InBrightestDay

InBrightestDay's (Originals) Review Reply & Discussion Thread

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On 2/28/2019 at 1:16 AM, InBrightestDay said:

I didn’t realize it at the time, but Applied Theology is basically Defense Against the Dark Arts for a non-Harry Potter setting. 

“it’s a pleasure to have you here as the new Professor. I’m sure you aren’t taking seriously that silly hoax rumor that the ApTheo post is cursed and nobody ever lasts more than a year without quitting or getting corrupted or being brutally murdered by a demon.”

“Ahh, don’t ye worry none. It’ll be grand I’m sure.”

11 hours ago, InBrightestDay said:

Granted, my actual degree is in Biology (and I wasn’t asking whether they were “against God” but rather whether Whore of Heaven was intended as an anti-religion piece; I didn’t want to write anything that would contradict the original story’s themes/message), but the point remains.

And folks, when InBrightestDay found that old forgotten 2010 post on the forum I did feel bad about it!

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In hindsight, I suppose I could have dodged this bullet rather neatly by making Kevin into Kelly and having this be an F/F story instead of a n M/F story,

Eh, you’d have dodged the it being a guy saving her, but that review I sent you from one of my stories when we were discussing this whole true love/post rape thing, where a reader was justifiably irritated about me using a rescue-from-threat-of-rape trope to bring the characters closer together was on an FF story so it doesn’t make a lot of difference as far as that goes.

When badly written the whole concept can be a real bane of Hurt/Comfort fics, but I personally think you’ve handled it as well as you could do – but again, I’m probably biased.

For anyone curious, this is what I said in the email, and I stand by it! Well, sit by it. Well, lean against the wall by it. Fuckin’ pedants.

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With it being 8 years I don’t know exactly what I was thinking with the true love comment, but I have a bit of an inkling it wasn’t about weakness and far more about the discussion of a common story theme of someone getting raped and then immediately getting over it with love – something you’re actively avoiding with the greater expanded part 6 [Edit: now part 7] – and the far more controversial variant where a character would be raped and end up falling in love with the rapist. Naturally as a monster I wrote one of those, but at least I used phermonal influence or some shit... I could be wrong about why I was referencing love, but I think not. It can be a touchy subject with rape fics.  There’s a good example of when I had a character saved from a threat of rape in my story Shokan Lust, and a reviewer commented this back in 2014:

I like most of the story, very sexy. I don't like the rape scene here. It's not as blatantly manipulative and unnecessary as most stories' rape scenes are, but a wise writer once told me that, when writing stories, rape is the clumsy hammer that a better writer casts aside in favor of more subtle tools. "Save the girl from rape" is a tired, unimaginative, trite, and honestly very offensive cliche in fanfiction, being used as a crude way of emotionally uniting two characters (the victim/almost-victim and the rescuer) when the writer lacks the creativity and skill to forge and prove that emotional bond through real means. And the fact that it's used so casually, that this vile and horrible act that scars the psyche is a thoughtless go-to device for fic writers...it's really disturbing. It's disappointing to see it here, because you're good enough to do better.

Obviously it’s a bit of a different situation to Woman in the Statue, but I can’t find any of the original forum discussions (at least some of them were on another forum that’s now deleted), and it gives a flavour of some of the debates that raged around the use of rape followed by characters finding love and how some folks got quite upset, and probably still rage on more active sites than AFF. See, I feel in your Woman in the Statue, you’ve actually taken the time to forge a proper emotional bond between Luzurial and Kevin, and make the reader really care about them – it was probably on from that that I was tearing up, because y’all made me care a lot more about a character who was originally pretty much a two dimensional one note victim in a porn fic.

But anyway, that’s just speculation. I absolutely apologise again for briefly upsetting you with that comment, and can only add in mitigation that after a couple years I was mis-remembering, being a dick for no good reason, and never expected for you to see it. I guess the being a dick isn’t mitigation(and, hey, at least I thought your email was brilliant!). I wonder what other comments I’ve made on AFF over the years I’ve forgotten.  I’d probably forgotten 80% of my original response and the original request email by the time of writing that post, never mind any later ones. By the time I got your more recent email my memory was pretty much down to “Oh! This must be the guy who asked to write a sequel, with a redemption arc, I said yup, that was the guy from the religious college with the weirdly liberal internet policy.” And as you point out that memory wasn’t even accurate!

 

Edited by JayDee

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Well, going from nervousness over my handling of Kevin and Luzurial’s relationship to a wonderful review from pippychick is some serious Mood Whiplash.

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pippychick

I know there's a great scene later in this part, and yet I'm not going there right away. I wanted to point out how much I adore this particular juxtaposition:

Luzurial was an archangel of the heavenly host, tasked with guiding humans and protecting them from threats they could not imagine.  She had proven herself in battle a thousand times over.  She was power and grace and virtue and compassion made flesh.

And she couldn’t stop crying.

Especially in this context, it's such a powerful literary device, and it touched my heart.

Thank you so much!  So JayDee knows about this, but recall how you said during your review of Whore of Heaven how you have to feel things to write the stories you write?  Well, I work exactly like that too, very possibly moreso.  I’m kind of sensitive emotionally (which is why I asked for permission to write this story) and I actually made myself cry while writing this sequence, with Luzurial’s PTSD flashback and her breaking down crying in the bathroom.  I was hoping I would manage to communicate at least some of the emotions I was feeling, so I’m glad it worked at least partially.

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I love that you're not shying away from the psychological implications of what has happened to her. It's so important, and it will inform how she acts going forward.

I feel like it would be a pretty crappy hurt/comfort fic if I didn’t acknowledge just how badly hurt she is (not just physically) by the end of the first story.  I hope that what I’ve written going forward works for you.

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So, we now know at least a couple of the human baddies, though I'm quite sure they don't know the fate of Eparlegna's last human lackeys. I hope something similar awaits them.

Well, not exactly what happened to Shondra and Molly, but there are bad things in store for Cassie and Hobbs.

Speaking of which, now that you’ve reached this point, it’s time for another Names That Mean Something.

“Adrian” doesn’t really mean anything as far as the story is concerned, but “Hobbs” is an English surname derived from the medieval given name Hob.  Hob is a medieval short form of Robert, but “Old Hob” is a nickname for Satan, so you know...bad guy name.

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Poor Barbara - I really felt amazingly sorry for her, but the scene was hot at the same time, especially the moment when she realised she wanted it.

Funny you should say that, because Barbara is like a microcosm of what happens to characters in Whore of Heaven.  She mostly resembles Luzurial, in that she’s an admirable female character committed to doing good who makes an honest mistake (Luzurial disobeys orders; Barbara assumes a dirty cop will surrender when caught instead of lashing out), suffers sexual violation, and then has something horrifically violent happen to her.  She’s also linked to Yolanda Dawson, since the horrifically violent thing is that Eparlegna eats her alive.  Very, very slowly, complete with hell magic to keep her alive until her disembodied head was swallowed.

