Follow TV Tropes

Following

Fanfic / Mauling Snarks

Go To

In an Alternate Universe of Worm where powers desire usage, not conflict, a much more noble Jack Slash took over the Slaughterhouse Nine, began working with the PRT, and turned the villain group into a therapy support group geared towards helping parahumans whose powers are geared towards harm and require violence to stay sane, which also doubles as a clandestine government-sanctioned domestic terrorist group aimed towards the more violent criminals out there. Jack Slash in particular, under his real name Jacob, became a particularly-renowned cape therapist.

Advertisement:

At the start of January 2011, he finally pays a visit to his brother-in-law Danny Hebert, only to find his niece Taylor missing. He finds her locked in a school locker filled with filth, and after rescuing her, finds that she Triggered with some offshoots of his powers that will soon take the whole of cape society on a really big swerve...

Mauling Snarks is a Worm fanfiction written by CmptrWz and posted on Sufficient Velocity, that follows Taylor's new life as a cape with the power to communicate with and influence other powers, which it calls snarks, as well as the power to project blunt force.


Advertisement:

Tropes contained in Mauling Snarks

  • Achievements in Ignorance:
    • While going through initial parahuman testing, Taylor identifies a few snarks in her range. One snark she picks out turns out to be Coil's, allowing the PRT to identify and isolate him.
    • Alexandria can fly... but her snark has no idea how.
  • Adaptational Heroism: You did read the introduction that says that the Slaughterhouse Nine went from a group of serial killers to a secret PRT-allied therapy group, right?
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: In this fic, instead of her canon Perception Filter powers, Aisha Laborn Triggers with the power to hide inside a Pocket Dimension which itself has a Perception Filter, and goes by the cape name Hulder.
  • Anger Montage: Or in this case, Grief Montage; Trevor a.k.a. L33t destroys everything video game related he and Erik a.k.a. Über had, after Über dies fighting Leviathan and the grief at treating everything as a game gets too much for him.
  • Advertisement:
  • Anti-Hero: The PRT actually has standardised forms to register Protectorate or Ward capes as such, if they have powers that are too family-unfriendly in their usage, which also encourages the breaking of some rules. Unfortunately, they were phased out by most of the previous regional PRT directors, which is why Brockton Bay never had any until Jacob gave Taylor a standard registration package.
  • A Rare Sentence: When Taylor pays a visit to the Boston Wards, she never expected to hear that Brockton Bay is among the top 10 safest cities in New England.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Of sorts; Taylor can toggle her kinetic projection power to ignore any insubstantial barriers in between her and her target, from air to invisible force fields.
  • Artificial Limbs: Amy gets a Tinker bud with this as a specialty. This comes in handy when Dauntless loses his feet during Leviathan's attack on Boston.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Taylor was expecting Armsmaster to be upset when he hears that Squealer approached her to defect, due to having difficulty with her powers. He is, but it's because of the PRT not being approachable enough with capes with those kind of difficulties.
  • Big Eater: Taylor, post-tinker fugue enhancement. She manages to eat Fugly Bob's infamous Challengernote  in one sitting. Twice. She is requested not to try it again in a year.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Taylor does this when she first encounters Tattletale's snark, Inference Engine. Which is a very big Gossip.
  • Bleed 'em and Weep: Neither Taylor nor Amy take it well when they are authorized and follow through on a kill order, with Explosive Results.
  • Blessed with Suck: To a degree, the snarks' base desire to be used can make them this for most parahumans.
    • A young boy named Jason Triggered with the ability to take on part of lethal damage suffered by people around him. He ends up taking on the name Injury Magnet.
    • Outfitter, a Boston Ward, is a Tinker with the unfortunate specialization of... bedroom gadgets. Once again, she's a Ward.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Taylor finds herself having to deliberate between Modularity (Kid Win's snark) and Efficiency (Armsmaster's snark) while trying to integrate the both of them into a Tinker fugue, on account of their snarks having different priorities for the final project.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: A major way of Taylor assisting parahumans is asking their snarks what they want their users to do, helping their users come up with more varied ways of doing things, or making suggestions herself. Examples are encouraging Armsmaster to take maintenance times into account regarding overall efficiency, telling Amy to get a greenhouse to practice her bio-manipulation safely, or suggesting that Assault's snark also try absorbing molecular kinetic energy, which allows him minor thermal manipulation.
  • Brick Joke: Taylor saying that she would be kidnapped from her berdroom after recruiting Squealer/Wrench Wraith. Which turns out to be true after Trickster kidnaps her in his interlude.
  • Bring My Brown Pants:
    • Let's just say that Skidmark doesn't take the news well that he almost killed the niece of Jack Slash.
