"That's my answer, King. I was never your Queen.
"Then, once all the villains were gone, he would reveal what he had done. Reveal that he had killed the villains, brought peace to the city - but not reveal how he had done it, not even reveal who he was. Not even a cape name.
fanfic by Thinker6
. Hosted on the Spacebattles forums.
Read it Here
. Second Thread here
Now being reposted on Archive of Our Own
spoilers for Worm
from here on out.
A lonely confrontation, both familiar and so different. The players in familiar parts, but wearing unfamiliar faces and saying the wrong lines. Queen and Harbinger make their desperate play, and fight for both their lives and freedom against the leader of the Slaughterhouse Nine. When it is over...
The King is dead. Long live the Queen.
Twenty-four years later. 2011.
A subtly different world.
Jacob Hebert triggers with the ability to elongate any blade in his possession. Taking the cape name 'Jack Slash', he sets out to carve a bloody path through the criminal underworld. His crusade is arrested by the arrival of the Endbringer Leviathan... And the infamous criminal organization known as The Society, which is ruled by a being known only as 'Weaver'.
Characters page located here
This series provides examples of:
- Alternate Universe Fic
- Shadow Stalker's power is subtly different.
- Dragon is a known AI in this continuity.
- None of the villains show up for Leviathan. Because they're all either dead or inducted into the Society.
- Faultine's Crew has pyrokinetics. Apparently because Weaver took Labyrinth and they got Burnscar.
- The only S-class threats are the Endbringers, Nilbog and Weaver's Society.
- The Travelers aren't working for Coil yet. Because the Society got them first.
- Sphere never fell to the Simurgh and was instead recruited by Weaver's Society. One of the Endbringers still did something to him, though.
- The Sleeper exists, yet is not an S-class threat.
- Five Blasphemies rather than canon's Three.
- Chuckles is a hero.
- A Million Is a Statistic:
- Discussed right in the first segment. Taylor believes that if she truly was doing what she's doing out of seeking a good goal, she should have been able to feel something for the innocents she and Harbinger let die in the process of putting King down. She discovers that she can't.
- Later, The Society successfully repels Leviathan from Monrovia without a single casualty to the defending force... using two nuclear missiles and damaging the city nearly as much as Leviathan would have. Weaver's strategy minimized her own forces casualties, and had the greatest chance of killing or neutralizing Leviathan, but still caused tremendous civilian casualties. The strategy was decided upon because Weaver's first responsibility is to her people, second to permanently stopping the Endbringer, third to helping the civilians who cannot help in the future defenses anyway.
- Anachronic Order: Most of arc three takes place before 2.1.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: The first chapter is from Taylor's POV. The second jumps 24 years ahead into Jacob's head. The entire third arc jumps from narrator to narrator to show a host of different perspectives.
- And I Must Scream: Weaver informs Bakuda that she is being given a second chance with her offer of induction into The Society. If she screws it up...
"Good. If you join me you'll have to act like a member of a civilized Society. Not the gang of street thugs you've fallen in with in the ABB. If you start shit with us, rant to the other Tinkers about how you're a 'superior genius', I'll punish you. If you treat your fellow citizens as threats instead of allies - hiding your creations, making deadman's switches, attacking citizens without permission - then you're nothing to me but another enemy. I'll crawl through your eye sockets into your brain and eat your amygdala. You'll still make weapons for me but you'll be cured of your unnecessary baggage. Understood?"
- AntiHero: Both Jack Slash and Weaver, approaching from opposite ends of the spectrum.
- Anti-Magic: In the Brockton Bay fight, Leviathan counters Shatterbird's silicakinesis through controlled vibrations of his own.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The reasons Weaver gives for taking down Coil - he has fewer resources, distasteful morality and she already has a citizen using that moniker.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Discussed in the PHO threads after the defeat of Leviathan, with one poster suggesting that Alexandria or Eidolon should have leadership of the Protectorate because they are the strongest.
- Batman Gambit: In Arc 2, Jack pretends to offer Shadow Stalker up to the E88 as a victim for his initiation. The members present buy into his fake racist spiel well enough as to be caught by surprise when the two of them attack.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: In 3.5.1 Tattletale wishes to help the fight against Leviathan and shortly after gets it granted.
- Curb-Stomp Battle:
- Jack's attack on E88, with Shadow Stalker.They go up against a number of E88 capes and normals. Most of the latter are dead before they know what hit them. Justified due to the element of surprise.
