"I won't spoil the conclusion if you're eager to see this through."
This article contains MAJOR SPOILERS relating to
some of the most pivotal parts of Worm. Although all articles contain spoilers, this article will reveal major plot twists and should almost certainly be avoided unless you have finished the story.
Zion, incorrectly known as Scion, is the avatar of the Warrior Entity.
Scion's way of thinking is largely alien, lacking any sort of creativity or ingenuity. In his creation, he was given a facsimile of a human mind to better understand the host species, and can therefore think and feel along the lines of a human being. This simulated mind, however, is distanced from Scion's core being, and is immature from a general lack of hardship and exposure to the real world. Thus, Scion's outward demeanor is almost completely flat and reactionless, like a blank slate.
Internally, Scion feels a deep, profound sadness, which began after he learned of his counterpart's death. Without the Thinker Entity, he is unable to go through with the cycle, and so feels lost and without purpose. This feeling is conveyed through an "emotional aura," making humans around him share his sadness. In a similar manner, he radiated disgust when looking at Eidolon, as he had gotten his powers from a Cauldron vial made from the remains of Scion's counterpart.
For a time, Scion went through the motions of heroism after being told to do so by Kevin Norton, seeing it as a role to fulfill, but never finding any satisfaction in doing so. After being talked to by Jack Slash, he rejected that role and began experimenting with violence. Subsequently, both Scion's entity mind and human mind developed further as he went through with the events of Gold Morning. He derived a faint sort of satisfaction out of wiping out humanity, which appealed back to the past memories of his entity self, and as Gold Morning went on he began taking pleasure in torturing his victims. Additionally, Scion began expressing his emotions through his body for the very first time, conveying annoyance and contempt through his face, and later screaming to show his anger and pain. When fighting against Eidolon, Scion even projected emotions of smugness, superiority, confidence, and amusement.
Scion's deepest desire is to reunite with the Thinker or another entity in order to complete the cycle. This desire is the driving force behind many of Scion's rare displays of emotion. The sight of a third entity during Gold Morning was enough to make him hopeful, before he spiraled into a mad rage once he realized it was fake. Subsequently, being haunted with more simulacrums of his dead partner and other entities caused Scion to regress into a primal sort of panic. Finally, the extinguishing of his one last hope to reunite with the Thinker caused him to lose his will to live, leading to his death.
The Thinker can be considered the most important thing to Scion, as along with himself, the Thinker is vital to completing the cycle. In essence, they gave Scion a sense of purpose. When the Thinker died, Scion was devastated, falling into what can be considered a deep depression.
Kevin was one of the only humans Scion listened to, though Scion never followed his commands down to the word. After being told to stop drifting aimlessly and begin helping the world at large, Scion began engaging in large-scale heroic activities. Scion saw this as a task that he could pursue, a role he could fulfill. Scion would return to Kevin every once in a while, and Kevin would either clarify certain imperatives he gave Scion or simply engage in one-sided conversation with him. Scion took his name, Zion, from one of Kevin's conversations.
Scion appears to be a flawless, golden man with long hair, a trimmed beard, and no body hair. His eyes and hair are the same featureless gold as the rest of his body, and he glows with a golden light that causes things such as water, blood, and dirt to dispel from his body, hair, and clothes. This golden light leaves a brief trail in the air when he moves. Scion is completely expressionless; where most think Scion looks sad, the truth is that his expression never changes from a blank one. Instead, his emotional aura exudes sadness, leading many to interpret his expression as a sad one.
Scion's appearance is specially crafted to fit within human values, shaped to resemble certain deity figures within the most widespread religions. His form deliberately doesn't fit within any one race, and the golden tint and texture of his skin and hair are meant to appeal to the human worship of gold.
Initially upon his arrival, Scion was naked, displaying a perfectly respectable human form with no modifications, other then the aforementioned coloration. He is stated to be uncircumcised and well-endowed enough that late-night TV hosts aren't able to make fun of him. After their first meeting, Kevin Norton later began outfitting Scion with clothing, first with a sheet worn over one shoulder and pinned at either side of the waist, then with more conventional clothes. By 1999, Scion was dressed in a white bodysuit extending to his biceps and toes. He didn't have shoes or gloves, but his costume did include a plain white cape. His clothing was often stained with blood and dirt, but would slowly but surely clean itself over time, causing the stains to fade as dirt and particles were pushed out of the fabric.
During Gold Morning, Scion's appearance became less and less flawless. As he killed and destroyed, smoke and blood stained his costume and found its way into the crevices of his body, with Scion's cleaning light being unable to render his body as pristine as it should have. His expression also changed for the first time, expressing annoyance at one point and later contorting in a scream to show his anger and pain.
Abilities and Powers
After sacrificing the majority of his shards to seek out hosts, Scion retains only his most essential shards. Even so, Scion has a vast array of powers, and is considered the most powerful individual in the world. He is capable of easily killing even the Endbringers if he puts his mind to it, and is practically invulnerable to all forms of attack.
Scion's primary ability is the power to negate any kind of wavelength using manifestations of golden light. This effect is extremely versatile, and can be used to cancel heat and sound, disintegrate molecular bonds, slow or stop motion, and negate the effects of virtually any parahuman ability. At its deadliest, Scion's stilling can simply stop all bodily functions in a human, killing them instantly. Scion's light can be fired as beams, orbs, or area bursts, and can be used as a force field or transmitted by touch. Essentially, he can shape his light into any form he wishes. All of Scion's stilling effects are completely silent, including his movements and his attacks.
