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Seed is a Worm fanfic.

Seed is a Worm Fanfic taking place in a universe where the Endbringers attacked in a few different places and a different order leading to similar but different fates for many characters. Thanks to the Simurgh attacking Boston, many of the capes of that city came to Brockton which has become much more important with Boston sealed. Thanks to the Butcher’s presence in Brockton, Taylor’s mother slowing dying in a hospital and losing Emma in the same week, Taylor triggered with Blasto’s shard. Trying to be a hero she very quickly becomes frustrated by her power's weaknesses and how dangerous her creations are for civilians. Distraught, and desperate to help her city she takes a dangerous gamble to give herself more power and chooses to be a heroic warlord to save the city from itself.

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The dangerous gamble? She steals the DNA of the original Butcher from his grave, and turns herself into a new Butcher while adding several new powers including Bonesaw's!

If she can keep herself from going insane and becoming something worse than Nilbog, she just might change the world.

Read it here on Spacebattles, here on Fanfiction.net, and here on Sufficient Velocity.


Warning: spoilers for Worm from here on out.

This series provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Bonesaw seems to see Taylor as a mix of rival, fellow artist, and a source of inspiration. She outright states she’s a fan of Taylor while commenting on PHO.
  • Adaptational Badass: Grue is significantly more badass and dangerous than his canon counterpart. He is both willing and able to use guns, explosives, and blades against people in his darkness. He survived all on his own in a much more dangerous Brockton Bay for almost a year where most independents barely lasted weeks. In canon, Shadow Stalker and Cricket attacked him and he barely survived fighting them. Here he nonchalantly shot them both once he found out they could track him in the darkness, and the only reason he didn’t kill them was to not bring so much negative attention to himself. Also, Regent. The 9 tried to forcibly recruit Heartbreaker, he failed the test and got Bonesawed, Alec finished his trials to protect his siblings. He later escaped the group when Butcher attacked the 9.
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  • Adaptational Heroism: The fic's version of Crawler is not a member of the S9, due to never meeting Jack. Instead, he became a hero mainly so he could get hurt and get stronger fighting the Endbringers. As a result, he's still an inhuman monstrosity, but a Blood Knight one rather than a villain. The PRT only use him for tough fights, as his appearance tend to unsettle civilians.
  • Alternate Timeline: The Endbringers attacked several different places and at different times leading to very similar but different backstories for most of the characters. The author admitted that he looked at almost every character in Worm and tried to picture how their life changed giving a large variety of WOG statements on how things have changed.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: The main instigation of changes seems to be the Simurgh being completely unpredictable in this universe. She has attacked two places at once, showed up at a Leviathan fight, and even attacked three times in a row.
    • Thanks to Accord being in Brockton and helping against the Endbringers, Armsmaster and Dragon’s prediction model is much better, giving almost an hour warning to attacks by Leviathan and Behemoth. This has led to far greater cooperation and casualties among the parahumans of the world.
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    • Dragon actually learned about Saint’s ability to watch and kill her at anytime which has made her more depressed, paranoid, and desperate to be free.
    • The Fairy Queen tried to kill the Simurgh when she first showed up in Switzerland and for whatever reason chose to disappear to Earth Aleph after making her retreat.
    • Taylor’s bullying was not as intense as it was in canon and did not go on as long thanks to Taylor triggering earlier and making a plan to expose it.
    • The Undersiders have far more tragic and bloody backstories that have made them much more powerful and dangerous parahumans but at the cost of being far more broken people.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Taylor, by experimentation and observation, manages to realize that Scion is an Entity and concludes that the existence of parahuman powers is some kind of experiment.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: The main reason Taylor is so popular with the public is that for all her extreme and terrifying methods of heroism, they worked. She did more in two months against the gangs then the Protectorate did in decades.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Taylor's power set is absolutely terrifying, she's basically a walking bioweapon factory. That said, she's done far more good in Brockton Bay than any of the heroes combined.
    • While it's a stretch to call Crawler "good", in this universe he's a member of the PRT, with the same adaptive powerset that turns him increasingly monstruous the more hurt he gets.
  • Back to School: Taylor left school after proving the Trio’s guilt, and is flourishing thanks to being a Tinker and being homeschooled. Her father wants her to go back to school to try have a normal social life and Hannah has managed to pull some strings to get her into Arcadia much to Taylor disappointment as she can’t spend most of the day experimenting.
  • Badass Boast: “I am the birds in the sky, the rats in walls, and the stranger on the corner. I am always watching you.” Said during Taylor’s debut.
    • "We are the being who has transcended the pattern of the world. We are what your petty little God fears. We force life itself to bow to whims. We are the mad and the damned. We are the power, which eternally wills evil and eternall works good.” Said to intimidate the Teeth after Taylor steals the minds and powers of the Heroes in the Butcher Collective and causes the collective to run for their lives.
