Glow-worm – 0.1

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Ward is the second work in the Parahumans series, and reading Worm first is strongly recommended.  A lot of this won’t make sense otherwise and if you do find yourself a fan of the universe, the spoilers in Ward will affect the reading of the other work.

Ward is not recommended for young or sensitive readers.

The Glow-worm chapters were a teaser event leading up to Worm 2.  They aren’t required reading but offer flavor and additional angles by which to view certain characters.  They take the form of forum posts, chat conversations and emails.

They’re best described as a kind of a post-epilogue, pseudo-prologue bridge between the series.  Those who read them on the Worm site shouldn’t feel the need to read them again – they’re included here for convenience’s sake, with a few readability improvements.

If you’re not interested or find this hard to read, click here to jump to chapter 1.

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♦  Topic:  We’re Back Online
In:  Boards ► Parahumans Online
Posted on August 15th, Y1:

To call the efforts of everyone involved heroic would be grossly understating things. This IT project required the efforts of seventy eight PHO staff members, employees of Stateside Online, former officials of the US government, former members of the United States space program, members of international space programs, the Guild (Masamune in particular), and numerous independent experts and volunteers. At a time when we’re all stretched thin and there is an incredible amount of work still to be done, seven hundred and eight individuals devoted spare time and valuable resources to get us and six other partners online.

Things will be clunky and frustrating.  For most, with congestion being what it is, things will be slow enough that people can get a cup of coffee and come back to find the page hasn’t fully loaded.  We’ve stripped away a bit of the polish and the gloss: the header images, badge graphics and the ability to include video or images are gone for now, to keep things simple and easy.  We will be moderating very carefully to ensure nobody disrupts anyone’s ability to access the site.  It will be painful.  Help each other, be patient, and contribute the best you can.

In so many ways, things will be frustrating, slow, and painful.  Care, helpfulness, patience, and contribution will make literal worlds of difference.  In so many ways.

But we’re back.  Stay tuned for bigger, better things.  Bear with us as we sort through it all.

(Showing Page 34 of 34)

►  I♥Lethe
Replied on August 16th, Y1:
@ Dgators – Generally, you want to be careful because you won’t get any updates to OS360 or other PC OSes, no patches to your phone.  There is no tech support and there is little recourse for anyone hit with malware. Plausibly there’s a lot of desperate people out there who see that the defenses are down and we’re in early days.  It’s probably easier for someone to come up with new means of attack than it is for anyone to roll out a proper patch.  Presumably if they wanted to infect systems or get access they would want to do it now when it would probably let them get access to things that follow.

►  KillDestroyKiss (Library)
Replied on August 17th, Y1:
Library project is moving ahead! Plenty of people brought laptops and phones and we’re piecing things together by loading from cache.  It is more zombie net than real net but we’re finding things. There are more coming but people want to delete their search histories before they hand their computers over. Because porn.

Downside is now a lot more people know about the net access at the library. Hours-long wait times Q.Q

►  [email protected]_The_Sky
Replied on August 17th, Y1:
I have access through the portal at the east of the city.  When I go through I’ve been doing loops through the old neighborhoods to see what I can scrounge up.  If you need something to fill major gaps I can try looking.  If not, I’m going to see if I can round off my collection.  Would be nice to have a good excuse if I get accused of smuggling or looting tho

►  boaty5
Replied on August 17th, Y1:
what collection?

►  [email protected]_The_Sky
Replied on August 17th, Y1:
Any/all of: Masque/Costumes Under Clothes/Heroine/Shine On

►  boaty5
Replied on August 17th, Y1:
fuck that. I regret asking. screw the capes. screw everything about celebrating the capes. they. failed. us.
Site administrators discussed this post.  We’re leaving up the first half as we feel it is important for people to process and address these feelings and sentiments.  We’ve removed the second half (personal insults) and delivered one infraction.

