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  1. Quick add for newenglandee, or anyone else: if you do want to talk about trauma or personal stuff, PM me. I’ll do what I can and I’ll keep your secrets. If you are having trouble or you’re hurt, you’re not alone and you will get through whatever it is. You can do this.
  2. Regarding Pride and Politics, newenglandee said: You want to know what I think could break her? Nothing. Because she isn't like most people. She's not weak. Not everyone is pathetic. Not everyone cracks. As Batman famously says in Alan Moore's "The Killing Joke" " Maybe ordinary people don't always crack. Maybe there isn't any need to crawl under a rock with all the other slimey things when trouble hits. Maybe it was just YOU, all the time!" Alright. There's a lot to unpack here, but before we get into it I just want to thank you for responding and criticizing the work and not the author. This stuff is clearly upsetting you, but I appreciate that you’re talking about the work and not the author; the characters I’m writing (Olsar, Salis, et al) are not good people and I don’t agree with them. They’re villains. They’re kinda pathetic. And Samus is going to wreck their shit because their shit needs to be ruined. A lot of people confuse the work with the author, for good or bad, so, thank you. Even if you think I’m a bad person for writing this. It takes a lot of courage to do what you’re doing. It’s recognized. The line you’ve quoted from the Killing Joke is a response to the Joker saying this: “You had a bad day, and it drove you as crazy as everybody else… only you won’t admit it!” I think the Joker is partially right; Bruce is a crazy person but he’s aware of how broken he is. Gordon is broken from his time as a soldier and the long path he’s walked, but he’s seen friends get injured or killed before and that’s not going to break him further. Bruce and Gordon have used their breaking to become better while the Joker just keeps breaking down further and further, because (and this is important) being broken doesn’t make you pathetic. The stuff that cripples you mentally doesn’t make you pathetic, and not being able to deal with it doesn’t make you weak. Suffering abuse that isn’t your fault isn’t your fault, and having symptoms or scarring from that suffering doesn’t make you weak or pathetic or less of a person. Sometimes you need help to heal from the stuff that happens, because life can be hard and shitty and cruel. And everyone cracks. Doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve been through: everyone has stuff that can cripple them. I think your assessment of Samus is right in that her cracks don’t come from being placed in combat situations, and it’s what made Other M ’s Ridley scene ring false – Samus’ panic reaction isn’t flight. When she’s scared she goes rabid, I think, and fights her way out of whatever danger she’s in. The Metroid Prime 3 scene where she starts wailing away on Ridley, or when she starts shooting after Gandrayda’s death? Those feel like much truer representations of the character. In this instance, Samus doesn’t have anything to fight because the ability to do so was taken from her. There’s no immediate enemy and no way to fight back, so that starts splintering her and the isolation and controlled sensory deprivation set in and down she goes. I’m writing a chapter right now called Lago Hunt that gets into this a bit and that I think you’ll appreciate much more than what’s come before. I am still curious as to why you’re reading my work when it doesn’t agree with you? Why are you forcing yourself to do something you don’t enjoy? You don’t have to answer these questions if you don’t want to; I get that they’re personal and they’re being asked out of genuine curiosity. Really, I just want to know – are you okay?
  3. Regarding Pride and Politics, SailorNemesis said: Chap 20, very hot stuff, well written. Hope she gets bred before the end. Again, no escape please. Weird confession? Chapter twenty was where this story began. I got this idea in my head of an utterly broken Samus and wanted to figure out how she got there. I’m glad you dug it. Breeding isn’t going to happen this time around, but I have in idea that might be a one-shot or, well, part of something else. That something else means she is going to escape, only to end up somewhere worse. We’ll get to that in the new year, I think.
