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Worm Aleph: Everything Old Is Rotted Through Again...

Sanctaphrax

Registred User
Validated User
No. Grey Boy bought his power(s) from Cauldron.
Some people in the comments were speculating that he took the Vestige formula like Cody.

Cherish. She has (had; they're all dead, again, yay!) an exceptionally long range on her empathy and was able to develop cryptic impressions of people based on their feelings and those of the people around them. She was able to identify "the buried girl," Noelle, as someone who was confined and a subject of abject fear or grave concern from the hardened criminals around her and her own friends alike. The "arrogant geek" was a tinker locked up in the top levels of the headquarters.
Do you know which one's which?

Some are obvious:

The buried girl is Noelle.
The arrogant geek is Colin.
The dog lover is Rachel.
The daydreamer is Labyrinth.
The broken assassin is Oni Lee.

But the remaining three are a bit ambiguous.

The warlord is Hookwolf or maybe Regent.
The scaredy cat is Regent or Panacea.
The crusader is Panacea or Hookwolf.

Thoughts?

My bet is that the former is correct for each. Not certain though.
 

Wildbow

Retired User
She didn't need to inform the Nine about where Regent was because she was going after Regent.

Also, Jack asked to find two people. One wasn't a candidate, but was in his chapter.
 

Truthseeker

Registered User
Validated User
Regent was excluded from the listing one line after I stopped quoting. Cherish felt she didn't need a cutesy name for her brother. I feel confident that the scaredy-cat is Panacea; she's terrified to work with the brain and afraid that she's essentially villainous by bloodline, and spends all of her time running away after contact with the Nine. I think Hookwolf is the warlord, and the crusader... I really don't know. Possibly Purity, as Jack shows up at her place when Oni Lee disappoints him, but I'm not satisfied with any of my possible answers. I was researching a bit further this morning, trying to resolve that, but I got distracted by work before reaching a firm answer. My impression was that Jack's plans change with Tattletale's challenge and one or more of the candidates gets dropped (or, if the crusader really is Purity, then Theo would've changed that one).

I didn't have time to go through all the comments, though I did find one where someone points out that when adding Regent there's one more candidate than there are living S9 members at that point. Their guess is that Hookwolf was listed twice as both the warlord and the crusader, but Wildbow indicated that there was no error.

Edit: Authorial ninja! This posting does not take into account new information from Wildbow. :D
 
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ExNihilo

The lesser of two weasels
Validated User
There are some things I still don't understand about Gray Boy. How did his power help him instantly get dressed when he popped out of the cloning tube? And what was he originally where the clone can operate a camera only because Bonesaw gave him 'a real child's memories'?
My guess is that the original Gray Boy was actually an adult and he used his power to somehow "loop" himself back to physical childhood - an older man might not have much experience with streaming video, but an actual child born recently could probably do it with his iPhone. Likewise, I think what happened with his clothes is that the moment the Gray Boy clone regained consciousness he looped himself back to a point in his personal timeline when he was wearing the uniform (and not groggy or weakened - he was the only one who came out of the tube at full capacity). This is especially creepy because he's essentially looping himself back to the original Gray Boy's life. This stuff didn't even happen to him, but his passenger evidently regards this Gray Boy as the same entity as the last one, or at least an extension thereof.
 

Wolfwood2

Registered User
Validated User
My guess is that the original Gray Boy was actually an adult and he used his power to somehow "loop" himself back to physical childhood - an older man might not have much experience with streaming video, but an actual child born recently could probably do it with his iPhone. Likewise, I think what happened with his clothes is that the moment the Gray Boy clone regained consciousness he looped himself back to a point in his personal timeline when he was wearing the uniform (and not groggy or weakened - he was the only one who came out of the tube at full capacity). This is especially creepy because he's essentially looping himself back to the original Gray Boy's life. This stuff didn't even happen to him, but his passenger evidently regards this Gray Boy as the same entity as the last one, or at least an extension thereof.
That makes sense!

