We continue our adventures into the past.
Thank you for your kind words! It’s always awesome when someone picks up on all the little things I was trying to do (Jack is such a flawed asshole, but an interesting and sympathetic flawed asshole, and that’s why I love writing about him)! And yeah, that’s a fair complaint! (I hope you don’t mind the wall of text because I love talking about this sort of stuff)
There’s two things going on there. First, plotwise, everything we know is filtered through Jack’s POV, and he’s a very flawed narrator. The King and Queen’s relationship happens mostly off-screen and we really only get hints of it as Jack stumbles across it, and he reads things the way he wants to read them. It’s really hard to tell exactly what’s going on with them. I will say this: the King did truly love her, even as he cheated on her. To him, the two were not mutually exclusive. And what hurts him most isn’t her sleeping with Jack (though he’s horrified by that), but her telling him that she loves Jack, since he never loved his mistresses.
Second, from a writer’s perspective, cheating is a tricky thing to make sympathetic. The easiest way to make someone sympathetic is to have them be the second person stepping out, and to make it clear that their affair is about love whereas the other partners affairs are physical or disposable. But if it’s just the Queen stepping out on a relationship with someone she doesn’t love, she loses both the moral high ground and a chunk of sympathy, because then it turns into a question of “yeah but who caused it to be loveless?”. Plus, it would seem rather like an overreaction for the King to kill the Queen because she stepped out on a loveless marriage. But if he loves her, and he’s already shown as being corrupt hypocrite, then the brutality of his actions work.
Definitely. Though if you look there’s actually a little bit of the Battlefield in there too, all mixed up and blended in the way things get in dreams.
They are sad but adorable. I’m pretty sure I ship it primarily because they both are in need of all of the hugs and it’s just a lot more efficient if they hug each other.
Yes, it’s a terrible thing to have to live with. But you know, I think it’s really admirable to be aware of your own illness and to take back what control you can by setting things up while you’re lucid so that horrible things won’t happen when you’re… not.
There’s definitely a bit of that, too. But if she’s just acting on the impetus to do her old job there’s no reason to take the entire mailbox, and actually it’s a little bit counterproductive, if anything.
I’m really glad to hear that. When you’re writing a character study that’s made up mostly out of canon details, you do sometimes wonder whether what you’re trying to convey might be so obvious it’s not really worth doing a fic about.
Thank you for all the reviews. You’re so awesome for doing this. <3
Thank you! :D I always enjoy contrasting the difference between those three, espeically when it comes to them getting angry about stuff!
The arrow is supposed to have been fired by the Dignitary to distract her while the Droll sneaks into the chambers BUT I never really explain it all that well or ever mention that’s what happened.
So relieved everyone likes that line so much. I couldn’t keep a straight face whenever I got to it while proofreading. Good to know I’m not just a lunatic.
It’s more like she’s thrilled to scrape by with the appearance of barely not the most messed up, at this exact point in time, in this one area. She is banking on no one knowing about the Cage shrine.
Now you are making me want to include omake in my fanfic. Stop that.
oh man discussion time, I looove discussion time!
– I’d say it’s half and half. she has legit survivor guilt, but at the same time, in a successful game, he survives and she (likely) dies in battle, so she has zero coping mechanisms because she doesn’t have any latent ‘programming’ that would help her deal with his death.
– this is a bit complicated. Jack is being nice to her (or as nice as he gets) because right now, Jack is shitting-his-pants terrified that she’s alive. There’s stuff that’s outside the story scope, stuff that the Queen doesn’t know (and will never know) and the biggest thing she doesn’t know is this: Jack told the Baron of Time where the Queen was, and how to kill her. only now she’s alive, with time-travel devices, and holy shit she might wonder how the hell the Baron managed to get the jump on her. So now he’s trying to act good to keep her from going back and discovering the truth by accident. Of course, as time goes on, hate turns to pity and pity into fondness and love, and then there’s zero chance of him ever admitting his part in the loss of her arm and her husband.
– Prototyping ends because the game is over. I figure once the door’s been open for 12 hours or so, the prototyping just automatically shuts off, since the Kings and Queens should be dead, but if not, you don’t want a superweapon falling into someone else’s hands.
– I am really fascinated by PTSD and CSR (Combat Stress Reaction, aka Shell Shock). One of my fields of interest in WWI and it’s really depressing to read about all these clear cases of CSR and PTSD, and yet the doctors don’t know what the hell to do to help the soldiers, so most of them just get dumped back into civilian life and are expected to fend for themselves. Luckily, things are better in Figurehead, where the doctors are at least aware of the problem and willing to do whatever it takes to help fix it.
– He didn’t expect anyone in his room. You can be damn sure that the next time she went poking through his bookshelves, all the terrier books were suddenly missing, or in different dustcovers.
– There’s only one Royal Physician, but there are a few hundred Battle Medics and Personal Physicians and other jobs like that with the same skill-set, only tweaked to focus on different areas. So eventually, she could appoint a new Royal Physician (though he’d probably have a different sort of title to match up with his/her initials), though they wouldn’t be exactly the same. There are always at least 10 or so back-ups for every single crucial piece, and they’re all spread out over the planets and the Lands and the Battlefield. Now, the back-ups aren’t as good as the originals, but they’re the game’s way of preventing it from completely breaking because somebody kills a plot-important NPC. The only irreplaceable ones are the King and Queen and even then, as long as their rings and scepters are still functional, they can be picked up and wielded by anyone. It’s just that the new Kings/Queens wouldn’t have the full ‘royal’ skill-set, and they wouldn’t understand fully how to wage war (but in Jack Noir’s case, they do allow him to fuck shit up).
