When first released onto Earth Bet Sveta was sleep-deprived and almost starving. When in the asylum and provided for Sveta was very shy and kind, and her inability to control her power distressed her greatly. She valued the friends that she made there.
She is driven by the large amount of guilt she has for those she inadvertently killed.She was desperate for laughs when she was in the asylum and eventually found an outlet through the internet. She confessed that she would rather have died than have gotten her powers.
In the years since Gold Morning she has opened up emotionally, though some habits remain. She constantly apologizes, even when fighting a dangerous villain.
A role she has come to occupy more and more is as the emotional center of the teams she was on. Weld called her the heart of the team while Victoria called her the team mom. Sveta disagreed with these assessments.
Her first 'real' friend that she was able to talk to and interact with. The girl's force-field was resistant to Sveta's tentacles. Sveta felt very guilty about leaving her behind when she went to the Irregulars. They have many little gestures that they share with each other born from the time when they both didn't have bodies. These have evolved after they reunited.
Weld was Sveta's idol and role model. Eventually they met at the advice of Jessica Yamada; they got along well and agreed on many matters together. They became partners, with Weld carrying Sveta around.
After Gold Morning they started a relationship together, Sveta has described it in terms similar to matrimony. She considers him the most important person in the world.
They broke up due to inherent problems with their physiology.
Got along with Weld and shared information about her personal experience with other members of the team.
After Gold Morning she, as a Weld supporter, is heavily shunned by surviving Irregulars. She even thinks its possible that they would hurt her if given the chance. Although she is still willing to provide support for fellow monstrous parahumans.
Later she recalls that the group had a lot of underlying, covert problems during its existence, which were willingly ignored for the sake of not alienating each other. She regrets that.
Biased against her given the fact that one of the first times she heard of Panacea was through Vicky, the sister she mutilated. She deliberately turned down an offer to ameliorate her case 53 difficulties based on this.
Sveta tried to become friends with him online. Their relationship had a falling out when Greg got spooked out by her unfortunate nickname and her unwillingness to send him pictures.
Sveta is little more than an almost impossibly pale face, having no ears or scalp, but with long, pencil-thin, black coiling tendrils streaming around like hair. Small organs hang from the largest of the tendrils that extends from the back of her face while a small "C" is tattooed on her cheekbone, all her internal organs still exist though in a diminished form. She speaks with a quiet slavic accent, again due to her small sized lungs.
Her tears are black, and when Sveta cries too much, her body will begin to shed bile through her tear ducts.
Sveta used an advanced full body ceramic prosthetic with ball-joint articulation, that she manipulated with her tentacles from the inside. She used her artistic skill to paint it and add her flair to it. Further, she has started wearing a black wig. She has taken to covering up her tattoo with makeup.
Sveta has an armored version, and constantly updates art on her civilian body.
Following the destruction of her prosthetic body, Rain made new hand prosthetics for her. While relatively fragile, they were able to transfer sensations. She still was using the old neckpiece to cover up and give shape to her "neck", and painted her prosthetics.
She also started wearing floor long skirts to disguise her movement.
Sveta was given a proper human body by Mr. Bough. She is above average height, being only half-a-head shorter than Victoria. Her tendrils now manifest through her body unzipping layer by layer. The tendrils are thicker and flatter than her previous ones, and have serrated edges. Her inner organs shrivel and hide when exposed.
Sveta continues to use pieces of her old painted shell as her costume armor.
Abilities and Powers
Her control of this body slowly increased over the years. She gained a lot of control quickly. thanks to the help of her teammate Precipice. There needed to be regular sessions to ensure that her control didn't waver. 
From the outset Sveta was incapable of fully controlling the strength of her tendrils which leads her to instinctively crush any stressor with them. This also means her power is reactive to any threat against her no matter the source. Her powers' behavior may stem from Sveta having little initial connection with her Shard. Functioning largely independent of her' making computer use hard but not impossible with the right equipment.
Her body has it's own mind that she could not always override. This included an instinctual hunter behavior that made her body conceal itself before people entered her room in the asylum. This instinct is likely responsible for her high kill count. Similarly her body ensures she is healthy and not close to death and will make her eat food, regardless of quality if it senses her close to starving.
Her tentacles have notable durability, stated to be one of the reasons she was captured instead of killed when she was first found by the outside authorities. Being essentially bullet proof given her tentacles and her incredably small vital area. It was strong enough to withstand devastating blasts though not unscathed. Luckily her body is still a living organism, as such it can recover and regrow large sections of it self.
Also as a living organism Sveta still regularly showers.
Strength and Speed
A single large tendril can easily rip a limb off of someone, several at once possess enough strength to bend steel bars and demolish concrete barriers. Further these can move at speeds normal eyes can not track.
When she couldn't control herself the only way for a normal human to safely interact with her would be to wear what was essentially a deep sea scuba divers suit - walking tank, one that needs regular maintenance between visits. She is even able to affect Weld thanks to her strength.
She was able to fling a massive load with her tentacles with enough leverage, even though she was injured at the time.
