You may notice that the Family Trade is no longer present on this site. Sadly, this is not due to any happy news, like it being slated for publication. Rather, I’ve taken it down in deference to wildbow, author of the incomparable Worm, who emailed me earlier today to complain about it being derivative. As I do have a Patreon (even though it hasn’t yet earned me any money) it could be seen as attempting to make money off of someone else’s work, and thus he was forced to ask me to take it down, lest he file a suit against me.
I make no attempt to deny Worm’s influence on me. It inspired me to actually take the half-formed ideas I had for Lunarstadt’s setting and characters and turn them into an actual story. It inspired me to use the web-serial format. It certainly inspired me with its Endbringers, which I have never denied were the inspiration for my Harbringers. However, I certainly didn’t mean to plagiarize anything. I feel absolutely terrible about the situation, and had therefore taken the Family Trade down.
I currently have no plans to rework the story as far as I’d have to in order to avoid being derivative. Therefore, I will summarize in brief the plot points that were to come:
- Alex would not remain a hero. As was hopefully hinted at in the last several chapters, his true motivation for becoming one was to fight and to be part of his father’s world. This would truly strike him when the next Harbringer (Leviathan, who is not a tall monster that trails water behind it but is rather an enormous shark/wolf monster) attacks San Fransisco in Earth-A, and he can’t bring himself to go fight it. He joins the Metadome briefly, but is unsatisfied by fighting with rules, and after a great deal of turmoil he makes the decision to travel back in time and become…
- Whitehatch. The identity of Whitehatch was to remain a secret up until Alex traveled back in time to become him, using tech he developed with Phil’s help. Alex, having traveled back in time, changes the past significantly enough as Whitehatch that his past self finds new resolve and remains a hero.
- Before that happened, though, there would be more plot to do with the League of Dark Earth. Anansi is discovered to actually be the former Cobalt Red. After Cobalt’s mind was replaced with an amalgam of Arcturus, Dire Bear, and Shuriel, he became genderfluid, as both male and female personalities went into making him. Anansi was sent by Dire Bear to spy on the Lunarstadt Heroes League as best as he could. However, he is turned good through his association with Molly, Alex, and Kaz. This plot, with occasional interruptions by Whitehatch, would have taken up most of the time until Alex travels back in time.
- Once back in time, Alex begins to secretly associate with the LHL. He reveals that Anansi is a spy but can be saved, and the LHL send him to be their own spy in the LODE. As part of the LODE Alex manages to convince Shuriel to also turn sides in time for Leviathan’s attack in this new, altered timeline.
- This second time that Leviathan would be shown attacking, Dire Bear (having had Alex’s assistance this time around, while in the previous timeline Whitehatch was independent) is prepared for its appearance, and, with the remaining members of the LODE (including Alex) in tow, tracks it back to where it appeared in the ocean. They find a drifting portal, which leads from Earth-A to a completely new Earth.
- Here, Dire Bear reveals his past – he’s from a third Earth, an Earth with super-powers from the very beginning of its history, and which was incredibly technologically advanced. I hadn’t yet worked out the details as this wouldn’t have happened for a very long time yet, but basically they were very warlike, and during one such war they had destroyed their moon. They stole a replacement from Earth-C, and covered the theft by placing Earth-A’s moon into a parasite universe which connected to both Earth-A and Earth-C. Shortly after this, they realized that there was still a faint connection between the three worlds, and they began sending super-weapons (the Harbringers) through, to prepare it for their invasion by trying to wipe out it’s native denizens. The reason that the Harbringers focus on normal people over powered people is because the powered ones have connections to various other universes and don’t appear to be ‘native’.
Other ideas included the possibility of Dire Bear being stranded and unable to return home, and his plan to do so ending up crashing a bunch of different universes together to a much greater degree than Earth-A and Earth-C had previously been connected. Specifically, this would be a crossover with the universe briefly glimpsed in Motael’s Escape, which I would have continued showing snippets of leading up to this happening.
And that’s as far as I’d gotten in the vaguest of my planning.