And thank you! It’s really good to know that people got legitimately worried at that bit for the safety of some characters! I’d say that normally I don’t give out happy endings, but in this case? Yeah, they earned the hell out of it, they 100% deserved their happiness.
Writing these simple Grubfics was a blast, especially while everyone else was in on it at the time. One of the other forum authors (who unfortunately has not included his/her grubfics in their sig’s link collection) featured other great parenting faux pas like Vriska telling her newborn clone to “hunt for food”. Really wish I could link them but I don’t have their permissions.
Now the forums are buried in teenaged kid OCs, about simultaneously to the relase of my own sequel. Troll Parents = forever entertaining.
First of all, thanks! =D
Secondly, that is probably a fair point. I tend to be very slow release when it comes to background information like that. But, in situations such as why people tolerate Karkat’s blood colour, it’s because there is an up-coming chapter that focuses on it. I try to sprinkle hints around, but obviously I would be bias when it comes to perceiving how clear they are. Suffice to say, what exactly happened surrounding Karkat’s blood being exposed is an important plot point in the story.
As for how much Alternia changed in the remaking, I think that’s a communication error on my part. Any and all differences are the result of Feferi and the other’s actions. Alternia was resurrected exactly as it had always been when they created the new universe.
Sorry about the size. I have image hosting drama, it’s really hard finding somewhere that will happily allow hotlinking of large images that isn’t likely to suddenly make them vanish when I go over my bandwidth etc.
thank you very much! <3
Heh, sorry about that. I’m glad you liked the second part, though… There might’ve been a way to make everything a bit clearer without losing too much subtlety, and I think I’m making progress toward a better balance on that. :)
Really, I feel like you’ve drawn a lot of conclusions based on this 1400 words that are mostly inference; there are several statements that you’ve made here that suggest you’re anticipating stuff I haven’t written yet, or that you’re interpreting characters’ actions in ways that don’t line up with what they’re actually doing. And that’s fine — inevitable, really; there isn’t much to go on yet, and it’s filtered through a limited POV. But suffice it to say that I have reasons for the choices I’ve made here, and some of the things set up in this chapter aren’t nearly as cut-and-dried as they might seem at first.
I should probably note, though, that despite the relatively low rating of the first chapter, a lot of what I’m doing here is building myself a kink playground; I am interested in (further) eroticizing the canonical social hierarchy in this project, which is a big part of my motivation for setting up the owner/slave roles as I have. Are there some middling greenbloods in the audience at the auction house? Probably. Are there free lowbloods? Definitely. But the charge for me in a slavery AU comes from the existence of a rigid, inexorable system that nullifies personal autonomy. So establishing that system first is crucial for me before I start looking at any of the places where individuals resist the repressive social apparatus.
Yes, it isn’t a Good End or a Bad End, it just is what the title promises: two kids are dead who could have lived, and two kids are alive who would have died. I figure the Game Makers definitely aren’t going to pull the changing-the-rules-again bullshit at this point. It’s enough of a disaster already that the best thing for them to do is just end it before things get any worse.
And thank you! One of the main things I wanted to do with this was give Rue a chance to have some agency, and another was to get Katniss to the point that she could be the sort of heroic that she never quite manages in the book. (The third one was to get Foxface out of the games alive, but that’s just me playing favorites rather than any sort of actual literary consideration.)
I feel like I should apologize in advance for the whole comma/period thing because let me tell you, it does not get better from here on out. Ember actually finally made dialogue tags make sense to me after years of not getting it, but that was about two weeks ago, so the bulk of my fic is still this weird jumble of “well this feels right, I’ll go with this” punctuation. The recent fics should be better (I hope).
The Two Lovers story is meant to be set on the Felt’s homeworld and is vaguely about a real rebellion that took place just before the Great Glub. Time has distorted a lot of it, and artistic licence a ton more. It’s sort of like Robin Hood, where the historical period these things happened in was real, but scholars aren’t sure of the historical accuracy of the Two Lovers, espeically the bit about the girl leaving in a ship. The alien kids are completely Cra’s own speculation and imagination going wild, and aren’t part of the story. It’s purpose is sort of half Robin-Hood/hero’s quest, and half religious, what with the Glub being interpreted as divine intervention and with the girl leaving in the ship with the boy to seek out a way to return him from death, with the implication being that she’ll somehow travel to the gods realm and beg for his release from death. Different versions focus heavier on one side or the other (and go on longer in a few cases, extending the story to be more like the Odyssey with the girl encountering a number of dangers but always escaping, finally reaching the cesspit, winning back the boy’s life, and returning home with him), but the version Cra’s introduced to is one that takes the ‘best’ of both versions and stitches them together.
Kvak does, and he develops a couple of really close relationships with a couple of the older women. He ends up treating them like a bunch of grandmothers and sends them a little money now and again and tells them to go buy a new hat or something.
Scratch gives him a couple of days to wrap things up. He ends up going over to see his mom and spins her a lie about having to go undercover and it’ll be a long time until he sees her, and then sets it up so all the money he had stored up over the years end up being paid to her a little at a time, so she thinks he’s still alive and just unable to visit. He tries to go see Gaeg, but he can’t make himself do it. She’s got a kid on the way and a new man, and he can’t stand the thought of seeing her so happy with somebody else, so he ends up just slipping out before she realizes he’s sitting across the street in his car. And he gets a promise out of Kvak to keep looking in on his mom and sisters to make sure they’re okay while he’s gone. Kvak’s the only one who really gets that Cra’s not coming back, but he figures that Cra knows he’s going to be killed and that’s why he’s setting it all up.
Thank you so much for the feedback (and the corrections)! I’m really glad you enjoyed it, and I hope this explains some of the other things that I didn’t really have room for in the fic!