Thursday, February 12, 2015

Page 981

Hector rubbed his face, trying to clear his head again. He wasn’t sure where all these thoughts were coming from. Maybe it was just the Rainlords’ presence. He envied the bond they all shared. Even after nearly killing each other, they were still trying to work through everything together.

At length, Garovel rounded on him, wrapped in the echo of privacy. ‘How ya doin’, buddy? You’ve been staring out the window for a while now.

Oh, I’m fine,’ he said. Ramira had ceded the window seat to him. Now she was sitting perpendicular to him, adjacent her sister against the side of the limousine. ‘I was just, uh... er, lost in thought, I guess.

About what?’ said Garovel. ‘Ibai?

That wasn’t the correct answer, of course, but now that Garovel had brought it up, it seemed like a much more interesting subject for discussion. ‘What do you think of him?’ Hector asked.

Oh, I have no fucking idea,’ said Garovel.

You were awfully friendly with him back there...

We’re not here to make enemies, Hector.

Hector’s expression hardened. ‘We are if they’re going to kill innocent people.

Ha.’ Garovel returned that hollow stare of his. ‘Allow me to put it another way, then. If Ibai is our enemy, it’s better that he believes he’s our friend.

Hector looked out the window again. ‘Hmm...

And if he’s NOT our enemy, then he could be a very valuable ally. A power like his? Can you imagine how helpful that could be?

Hector could. ‘A good aberration... I’d like to believe it.

I think most of us would.

The trouble is knowing so.

It’s impossible to know. Even if he weren’t an aberration, it would be impossible. Anyone could betray us, under the right circumstances.

Yeah, but you know what I mean. It’s not the same.

Maybe it is the same. There are plenty of normal people out there who are complete lunatics, too, y’know. And all things considered, we really don’t know very much about aberrations.

I realize that. And I realize that Ibai might help us learn more about them. But that doesn’t mean I’m in a hurry to trust him.

Mm. Well, there’s no use worrying about it right now. And you look gloomy as hell in your little corner here. Let’s talk about something lighter.

Like what?

Like how much fun that fight against Darktide was!

Hector gave the reaper a look. ‘Fun?

Yeah. Y’know. Fun in a pants-shittingly-terrifying kind of way.


  1. I finished my archive binge just half an hour ago. And then I see that a new page has come out.

    My Reaction? Here it is:

  2. "Pants-shittingly-terrifying" is now my favorite description in the world

  3. I agree with Garovel, that cat-and-mouse chase between Darktide and Darksteel was funny in a pants-shittingly-terrifying way!! And of course let's be friendly with Ibai XD!!!

  4. I've been wondering if Ibai is really an aberration like the others. For one thing, I thought Damian said that the parents have to have the genes to become a reaper, and that their unborn baby has to have the soul of a reaper forced into it. So unless our understanding of the process of aberration creation is wrong or incomplete, Ibai was not an accident. Miles maybe? And then there is the whole soul consumption thing. Geoffrey ate people souls by Dominating them, Haqq said Lynnette could eat souls by burning them, and presumably the black hole dude ate souls by throwing them into a black hole. How would Ibai eat souls with his teleportation power?

  5. I'd say that he teleports them into his void and keeps them there. That's an option, no?

  6. It mentioned that he eats souls by killing them with his shadow and teleporting before the remains dissipate. I mentioned on 976 why I think that fits.

  7. It's supposed to be a mystery how Ibai came into existence...

  8. Actually, he can't turn an existing "fetcher" into his new body. What he can do is transform them into terrifying monster that he can probably unsoul-strengthen.

  9. I few weird thoughts I've been having about aberrations:

    1. They may not technically have an unusual psychology. Pain is something that all humans experience, at least occasionally from a very young age, and aberrations never do. I think that because they aren't used to feeling pain, aberrations have a very incomplete understanding of the idea of suffering. Because of this, they have difficulty feeling empathy for someone feeling something that they envy that person for (imagine how a lonely person might feel towards a popular one swarmed with sycophants they don't like), and they externalize their curiosity about pain because they so rarely have the opportunity to study it firsthand. They might develop their overly responsive reward system because without pain they are unfamiliar with the concept of stimulation of any kind actually being unpleasant.

    2. They must have a secondary way to consume souls that they use to body-surf, because most normal abilities would render the victim's body unusable by causing lethal damage to thee body before the soul is consumed.
    3. Abberations may have some startling weaknesses that balance against many of their strengths. While their lack of regeneration or durability may be balanced in most circumstances by their defense and ability to take a new body if the old one gets damaged, they have a power that is only confirmed to protect against physical blows. It may not protect as well against attacks that can't be physically blocked, such as poisons or Dimas's ability, or anything that forces the shield to block out air to protect its master. This would mean that a high-level servant with any of several specific powers could defeat any aberration given a good surprise attack, no matter how strong their shadow.
    Note that none of these things is confirmed, and I may have been wrong about any of them.

  10. Two possible typos here:
    "Now she was sitting perpendicular to him, adjacent [to] her sister against the side of the limousine."
    Not sure if you can use "adjacent" without preposition.

