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Safe For Work Worm Ideas thread

Discussion in 'CW Index' started by Prince Charon, Mar 19, 2014.

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  1. Prince Charon

    Prince Charon Just zis guy, you know?

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    Ah, OK. Hadn't checked that, because a lot of ideas like this fudge publication dates, and Taylor would be preparing to infiltrate the Undersiders early on, not after she'd already left. When did the podcast start?
     
  2. Sydonai

    Sydonai Versed in the lewd.

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    How to Succeed in Evil is IIRC July 2012, Worm says June 2011.

    Taylor triggered in January, spend a week in a psych ward and goes back to school at the end of the month, starts running in February.
    On Feb 24th Ziz attacks Canberra.
    The Juice-on-my-head incident is on April 8th, and Taylor finishes her costume and goes out to encounter Lung on the 10th.
     
  3. evildice

    evildice (Verified d4)

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    Simurgh's future simulations might include podcasts from arbitrary alternate worlds. It's just audio data, and she fuckin' loves to sing.

    An accident involving Haywire and Phir Se might open a portal to an alternate world's future, but only for internet data. This would explain how the Wayback Machine works, for example, or why Geocities always looked like an ancient relic even when allegedly new.
     
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  4. Prince Charon

    Prince Charon Just zis guy, you know?

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    True. Alternatively, it could've just been published a year or two earlier on Earth Aleph than it was on our Earth.
     
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  5. evildice

    evildice (Verified d4)

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    Feh, you and your perfectly reasonable explanations which don't require any magical space-whale physics-rape.
     
  6. Prince Charon

    Prince Charon Just zis guy, you know?

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    Taylor is already a Ward by the time Shadow Stalker gets caught. She might or might not have been triggered by anything Sophia did, but I'm assuming that Sophia still started bullying her, and that she triggered after that. This is going to make their interactions in the Wards interesting, if Piggot is still desperate enough to offer her a deal once she knows that this is one of the girls that her other new Ward went to Arcadia to escape from.

    One idea for her trigger is that she got the idea that Emma might have been Mastered, reported it to the PRT, got worked up over not noticing sooner, and triggered (in front of a PRT agent, and possibly in the presence of a Protectorate cape) when she found out that Emma was not Mastered. Not sure what power she'd get from that. Thinker or Tinker, maybe?
     
  7. vyor

    vyor Oh that's cute

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    Sophia wouldn't be allowed in that wards branch. Piggot does care about her people.
     
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  8. Sydonai

    Sydonai Versed in the lewd.

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    Read: Piggot is smart enough to realize a potential shitstorm when it lands in her lap.
     
  9. vyor

    vyor Oh that's cute

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    Nay, former soldier. That instills a sense of loyalty to your own that is rather hard to break. Like, able to make racists some of the most stringent defenders of, as an example, a fellow black soldier.
     
  10. Sydonai

    Sydonai Versed in the lewd.

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    Okay, but Piggot doesn't view Parahumans a "her own".
    Because she almost literally got backstabbed by "her own" in the form of Ellisberg, with the Parahumans retreating and abandoning the PRT Troopers, and Calvert being Calvert.
     
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  11. vyor

    vyor Oh that's cute

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    She does. See: not putting Vista into roles that have direct action, penalizing the wards for getting into combat without direct authorization, making sure therapists came by, trying to reform Sophia(failing but some things can't be helped).
     
  12. evildice

    evildice (Verified d4)

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    "I smell one. We're close."

    "Thanks, Bitch. I'll set up the sensor."

    "I'm taking Judas. I'll check the area."

    "Bitch, call in when you find it. Tattletale, I'm getting a response on the sensor. Do you read?"

    "Let me just check. Yep, that's our payday. This wave-form is... prooooobably a category D."

    "When Bitch finds it, I'll move in and smoke it. You wanna call it in?"

    "On it, join you in thirty with the van and Mr. Mage."

    -- === --

    "Pee-Are-Tee, how may I direct your call?"

    "Gate claim, rogue team Undersiders."

    "Please hold."

    -- === --

    "Claims desk, thanks for holdin'."

    "Hello agent Reed, I'm calling to report the discovery of a category D Gate, and get a claim registered. Also I'm sorry your date didn't go well last weekend."