►  [email protected]_The_Sky
Replied on August 17th, Y1:
[Edit: removed this myself- I decided I don’t really want to get into this]

►  boaty5
Replied on August 17th, Y1:
just because I’m on a site about capes doesn’t mean I like them.  it means I recognize how important they are to what happened and what happens next

►  KillDestroyKiss (Library)
Replied on August 17th, Y1:
Hm!  @ [email protected]_The_Sky – We’re looking to get everything we can recorded digitally.  Would you be okay with letting us scan your collection?  You’re in the city?

►  [email protected]_The_Sky
Replied on August 17th, Y1:
100%.  I can bring it to your library.  PM me with location & times good for you.  Information is too important

End of Page.   1, 2, 3, 4, 532, 33, 34

♦  Topic:  [Headline] Refugees Barred Access
In:  Boards ► World News ► Main

Posted on August 17th, Y1:

[Transcribed from print]  Conrad James Freed and his family could tell a harrowing tale of their trip across Earth Bet’s America.  They have finally reached the Northeastern Bet-Gimel portal, hearing rumor of wait times, only to be told there is a possibility they may not be allowed in at all.

They had been driving, hitchhiking and hiking for four months.

“They aren’t giving us answers,” he told Bulletin News on Saturday.

Their family had been trying to subsist on their rural property in Wisconsin when the weather took a turn for the worse.  Though it was June, Conrad says he saw snow falling on the fields where he had planted the first crop of the season.

Two days later, there would be a knock at his door.  Authorities had flown over and saw the lights of his house.  They warned him the snowfall and the groundwater was contaminated.  It would be the last straw, as the unseasonably cold weather had cut into the already thin initial harvest.

Conrad says the authorities wanted him and his family to leave right away.  “They didn’t give us a chance to pack.  One of the men even grabbed my daughter.  He bruised her wrist, he held her so hard.  I promised I would cooperate if he would only give us five minutes.  I was in shock.”

He and his wife decided to make the harrowing trip to the nearest portal without the assistance of authorities, a decision he says he made on the spur of the moment, after the manhandling of his daughter and the manner in which he was forced from his home.  “I came to regret that decision.”

Conrad’s story is far from unique.  Evacuation is still underway even two years and two months after Gold Morning.  Where things took a turn for the worse for Conrad and his family, and where an undisclosed change in policy may affect uncountable refugees from Earth Bet, is that the border agents have apparently ceased processing refugees. 

Tensions are rising and as the number of people in the refugee settlement slowly climbs and resources are stretched thinner, people are speaking out.  Conrad says, “We know there is more than enough space on the other side.  We see people coming and going but they won’t let us through or even meet us to answer our questions.  We’re willing to settle outside of the city.  I know agriculture and I know they desperately need farmers.  Even if they give us a minimum of supplies and tools, it has to be better than this.”

Bulletin News reached out to authorities and received no response.

–Thoughts?  Anyone know what was up?

(Showing Page 19 of 20)

►  K.G. Ray (City: West Point)
Replied on August 17th, Y1:
They’re letting people through again now, and they’re letting a lot through.  Speculation might have been right. Article might have been more about political pressure than anything else.

►  Geronimo
Replied on August 17th, Y1:
Official word is that they wanted to pause and get organized so they could double the number of people coming through. Doesn’t make a lot of sense when it comes to their silence until now.

►  Nakyak (Cape Geek)
Replied on August 17th, Y1:
lots of capes stationed at the portal.
some thinkers like Squint and Danger Zone are there.
pretty sure if you watch how they rotate in and out there will always be one thinker on duty.
screening refugees?

►  [email protected]_The_Sky
Replied on August 17th, Y1:
@ Nakyak – could be.  Could be that it means less need for pain in the ass background checks with internet running at 33K.  Danger Zone sees likelihood a person commits violence to each and every person around them, recency, flavor of violence.  Squint sees contraband, possible other hazards.  Skip background check, move people along.

► Boosher
Replied on August 17th, Y1
Speaking of security, there was another thread where someone said something about rock & a hard place?  It’s apparently being talked about a lot among the refugees.

