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"I kept [Lung] down for awhile, but he grew faster than I expected and... then I ran. I was stupid. I even have another gun that's strong, maybe strong enough to really hurt him but I didn't bring it because I didn't want to risk killing anyone."

"Not a bad decision, really, no matter how it ended up. Too many new tinkers get caught up in what they can build and don't try to think about using it responsibly."
~Taylor and Armsmaster, Iconoclast 1.6
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A Cloudy Path is a Worm fanfic.

Frustrated with her school life, Taylor Hebert dons an unfinished costume and goes off into the night to fight crime as a superhero. She stumbles across an infamous crime lord, Lung, talking about killing some kids. Taylor decides she has no choice but to act...

...and Lung kicks her ass.

Not because she's weak. Far from it. Taylor Hebert is hamstrung by being a moral person with an exceptionally lethal power set, one with horrifying and even potentially global implications. A Cloudy Path is a crossover fic where Taylor triggers as a tinker, specifically one with a specialization in the Aeon Illuminate's military technology from the Supreme Commander real-time strategy video game series.

Read it Here. Second Thread here. Third Thread here, Fourth Thread here and Sufficient Velocity thread here.

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Officially abandoned since december 27, 2017.


Warning: spoilers for Worm from here on out.

This series provides examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: Taylor ends up killing a member of the Scion's Apostles in Wanderer 22.6.
  • Adult Fear: Danny has the knowledge that his daughter is Aeon, meaning he knows when she's doing something dangerous like fighting Leviathan. Worse, Valefor mind controlled him, of all people, into stabbing his daughter.
  • Alternate Timeline: Pops up prominently in Coil's first interlude. He abducts Taylor to see if she's a threat to his plans. She's tortured to death during an interrogation, and Coil finds her tinkertech potentially useful but not an immediate threat. He dismisses that timeline.
  • Anyone Can Die:
    • Bakuda is blown away by Taylor.
    • Leet is killed by Bakuda when she attacks the Undersiders.
    • Circus bleeds out, due to lack of medical attention on the battlefield.
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    • Hookwolf is one-shotted after he almost kills Hotspot's father.
    • The Merchants are all but wiped out against the E88, with Skidmark dying in 5.5.
    • Trickster is killed during the fight against Noelle, but no one knows who is responsible.
    • Come the Leviathan fight, Anyone Can Die means anyone—save Aeon, Eidolon, or Dragon's core AI. Why? The author rolled dice to randomly determine who lived and who died. Even Leviathan had 400-1 odds.
      • As of 8.5, Assault and Battery are dead, Aegis is in a time-stop bubble, Brandish, Cricket, Victor and Ballistic are all also dead and there may be more due to a glut of downed capes after Leviathan springs a trap, whose dead or alive statuses have not been released. Also, in 9.2, it was revealed Bitch died to a wave, as she didn't put an armband on. And this is just amongst the local canon characters.
    • By 13.6, Valefor, Kaiser, and Butcher are dead, with the latter apparently permanently.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Sundancer.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted. Leet's armor, courtesy of Uber, was all that stopped Leviathan's claws from tearing Aeon apart after they went through her shields.
  • Badass Family: Before the Leviathan fight, Taylor points out that New Wave survived 20 years as unmasked heroes with the only casualty being out of costume.
  • Back to School: Taylor starts going back in 17.1.
  • Becoming the Mask: Taylor and Theo have a discussion on this, citing it as the reason that she won't pretend to be a villain. It's a slippery slope that her canon counterpart fell for.
    Taylor: “Spend long enough thinking like a villain, and you pretty much become one, yeah. To play the game, to use the image, you have to understand it. Fit into the mold labeled 'villain'. Move down the path society created. Maybe it bugs you, starting out. Maybe it bugged Accord at one point, even, or Jeff. Or maybe the other stuff helps you along a bit. Like only caring about some people. If it helps a friend, who cares if it hurts someone else? Then by the time you even think about it, you're used to it. Rob enough convenience stores and the clerks start to look like furniture instead of people, so why not smack them around if they're a bit slow?”
  • Best Friend: By Wanderer 24.4, Taylor regards Theo as this.
    Taylor: I stood there for a moment, not thinking, just sorting out the conversation in my head. Theo was a friend. Maybe my best friend. He'd done more for me than just about anyone. He'd saved my life. He trusted me.
  • BFG: Taylor's third gun is too big and heavy for her to wield easily, so she installs a mild anti-gravity function to make it lighter.