Scion's offensive blasts range greatly in power, from pencil-thin cutting beams to continent-destroying blasts. These blasts have practically infinite range and perfect accuracy. The detrimental effects of Scion's light lingers, continuing to eat away at any damaged targets. This lingering effect can kill a man all on its own. Scion can also use his power defensively, using it to create physical barriers or cancel out the effects of offensive powers. His stilling can also close portals and even stop the Simurgh's song. Finally, Scion's light can have healing abilities, such as when Scion cures a man of cancer or when he uses his light to heal the capes around him upon his arrival in the battle against Behemoth.
When Scion uses his stilling, it disturbs electronics.
Scion can fly at immense speeds as an application of his aura of golden light. At his fastest, he was able to fly to the other side of the world in less than a minute. When flying, he leaves a brief golden trail in the air.
Scion can sense everything around him, even when his senses are being deliberately obfuscated. He appears to have control over the range of his senses, and can see into other universes if he chooses. He can also use the senses of parahumans, since they carry his shards.
Scion has superhuman strength, sufficient to lift Behemoth several hundred feet into the air.
Scion's body is only an extension of a vastly larger being, and so cannot sustain any meaningful damage. Any damaged tissue is replaced within a fraction of a second with a practically unlimited supply of undamaged tissue from the main body. This happens so fast, it is almost impossible to tell that he was ever injured. This is an intentional design of Scion's body, one meant to demoralize his opponents.
Scion is immune to certain types of powers. His actions cannot be predicted with precognition or clairvoyance, his powers cannot be copied, and powers cannot directly interfere with his mind in any way. In addition, his multiple senses make him very difficult to blind or mislead for any period of time. With stilling, Scion can "tune" his defenses to negate specific powers. He destroyed some of Glaistig Uaine's shadows to such a degree that they were still mending six months after Gold Morning. He can block teleportation.
Scion can look forward in time to observe countless possible futures. He can learn what actions he must take to achieve a specific future or goal, similar to Contessa. Unlike Contessa, he can use this power in any situation, but it drains from his lifespan, so he uses it sparingly.
Scion can freely move through alternate universes, doing it as easily as a human might walk. Barriers preventing travel between universes can be broken down by Scion in seconds. If necessary, he can attack objects in multiple universes simultaneously, such as obliterating cliff faces on two different Earths. According to Scapegoat, Scion's blasts on Earth Bet also devastated countless versions of Earth Bet.
Scion is an extension of the Warrior Entity, created as an avatar in order to interact with and better understand the host species, humans. After Scion's creation, he waited for a year to appear on Earth Bet, as planned, before realizing that something had gone wrong. Stepping into Earth Bet, he saw his shards raining down alongside the damaged shards of his counterpart, the Thinker. He destroyed them on sight, and after expanding his perception across the world and other realities, he learned that the Thinker was dead, and realized that he could not complete the cycle. With his simulated human emotions, Scion experienced a deep, profound sadness for the very first time.
In his haze of depression, Scion stayed floating above the Atlantic Ocean for an indeterminate amount of time. On May 20th, 1982, Scion noticed an ocean liner approaching him, marking the first sighting of Scion by humans. He saw one of the Thinker's shards taking root in one of the passengers, Andrew Hawke, and noticed that he was dying of cancer. In order to ensure the shard's safe growth, Scion used his powers to kill the cancer cells, also curing Andrew's sister in the process. Then he turned away from the gathered crowd and flew away.
Scion then spent a period of time wandering the world, observing but never doing anything. As he spent time on earth, numerous theories emerged regarding his origins and nature. One day, in York, England, Scion was approached by a man down on his luck named Kevin Norton. Kevin flew at Scion in a rage, demanding to know what he had to be sad about and telling him to go do something with his power, suggesting that it might help him feel less miserable. Scion considered his words, then decided that it was a role he could fulfill.
Scion proceeded to follow Kevin's instructions: traveling from place to place at supersonic speed without pause, helping people, saving orphans in wars, and stopping fires and natural disasters. After flying past Behemoth to talk to Kevin, Kevin told Scion to also fight the Endbringers and any other monsters like them. Scion would also intervene in certain crisis events, raiding groups and paramilitary groups in Africa and the Middle East, and intervening in the Cold War, which had the potential to kill large numbers of people and prevent shards from finding hosts. However, Scion never prioritized the importance of certain crises, meaning that he could be helping with something relatively unimportant while an Endbringer was attacking a city. The heroes had no way to contact Scion, meaning that they had to simply hope that Scion would notice when they were in a dire situation and intervene.
By the middle of the 1990s, Scion was traveling from crisis to crisis, flying faster than the speed of sound. He would regularly return to Kevin and listen to him, who gave instructions on how to better save people and rambled to Scion about different things. He could be overly literal in interpreting Norton's suggestions, and didn't always follow them to the letter. In 1999, he was given a white bodysuit by Kevin and was told to keep it clean. One day, Scion encountered a woman on a balcony as he was extinguishing widespread fires in Alexandrovsk, Russia. The woman asked what Scion was, to which he replied with his first words: "Zion." The word was remembered from a story Kevin had told him, appealing to Scion because it reminded him of the promised land of a completed cycle. However, after the word was caught on camera and circulated, "Zion" was misinterpreted as "Scion," and soon Scion was the name attributed to him by the public.
After getting a chance to see Scion's fights against the Endbringers on the internet, Kevin Norton realized Scion was only fighting the Endbringers, not trying to kill them. When Scion met with Kevin once more along with Lisette, Kevin tried to clarify one of his commands, telling Scion to actually try to kill the Endbringers in order to stop them permanently. Kevin then told Scion he was dying of hepatitis, and didn't have long to live. He shifted command of Scion from himself to Lisette. Without any sign of acknowledgement, Scion flew away.
