Let’s start the new year by reflecting a bit on the old!
shame that I wrote this disgusting piece of garbage. Now enough with my self-loathing
(that’s Erdian’s job). Yes this might be considered a ‘flame’ to some people who can’t
comprehend what a flame is but this actually constructive criticism that holds a valid
truth. With no spellchecker at three in the morning I just decided to rummage through old
files and upload one of them when I knew damn well that it was horrible. So again, thank
you for making me realize this and don’t worry the story is being deleted.
through my all of my awful stories aren’t you?You know, seeing only one good review after
about a month which I consider a long duration of time and then seeing all these
constructive but negative reviews is really making me lack the craving to write. Perhaps
to help boost other aspiring writers esteem you should also leave a positive note? You
seem to have not reviewed on stories I consider good that I made such as Something So
Small or my partner’s work on Spaghetti and Orange Juice ( the ending might be lacking
but it is kind of funny at least) so perhaps you are simply TRYING to push people down.
No means to be discourteous or sound offensive but maybe this is not putting a good image
of yourself as a fellow member of the writer community. I will be making sure to see your
thanking you or should be mad at you…..I just started writing only on August 22
stuff like this anymore. Its honestly just going right over my head.
I cant spell worth a fuck. Well not to the standard of people who read alot anyway. I actually got open office a few days after I posted the first chapter of nonsense so the second one is probably spelled better than the first. No idea when I’m gonna post the second one because I really don’t feel like taking the time to make it coherent. Thanks for the honesty and the review.
Hi! You probably don’t remember me, but you had reviewed one of my story before. I’m not here to fight back because of your hurtful comments. I did once, but now, I had realized my childishness back then. So, you can say this is a letter or apology.
Sorry for my childishness back then.
I admit my grammar is bad. Actually my main language isn’t English. Pardon my grammar, correct me if I did any mistakes.
Thanks for your time.
A response to your review at https://www.fanfiction.net/r/10732940/
I’m sorry! I’m a beginner! Please go easy on me! I’m trying! I really am! :( And i just want to say, that Absol WAS his name, thank you very much.
A response to your review at https://www.fanfiction.net/r/10748200/
I’m not sure if you were trying to give me advice or insult me. But….
I’m sorry if you didn’t like the centering. I have a habit of doing that. For some reason, it helps me think of new ideas and make things neat and organized.
I suppose it’s a matter of opinion whether you capitalize the Pokemon names or not, but for me, I capitalize them. Most people capitalize the Pokemon names, and so do I.
And I know it’s OOC, that’s why I put in the summary: Dark!Ash. Obviously he’s not the happy-go-lucky trainer he appears to be in the anime. :/
A response to your review at https://www.fanfiction.net/r/10016999/
Thanks for the review, and I am so sorry for the late reply!
I was kind of a twat when I uploaded this, and didn’t want to take any criticism. But now, I could care less about ‘people insulting my work’, and more about the actual problems.
With my writing style, I tend to over-use commas and such, as I often do so to separate a sentence. In short, I add commas so the sentence is easier to read. Obviously however, this becomes a problem when I’m trying to correct semicolons and other grammatical punctuation.
I understand that I should have tried more with the capitalization of nouns, but at the time, I’ll admit, I was rather lazy and couldn’t be bothered. No excuse, just me being stupid.
Yeah, I should have bothered mentioning the levels for the pokemon. It didn’t really add anything, so re-reading it now, it seems kind of silly for me to have included it. But again, this was a while ago.
I see what you mean, my character is very cruel and a nasty person. I wasn’t really trying to make him likable, or understandable. To be honest, I was more obsessed about telling the story than anything else.
Yep, got it. I don’t like repeating words, but I think at the time I just didn’t care.
I think some time in the future I will re-write this fic, and see if I’ve made any improvements. Hopefully I have :( If not, then I’ve really failed myself.
Anyway, thank you so much for the review! I’m just thankful that this was constructive criticism, and not just general ‘I don’t like it’ scenario. Thank you so much! 3
A response to your review at https://www.fanfiction.net/r/10769165/
I don’t appreciate you telling me how I ought to be writing considering this is exactly how the games do it – they capitalize the Pokemon, and going by that logic, I will do the same (Take it the developers of the games and tell them the same logic you’ve used here). I’ve seen your name dropping the same generic review for multiple stories before and I do not find your reviews not helpful. I don’t appreciate your tone and the way you suggest I’m a complete moron – I have been writing since 2006.
What has this got to do with Pokemon? It’s an AU – Alternate Universe. I can write what I want to write (and I know the story isn’t logically correct in places – how many televisions shows are which is what this story is based on) – And besides, you’ve only read the first chapter – I do plan on including Pokemon later down the track, so how can you falsely assume that this story has nothing to do with Pokemon?