  • Big Bad: There were several contenders in Brockton Bay with Kaiser, Coil, Accord, Lung, and The Butcher all being in the same city. After the Purge, Taylor herself is now considered one by the rest of the city. The author has given WOG that every single major player in Brockton now considers Taylor his or her archenemy due to how big a threat she is.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Overmind, a villain Tinker in Seattle, who seems to have gotten the administrative shard in this universe. She is something between big brother and a hive mind with all her implanted henchman. The docks became this after Taylor takes it over. Between the birds, hidden camera, drones, and the human infiltrators, Taylor practically is the docks.
  • Big Good: What Taylor wants to become and much to the chagrin of the PRT, everyone in the docks and a good portion of the rest of the city agrees with her. Taylor is the one who took down the ABB, caused the Butcher to retreat, and humiliated the Empire.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Taylor, Phoenix, Epoch and the Undersiders team up to break up the Teeth’s pit fight.
  • Bio-Augmentation: Taylor has upgraded both herself and her direct subordinates, physically and mentally. Sierra and Charlotte have the equivalent of low-ranking Brute and Thinker powers.
  • Body Double: A specialty of Taylor thanks to cloning being her shards original focus. It isn’t perfect though; as her clones give off a inhuman feeling that she hasn’t managed to get rid of. (Them being Humanoid Abominations might have something to do with that)
  • Break the Haughty: Emma, who we later learn ran away from home, and has been homeless for months while she became the vigilante Phoenix. Her power is also an ironic hell. She became the ultimate survivor just like she wanted that nothing can hurt, and death means nothing to her, as she can essentially be reborn into a new body. But she is constantly hungry, her body decays rapidly, and she has to constantly kill herself when the decay becomes too much for her to handle.
  • Bystander Syndrome: As a result of her bullying and the Protectorate failing to do anything for the city,
  • The City Narrows: The docks are a very poor neighborhood full of immigrants, gangs, and in the middle of a large drug epidemic. The gangs of the city are constantly fighting over it for the lucrative drug trade and the smuggling opportunities by the sea. Taylor herself becomes extremely popular there after her efforts transform the place when she takes it over.
  • Clones Are People, Too: Averted, as Taylor intentionally makes sure they are never sentient and refuses to go into certain branches of her tech tree in case she accidentally makes one that can think or learn. WOG is that Taylor would adopt a clone as its mother if she every accidently made one with the capacity to learn and grow.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Taylor’s main rule in a fight is no killing. Anything else from biological weapons, permanent crippling, torture, and any escalation is acceptable as long as she wins and no civilians are hurt.
  • Conflict Ball: Invoked In-Universe, Taylor believes that if the world becomes peaceful enough, Nilbog or another similarly dangerous parahuman might go on a rampage to stir things up due to their seed/shard influencing them.
  • Cult: One group worships the Fairy Queen due to her fighting off the Simurgh, believing that parahumans being absorbed by her power is a divine reward.
  • Crapsack World: The city as a whole seems to be worse off with the Butcher’s presence greatly increasing the number of parahumans. Bloody Tuesday killed thousands of people, the gangs have far more parahumans, and kidnapping is so rampant that bodyguards and kidnapping insurance is the normal for the city.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: Taylor practically MindRapes Amy/Panacea in order to force her to stop working herself to the bone and take a vacation, get some therapy, and use her powers more creatively so her Seed won't affect her mentally, all to better her mental health and prevent her from snapping,
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Taylor’s Purge of the docks. In a little over fifteen minutes her forces hunt down and completely destroy the ABB in a display of such overwhelming power that Piggot activates the Endbringer alarms thinking a new Nilbog like attack was happening.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Part of why Taylor/Faust is so successful is that she uses her talents intelligently, like making cloned organs to fund her other work. After taking over the docks, she's also set up numerous businesses and even a factory to draw people in and get the economy going again, and her ability to produce cheap organs openly has resulted in a massive drop in the waiting list, to say nothing of the healthcare she provides.
  • Deal with the Devil: Why Taylor chose the name of Faust as her cape name. Similar to the legend, Taylor chose to risk her soul and sanity by becoming a Butcher in return for more power and knowledge.
  • The Dreaded: Thanks to Taylor’s specialty, Faust is seen as the 2nd coming of Nilbog. Criminals, along with most of the city, very quickly become terrified of her as they realize how powerful and ruthless she is.
  • Eye Scream: Taylor injects Lung with a compound that blinds his human form, making it possible for the PRT to drag him off to the Birdcage. He's not helpless however, as his blindness goes away when he transforms upon being attacked, like the inmates in the Cage finds out.
  • Famed In-Story: After the Purge, Taylor is considered the most infamous and powerful vigilante in the country. She is also now known as the greatest wet tinker in the world, surpassing Bonesaw.
