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Asmodemon last won the day on December 28 2012

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  1. A slight snag, but nothing that you can't find a workaround for. Maybe N can only 'get online' through network signals that reach him. He's far underground in a facility in the middle of nowhere in northern Canada. If there even is internet/network coverage in the area, it might not reach him underground, so he instead has to piggyback on the facility's internal network to reach the wider internet to be able to operate digitally across the world. Perhaps his captors think their network secure against him, or that if he's able to reach out that his influence is limited. They and DM wouldn't know how far his influence has spread until the end. The failsafe could be something like a NEMP that knocks out the technology of the facility, so there's nothing close for him to interface with. It doesn't even originally have to be a failsafe against N - it might be just be a digital self-destruct of the facility should they have to cover up what they've been doing there. Regardless, with such as failsafe N would have to get out of the facility to be able to reach another network, like say that of a military cordon around the facility. Looking forward to reading what you're going to go with
  2. I've been saying that you get used to it, but now that I haven't had to do it for a while I've realized I didn't get used to it as much as I just got tired all the time. Well, the project contract is only until the end of the year, after that I'm going to find something closer to home. That's some fortuitous timing right there
  3. I also like this idea. Not just that Q. would be forced to work with DM, but that DM would also be forced to work with Q., showing even more clearly that there is a hidden villain pulling the strings and that DM has lost control I'm not sure, I do like the physical threat he poses. I think I'd want him to feel more dangerous, not less. Just spitballing off your idea of having Q and DM work together. What if there was another failsafe on N? Say that the enclosure was for his physical form, but what if TOM installed a failsafe for his digital influence as well, like a great Faraday cage - and Q and DM need to activate it? The reason why such a thing would be a failsafe and not permanently active could be because it would terminate all electronics and network connectivity in quite a large area, and that would mean no one could work at the facility. If they succeed at that (and DM loses his life in the process), N. would still want to die, but not while in the Faraday cage because he wouldn't be able to spirit away into the internet and he would just die. You could have a situation where N is trying to get out of the facility and out of the Faraday cage, with the crew trying to stop him before he manages to do so - by either killing him or just holding him back long enough for the airstrike to do the work. His physical presence could be a great threat to them, and the threat of N also regaining his digital prowess would be another motivator to stop him. They could all be hindered by all the electronic technology no longer working too. The final confrontation might be near the edge of the failsafe effect, so Q. would be hesitant to kill N there, N would also not be sure what was going to happen, and M would still end up shooting N trying to save Q because she doesn't want to lose him too. I think that would work a lot better than introducing D. He was an interesting character, but you could easily give his background to K (before he joined the police) as a way of making him a little more 3-D I like this suggestion of merging D and K into one character.
  4. Fortunately I am very well, and so are my loved ones. Only two people I know (two colleagues from work) have had Covid-19 so far, and they've both mostly recovered from it. So I count myself quite lucky. And paradoxically, though the situation is of course quite horrible, I haven't felt this good in years. I've been working from home for a few weeks now and not having to get up at 4:45 in the morning, and travelling to and from work for 3 hours every day, is doing me a lot of good. I only now realize how tired I've been these last few years. It's a little thing, and I agree they were all swept up by the events top-side, but once they went down the elevator and had the whole discussion about leaving the dinos behind, it felt like the pressure was off, at least for a bit. And sneaking into a place covered in rust might be a give away if there are people around to smell it. Bears?! That's hilarious, and a disaster just waiting to happen if they were to go through with it. I'm all for wildlife preservation, but there haven't been wild bears in the UK for centuries. Sorry about that You're very welcome
  5. Bonding time: I quite like the bonding M.’s doing with the dinos. As hard as she seems to be able to bond with people (and with her backstory, who can blame her) it’s interesting to see that she’s able to do it more easily with non-humans, like the dinos and androids. And let’s face it, dinos are cool. Onesie: She’s still wearing the poop-covered onesie? I would have thought she’d have dropped that already. M. doesn’t seem like the type to keep wearing something like that. Avoid the front door: Tactically sound I suppose, but I don’t know/remember enough about the facility to know why floor six would be a better access route than, say, floor four. And if floor five is so secure, why would there be another access way from floor six? Abandonment issues: I really feel sorry for M. at having to abandon the dinos in a place where they can only get bombed. First her android, now the dinos, she’s really getting hit in her abandonment issues. I’ll miss them too, they were cool. Probably for the best though, having dinos walk free in northern Canada probably would be a bad thing. Nickname: I liked the reveal of where M.’s name came from, and the bonding moment with Q. when she revealed it. It really tugs at the heartstrings, but at the same time it did strike me as very Anglocentric. She’s Italian, and I was under the impression that the Italian language was still being used in your setting (I think I remember her using ‘Jesu Christi’ at some point, or is that just a remnant and has English fully taken over mainland Europe?). So if her native language is Italian, and she’d be calling for her mother, wouldn’t she do it in Italian? And the Italian translation for mother is quite different than the translation for her nickname. Mor dead: On the one hand it felt anti-climactic having him just kick the bucket offscreen, but it did raise the stakes for me in revealing that there had to be a greater villain lurking in the shadows, controlling those androids, and we know who's been controlling technology for a while. Strange how N. could do that while trapped in the enclosure, meaning he was never as trapped as we thought.