  • Big Bad: Coil, whose plans go undetected by Aeon until Faultline points it out.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Theo, for Aster. The teen escaped Leviathan, triggered, and made it halfway across the city to Aeon's shelter for the sake of getting her somewhere safe.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Theo saves Aeon from Valefor after he ambushes her inside of her lab.
  • Black and White Morality: New Wave has this problem somewhat. While they're rather cordial to Taylor as Aeon, they made light of Leet's death which upsets Uber, Glory Girl hindered him from getting Aeon treatment after being stabbed, and the death toll in the fight against the E88 can be summed up because Poor Communication Kills. Theo later mentions that if they label someone a villain then they won't feel an ounce of guilt what they do to them.
  • Blackmail: The footage that Taylor and the others have of Skywave attacking them in a populated mall would put an end to his career entirely if they release it. They use that to stop him from coming after them.
  • Body Double: Coil had been using one for months, so when Tattletale finally did shoot someone it was him instead of Calvert.
  • Break the Haughty: Emma, by the time 16.3 rolls around. She's lost her mother, one of her friends, and is facing jail time. The charges would be enough to bankrupt her father, who was liable to lose his job.
  • Broken Ace: Albedo is by Word of God good at just about everything she does, but is kind of messed up in the head.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Taylor. After the Butcher tried to take her over, the conditioning of her shard stopped, so she lost the lack of emotional reaction to violence. It takes several arcs before a connection is reestablished.
  • But Now I Must Go: Taylor has to leave Brockton Bay after shooting Scion.
  • Cassandra Truth: A number of characters on both the Undersiders and Travelers warn Taylor to stop coming after them once Coil is apparently dead and the hostages were freed, including the pre-cogs. She doesn't listen and ends up pissing of Noelle, who breaks from off the vault and immediately eats her.
  • The Cavalry:
    • New Wave showed up to stop the Teeth from breaking into the Shelter in 16.4.
    • Haven (specifically Christopher and Aileen) rescue Taylor's group in 23.2.
  • Celibate Hero: Taylor, though this is because of all the things happening in her life. She can barely feel anything, let alone a kiss or a hug, and she's a criminal now so her civilian life was all but gone. At this point, she sees trying for a relationship as setting herself up for failure.
  • The Chosen One: How Belphegor sees herself after an encounter with Behemoth.
    Belphegor: I saw it with my own eyes, when the Behemoth burned New York. Right outside my office window. I looked it right in the eye, and I knew. Knew without a shadow of a doubt what real power was. I should'a died, but I didn't. I woke up in the ashes, and I'd been gifted. Chosen. Came home after that. Brought the kids, and the hubby. Met Abby, and we spread the word. Brought the clans outta the hills, taught 'em. Set 'em straight.
  • Courtroom Episode: 16.3 has Taylor brought into court against the School, Emma, and Sophia (Madison died in Leviathan's attack). Both sides are given a PRT lawyer so no one is aware who the cape in question is. Then Taylor receives notice that the remnants of the Teeth are attacking her shelter.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Lung nearly kills Taylor twice over in their first fight, as her weapon proves useless once he ramps up enough to the threat she presents. She spends most of her time trying to flee.
    • Bakuda does far worse damage to the Undersiders than in canon, with none of the press-ganged muscle she had there. Lisa is confined to a wheelchair for weeks due to her injuries.
    • Empire Eighty-Eight manages this against Lung, permanently crippling him.
    • As per canon, Leviathan attacks Brockton Bay. As per usual, this is the result... for most of the fight, until Lung steps in. By the end, the heroes actually manage to drive Leviathan off before Scion arrives.
    • The final assault on the Teeth, considering that none of the Capes were there due to Albedo having attacked them.
  • Divide and Conquer: How Accord usually deals with his enemies, setting them up against one another.
  • Dirty Business: Manpower leans on an injured Animos, while Gallant literally looks the other way. Glory Girl privately comments to Aeon that heroes crossing the line can blow up in their face, however.
  • The Dreaded: Taylor, for a long time, is very minor player on the local cape scene. The Empire, however, quickly learns to fear her sonic pistol, to the point that Rune visibly freaks out when Taylor draws it from its holster. Once the Teeth start coming to Brockton bay, they also learn to respect Aeon.
  • Driven to Suicide: Taylor's clone shoots herself in the head in front of Taylor and her father.
  • Drop the Hammer: Transpose carries one.
  • Dynamic Entry: Glory Girl in 16.6, bursting in through the Teeth's stronghold gate.
