This story is about politics, systems, people, and rationally explaining why things are the way they are. It is also a Cauldron centric story. And it is one of the only fics I have read where I really like Cauldron, their personalities are slightly different than the norm, especially Doctor Mother (what little we saw of her). And some facts have been shuffled around to better fit the story, but I think it makes the world of Worm work much better than it did in canon. It has good writing and grammar. There is little action (although there are some), but that's kind of advertised on the box, so to speak, so don't get too disappointing over that. Now lets see Taylor overcome the impossible challenge that is Scion with the minimum amount of power required.
This is a very well-written twist on the Worm setting. Most fics blame Cauldron for everything bad, but this one explores the moral quandaries they faced. Most fics stick to street level, or balloon out of control when they try to leave it, but this one goes where it will, as necessitated by the plot. It suffers from some of the typical Worm pitfalls, but an OOC alt-power Taylor is no crime in a good fic, and this is a very good fic. The ideas explored, the way the story unfolds, and the dialogue are all quite enjoyable. If you enjoy stories about intelligent people outwitting stronger foes, then you'll enjoy this one.
One of those fics where people only show up because the power sounds interesting, and it usually sounds interesting if it's overpowered... but the way the story is written makes pretty much everyone unlikeable, especially Taylor. She reminded me of one of those infomercial spokespeople who says things like "HAVE YOU BEEN DOING THIS THE WHOLE TIME??? IT'S WRONG!!!". And she is basically an infomercial spokesperson in this fic, except she does it in the most arrogant, condescending way. She's a 15 year old girl, and she goes up to adults twice her age and tells them they suck right to their faces... and everyone just takes it? Take a seat, Taylor. Other things I didn't like in this fic: Taylor's power is OP, and all she does is fix things. The dialogue was repetitive and bland. Just try and count how many times Taylor says "okay". "Okay" is conversational filler, the styrofoam packing peanuts of dialogue scripting. And last of all, which was the killer for me, generally unlikeable, unsympathetic characters. Dauntless was the relative standout, but objectively he was just... okay. I guess.
Credit where credit is due, El-Ahrairah is one of the more ambitious premises I have seen in a while. The idea of an unproven, though potentially critical parahuman rapidly swept up into Cauldron's inner conspiracy and having to deal with and manage an obscene level of responsibility is pretty interesting, and was executed better in Agent of Cauldron. The idea of an bizarre and obscure Thinker/Trump power having to be wrestled with and properly understood is also pretty interesting, and I'm not sure if it has been messed with before. El-Ahrairah executes these concepts in a generally poor and sometimes insulting manner. Taylor's power is very quickly deciphered, mostly off-screen, and boiled down to sometimes petty and borderline fixfic instant diagnosis of how a given parahuman is using their powers HORRIBLY WRONG and how Taylor can cure it instantly, or how much a shard is influencing the behavior of their hosts. The relationship between Taylor and the rest of the conspiracy is borderline baffling, particularly with Alexandria. It rapidly oscillates between somewhat cordial and antagonistic and petty, often for no clear reason. Most of them are genuinely supportive or cordial to the new recruit from the outset, not often bothering her and trusting her power implicitly. The confusing and almost insulting parts of the fic involve gross mischaracterization and strange and confusing "I know that you know that I know what I am thinking" Thinker battles. All in all, read something else, as this fic wastes the potential of its premise.