  • Game Changer: Taylor becoming a Butcher and gaining access to Bonesaw and Overmind's tech trees is this, allowing her to reach heights with her powers that she never could before. Wo G compares it to Batman getting Me's a Crowd powers, among other things.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Taylor makes it clear she is just going after villains and will never hurt civilians, but she will cross any line short of murder to get the job done. She actively kidnaps and tortures people for information, uses biological weapons on criminals, and is both willing and able to escalate against her enemies unwritten rules be damned.
  • Good Parents: Hannah seems to be just short of being a stepmother and spends most of the time at Taylor’s home. She is also much more caring, curious, and supportive to Taylor than her father is. If she wasn’t Miss Militia and didn’t support the PRT’s efforts against Taylor, Taylor would probably see her as a mother figure.
  • Grave-Marking Scene: Taylor essentially becomes a grave robber to steal dead parahuman DNA to experiment with. She observes and goes over the history of several dead parahumans, and pays her respects to a past hero of New Wave.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Rachel joined Taylor in return for helping to improve the lives of her dogs. Crawler never met Jack and joined the heroes for a chance to be hurt fighting the Endbringers.
  • Horrifying the Horror: The Butcher is a being designed by the Worms to spread fear, stress, and trigger events on a mass scale. Killing it just makes the next one worse until they eventually become something similar to a natural Endbringer. The Butcher is absolutely terrified of Taylor because not only is she more powerful then her, but she has the ability to permanently kill them and she barely survived their last encounter due to random chance.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Taylor's clones are in fact giant insects mimicking the shape of humans and their heads can split open vertically to reveal themselves. And she wonders why people seem to avoid her clones...
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Taylor herself admits to loving having actual Nazis and the Teeth in the city as she can do absolutely anything she wants to them, and no one will care.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The essential purpose of the Butcher shard and Taylor’s role in the city. Before Taylor arrived, the city was in a dangerous but relatively stable status quo. Villains of the city would fight and kill each other, and they played a game of back and forth over territory with the cops, heroes. Taylor’s arrival changed the rules of the game by being a far more vicious, powerful, and creative enemy than any of the gangs had ever dealt with before.
  • Laughing Mad: The exact moment Taylor turned herself into a new Butcher, she started to laugh hysterically as she thought about what she was about to do to the gangs in Brockton Bay. From then on whenever she is feeling bloodthirsty she starts to laugh her head off and she does not seem to be entirely aware that she is doing it. It has gotten to the point that a person she caused to trigger out of fear seemed to actually hear her laughing during his trigger event.
  • Mad Scientist: Taylor as Faust is much more self aware and moral than most, but some of her actions, especially after becoming a new Butcher, give her this vibe, and she is one of the greatest Tinkers, and parahuman experts, in the world.
    • Overmind is very much this if Dragon's description of her is accurate. She's been doing things like augmenting her henchman greatly, attacking cemetaries to essentially create zombies she can control, and is an unstable and proud Mood-Swinger who once attacked a newspaper because it didn't report her activities.
  • Mission Control: Taylor’s sidekicks essentially act this way for her when she is not in the docks.
  • Mood-Swinger: Overmind can apparently switch between murderous and humorous at the drop of a hat.
  • Mook Horror Show: When seen from a normal person’s perspective, Taylor’s Lusus read like horror movie monsters. Taylor herself becomes terrifying to her enemies after she has a strange psychotic episode and vivisects the teeth much to her own horror. She is so scary that she is causing several of her enemies to have trigger events in response to her attacks.
  • Mundane Utility: Taylor’s abilities allow her to grow and shape flesh into entirely new biological creatures after several weeks of trial and error. She later implies that she used it to give herself a slightly more feminine figure.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: During Bloody Tuesday, many people got caught in the Butcher's frenzy aura, causing them to start attacking anyone they could find. Golem (Theo Anders) accidentally killed his mother, and Armsmaster ended up murdering more than a hundred people.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Thanks to the fact that Taylor can make her minions appear as anything from birds, to normal people, everyone in the docks is a little paranoid that Taylor is always watching them.
    • Several points in the story have made it clear that the Simurgh is actively interfering in Taylor’s life in several ways that have pushed her to become and remain Faust for unknown reasons.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Right after the Purge, Legend and the PRT offer Taylor one last chance to surrender and work with them. Taylor gives a speech that declares the PRT useless, corrupt, and creating the problems they are supposed to be solving.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: While Taylor turning herself into a Butcher has given her enormous power, she is also much more bloodthirsty, psychotic, and has far less empathy for her enemies that she had before. She is however aware of this and has taken steps to avert it by having extremely strict rules she will not break under any circumstance, and installed a implant that monitors and tries to control her thought process to be less dangerous. Sierra’s entire job is to monitor and second-guess her behavior while having the keys to her brain in case she crosses a line while Taylor is readjusting. Taylor admits her greatest fear is going insane and becoming far worse than Nilbog ever was.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: When asked what she would do if she had three wishes that she knew would turn out alright, Taylor/Faust says that making this happen, causing good things to happen to good people and bad things to bad people would be her second wish.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Anyone that hurts the people under her protection makes Taylor almost literally insane with rage thanks to the effects of the Butcher shard.
