Brendon.com called me with some followup questions, they liked the answers, and I’m gonna start work soon as an assistant video editor!!! This is seriously crazy news, I can’t believe how I landed a job doing what I love. I still haven’t quite recovered. For years now video editing has been a passion but I have no actual certifications beyond my portfolio of throwing myself into the deep end and doing it for years and years of projects (especially YouTube channels), so it’s crazy to think I’m gonna be video editing in an office environment. I am so done with the freelance life, I can’t wait to show up, work with other video editors from 9 to 5, and then come home and be free to work on my creative projects without feeling like I should be doing gigs to make rent.
I’m honestly really excited to transition away from game journalism too. It was getting kinda soul-sucking spending so much time reporting on virtual worlds and AAA studios that were never gonna give me the time of day, it felt like everything I released was a brief flash in the pan before being drowned in the ever-spawning deluge of new releases. I didn’t feel like my content was making a difference, so I’m really pleased Brendon.com has a focus on personal development. Mental health is the sort of thing that would give my work a bit more meaning, feel like I’m making a positive difference in the viewers’ lives.
So that’s far and away the biggest news I have, and I still haven’t quite come down from cloud nine. I bought that Regigigas event for Pokemon GO and wandered Portland all day yesterday in a happy funk, and now I just need to wait for them to contact me re: wages and contracts and the sort before I can begin work.
This is going to lead to some pretty big changes for this blog and pretty much everything I do online. I don’t really want to do the freelance life anymore, so I’m going to be pruning a lot of the things I do online and focusing on other things. By no means do I plan to go fully radio silent, but my plate is far too loaded right now. I’m planning to drop VGFAQ and Daily Esports after finishing my currently-assigned articles, and I’ve let the role-players on the Gang of Five know that I’m retiring from RPing. (More about that in the last blog post.) The SPUF of Legend will remain publishing semi-frequent videos, my itch.io page may publish new games every blue moon, and I may even write Daily SPUF articles now and again.
The times they are a-changin’, and I can’t be more excited!
Nobody on the Gang of Five reads this blog, so I think I’m safe to note why I’m leaving the site. I don’t really see a need for them to know, since I’m pretty sparse over there anyway outside the RPing section, which has a mere 3 other active users these days.
But yeah, with my new job starting up, I’m retiring from role-playing on that site and will focus exclusively on solo creative projects starring my characters. TBH, the RP scene on that site has been very disappointing for years, and I was starting to get mad that the few players left were basically ignoring what I wrote for my characters. In Insane Cafe, I had Hailey drop a uniform and her security card in a pile outside Dr. Zanasiu’s unlocked cell, only for him to ignore both and “find an ID card a security guard forgot” down the hallway to do his machinations. He also completely ignored Lúcia Shelton introducing herself to him, despite her having the last name of his longtime teammate who died mysteriously years ago. Then his author wrote that a fleet of nauseated security guards abandoned their posts, and when I asked the GM why, he said the other writers all thought Hailey had poisoned the water supply. When I said I never had her do that (she couldn’t, she didn’t have her keycard?), he replied “Well, it sounds like something she could have done.” I fully admit I got more needled about that than I should have.
Honestly, none of these were the dealbreaker I’m making them sound like, I was just tired of collaborative writing by this point anyway. I’ve been feeling way more fueled by my five novels starring my owned characters, to the point I’m pretty annoyed by the fingerprints the other authors have left on the works (like Chief Broadstreet in Officer Echo.) I’d really like to go self-publish them, or send them as manuscripts to agents, but I’m worried of the legal ramifications regarding some plots/characters having starting out as shared content. Luckily, I see tons of reasons I could have improved them and don’t really want to publish them anyway. I’d rather go write new ones that are better, but in the future I want to 100% own the storylines I tell.
I guess my last-ever sentence will be a parody of this terrible line someone else wrote about pizza.