    "If Ibai is our enemy, it’s better that he believe[s] he’s our friend."

  11. First one is correct as is. The "to" is optional.

    The second is a little iffier. I think it probably is look more natural as "believes," so I went ahead and changed it, but I don't think "believe" is incorrect, either--just more archaic. But after searching for some hard rules on the subject, I came up with jack shit, so. WHATEVER. FIXED NOW, THANK YOU.

  12. I think that "believe" refers to him taking action relating to Garovel and Hector, where "believes" is more a state of mind with regard to them. Personally, I think it looked better as "believe", but don't change it on my account.

  13. Not really. Parson so conveniently being the one who "found out" about Ibai, and then being in such a perfect spot to use him as leverage against House Blackburn, it seems pretty obvious to me that he was responsible for Ibai's existence. Not sure who he got the technique from, but that was probably the easy part.
    He was also Parson's only confirmed mistake to date, not that the Rainlords let it matter. If they had agreed to Sanko's terms, she would have found out why House Blackburn was siding with Parson, and even if she didn't find any direct link, between clearing Blackburn of any other wrongdoing and the fact that he was using Ibai as leverage, she could have put two and two together.

  14. Welcome to the cult. Uhh, I mean readership.

  15. We know that Parson and Damian Rofal know each other, and Rofal is definitely aware of the aberration creation process. Parson really didn't seem to be very fond of Rofal, though.

    One thing that has been going around in my mind for a while is this: The Lord and Lady Blackburn had been trying for a child for quite a while when they started some kind of therapy -- maybe counseling, maybe fertility treatment. And suddenly, pregnant. I can't help but wonder whether the therapist had a hand in Ibai's creation. Sure, he might have been working for Parson... or anyone else, really.

  16. I hadn't remembered any indication that Parson knew Damien.
    I'm pretty sure that they had been using the process on all of the fetuses, killing all the non-reaper, and then one of them had the full set of reaper genes. I think the Rainlords and Sandlords have a few reaper strains in their bloodlines.

  17. While Parson was talking to the young Dunstan Rofal who happens to be a servant of the Vanguard.

    “Sir, please stop being so mysterious. Do you know my grandfather?”
    “I don’t know anyone named Damian Rofal, no.”
    “But you do remind me of someone I once knew. You have the same eyebrows he had.” [...]
    “Who was the man you were thinking of?”
    The Cpt. General took a second to respond. “He was a lunatic. The kind of person that the world is better off without.”

    I take it as a given that Parson is referring to the man we know as Damian Rofal, believing him to have died forty years ago.

    Parson really doesn't seem to have liked the guy much. As always, he might be lying, but to what end? If he had been chummy with the guy, there wouldn't have been any reason to bring him up at all. I'm guessing there really isn't much love between Parson and Damian Rofal, for whatever reason.

    Having Parson responsible for everything at this point would be too damn easy. Sure, when he noticed Ibai's condition, he took advantage of it, but this might just be his beloved improvisation.


    About the creation process: Sure, they definitely tried with every fetus and the unlucky ones just died. But this is opening an entire different can of worms -- these weren't unsuspecting muggles, they were servants. Shouldn't their reapers have noticed if something happened to the child's soul?

  18. No, because it would have been within the mother's body, completely hidden by her own soul.

    What puzzles me is how they could have missed the procedure itself being performed. If you're doing it to a normal person, there might not be any visible indication that anything is happening at all, but a reaper or a high-level servant should be able to see the at least the donor reaper.

  19. There's no need to hide it. We both know what is going on here. And we're fully embracing it.

  20. For all we know, the procedure has a range of 50 kilometers. It seems likely, but its never been outright stated that the process requires the captive reaper to be in the room.

  21. Reminds me a bit of the Dwarf Fortress usage of the word "fun". Which is to say, losing is fun.

  22. Is it confirmed that all aberrations can "body surf?" I thought that Geoffrey could do that as a growth or extension of his Domination power. The exposition between Geoffrey and Desmund wasn't too clear; it said that all aberration have shadow powers, but not the ability to control others. I considered taking control of another body to be part of the "Controlling others" bit, but it does seem strange that Desmund knew that body surfing was possible when he doesn't know the particulars about Geoffrey's power. That suggests that the shadow -which they all have - does, as you say, have a secondary ability to absorb souls and even help body swap. We'll have to read more a find out I guess. We have another aberration as a POV character now so we can learn more

  23. It's not confirmed, but it seems unlikely that aberrations with that one power would be able to perpetuate themselves that way, while all the others would be stuck in their non-regenerating bodies until they ground to a halt from accumulated wounds.

  24. I went back to the beginning of book 2, where Damian is in the morgue with Geoffrey's body, and it explicitly says that body jumping is possible because of Geoffrey's Domination ability.

  25. Ah, I see it, page 296. Although technically they didn't say that no other powers could do it, only that Domination meant he could. Actually, if any other power could do it, I bet it would be Teleportation.