The following is about the Earth-G7 version of Ciem. For earlier versions, see Ciem (disambiguation).
Candice Marie McArthur (neé Flippo-Levens) / Ciem is a superheroine in the series Sodality as well as the Origins and Fallout stories Ciem: Inferno and Sniperbadger: Fall of the Critter Resistance. She is a founding member of the Sodality of Gerosha. Candi is one of several incarnations of Ciem throughout the Gerosha multiverse, this one in particular being part of the continuity known as Cataclysmic Gerosha.
Cataclysmic Candi is part of a group of freedom fighters that have escaped tyranny in Ameristan, later defending the nation of Toklisana from the notorious Hebbleskin Gang and later, the Society of the Icy Finger. In spite training from early on to be a hero, she has frequently had misunderstandings with the law. She has also faced harassment repeatedly by corrupt law enforcement, as well as her half-brother Darius. This has led to her also having an extensive criminal record - which complicates her life further.
She has been portrayed by a few DeviantArt models, most notably Lee Loo La.
Powers, accessories, and weaknesses
Most of Candi's abilities as Ciem pertain in some fashion to her centipede-like physiology, subverted only in the fact that she still has (mostly) human anatomy.
- Centuition: Limited precognition as well as ability to stalk prey for a limited range even without immediate eyesight. Similar to spider-sense. She dodges bullets after hearing a "phantom scream" sensation that lets her know exactly which direction a bullet is coming from. She can also sense recent sexual activity in others.
- Accelerated healing: At the cost of some of her stamina, Candi can regenerate tissue quickly, depending on the severity of injury. When she takes Remotach pills, this extends to the ability to reattach limbs - or even her own head - for a limited time (usually 30 minutes.) Less-serious wounds, however, tend to take longer to heal, depending on the location and type of wound. However, she can heal from most injuries in a day and a half tops.
- Enhanced speed, strength, endurance, metabolism, jumping, and agility: She can dodge most attacks, run fast enough long enough to keep up with a car going 25 MPH for 3 minutes, can lift a single-seat smart car with some effort, and last up to two hours in a fight without backup or breaks in action. She is also very prone to staying fit and active, and can eat normal amounts of food for someone her size and weight without much fear of gaining weight. She is also able to return to a healthy, athletic weight very quickly after completing a term of pregnancy. She weighs 122 pounds, but can push or lift nearly half a ton out of her way if she needs to. At 5'4", she's not very tall. She has a BMI of about 20.6, making her most similar in BMI to Marvel's Black Widow in spite being three inches shorter.† She can jump a full story at a time if she needs to, but is outclassed by Jackrabbit's ability to jump 2-1/2 stories in one bound and Meerkat's ability to jump tall skyscrapers.
- Constriction: Candi can wrap herself around most human enemies and cut off their breathing, similarly to how a centipede can wrap its body around prey.
- Centilegs: Short stingers that protrude from her upper wrists, shoulders, hips, thighs, and lower calves. They contain a venom that is comparable to bee or hornet venom, which can incapacitate someone. Enough stings can cause temporary paralysis, making it easier for her to subdue adversaries.
Courtesy of her godfather Imaki, Candi has a variety of tools in her Ciem arsenal as well. However, some of the equipment consists of variations on Zeran technology that SCALLOP scientists had in their possession, and wished to keep a secret from local law enforcement in Gerosha. Candi's inability to keep some of this stuff a secret forever gets her into considerable trouble.
- Dart shooters: These glorified "staple guns" contain numerous staples which can be fired at enemies, allowing for limited capabilities for ranged combat. The staples are marinated in a solution that mimics the chemistry of Candi's centileg venom. They allow her to remain hidden in shadows for longer. A regular-size wrist packet of dart shooters gives her 250 staples per wrist, whereas a large pack can carry up to 500 staples but at the expense of costing her the ability to keep their location discreet.
- Zeran wardrobes: Quantum storage packages that enable her to store and change clothes quickly. They are modeled after the Zeran technology that was first developed by the Marlquaanite Lord Zeras in the second century AD. It is her failure to keep Gerosha police from finding these in her backpack that gets her arrested in Ciem: Inferno, as they initially mistake her devices for bomb equipment during a state of emergency - when all teens not obeying curfew are assumed to be members of the Pyro Panther gang. She is able to hold wardrobes inside wardrobes up to three layers down, even having a special hair pin "Z-Ward" that she is able to hide from most detection by wearing it near the back of her neck beneath a few layers of hair. She only utilizes this in situations where her normal Zeran wardrobes would be impractical to utilize, such as when captured. Zeran wardrobes' main function is to allow her to have a Ciem costume ready to go whenever she needs it in a moment's notice, in spite not being able to get away with wearing one all the time everywhere underneath her civilian clothes.
- Zeran teleporters: Battery-powered devices that allow her to move from one place to another quickly, though her small-size models are very short-range. She can transport about two football fields tops in distance, though she usually teleports shorter distances to preserve battery life. Combined with roof-hopping, she uses Zeran teleporters to get around town when nobody is able to fly her across.
- Night vision eyepieces: Some variants of her mask also allow for a switch that activates night vision in her eyepieces, letting her see the world around her better at night. Otherwise, her mask eyepiece lenses are made of a material that contains dichroic filtration; which allows her to see in full color while those viewing her mask will see into the mask with a thick green tint.
- Remotach pills: A Marlquaan-bound drug developed by a scientist with help from the Phaelites. Imaki made sure to supply Candi with plenty of these, in the event of capture. With Remotach, she is able to reattach severed limbs - including her own head - while remote-controlling her severed body parts. Remotach also helps prevent excessive blood loss. The preserved pill takes 50 years to expire. Once consumed, it takes a half hour to work at full efficiency. It stays functional in the body an additional 3 hours if nothing happens. If someone loses a body part, such as being beheaded, there is a half-hour period in which the drug will remain effective. If the individual does not reattach their missing body parts within that window, lifelong dismemberment or death may occur. If the individual does reattach, then the drug will quickly fade in effectiveness. Another pill will be needed to avoid further risk of death via dismemberment. Her first time using this was also the time a Hebbleskin mole in SCALLOP injected Bezeetol in her for testing her centuition reflexes. She was able to reattach her own head, proving the drug worked. The mole was quickly dealt with.
She has made a habit of taking Remotach before going into any battle in which risk of dismemberment or decapitation is highly likely ever since, though it has only proven necessary on three occasions since. While she was under Bezeetol influence when captured in South Bend along with Dolly, she didn't have any. Which is why she feared she would die in South Bend if the electrical power failure hadn't happened seconds before Affadidah's men were to carry out her execution.
- Bezeetol: Candi is susceptible to the drug Bezeetol. In this version, it is a special sedative manufactured specifically to dampen the powers of Phexos and render them dizzy and confused. It is short-lived in its effects, but will tranquilize her if she is shot with it successfully.
- Pregnancy / birth control: Like with every version since Despair Candi, Cataclysmic Candi is particularly susceptible to her powers being dampened if she gets pregnant. This becomes a source of internal conflict for her, as she looks forward to having children. Due to how most birth control pills work, this means that she cannot be on birth control either.
- MPF containment: Since the Marlquaan is indirectly responsible for how Phexos are able to get their abilities, she is also susceptible to being trapped in MPF fields. However, Emwaults are more directly tied to the Marlquaan. This means that Donte is even more susceptible to imprisonment. Any Marlquaanite she meets, however, is going to have a direct bond, and be the most susceptible. This means that her non-Phexo and non-Marlquaanite friends are essential teammates in reducing her likelihood of capture.
- Distraction: Candi's personal conflict between her faith-related beliefs and her past rape trauma have left her vulnerable to troubling thoughts. This can be exploited by reminding her of her conflicting desires between the woman of character she wants to be, and the desire to erase her trauma with positive memories and a family; to bring her out of a moment or tempt her to make poor decisions.
- Cannot climb walls: Despite being merged with lithobius forficatus, which can climb walls; Ciem does not natively have this ability. At the expense of using up her Zeran teleporter batteries too soon, she must rely on Zeran teleportation to compensate for what she lacks in wallcrawling. When out on missions with Emeraldon, she relies on his powers of flight to save battery power, and to leap more than one story of a building at a time.
Candi was born as one of three fraternal triplets to Stan and Shalia Flippo on September 9th, 1999. She was the only Filippo child in whom the Centhuen Prototype mutation via Stan became active. Her two sisters, Miriam and Marina, would develop other talents. Miriam became talented at hacking, while Marina took on musical interests. Candi had lived for much of her early life going back and forth between being exposed to various environmental factors and being sheltered from them. She was aware early on of her mutation, and her implied calling in life; but always had mixed feelings about it. Her powers did not fully manifest in this version until the age of 12.
While she was trained from early on how to engage in superheroics by her godfather Imaki, her parents and older siblings advised against her going on real missions while still a small child. She was content to behave as a ordinary child for much of that early life, and even enjoyed being involved in the same church as her family. Her world was turned inwards in October of 2006, when her parents were run off the road by Hebbleskin Gang associates. One of the assassins involved was Gunner Soorfelt, who would later become a foot soldier for Duke Arfaas along with his younger brother Skellig. Candi's older sister Erin gained custody of her sisters Miriam and Marina. Candi herself was put in joint custody between Erin and Imaki.
Erin got in with a bizarre crowd at college, leading her to become very strict about her younger sisters' dating habits. A chemical imbalance started forming in her brain, leading to the gradual deterioration of her mental health. Since Reily was busy with his wife Ashlee and son Kirby touring the world as celebrity chefs, he felt little connection to his biological sisters. While he initially was the one who would have gained custody in the event of a tragedy, he reneged on that promise after Stan and Shalia's deaths. The fact that they were technically young enough to be his daughters made meetings even more awkward, leading to him generally ignoring all his sisters. His luxurious lifestyle also conflicted with the family model of living beneath one's means, resulting in him being ostracized by Erin. Given that Erin was unable to provide the emotional support and stability that Candi needed, she often looked up to her Japanese inventor and Phaelite-friendly godfather as a surrogate father. However, Imaki was often distracted by his own personal crusades.
Main article: Candi's middle school years
Candi spent much of her middle school life as an ordinary student, though she did have some issues with a few of her classmates. Candi's school was one of many schools to try out Common Core - with disastrous results. The new teachers were not only hard on Candi for her traditional views, but were actually encouraging the corruption of youth they were charged with. Angry parents' concerns over their children going from caring about their future and how to support themselves to caring only about sex fell on deaf ears. When one father threatened to pull his daughter out because the school refused to protect her from being bullied by lesbians; he was thrown in jail and accused of threatening the lesbians that were threatening his daughter for real. Candi found that the more politically-correct the school's subculture became, the more hostile the school's environment became for all students - not just her.