  6. I’m a bit conflicted about this chapter – I like the reveal of N., and that he’s been behind everything from the start, but in terms of the ‘final boss fight’ it feels drawn out with dialogue and a little anti-climactic. I’m also trying to wrap my head around the reveals, but I have more questions now than answers. N. reveal: I like that we finally get to see N. and what’s in the enclosure. And boy is it a chimeric piece of work. I do have to wonder though what the goal of the experiments was, because there seem to be a lot – create a humanoid monster from a human, as well as create some kind of lawnmower man. Seems weird to do both things, which are so different, to one being. Not bothered that he’s not wearing clothes – what would he be able to wear anyway? TOM’s plan: From N.’s perspective, which may be flawed, it really seems like TOM meant for his daughter to create a clone so he didn’t have to, which seems both unnecessarily cruel to his daughter, and more trouble than it’s worth. I mean, the experiments are illegal anyway, so would adding the additional step of creating a clone, so he wouldn’t have to put his own daughter in an asylum, be that much of a hassle? Alternatively, as TOM is not above having people killed, why even use a clone, why not a disgruntled employee or an enemy, or some homeless people that no one is going to miss? The researchers might have more of a problem working on a person than on cloned meat, but still, all he’d need are some sociopathic researchers and he’d be all set. The experiments also seem quite complex, so getting things right (depending on how you look at it) the very first time would be quite unlikely. Yet that’s what seems to have happened. There was one clone, and the experiments were only done on that one clone. I would expect there to have been more to experiment on, and if that’s the case, why use his ‘grandson’ at all? Or maybe he did create more, and they all think they're TOM's grandson... Metaphors have rights: Maybe it’s just me, but the joke felt a little out of place in the face of N.. Feels like something M. might say though. D. Dies: And just like that D. dies. I’m still not fully sold on his character, the way he showed up with E. way back when never felt right – it felt like a character with too many useful skills and connections to just show up. And now he’s dead, and I don’t really feel anything one way or the other that he’s gone. Exposition: N. really wants to explain everything, but his motivations are a bit confusing to read, and that’s partly because he’s trying misdirection to manipulate Q.. Every reveal seemed to contradict the one that came before. On the one hand he hates his father for leaving him and his mother, and wants his father to suffer before he kills him. But he also wants to be killed by his father so he can become something more powerful. He hates the ones responsible for making him a monster, but he also seems to relish his monstrous form and the powers he has. Speaking of those powers, he’s suffering because he can’t turn off the digital signals, but he wants to become digital too, so how would things be silent then? Pacing: Pacing started off as slow, because of all the back and forth between N. and Q. and E.. I don’t mind it all that much, because we finally get to the reason why all this is happening, if the reasons weren’t so confusing. It did feel like everyone was just standing around, chatting with the monstrous villain, as if N. wasn’t some genetic monstrosity – I remember how uncomfortable E. was in the early chapters even thinking about what was in the last enclosure, but there seems to be none of that now. Dancing to monster’s tune for months: Q. thinks that he’s been dancing to the monster’s tune for months, but the events taking place in the book are spread over a couple of days, not months. I also don’t remember anything that would make me think that the previous job that got them to Canada in the first place, with the art thief, was instigated by N.. We smell like poop: Wasn’t it only M. who went into the sewer and got covered in excrement, and that only in the coveralls she’d been wearing – which she also discarded right? So why would the others smell so much like rust that the V. wouldn’t notice them all smelling like humans? Darkness: While the lights were out I didn’t have a good sense of everyone’s positioning, which on the one hand makes sense, since it’s full darkness, but I’d like to have a sense of N.’s proximity to Q.. Q. seems to want to get some distance from N., and I had the feeling that N. would want to stalk closer to Q. instead. But in the darkness it all reads like talking heads. Failed the test: Not really sure what the test was, to be honest. N’s motivations seem to be all over the place so it’s hard to make sense of it. NEMP: Felt convenient that they still had one around that they could use to disable the droids and N., and use it twice. Confrontation: Even though Q. got thrown around a little, and D. got shot, it didn’t feel like N. was that much of a threat. He went down relatively easy, getting what he wanted all along. It was a little anti-climactic.
