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WIP The Wolf Time by Anzer'ke - T - Worm

Discussion in 'Almost Recommended' started by Nemrut, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Department of Post-Mortem Communications
    High Score:
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    Title: The Wolf Time
    Author: Anzer'ke
    Rating: T
    Status: Work In Progress
    Fandom: Worm
    Wordcount: 190k
    Link: Spacebattles

    So here is the thing. It is an Alt power AU. However, it escapes almost all of the usual pitfalls and does a lot of things different and a lot of things right.

    So, to start of, Taylor didn't trigger in the locker, if i understood things right. The story starts with Taylor bringing a knife to her school because at this point, after the locker, she's afraid for her life. She believes the bullies aren't going to stop and she needs to defend herself.

    Things go as one would expect. Taylor tries to defend herself, gets beaten, draws her knife, gets ganged up and then triggers, which leads into a fight with Shadow Stalker, who can basically stall her enough for the heroes to get her and she then escapes.

    The narrative for the public and the PRT is that of a loner psycho who tried a schoolshooting but with superpowers.

    So far, this sounds like the typical Alt power story that has been rehashed over and over again, with legal battles, lawyers, ward inscriptions and then the Sophia comeuppance.

    Well, this happened in the beginning of the story and now, 190k words later, that narrative hasn't changed for either the public or the PRT. She's still regarded as this psycho who targeted a school. And honestly, I don't think it ever really will and I kinda hope it stays that way but even if not, this would be the one story that does it right, that actually earned it because it wasn't just a quick and cheap way to force conflict. No, here this is treated as something substantial, an unfortunate moment that has had consequences from beginning to end and the characters still feel them.

    One awesome change for example, because Shadow Stalker fought off Taylor initially, her teammates like her a lot more, because she was heroic and saved a lot of kids. The impact this all had on Emma made her influence Shadow Stalker as well and both of this lead to Shadow Stalker actually becoming friends with the Wards so far.

    Taylor, btw, joins the Undersiders rather early on. Another beauty of the story is that each arc is told from the POV from an Undersider. We start with Taylor's POV and then Lisa, Bitch, Regent and so on and each time, we gain a different perspective and a lot of insight into the characters and how they view each other.

    The story also doesn't hesitate to make things go wrong for the characters, btw. Fights can be intense and situations as they go to hell in a handbasket. And even when/if they pull through, it's never a "now nothing can go wrong" feeling but a bigger threat looms in the distance and it is built up really well and in transitions into that in an organic manner.

    No Lung fight, not legal shit. Ah yeah, so far, there was only one PHO chapter and that was near the end of the story. Instead, the story does something absolutely novel for Worm fanfiction. We get letters the characters write or sms conversations that really flesh out some characters. The Emma letter and the Sophia-Emma sms conversation for example have been really awesome. While the interludes aren't exploring the world at large per se, they aren't reaction shots either. Instead, they are used to explore the characters and how they've changed.

    The story also has more than a few changes, like with the Travelers and the Empire. Danny is also handled rather well, imo.

    It's not a flawless story, what happened with Amy I find to not be very believable and I tend to hate the aura caused the incest thing but honestly, the repercussions of it played out rather well. Taylor herself is a bit more meek but then again, she is a different person here.

    The most important thing is though, the story takes its time. What happened there only came into play later. That's true with a lot of stuff. Characters who appeared earlier will make an appearance later, when you've forgotten about them and it'll make sense.

    It really has been rather close to the actual Worm feeling. Taylor is a bit of a weaker character over all but then again, while the story started with her, she isn't exactly the main character of the story. The Undersiders as a whole are.

    So yeah, really, really enjoying this story. Get through the beginning, which is reminiscent of bad Alt power AUs and get at least to the raid of the Empire facility early on. Because yeah, this is a story worth enjoying.

    4/5
     
  2. Dark Syaoran

    Dark Syaoran Persona 4 Admin

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    6,056
    Anyone other than Nemrut read this and willing to comment? There are five votes yet no one else has said anything about the story.
     
  3. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling Prestige DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    839
    Location:
    The Mouth of Ports
    High Score:
    9,373
    I like it, but it's become something of a guilty pleasure for me rather than an actually great fic. That's largely because once the Undersiders start exploiting Taylor's power for maximum effect, things start just falling their way without anything really going wrong for them. Sure, there are injuries, but with Taylor's regeneration at work all of the Undersiders are able to pull pretty much anything.

    So while the gang do take more hurting, they're pretty much recovered before the end of the fight.

    On top of that, once the dock workers start getting in on things it's basically just a curb stomp fic with no one willing to stand up to them. Hell, they invade the Protectorate rig out on the bay, take back Tattletale and then the heroes just let them leave without a fight. There's absolutely no reason for that to happen, especially because the only reason the blackmail worked was because Tattletale was brought out in public and allowed to use it.

    Why wasn't she kept in isolation? Why did they give her an audience when they knew she had some sensitive information she could use?

    It just rankled me entirely the wrong way. The Protectorate cannot allow a villain team to attack their headquarters and then walk away. Not when Legend himself is in charge.

    Also, I don't like how Hookwolf was killed. He's made of fucking metal with a core surrounded by whirling blades with regeneration on par with Lung while in his breaker state. He should have been all but impossible to keep down. Drive him off, sure, but killing him outright should have been outside of the Undersiders' abilities, never mind some recently transformed civilians.

    All in all, it is enjoyable, but the escalation doesn't keep up with the Undersiders' power and the consequences never seem to last beyond a chapter or two.

    I'd give it a 3/5. Good, but not quite library worthy.