29 comments

  1. Well guys, that is the final chapter of this little… sort-of interlude arc thing. I really hope you enjoyed seeing these perspectives. And on Monday, we will start the actual new arc and see how this whole rescue mission shakes out. It… well, it should be a doozy. 😉

    Hope to see you there! And the tags for this chapter are: Avalon Sinclaire, Columbus Porter, Deveron Adams, Douglas Frey, Marina Dupont, Professor Kohaku, Rudolph Parsons, Scout, Scout’s Role As Overwatch For The Team Works A Lot Better Now That She’s Actually Talking A Bit More., Sean Gerardo, Shiori Porter, There Is No Facepalm Big Enough To Account For The Time That I Spent Trying To Work Out How Sean Could Carry Vulcan Before Remembering His Gun-Form., Vulcan

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  2. This is a very well done, well written chapter. Seeing Avalon get so paranoid about Tabbris is… not good, but it makes sense and it’s presented well. Scout’s perspective is also great, and the new powers are sweet. I’m concerned about the divide between the main group and Rudolph and Doug, but I’m sure that will be dealt with. I’m also still thinking Kohaku is Manakel’s host, so seeing her makes me nervous, and will until I’m either proven wrong or she’s freed.

    But I have to say that as well done and written as this chapter is, man is it underwhelming after the last one. I am so hyped for the fight, and I know it’ll take a chapter or two before we actually get to it in the main chapters.

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    1. You have no idea how tempted I was to include some massive revelation or cliffhanger or… something like that at the end of this. I swear, the BULK of the time spent planning it out went to deciding how it would end. I must have considered and discarded at least a dozen possible endings.

      But in the end, none of the massive huge EVENTS seemed to fit right. A quieter, more subdued ending with Avalon just starting to tell them what they found out fit the best.

      But yeah, I had considered flipping the order of this chapter and the previous one so that the last one ends with the Kushiel line leading into the next arc.

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  3. Yay, more of the team! More Avalon! More Scout! We finally get to see them in an actual school-sanctioned hunt! A school-sanctioned hunt actually went well for once! And they seemed quite competent while doing it, too.

    I do sort of like that this chapter was a bit quieter. It was almost a let-down, but not quite because the hype for the upcoming fight is so big. It made it more like a brief interlude where we could take a breath before diving in next chapter.

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  4. Wait. With all the heretics around, plus some Alters who hunt Nocen, how does an infestation, which soul have likely resulted in quite a few suspicious deaths (I mean, how little were all of the things eating? One person a year each is still a lot of people dead, every year) last for decades?

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    1. The Heretics have a lot on their plate. To be honest I’m less surprised they missed it then it am that the ghost hunter shows did.

      I mean, mansion, famous, Hollywood exec, it ticks all their boxes. You really think in a world where the supernatural really exists the death count on those would be way higher.

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    2. Pretty much as sorenknightblog said. And beyond that, these things are like cockroaches. They find an area they like and it’s really hard to stomp them out completely. You kill all you can find, but eventually more will probably migrate there and build up a new nest. Which, honestly, parts of the Heretics leadership are not that upset about because it provides repeated training opportunities.

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  5. Nice chapter, also I smell drama up ahead when Avalon and Shiori are reunited with Flick in a less than chill setting and the first thing they want to do is making sure the possession thing is taken care of…

    Aaaaand I have a REALLY tiny nitpick: “It had five arms, four on each side and one emerging from the middle of its chest”
    Am I the only one who thought “But that’s NINE arms, not five!”? before realizing how this was meant? xD

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  6. …sadly, I cannot edit comments. Therefore the doublepost. Sorry about this. And sorry about what follows. I just… have that mental image about how the whole reunion is going to take place. Something like this:

    Flick: Valley, Shiori… I… Well, I sort of have to introduce you to somebody… Please don’t jump to conclusions, but…
    Avalon: For Prosser’s sake, Chambers, I am okay with Shiori here, she’s great and all, but if you’re collecting any more girlfriends…
    Shiori: I am not entirely opposed to taking the harem route, this IS a magic school after all, but I demand concessions! And while we’re at it, we should include Sands and Scout!
    Sands: Wait, whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…?!?!?
    Scout: ………………………………………………
    Flick: Wait, what just… No, no, no! Just LISTEN to me, guys! I am NOT starting a harem here! I just want you to…
    Shiori: Says the one with two girl friends…
    Avalon: I will FUCKING CULL anything with tentacles! Not putting up with that shit!
    Flick: Oh for the love of… *inwardly* Tabby, looks like we’ll have to show them instead of tell them…
    *Tabbris jumps out*

    Everyone: YOUR INNER CHILD IS FUCKING TANGIBLE?!
    Avalon: *nods sagely* That actually explains the pet rock.
    Flick: *looks menacingly at Sands*
    Sands: *snickers and runs away*

    My head is a funny and strange place.

