WIP Crime and Commitment by serpentguy - T- Worm

Discussion in 'Worm' started by Nemrut, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Title: Crime and Commitment
    Author: serpentguy
    Rating: T
    Genre: Adventure
    Status: WIP
    Library Category: AU
    Pairings: None so far
    Summary: Taylor had always had doubts about what she was doing, even after she had changed her mind on being a superhero. What might have happened if she had focused on all the good she could do if she approached law and order from the other direction? What might have happened if she had given being a supervillain her full commitment?
    Words: 73,588
    Link: ff.net

    So, I posted this story a month ago in the almost recommended threat and had this to say:

    I stand by that, however, that is not the entire scope of the story. Since then, it got regular updates which were consistently good and did a great job in recapturing that Worm feeling of tension, entrapment, escalation and excitement.

    The first arc is, arguably, the weakest part of the story. The new extra to Taylor's power and how the E88 is handled is meh at best, a bit SoD breaking. But then, the interludes start and the story shifts into the next gear.

    The interludes are excellent, breathing fresh air in characters that have been slightly misused in fanon. Already talked about how much I loved the Gallant interlude and the Coil one. How it made Gallant interesting and Coil threatening. The situation with New Wave was great and the newest PHO interlude and the coupled private messaging was just excellent.

    So, yeah, rocky start but smooth sailing since then.

    4/5, one of the Worm stories where I eagerly await the updates the most.

    Edit: Especially the PHO interlude, that one was just a thing of beauty. Perfectly paced by switching between general conversations in threads and pm talk. So good.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
  2. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

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    Crime and Commitment starts off as a bit of a guilty pleasure. It has an enjoyable pre-Leviathan feel where the whole world seems to revolve around the Undersiders hitting above their weight while taking on the bigger gangs. In a lot of fics, these events often feel like the obligatory build up to the bigger events - Leviathan, Slaughterhouse 9, etc - but Crime and Commitment does a good job of making all that's happening stay important.

    The fact that Leviathan hit a different city instead was a decision I've been hoping to see in fanfiction for a while. Seeing how the BB situation would have evolved without him fucking things up.

    It's hard to take seriously as Taylor does become pretty overpowered with her bug tinkering and the Undersiders in general seem to have too easy a time, which makes the story come across as a guilty pleasure a bit

    Then we go into the second arc and that changes significantly. The Undersiders start struggling a whole lot more, and there are a bunch of darker turns that didn't feel like they'd appear after the first arc.

    In almost every Worm story, New Wave are a bunch of nobodies. They get dismantled, destroyed or are just kind of there. New Wave's attempt to take down the Undersiders was unique and made them an entity again.

    And then Tattletale's irreparable damage she's just caused to Amy and Victoria's relationship. Wow. Canon was bad enough in what it did to those two characters that fandom is almost always trying to 'fix it', so I was not expecting a story like this to go that route.

    I'm really enjoying Alexandria being in the city, and it being a basis for the arc and not just a single encounter.

    Overall, a really enjoyable story that focuses on one of the basic premises of Worm - Taylor becoming a villain and the Undersiders taking on the various gangs of Brockton Bay. It may have started as a 3.5/5 but has since risen to a 4/5 for me.
     
  3. Saot

    Saot Groundskeeper

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    The second arc is definitely a big step up in quality from the first one. It starts out as a fairly generic bit of Skitter-wank where they don't face challenges so much as chances to show off, but then an actual plot develops and their opponents start to be credible threats.

    IMO the worst part of the second arc was that she basically beat Panacea by getting a sudden powerup, and one of the great parts about Worm is that it mostly avoided that sort of lazy solution. The mitigating upside was that at least the powerup merely gave here the opportunity to find a solution rather than directly resolving the situation entirely.
     
  4. SmileOfTheKill

    SmileOfTheKill Magical Amber

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    It's so wanky. While some of the ideas are fun since as Skitter just deciding to screw secrecy by having her bugs follow gang members every single second, then you get stuff like super bugs by breeding. You have stuff like New Wave being aggressive and attempting to be heroic, but then you have 'Skitter Power Ups!' and Tattletale saying some funny stuff in a method that is meant to be serious.
     
  5. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Crime and Commitment is really fun, exciting and at times outright stressful to read, because so much is happening and so much is going wrong.

    Whoever is still on the fence on this due to the slightly wanky beginning, give it another try. Admittedly weak beginning but after that, library worthy.
     