In her full body Prosthesis (see above) she retains her durability, but is restrained somewhat by the confines of the humanoid body. She moves somewhat clumsily. This is due counter-intuitive movement that is required to control bodysuit from the inside. Nervousness has been known to exacerbate this problem.
She can unlatch her joints, allowing her to extend her limbs a considerable distance, as she can when she is completely out of the body, and use them as grappling hooks. She is able to remove part of the prosthesis to allow out more appendages.. Her body is, however, not smart enough to get out of the suit without her conscious input,, including above the "neck", where tendrils are loosely restrained with a series of metal rings. She usually needs assistance to get out of the suit.
For example, she was confident in her ability to use her arms to snatch Kenzie out of Ashley's way. Even with her grip strength being less than adequate and Ashley being able to move faster then her. She uses her ability to move around quickly but not always gracefully.
Despite all these challenges Sveta has showcased a talent for art. When she received her mechanical body she made a habit of decorating its outside with painting.
Notably, she is able to use the multitude of her appendages to draw simultaneously in different areas, drastically cutting down on time to make her creations.
Ashley showed Sveta how to use her tentacles to open yale locks.
After having her body transformed by Mr. Bough, Sveta's ability took more of a Changer form, in which she could unwrap her body into thicker, flatter tendrils with serrated edges. These serrated edges are capable of cutting people.
She demonstrated ability to hide objects inside her body, including her armored costume.
Sveta recalls that she was a fisherman's daughter living in a small village with her family, probably on an alternate Earth.
Known as Dimi and presenting male at that time, she was injured after falling off of a coastal cliff on the sharp rocks below. Her sister, Nayet, was also injured during the rescue.
She and her sister were taken in the middle of a storm while delirious from fever by several other 'monstrous' capes, and given a Cauldron formula. Her sibling did not survive. Following this, she was released from Cauldron's custody, into Russia for an unknown purpose. While on the loose she accidentally killed well over hundred people over the course of several years.
Eventually, she was captured by Wieldmaiden of the Guild, and placed in a Parahuman Asylum where she was contained and treated for her condition. Initially, she was physically unable to speak because of her underdeveloped lungs, but after a year she regained enough control to be able to learn language. As a consequence, she speaks with a soft faux-russian accent.
After a point when she was in the asylum she gained computer privileges, though she had to share with someone else. She eventually found Parahumans Online and choose the username GstringGirl, for a laugh.
Dr. Yamada visited Sveta in June 16th as part of her regular rounds. The Case 53 girl was waiting above the doorway to her special containment room when Dr. Yamada arrived for their session. Her tendrils wrapped around Dr. Yamada's suit and then constricted before Sveta apologized. Dr. Yamada told her to focus on her relaxation exercises, but Sveta said that it was just making it worse. An airbag gave way and Sveta apologized again before saying that they should've talked through the mirrors and that she didn't want Dr. Yamada to die. Dr. Yamada told her that the point of the sessions was to socialize her before hushing her and telling her to focus on her relaxation exercises.
Eventually, Sveta was able to uncoil from Dr. Yamada's suit and move herself over to her 'bed' while settling her organs on a shelf on the post. She apologized again, but Dr. Yamada said she understood. Sveta asked about the patient that Dr. Yamada had seen, only for Dr. Yamada to remind her that she couldn't talk to others about her patients. Sveta said she understood before asking if the patient was a bad guy like she had been - saying that she had killed people before. Dr. Yamada told her that it was her power that had killed them and that they would talk about it in their session before telling her that a doctor might be able to tell her about the new patient through the intercom.
Dr. Yamada asked if she had been keeping her journal and Sveta grabbed it. The doctor asked if she could look at it and Sveta allowed her to. Dr. Yamada then asked her what had her so agitated before Sveta asked her why she wasn't scared of her. Dr. Yamada told her that she had no reason to be.
Yamada informed Sveta of the larger plan behind her treatment. And told her that there was a new patient at the asylum. They were eventually introduced and though was initially reluctant to meet her they became fast friends.
Distraught over her idol leaving the Protectorate, Sveta rapidly lost progress in her treatment. She was paid a visit and accepted an invitation to the Irregulars. She was eventually convinced to leave the asylum with Weld thanks to the intervention of Victoria.
Sveta was with the Irregulars when they attended the meeting at the opening of the event. She was basically 'worn' by Weld but kept silent throughout.
She deployed with the rest of the team to the oil rig. She was heavily damaged by Scion while shielding her team. While notably still intact afterward she was nevertheless injured and reduced in effectiveness.
She later took part in the mission to Cauldron's headquarters. During the mission, the container the Irregulars stored her in cracked, forcing Sveta to choose a target to attack. Sveta attempted to focus her tentacles on Scion, but was unable to maintain focus solely on him and inadvertently killed Doctor Mother.
Helped halt Scion from destroying Taylor's group and bought them time to escape. Sveta herself was able to escape later.
Like the other capes she was snatched up by Khepri and was deposited in New York when Doormaker lost power. She rapidly tried to separate herself within an apartment and tried to calm down.