At some point, Candi was supplied with a lifetime supply of Remotach pills, after Imaki copies the formula for it and begins to mass-produce it to help those in Hebbleskin-affected areas beneath SCALLOP's suspicion. Candi herself was the guinea pig for whether or not it worked, when a SCALLOP recruit wanting to impress Darius got carried away during an experiment and decapitated the 12-year-old Candi while she was using the miracle pill. Candi was seemingly miraculously able to control her body without her head attached, and was even able to re-attach her head. She was traumatized significantly by the event, and Imaki insisted Darius withhold further such experiments on her. Darius instead began administering tests of the substance to condemned female criminals, and had his scientists record what they discovered regarding those test subjects.
Trying to resume a normal life in her hometown, Candi began a (non-sexual) dating relationship with a certain Don Mendoza in sixth grade, in spite of Erin's wishes to the contrary. However, Don's falling away from his family faith after the death of his mother led to him teaming up with some of the bullies at school in a plot to rape Candi - and then sell her out to the Hebbleskins. Candi was able to fight off Don, and manifested the majority of her centipede abilities from the rape trauma. Don fled, vowing revenge. Candi also had to deal with the bullies snapping inappropriate photos of her, though she was thwarted from saying or doing anything that would have any real positive effect. An effort to report them to the principal got her suspended, with only her pastor and Imaki to offer her any comfort. She wanted more than anything to tell Erin what was happening, but others insisted Erin wouldn't be able to handle the truth. This caused Candi to internalize her feelings of shame, until she was nearly entirely consumed by them.
Candi's struggle got worse when the Hebbleskins murdered her town minister, leaving Imaki as the only one offering her any worship reinforcement or spiritual guidance. She vowed to one day wipe out the Hebbleskins and Icy Finger, restore integrity to the Marlquaan, destroy the FFRF and similar organizations, return God to America, and create a world where families wanting to raise children for the Eternal Kingdom could do so without having to live in constant war and harassment. At the same time, an insatiable craving for sexual validation grew inside her, directly conflicting with her knowledge of religious facts - and her beliefs based thereupon. It would become a struggle for her for many years to reconcile her conflicting moral priorities, conflicting ambitions, and conflicting senses of dedication; nearly driving her mad. Miriam and Marina would find themselves in similar moral quandaries, leading to dozens of questionable choices as they grew up.
Main article: Candi's high school history
The endless harassment and hostile environment at Gerosha High School continued to create problems for Candi and her sisters. Marina would often find herself constantly taken advantage of by boys at school, though she develops a love for indie music and attempts to join a band to keep herself from feeding the urge to sleep around. Miriam joins a band of online vigilantes called the Critter Resistance Network, each of them codenamed after forest animals, so that she can fight the baddies that Candi can't touch.
Candi and Miriam form a special bond as vigilante counter-terror experts working in secret, but as sisters as well. Imaki assists them in covering their tracks on this, in spite the fact that Erin has almost full custody of Miriam and Marina, not Candi. The signing of the Kirby Act in early 2015 makes Candi's job of fighting off Hebbleskin monsters threatening Gerosha a little bit harder, as she now has to make sure she isn't seen doing anything that the far-reaching legislation could get her in trouble over. Simply being a Phexo puts her on a watchlist, per the legislation and orders of her half-brother Darius.
Imaki warns her that while the good fight must continue, she must always prepare for the possibility of being arrested at any time for any reason. He similarly warns Miriam and Marina that in spite not having manifested the centipede powers for themselves, they too are at risk of frivolous internment. The pentet of Imaki, Erin, Candi, Miriam, and Marina working as an underground-church-going family and a team of vigilantes became most strained in 2015. Marina, no longer able to hold back her budding sexuality, started making trouble for herself at school with some of her antics. This led to Candi and Miriam having to cover for her - all while struggling with their own unholy excess of cravings, fantasies, and schemes. This began to affect Candi directly, when she was required to sleep with classmate Tyrone Menster in order to cover for Marina. Candi realized quickly that trying to turn things around and date Tyrone to make things closer to being right was not possible; yet she was repulsed with herself for having a one-night stand at only 15. Her self-esteem began taking a nosedive.
Later that same year, Candi began dating Danny Loffin - who helped her regain a sense of respect for herself. However, while the two of them did have genuine love for each other - and a keen spiritual awareness - they were ultimately unable to stop themselves from becoming sexually active. Danny's mother was the first to find out, but she decided not to inform anyone. Feeling horrible about sneaking around, Candi found she was unable to come clean and stop herself. Imaki eventually began to suspect, and warned Candi of how her soul was in danger from this - and how it could complicate her life. She told herself she needed to get better at self-control, and even discussed it with Danny. However, the two were still unable to stop.
An incident in Japan involving Charlotte Yamamura - Imaki's other goddaughter - required him to make a trip to Japan to assist her. This left Candi vulnerable, especially with Erin also out of town. Having just foiled the hostage taking of a convention center by the Icy Finger, Candi learns that they've joined forces with Halal Affadidah and the Hebbleskins to do some serious harm across the United States. She fills in when Emeraldon is out of town, and he gives her alter ego a name to the media: Ciem.
Candi, Miriam, and Danny try to take on the new Hebbleskin-affiliated threats to Gerosha their own way: the Pyro Panthers. However, the Hebbleskins get Gleeful-N'-Young involved; and also donate to the Pyro Panther Gang a monster named Lava Tigre. Just then, the Purge-Flare also enters town, with a personal quest to take out Gleeful-N'-Young's Frank Morvel. The heroes initially have the upper-hand. However, a state of emergency curfew is declared. Miriam gets distracted by business with her friends in the Critter Resistance Network, and fails to inform Candi and Danny. The couple, still sorting out their issues, head over to Danny's house. Knowing no one else is home, they study for a bit and then proceed to have sex. The Panthers attack the neighborhood, setting the Loffin residence on fire as well to get back at Danny's older brother Roger for getting in their way a few days prior.
Candi and Danny escape the fire. However, they go separate directions so that Candi can find a place to change into Ciem. Her plan is thwarted when her path is intercepted by panicked Gerosha police. Initially mistaken for a Pyro Panther herself, Candi is forced to betray her identity - and the existence of Zeran tech - to local authorities to prove them wrong. She soon realizes this as a huge mistake, as revealing such information is a felony for her under the Kirby Act. Confused police arrest her anyway, stating that she is at least guaranteed to be found guilty of curfew violation. Yet, the Gerosha police station is ruled unfit for duty. Candi is instead escorted out of town, to be booked in Vanderburgh County. After saving her arresting officers from the villain Drop-In, Candi once again surrenders to them. They're astonished that she wouldn't take advantage of a chance to escape; but they escort her to jail regardless.
After two days at Vanderburgh County Jail, Candi is sent to juvenile court in Evansville. Judge Richard Deckinson is given her case file, and she is assigned James Lonsil of Lonsil & Tiver as a public defender. She is sent for 8 days to Madison Juvenile Correctional, to wait to stand trial for the arson charge. She discovers that security guard Lonny Factor is secretly Drop-In, and saves herself and the prison from him after gaining the assistance of rival-turned-ally Amirah "Flintirah" Rose. She endears herself to almost everyone at the facility, including superintendent Bruce Almin. She convinces Amirah to let SCALLOP take up her case, even if it means she is transferred down to Houston. She uses her time out to find a way to break into Gerosha. Candi returns as Ciem in time to assist Miriam and the Purge-Flare in taking down Frank Morvel and Lava Tigre, enabling massive Pyro Panther arrests and saving dozens of children from being sold into a Gleeful-N'-Young brothel. However, Candi's heroics were not enough to convince Darius to drop charges against her due to her admitting to Gerosha police that she had Zeran tech in her backpack. She agreed to serve 2 years in prison, in exchange for keeping her indiscretions with Danny a secret and keeping the media from exposing her Ciem identity. Nearly additionally charged for aiding the Purge-Flare, Candi is spared when Miriam turns herself in for that. Candi discovers while incarcerated that she is pregnant, but Danny has since moved on with his life. She is heartbroken when she miscarries. She names the child "Angie", and needs quite a bit of time to recuperate from her loss. Imaki is notified, but not Erin.
Several months later, Candi is furloughed so she can rescue Bruce and save the entire city of Cincinnati from Eric Korsicht's reign of terror. She is able to pull this off with help from a new suit Imaki gives her, as well as assistance from the Gray Champion, Mapacha, and Flintirah. She is furloughed again a summer later to deal with a threat happening to the Exodus Agenda by the menace Quoll. She gains a new boyfriend during her brief time out of prison: Remy Vernwick. However, he sacrifices himself assisting her in taking down Quoll. She is able to kill the menace and avenge Remy, but is not charged in his death.
Life after juvie
Candi gets out of Madison in January of 2018, and moves in with her new foster mother: Cynthia Trenson. She helps Cynthia look after her daughter Karen, while returning to Gerosha High and trying to avoid drawing too much attention to herself. However, her style of dress enters into a "ghetto phase," as she is unable to completely resume being who she was before she was locked up. She maintains regular contact with Imaki and her relatives, in spite not living with any of them. Feeling bad about breaking Tyrone's camera years earlier, she buys him a new one with money earned from an acrobatic stunts gig. She tries to keep on her path of recovery from sexual addiction, but briefly falls off the wagon while apologizing to Tyrone. Feeling sorry for the sad predicament he is in, she goes so far as to let him make a pornographic home video of the two of them. Since she was over 18 at the time, she tells him she isn't as offended. But that they are not any good for each other. He promises to wait three years before uploading the video anywhere, and Candi severs all ties with Tyrone. She confesses to Cynthia that she had a one-night stand with Tyrone, but wants to do better. She is grounded for a week, and agrees to it.
As time goes by, Candi begins to view Cynthia as an adequate substitute mother. However, that arrangement is brought to a dramatic end when the home is attacked by encroaching Affadidah troops. Candi is unable to save Cynthia, though she does rescue Karen. The child is placed into an Exodus Agenda family home, and Candi is sent back to live with Erin and Imaki. She also learns around this time that her friend Amirah died on a mission.
Rise of Ameristan
As Affadidah's sweeps take hold, his new "Ameristan" takes over 1/4 of the United States. Modifications to the law are swift, and the culture begins to erode rapidly to make way for a new caliphate. Fearing what Affadidah might be up to, with rumors of a 1-gigaton nuclear bomb, China invades the west coast and colonizes it. Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana become "Toklisana," and the Flippos register as Toklisanans so they can gradually abandon Gerosha to Affadidah. Candi goes several more months reconnecting spiritually, and staying sexually sober - in spite still dressing in ghetto outfits and having low self-esteem. However, things get worse for her family when Marina is discovered to be pregnant. She agrees to marry the father, Matthew Baret. However, the ugly truth of it all results in Erin's less-than-understanding nature getting the best of her. Candi attempts to stay out of it all, not yet ready to admit to her sexual sins. Marina is forced to lay her secrets bare in shame, as Erin continues to tie into her. Angry with Erin's excessive cruelty toward Marina, Miriam confesses to her own affair with the Purge-Flare, and to currently dating Phil Couric. Erin kicks both girls out of the house, leaving Candi as the only one left. The sisters vow to keep touch, especially Candi and Miriam. Marina is able to live with Candi and Imaki until Marina and Matt finalize their marriage. They are then given safe passage by the regime to flee to Toklisana and start their lives over. Miriam, however, rebels; and she moves in with Phil and his family.