  4. Regarding Pride and Politics, newenglandee said: Okay, I'll be blunt. The idea Samus wouldn't be able to handle any of this after literally YEARS of enduring stuff like seeing her parents die, going through the worst sort of environments to fight space pirates, AND having absolutely NO sort of plan if someone tried doing what they did is pretty unbelievable. This entire scenario's unbeleivable, AND she breaks too easily, AND it's unsatisfying seeing all this done to her. Hey, man. I was wondering if you were still kicking around, though given the content of my work I am mystified as to why you’re still reading me. You don’t dig my content and that’s cool. But… I’m aware of Samus’ history. I’ve read a lot of Metroid lore; she’s one of my favorite characters in anything ever, so I know what she’s been through and what she’s capable of. She’s a star-defining force of nature, a literal walking extinction level event. Her dad died; her mother’s corpse was eaten in front of her when she was a child. She works alone to fight the demons of her younger years, monsters that would give Chthulhu pause. The thing I was aiming for here was an enemy she didn’t see coming because Olsar is so far beneath her notice as to be irrelevant. Her enemies here were savvy enough to know they wouldn’t be noticed by her and they still nearly failed in capturing her. Olsar and his friends, for all their machinations, are kind of pathetic and self-serving; Samus at even a quarter strength would destroy them without really thinking about it. They’re the kind of people she catches before breakfast. And yet. Humans have a problem with isolation. It’s one of the reasons that solitary confinement is considered a form of torture. Throw in sensory manipulation/deprivation and you can break anyone (not get information out, but break? sure). That’s what Salis has done over a period of months, and the shattered mental ruin that remains is what Olsar owns (for the time being, anyway). So, blunt for blunt: why are you still reading my stuff, and what are you looking for? What do you think it would take to break her, and what would be more satisfying for you?
  5. Could be… I suppose we’ll find out this week.
  6. Regarding Pride and Politics, salarta said: Latest chapter is a good piece getting into a bit of tease for Samus' humiliation. It still feels kinda slow, but I think it's because it's a story spread out across a lot of chapters in small bites. It’s interesting – the action, I think, is there, but there’s a disconnect because of the narrator’s apparent distance that makes the story seem slower. At least, I think that’s what it is. The whole voice here was an experiment meant to act as a counterpoint to Reins and a deviation from Bergman, so I think I succeeded there and it’s taught me a lot that I’ll end up applying to the upcoming Mass Effect story and the eventual re-work of Fade Away. We’ll find out in a few chapters when the narrator becomes more of an active presence.
  7. Regarding Pride and Politics, SailorNemesis said: Have read through 15, have enjoyed all the rape and training. Took awhile to get started, first few chaps dull but that's over now. Hopefully she remains a slave, no rescue or rebellion please. Pregnancy always a plus. Cool, man. Glad you’re liking it – I wanted to do a slow burn in the early chapters to justify what was to come and build up the character of Olsar and his friends. The prologue was all context that I hope flavors everything that came after, so I hope it was worth getting through that to get to where we are now (chapter 20 got posted a little earlier today, and I want this story finished by the end of the month). I do have a bit of rebellion planned, stuff that draws from the prologue and from established Metroid lore, but all of that is going to lead to something else I’ve had in mind for a while (yes, that means this whole story is a prelude to that something). We’ll see if I can pull it off. Pregnancy has never been one of my fetishes, but I might do a one-shot in that direction as part of the larger thing. I’m still working out some of the finer details.
  8. Regarding Pride and Politics, AryaStarkNaked said: This has been amazing so far! My only hope is that you don't give her a happy ending! Too many good torture/enslavement fics are ruined by the heroine getting rescued at the end! I'd love to see her get knocked up, too! Thank you – big fan of your work, too. Glad you’re digging it. The ending I’m aiming for is going to be a fall, a false rise, and then another fall that leads to something else I’m putting together. There’s a bit of a false finish coming that I rather imagine will annoy some until I continue, so we’ll put it here, first: the narrator is going to claim that the story ends before it does and at the darkest possible time. Things will get better and led to… well, you’ll see. I hope you like it.
  9. Regarding Pride and Politics, salarta said: It's moving along well so far! These short burst chapters do a good job of allowing a person to feel like they can look through it quicker instead of like they have to set special time aside to devote to reading. The only downside is that it feels like it's taking longer to get to the "big stuff" to come. I also wish there was more of a public knowledge shaming element to it, but I think that's just because I like that sort of content. Thanks, man. I’m trying to keep the chapters short – makes them easier to write and read, I think, and I have a tendency towards purple prose and being way too wordy. The big stuff is happening now and should continue to move along at a brisk pace, and we’ll get to a public shaming aspect soon enough. I usually write and then let a chapter sit for a week, so I know there’s some chapters coming down the pipe that might be exactly to your liking. Bwa-ha.