- Coil never had a chance against Weaver.
- Desperation Attack: Leviathan pulls out several new tricks in the Battle of Brockton Bay as the fighting worsens for him, and his final attack- a massive open portal to the source of his water -creates a wave that reaches above the clouds.
- Dramatic Irony: In canon, Taylor had noble goals, but was willing to do morally questionable things to accomplish them. Here, Jacob's pursuit of selfish goals end up causing him to do heroic things.
- The Dreaded
- Weaver and the Society. Everyone knows to give them a wide berth when they show up.
- Yet even the Society leadership is properly wary of Leviathan.
- Eldritch Abomination:
- Weaver is believed to be a ghostly mind inhabiting the bodies of any nearby insects, impossible to kill.
- Leviathan is another sort, an alien, unknowable monstrosity.
- Setsu isn't a cape, just a perfectly normal human... who has undergone prolonged exposure to Dreamer's power, with the end result that she has four brains and multiple hands and mouths and has several minor powers of her own.
- Final Solution: The PRT has a blanket kill order on every and all members of the Society. Given that very few of them have committed crimes worthy of a death sentence, and the fact that quite a few of them are innocents who joined the Society in gratitude after the Society rescued them from slavery, unjust imprisonment, torture, or other terrible fates... it reeks of Would Be Rude to Say "Genocide".
- Flash Step: When closing on Brockton Bay, Leviathan moves so fast he appears to have teleported. He repeats this several times during the fight proper.
- For Want of a Nail: Taylor and Jacob switching places.
- Friendly Enemy: Dragon and The Society seem to have a mutually beneficial arrangement which neither the Guild nor the PRT are aware of. It's hinted that the Society may have had a hand in unshackling her.
- Godzilla Threshold:
- Good Is Not Soft: When Dinah tries to persuade Taylor to force villains into helping the Society rather than giving them a chance to go free. How exactly this forcing is to take place is left ambiguous.
- Hoist by His Own Petard:
- When Leviathan attacks Jack realizes that all the heroic talk he's been feeding Shadow Stalker and Parian means he can't back down from facing Leviathan, even though he really doesn't want to fight it, lest his walk betray his talk.
- When Shadow Stalker phases two time dilation bombs into Leviathan, Leviathan's very own toughness means he can't damage himself fast enough to get them out before they go off.
- If I Wanted You Dead...: After she reveals herself, Jack realizes that if Weaver had hostile intentions she would have attacked already rather than wait for someone to notice her first. In the flashback arc, Victor also comes to a similar conclusion.
- Inertia Is a Cruel Mistress: Jack beats Cricket by baiting her into moving in a fast but predictable path.
- In Spite of a Nail: Some readers were annoyed by how early chapters seemed to suggest that little had changed in Brockton Bay despite the decades Weaver's been operating.
- Kill Sat: Weaver's Society employs an orbital railgun in the Brockton Bay fight against Leviathan. It's powerful enough to damage the continental slope... and still isn't enough to damage his core.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: If you haven't read up to the point in canon where it's revealed that Jack Slash has a secondary ability to predict parahumans' actions... you will be spoilered rotten.
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": The Society tries using replicas of The Simurgh to psyche out Leviathan, as well as gauge his reactions and senses. While the success of that experiment is debatable, it caused a panicked retreat among the Protectorate force.
- Megaton Punch: Weaver's Society has a cape named Heavenly Fist who can do this.
- Motive Rant: Kaiser and Jack trade speeches that are part this, part Rousing Speech.
- Mundane Utility: Before his recruitment, Jeopardy had been using his power to give his school quiz team success in competitions by draining their opponents' knowledge.
- Mythology Gag:
- Taylor's name under King was 'Queen'. Just as Jack Slash himself was originally named 'Knight'. Both were named for Chess pieces.
- Following the Timeskip, Taylor has taken the name Weaver.
- Rune jokes about Jack riding Hookwolf and using his power on Hookwolf's blades.
- Sophia and Emma were still collecting bloody tampons for some reason.
- The ABB were destroyed as a power before Leviathan.
- Tattletale mentions that Regent was beaten by an evil clone of himself, one with a mustache.
- When Jack has to be healed after Leviathan, Good Girl says that he used to look like a young Johnny Depp, which was exactly how he was described in canon.
- Riley tried to and still ultimately fails to save her parents.