I hate to admit I was also frustrated by how the other RP writers never seemed to care about the supplementary content I wrote. In total I’ve released 40 short stories, 2 novels, 3 novellas and 5 flash fictions, and I announced every one of them in our shared Skype channel. They’d all ignore me except for one who I needed to badger via private PMs before he’d read anything. After releasing Gamer 2, a tie-in video game I’d worked for over 4 years on, I got the exact same indifference as I did with everything I’d ever released for our universe. I just think it’s time for me to find a new creative circle, maybe one with a bit more reciprocity.
My last piece for the Into the Black RP universe is this finale for Blanking the Slate, as the RP petered off and I hate for it to end with so little left in the storyline. (The GM never got back to me with one-sentence epilogues for his two characters, despite saying he would, hence the two blanks at the end). I’m not retiring Emilena or Flora, but I’ll be creating an entirely new canon that borrows nothing from the RPs, to save myself from any legal headaches down the line.
I don’t normally discuss other people’s characters in my blog posts (except this one), but nick22 has a certain OC who I’ve never given the spotlight until now. While cataloging the timelines for Emilena and Flora, I realized that Rose is probably the third most frequently-appearing character across the Into the Black franchise. Part of that is her author’s dedication to the roleplays, but I’ve also found myself frequently using her in my own writing because she fits into a lot of different plots.
Despite appearing in the first RP, Rose wouldn’t get a character sheet until the sequel Racing the Storm.
The first thing I liked about nick’s characterization for Rose is that she begins the story incredibly flawed, as a drug addict currently working as a stripper who hates her job. That’s a far cry from every other author’s starting character; Soren, Emilena, Axel, and Marita are all living relatively-happy lives in a field of study that motivates them. I also like how her main-character status subverts the common trope of making sex workers disposable side characters. This particular trope (along with Bury Your Gays, which Rose also qualifies for) has always bugged the hell out of me because it seems to stem from outdated conservative notions that Hollywood needs to get the fuck over.
Over the course of the plot, Rose’s working establishment is destroyed and (like everyone else) she can’t get a new job because she’s too busy surviving the government/terrorist-fueled conspiracy that dominates the first RP. But her dancing/performance background repeatedly comes into play as she turns into the team’s chameleon, capable of using charisma and guile to infiltrate places the others can’t strong-arm their way into (even spending a large part of Blanking the Slate undercover as an employee of the primary antagonists). Maybe it’s just because bards are my favorite D&D class, but this element of her character was always fun and part of the reason I used her in multiple stories of my own.
When bushwacked and I added Lily’s clone into Blanking the Slate, I had the terrible idea to name her Rose. I thought it would be symbolic, both because they’re named after flowers and because she struggles with being a copycat so it’d be meta that even her name already belongs to a real character. But to nobody’s surprise, it got confusing the millisecond she entered the field and she was referred to as “Lily’s clone” exclusively after a single scene.
Now, I couldn’t port Rose over directly to my own stories, because I don’t like borrowing other author’s characters wholecloth, but when I novelized Into the Black (now renamed Electra City), I wanted to keep Rose’s role in the plot. She became Rachel, whereas Marita and Axel were merged into Mason. Mason had a brother-sister bond with Rachel rather than the romantic relationship Marita and Rose originally had, just because Nairda/Emilena and Mason/Lily were already a thing and I wanted more variety in character relations. Of course, Rachel is killed by the pulse bomb at the end of the novel, mostly because everybody else had already died/survived and I needed to kill at least one main character to drive home how catastrophic the Purifier pulse bomb was on Electra.
However, when it came time to novelize Blanking the Slate, I realized I wanted the character to come back, so I lazily noted that she faked her death and Rachel got to return for the sequel novel Tabula Rasa. While she didn’t have as much to do in that book, she became a main character for the tie-in story cycle Echo Chambers, where Rachel and Leah (who was modeled after Marita) travel with Flora to Sartonic. This makes Rachel the only character to appear in all three novels, and gives her a unique arc because she abandons the protagonists at the end of every book, until the last chapter of Echo Chambers where she redeems herself by returning and sacrificing her freedom to save Flora.