At the very least, an eighteen meter dragon takes larger bites than an eight foot demon, so it took a little under ten minutes for her to be eaten (I think Yolanda was eaten over the course of an hour).

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Interesting that the tentacles didn't fill her mouth too.

>< I knew I forgot something!

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And he's back. Bugger.

Well, I wanted to have a big, climactic battle at the end of the story, so…

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I'm not sure what you're worried about - you did a great job! And for what it's worth, I've read more than a few tentacle scenes, and written a couple. I wouldn't have had you down as writing your first one :)

I did research.  Literally, I looked for things both here and on Literotica with the “tentacles” or “tent” tag and then tried to analyze what the authors were doing in the scene.  Some of them were pretty bad, but others were pretty good, and I did take some pointers for writing this one.

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Honestly I'm not sure what kind of thing you were into writing before you came here to AFF

Gundam fanfiction.  That’s what I wrote over on fanfiction.net (and if I ever get my act together, I have more of that to write!), and it allowed me to practice writing prose as well as action scenes (the Gundam shows are space operas, so there’s lots of directed energy weapons and things blowing up).

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Your prose is excellent. There are a handful of authors I can just settle down to read, knowing I'll be entertained, and you've joined that handful.

Thank you so, so much! :wub:

I may very well faceplant before reaching the end.  As I mentioned in previous posts (I won’t spoil anything in this one) I’ve tried to gradually build up the relationship between Kevin and Luzurial in a way that doesn’t make him look like a creep or make her look weak, but my ability to mitigate the cliches is not guaranteed.  I hope it remains entertaining to read for you nonetheless.

Edited by InBrightestDay

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6 hours ago, InBrightestDay said:

recall how you said during your review of Whore of Heaven how you have to feel things to write the stories you write?  Well, I work exactly like that too, very possibly moreso.  I’m kind of sensitive emotionally (which is why I asked for permission to write this story) and I actually made myself cry while writing this sequence, with Luzurial’s PTSD flashback and her breaking down crying in the bathroom.  I was hoping I would manage to communicate at least some of the emotions I was feeling, so I’m glad it worked at least partially.

It works fully! I definitely felt it. Don’t mind me, I’m a tough cookie, and furthermore I’m British therefore I understate. You should read ‘it touched my heart’ as: ‘I was suddenly transported to that bathroom, and I could feel all the same things she was feeling, and it hurt, and I wanted to put my arms around her and make it all right again.’ :yes:

7 hours ago, InBrightestDay said:

“Adrian” doesn’t really mean anything as far as the story is concerned, but “Hobbs” is an English surname derived from the medieval given name Hob.  Hob is a medieval short form of Robert, but “Old Hob” is a nickname for Satan, so you know...bad guy name.

Ah… well, I just recently rewatched ‘Fallen’ and I kept imagining a lovely young Denzel Washington, so it was a bit of a surprise for me when he suddenly turned. :lol:

 

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14 hours ago, pippychick said:

Don’t mind me, I’m a tough cookie, and furthermore I’m British therefore I understate. You should read ‘it touched my heart’ as: ‘I was suddenly transported to that bathroom, and I could feel all the same things she was feeling, and it hurt, and I wanted to put my arms around her and make it all right again.’ :yes:

:lol: I fear you may have overstated there, but as it happens you did sum up my feelings throughout the last chapter of Whore of Heaven.  You can look at my review of Part Three for the full explanation, but the TL;DR version is that I started at “this woman needs a hug” and ended at “Ooooooh God someone please hug her now.

Which, of course, is why this story exists.  Its alternate title could pretty much be “Hugs for Luzurial.”  Like I said, I’m kind of emotionally sensitive. :rolleyes:

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Ah… well, I just recently rewatched ‘Fallen’ and I kept imagining a lovely young Denzel Washington, so it was a bit of a surprise for me when he suddenly turned. :lol:

Don’t worry; it wasn’t supposed to be obvious.  Never actually seen Fallen, though Denzel is awesome in pretty much everything.

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Your rambling there did make sense. But, while it’s good to have a support system, my exact concerns are going to be these two make love, and everything gets fixed (there’s only a few chapters left after all and at least one of them is going to be stopping the threat to the world). As JayDee said, making it F/F wouldn’t have made this particularly better. And I’ve not said you’re going to go that route… it’s just kind of primed for it right now.

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10 hours ago, Sinfulwolf said:

Your rambling there did make sense. But, while it’s good to have a support system, my exact concerns are going to be these two make love, and everything gets fixed (there’s only a few chapters left after all and at least one of them is going to be stopping the threat to the world). As JayDee said, making it F/F wouldn’t have made this particularly better. And I’ve not said you’re going to go that route… it’s just kind of primed for it right now.

You’re very kind to keep giving me the benefit of the doubt, but I don’t think I deserve it.  I’m trying to handle the story element as best I can, but ultimately I don’t know that I can do it well.

I’m not saying it can’t be done well; I know it can.  I just don’t think I’m talented enough to do so.  Part Seven should be up Wednesday morning, so we’ll have a better idea then, but I apologize in advance.  You’re an amazing author, SinfulWolf, and I’m sorry if I disappoint you.

Edited by InBrightestDay

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9 hours ago, Sinfulwolf said:

Heh, I am?

Absolutely!  I read Comin’ Home, but didn’t feel qualified to leave a review because the story is part of a larger tale I wasn’t familiar with.  However, your ability to communicate the emotions of the characters, the sense of a long term relationship and the dislocation felt by someone returning after a long absence was extremely impressive.

 I haven’t gotten to Blood and Lace yet, but I know you’ve really made an impact with it because I saw in the art room that you have fan art.  I know you said it was by a friend, but it means your characters made such an impression that your friend wanted to make those images.

If I ever wanted, say, a group picture of Luzurial, Kevin, Abdul and Calista, I’d have to ask for it or commission it, which would be more a show of authorial arrogance and neediness than the display of real love that fan art is.

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Crap… this is your review thread. But story straight:

Comin’ Home was the story that kicked off Blood and Lace. I wrote it first, then decided to expand on what I had.

As to the art… it was commissioned. I asked a friend to do it up, but the pin-ups were commissioned. There is one piece floating around that I’ve not shared here yet that was part of a trade but… yeah. Guess I’ve got the authorial arrogance and neediness. Well, fuck.

Anyway, had to set records straight, so back to your review stuff.