Shortly afterward, however, Affadidah reneges on his promises to let registered Toklisanans leave his country safely. He erects "the Wall" with help from the Hebbleskins, using technology reverse-engineered from their Gerosha domes. This effectively traps most Toklisanans inside of Ameristan, imprisoning them behind enemy lines. Imaki realizes the Exodus Agenda has to be moved up in seriousness of operation.
After an attack on a convention center by the regime, Candi is able to meet Donte McArthur. The two of them quickly fall in love over the next 2 months, though Candi is unable to resist the urge to seduce him. Realizing that her only hope to ever fully overcome her internal issues may require her to get married, she suggests it to him. He agrees to consider the possibility. Compounding difficulties for Candi, it's revealed that the regime wanted her to appear for a mandatory medical exam pertaining to her status as a Centhuen Prototype. However, Erin carelessly threw out Candi's mail, and she never got the notice. This put Candi in contempt of court by default, leading to her being arrested by Marion Wevenil and spending two weeks in a SCALLOP jail near Evansville. Donte was a frequent visitor, along with Imaki. Candi uses her 2 weeks in jail to befriend Sadie Klink, as well as counsel a young Maggie Contor - whose family was murdered by the Affadidah regime.
In this time, Candi and Donte further discussed their plans to elope. Donte found a minister that would let them do so secretly, knowing that "kafir" marriage had just been outlawed by the regime. The two pull off their elopement scheme with Imaki's blessing under the Exodus Agenda minister Rev. Eric Timbleton, who also counsels them about the constant temptations they will both face given their past slip-ups. He also warns them that they will have to marry again when they do escape to Toklisana, as it does not recognize weddings carried out by Exodus Agenda personnel as valid. Also, Candi cannot change her last name legally in Ameristan. As she is a "kafir," her rights will slowly erode to nothing, ensuring she must find a way to escape with Donte sooner rather than later. Candi moves in with Donte in a run-down house he was squatting in, and she comes clean about her entire history to Erin - who has grown more understanding. Even so, Erin orders Candi to leave her house forever. Candi admits that she knows it's what she deserves, and that she will. She says goodbye to Erin, then moves in permanently with Donte.
Ameristan becomes a prison state
Not long after Candi graduates from Gerosha High, the Exodus Agenda's worst fears are realized. Affadidah and Arfaas perfect "The Wall" around the outskirts of Ameristan - trapping everyone inside that the regime has decided should no longer be allowed to leave. It's confirmed that SCALLOP personnel made it out - but they are unable to get back in. A move made on the Courics by the regime results in them having to flee to Illinois to avoid being slaughtered. Miriam is unable to get her hands on some of the comm system equipment that Imaki and his peers have scraped together, thus cutting off Candi and Miriam from each other. Imaki warns Candi and Donte not to get too hasty about finding Miriam, as the enemy now has MPF generators. They must be careful not to draw too much attention to themselves. Donte admits to Candi that he cannot possibly fathom what losing Miriam must be like for Candi. Candi assures him that if he ever lost her, he'd know how it felt.
To keep them occupied, Imaki assigns them on missions to look for backup hackers who can disable the Wall - in case they can't find Miriam. He also informs the couple that someone of interest - a certain Jeraime Malestrom from Malestrom Industries - was captured by the Hebbleskins according to intel. He was working on a "Project: Musaran" for SCALLOP that could enable a man to kill most Phexos efficiently.
He had also entrusted his "Earwig" project to Darius for safekeeping, until he had found the perfect woman to don the suit. Rumor had it that he not only found her, but that he and that woman got along to the point that he married her. If so, finding the missing "Dolly" Malestrom would be a top priority if they wished to know more about what the Hebbleskins wanted with Jeraime. Donte was sent on a side quest to knock out the power at many of the death camps that the regime was setting up, while freeing as many prisoners as he could. He was given advice on how to avoid MPF generators. Candi was sent to Evansville to search for Dolly.
Main article: Sodality: Instigation
By this point in the timeline, it is early September of 2019. Candi is approaching her 20th birthday. However, she and Donte have had to go in different directions to fulfill their missions. Imaki runs comms for both of them. They know that Dolly went missing only a few days ago. Candi is ambushed by Hebbleskin raiders near the site of what was believed to be Jeraime and Dolly's home in the remains of Evansville. Injected with enough Bezeetol to knock her unconscious, Candi passes out for a lengthy period of time. The Hebbleskins agree to hand her over to the regime - but only if they will deliver her head to Duke Arfaas when they are done with her. The regime take her away to a death camp in South Bend, where they hold her prisoner in a cell next to Dolly's. The two girls are regularly drugged and gassed with Bezeetol, to keep them from regaining their full strength. Candi discovers that over the course of their 3-week stay, Dolly has been raped a grand total of 15 times by the regime - once by Affadidah himself, even.
The two are led to a room along with a young woman named Yamanik, who is beheaded in front of them on a block clearly already soaked in the blood of numerous other victims. The girls see a ditch not far from the execution site, filled with corpses of other women. Seconds before Candi and Dolly are to be executed, the power goes out and the lights in the execution room grow dim. They don't realize that this is due to Donte having tampered with the power grid in South Bend - while he is also unaware of which death camp Candi is in. With her strength returning from being away from the drugs just long enough, Candi uses the distraction to get herself out of the way of her executioner's ax. She begins fighting back, and the two executioners begin ignoring Dolly so they can attempt to subdue Candi. She uses her centuition to get the best of them in the darkness. His emotions getting the best of him, Donte lucks out and destroys the South Bend facility's only MPF generator before it can be used on him. He proceeds to go on a rampage in the facility, tearing it apart and caring more about killing regime staff than about saving prisoners.
The girls, unaware Donte is behind all the chaos, flee naked into the night. Candi ambushes some regime soldiers that have taken for themselves supplies stolen from a war-destroyed pharmacy. She uses the supplies taken from the soldiers she kills to treat Dolly's various medical needs. After informing Dolly of the Exodus Agenda and Dolly explaining Project: Musaran and Project: Earwig back to Candi; the girls resolve to travel back to Evansville by any means necessary to find whatever treasure it is that the Hebbleskins failed to recover from the house they destroyed. Dolly shows concern at first about how much stealing and killing they may have to do. Candi reminds Dolly that they're at war - and that they're both already criminals anyway.
The two of them find themselves on several adventures as they journey to Evansville, often stealing from dilapidated and abandoned farms. They become quite adept at stealing cars too, but are quick to abandon them when the regime grows suspicious. They begin arming themselves with regime weaponry as well. However, one evening hiding at an abandoned farm property leads them to an encounter with Jawknee. In spite their best efforts, Jawknee's control over bird life makes her too powerful for the girls to defeat on their own. They eventually trick Jawknee and regime soldiers into fighting each other, and use that as a diversion to escape.
A frustrated Dolly returns home, only to find that the only treasure that didn't get found was the Gerosha Stone. She warns Candi that if the Hebbleskins reprogram the Musaran suit AI, it could imprison Jeraime inside and turn him into a terrible threat to the Exodus Agenda. The girls further find papers left behind by the Hebbleskins that captured Candi originally, detailing that Don the Psycho had been sent to terrorize pro-Phexo Toklisanans in the Houston area. Of note was a particular Leaper Phexo Apache that seemed to blame Don for the disappearance of his girlfriend, and was involved in a constant game of cat-and-mouse with Don.
Suspecting a trap, the girls flee the Evansville area and make their way back toward Gerosha. They discover that Affadidah has started punishing his lesser-favored troops by injecting them with a mixture of krokodil and other drugs to take away their inhibitions and their humanity, while making them look more like zombies to terrify their victims. A horrified Dolly remarks: "Because we absolutely needed a zombie apocalypse on top of it all!" When their efforts to save a handful of small children from a makeshift slaughterhouse set up by the regime backfires, Candi is able to get control of a ham radio long enough to send out a distress signal to Imaki. Imaki informs Donte of the location, and he flies straight there in his Emeraldon suit. He easily dispatches of the regime troops, and escorts as many children to safety as possible. He then returns with the girls to Imaki's main bunker.
Dolly is put into the hands of various Exodus Agenda members, who need her to debrief them on events. Candi and Donte seize the opportunity of being alone together for the first time in almost two weeks to rekindle their "marriage." However, they are awakened the following day to the realization that the regime is dangerously close to guessing the location of Imaki's bunker. They also discover a row of innocents being lined up for a guillotine by regime troops. Candi provides a diversion while Donte rescues the prisoners, and Donte then rescues Candi before the regime can place her in the guillotine.
Candi is finally reunited with Donte, Imaki, and Dolly some time later, when reinforcements arrive to chase away regime guards. Imaki reminds his new pupils of the "Sodality Church" that he has been trying to create with the help of Rev. Wilbur Brocklyn, who is already in Houston awaiting everyone's arrival. Candi resolves that one of her goals must be to join Wilbur's church, and to start turning her life around from the various poor decisions she and her friends have made before. She and her friends spend the remainder of the Instigation arc mostly on scavenger hunts or rescue missions. When the Exodus Agenda does finally get to move, however, she begins using her Ciem costumes more while Donte uses his Emeraldon costumes more. The two help with escorting Exodus Agenda members to the Wall to stage their plans.
They manage to get past the Wall with the aid of a sudden hack from far away, which Candi deduces to mean that Miriam has somehow found a way - and learned of the events unfolding. Battling their way free of Ameristan proves to be only a part of the battle, however. The Exodus Agenda find themselves in a narrow passageway that separates Toklisana, Ameristan, and Netheel. The Hebbleskins are quickly alerted to the breach in Affadidah's wall, and descend upon the Exodus Agenda with extreme prejudice. The best efforts of Candi and her friends prove to be in vain, however. Imaki is shot dead while racing for the border into Toklisana. Donte gets captured by an MPF generator set to an especially high setting, after being shot with a powerful blast that knocks him to the ground. Candi and Dolly manage to avoid this fate, but Candi warns Dolly to take some Remotach with her before attempting to approach the border.
Near-death by beheading near Texas border
The two girls get cut off from the other Exodus members, and are soon discovered by some Toklisanan border patrol. The girls attempt to explain their situation to the border patrol agents, but learn too late that the agents are really Hebbleskin spies. They are gassed with Bezeetol and then injected with it, making them unable to fight back. The girls are quickly hauled away into a back room, with the double agents unaware that the Navyrope Society is rushing in and is on to them. Candi and Dolly are quickly stripped naked and set before chopping blocks. Candi prays that the Remotach will work for both herself and Dolly. The ax cuts through her neck quickly and cleanly, leaving her surprised to still be alive to process what is happening to her.
She ends the season with her head in a bowl, able to overhear an ax blade coming down on Dolly. She feels weak and helpless, in spite the Remotach keeping her alive. Even with the Remotach doing its job, she still suffers some blood loss, allowing her to control her body remotely just enough to fake her own death, as her distracted captors grab her legs and tie her body to a rack upside-down. She knows if she can't reattach herself in half an hour, her death will be permanent - but all seems hopeless. She begins reflecting on her life - and her greatest regrets - as she braces herself for dying.
