35.9 Proof

Micah saw a white figure rushing towards him but had no time to react.  It went through the Aegis of Athena like the powerful ward wasn’t there and would have killed him if not for Bast’s Embrace.  The spell was meant to let him travel through shadows but he had learnt to simply hide there, untouchable and immaterial as the night that Bast’s children favored.  Safe in his darkness, Micah watched as the room he been in shifted and lurched.

Moment’s later, the entire building collapsed.  Micah watched, in awe of the power he had just witnessed.  Nothing was left of the hospital, just a pile of rubble while he still hung several stories above the ground.  He saw strange things in the sky above, like a second sun and a growing darkness, but did not trouble himself with them.

Micah knew his enemy and they were not it.  He invoked the Calling of Ares and felt himself pulled downwards.  The creature he had fought still lived.  Micah drifted lower and saw listened closely to the Call.  He counted twenty seven of the mockeries below, though most were too badly injured to concern himself with.  William Power flew into a group of six and engaged them.  The man seemed able to subdue them, for a time, but not to deal enough damage to truly destroy them.

Brother Micah sent down Jupiter’s Majesty to finish off those the famous warrior rendered helpless until none was left for him to call upon.  All but a handful of the rings that made up his robe of power had burnt away.  Still, there was more he could do.  He watched the vengeful sun above send out great plumes of flame to attack some of the abomination as it crawled from the rubble.  The Chariot of Helios let him ride one of those plumes, direct it and keep it alive after it should have faded.

The Call sounded louder, told him his final goal was in sight.

“There!”  He gestured and at least one amongst his allies must have heard him for they responded.  “That is the creature’s heart!  Strike it!”

Things came, things that the Eyes of Hermes could only identify as liches, dead men that walked.  They swarmed over the body, the one he’d identified as the true Skinthief.  They did not speak, simply grunted and gibbered as the thing tore them apart.  Micah smiled.  Where they touched or were touched by the creature, the liches left behind a terrible curse, a spreading rot.  The beast’s stolen healing held it at bay but more and more was added.

Micah laughed as he called more of the sun’s fire to him and fell upon the weakened creature, certain of his victory now.


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11 comments on “35.9 Proof

  1. Sorry this one is so short. I feel especially bad since it’s the last of the regular story. Next update and maaaybe one after that are going to be the epilogue for book 2. Ideally the ebook will be available within a couple weeks but I’m not certain I’ll be able to do that and keep up with the new one a day update schedule.

    On that note, this is a really important time for feedback. Not just the grammatical stuff (which I really appreciate) but the ‘this scene felt weak’ and the ‘you didn’t really do anything with this plotline’ type things.

    As is, I’m not really happy with the current version of the Skinthief fight and I’m unsure about whether or not one of the resolutions would be better off as part of the epilogue or as a flashback type thingy in book 3.

    Your opinions on this sort of thing mean a lot to me and so does the simple fact that you’ve been willing to read something like two hundred thousand words that I wrote.

    Thank you.

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  2. Though my opinion has little value as I am neither a author or editor I would like to share them. The majority of the Skinthief fight it felt jumpy, especially the recent chapters. I feel you could of fleshed them out more, maybe span the points of view longer than one chapter. I felt some of the fights did not flow well but maybe that was done on purpose for some reason but it was quite hard to follow, maybe it’s just me. For example I recently commented on the chapter detailing Richards short fight(I think it was Richards) along the lines of “what the actual fuck”, this was not due to the fact that he abruptly dies(though it did play a big part) but on the whole fight it self. Maybe due to it’s nature you couldn’t do it any other way but it sort of threw us into the deep end in my opinion but hey that could just be me. Gloriana’s fight was also quite confusing in the fact that it kept jumping between her and the personality created by her power. Maybe I’m just picky and i’m just a leecher anyway.

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    • I agree. Most of the Skinthief fight is difficult to understand, especially if you don’t remember all the characters. The biggest issues are the shifting perspectives and the fact that a lot of the perspectives seem to rely on the reader figuring out what the characters are referring to.