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[totally hogging InBrightestDay’s thread] Long time ago I comissioned some art of my old (non smut!) roleplay original character, I’m respectfully disagreeing with it being neediness and arrogance and just saying I thought it was cool. Still do. S’quality artwork! Oh, and I got a $30 quick sketch based on my Mortal Kombat fic although that wasn’t my characters, more of a way to promo it on hentai-foundry when I posted there. and total humblebrag, one dude did some fanart after reading one of my TF2 stories, and another commissioned something based on one of my harry potter stories. but it’’s more humble than brag as neither told me and I only saw later.

Oh, and if you get down there check out SinfulWolf’s Closing Time oneshot, that one was great! [/totally hogging InBrightestDay’s thread] I am probably the last person on the internet using fake html for forum posts.

 

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2 hours ago, Sinfulwolf said:

Crap… this is your review thread.

You kidding me?  There was a discussion on the nature of divine omniscience and how it relates to morality over on JayDee’s thread!  This is nothing.

2 hours ago, Sinfulwolf said:

As to the art… it was commissioned. I asked a friend to do it up, but the pin-ups were commissioned. There is one piece floating around that I’ve not shared here yet that was part of a trade but… yeah. Guess I’ve got the authorial arrogance and neediness. Well, fuck.

I see it’s time to break this out again:

:ffs:

I didn’t mean to imply that there was anything wrong with commissioning art in the abstract, but rather meant to imply that commissioning art from this story would be needy or arrogant on my part.  I’ll try and explain in more detail via PM.

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Part Seven of WitS is up, so it’s time to respond to some more reviews!

First, one from the inimitable @pippychick.

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Maybe it's just me, but there's a serious lack of strategic thinking here on the part of Luzurial & Co. If you're going to go into a dangerous situation against an evil, spiteful psychopath, or a demon, do not take people you care about with you. They're a weakness and they will be used against you. Silly angel! Silly humans!

It’s kind of a chain reaction, really.  Kevin and Abdul are going in to help Calista, and Luzurial can’t very well let the mortals handle this alone, and she can’t just tell them to wait outside because Kevin is not letting her go in there by herself.  So they end up stuck together.

As for people you care about being used against you, wait for it…

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I really liked the car throwing bit, and I could have stood to read a few more details there, and with the other agent.

Yeah, Stern was dispatched pretty quickly to get to the car thing, which was the image I had in my head for the scene.  Sinfulwolf also brought up that the action scene there could stand to be longer, and maybe at some point I’ll extend it somewhat. :)

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You have a knack for getting me lost in the story (as evidenced above), and I could see that video footage as clear as day - terrifying and absolutely brilliant! :)

Thank you!  I was going for kind of an eerie feel with the burning city and the dragon flying just out of sight behind the buildings.  I don’t know why, but the lack of sound always seemed kind of creepy to me as well.

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I'm really enjoying this, and right now I'm trying to ration the remaining chapters so that I don't run out of them. We'll see how that goes, lol.

Good luck with rationing!  I’m really happy that you’re enjoying the story, though.

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Thank you for sharing!

And thank you for reviewing!

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And now the first for Part Seven from @JayDee.

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Also, Eparlegna does have kind of a silly name.

I actually wanted to have the same “is that Spanish?” running gag that I have with Luzurial’s name, because while “Luzurial” actually contains a Spanish word, “Eparlegna” sounds like a Spanish word that doesn’t exist.

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Luzurial’s magic hair drying - “This one archangel has an amazing hair trick! Salon owners hate her!”

:lol: For those who don’t recall, or haven’t read the first story, there was this bit after Luzurial landed in the blood-spattered streets of LA that she took to the air again and the blood and filth just kind of fell off of her.  I wasn’t sure whether this was an automatic thing or if she had to concentrate on it, but that was her at 100%, which she is not at now, so whether or not it was automatic, now she has to concentrate.  I thought her willing the water to just fall off of her was a nice way to reference that, and also to prompt a discussion of how angelic powers work.

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The scene with a the agents is pretty good with the foreboding.   The destruction of the havens is an absolutely perfect reason for Eparlegna not moving immediately – if he can defeat defences that might be used against him then taking a few days to do it makes a heck of a lot of sense.

Thank you.  I knew the timeline was going to end up compressed because Eparlegna doesn’t seem like the kind of villain likely to delay his attempt at taking over the world, but I wanted as much time as possible for Kevin and Luzurial to interact back at the motel, so I had to create some sort of delay.  I figured that the same way we have designated shelters for hurricanes and other disasters, there might be designated shelters for the eventuality of another Rupture scenario, and damaging their protective magic could explain the delay before the really crazy stuff happens.

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I really liked how Luzurial wanted to look up at the stars. In a way it’s looking at the largest portion of the glory of creation you can at one time from Earth. Maybe. It was nice, anyway.

Sometimes I just have visual images pop into my head and I don’t entirely know where they come from.  In this case, the whole scene just started with this image of Luzurial sitting alone by the pool watching the stars, and the scene grew from that.  It is a powerful idea, that this is as much of creation as you can see from Earth.

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Also, this line “The lights in the pool were on, and as they shone through the rippling water they cast an ever-shifting latticework of soft blues and greens on him.” It’s just a really nice line, it stuck out for a kind of beautiful imagery – can really see the dancing colors.

Thank you!  In the first draft, that was Luzurial being painted by refracted light, but then I realized I was short on Luzurial PoVs for this chapter, and given what happens in the chapter I really needed more from her perspective.  I did like the description, though, so I just had her see Kevin that way instead of him seeing her that way.

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...and then Cassie. Fuck Cassie! Seriously, tough Cassie is fucking evil! It’s a really chilling section especially that bit about how she still sees Adeline, and the hostility is gone. Just, wow. I don’t think it would have quite the power if she went for Adeline directly. Eparlegna tired of Cassie’s wavering faith and made an example of her (or just a sandwich) I don’t think many readers would complain.

I realized I hadn’t had anything on Cassie and why she was part of the “cult,” which is why I added this scene.  I thought about the circumstances under which one might do something really terrible, and retaliating against a bully seemed like a pretty good option.  I wasn’t exactly sure what was going to happen, but then when I read about Flauros, and his ability to kill the summoner’s enemies with fire, I had a pretty horrific idea of what I could do.

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The explanation of the purpose behind Eparlegna’s attack at the ApTheo building, drawing out more mortals he can use, was a good little touch. It provides more of a reason for it than ‘Just wanted to fuck some shit up,’ which is normally a pretty good reason for him, but nothing wrong with more of one!

I mean he was also just taking the opportunity to terrorize and slaughter, but I wanted him to be doing a little more than that.  He plans in the short term compared to Lucifer, but “short term” does not mean “only thinks five minutes ahead.”

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There’s something else there – the specialists coming in place of emissaries. This absolutely makes sense – and not just because there won’t be an ancient holy priest turning up and Kevin awkwardly explaining he’s just been conducting a hands on examination. One of the major plot drivers of Whore of Heaven was that it was supposed to be human champions taking down Eparlegna, and then at the end humanity knows a lot more about what they might be facing – so the major religions would be sending in all their badasses to take a shot during the second Rupture.