    "Oh great, it's Tattletale."

    "Mm-hmm. Her type wouldn't make you happy, not even if you made enough to keep her interest."

    "Just tell me what you got."

    "Surprise, it's a Gate. Initial readings put it as a category D. I'll get a better read on my way in, and if it doesn't match up I'll call for backup. Either way I'll email the location when we're in front of it."

    "Good enough, but just barely and you know it."

    "Just eff-why-eye, I'm calling from a remote location. Don't bother tracing the call."

    "Sure, sure, aaaand it's logged. Good huntin'."

    "Tah-tah, agent Reed."

    -- === --

    "Hey Reed, why do we let them get away with that shit? They know we can't cross-check a claim so fast."

    "It's policy."

    "Yeah but why?"

    "Probably half 'cause we can't really stop 'em."

    "Fuckin' Hunters."

    "I hear you, but the other half is 'cause they're clearin' a Gate."

    "I guess."

    "You ever seen a break-out?"

    "They're on TV all the time."

    "But you been at one?"

    "No, not at one."

    "You might feel different if you saw one up close. Hope you never do."

    "That bad?"

    "Not always, but... but yeah, yeah it can be, and you never know."

    "Damn."

    "Yeah. So even if those rogues are runnin' roughshod on the rules, they're still clearin' a Gate. That's one less nightmare for our boys, one less breakout in the middle'a town."

    "Ah, shit. I guess that's fair."

    -- === --

    Nothing's ever fair, Brian thought, as he covered the Gate with dark smoke. His darkness would suppress any magical signature from detection, which gave his team's Scout time to call in the claim. By maintaining a clear line of effect to the entry, he'd even be able to keep the Gate off the sensors of any claim-jumpers while the team worked.

    He felt a bit useful doing this, at least, unlike how he felt about combat inside.

    Technically he was categorized as an Assassin-type, because in theory his clouds of darkness could augment infiltration, but in practice the darkness was too obviously magical to evade notice.

    In practice, he was more like a Mage with area effects that could hinder communication, and hinder magical attacks. It wasn't a bad ability, but it wasn't sufficient for the role of a Mage, since he had no particular offensive capability... but he could keep a Gate secret, prevent its magical signature from being seen from afar, and that was key to his team's MO.

    In combat, he was fragile with some concealment (if his darkness covered enough area) and an anti-magic ability (if his darkness was thick enough to ablate the enemy's attack). His role was officially Assassin, just like Oni Lee or Cricket, because evasion + anti-mage = Assassin. That was good enough for the PRT offical evaluating him.

    His performance in the role was not good enough. That's why he was class E.

    He sighed.

    His ruminations ended suddenly as a van turned into the alleyway, the glare of its headlights jolting him into alertness for a moment before the interior light flicked on and he could see the familiar faces of the driver and passenger.

    Tattletale eased the van between the low suburban buildings and into the rear parking area. She killed the headlights and then did a three-point turn, ending up with the van blocking the alley. Grue guessed it was the best she could do to arrange a quick getaway if things inside turned bad. If so, that might be generous of her, since the driver's side door was blocked by an adjacent wall. Or maybe she didn't plan on needing the van if things went sour inside.

    Regent had reclined in the passenger seat. When the van stopped, he huffed himself forward and made a show of looking around.

    Brian started directing his smoke above the van, to cover their entry from any aerial observers. He heard a few sharp notes of Tattleale's voice from inside, then Regent's door opened and he stumbled out, yawning and stretching in a way that was somehow aggrevating to watch.

    Regent stretched in his annoying way for 30 seconds or so, while Brian blocked out the sky above them, and then Regent suddenly bounced down to touch his toes.

    The van rocked as he did so.

    "Could you fucking not?" Tattletale shouted from inside the van.

    "Sorry," Regent barked with a chuckle.

    "Someone help in here," Tattletale called.

    Regent made a show of checking Brian's aerial coverage. He nodded at Brian like a satisfied manager. What an asshole, Brian thought.

    "Fine, I'll help." Regent slid the side-door open, revealing a steel matrix which functioned as a cage and hardpoints to restrain its three prisoners: werewolves they'd taken from a Gate.