  • Enlightenment Superpowers: When Taylor taps into The Way she gains Hyper-Awareness surpassing Combat Precognition and makes it so that she just knows things. It's like a Path to Victory almost.
    I hadn't planned it. There hadn't been a need for a plan. I'd simply... done it. Wanted it to happen, known it was possible, and acted to bring it about.
  • Evil Gloating: Bakuda, after Taylor gives her a run for her money.
  • Evil Me Scares Me: Taylor's clone invokes both irrational fear and hatred in her.
  • Explosive Leash: Tattletale is made to wear one when going into the Simurgh fight.
  • Explosion Propulsion: Taylor, Lisa, and Theo use this to get some distance from the Fallen in 23.2.
  • Eye Scream: Skywave has both of his eyes missing, torn from the sockets during an initiation into the Fallen.
  • False Friend: Albedo tried to be this to Taylor, getting closer to her in order to ferret out her secrets, but Taylor's inner circle was too hard for her to penetrate.
  • Faster Than They Look: Leviathan, who managed to close the distance faster than Taylor could pull the trigger.
  • Foreseeing My Death: Micheal had already known how he was going to die due to Adam telling him.
  • Freeze Ray: The Butcher gets one of these in an attempt to bypass Aeon's shield. Prior to their battle, she uses it to kill Kaiser.
  • From Bad to Worse: The fight against Noelle leads to the Simurgh moving to act.
  • Functional Addict: What Lisa is going for. She knows she'll be an addict for the rest of her life due to circumstances beyond her control, but hopes to at least be functional.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: An Aeon Clone in Purity's Interlude 17-2.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Lung is called in to help fight Noelle.
  • Going Cold Turkey: Not for Lisa. The drugs Coil used were custom enough that she can't reproduce it and the best she can do is use a supplement to slowly get her body in a state where she's functional. Going cold turkey could actually kill her.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: In regards to the Fallen situation. Micheal, following Adam's advice, who was a trusted friend that he had no reason to think had bad info, went after Aeon after Niner's request. The result was the death of his wife, the escape of a mass murderer, and one of the largest gatherings of Fallen on a warpath against the innocents of the city.
  • Good Parents: Danny. He isn't Locked Out of the Loop for long.
  • Government Conspiracy: For the sake of good, oddly enough. Miss Militia is working with ex-Director Piggot and Director Tagg to bring down Thomas Calvert. They know he's corrupt, they just don't know the full extent of it yet.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Micheal of Scion's Apostles ends up getting cut in half by one of Taylor's lasers.
  • Happily Married: Aileen (formerly Squealer) married Christopher of Haven. The relationship seems fairly strong.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Über after Leet dies and Taylor offers him a chance to join her, and Squealer after Skidmark was killed and she was taken in by Haven.
  • Heroism Won't Pay the Bills: New Wave, post-Leviathan, is struggling to get by since Carol was the one who earned money for the group and their donations were drying up. To get around this, they'd have to join the Guild or PRT.
  • Hopeless Suitor: How Theo feels about his feelings with Taylor. He's got a lot of self-doubt.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Sophia Hess is deeply creeped out by PRT Director Thomas Calvert.
  • Hostage Situation: Panacea gets taken hostage by Taylor's clone. It ends with her being shot, but alive.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: Albedo points out if she wanted Taylor dead when she entered Boston, she would have done it while she was shopping.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Taylor comes to realize what she wants the most is companionship after losing everything.
  • I Meant to Do That: Inverted. Glory Girl mistakes Aeon's expressive body language for an affectation, and approves of it as a professional public relations effort given Aeon covers her entire face with a mask. Aeon rolls with the compliment.
  • I'm Melting!: Micheal's death.
  • It's All About Me: Taylor's clone accuses her of this, that she makes decisions for others rather than listening for their opinions.
  • It's Not You, It's Me: Rebbeca, her father, and Jeff all give Taylor this sort of speech before she leaves Brockton Bay. Jeff feels like he was using her to replace Leet, her father never fits into her life when the mask goes on, and Rebbeca doesn't mesh with the cape lifestyle.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Manpower does this to an already severely burned Animos for answers in 16.6. He starts with Knee-capping and makes it clear that he would have gone further if he hadn't talked, leveraging Panacea's healing. Notably, none of the raiding party objected.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Ruggedo has this as an information erasure power. Everything that it works on forgets what's discussed while in his presence, even him. Taylor and her equipment are an exception.
  • The Last Dance: Surrounded by PRT and weary from Aeon, Fenja and Menja opt to go out swinging.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: Theo ends up having his fingers affected by a power that would melt his entire body from spreading, so he cuts his own arm off.
