was unwise, or she would still be back at the hospital. Not healing this though would be a death sentence for the patient.

    "Careful, Amy." Carol was approaching slowly, a blade of light forming in one hand. "It looks like a villain."

    "Endbringer truce," she retorted, taking a perverse delight in Carol's discomfort. Cautiously she laid her fingertips on the black, leather-like, skin. A flood of information rushed into her mind as she used her power. A separate organism, symbiotic and of animal intelligence, lacking even the basic functions of life, unable to sustain it without its partner. Fascinated by the bizarre biology she pressed her fingers closer. The material withdrew obediently beneath her fingers, slipping back under corpse-blue skin. The biology of its partner was mostly human, but hideously injured. Amy could sense the symbiote wrapped around the failing organs, sustaining them. It was similar to a human brain but not, the DNA linked to something in the same way a parahuman’s Coronas would be, but in this alien brain there was neither a Corona Pollentia or Corona Gemma. She detected a second symbiote, mingled with the flesh of the left shoulder, nerve fronds digging into the vertebra and merging with the spinal cord. If this was a parahuman, could the symbiotes be serving as the source of power?

    "What happened to her?" Carol said, interrupting her thoughts. Amy heard a whisper from the body, puppeteered by its own symbiote.

    "Leviathan." Amy repeated the whisper louder for Carol to hear, suppressing her doubts. Leviathan was a water creature. It simply did not leave burns like these. Before her mother could protest, she reached into the bizarre biology to heal it. Following the pattern of the symbiote’s fixes, she turned its mass into new organs, filling out a lung as the symbiote formed the framework.

    Somehow the thing was co-operating. As the symbiote sensed what she was doing, it responded, letting her stretch her power in ways she had never considered. Drawing from the energy stored in those twisted strands of DNA, it was generating extra biomass from nowhere, exactly where she needed it. She sculpted the substance, new ribs, a socket for the shattered hip, new veins to reconnect the leg, which was still incredibly alive, an arm regrowing from a cauterised stump. It drew on further stores of energy from other sources stored inside it but not part of it; a gun, a knife, a sword, all made of the same substance. All things that perhaps she could shape. As the arm finished, Amy pulled her hand back, trying not to think about the temptation. That way Nilbog lay.

    "Panacea?" Carol was still waiting, but the light in her hand had been replaced by a cellphone. Amy didn't have to ask to know that there was no signal.

    "I've done all I can here, but she needs a hospital." Carol nodded immediately. Amy hid her reaction. Carol would have taken any excuse to go back. She had not wanted to leave Dad’s bedside. After the roof caved in, the nurses had had to almost throw her out to get her to deal with Amy’s injury. After all, what was one injured adopted daughter compared to her husband?

    "Is it safe to move her?"

    "There's no spinal trauma. If we can get her into the car, it should be alright. Get a blanket." Carol nodded. Carefully Amy folded the patient's arms across her torso, wrapping her legs together in the blanket from the car. "You take her head, I'll get the legs. Lifting on three. One. Two. Three." They lifted the patient together, awkwardly sliding the heavy body on to the back seat. With difficulty they managed to get back into the car. The driver’s door barely closed over the bent frame, but with the city in ruins there was no help coming and no way to call for it. When the engine sputtered and started, Amy echoed Carol’s sigh of relief.

    "Will she recover?" Carol asked, squinting through the cracked windshield as she turned the car round to go back to the hospital.

    "I think so. She has unusual biology." Carol scowled, and Amy could guess what she was thinking. A superhero, a publicly known member of New Wave, hitting a villain with their car during an Endbringer truce could be a legal nightmare.

    The situation could still be saved, she knew. If they got the victim to a hospital quickly, after Panacea had done her concussed and exhausted best, it could be put down to an accident. Amy was very certain that was why Carol had followed her orders so compliantly. Cynically, she wondered what Carol would have done if there were no witnesses.

    She was too tired to think about it, and another thought kept intruding. How, in the middle of the battle against Leviathan, had a cape gone down with burn injuries clearly from a blaster? Someone out there had already violated the truce, and that was an unpleasant thought.

    ###​

    The entity vaporised the fallen bridge with a single burst of golden light. An obstructive piece of rebar was thrown upwards, clear of the continent, so it could not impede the rescue. Its attention was elsewhere, on the enhanced simulation it was running. The precisely delivered audible trigger had been a necessary step, and refined the path to an improved conclusion. That conclusion, and a successful reunion, could be achieved within only a further thirty-four steps. A set time delay between the required actions could not be avoided, but as the entity considered its progress it could define its mood as:

    [SATISFACTION]
     
    Mine all mine likes this.
  7. Mine all mine

    Mine all mine Member

    FIRST!! OK, to be constructive. This is going somewhere and I want to see where. Followed.
     
  8. Reader

    Reader Vile Critic

    I hate to be a bother, but could we have some threadmarks in here? Perhaps an index post with the wiki link? Now I know what I am reading, I am curious to see where this goes.
     
  9. jessica

    jessica Active Member

    Is there a quick reference for Worm:)? Worm is just depressing:((. I like this story, but I don't know the background:confused:.
     
  10. Bookangel

    Bookangel Administrator Staff Member

    You have threadmarks. With the new Reader mode, do you still need an index post? It takes some work to set up and maintain one.
     
  11. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    Worm Wiki

    This fanfic should probably have a spoiler warning as it spoils a major Worm plot point up front. Sadly for me with Worm, like Bablyon 5 and its pilot, I guessed one major twist from the early chapters so it wasn't exactly a shock when it happened.
     
  12. Bookangel

    Bookangel Administrator Staff Member

    I had not thought about the spoilers issue. I will add an index post for that, and update it if @PuzzleRaven can PM me a summary.
     
  13. skye

    skye Member

    I too have no idea who these people are. I am looking forward to finding out. Watched. Will this be on a regular Wednesday update schedule?
     
  14. porridge

    porridge Member

    Just pondering why the chapters get cut in half on ere n Mozzie?
     
  15. tirial

    tirial IT fixer extraordinaire

    For me and Mozzie, it was the post length restriction. There's a 10,000 character hard limit coded into Xenforo. Anything longer doesn't load.
     
  16. atry

    atry Member

    Is there a way round that? It's not a problem, but it would be nice to see it in one piece.
     
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