Gone. Not coming back.
Glad you liked it! I didn't have seven down as a particularly spooky chapter, but of course the nice thing about writing something is getting to see the difference between how you as a writer see a story and how your readers see it, and often parts you didn't think much of while writing them turn out to be things that stand out much more strongly for readers. So yeah, nice to hear that seven occupied that place for you.Now I just gotta say this quick: while reading chapter seven I felt genuinely chilled by the whole thing. It might've been because I was ill, idk, but at one point I literally thought "this is actually unnerving me". And that's amazing. If a fic can do that, then you know it's a brilliant one.
The plot is certainly thickening! There's a lot going on within the League, that's for sure, and it's difficult to talk about it without giving too much away but you'll definitely see more of it in future chapters, especially after we finally arrive in Cinnabar. Hopefully you'll like my next breach event, too -- it's an oldie, but a goodie, and I've done my best to treat it in an original way.I'm so so so intrigued by the breach events, they just fascinate me to no end. The fact that the Glitch Oak can time travel and it attacked like that is oddly badass and I love it. Also, I really feel for poor old Artie with a second breach event happening near her. Speaking of breach, I'm certainly becoming suspicious of the real Oak after Rena was so dismissive of breach. The fact that the Glitch Oak looks just like him somewhat supports that as well.
Hmm, A. Grahame... perhaps Ariana or Archer, the future Rocket executives? It wouldn't seem too far out. I'm tempted to say Agatha but her name would be all over those important files Emilia looked at, so she's out of the question. Yep yep, my guess is one of the Rocket executives.
It also wanted to murder everyone it sees, so y'know, there are positives and negatives to be weighed here. But yes, it would kinda be a shame. Unfortunately, the prognosis is not very good, as it happens.I feel for the Scyther/Scizor. If it is actually put down I'll understand but y'know still sucks because it just wanted to live out life...
It has been mentioned in passing in previous chapters! The current reigning Champion, Casey Rigadeau, is nonbinary; Emilia says as much in chapter four. This mention here is mostly to confirm that they do also identify as trans.Waitwaitwait I need to hear more on this
Never could get into Dragon Age myself; I'm more of a Mass Effect kinda person. But yeah, terms like breach and anchor are resonant, I guess; they turn up over and over in a bunch of different media. My use of breach in Arbitrary Execution owes more to China Miéville's The City and the City than anything else -- I just really liked the idea of a creepy voice repeating the word over and over. Anyway! Thank you so much for taking the time to respond! <3Funny, I've been playing Dragon Age: Inquisition and in it there's a massive wormhole in the sky called "the breach" and it first manifests as a laser-esque thing that destroys a load of stuff. And in it, the main protagonist closes it with a mark on their hand called the anchor. Just thought I'd mention it because I'm a nerd like that, it doesn't really impact anything tbh.
Overall I'm still lovin it!
In the last chapter, when leaving Viridian, Artemis did think that she'd have to call her parents sooner or later, because she knows that despite her attempts to escape them she's kinda still bound to them by filial loyalty, however misplaced. She's calling them now because of that; because they have for so long had such control of her life that she finds it hard to truly be free; because she needs, as you say, familiarity, and she doesn't have much of that other than her parents. Hopefully, the more we learn about Artemis' relationship with her parents, the more sense her actions with regard to them will make.-Hmm, I’m a bit torn on the opening scene. Not on the quality. Just on what Artemis is thinking. Have the breach experiences been so traumatizing she finds the need for something familiar, even if that familiarity isn’t necessarily pleasant? Or is it just something she’s doing to try and make herself seem “normal” in some way, at least compared to Cass? I think it’s the former, but I’m not sure.
I mean, she's just Icelandic. As someone with a polysyllabic surname from distant lands that English speakers tend to struggle with, I think my sympathies lie with Rena on this one.And the award for “Most ridiculous name I’ve ever seen” goes to… this girl.
I kind of wanted to make the Oak labs make sense: if he's the authority that he says he is, why is he in Pallet, a tiny backwater town, and not in one of the big cities? So I gave him a backstory that implies he set up here rebelling against authority, only to become part of the establishment as he got older and more well respected. I'm glad you like it, anyway! Also, I'm going to have to confess I'm not 100% sure what Pokémon Adventures is. Part of the manga? The anime? Either way, I don't think I've heard of this Vee -- I just wanted to place the scyther in context with other cases of evolution going wrong, and eevee seemed to me to be the logical choice, since it has the greatest number of evolutions and hence the greatest potential for evolutionary mishaps.-I do like this portrayal of the Oak labs as, well, exactly what you said it is. A uni-affiliated research center. It stands out from your run-of-the-mill Pokémon lab we see in every game ever. And, while creeped out by the little tidbit about Eevee genetic instability, I’m gonna call it a friendly tip of the hat to Vee to Pokémon Adventures and move on.