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    1. In a way, I am as well. But it wouldn’t fit. Their reactions are worth a whole chapter in and of itself if I don’t want to rush it.

      The main issue being that the original description of the interlude that was commissioned was for the team as a whole to show reaction to Vanessa and Tristan’s disappearance while being sent out on a hunt. They absolutely couldn’t talk about Flick being possessed in front of Douglas and Rudolph (because those two being fully read in is, again, probably a whole chapter by itself that would leave no time for the actual reactions to Flick). And basically, by the time we got through the actual meat of chapter that was commissioned and promised, getting into the next part would have made the chapter twice as long as it was.

      But yeah, believe me, when I was plotting out the chapter I tried to work out a way that they could all react to it within the chapter. I didn’t want to skip over their reactions, which is why I had Avalon and Koren not tell them up to that point. But as I just said, showing the reaction and subsequent long discussion didn’t fit within the actual confines of the interlude. There was, to put it simply, nowhere to put it.

      Yes, I could have skipped over the entire hunt completely and just jumped to them coming back. But I wanted to show the team actually succeeding at a hunt that didn’t go sideways, and show how Scout works now that she’s speaking up more. Cutting it out and just going from them leaving for the hunt to them getting back felt wrong.

      Besides, this way, the team reacting to all that can be a separate chapter unimpeded by everything else that needed to happen in this chapter that would have made their reactions feel rushed. It’ll pop up as an interlude option at the end of the next arc if nothing else.

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  7. Don’t remember anyone saying this on the previous page, but Elisabet may not truly love her possessor. She may have been affected by the Olympian’s “love me” power.

    If the plan for this big fight is something along the lines of, “All Olympians lose their Olympia powers”, which is the only way I can see Kushiel being defeated, then Elisabet may realize that the love isn’t “real” and try to throw out her possessor.

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    1. I’ve thought about that. I’m inclined to doubt it for a few reasons, but it’s a possibility I’m keeping an eye out for.

      Clarifying point though, for anyone reading this who may have misunderstood Jophiel’s power (which may or may not include you Bart, so ignore this if you already know it). It’s not strictly a “love me” power. It’s a “feel about me how you already feel about someone else” power.

      She can also make people hate her, envy her, pity her, etc. As long as she understands or correctly guesses how they feel about someone else.

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      1. My understanding is that the power is something Jophiel has to consciously activate, and there hasn’t really been indication she has been any of the three times we’ve seen inside her head.

        She could theoretically be in denial or duping herself into thinking she isn’t doing anything though. So while I doubt it, I wouldn’t be shocked if you end up being right.

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  8. I am amused that a Hunt involving Flick’s teammates actually went off without unexpected disturbances. It is also pleasing to see Scout’s continuing development without Sands around.

    Regarding Avalon’s implied revelation of Flick’s possession to the others, I am wondering what Shiori thinks of the situation and her possible reaction to Tabbris.

    Nice Interlude.

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  9. I bet the extra Seosten is in “Security Officer: Wyatt Rendell”. Think about it. Who’s the most paranoid one in the bunch, the one most security conscious? The one that nobody will ever think to check for a hidden Seosten, because of course he could never be taken over.

    The one who, like Edgar Allen Poe’s Purloined Letter, knows that the best hiding place is often right in plain view (while still being incredibly paranoid, of course).

    And the best part is this: Wyatt doesn’t know that he’s possessed. The Seosten is hiding inside and erased Wyatt’s memory for a few seconds, and never takes over Wyatt’s brain at all, ever, unless he’s about to be exposed, and then he fixes things and smooths over Wyatt’s memory.

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  10. You know, I expected Avalon to have a different panic-reaction to learning that Flick had been possessed before their first meeting. I thought she’d be wondering if it was the Seosten she’d fallen for. I suppose we can thank Thea for preventing that particular misunderstanding.

    There’s a random thought that’s been going through my head lately: What if a Seosten was made to possess someone when BOTH parties were too young to have distinct identities? They could both grow up thinking that they were one being. And would probably have an interesting reaction if they were forced apart.

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      1. Yeah, that is pretty similar. What I was imagining, though, was that having two minds like that would allow for much better multitasking and multi-threaded thought. So both sides might say something like, “No! Give me back my brain!”

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      2. @Isa Lumitus
        Sounds right.

        Though honestly I don’t think it would need to be that early to get that type of reaction.

        A bunch of us on SB did some work on an AU where Tabbris and Flick make contact shortly after Tabbris leaves the VR spell and the conclusion was that in that timeline being split would be like losing half of their mind.

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      3. @Alex Waters
        Since Tabbris has already nudged Flick’s thoughts a bit, I’d imagine that they are close to that point. Then again, Tabbris has been possessing Flick since before she was conscious.

        I just figured that melding of that sort was likely to go a lot faster if the two’s self identities weren’t getting in the way. It would have been pretty strange, though, if Tabbris got kicked out, and thought that she was the real Flick.

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