I kept wanting to mention this earlier in the story, but I didn’t really get around to it until now, but the idea is that after the confrontation with Chloe in Part Two, word slowly made its way to large religious organizations, and priests, rabbis and imams were all ready to make a pilgrimage to talk to a real angel.  Then a demon attacked, and things changed a bit.

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That  Eparlegna is just fine and dandy with this, and welcomes it, suggests they might be heading into a shitstorm – well, unless the whole thing is resolved before they finish kitting up and flying over... Something for us to think about!

I actually seized on something from near the end of Whore of Heaven and intend to make use of it.

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I totally understand why you’ve made the re-write changes you have. It still flows very well – I did like one line in the old draft ‘For a long while, the boy held the archangel while she cried.’ That it felt a shame to lose, but the new tone works even better than the original.

Yeah, I miss that line too.  I honestly miss that entire moment when she broke down sobbing and then felt better afterward.  Aside from just being the Hurt/Comfortiest thing ever, it also went well with the whole idea of her purging toxic memories, and that letting them out resulted in her sobbing fit, but that after it was over she felt a lot better.

However, I really wanted to focus more on her sense of shame, and I did end up with a few new lines I really thought were pretty emotional on that count, specifically the “I said” quoting bit and the “Not if I were human!

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And then, well, it’s a slight lightening of tone but I did smile when he asked if she’d always looked like that. Does a great job of pointing out the issues with the celibacy and that the angels are clearly created with the anatomy for a reason.

That’s one of the things I like about fanfiction: sometimes you get to answer questions the original author never intended you to answer, and you can turn the answer into a story element!

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“she was laughing too hard to explain what “Hodie omnes divites si Deo placet effecti eritis!” translated to.” Fair enough, but maybe a translation in the author’s note section for those readers who didn’t do medieval Latin? :D

I wanted to, but the Author’s Note was at something like 575 words, and I thought there was a hard 600 word limit.

And now, of course, the love scene I’ve been building up to since Part One…

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I liked the way he was careful getting consent for things, after her previous experience it showed concern as much as anything.

So this is something that occurred to me at the last minute, but I really wanted in there.  While it does highlight the difference between Luzurial’s first sexual experience and her second one, that was just a nice little bonus effect.  The reason I wrote it was actually because I wanted to acknowledge the nerves Kevin would have over making love to an angel.

Even in a world where angels (of some types, anyway) look like people with wings, that’s not what they are.  They’re not just inhuman, they’re more than human, immortal, powerful, wise and kind, living embodiments of divine Good (this is probably part of why I get so depressed whenever something terrible happens to one).  Because of that, I couldn’t help but feel that there would be a deep reluctance to touch one sexually, as if to express physical affection for them would be to sully them.  I kind of expressed this in the car scene at the end of Part Six, where it’s revealed that Kevin sometimes feels bad about his romantic feelings for Luzurial because he is, well, “only human.”

One way I could see to get past this would be to explicitly ask permission for a more intimate form of contact.  That was the origin of the “May I?” concept.  I was being very deliberate in my word choice when I said he wanted Luzurial’s blessing to cross each threshold.

And, honestly, I just thought it was kind of romantic too.

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I really like how they both get so much out of the intimacy of kissing, that works wonderfully throughout.

That’s another one of those fanfic moments.  I realized that at no point in Whore of Heaven does Eparlegna, Shondra or Molly force a kiss on Luzurial, and I thought I could use this, that this might be something she especially enjoys; a gesture of pure affection without any negative connotation.

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That kiss to give him the strength not to get his dick crushed was a great one.

I knew she was going to need to give him the strength boost somehow, and I think originally it was just going to be through a touch (she was going to put her hand on his chest or something like that), but I wanted something that would be both sexy and soothing, and a kiss seemed like it fit the bill, especially since we’d just established how much they both enjoy kissing.

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The big chase scene was epic – I genuinely didn’t know if they were going to get trapped inside or just make it – so that badass driving paid off.

I actually briefly entertained thoughts of having them get caught inside of it and have to spend Part Eight evading or fighting sin creatures until Luzurial and company got there, but I realized I liked the idea of them meeting outside the barrier and going in together, so I went with that instead.

Edited by InBrightestDay

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12 hours ago, InBrightestDay said:

And now the first for Part Seven from @JayDee.

I actually wanted to have the same “is that Spanish?” running gag that I have with Luzurial’s name, because while “Luzurial” actually contains a Spanish word, “Eparlegna” sounds like a Spanish word that doesn’t exist.

Epar and Legna are both words in latin or Italian, and Spanish has roots in latin so it works for Spanish too. Definite romance language feel…

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:lol: For those who don’t recall, or haven’t read the first story, there was this bit after Luzurial landed in the blood-spattered streets of LA that she took to the air again and the blood and filth just kind of fell off of her.  I wasn’t sure whether this was an automatic thing or if she had to concentrate on it, but that was her at 100%, which she is not at now, so whether or not it was automatic, now she has to concentrate.  I thought her willing the water to just fall off of her was a nice way to reference that, and also to prompt a discussion of how angelic powers work.

A good in character reason for explanations is better than “By the way… I can do this!” style exposition. Ya did good with it.

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Sometimes I just have visual images pop into my head and I don’t entirely know where they come from.  In this case, the whole scene just started with this image of Luzurial sitting alone by the pool watching the stars, and the scene grew from that.  It is a powerful idea, that this is as much of creation as you can see from Earth.

“That one up there? That’s not a star. I hope it does not come this way.” I just really liked the way the whole section read tbh.

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Thank you!  In the first draft, that was Luzurial being painted by refracted light, but then I realized I was short on Luzurial PoVs for this chapter, and given what happens in the chapter I really needed more from her perspective.  I did like the description, though, so I just had her see Kevin that way instead of him seeing her that way.

The light’s light whichever of ‘em is being seen :)

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I kept wanting to mention this earlier in the story, but I didn’t really get around to it until now, but the idea is that after the confrontation with Chloe in Part Two, word slowly made its way to large religious organizations, and priests, rabbis and imams were all ready to make a pilgrimage to talk to a real angel.  Then a demon attacked, and things changed a bit.

“Should we recall Father Donal?”

“No, just message him to start drinking on the flight.”

“After what happened to those hybrid eejits interrupted him drinking in Derry?”

“That’d be why.”

“God forgive us.”

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Yeah, I miss that line too.  I honestly miss that entire moment when she broke down sobbing and then felt better afterward.  Aside from just being the Hurt/Comfortiest thing ever, it also went well with the whole idea of her purging toxic memories, and that letting them out resulted in her sobbing fit, but that after it was over she felt a lot better.

