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Well…

That took quite a while, and I have to say I actually enjoyed doing every minute of it and that is probably why it will surprise a lot of you when I say I am not going to do a sequel.

*Waits for angry yells to die down*

There are a few reasons for me coming to this decision, and foremost of these is there is little to no chance of me ever getting the Freed published beyond it being online. That’s why I decided to end it at the end of the book and leave it at that. Otherwise I would have just ended up doing another far too long a story, not that I think many people would have a problem with that though.

On the other hand I do have at least some good news in that the cast of the Freed are going to be coming back some day, sans wings, in a world of my own creation and that may well make it to the shelves one day. I certainly now know I can write the volume and if I only take one thing from the Freed, that would serve me well.

Anyway you don’t want to read me blabbering on and I believed I promised you some extra content to make up for ending the Freed. So, the first thing I thought I’d do was some authors comments on the chapters starting perfectly logically with chapter zero, pre Freed.

Chapter 0, Pre-Freed.

The Freed was the first story I ever actually thought about before writing, and whilst I didn’t do any written notes I spent at least a week planning out my characters, picking powers, names and the frameworks for their personalities. Ironically it was also at this point where I decided on the ending and while the specifics of the final chapter may have changed over time, it was always going to take place in the Itex HQ, just as Max was having her showdown with Max 2.0. Hawk and his cronies were never going to meet them but that event provided a good chunk of the ending plot and I really had to put in some thought as to how to get them clear across the continent, twice.

Anyway I’m digressing; I was supposed to be talking about the characters. Hawk, well I have no idea when I thought Hawk up, all I know is he popped into my head near the end of the summer holidays fairly fully formed and he’s probably one of the better characters I’ve written so far, at least I don’t want to slap him like Soph. Anyway there’s actually little I can say about Hawk because for some reason I don’t really remember thinking him up, I can say that his name came from a Hawk like stare but I’ll go into more detail about him later; for now I’ll just say that Hawk was always just as he is now, though, like with Weird, I never quite realised what his power would allow him to do in the end when I thought him up.

Next we have Gale; now Gale I can actually say something about. First I bet you never knew where her name came from. The actual joke’s pretty weak to tell the truth, Gale, an E-Gale, see what I mean. Ironically I actually had this pointed out to me a month or two later, her name actually comes from her kicking up a gale when she flaps her large wings, also a pretty lame joke though as they were technically being named by convention in the lab; an easily recognisable trait was probably the most likely thing they’d be named after.

Anyway, Gale was cast as the leader initially, Hawk was unsurprisingly the fighter; the only issue was that in order to keep them paralysed for a month Toad Boy had to come along and take over. What I didn’t realised at the time, was that this destroyed what little self confidence Gale had and so she was very subdued for a long time. I didn’t know her character well enough to know why, but she was soon back to the Hawk slapping self that I’d thought of initially. I was worried that Gale would turn out to be too like Max initially, but I think I dodged that bullet, though that was why I divided the Max role of hero and carer into two characters. Personally I like my way better, you get more sparks *evil grin*.

Next on the list is Tapper, now you almost certainly didn’t know this but Tapper was originally going to be Hawk’s love interest. Well you can imagine how well that went, though I’m still not convinced Gale and Hawk are destined to be, I mean come on they get on like a building on fire, and have you ever actually seen a building on fire? Anyway Tapper was never planned to have a power per say, though that’s true of all my characters, apart from Weird and Hawk, but Tapper was supposed to be one of the smartest of the group, and judging from the fact that she never seems to be in the direct firing line I’d have to say that’s one trait that definitely made it all the way.

And now we move on to Cam, and what can I say about Cam except for how is any story complete without at least one hyperactive kid? Oddly enough for a character who I still don’t know much about he has the most complicated back story. Surprisingly I had no idea about Rainbow and Mir at this point but still his back-story left him with some of his more obvious traits, such as the strong desire to prove himself and to enjoy himself as much as possible before the Lab gets to them.

Finally we have Weird. Weird was originally a very simple character with only a moderate psychic gift, unfortunately that lasted all of twenty minutes and she soon grew to be a powerful and angsty force. Personally I always preferred Weird in her original incarnation but unfortunately I soon realised just how empathetic Weird was and how she’d react to any blood on her hands at all, even just by association but I’ll talk all about that later.

And now the last part of this far to long section is just why they didn’t do anything for a month. While this seems like a minor issue it is actually quite a large plot hole and so I had to come up for a few logical reasons. The most obvious is that none of my characters quite look human save Hawk. In actual fact this makes almost no difference in the continuity with there being far weirder things out there than their minor abnormalities, though I personally would be really confused about Weird’s eyes. I’m actually not sure why her eyes do that to tell the truth, I think she did it once for a laugh and forgot to stop. Anyway, getting side tracked again. None of their weirdness was particularly noticeable but they thought it was, and that was why the only one of them that really went out was Hawk. Got it? Yes? Now I should probably move onto the next section before I remember something even more obscure.

Freedom to Die

I wrote Freedom to Die in under a week and I realised it was already nearly the longest story I’d ever written, interestingly enough I actually structured it like an independent story though from the amount of set up I had in the second part, it was kind of obvious that I was planning something a little longer. Admittedly back then if you’d told me I’d end up writing a hundred and fifteen thousand word story I wouldn’t have believed you, but I suppose all great journeys begin with a single step and all great stories start with a single chapter.

Anyway this chapter is still one of my favourites as it shows Hawks incredible ability to annoy anything with a pulse (and many things without) and has a twist at the end that I really hope no one saw coming. It also had the introduction of Glass Eye who would be my only real recurring villain, and Hawk making a complete fool of himself after trying to jump off a plasma monitor which just goes to show I wont tolerate my characters breaking the laws of physics. (Ask about Weird later, I do actually have an explanation for that).

Finally some things you didn’t know, Tommy, the cat (sort of), was actually going to be a recurring character and I’m not actually sure why he wasn’t. I think I actually forgot to mention him in the action scene and so I actually have no idea just what happened to him. This is also true of a lot of the experiments in the warehouse as I simply didn’t mention them in the sequence, in all honesty there are enough plot holes there to sink a ship but I wasn’t planning for the Freed to go back to New York for a very long time. The final unknown fact is why the bullets buzz. It’s probably not something you particularly thought about but it is actually quite unusual for a telekinetic’s power to make any sound at all. The actual buzzing comes from the kinetic energy of the bullet being thrown out as sound and so slowing the shot until it finally stops, still buzzing faintly, hovering in mid air. I’ve never really read about a telekinetic that operates quite in that way and this was just the start of my problems with Weird, if she could manipulate energy like that, what couldn’t she do?