    This was their secret weapon, and these were their last three. Now that Regent was awake, they were fully under his control, and their restraints weren't necessary -- but they couldn't help themselves out of their own restraints, for the very obvious reason that they should be unable to do that during the times that Regent was not controlling them.

    In the fifteen minutes it took for Tattletale and Regent to get their captives free, Bitch returned, and Brian got a very solid-feeling screen above the back-lot where they were gathered.

    Bitch started using her power on the werewolves as they were unshackled: three minutes on each, then back to her four dogs, keeping all of their canine assets buffed.

    Tattletale shouldered her crossbow and locked the van. They were ready to go.

    Brian hoped this one wouldn't hurt.

    -- === Worm x Solo Leveling === --

    The Undersiders:

    Regent, Mage / class B
    Tattletale, Scout / class C
    Bitch, Tank / class D
    Grue, Assassin / class E​


    A/N: Brian seemed like the best fit for the MC of Solo Leveling, from the absent parents to the younger teen sister, and the dangerous job on which he's tethered himself to care for her... not to mention the shadowy power thing. Not sure I'm interested in him enough to keep him as the MC, though, if I ever do more of this.

    This setting fusion would impose some significant changes to canon, such as the Undersiders being a Rogue Guild rather than a Villain Gang, but the dynamics could be largely intact -- both settings have super-powered people challenging state power and threatening to disrupt civilization, for example, and in that respect the two settings are perfectly compatible.

    The setting metaphysics can also be made compatible, probably in several ways, and one of those seemed best to me -- but telling more would be a spoiler.
     
  13. Sydonai

    Sydonai Versed in the lewd.

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    "Youth Guard", "Youth Guard", "not until Weld shows up", and "drastically undermanned".
     
  14. vyor

    vyor Oh that's cute

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    Invented later, invented later, still happened, and?
     
  15. The Rat

    The Rat Versed in the lewd.

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    Scion borked something up and Taylor's shard was released into the wild set to developer mode. The good news, she has thousands of powers and no hard limit on how many she can use at once. The bad news, each power has a tiny effect and she has to stack and sequence multiple ones to get a noticeable effect.
    She does have some protections from her shard, an anti-thinker and anti-master power and immunity to any harmful effects of the powers she uses. Her shard also has a reduced conflict drive and rewards her for using new combinations. Though, every time she uses a power combo, it gets easier to execute and becomes something she can actually use in battle.
    Maybe after she develops a power for a while, she can gift it to others.
    What do you think?
     
  16. macdjord

    macdjord Well worn.

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    I like it, but unless this is supposed to a power romp where Taylor stomps people we love to hate, it would require a very careful hand to keep her actually challenged.
     
  17. Fishyface

    Fishyface Not too sore, are you?

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    I'd really like to see more of this. :)
     
  18. The Rat

    The Rat Versed in the lewd.

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    The idea I had wouldn't be so easy for her. To use a automobile analogy, she has an old fashioned manual transmission with a lot of gears including half and quarter gears that she has to hit perfectly to get her power to work.
    Everyone else has a modern computerized 12 gear transmission that automatically precision shifts for them.
     
  19. macdjord

    macdjord Well worn.

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    Right, I got that, but that's exactly what I'm talking about when I say it would require a careful hand. Make it too hard for her to develop these combos, and she's useless. Too easy, and she's OP. You've given her incredible versatility and no hard limits, so the only constraint on her power is this complexity in developing new applications, and it would require a lot of care and planning to keep things consistent.

    E.g. You're half-way through a big plotline - and somebody points out that Taylor can already do X and Y, which together means she can do Z, which means she beats the bad guy immediately. Or you have her, in the introduction, spend two days developing some neat trick with no practical applications to show off her power to the reader, and then later on you realize that while that trick is useless, this other trick would solve the current problem and is not any more complicated so there's no reason she couldn't develop it in two days too.

    It's not impossible to make it work, but it would be difficult.
     
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  20. Blackenedthorn

    Blackenedthorn Too many ideas, so little time

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    How about if instead of getting Queen Administrator, Taylor is gifted with the exact same abilities as DC's Plastic Man and works to master her powers as best she can before making her debut. Taylor attempts to become a hero much like in canon but due to a combination of Armsmaster's Glory Seeking and him underestimating Taylor's abilities, she ends up joining the Undersiders much like in canon for mainly the same reasons.
     
