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Charm Learning Shard (Worm/Exalted)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Daniel Snuts, Apr 24, 2022.

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  1. Alucard 109

    Alucard 109 Not too sore, are you?

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    I think that it's actually a miscommunication. Flechette's power supposedly makes items exist in all dimensions. Most people think that means as in parallel universes, but it would actually make more sense if they meant as in spacial dimensions. Meaning length, height, width, and all the higher dimensions we don't actually exist in and therefore can't really visualize.
     
    Eyemore, space turtle and Zxzx24 like this.
  2. Logos01

    Logos01 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    You ever heard of quantum immortality? It's the inverse of that: in at least one of the infinite potential timelines the spot her attack is hitting will have been weak to that attack. And that's the timeline that gets forced to be real.
     
  3. Earth-Destroyer

    Earth-Destroyer Versed in the lewd.

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    The shard Sting purpose is to be the ultimate offensive weapon. It one the few the entities actively work to improve on purpose, not leaving it to random chance. It incorporates everything the entities has ever discovered about bypassing or ignoring all types of defense.
     
  4. omegasrevenge

    omegasrevenge The Epic of Alexander (Ultimate)

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    So I checked out the Worm wiki, and this is a direct quote from there:
    In other words, the only thing we really know is that it can make its target, like a projectile, ignore the laws of physics, and everything else, including what "all realities" mean is just speculation.
     
  5. lurkinglurker

    lurkinglurker Making the rounds.

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    I figured the pharma rep was a PRT plant to get easy targets for Armsmaster to arrest.
     
  6. Akuma-Heika

    Akuma-Heika The Devil Exists Within

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    Why would the German be turned into an English name? Was their an actual Hale Hortler, Neo-Nazi failure?
     
  7. Doc Sithicus

    Doc Sithicus Getting sticky.

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    It's a niche meme.

    Also as mentioned by OP, people who fake attacks by neonazis quite often don't even know how to draw the swastika properly.

    Look up Morton Downey Jr. He was a American television talk show host and generally shit human being. He wanted to get headlines and fame (and to save his show from cancellation) thus he faked an attack in an San Francisco International Airport bathroom - he claimed he got jumped by a bunch on neonazis that beat him up, tried to shave his head and scrawled a swastika on his face. Unfortunately for him swastika was painted on his face backwards (he did it to himself in a mirror) and pretty much everyone realised that his story was bunk. Netflix even made a documentary about him - Évocateur.

    For quite a long time his name was a synonym for a fake hate crime - until he got replaced by Jussie Smollett.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2022
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  8. Daniel Snuts

    Daniel Snuts Know what you're doing yet?

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    Magic.

    Really, the best way to approach the nitty-gritty of Worm power mechanics is to just say 'magic' and not think about it too hard. As evidenced by what happened when the author accidentally thought too hard about Coil's power.
     
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  9. Edifier

    Edifier Trusted within thoughts.

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    Rl nazis in the comments make me roll my eyes so much. Jeez.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2022
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  10. Megaolix

    Megaolix Moderator

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    Just a quick reminder and all since it's just a few posts that grabbed my eye. We all know neonazis are bad, but let's still not discuss the RL ones on QQ, please. Rule 8 and all.
     
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  11. Threadmarks: L.21
    Daniel Snuts

    Daniel Snuts Know what you're doing yet?

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    After your brief (but immensely satisfying) encounter with Armsmaster, things settle down into smooth sailing once more. Hookwolf is considerably more tolerable to be around now that you don't interact with each other directly anymore, and you make good progress on studying Othala's power.

    It might just be your imagination, but is the discipline in the dojo ever so slightly better ever since the standard punishment changed from 'having your limbs broken' to 'having to tutor Low Key'? Well if so, at least you're sufficiently aware of your shortcomings as a student to be more amused than offended.

    If only he'd have come up with this method of dealing with you from the start, the big dumb jerk would still have his stupid fighting pits.

    You're getting on well with Labyrinth too. She still doesn't speak, but she hardly ever conjures swords or thorny plants or rusty, bloodied meat hooks to point at you anymore.