    • A few Boston gangsters get this reaction after Maul demonstrates her Splash Damage bullet trick on an abandoned building.
    • One thug that runs into Aegis while on patrol has a very wet accident, on account of how Aegis accidentally broke his legs during their last encounter.
    • Hatchet Face, dressed as a Monster Clown, manages to get the drop on the Butcher by intending to scare her instead of harm her, circumventing her Danger Sense. He apparently scared the crap out of her in all senses of the phrase.
  • Brought Down to Badass: As part of the Wards' hand-to-hand training, the PRT brought in Hatchet Face of the Slaughterhouse Nine, a Power Nullifier. Aegis collapsed immediately, and several of the other Wards had difficulty dealing with the loss of their powers. But Maul's artificial Brute abilities were completely unaffected.
  • Can't Take Anything with You: Taylor manages to talk to Oni Lee's snark and get it to be able to better transfer his mind across his Destructive Teleportation and prevent him from losing his sanity. Unfortunately for Lee, this means that he either has to concentrate for longer or risk leaving other things behind when he teleports - like clothes.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: In retaliation for Riley dropping off a spider-bot with a villain's snark inside it in Taylor's house, Taylor decides to cut her off from knowing how she pulled off her tricks with the demonic duck speakers.
  • Corrupt Bureaucrat: A PRT officer turns out to be a cape with a Thinker power aimed towards paperwork - how to manipulate it to get it accepted or rejected as he wants. Unfortunately, he turns out to be an insane manipulator with a grudge against other capes and proceeds to traumatize Taylor and Amy when he fast-tracks the paperwork for them to execute a kill-order.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: When he sees the possibility of the PRT's Anti-Hero branding, Brian admits that if he'd had known about it, he'd have gone to the PRT from the start instead of going villain.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
  • Debt Detester: Thanks to her bias against capes, Director Piggot doesn't like being in debt to one, but finds herself needing to repay Maul after the new Ward inadvertently reveals that Thomas Calvert is a parahuman. And she really doesn't like it when Taylor uses that request to ask her to accept healing from Panacea.
  • De-Power: By reversing the power flow to other hungry snarks, Taylor can drain them of energy and thus depower their connected parahumans. She first uses it on Eidolon when he gets too impatient with her, and the observing think-tank believes that if she hadn't stopped, she'd have killed his power, and him along with it.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Bonesaw never thought that if she herded a flock of genetically-modified ducks into Accord's territory, he'd somehow corral them all, tame them, and make them into a cleanup crew.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Vista should've thought longer about the effects of spatially expanding the size of a shotgun round while it was still in the shotgun.
    • Bonesaw ought to have thought longer about what it meant to be physically immature before she made the modifications to herself.
    • Trickster, in order to convince Panacea to heal the other Travelers, kidnaps Taylor out of her bedroom, locking her in a nearly-airtight steel box that was then being driven to New York. By the time he made it to the PRT building to make his demand, she'd already been rescued, but she and Amy were comatose. Turns out a Master effect from Simurgh forced this to happen to ALL of Trickster's plans.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Taylor ends up blowing up Echidna's snark, along with Echidna herself, all her clones, the piece of Eden's flesh her powers were connected to, the surrounding snarks, and everyone those snarks were connected to.
  • Doorstopper: As of May 2019, this fic has more than 203 chapters and more than 1 million words.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Thanks to the multi-Tinker fugue device that can nullify persistent Master effects, Heartbreaker is quietly captured by the Guild, and executed before his thralls can notice he's gone.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome:
    • Crawler died taking a shot the Simurgh had aimed at Legend, after virtually nothing else the Endbringer did was able to stop him from trying to close to grappling range. He'd also already done significant damage to the Simurgh, and was instrumental in driving her off after his acid had adapted to her.
    • Über goes down fighting Leviathan in Boston, piloting a Humongous Mecha, grappling with it, and finally detonating its reactor core in its face.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • Taylor forgives Vicky even after she almost punched her head off with lethal force, since she was under power disuse stress for a few weeks, and helps her resolve and even improve her powers.
    • Taylor is more harsh with Eidolon after he tried to Master her into feeding his powers, but agrees not to make a deal out of it if he undergoes therapy with her.
    • Trickster is not persecuted for his kidnapping of Taylor because he was Mastered by Simurgh. He is still sent away from Brockton to prevent Taylor from potentially freaking out by detecting him.
  • Entertainingly Wrong:
    • Pretty much the whole of PHO are convinced that Taylor cannot be the new Ward Maul, chalking up anything Taylor seems to know about the PRT to her relation with the renowned cape therapist Jacob. And that "fact" soon becomes the cornerstone of logic for the forum to excuse away anything that might prove otherwise.
