↑ 1.01.1“I always knew there was something wrong, underneath it all, but there were bigger things to focus on. You finish dealing with one Endbringer attack or a potential war with parahuman attacks on both sides, it demands all of your focus. You’re left drained, dealing with the event or the aftermath, and then you need to recuperate, you have an organization to manage. There’s never a moment where you can stop, take a deep breath, and then say, ‘now is the moment where I address that nagging doubt I had the other day’. Now is the moment I call so-and-so out on that less-than-complete truth they used while we were elbow-deep in Indonesian cyborg super-soldiers.”
↑ 2.02.1On the catwalks above him, Monsignor, Slink, and Fing Nuts looked at one another with alarm. [...] “We’ll make a commotion,” Fing said. “Draw them after us. Best we can do. You know you’d do the same thing.”
The doors banged open, and Auger spun around. The laser pointed at the men in uniforms that were storming in. Not POLRI. These assholes were private military. Someone had really fucked up on their due diligence.
Someone pushed their way through the crowd.
A cape. Except not just a cape. The man had tech worked throughout his body. Metal that pulsed like a heart did, flesh that was rigid and doll-like, and things between. His body had glass domes on it, and brains floated in that glass, crowded in by the other tech and flesh. [...] He ran for the stairs. Gunshots to his left made him look up at the catwalk, where the others had been.
They’d run for the door, and found guns waiting on the other side. Fing was missing part of his neck, and Slink had collapsed backward onto the catwalk railing, arms draped over it like a comic wrestler, blood dripping down her body and through the gaps in the catwalk. [...] They’d raided a secret government installation to steal confidential files and stumbled onto a private army helmed by cyborg capes. When he ran out of air, he’d have to decide if he wanted to breathe in radioactive dust or pop back into an approximate location in that compound. He had little doubt he’d be surrounded when he did pop in, if there were that many people there. - Excerpt from Interlude 18.z II
↑String Theory and Lab Rat stepped out of the same portal. String Theory was short, shorter with her slouch, and petite, her dark hair tied back into a braid, her lips pulled back into a wide expression halfway between a grin and a smile. With her glasses, it made me think of a frog, or a small lizard. [...] String Theory had made her tinker devices and then auctioned away ‘safeties’. Not uses of the weapon or offering targets, but only guarantees that the owner of a ‘safety’ wouldn’t be one of her randomly selected targets. The targets had ranged from gas stations in Indonesia to a filled football stadium in Cardiff.
↑Her innate programming forbade using viruses to infect the computers of Americans that didn’t have a warrant out for their arrests, but she’d found a workaround. An Indonesian cartel had set up an extensive botnet, with soccer moms, the elderly, children and the uneducated unwittingly installing viruses onto their systems. These viruses, in turn, gave the cartel the ability to use the infected computers for other purposes. Sending out spam emails about pharmaceuticals or penis enlargement or drugs that gave superpowers wasn’t worth much, but when they could send out millions or tens of millions of emails a day, it proved profitable.
Dragon had let the cartel extend their influence, then put in the word, offering to shut them down. She didn’t, however, remove the viruses from the infected computers. - Excerpt from Interlude 26.x
↑ The Simurgh was somewhere near Bet’s Indonesia. Not flying as she’d once done, either. Floating around. Facilities and factories in the area had been repurposed into accommodations. People in the area were hunkered down, enduring life on new Bet instead of moving on to new places, leaning on some risky non-tinker tech advances. Going the sci-fi route in tackling what Bet was going through. Those same people were responsible for the flurry of reports about the Simurgh, which had led to her being flagged ‘active’. - Excerpt from Interlude 10.x II
↑greatwyrmgold: Maybe the Thanda specifically selected strong capes?<br Although the mass trigger thing makes sense, too…<br Sindri Suncatcher: I figure that the Thanda were in a rather bloody business. It was specifically said that in India all the nice colorful “cops and robbers” style villainy is on the Light side of things, so the life of a member of the Thanda would be just the worst, most dangerous parts of the job, over and over in places the authorities don’t know about, against people who prioritize silencing a witness over all else. The Thanda are strong because any who aren’t (and didn’t learn quickly) died long ago<br wildbow: And, to be fair, there’s a good size population to draw recruits from. -
Excerpt from Speck 30.6