Freedom to Live

Freedom to Live was my part of my first long arc and if memory serves I also wrote this within about a week, a feat I don’t think I’ve been able to top, though the last segment came close – it helped that it was still the holidays at the time. Anyway this was the beginning of the major character development and what I consider to be the biggest contrivance in the entire story, the fact that of all the buildings they could happen to land on, they landed on the lab. I could probably come up with some ‘fluff’ involving homing instincts but it is one of my larger plot holes though thankfully I don’t really think anyone was reading at the time.

What I really like about this chapter was the flight scene at the end; I had actually been planning it from near the beginning and I have to confess that it was my  absolute favourite part to write. It’s a shame really because even the book doesn’t really give full justice to what an aerial battle would be like, though admittedly I’m talking out of my hat there. This is also the chapter where you really see how good a flyer Hawk really is, hooray low aspect ratio or stubby wings as Hawk says.

One interesting fact that you may not have realised if you’ve only recently found The Freed, is that I used to post these chapters as full chapters and I’ve only since gone back and broken them into segments. While some of you may actually prefer for me to post that amount of words at a time, it’s been suggested that that actually hurt my readership, though most of the reason I continued only posting in segments is that I physically couldn’t find the time to write that much in a week with school. Not to mention the fact that the final few chapters have been over fifteen thousand words, not something that’s easy to write. I’m still amazed I even managed to finish the last one on time.

Freedom to Run

Freedom to Run was the first chapter where I really started making life hard for my characters, especially Weird, and you also got your first glimpse of what Weird could really do with her power when she panicked. Obviously she can do a lot more these days. The only other notable part of this chapter really is the fact it was one of the first times I used third person in a story, personally I prefer first simply because then your narrator is a definite character and I think we can all agree that Hawk is quite a character.

The other interesting part in this chapter was the White Coat’s family and it was interesting just to see Hawk’s reaction even if I didn’t actually have enough readers at the time to get much fan reaction. I still don’t like the ‘are we the good guys?’ line but I can’t think of a good replacement either, anyway it was the beginning of my attempt to make my stories ‘real’. There is very little trust in the Freed, (too much trust is something that bugs me about a lot of the stories out there) and very little of it’s in just black and white, at this point only the Erasers were truly evil and even that didn’t last. I know there is just a smidge of irony in a story where the main character has wings trying to be ‘real’ but just because something’s fantastical doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to make sense. (Also before anyone mentions Weird at this point, I’ve already said, I can explain that.)

Freedom to Fight

Now Freedom to Fight I like, when I wrote it, it was the first long action scene I’d written for a long time and it actually turned out I wrote six thousand words over a weekend (a personal best) though it did take a week before I actually sat down and did it though. But first I should address the Voice.

The Voice wormed its way into the story partly because it was a logical progression (in my mind) but mostly I think for the gag about Hawk thinking it was St. Peter. On the other hand the Voice is a really useful told for dues ex machine, as I’m sure a few of you know, plus he and Hawk are complete opposites and neither really wanted to start talking to each other, so they don’t exactly get on well together, and that equals comedy.

Anyway the Voice entered the chronology with no particular aim and for a while he just subtly helped Hawk to shake up the lab, also he could probably see what Weird would be able to do if the lab got control of her and whatever his plan that would upset it. There aren’t particularly many things I can say about the action scene but I liked it and it created the first coming full circle the Freed did, though at least this time they were leaving with a bit more drama, and with more bullets.

Freedom to See

And so begins my campaign to limit Weird’s power. As I may or may not have mentioned already, Weird has almost no limit on her power beyond what she can conceive and so I started to stop her wanting to use her power. I’m not actually sure why she went blind to tell the truth, mostly I think Weird makes her eyes shine subconsciously and it got a little bright for her to deal with. It was more a matter of her nerves shutting down for a while than actual blindness, and she soon learns to counter that, still it can’t have been nice for her.

Anyway my personal favourite moments in this chapter are Hawk diving through a thunderstorm and Gale giving him a half loaded gun; the first for drama, the second for laughs. The one thing I don’t like about this chapter is the Voice giving Hawk dreams, too like Max and I eventually decided that the Voice’s agenda with Hawk was to keep him out of the lab and a potential ally for Max. Also in terms of drama the Erasers slaughtering the occupants of the police station is particularly effective and that’s something Weird never actually realised, though I’m fairly sure it would have stopped Hawk talking to real people if I’d written more. Hmm, I see a plot hook there.

Finally this is the first chapter with Rainbow and Mir, who as you may have noticed I didn’t mention in the pre Freed section, this is because I actually thought them up while writing the first part of the chapter and in all honesty that almost killed the Freed. Word to the wise for anyone interested, make sure you know what your characters’ characters are before you start writing them or any conversation with them in is doomed to failure. This doesn’t matter until the next chapter but I thought I’d bring that up now as I’ve run out of things to say about this chapter except, yes the Erasers really are that evil.

Freedom to Fail

Okay next on the billing is the aptly named Freedom to Fail, which I can’t actually remember whether I named before or after the several month hiatus in which I wrote Borrowed Wings and Not Human. Basically I got really hung up on Hawk and Rainbow’s conversation and ran out of things to say, ironically this is pretty much the same reason Not Human stalled but I am now writing the ending to that (29.12.07)

Anyway there is only really one thing I dislike about this chapter and that’s Weird’s big evil villain moment which doesn’t seem to be in character, I’ll blame it on temporary insanity or the fact that mars was in the third house that morning or something. I think I’ve said before that I won’t be altering the Freed in any way now I’ve finished, partly because it would take about four hours to read all the way through but  mostly because I could keep fiddling around with it for months.

And now some things you didn’t know about this chapter…

Err. Okay, there isn’t much unexpected about this chapter though thinking about it Gale always seems to get the morning watches. Amazing what you realise when scrabbling around for content. Anyway, Weird has her new trick about sensing pain which I think she might have actually been able to do all along but didn’t mention it to me. It would certainly explain why she’s so empathetic for an eight year old. This is also the first time she kills anyone with her power, intentionally and unintentionally which was something I hadn’t thought of when I started writing this chapter, still it was effective, and helped give Weird the motivation to blast them out of there. The actual high speed trick is, at this point, by far the most energy intensive thing Weird’s ever done and that explains why it didn’t quite work properly.