Rose transcends the Into the Black canon and crosses into the Insane Cafe as well, because I wanted some sort of character cameo when Aimee and Shakila visit Lanthae in The Approaching Light. Again, Rose’s vulnerable starting state made her an attractive choice for the cameo, as it put her in a situation where she could ask the heroes for help, and then reciprocate to aid them in escaping the city.
Last but not least, she even cameos in the Electra City video game! Press 7 while in the arena and she’ll spawn as a third neutral fighter controlled with the number pad. (She can’t deal damage and dies in one hit, but Rose was never a combat character anyway.) This mostly happened because I felt bad Nick was the only author who didn’t get a playable fighter.
Anyway, I’m not sure why I wrote this, except to delve a little bit into probably the most influential character on my Into the Black writing who wasn’t originally made by me. Today is actually also the sixth anniversary of the first post she appears in. Happy birthday, Rose!
As great as it’s been to actually succeed at applying to daily jobs for the first time in my life (seriously, you do not want to know how many times I’ve failed at getting more than two in a row before falling back on bad habits and getting bailed out by a surprise freelance gig), I’m gonna need to take a short break as I’ll be up in Portland for the rest of the weekend looking at apartments. I’m also bringing a massive duffel bag of low-priority stuff and leaving it there to facilitate my eventual moving process. I genuinely have no idea how I’m gonna get my massive Area 51 desktop anywhere; me and Dad couldn’t even lift it. I might call Alienware, show them its history of bluescreens, and demand they swap it out for a new one at my Portland address.
Anyway, today was frickin’ busy so I’ve finally got other things to mention. Borderlands 3 came out last night and I’m getting paid by VGFAQ to make no-commentary walkthroughs so I busted the first 5 out last night so I didn’t need to think about it for the rest of my trip. I’ll be honest, I was not jazzed at the timing and went into my first playthrough extremely grumpy, so it’s a point in Gearbox’s favor that I quickly found myself loving the game anyway. It’s just more of the same Borderlands content but with every single one of my complaints addressed. (You want female raiders? Done! A button at vending machines that quickbuys ammo for every gun? Of course! Mobility mechanics? We stole everything from Apex Legends!) Thank god VGFAQ’s reimbursing me for the hundred bucks for the Season Pass.
The last thing I needed to complete before I could fly tomorrow was cleaning out the aforementioned duffel bag as it contained a massive laundry list of papers from every era of my life that I kept stuffing in there rather than sort my past out. It was honestly therapeutic seeing all the old stories, notes, screenplays, sketches, and outlines I’d created for various creative endeavors at different points. Most excitingly, I found a lot of my old tabletop RPG characters from college. I used to work as a professional GM for Strategicon, and I’d completely forgotten about the nameless amnesiac woman I’d played in somebody’s game of Psi*Run. The coolest thing about Psi*Run was how you wrote questions for your character without knowing the answers, and the game would organically tease out answers devised by everyone around the table. And any Into the Black readers should be getting some serious deja vu from this character sheet because she was ported directly into that universe as Lily North.
My second-favorite player character from that era was Presley August, voted by my college friends as the single most annoying character I have ever played. It was (and still is) the only time I’ve ever played Call of Cthulhu, and due to the system’s infamous mortality rate I decided to play an obnoxiously arrogant underage dilettante who thought he was better than everyone else. The team ended up ditching him in the hull of an abandoned ghost ship after he failed a Will Save to not start lighting cultist incense. Said incense caused him to lose all his sanity and hallucinate he was in R’lyeh seeing all the Elder gods at once, and then a Kraken showed up and swallowed the ship whole. The GM added that last bit just because everybody wanted to see him die. Poor Presley.