  • Reality Ensues: During the Purge, Piggot was so spooked that she activated the Endbringer alarm - which caused twenty five people to die, some of heart attacks and others due to Mercy Kill. She is forced to retire.
  • Red Baron: Taylor is known as the "Usurper" to certain members of the Fairy Queen's cult. Their version of the anti-Christ that went against her divine destiny by stealing power she did not deserve and who will cause so much devastation that Glastig will return to help stop her.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Taylor is doing her best to avert this, using her powers to better Brockton Bay.
  • Related in the Adaptation: In this verse, Amy's mother was Kaiser's sister who eloped with the Marquis, making Kaiser Panacea's biological maternal uncle.
  • Sanity Slippage: Taylor believes that capes that don't use their powers, or fail to give a wide variety of data to their Seeds, are more prone to snapping due to the Seed's influence. She believes that Nilbog triggered almost a year before his rampage, and cites another who apparently triggered after his wife leaving him who triggered two years prior, going by how he had stopped filling out his prescription for the medicine he took for his very severe asthma.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Taylor mentions at one point how she thinks parahumans, especially Tinkers and Thinkers, have blind spots purposefully built into their powers, and believes peer review by non-parahumans is vital.
  • The Sleepless: Thanks to modifying her genes and creating new skin to absorb energy from the sun, Taylor stops just short of this. The only reason she doesn’t get rid of her need to sleep entirely is her belief that sleep is important for mental health.
  • Super Empowering: Taylor was able to connect to both Bonesaw and Overmind’s shards by making a hybrid Butcher clone of them and murdering it. Though unbeknownst to Taylor, it seems the connection goes two ways with both Bonesaw and Overmind getting a expanded tech tree thanks to their shards being connected to Taylor.
  • Second Super-Identity: In this universe Sarah was forced to join the Elite just after her trigger event and as Tattletale became a major leader in the organization before having some kind of falling out and spilling all their secrets. Due the massive bounty they put on her head, she is currently using the name and equipment of retired Tinker Pyrotechnical, who owed her a favor, while going by her name of Lisa.
    • The Philosopher is a powerful cape or group of capes that works under a hundred or more identities as information brokers all over the world. Dragon is convinced the philosopher is another AI like her.
  • Terror Hero: Taylor does not screw around with villains or criminals even if she will never kill anyone. Faust is a horrifying vigilante known for torturing and giving involuntary surgery to her enemies, attaching mechanical spiders to forcibly control people’s bodies, and uses giant mutant bugs to kidnap people for information. On at least two occasions, people had trigger events just imagining what she was going to do to them after they managed to piss her off, and she terrifies Coil as much as Nilbog does.
  • Three Wishes: Dr. Yamada asks Faust what she would do if she had them and knew they would turn out as intended. She answers with getting rid of the Endbingers and Scion, making Laser-Guided Karma a thing so good people would be rewarded and bad people punished, and reforming the PRT and Protectorate so that they can actually make a difference and not let people like Lung run free.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Greg Veder and Emma are the independent heroes Epoch and Phoenix.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Taylor notes that some parahumans, in contrast to the general Weak, but Skilled powerset(s) most get, are incredibly powerful, but as a result don't practice much with how to use their abilities to their best effect, contrary to the idea of the experiment, like how Nilbog stays in his closed off city, and how Lung stuck with the ABB instead of being more ambitious. Her hypothesis is that they are there to act as antagonists to stir things up and provide conflict, similar to the Butcher and Endbringers. If the world becomes too peaceful, Nilbog might go on a sudden rampage.
  • Villain Protagonist: Though there are arguments in and out of universe on how much Taylor should count as a villain. Some consider her a anti-hero who is better than other similar examples for her guideline to never murder while others consider her a civic minded but very vicious villain. The PRT as a whole considers her a villain after her invasion and annexation of the docks.
  • Villain Has a Point: To the consternation of the PRT, they can’t really argue against the fact that Taylor has done more to improve and help the city than they have. Instead of simply attacking criminals, she is trying to stop the source of crime itself by improving infrastructure, helping uplift people out of poverty, bringing in jobs/tourists to help the economy, and training criminals to have new skills to find better job. Most of the dock’s residents are loyal to Taylor, not to the government.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Most of the docks are loyal to Taylor/Faust after she annexes them.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Taylor notes that the Entities/Worms purposefully limit the powers most parahumans get, forcing them to use them more creatively and find applications that make the best use of them, allowing the Worms to gain more data.
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