…and now I realise that the chapter has another whole section. Doh! It’s been quite a while since I read these, shortly before I posted them as it happens.

Now this next bit has a lot of Hawk angst, and I think there’s actually more in this arc than in the whole rest of the story and contrary to common belief I actually dislike angsty characters; I got enough for a life time after writing Soph. In all fairness Weird ending up half a mile away isn’t really Hawk’s fault but I say they should have stayed as a group; on the other hand I’m the omniscient in this story. It did however allow me to get another good flying sequence when I really thought I wouldn’t get another until Freedom to Fly.

Okay now I’ll move swiftly onwards to Freedom to Try before I embarrass myself anymore.

Freedom to Try

Freedom to Try is another chapter I like, though I have to admit that first section really ran away with me, I’ll be saying that a lot from here on in. (I have no idea why I keep saying I liked the chapter, I liked all of them, that’s why I put them in.) Originally Gale and the others were only supposed to be taken into a temporary Eraser camp and I had a good scene planned with Hawk, Rainbow and Weird skipping through the tree tops but after about three months half thinking about it, I apparently decided another secret lab would be cool. In hindsight there are probably a few too many of those but it is a global conspiracy after all. Actually in storyline terms Carry-On Industries is just a regular pharmaceutical company that is owned by Itex, the only real ‘Lab’ employees there were the Erasers but that wasn’t relevant to the story. See, I actually have quite a lot of back-story which Hawk never pays attention to. *Mutters something angrily*

Now as I’ve said before the first section I had no idea it was going to be that long and I also came up with Hawks trick with the walky talky on the fly. Weird’s little display was basically a way for me to stop the scene at whatever length it was just then as I could have easily dragged it out another whole chapter. Personally I like Weird’s psychosis moments simply because it gives me an excuse for the really amazing things to happen, I’ve got this little idea in the back of my mind that Weird’s subconscious knows how to use her power much better than she does and so she only really lets lose when she panics. Unfortunately, like most subconscious’, Weird’s is hardly subtle and she has a tendency to overreach herself and pass out. And if you want a good comparison as to how much she is over reaching, controlling the weather, which she does in this chapter, is as different to levitating objects as the Manhattan Project was to a match.

Hmm, I’m sure I decided to dedicate a section to telekinesis; I’ll get back to the chapter and talk about it later. Most likely in the next section.

Also in this chapter we have Hawk’s first foray into the internet which I was looking forward to for months. Now from a friend of mine who’s good with computers I learnt that data packets can be interpreted in just about any way you can think of, so the internet will appear however Hawk thinks it should, and that’s why it flickers between forms a bit before Hawk decides what it should look like. I hadn’t actually thought of Hawks trick of borrowing processing power at this point but it was only a matter of time seeing he was already doing it while hacking. Oh and if your wondering how Hawk seems to be able to bypass any security system it’s a *cough* plot device – I mean a side effect of his power. He simply bluffs the computer into thinking that the password was given which I’ll explain in the powers section; I suggest you bring a book on quantum mechanics.

Now for one of my favourite parts which is Gale’s section. Weird’s are cool and all but I prefer writing in first person and Gale is less crazy, though as she and Hawk were arguing about what font she’s going to be in, that’s a relative term. I’m not actually sure at what point when I decided Gale should have a power, possibly around the same time I decided Cam should have a power but I can’t really think what kind of power Tapper would have, for some reason she already seems rather super powered so it will probably never revel itself.

The split perspective thing is interesting to write; technically both events are taking place at the same time but that could just be used to pad the story and it can get boring to read the same bit over and over again. In this case though I wrote Gale’s perspective to get into her head a little as she was at that point the character I knew least well, and I quickly saw she still has some lingering self confidence issues, I probably shouldn’t have messed with her giving her a power just as she realised how dangerous Weird was but she deserved some edge over the Erasers and super powered punches seemed right up her alley.

As you can probably guess Gale was never going to be really as powerful as Weird, partly because she didn’t have the same type of gene and so couldn’t draw as much energy but mostly because she and Weird don’t think the same. Personally I fall on the same side of the fence as Weird, but Gale doesn’t make the same links between moving an object and heating an object that Weird does.

Now I should wrap this up before I hit a thousand words on one chapter… So… Yeah, Hawk knocking out the state grid. Cool.

Freedom to Fly

Unlike the previous arc I had been planning this since the beginning, so anyone still angry at me over Hawk’s near death experience, yes I am that cruel, and if I can get my audience swearing at me over a character I know I’m doing my job. Now one of my biggest worries was putting Dr Martinez into the story. The odds of Hawk actually coming down in that area are remote, unless I start putting the sticky fingers of the Voice behind it. This is why he’s such a good plot device; you don’t even need to have a rational behind it to get you audience to dodge the problem. Simple.

And with that brilliant little cover up in mind I’ll announce this particular incident is actually just dumb luck. The odds are low but the helicopter is actually from the Death Valley Lab and engages them within about thirty miles of the area Max crashes. Hawk lands on the ambulance due to Weird’s interference and is immediately rushed to the local hospital, a bird specialist is called as Hawk is only loosely defined as a mammal, and Dr Martinez is dragged into another mess.

Now this was supposed to be a chapter with a lot of exposition of Hawk’s past in the lab and you can see just how well that worked out. It’s the long standing issue of trust in my stories; my characters just don’t trust anyone but themselves and a select few, and that curtails the exposition somewhat as those select few were either there or already know. Fortunately I think Hawk mentions most of his back-story throughout the book but still there are a few good moments that never got into the story.

Okay there isn’t a stunning amount of character development in this chapter so I’ve only got two more main things to talk about. First are the FBI agents who were another surprise entry into the story, I swear people are just clamouring to get in, and were there as a counterpoint to the FBI in the cannon storyline as these were totally trustworthy. They actually half mention that, as they aren’t in the department that the Director runs, though you can see just how long they last against the Erasers. I didn’t realise that they would become recurring characters when I wrote them but you always need some guy ready to believe in the conspiracy and they were useful to bring back purely for their access to the big guns.

Finally we have Hawk thinking with the internet which is probably the only power in the whole book that works perfectly though has its own limitations. Namely Hawk needs an internet connection in order to use it, something I’m always keen to remove though he begins to outsmart me in the later chapters. I do make reference to the sheer amount of processing power Hawk is using and this is mostly because he isn’t actually using a program or anything like that, he’s actually using part of the power to figure out what calculation to do, another part to do the calculation and yet another to interpret the results. This is highly inefficient and so when he actually has to do something complicated he ends up using a third of the world’s processing power. I, and Hawk have both said, he is many things, but subtle he aint’.