Two years after surviving Gold Morning, Sveta took a five-day trip with Weld to discover her homeland. While it ultimately failed she did have a very nice vacation. It involved sailing along a cost and got the chance to try swimming, an activity that she enjoyed. She found her self ostracized from the Case 53 community given Weld's actions, as well as her own. She took this in stride by deleting her PHO account and starting a new one.
Through talks with her therapy group she eventually decided to found a superhero team. She was sad about it.
Was able to meet an old friend after a long time after Ms. Yamada brought Victoria in to dissuade her and the group from forming the team. This was not successful but the two women rejoiced in meeting each other again.
Victoria told her about the change to her power. Sveta didn't hold this silence against her old friend.
Like the rest of her team she was involved in the Shin Diplomatic Crisis. After Victoria was hurt and drugged into unconsciousness Sveta was put into isolation for trying to defend her. Regardless she was able to communicate with her team and was able to save her father figure from an assassination attempt by a foul mouthed parahuman killer.
Participates in the raid on Teacher, where she encounters Contessa within the former Cauldron Compound. Reluctantly, she cooperates with her tormentor to fight against the common enemy. She was severely wounded during the fight with elite soldiers of Teacher, nevertheless she was able to reach Dragonslayers in critical moment and disable Saint.
↑ 1.01.11.2While Interlude 13.z shows her life prior to being given a vial, this is not from her point of view, as described in From Within 16.11: “I slipped and fell. It wasn’t from some tree onto the parking lot. It was from black rock onto black rock. We both got taken away. We both got vials after that, but I was the one to survive.”
Further supporting evidence is shown in Interlude 13.z, with Nayet drawing gentleman sausages in the rocks, while Dimi draws swirls we later see Sveta drawing on her prosthetic body. Additional subtext can be seen in the text as well.
Sveta said a single word in Russian. “It wasn’t my first choice, but Weld told me if I didn’t choose, someone would choose for me. I guess our hands are being forced. Tress. Because it sounds pretty, at least. But call me Sveta when it’s not official.” - excerpt from Torch 7.8
“Finally. Fresh air,” the girl inside said. She had a quiet voice. More the type of voice I’d connect to a shy librarian at a party or a sheltered preacher’s daughter in the company of boys.
“Sveta?” I asked. “We met on the oil rig.”
“She also goes by Garotte,” Satyr said. “The only reason the PRT didn’t put her down was because she’s rather hard to kill. She has quite the impressive body count.”
“Don’t say that.”
“She was part of the original invading party,” Satyr went on, ignoring her. “They attacked the Doctor, setting this whole mess in motion.”
“I could hear everything you guys were saying,” the girl said. It was only when she said the longer word ‘everything’ that I noticed the rasp to her voice. It would be part of the reason for her being quiet. - Excerpt from Venom 29.6
↑ 4.04.1Garotte – Inmate at the Parahuman Asylum, a living mass of tentacles with a lethal fight-or-flight reflex. Also goes by Sveta. - Cast (spoiler free)
↑ 5.05.15.25.3The Sandman:Odd, because once I saw the tags I thought GstringGirl was Sveta (aka Garotte). Given that “wrapped around a pole” is basically the equivalent of a chair for her and that her “body” is more-or-less made up of fleshy wires, her username is sort of a joke about her condition. And it also explains why she’s not wiling to send any photographs. wildbow:Dingdingding. -
Comment by Wildbow in Interlude 19.y
↑ 8.08.18.28.3“I’m not playing,” Sveta said, and the anger was gone, just as fast as it had appeared. “I’m- I’m telling you that if you’d asked, at any point along the way, I’d probably have told you I’d rather be dead. I’d rather be dead than live this new life you gave me, where I spent years killing people by accident, unable to sleep, killing stray animals for food because my body decides when I eat, not my mind…” - Excerpt from Venom 29.7
↑ 14.014.1I can’t repeat those things, but I worry more than I used to. I get anxious. There’s a part of everyone else in the group in me, and when they struggle it feels like I’m struggling.”
“I can sort of relate to that.”
“I need people and I scare them away. Tristan told me what Houndstooth said. None of it’s too surprising. There are people who know a dangerous amount about me and I think they’d hurt me if they had a chance. I’m a killer. I’m constantly at war with another side of myself. I’m perpetually off balance and I don’t know if I’ll ever have that balance.”
“That kinship might be why you’re able to connect to the others.”
“Don’t say it. Don’t sound like Weld.”
“It’s true,” I said. “You’re the team’s mom.”
“Oh no,” Sveta said. “That’s so much worse than what I thought you were going to say. I thought you were going to call me the team’s heart, like Weld does. I can’t be a mother. No!” [...] “I’m not a mom,” Sveta said.
↑ 16.016.1“It’s a matter of professional courtesy,” she said, more like she was talking to herself than to me. She was still getting herself sorted out, her raincoat hung up, rain boots replaced with slippers she’d been holding beneath the coat. “Being prompt, it indicates that I respect and value your time. You can’t confide in me if I don’t respect you.”