    In addition to Death Jungle World and Rusty Weapons Palace and Painfully Stereotypical Horror Asylum she also has access to a number of nicer places that show up when she's feeling less insecure. You're currently enjoying what you've mentally dubbed the Overgrown Royal Gardens.

    The space between you is considerably wider than it used to be, and recessed in a way that shouldn't be possible without blocking off the dance floor downstairs. Not that any of this is a problem for Labyrinth. The impossible area is taken up by an impromptu giant chess set - something you suggested to pass the time. The floor has changed into the appropriate black and white tiles, and the pieces are weathered, ivy-covered statues with something of a greek or roman air about them. Sunlight streams in from nowhere in particular.

    The statues are far too big for you to push around (and she'd get upset if you moved closer to her anyway), so Labyrinth has been phasing them in and out of existence in order to carry out your moves. Turns out she's terrible at chess, but then again so are you. At one point her king was left in check for three moves before either of you noticed.

    You do have the excuse of being focused on her power, but it would be just that, an excuse. You're terrible at chess. It's an oddly refreshing thought, because it's something that you would never have been able to admit a year ago, even to yourself. Because it would imply that you weren't smart.

    Which you're not, particularly. But everyone needs to have something going for them, and you certainly weren't pretty, or rich, or strong or popular. So you clung to being smart. Well, that and nice, which ahahahaha- no. But you were certainly a borderline genius whose grades were being kept down by the people stealing your homework, and not some random loser with no redeeming features whatsoever.

    Perhaps you wouldn't complain if someone were to call you cunning. Insidious, to keep so many lies going. But your plans have a distinct tendency to be terrible, for all that they usually more or less work out in the end. None more terrible than 'just tough it out, Winslow won't last forever' (and it too did work out, because without the worst day of your life you'd never have met Fenrir).

    It actually feels good to be able to say it: Your name is Taylor Hebert, and you're a bit of a dumb-dumb. And a girl who can't even tell what dimension she's in half the time just took your queen with a pawn.

    Speaking of things working out, Thursday sees another downright placid session in Hookwolf's dojo. You'd estimate that you're halfway done with Othala already.

    Yes, everything is going so smoothly that soon enough you will have to find new goals, new targets. Well, you could always just continue on to Spitfire, it's not like you're hurting for money. You haven't placed any priority on simplistic energy projection powers simply because they are so common: You can get those anywhere. But if you have some free time coming up there's no reason not to.

    Strictly speaking the ability to spit fire is mostly redundant now, since your mind-hands already provide an excellent short- to medium-range non-physical combat option. But if nothing else it would let you support additional identities.

    Flight is in a similar spot. Not only is it very common, you've decided to wait and see what you get from Glory Girl before taking any further steps in that direction. Yes, Glory Girl is ticking along too, preventing your entirely unnecessary schooling from becoming too boring.

    Perhaps once you've finished with her you should have another go at the ABB, to see if you can get a version of Oni Lee's disposable clones that last long enough to go to school in your place. The realization that you can (probably) guide what shape a stolen power takes has certainly opened up new vistas for you.

    (Oh, if only every cape was as agreeable as Vista)

    Alec has voiced a desire to hang out more, now that you think about it. But the straightforward way to study his power in the long term (ie becoming a slave puppet) has certain obvious downsides that you ideally should resolve before you start going down that road.

    The Empire is also full of interesting people. But Rune's unreasonably complicated power is lagging behind, and you can't request a new schedule until you have that one down. At least switching partners shouldn't be a problem once that's finally done: Requesting a transfer would hurt her feelings enough that she wouldn't want to hang out with you anyway.

    Speaking of Rune, on your way home from the dojo you receive a text on your empire phone. It reads 'Don't say I didn't warn you. XOXO, Rune', followed by a link to a PHO thread. That's concerning. These phones aren't meant for personal business, which means she was so eager to get her revenge on you for not posting the Armsmaster video that she convinced someone in ops to pass the message along instead of waiting until the next time you met. Despite your earlier dismissal of her threats, it's with some trepidation that you go online to check it out.

    "That bitch!" you exclaim to nobody in particular on seeing what she did. Your finger move on their own to type out a scathing reply, before you stop and take a deep breath. You're not angry. If you're angry, she wins. You are calm, and disappointed.