However, I really wanted to focus more on her sense of shame, and I did end up with a few new lines I really thought were pretty emotional on that count, specifically the “I said” quoting bit and the “Not if I were human!

It’s different to what it was before, but I’d say you made the right choices. Still got emotion in there for sure.

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I wanted to, but the Author’s Note was at something like 575 words, and I thought there was a hard 600 word limit.

There is that hard limit – fair enough I didn’t work count it. You can still explain on the forum, mind :)

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One way I could see to get past this would be to explicitly ask permission for a more intimate for of contact.  That was the origin of the “May I?” concept.  I was being very deliberate in my word choice when I said he wanted Luzurial’s blessing to cross each threshold.

And, honestly, I just thought it was kind of romantic too.

Another thing that works with it, is that Kevin’s a college kid and a lot of the modern colleges (so presumably still doing it come 75 years) are encouraging folks to re-confirm consent so it comes across as Kevin also recalling sexual conduct induction! Well, I thought so. Blessing makes sense! I mean, angel, right?

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That’s another one of those fanfic moments.  I realized that at no point in Whore of Heaven does Eparlegna, Shondra or Molly force a kiss on Luzurial, and I thought I could use this, that this might be something she especially enjoys; a gesture of pure affection without any negative connotation.

Molly may have inadvertantly kissed her while working downstairs, but I doubt it would have been possibe to differentiate from the other stuff she was doing, especially with a fist in back.

And the kissing being something she can enjoy really is sweet how it’s used here. One of the bits I really liked!

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I knew she was going to need to give him the strength boost somehow, and I think originally it was just going to be through a touch (she was going to put her hand on his chest or something like that), but I wanted something that would be both sexy and soothing, and a kiss seemed like it fit the bill, especially since we’d just established how much they both enjoy kissing.

Bravo, anyway! It’s just a pretty hot moment.

Edited by JayDee

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Okay, before anything else, I want to try something here, something that will come in very handy when it comes to the Author’s Note for Part Nine: putting most of the AN in a post here and linking to it from the story.

Extended Author’s Note (Part Seven):

This chapter was late because it went through significant rewrites.  The confession scene especially was changed.  The original version was more about Luzurial’s general angst and had her far sadder, while the new version focuses on her misguided shame over sex and she’s somewhat angrier at herself.  Both end the same way, though, with the discussion of the celibacy decree.

You see, back in Whore of Heaven, JayDee had Eparlegna wonder why God would give angels sex organs and then demand that they be celibate.  I initially thought it was an anti-religion thing about God being cruel and hypocritical, but when JayDee pointed out that maybe I shouldn’t be taking the rape demon’s word at face value (in hindsight probably something I should have realized…) I then couldn’t stop wondering why.  Assuming, as I do, that God isn’t cruel, then I thought that maybe angels (and thus demons) just thought they had to be celibate, because somebody made a mistake.  This was why I introduced the Celestial Hierarchy all the way back in Part Three: if God gives decrees to all angels directly, then there can be no mistake, but if there’s a chain of command, then a message might get altered over the many times it changes hands.  So JayDee asked why angels have sex organs, and my answer was “so they can have sex.”

Speaking of which, I realized that in the original version of the love scene Kevin didn’t have any misgivings about making love to an angel, which felt wrong to me.  I remembered that bit from Part Six about how he sometimes feels his attraction to her is almost an insult, and brought that in, with him thinking that he would somehow be degrading something wondrous and beautiful.  I thought he might be able to overcome those worries by asking for her permission to cross several “thresholds”, which is where the “May I” bit came from.  That and I think there’s something kind of romantic about him asking if he can kiss her.

Earlier in the chapter, I mentioned the funniest thing Luzurial had ever heard a leader yell during a battle.  Well, the Battle of Dorylaeum took place on July 1, 1097 AD, during the First Crusade.  Crusading forces led by Bohemond of Taranto were pinned down by the Seljuk Turks until the forces of several other crusaders were able to pull off flanking attacks to relieve them.  After seven straight hours of being pelted with arrows, Bohemond ordered his men to abandon the shield wall they had made, remount their horses and charge the Turkish line.  And in this desperate hour, his inspiring “Once more unto the breach, dear friends” line was “Hodie omnes divites si Deo placet effecti eritis!” which translates from the Latin as “Today, if God’s willing, WE’LL ALL BE RICH!”

No, seriously, that’s what he said.

I don’t imagine God approved of the Crusades, and I imagine Luzurial wouldn’t have either, and was likely feeling rather somber as she watched the battle unfold.  However, given that she had fought in scores, maybe hundreds, of battles with nothing less than the fate of creation itself on the line, hearing a battlecry so absurdly materialistic would likely have seemed hilarious.

Finally, I had planned for the final confrontation with Eparlegna to take place atop a very tall building, but didn’t have any specifics on what that building would be.  Then I had this weird but (to me) kind of amusing idea for a cameo in Part Nine by the Villain Protagonist of another JayDee story (Mike Rapes a Dyke), and asked if I could include it, which led to the VD building.

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So I started work at 6:00 AM yesterday, and given that I’m not generally a morning person, when I lay down on my bed to watch some TV last night, I straight up passed out, which meant I never got around to replying to some things on this thread.

No problem, I thought.  After all, I just have to respond to one of JayDee’s posts and a review from pippychick.

Then, while I was at work today, ALL OF THE REVIEWS HAPPENED.

So let’s get to these things!  First...

On 3/12/2019 at 12:28 PM, JayDee said:

“That one up there? That’s not a star. I hope it does not come this way.”

Little did we know I was secretly writing a Hellstar Remina crossover.

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Epar and Legna are both words in latin or Italian, and Spanish has roots in latin so it works for Spanish too. Definite romance language feel…

So his name translates to “liver wood.”  If I didn’t know it was “angel rape” backwards, I’d swear you were going for a shoutout to The Screwtape Letters.

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“Should we recall Father Donal?”

“No, just message him to start drinking on the flight.”

“After what happened to those hybrid eejits interrupted him drinking in Derry?”

“That’d be why.”

“God forgive us.”

Okay, so I realize now that “Derry” is probably short for Londonderry, but for a minute I thought that meant Father Donal had dealt with Pennywise the Clown.

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Another thing that works with it, is that Kevin’s a college kid and a lot of the modern colleges (so presumably still doing it come 75 years) are encouraging folks to re-confirm consent so it comes across as Kevin also recalling sexual conduct induction! Well, I thought so.

I hadn’t thought of that, but it does totally work!

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Blessing makes sense! I mean, angel, right?

Yeah, that was the idea. :D

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Molly may have inadvertantly kissed her while working downstairs

Sorry, I should have been clearer.  I meant a kiss on the mouth.