I looked down at the floor for a moment. She was looking at me when I raised my eyes to her. “With all sincerity, it was due to forces entirely out of my control, with complications at every turn.”
“Bureaucracy,” I said.
“You’re not wrong,” she said, “But it was something else. A patient of mine, institutionalized, she’s reacted badly to certain events in the last month. Someone she idolized left the Wards, and-”
I could see her stop, composing herself, the stress and preoccupied attitude melting away.
“Weld has been telling me things about what’s going on elsewhere. Things he shouldn’t be telling me, but I think a lot of it is the kind of thing like a husband with a certain position might tell his wife, sometimes, even when those things are confidential.”
“Wife?” I asked. I raised an eyebrow.
“Shut up,” Sveta said, lifting her chin a bit, looking mock-affronted. “Not another word about that.”
↑“Hello,” the small creature on Amy’s shoulder said, voice high. A few people glanced over.
“Hello,” Sveta said, before returning to what she was doing. She kept Amy in the corner of her eye.
“Dot, meet Tress,” Amy said. “My mother told me a lot about her, and I make- made small talk with her boyfriend when I ran into him at the Wardens headquarters.”
“You have a machine body, and you don’t smell much like flesh or blood.”
“Be polite,” Amy said.
“It’s good!” Dot exclaimed. “So special, to have something made like that. A lot of love and care.”
“There was,” Sveta said. “The most important person in the world had to work hard to make it even possible, and someone had to study very hard to learn how to make it, and that’s a kind of love too.” [...] “My Red Queen does good work with a lot of love too,” Dot said.
“I’ve seen the work she does,” Sveta said. [...] “My Red Queen has fixed a few of my kind. Big ones, weird ones. She could fix you. She can make you just as wonderful in shape and strong enough you don’t need the body.”
“Don’t volunteer me,” Amy said. “Things are more complicated than that.”
“But you can! You can make her any shape at all, and then she won’t need that machine anymore! Then I can take a hand or take an arm! It’s all so colorful!”
↑It gives me the worst feeling, when I look back on things in retrospect. So many stupid things we should have paid attention to. So many. We let a lot of things slide because we were worried about how it would change the tone of things, and because of friendship, or what we thought was friendship. I’d rather see people get upset now than have it all go wrong later. - excerpt from Torch 7.8
↑ 20.020.1“Traveling?” I asked. Her smile was contagious.
“Traveling. We had a boat, and when we weren’t around people, I got out of my hamster ball. We stayed pretty close to the coasts, Weld sailing or driving the boat and me swimming. It was really, really nice.”
“I can tell you got a lot of sun,” Tristan said.
Sveta smiled. Her face was so pale that her complexion was borderline impossible for a human. “I like swimming. I want to find a way to get out and do it more. It’s the first time I can remember moving and having there be resistance. Everything else is too hard or too reflex.” - Excerpt from Flare 2.7
↑From the other end of the fight, Sveta had Valefor, the wig stuffed in his mouth and tied in place with lengths of hair knotted together. Her head seemed slim without ears or hair to bulk it out. She looked more intense in expression and demeanor, her ‘scalp’, the sides of her head and her neck formed of the muscle-like gatherings of tendrils. Everything was bound down firm with the metal rings, only the shortest of tendrils curling up and out, an inch or two long, each. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.12
↑She moved her hair, showing the edge of her face, the mass of pencil-thin black tendrils behind it. - Excerpt from Shade 4.7
↑ 23.023.1Like a dozen frog’s tongues, tendrils snapped across the length of the room to the ‘bed’, encircling it. In another second, as though each tendril were elastic bands stretched to their limits, Sveta had shifted there, her tendrils gripping the post as she hung from it. Jessica was free.
Sveta was little more than a very pale face with thin tendrils streaming around it like hair. Small organs dangled from the largest of the tendrils that extended from the back of her face. A small symbol marked the girl’s cheekbone: a stylized ‘c’, in black.
It took Sveta a second before she relaxed enough to let the tendrils uncoil from the post. The tendrils settled in the air, in a rough facsimile of where a person’s limbs might be. She’d positioned herself so that the organs could rest on the ‘shelves’ on the post.
“I’m sorry,” Sveta said, eyes downcast.
“I’m fine. I understand,” Jessica soothed. She shifted position, and one tendril snapped out to catch her leg, gripping her around the knee, squeezing and twisting with a strength that could have torn every ligament in her knee and wrenched Jessica’s calf from her upper leg. Sveta flinched, closed her eyes for a second, and the tendril moved back to the post. The suit had held. No damage done. - Excerpt from Interlude 18.z
↑He began undoing the little clasps of metal that bound Garotte against his body. She unfurled, reached out to railings, to edges of metal.
Where the tendrils surrounded the railing, a barrier that might have stopped a speeding car, the metal bent, crushed tight.
The tendrils continued to find their way to things to grip. There were more of them than I’d thought.
One tendril seized my claw, faster than I could react. Just as fast, it pulled back, found something else to hold.
She and Weld both stopped.
I watched as she closed her eyes, drew in a deep breath, and then exhaled.