Main article: Sodality: Adaptation
Candi and Dolly are loaded into the back of a van, their bodies being strung-up upside-down on racks and their heads still in baskets. Candi waits until the van is moving, then she re-attaches her head. After gaining some sense of balance, she frees herself from her other bonds and sets to work to rescue Dolly. The captors don't get far in their van before Navyrope intercepts them. The fight ends quickly, with Navyrope viciously slaughtering one Hebbleskin spy and the other escaping, vowing to finish the job. Navyrope discovers the girls, weakened from their near-death trauma. He transports them to a secret Navyrope Society underground bunker to receive medical attention, and is astonished by their rates of recovery from what should have been fatal wounds. Candi even gives Dolly a blood transfusion once she is able to verify that their blood types are compatible, which accelerates Dolly's rate of healing.
A week later, the two girls are sent to Austin to be properly initiated into Toklisanan society. However, they are held on Darius' orders in Harris County Jail near Houston in protective custody for two weeks while their paperwork is validated. This buys SCALLOP and the Navyrope Society time to track down the other Hebbleskin spy, making quick work of him.
Candi is allowed to change her last name to "Levens," modified from "Loffin," but not to "McArthur." Dolly is informed that she must use her maiden name of Weiss until she can recover Jeraime and take his name properly in a Toklisanan wedding. The two girls vow to work together to bring down the Hebbleskins. If their husbands are truly dead, as they're all but convinced to be the case, they'll avenge them. If by some quirk, the men are alive, they'll rescue them. Navyrope finds them again and briefs them on what plans he has intercepted recently regarding the Hebbleskins' agenda for Texas. He also informs them of the Legends that are scattered about Toklisana: himself, Gray Champion, Extirpon, Pilltar, Mapacha, and Strawberry. Navyrope leaves Candi and Dolly, and encourages them to collect Candi's fortune right away.
Candi collects her share of her parents' fortune by cashing in her bond check, which Imaki held on to. This suddenly makes her $3,000,000 richer, though she vows to adhere to her family's motto of "Always live beneath your means." She and Dolly quickly find Wilbur and connect with him, though he informs them that it will be a little while before he can get the Sodality Church up and running. He encourages the girls to have home devotions in the mean time. He also encourages them to set up shop for the greater "Sodality of Gerosha" dream he had planned. He doesn't inform them right away, however, that Jack "the Jackrabbit" Mercreek is part of that same operation. He also fails to inform them that Kyle "the Meerkat" Freneti and Charlotte "Mukade" Yamamura are remote operatives already - based in Louisiana.
The girls get established fairly quickly at the University of Houston. Candi is informed that she may have to eventually transfer to a school in Waco if she wishes to complete her degree in crime scene profiling. As Ciem, she begins rounding up small-time criminals rather quickly. Dolly's manning of the comms greatly assists. At the same time, longing for Donte causes Candi's old raging sexual appetite to flare up again. It takes all the resolve, knowledge, and faith in her to keep from seeking out casual encounters; though being without Donte for so long causes her to experience severe sexual withdrawal symptoms.
The Scarabachonda debacle
During one of her struggles, she discovers the hard way that her newfound low self-esteem and penchant for wearing "swag" have led to her resembling the local drug queen and terrorist Julia "La Scarabachonda" Milagro. Local Houston police one day intercept her on her way to class, mistaking her for Julia. Refusing to believe her at first (or even check her ID,) Officer Lonny Grivolt has Candi arrested in the parking lot behind her dorm. She offers to show her identity rather quickly at the police station, though they threaten to detain her on suspicions of using multiple identities. She is detained for three days at the Harris County Jail, before Dolly is able to help her post bail.
Candi wastes little time after getting free putting her Ciem suit and gear to the test, when it is revealed that Scarabachonda's goons have even taken the National Guard by surprise. She manages to isolate Scarabachonda; the former relying on her powers, equipment, and training; while the latter relies on heavy weaponry and brute force. Scarabachonda's defeat becomes one of the first public sightings of Ciem in Toklisana, allowing a legend to be born. She escapes with Zeran teleporters after announcing her name and dropping off a crushed-ribbed Scarabachonda at the hands of law enforcement. Finding an empty apartment a few blocks down, Candi changes out of her Ciem suit and escapes into the general public. Lonny Grivolt continues to harass Candi even after she proves that she isn't Julia, however.
Candi finally decides the time is right to make being Ciem a part-time job. Candi and Dolly become a team, though Dolly reveals that Jeraime also made a "Project: Earwig" that might be either in Hebbleskin or SCALLOP hands. The armor was designed for someone of Dolly's build to wield. Initially believing the callbacks to her past are over, Candi is rudely awakened to find Wayne "the Vampire" Norfine had broken into her dorm, and was attempting to rape her. She was able to get him off the same way she was able to do to Don many years earlier. Not expecting her to fight back, Wayne fled. Candi gave pursuit. The girls' battle against Wayne the Vampire, while over in a single evening, leads to Dolly saving the life of Celia Winehart. Celia, in turn, agrees to man the radio for Dolly so that Dolly can join Ciem in battle. Candi is at first reluctant to let Dolly get too close to the action without some kind of armor; but Dolly proves a valuable field asset anyway. Initially wondering if they should contact SCALLOP or the police about Wayne, or fight him to the death themselves, the girls are cut a break when they distract him long enough that he gets too much sunlight exposure and dies.
Return of Don the Psycho
Don the Psycho then arrives on campus, eager to draw out Ciem and suspicious of who might be under the mask. He attempts the life of a pianist named Laurie Pegol, who is in the same forensics program as Candi. Dolly and Celia, having become good friends, welcome Laurie into their fold as another member of support staff. The chase for Don results in Jackrabbit and Ciem coming into disagreement about who wants to take down Don more. However, they team up and chase him away from a bar. He reveals himself to be Jack Mercreek, who was involved with Wilbur but lost touch after his girlfriend Miranda Kanla was abducted. As Don kills Jack's remaining support staff, he finds himself joining the Sodality. Jack and Candi find themselves with an awkward sexual tension, but insist on gaining some closure on their previous partners first.
Candi grows cautious about letting Dolly in the field with her after Rockpapsci makes an attempt on the latter's life. However, Dolly is undeterred. She even manages to help Candi lure Rockpapsci into a trap, and he is soundly defeated. SCALLOP officials apprehend him, and he is declared too dangerous to be allowed to live. However, Darius takes over the handling of Rockpapsci's execution.
Jack, Candi, and Dolly soon discover a thief and saboteur affiliated with the Hebbleskins has made his way to Houston from Arkansas - Cupric. Cupric has previously terrorized Louisiana as well, but the Frenetis chased him out. They follow him to Texas, eventually joining up with the Sodality. But before they can bring him in to SCALLOP for questioning, they are interrupted by the arrival of Jeral "Botan the Plant-Man" Cormier. It takes the Sodality some effort to convince Jeral not to kill Cupric after giving Jeral the information he sought on the whereabouts of a Phaletori base. Jeral all the same complies; but states that he wishes to save his wife before having further business with the Sodality. When Jack wishes to persuade Jeral otherwise, Candi insists Jeral's wishes be honored.
Rise of more allies, and enemies
The girls' worst fears are confirmed when it's revealed that Jeraime has in fact become Musaran. Jeral manages to rescue Emily, but then discovers that the Phaletori are creating a True Centhuen army. And he discovers Judge Terry Beliah is aiding them. He and Emily decide to join Jack in Amarillo to inform him of the news, while Jack does recon on Musaran for SCALLOP.
Candi is called on a trip to Mexico to deal with Lobe, and manages to save the life of a certain Michelle Winston. Michelle, who was part of a previous church that Wilbur preached at, is grateful to meet Candi. The two of them team up to save whatever villagers they can in a Mexican village after Affadidah's men detonate a nuclear bomb. They get some help from Angelo "Cocklebur" Abrami, a Marlquaanite visiting Mexico from Italy. However, Lobe escapes to Toklisana. The girls follow him there, and Candi helps Michelle get back to her house. Michelle reveals her plans to move to Oklahoma. Candi, meanwhile, trains Michelle in how to be Ciem - in case a time comes that Candi herself is unable to fulfill the role.
Candi arrives back on the campus of University of Houston, but finds herself in trouble again almost immediately. Lonny Grivolt spots her and her class doing a field surveying exercise, when Candi finds a joint in the grass. Lonny accuses Candi of being the one to have it, seizing an opportunity to harass her and then arrest her in front of her classmates. However, the case is later dismissed when there is no evidence to definitively tie Candi to any crime.
Around that time, Arfaas calls both Musaran and Kimiyato "Milp" Hiriyama to Houston. Jack finds himself dealing with Don the Psycho and Lobe in Amarillo. Botan returns and helps the Sodality finish off Don once and for all. However, he and Jack stay behind to deal with Lobe. The girls get called on by Darius to aid in the safe transfer of the Earwig armor from one SCALLOP base in Houston to another. However, Dolly raises objections that the armor technically belongs to the Malestrom family estate and would be safer there than out in the open where the Hebbleskins could easily get to it. Lex Philippine begins to suspect that his father may be corrupt, as well as his father's right-hand man, agent Jim Oisdaat.
Ciem finds herself outnumbered battling all the Hebbleskin troops that come to seize the armor, with SCALLOP personnel also overwhelmed. Dolly protects the armor by violating protocol and putting it on. However, she doesn't fully activate the UI - which was rumored to be psychotic and might reveal unpleasant secrets to her. As the Earwig, Dolly is easily able to decimate the Hebbleskin onslaught. However, this puts her in further conflict with Darius and Jim. She returns the armor to them, grudgingly.
The Earwig armor debacle
Darius retaliates by having all four of the Sodality girls charged with conspiracy to steal the armor - including Laurie and Celia, who didn't even know an incident occured. Candi is arrested at a bakery alongside Dolly, and drugged by Lonny with Bezeetol so she won't be tempted to escape. Jim personally arrests Laurie and Celia, neither of them knowing what's going on. Candi, Laurie, and Celia are later acquitted in a show trial in which Dolly is convicted. Dolly was to be sent to the SCALLOP jail system again, while the others were to be set free. Darius had planned to hand Dolly over to Arfaas so she, the true "liPo" of prophecy rather than Candi, could be executed as a form of appeasement. Arfaas decided he wanted Candi too, so as to eliminate any possibility of misinterpretation. He had his forces infiltrate the SCALLOP headquarters disguised as SCALLOP agents and begin killing off real agents with the help of Musaran.