Freedom to Rest

Freedom to Rest, like most of my endeavours in writing, this after word included, was far longer than I ever thought it was going to be. Actually when I started writing Freedom to Rest I was worried that it wasn’t actually going to be long enough and I really had to scrabble around for some content as you may or may not be able to notice. Seriously, nothing really happens beyond me wrapping up a few plot lines and that train sequence that I’d been planning since Freedom to See.

That said, you can get to the point in some particularly long stories where there doesn’t even need to be an overriding storyline for there to be plot and I suppose this is a fairly a good example of that. The ironic thing is that for a section where I was just blabbering on, quite a lot happens, Weird gets some limited use of her power back, (you can see how long that one lasted, oh well), Gale starts learning telekinesis, Cam’s power’s relieved, Hawk sorts out his problems with the computers (I still love that segment) and at long last they get to San Francisco.

Some of you may be interested just why I picked San Francisco and the simple answer is I consider it to be my home city as I’ve lived there longer than any other city (*cough* four months). Still, it was more or less inevitable the Freed would end up there eventually, even if it was just because I actually knew some of these places. For example the diner they land in is one of my favourite restaurants and the I-spy Tapper uses is mine, also if you actually bothered to trace the routes Hawk describes on his flights in the next chapter they actually make sense, admittedly I do skip some bits for brevity but they more or less make sense, even the Humvee hitting the bay.

Okay now a few interesting things about this chapter. Gale really should have been able to patch up her problems with Weird without Hawk, and probably would have if she hadn’t been spending twelve hours a day keeping an eye on Hawk but I stopped her. Mostly because it meant that Hawk had to escape on his own, more or less. As a random fact, Gale and the others did actually try and reach Hawk while he was still in the hospital though left pretty snappily when they saw the FBI agents and learnt that he was unconscious and on life-support, hence Gale keeping watch until he was well enough to move.

Now onto the powers used in this chapter and there are actually quite a few what with Gale learning to control her power. Interestingly you may have noticed Gale like Weird uses her power much better subconsciously though if anything Gale’s is even deeper than Weird’s. Weird can do things that she doesn’t understand, Gale does things without even realising that she’s doing them and that’s why only about every third punch is super powered. Simple eh?

This chapter also sees Weird stop an entire train using telekinesis. Personally I would have put the brakes on but Weird’s first instinct is to cancel out the train’s momentum even though she could far more easily displace said momentum in other forms. That’s what following the preconceptions of physics does to you but I shouldn’t drift over to explaining Weird’s power just yet.

And randomly it was this chapter that I realised just how good at games Tapper is; it seams an odd skill for an adventure story character but still that’s Taps for you. I still haven’t figured out how she knew to look up for the satellite photo.

Freedom to Free

Freedom to Free was one of the few chapters that I actually knew about at the beginning of the story and it was a relief to finally get to it, especially as I had been planning it for about a month. Anyway all the action scenes in this chapter follow real world locations and I have one vivid memory of me writing the first segment with Google maps to hand. Now this segment is a clear sign of just how much I was beginning to love jerking around the audience, something I learnt after Freedom to Fly, and personally I think I did a good job of keeping everyone guessing about just who was chasing Hawk. I can’t really be impartial on this one though but if you could figure it out from the first “Ta…” then give yourself a pat on the back.

Anyway this was the beginning of the end for the Freed which is the one and only reason I mentioned the date in this chapter, purely so it would begin to tie in to the cannon, and you can thank that for the cheesy lines. Also I loved this chapter because it was essentially a full twenty thousand words of action and I far prefer writing the action scenes than the talky scenes. Maybe it’s because I don’t have to think as much about the action, maybe it’s because I keep having to redo the conversations, or maybe it’s that three seconds in an action scene is a paragraph and three seconds in a talky scene is a sentence. Yeah that’s probably it.

Okay, so I think it was on this chapter where I first starting to try and update Mondays and after so long just posting it ‘whenever’ it was quite odd to actually write a definite amount a week. While it took a bit of fun out of the whole process it did actually encourage me to write more and I only remember one Sunday when I was up until eleven beta-ing. I shouldn’t complain though as I essentially wrote four thousand words a week for six consecutive weeks.

Now although this was essentially a chance for me to do a few long overdue action scenes, I did try and get some plot development in and you wouldn’t believe just how long I was planning what they had done in the week I skipped. Personally I love some of the stuff Hawk’s got up to with his power though by this point I gave the Lab a way of resisting his power. Note that I said resist, in all honestly if Hawk went all out the firewalls they put up would last about five minutes, and if he ever wanted to I’d give Hawk two weeks to take over the world, at the outside.

I think I’m digressing a little here. This chapter was the first where I actually got to do an entire aerial battle rather than just skirmishes, while I don’t think I ever really added it up in the story the were about two hundred Erasers and Fly Boys in that chapter and if I didn’t have that deus ex Weirda at the end then I could have at least doubled the length of that segment. It was fun throwing in a curve ball and having the Erasers as the good guys for once; though against Hawk and Weird the Fly Boys are as threatening as a poodle I did have to have Erasers as the bad guys in the later chapters but supported by Fly Boy’s.

Oh yeah, I can talk about the Dragons now. I literally knew that these guys would be in the story from the start and as you can guess they are heavily influenced by traditional Chinese dragons (ironically I just made the link between these guys and the Chinese New Year’s parade in San Francisco so I suppose there’s a joke there), they are also rather a hark back to the first imaginary world I ever came up with which had an aquatic culture. Don’t ask for anything from there though, I think I was about seven and didn’t write anything down but still it’s nice to see old ideas resurfacing.

One of the hardest parts of writing this chapter was actually the final segment, the rest more or less wrote itself and I let the story run on its own momentum but the last bit I actually had to start thinking of ways to reach an acceptable length. That’s why there are a load of Hawk and Gale moments that, though fun to write, don’t actually need to be there. Then again if I cut the Freed down to only what needed to be there it would be a much shorter story and no where near as much fun to read.

