I just finished this story.
To be honest, I wasn't sure it would ever happen. I've been writing this for a long, long time. How many years now. A little over four, I think. Wow.
What a waste of time.
Okay, I'm kidding. Really, I like this story, I do. Sure, I like some of the other stuff I've done better, but this has my favorite concept. Really, the concept is what I'm most proud of. A realistic real world fanfiction crossover. No Mary Sue. No self insertion. And hopefully, no bad fan girl\boy conventions. Please notice that the original character was (sort of) paired with another original character, not one of the main cast.
I loved my characters. I did my best to keep the cast true to the game, and my originals interesting. Julian is my favorite character. Tigerofthewind said something about him being similar to some character called Pegasus from Yu-Gi-Oh. Well, I don't know crap about that, sorry. Julian is actual based on an old character of mine called Mr. D, who was a crime lord I had when I used to build Lego cities with my friends. Okay, Julian isn't really based on Mr. D, frankly he is Mr. D. The character was basically unchanged. And Mr. D is based on the villain in the James Bond movie Moonraker.
Scott Keyor isn't based on anybody, actually. And he looks absolutely nothing like anyone I know.
Hendrow is your basic sidekick. Again, nobody I know.
I attempted throughout the story to not make Julian an actually evil character. Sure, he's not good by any means. But he's also not crazy I'm-Going-To-Rape-You-Burn-You-Then-Pee-On-Your-Ashes evil. Neither is Hendrow. I got real tired of movies and books where the bad guys is always laughing at everything and screaming or threatening everyone, then of course at the end he wails when he dies or gets all scared facing death. So I made a villain I could respect. Julian never, ever lost his cool.
I'm also rather proud of my chapter titles. I put some work into them.
Now for the bad stuff.
As you may have noticed, this story is disjointed and uneven. That's because-
1. As it was written over a period of four years, my writing style got progressively better.
2. I had no real plan for it, and simply wrote each chapter a step at a time. In fact, I didn't even have a clear picture on what the end would be until somewhere around chapter thirteen.
No, seriously. Wanna know something really stupid, when I started this story all I had was a name. I winged the prologue, pulled it all out of my ass and thus sticking myself with figuring out how to tie in the whole seven years thing. I probably didn't think I'd ever finish it.
The first chapters were bad. Real bad. The version of chapter one didn't even have separate paragraphs. The only reason the older chapters are readable is because sometime ago I went over the whole story again (I think this was around chapter eleven, although I had done some fixing things before that) and rewrote a ton of junk.
This story is also a morass of forgotten plot points and fatal mistakes. This is mostly because I would wait so long in writing the next chapter, and then forget everything I was doing before. Didn't the whole thing with the slip of paper seem weird to you? It used to be a lot weirder before I rewrote it. That was a random plot point, I have no idea what I was doing with that. I think the whole Spreading Sun thing was actually supposed to be the focus of the story, but as you can see now it's a sidenote.
As for mistakes, dear God, where to start. How about the big ones. So big they're unbelievable. Why is chapter six so short? Because chapter seven started out with Selphie in the pen with Irvine and Quistis. So what's the problem with that? Chapter six used to just be the first weird part about the universe. So Selphie was magically in prison, without ever having been captured. So in a panic I threw in that part to cover her capture.
And who could forget the part where they're all in the auditorium and the jailer slaps Selphie, and when that happened, 'No one saw Zell bite back his own private rage'. Well, that's real damn interesting considering Zell was back in Balamb when that happened, never mind the fact that it would be extremely out of character for Zell to quell the rage even if he was there. Needless to say, I rewrote that part.
And why the hell are Rinoa and Zell back at Balamb anyway? Sure, that added plot elements later, but what was the genesis of that idea? Simple. I forgot to put them in the hotel.
Ah, On Earth as it is in Hell, where typos become plot point. Rinoa is leading Zell to Deling, and she tells him to go to a broken down water tower, where hopefully he can climb down into the tower base and get into the sewers back to Deling. I type all that out, and just when I've written Zell down into the tunnel I realize, 'Wait. Why would a water tower filled with fresh water be connected to a sewer tunnel'? So of course, Zell points that out.
It's also quite interesting that at the end Hyne doesn't mention the huge Knot over Deling when she's telling Scott that killing Julian will destroy them all. She only says she'll keep his Knot from exploding too. Whoops. I guess I just destroyed Deling City.
And what the hell ever happened to Caraway?
And how come they didn't use their Guardian Forces in the tunnel fight? Did I mention something later about the Knot preventing it? I don't even remember. And what the hell kind of lame plot device is Julian mailing them their clothes? And how come it reads like I just stuck Seifer in there for the hell of it? And why did I go on about Quistis' unhappy lack of a love life and then not do anything about it? And how many fucking times can I use 'your' when it should be 'you're' and 'it's' when it should be 'its'? And if Hyne couldn't do anything to the Outsiders, how the hell did she bring Scott to the future? And am I the only one that noticed that Julian never even really had a good reason to attack Garden?