Hebbleskin affiliates Anders and Carlos, disguised as SCALLOP, intercept Candi and attempt to chop her head off. However, she survives with Bezeetol, and fools them long enough to re-attach herself as soon as they're called away to "another matter." She changes into her Ciem suit and collects her belongings. Carlos goes to collect Candi's head for Arfaas, and is ambushed by her instead. He's beaten savagely, then left to his fate. Anders meets up with another Hebbleskin infiltrator and with Musaran. They've captured Laurie, Celia, and genuine SCALLOP agent Shaniqua Tamery. Ciem interrupts matters right as Shaniqua is about to be beheaded. The fight soon turns to the streets as Ciem battles Musaran. She attempts to lure him to a power substation and short out his armor; but his attack is called off by a Hebbleskin operative who orders him into a car to regroup. The fight results in a truck and the inside of a bar both being badly damaged by all the fighting. Meanwhile, Shaniqua executes Anders with an uzi and frees Laurie and Celia. Another SCALLOP agent named Chad intervenes and takes Laurie back to campus to radio Jack and Jeral about what's happening. Jack and Jeral finish off Lobe, then race back to Houston. Shaniqua and Celia, meanwhile, team up with other SCALLOP agents to send the Hebbleskins on the retreat. The Toklisanan National Guard arrives to assist SCALLOP in forcing the Hebbleskins' retreat.
Darius moves Dolly to Harris County Jail for her protection, as retaliation for Arfaas not honoring his end of their bargain to not attack a SCALLOP base while Darius was handing Dolly over in exchange for secrecy about the Earwig armor AI's dirty secrets regarding Darius' past. Arfaas then orders Milp to assassinate Darius for not honoring his end of the bargain to hand Dolly over. Candi is forced to move out of her dorm temporarily and into a jail cell for protective custody for two weeks - in spite being acquitted, due to her refusal to keep quiet about Oisdaat having raped Celia. She is issued a cover charge of "reckless destruction of property." While given day release to attend classes, she otherwise has to report back to jail. She is initially assigned to the SCALLOP center; but opts for Harris County instead, so she can keep an eye on Dolly. She cooperates further on condition that Lonny Grivolt be fired and not allowed to harass her ever again, and receives periodic visits from Michelle and the Sodality.
Loss of self-control, again
After being released, Candi attempts to get back in the law's good graces through volunteer work. However, she volunteers to be a model for a drawing class...and is embarrassed when she is informed she will have to get naked for the class. Remembering her past with Tyrone, she reasons that anyone who saw that video is probably used to the idea of her figure, and complies in spite being shy. This leads to her discovering one of the students, Warren Bozil, being bullied by a blonde classmate who puts him down for his efforts to be friendly. She also insults his work. Candi takes pity on Warren, and steps in to defy the bully. She offers to come over to Warren's house and let him draw her outside of class, to improve his technique. However, Candi soon discovers that to have also been a bad idea, as she is unable to control herself around this new man she takes pity on. The two of them become friends with benefits, though Candi's conscience bothers her about it.
Meerkat and Mukade arrive in Houston, and soon find information regarding where Miranda is being held. They relay the info to Jackrabbit. However, none of them are able to thwart the arrival of Milp nor her assassination of Darius. Lex seizes the opportunity afforded by his father's death to gain control of SCALLOP. He immediately files an appeal on Dolly's trial, but is unable to get her fully acquitted. He instead ensures she gets paroled. He works with Dolly to remove the Earwig armor's psychotic AI. He sets to work repairing Sodality-SCALLOP relations as much as he sees being necessary.
Candi and her friends seize the opportunity to get the jump on Milp before she can claim any more lives. Celia helps Candi find the inner resolve to end her affair with Warren, realizing Warren is no good for Candi in the end. In exchange, Candi encourages Celia to work out, and to practice her own special skills, in case "the Taterbug" is ever needed to join in on things. Candi has little idea how much Celia will take those words to heart. In spite of this, Candi and Jack begin to have growing feelings for each other. They get separated from the others after Milp and several other Centhuen Warriors and Hebbleskin troops are defeated in Austin. Candi and Jack finally break down, and have sex in an abandoned old building. They decide, however, not to tell their teammates about this, and even stage to be rediscovered apart from each other. They are called back to Houston, while SCALLOP agents take over cleaning up in Austin and Centhuen Warriors run amok in Houston.
Candi's redemption, and building a stronger team
A later mission affirms to Candi and Jack that Donte and Miranda are, in fact, still alive - but in suspended animation inside MPF chambers. Seeing a chance to intercept a ship containing them, Candi and Jack rush into action without the rest of their teammates - as the rest of them are either in class or else helping Michelle get settled in her new home town.
However, their plan fails, and the Hebbleskin airship they were after explodes. They didn't realize that at the last minute, the Hebbleskins switched Donte and Miranda's cages to a different airship - the one that got away from them. They searched through the wreckage of the fallen vessel, but found no evidence of any life aboard. Both were overcome with grief, believing their loved ones were dead. An evening later, when they were once again alone, Jack and Candi sought comfort in each other's arms. However, a hug from Candi turned into a kiss from Jack. Candi was hesitant at first, but her pain clouded her judgment. The two began making out, and Jack soon motioned her for a sexual encounter. Unable to take the pain and grief any longer, Candi heads to the shower with Jack. The then find themselves in Candi's dorm room bed, indulging their desires with little restraint. Regretting it deep down, the two resign themselves that they may have to pair up with each other if their true loves are, in fact, truly gone. They have sex one more time when they wake up the following morning. Candi apologizes for ever having a negative view of Jack, and states that she only allowed him to get as far with her as she did because she saw potential in him. That if Miranda and Donte truly are gone, Candi is finally willing to consider moving on completely - and marrying Jack. Jack admits that he was brash, and could stand to learn a lot from Candi. He agrees that if there is even a small chance their original lovers are alive, that Candi can never replace Miranda in his mind. And he shouldn't replace Donte in hers. Yet, he will gladly try to make things right and marry Candi if all other options are exhausted. He asks her to keep her fingers crossed, while he looks for more information. Jack then consults over the phone with Emily and Celia regarding any news. They learn of Arfaas' exact plans for Donte and Miranda, and resolve to rescue them. Candi informs Jack that if they can rescue them, and if Donte will take her back, she'll return to Donte. Jack agrees they should end their affair, in order to do what's right.
The Phaletori strike again, sending True Centhuens forbidden by the new Toklisanan government after Austin. However, the other Sodalists' efforts to take the Phaletori down get sidelined when the Hebbleskin Gang starts launching a full-scale assault on Houston to destroy it. They don't care if they themselves claim it for Netheel, or if it is overrun by Chimerica or Ameristan. They simply want the country gone, to crush all hopes of its citizens. A few other Phexos are reported dead, and the killings are blamed on a "tall, brown assassin with a limited vocabulary." Dolly immediately suspects that Jeraime, having become Musaran, is responsible.
Candi and Dolly smuggle themselves aboard one of Arfaas' doomsday ships, and Candi uses Remotach pills in case she has to fake her own death at the hands of an execution team. She is able to seize an opportunity to get the jump on them instead, sparing herself from the trouble of having to reattach her own head. This allows her to hide behind the headless bodies of women who were not so fortunate, sneak into the levels between floors undetected, and cause as much mayhem on the vessel as possible - even smuggling Dolly aboard to wreak even more havoc. She pulls a pin out of her hair that doubles as a Zeran wardrobe, and switches into a Ciem costume. She uses the chaos to deflect Musaran's attention. While she battles Musaran, Dolly manages to free Donte in the nick of time.
However, the girls' antics aboard the ship also lead to the release Jordan "the Sapphire King" Reddlwick - Donte's old friend-turned-sometime-rival. The Sapphire King teams up with Ciem, the Earwig, and a temporarily weakened Emeraldon to take down the ship while Botan and Jackrabbit continue to deal with the street situation with Meerkat and Mukade's help. Jack is able to rescue Miranda. After Ciem defeats Musaran using the substation strategy successfully and with Arfaas' invasion plans ruined, the now-stronger Sodality regroups to focus on what their next set of objectives should be in order to win the war that created their team. Much to Candi's relief, Donte forgives her, and they readily consummate their rekindled relationship. Wilbur agrees to give Candi some more counseling, so she'll never again be tempted to stray from Donte purely out of insatiable desire to be with a man. He also counsels Jack and Miranda, to ensure they don't run into any similar problems. He warns all of them that re-learning sexual self-restraint is critical to the survival of the Sodality Church, and all parties agree that they need to learn to behave themselves better. The four are restricted from communion for a month, as a way to prep themselves for being right-minded.
Main article: Sodality: Determination
Moving to Waco
Candi and Donte finally make arrangements to re-marry under Toklisanan law, after abstaining for a month and learning how to love outside of lust again. Yet, the two of them do get together the evening before the wedding, and are unable to restrain themselves. Candi doesn't find out until a month after the wedding, but that was the exact moment when she conceives her son Frank. Candi eventually tells her teammates that she would soon be going on maternity leave. Not long after the wedding, the McArthurs and Sodality find themselves fighting both the Phaletori and an especially dangerous rogue Meethex-1 named Captain Aardwulf.
Netheel as a nation implodes, with Chimerica taking over most of it. Talk of war embroils, as Chimerica grows friendly with Toklisana and Ameristan wants both remaining nations destroyed. The Sodality and Miriam's MSS agent friends are able to defeat Capp Aard, as well as get rid of a dangerous device he stole dubbed the "Ming-Yo." Its sister device, the Ming-Cho, is destroyed by way of three civilians not related to the team. Candi and Donte attend Miriam and Steve's wedding in Alaska, and soon return to Toklisana.
Candi becomes less directly involved in the team's operations, as she begins to focus more on school and married life - as well as how to stay out of trouble with the law. Donte begins looking for a job, since he knows he and Candi can't live off her inheritance and stock earnings forever. Around the time that Candi finishes her general education requirements, she decides to move to Waco. The University of Houston doesn't have the CSI school program she wants; so she transfers. Most of her credits transfer with her.
A mission in bringing down some Phaletori operatives nearly fails when her powers begin glitching. Botan gets her to safety, and agrees that the time has come for the team to acknowledge her pregnancy and let her leave. The others assure Candi that unless the situation is absolutely dire, she will not be expected to engage in further team operations. With her help, they have grown strong enough on their own to not need her. Candi promises to keep in touch, in case a "dire situation" does unfold.
During the Cap Aard mission, Candi calls on Michelle Winston to fill in for her as Ciem. Michelle's personal fighting style, however, prompts her to make modifications to her version of the Ciem outfit until she becomes Feruga, a different heroine entirely. Feruga later discovers after the mission that Angelo is trying to start the Sodality of Florence, to handle problems in Italy that cannot be handled by the Geroshans. She agrees to join his new organization, and leave the Geroshans behind. She informs Candi of this decision, so Candi knows she is the only Ciem left. As time goes by some more, Angelo and Michelle attempt to recruit the Sapphire Gang to their cause - and the Purge-Flare.
While her friends are busy with Capp Aard, Candi finds herself a hostage while her local bank is being robbed by men connected to a the Toklisanan Texas senator Rick Gobar, who was once friends with Darius. Gobar had since become an ally of Terry Beliah, switching sides in the Phaelite-Meethlite war happening below the surface of matters. Seizing an opportunity in order to protect her unborn child, Candi grabs a gun away from one of the robbers and tosses it aside. She tricks another into shooting the first, then uses her Zeran teleporter to take out two more goons. One of the goons, who loses his mask, happens to be Gerald Milewing - Gobar's secretary. Candi sees his face, but doesn't entirely recognize him. His continued efforts to subdue her require her to muster what she can of her centipede abilities, and she breaks his right arm. She then escapes up a flight of stairs and teleports out of the building. She makes her way to a campus library, hiding on the second story.