And lastly there’s Bogard, the first (and longest-lasting) character I’ve ever played. I wrote him a backstory and everything, set to the tune of Gilligan’s Island. My friends and I were all brand new to tabletop gaming, and we played that initial campaign almost every weekend for over two years. At one point we switched who was GM, and players frequently dropped out/joined or switched characters, and ultimately Bogard was the only character who survived the entire adventure (which was less of a campaign and more a series of unconnected vignettes sending them all over the medieval world). After getting some financial advice from GitP, I had him buy his own castle and rule over his own township. Most of my characters after him (including the two above) weren’t so lucky…
Emilena and Flora are my two main characters of the cyberpunk Electra City franchise, appearing in significantly more stories and eras than any other character. Since there are so many different sources of content, and most of them were written out of chronological order, it’s basically impossible for new readers (or heck, even old) to follow their journeys coherently. This blog post aims to change that by providing a personal timeline for each character, letting interested readers follow their history from start to finish.
Note: I must admit that these timelines are going to be a bit fractured and hicuppy no matter what, simply due to how long I’ve been writing all this. Also after so many years of stories, lots of them (especially any involving flashbacks to a character’s past) will have plot holes and retcons simply due to personality tweaks and writing evolution. I’ll do my best to leave notes explaining anything unusual. A red asterisk* indicates the piece contains explicit sexual content.
Emilena was born in 2030, the second child of moss farmers Emile and Lena Shipper. Her parents named her after themselves and put her up for adoption in Electra’s unpleasant Nature’s Heart orphanage. At the age of 7, she volunteered herself for the Accelerated Growth Program, a controversial government initiative involving using rapid-aging chambers to boost orphans up to “taxable age” (the test subjects were named with the military alphabet, where she got the surname ‘Echo’). She served as a junior officer for the Electra Police Department for three years before burning down her former orphanage and losing her badge. She’s still on probation when the events of Electra City begin.
Officer Echo – A series of 11 stories set during her police years. “Orphanage” and “Harpridge Manor” include extensive flashbacks to her childhood before she was artificially grown into an adult.
Redacted Echo Case Files* – Several old stories I’ve removed from the series. They relied too much on violence, shock value, and R-rated situations. Honestly recommend skipping them, I wasn’t a great writer back then
Electra City* – A full-length novel. Officer Echo races to apprehend a psionic fugitive, a terrified amnesiac named Lily who’s also being pursued by the Purifiers, a radical anti-technology terrorist group. This was the first thing I ever wrote with Emilena, so she’s pretty severely out of character.
Tabula Rasa – The sequel to Electra City. Emilena and other survivors attempt to rebuild their lives in the neighboring city of Cornova, but the Purifiers have other plans.
The Hemlock Gang – Emilena and the survivors of Tabula Rasa are now running drugs in the alleyways of Cornova. There’s a tone shift to more lighthearted and “zany antics” plots.
Electra City Chronicles* – Despite the name, most of these vignettes take place during the gang’s drug-running years in Cornova. Emilena herself stars in “Bare-athon” and appears briefly in “An Aquamarine Phase”.
Antechoir – A full-length novel covering the Hemlock Gang’s final ill-fated heist, and Emilena’s followup adventure as a runaway criminal in Argentina.
Eric Harpridge was born in 2019 to a rich family in Electra. He attended Ywens Boarding School and transitioned to female after developing very weak changeling powers that turned her skin fuchsia. Fearing her family’s reaction, Flora fled to Cornova of her own volition and first meets Emilena during the events of Tabula Rasa, becoming the designated driver of the newly-formed gang. And buckle up, because her backstory has gone through so many changes over the years that’s about all that stays consistent…
“Lucid Dreaming” from Echo Chambers features extensive flashbacks to Flora’s childhood at Harpridge Manor.
“A Shiny Red Revelle*” from Electra City Chronicles is the only story starring Eric before he transitions to Flora. He’s also in high school instead of boarding school for some reason. I don’t know, this vignette’s really old.
“Harpridge Manor“, though told from Emilena’s point of view, includes Flora’s family members and the mansion she grows up in. Flora herself is relevant to the plot but doesn’t appear.
“Dances With Clowns” from The Hemlock Gang contains repeated flashbacks set during Flora’s journey from Electra to Cornova, though it was written far earlier than almost all these others and she’s way too young to fit the rest of the timeline.
