I believe I read this in 2019 on the Spacebattles forum. I'm probably just using the wrong search terms at the moment. Taylor's shard is of the Tinker variety (basically, advanced science that borders on mad science), specifically as a bio-tinker. I was reminded of it when reading a chapter of "Madgirl in a Wormverse" (a fanfic which takes a much more silly direction) when they were commenting on how drawing too much powers, or suddenly having zero utility bills, is how Tinkers usually get found out. In this fanfic, Taylor starts off with the ability to create some very simple creatures, I think gelatinous in form, that can travel along sewer pipes and collect materials. I think. Eventually, she comes up with more advanced forms, but that's what she starts with. She does figure out ways to generate energy and/or build more advanced computing facilities, but is careful to not change the resources going into, and out of, her house. I think she has Danny's help in figuring out ways to not be suspicious.

Other things I vaguely remember:

  • She starts getting internet access through a cable wormed through the sewer tunnels into the library, figuring that it will help throw people off if/when someone starts tracing her internet activity.
  • When her shard is active, she has a very different, somewhat amoral, personality. Part of what Danny does is try to rein her in to avoid her killing/maiming people because they get in her way.
  • I think that, early on, she kidnaps Lisa/Tattletale, and holds her hostage on a ship in the graveyard.
  • Later on, she gives Lisa a suit of armor that's a living organism.
  • I think she winds up taking down Coil by infiltrating creatures into his water system that can mess with operations.
  • I think there's a scene where she messes up the biological interface for the armor, and nearly dies using herself as a test subject, leading her to realize that she needs people to work with her.
  • I'm not 100%, but I think she does ally with Amy/Panacea, which gives her even better control over her biological constructs.
  • I think she calls the initial creatures "turtles". The creatures that infiltrated Coil's base might have been named "jellyfish"? And I feel like one set were dubbed "ants".

1 Answer 1


Found the right combination of terms. "Metastable" by Tascion on Sufficient Velocity as per this review.

Seems I’m recommending Metastable yet again. Taylor with QA but triggered as a Tinker. Does much of her work through hidden swarms of robot minions.

Extremely slow towards the beginning. She calls her basic units ants and turtles for a reason. Very long resource-gather phase and slow upward Tinker spiral. Starts taking off after dealing with Coil, I’d say.

The winning search terms were worm fanfic tinker turtles

As a sidenote, got to rereading it, and the situation with Tattletale was more of a rescue (requested by Tattletale) although the resulting isolation (Taylor not wanting to tip Coil off, and not certain how to handle the very criminal Lisa), leaving Tattletale with no one to talk to but her power, results in her going just a bit crazy at first. Taylor is less amoral than I remembered, although very introverted, and often very focused on her power results (and a bit of a cloudcuckoolander who believes all sorts of PHO conspiracy theories). Danny does do a lot of supervising and reining her in. The scene I was remembering where she rescues Panacea doesn't seem to be in there, must be another fic.


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