  10. Regarding Pride and Politics, DrkVrtx said: I wonder if that last line is a little jealous hint; Salis after all has been doing the hard work, breaking down the once esteemed Hunter. Gotten to know her very well, I'm sure, so perhaps a personal sense of pride and possessiveness is warranted. Fear, too. That's interesting, and I wonder if Samus can use that moment of Salis' as a sort of anchor in the future to come, when the significance of her name and title have been grinded down to almost nothing. Almost, because it's clear Salis still has more work to do on that end. No doubt you'll make that quite the read. Salis is a creature of many passions and wants and none of them are good. She considers herself an artist and is taking a lot of pride in what she sees as her masterpiece, but it’s the sort of work she can’t really show off except in very special company. This only heightens her need for visibility on some level, which is something Olsar is smart enough to notice. I like the idea of these horrible people finding acceptance in high society and I want to play with that idea a bit, so expect to see that begin to happen a couple chapters down the line. I’m hoping ve made this worth reading and that the story pays off. We’re heading towards that Samus vs Olsar/Salis confrontation towards the end, so we’ll see if it pays off like I hope it will.
  11. I occasionally forget, too, but then I’ll check on it from time to time and try and make sure everything is responded to. Seems fair. ^.^ Reins and Bergman were built very differently – Bergman puts you inside the heads of each character and that does give a certain intimacy that Reins (and, by extension, Pride) lacks. With Reins, I wanted the nation of Parmistan to be as much a characters as Lara or Drasha or any of the others, so I locked the perspective on one character and let his view on what was normal touch everything. I was hoping to get people rooting for Lara (and I think some did), but the perspective was built to create both a connection with the villains and a detachment from Lara that painted her as a criminal. Samus remains one of my favorite characters in fiction, but I wanted to put her in a position where she was at the mercy of people that were so far beneath her notice that she really had no idea who they were. And, so you’ve noted, the theme here is identity and if she can hold onto herself if everything is taken from her (hint: she can’t, no one can) and what it looks like to rebuild an identity that’s been reduced. Should be fun for us and not so much fun for her. And no Ridley this time around, though I’ve got something in mind for… well, that’ll come later. We’ll have to wait and see.
  12. Regarding Pride and Politics, salarta said: As you know, I've been reading the chapters as they come out. Good work up to this point! These days, I end up just skimming even most fics that really interest me, but your writing manages to catch my interest even in prologue. I chalk that up to a strong impression that it counts and plays a big role in toying with the character in future chapters, that it's not just empty preamble. I may not leave a new review until after several more chapters, but I like where it's all going. Thanks, man. I’m a big believer in the idea of plot mattering – story and character woven together make for a much larger impact and I wanted to get all my pieces in place before getting into the meat of the thing. Glad you’re digging it and we’ll see if I can live up to the promises set. Regarding Pride and Politics, DrkVrtx said: I'm getting the impression that this will be not necessarily a story about how one breaks Samus, but rather the perverse activities one gets up to after the fact. There isn't much time devoted to the action of her being captured, and then apparently cowed by Salis. Of course, you could be misleading the reader on purpose. How this is playing out so far does feel similar to Reins of the Tomb Raider in that regard, so it requires a different sort of mindset when reading it. I'm not expecting the in-depth, back and forth journey that Bergman explores, rather a relatively quick and deep plunge into dark sexual slavery. We'll see; I'm happy to proven otherwise. Oh, this is definitely a story about how one breaks Samus. It’s a little more condensed than Bergman and draws more from Reins, I think, than my original tale. It might be a question of origin. Bergman was fuelled by anger at Other M, but Samus Returns is pretty damn good (a little too linear, but so was the original) and adds more to the character and the story (though maybe not as much as AM2R – the games are a nice balance of one another, I think). This is being fuelled mostly from frustration at the modern political landscape, a renewed interest in Metroid (thanks to the new game), and a desire to play with a new narrative technique. I also really like the idea of Samus in an asylum being managed by people and on a world she normally wouldn’t sweat – sort of a Cluemaster from Batman Eternal kind of vibe. We’ll see if you dig this and how it plays out. Let me know.