Edited by InBrightestDay

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And now for the reviews!  First, @pippychick reviews Part Five.

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Lots happening here! Good job describing the carnage in the lobby. I could see the blood spray everywhere, and smell it. Lol, not sure how Freudian the idea of Luzurial killing a giant dick is, but it made me smile.

 :lol: InvidiaRed called it a “sudden Prince Albert,” which I thought was pretty funny.  It wasn’t really meant to symbolize anything, it was just the first monster present, and I kind of wanted to set up the joke with Calista (“There’s no way I’m coming out of this vent!  That’s exactly what the penis worm wants!”).

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I was a bit puzzled why they got everyone else to the entrance, then split up and let Abdul alone to get Calista. Seems like a few moments here wouldn't have made that much difference.

Basically, Luzurial is hoping to shoo the mortals out gently so they don’t get hurt during the confrontation with Eparlegna, so she’s hoping both of them will go get Calista.  However, Kevin is, as Abdul says, pretty much glued to her at this point, so he’s not leaving her.  That means that either everyone has to go in to face Eparlegna together and then get Calista, everyone has to go get Calista first and then face Eparlegna, or Abdul has to go get Calista.

The first option doesn’t work because I think everyone, Luzurial included, knows that they can’t kill Eparlegna at this point, only force him to use enough power for survivors to escape, so they likely would have been running away from said confrontation and might not have been able to retrieve Calista afterward.

The second option would technically work, but delaying long enough to go grab Calista would mean leaving the students in Room 502 to Eparlegna for a few more minutes, and when Luzurial and Kevin do arrive, Hana Moon is about ten seconds from getting raped by a demon.

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But I did like the confrontation with Eparlegna. That line, “Now how many mortals have I heard scream that?” was particularly spot on.

Thanks!  I rather liked that line too.  I mean, during his rampage before being sealed, I’m sure he raped mothers in front of their children, wives in front of their husbands...at some point, he’d pretty much have to find people begging him to stop either amusing or annoying, and since he’s a sadist I went with “amusing.”

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I like how they dealt with the spider, though I'm not sure I would have had that kind of clarity of mind when it was trying to get in the door, lol.

Oh, neither would I!  I probably would have gotten to “throw the acid at it”, and then run.

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Now it just remains to be seen what happens with Luzurial. I sense it's not going to be easy for her…

Yeah...remember how you said in your review of Part Four that people you care about can be used against you?

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Wonderful, as usual! Thank you so much for writing and sharing your work with us. :)

:wub: Thanks for reviewing!

Edited by InBrightestDay

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Up next, @InvidiaRed reviews Part Seven!
 

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Favorite passages of this chapter. 

No.  He doesn’t get to take anything else. (This is an important part of healing.) That affirmation.

also this (So this was how it was meant to be) To see it as it was always meant to be. Something not taken but given freely. A positive experiance helps.... as is repetitive reminding of the good

Thank you!  I definitely wanted the love scene between Luzurial and Kevin to be part of her healing process, and one of the biggest parts of that, for me anyway, was that first line you mentioned.  She and Kevin could just kiss for a while and then go to sleep.  Kevin’s a teenage boy, so he’ll be somewhat disappointed, but he also feels very strongly for her (there’s a word for that, but he’s afraid to use it), so he’d definitely be willing to do it.

However, as Luzurial realizes, avoiding things that remind her of her rape will mean that Eparlegna has effectively taken sex away from her forever, and the only memories she will have of those acts and sensations will be those of pain and shame.  So she decides right there that she will not allow that to happen, and that she wants to have, as you said, a positive experience, to feel sexual pleasure as it was meant to be: not used as a setup for hurting her or a way of shaming her, but given as a gift, for no other reason than that the giver wants her to have it.

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"This is like the difference between shooting someone and nuking a city."

:D Yeah, I like that line too, especially since Eparlegna basically has nuked cities in the past.

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If Lucifer has to play subtle maybe... Just maybe its cause being this overt might have consequences of the unforunate variety.

There’s actually a scene near the end of Part Nine where that very thing gets discussed.

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The difference between arrogance and confidence is razor thin indeed.

Yeah, he’s basically acting the same here (assuming I’ve done this right) as he did in Whore of Heaven.  In WoH, everything worked out in his favor, but there he had planned things out meticulously beforehand, in part I imagine because he knew he was relatively weak, and any fight between him and an angel would have lasted about five seconds.  Here, though, he has a new, more powerful body, and I think the power has made him somewhat more careless.  He can torch an army, so he’s less dedicated to planning things out.  In a way, becoming stronger has made him weaker.

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What happens when she reacquires her sword?

B-) An archangel fights a firebreathing dragon.  If I manage to write Part Nine well (fingers crossed), that will be just as awesome as it sounds.

Edited by InBrightestDay

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Yeah...remember how you said in your review of Part Four that people you care about can be used against you?

This is one of the worst ideas in the history of forever. Short term gain is not worth. The vindictive and total opposition long term. People get patient, they get clever and then just at the moment of triumph or weakness and then they come at you with everything in a total I'm taking you with me mentality.

In summation... Just don't go after people's loved ones. Its a bad idea in a history of bad ideas.

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9 hours ago, InvidiaRed said:

This is one of the worst ideas in the history of forever. Short term gain is not worth. The vindictive and total opposition long term. People get patient, they get clever and then just at the moment of triumph or weakness and then they come at you with everything in a total I'm taking you with me mentality.

In summation... Just don't go after people's loved ones. Its a bad idea in a history of bad ideas.

I suppose that’s good advice for aspiring supervillains. :D  I was specifically referring to something near the end of Part Six, though:

Spoiler

That bit where Eparlegna uses Kevin against Luzurial.  Granted, that does end with Eparlegna getting shot in the balls, so you’re right; it is a bad idea!

And now, for the last of the reviews I received yesterday, this one from @Thundercloud

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I really like this chapter that managed to mix quite many themes in a good way.

The scene when Luzurial does her inne will trick to the water is very cool and helps lot to make her angel status be something more than just super powers and wings. It also works as a good buildup for the later development when you consider what a girl flipping her hair means in body language.

First, I’m really happy you liked the chapter!

Second, I’m a chronically socially awkward guy, so I actually had no idea what the hair flipping thing meant until just now.  Assuming angelic body language is the same as human body language (and there’s a sentence that isn’t written often), then that is a nice little bonus feature!

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I liked the scene with cold blooded Cassie and the explanation for the attack on he UCLA seemed kind of logical if you are a meglomanic. A smarter plan would of course been to stay hidden until he had disabled the magic shelters and used more smart methods to find minions but it is Eparlegna..

Yeah, that’s about it.  He’s not entirely wrong, and it did net him ten extra followers.  He does also have a bit more of a plan than he did last time, but as you indicated, he has a bad habit of underestimating humanity and, as I said in my response to InvidiaRed’s review, the power granted by his new body might be causing him to do a little less planning than he did back in Whore of Heaven.