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    • leecher97 are you the same leecher from spcnet forums?

      i can understand your points regarding the weaknesses of the past few chapters; however I think that is a pretty common theme in this author’s book. to me it seems to be a product of the small chapters; however if we wait 10-20 chapters and look back upon everything it flows nicely

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      • spcnet forums? There are many leechers I think you have me confused with some one else. Also early on in the book it was not that bad but it started to become like this recently. Then the fact that my examples are chapters with a short POV of uncommon characters, waiting for a stock would not help the recent examples to flow nicely due to the fact that it jumped to other characters with little to no explanation, but that could be an attempt at the replicating the fast paste of such a frantic battle, though it does not change the fact that it was slightly confusing and hard to follow. Reading over what I said makes it seem harsh but I find this work to be entertaining that is why I wanted to share my thoughts even though I am inexperienced.

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    • I actually like the jumping around and confusion. Most of these people don’t know each other, it’s in the middle of a battle with clones all over the place, etc. It more clearly represents the fog of war than if everyone’s viewpoint contained full information and clarity. Narration under those circumstances should be unreliable (to an extent) where appropriate.

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  3. I’m also am not an author, hence lack experience in my input, so don’t take me seriously. I think in general your chapters are very small so the weakness as you described it was not evident for me. Again I just discovered this so I didn’t have to wait for updates. Hence I didn’t mind the small chapters since it was like reading one huge chapter and small chapters without action didn’t matter as they built into the story overall.

    Flashbacks are great if you do a time skip, it will be weird to have this as a flashback at this point. I just read and don’t pay attention to if its an epilogue or not. I don’t even know what that is (I have a general idea what that is). However you choose to organize the story just make sure its easily readable.

    Overall I think your doing a great job.
    – long term goals:
    did carlos? the duplicator get an upgrade with the skin stealer going into his subconscious. does he now have the ability to make one of his duplicates get a skill? did he get corrupted? is the carlos we knew of the past truly dead? how does his gf w/ her new powers now react to all this

    whats happening with all the other characters? we still haven’t gone into kelly or isaics stories after graduation. also the kill w/ eyes guy got an upgrade as he realizes he doesn’t need to see to use his powers. maybe he can get better control of his powers. (by the way the setup of him and jenny was great, i’m assuming it won’t end up with a happy ending where she just gets moved to england…..the bf should come in and save the day, battle beast? or something else)

    sorry but i don’t remember all the character names

    – short term goal:
    what is bruce’s plan for killing skindude
    why did he need to die to analzye everything
    introduction of new characters liek the angel and the contrast between religious upbringing, religious power, yet aethiesm was great

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  4. I also was confused by a few things about the fight. Keep in mind that you were going really slowly for a while (not criticizing) so I probably just forgot stuff, so these can be taken with a grain of salt. One, why did Hector start to falter. Two, how did his girlfriend know he was faltering…she was said to have some plan to help him, and then that story thread just seemed to vanish. Next thing I knew, there was a skin-Hector with her. Three, how the heck did they beat the skin-clones if they could all feel life and kill it at a meaningful radius? Four, I guess Skinthief is going to “win” this fight by deception somehow, perhaps sneaking away with some residue of the stolen skin? Overwise why was he pleased a few scenes back? I guess that last one is just me thinking out loud 🙂

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  5. I can’t see why the heroes would think that raw force would beat Skinthief. Anyone with a brain with Skinthief’s power would specifically target teleportation or if that is too rare, some escape/stealth power, and just as Hector keeps his original safe, the real Skinthief would surely have bolted at the first sign of trouble, as doing so wouldnt diminish his combat ability much, right? Leaving aside bolting, not sure why the real Skinthief would even have remain in Phoenix after acquiring Hector’s power.

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  6. I’ve said this ever since the early days, when they were all at the academy together. Partially then, but virtually every time since then, it’s seemed like we’re missing while chapters.

    Take this chapter, for instance. Brother Micah seems assured of his victory. But is it assured? Can we be positive that Skinthief has no other doppelgangers out there, no stolen way to shift consciousness into another nearby body? But we’re quite likely to get no wrapup. The next chapter will probably be from another characters POV and we’ll be left to infer whether Micah was successful or not, whether Micah survived the attack or whether Skinthief triggered some sort of retaliatory strike that destroyed Micah and let Skinthief escape.

    We have very rarely ever had any sort of denouement for any of the questions, problems, or scenarios raised in any chapter.

    Almost every chapter, or so it seems, sets out a new scenario, gets close to resolving that scenario but then suddenly shifts to another location or another character and instead we get nothing.

    The academy days were pretty good about setting out a story. But this currently feels all over the place. I feel the same way that I did back during book 12 or 13 in the Wheel of Time, the plots are simply much too far apart and unconnected — it feels disjointed.

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