- Names To Run Away From: One of the S-class threats mentioned in the Society's files is 'Lake of Flesh'.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Leviathan just seems to be pulling new abilities out of thin air every time the opposing capes manage to press him. Then again, in canon it's pretty clear that the Endbringers have always been holding back.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- The Society's attempt to defeat Leviathan in Monrovia, Liberia in 2009 by chained nuclear Launcher Move, ended up doing almost as much damage to the city as would have occurred had capes engaged him in a conventional fight.
- The Wards' attempt to have Clockblocker freeze Leviathan is disrupted by a pair of outsider capes attacking him at the wrong time.
- Noodle Incident:
- Weaver's Society is responsible for 'a string of city-plus scale disasters - Ciudad Bolivar, Cologne, the Mordovia Bubble, El Obeid, the Egyptian Biosphere'.
- It's HEAVILY implied that most of these were things they were involved in but not responsible for - Sphere caused the Egyptian Biosphere incident.
- Sphere "pulled a stunt" that got him confined. It also got him listed as one of the global threats the Society has faced,so definitely not Played for Laughs
- Off with His Head!: In 3.7 Jack, Armsmaster and Flechette pool their powers and resources to decapitate Leviathan, followed by them taking off his limbs one by one. It isn't enough.
- Opposing Combat Philosophies: The PRT and Weaver's Society practice this on the strategic level with regards to Endbringer fights. The PRT are focused on preserving civilian lives and infrastructure, even if it means prioritizing defense of the city over actually hurting the Endbringer, and will throw capes into the grinder to do so; the Society focuses on trying to kill the Endbringer and preserving cape lives, especially its own citizens', in order to build a core of experience and reliable anti-Endbringer strategies, and will let civilians and infrastructure burn if need be.
- Pyrrhic Victory: The slaying of Leviathan. Brockton Bay is pretty much gone as a city, many capes including influential and powerful Protectorate members are dead, and the other Endbringers are probably going to go I Am Not Left-Handed now.
- Recursive Fanfiction: They've started to crop up. First one is Here.
- Good Girl wants to make a Winged Unicorn pony named Luna.
- Leviathan's first onscreen appearance has his head rising above a very tall wall.
- Deathclock can see numbers floating above peoples' heads that tell him when people will die.
- While perusing Society archives, Tattletale comes across files for 'Sleeper', 'Rakshasa', 'Ash Beast'... 'Lake of Flesh'.
- Derrida is named after french philosopher Jacques Derrida, and his power is a reference to Jacques Derrida's theories regarding deconstruction.
- Tranquility is reading "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats", a reference to Logans Run - foreshadowing her powers.
- Dreamer's speech is a quote from the book Zhuangzi, by the Chinese philosopher Zhuang Zhou.
- Setsu carries around a lot of luggage. A reference to The Tourist's Luggage from Discworld, which holds any number of horrors or strange beings inside.
- Speaking of Discworld, the Society's attempt to contain Leviathan's core was inspired by the cover for The Light Fantastic.
- Harbinger once fought a cape whose powers were basically a weaponisation of I Wanna Be the Guy.
- Jack looses his arms to Armsmaster's nanothorns and is hopping on one leg at the end of the Battle of Brockton Bay. This is also a reference to his name in Eden's interlude: "Black Knight".
- After Leviathan's defeat Jack is horribly mutated and injured. Panacea dosn't remember what he looks like, so Good Girl and Jack have to help her reconstruct his face. When they are done Good Girl comments that they can make him look better than he did before too. He'd be a more Handsome Jack.
- Squirrelinator's Attack Drones' model numbers are 800, 850 and 1000. Mouse Protector quotes an iconic line from that franchise in the same chapter we learn this.
- Tempting Fate: A retroactive one due to Anachronic Order - 3.4.3 ends with the first person narrator thinking that things will be smooth sailing. Given that it takes place before Leviathan's arrival...
- The Unexpected: Sabah/Parian working with Jack.
- Weapon of Mass Destruction: Bakuda's bombs are mentioned in the same breath as "hundred megaton warheads", which is not so surprising considering that in canon they killed Crawler.
- X Meets Y: Several commentators have stated it has the feel of the Metal Gear series, and a roughly equivalent back-story to Killzone, set in Worm.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Jack Slash pretending to make nice with Rune before unflinchingly killing her along with the rest of the E88 capes as the culmination of his plan.
- Zerg Rush: The Protectorate doesn't build extensive Endbringer combat strategies beyond 'hit it with everything' and group their troops by class. Most apparent after the initial skirmish with Leviathan in Brockton Bay.