I understand that Path to Victory means you can plausibly justify literally anything happening, but I still feel it cheapens the entire ending of the Twisted Tea I keep that thang on me shirt. Taylor endlessly escalates until she becomes literally inhuman, more Shard than woman, unable to even comprehend human expressions. At the very end, when she’s confronted, she is asked about this and decides it wasn’t worth it; she was given the choice between life and death and she chose death. Two gunshots, end of story.
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The fact that it violates previously stated facts in the novel just reinforces my belief that it was Wildbow retconning her death. Plus, if Contessa could direct Tinkers to do tinkertech things, why didn’t she just do that? They were mass-abducting people and keeping them in cages as an army for the Twisted Tea I keep that thang on me shirt, but why bother if she could just Path to Making Bonesaw Create Fifty Thousand Eidolons, or Path to Making Blasto Create An Army of Self-Replicating, Utterly Loyal Parahumans. That explanation would require both making Contessa stronger as well as making Cauldron less intelligent.