Your reviews are not helpful. Maybe instead of acting like you are a grammatical expert (I’ve seen your guide, and sorry, but a grammar textbook is far more informative and is actually accurate), maybe you could actually take a step back, and try to think of it from the writer’s perspective? Try something new for a a change and actually comment on the plot and the writing flow, rather than copy and paste the usual ‘your grammar is incorrect’ advice. Although I suppose you would then go on to comment on how OOC the canon character is which brings up an entirely new debate.
I can’t tell if you are a serious author or a troll author, because there are some things in your stories which are not grammatically correct. Good day to you.
The developers capitalize because it’s videogame laziness convention. The capitalized words are items that get dropped into sentences, so they had to be capitalized for situations where they were at the start of the sentence. In previous games, they were ALLCAPS instead. Unless you are creating sentences then find/replacing them all with pokemon words, this shouldn’t be an issue for you. Also, the games capitalize words such as “pilot”. So, you know, not really good people to copy, grammarwise.
[And besides, you’ve only read the first chapter – I do plan on including Pokemon later down the track, so how can you falsely assume that this story has nothing to do with Pokemon?]
I wasn’t. I was saying human zombies you can take down with a shotgun has nothing to do with them, with the implied “pokemon could wipe out zombies you can take down with a shotgun in like five minutes so this isn’t a threat, while if pokemon are zombies then human zombies aren’t a threat and humans should just lie down and die now” being, I thought, clear from our mutual understanding of zombies and pokemon. Also implied: if I wanted to read about human zombies you can take down with a shotgun there is all of existing zombie fiction, and your first chapter is supposed to show what your story has going for it. People don’t read every story that’s published and they don’t keep reading all of them to see if eventually the author might do something new.
As for your comment regarding how I should write my story, I’m not going to take your advice. The way I write is how I do things and I’m not changing that. Some people like it, some people don’t. That doesn’t concern me at all. You can’t impress everyone.
A response to your review at https://www.fanfiction.net/r/10790529/
They’re capitalized to emphasize identity and improtance. To show theyre not just animals or not just humans. And as to the “well why are they just called by their species names” point you seem to be getting at, it’s simple: they’re the only ones of those species in the town/city or in the Legendary’s case, the world. So they get those names for simplicity’s sake. If another Lucario was there, he’d ne “Lucario of the Mountain Tribe”, etc.
And no, dialogue does not have to be written with commas or exclamation points or question marks at the end. The point is to get across the tone and what the person is saying. If it’s more businesslike or calm, then there’s no exclamation point or the like.
And I explained why he didn’t use telepathy. “He was tempted to reach out mentally, peer inside the human’s mind, but if he did that, the human would immediately be aware of him, AND would become immediately hostile at this alien being peeking inside his head. Besides, Mewtwo was against such a violation of the mind. It was beneath him. ” He views it as a violation of privacy and he’s not trying to spook the human. He wants to understand him. Plus, Mewtwo is speaking an English-esque language. The kid is speaking Turkish, that’s his primary language. It would be like a human reaching into the mind of a parrot. All it would hear is chirps and squawks and the occasional repeated human word it parrots. So, pointless. Hence the need to try and get Devah to learn HIS language.
And as for the “how did he realize it wasn’t his friend who attacked him”, I included parts in the story to hint at that too. Mew’s prejudice towards humans shows clearly, her obsession with wax sculptures, her mention of how she’s a keen illusionist, that combined with the fact a wax sculpture of Devah just HAPPENS to show up in her place, especially after Shaymin had told her there was no way to make more should have made it clear that she’d been murdering humans who came to the planet and using them for wax sculptures because she despises them. But I couldn’t make it TOO obvious, that would ruin any subtlety at all.
I also notice you show more concern for potentially innocent Pokemon being killed for meat rather than, y’know, a human being turned into a wax sculpture for no reason other than to satisfy somebody’s sick creative urges and to justify her bigotry. It says a lot about you that THAT was what horrified you the most. Misanthropic much? I know you worship at the altar of “Pokemon are great and humans are evil” in your stories, but it’s all bullshit and you know it. You just push that viewpoint to get across your anti-animal cruelty agenda, even though the Pokemon universe does that better already by having anyone who even remotely unfairly exploits, steals, hurts or tries to enslave Pokemon without treating them like partners and friends as being the bad guy whom we should all hate and throw rocks at. Even the first games hammered this point in.
That isn’t how it works. Capitalization is for proper nouns, ie, names. Capitalizing all of them just makes their actual capitalized name invisible, which is the opposite of identity and importance.
[So they get those names for simplicity’s sake. If another Lucario was there, he’d ne “Lucario of the Mountain Tribe”, etc.]
I believe what you’re trying to say is you’re using species names like surnames, because they still need actual names for the lucarios of the mountain tribe to be able to have any sort of conversation with each other. That’s what names are primarily for. If you have groups of single-species pokemon around, they’re going to need names to deal with each other. (They’re also going to need names for the mountains, while we’re at it, unless there’s only one mountain anyone claims as their tribal home.)