Yes, I did. One of my favourite professors had an office that was almost exactly like that, except instead of the Mahabharata she had ancient carvings of a kind I could not identify from somewhere in India that I also could not identify, and her Marxist lolcats had slightly different captions. She wasn't anything like Rena in terms of personality, but her office was such a striking image I had to reuse it.I’m genuinely curious if you had a college professor like this because that is a strange collection of things. And I totally didn’t have to look up Mahabharata because I didn’t know what it was. Nope. Absolutely 100% didn’t.
More or less what I was going for, so thank you!-That’s a very vivid description of that Scyther. An unnerving one, but in a, “Please get me out of here before something goes wrong,” kind of way.
Scientists very often aren't, in my experience. Or no, they are, but like in the very next second they suddenly stop again and start just being people. I find that very endearing, so that's the sort of personality I went for with Rena.That’s not very scientific, Rena. Tsk, tsk.
That's the atmosphere I wanted! If it feels British at all, that's probably just because that's where I live and so that's where most of the government machinery I've encountered has been based, so it's necessarily what has inflected my portrait of the Plateau. Of course, the Plateau is more like DC than say, Westminster, because it was purpose built as a seat of power, so perhaps that influenced me as well. I've really enjoyed figuring out how the Indigo League works, and hopefully that comes through -- both in this chapter and in future ones, where I deal with more League history while Artemis and Cass tourist it up in Cinnabar, and the actual process of mounting a Gym challenge.-Oooh, more teasing about Emilia’s past exploits. Including one where she apparently circumnavigated the system for whoever this Stella is. And then we’re off to the Indigo Plateau. Admittedly, I wasn’t expecting this locale to show up until later. I like how – what’s the word? – “sterile” you make it. I’ve been in a few federal office buildings from time to time and I just got this sense I was back in the middle of DC, with maybe just a touch of Britain thrown in for good measure.
That sorta depends what you think it means, I guess? If it's about Emilia being trans, then yeah, that's what she is. I kinda said as much openly in chapter six, and in my response to your last review.Wait… does this mean what I think it means or am I misreading?
There are definitely real and serious questions to be asked about what Rena knows, and how much. Do also bear in mind, though, that while Artemis is a suspicious person both by nature and like as a political thing, she isn't always reliable. Is Rena really in on it? Hard to say, with the data that is available so far. Artemis certainly thinks so, but even she isn't sure that she trusts herself to see clearly enough to make that judgement without bias, and when the narration follows her it's very much from her point of view, first person or not.It wouldn’t be a conspiracy if the respected scientists weren’t in on it, I suppose. But that just makes it creepier. That means they have legitimate data and factual evidence on this stuff and they’re trying to sweep it under the rug and hope no one notices. Having things end of with friendly chit-chat about the “good old days of trainerdom” actually unnerves me more. Like, Rena knows there’s something wrong and is doing her damndest not to lead Artemis on.
There aren't so many references there, honestly. Glossolalia is of course the speaking in tongues that occurs in the Acts of the Apostles; B/8 is a reference to a thing in an old book from the eighties I once read about teaching computers to recognise the difference between a B and an 8 (I have no idea if it's a real thing or not); OD4R is a reference to ODAR, the secret time travel police of the US government in the podcast ars PARADOXICA -- and yes, it is celebi-focused: that's why I said it was based in Ilex Forest. The rest are all just made-up nonsense, except of course for ROCKETS, which is, y'know, Team Rocket. It is also an actual acronym, and let me tell you, it was not easy to come up with a plausible thing that ROCKET could be short for. In the end I had to add an S on the end just to make it work.-The league has a time travel research division? I’m gonna assume it involves Dialga and Celebi. But, nevertheless, while the suspicious files (either manual or computer-driven) are a pretty classic staple of these sorts of thrillers, I do appreciate the Pokémon slanted theme you gave them, even if I think some of the references flew over my head.
Good! The world is full of terrible things and unfair power relations, but it's also the only place where you'll find good people and precious moments, and I really try to do both of those sides to reality justice with this fic. I'm glad you like these little touches.This isn’t as heavy of a chapter, I think, but I still love these cute little moments! They’re so adorable. <3
As ever, thank you for reading and responding, especially so promptly and consistently! It's really very flattering. Next time, Artemis breaks the law, and Emilia receives a worrying phone call from Lorelei. Until then -- thank you all again for reading, and I hope you continue to enjoy the story!