► Nutty
Replied on August 17th, Y1
@ Boosher – This article, search for Nancy Y’s statement.  People traveling across the US to get to portals are being warned about multiple threats.  Word on the capevine is that with everyone having pulled out, all former quarantine zones are breached.  In the US and elsewhere.  Nilbog is the one everyone knows about.  He’s in custody, his children aren’t.  If you’re paying attention to hero groups and their movements, they’re making lots of trips out.  They’re tired and people say they’re aloof.
I say they’re fighting a hard fight and they’re keeping their distance from public and media because they don’t want us to know it.

► boaty5
Replied on August 17th, Y1
they don’t want to tell us a lot of things.  what even happened?  the world ended and nobody is willing to explain.

[email protected]_The_Sky
Replied on August 17th, Y1
@ Boosher – a big part of what was being talked about in other similar articles was the threat of bandits, bad weather, the wasteland and chasms, unstoppable robot armies, the food shortages.  Edit: Nutty beat me to it.  Slow internet sucks.  I think boaty is a good example of why they’re aloof.  People want to assign blame.  Assign the blame to the man who did this.  In times of crisis, look to the people who are helping.  Support them or try to be one of them.

► ✘ [Post removed & user infracted]

► Deepwell5
Replied on August 17th, Y1
I agree for the most part, [email protected], but it’s more complicated than that.  I gotta side with boaty.  We made a covenant with the capes.  We put up with a lot.  In exchange, they were supposed to protect us.  It’s pretty clear they didn’t.  Maybe it was impossible.  That’s fine.  But let’s not ignore that they broke their end of the contract.  Let’s not ignore that the PRT is gone, we no longer have non-capes in charge of them, and they have more proportional power than ever.  Let’s not ignore that they’re making a new PRT without any of the key rules that defined the last one.  Less communication, no oversight.

I’m scared.  You should be too.

► DonJon
Replied on August 17th, Y1

End of Page.   1, 2, 3, 4, 518, 19, 20

♦  Private Messages from Glitzglam:

Glitzglam:  u cant engage with them.  u gotta let it lie.
[email protected]_The_Sky:  I’m worried what happens if the wrong ideas get traction.
Glitzglam:  So am I.  Im more worried about u.  Thought u might need pep talk.
Glitzglam:  Have u got that email yet?
Glitzglam:  ? ? ?
[email protected]_The_Sky:  If this is a pep talk it isn’t a very good one.
Glitzglam:  Thats a no huh?  fuck
Glitzglam:  u right though
Glitzglam:  I hate typing on phone.  Ice cream or coffee.  I pep talk u in person.  When u can fit it into cray schedule
[email protected]_The_Sky:  You’re a beautiful person.  Yes.  Sounds nice.  Soon
Glitzglam:  We can talk about how gang is getting together for big shebang and what a disaster it will be.
[email protected]_The_Sky:  you’re doing the terrible pep talk thing again. :0
Glitzglam *New Message*:  😮

♦  You have three unread private messages from an Anonymous account.  Click here to read.

Next Chapter

34 thoughts on “Glow-worm – 0.1”

  1. WOOH! It’s here.
    We all know that Wilbur likes his names to have multiple meanings so I’m going to take a stab at the title itself.

    Ward was the subdivision of the Protectorate for those under eighteen. It’s probably no coincidence that our new protagonist was one of the few teenage heroes that were not a part of the Wards. Story-wise, this probably allows for a less biased view of the Wards, whether her view be negative or positive, despite her close interactions with them.

    Ward itself has multiple meanings one of which is “a division or district of a city or town.” This could be foreshadowing some sort of ghettoisation of regions of the city either for the mundanes or parahumans as a result of tensions between the two groups.

    In fantasy magic, wards are some sort of barrier or protection usually in an area. They can repel harm or unwanted influences. This fits in some ways with the previous speculation on the potential divisions between the two groups. Maybe some sort of tinkertech device is created that affects the shards in a way that repels them from areas for “normals”?

    Ward can also be “a person or thing under guard, protection, or surveillance”. This can be many things but perhaps in this story, Victoria has a “ward” that she needs to protect. Perhaps she needs to protect Amy from the CUI or other organisations that desire her power.

