Glow-worm P.4
Date posted 28 October 2017
Link Glow-worm P.4
Chapter guide
Glow-worm P.3
Glow-worm P.5
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Part 4 is the fourth chapter 0f Glow-worm. PHO user 'Of5 ' and friend investigate multi-triggers, Questionable_Mammal offers to help him find the rest of his cluster, and we learn about the kiss/kill dynamic. Gets identified by a mysterious benefactor.


A slice of Of5's web searches opens the chapter; they're browsing through a he's forum of searches. They're looking for all things pertaining to multi-triggers, grab-bags, cluster-triggers, mosaic powers, with an emphasis on terms with articles and science.

He finds a 1998 article about parahuman science called "Use of Cluster Powers, Serial Powers, Matched Powers, and Nth-generation Powers to identify ‘Hinge Points’ in Power Expression" The article's focus is on 'hinge points' - trying to find the kinds of unique scenarios (multi-triggers, serial triggers, 2nd generation triggers, etc) which have various expressions of the same power, and finding the common point - the hinge around which the rest operates.

The link to the full article is broken, because the internet isn't 100% post end-of-world. of5 reports it.

Topic: Class notes from Parahuman Studies 303.

A student posts their notes from their class, with prof's permission. The focus is on cluster-triggers (multi-triggers).

  • Multiple people trigger at once, and instead of a more unified power package, they get a set of lesser powers. One is 'theirs' and is only a little bit weaker, and they get secondary powers from the others.
  • Hinge points are outlined in more depth. 'hinge' was the old term and 'dominant' factors are the new terminology.
  • There's brief discussion on why this is important - predicting power expressions, figuring powers out.
  • Case studies like The Stable are explored.
  • Complicating factors are listed but not explained in depth: Kill/Kiss, personality traits bleed across members of the 'cluster', higher instances of paranoia, PTSD, aggression.

of5 complains that the slides and graph are absent but, as someone else. Another commenter says there's nothing to be done about that.

A day later Of5 (or R)logs onto the Group Chat. Mystery_Meat/C (now calling themselves Questionable_Mammal), HSP/K, and Cap are present. Mangled_Wings isn't in chat, C claims he upset her so she left, though she'll likely be back.

Of5 reveals he, and an anonymous female friend, traveled to the library; HSP shows interest in the fact Of% has friends. of5/R requests help from HSP/K in refining search terms. Meat/C offers to write up a more complex search term, and remarks he has games to give of5/R at their next face to face meeting. Topic: Relationship Entanglement in Cluster-Triggers – 2005

Another scientific article. Colloquially known as 'Kiss/Kill' - there's a remarkably high (40%) instance of murder within cluster-triggers. 60% if you include attempted murder. On the flip side, in 25% of cases, two individuals in a cluster will partner (including both close friendship and romantic expression) and in 10% of cases, it's both partnership and murder. This is a pretty strong effect: in 10% of the romantic cases, people form romantic ties regardless of their normal sexuality.

The link to the full article is broken, again, but claims are it's author was editorializing.

Private Message Exchanges: Coded Name, Of5, the group chat

of5 is reached out to by someone with a long, coded name(which decrypts into March), with a coded message. of5 asks the people from the larger group convo about it: their female friend suggested it's a bot. After briefly wondering if it's 'S' (dismissed as S "Isn't that bad with computers") they're told to ignore it and move on.

But the person from the coded message starts speaking in plain english, saying they noticed Of5 has been exploring the broken multi-trigger articles in the last few days. March goes through all the instances of multi-triggers they've heard of, working out who of5 could be, and decides that Of5 is the 'runt' from 'the mall'.

March already talked to someone else from the mall and was turned down. Lucky for of5, March says, because Of5 will need all the help they can get, and March is offering that help. The mall group has a woman, a man, and two boys, four individuals. Three members of the group are coordinating to go after one of the two boys, the runt. The woman is hiring mercenary help for the deed, and the man is talking to an information broker named Tattletale to find the runt.

March remarks 'a case of Kiss/Kill like I never saw and I don’t think they’re reaching for the chapstick.' - and the response from of5 is 'You’re wrong / It isn’t Kiss/Kill.' But, of5 says, they're open to assistance. Complex Search Term & Result

of5 makes a complex search for threads and topics involving a certain set of powers.

Creates a search targeted for the last month, of the Complex terms: sever, prosthetic, emotion, acrobatics. With a reasonable margin of gap between the terms. Relevant sections are shown with some surrounding context.

The main result is an 'incident report' by a hero team that's sharing out info with other hero groups. There was a woman with a fanged mask covering her lower face and a dress with a slit up one side. She had a mover power that let her run on walls, an emotion-affecting roar, and tinker claws that let her tear down doors and other obstacles. She got away.

Of5 goes back to the chat room and says he found the women from his cluster. He doesn't say anything about March however, claiming he just ignored it. of5/R is concerned about the woman. HSP/K offers help. of5 thanks HSP/K and Meat/C, calling them 'good kids'

He then goes with HSP's advice and takes his anonymous female friend out for an ice cream or something as thanks for donating her time.


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