  6. Chime

    Chime Dark Lord

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    "Wanky" isn't fair at all. I mean sure, it's gratuitous in the beginning, but feel free to compare it to actual wank-fics. I think the quality of writing here surpasses the average one. And it gets a lot more serious fairly after the first arc... I'd say this is pretty well done, though there are a few minor holes in it... But for an AU "not retreading the same canon story" story... this is great. I gave it 5 stars, even if it's not as stellar as most stories I'd give a 5.
     
  7. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

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    This story has gone a completely different route to the early chapters.

    Where it may have started off as very much an Undersiders wank fic, it has managed to take that earlier success and turn it into one of the most appropriately hopeless situations I've seen in a Worm fic.

    I'm just amazed at how much this fic can manage to make the situation even more hopeless and dire with every single new chapter. The combination of the gang that kept order in the city being destroyed, the huge number of fresh Leviathan triggers who haven't actually learned the game yet and the refugee problem have made for one of the most interesting and unique series challenges I've come across. And the S9 haven't even arrived yet. Holy shit.

    Some of these mostly OC villains...

    Pan seemed irritating and then he punched someone into space. Diluvium is a fucking Nilbog level threat. Cutthroat is fucking terrifying. And this is the first time the Fallen have ever actually been scary.

    Raising this to a 4.5/5. Quickly becoming one of the best Worm fics in the fandom.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
  8. Ferdiad

    Ferdiad Auror

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    Ok i just started this today and I'm only a chapter 6 so far and I have to say it's been quite good besides the generous interpretation of Skitters power. If anyone is wondering whether they should give it a lash, I'd rec reading to at least chapter 6, it's a damn good interlude.
    edit: This 3rd arc is amazing, one of the best I've ever read in the worm fandom. It reminds me of Worm when it was amazing, shit just keeps getting worse. I'd agree with Jarik as well on the new capes, Runaway/Cutthroat and Diluvium are incredibly badass.
    Still not quite sure why Skitter is still so reluctant to kill in the Somers Rock meet when Runaway has Stormtiger by the neck?She just knows the unwritten rules have gone out the window
    5/5
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  9. Saot

    Saot Groundskeeper

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    Every chapter after the Somer's Rock meeting has been pretty awful. Pan had a nice introduction, but afterwards has been a pretty uninteresting antagonist who apparently has no character motivations beyond "fuck the world", and the rest of the Lost Boys have zero characterization whatsoever. The fights with them have been determined mostly by the author coming up with increasing bizarre ideas of what effect Pan's power would have, which is not particularly interesting to read.

    Diluvium had a great introduction, and then promptly turned into background scenery. There's the potential for a nice resolution in the future, but so far he hasn't actually meaningfully interacted with the protagonist of the story, which leaves him kinda feeling like just a plot device to occupy Alexandria. Those fights were at least somewhat interesting, but it's not clear that they're doing much for the plot.

    I look forward to this arc ending and getting on to the next one, as I think the story still has a lot of potential, but what it's doing now just isn't working for me.
     
  10. Telrath

    Telrath Second Year

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    The author said he designed Pan to be a character that everyone hated, which I think is stupid because then you get into the situation the 'fic is currently in. Everyone is so sick of the arc they're mostly reading out of morbid curiosity. I was sort of enjoying this up until Pan showed his face, I'm fine with the city going to hell, because it presents interesting situations like The Fallen part. Just... Pan ruins it IMO.
    Couldn't agree more.

    I'm gonna slap a 3/5 on this because even if it gets fucking amazing after this arc, I wouldn't push it on anyone else.
     
  11. Saot

    Saot Groundskeeper

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    I'm not sure the story would be any better if he succeeded, but IMO that was a complete failure. All he's actually done in the story is be a stupid teenager who is mean to the fanon woobie and do some incidental damage to a city that would be completely trashed even if he wasn't there. He's just not interesting enough as an antagonist to inspire hatred.
     
  12. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

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    Loved the new chapter.

    Was absolutely terrified Alexandria was actually going to die the whole time.

    Interesting to read others' take on this arc. I'm actually absolutely loving this arc and it's probably what has pushed Crime and Commitment to being my favourite Worm fic.

    Pan's pretty annoying, pathetic and simplistic (pretty a Skidmark character). But having someone like that draw a stupidly powerful power out of the lottery is so characteristically Worm - as is having someone like that almost kill Alexandria.

