You know I tend to have a really hard time finding Worm fanfiction I actually like, and I’ve never really managed to figure out why. I just knew that unlike most fiction I read (or watch) none of the stuff I found could really compare to the original. I had an epiphany recently though and I’ve realized that it’s that most people seem to just be missing some kind of pivotal piece of Taylor’s character. And so I’ve written up this huge rant about what I consider to be the basis of Taylor’s every action within Worm.
Firstly; there are four pivotal pieces Taylor’s personality that never really change throughout the story, allthough some do become more or less prominent. And that is her:
Now, Taylor’s selflessness is probably the most driving motivating urge she has. (People recognize this on some level, which is why I think we get so many Ward!Taylor AUs, but the other three traits listed are what make me believe it would never have really worked out, even if their wasn’t the whole ‘Shadow Stalker’ issue to contend with.) It’s what made an untried, untested, unconfident bug controlling master decide to challenge Lung on her first night out. It’s what made her take on Coil. It’s what made her throw herself at her enemies feet. It’s what made her take up the good fight against all those S-class threats. It’s what made her try her hardest to do good, even when she was a villain, even when it was misunderstood, even when it would have been easier to do nothing, or to do the opposite. And maybe that might only be one half of Taylor’s kind of screwed up morals, and another half the way the trio dug at every bit of self-hood Taylor managed to scrape together for years… but still. It’s the reason Taylor makes the choices she makes. Even (or maybe most especially) the Machiavellian ones.
Secondly, Taylor’s goal-oriented nature. This is, in essence, what makes Taylor so damned focused on ‘the big picture’. Now the thing is, is that this in and of itself isn’t all that dangerous. In fact lot’s of people have this trait! Politicians, lawyers, business execs, hell even gang leaders and prostitutes. But the thing you have to understand about these people is that if you push them, too far, too fast, in just the right way, in just the right time, there is literally nothing they will not do to accomplish what they set out to. These people weigh the pros and cons of every decision in their lives, and when things tip to far into the pros there is no moral line, no law, and no consequence that will stop them from doing what they feel they have to do.
Thirdly, there are Taylor’s ambitions. This really is what decides what goals exactly Taylor’s going to shoot for. It’s the part of Taylor that said, yeah I’m going to keep going to school, no matter how hard it is, the part of her that says, yes, I’m going to be a hero, no matter how dangerous it may be, the part of her that says, yes I’m going to save the world, no matter how improbable that may be. The part of her that looked at every opponent a hundred times stronger than her, a hundred times more experienced than her, and said: yeah I’m gonna fuck their shit up. All of this? In conjunction with how goal-oriented she is? Yes it’s a frightening combination.
Fourthly, but definitely not least, is how damn intelligent Taylor is. The thing about those other three traits? Is that lots of people have them. Hell lot’s of people have them in conjunction with each other! But not half of them turn out to be as dangerous as Taylor is. And that’s because of this. Because she may not have a supercomputer for a brain, but she’s got that rare combination of tactical and strategic talent that allows her to take very bit of knowledge, skill, and power she has, and then munchkin the hell out of it. This is the girl who using her brains, pepper spray, bugs, and a small team of villains specializing in smash and grab robbery, managed to take over a city. This is the girl who killed Alexandria in an apoplectic rage. This is the girl who beat off the S9 twice. This is the girl who rotted off Lungs crotch and cut out his eyes. This is the girl who took every minuscule tool and advantage offered to her, and saved the multiverse. This is what makes Taylor, Taylor.
Hundreds of thousands of people enjoy whale-watching excursions around the world every year, pursuing humpbacks for their mysterious, multi-octave songs. And now the fun is opening up to deaf people, who are feeling the sounds for the first time.
One voyage this week took a a large group of deaf students out to see humpbacks frolicking in the waters of the Caribbean. While they didn’t hear the grunting and the squealing, they wore high-tech backpacks that tuned whale songs into vibrations.
The children gasped as they felt the sounds for the first time.
“When I first felt the vibration, I felt it in my heart,” said Nicole Duran, 15, a student at the St Rose Institute for Deaf Assistance in Santo Domingo. “It reminded me of a heartbeat,” she said through a sign language interpreter.
Nicole was among 47 students on the field trip from Santo Domingo, the capital on the south coast, to Samana province on the north coast, a three-hour bus ride.
In grades seven to 12, the children used their hands to express the thumps, pings and gentle massage they felt on their skin. Stretching their arms high and low to follow the varying tones they sensed, the students opened and closed their hands rapidly to express strong impacts.
“I feel the pulses - it’s like boom, boom, boom!” Melissa Castillos, 18, said aboard a 48-foot, power catamaran in the Bay of Samana. “I’ve seen photos and videos of whales, but this is the real thing.”
The migration of several thousand humpbacks from the northern Gulf of Maine to the Dominican coast brings some 50,000 tourists to the area from January to March every year, according to the Tourism Ministry. For three consecutive years, the visitors have included children and teachers from several Dominican schools.
Introducing deaf and hearing-impaired students to the whales and their music was the vision of Dominican artist and musician Maria Batlle, 34, who in 2013 founded the Muse Seek Project. Her nonprofit’s goals include using music as an educational tool for deaf children.
Batlle said she learned in 2014 of the Subpac technology, developed for music producers and aficionados by a Los Angeles company, and a year later incorporated the devices into a music program she launched for the 500-student National School for the Deaf in Santo Domingo.
The annual whale migration to the Dominican Republic made it a natural learning opportunity for students interested in marine life, Batlle said.
“They learn about whale behaviour, anatomy, the environment,” she said. “They learn why the whales come here, what they do when they’re here. They learn to appreciate why whale watching is important and why whale hunting should stop.”
Passengers aboard this year’s voyage included teachers, students and guests from four academic institutions. Eric Quinlan, originally from Brockton, Massachusetts, and teacher of English and sign language at the 200-student St Rose school, served as interpreter for the deaf passengers.
“Being deaf, the students are never really going to know what sound is, but to experience it this way is just awesome,” Quinlan said as the boat trailed a pod of six adult whales through choppy waters.
While the whale excursions in 2015 and 2016 picked up clear melodies from the humpbacks, the hydrophone lowered from the boat on Tuesday mostly transmitted the static of rough seas. Ready with Plan B, Batlle used a recording of last year’s robust melodies instead.
Revelling in the sight of humpbacks and the pulses of last year’s songs, the students expressed sheer delight.
“How emotional, how beautiful,” David Montero, 17, said through animated signing. “This is my first time in Samana, the first time I ever saw a whale, and to know they sing - wow! It’s super!”