During the battle against Behemoth in New Delhi, Scion showed up when it seemed like the heroes were going to lose. Upon his arrival, he healed the damage that Behemoth's radiation did to the defending heroes, then proceeded to fight Behemoth with an intensity not ever seen before. After a very one-sided fight, Scion annihilated Behemoth with one final beam, killing the Endbringer.
After Behemoth's death, the other Endbringers began engaging in hit-and-run tactics, never staying long enough to allow Scion to kill them.
During the final battle against Jack Slash, Scion showed up. His presence disrupted Dinah's power, causing problems for the heroes. Scion briefly noted that the shards in the area were very mature, but despaired at the pointlessness of it all due to the cycle having been disrupted. Before he could intervene in the battle, he was stopped from coming closer by Weaver, who flew to intercept him in the air. She convinced him that the situation was delicate, and that he would do more harm than good. Weaver then tried to convince Scion to turn away and go somewhere far away, to no avail.
Instead, Scion observed the fight between Jack Slash and Golem below, then the Harbinger clones. After multiple failed attempts by Weaver to move Scion away and obscure his vision, Scion turned his attention back to Jack Slash and Golem. It was then that he was trapped in a time loop by Gray Boy. Scion was unfazed by this development, continuing to watch the fighting. He saw the Harbinger clones being defeated and taken in by Number Man and Contessa, then saw Jack Slash become looped by Gray Boy.
While the heroes thought that they had won, Jack Slash talked under the containment foam that covered him, audible to Scion's omniscient senses. He criticized Scion for being a "blank slate," and asked why Scion performed good deeds instead of reverting to violence and predation, something inherent in the ancestors of humans and entities alike. While Tattletale caught onto what was going on, dispatching people to try and drown out Jack Slash's speech, it did nothing to prevent Scion from hearing. When Lisette, brought in from a Dragoncraft as a last ditch effort, told Scion to turn away, he did, breaking through Gray Boy's time bubble with ease. He ignored Lisette's further attempts to talk with him, flying away until he was above the Atlantic Ocean.
Above the ocean, Scion introspected. He thought about how the acts of heroism he'd been performing for so many years had brought him no joy. He looked into possible futures, such as one where Jack Slash had died and hadn't talked to Scion, and saw that he himself had eventually came to the same conclusion regardless. Coming to a decision, Scion resolved to begin experimenting with another course of action. Aiming at Kevin Norton's birthplace, Scion fired a beam and annihilated the United Kingdom.
After destroying the United Kingdom, Scion fired a blast that devastated the eastern coastline of Canada and the United States. Scion found satisfaction in destroying things, and soon embarked on a rampage through Earth Bet. He followed a very specific formula, specifically reversing the good deeds that he had started with during his first years as a hero. One attack was on Mali, targeting and killing only those that had reached puberty. This left an approximate four hundred and thirty thousand orphans, reversing his directive of saving children. In Russia, Scion started fires where he had once stopped them, cutting off escape routes and creating large rings of fire that encroached inwards and cooked anyone within. He killed any heroes that tried to stop him. Soon after, Japan was hit, with an estimated 22 million dead, raising Scion's total kill count to around 500 million.
Following Scion's initial attacks, a parahuman response was organized against him. The first clash against Scion was during the Oil Rig Battle. During the battle, Scion was hit by String Theory's G-driver, which launched him out of the atmosphere. He returned unscathed, however, and attacked the gathered parahumans with a powerful golden glow that devastated almost all of the parahumans on the oil rig. Soon, Eidolon and Glaistig Uaine were the only ones that were truly fighting Scion. The three duked it out, with Scion chasing the other two across multiple earths. Then, Scion used his path to victory ability to utter four words to Eidolon, which led Eidolon to realize that he had created the Endbringers. This devastated Eidolon, causing him to give up and let Scion kill him. Glaistig Uaine retreated, and Scion won the battle.
By the time Weaver recovered from the oil rig battle, Scion had killed about half of the population of Earth Bet, and had started traveling between different earths in order to hit major population centers. After attacking Earth Samech, Scion traveled to the settlement on Earth Gimel, destroying two of Dragon's ships and their occupants. He then engaged with the parahumans gathered at the settlement, slaughtering many of them. Then the Simurgh along with various other reinforcements came in. After a short-lived battle with the reinforcements, including Gavel, Scion seized both King of Cups and Queen of Swords, and forced King of Cups to watch as he slowly crushed Queen of Swords' head into the ground. King of Cups second triggered, and Scion patiently waited as the capes around him experienced trigger visions, trigger visions specifically meant to drive in how pointless fighting him was. Then, after being attacked by the newly empowered King of Cups, Scion killed the man with ease. Scion clashed some more with the reinforcements, including the Simurgh and Lung, but after a second wave of reinforcements arrived, Scion disappeared to pursue other targets. One of these subsequent targets was Earth Dalet, where Scion's attacks steadily became more and more ugly and sadistic.
Attack on Cauldron
Eventually, Scion used precognition to follow a path that led to reuniting with Eden. This led him to the Cauldron Compound, where he took his time rampaging through the individual levels to destroy the Case 53s, which he saw as abhorrent. Then he came across a room full of Cauldron vials, and sensed the signature of his partner's shards within them. He destroyed them all at once, shattering them all, then moved on into a huge, hangar-like room. He arrived to find Eden's body, having not anticipated the possibility that what he would find was her braindead, gutted corpse. Shocked, bewildered, and saddened by the sight of his partner in such a state, Scion began destroying the body, uprooting the entirety of Eden's corpse and disintegrating it with his golden light. Throughout the process, Scion lashed out in anger, destroying sections of the hangar containing the body. With the combined efforts of Sveta, Number Man, and Alexandria, the parahumans at the scene were able to collapse the entire hangar onto Scion and escape from his wrath.