Freedom to End

The clue that this was the last chapter was there in the title though I don’t particularly know of anyone who actually picked that up and one of my biggest initial problems was figuring out just how to get my characters clear across the continent, again, especially as it took something like forty thousand words last time. I was fairly sure that the lab was going to be involved somehow but there were a few contrivances I had to rig first, biggest among these was actually getting my characters to an area that the Erasers would both be able to ambush them and would logically be there, especially as now the lab can’t track them and the Voice can’t reveal their position without giving himself away. Jeb’s house was an obvious choice for this ambush, and I actually had debated having my characters stumble upon it on their way from New York though I abandoned that after I realised just how lost they would have had to be.

What I thought would be the really tough part would be shifting Hawk and his cronies for their hidy hole in the cliffs but actually that was pretty easy to overcome with the Lab’s blatant overreaction. Personally I would be a bit annoyed if someone had broken into my lab and messed up all the experiments but when there’s a global conspiracy in the place of that ‘my’, well then you get one or two Erasers knocking on your door.

As a little side note this chapter was kind of redundant, as ending the Freed just after they themselves had freed a load of experiments has a certain sense of symmetry to it, but I still had three days to go until the end of the second book and I wasn’t going to change my mind. And the idea of ending it there just occurred to me.

Anyway the first segment was an excuse for me to do a bit of fun writing and I was kind of overdue for a lone Hawk bit as he hadn’t had anything since Freedom to fail though I must admit the segment kind of ran away with me and I only just finished in time to get it posted. The second segment was almost cruelly short and my only defence was it at least gave me time to write the bumper one by the next week, also there wasn’t much to write about and the only reason I got as much as I did was due to that scene in the hotel. Also if anyone figured out it was the Voice messing with the top in order to get them over to the house, give yourself a cookie and a tinfoil hat.

Now the final segment really got away with me and if you’ll notice there were only a handful of actual necessary events, the white coat (Jeb) giving them the key, rescuing Gale and Weird, shutting off ‘the thing’ and actually escaping. Somehow four events managed to stretch themselves a little and I ended up with a seven thousand word segment that was longer than some of the chapters.

That doesn’t particularly mean any of the other events don’t matter, for example Hawk’s kamikaze run is particularly relevant as he is really beginning to push the limits of his power and starting to figure his way round the computer imposed sanctions. Actually it was just an excuse for me to have a go at playing matrix but it was fun and had a serious message with Hawk taking his first intentional life. In all honesty at least some of the Erasers have died at Hawk’s hands throughout the story, but they’re the first ones that Hawk actually killed intentionally, and that makes it much more emotional.

I also got the excuse for me to do some cool Weird powers though you can tell Hawk’s beginning to get tired of the light show, I guess there’s a limit to the amount of Weirdness you can take before it becomes mundane. A few random facts for this section, Weird actually collapses the staircase not by blowing it up but by cooling it down so much that it just falls apart, that’s why she has to discharge. In addition, I have no idea where the idea of creating a wall by reforming the asphalt came from, they were supposed to be hiding behind a desk, and if you’re interested Weird actually kills by taking all the electrical energy from the victims brain – death is practically instantaneous and completely painless, but it’s still killing.

As a final note the cannon story is going on in the background of the final segment and you probably noticed a few clues, the small explosion was a pretty big one but also the date was right and suspiciously Hawk is asked to do something that has no bearing on the plotline. Also there was a ten minute lag after the White Coat gave them the key before Hawk escaped, in order to give him time to get into position. Sadly I couldn’t actually tell you directly what was happening as Hawk didn’t and still doesn’t know but it a small nod to the book that the biggest unexplained mystery in the second book, why the holograms switched off, is actually perpetrated by Hawk, four stories below, something I decided would happen about week two of writing the Freed.

Right, now I can finally blabber about my characters. In all fairness the only reason I did this was for the character section, I don’t know where the last two segments came from. Now as most people know good characters are key to a good story and a good grasp of their motives and various mindsets are vital. I never had a clue about any of mine, but its sound advice anyway.

As I said quite a while ago now, for most of my characters I came up with a shell concept and then essentially let them run from there. I should probably be worried that my characters essentially constructed themselves without me consciously putting much thought into it, but I’ll just put it down to insanity and leave it at that.

Anyway as you can probably guess from that I didn’t particularly get a good handle on most of my characters for a while, and I still don’t understand Cam very well. Regardless of this most of my characters have a good undercurrent of thought and every so often I’ll get this flash of insight as to just why they do these crazy things. For example it took me a year or so to realise Weird was so empathetic because she can pick up on people’s emotions, (I’ll explain how later).

Now let’s get started before you start thinking I’m totally insane.

Hawk

Now Hawk is a fun character to write and his is the voice that flows most easily. This may be because he is the most often compared to me, or simply because he’s a genuinely funny guy that’s got just the right balance of action, comedy and drama.

He’s got just about the right blend of personality to flow easily; he’s not overly violent like Kit, or wracked with misplaced guilt like Weird; he isn’t overly arrogant, or at least what he is arrogant about is usually justified. He’s got a good sense of humour and doesn’t angst like Soph. The only other character that is as fun to write is Gale and even she has a few self confidence issues she got from Toad Boy, who I now really regret existed even though he served a valuable purpose.

Hawk does have his flaws though; he’s overly dramatic, not horribly bright and does have this tendency to do the first thing that comes into his head. Actually that last bit’s a lie, the thought entering his head happens on average three seconds after he starts acting. Some would say this is a disadvantage but it’s gotten him out of more scrapes that it’s gotten him into, though to be fair most of those were caused by him acting before thinking anyway.

I guess in truth Hawk is almost a perfect action movie star though he’d like to think he has a little bit more common sense. Actually it was the whole hero thing that made me make him such a klutz on the ground, simply because I wouldn’t have been able to stand him if he’d been perfect at everything and neither would any of the others. The whole computer uplink thing kind of ruined that, but by then Hawk had more or less got modesty down pat. Though as a side note I maintain that because of the computers, it’s now fully possible for Hawk and Weird to recreate all the stunts from the Matrix, save for leaping the gap between buildings; they could do that already anyway.

Another particular flaw of Hawk is his relative blindness to other people. Oddly I think this is a product of his upbringing rather than his personality, as any other incarnations of him I’ve made are perfectly fine in this respect. It doesn’t have a glaring effect on the story but there are some fairly obvious things in the Hawk and Gale moments he should have noticed more. Any improvement in that respect is due to them actually being able to talk to each other now rather than just tap out messages.