  7. Short chapter, not much to say on this one. Something else: Maybe it’s because I don’t want the story to be over yet, but I was really expecting a resurgence of N., from the internet, like the lawnmower man. Freezing progeny off: That was a little dark. I love it Reunion: Would have liked to have seen a bit more of a reunion between E. and T., but it seems T. has been carted off by the feds pretty quickly. Quote: Like the quote at the end, and the remark from Q. that M. actually studied.
  8. First off, I’m sorry to see the story end, it was a lot of fun. Looking forward to reading the next one. Message from N: I found it interesting how Q. caught all those subtle hints and drew the conclusion that the broadcast was a message from N.. I caught on that it might just be from N. due to the device suddenly spouting the message without any users nearby, and the use of Q.’s name, but I didn’t get the reference of their home from the mention of H. until it was mentioned again later in context – I’m trying to remember if H. was ever named in this book, but I can’t recall. Five years: This made me pause for a moment, because in my headspace I thought it was closer to twenty years ago that Q. bailed. The N. we saw in the past few chapters was quite bit older than a five year old (mentally, if not physically) after all. Thinking about it that might be because of the experiments, or perhaps being a c. caused him to mature faster, but I remember N. saying he remembered his mother, remembered Q. leaving, and looking to TOM for love before being experimented on and getting stuck in a cell. That’s a lot to have happened in just five years. Deputy: I must admit, I didn’t see it coming that E. was going to stay around in Y. and be a deputy there for a bit. But it makes sense that she’d want to take step back from what she’d been doing and maybe make a little amends. Project involvement: Back when Mor. blackmailed T. into doing his bidding all those chapters ago he used her relationship with E. to motivate her, which I thought at the time was a little weak, since that might cost her, her marriage only. Whereas if he (also) threatened to leak hints of her involvement with the experiments on N., that could lead to serious jailtime, loss of any licenses she had, as well as her marriage. Nat: Oh, yeah, I kind of forgot about her. Nice to see them paying her back for the plane they broke, though really she only has herself to blame, because she should have known that was a possibility when she lend it to two fugitives. Probably why she’s so angry, not just at Q. but at herself too. It does bring me to my next point. Trust fund: How much money is there in the trust fund, because they spend quite a lot of it throughout the book to replace some very expensive things they stole and/or broke over the course of the story. Makes me wonder why they keep working these jobs. With that kind of money they could be living a comfortable life somewhere. Banter: Still loving the banter between Q. and M., though the sudden way M. called Q. Quack in the narration made me wonder if that was a typo at first, because I don’t remember her doing that in the rest of the book. Sheriff in absentia: He’s not really absent though, is he, when he’s right there in the office? I thought that was a little strange, since he was hurt and needs to recover.
  9. I am with the others on this one, I don’t really like the sudden direction this chapter took at the end, when the MC basically cut the adventure short and pointed the crew towards the final confrontation. Feels a waste of all the build-up so far. Phone call to sheriff: I really wonder why Kr suddenly felt the need to call the local sheriff at the start of the chapter, and what he thought that would do – he was never going to turn Q&M in, which would absolutely be what the sheriff would demand because they escaped from jail. So why is procedure so important all of a sudden? Nothing has really changed, all that has changed is that Q spouted some hairbrained theories that may or may not be true, with far reaching consequences if they are, but that’s not as pressing as the business they were already in, namely saving the two women from Mor and dealing with the creatures roaming the landscape. Plumber with weapons: While I do like D. as a character, and his interactions with the rest of the crew, he’s starting to feel more and more as a plot convenience and I’m suddenly reminded of the fact that I don’t really know where he came from. At some point E. takes a boat, then the next we see of her she’s with D.. Aurora: Nice. Raptors: I’ve liked the raptors so far, especially a few chapters back when E. was in a room with them, putting their programming to the test. But seeing as they really don’t attack people they are kind of becoming boring at this point. I’m just waiting for them to get over their programming and become a threat. Bratty: Is it me, or is the MC getting ever more like a petulant child? Not sure I quite like it. Wasted effort: I’m a bit disappointed that the build-up towards finding the women before Mor does is cut to such an abrupt end. The last we saw Mor he had no idea where the women were, now barely a night’s rest later and he suddenly has them, has decided to let them live (convenient) and all the effort in getting prepared to finding the women is wasted.
  10. Late to the party, so I don’t really have much more to add to what the others have already said. I didn’t read the first version of this chapter, but I quite liked this one for the human interactions between the good guys, especially Q&M – her line about her animals always watching the door was great, really showing that despite all her badass-ness she’s also still just a kid. Caller: Really looking forward to finding out exactly who, or what, is in the closed habitat. I’m thinking it’s N., but in what condition… Coup: Great way to end the chapter, raising the stakes of the overall threat, and also finally revealing what TOM is actually planning with the whole disaster in YK. I do wonder if the president had reason to institute a state of emergency across the whole of North America for something that is still focused around YK, a town that by this time would be mostly evacuated anyway. And through that state of emergency have the power to postpone the upcoming election indefinitely.