Weld released her organs, hidden in a space in his broad back, and she was free of him. She collected herself around the railing, her eyes closed, drawing in deep breaths and then exhaling slowly. Slowly, the tendrils released, and she stretched out to her full length.
She looked like a fish underwater, a lionfish or jellyfish with dramatic, crazy fins or fronds. Where they weren’t bound to her surroundings, the fronds fell in line with one another, moved with their own rhythm, a mind of their own, that searched the surroundings. - Excerpt from Extinction 27.5
↑ 28.028.1Kingdom Come opened Sveta’s mouth, worked her jaw. No words came out.
She doesn’t have full lungs, Kingdom Come, I thought. For her first year or so, she couldn’t talk or explain herself, not that she even knew the language. - Excerpt form gleaming 9.13
↑Sveta blinked a few times, trying to be angry, but getting teary instead. The tears were black, welling in the inner corners of her eyes. - Excerpt from Black 13.11
↑She started to accept, then stopped. “I’m out of tears and I’m crying bile. It’s stinging my eyes. If I get it on your clothes it’ll stink.” - Excerpt from Black 13.7
↑She was pale in a way that skin didn’t tend to be, and she had a mane of black hair. A small black tattoo marked her cheekbone, partially obscured by skin-tone makeup that had streaked in the rain. For all that she was almost monochrome from the neck up, she was a riot of color from the neck down. Sveta. - Excerpt from Flare 2.5
↑Ten fingers, ten toes. Two arms, two legs. She still wore her wig, because she liked having the longer hair, but there was a scalp beneath. The stomach that heaved was complete now. Three procedures over four days, after two days of deliberation. - Excerpt from Breaking 14.1
↑And her power- she reached out, willed it, and her arm unzipped two dozen times between fingertip and elbow, unfurling and extending. Tendrils reached out, far thicker but flatter, with saw teeth at the edges. It zipped back up to normal a second later, with only a sharp smack at the back of her hand as one flat tendril was pulled in too fast. - Excerpt from Interlude 13.z
↑ 35.035.1She pulled off her mask, then pressed it to her stomach. Skin pulled away in strips, and then fat, muscle, and other structures were their own layers. All the organs were there, but as necessary parts were pulled away, the organs went still, shriveling, moisture sucked into other surrounding spaces.
The mask was wrapped up by the strips, then drawn into her stomach. Strips then fell back into their natural order, with one or two misfires before something tidy was managed. Only a slight bump suggested the mask’s presence.
Then, more dramatically, she did the same with the remainder of her costume. The costume was salvaged from her damaged prosthetic body, forming armor that she wore with curling, wavy components to it, all painted either in a dramatic fashion with bright reds, yellows, and oranges, or in deep, cold greens and blues.
It took her some doing, to pull in the armor and wrap herself around it. There were places it protruded through the skin, but it was set deep enough inside her that that when she pulled her coat out of her bag and pulled it on over everything, her silhouette was normal. - Excerpt from Breaking 14.2
↑I heard the slap of Sveta behind me. I heard the bang at the door. Ashley’s power. I spun in the air, caught only a glimse of a door with a silver line on it, Ashley with her good foot out, arms behind her. As part of that scene, I saw a massive collection of tendrils, with Sveta’s face at the center of them all, her expression focused, her face not as traced or marred by the tendrils reaching across it. Nothing at eyelids or nostril, nothing at the corner of her mouth, pulling because it acted instinctually.
The cape geek in me wanted to rattle through all of the ways that could have happened. The Sechen Ranges, or the fact she was pissed, that anxiety fed into itself and she was so distracted by reality that the cycle had been interrupted.
But she was with me. No suit, no middle ground. I had the Wretch and I felt the tentacles touch it, leveraging it.
How confident was she, to transition from ‘I don’t want anyone near me’ to ‘I can be this close to a variable scenario’? - Excerpt from Heavens 12.1
↑She can’t kill herself, or she would have, it’s obvious enough. Her body would react and destroy external threats, even ones she’s trying to leverage against herself. - Comment by WildBow on Venom 29.7
↑My bugs reached Sveta. She was pulling herself free of rubble.
She looked around, confused.
Her tendrils killed maybe sixty bugs as she focused her attention on them.
“It’s Taylor. Skitter, or Weaver. Whatever you know me as.”
She killed more before she got herself firmly secured to a large piece of concrete. - Excerpt from Venom 29.8
↑Some people have very little connection to their shards. Look at Leet - his shard actively sabotages him. Look at Echidna, or Sveta. You end up with disconnects, and stuff starts to stand out as the shard's behavior becomes more distinct, either in 'episodes' or a pattern of the power not cooperating. - Worm Web Serial Discussion III : After the End (Wildbow, SpaceBattles.com, 2014-01-15)
↑Very rugged design, kind of like Weld has his super reinforced chair.
Of course, she's not the only patient who needs a rugged computer, ergo her 'sister' needing to use it.