  • Like Mother, Like Daughter: Vanth and Belphegor are pretty much the same.
  • Literal Metaphor: Adam can imbued his visions into objects, including pearls. He's giving people "literal pearls of wisdom".
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Aileen's shard leaves her dependent on others emotionally to function.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Taylor's Shield Generator is really the only reason she's alive, and it still has a downside in that it stops certain teleporters from evacuating her during the Leviathan fight.
    • It also stopped her from being teleported in the "Wanderer" arc after Belphegor wakes up again.
  • Made of Iron: Deconstructed. Bakuda's pain bomb does even more brain damage to Taylor in this fic, reducing her ability to feel sensation by a third. The plus side is that she can shrug off damage in a fight and keep going. The downsides are many: her lips are somewhat numb, hugs don't register easily, she forgets to eat because hunger pangs are dulled, she doesn't feel soreness in her muscles so she can easily overexert herself during exercise, and her ability to shrug off injuries means she can't easily tell when she needs medical attention.
  • Master of Illusion: Taylor's clone. Taylor, once connected to The Way, can also alter perception.
  • The Medic: Panacea, obviously.
  • Might Makes Right: How Belphegor and her daughter see things.
  • Mission Control: Later on, the norms of Aeon's inner circle remain back at base for this purpose.
  • Molotov Cocktail: The Teeth's Slave Mooks carried these to try and use on the shelter.
  • Mundane Solution: Aeon wonders how Pinnacle manages to possibly camouflage a futuristic turret on short notice. Turns out, he covered it with a cardboard box.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Using her sensor unit to tag the bullies, so she knows when they're looking at her.
    • Taylor really really loves how much better her second-gen mask corrects her eyesight than any pair of glasses she's ever owned has.
    • When she's bedridden after an injury, Taylor uses her hoverpack to float around the house without having to stand up.
    • Uber/Pinnacle ends up using his ability to be amazing at anything he needs to in order to... write really detailed test reports for Tinkertech, repair beat up cars to working better than new in less than a day, and assemble gourmet meals from random junk food in his fridge.
  • No-Sell: Taylor is immune to mind influencing effects like Valefor's mind control and the Butcher's rage-inducing power. It turns out that this is due to her connection to Princess Burke's consciousness. Later on, she actually prevents Butcher's personalities from invading Taylor's mind after Taylor kills the Butcher.
    • Taylor's shield tanks a lot of hits.
  • No Social Skills:
    • Emily Piggot banks on Armsmaster's lack of them, to bring the Wards under the PRT's roof.
    • Victoria Dallon doesn't read social cues too well, despite her family's heavy hinting.
  • Obstructive Zealot: Skywave. He believes Scion is the second-coming, so when he hears that Aeon is in town he breaks ranks and goes rogue with the intention of killing her.
    • Niner isn't really all that much better either. Not only does she see nothing wrong with Skywave going after Aeon without informing anyone, but she intends to have other capes attempt to bring her in when her bosses stated to leave it alone.
      • And it caps with Scion's Apostles. Called in by Niner, they end up interrupting her while she's bringing in a dangerous cape. Taylor ends up killing one (albeit she didn't think that it would have work and was doing it out of frustration) and they end up waking up the dangerous cape in an attempt to reverse it.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Possibly Inverted. It's implied the Butcher allowed Aeon to kill her because she considered her a worthy new host.
  • Opt Out:
    • Jeff/Pinnacle decides to leave Taylor's group because he doesn't really fit and feels he was using Taylor as a replacement for Leet.
    • Panacea decides to leave New Wave behind and go out on her own after doing what she could to heal Mark, breaking her rule against messing with brains to make a small change to help him recover.
  • Painting the Medium: Messages from the Aeon appear in invisible text between lines of normal text. Possibly because Taylor isn't consciously aware of it. Until the end of 13.6, when Rhianne Burke actually opens full contact with Taylor.
  • Poor Communication Kills: During the fight against the E88, Taylor notes that more deaths could have been avoided if New Wave was more willing to communicate and coordinate with the Villains.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Whenever Taylor manifests her psychic resistance to mind influence, or any other aspect of The Way, she gets a nosebleed. That and her brain starts glowing green, brightly enough to be visible through her eyes.