Rise of Khepri
One of the penultimate conflicts took place on Earth He, and was between Scion, Khonsu, and Leviathan, the latter of which was given mechanical upgrades by the Simurgh. Scion's final battle with humanity began when Khepri rose to face him. Scion had been fighting the faltering resistance of parahumans and Dragon suits when Khepri came in, having consolidated an army of about three-thousand parahumans. After taking control of Glaistig Uaine and the rest of the defending parahumans, increasing her force to five-thousand, Khepri engaged Scion, starting off by throwing Ash Beast at him. With Khepri's control and coordination, and Doormaker's portals, it became considerably more difficult for Scion to fight the defending army of parahumans.
After being locked on an earth with the help of one of Teacher's devices, Scion was bombarded with bombs from every single earth, including nuclear bombs. He escaped from the dimension, but briefly lost track of Khepri's army before finding them again. Using his precognition, he dodged a devastating ranged attack coordinated by Number Man, retaliating with a blast that killed nearly thirty capes, including Lady Photon and Revel. Throughout the battle with Khepri, Scion became increasingly frustrated, screaming louder and attacking in broader, unfocused ways. His attacks were largely ineffectual, with capes being portaled away before he could reach them, and the fact that Khepri used different methods of attack every time meant he couldn't tune his defenses accurately, forcing him to be defensive. At the peak of his frustration, he activated his path to victory. First, he feinted, releasing a golden light which penetrated transparent forcefields and melted the flesh of the surrounding capes. He then unleashed the true attack, a powerful stilling clap that instantly stopped the bodily functions of every cape in his vicinity.
Scion was baited into another earth that was closed off by Alexandria using Teacher's device. He was subjected to another barrage of explosives, and had to rip Alexandria into pieces before escaping the closed off world. Furious, Scion came at Khepri, destroying two continents on two different worlds on his way toward her. Khepri avoided him using Sifara, using him to transport her army en masse across dimensions. Khepri consolidated her tinkers, using their combined intellect to create a house-sized weapon that was meant to target Scion's main body. The dimension that housed this body, however, was tightly sealed off, and the machine was unable to attack it. Scion, using his path to victory once more, started a collision course straight for Khepri, bowling through the capes that Khepri set in his way and easily destroying a razor blade trap that was charged by Foil's power. Scion reached Khepri, and rather than killing her outright, began choking her with his bare hands, wanting her to show fear. The Undersiders tried to defend her, and Scion noticed, bringing Khepri over to where the Undersiders were to kill them in front of her. As Scion prepared to kill Rachel, Khepri unleashed a desperate attack from every cape she had available, unexpectedly hitting him due to the omission of Foil, who Scion had set up contingencies against. Leveraging the distraction, Khepri drove Scion out of the building the Undersiders were in.
Attempting to keep Scion distracted, Khepri continued to throw her forces at Scion. She then constructed another weapon with her tinkers, using it, Sundancer's sun, and Chevalier's cannonblade to attack Scion. This attack gave the Endbringers an opening, with the Simurgh, Leviathan, Bohu, and Tohu coming in to engage with Scion. Then, as Khepri prepared another attack, a simulacrum of a third entity began forming, formed out of Bastard's body through the power of Panacea, Lab Rat's formula, and the coordination of Tattletale. Scion fought through the Endbringers to get to the apparent entity, shocked and bewildered by this new appearance. As he reached out to touch it, he realized it was fake, causing him to let out a scream of maddened sorrow. He lashed out, destroying the shelf of land underneath New Brockton, the destruction of which was only prevented by intervention from Ziggurat's power. Scion went on to deal massive damage to other worlds, no longer holding back. On Earth Gimel, he fought the Endbringers with a renewed viciousness, tearing into Leviathan. With one last sphere of golden light, he killed Leviathan by hitting his core. He then destroyed a fake version of the Simurgh and moved on to Earth Bet, New York, where the final battle began.
After Doormaker's shard ran out of power, Khepri reconsolidated a small part of her army, including Scrub and Labyrinth, who served as her new method of creating portals. Taking the cue from seeing the simulated entity and Scion's reaction to it, Khepri began a psychological assault on Scion, using projection capes and the changers that were under her control along with Labyrinth's power to imitate the body of Eden. The city slowly turned into a garden of body parts, with the changers altering themselves into avatars of Eden and other similar entities. Scion reacted violently to these imitations, trying to destroy them on sight. The other capes that weren't under Khepri's control caught on to this, and nearly every cape that could contribute to the effort began doing so.
Soon, Scion was being haunted by reminders of his dead partner at every corner, with the imitations that represented third entities seeming to bother him even more. He began spending more time trying to destroy the landscape around him more than the parahumans fighting against him. With his mind still immature and his grief over his partner still raw, Scion's rage steadily turned into a sort of panic, forced to confront the source of his sorrow. Then, after the Simurgh joined in on the effort, shaping clouds of dust to create imitations that loomed over Scion, he finally snapped, releasing a omnidirectional scouring light that passed through portals and annihilated all matter that it touched.
When the light had faded, Scion was still curled in on himself. More attempts to torment him with imitations formed by Genesis's projection and Khepri's bugs were only met with minimal retaliation. Then, Oliver was brought in, whose power was the same one that allowed Eden to create her avatar. To Scion, Oliver registered the same as his dead partner. Scion allowed himself to feel true hope, just for a moment. When that hope died, Scion gave up. As he was impaled by two bolts affected by Foil's power, he offered no resistance. Using Scion as a portal to his main body, Khepri aimed the collaborative tinker weapon into him, firing until Scion's body was completely destroyed. Scion was dead.