  11. It is. One year I had to do close to 20K in the last day and I actually managed it. That was a grueling day though,
  12. Do it I am doing NaNoWriMo this year, but instead of starting a new story I decided to try and finish the one I'm already working on. Got 3800 words done so far, and having a blast with it.
  13. Nice action packed chapter. Like Shatteredsmooth I didn’t notice that it was longer than previous submissions, it read very quickly. I liked the whole chase scene. Most of my comments are from the start of the chapter. Tranquilizer: Since Q. and M. were knocked out I don’t know how long they were unconscious, but they did wake up at a narratively convenient time. Out long enough for Mor. to make his escape, and short enough to be awake again when the police barged in to make for two convenient suspects. It’s also convenient that Mor. was carrying both lethal rounds and tranquilizers, but he’s been pretty much on point for most of the story so I’ll accept he had both on him even though he was there to kill someone. Hiding: At the end of the previous chapter I thought Mor. was the second passenger, hiding underneath the covers for an opportune moment to strike. But this chapter shows that there was a second body in the bed with Mor.. So, if the second body was the second passenger, how did Mor. get into the room unseen in the first place? There’s police outside, R. was awake in the bed…so how did Mor. get in? For that matter, how did he get out? Did all the police officers leave at the same time to give him the opportunity? Framing: I assume Mor. was planning to frame the first doctor or nurse who’d be in there alone, just as soon as he got the info he needed from R.. Nice for him that it was Q. he could frame. Not so good that he showed his face to Q. and let him live – that’s a pretty big loose end. I wonder then if it hadn’t been better for Mor. to just kill Q., maybe frame the thing on M. or just accept that the police are going to look for a mystery killer (who nobody can link to him), rather than let the man who saw his face live. There’s always the chance that the police might have believed Q. and though he succeeded in his mission his identity is now out. That means there are now a lot more people to kill.
  14. Looking forward to it That's probably true. With two chapters not on Q&M, that's easily two weeks where they don't appear, which makes it feel longer than it actually is. Do you mind if I ask how you feel about that? It seems to be dividing people a bit. I am not opposed to timeskips, or looking back on something happening in a flashback. It can be quite effective to hide something in the narrative and then pop it out as a big reveal. But in this case the timeskip is five minutes and the following narrative dives right into the very thing we just skipped out on. Seeing T.'s distress is quite powerful and I am interested in seeing how she got in that state (so in that regard, good job), but I'd be equally (and maybe more so) interested in reading along as the events unfurl that sweep the legs out from underneath her. I think it could also be emotionally powerful to just be in those five minutes and seeing T. crumble as M. lays out what he knows. Sounds good to me
  15. Overall: There was some good stuff in this chapter. I liked T.’s emotional rollercoaster, as well as seeing the disaster unfold through T.'s perspective (it was pretty exciting), but I was concerned about having yet another POV character as well as knowing all the information of the mystery I presume Q&M are going to have to solve. POVs: I think I had this same concern the last time I read these submissions, but so far there have been a lot of point-of-view characters, without a real focus on any of them, or why the reader should care – something is happening in the facility and we’re getting to see it from several perspectives. I feel this would work better in a visual medium as a sort of montage, rather than in a book. The titular main characters haven’t had much time to shine in this so far and personally I’d rather figure out what was going on along with them rather than having it all shown beforehand. But maybe that’s just me Forward and back: I had to pause a bit at the five minute later part, where we start with the fallout of what M. had to say to T. and then double back to what has just happened. At first read it felt like we were skipping over the interesting part, where M. tells T. what he knows and wants from her and then seeing her reaction along with that. Instead we skip to the end and have T. brood on it. Emotional: I liked the emotions the scene with M. and T. invoked. Powerful stuff, and it helps in quickly getting us invested in T.. Blackmail: I can sort of get why she’d go along with something to prevent her affair from coming out, but looking at it objectively it doesn’t feel a compelling enough reason to go along with M.’s plan – the cost to the affair coming out versus to cost of getting caught, or even succeeding in what she’s going to do, feels disproportionate. Convoluted plan: M’s plan in this feels overcomplicated, and hinges from the very start on everything going his way. If T. had refused at any point, and just accepted what he had on her and faced the music, it wouldn’t have worked. For a man who has the kind of security access to scrub security feeds, wouldn’t it be easier to get T.’s credentials from the system or from her, do the work himself, use an android to open the gates, leave T.’s body for food for the creatures, and then scrub every security feed with him on it? Additionally, the contact for M. at the end (the Old Man?) knew the plan was most likely going to fail because it was too convoluted – then why let M. go through with it?