  13. Regarding Pride and Politics, DrkVrtx said: Uh oh, Hunter's back at it again. I most certainly sense trying times on Samus' future horizons. If I might nitpick a little, I'd suggest organising this opening as one continuous chapter rather than splitting it into three parts. I think it would flow more smoothly given the consistent theme. Also, the weight of this line: "It is a simple truth, friends, and one that bears repeating: the worst thing you can do to a powerful person is embarrass them. The worst thing you can do to a powerful person is embarrass them." I think would serve better right at the end of the prologue, since as a reader one expects the full meat of the story immediately afterwards. It's an interesting setup all in all, I just think the sequencing is a little off. You can bet I'm looking forward to what comes next. Yeah. We’ll see if I can keep it under twenty chapters this time. Samus is in for a very decidedly not good time at the hands of some very terrible people that she would normally not think twice about. I’m in the process of editing chapter four, which should go live a little later this afternoon; it wraps up the prologue and gets us moving into the smut. The pacing is kinda deliberate – I'm experimenting with narrative again, and the way this story is being voiced and told is meant to imply a casual relationship with the reader. I’m aiming for something like (you’ve got to a questionable bar with a questionable friend and he’s telling you a story he knows about through questionable means – but you still like this guy”. Is it working? I hope the payoff is worth the wait. Let me know.
  14. Regarding The Bergman Affair, DrkVrtx said: It's been years since I last looked at this, so I couldn't remember where I'd left it exactly. What the hell then, let's just read it from the beginning. First surprise when glancing through the Chapter List: you've actually finished it. Congrats, sincerely. I'm familiar with the long, seemingly unending grind that's writing a fully fleshed out story like this. Life and writer's block get in the way, sometimes you just really can't be arsed to put pen to paper - so to speak; at some point you may even think 'fuck this, why am I bothering' when motivation hits the floor. But in the end, you finally put a dot to that last sentence and it's all over. It's certainly a journey. Reading this through from start to finish several years on was an interesting experience. Previously, I can admit that I was hung up with a case of hero-worship. Samus is/will likely always be my favourite character of fiction and part of me just couldn't settle with the fact that she was losing over and over again, which then made the situations she was ending up in difficult to swallow. Now, I'm a much more open-minded reader in general and while I've certainly lost no respect for Samus I was better able to appreciate all the salacious, degrading corners you wrote her into. And oh fucking boy, some of those scenes. The Zebesians, Brannigan and Sakomoto's encounters with Samus were the highlights for me, and they worked so well thanks to all the context that is built up prior. Which isn't to say that I didn't enjoy others; I did, but those really hit the spot, coming to life in my mind's eye and the painted visual was so, so intense. There are some weak points (IMO of course) that I noted while reading. First, the ending - more specifically, how Samus beats Melissa/Damara. It was too abrupt, I feel. There is a trend throughout the story in which Samus is described as being thoroughly ground down/exhausted, yet when fighting her way out of these circumstances does so with seemingly boundless energy. You can excuse it up to a certain point, but the way this occurs between her and Melissa didn't work for me, unfortunately. Feels like a blink and you'll miss it moment, too sudden to leave the impact it should, particularly after what Damara has put her through. Secondly, the Ridley arc. You can tell how much love and work was put into crafting, characterising and depicting everyone's favourite space dragon, the trouble is it comes at the cost of Samus becoming a side character in what is meant to be her story. It was an arc that pushed Ridley a bit too far onto centre stage, I feel, and while it was a very fascinating read he overshadows Samus to the point where I felt I was supposed to be reading a story focused on him instead. Mia Xen: comes and goes almost without a trace. She ultimately feels like a cameo when it seemed earlier on in the story that she is being setup for something more substantial. The Federation/political element of the plot falls a bit flat towards the end too. It kept my interest because I'm always for expanding the Metroid lore and exploring those parts the games never touch on in proper detail, but I think it turns out to be something that - while giving the reader respite from Samus' sexual misfortunes - didn't necessarily prove integral to the whole experience. Wouldn't say that it could just be cut entirely, because it does give some things more context, but it isn't what really weaves the story together. Enough criticism though, I'm not looking to rain on your parade months