↑Capes with the ‘breaker’ classification were generally those who had some ability to ‘break’ the natural laws of the universe as far as those laws applied to them. Shadow Stalker was one. Scion was apparently another. - Excerpt from Sentinel 9.2
↑ 2.02.1He maintains a toolkit [...] thinker abilities to understand complex ideas/languages, the precog ability that costs him a lot of lifespan to use, and a bunch of other stuff I can't be arsed to name, as I said above. - Wildbow on Spacebattles
↑ 3.03.13.23.3Scion equipped himself to be able to fight pretty much any threat. His big weapon is a very versatile 'stilling' ability, which lets him cancel out wavelengths, which can be applied in a variety of ways, defensive or offensive - it lets him counteract, manipulate, and cancel virtually any parahuman or human generated effect. He can cancel out heat, eliminate sound, break Grey Boy's ability, disintegrate molecular bonds, etc. He can do so with beams, thrown orbs/bullets, a light he emanates, and a personal forcefield, among a variety of other mechanisms. - Wildbow on Spacebattles
↑The entity had done good deeds for years, at Kevin Norton’s suggestion, waiting and hoping for the reward, the realization. When none had occurred, it had simply kept doing what it had been doing. Seeking out alternatives wasn’t even in the realm of imagination, because imagination was something it lacked. - Excerpt from Interlude 26
↑ 5.05.15.2In seeking to understand the host creatures, the entity had coded shards to emulate them. It is those same shards that experience the entity’s first ever emotion.
The entity comes to experience a deep, profound sadness, for the very first time. - Excerpt from Interlude 26
↑“You’re talking about him as if he were human,” Saint said.
“He is,” Tattletale said. “It’s the only reason he’s doing this, and it’s the only way we have to truly make sense of him, and it’s his primary means of making sense of us. Which is why he did it. He’s got our general biological makeup. He thinks, he feels, he dreams, he hurts, but it’s all buried so far under mounds and mounds and mounds of power and security, it doesn’t really supplant him. It’s never been exposed to the real world, really, so the human side of him hasn’t matured or developed.” - Excerpt from Venom 29.3
↑ 7.07.17.2“Time was, this golden man spent his time wandering, floating here and there, observing but never doing anything. In a daze. Naked as the day he was born. Everyone had different ideas on who he was. Some thought he might be an angel, others thought he was a fallen angel, and still more thought there were scientific explanations. Only thing they ever agreed on was that he looked sad.”
“He does.” Lisette was staring, but the golden man was only looking at Kevin.
“He doesn’t,” Kevin said. “Don’t buy it. He doesn’t look anything. That expression never changes. But whatever’s underneath, that’s what’s giving you that feeling. He looks sad because he is sad. Except you take out the ‘looks’ part of it.” - Excerpt from Interlude 18.x
↑She nodded a little herself, as if satisfied by my response. “He’s fallen prey to the worst kind of whimsy, a destructive wroth. He is heartbroken and hopeless, he has lost more than you or I could ever imagine, and he may well leave this stage so ruined that things cannot be salvaged, unless we’re fortunate enough to get a…” - Excerpt from Speck 30.2
↑ 10.010.1Scion paused, turning to look at Eidolon, his eyes moving past Bitch and me like we weren't even there. His eyes settled on the hero, the most powerful individual in the world staring at the man who was arguably the fifth.
His expression was so hard to read. I knew, now, what people had meant, when they said they thought his face was a mask, a facade. Though it was expressionless, though there was nothing I could point to to explain why I felt the way I did, somehow I sensed disgust from him. Like nobility looking at dog shit. - Excerpt from Extermination 8.5
↑The entity had done good deeds for years, at Kevin Norton’s suggestion, waiting and hoping for the reward, the realization. When none had occurred, it had simply kept doing what it had been doing. Seeking out alternatives wasn’t even in the realm of imagination, because imagination was something it lacked.
It had power, though, and if either the counterpart or the cycle had been intact, they could have filled in for that imagination.
Still, it could experiment.
It gathered its power, then aimed at the nearest, largest population center. Kevin Norton’s birthplace.
The golden light speared forth, and the island shattered, folding, parts of it rising from the ocean. Crumpled like paper in a fist. - Excerpt from Interlude 26
↑The simulated human mind within the entity felt a glimmer of something at that. Pleasure? Relief? Satisfaction?
Something deeper inside, something primal, tied to memories back in the beginning, before the beginning, responded in a very similar fashion.
An interesting experience. After so much focus on the species as a whole, the evolution and development of the shards, on the cycle…
In this, it almost felt like it was evolving as an individual, moment to moment.
The entity opened fire once again, and this time it struck out at the coastline on the opposite side of the ocean. - Excerpt from Interlude 26
↑No longer interested in Foil, Scion turned to the nearest cape, lunging.
Cuff threw her circular blade. Without even looking, Scion batted it aside, striking an unaffected part towards the middle. His attention was on a cape, and he swiped a glowing hand through the cape’s abdomen.
What didn’t burn spilled forth. His screams were joined by that of a friend, another cape who screamed in horror over what had happened to him. Scion very deliberately walked past this other cape to attack someone else.
Picking us off, choosing targets.
Maximizing pain and suffering over raw destruction.
↑ 14.014.1The camera afforded a glimpse of Scion’s face, tinted an orange-red by the forcefield between Scion and the camera. His eyebrows were drawn together, lips just a little tighter together. Lines standing out in his throat. - Excerpt from Venom 29.9
↑But Scion had seen. I saw his expression change. Contempt, tight-lipped anger. It looked wrong, his face so unused to showing emotion, his emotion as intense and unfiltered as it was. - Excerpt from Speck 30.5
Even for someone who had only ever spoken twice, it was an eerie, unsettling sound. Raw, like he was being actively tortured, a sound of pain and anger distilled, given volume by his power.