And this is all at odds with saying you want to present them as being more rather than less than humans and animals. If that’s your goal, giving them unique names would help.
[And no, dialogue does not have to be written with commas or exclamation points or question marks at the end. The point is to get across the tone and what the person is saying. If it’s more businesslike or calm, then there’s no exclamation point or the like. ]
Please read the paragraph again. Dialogue must end in a form of punctuation. If the statement is calm, that’s a period. If the statement is calm but followed by a speech tag, it’s a comma to indicate that the speech tag (ie, “he said calmly”) is modifying the dialogue (he said it, and it was said in a calm manner) and the speech tag chunk is not capitalized due to not being considered a separate sentence due to modifying the dialogue.
Which means things like [“I DO, he’s my student.” Mewtwo remarked] should be [“I DO, he’s my student,” Mewtwo remarked].
[And I explained why he didn’t use telepathy]
But we know that’s not how Mewtwo’s powers work. Mewtwo can communicate telepathically from birth. The idea he’s stuck on English or that he can’t figure out what other people are saying doesn’t fit the character. He’s also the only pokemon this is an issue with, with any other pokemon you could’ve used dodging this problem.
[ I included parts in the story to hint at that too. Mew’s prejudice towards humans shows clearly, her obsession with wax sculptures, her mention of how she’s a keen illusionist, that combined with the fact a wax sculpture of Devah just HAPPENS to show up in her place, especially after Shaymin had told her there was no way to make more should have made it clear that she’d been murdering humans who came to the planet and using them for wax sculptures because she despises them. But I couldn’t make it TOO obvious, that would ruin any subtlety at all. ]
Okay, but the problem is half of this is circular. The fact Mew is making the sculptures from dead people is obvious immediately, the issue is showing she’s not murdering actual threats – assuming Devah did capture Mewtwo, then ran into Mew, who he attacked and she killed, it’d be totally reasonable to put herself in the sculpture. Given Mew knows Mewtwo knew Devah, and would definitely recognize the sculpture, I’d even expect her to give that explanation for it. It’s a really poor piece to make your linchpin. (Having Mew make comments directly to Mewtwo about how dumb it’d be to make friends with a human when they’ll just turn on you, and she bets he understands that now, would’ve been much better, since if Mew knew he’d been captured, she should’ve come to free him from the pokeball. That’s the real hole in her story.)
It’d have been better to show Mew fooling Mewtwo with her illusions, because again, Mewtwo is psychic and just because someone can make an image doesn’t mean it’d fool him, plus it’s much better to show Mew’s illusions aren’t just static but extremely lifelike to the point someone would easily mistake them for the real thing. Good at illusions could just mean she can make gigantic ones. Also as it is Mew comes off as creepy from the start, and having her fool around like that would’ve helped your desire for subtlety. Honestly, if that’s your goal I’d cut out the other character’s sledgehammery ominous statements about no new wax figures and focus on showing just how Mew could’ve pulled it off by having her demonstrate that she has the necessary toolkit.
Also Mew actually doesn’t come off as much of a human hater so much as really into her corpse art. Having Mewtwo try to talk to her more about the humans and having her flip out at everything rather than calmly suggesting they’re bad would’ve done much better than just talking about how she really enjoys corpse art. I mean, you give her a standard slasher setup here, and they’re generally not motivated by bigotry but by being crazy serial killers.
[ also notice you show more concern for potentially innocent Pokemon being killed for meat rather than, y’know, a human being turned into a wax sculpture for no reason other than to satisfy somebody’s sick creative urges and to justify her bigotry.]
Yes, I do tend to view mass slaughter of sapient beings as worse than the singular death of a sapient being. Weird.
[Market Meat were all donations from Pokemon who had willingly sold themselves up in exchange for providing for their families or, in some cases, were criminals being punished for their horrific and unforgivable transgressions.]
Especially when you yourself say most of them are totally innocent and are killing themselves to provide for their families. How unspeakably horrible is your society that not only is there a system set up for desperate people to sell themselves, but that it’s so commonplace Mewtwo can buy some on a whim despite neither of them actually needing to eat murdered people to live?
Incidentally, if you’re deeply invested in there being meat, say “for capital crimes only” and not “people can sell themselves for food to save their family” and also probably cut out the idea it’s so cheap and commonplace because that means enormous numbers of people are getting slaughtered so other people can eat meat not because they need to but because they feel like it today, and it’s really hard to care that Mew killed one person when you’ve got mass murder as your daily background noise.
Or, you know, don’t have people being sold on the market and say they’re getting meat any other way. Actual animals, genetic engineering of meat trees, whatever.