Tabula Rasa – Flora encounters the Purifiers and joins Emilena’s team. Also she somehow begins the plot still in school, despite being in Cornova. Maybe she went to college and it was never mentioned again?
The Hemlock Gang – Flora appears in every story as the designated driver of Emilena’s drug-running crew.
Electra City Chronicles* – Flora appears in every vignette and is the protagonist of “Flora++”, “A Shiny Red Revelle”, and “An Aquamarine Phase”.
Antechoir – Flora appears in the first half as a member of Emilena’s gang during their final ill-fated heist.
Echo Chambers* – A series of 13 stories starring Flora as a test subject in an Egyptian psionic research facility, where apparently she fled after the law caught up to her in America. Despite the setup, it’s mostly slice-of-life and romance plots among the staff/subjects who live within the facility.
Also, gotta mention a few stories that don’t fit in the timeline since I never ported them to star humans (most of the early drafts for above stories were anthropomorphic animals because these characters originated from role-plays on the Gang of Five forum.) The below stories were left furry because, honestly, they were just flimsy excuses to string sex scenes together:
Breakfast at Yiffany’s* – Flora visits Emilena’s parents on their moss farm. Emilena only appears in the introduction.
Weekend at Jessica’s* – Flora visits her sister at a nudist colony. Emilena only appears during the epilogue and Flora’s flashback dream on Saturday night.
The Psionic Olympics* – A standalone novella set during Echo Chambers. Flora joins two other test subjects in representing Sartonic Labs at the quadrennial Olympic Games for psions.
“What Happens in Legal…”* – Set during Echo Chambers. Flora’s surprise party for a new test subject is interrupted by a psion with ulterior motives.
“The Approaching Light” – This one’s safe-for-work and not really like the others, written as a non-canon crossover between several different franchises. Young Emilena appears, but the time-travel plot causes her to grow up in 20th-century Spain without ever undergoing the Accelerated Growth procedure.
Emilena has appeared in two non-canon video games. (She can also appear in yours, she’s part of the sprite pack I released into the public domain!)
Electra City – As one of the four playable fighters in a 1v1 pixel brawler.
Echo of the Undead – A little in-browser game where she fights a horde of zombies until she dies. Hence the title, geddit?
You can also play as her in Minecraft, if you really want to.
Last but not least, since I’m trying to be thorough here, I should catalog the role-plays Emilena and Flora appeared in when they were still a fox and a folf. This should essentially be considered a completely different iteration of the characters from their human counterparts, not the least of which because those role-plays got pretty bizarre and don’t have much in the way of coherency:
Scorched Earth – An ancient role-play I didn’t even participate in, but during Into the Black‘s character creation I decided to make Emilena the daughter of StarfallRaptor’s characters.
Into the Black* – The first role-play, mostly tells the same story as Electra City. Emilena was my main character, and also such a dick most of the other authors admitted they were really hoping I’d kill her off and bring in a new character.
Racing the Storm* – A weird sci-fi romp where the main characters are traveling the world trying to stop a fleet of psionic gecko warmongers from taking over the planet. Emilena and her gangmates (including Flora in her first-ever appearance) are actually recurring antagonists who make life harder for the heroes. I was originally planning on killing them off one-by-one, but positive reception led to Flora getting an epilogue where she survives the warship’s destruction.
Bathroom scene* – Halfway through Around the Folf, the Gang of Five updated their rules to ban sex scenes in forum posts. All subsequent ones were RPed in private via Google Docs. This one was between Flora and a test subject named Yurei.
Taming of the Revenue – This one was completely off the Gang of Five, and starred Flora and ‘Life’, the fursona of someone who paid me real money to RP it. More details here.
After the Storm – Apparently, Emilena survived the warship destruction too. She’s now rich and famous due to her role in saving the world, but pretty gray around the muzzle, having aged faster than normal due to unexpected side effects of the Growth Acceleration Program. I wanted to try writing her as a more physically-crippled character who had to rely on her wit and smarts to survive the dangerous situations that keep finding her.