late to the party. Again, congrats on finishing this and producing an engaging, well written story. Metroid can't boast to having many of those, particularly when it comes to smut. I'd say that you did Samus good and proper. Really good and proper. Happy that I've got something to come back to in a few years and get hot and bothered about all over again. Kudos. Thank you. Thank you for reading it a bit at a time and then all the way through. This story took forever to write and get done, pretty much doubling how long I had thought it would be at the beginning. Next time I do Metroid I think I’ll stick with a simpler narrative, maybe keep… hmmmm. Dammit. Now I have an idea for another Metroid story. We’ll have to see if I can work it into Sakamoto’s return to the franchise this fall. Maybe I can work in an AM2R vs M:RoS thing…? Hmmmm. Metroid: the Bergman Affair was a journey. It was insane. The design document I’ve got for this has a few dozen links to Wikitroid; the amount of fact checking I did and little in-jokes and references were, well, ridiculous. The dates and planet names are all references to other things having to do with the series, stuff that made sense when I was working on this late at night. I don’t even know all the stuff I worked into it anymore – the process and breaks resulted in me losing track of certain things, and I’m sure that become apparent on a complete read through. And this was, ultimately, a love letter to the Metroid series and Samus in particular. I, like you, love the character and the mythology she lives in. She was always going to win but I knew it was going to take a while for her to get there. I wanted to draw up a voice that felt as true to the series as possible, and I think I did a pretty decent job there. I’m glad you enjoyed the things you did; I think Brannigan’s chapter and arc were probably the strongest in the whole fic, so I’m glad other people like it. I’m also glad that the writing worked and your observations as to why – that’s important to me and is exactly the sort of feedback that makes posting to this site worthwhile. To be honest, I was suffering from a certain level of fatigue in those last few chapters. I wanted this story done – there’s other things I want to write but this story kept haunting me with its lack of completion. The Melissa thing had to be abrupt and I think that worked, but the Damara conflict could have been handled better. That said, I wanted to get across that there was only one way for both of those battles to end: Samus was going to win this. Ridley totally took over his scenes and wouldn’t share the spotlight. According to the design document, he was supposed to be a couple of chapters at most and then be taken out by Melissa and Damara, but then he started seeping into the narrative and took things over. I’m not sure if you’ve ever had a character write themselves, but that is very much what happened with him and defeating him was almost as much a victory for me as for everyone else. The end of the political stuff really suffered from fatigue and the longer breaks. I lost some of my notes and tried to reconstruct them. I also wanted to work Mia Xen in because I’m a huge of fan of Alyx/Samus/ComicCaptor, and I even asked his permission to use the character. I could have done better by her, I think, but the real question is should I have brought her in in the first place? I’m still not sure. I’m glad you liked it over all, though, and thanks for reading it and giving me the feedback that you did. I’m probably going to do something to follow up; i’ve got a couple ideas for smut, and have been talking with a few people about working on something else that I don’t want to jinx. We’ll see if anything comes of the latter, but I should start in on the former around October, or so: I wanna finish the Dragon Age story and play around a bit with Mass Effect first, so we’ll see. Thank you, again.
  15. Regarding Hawke Fade Away, SailorNemesis said: Clever, some fun bits. Most liked seeing her raped by the miners. Carver episode was getting good but ended too soon. She should be seriously raped and fisted by Meredith. Even in canon she was shown to be a rapist. Keep going. Thank you. I’m having fun with this – there’s just so many ways that things can go wrong, and Hawke doesn’t get nearly the amount of attention that she deserves. Given your like of the miners, how do the Qunari stack up? Is it the sum total gang bang that works and the hopelessness of numbers, or something else? The answer might play into something else I’m working on and might inform some of the later chapters I’ve got planned for this story. Where would you have liked to see the Carver stuff go? I’ve got something seriously twisted planned for Meredith, and the second act of this story is all about getting Hawke shattered enough so that her time with Meredith can finally break her. Meredith was a fantastic villain, someone you could sympathize with for her trauma and despise for her actions, and I want to give her an arc she deserves. We’ve got one more arc after the Arishok before we get to her, so… yes. And I will keep definitely going. Glad you’re enjoying this, and thanks for the review.