[t says a lot about you that THAT was what horrified you the most. ]
It says a lot about your claims your capitalization is about identity and importance that you find one human death so important I’m supposed to ignore the fact your society literally makes desperate people sell themselves as food to the point it’s easy to buy peoplemeat whenever you feel like and no one there even cares.
Plus, the entire society is messed up. I was trying to of imply that being separated from humans has not created a kind of utopia. They’ve got horrific issues too. And Mew is symptomatic of the bigger issues: lack of empathy and viewing orhers not as people with lives..but things to just use.
Again, why are you even using Mewtwo if all it does is distract?
You chose to write fanfic and pick a pokemon that’s unique and has had a lot of time showing off his powerset, but you think it’s unreasonable for someone to read the fanfic about known characters and expect the one you name and describe as being the known character to resemble the known character? The benefit of fanfic is that you don’t need to establish each character’s personality and powersets from scratch, and the drawback is that you can’t decide that in your head it’s totally different and expect everyone to ignore everything they already know. If you just had it be a lucario (who you could call Lucario if he’s the only lucario in the area and you really hate names), none of this would be an issue, you know.
[Plus, the entire society is messed up. I was trying to of imply that being separated from humans has not created a kind of utopia. They’ve got horrific issues too.]
Then why flip out over me saying the messed up society and horrific issues are messed up and horrific?
Look, if you meant for the messed up and horrific parts to be there, but not more messed up and horrific than corpse wax figures, then you have received helpful feedback: tone it down because it’s apparently way more messed up and horrific than you meant. Killing criminals would still have the implication their society is messed up (for them to be killing enough that meat is easy to get, and because it raises questions of if the crimes are really bad or if they just made everything a capital crime so they’d have more steak) but it would take a minute of thought as opposed to being blindly evil with the current moms killing themselves to provide for their kids setup.
[And Mew is symptomatic of the bigger issues: lack of empathy and viewing orhers not as people with lives..but things to just use.]
And if it’s meant to be tying that together, having Mew use dead pokemon for wax figures would help – there’s obviously no lack of bodies available, and Mewtwo could think it was fine because they were all just criminals, not thinking about how odd the volume of it was. Then when he realizes Mew framed and killed his friend, the horrific realization wouldn’t be “Mew killed this one particular person, who is a human and therefore more important than the background genocide” but “Mew, who said we escaped humans because they were monsters, killed my friend and who knows how many other people because she views people as art supplies, who is the real monster here?”
As it is, I didn’t get any view Mew didn’t view others in general as people, because all her issues seem focused on just humans, and everyone else’s comments on her wax figures are just that they wish she’d shut up about wanting to find and kill humans for art supplies.
Not that I couldn’t do an entire story on what you did focus on. And in fact, I think I e setting is simply too good to pass up.
As for why I used Mewtwo, he’s not just a powerful psychic, he’s a fish out of water the same way the kid was. I was kinda drawing a parallel. Especially since, though not a Mewtwo from any other canon, all the other Mewtwos owe their entire existece to humans, so it’s kind of a meta-connection.
A response to your review at https://www.fanfiction.net/r/10793096/
First of all, thank you for your in-depth review. Admittedly I was winging it with the descriptions and interpretation of everything in-universe. But I don’t think you’re correct on the Pokemon stuff; then again, in games, they were at one point in ALL CAPS unless you gave them a nickname. So it’s eh, I guess.
And yeah, I admit I use way too many semi-colons.
The way I wrote it out was me interpreting things as they happened word-for-word from the source (hence why the bag was empty and why the Pokeballs were SOMEHOW being compromised); I guess it doesn’t match whatever character the protagonist(s) actually have, but then again, has any creepypasta ever tried to match up with game lore completely? Probably a pitfall that comes with writing about one, I’d say.
Nevertheless, thanks. Definitely will think about this stuff if I should do this again at some point.
See, the same goes for how you shouldn’t try to match the source, which is trying to fit the game’s mechanics.
The source, if it’s the one I’m thinking of, was trying to invoke the feel of playing a game, where you have extremely limited ability to interact with your pokemon and it’s entirely possible for you to have healing items and the game to just say no, you can’t use that here, and also when you personally aren’t feeling any cold or reason to quit,. Your character is actually there, so they should be acting differently. Just as creepypasta try to stick to the game setup as much as possible but will bend bits if the whole thing works better, it’s okay to adapt the creepypasta to work better as an in-universe story.
A response to your review at https://www.fanfiction.net/r/10352688/
Cool, you just pointed out several flaws the character of antiquatedCreator has. I may use the ‘internet pseudonym’ of AC, but I’m not the character talking. I adopted the handle after making this because I kind of like the name. I might change it. But the guy that wrote this (I.E. the character) was making a Star Wars references with the princess quote and made it more gender neutral by adding the notation in parenthesis. I wouldn’t have included an insult, I would simply state how it is- again. I’m not the character, and I’ll probably change the name whenever I have the time to alternate this fanfiction. (I have a lot on my plate in real life now.)