Blanking the Slate – Some authors weren’t happy with how bizarre Racing the Storm got. They created a separate timeline, set immediately after Into the Black and ignoring all other RPs, which returned to the initial city and told another story starring the Purifiers. I completely reworked Flora’s character for the reboot, now she’s a pop star who keeps mouthing off to everyone and I quickly got sick of her new interpretation. She’s lucky the RP died out before I killed her off. Plot was adapted into Tabula Rasa.
Enter Bianca* – A sex scene between pop star Flora and a young woman named Bianca, who’s actually Nick’s character Rose in disguise.
Epilogue – Like Racing the Storm, I wrote an epilogue after the RP petered out. Flora and Emilena are both present, and the latter dies because I traditionally kill my main character at the end of an RP series.
Ask the Characters– An out-of-universe thread where people could ask questions to characters from the various RPs. Emilena and Flora have answered a huge amount of questions over the years.
(If any of these links ever die, I have archived copies of all these RPs in this blog post.)
In one month, the Into the Black RP series will be celebrating its 5th anniversary! With thousands of posts and almost a dozen different authors, there are a lot of different characters and storylines filling our furry cyberpunk universe. While mainstays like Soren, Marita, Tony, Axel, and Emilena have had plenty of time to leave their mark on the world, I wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate some characters that may not be as well-remembered, but are no less the heroes of their own story. (Click on any image to enlarge)
The complete saga of Patrick Anderson
Who can forget Rocky’s contribution to the canon? He only posted three times, during which his character drove home, fell asleep, and started snoring. Luckily, after real-world days stretched into weeks without the author returning to wake his character up, the rest of the authors made good use of Patrick by detonating a brick of C4 in his bedside cabinet, to give the bad guys a much-needed victory.
As yeswonderful’s single-digit post-count might foreshadow, Kaien didn’t stick around very long either. Her author joined the 2nd RP while our heroes were trekking through the dangerous jungles of Bolivia. Kaien emerged from some bushes, asked the heroes why they were in Bolivia, and then bid them adieu and returned to the bush. Some say she’s still there to this day. Personally, I say she was an ignored Grecian chorus, a messenger begging the authors to reflect on that whole nonsensical Bolivia plot and reboot the storyline before it went any further. If only we’d listened.
The only remnant of the late Winky Face. Gone but not forgotten
Not technically a character, but bestariana1girl nipped in once and posted a single emoji after learning she needed 50 posts to qualify for a forum member tag. nick22 quickly deleted it with his admin powers, but Winky will forever live on in Serris’ OOC.
Series regulars bushwacked and nick22 share co-author credit for Gittsun’s brief adventures. bushwacked wrote him as a random drunk who gets gunned down as flavor text during a shootout, but nick22’s characters rose to the occasion and heroically bandaged him up. bushwacked sportingly kept the character around, but he never really knew what to do with him, and Gittsun’s antics, speaking style and general uselessness annoyed everybody…a lot. Finally Pterano had enough, and Gittsun’s appearances ended as violently as they began.
bushwacked is responsible for this one too. Near the end of the RP, the heroes raid a Purifier factory to try and steal info on the location of the pulse bomb threatening to EMP the city. While searching, they ambush a Purifier hit squad and leave one hapless grunt alive for questioning. bushwacked played the out-of-his-league Felix as he begged for his life and gave the heroes all the info he knew. But since pacing was never our strong suit, the questioning continued on…and on…and Felix slowly slipped into reverse-Stockholm Syndrome until he was suicidally begging the heroes to kill him just so the plot could continue.
Felix’s swan song arrived when LettuceBacon&Tomato posted this. It was the final straw, and the heroes finally dropped Felix off a catwalk and continued the storyline.
And those were just the characters that actually appeared in the RPs! We’ve also got some honorable mentions who never even made the leap from the discussion threads. Put your hands together for these unsung heroes:
Forum newbie Alien Ant Farm joined shortly after Belmont, posting a police chief for a city that he’d just made up. Then he was almost immediately banned from the forum for unrelated violations. At least Chief Joseph got that retirement he wanted so badly.