  • Reality Ensues: Panacea getting shot ends up leaving her feeling the symptoms (shortness of breath, pain, etc.) for months on end since she can't heal herself.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: The auto-repair unit that Taylor incorporates into her tech would revolutionize tinkertech everywhere if she could incorporate it into non-Aeon devices, as it would eliminate the need for periodic maintenance by the original tinker. However, Taylor's device is so hideously advanced itself that even Dragon can't make heads or tails of it, so Dragon can't mass-produce it to assist other Tinkers.
  • Reformed Criminal:
    • Pinnacle, but only barely. He's not all that contrite about his past crimes or eager to do good; he mainly works as a hero for Aeon's sake, since she gave him purpose in life. Of course, he himself acknowledges that she can't replace his former partner and he's still an asshole, so he splits from the group.
    • Alieen, formerly Squealer, is now a member of Haven and Happily Married. Her interests are primarily centered around her husband and her tinkering, but she pretty much cleaned up her act.
  • Reset Button: One of the Scion Apostles can heal by reversing time for individuals within an area.
  • The Reveal: Taylor reveals that her power is linked to an alien race and that she plans to kill the Endbringers in Seeker 23.4
  • Sadist: Gallant's clone, who goes out of his way to torment Panacea by threatening to reveal her secret.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Before enough information was in, a lot of people assumed Aeon was a boy.
  • The Scapegoat: In Kurt's Interlude, he and Danny note that the media are trying to make Aeon this for the bombing caused by Coil. They don't know who to blame and can't do it directly, but they can throw around terms like untested Tinker-tech and get the same result.
  • Screw Destiny: Since Aeon has this effect when it comes to visions, Adam decides in his interlude to give her one in hopes of her averting that specific one. It's a vision of Scion killing everyone on the planet.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: How Taylor regards the Unwritten Rules.
    Taylor:“I've never cared for the unwritten rules. Ever since I first heard of them, they rubbed me the wrong way. Too easy to manipulate, and they always seemed to favor villains way more than they did heroes. If you tried to rely on them, they failed you the moment somebody with too much power decided to fuck you over. Because it would have been too difficult to call them to account. It always favored the people in power, and if you weren't with them, then you got nothing. A system for the strong to stay strong, and say 'fuck you' to everyone else.”
  • Seeing Through Another's Eyes: Taylor can do this through the interface of her allies' masks.
  • Seer: Adam can see visions and embed them into objects for others to see as well.
  • Slave Mook: The Teeth conscripted the people living in their territory into acting as part of the army against Aeon's shelter, mostly as Human Shield.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Belphegor has a PHD in Economics.
  • Spanner in the Works: Taylor, in general, due to her power.
    Lisa:“Aeon... she breaks the rules. This thing with the Apostles is just the most recent time. Around her, plans fall apart. Things don't go how they're supposed to. It happens a lot. Accord, Purson, Butcher, Coil. Even the Simurgh and Leviathan. I mean, the Apostles had a precog to figure things out, and weeks to plan, and it still didn't work out for them.”
  • The Stations of the Canon: Played with, usually to subvert common Wormfic expectations.
    • Taylor fights Lung...and he wins.
    • The Undersiders encounter Taylor her first night out...and, aside from a brief assist from Lisa, leave her to suffer Lung's tender mercies.
    • Armsmaster meets Taylor...and they hit things off pretty well.
    • The bank robbery...is passingly mentioned and doesn't affect Taylor at all.
    • A truce is called between the heroes and villains to fight a gang war...against Empire Eighty-Eight.
    • Taylor decides to finally appeal to authority over the bullying... by hiring a lawyer and filing a lawsuit.
  • The Strategist: Taylor's clone for Noelle during the battle against her.
  • Supervillain Lair: Über and Leet have one that they own behind a series of shell corporations and false identities. Über sells it after Leet is murdered.
  • Take a Third Option: Accord gives Taylor an ultimatum: get rid of Fenja and Menja within a week or have her reported. Taylor decides to just leave Boston since they don't have any attachment, but on the way out she'd get rid of the pair without Accord's arrangements to send a message that she could do the same to him. Namely the fact that she's a pariah means that if she sticks her head up, the PRT has to come after her and if she does so at his place they'll come after him as well, no matter how well he keeps his territory organized.
  • Taking You with Me: Micheal suffers a slow death by melting, but before he dies completely he manages to crush the one who did it's skull.
  • Talking to the Dead: Taylor does this to her mother's gravestone on not wanting to kill Noelle and how she's getting tired of the fighting.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Faultline's group and New Wave don't trust each other and pretty much make it clear they don't like one another, but to deal with Coil they have to work together in 17.3. The only one both sides trust is Aeon, which is the reason Faultline trusts her to get Labyrinth from Coil's grasp.