    If this were some sort of drawn out, ongoing war with Pan alone, then I don't think it'd really work. Pan is just too much of an idiot for any drawn out conflict with him alone to feel worth it - given the sorts of things he's doing, he'd very quickly be taken out by heroes before Skitter even had to consider fighting him with the full strength of the Undersiders. But in and amongst what's happening in the city - the rioting, the Fallen, the Teeth, Dilivium - you've got this anarchic brat taking advantage of a strong power and a lack of fear of reprisal to throw a tantrum, making for a pretty interesting and unique conflict for me. It highlights the real importance of common sense and the unwritten rules, and how even someone like him can kill a lot of unpowered people when they're not worried about a kill order.

    Also loving the fact Dilivium isn't really interacting with Skitter. Makes him feel like a force of nature, an Endbringer like entity. Taylor being unable to really be of use against him feels more realistic than her managing to take him down too, but the chaos he brings adds to the conflict she's having with Pan and gives a reason why there's no more heroes helping out.
     
  13. Telrath

    Telrath Second Year

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    See, that's the thing. He didn't draw a stupidly powerful one. He got a meh one, he just got stupidly lucky (Read: The author wanted him to be a legit threat) finding teammates that make him stupidly powerful. Pan's power
    only allows him to do his thing to stuff less or equal to his own weight without Shadow (or whatever that trump scrub's name is) boosting him and Wendy's wind to blow shit around.
     
  14. Chime

    Chime Dark Lord

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    Let's please keep the Pan discussion out of this thread. Spacebattles has like 20 pages on it and it's ridiculous. It's not that bad. Maybe it's not perfect how quickly everything escalated, but I find it fun and relatively believable, especially compared to say...Mister Barnes controlling the Brockton legal system? Or other SoD-breaking shit many people are more than happy to buy...?

    Pan's ability to trump Alexandria and Taylor is no different than Taylor's ability to trump Lung. Creative application of powers with support from a bunch of unknowns. I think it's totally fine. He has no staying power -- Pan will die with this arc's end. The ramifications will be pretty damn good, I can't wait to see where it goes after this.

    You could replace Pan with literally any upstart powerjunkie and it'd probably play out similarly. The main difference is that yeah, Alexandria probably would have been able to get him by now.

    Pan really reminds me of a neonate vampire from VtM or something similar - high on his pathetic little power, causing such a huge ruckus in a super short amount of time that all he'll get is his 15 minutes of fame and then he'll be horribly devoured by thousands of maggots.

    Pan doesn't play by the rules, which means he's got an edge over those that do, like Taylor. Her restraint has reached its end - given how she punched Tinkerbell out without a moment's hesitation. Pan thinks he's Jack Slash, but he's not clever enough for that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
  15. Saot

    Saot Groundskeeper

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    I suppose my only real complaint about Pan's power are metatextual: the author claimed that he had a weak power which he used well and that his power obeyed real-world physics. The former is negated by the existence of Shadow (and Pan has never actually been without Shadow's powerup while on screen, so the fact that it comes from a different person is meaningless), and the latter needs a whole lot of caveats and exceptions to be anywhere close to true. If you remove the author's claims and let it just be space-whale bullshit that sounds weak but isn't, his power is fine.

    In any case I see that as a pretty minor issue compared to that I don't find him to be a compelling antagonist or interesting character.
     
  16. Biigoh

    Biigoh First Year

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    I'm more worried about Alexandria, to be honest, I believe as do certain others that Alexandria actually got hit by Shadow and had her Thinker power shut down for an unknown amount of time and her brain isn't used to it and is operating on a dumb cheerleader level.

    As it wouldn't have taken much for her to actually FLY with her flying power despite being massless... hell, Pan actually mocked her on that point.
     
  17. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

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    Update and wow, that was one of the best interlude chapters I've read in Worm fanfiction. What an emotional chapter for Dragon.

    Dragon knowing deep down that Armsmaster is completely gone, but having that hope dangled in front of her - that he has managed to sort his own issues out. Then the little things she keeps learning - first killing rival gangs, then being a serial killer, then sending Spree to BB, then experimentation, so on.

    And then there's everything else you learn about - Dragon knows about Cauldron, Butcher was a Cauldron cape.

    And Shadow makes people insane.

    Uh oh, Skitter.
     
  18. Plotless

    Plotless Groundskeeper

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    Yeah, that Dragon Interlude was top-tier
     
  19. Telrath

    Telrath Second Year

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    This interlude gives me hope for the rest of this fic. Anyone wanna take a bet on
    Armsbutcher having Panacea?
     
  20. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

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    Oh shit, I didn't even think of that. Oo