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Looking at the end game of the story I think I would like to see narrative where the humans bring down Eparlegna and he comes for Luzurial for revenge but she has healed enough emotionally to defeat him. A final battle where Luzurial does the task herself can of course also work, but that misses the point about humans are supposed to stand on their own.

As it is, the plan is for something in between.  There is going to be a final fight between Luzurial and Eparlegna, as I couldn’t very well have her stay away from the situation (it’s just not who she is as a character), but she’s not going to try to solve the problem on her own; human forces are absolutely going to be involved.  This will become clearer in Part Eight.

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As for the sex you really deliver here and has written something that really fits with the build up. It is both smoking hot and deliver on the emotional themes of story.

^_^ Thank you!  This was basically the sex scene I’ve been building up to since Part One, and I really wanted it to be both erotic and emotional, hence why I keep referring to it as a love scene.

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Each time you write about your supposed lacking authors skills it makes me shake my head in disbelief.

I’ve started thinking JayDee, pippychick and I are all in a sort of support group for writers with low self-confidence, because I say the same thing to either of them when they express doubt in their own abilities.

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I look forward to the end of the story and think you will create truly spectacular.

We have one more chapter before the finale, but I hope it’s good when it gets here, and thank you for the support!

Edited by InBrightestDay

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14 hours ago, InBrightestDay said:

So his name translates to “liver wood.”  If I didn’t know it was “angel rape” backwards, I’d swear you were going for a shoutout to The Screwtape Letters.

I only ever reference the works of C S Lewis when it comes to horsecock. Also my not yet written story “The Lying Witch and the Voredrobe.”

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Okay, so I realize now that “Derry” is probably short for Londonderry, but for a minute I thought that meant Father Donal had dealt with Pennywise the Clown.

Child eating eldrich abomination vs Irishman with a broken bottle. My money’s on the priest.

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Sorry, I should have been clearer.  I meant a kiss on the mouth.

I got it, it was clear - I was just being crude.

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@pippychick returns to review Part Six!

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The confrontation was amazingly well done. Very reminiscent of WoH and I particularly like the image Eparlegna gave us of Luzurial appearing at Heaven. That's very cruel, and it's so true to character. The transformation that's done for Kevin's benefit is quite daunting too. So many good bits in that scene I can't possibly list them all. I probably missed saying this last time, but I love the imagery of the dead students sitting upright in place like an audience - very good.

Thank you!  The torture and mocking line about her going back to Heaven was indeed meant to call back to WoH (even to a specific line of Eparlegna’s), as were the students set up like an audience.  When the barrier draws back in WoH, there’s a line about how some of the corpses are posed in grotesque parodies of life, which is what I was going for with the lecture hall.

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The sin monster of Kevin's was amazing, and I kind of like sloths, but the idea of a gigantic faceless one chasing me is quite frightening. Unlike the spider, I can definitely imagine letting the creature defeat itself the way Kevin did. Great writing!

Is it possible to catch diabetes from sheer cuteness?  Because if it is, then baby sloth compilations on Youtube have to be the leading cause.  Having said that, the Wrath creature was definitely meant to be as physically intimidating as possible.  I think the image I initially had was of a skinless, eyeless polar bear, but then I saw this picture that managed to make Megatherium look unintentionally terrifying, and I realized that if you took the long, curving claws that sloths have and attached them to something really aggressive, they’re suddenly not so cute anymore…

I’m also really glad you liked the way it’s defeated.  I couldn’t think of anything as clever as the way Abdul and Calista blow up the Charnel Spider, but thought that since anger is often self-defeating, maybe there was a way for the monster to kill itself, and that even if Kevin was absolutely terrified, he could still have enough presence of mind to make the knock-out-the-pillars plan work.

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Now, the beginning of the aftermath... I get how Luzurial feels, but I wonder, because clearly she made the choice to submit to Eparlegna to protect, and I'm surprised she's not logical enough to understand that even afterwards, she must continue to make that choice in her thoughts. Especially given that she's an archangel, she must understand those kinds of choices, and accept the inherent risk in them. The only way I can explain it is that she feels so much for Kevin that her emotions are clouding her judgement of herself? In a way, meaning she blames herself instead of accepting what has happened. Hmm... she's seeming very human all of a sudden. I am not sure what to make of it.

What’s upsetting her isn’t really what happened in the lecture hall; it’s what happened 75 years earlier.  She knows she let Eparlegna rape her again to save Kevin from being skinned alive, but a combination of the experience and the fact that Kevin saw it means that she feels that he now knows what she “did” back in Whore of Heaven, and this has to do with her sense of self-worth and the damage inflicted to it by the torture and rapes she suffered back then.

You noted that she feels more human during the car scene.  To some extent, I tend to write her more human from time to time because of the moments in WoH that I really liked, where we learned that Luzurial is actually very relatable in spite of being an archangel (very human, in other words)  I try to balance that with her immortality and superhuman nature, but sometimes I lean too far one way or the other.

Partly, though, I think her coming across as more human here is because of the emotionally vulnerable state she’s in at this moment.  If I may quote an earlier post of mine in this thread, Luzurial is...

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...a combat veteran with superhuman strength and durability, as well as the experience of a military career that stretches back fourteen billion years.  However, she is vulnerable specifically when it comes to the issue of sexuality.  In Whore of Heaven, it's established that angels are required to be celibate (or at least they think they're required to be celibate), so while she clearly knows what sex is, Luzurial has a degree of naivete on the subject that I always found deeply sympathetic.  Over the course of the story, she is attacked and shamed repeatedly, specifically using sex (and her body's involuntary reactions to it) as a weapon against her.

By the time we meet her in The Woman in the Statue, she's also spent 75 years inside of the coating, during which time, when she can form coherent thoughts through her pain, all she's really been able to think about is everything she did wrong, second guessing every single decision she made that led her to where she is now.

Given all of this, by the time she's freed, Luzurial's self-esteem is pretty badly damaged.  I have no doubt she could heal on her own, but it always helps to have a support system.  Kevin, in spite of his one actiony moment here in Part Six, is not really capable of helping in battle, so the only thing he can offer her is to be that support system.  This is particularly important concerning ... that Luzurial has elements of her experience that she considers her Dark Secret.

In this case, the Dark Secret is the multiple orgasms she experienced during the sexual assault back in Whore of Heaven.  Now, she hasn't actually done anything wrong (arousal and orgasm are involuntary physical reactions), but due to the perceived ban on angels ever knowing physical pleasure, she considers this a sort of shame.  Some of my research also indicated that sometimes rape survivors feel ashamed, especially if they cooperated with the rapist in any way, which Luzurial eventually did.