    Welcome to the Parahumans Online Message Boards
    You are currently logged in, Low Key (Verified Cape)
    You are viewing:
    • Threads you have replied to
    • AND Threads that have new replies
    • OR private message conversations with new replies
    • Thread OP is displayed
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    You have 3 infractions.

    ■​

    ♦ Private message from Rune (Verified Cape):

    Rune: You didn't post the video! See what happens when you don't post the video?
    ■​

    ♦Topic: Refusal, four faults (cape footage)
    In: Boards ► Places ► America ► Brockton Bay
    Rune (Original Poster) (Verified Cape) (Temp-banned)
    Posted on March 31, 2011:

    video link

    (Showing Page 1 of 2)

    ► Low Key (Verified Cape)
    Replied on March 31, 2011:
    I can't believe you posted that. You're the second-worst best friend I've ever had.

    ► will_eat_anything
    Replied on March 31, 2011:
    You can't just post something like that and leave it there. What did your worst best friend do?

    ► Low Key (Verified Cape)
    Replied on March 31, 2011:
    trigger event

    ►rrqn
    Replied on March 31, 2011:
    Damn, girl!

    ►will_eat_anything
    Replied on March 31, 2011:
    I was going to turn this into a 'worst best friend stories' thread, but nvm. Low Key wins.

    ► Mustachioed Pierogi
    Replied on March 31, 2011:
    I hope you fall off the roof next time, nazi *****!

    -User received a warning for this post. Reason: Language.

    ► rosalind91
    Replied on March 31, 2011:
    You leave her alone! She saved me, she's a bigger hero than anyone in the Protectorate.

    ►Mustachioed Pierogi
    Replied on March 31, 2011:
    Saved you from what? Having to tolerate other races?

    ► Low Key (Verified Cape)
    Replied on March 31, 2011:
    youths

    ► Rune (Original Poster) (Verified Cape) (Temp-banned)
    Replied on March 31, 2011:
    Feral *******, duh.

    -User received a suspension for this post. Reason: I can't take my eyes off of you for a minute, can I?
    End of Page. 1, 2

    Hmph. Serves her right.

    ---

    On Friday you walk in on Big Brain telling a story to a rapt audience. A tale about a man from sometime during the nation's youth, you deduce from the presence of Indians ("feather, not dot") and frenchmen on the same continent. A military man, who turns out to be a bit of a glory-seeking asshole, and a bit of a war criminal.

    You expect the twist to be that he's talking about some famous abolitionist figure you've never heard of. But no, turns out the hero of the tale was one George 'Town Destroyer' Washington. Huh. You must have slept through that part of history class.

    Big Brain skips lightly over the war of independence, then starts going into more detail as George and his cronies start planning a coup d'état. Wait, what?

    Okay, let's see if you have this straight: The Articles of Confederation were a perfectly good basis for government, but George and a bunch of other rich guys who had lent money for the war were unhappy about the rate at which they were being paid back? They wanted to greatly increase the amount taxes the government could levy, and thus the Constitution was born?

    On the one hand, greedy rich people make for great unsympathetic antagonists. On the other, they were owed money, and if the people voted for-

    Oh, the people didn't vote for it? Through means ranging from simple lying to straight up manhandling delegates, the Constitution was put into place with considerably less than 50% approval among the voting public.

    Still, you're surprised to find anti-Constitution sentiment here. Oughtn't they love the first amendment, which lets them express their particular political opinions without being rounded up on the spot?

    Oh, right. That's an amendment, not part of how ol' Town Destroyer originally envisioned the thing. A compromise with the anti-federalists. Who, to hear Big Brain tell it, had a hundred other issues that didn't make it into the bill of rights, though he doesn't specify what those were. You should probably look that up at some point.

    "This laid the groundwork that would eventually lead to the Tyrant Lincoln and the War of Northern Aggression..." Okay, that's more like what you expected to hear, but he has clearly reached the epilog for tonight. The next history lesson will no doubt be spicier. It is a bit funny to hear the Civil War referred to as 'the War of Northern Aggression' here in Connecticut, though. Eh, whatever. Your regular history class made it quite clear that everyone is supposed to feel bad about winning against the Indians, it's only fair that these guys get to feel bad about winning against the South.