He wasn’t being tortured, though. He was winning, tearing into the crowd with more ferocity than before, that same crowd where the others, people I cared about, were- - Excerpt from Speck 30.3
↑ 17.017.1He was tearing into Alexandria. Literally. But she doggedly held on, delivering one crushing blow for every pound of flesh Scion ripped from her midsection. He was roaring as he did it, teeth bared, face contorted. - Excerpt from Speck 30.5
↑Kevin didn’t take his eyes off the golden man. “He scares me. He chose me to listen to, of all people. I’m the most powerful person in the world, just because of that. Because I can tell the strongest, most capable man in the world what to do.”
“And you ran?”
“It took me a while to realize what I’d set in motion. I started hearing about him. Word on the street, newspapers, radio. The golden man saves a small island from disaster. The golden man interrupts a burgeoning war. But it wasn’t until that damned clip began playing on the news that I realized what I’d gotten into.”
“I don’t understand.”
“He’d visit regular, right? Stop by, like he was checking if I had anything else to say. Maybe I’d tell him to be more gentle with people when saving them from a car crash, or after that horned bastard came climbing out of the ground and the golden man flew right past it to visit me, I told him he needed to help next time, to fight that monster and anything like it. But sometimes I didn’t have anything to say, and it’s not like he obeys my every instruction down to the last detail, so sometimes he’d hang out here at half past four in the goddamn morning, and I couldn’t get rid of him, so I’d just talk.”
“About whatever. A book I’d gotten my hands on. Current events. The generosity of strangers. Or I’d fix him up some clothes so he looked decent and talk about the clothes.” - Excerpt from Interlude 18.x
↑ 22.022.122.2Scion dropped from the sky. Golden skinned, golden beard trimmed close, or perhaps it never grew beyond that length. His hair was longer than mine. His bodysuit and cape were a plain white, stained with faded marks of old, dirt and blood, a strange juxtaposition to how perfect and unblemished he looked, otherwise. There was no impact as he landed, no great splash or rumble of the earth. Leviathan didn’t even seem to notice the hero’s arrival. - Excerpt from Extermination 8.5
↑He was naked, his arms to his sides, his long hair blowing in the wind as he stood in the sky, nearly a hundred feet above the gently cresting waves. His skin and hair can only be described as a burnished gold. With neither body hair nor clothes to cover him, it is said, he seemed almost artificial. - Excerpt from Interlude 1.x
↑ 24.024.124.2Kevin studied the man. Ageless, the golden man hadn’t changed in the slightest. His hair was the same length, as was his short beard. Every part of him was a burnished gold, even his eyes. He didn’t breathe, didn’t blink as he stared.
The water ran off the golden man’s body, but he wasn’t getting wet. His hair barely moved as the rain struck it, his costume absorbed the moisture, but dried just as fast. The water simply wicked off his skin and hair, leaving him untouched.
It was this same effect that kept the costume clean, a simple white bodysuit extending to biceps and toes. It had been soiled countless times, by everything under the sun, but the golden radiance the man gave off pushed away the particles, slowly and surely cleaning it just as it was doing with the water. The suit might as well have been a part of him, now. - Excerpt from Interlude 18.x
↑ 25.025.1The golden man hovered in place for long, silent seconds, and then took off, faster than the eye could see. Only a golden trail of light was left in his wake, quickly fading. - Excerpt from Interlude 18.x
↑They worship him. Of course they do. His form was crafted to fit the values of this reality. They hold faith, and the entity chose a shape that fit the most celebrated figures of the most popular faiths. Race divides this species, so the entity deliberately chose a form that didn’t fit any one race, with skin and hair given the color and texture of another thing they celebrated and worshipped – a mineral.
↑ 28.028.1“The golden man would reappear several more times in the coming months and years. At some point, he donned clothing. At first, a sheet worn over one shoulder and pinned at either side of the waist, then more conventional clothes. In 1999, he donned the white bodysuit he still wears today. For more than a decade, we have wondered, where did our golden man get these things? Who was he in contact with? - Excerpt from Interlude 1.x
↑His hands hung at his sides. The golden light that radiated from him cleaned his clothes and hair, but there was enough blood on his costume that the light wasn’t rendering it as pristine as it should. His eye sockets were dark, with the way his forehead blocked the sun’s light. That same sunlight made the edges of his hair and body glow with the light that wasn’t completely blocked.
It wasn’t just his costume, I could see. All the lines of his body, his hands, lines that made it so he didn’t look wholly artificial, they were filled with the detritus of smoke and blood and other grit, and the golden light had only washed the surface clean. The deepest cracks held the remainder. It made fine lines look more like crags. - Excerpt from Venom 29.1
↑The entity has cast off all but the most essential parts of itself, distributing the shards throughout this reality. More shards will shower on other realities in time, likely around the point the first have started fragmenting in greater numbers. - Excerpt from Interlude 26
↑One strike of palm against palm, and the shockwave swept past us as if in slow motion, moving past every portal in the area that was still open. It passed through flesh, and it stilled.
It was the same effect he’d used to quiet Leviathan’s waves, the same effect that had frozen floodwaters in their tracks and the same ability that had given him so much presence.
Objects in motion stopped. Portals winked out, warm things plummeted in temperature, cell and neural activity was interrupted. Blood stopped in people’s veins.