So her sexual experience is a spot in which she is emotionally vulnerable, and I think she reads as more human in this scene because of that vulnerability.

Once again, thank you so much for the review!  :)

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Part Eight is now up, and we have two reviews already!

First up, @JayDee

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It’s a little bittersweet because it’s been an amazing read but there’s only one more part to come. Although if you do write more in the same universe we’ll get to see more so there’s that to look forward to sometime.

Thank you!  It’s kind of strange for me too, getting this close to the end.  Although, while I won’t spoil anything, should the ending go over well enough, there may be what I’m calling the Holiday Special.  Presented, one assumes, by Rankin/Bass; the sex is going to look really awkward in that limited stop motion of theirs. :blink:

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“I lost my virginity to an archangel,” is such a fun line. I dunno why, I just liked it.

I think it’s just one of those moments, sort of like “There’s an angel eating pizza on our sofa,” where the characters get to acknowledge how amazingly weird their circumstances are.

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Loved the touched by an angel gag too.

As did Abdul, obviously (“That joke was gold and you know it!”), though I really liked writing Kevin’s immediate reaction: “We can’t be friends anymore, Abdul.”

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Speaking of names, I liked that “Sounds Spanish” “It’s not” exchange – at least a bit of a recurring gag if not a running one!

:D A similar gag might (emphasis on might) appear elsewhere in the story’s universe.  “Ambruratem...is that Egyptian?”  “No.”

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Just from an ego thing, having Private Flynn in the same universe as the Vin Dijk building is awesome as a shoutout to other stories I scrawled.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention this in the Author’s Note, but for anyone reading this now, Private Flynn may or may not be (but probably is) related to the Flynns of Twinpregnation and Mike Rapes a Dyke.  Interestingly, digging back through the reviews on Twinpregnation, I discovered that The K-Team originally made an appearance, which would put all of those stories in that universe.  Granted, that was an earlier draft, so I don’t need to feel like I screwed up, or at least that’s the story I’m going with!

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That bit of the end of it, the fact they know the kind of things that happens to female POWs, that was a pretty good touch. It kind of shows Chloe could expect things to go very badly for her if she was captured, but she’s doing her duty. It’d probably be looking bleak for Flynn, too, come to that. Chloe’s got a bit more in common with Luzurial there, for the horrors to face.

In a deleted scene (as in “I got partway through and then deleted it”) Private Flynn was almost going to be captured by a sin creature I was calling the Shrieker, a roughly avian horror with a sonic attack.  This was to end up with Luzurial fending off a biting attack by grabbing its jaws and holding them open, and then Gibbs was going to pull a Gungnir headshot while she was holding it.  However, I cut that scene short because…

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“So many of you will die,” Luzurial said, hearing the pain in her own voice.

“You’re a soldier, right?” Leary asked, his assault rifle pointed at the street intersection a few hundred meters ahead.  “Then you know sometimes that’s how the job is.”

“We’ve been preparing for this for the last seventy five years,” Chloe said.  “Please, trust us.”

There’s something about that bit especially, I teared up a little bit.

...That was the important part.  I realized that detailing the battle was just distracting from what I feel is the core of the scene, which is the decision Luzurial makes here.  I wanted that line, specifically the “trust us” bit, to be emotional, because that’s not just Chloe asking Luzurial to trust her team and the battalion they’re with, it’s Chloe asking the archangel to trust humanity.  The following moment where Luzurial elects not to craft the virtue creatures is where she chooses to do exactly that.

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“It’s why I exist.” ...I was going to crack a joke around the original meta-reason for her existing, but I was thinking about it today and came with the idea – I may be wrong and making totally inaccurate assumptions! -  that a part of the meta reason she exists in this story isn’t just you feeling bad about what happened to her back in Whore of Heaven, it’s because of your belief in her and how she should be there doing her job, destroying evil that threatens humanity? On that basis the four words there just feel a whole lot extra powerful.

Well, in-universe, it’s literal: the task that was entrusted to her by God, the duty that defines her, is the protection of Earth and its people.

Out-of-universe, if you want to go down this rabbit hole...Luzurial exists because someone wanted to see a beautiful angel get raped and tortured by a demon.  She’s here because I felt absolutely terrible for her, but the reason I felt absolutely terrible for her is because of what you just said.  I felt awful for Luzurial because I do admire her character, her compassion, her courage, all of it, and because it felt so profoundly unjust for her to spend the next 120 trillion to 30 tredecillion years alone and in agony because of a well-meaning mistake.  That wasn’t what she deserved.

What she deserved was to be standing right where she is, between the mortals she cares for and the evil that threatens them.

Apologies to those who really liked the original ending of Whore of Heaven, by the way; this is just my opinion.

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I think it’s cool you bought back Martinez – it works better than having her show up for one brief scene and then not appearing again, and readers will have that spark of recognition, too.

Thanks.  I was always going to have an LAPD PoV character there, but then it occurred to me that instead of spending time creating someone new, I could just bring back one of the detectives from Part One.

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Lilia met the street thug’s red eyes, winked and shot her through the head, This is one of my absolute favorite bits in a story with a lot of ‘em. Partly, it’s a fucking awesome reversal of what happened to Bernice, mostly it’s the whole catching her by surprise, fucking winking, and then putting that bullet right through.

I can’t remember if that was an intentional reversal of what happened to Bernice, but if it is, then it worked better than I had anticipated.  Bernice dies when she’s shot in the head by one of the hybrids because she’s trying to help Luzurial (given what happens to the other prisoners, though, not helping Luzurial wouldn’t have saved her).  Lilia kills a hybrid by shooting her through the head, in large part because Luzurial helps her.  It’s almost like, in some small way, the archangel gets to pay Bernice back for her efforts all those years ago.

Not that I did that on purpose, mind you, but sometimes you have to take a moment to appreciate when things just fall into place like that. :)

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o, yeah, fuckin’ loved it. More outstanding writing! You’re a creative genius, you are.

:Lies:They’re flattering lies, though.

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As I mention above I am really looking forward to the last part/epilogue, with the sadness that once I’ve read those, that’s it... it’s finished…

Well, for the moment, anyway.  You never know, though... ;)

Edited by InBrightestDay

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Next up, one from @InvidiaRed

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"75 years earlier, she had given into despair.  Never again." Hands down the best bit in this chapter.

Thank you!  I actually revised that somewhat between the first draft and the one I uploaded.  I think in the original it was just “but she would not give up,” but I really felt like it could be phrased better, and I’m glad it worked out!

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“Dios mío,” Lilia breathed.  Apparently that statue had contained Wonder Woman. xD

:lol: I wrote that bit where Luzurial throws the machete into the Crawler, and almost immediately thought “Cue ‘Is She with You?’”  Couple that with the fact that Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is my superhero crush and I had to make that joke.

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