Redid the next chapter after the Editing Gang shot down draft one, and its with them now. I do not have a good ETA on when they’ll be done with it, but since in theory some parts have already been fixed the goal is to get it out the door before New Year’s Day.
Today starting at 11 AM is the final throes of the Death March, as we are predicted to have to ship and scan over two hundred thousand phones. Assuming I am not obliterated by this last torrent of hate, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas (or apropos holiday) and look forward to a new year.
I’d like to take a moment to recognize some people:
Nimiraj, of course, who keeps me sane. Several of her suggestions involving Shepard and Liara have been invaluable.
The Elder One, who continues to do background work in uploads, edits, and corrections to my train-wrecks, even while managing his own creative writing and other issues.
Both VadderDarth and TheNamelessWele in the Discord chat for work on artistic elements, emoji, and ideas.
Jim and Sevoris for the official design of Shepard’s and Aethtya’s warp swords:
The usual triumvirate of Comma, Jacob and Metaladdict for advice, ideas and support. All of them have gone through some shit IRL and yet continue to help, assist other members, and basically be bros. Extra props to Comma for doing all the moderation of the Discord chat, which as of today has 134 members, many of whom are completely insane.
Quentin, Bish09, and Burnsidhe for critical changes and ideas that I used in shaping the fic this year. Each of these has been extremely useful and evocative — and made me think on other things, down the line that have shifted the story line.
Seras, Nagato, and Kaikono for being supportive.
Everyone who participated in reviews, comments, well wishes, DM’s on Discord, PM’s on FF.net and emails — thank you. I don’t write for reviews, I don’t write for ego, and I don’t write to be praised. I write for the simple reason that I want to make people be able to lose themselves from the real world for a while, and to remind you that just because things are dark doesn’t mean they always will be.
Thank you for reading my work. Thank you for giving me a focus. Thank you for being yourselves.
The Author’s Note I left at the top of the last chapter bears repeating.
Often I am asked why evil flourishes.
‘Evil is merely the lack of empathy and the belief that love and hope are empty words. There are those who embrace the darkness within, who honestly believe that mercy is weakness and that to love one another is impossible – due to politics, or to conflict between our species, or that it is merely naïve.
‘Yet for all the power of evil – death, darkness, greed, cruelty, and lies – you will find these are transitory, and lead to the undoing of those who espouse them. Death is simply a part of life. To fear it is to miss the point of living as fully and as joyfully as one can in their span. Pain, greed, and cruelty are opportunities, a chance to show that mercy, love, and kindness are real. Lies are merely the tyranny of evil beings over those who would bring them down if they knew the truth, and will always falter in time.
‘None of these evils can match the laughter of a child. They cannot match the beauty of the moon-rise, or the glory of the sun. No material wealth is as potent or fulfilling as the warmth of a lover’s embrace in passion. No greedy and cruel leader can steal from you the ability to show love and to share hope.
‘It is only in those who have given up the fight that evil wins. And as long as I draw breath and live, I will never bow to its demands, nor fear its lash.’
-Matriarch Uressa T’Shora, ‘On Light Reflected,’ a commentary of her actions at the end of the First Contact War/Relay 314 Incident
Have a blessed holiday season.