Drawback being that if you have a computer built for someone with a degree of super strength they can't wholly control, and worked so that the keys can be both pushed & pulled (with screws in each key for the tentacle girl to grip), sensitivity becomes a secondary consideration. - Post by Wildbow on RPG.net
↑"Come on out, Sveta," she said. She clenched her teeth and braced herself for the ambush.
Sveta had been waiting above the door. Tendrils snaked around the neck of the protective suit, and cinched tight in a moment. [...] "So sorry," Sveta whispered. "Sorry."
Jessica felt her arm jolt as one set of tendrils lashed up the length of her right arm to catch her gloved fingers. Each finger was pulled in a different direction, but the metal reinforcement in the outer glove held, and her hand wasn’t crumpled like tissue paper.
“Relaxation exercises, Sveta. Don’t try to fight the instincts all at once, don’t worry about me…” - Excerpt from Interlude 18.z
↑Wildbow: [Sveta is] strong enough to lift Weld. Somewhere between wood and steel cable in terms of durability. Her tendrils are all prehensile. That should say enough.
↑ 46.046.1The explosions cleared out half of a roomful of forty people, many of them armed. Sveta and I picked through the remainder. Women with guns. Men with masks covering their lower faces. Tossed aside. Sveta couldn’t really be shot, and the Wretch protected me from being shot, even though it was mostly pandemonium and people reeling.
And Sveta’s movements only continued to make sense to me again, now that I could parse why she was so reluctant and reserved. I’d known her at one point in time when this was all she had. She’d been hesitant to get to know me, but she’d settled in. - Excerpt from Heavens 12.1
↑ 47.047.1Scion erupted with golden light. It wasn’t the sort of attack one dodged. Instantaneous, hitting everything in every direction.
My skin began to blister, the golden light searing through it, appearing in the ridges between spots where flesh was simply being eaten away.
I scrambled for cover [...] The light faded. I checked, then climbed back over the edge.
Weld and his people had taken cover. Sanguine was covering injuries with scabs, but the damage was bad. The tendril girl’s tentacles were worn so thin they were barely there. - Excerpt from Extinction 27.5
↑ 48.048.1Sveta said. “I’m going to go rinse off. I’ve been cooped up in this body and I’m all waxy and gross inside here. I’ll be back out in a minute.”
“Do you want me to take your body?” Weld asked.
“I’m okay. I’ll bring a change of clothes in with me.” [...]
“Weld?” Sveta called out.
“Be right back.”
I worked on the document while Weld joined Sveta in the washroom. - Excerpt from Shadow 5.6
↑"I'm fine. I understand," Jessica soothed. She shifted position, and one tendril snapped out to catch her leg, gripping her around the knee, squeezing and twisting with a strength that could have torn every ligament in her knee and wrenched Jessica's calf from her upper leg. Sveta flinched, closed her eyes for a second, and the tendril moved back to the post. The suit had held. No damage done. - Excerpt from Interlude 18.z
↑Sveta snatched a notebook off of the small table with the art supplies, reaching out and bringing it to her faster than the eye could follow. She passed it to Jessica with just as much speed and force. Even with the air bags filling the void in the protective suit and offering a cushioning effect, Jessica had to take a step back to catch her balance. - Excerpt from Interlude 18.z
↑“-But I have to go over them anyways. There are regulations, Jessica, as you well know. You’ll be wearing a type-C reinforced protective suit. The suits include both an inner and outer layer, the inner layer-”
“Has a button in the palm. I can withdraw my fingers from the outer glove and press the button. At random intervals, you’ll buzz me surreptitiously…”
“And we expect you to press the button to verify that you’re okay. You can press it twice in the event of an emergency.” [...] “It’s what we have for the time being. If you don’t verify your own safety or if you signal an emergency, we’ll employ containment foam through the sprinkler system.”
Jessica pulled on the protective inner-suit. The suit fit close to her body, smelled faintly of someone else's sweat, and consisted of a stretching mesh covered in fine chain link. The entire thing was reinforced by a grid of metal bars, complete with oiled hinges at each joint, so she had a near-full range of motion. Zipping it up, it went straight up her neck, the bars running vertically down her throat. She couldn't look down without getting jabbed in the soft flesh beneath her jaw.
It made it harder to get the outer suit on. The entire thing was one piece, like footie-pyjamas, and the fabric was heavy, with alternating layers of insulated fabric and more chain mesh. [...] Now that she had a better grasp of what her patients were capable of, it was easier to hope the people designing the safeguards were doing everything they needed to. It was better than researching it and knowing they weren't.
The heavy fabric exterior suit fit her like hazardous materials gear, bulky, broad, leaving a great deal of empty space between her body and the fabric. Protective airbags of more reinforced cloth inflated to fill that space - Excerpt from Interlude 18.z
“Me too,” Tristan said. “Your control gets bad when you’re nervous, right? You have more reflexive movements?”
“It gets so fucking shitty,” Sveta said. “I’m sorry. I’m worried I’ll be terrible because I’m all over the place inside here. I don’t know if you can hear it, but I keep fumbling because I’ll reflexively reach out to grab something off in the distance and hit the wall of the suit instead, and then I have to reach for the right control ring again.” - Excerpt from Glare 3.3
↑She didn’t touch or move anything external, but the joints of her elbow shifted, and the forearm and hand dropped. Ten or so tendrils extended between elbow and forearm, like a muscle with gaps between strands.