Every cape that had been touched by this stillness dropped to the ground, lifeless. - Excerpt from Speck 30.5
↑Scion turned away from Eidolon to focus on the enemy once more. He blasted the Endbringer again. Floated up and moved past Bitch and me faster than I could see, to strike the Endbringer a fraction of a second after the blast of light struck, stopping there in midair to blast Leviathan a second time as the Endbringer was still flying through the air at the punch’s impact. Everything about Scion and his actions was utterly silent. His movements or attacks didn’t even stir the air. Only the effects, Leviathan striking the water, the breaking of ice, generated any movement, shudders or sounds. - Excerpt from Extermination 8.5
↑A pencil-thin beam lanced out from his fingertips. A sweep of his hand, waist-level, and it cut through the crowd. Cut through thighs, knees, calves, feet. - Excerpt from Venom 29.2
↑He came out swinging, obliterating two continents on two different worlds before he found us. - Excerpt from Speck 30.5
↑It gathered its power, then aimed at the nearest, largest population center. Kevin Norton’s birthplace.
The golden light speared forth, and the island shattered, folding, parts of it rising from the ocean. Crumpled like paper in a fist.
The entity did not eliminate the smoke or the waves that followed. It simply let the aftermath occur.
The simulated human mind within the entity felt a glimmer of something at that. Pleasure? Relief? Satisfaction?
Something deeper inside, something primal, tied to memories back in the beginning, before the beginning, responded in a very similar fashion.
The entity extended its perceptions outward, felt the reaction, the outcry. It turned words around in its head, as if it were broadcasting to itself.
The entity opened fire once again, and this time it struck out at the coastline on the opposite side of the ocean. - Excerpt from Interlude 26
↑Eidolon froze the water around Leviathan’s four claws, giving Scion the opportunity to land another blast. Leviathan turned, raised a spraying wall of water to cover his retreat. Scion sent out one blast of his golden light to strike the wave, following up with a second blast before the first even made contact with the water.
Seeing the second blast coming, Leviathan leaped to one side. No use – the blast of light curved in the air to head unerringly for him, struck him down. Edges of the Endbringer’s wounds glowed golden yellow, drifted away into the air like flecks of burning paper caught in the updraft of hot air. A fist imprint near the base of Leviathan’s throat glowed with edges of the same light, the wound continuing to spread and burn as I watched. - Excerpt from Extermination 8.5
↑Right hand gone. Blood, fragments of golden light eating away at stump, making the bleeding worse. - Excerpt from Extinction 27.5
But the golden light began to eat into the target’s body and costume. Scion let the man drop.
Not a scream. Only twitching, frantic thrashing as the golden light continued to consume. - Excerpt from Venom 29.1
↑Scion held back on shooting again, instead charging himself with power. When he released it, it manifested as a slow radiance, a sphere of light that expanded from him in slow motion. The tear in reality dissipated, and everything the light touched stopped. Shifting clouds went still, objects that were flying through the air ceased moving and simply fell, and the ambient noises of destruction, fire and fighting was replaced by an all-too brief silence. Even the Simurgh’s song, Krouse realized, had momentarily stopped. - Excerpt from Migration 17.3
↑Scion lowered himself to nearly ground level. His golden hair moved in the wind as he gazed over the battlefield. His white bodysuit was smudged here or there on the sleeves, but otherwise seemed so pristine that it seemed to glow in the gloom.
No, part of that glow was real. The faint light touched Chevalier, and he could feel his breathing ease. It was reaching out to everyone present.
A consolation prize? A bit of healing? Maybe a helping hand against the radiation, for the others?
He managed a soft laugh. The glow was making the pain easier to handle. He could almost breathe, now.
He closed his eyes, and he felt a tear roll down from the corner of his eye. He suspected he wouldn’t have been able to tear up without the healing. - Excerpt from Interlude 24.x
↑ 44.044.1When Scion uses his power it disturbs electronics. Its why when he flies you can't track him unless its with your eyes. - Excerpt from Interlude 24.y
↑He viewed the scene, as he viewed all of the scenes, through the senses of the fragments that had gone ahead, of fragments that had arrived after he had. They were embedded in hosts, which meant he viewed things through the eyes of the host, and through the abilities the hosts expressed. - Excerpt from Venom 29.2
↑Eidolon used his matter creation power. As with the Faerie Queen's monster of steel, this was derived from a single point, an expanding creation of matter. In this case, however, it was an explosion. Carbon unfolded from a single point. Eidolon chose Scion's right ear canal as the center point.
The carbon expanded as a sphere, and there was a glimmer of Scion's reaction as the orb expanded until it was a hundred feet across. A distortion, golden flesh stretching.
↑"Because we aren't hurting him," I spoke my thoughts aloud. We haven't touched him.
"We're hurting him," she said. "Kind of like how people hurt Gavel. He's… he's got a defense, not making him invincible, but making him a living portal. So you hurt him, and faster than you can do anything, he just swaps out the damaged material for material from… this bottomless well." - Excerpt from Venom 29.2
↑Yet Scion appeared untouched. He was cleaner, even. Scoured of the blood and dirt. Pristine.
“A bottomless well,” I said.
“Bottomless enough to matter,” Tattletale said. “We take out pounds of flesh, but it’s really only removing a drop from the bucket at a time. Then the ‘water’ flows out, high pressure, filling the gaps.”
“And morale plunges,” I said, staring out at the capes who were hanging back, staring at the scene rather than participating.
“Psychological,” Tattletale said. “Just like Endbringers. He crafted that body for a reason.” - Excerpt from Venom 29.2
↑ 53.053.1“Blue. I’m- My power’s getting fuzzier.”
He looked up at the sky. Weaver with her swarm was there, forming a great wall across the sky, as if to draw attention to herself. Scion was approaching, a ray of golden light streaking across the overcast sky above.
