Eye 1.1

Rose shut her notebook, impatient. Her patience had grown since that day some weeks ago, but Gladly was coming close to testing it. She had so many, many things to do— so much lost time and so much ignorance to make up for— and time spent in the mockery of an academy that was Winslow was wasted.

She could tolerate the rest of her teachers, even if their subjects lent nothing to her goals because even relatively useless knowledge was knowledge. Gladly was worthless. The world was full of maggots, gnawing on its fetid, rotting flesh. Gladly was less than even that— a midge or a louse perhaps. A thing that was barely worth a thought and an irritation when it was.

(In truth, these words were false— an affectation of her Taylor-self's old contempt. Gladly wasn't even an irritation to her. He was background noise— a stain on an off-white wall that she'd long since grown used to. He spent so much time warping himself to gain the admiration of his students, there likely was not a singular bit of his personality that was authentic. He was certainly undeserving of 'personhood'.)

The bell rang. Rose collected her items and ignored Julia as she oh so subtly stole some of her work. She stood and began to walk. Gladly called for her attention. She ignored him and left. He didn't bother to follow.

Simple and easy. All things of no consequence brushed aside.

She stepped into the hall, her pace ponderous as she moved, the scent of sea brine trailing behind her. It was a brief respite before she was approached by Emma and her ilk once again. Of course, Emma does not matter. The brattish gaggle of children around her does not matter. The only one of any import is Hess.

There was a fear in Emma's eyes that Rose never would've seen when she was Taylor. It was a fear that gnawed at Emma's very being. Every action she took seemed to be in response to this fear; whether it was to escape or because it controlled her was unknown.

Hess was a thing in a similar state but where Emma's fear was carving furrows from her brain, Hess' had become a part of her. It was a fear that fed into malice— fear and malice being cultured into an overarching aggression and desire for conflict. And Rose could see It, glittering like stripes of constellations across the black Cosmos, suckling on old wounds of the mind, providing power in turn, and watching.

Sophia was a parahuman.

When Rose had discovered the fact she had felt such fury. Not because Hess had obviously lauded such power over her but because the Royal Overseer had confirmed it and then refused to explain. The general discontent remained but she had calmed quickly enough. Was she not Kin? She was curious, so she wished to know and therefore she would know. And with Hess as the parahuman subject in question? Perhaps her strength lied in the perusal of written knowledge, but if she had to scrape about the girl's skull to learn more she'd do it gladly.

And so, even as she stared at Emma— even as she was pushed and belittled— her Eyes remained trained on Hess, drinking in new Insights.

She could hardly wait for her time to come.

'— pumice-like was an incorrect descriptor. Ossified is more accurate. The heads of myself and my children bear the Eyes that echo the vast emptiness of the Sea. A great, yawning void to fill with naught but the deepest Insight. And I find I wish to expand further, to become greater than I am. What better place to start than the Cosmos?

However, my children seem entirely incapable and while I have some talent for the arcane, I am similarly so— though, whether that is due to the state I had been in the last time I had partaken in combat or not is unknown. I find myself recalling an example of similar incapability.

One of the Choir's secret rites: A Call Beyond.

The rite was a phantasm meant to be a conduit to the outer reaches of the Cosmos. It failed but what was created was useful enough— a slug marked with nebulae and releasing a flurry of stars. The caveat was that without sufficient knowledge of the arcane, you could hardly get it to react.

Thus begins my dilemma. There is nothing for me to study. There is no Byrgenwerth, no Healing Church, and without a hint of Ebrietas herself, I am forced to do these things myself. It does not displease me but the way I must go about finding my answers is problematic.

My children are many, but their individual might is lacking. They are mere portions of myself— but if I could give them Eyes of their own? Make them entities unto themselves? Make them truly my children? Would I have to become a Great One myself— an entity formed of its own children?

The Royal Overseer is interested or wary— I can not see which— but whether they can provide any assistance is unknown. Pursuing the Cosmos, there is one fact I remember:

'The Sky and Cosmos are One.'

Rose sat at the computer, scrolling through PHO on a guest account.

Dinner had been a calm affair but her father had spent the entirety of it throwing queer looks towards her. She had not been particularly subtle attempting to check her reflection and he had gotten a good laugh about it.

PHO was an indulgence. The speculation on the powers of particular parahumans—particularly those in Brockton Bay— was useful in some manner but ultimately pointless. She had no real desire to participate in combat with parahumans and given how thoroughly that Moon-scented Hunter had killed her two bodies in Yharnam, she would be training a lot more before she put herself at risk in such a fashion.

Conspiracy theories were either entirely implausible or likely enough that it was a distinct possibility they had originated from groups deliberately attempting to hide themselves by releasing information in such a way.

Still, she continued moving through the forums and found a new source of amusement in the account 'All_Seeing_Eye'. The name was funny and then she began to follow the account's history and found enough insights that it began to become distinctly unfunny.

Then an idea came to her; she had needed more Eyes, had she not?

She created an account and began tentative contact.

Note: I'll be attempting to make an update schedule: once every two weeks. If I do not post on time, I will deliberately make the chapter longer than intended, as recompense.