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Submitted on
February 21, 2009
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This is a biggun, so you'll probably have to download to view it. Just a hunch, since DA tends to force you to download longer pieces of literature. Also, for those who don't know/forgot, this is the second chapter in a large work and as such is not a stand alone fic, and thus will leave some things unexplained as they were either elaborated on in past chapters or will be cleared up in later ones. Also, it's a rough draft - the revised edition will come when I am further from the work and better able to critique it.

Caution: Here there be spoilers. No, seriously, BIG spoilers. Spoilers I've kept under wraps for almost a friggin year. Read the damn story before you read this.

So Phoebe finally makes her debut, meaning that our three main characters have all had their introduction pieces. This is the end of the "false protagonist" chapters of this story - I will no longer be killing off/imprisoning the main characters of the chapters while introducing the real main characters of the story because, well, they've been introduced. I also managed to slip in some introductions for the supporting cast, which was pretty nifty - it fleshes out the chapters and the universe of the story at the same time, allowing me to get to the fun stuff all the quicker (as opposed to The Second Age of Monsters, which is pretty much made out of character introductions). Expect to see more of Tatzel Lugar, Boris Kalishnikov, the Bogie, Mr. Smolder, Mr. Quiet, and Mr. Crypt in future chapters, as well as Vassal, Straightjacket, and Demolition Phoebe.

Let's talk about good old Deimos Phobos while we're on the subject. The idea for her came somewhere between Kemlasulla's creation and the completion of Sweet Home - when exactly is beyond me. Mars was on my brain (partly because of Kemlasulla, partly because of my SciFi class that semester), and I wanted to do a story involving Martians. Sweet Home was getting finished because of the same SciFi class, and while it was originally intended as a stand alone piece, I was already enamored with the world I created in it and wanted to explore it further.

Then I thought of how the idea of recording human thoughts and memories worked in the plot of that story, and started thinking of what other uses technology like that could have. The first thing I thought of was using it on an animal to see how the human minds compares to it. Then Mars snuck into my brain and said, "well, what would happen if a sufficiently advanced alien tried the same trick on a human? Specifically an advanced Martian alien, hint hint."

Add a dash of War of the World's deus ex machina (martians being allergic to our germs) for a motive and I had a nifty idea for a character on my hands. A human host engineered to share the mind of a Martian so it could study and interact with humankind without getting any of those fatal diseases. Demolition Phoebe was born.

And that was a neat enough plot for Fearsome Future to grow from one story about a lonely AI to, well, what it is now. After Demoliton Phoebe I began fleshing out other characters. Vassal would be brought back with a new robot body, there'd be an antihero mobster anarchist character (who eventually split into Straightjacket and the Tall Man), a detective, spaceships, robots - hell, just check out my scraps section to see how it evolved. But Demolition Phoebe was important - key, really - as she was the one who made me decide to take another step.

She also evolved quite a bit while I was writing her. Originally she was going to be a bit more... introverted. Kinda Dr. Spockish (a role that is going to be filled by Promelion) and shy (a role already filled by Vassal). Then Dan made one really big blunder about her blindness and she became, well, feisty. Which I like. It seems that a lot of alien characters in science fiction are emotionless creatures of pure logic - introverts that the dumber yet more emotional humans are able to give lessons in the power of friendship, which trumps brains every time. The idea of the alien being, well, human is interesting. Of course, her physically alien half is a bit Vulcan-y, but that's only because the two have a very business based relationship.

Soyeah, as the last sentence of this chapter said, things are about to get a lot weirder in Fearsome Future. We've got our core players front and center. Now they've got to meet each other, and from there... well, things are going to get really, really fun.
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All righty, then:

*Can't decide whether the Capitol Building is more reminiscent of Pete Jackson's disembodied take on Sauron or that symbol gracing the corners of a dollar bill. Amusingly ominous bit of architecture either way.

*"Dan Forth"? Again, can't shake the feeling there's a reference here. I do recall a stop-motion animator with the last name of Danforth, but that may be a stretch.

*Phoebe's snark adds a delightful non-PC streak to her Harmless Handicapped Secretary(C) facade.

*The Bogie's various quirks merit a bit of sub-bullet-pointage:

-Given that our man Dupin prefers foot patrol, this suggests a somewhat moderate scale for the NWP (at least compared to our current real-world urban sprawls). Of course, once some of your paranormal "perps" hit the scene, fast transportation to/away from the action may seem a wiser choice.