Another thing Hawk has little skill at is forward planning. This was one of the few conscious decisions I made on his personality and it was part of my aim to make the Freed distinct from the book, namely splitting the role of carer, and hero, that Max seems to have. Now Hawk’s ineptitude at planning is more noticeable in the earlier arcs where he isn’t getting terra flops of processing power. And I think the longest he spends planning at any one point, is the day I made him walk to the Lab to rescue Gale and the others. In all honesty he would have been there in minutes if it hadn’t been for Rainbow. Anyway it’s a shame you rarely get to see Gale controlling the group, which she really does do well when there’s no particular crisis. Unfortunately Hawk tends to focus on the interesting stuff and the only time you really see Gale in command is in New York. Another ‘oh well’. Don’t worry she gets her own space ship to strut about on in her next incarnation.

Now I should probably do a little bit on Hawk’s particular power and the complexities behind it. Pull up a chair, this may take a while.

Hawk is capable of inducing and detecting micro currents within circuitry and then making sense of what these signals are telling him. In a funny way, it’s very similar to Angel in the book, though she does it with neurons rather than copper wires. Still both of them are scary, though Hawk loses that particular contest as most people don’t run on Windows. But, when you consider that most of important stuff: militaries, governments, banks and everything else down to traffic lights are controlled by computers, well then you realise why I give Hawk two weeks to take over the world.

I’m not sure at what point I actually decided to personify the computers, its one of the few major decisions I regret, mostly because it’s the most impossible thing in the Freed, and yes I get that that’s its got some pretty stiff competition. The actual idea of computers randomly gaining sentience is fairly laughable and that’s why I put limit on their intelligence to about that of a four year old or a household parrot. They do have that collective intelligence thing, but that would stand up about three minutes against Hawk if he was actually trying, and this brings me nicely onto the range of Hawk’s power.

Now Hawk doesn’t entirely realise this but his actual range is biased on what he can observe (for reasons that will be explained later) but, since when he’s connected to a remote computer he is technically observing it, the only limit on Hawk’s range is how many places he can conceive of at once, and that value keeps getting larger as he gains control of more computers. Scary huh? Especially as he can essentially pass through any kind of computer defence, like a hot knife through butter.

Some random facts about Hawk. Hawk is actually shorter than Gale by a good margin and about the same dimensions as Tapper; on the other hand Gale is pretty big anyway. It’s really just the way they were built. Hawk is also naturally good at flying (unsurprisingly he’s a pilot in his later incarnation) and while his shape helps, most of the stunts he comes up with are incredibly difficult and it is pretty amazing seeing he’s only been flying about a month at the beginning of the Freed. His learning curve for flying that you can see running throughout the book, is partly because of the extra practice he’s getting, and mostly me getting my head around the dynamics more. As a side note on Hawk’s flying he has this tactic of going for his enemies wings. Sensible, but I realised that in one sequence he imitates a natural falcon almost exactly by ramming his shoulder into an Eraser while diving. The odd thing about this is that I found out that’s how falcons hunt, several months after writing that incident.

My characters know too much.

Gale

Gale is another interesting character to write and I’ve said before that I only really got a grasp on just what she was like when I did that short section from her perspective. Now as a person Gale is confident, has a strong personality and is very much a natural leader, the only reason she tends to leave Hawk to lead during the fights is that he is inexplicably better at them. Some day I have to do a bit with Gale leading, as it’s always Hawk being the hero for some reason; maybe it’s me being lazy as it’s so much harder to write a secondary character.

Distracted again, anyway Gale, in my head rather than the cannon, is the kid that talked to Max at the end of the first book, took charge of the children as they escaped into the subway tunnels and she, Hawk and Jay were instrumental in saving from them an Eraser ambush. I’ll let you guess what Toad Boy was doing during that sequence. (No, you haven’t missed this bit, I haven’t written it, maybe someday I will.) As a leader Gale is pretty good, she has a healthy amount of common sense and her plans work more or less as frequently as Hawk’s; Hawk just comes up with them faster and yells them louder.

Unsurprisingly Gale is quite smart, though shares in the emotional blindness that everyone from the lab seems to suffer from. I think she usually can read more from a situation than Hawk and her later incarnation has her friends with just about everyone, so I guess she is actually at heart a sociable person. She must be reasonably good to run a group of fifty people, even if there was some desertion in the ranks. She was always the popular one anyway, then again liking Toad Boy is difficult, he just makes you think his opponent is worse.

Actually Toad Boy, while Gale never really acted like she cared, was a huge influence on her, especially as she had little or no self confidence to begin with. I think she was fairly close to giving up when the Erasers showed up. Heck I’ve never heard her so defeated. In a way it’s odd introduce a character with a glimpse of a hardly seen aspect of their personality, especially as she is fundamentally someone who never gives up. I think that might be another occasion of my characters being far more complicated than they ever had any right to be, as I’d barely been thinking about Gale for a week by the time I wrote that.

Now maybe I can think of something to say about Gale’s stubborn streak. Well it’s a side effect of the confidence she’s built up I guess, she’s so used to being the one giving orders as she’s the only one that does, that on average she’s most often right. Okay that’s a crap reason, Gale’s stubborn because Gale’s Gale, okay? Also she’s rather used to getting her own way for some reason, I don’t quite know quite how this bit fits into her time at the lab, but it does explain how she slipped into the leadership role quite easily and why she and Hawk tend to butt heads at the worst possible times. Well, they call them the worst possible times but personally I like the fact that both of them can still be snapping at each other while fighting for their lives. I think they might be getting desensitised over fighting for their lives anyway; Hawk’s beginning to enjoy it.

Now Gale’s power is a stripped down version of Weird’s and works on the same basic principals as Hawk’s though that’s kind irrelevant, as how I have the powers set up they’re all a derivative of telekinesis anyway, or more precisely ESP. Anyway Gale could do in principal everything that Weird can but she doesn’t have the same kind of range that Weird has, and so generally has to make do with less impressive stuff. Also, while she’ll probably kill me for this, she is simply not as smart as Weird and hasn’t been practicing for nearly as long. In addition she doesn’t make the quasi logical link between kinetic energy and thermal, and thinks that making lights is fundamentally different from throwing someone across a room. This isn’t actually particularly surprising, but it is wrong, and Weird’s smart enough to do particle physics in her head so naturally figured that out. It took me months to actually come up with how she was doing all these amazing things.

Now, Gale’s random facts; Gale and Hawk lived in cages next to each other and so were actually quite friendly at the beginning of the saga and I do have one or two funny stories with them in a few joint trials but they’re for another time, and I haven’t given them much thought. Gale’s base bird was going to be an albatross, (Hawk’s a falcon, Tapper’s an owl, Cam’s a parrot and Weird’s a raven) but I changed this once I had a better understanding of her. She’s not really a solitary bird, actually she’s the closest thing the whole group has to a carer figure and is the only one who doesn’t think a balanced meal is one you can spin on your finger.