Also, the name antiquatedCreator rose from my likings of ancient gods and deities forging things at the dawn of time. antiqueCreator would make me look like the character enjoys making old clocks or something as opposed to “scitzotech” or “stone computers” and whatnot. The name comes from the creation of outdated concepts and the like, emphasizing the ancientness of said name. I love ancient stuff. ^^
I’m sorry if my initial beginning of the chapter at all offended you, it wasn’t my intention. My character is meant to be inspired by my like of different headcanons from the more popular ones in the HS community, and instead of ‘forcing it’ on others like I’ve seen most do, I just threw it into this character, which made them cynical, snarky, a little rude, and quite… tasteless.
But I assure you, the story gets better. It’s not actually meant to be a guide to Sburb. It’s a comedy that is supposed to try to clarify some of the more tantalizing technicalities the webcomic provides. It’s by no means a way to make ‘the real deal’. Far from it- this isn’t mean’t to be taken seriously. I hardly know how a proper session of Sburb goes (since all the ones shown are faaar from proper), so a ‘real guide’ would be pointless, and saying this is how it works would be impossible.
TL;DR, my character’s a bit of an ass and I’m sorry for it (i’ll change his chumhandle different from mine since i stole it from him ^^;) and this isn’t a serious thing. Were it serious, my screen name would be Hussie, and as far as I know, I’m not orange. ^^
I am really not seeing the distinction. You wrote a guy making a reference and then clunkily wrote him trying to make it more gender neutral, and your response seems to still not get that the Star Wars reference was in turn using a sexist phrase and you can’t pull the gender out of it. It’s an error. If he’s supposed to be kind of an asshole, just have him say the quote without trying to fix it and move on with things.
[Also, the name antiquatedCreator rose from my likings of ancient gods and deities forging things at the dawn of time. ]
Right, but the name still doesn’t mean that. antiquityCreator sounds more like it, and even then, the pesterchum titles aren’t required to be precisely laying out who the character is, just a reference. If you find yourself unable to express one particular concept, it’s a lot better to use another one than to have the character say “and this means X” when it doesn’t mean X. If the character is simply into ancient things and gods, a name referencing ancient things and gods is fine. Rose’s chumhandle is not princesstentaclecatCreator, after all.
[My character is meant to be inspired by my like of different headcanons from the more popular ones in the HS community]
So…just write that. The problem is the first chapter is you saying it’s not going to be those other things, instead of writing what it actually is. This is triply so if this is all supposed to be comedy, because your first chapter is not funny and is instead plodding and defensive. Instead of wasting your time on setup, just write your story.
I’m… sorry, but on some of this I’m not sure on some of this stuff where you’re coming from? And the rest I already agreed, and I didn’t need a whole essay splaining to me about why X is wrong? Okay, so pacing and too-fast resolution, you’re preaching to the choir. This is fairly old as far as my writing goes, and it was originally a sprint through setup to get through porn, only then the porn would have been too much tonal dissonance, and I wrapped it up with them meeting in a tentatively friendly place instead of banging each other. That played merry hell with the pacing, which is a part of writing that doesn’t come so naturally to me. If I was writing it now, I’d probably go back and restructure a bit, but at the time I’d written very few pieces longer than one or two thousand words. I’m not going to beat myself up over having some not-quite-perfect stories while I was just learning, and the condescending tone here does a great job of undermining your legitimate points.
Umm, brainwashed Sollux first of all. That isn’t at all the case. Sollux neatly sidestepped Eridan’s conditioning attempts, and he’s largely irritated that Eridan sometimes comes soooo close to being an effective, intelligent military leader… and undermines it by being a total moron. Helm conversion in this story involves no pan-meddling. The constraints are in the external hardware to prevent the helms from actually taking action against their crews, it’s all on the captains to use behavioral conditioning to break the helms after installation. It’s possible to break them so completely they’re just a piece of meat being used as a battery, or you can punish/reward in the right ways to induce Stockholm Syndrome, etc. Eridan tried to crack the whip on Sollux, Sollux pretended like yes, it worked, it was really that easy, and Eridan totally bought it. It’s pretty obvious that this WASN’T the case now, but Eridan’s still like ‘no, I totally wwon him ovver wwith my incredible air a’ command.’ If one of them has a leg up on the other in this story, it’s Sollux.
In terms of the helms’ reactions, my stories tend to favor a Sollux who’s pretty ehhh about being installed as a helm. He can’t move? Well he prefers to stay in his hive on his computer, and now he’s got full access to a computer more powerful than he’s ever touched before. I like best fully consensual helmsman Sollux with unrestricted access, but here he was still able to program around Eridan’s constraints, and his net access is just as unlimited as it ever was. He would have messaged Aradia earlier, except her net access was free with the exception of sending/receiving communications of any kind, and he didn’t realize she was a helm, so he’d be trying to contact her on Alternia and freaking out a bit because he couldn’t tell why it wasn’t working.