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  21. sunspark

    sunspark Experienced.

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    So an alt power story that sticks pretty much to the events in canon? It could be done well, but it probably wouldn't be.
     
  22. Prince Charon

    Prince Charon Just zis guy, you know?

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    Another idea: Taylor, age ten, triggers with basically a Queen Administrator version of Finale's power. She still generates the orbs, but she has more control of where they go and when they detonate, can feel each one individually (still having QA's super-multitasking), and can, with practice, sense things around them (at least sound and touch, possibly other senses). She can generate larger or smaller orbs, and as she's still Taylor, learns to use the smaller orbs for information-gathering, even attaching them to people around her. Optionally, she may also be able to track targets who have already been hit by her explosions; this might replace Finale's 'coordinated secondary detonations' that seem to have inspired her name, being more thematically appropriate for QA.

    Whatever trauma lead to this Taylor being empowered, it hasn't stopped her from being a cheerful little chatterbox, and she's probably still friends with Emma. She's also a lot smarter than Finale seems to be, so she's probably going to find applications to this power that I haven't considered, and Finale probably wouldn't have if she'd had something closer to this version of the power (using the orbs to pick things up? to fly? using them as armour somehow?).

    Sort of vaguely thinking that Emma triggered at the same time or shortly after, possibly out of concern for Taylor, since this Taylor would certainly tell Emma that she's a cape. The power idea that I have for her is that she's a sound-themed Tinker. She can build devices that work with Taylor's power, or can be charged by her orbs, but isn't limited to that - it's just that their powers have great synergy, such that each is more awesome with help from the other.

    Also thinking that Taylor's (and Emma's, if she triggers) cape persona makes a big impression on Sophia, leading to Sophia growing into a less unpleasant person, and possibly teaming up with them.
     
  23. seeing_octarine

    seeing_octarine Unverified Colour

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    You guys like crack ideas, right? Eeeeeveryone loves crack ideas.

    As we all know, on her first night out Taylor overheard Lung and the ABB planning to kill kids. Well, running with that, suppose before Taylor decides to intervene she notices someone. An ordinary boy, seemingly around 10ish years old. Wearing a cape, holding a gun in one hand, eating an appledelicious fruit with the other. He's not even wearing a mask! And he's walking straight into the cluster of ABB. Or in other words, this character with a little bit of artistic license taken.

    What follows would then be one massive and lethal running cape fight: The Kid (from after he defeated The Guy) vs all BB villains! No explanation of how this came about, just double jumping, spike dodging *cough*Kaiser*cough*, infinite ammo shooting action!

    I have either been listening to Home Sweet Grave too much, or not enough. Not sure which.
     
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  24. sunspark

    sunspark Experienced.

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    I feel like this would go down like that story over on Sufficient Velocity where Taylor triggered with the powers from One Finger Death Punch. This is a good thing.
     
  25. sunspark

    sunspark Experienced.

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    Normally, I frown on alt power ideas. But this writing prompt from over on reddit...

    Taylor triggers with this:
    I would love to see a crack fic with this as it's premise. Especially if the author manages to make it stick to the stations of canon.
     
  26. Sydonai

    Sydonai Versed in the lewd.

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    Unfortunately I don't see any way for that to be possible, such a Parahuman would be slapped with the Master/Stranger label so fast that the entire setting would be in danger of getting whiplash.
    Nobody would listen to a single word she said.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
  27. evildice

    evildice (Verified d4)

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    Isn't that basically Silencio?

    Except it sounds somewhat less fun than Silencio, due to a severe lack of telekinetic mime powers.
     
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  28. Prince Charon

    Prince Charon Just zis guy, you know?

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    Also, she isn't known to have a Thinker power that lets her work through peoples' issues in Silencio, people just think that she's a telekinetic mime.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
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  29. Death by Chains

    Death by Chains За родину и свободу!

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    [sigh] I find myself with a bit of a quandry, and I think a sounding-board like here might be my least-worst option.