↑"The first way, you've got to be basically immune to powers. Scion is. He's immune to precognition, throws everything out the window when he shows up. I saw it when he fought the Simurgh. She couldn't automatically dodge his stuff, because she either couldn't read his mind or she couldn't see the attacks before they happened. So he hit her, a bunch of times. I saw it." - Migration 17.8
↑The awareness continued to extend. A whole planet. Not perfect, but the civilized world, largely below the equator, had a different attitude, prizing self-sufficiency. The rest of the world was war-torn.
It was in one of the war-torn regions that it first appeared. A streak of golden light.
Destruction. Tearing through a region, then a whole continent.
↑As the golden man had made his descent, he had sorted out the universe, taking something infinitely branching and viewing it through a lens. The Bet reality, which had been William’s before he’d left it for Gimel, was the point at the peak of the lens, the most ‘forward’, for lack of a better word. In the eighties, the golden man had arrived. Bet had cleaved off from Aleph.
‘Bet’ was, within the umbrella of the lens, a collection of realities, all of the derivative realities flowing from that point of cleaving, with the more far-flung being further away from ‘his’, harder to reach and see. Accessible, despite common opinion, but only for power interactions, not for actual travel. The golden man had been careful to limit that. Careful enough that even after his death and the ruin of his insane designs, that separation was inviolable.
When William used his power, he made use of the ‘lens’ and its construction. Earth Bet was a pool of William Gileses thirty years deep. [...] He’d joined the Fallen because all that selflessness and communication had amounted to nothing but whole universes of ruin- great golden beams that had cut through the lens, through the Earth Bet he knew and into the seemingly infinite Earths that were included in that package, that were used for predictions and simulations, for templates and data. It was too vast to comprehend, so people didn’t bother comprehending. Nothing meaningful had changed since that point. - Excerpt from Interlude 8.y II
↑We were hoping for Scion. The first cape, the golden skinned man. The guy that could go toe to toe with an Endbringer and win, if things hadn't already gone too far south. [...] The problem with waiting on Scion was that the guy wasn't exactly in touch with the rest of us. There was speculation he had at least one human contact – someone that had given him clothing and a costume, at least – but he never bothered to stop long enough for anyone to pass on any requests, to tell him to go to X place when we gave him Y signal. He rescued people twenty-four-seven, three hundred and sixty five days a year, handling crises only as they came to his attention, which meant that sometimes an Endbringer came and Scion was wholly occupied with saving sinking ships, stopping landslides and putting out housefires. - Extermination 8.4
↑“(He's) Following a very distinct formula. He’s reversing what he did at the outset. Saving children, stopping fires. The man who initially gave him the orders is hospitalized, or we’d ask about the instructions he provided. It might give us an idea of what Scion is going to do and the patterns that might emerge in the course of this… experimentation.” Excerpt from Extinction 27.2
↑“The third attack was against Mali, followed by Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, and all down the coast of Africa. In this attack, he selectively murdered specific individuals.”
“That blast we just saw,” the Doctor explained, “Was a calculated strike. The city was left mostly intact, but Scion killed specific people, targeting anyone who had already hit puberty.”
“How?” Tattletale asked.
“His perceptions are finely tuned,” the Doctor said. “He’s aware of his immediate vicinity, and in absolute control of how his power is expressed. He left… what was the number?”
“An estimated four hundred and thirty thousand,” the Number Man said.
↑“In Russia, his beam started fires. He cut off every escape route, then began setting fires from the outside in. It took him thirty-five minutes to start the fire, and he waited for fifteen minutes while the flames spread and everyone within was cooked. Heroes that attempted to stop the attack were killed.” - Excerpt from Extinction 27.2
↑I sighed a little. “How bad is it?” “We lost just about half of everyone,” Tattletale said. “Maybe more, but communicating’s hard right now. Don’t exactly have an infrastructure.” “Everyone being-” “The capes, the civilians. Everyone. Half of Bet’s onetime population is gone, just about. Good news is he’s traveling between possible Earths, hitting major population centers, so the individual incidents aren’t doing so much damage on a relative level. Bad news is he’s traveling between possible Earths.” - Excerpt from Cockroaches 28.1
↑He looked for futures where he'd find his counterpart, I thought. This was one of them… just not what he wanted or expected. Probably not even something he thought was possible. - Venom 29.8
↑"The biggest thing," I said, "Was that Scion was wrong. He can see the path to victory, and from the vision we saw, we know that he can make mistakes. He plotted for a future that would be sure to reunite him and his partner… and he got his wish. It was just that his partner was brain-dead, gutted, useless." - Venom 29.9
↑He was lashing out, destroying the remains, out of bewilderment, sadness, despair, anger, confusion. All of it unfiltered. The same emotion a child might experience with their first loss. What a child would feel when they lost something irretrievable for the first time, when something was stolen from them and they hadn’t prepared themselves for the possibility on any level.
It was what one felt as a child if they lost their dog, their home, their innocence.
↑Three settlements, and Earth He was under attack. Western Europe and Northern Africa, minus the English speakers. The Guild, the Suits, the Meisters, more teams I struggled to place in the chaos. - Excerpt from Venom 29.9
↑Pinkhair: Something’s been bothering me for a while. Why did they assume that his answer was ‘Scion,’ a non-Russian word. If he understood the question, why would he be assumed to correctly answer in another language?
Heck, maybe he was claiming to be Psionic(Psion). Or a Dan Brown style fictional descendant of Christ(Sion). With hesitation and pauses, it might have been one or multiple words…
Perhaps a better question is, IS that what the world assumes, or is that not the prevailing theory throughout the world? I can imagine the Russians having a different view.
Probably shouldn’t be thinking about this near 7 am on a work day.
wildbow: It’s a prevailing theory, helped by the fact that English is a language that reaches across the globe.