So if Gray Boy is capable of controlling the length of the loops, what happens if he gives someone a loop lasting one day starting in excellent physical health? Does that mean they become essentially immortal and unkillable, looping back to their healthy body at the end of each day? Ohhh, what if he looped things that weren't human beings? Like, if he have a fire a loop of one second, would it turn into a perpetual energy source?

Wow. I hardly started poking my finger at the things he could do, and it's already looking amazing. And he wasted this ability being a serial killer? Sometimes I think Jack's true crime is not all the evil he's convinced his associated to do but rather all the good they never did because of him. Imagine a Jack with the same talent for mindfucking people into being heroes.
 

ExNihilo

The lesser of two weasels
Validated User
So if Gray Boy is capable of controlling the length of the loops, what happens if he gives someone a loop lasting one day starting in excellent physical health? Does that mean they become essentially immortal and unkillable, looping back to their healthy body at the end of each day?
Well, I think the people caught in his power's effect return to the physical position they started in when the loop resets. The things Gray Boy says about Purity, Night, Fog and Crusader (how maybe they'll be able to talk to one another and try to stay sane, and how he'll come back to see them in a thousand years) make it sound like they're unable to leave the room - which makes sense if they loop back every second or so, even Purity couldn't fly very far before being reset. So a one-day loop would make you effectively immortal (assuming we're understanding his power correctly and that a loop that long is within his capabilities) but you'd wake up in the same place every morning regardless of where you fell asleep. Which might be problematic.

Ohhh, what if he looped things that weren't human beings? Like, if he have a fire a loop of one second, would it turn into a perpetual energy source?
There's no telling whether or not he can loop things that aren't humans, or at least alive - the Manton Effect might prevent him from doing so. If he can, I suppose that would be an infinite energy source. Wherever powers come from, they've shown to be explicitly capable of this - Phir Sē's infinite loop of light, for example

Incidentally, Gray Boy's powers are already capable of creating perpetual energy. Build a giant hamster wheel connected to a dynamo, start somebody running in it and then lock them into a one-second loop. They'll run forever without ever needing to eat or rest or use the bathroom. They'll also be trapped for eternity in a sort of Sisyphean hell, but I suppose that's the price you pay for fucking with the conservation of energy.

Wow. I hardly started poking my finger at the things he could do, and it's already looking amazing. And he wasted this ability being a serial killer? Sometimes I think Jack's true crime is not all the evil he's convinced his associated to do but rather all the good they never did because of him. Imagine a Jack with the same talent for mindfucking people into being heroes.
I feel like there's a theme of wasted potential running through a lot of Worm. Gray Boy is a good example, but there's lots more - look at the Siberian. Manton could do practically anything, and he basically goes around killing people for no reason. Nilbog can create life, he appears to be able to sculpt consciousness out of nothing, and what does he do? Kills a small town and plays king of the starving goblins for years. Panacea could be doing the same thing - there's nothing stopping her from uplifting animals to sentience or modifying E. Coli to eat cancerous cells or altering a community to live on the bottom of the ocean, but all she does is go around healing people until that's all people think she can do. I'm not saying that healing people isn't a worthy cause (of course it is), but it shows the same profound lack of imagination that's limiting the rest of the folks I mentioned. Taylor is scary because she's found imaginative uses for a somewhat limited ability while absurdly powerful individuals like Gray Boy, Manton, Nilbog or Panacea are held back by their own limited creativity.
 
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The Wyzard

An overwhelming surplus of diggity
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Panacea could be doing the same thing - there's nothing stopping her from uplifting animals to sentience or modifying E. Coli to eat cancerous cells
Or uplifting E. Coli to sentience and modifying wild animals to eat the cancer out of people.
 

Sanctaphrax

Registred User
Validated User
I feel like there's a theme of wasted potential running through a lot of Worm. Gray Boy is a good example, but there's lots more...
I agree completely. My top three themes for Worm would be something like...

1. I'm the one who has to make the decisions, and everyone else has to accept the sacrifices.
2. Power is not fair. Some people have it, some people don't, and the distribution has nothing to do with morality.
3. People have the potential to do great things, but because of their flaws that potential will usually be wasted.
 
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