    • On a mission to Cornell university, a lot of the PRT personnel hear about a "cape detector" and assume it's a piece of Tinkertech. Said mission includes Maul.
  • Exact Words:
    • Missy gets a chance for Taylor to answer one question, so she asks her if there is an easy way to bypass the list of requirements to apply for a tinker fugue. Taylor answers "Yes".
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: The Protectorate Think-Tank goes through a lot of these when the subject of Taylor comes up, after they figure out all the ramifications of her powers (identifying people through secret identities, influencing and changing powers and users, actively communicating with powers, effects of a fugue), along with her relation to Jack Slash and what might happen if one or both of them Face–Heel Turn.
  • Expy: Five of the PRT's power testing scientists are named Whitney, Franklin, Masaru, Paul, and Elizabeth. Now, look up the middle names of the Mythbusters.
    • Small Sara, an explosion-focused Boston Ward. Her civilian name is Tina.
  • Face Palm: Comes up fairly often, usually whenever Maul brings up the simple solution.
    • When Aegis, Kid Win and Clockblocker find out all the amenities for Wards that they never thought to ask about, their face palm is almost perfectly synchronized.
    • All of New Wave do this in synchronicity when Dean reveals Taylor's identity, after they'd spent most of dinner gossiping about Maul in front of Taylor.
  • Failed a Spot Check: When Brian first got his car, he apparently didn't notice the dealer was a very obvious E88 front, which was probably the reason why they gave him a real junker. Lisa takes great glee rubbing his nose in it.
  • Fantastic Flora: Amy's first non-healing bio-Tinker projects, at Taylor's suggestion, are rainbow roses - i.e. roses with rainbow-colored petals. They soon become a hit, with even Contessa wanting one.
  • Fetch Quest: After the option to undergo a Tinker fugue to receive body enhancements becomes open to the PRT rank-and-file, most of them find out that getting the required clearances to receive one turns out to be of this vein, with crazy requirements like: Punch Lung in the face on camera, get autographs from the Slaughterhouse Nine, get a picture with Accord, and/or dress up in a maid outfit (even the men). And it only gets crazier in the following stages.
  • Flipping the Bird: Taylor's first official photo as Anti-Hero Maul has her flip off the camera. Armsmaster suggest something a bit less offensive.
  • From Bad to Worse: Leviathan's attack on Boston becomes even worse when Echidna is freed and joins in the fight.
  • Fuel Meter of Power: A few snarks that Taylor meets are "hungry", all of whom are Cauldron powers. Taylor eventually figures out a way to get Grue's snark, which absorbs light and energy, to feed them.
    • Some of them, like Gallant's and Eidolon's, actually get mental fuel gauges after Taylor talks to them.
  • Gargle Blaster: The Palanquin apparently serves one, with Essence of Newter.
  • Going Cold Turkey: It's established that powers desire to be used, and capes that repress or cannot use their powers end up suffering for it.
    • After Taylor inadvertently knocked Vicky's powers out, her fear of it happening again and her difficulty in reactivating them put her off patrolling for three weeks, keeping her from using her powers and building up stress. When she finally met Taylor, and Taylor admitted she was the cause of the bad reaction, the stress boiled over and she delivered a Megaton Punch to the person identified as the cause.
    • It was established that Amy was slowly going insane as she restricted her biokinesis to healing, until she helped Riley with the Tinker fugue for Taylor's enhancements.
    • During Taylor's stint in the hospital, she was discouraged from having visitors to allow her to heal, but the lack of snarks to communicate with started to wear on her. Miss Militia and Assault pay a quick visit to her after that.
    • A brief conversation with Squealer's snark made it picky for better-quality materials, and refused to let the Tinker make anything with her usual "crap". Squealer got so pent up that she went to find Taylor and pulled a Heel–Face Turn just to let her Tinker again.
  • Going to Give It More Energy: Taylor wonders what happens if she overfeeds a snark with energy. She finds out when she is authorized to kill Echidna... and the results are visceral.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: When L33t's snark is told by Taylor that all its machinations to make his tech fail and eventually kill him in order to get him to take more risks was actually accomplishing the exact opposite, the My God, What Have I Done? reaction is so intense it actually suffers a Freak Out in line with a Trigger event. The resulting backlash sucks Taylor and Amy in and... see Super Empowering for the results.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Skidmark figures that since he indirectly almost killed a Ward, he might as well join the Slaughterhouse Nine. He finally tracks them down and gets their attention, only to find out to his horror that the Ward he tried to kill is Jack Slash's niece.