Aradia took the helm conversion much harder than Sollux because she really resents any restrictions on her freedom. And well, she’s now missing limbs and organs. She’s not really viable for long periods outside of a helmscolumn anymore. In terms of coming around, the damage is already done and can’t be undone. Her only way out would be to die, and she’s not sure she’s quite ready to take that step, but she’s terrified of all the conditioning that MUST be about to come. As bad as being broken physically was, being mentally broken seems infinitely worse to her. She has freedoms left, but she’s sure they’re only there so that they can be taken away, and that’s what’s working her up so badly.
And Feferi knows how unhappy Aradia is, and she is herself freaking out a bit, because she was really, really counting on things going like in her books. Those books are a wriggler version of things, skipping over the helm installation and conditioning, getting troll kids used to the idea of having a helm, glossing over the trauma helms go through. It was a really naive way to go into things, and Feferi is kind of SUPER adrift and has no idea how to deal with Aradia’s emotions short of maintaining super friendliness and positivity and hoping that the rage will burn itself out. She knew Aradia was legit looking up ways to kill everyone aboard, but the hardware would cut the orders off if Aradia tried to fly them into a sun or something. The helm punishments for breaking conditioning weren’t something Feferi did, it’s a built-in part of that programming. It’s programmed to be like the pain response from trying to touch a hot burner. Having no feedback from the action you shouldn’t have done isn’t going to properly teach you not to do the thing. Sollux powered through a lot of pain before he was able to program modifications on his restrictions, but if he went straight through his them he’d have the same response. For Aradia to get around them, Feferi needs to lower what those restrictions are, which are currently like… factory defaults settings. Post-story involves Aradia and Feferi talking a lot of those restrictions through and WHY restriction X should be changed, etc. etc.
Feferi not atoning is something that did get neglected in this story. A big part of it is the framing window. Here, Aradia’s already been installed for weeks. After initial installation, Feferi was very, very attentive, trying to get a handle on what Aradia wants and likes and all that, seeing how she could help. The severity of the emotional trauma of installation was something she didn’t really see coming, and Aradia was hella on the defense once she woke up and largely refused to communicate unless she was forced to. Feferi genuinely believed that keeping communication lines closed between Aradia and everything off the ship was the best way to help Aradia move on, and once she gave being a helm a chance, she’d feel just fine about it. This story’s lonely Feferi meant that she had very, very little clue how bad it would be to have a large circle of friends (and a moirail) and to be completely torn away from them. Since Aradia was refusing to communicate, she tried to help in the way she would have wanted when she was down, which was friendliness and persistent cheerfulness. And once Aradia opens up and starts talking to Feferi for real, Feferi’s going to practically fall over her feet doing what she can to make Aradia’s situation better. Sollux was able to practically train Eridan by flattering his ego, and being an actual friend for Feferi is going to train her up pretty good too. Honestly, in this universe, the two captains get conditioned a lot more effectively than the two helms do.
And hmm, the helmsman book thing at the end, I probably could have made that clearer, but the way Aradia’s been so crushingly miserable is also making Feferi miserable and she feels intensely guilty because there’s no way to take it back. She legit didn’t see it coming, and since Aradia won’t communicate, she thinks the best way forward is what she would want herself, which is to push through the sad until you can make peace with your new situation. Not the best Aradia strategy, but Feferi doesn’t have feedback to work with. So Aradia’s miserable, Feferi feels awful about the whole thing and is very aware that Aradia blames her, but she’s also still clinging to the hope that things could work out okay in the end. And once Aradia lets down her walls a little, Feferi’s desperate to let her know where she was coming from and that she didn’t want to be cruel, and a lot of it is rooted in those helmsman books. And Aradia, on the other hand, has been refusing to admit that there is any possible way a helm can be happy as a helm. But the only way to stop being a helm is to die, and she isn’t ready to go that far, and letting Feferi read those books to her, she’s trying to give that idea of happiness a chance. Even though they’re wiggler stories, she’s willing to see how much of that she might apply to her own life. Not communicated very clearly by me, but that was the id
Haha oops character restrictions I get way too wordy given half the chance. I was SO CLOSE.
And yes, again, I agree on the rushed. It was. But if I’d left the characters to stew for as long as the emotions justified, this would have been a VERY long story. The first half would have lost the power, because I would have had to stretch the tension for too long. I would have needed plot to sustain this, not just emotions, and it would have ballooned into a bloated, angsty monster. Without putting the climax where it was, it would have been a slow, slow softening of Aradia towards Feferi, and it would have stretched out so far that the setup would lose its oomph. It wraps up too quickly, but as far as writing the thing went, it was either that or boredom while I wrote and wrote and wrote more of the same, and I preferred to have strong emotions and an an abrupt close instead. I’d probably execute it better writing it now, but this is one of my oldest homestuck stories and I’ve written and improved a LOT since, so I’m not going to beat myself up that I could have done this one better.
