Here’s the post you were perhaps expecting yesterday. (If you didn’t see what happened yesterday, go look!) Earlier on in the serial, I had a look back at the choices NOT taken by you, the audience. Let’s do that again, shall we? Because:
1. Yes, the arc is officially over. Some loose ends remain, as in Story1… so if there were particular items that you feel require elaboration, let me know.
2. The next arc posted up here won’t have choices. It will be from my Time Travel story (“Time & Tied”), so you can’t influence it. But I hope you’ll enjoy it (particularly those of you who voted for Chartreuse – it’s her universe!). It’s coming TOMORROW! (Whoa, why so fast? I explain a bit in this post, and will elaborate later.)
Before then, here’s “Wish Fulfilment”, the last few voting options not taken. SPOILERS follow, in case you haven’t read to the ending of Story2, and want to be surprised.
11: FLEEING. Marginal influence. I figured: hiding in the servants’ quarters would introduce a servant character, hiding in the dungeon would introduce a prisoner character, and hiding in town would have brought the Wish Underground back. Buuuut then this was the first time a tie made it through since ‘Numbers Game’! Even after extending the vote and shouting around online. So I split the party.
12: INVOLVEMENT. Big influence. Owing to the prior tie, at this point, I wanted to know to what degree each of Joey and Iklius/Ikky should feature. (Incidentally, before now, there had been no plan to bring Iklius back.) If Joey and the Underground had gotten in, there would have been a more full frontal assault (distraction?) on the castle, less Ikky. With just Joey, he and Ikky might have traded off, or been separate distractions. As it was, with no Joey, we got Ikky.
13: RETURN. Marginal influence. If Chartreuse had been taken to Wanda, Simon would have relieved the guard who had been tasked with doing it, giving them a chance to talk. If Chartreuse had been taken to a waiting area, again she and Simon would have talked, but I likely would have introduced the King (or his personal servant?), only to have Wanda interrupt.
Perhaps 12 isn’t as “big” an influence as I state. But I really REALLY hadn’t wanted a tie there, and it had been leaning that way again. I even tweeted @ people to avoid it. (By the same logic, maybe 11 would have been “bigger” if it hadn’t resulted in a tie.) Still, it was the results of 12 that meant I had to finally work out Iklius’ power (cancellation was only decided on while writing part 13) and (even more than 13) it was part 12’s vote that set up the final battle as being face-to-face, versus some type of diversionary tactic.
14: CLIMAX. Big influence. Wanda completely losing it would have meant breaking out of Chartreuse’s spell only to find Azure had taken The Book, and pretty much only Ikky would have been able to shut her down – possibly with mutual annihilation. Ikky completely losing it would have meant using her cancellation to revert to Iklius – at which point he would have tried to eliminate Wanda himself. Likely not by mutual annihilation, but there would have been guilt going around at the attempt.
15: PROJECT. Negligible influence. Alison coming back would have been to talk with Chartreuse about Carrie and time travel (given the BBC issues), perhaps along with why she signed up. Alice talking about her God would have provided hints as to the personality of the character who’s running this station in the multiverse, as opposed to talking about Epsilon/Delta, which is what you got.
Thus the final fight resulted in the happy ending – as much as it could. Should I have expected this? Perhaps I shouldn’t have teased in my last “Paths Not Taken” post when there was a “poor” choice selected? For that matter, I recently came across another author with a “Reader Poll” in the midst of his story (zombie apocalypse scenario), and I wonder to what degree a choice there (and here) might have been influenced by the fact that we don’t want to be seen as uncaring people. Even if the whole thing is anonymous. Or, I might be reading too much into it.
Ah yes, entry 17! I hope you enjoyed it yesterday! Rachel did really well, considering she had to write it two weeks in advance. Before I even knew that 16 would end the arc! I thought that she had a REALLY clever way of handling the uncertainty. I also like the idea of a scale difference (a la Gulliver) in some alternate worlds, and might use it when “The Epsilon Project” resumes. Again, you can check out her serial here. As for me writing someone else’s “April Fool”, I blogged about the process, if you’re curious.
From this point on, the website will redesign for “Time & Tied”, and we get a time travel story. And Chartreuse will (eventually) be in it… of all the secondary characters, she’s definitely the one I thought could handle her own spinoff. It just so happens that you got the spinoff first.
Thanks for reading, as before feel free to comment below about that which was unexpected, or anything else that jumps out at you!