What have I done?
Anyway, there are a few reasons I wanted to write this story. Most of them have to do with Purgatio, by Marcus, who is now 'Marcus1' on Fanfiction.net. Please, go read it. It was the first fanfiction I had ever read, my introduction to the genre, and my driving force to write everything I have in the hopes that someday, maybe I could write something like it.
There are others, of course. Darren Sheir, Ashbear. XmagicalX. DK. Kate Lorraine. My good friend Sergeant Phoenix. Even Marco Leonstrife, who got me started here on Fanfiction.net.
I think it's a shame that so many new authors have never read the classics by these people. You used to be able to find these stories on indie Final Fantasy VIII fanfiction sites all over the web, the precursors to Fanfiction.net and could often be superior to getting the best. Now most of them are gone, swallowed into the abyss of Geocities, Tripod and Angelfire.
I often miss those magical first days where I realized that people actually wrote stories about books and games and movies they liked. I remember my first story on Fanfiction.net, a rant designed to infuriate people who liked the Squall\Quistis pairing (it was forcefully removed shortly after). Back then Fanfiction.net didn't even have a chaptering system, and the Final Fantasy VIII section had about 2000 stories, which meant maybe 1200 with all the separate chapters. Maybe even less.
When I started writing this all I wanted was twenty reviews. Then fifty. Then all I wanted was a hundred reviews. I guess the moral here is, if you get what you want you'll never stop being greedy. So give me more reviews goddamnit. Now.
Now it's time to recognize all the people that got me here. But before I do that, I just want to say on the off chance that someone would like to use Gallern's Thesis or any of my characters, just give me an email. Ashbear, I think you said something about using one of my characters in Dancing in Time if they were good enough. I hope one of them is.
Here we go. (I'm just going to go down the review list for this.)
Ashbear- You were always and inspiration to me, and it never failed to shock me whenever you reviewed anything of mine. I can't tell you how much you have influenced my stories, and I only hope it shows. There's a reason you're considered the premier Final Fantasy VIII fanfictionist. Because you're damn good, that's why.
Akira Makie- You're a new one to me, but thanks for the review. I think you said something about the SeeDs being able to take on the intruders with their mad hand to hand skills. Perhaps, but a gun is a gun, especially without the benefit of protect spells. However, I know that the SeeDs kick ass, so I made sure to wipe them out with flashbangs and concussion grenades. Extremely debilitating. Not to rip on you or anything. I know this story has quite a few flaws. Oh lord, does it ever.
LiquidSky- One of my faithful reviewers, and fine author too. Just to make something clear- every time I get a review from one of you regulars, it's what prompts me to write another chapter. You did your own large part to keep me going, and thanks for the encouragement. I'll send you a bundt cake.
FangXianfu- Another person who just can't seem to look away from the spectacular train wreck that I present. You never did collect on that thing you won, whatever it is, by correctly guessing the location of Julian's base. Oh sure, you'll say nothing now, but the minute you need money my inbox will be full.
Tigerofthewind- Yet another of the faithful. It confounds me as to why you would waste your time on such sophistry as this. You've got better things to do. I can't imagine what, but there might be something. And you begged and pleaded for this not to be Seiftis. Well, wish granted. I didn't really want to do it anyway.
LunarCry- Fanfictionist meets fanfictionist at RPGClassics. I gave your stuff good reviews on the forums and that didn't change when you posted them here. Dark, dark Sqinoa stuff as I recall. I was getting jiggy wit' dat. Always a pleasure.
Voodoo Fyrefly AKA Tio Rank P- A fellow Zelphie advocate. In Bloom = pure sweetness. Though I have to call you on never writing the next requested NC-17 chapter of Summer's Gone. DO IT! I finished my story, taunt taunt taunt.... I love you Tio. With both my kidneys.
Rinoa, Rin, whatever you know who you are Coven girl- Thought I was older, did you? Well I'm seventeen, dammit, and that's all I have to say about that. You reviewed my story, which makes you some sort of saint. To show my appreciation, I taped a hand drawn picture of your imagined likeness to my pillow, and make love to it every night.
Yorun- You stuck with this story, and I have to hand it to you. You've got a stomach of steel. This story is actually a device to induce vomiting. Somehow, you are impervious to its effects, and in fact congratulate me on it. I love you too. But I don't make love to your likeness. I just sort of make out with it.
Sergeant Phoenix- Oh yeah, baby. One Day at a Time. Classic. Remains a classics. Shall forever be, a classic. And I am honored to know you as a friend, and thanks for all the help and advice and encouragment you've IM me over the years.
Marco- Marco, Marco, Marco. I've know you for years. I've known you for longer than I really wanted to. But apparently, I'm stuck with you. You Quall loving cunt. You cum guzzling gutter whore. You're the best thing that ever happened to me. To prove it, here's some conversational IM excerpts.
HouseLikeRussia = Marco
Raptor6411 = Me
HouseLikeRussia: Well, if you support that site, it'll help you for when you get arrested for propositioning a woman of easy virtue.