Then I clearly needed a longer essay, because that wasn’t what I meant at all. When I said it all goes to hell in the second half, I don’t mean the writing is rushed, I mean the events you have occur are all horrifying.
[Umm, brainwashed Sollux first of all. That isn’t at all the case. Sollux neatly sidestepped Eridan’s conditioning attempts, and he’s largely irritated that Eridan sometimes comes soooo close to being an effective, intelligent military leader… and undermines it by being a total moron. ]
Sollux turned Eridan hard down in canon, repeatedly. If you’d described Eridan as meaningfully different than he is in canon, perhaps having grown up from the messy breakup, I’d find it possible Sollux might be attracted to that, but instead you describe the regular Eridan regular Sollux has zero interest in, then say that Sollux is totally into him but his complete 180 from canon’s not at all the result of invasive brain surgery happening at the same time. And then you ignore the part where Eridan can torture/kill him any time and the situation is absolutely horrible for Sollux to be in, because he has no protection but Eridan’s current ignorance. I could see Sollux himself overlooking that, what with his occasional bouts of self-hatred, but his moirail should be terrified. (Not that she can do anything about that either!)
[And Feferi knows how unhappy Aradia is, and she is herself freaking out a bit, because she was really, really counting on things going like in her books.]
Yes. You write the story as being all about Feferi’s feelings. That was my problem.
[Post-story involves Aradia and Feferi talking a lot of those restrictions through and WHY restriction X should be changed, etc. etc.]
And you tell me the good news is not to worry, if Aradia asks nicely and gives a really good reason why she should be allowed free will on a given restriction then Feferi will change that particular one. That they will discuss how much autonomy Aradia is allowed to have out as a couple. What a good girlfriend Feferi is to be willing to find compromises between what she decides for Aradia and what Aradia decides for Aradia.
[She legit didn’t see it coming, and since Aradia won’t communicate, she thinks the best way forward is what she would want herself, which is to push through the sad until you can make peace with your new situation. Not the best Aradia strategy, but Feferi doesn’t have feedback to work with. ]
The overall impression I get here is that what was done to Aradia is only awful if Aradia decides she doesn’t like being a ship, so it’s best for Aradia to accept her fate and be happy about it, rather than that it’s awful and Feferi needs to fix that before Aradia should even consider forgiving what Feferi did to her. The point where Feferi realizes this was not what she thought it was and she hurt another person is the point Feferi, if she isn’t evil, should be trying to fix it. That she doesn’t makes her look unspeakably selfish, like she knows this is harming another person but is going to keep holding out for the possibility of a pet friend anyway. To be clear, I don’t mean “make Aradia feel better at the inevitable” when I keep saying fix it, I mean actually fix it.
It’s not about this not being the best way of handling it for Aradia personally. It would also be wrong to chop up Feferi, tell her she was going to be your ship and get electrocuted any time she disobeyed your orders, and hope that isolation and Stockholm would kick in already. The entire concept you’re describing here is morally bankrupt.
On top of that, Equius replaced Tavros’ entire lower half with a robot. There is no reason that, if Feferi actually wanted to fix what she’d done, she couldn’t give Aradia her limbs back. It’s extremely unlikely that organs being missing is unfixable either, especially since clearly troll technology is good enough at mimicking them that they were willing to chop those organs out to start. She could also turn off the torture conditioning right now, if it’s not actually conditioning but a totally external thing, rather than making Aradia ask pretty please for it to be taken down piece by piece at Feferi’s discretion. You currently have Aradia either literally unable to disobey Feferi or, if it’s external, tortured every time she tries, and the best case scenario is that if she begs maybe Feferi will magnanimously turn it off.
At the bare minimum, Feferi should tell Aradia she looked into those options and they won’t work. She should turn off whatever conditioning can be turned off to give Aradia as much freedom as she has left. She should then accept the possibility Aradia might decide she would rather be dead. And she should accept that Aradia’s response may still be that she can’t forgive Feferi for what she did, because she isn’t owed a friend just because she’s lonely or didn’t intend to mutilate someone. She should act as if she respects Aradia’s autonomy as a person, rather than as a toy, and admit to what she did rather than making excuses. (Oh, and Feferi should probably accept Aradia’s “no, those books are lies and btw your cutesy helm quadrant sites are probably a bunch of coerced/raped people forced to act for the camera” rather than arguing that but she really likes the books until Aradia is willing to call all the lies true for her.)
Honestly, if you just wanted porn you could’ve said Aradia decided to be a ship or Feferi had just stolen the ship Aradia was on. Or admitted Feferi was evil and gone from there, instead of writing her as evil while insisting she’s being so nice for not going out of her way to be cruel.