Stephanie Barrin is there, looking for an obscure book. She helps Candi stay out of view, stating that she suspects Gerald Milewing - Gobar's secretary - to have a motive for the robbery. Candi's description of the unmasked man further convinces Stephanie that it's Milewing. However, the Navyrope Foundation discovers via wireless interception of Milewing's call to Gobar that Gobar already suspects Candi to be the pregnant girl that beat up Milewing's men. Milewing and a few snipers are issued orders to "aim for the belly first," so as to torment Candi by killing her unborn child first. Gobar claims he will contact Beliah about issuing an APB and an arrest warrant for Candi. The Navyrope Foundation immediately sends its capture feed to SCALLOP headquarters, resulting in Lex alerting Brian Mizgel to the feed. A sniper meanwhile takes aim at the girls. Candi moves out of the way right before the shot is fired, and the shattered window glass convinces both girls to run.
Brian heads for Waco by car as fast as he can get there, calling Candi on the phone to alert her that Lex plans to have her taken in to protective custody. A SWAT trooper shoots the phone out of Candi's hand right as the girls teleport away from the sniper. Stephanie calls Brian back, informing him that he'll have to take her into custody as well - and that she'll attempt to get herself and Candi to a safe area first. Brian informs tells them he'll send Marion and her team to find the cell phone remains as evidence of Gobar's attempted murder of Candi and Stephanie. However, Brian claims that Stephanie doesn't have sufficient SDCPM history to be under SCALLOP jurisdiction. She replies that she will soon, and that her father should be alerted.
The girls manage to make it to Stephanie's car, but another SWAT van shows up. This team ignores Stephanie when Candi makes a run for a nearby forest. She uses her Zeran teleporter to climb a tree, hiding in the hopes the SWAT won't look up. Stephanie uses the distraction to activate the Strawberry in her trunk. She then utilizes the Strawberry to take out the entire SWAT team right as they're about to shoot Candi. When the SWAT members prove too heavily-armed, Stephanie has Candi teleport out of the trees. She self-destructs her Strawberry unit and takes out the team by way of detonation, reducing Strawberry to a bomb.
The girls take off in Stephanie's car. Brian calls them back, and Stephanie confesses to self-destructing Strawberry to save Candi's life. Brian informs her that this warrants her obtaining SCALLOP jurisdiction. Candi would need to spend two weeks to a month in custody to keep herself safe, while her name was cleared and a case against Gobar was built. Stephanie, however, would need to wait for the black box from her Strawberry to be recovered in order to be cleared of potential murder charges. This would require her to be out of jail the next day, but back within SCALLOP custody until the black box could be found. Candi asks Brian to inform Donte of the situation also.
The girls finally lose the SWAT teams after ditching Stephanie's car at a grocery store parking lot and walking to the Waco Wonder Wash Laundromat a block away. Brian gets a state trooper friend of his, Eddie Covington, to meet up with him and the girls at the laundromat. Candi and Stephanie surrender without incident. Donte calls Candi on Stephanie's phone to verify Brian's story, and tells her he'll visit her as soon as possible. He promises that he will see to it, should the opportunity come, to aid SCALLOP's case against Senator Gobar. He requests that she, in the mean time, get comfortable, assuring her that he loves her.
Losing Ann Marie
Candi and Stephanie are taking to a cell in SCALLOP Houston HQ. They are then forced to share their cell with Phexos Tom Branston and Ann Marie Benarko. Tom, a Leaper, was caught growing industrial hemp and making ropes out of it to be used as stage props. His hemp was confiscated, and he was charged with marijuana distribution - in spite a complete lack of evidence of any THC extraction. The city noticed he was a leaper, and placed him under SCALLOP's jurisdiction. Ann Marie was an imperfect attempt at a Centhuen Prototype, gaining neither centilegs nor a healing factor. Her husband had abandoned her after poisoning her food and getting her addicted to heroin. Her Phexo status also made her fall under SCALLOP's jurisdiction.
She went into a convulsion from withdrawal, revealing herself to be really sick on top of everything else. The other prisoners attempted to call for help, with Candi and Tom working together to perform CPR when Ann Marie stops breathing. Stephanie attempts to fix the emergency call button, envisioning an AI installation that Lambrelli Labs is working on that could be sold to SCALLOP and installed specifically to address the problems the broken call button brought attention to.
Ultimately, Candi and Tom are unable to save Ann Marie's life. Lex arrives too late with paramedics in tow. He has Stephanie temporarily released from SCALLOP jail custody; and Stephanie promises to talk to Ron about selling AI security to SCALLOP so there are no further Ann Marie-type incidents. Donte takes a break from the battle front to visit Candi, and comforts her about what happened to Ann Marie. Tom is given his own cell, and is promised that an attorney will be found for him. Candi remains in jail for three more weeks, sometimes alone and sometimes with Stephanie for company.
Gobar is finally exposed and impeached, allowing Candi to safely return home. However, she is informed via court date that she will be under supervision for the next five years due to pressure from the authorities for SCALLOP to start enforcing restrictions on Phexos it has on record. Candi agrees to probation, even though she realizes that she'd be unable to honor all the restrictions and would at times be forced to return to jail.
Main article: Sodality: Augmentation
Candi and Donte eventually give birth to their son Frank. They play a minimal role in helping their friends out when Judge Terry Beliah tries to have all Phexos and Marlquaanites captured and eventually killed with the aid of his fanatical Hebbleskin remnant allies.
Otherwise, Candi and Donte start fading from view. Even so, Jeraime and Dolly remain best friends with Candi and Donte. Miriam and Steve arrive with their children Marie and Trina from time to time to visit both the McArthurs and Malestroms. Jeral and Emily begin talking about starting their own Cormier clan. With Candi and Donte partially out of the picture, the others scramble to rescue as many other heroes as they can to resist Beliah's influence. This leads to the team gaining allies in the form of Navyrope, Pilltar, Extirpon, the Gray Champion, and more. Duke Arfaas is officially declared dead in the media, bringing assurance to Candi that one of the biggest reasons for Ciem to be around is gone. She instead tries to focus on her local community, her family, and adhering as best she can to the terms of her probation to avoid more prison time.
Battle for Metheel
Main article: Sodality: Battle for Metheel
In Sodality: Battle for Metheel, she and Donte are called in by SCALLOP to aid Mukade and Meerkat in defending Louisiana from a Meethlite invasion. They manage to help insofar as to discover the invasion was a ruse. Candi later finds herself on Metheel aiding in a revolution to overthrow King Morzhuk and end the Phaelon-Metheel War. Her one major complaint was that she had to find a babysitter for Frank, since Laurie Pegol moved on in life and SCALLOP agents don't like being asked to play babysitter. Candi was considering getting Michelle to fill in, but Michelle was busy in Italy with Cocklebur on an unrelated mission.
Her inability to give her probation officer a full account of her whereabouts for the mission, however, led to her being tethered once she returned to Waco. The tether allowed SCALLOP officials to call her and receive an explanation when she veered off of predictable paths, leading to more clearances and fewer returns to SCALLOP jail. She was not allowed to enter in the fact that the comms for her officer had been disabled during the alien raid as a defense for not contacting him. While raising Frank and pursuing her career goals outside of superhero work, Candi did her best to honor the terms of probation she was under. However, attempting to adhere to all the demands placed on her would prove too much when the Icy Finger figured out where she lived.
Main article: Sodality: Vindication
While enrolled for a CSI training school in Waco in 2026, Candi's home comes under attack from the Icy Finger - which knew about her because of Jim Oisdaat. She, Donte, and Frank are interned in SCALLOP's prison-industrial complexes after this; partially for their own protection and partially because of pressure by the state to have them detained and interviewed while a repeal of the Beliah Amendments to the Kirby Act are considered. Originally sentenced to several months - the duration of the overview process - she is released to a sponsor home on parole after a month. The SCALLOP Juvenile Containment Center was raided by the Icy Finger, and several children died. This led to the state being convinced that SCALLOP could no longer protect its experiments and other prisoners effectively, resulting in a state takeover of SCALLOP's prison system. All SCALLOP detainment was outsourced to the Toklisanan federal government, and to city districts - which were determined to do a better job than SCALLOP at protecting prisoners.
Candi's charges weren't sticking, so she was put back on parole/probation in relation to her breaking of the bank robber's arm several years prior. She was on a S'Poling system for an additional five years. On six different occasions, her double life as Ciem required her to violate terms by skipping classes or walking just outside of city limits or being late for counseling meetings in order to save lives. This resulted in a two-day or two-week incarceration at a local jail each time, along with her having to alternate between 3 months under house arrest and 3 months in prison for the duration of her 5-year sentence.
As Candi enters partial retirement from being Ciem, she starts taking on a new career as a crime scene analyst. She becomes more of a CSI and less of a superhero after graduating. Donte finds work in construction - with help from SCALLOP. The two focus between their jobs on raising Frank. Their happily ever after was achieved; though they had to fight the world around them for every bit of it. She and Donte eventually have twins John and Dana. At this point, they are able to find work for Lambrelli Labs. Donte becomes a full time worker, and Candi part time.
Centipede + 49
Main article: The Gerosha Chronicles: Centipede + 49
In the Gerosha Gaming Universe (Earth-G7.2,) Candi does more than just end the Phaeleel-Metheel War. This variant of post-Sodality series continuity explores how Toklisana rebuilds the United States following the death of Halal Affadidah. When most of the reconstructed Sodality of Gerosha is sent to different parts of Chimerica to deal with the latest Phaletori-related incidents, Lex Philippine at SCALLOP decides to recruit a team of 49 enhanced soldiers that have Centuition (but are otherwise not Centhuen Prototypes) to perform covert missions to undermine and overthrow Affadidah's remaining regime leaders, and purge their Islamic sect from the Earth. From there, the Toklisanan army can sweep in and take over the northeastern territory. To pull off such a scheme, and save more Americans from being slaughtered by the regime, Lex reasons that Gray Champion Next should aid the soldiers. However, he ends up being captured. No sooner does Candi McArthur get off the phone with Donte, who is in Alaska at the time, than the supermarket she is shopping at is attacked by a desperate Ameristani raid. She puts up a fight, but is knocked out by falling debris. SCALLOP agents arrive and take care of the mess.
Candi is taken back to the lab, and injected with large amounts of Darius Philippine's old age-reversal formula. She awakes to find herself reverted to what she was physiologically at the age of 19. Candi begrudgingly accepts Lex's offer to resume her role as the original Ciem, even while her daughter Dana is the new Ciem battling Phaletori monsters in Chimerica. As Ciem, Candi joins the 49 soldiers in their missions.