Raptor6411: Last time I checked you couldn't get busted for 'propositioning' someone unless they refused and you insisted. However, I'm going to assume that you are alluding to me picking up a prostitute. I'm not going to, so stop trying to wrangle more business for your mom.
HouseLikeRussia: I sort of kind of almost have a
HouseLikeRussia: ::Awaits sarcastic reply::
Raptor6411: I'll go easy on you.
Raptor6411: Your mom doesn't count, Marco.
Raptor6411: I rode Thunderation 36 times in a row.
HouseLikeRussia: LoL! Why?
Raptor6411: I don't know. A cry for attention?
HouseLikeRussia: Well...Good for you. I just...I literally can't do roller coasters.
Raptor6411: That's because you're a walking, talking vagina. But I won't hold it against you. Too much.
HouseLikeRussia: Well, I'd rather be that then a guy who's so afraid of being emotional that he'll hide under a fake facade of manliness for his entire life and eventually require therapy and/or develop a drinking problem.
Raptor6411: You'd be able to respond faster if that peach lotion didn't make your hands so slippery.
HouseLikeRussia: Good one.
HouseLikeRussia: I just like stories that have sex in them, but it's not
like "And he jammed his dick in her pussy and she screamed F yeah!" I hate
ones like that. Or ones that are TOO descriptive. I like ones that are in
Raptor6411: Or you could drop the prentension that you appreciate good erotic writing and just admit you like stroking your stiffy to this stuff.
HouseLikeRussia: Yes, but that makes me seem like a pervert.
Raptor6411: I forgive you.
Refugee- A Knight of Spire. Enough said, I think. Word up. It's good shit, all the way around. Thank you for reviewing my unendingly pathetic story. No doubt you stumbled across it on some 'Worst Of' list.
Angel Almasy- Most of the feedback I got from you Angel was all over IM, so it had that special touch. I read yours, you read mine, we talked about it, it was fun. Snooch to the Nooch.
Jee Simovia- I know Jee Simovia. I've known him since I was born. I wrote a good bit of On Earth with him over my shoulder. I talked it over with him every step of the way. We went over my theories. He gave me ideas. He read and reviewed every bit of it. Which means basically, he's partly to blame for this story. And I couldn't have done it without him. Well, okay, I could have, but it wouldn't have been as good. Jee, U R TEH EWOK! And let Mr. Diehl know that Mr. D requires his services once more...
Veritech- You reviewed my story quite a bit, and that was damn fine of you. Robotech is the bomb. Let no one speak otherwise.
Mr. McFrugalshtein AKA Briar Eve- You gave me some hardcore feedback, and I put it to use. Thanks for doing what I obviously can't, and improving my story. And PeRfEct is the roxxor.
Honor- You have me a few good ones, I returned the favor. Thanks a crapload.
Zachere- You came early, left the party, then came back on request. Thanks for keeping me from making a big mistake. And yeah, I know, I fuck up the apostrophes all the time.
Jilly- No idea who the hell you are. But you reviewed my story. Which makes you a very special person. I'd shake your hand, but my parole officer won't let me.
Fierce Deity- Same really. Thanks for supporting the story.
Celestial Angel- Cool of you to drop by. My review count and my ego thank you.
Goudess- You don't write reviews, you write speeches. And I was ego tripping off every one. Sweet ass of you to do so. And 'For When You Return' is one of the best on the site.
Akira Aarons- Thanks for finding my story interesting enough to review. Like I said, the concept is one of the few selling points.
AW- Apparently you didn't look forward to it all that much, but you reviewed, so if I wore a hat, I'd take it off to you.
Martin Rothes- I know you personally, so I can say with utter certainty that you're a no talent hack and your only saving grace is that you can play guitar. Woman.
Leviathan- You were on a roll there, that's for sure. Thanks for all those wonderful reviews.
Yuuki- Yet another review to the pile. Every little bit helps. Nice of you.
Meirelle Emeraldeyes- Your emoticons impressed upon me without doubt, that you did indeed enjoy the story.
Marcus- I can't believe I got a review from you, and though it was back when the story was crappy as hell, my only regret is that you never saw the full thing. Maybe I'll email you or something.
Bodger- Constructive criticism well used, and well heeded. Thank you.
Lindsey- Yes, Scully does love Mulder. But lets just keep that between you and me. Thanks for reviewing.
abcxyz- My only negative review isn't really all that negative. Thanks for adding some flavor in there.
Well, that's it. How tiresome my ranting is. I know, I know, the ending is really, really open. But I like it that way. Will I write a sequel? I doubt it. I like X-Files fanfiction now, and my main story is Artificial, my Terminator fanfic. I've branched out a little. I'm afraid FF8 fanfiction no longer holds the interest for me it once did. Maybe I'll get back into it sometime. Who knows. Hey, if you don't like the ending so much, write your own damn sequel.
Caleb Nova's Fanfiction