And I apologize for seeming to prioritize Feferi’s feelings in my explanation! Because Aradia’s the pov, her feelings are more clear, and getting across what Feferi was thinking is the biggest part where I fell short. And in the story itself, Aradia knows what her OWN feelings are, but she’s trying to understand her captain, who isn’t acting at all like Aradia expected a captain would. It preoccupies her, and the longer Feferi goes without being overtly cruel to her, the more tense Aradia becomes waiting for that first blow to fall. It makes sense that Aradia’s thoughts would be a bit fixated on Feferi in that situation.
And as far as Feferi goes, she didn’t realize she was doing something that awful, and she’s feeling a lot of remorse over it as she increasingly becomes aware of how badly Aradia’s taking it. There’s a lot of media out there designed to convince young highbloods that having a helm is basically the BEST and of course these things don’t pay much credit to the feelings of the lowbloods that get converted and installed. She wants to make amends as well as she can, but she’s also just been blindsided by this massive, massive issue and it’s important that she’s having to come to terms with the fact that she’s done a terrible thing that cannot be undone. Uninstalling Aradia and giving her magic science organs and limbs kills the emotional consequences of the story. These helms are designed for permanent installation, and if I just poofed her out with some handwaved reconstructive surgery, there wasn’t really any reason to write the story at all.
Feferi is planning to turn off the restrictions as quickly as seems safe, but she’s also not just going to immediately turn over full control of a ship to a helm who still may or may not be considering driving them all into a sun. She plans to minimize punishments and leave Aradia as much freedom as seems safe, but she can’t read Aradia’s mind and she’s not going to take undue risks. There’s a full crew on this thing. Even if Feferi would consider taking risks for herself, she’s in a position of responsibility and isn’t going to gamble the whole crew’s lives like that. She is going to reconfigure the installation to allow Aradia free use of her psionics. That was what I strongly implied at the end, and that will do a lot to relieve Aradia’s feelings of being powerless.
And on the other hand, while Aradia might have considered self-destructing at first, the drive to live is a very strong thing. As horrible as what’s been done to her, she doesn’t want to die. And if she’s alive, it would be really, really great if there was a way for her to be HAPPY. She’s afraid that she does want to live, that even if she had the chance to take out her entire crew she wouldn’t go through with it, but she’s also afraid that she’s going to live and be miserable for the rest of forever. She’s desperate to believe there’s some way for her to be happy. She’s been holding herself at the breaking point for weeks, and that’s just not sustainable. She’s emotionally exhausted, and when she gets to talk to her moirail who she never thought she’d see again, she jumps for the faintest hope that she might find a way to not hate her situation. What has been done to her is unambiguously awful, but is it really reasonable to get upset that GIVEN that she’s in a situation that can’t just be undone, that she’s looking for a way to be happy? Feferi isn’t owed a friend, but Aradia WANTS a friend. Being locked down in one spot is hard on her, and being completely isolated is worse. She has Sollux now, but it’s not fair to ignore that this is a two-way street, and by the end it’s not even mostly about Feferi’s desires, it’s about what Aradia wants.
But still, I’m pretty sure that the biggest issue here was that you were wanting a different thing out of this than I set out to write. It’s meant to be awful. It’s about people who aren’t awful on their own living as part of an awful society and doing awful things. Don’t decent people sometimes do terrible things? It’d be clumsy to insist Feferi was awful through and through because she did this and no forgiveness for anything ever, Feferi is just terrible. Helm installation here is designed to be a permanent thing. Steps are taken to ensure that helms can’t just be unplugged and whee, everything is happy again. I ended the story at a comfortable place, and even if they’d felt the need to talk over ‘I looked into prosthetic options but sorry, it won’t work,’ I wasn’t going to write it here. And I absolutely wasn’t going to have Feferi uninstall Aradia, and yay, there are no permanent consequences, everything is absolutely fine. If I’d wanted to do a non-permanent helmsman story, I’d have written that. Handwaving all the physical trauma that’s been done to Aradia’s body with super-science medicine would have been a tension-destroying element.
And I think p*** is pussy? Maybe? Even if I’d gotten to the sex, this would absolutely still have been the backstory. Consensual helmsmen are fun, but nonconsensual helmsmen are ten times more interesting, and I would absolutely not sidestep the consequences of Feferi being responsible for Aradia’s installation by having her capture the ship. I feel a little bad looking back that I didn’t get into the depth and explore the emotions of this story a little more, but that scenario would just flatten things out and make things super shallow. The intent was always to write this ship with this dark, unhappy background, and with characters not wallowing in that unhappiness, but growing from it and interacting BASED on that interesting backstory. I’ll apologize for my writing not conveying everything it should have conveyed, and I’m more than happy to explain things that I wish weren’t so ambiguous, but I am still completely pleased with this setting, and even a year after the fact, I can’t think of any major elements that I would want to change.