    • Taylor has to work with Saint's mercenaries to deal with the Fallen.
  • Telefrag: How transpose killed two soldiers.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Given this is a Supreme Commander crossover, Taylor's weapons start at turning people into chunky salsa and only get worse from there. Redesigning around the lethal quality of the blueprints in her head takes time and practice.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Part of why Theo didn't want to stay in Brockton Bay.
  • Tragic Mistake: How Adam regards interfering with Aeon's attempt to capture the leader of the Fallen.
    Adam: "I've seen every single one. And I will see every single one. Again and again. I won't deny the pain my actions have caused. I can't. Nor will I blame you for them. I chose to take action, believing it was right, and was proven wrong. My own people died for my mistake, many others have been hurt, and it will get worse. By the end of this, hundreds of people will be dead, and thousands more impacted in lesser ways. That is my burden to bear. I set it before no other."
  • Tragic Monster: Noelle. Her power changes more than her body, but her mind as well.
  • Trauma Conga Line, the (Worm) fanfic. It just keeps getting worse for poor Taylor Hebert.
  • Unwanted Rescue: Not so much unwanted, but Lisa would have preferred nearly anyone else saving them from the Fallen than Aileen.
  • Villainous Valour: Taylor mentions that the Teeth are experienced in their final battle against her, despite being outmatched.
    It was true. While this part of the plan only required me to draw attention and act as bait, I couldn't let myself underestimate the Teeth. Even now, they were fighting as smart as they could. Using the copious cover provided by their squalid fortress to fight from safety. Firing mostly when my back was to them. Mixing in with the conscripts to make me hesitate to drop fire on larger groups. Going for ambushes with heavy weapons when I closed in enough. Keeping the pressure of gunfire on me to drain my shield. Using all the tactics that they had learned from our previous fights, at least as well as they could with the limited information they had.

    But for all that, they were really only fodder. Even against me alone it wouldn't have been enough. If it hadn't been for our desire for a clean sweep, and for the fear of what the new mystery capes might do, I could have swept them away already. If it had been anyone other than the Teeth, it might have been a bit sad. A sort of doomed gallantry.
  • Wham Episode: Interlude 18-2: Noelle Meinhardt, where the S9 come looking for Noelle to recruit her.
    • 19.6, ends with Taylor taking a shot a Scion due to hatred from her shard, resulting in him firing back at her.
    • 20.2 Taylor ends up leaving Brockton Bay with Tattletale and Theo.
    • 23.2 Taylor connects with The Way for the first time.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Shortly after Tattletale's interlude she disappears from the story, only for Grue to mention that she took some money and left. Given he's working for Coil, it's possible she was killed off already.
    • Turns out he put her in the same condition he did Dinah, drugging her up and using her for his own ends until Aeon finds her.
  • Word of God:
    • The Supreme Commander series actually happened in the fic's backstory, just in the distant past with human-like aliens rather than in Earth's future with humanity.
    • Taylor's shard is broken in some unspecified way.
  • Worthy Opponent: Butcher considers Taylor one by the time they have their final confrontation.
  • Would Harm A Child: Armsmaster cleaves Alloces, an 8-12 year old, in half due to having a kill order on him. To be fair, there wasn't much they could do, and he did kill a lot of people.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Taylor gives this speech to Theo in 20.6
    Taylor: “I'm... I know I take shit for granted. I always have, I think. I've lost a lot of people, and I never saw it coming, for any of them. I don't... I don't want that to happen here. So... I'll just say it. It means a lot that you're here with me, Theo. It means the world. I know there's a lot you haven't said, and there's a lot I haven't said too. But I don't care about any of that. I just care that you're here. We've been through a lot together, and I've asked more from you than most people would give. I've never thought you were useless, and I don't think it now either.”
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Accord has the capes he had infiltrating the Teeth attack all their capes and leaving them for dead, with only Animos being conscious enough to tell Aeon, framing it on Coil.
  • You Require More Nano-Paste: Taylor's construction output is bottlenecked by how fast she can process raw material into nano-paste for her lathes.
  • Villain Respect: Belphegor has shades of this to Aeon, given she actually put her into a situation where she could die and hurt Scion.
    Belphegor: “Hell, girl, if ya hadn't put yer hands on m'girl, I might've invited you to th' family! Given ya Wesley, even! Haw! Abby'd love that, after you gone'n killed her boy! Or as good as done, anyhow. Real shame I gotta kill ya.”
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