And with that revelation onto Tapper.

Tapper

Tapper (How many times can I repeat her name before someone tries to kill me?) is probably one of the least well known characters to the audience, and that’s because she really doesn’t have the personality for an action. She’s quiet, unassuming and not particularly brave or violent, though I am aware that one time she did actually break an Erasers wing before he even knew she was there, but that was a defensive thing.

In all honesty Tapper usually has the best survival reflexes of the group and tends just not to be there when it all goes to wrack and ruin, that or she’s accelerating away at top speed. The only times she really gets involved in fights are when it’s unavoidable, or she stands a good chance of winning. You’ll remember she stayed very close to Weird during the huge dog fight. I’m not particularly saying that Tapper’s a coward; she and I both like to call it intelligence, and in all honesty I’d be in the next state if I saw that many Fly Boys, but she knows she’s not the best fighter and so tends to stay out of the way.

It’s odd in a way; Tapper’s specialist skill is actually origami, closely followed by her skill with games of all kinds and her phenomenal memory. Not one of these were actually engineered by the White Coats, and the only thing they ever really gave her was a freaky neck that she doesn’t particularly use because it creeps people out. She has little need for a three hundred and sixty degree view to spot her prey. Despite all these totally non action related skills, Tapper does rather fill the gap in the group dynamics as ‘the smart one’ and even beats Weird in that particular competition. Maybe because Weird understands special relativity, but that has no bearing on their lives (or really shouldn’t), and Tapper can sensibly read a road map. See its all relative.

*dodges pun police*

Now one of the big issues with Tapper is her lack of a power, I kind of came to the decision that she wouldn’t particularly be able to do anything spectacular as nothing seemed to fit her personality. Ultimate power like Weird doesn’t quite add up, and I don’t think she’d ever particularly use the ability to throw people through walls, so she’s left being plain old Tapper with the occasional odd flare.

Tapper does seem to play off the plot devices more than anyone else though, if something total random is going to happen, she’ll be the one to do it. Looking up in the satellite photo is a good example and I have no idea where she found a glass of water to throw over Hawk in Freedom to Fail. Maybe she’s just naturally plot convenient or has some kind of fourth wall warping power. That or I’m lazy and like putting in these random jokes.

Anything else about Tapper? Well she does have a particularly good memory. I downgraded it a bit from the fully photographic she had right at the beginning but its still enough for her to card count with a reasonable degree of accuracy. Her skill with board games is mostly due to her being smart and a quick learner, and not some kind of supernatural ability though she does have the uncanny ability to spot when either Gale or Weird have been messing with the die. Observation is one of the particular skills she’s had genetically enhanced, along with her superb night vision, but she consists mostly on her own abilities and actually learnt more from the self defence course Hawk got off the internet than anyone else.

In random facts, she and Hawk are the only two who really spent any time learning about the world, mostly because she’s pretty well camouflaged when she’s got her hood up, though she struck a better balance between learning and family. I never actually decided about most of my characters families come to think about it; Gale and Hawk tend to keep that kind of thing secret. I’m not quite sure why but it at least saved me from having to come up with a load of redundant back stories. Tapper’s parents moved to England anyway.

Cam

Cam is the one I say I know the least about, I’m fairly sure this isn’t true as I’ve just found out how little I know about all of them. In a way there isn’t a horrible amount to know about Cam: he’s a slightly hyperactive ten year old, he’s got wings and is currently involved in fighting a global conspiracy so can get his hands on some pretty heavy fire power. Actually he does seem to randomly acquire weapons; he’s used assault rifles in two separate story lines, was involved in a major gunfight and somehow managed to pick up flash bangs during their first raid on the lab. Hawk still hasn’t quite worked out how Cam had time to find the armoury and raid it for the brief moment he had his back turned.

Despite his rather shallow appearances, Cam has the most complete back-story of all my characters, namely he is the lone survivor (he thought) of his test group and so is keenly aware just how lucky he is to be alive. Because he’s male, he chooses to cherish his gift by having as much fun as possible and this is usually in the form of fighting with someone or shooting at something. Actually this is probably an over simplification of Cam’s personality but he’s always there leading the charge and getting in way over his head, so there’s got to be something behind it all. Maybe he hasn’t gotten over the coolness factor yet.

Anyway Cam is fairly fun loving and has recently discovered he can bend light with his mind (that’s make stuff disappear to you and me). I think he would have preferred the ability to throw stuff through walls but he’s beginning to get the hang of it and I actually gave his power a use in the final chapter. (You see, I can be kind.) If anyone’s actually interested the whole camouflage thing is basically the conscious bending of light around a person or object, Rainbow and Mir don’t quite grasp that but Cam’s had it explained to him by Weird and so he has a bit more control over it. The actual amount of light he can affect at any one time is a little limited but he’s working on it and has actually managed to cloak an entire playing card now.

There’s not much else to say about Cam except that, does anyone remember he changes colour? Hawk doesn’t pick up on it much as he is a) used to it and b) not that observant and I also kind of forgot but I’ve always like the concept of him wearing his emotions on his skin somewhat, though I think everyone should very worried that Cam goes pale orange just before a fight. Happy, angry and excited all mixed together.

Weird

Ah Weird, I was looking forward to this, now Weird is, as you’ve almost certainly realised by now, the sweetest kid in the universe and hence I gave her the keys to destroying the planet, and if she’s smart enough to avoid doing that, possibly reality. Why did I do this? Well in all honesty I never thought it would go that far. Weird originally had a plot of a convenient gift that allowed me to throw them into some scrapes that they wouldn’t be able to get out of normally (hail of gunfire anyone?) but it quickly evolved to the point where I was starting to write the Freed around Weird rather than the other way around. You’ll notice I’d nicely set up another mental block for Weird over using her powers by the end of the Freed, but she’s far too curious for that to last her long.

Now an interesting part of Weird’s power is just how sensitive she is to everything; she can’t read minds like Angel but her power allows her to observe anything with energy within a certain area, the human brain being just one of these things. In a nut shell, Weird has the nearest comparison to a MRI scan of everyone’s brain in the near vicinity and while she’s knows nowhere near enough about how the brain works for her to read minds, she can pick up on obvious things: pain, fear and other strong emotions being among them.