-A bit of pre-emptive mole implantation against the mob? That could backfire spectacularly if the Tall Man susses this out and opts to string Dupin along with disinformation...or lure him in for more permanent countermeasures.

-The apparent case-closure presented by that final factory incident does seem a bit convenient and patchy in places...might I suggest that Dupin's associates/superiors, out for blood (or at least a scapegoat) after the police-station debacle, simply jumped on the GMC-schematics connection, leaving the Bogie himself not quite convinced?

*Crypty's a bit more articulate than I was expecting, though that makes sense given his "job description." Hollywood's idea of a "smart" zombie might not work out so well within any sort of organized-crime structure.

Once again, my apologies for taking a week & change to produce such an anemic response. Thanks for the food for thought.
-Damn, you caught BOTH of the references made by the Capitol Building. It was indeed inspired by the one dollar bill pyramid AND the movie Eye of Sauron. Nice catch.

- Dan Forth is an obscure reference to the Crucible by Arthur Miller; Judge Danforth was one of the judges in the Salem Witch Trials (and I suppose that also makes it a reference to the real with trials). I sorta saw a parallel between the three main characters in Fearsome Future and three classic folklore monsters - Vassal's a ghost, SJ is a vampire, and Phoebe is a witch (she gets her powers and is sorta possessed by a creature that is beyond earth, and her invisible heat rays sorta make it look like she's magically making things combust, plus she even "dies" by being burned alive... well, exploded, but close enough). So Phoebe's story was originally going to be sort of a witch hunt before it evolved into what it is now.

- To be fair to the Bogie, the NWP Capitol City is divided into several sectors, each of which has its own police department and Bogie, so generally he only has to patrol his sector (although occasionally for a case he takes a cab to other ends of town). The city is still relatively small compared to modern big cities, though.

- Yeah, the mole situation has a lot of ways it can go wrong. And to be honest, it probably will.

- The Bogie does seem to take this rather implausible explanation a little to easily, doesn't he? I like your suggestion of making his superiors force him to drop the case in favor of the easy GMC connection. I'll probably go back and switch it to that. Thanks!

- The Tall Man, like any mob boss, likes to keep his goons nice and refined. It's not the mafia if it's not classy, after all. Crypt is no exception to this, even if he has to wear bandages twenty four seven.

Thank you for the critique (particularly pointing out that one little plot hole)! Always good to hear from you!
-I certainly recall "The Crucible" from sophomore year in high school (had a blast reading John Proctor's part), though Danforth slipped my mind until now. Clever reference & parallels.

-Oh, right...Dan's bosses mention that *a* Bogie's been assigned to the case, thus implying that Dupin's hardly alone at his particular level. Again, thanks for spelling things out further.
I'll be back later with some vaguely-formed observations & accolades, but must give you a bow for that conclusive revelation. Even factoring in your various sketches & accompanying notes, its particulars caught me outta left field.
Heh, it's been tough keeping this one under wraps. I'm normally not fond of twist endings, but it's a hoot nonetheless that it worked. I look forward to your next comment.
DinoHunter2 Feb 23, 2009  Student General Artist
A thoroughly enjoyable read. Was a bit of a shame to see Dan go, I'd gotten to like him by the end... ah well, it's not like there aren't other interesting characters, right? I'm really looking forward to hearing more about Phoebe (and the Martian!), in particular. She's a curious one, alright. Diggin her invisible heat beams. As Casey said it's kind of weird that they seem so alien, since that's how the real deal would probably work... but, that detail definitely adds something unique to the weapon anyway. Cool stuff. :thumbsup:
Thanks! Yeah, I feel bad for Dan... well, and the other victims, now that I think about it. Hell, a lot of this chapter was sort of me apologizing to Ren Harker for killing him off so cruelly. I didn't expect the invisible heat rays to be such a hit, so that's a nice surprise, though now that I think about it there is a more supernatural feel to them even if they are more based in fact. Glad you like it!
Very nice story. Always help with strong characters.

One minor grip, the paragraphs/dialogue could have space between them. Be easier to read.
Thanks! I keep forgetting that DA doesn't keep lit double spaced. I might go back and add some paragraph spaces - depends on how lazy I am.
It's not a big deal. I still read it just find. Only if you think you have to do it, Will.

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