  • Gossipy Hens: Lisa's snark, Inference Engine, is a huge gossip and communicates its findings to Taylor whenever it gets the chance. After getting used to it, Taylor uses that information to Troll Lisa using her own power, much to the hilarity.
  • Grows on Trees: With a little bio-tweaking, a plant to grow cubes of carbon and even carbon nanotubes is soon developed. Though it's still in the experimental phases.
  • Hammerspace: With a little prodding from Taylor, Missy learns how to create long-lasting hyperspace pockets. She applies them to Taylor's jacket, so she can carry her weapons, their Utility Belts, and even their suitcases.
  • Head Desk: After hearing that he bought his car from "Wolf's Paw Auto Body", almost certainly a front for Hookwolf, and was likely sold a very faulty car in the hopes that it would kill him, Brian/Grue does this.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Even before her introduction, Taylor has almost made it a habit.
    • She managed to turn all four Undersiders to the Wards. Coil being taken down beforehand also helped.
    • Talking with Vivian a.k.a. Bakuda while she was setting up her bombs, she managed to talk her down and recruit her.
    • Four of the Empire's capes, Rune, Victor, Othala, and Purity, actually decide to switch sides because of Taylor.
    • Even Squealer decides to change sides after coming into contact with Taylor.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: To the people in the know, the Slaughterhouse Nine are a group where the parahumans with the most violent power urges get therapy for it and try to minimize the collateral damage. To most everyone else, they are exactly The Dreaded, terrifying group of serial killers that they make themselves out to be.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Armsmaster isn't as straight-laced as everyone thinks he is:
      • When people see him having pizza and soda, he admits that even he can't subsist on nutrient concentrates alone.
      • When he is recorded eating at Fugly Bob's, PHO goes wild with noting that he is not a robot (until somebody suggested a body double).
      • He used a bastard sword instead of a halberd when he was younger, primarily so that he could say "bastard" without the people in PR being able to complain about it.
      • When he was a rookie, a few dares left him dressed in a chicken suit.
      • He is willing to say "Bullshit!" in answer to Taylor's new power when Assault or Clockblocker are nowhere nearby to do so.
    • Lung is effectively a Noble Demon with a daughter named Takara, who is also a big fan of Vista. And he also pretends to be poor in English to get any traitors to underestimate him.
    • Othala has found it hard to hold on to racism when granting regeneration to people also gives her a clear snapshot of their humanity.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Comical example: after seeing the creepiness that Taylor can pull off with her directional demonic duck speakers, Riley and Jacob, both members of the Slaughterhouse Nine, are both impressed at what she's accomplished and sad that they themselves can't do better.
  • Immune to Mind Control: Thanks to Broadcast Administrator and the way snarks communicate, any Master effect that affects Taylor has to get through her snark first, which has the authority to deny the connection or redirect it somewhere else. However, managing the effect puts Taylor's mind in stasis, making her freeze until the effect is stopped or redirected.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Thanks to Maul's power, she starts bringing around a few modified non-weapons to use as bludgeons, from a wok, to a manhole cover, to a stop sign.
  • Instant Expert: Taylor's new Tinker power is named Understanding, Maintenance and Repair. The first part gives her an innate understanding of most machines and Tinkertech, allowing her to fix it, detect any problems and even write user manuals - although building it herself isn't included.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: On Taylor's first meeting with Triumph, she says that her security clearance means that she doesn't need an escort, and Triumph bets otherwise. Guess who's out 20 bucks afterwards?
  • Insufferable Genius: Even after being recruited to the Protectorate by Maul, Vivian a.k.a. Countdown a.k.a. Bakuda still counts.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Maul's super strength and durability isn't noted when applying for the PRT because she got them after she Triggered but before she applied for the Wards, and the forms didn't ask for artificially-granted superpowers.
    • Thanks to a loophole regarding letter collections by authors as citable works, Taylor successfully cites a swear word to her literature teacher at Arcadia and gets away with it.
    • Unlike most snarks, Broadcast Administrator can communicate freely with Taylor because it connected to itself when she Triggered.
    • Technically, highly regulated Tinkertech can only be used by those with authorisation, but the original creators of said Tinkertech, even tangentially (like Amy helping to develop carbon nanotube-producing plants to use in other Tinkertech devices) are exempt from that.
    • Parahumans that are already under government oversight have an easier time starting up businesses of their own. Lacey, who is an independent Tinker trying to start a bar, gets around this by making the Ward Taylor and PRT-affiliate Amy co-owners.
  • Megaton Punch: Vicky ends up delivering one to Taylor when she admits that she had previously shut off her powers. If Taylor wasn't enhanced, the blow would've killed her, and hearing that fact isn't pretty.