She moved it, tendrils bending, flinging her hand and the attached segment of arm out fifty feet. She tried to grab a branch, missed it, grabbed another, and seized it, before pulling her body to follow. I saw her turn her head away as she pulled herself through the intervening twigs and leaves.
She twisted around, pointed a hand, and used tendrils to push her fist out.
She seized the wheel that Byron had left embedded in the earth, and pulled herself to it.
There was a bit of gracelessness to the landing, her pants leg and the side of her body rubbing against the grass, a few clumps of earth flying, but it served to put her in our midst again. She wobbled as she stood and Tristan and I caught her between us.
She made a small ‘phew’ sound.
“You’re made of grappling hooks, basically,” Chris said. Kenzie, sitting on her box, stuck out her toe to jab Chris in the shoulder. - Excerpt from Glare 3.2
↑It was Sveta, perched on a branch, flag in hand. Another blur, moving the clock back.
Sveta removed one of her prosthetic hands. Fifty or more tendrils snapped out.
“You grabbed every flag,” Tristan said.
“I grabbed at every flag,” Sveta said. “I had to reposition a few times, so I probably grabbed at some fake ones several times. It didn’t help that I couldn’t see that well after being shot.” - Excerpt from Glare 3.3
↑“Positive side is I just found out I’m all instinct when I’m forced into attack mode. My body isn’t smart enough to figure out how to get out of the suit.” - Excerpt from Shadow 5.3
↑“She’d undone a clasp at the shoulder. She brought her head out, twisting it around in a way a neck couldn’t. Her tendrils were bound with metal rings into a loose column that disappeared into her suit.” - Excerpt from Shadow 5.10
↑When Kenzie was out of earshot, but before she had reached Ashley, Sveta raised one hand and said, voice quiet, “If there’s a problem, I’ll haul her back.”
“That takes a second or two,” I said. “Sparring with Ashley, I gotta say she moves faster than that.”
“And your grip isn’t a hundred percent,” Tristan said.
↑The room was empty. The wall had a mural painted on it, ocean waves and beautiful architecture that Jessica couldn’t place as belonging to any particular era or culture. There was a short, translucent table littered with painting and drawing supplies - Excerpt from Interlude 18.z
↑ 60.060.1“I remember, you know,” Sveta said. “I dream of home. I was a fisherman’s daughter. There were these beautiful little huts with flat roofs, orange clay brick against gray mountains, with green-blue grass and ocean. It was cramped, and I had to share space with my family, my siblings… but I was okay with it. There weren’t any boys my age to marry, and I didn’t want to move to another town to look for a husband, so I just stayed by myself. I’d draw, and there was a peace in it. I still like to draw, I find it helps me relax… but it’s hard because my tendrils break the brushes and pencils. And then I don’t feel relaxed anymore.”
“We’ve caused you difficulties,” the Doctor said, not even looking at Sveta. She walked quickly, her eyes roving over the rows and columns of vials.
“I can’t remember my mother tongue, Doctor. I can’t remember my daddy’s face, or my mommy, or either of my brothers. I’ve just got the faces I see in dreams. Every morning I was in the asylum, I would wake up and I scramble to draw something, to put words in a diary, and I’m so excited and panicked and desperate I’d break things.”
The Doctor wasn’t reacting.
“I know I used to draw, but I can’t find the style I used to draw in. I dream about the night you took me, you know.”
“Not me, surely. I sent others.”
“You sent people like me to take me. Case fifty-threes. Branded. Abominations. Demons. There’s names for us all over the world. It was storming, I was delirious, and they came, they grabbed me, and I all I could think was that the old stories were true, and I said something I can’t remember. You took me to a lab and you unraveled me with that drug of yours, and then you dropped me in the middle of nowhere, with just enough memories to know that I should be human.” - Excerpt from Venom 29.7
↑ She was changing the colors in one of her arms, pausing here and there to look up and make sure our Advance Guard heroes and their quarry weren’t on their way.
The work she did was very precise and particular, twenty-plus tendrils looping down her body, around her arms and then anchoring at different points on three different paintbrushes. The movements of each paintbrush were meticulous, six to ten tendrils all pulling at the same time, one relaxing to allow the others to pull it away from that direction. At the same time, a tendril worked its way around her face, gripping her eyelid, working her way into the socket.
She shook her head fiercely, and it pulled away. Others snapped out to grip the edges and bars of the platform she sat on.