    "Finally!" Rune says. Oh, you didn't notice her arrive. "We're late, you fucking history nerd."

    You elect to not mention how she also stayed to listen instead of interrupting. She's clearly a cool person and not some kind of nerd.

    About halfway through your patrol, your phone rings. You frown in confusion. That's your Empire phone, but orders are supposed to go to Rune (the 'senior cape') when you're on patrol together.

    "...Low Key," you answer it. You always take an extra second when answering a phone these days, to double check that the name you'll give matches the phone you're using.

    "Hey, it's Mike. We could use your help."

    "Shouldn't this go through ops?"

    "It's a personal matter. I know you're on duty, but..."

    "Yes?"

    "Well, we, uh... Look, here's the thing. We caught a domestic violence case. The policy is to drag the perp into the street and beat the shit out of them, but, uh..."

    "Yeees?"

    "Frankly, none of us here are comfortable striking a woman. So-"

    Ah. "So you figured that since I'm a violent psycho..."

    "You said it, not me."

    "Pretty sure you did say that, Mike. Just not to my face."

    "Well, where's the lie?" You can practically hear his insouciant shrug over the phone.

    You sigh. You weren't not going to help him. You just would have liked to make him squirm a bit first. But people who can be shamed into disavowing their beliefs don't exactly join the Empire in the first place.

    "Fine. Give me the address." You put your hand over the microphone. "Rune? Let me down please, I need to run an errand. I'll meet up with you at checkpoint six."

    ---

    Sven is waiting for you when you arrive. You park your wolf outside and let him show you to the right apartment. He gestures you towards the living room, but you stop when you catch sight of the victim through the kitchen door.

    He looks like a perfectly normal guy. Not the manliest of men perhaps, but not stereotypically weak either. There are bruises forming on his face and neck, his lower lip is split, and he has a nasty scalp wound that Alex is in the process of stitching up. You study him for a while, trying to find something that would let you recognize him as 'abuse victim' without the immediate clues. No, you suppose that if it was that easy to spot a victim, someone would have noticed you.

    You don't make a great big ass out of yourself by asking something stupid like 'are you alright?'. Nor do you ask 'why didn't you fight back?' and especially not 'what set her off?'. You know how it is.

    "How long has this been going on?" you ask instead.

    He looks up when he hears your voice, startles when he sees you're a cape ("Keep still while I'm sewing!" Alex hisses). He licks his lips and swallows a few times before answering.

    "A few months?" It's clearly a question. You shake your head. You're not the one who knows the answer. "Closer to a year, really."

    You nod. You don't ask 'why didn't you tell anyone?' or 'why didn't you leave her?'. You know how it is. Instead you simply leave. You have a bully to take apart.

    "Please don't drag her out into the street," he calls after you.

    'Why are you protecting her?' you don't ask. You just shake your head as you walk away. Not punishing her to the fullest extent of the law is not something that's on the table here.

    Mike is standing in the living room, holding a woman with both hands twisted behind her back. Judging by his expression, and the scratches on his face, he is fairly close to overcoming his sexist hangups and rendering your help unnecessary.

    The woman opens her mouth as you enter the room. Your fist closes it for her before you can find out whether she was about to request mercy or offer defiance.

    ---

    Once you're done you return to the apartment. Alex has finished treating the victim and packed up his supplies.

    "Pen," you say. Mike hands you one, along with a notebook. Of course Serious Policeman Mike has a notebook. You scribble a note, tear off the page.

    "You." You turn to the victim. "Get a divorce."

    He lets out out a startled laugh, unprepared for you to walk right up to the elephant in the room and punch it in the snout like that.

    "You obviously have reasons for not having done that already," you continue before he can respond further. "Fuck your reasons. Your reasons suck. You need to burn this chapter of your life to the ground, yesterday. In the meantime, here's my number. She lays one finger on you, you call me. And if I ever find out that you didn't call me when you should have? Then I'm coming for you too, and I'm a lot scarier than she is. Don't fuck this up."