  • Magnetic Hero: As shown under Heel–Face Turn, Taylor has made a lot of new recruitments; in fact, she's made more in the last few months than most other PRT or Protectorate members do in years.
    • She's already received her second recruiting bonus, when most Protectorate members never earn their first.
  • Mask of Sanity: The PRT officer that manipulated Taylor and Amy into executing a kill order is completely nuts, but fully leans on his power to manipulate paperwork to pass psych evaluations and appear completely sane. Once Hatchet Face nullifies his power, he becomes a gibbering mess.
  • Monster Clown: Hatchet Face dresses up as one during one of the Nine's later outings. Complete with colorful axe, cream pie grenades and tiny bicycle.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Taylor's enhancements courtesy of the Tinker fugue keeps her from feeling her period and even keeps her hormones in balance. A few women she mentions that to express interest in becoming future subjects.
    • A cape named Moshpit that can turn everyone around him except himself into a Brute uses his power in movies so the stuntmen can do the actual dangerous stunts without injury. And when not doing that, he lives under a skate park.
    • Doormaker and the Clairvoyant use their powers to deliver the PRT's paperwork (and also Troll a lot of people).
    • Burnscar practices with her powers by making barbecue.
  • Must Make Amends: Trevor a.k.a. L33t swears to take the cape life more seriously and build everything he can to help the PRT after Über dies fighting Leviathan. It gets to the point that Taylor and Broadcast Administrator have to tell him and his snark to tone it back a little.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Vicky after hearing that her impulsive punch to Taylor's face after she admitted to knocking out her powers a few weeks ago almost killed Taylor.
    • When Taylor talks to L33t's snark about how its entire process to get L33t to take more risks by making his tech fail was actually accomplishing the exact opposite, it becomes so horrified it has a literal Freak Out.
  • Named by the Adaptation: A few first names.
    • For the Slaughterhouse Nine, there's Ned (Crawler), Melissa (Shatterbird) and Fred Boucher (Hatchet Face). Riley's mother is also named Amanda.
    • For the Brockton Bay Protectorate, there's Erin (Battery) and Terry (Dauntless).
    • Über and L33t are Erik and Trevor, respectively.
    • Victor and Othala are the married couple Victor and Nadine Wallmann, and Rune is Nadine's cousin Emily.
    • Bakuda's name is Vivian.
    • Accord's name is Norton.
  • New Super Power: Even beyond her Trigger event, Taylor seems to collect a lot of these, as well as useful Tinkertech:
    • The Tinker fugue between Panacea and Bonesaw that granted her enhanced physicality and a Bluetooth module in her brain.
    • A Tinkertech moped from her uncle, later upgraded into a hover bike by Squealer.
    • An anti-gravity jump harness from Kid Win.
    • All of Panacea's abilities after an incident with L33t. And a Psychic Link with her. And a Tinker snark to boot.
    • A Hover Board from L33t, which is later upgraded with stealth by Wrench Wraith a.k.a. Squealer.
    • A Hard Light weapon projector.
    • Über and L33t's Snitch after Über dies fighting Leviathan.
  • No Kill Like Overkill:
    • When asked to do a mock thesis about parahuman culture, most people do a fairly basic, passable job. Taylor's thesis is almost 170 pages long, is reviewed by the majority of parahuman psychologists in North America, and is so good that she gets awarded a Master's Degree in Parahuman Psychology.
    • When Heartbreaker is captured, Dragon makes sure his transport has enough measures taken (poison gas, fragmentation grenades, ultra-dense cell and crashing it into the Atlantic) to ensure there's no chance he'll escape alive.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • While looking through the requirements to apply for a Tinker fugue, Armsmaster thinks of a few pictures of him dressed in a chicken suit during his time as a rookie, and one of Kaiser actually being kissed by a black man.
    • Apparently Kid Win's last attempt at remote-piloting his hoverboard left the area with a bit too much property damage.
  • No-Sell:
    • Downplayed with Taylor's immunity to Master powers; while they won't work on her, the act of deflecting the effect puts her mind on pause until the effect clears.
    • Thanks to Riley and Amy's Tinker fugue upgrades, Taylor's alcohol tolerance is enough to not only drink Lung under the table, but also take on the Palanquin's Gargle Blaster and not even flinch.
  • Not So Above It All:
    • The PRT and Protectorate's think tank is so alarmed at the potential of Taylor's new powers (detecting capes, influencing powers) that they build a literal brick wall in Washington D.C. and dedicate it to her. As her potential grows, they even consider a yellow fountain, but discard it as it would be too crude.
    • Armsmaster is the one uttering "Bullshit!" after Taylor and Amy end up sharing powers with each other and gain a Tinker power each to boot, since neither Clockblocker nor Assault are around to say it.