Dolly and Karl
But it’s not just one-hit-authors whose creations couldn’t quite reach the silver screen! Serris made Into the Black history by posting Dolly, a gene therapy pioneer who doesn’t survive her own character sheet. LettuceBacon&Tomato’s character Karl took a similar bullet for the plot in the Racing the Storm discussion section. At least they’re in good company.
And, last but not least…
Flora, the futa fuchsia folf, was popular among a certain caste of authors. She got a bunch of side stories and even her own spinoff RP where she (and some of nick and Starfall’s characters) could do sexy things while the rest of us were RPing dark and gritty high-octane cyberpunk. But something I never told anyone else was that she had at least one fan who never posted in the RPs or even made a forum account. It was a guy that messaged me and offered to pay me for a private RP with Flora and his OC, an immortal Snivy diety named Life.
Good thing I archived all the Darwin’s Soldiers RPs in Google Drive, because their home forum has bitten the dust as of 10pm tonight. The admins are working on resurrecting all the forum content on a new host, and best of luck to them, but when I have to trawl through the Darwin’s Soldiers Wiki and TV Tropes pages and fix all the hotlinks, I’m making these Google Docs the primary links. At least those (hopefully) aren’t going anywhere.
I took the opportunity to create one with the three posted chapters of f-22’s story “the Disease“. If he ever posts more chapters I’ll have to go paste them here, but it’s been months so I’m not holding my breath
A long-ass fucking time ago I saved all the Darwin’s Soldiers content for safekeeping, but I didn’t do Disruptive Selection because it was too large and I didn’t know how to get it off the site. Well I finally went ahead and asked for help and this dude on reddit has me covered. Using his program I can effortlessly save copies of any GoF roleplay for posterity, and so I’m now doing so for Into the Black, the other franchise I’ve invested considerable hours writing content for.
I need to get a new post up so that goddamn picture of sourballs stops appearing every time I open this blog.
I have done a lot of writing in the Into the Black universe, which up till now has not really appeared in this blog in any fashion, which is more focused on Darwin’s Soldiers. By and large Into the Black has been my universe of focus, as I really see the Darwin’s Soldiers story as mostly completed. I told the tales that needed to be told and almost every character has had their history completed to my satisfaction. So in case you’ve been wondering what I’ve been writing all these days, here’s a one-page codex containing links to all the fiction I’ve written starring Emilena, Flora, and the other characters in this second flagship franchise of mine.
As these holiday greetings grow ever further from the actual day it happened, I thought I’d just jump in and do some archiving. Truth be told I got scared when The Catacombs, the greatest Team Fortress Classic forum on the internet, got deleted and its data sold to some anonymous ad mining company. What if that were to happen to the majority of the Darwin’s Soldiers stories on the web? Well, to belay that tragedy I’ve uploaded every original document containing stories, role-plays, and other people’s stories I saved for further reading. Just go check out all these attached documents if you so fancy.
Note that I didn’t go through these with a fine-toothed comb; they’re full of typos and things I changed later, so they aren’t exactly correct. The ones currently readable on the Gang of Five are better, cleaner and considered the canonical versions of what went down. But in case those ever go down, we’ll always have these. And if you’re absolutely insane you could even glean a bit of whatever creative processes I went through in writing them, they’ve still got notes and everything wherever those go.
The only documents currently missing are Kinsey’s Mimic (because Serris is still writing it) and Disruptive Selection, because it’s so %$#@%^&%#@ing long. Some day in the future I’ll go ahead and finish archiving that doorstopper, at the moment my younger self reached Aimee receiving a phone call in a Platanna hotel, and I’m not even sure where that took place in the thread.
Update 4/17/2019: Since this is the only blog post whose name I ever remember when looking for these old copies, gonna keep archive copies of the Into the Black RPs and The Approaching Light here. Most of these RPs are incomplete, since the franchise hasn’t had nearly as consistent a history as Darwin’s Soldiers, but it’s better than nothing if the GoF ever goes down permanently.