Gameplay becomes divided between sections where players play as Ciem in third-person sandbox mode, and sections where players control the regular soldiers with the game in first-person shooter mode. Candi goes on to rescue the new Gray Champion, who returns the favor by helping her and the remaining soldiers claim what remains of Washington. The Toklisanan army catches up soon afterward, and declares victory. Candi gradually fades under the formula back to her regular 50s physiology, then returns home to retirement. Dana resumes being the only Ciem around.
Main article: Percolation Warriors Saga
The Earth-G7.2.1 version of this Candi is virtually identical, except lives in a world that the Percolation Wave has access to. That version of Candi has almost the same exact life narrative, except she's visited other universes (mostly the Dromedeverse) a few other times throughout her life. As such, that version of Ciem joins the Percolation Warriors to assist in combating Mogabir when he ascends to become a multiversal threat after combining a piece of the XomiaFaeCore with the EccentriaCore and Marlquaan. Mogabir teams up with Xironooti and Rappaccini to accomplish this. Candi becomes a Percolation Warrior along with a few other members of the Sodality of Gerosha, which include Emeraldon, Extirpon, the Gray Champion, Hea Pang, Tabitha Pang from her Swappernetters timeline, Botan the Plant-Man, Emily Cormier, and her sister Miriam.
Candi's first mission, however, is to Xira's world. Xironooti attempts to take it over with help from the demon Krocithar, leading to Emily Cormier and Cherinob also placing stock in thwarting Xironooti's offensive. Initially, Candi and Emily are assigned guard duty while Miriam attempts to hack Xironooti's machinery. Yet, the other F-Pod girls are eventually all captured by Xironooti's forces. Wishing to free them before Xironooti can arrive, and believing he will order them executed immediately if he does arrive, Candi and her remaining friends stage a rescue. The F-Pod girls then split into teams to dismantle the machinery from outside, as well as destroy an incomplete Abdygalis shard that is serving as a battery for the machine to fuse Xira's world with Qilantia. Cherinob is able to defeat Krocithar's power, allowing the girls to avoid demonic shields that would otherwise make their jobs impossible.
They destroy the machine, and are soon on Stacey's world. They find out that the retreated Xironooti is attempting to recruit the now-leaderless remaining Ice Chimps to his cause. The exhausted women of F-Pod are sent to the Calisome family residence to recuperate, while M-Pod is sent to handle the newest threat. Candi later finds herself with the Sodality of Gerosha tackling Rappaccini's offensive on Cortascius, aiding the Knights of Cortascius. During that same time, the Camelry heads to Crossover Gerosha to prevent Mogabir's new monster from doing harm to Arkansas there. The Swappernetters assist the Camelry in avoiding the regime and in stopping the monster Clamdestine. Fred Hanom makes arrangements with Lex Philippine so that neither Candi nor Donte will get in any legal trouble over the Percolation Warrior mission. However, he's required after Clamdestine's defeat to have Candi and Donte return to Waco under house arrest. The McArthurs' role in the Percolation Warriors ends at that point, though they do have a feast for their new friends in the Camelry and Knights of Cortascius. Col. Flix is returned to his homeworld by Cherinob.
The Saga later ends with all eyes on the Dromedeverse and its pocket dimensions. The Camelry return home to regroup with Jeral, Carlos, Lenny, Masato, Eric, and John, as what remains of the Percolation Warriors. Melody's copy of Teen in Terror Life is inspected once again, and it's revealed that Rappaccini and Mogabir are trying to use that damaged universe to conquer the Dromedeverse via the backdoor. By going back in time, the Triumvirate intend to abduct the original Anna Ford before she can accidentally kill her stepfather, thus rewriting that universe in their image. The Percolation Warriors have to head there, knowing that if they destroy that universe, it could endanger the clone Anna Ford's life - and could mess up the timeline of the main Dromedeverse. They are able to keep the Triumvirate away from Anna's house, yet the Percolation Warriors find themselves frustrated when being in that world too long starts causing MammothQuakes. Saving Anna only proves half the equation, as they then have to protect the original BELF. Rappaccini's treachery is discovered, and he is soon banished to Gerosha along with the other Geroshans. The Cortascians are forced to use an energy beam to summon the Percolation Wave and send themselves back to the EccentriaVerse as their only way to also confine Mogabir there.
However, Xironooti cuts a deal with Krocithar once more. This requires Cherinob to return and aid the Camelry - now otherwise out of extradimensional allies.
Avengers Alliance proposal
The Earth-G7.2.1 version of Candi was also cloned by Percolation xeroxing into Earth-12131, leading to a sprite that was proposed for Marvel: Avengers Alliance on Facebook. When the game was shut down, the sprite's future was ruled indeterminate.
See also: History of Cataclysmic Ciem outfits
Very early suits
Cataclysmic Candi has shown more costume evolution than any other version, and that includes the original. Series titles have had to be assigned just to categorize the different "flavors" of Ciem costume throughout its history. In Earth-G7, Candi's initial crude outfit is "Spookfaced Centipede," just her in a homemade suit with a Halloween mask. Her first upgrade becomes her "proto" suit, the Project: Ciempies Prototype. This design was inspired by her crude costumes from Ciem 2007, in her years before she got the suit from Imaki. These, in turn, were inspired by Ski-Warp, her very first design in The Sims 2.
Ski-Warp became the inspiration behind the series now known as Variega, after lithobius variegatus, a cousin of lithobius forficatus. Variega's earliest appearance was in the 2005 version of Ciem 2, followed by an early design for Peregra in the 2005 version of Ciem 3 that would become Dana's outfit later on. While the post-Centipede + 49 timeline does see a version of Peregra become Dana's outfit, it's likely not to look like the Gerosha Prime Peregra much.
Project: Ciempies was shortened to merely "Ciem" upon a news interview in which Emeraldon was interviewed about his opinion on the mysterious centipede woman that came to save Evansville when he couldn't. His suggestion for what to call her was "why not just Ciem?" Imaki and Candi immediately adopt that title at his suggestion, as does the media.
Variega is developed by Imaki in Cataclysmic Gerosha in response to Candi's possibility of having access to a backpack on some occasions, and to being able on occasions of cold weather to wear a Ciem suit beneath civilian clothing - however impractical this would normally be. Since Candi's arrest in Inferno, her identity is known to authorities. Therefore, it makes sense to give Candi a way out to avoid having to expose herself to further risk of litigation.
Variega also takes less time to put on than her other outfits, and allows for more freedom of movement - at the expense of offering almost zero protection from sharp objects or bullets. Even the boots to Variega are easily compacted, making it a good quick change when there isn't time for anything more formal. A Variega suit would most often be kept out of a Zeran wardrobe. Another advantage to Variega is that the utility belt is much more streamlined and compact than on any other suit design. However, its belt may be swapped out with that of other suits if she wants more battery life from a less streamlined belt.
It was also a variant of Variega that Candi lent to Michelle Winston when Michelle became a secondary Ciem for a time, enabling Candi to take time off from the battlefield due to maternity leave. Michelle, herself skilled at suit design, would reverse-engineer Imaki's Variega and Lithobia designs for the Ciem suit to create her own alternate identity: Feruga. The Feruga series of suits would be tan / sandy yellow rather than orange, being based on a different species of centipede outside the stone centipede family. Michelle would further modify her Feruga suits to emphasize retractable whips over venom darts, given her preferred fighting style being oriented around whip use as opposed to Candi's more physical approach.
Another lightweight option is the Lithobara series, which offers more protection than Variega and a streamlined belt design by default. However, Lithobara is still not as durable a suit as Forfica. In many ways, Variega and Lithobara compete for the "definitive" Ciem costume look. Lithobara is more eye-pleasing than any variation of Variega, and may be rather easily stored in a school backpack - with the boots being an exception.
Based directly on Project: Ciempies Proto, one of Candi's most commonly-worn models came to exist. Forfica Mk. I was a bit heavier, but offered incredible protection to Candi when wearing it. Lithobia Mk. I and Forfica Mk. I became Candi's most commonly used Ciem suits all throughout the Ash Cloud and Wrath of Quoll timelines. She also used these and Variega significantly during the Instigation timeline. By Adaptation, however, she finds herself upgrading to Forfica Mk. II and Lithobia Mk. II. Forfica Mk. II offers better delivery of more venom darts, as well as increased neck protection when dealing with Hebbleskin headhunters.
In instances where Candi needs to have as much heavy armor as Dolly's Earwig persona while maintaining the means to still do Ciem-related things, Malestrom Industries developed a variation of Earwig armor tailored and themed around Ciem.
However, Candi didn't receive the Vanadium Centipede final model until after she was on probation following her unsanctioned trip to Louisiana. She was restricted to testing the Vanadium Centipede during specific missions while called in by SCALLOP to serve time - and give testimony to have the Beliah Amendments overturned and the Kirby Act reformed. Since Candi spends much of the Vindication arc as a prisoner rather than on the field as a hero, the Vanadium Centipede is seldom used. She is furloughed at one point, and immediately puts it in storage - along with most of her Ciem suits. It would not be until the Great Counter-Revolution in 2031, when the Swappernetters and Navyrope Society led SCALLOP and the Sodality of Gerosha in removing the Icy Finger from power in Arkansas, that Candi would once again have a good reason to put on the Vanadium Centipede regularly. Even then, she seeks permission from SCALLOP before putting it on.
She maintains the armor, yet she almost never uses it. Even during her missions in Centipede + 49, where the Vanadium Centipede would come in handy, Candi opts to wear Variega instead. Her biggest complaint with the Vanadium Centipede is that it's hard for her to move around in. She trades nearly all her agility for the armor and strength advantages.
Similar to other versions of the character, this Candi is cautious, reserved, and beta-dominant. She is a little cocky and snarky in Ciem: Inferno, having learned bad habits from Miriam and at school. However, her compassion for Amirah humbles her significantly. Like with Comprehensive Candi, this one can be viscous if cornered and cruel if her friends and family are harmed. However, she prefers stealth, and subduing her enemies, to the more ruthless tactics of Dolly and her Earwig suit. Candi is a hopeless romantic, and dreams of a family with Donte quite often. She is very protective of her sisters, and feels frustrated when they end up in situations where she can do nothing for them. Cataclysmic Candi is more determined to see a job through to the end than her predecessors. She is tempted to abandon faith in Donte when she believes him dead, like with previous versions. However, she is hesitant to let herself and Jack Mercreek couple off completely, in fear that Donte might still be alive. She caves in to the pressure to sleep with Jack a grand total of three times, but calls off the affair after learning that Donte is alive. She resolves to rescue him instead, proving that she feels remorse for her indiscretions and wants to be Donte's faithful wife.
This is a slight difference from her previous incarnation, who at one point used Donte and Jack as her friends with benefits before finally agreeing to date Donte officially again, ending things with Jack. This Candi is somewhat clingy, but has never been as obnoxious about it as other versions. This Candi is more pragmatic, and can maintain her focus longer. She keeps to her small circle of friends, much like the other incarnations, not socializing much beyond that circle. She has self-confidence issues like the others, but is more composed overall in spite of them. She takes her godfather's advice very seriously, especially since he is one of the few father figures she has left when Stan is murdered. She is determined that, with Donte's help, her children will have a more stable environment to grow up in than what she had - and will make better romantic choices.