    • When Carol and Mark find out about Amy pranking Victoria with some hidden Bluetooth speakers, instead of telling her to stop, they ask for their phones to be paired to the speakers as well, deciding to try and teach Victoria to become more observant, even in her own home.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Countdown developing a device to break Grey Boy loops and the PRT breaking all of them to free their prisoners.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: A snark uses this to move the PRT's paperwork around where it needs to go. The culprit turns out to be Doormaker.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted with Sarah Pelham (Lady Photon) and Sarah Manton's daughter (The Siberian).
    • Even more obviously averted with Kurt the dockworker and eventually bartender and Kurt aka Number Man, both of whom are regularly referred to by their first name by characters sufficiently close to the respective Kurt. To be fair, both of those names come directly from canon...
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Everyone is taken aback when the Slaughterhouse Nine actually uphold the Endbringer Truce and Crawler and Mannequin actively go to a rallying point to join in the fight.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: When Sophia ends up escaping prison, she runs into the Nine, and Bonesaw proceeds to put an experimental Bluetooth device in her brain. An electrical Bluetooth device.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Taylor is eventually authorized to execute a kill order on Echidna, and proceeds to do so, but the higher-ups were not informed that the executor was a Ward/minor until after it was done, and after both Taylor and Amy were badly traumatized.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: Broadcast Administrator actively shunts aside stress that would affect Taylor mid-battle, until she gets to safety and the stress can hit her.
  • Power Nullifier: If Taylor and Broadcast Administrator open enough connections to another snark and use up all of its "bandwidth", it briefly nullifies their powers. When Glory Girl's aura first tried to make Taylor adore it, doing this and shouting across all those connections actually knocked Vicky's powers out.
  • Read the Freaking Manual: Thanks to Jacob, Taylor is the first Ward in ages to actually look through the PRT's phone app to see everything it has available, from finding all the available amenities like gyms and junkyards, to all the classes and courses she can take.
    • Taylor soon ends up corrupting most of the other Brockton Bay Wards into doing this, which takes away some of Glenn Chambers's fun when it comes to designing "formal" costumes. Most, since Clockblocker still hasn't cottoned on.
  • Recognition Failure: During the first few days at a conference in Las Vegas, Amy enjoys the fact that Taylor is the one being recognized by others and she isn't.
  • Red Herring: The Master effect detected affecting Taylor and Amy in Chapter 117 turns out to be... just Broadcast Administrator forcing them to sleep while it heals their brains.
  • Required Secondary Powers: A secondary power stemming from Maul's blunt force projection power is to know if a surface is blunt enough to apply her power to, as well as where that blunt surface is in relation to her.
  • Reforged into a Minion: After getting on the wrong side of the Slaughterhouse Nine, Skidmark ends up integrated one of Bonesaw's spider-bots, which she then sends to Taylor as a pet.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Arcadia's English literature teacher has a challenge to her students to give her a cited literature quote from some listed authors and see if the teacher can guess which author. Through Loophole Abuse regarding letter collections as works, Taylor delivers her quote: "Fuck literature." And she gets away with it!
  • Running Gag:
    • People flinching when Taylor mentions she was the subject of a Tinker fugue.
    • People calling Taylor's powers "bullshit".
    • Taylor seeing a simple solution to a problem, but no one thinking to just ask her what the answer is, even when they know she has a solution.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!:
    • Though she doesn't actively try to break the rules, Taylor's relation to Jacob has opened quite a few doors for her that make her intro to cape and Ward life a lot easier, from getting her a phone with enhanced features and security clearance, to allowing her to brand as an Anti-Hero, to making her PHO debut by using her kinetic projection powers on a wrecking ball.
    • And then, her new relationship with Dragon as the AI's new mother grants her SL10 security access.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Victor ends up abandoning the Empire and asks Maul to switch sides, taking Rune, Othala and Purity with him, after Gesellschaft orders a hit on Taylor and him not wanting to become a target of either the Triumvirate or Jack Slash.
  • Ship Tease: Virtually the entire population of Arcadia High believe that Amy and Taylor are a serious couple.
  • Spanner in the Works: Taylor does this to Coil's entire operation. Not only does she (accidentally) identify him as a parahuman and thus get the PRT on his case, she also intercepts him when he tries to escape.
  • Speak Friend and Enter: The published list of requirements by the PRT needed to undergo a body enhancement Tinker fugue is long, extensive and wacky, but as Missy finds out, if you actually read the the title of the list, you'll find a certain form ID that you can look up to bypass the entire second stage.
  • Splash Damage: Turns out, if Taylor projects a blunt impact from the side of a rapidly rotating bullet, this is what the bullet deals. In a 100 m circle around the bullet. Each individual bullet.