    Harsh, perhaps, that last part. But necessary. You know what you would have done in his situation, before you got powers. Which is nothing.

    You leave without another word. The skinheads trail after you.

    "Thanks," Mike says. "We owe you one."

    "Gloves," you say without looking back.

    "Excuse me?"

    "Gloves. Black leather, size 6. Your dumb scruples got blood all over this pair."
     
  12. Prognostic Hannya

    Prognostic Hannya Knight of the Yuri Crusade

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    Jfc Taylor get out while you still can
     
  13. Rerororororororororo

    Rerororororororororo I love dogfighting

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    I think we need even more conspiracy theories. Taylor needs to get the full radicalization experience.
     
  14. goricnac

    goricnac I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    A solid 4 paragraphs to talking about the articles of confederation being the real basis for america and the constitution being a scam before the amendments, one of the more obscure but strongest held arguments for the mess that is the Lost Cause mythology. It's interesting seeing this fic be horrible in a new direction while staying to the theme of repeating white supremacist talking points.

    Edit: Oh wow, missed at first that she also equals the north winning against the south with the native american genocide, i guess the Winslow educational system really is that bad.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2022
  15. Waterfly

    Waterfly Not too sore, are you?

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    One would think she'd wait until she got both their soul's price just to be sure they didn't contain any clues that might change the context of the situation.
     
  16. Stanley_Jeb

    Stanley_Jeb I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Might be some faint level of morals at work I'm guessing. IIRC using soul's price is what causes it to come into being since it's part master ability, so if the guy's price had been for the abusive ex to get her comeuppance, Taylor would've inadvertently mastered him.
    Then again, Taylor's not exactly the most moral person, so chances are she just missed it or didn't want to arouse any suspicion, since Knowing The Soul's Price is her best kept secret.
     
  17. Logos01

    Logos01 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    I mean, what happened with the Carpetbaggers and the Reconstruction wasn't exactly roses and angel-cakes.

    You don't have to be a revisionist white supremacist to recognize that the Union did some seriously fucked up shit in the South during and after the Civil War.

    Hell. Many of the same generals who won the Civil War went directly on to use the same model of warfare during that very genocide of native Americans. Grant, Sherman, Sheridan... the list goes on.

    This once again drives home my point I've made too often in this thread: you can't "whitewash" one side of a narrative and expect anyone opposed to that side to just let that lie go unexploited.

    We've done heinous shit. Doing heinous shit to bad people doesn't make it not heinous shit.
     
  18. eeda

    eeda Not too sore, are you?

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    Well shit! Taylor need an intervention, Lisa you are up!
     
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  19. Earth-Destroyer

    Earth-Destroyer Versed in the lewd.

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    Every nation has done things in the past. The people that are alive right now are what matter, not stuff done in the past.
     
    lurkinglurker, Zxzx24 and Akuma-Heika like this.
  20. Eyemore

    Eyemore I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    To be fair, Winslow is a barely-staffed public school with practically zero oversight in a town where at the very least 5% of the inhabitants are nazi supporters/sympathizers and the underpaid teachers do need to buy food in that economic black hole we know as Brockton Bay :V
     
  21. Vealie

    Vealie Not too sore, are you?

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    The only way out is through! Don't pussy out now when you're so close to achieving the dopamine hit of new powers Taylor.

    The worse the better with this fic.
     
  22. Zxzx24

    Zxzx24 Not too sore, are you?

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    People are. In fact. Aware of that.

    Do yourself a favor and read.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism
     
    Atypical and DigBickBaddy like this.
  23. Logos01

    Logos01 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    • Rule 8 warning for bringing in RL neonazis after I stated to drop it too. Given I hit you not that long ago, I'm adding a 3-days threadban.
    1) I have found that many are unaware to the point of not even knowing about the Burning of Atlanta. It's simply not taught in schools the same way and for the same reasons that monocladistics are never mentioned in public schools.

    2) You've missed the entire fucking point of my statement.

    I'll spell it out simpler for you: when you dehumanize the enemy, you make it possible for the enemy to humanize himself in the eyes of others, and thereby gain sympathy both for himself and his positions.