    The last major definition that I found that may be relevant to this story is “A separate room in a hospital, typically one allocated to a particular type of patient.” Maybe Victoria is still dealing with the aftereffects of Amy’s powers and needs to do something in hospitals? I don’t think this is likely, Amy probably completely/mostly fixed what she did. I think the more probably thing is the discovery of some “anti-parahuman” drug/procedure like in X-Men 3 that requires parahumans be set up in wards to forcefully or otherwise make them lost their power.

      1. I spoiled [email protected]’s identity when looking up something unrelated on the worm wiki. I’ve only read the first three glow-worm updates so far so I don’t know how important of a spoiler it is, but I wish I hadn’t spoiled myself. I don’t know why Assembler thinks its obvious, but maybe it’s possible to guess based on information revealed later in glow-worm.

  2. Something that’s been bothering me:

    In that article about Conrad Freed, it mentions that it took him “four months” to get from his home to the nearest portal.

    However, it also says that he was forced to evacuate in June, and the article about him arriving and being denied access was published in August.

    Is there an error in the timeline here? Should it say “two months” instead?

  3. Psyched to see this continued, can’t wait to jump on in. Hope to follow it step by step till it’s conclusion.

  4. Words can’t describe how excited I am right now! I finished reading Worm in 2016 and since that moment I’ve been waiting for this. It’s gonna be fun to be able to follow chapter releases

  5. Worm, or should I say Ward, is back and I am so excited.
    Cannot wait to continue reading and see where the story goes.

  6. Love to see the new chapters.
    Just one question: Can I get Emails with new Chapter notice ? If so, how ? I can’t follow at bottom right, like I could with Worm.

  7. I was on the late train to the Parahumans buzz last time. Really glad to see this world start up again.

    In any case, Earth-BET sounds like a top-tier vacation spot nowadays, doesn’t it?

  8. Glitzglam: u cant engage with them. u gotta let it lie.
    [email protected]_The_Sky: I’m worried what happens if the wrong ideas get traction.

    I feel ya, Point. I argue on the Internet way more than I should…

  9. I may have showed up to Worm after it was finished, but I gotta say that reading through the comments on it was oftentimes just as good as the story. I’m looking forward to following Ward as it comes out and joining the awesome community around it.

  10. YAY!!! Can’t wait to dive back into this world, especially with Wildbow’s more experienced hand this time around. (I don’t mean to put pressure on, I just know it’s true! Be your experimental self!)

  11. Worm helped me through some tough times this year and last. I really can’t wait to see what’s in store for Ward.

      1. Taylor is one of the few characters I genuinely respect and want to emulate. I hope whatever decision you made turns out okay.

  12. How does it feel to be so ridiculously successful and popular in the web novel community? I mean, honestly. Every one of your novels has been number 1 at some point or another. This is a genuine question here, not jealousy or sarcasm. You’re the real deal

  13. I dont know If I should start.

    I loved worm.. Oh so very very much.

    But I can not help but feel this is going to change the main character…

    I am not sure if I can handle that.

  14. Alright! Re-read Worm, have plenty to catch up with waiting (wow, arc 12 and finished? Or not!), ready to go! =D

    Hmm… no idea who is who yet. No idea what cape [email protected] might be, or GlitzKitten. Hopefully that’s intentional, I can be really slow picking up everything Wildbow is telling us. -.-

    Fun perspective to start with though! Glimpses, slices, flavors… I guess non-capes would be in the dark! I’m surprised by the “collection,” but it makes perfect sense people would collect any cape stuff lying around, now that you mention it. XD

  15. This raises questions, of course, but the top one in my ind is clear. Why is this Y1 when it’s been two years and two months since Scion attacked? I’d expect Y1 to stretch from Scion’s attack to the end of that December, or failing that for it to be the first full year after the attack.

    I think it’s very telling that PHO has a system for linking a civilian account to a verified cape account and that people actually use it. That’s a lot of trust that users have.

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