Shell 4.3
Date posted 1 October 2011
Link Shell 4.3
Chapter guide
Shell 4.2
Shell 4.4
Chapter List
Shell 4.3 is the third chapter of Shell. It’s explicated to Taylor that she asked about something incredibly personal. Trigger Events get described in some detail, Taylor opens up about the Locker Incident.


In the previous chapter Taylor had made the mistake of asking the rest of the Undersiders to share their origin stories. Lisa guesses that the day Taylor got powers was one of the worst days of her life. When Taylor asks if it's the same for every parahuman, Lisa confirms it, adding that the only people who get off easy are the second-generation capes, the children of parahumans.

Lisa explains that it's called the trigger event, supposedly triggered by being pushed to your limits and then past them. Alec summarises it as having something really shitty happen to you. This is used to explain why villains are so numerous and why third-world countries have the highest density of parahumans.

Taylor apologises for asking, and Brian assures her that you either have to know other capes or take a university class in parahumans to know these things.

Having thoroughly ruined the mood of the table, Taylor decides to share her own trigger event. Beforehand, she asks the rest of the group not to try and take revenge on the people who caused it, and they agree.

She describes her past year at school, telling them about her bullying. Around November of her second year, the bullying seemed to slow down, and Taylor made a friend with one of the minor bullies. When she returned from Christmas break, she found that the bullies had filled her locker with used pads and tampons, left to rot over the holiday. Taylor vomited when she opened it, and one of her bullies, supposedly Sophia shoved her into the locker before she could recover. They locked her in and left her, and Taylor had her trigger event. She was overwhelmed by her new power, and when she was finally let out, she was insensate.

While she was at hospital she figured out her power. Her father was able to get some money from the school, which paid enough for her hospital stay and a little extra. They weren't able to sue the school or the bullies as no witnesses were coming forth, and they were to poor for an extended trial.

After that, the bullying returned to normal with Taylor refusing to use her power on the bullies, subtly or blatantly, given the possible retaliation either way. Lisa and Alec both try to persuade Taylor to have at least a little revenge on the bullies, suggesting things like bugs in their food up to kidnapping the leader and leaving them practically naked miles from home.

Taylor explains the purpose behind becoming a supervillain was escape, separating those parts of her life that suck from those that are fun.

Alec and Lisa refuse to share their trigger stories, but Brian decides to volunteer.

Major EventsEdit

  • Taylor shares her trigger event.


  • Wildbow believes that this part will be rewritten as Taylor would have come across more stuff about Trigger events.[1] However, one does need to educate one's readers somehow.


The UndersidersEdit

Misc. HeroesEdit

The TrioEdit


  1. Agent Smith:Trigger Events are another thing that I find most fanfics get wrong.
    Taylor (who has been studying capes for several months prior) didn't know what a Trigger Event was until this chapter. It's obviously not public knowledge.

    And yet 3/4 of fanfics have Taylor/her father/random passerby on the street immediately know about them and how they work.

    It's probably the PRT keeping this stuff out of general knowledge. They don't want to admit that most of the hero's are probably suffering from some PTSD before their first night in costume.

    Wildbow:Being completely honest, even as the author, I'm a little surprised Taylor didn't know or even voice that she'd come across the idea while on ParahumansOnline. I thought I remembered the dialogue going more like, "Do you know what trigger events are?" "I've heard of them, but..."

    I suspect I may tweak it just a bit when I return to the chapter while doing the edits for the polished final version. - Reply on Sufficient Velocity

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