    This is exactly why the multigenerational practice of ghostskinning has been so successful despite decades of warning by FBI reports. White supremacists "dress ordinary" and infiltrate government institutions for the purpose of spreading their message just without any of the obvious verbiage -- and by the time anyone figures out what a given individual is doing (if they ever do, which is rare) -- they've known said man as a "decent, honest man who I'd trust my life with" for over a decade, and let their kids play together and so on. Which is only possible because we all tell ourselves that "only monsters" can believe something as monstrous as race-hate. So obviously the white-supremacist things your friend and partner of years said -- that's not neonazism, that's just a good man letting off a little steam. And hey, it's not like the things he said were really wrong now were they? Who doesn't like it when rapists and murderers get the beat-down? Etc., etc., etc..

    That's not "whataboutism", sport, and fuck you for trying to paint me with the brush of white supremacism. I'm trying to convey a serious message about a serious problem, one that has only grown worse as people fail to address it:

    You do not defeat the Nazi by doing to the Nazi what the Nazi does.

    Dehumanizing is the problem. It must not be done.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2022
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  24. ungodlyone

    ungodlyone Making the rounds.

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    • Rule 8 warning. This is not a topic we want to see argued about here and I already put a warning in thread about the matter.
    People have tried treating nazis humanely and trying to treat them gently, allowing them to argue poinds and debate in the hopes they will be convinced by reason. All it ever results in is more nazis. There are zero treat-nazis-humanely spaces that do not directly support that cause. The cause being a white supremanist nazi.
     
  25. BigBnana

    BigBnana Getting out there.

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    Have you considered that, by the other posters logic, you have painted yourself as exactly the type of person they see as problematic and perpetuating the cycle? Got to be honest, logos is much more pleasant to read than your vitriol. Take 5 and touch grass, kid.
     
  26. Megaolix

    Megaolix Moderator

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    This topic is to be dropped. Immediately.
     
  27. anechoic

    anechoic they/them/theirs

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    I'm really hoping Taylor makes a break with the Nazis soon. Seeing her fall for their obvious soft-sell and buying into more and more of their worldview is viscerally unpleasant. I want to see her actually have to make a choice here, and ideally to grow a bit, to realize how she was being manipulated, maybe be a little less short-sighted in her quest for new charms.

    I am hopeful though, with the author having said things were going to start going off the rails...
     
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  28. Blackshard

    Blackshard ~

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    Tend to agree. Slippery Slope did the E88!Taylor thing well, since it started with a very in-character Taylor Hebert and had her react realistically to Nazi recruiting (in the process serving as a valuable demonstration of how a vulnerable person can be radicalized). Charm Learning Shard, by contrast, is effectively a story about an amoral powergamer wearing a Taylor Hebert disguise, and though said powergamer involves themselves with a number of factions for pure personal advantage. It'd be one thing if the quasi-Taylor protagonist was listening to Kaiser speechifying so as to steal their powers... instead, there's a lot of interaction with ordinary Nazis, who have been presented in a very sympathetic light, and with a lot of author attention and wordcount devoted to elaboration and justification of their ideology, which is... concerning.
     
  29. Akuma-Heika

    Akuma-Heika The Devil Exists Within

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    No way in Hell that anyone can convince everyone of that sentiment...not without more heinous actions anyway, which will likely spark new groups and the cycle continues. Eventually everyone dies, and everyone is avenged, so yay? Its depressing that xenocide is apparently the only correct answer that is completely 'fair.' Now I need a drink, but alcohol does not mix well with some of my meds :(
     
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  30. Zxzx24

    Zxzx24 Not too sore, are you?

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    It would even be better if there were actual stakes. Or maybe some drama.

    They E88 have been sanitized so much I don't even feel like shes in any danger. Which she probably isn't.

    Indeed everything has been kind of light on danger and consequence since joining them.

    Like mind controlling kid win being something that was literally just glossed over. Along with gaining his power.

    Felt like she had to actually EARN Rachel's power. Put some effort in. Make a meaningful sacrifice of her time.

    Not trying to bring this up again, but it was a reply to me. Thanks for replying. I appreciate it.
     
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