Dangerous, maybe, to be doing it in the open, but she was above the cars, on a platform a distance away from the road, the people were safe within vehicles, and she was partially anchored to her body and the platform. I knew she had control enough that she’d been able to hang out with me and she hadn’t lost control to the point that she’d broken my forcefield. - Excerpt from Beacon 8.5
↑“This is the cheap and dirty way of opening a lock,” Swansong said. “You want to jostle the pins. Go back and forth, as soon as you feel them, pop them up. Keep pressure so the lock is turning-”
“Already doing that,” Sveta said. her hand was removed, and tendrils were groping at and around the lock. “I have to use my smallest tendrils, which are also the shortest, which is awkward-”
The trunk popped open. I saw the surprise on Sveta’s face. [...] “How did you know how to lockpick?” Byron asked, quiet. “You couldn’t when you were a villain.”
“I study,” Swansong said. “It’s the kind of thing I watch before bed.”
“It’s cool,” Sveta said, and her smile seemed genuine. “It’s neat to know I can do that. Thank you.” - Excerpt from Polarize 10.8
↑Byron hit someone, transitioned that hit into a grab, and pulled them to one side, where one of his constellations blasted out water. Sveta made it further down the hallway, where there were less of our people in reach. Her tendrils cut where the saw teeth ran along flesh, and grabbed otherwise. The two combined were… nasty. To cut someone’s arm and pull on that skin? - Excerpt from Dying 15.3
↑She’d been imprisoned alongside- had it been her brother? And then she had become this and they had become dead, crushed to death by the movements of a body of black stone, ground into wall and floor until there was only pulp, and black gobbets that creaked like rock and twitched like meat. - Excerpt from Interlude 13.z
↑ 68.068.1“Wait, let me talk,” Sveta said. “I’ve been thinking about this. I talked about this in front of all of you at different times. In the group, and in the room with Victoria. My first clear memories, I was dropped into the middle of a populated area in Russia. I killed a lot of people accidentally. Civilians and army that came after me, and then people from the PRT. I didn’t stop because I found a way to stop. I stopped because they caught me.”
"You’ve talked about it,” Ashley said. “Deaths stay with us.”
"They’re supposed to stay with us!” Sveta sounded plaintive and outraged at the same time. “This is major. I got each and every one of those names of the people I killed. I learned about them. I know it wasn’t my fault, but…” - Excerpt from Pitch 6.7
↑Cauldron capes were explicitly more stable. Case 53s (barring Shamrock, Madison and Dealer C53s) all had a reason for being dropped where they were, with individual programming. - Excerpt from a Reddit comment by Wildbow.
↑“Sveta idolizes me. She sees me as a hero, a spokesperson for our kind. Her therapist asked me to come visit, because she heard about what happened in the Echidna attack, what Cauldron was doing. All of her progress, gone. So her therapist wanted her hero to show up. Give her guidance, support. It worked.”
“That’s a good thing, isn’t it?” I asked. I saw Eidolon open fire, not a dramatic attack, but a subtle one, a series of darts that left dark streaks in the air. My entire body tensed, as if I could jump into the fight. - Excerpt from Extinction 27.5
↑Weld’s Irregulars. Weld had altered his look, a little more edgy, a little less human. Segments of his metallic flesh stood out like horns or scales, and the veins and crevices were deeper.
Strangest of all was that he was wearing another of the case fifty-threes, in addition to his thick canvas pants. Tendrils encircled his arms and legs, wound around his fingers. Loops of metal, in turn, bound the tendrils, locking them into place, or helped direct them into and through his limbs. All of the tendrils led to the same point, to a pale girl’s face, with Cauldron’s mark on her cheekbone. She had no body I could make out, no hair, only the tendrils. - Excerpt from Extinction 27.2
↑Sveta's tendrils continued to extend, stretching out.
Each one chose the Doctor as the mark.
"Had to pick someone," Sveta whispered. "Couldn't focus on him alone. I'm sorry, but you're the best choice."
The tendrlis found points closer to the Doctor's midsection, crushing.
The Doctor's screams became strangled.
Sveta coiled around the Doctor, burying the woman beneath overlapping tendrils, until there was a cocoon and a girl's face, curled up on the stairs. Blood pooled beneath them. - Excerpt from Venom 29.7
↑I focused on my bugs. Searching the area. I didn’t have many, but two bugs floating a foot apart could fly at chest level and run into most people standing in a corridor.
A cluster of bugs died, wiped out by lashing tendrils.
↑A rooftop overlooking New York, Earth Bet. My New York. [...] I watched the monsters and the lunatics. The tentacle girl was hanging back, hiding inside an apartment, trying to calm herself. - Excerpt from Speck 30.6
↑“I want my name, Doctor,” Sveta said. She wasn’t running, so her voice was level, free of panting or anything of the sort. “Not even my old name, from before you wiped my memory. Tell me the name you gave me, after you sent me to the fourth floor. Because you do that for the ones you think are worth studying, right? Or tell me the name I took after you released me into the wild, as some kind of smokescreen for Scion. It starts with ‘S’, if that helps.” - Excerpt from Venom 29.7
↑Weld closed the door and settled in the reinforced chair she’d brought into her office in anticipation of the appointment.
“Have you picked a name?” she asked.
He chuckled lightly. “I’m Weld. That’s it for now.”
He was at the door when she called after him, “and Weld, I want you to pick a proper name!” - Excerpt from Interlude 18.z