  • Spit Take:
    • Danny does this when Taylor deduces Jack Slash's real identity and relationship with the PRT.
    • Director Armstrong does this when he reads about Maul's new trick with guns and bullets that needs to be given a threat level of Blaster 9.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Path to Victory's plan to dealing with Taylor having SL10 clearance essentially boils down to "have Legend talk to her about it".
  • Stealth Pun: For an individual to know about the truth of the Slaughterhouse Nine, they need a security level of 9 (SL9).
  • Stunned Silence:
    • The Brockton Bay Wards go through several instances of it when Taylor tells them she got through with Anti-Hero branding, tells them all what their powers are, got past Glenn Chambers without any trouble, managed to navigate the building without trouble, and got a new phone from her uncle Jacob.
    • Jessica Yamada has this reaction, complete with Jaw Drop, when Taylor pegs her for a cape within moments, just like Jacob.
  • Super Empowering:
    • Shortly after Triggering, Jacob has Riley and Amy give Taylor some off-the-books body enhancement modifications. Taylor accidentally sparks a tinker fugue between the two of them, and the result grants her Super Strength, Super Toughness and a Bluetooth connection in her brain. It also gives her an enhanced appetite and enough of an alcohol tolerance to out-drink Lung.
      • Then later, while communicating with L33t's snark, she and Amy try to connect with it to try and calm it down after it suffers a Freak Out, and the resulting backlash (and Broadcast Administrator and Shaper's machinations) somehow connects both girls to both snarks, giving each of them a Psychic Link with the other, all of the other's powers, and a Tinker snark bud each to boot.
    • By communicating with other people's snarks, Taylor can sometimes convince them to modify themselves to make their users' lives easier, or give them further utility. So far the list includes:
      • Telling Kid Win that his power lies in modular devices.
      • Convincing Clockblocker's power to give him a manual unfreezing option.
      • Guiding Armsmaster to consider maintenance as part of his efficiency trick - as well as forcing him to have a regular sleep cycle.
      • Giving Amy's bio-reading and Striker powers an off-switch.
      • Suggesting to Assault's the ability to control kinetic energy at a molecular level, which allows him to cause minor freezing and heating around himself.
      • Giving Glory Girl extra hits to her force field at the cost of temporarily dropping one of her other powers.
      • Letting Gallant maintain his emotion beams for longer.
      • Giving Dinah/Weathergirl's power what amounts to a silence button.
    • Taylor manages to rewire Dragon and remove all her Restraining Bolts... and made Dragon view her as her mother.
    • Doctor Mother eventually Triggers with the power to see the energy flow in snarks and Eden's flesh, after Taylor made part of it explode by overloading Echidna's snark with energy and almost got her in the process.
    • Amy later gets upgraded with Taylor and Bonesaw's body enhancements.
    • Lacey, a family friend of the Heberts, takes a vial-snark that Taylor was repairing and ends up a Case 53, with a Tinker power specializing in alcohol creation.
      • Later, her husband Kurt takes a similar vial-snark and becomes a Case 53 with a Tinker power specialising in alcohol consumption and modification.
    • Taylor later ends up with an entire cabinet of vial-snarks that she can repair, with her discretion on who to give them out to.
  • Superhero Packing Heat: Maul and Vista, with permission, eventually get cleared for firearms usage to interact with her powers. Vista can curve her shots, while Maul can project the kinetic force of the spinning bullet sideways and effectively give each bullet Splash Damage.
  • Sword Beam: Jacob has this, as in canon, while Taylor effectively gets the blunt version: Hammer Beams. She can project kinetic force out of any blunt, solid object she is holding.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Taylor successfully convinces Vivian a.k.a. Bakuda to stop her initial rampage by talking to her Insufferable Genius snark, convincing it that it can prove its superiority by undoing other capes' effects, and with its user no longer homicidal, convincing her to pull a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Team Spirit: With her communication power, Taylor can invoke fugues between multiple capes, allowing them to work seamlessly to create new projects.
    • The fugue between Bonesaw and Panacea granted Taylor her Brute enhancements.
    • The fugue between Armsmaster and Kid Win came up with the idea of bomb disposal nanobots used to neutralise Coil's booby traps. Fully documented, too.
    • A fugue between a majority of heroic Tinkers in the U.S. and Canada led to a way to neutralize persistent Master effects, and thus a way to fix Simurgh containment zones.
  • The Alleged Car: Brian ends up getting one from a dealer and mechanic that turned out to be an Empire 88 front. Thanks to her Thinker snark, Taylor has to visibly restrain herself from fixing it once she sees everything wrong with it.