I’m fairly sure Weird’s had this ability for some time, even if it was just subconsciously and this goes to explain her remarkable empathy towards just about everyone, even people trying to kill her at the time. Personally I’m amazed by this strength of will, but I suppose Weird’s fairly used to having things just not happen if she doesn’t want them to.

When not in her apocalyptic mode, Weird is very much still a little girl and I guess she shares quite a few traits with Soph though she’s not quite that sheltered, or suicidal for that matter. She is mostly fun loving and has in total used her power more for hers and others’ entertainment than fighting. Unfortunately she has this tendency to panic when in combat which results in her doing something way beyond her limits and passing out. The scary thing about that though, is by the time she tries a similar thing again she’ll be able to do it with relative ease.

Like Hawk, she has this tendency to go with the first plan that comes into her head. Nine times out of ten it’s a good plan but Weird rarely stops to think of the alternatives, and so will sometimes do something massively complicated when a simple alternative will do. Her tendency to act very quickly is partly learned behaviour from Hawk, whom she idolises to some extent, but mostly because she really is very smart and usually her subconscious will come up with a good plan before she’s even started thinking about it. This is rather different from Hawk who tends to work on his instincts, and because Weird’s plans are so complicated they tend to fall through more often. Hawk doesn’t have a plan; he wings it from step one and it only looks like he had some kind of brilliant scheme at the end.

To Weird’s mind she is the group’s protector and while no one actually expects her to save them every time, she has technically saved their lives the most often and takes it as a personally failure every time a member of the group gets hurt. She has this attitude for rather obvious reasons and it’s simply because she could save everyone if she just had time to think. Hawk nearly dying was to her mind, entirely her fault, not to mention all the kids at the warehouse. In a way this is rather common survivors’ guilt but Weird knows for certain that she could have saved them if she was just strong enough.

Unfortunately within that there’s also the bitter irony that she can also kill with little more than a thought, and so hates her power. At the same time though she knows that if she ever wants to save everyone, she’ll need to become stronger and she’s terrified of that. Of what she may become.

In the end she just wants to save everyone, be it good guy or bad guy.

There’s probably a huge amount of psycho-babble behind this but I think it’s because she simply doesn’t want to lose anyone else. Just who she lost I’m not wholly sure, but it could have been any number of kids that died at the lab and, as far as she’s concerned, she’s responsible for everyone who ever gets hurt around her.

Weird does relax some times, and did so a lot more before Freedom to Fail and in all honesty I much preferred her like that before she got all moody. Maybe the whole Eraser ambush and Hawk almost getting brained thing was a bit mean, but then again I protest that I don’t decide what my characters do, despite that fact I’m the one writing this story.

Okay a few random facts include: Weird’s eyes are actually brown, she just made them glow green one time and forgot to turn it off. She would currently rank as the smartest being on the planet with her IQ somewhere in the low two hundreds and she’s currently capable of destroying an entire city within about twenty minutes. Also she has the ability to create mass but doesn’t know how yet.

Powers

Okay I’ve said this a few times during this segment but when you get right down to it all the powers are a derivative of the same base ability, just specialised somewhat. This is what makes Weird so powerful; she is not specialised so can do anything with a fairly equal amount of proficiency, she could never talk to computers like Hawk but she could copy the basic principals somewhat and apply them elsewhere.

Anyway all the powers at their core are a form of quantum ESP (extra sensory perception) and to put that simply, a person using it is aware of everything around them right down to the subatomic level and beyond. Now while this is impossible in reality, so don’t quote me to your physics teacher, observing these subatomic particles causes them to change either position or direction. The practical upshot of this is you can control the base forms of matter and energy and so transfer energy from location to location and form to form.

Take levitating objects for example, Weird does this initially by taking heat energy from herself and the surrounding area and converting it into kinetic energy applied to the base of the object. This gives the object the energy to overcome gravity and so lift off, the same principal can be applied to any object and could theoretically be used to slow a flying object to safe speeds.

This isn’t actually how Weird stops bullets though, simply because it would take a tremendous amount of energy to even stop one bullet, let alone the storms of them they come across in the Freed. Weird actually takes the energy from the bullets and throws it out in random forms, heat, light and most noticeably sound. That’s why the bullets buzz as they slow and as Weird has this bad habit of leaving them dissipating after they’ve stopped so they end up hovering as the gravity causes them to hum slightly. I did just realise that they should appear to move if they were stopped entirely because of the rotation of the earth, but let’s just say Weird’s stopping them relatively.

Now interestingly enough Weird can consciously change the direction she’s going in, or any object for that matter, though it’s one she doesn’t understand very well and so doesn’t use very much. It’s a shame because it does mean she could perform some truly impressive stunts, but she’s still stuck with a liner view of reality and that requires an external force.

The two other neat tricks she does are her blasting them out of any given situation and her instantly killing someone. The high speed one is actually the more complicated of the two as she has to: create a vacuum between them and the destination so they wont burn up from air resistance, uniformly accelerate every atom in her target’s body to some ludicrously high speed and then decelerate them uniformly back down, making sure they don’t hit anything on the way. A mistake at any phase could be fatal and somehow Weird does it almost instinctively. What can I say? She’s Weird.

Anyway her instant killing trick is actually very simple and almost identical to the bullet trick. All the energy in the target’s brain is dissipated and they will be dead before they even realise it. It’s almost painfully easy, and that’s why Weird hates the fact she can do it.

Finally there are a few other things that Weird could do but hasn’t figured out yet. One, she can actually convert matter into energy and that’s why I claim she could destroy New York with a bag of flour, the energy output for even a kilogram of anything is astronomical. Two, she could locally slow time by making everything around her vibrate at around the speed of light and so take advantage of time dilatation, and I’m fairly sure she could create a universe if she wanted to. I’m not quite sure how as I have no idea how a universe starts, but as Weird in terms of power ranks somewhere between demi-god and ‘the almighty one’ I’m sure she’ll figure it out eventually.

Okay, that was far longer than I ever thought it was going to be, and I’ll leave it to you to decide whether I mean the story or the afterword. Now just a few bits of housekeeping before I close up shop here.

First of all a big thinks to everyone who ever reviewed, your support is greatly appreciated and every time I get a review it makes my day.

I’d also like to thank my beta who reads through my reams of spelling errors and just about everyone for putting up with me with five different personalities knocking around in my head for a year and a bit.

Right, well, so long, thank you, and well…

I’ll write.

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