    As some of you may have noticed over on SB/SV, I’m trying to (re)-write a fic set in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe, about an OC Slayer (Buffy’s immediate predecessor, to be specific), and I want to use a ‘Naïve Newcomer’ character through whom I can introduce readers to the Slayer, her team, her city (a fictionalised version of Napier, New Zealand, my childhood hometown), and the absolute clusterfuck of a situation in which she’s found herself by mid-1994. If I use another OC as that viewpoint character, I have to spend pages upon pages explaining who she is and where she’s from... unless I borrow a character people already know, and on SB/SV, it’s pretty damned hard not to be at least a little familiar with Taylor Hebert. (Seriously: I’ve never even been to Wildbow’s homepage, and even I have a fair sense of who Taylor is.)

    The problem is fitting Taylor Hebert, even an unpowered one, into the universe of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Partly because the background metaphysics operate completely differently between the two franchises (in Buffy, there are no Capes or Shards or Entities, but vampires and other such beasties are a sizeable subculture of their own, Ancient Prophecies are a mostly-reliable predictor of future events (which in itself sticks in my own craw), and magic actually works), and partly because a lot of what makes Taylor Hebert who she is, or at least peoples’ mental image of who she is, is predominantly shaped by four factors: Earth-Bet and its Cape-related phenomena, Brockton Bay being a hellhole torn apart by gang-wars, Winslow High School being a goddamn cesspit, and the Trio’s pre-canon year-and-a-half campaign of torture and torment against Taylor.

    I’d initially thought to transplant the Heberts to Detroit, Michigan, which appeared to be a fair counterpart for BB’s status as the American City That God Forsook, and even spent some time on Discord picking the brains of Detroit natives about the closest fit for home neighbourhoods, jobs, hangouts, etc. Unfortunately, I find that their insights have shaped versions of the Heberts who aren’t overly compatible with either the popular image of them or with my intended plot.

    So, now, I find myself greatly tempted to simply plop Brockton Bay down on the map of the USA in the Buffy-verse — perhaps substituting it for a city in New England, as Sunnydale itself was a fictionalised analogue to Santa Barbara, California — and go from there. (Perhaps in-universe Wildbow is/was a publisher of superhero comics, and BB was his chosen setting for the adventures of Armsmaster, Miss Militia, Glory Girl, and Clockblocker? Stan Lee rather famously did the same with New York and the Fantastic Four etc.) In the Buffy-verse, BB would be a dying city, but for prosaic reasons rather than because of Cape-related violence (as in Earth-Bet) or anything supernatural; the city would still have a reputation as dangerous and gang-ridden; Winslow would be terrible but not quite as bad as the popular take on it perceives; and the Trio (including a Sophia Hess who is completely mundane (so far as everyone knows)) were only able to work on Taylor for half a year or so before Danny accepted a job-offer from the other side of the planet for the sake of higher pay and Taylor's mental health.
    (TBF, it wouldn’t be the first time people redrew the map of Earth to suit their narrative; hell, I inserted an entire fictional country named Arulco onto the Pacific Coast of South America for the sake of a related fic, and plan to link that back across into this one.)

    The problem that brings is that by the time I’ve explained all the differences between canon-/fanon-Taylor and her origins, and the version of her and her origins that fits into the Buffy-verse, I’m functionally left with a Taylor In Name Only and I’ve written almost as much exposition and explanation as if I’d simply gone with an OC to start with!

    Maybe I should just scrap the whole idea and start with a whole-new viewpoint character, perhaps drawn from another franchise. But then the questions become, ‘Who do I choose? And once I do, how the heck do I put [X] in a position to befriend and observe a group of teenagers who are high-schoolers by day and, functionally, child-soldiers in their “off-time”?’
    I mean, I have to have a decent grasp on the viewpoint character to write them properly, right? But most of the fiction I’ve consumed since Buffy went off the air has been about adults, not teenagers, and most of the premises have been even more incompatible with Buffy than Worm is!
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
  30. macdjord

    macdjord Well worn.

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    So, the fundamental problem I see here is that if you insert Taylor Hebert into your story, readers will expect her to go a-Skittering through the rest of your plot. Even if you don't give her any powers, people will expect her to be the Determinator main character whom dominates and pushes along the plot. That doesn't sound like what you're looking for.

    Ultimately, crossing over any character from another franchise will lead people to expect that either that other franchise's universe - or at least the bits of it that implicit in the crossed-over character - will become relevant. If you want a story which runs by the mechanics and expectations of Buffy-verse, then you probably need to stick to a true OC.
     
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