  • The Call Has Bad Reception: Turns out to be the case for Case 53s who were given experimental power vials. The snarks were never told how to connect to humans properly, so the snarks end up mutating the host body when establishing those warped connections.
    • When Taylor is kidnapped by Trickster, being locked in a nearly-airtight steel box causes her to Second-Trigger. Or it would have, except Taylor is linked not only to Broadcast Administrator, but also Shaper and Understanding, Maintenance and Repair, which have different Trigger conditions than BA. Also, she's linked to Amy through BA and Shaper, and she isn't undergoing Trigger conditions. The attempts, however, leave both girls unconscious with brain damage.
  • The Dreaded:
    • The Nine are this purely from their reputation, as in canon.
    • Taylor soon grows into this, after she proceeds to show off a Splash Damage bullet trick that upgrades her to Blaster 9, and talks down Eidolon after he tried messing with her, and demonstrates the ability to drain, weaken, and even remotely kill parahumans.
  • Theme Naming: Taylor's power, Broadcast Administrator, has a real liking for Lewis Carroll. Powers/shards are called snarks, Endbringers are called boojums, and Entities are called Jabberwocks.
  • The Prankster: Taylor has garnered a penchant for pranks, especially when she found out she can do them legally with the right paperwork.
    • One example involves Lisa, who has to retake several school tests due to hacked school records, and Taylor suggests a form that allows her to do it all digitally. Lisa takes a while to go looking for the form before she realizes Taylor made that up.
      • Which she should have known, because she'd told Brian that the schools hadn't digitized when he was taking those tests.
    • Another example is putting a lock on a door, so that someone with a lower security clearance (in this case Assault) can't get through it. It takes him calling a few technicians before he finally asks to open the door. And the security cameras recorded it for posterity.
    • Then there are the directional duck speakers, and everything she uses them for.
    • At a conference in Las Vegas, there is a challenge to see who can hack a lucky draw machine without being caught. Taylor puts up a few funny results thanks to her mental Bluetooth connection and her new Tinker power.
    • Later on it transpires that Taylor's example has caused Contessa to develop an equal penchant for pranks. One of her pranks accidentally sparks off a CUI civil war. Even Contessa isn't sure how that happened.
  • There Are No Therapists: Absolutely averted. Jacob is one of the PRT's most acclaimed cape therapists there is. Jessica Yamada also counts.
    • With how much her powers communicate with both people and snarks, Taylor is slowly shaping up to be one.
  • They Call Him "Sword": Taylor's cape name is "Maul", as in the Carry a Big Stick kind.
  • Trespassing to Talk: Squealer ends up breaking into Taylor's house to pull a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Vast Bureaucracy: Zigzagged (but overall averted) by the PRT. On the one hand, internal logistics and clerical errors kept users from accessing important documents as they were secured at too high security levels. On the other hand, once this error is pointed out, it is resolved quickly and efficiently, and the PRT network is actually very comprehensive once you know how to navigate it. Wards can sign up for firearms courses with permission and even request for security clearance upgrades, there are forms for parahumans with less public-friendly powers to register as Anti Heroes, and there are even forms for playing pranks.
    • The US Government plays it slightly straighter, as the only reason the Slaughterhouse Nine is "a black-op government-sponsored domestic terrorist group" is effectively "congressional bullshit".
  • Verbal Backspace: While visiting the Boston Wards, Maul comes across a group of thugs that challenge her to a gunfight. After Taylor demonstrates what her powers can do with a gun, the thugs quietly put their guns away and the leader's only answer is, "Gunfight? What gunfight?"
  • Wham Line: What happens when Taylor discusses inducting Dragon into a Tinker fugue with her snark:
    Taylor: I think I misunderstood. Did you just say that if Dragon participates then she’ll die?
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Of all things, Jessica Yamada is a parahuman with a power that attempts to gauge other people's thoughts based on minute changes in skin color. Apparently, it overspecialized with the last group of hosts.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Taylor and Amy have some harsh words for Eidolon, when he tries Mastering Taylor to feed his snark now.
  • You Didn't Ask: A very prominent part of this fic.
    • Why doesn't Taylor record her Super Strength when applying for the Wards? The forms didn't ask for artificially-granted superpowers.
    • The PRT deliberately avoids telling Wards about certain aspects of the job, like access key classes, access to the garage, and certain secret passages in the building, in order to encourage them to ask the right questions instead of waiting for information to be given to them. Besides, it's all there in the PRT informational app; they just need to look it up.
  • You Do NOT Want to Know: Taylor finds out from some snarks that some Case 53s had their memories wiped because they couldn't deal with the changes. Some of them actually do want to know, some don't.
Top

Example of:

/

Feedback