This Candi is also very bothered by her criminal record, yet she feels that there is little she can do about it; since the incidents leading to her being accused of more and more offenses are usually beyond her control. In spite this, she rarely ever resists arrest, and relies on her SCALLOP friends to find her suitable lawyers to either get her out of legal trouble or reduce her sentences to the bare minimum. She values her family perhaps more than any other member of the Sodality, which is a feat given that most of them are very family-centered.
After the elections in 2012, the Dozerfleet founder deemed a second Obama term as likely to destroy the US. The Ciem novel trilogy in Comprehensive Gerosha was deemed unlikely to happen in such a world, so Candi's entire timeline history was scrapped. Vigilante Centipede and its two planned sequel novels were relegated to the Canceled projects bin. It was decided that a new series would have to be pursued, one which re-imagined almost all the Gerosha characters whose lives are relevant to the years 2018 and beyond in an alternate history cautionary tale. Watchmen undertones would be inevitable. The template for Cataclysmic Candi was Comprehensive Candi, but with themes put in a different context so that they could better serve the new plot.
Another justification for revising components of Candi's life and personality came from the fact that a lot of time had passed since 90 Has No Secant was written. Working that old narrative into the new one would have produced numerous complications with continuity, so it was decided to make the Meshalutian Trilogy no longer canon. Without the Curse of Honeybee Samuel, Candi's struggles with self-control no longer had as much of a supernatural foundation. Therefore, her romantic life becomes an important subplot in the series; rather than always taking center stage like it did in previous versions. Her commitment to Donte is a little stronger, though she does still stray a little when she believes him dead.
Her willingness to live with the Trensons after she gets out of prison the first time is a show of her true vulnerability in wanting a real family. As much as she loves Imaki and her sisters, she realizes they cannot give her what she really needs most: well-rounded parenting. Cynthia supplies Candi with that for a time, and this becomes a key factor in how Candi learns how to be a nurturing mother herself when she gives birth to Frank later on. However, her phase of wearing "swag" outfits also came from her short-lived foster mother. She missed Cynthia, and wanted to find some way to honor her memory. Cynthia became more of a replacement Shalia for Candi than Erin ever was, as Imaki became a stand-in for Stan. This phase proves unhealthy for Candi, as it only hastens her development of low self-esteem that causes her to make questionable decisions when helping Warren and Jack out with their personal issues. It also makes her look more like the criminal that Darius wants everyone to see her as, and she pays a price for it.
While never abandoning her faith, nor her moral convictions, entirely, Candi has shown that she will compromise certain principles if under enough pressure. She is also highly emotionally vulnerable, though she does her best to hide how easily damaged she can be. In some ways, she feels she needs to do this; to provide a foil to her sister Miriam. She views Miriam as "even more of a lost soul," and "needing to be the first one to grab Miri back if she goes too far."
Of all the men she has dated, the only one she didn't truly love was Tyrone. To her, he was always a morally gray obligation. She handled the situation with him he wrong way from the start, but needed to bring closure to it. She was willing to admit that she was all wrong to get romantically and sexually involved with Warren and Jack, as she was not the woman they ultimately needed. She only in time admits that her entire relationship with Danny was a mistake, as she truly wanted to believe that they could have become husband and wife. She also believes that had Remy lived longer, she might have become Candi Vernwick instead. However, she is content to become Donte's wife. After making it legal with him in Toklisana, she proves grateful to Donte to the point that she never again has issues with fidelity. She is also particularly grateful that Donte is so willing to forgive her seedy history with other men, as it lets her know God forgives that history too, and that she needn't be a slave to it - even if SCALLOP record keepers don't hesitate to attempt that very thing.
Candi is passionate about traditional mores, God, family, and country. While often falling far short of these herself, she believes that it is critical to the Vocational Destiny of the universe that the ability to raise a traditional family in such an environment is a critical right and obligation of the human race. She also believes that it is her responsibility to protect these from threats that don't fit traditional categories of what police and military would handle - or to bring escalated situations down to levels those fields can handle. These insights, and beliefs there based upon, are her main philosophical and moral motivations in life. Her desire to control her romantic destiny, however, becomes a frequent snare that undermines her in her beliefs and goals. Her issues with sexual addiction further restrain her from her true potential; yet she realizes that much of the fault is her own.
Regarding her "criminal" history, Candi is a pragmatist. She knew that the outcome of complying with police in Gerosha the first time they arrested her was preferable to what could have happened if she'd resisted. Unless she has a truly compelling reason to resist authority, she usually complies - even with arrests she believes are stupid. She is willing to sacrifice herself for her family and friends, and demonstrates this dedication time and again. On a few occasions, she has even risked her safety to protect lesser enemies from greater ones. However, if obeying an order means leaving someone for dead, she will disobey in order to preserve life whenever possible - and will usually accept the consequences later. She is prone to depression though, especially when she loses a loved one.
Candi has also demonstrated that she is not entirely immune to corruption in non-sexual forms. While her time in Madison taught her some humility - and to be slower to judge others - time at SCALLOP Evansville HQ introduced her to unpleasant characters who corrupted both her sense of fashion and her personal vocabulary. While refusing to let herself become as foul-mouthed and rebellious as Miriam, she does exhibit signs of bearing the same character weaknesses. She resists getting tattoos, in contrast to how Miriam does get them. However, she has learned some jailhouse slang due to all her times being locked up. She seldom uses it outside of this setting, however. This gives her some common ground with Kayla Tarington, though Candi has never been a prostitute.
Inspirations behind character and teammates
Candi's adventures in Inferno, Ash Cloud, and Wrath of Quoll are intended to give her the trilogy she was otherwise lacking after the original continuity of her was thrown out. Her role is much reduced in Fall of the Critter Resistance, in order to give Miriam Flippo her own much-needed spotlight time. While still something of a main character for the first two seasons of Sodality, Candi is able to fade away from center stage by part three. And for most of four, she remains in the background more often than not. She and her teammates are also dealt with like an ensemble. Therefore, other characters' backstories and personalities have a chance to be as relevant to the plot as her own. Candi was seen, in the Watchmen parallel, as being an analog of Spider-Girl. One major difference is that she's a centipede-themed character, worked to fit this specific narrative. This is viewed as being similar to how Rorschach was inspired by The Question and Mr. A.
Likewise, her teammate Jeral Cormier is most similar to the Ultimate Marvel version of Samuel Smithers. Donte's Emeraldon identity was similarly revised for this continuity. He is shorter, ages slower, and has a Peter Pan-style method of flight as opposed to his jet-like flight in previous versions. His appearance is modeled after that of Marvel's Meteor Man, though some have stated he looks a little like a Green Lantern. The Earwig suit is a typical powered armor, with the only downside being that the AI inside it that is supposed to enhance the wearer's knowledge of how to fight is a little psychotic. Dolly's struggle at first is figuring out how to operate the suit with the AI turned off, as it is even more bloodthirsty than she is. Her suit's bloodlust is inspired by O'Malley from Red vs. Blue. Her reckless demeanor without the AI makes her more similar to Tex from that same series. Jackrabbit's ability to leap and run is most similar to the original power set of Toad from X-Men, before that character gained a prehensile tongue.
In keeping with a push to make the Gerosha universe look more and more lifelike, Dozerfleet sought out a means to gain visuals for as many characters as possible that were as life-like as possible. The first major success in this was in the reinterpretation of Stung Hornet. Cataclysmic Ciem came next. While the Ciem suit itself has been realistically interpreted with MakeHuman 3D, a variation made with The Sims 3 is used to distinguish the look for this version from its similar design for Comprehensive Gerosha.
Candi's out-of-suit appearance in Sims 3 is almost a direct port of the Sim model used for Comprehensive Candi. For purposes of the image on the wiki above, a model was needed. The model and image originally supplied were modified from an original print by British/Indonesian modeling photographer Ardhana Galih Wicaksono, better known on DeviantArt as the artist Maleica. Success with Maleica inspired use of similar images, using his models, to interpret Miriam and Marina. Indonesian model Nanda Soebagio provided the general likeness template for the Flippo triplets, though other models that Ardhana knows have been used. On July 21st of 2013, model/photographer Denise "Xoxbabii-Nisee" at DeviantArt agreed to be featured as Candi or Miriam, if any of her photos proved adequate for those purposes. Implicitly, that also included Marina.
On Sunday, February 8th of 2015, DeviantArt model Lee Loo La agreed to let some of her images be modified. She is now considered to be the official face of all three of the Flippo triplets.
In keeping with much of the other concept art for Sodality, stereoscopic versions of images were implemented to show Candi's world off in ways that had not been attempted at Dozerfleet before. Other than a few one-off images, almost nothing in Stationery Voyagers had bothered with stepping into the challenge of 3D imaging. None of the previous versions of any Gerosha-related media had attempted stereoscopy either.
Much of the push to making use of three dimensions for Sodality visuals, including Candi's concept artwork, were inspired by the success of making Blood Over Water 3D and a 3D music video of "Obama Ain't Got the Touch." Further encouragement came from leaked YouTube videos about the utilization of 3D in the pre-production process of Peter Jackson's version of The Hobbit.
For Vindication, most 3D support was dropped due to time constraints for developing the visuals.
On July 29th of 2013, a proposal was made on the Dozerfleet founder's DeviantArt journal which allowed for a contest among DeviantArt users to propose an additional novel/film/video game pitch for Ciem. This would allow the character outside of Centipede + 49 to once again feature in a solo performance without her Sodality teammates. This is the first time in the history of Dozerfleet Comics that a major character's potential expanded media was officially crowdsourced. The idea was later reworked as a possible entry for an Earwig story.
In October of 2015, Candi got Ciem: Inferno as a solo adventure pre-Sodality timeline, to show what she was capable of outside of the Sodality and to bridge the gap a little between Sodality and The Battle for Gerosha. However, Miriam's antics had a tendency to steal the spotlight, leading to a follow-up titled Sniperbadger: Fall of the Critter Resitance as a sequel to showcase Miriam's life as Sniperbadger and give Miriam a pre-Sodaity adventure. The Flippo Sister Trilogy was completed with the addition in 2016 of Ciem: Ash Cloud.
- ↑ Healey, Karen, M.A. "Comparative Sex-Specific Body Mass Index in the Marvel Universe and the Real World."
KarenHealey.com. University of Canterbury-New Zealand. With help from: Johnson, Terry D., M.S. Department of Bioengineering at University of California - Berkely.
- ↑ BulldozerIvan (username). "You write Ciem's next adventure!" (article.)
DeviantArt.com. July 29th, 2013.
Ciem (Main article)
Ciem Prime (Earth-G3.1)
Despair Ciem (Earth-G4)
Classic Ciem (Earth-G5)
Comprehensive Ciem (Earth-G6)
Marvel: Avengers Alliance
Fanfic Universe Ciem
Sodality of Gerosha members
and Sodality-like allies