Era of Darkness VOL 2: Chapter 9

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Jodo
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Era of Darkness VOL 2: Chapter 9

Postby Jodo » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:34 pm

Click Here for Era of Darkness Volume 1 and 2

Also, Photobucket sucks. Volume 2: Chapter 8 should be re-available soon...

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"Yes, there were four of them" says the soldier. "As well as a group of rebels."

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"We counted at least 5 or 6, but we didn't have enough men to pursue them."

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"We were out gunned," he admits. "It looked like they were armed with A280-"

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"Enough," says a firm, but sly voice. "Tell me more about the four men."

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"Tell me exactly what you saw."

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Dreya sighs heavily. "The uncharted ice planet was risky, but then the Emperor contacted Brior and wanted a squad sent down. We should have abandoned the plan," she says looking down, thinking about the mission. "Brior chose to continue on with it," she says. "It's never by coincidence if the Emperor is involved, and Brior just couldn't say 'no'."

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"His duty was to the Empire," says Kalin sternly, looking away from the group.

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"His duty," replies Dreya, "-was to uphold justice, and he attempted to do that. And it costs him dearly."

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"Do any of you understand that?"

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"We don't know where they sent him," Jai clears his throat. "Anorial, the Cerean, doesn't want to make a move on him."

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"It would be too costly for us," says Dreya. "We don't have the means or man power to risk a rescue operation on an Imperial prison. We're spread too thin as it is already."

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"How do we know it's all true?" asks Kane, facing the woman. "Last time you showed up, you cost me a friend," he says with a dry rasp in his voice. "Remember that? So don't talk to me about things being too costly."

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"It was never supposed to happen like that. You know that, Kane."

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"No," he explains. "I don't know that, Dreya!"
The woman looks at him.
"For all I know, you and your rebel friends' operation on that planet went just as planned."

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"I wonder what Darr would think of all this?" interjects Haas sarcastically. "He'd probably see things a bit differently, given his current perspective."

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Meade shakes his head. "We wouldn't know what his opinion would be either way. He signed up for the job, he knew anything could happen. We did the same exact thing. What does matter is how we continue, and what will happen to Brior."

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"You don't have the means to grab Brior, and we're still trying to get intel on his location anyway," says Jai. "I know Anorial wants to hit an Imperial convoy soon, like something real high profile," whispers the man. "He needs insiders to get us close or help with the speeders or something. I'd be willing to bet if you-"

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"That's off the table," says Kane.

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"What are you going to do then Kane? Keep having me tell you every little thing the Alliance does? And for what?"

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Dreya sighs as Jai continues speaking.

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"One day, you're going to want to continue with your lives, and you'll have to stop running. And when you do, maybe having some friends along the way would help."

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"Wroth," says Dreya. "We have to get back to base. It's going to be hard explaining your actions. You know that", she pauses. "Consider it Kane. Consider what Brior is feeling right now, and you just think about it. There's only so far you can run from the Empire."

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"And you can't go back again."
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"I don't know what she's on about," smirks Kalin. "That's the rebel in her. Always looking for moral justice and stirring up emotions. And besides, we're as good as gone. They'll never find us on this rock."

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"I believe I've discovered the location of Able Squad."

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"A gathering of insurgent scum took place recently, and our network there indicates they seem to be privy to information relevant to Brior."

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"Sumner, I want you to take your men and move on Ethna. If Kane and his squad are there, find them, and then kill them. Use all means necessary."

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"You'll receive a transmission soon with all relevant information. Understood?"

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"Yes ma'am," replies Sumner, opening his mouth to say something, but quickly closing it.

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"Something to add, lieutenant?"

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"Uh, Colonel Elliot," says Sumner. "Well, I just thought-I might make a request?"

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"And what would that be?" asks the colonel cooly.

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"It's been sometime since I was aboard the Aberrant Dawn, ma'am," he says, thinking carefully through what he had rehearsed several times. "I-I was wondering if my regards might be sent to Corporal Volgrin. She should be off-duty at about this time," he swallows hard.

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"Corporal Volgrin?" says Elliot with distaste, searching for why such a request would be made. "Am I your messenger Sumner? Am I-", she pauses.
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"Volgrin, you say?"

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"Yes ma'am, Corporal Volgrin," replies Sumner. "I haven't heard from her for quite some time."

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She chuckles softly to herself. "I'll have someone send along your regards to her, Sumner," she says, with an empathetic tone.

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"And if you succeed in killing Able Squad, I'll make sure you both get a well deserved time of leave," smiles Elliot. "-Together."

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"They don't trust me," whispers Basso to himself. "They don't hear what I'm saying."

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He blinks several times.

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"Listen to me," he says softly, a quiet echo down the corridor. "Listen to me!"

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"What if they tracked me here?" he asks himself. "What if they're listening?"

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"Can you hear me? Are you watching? Waiting? To make your move?"

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"No, Elliot let me out. She let me out of the cage. She wanted to see where I'd go. What if they've tracked me. They've tracked me."

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"Did you hear that?"

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"They've tracked me."

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"Hey!" says the man.
"Are you okay?" asks the other being.

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"They followed me. The landing, and the escort, and then I lost them. I jumped ship you see," he laughs. "I'm fine. Fine."

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One of the soldiers approaches the man, "Are you okay?"

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"Yes? replies Basso as he turns to meet the men.

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"Basso, is that you?"

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"Yeah," he says, his voice suddenly losing any note of character.

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"Hi?" says the rebel, looking at the now stable man.
The Nemodian shifts his head, watching Basso carefully. "You are okay? The-"

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"I'm perfect," he pauses. "Why?" asks Basso forcefully.

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"Do you require medical attention?" asks the Neimoidian.
"We just heard you," says the soldier. "-Talking, that's all."

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"Yes, I'm fine." he says plainly, passing by the two men.

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"Never been better."
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~ Jodo - Check out my latest photonovel as of August/20/17: Era of Darkness VOL 3: Chapter 1!
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Utinniii
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Re: Era of Darkness VOL 2: Chapter 9

Postby Utinniii » Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:54 am

Great chapter.

I'll not repeat what I posted elsewhere.

I just wanted to add that I think Elliot is the first Fan-fic human character I would actually want an action figure of.
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Re: Era of Darkness VOL 2: Chapter 9

Postby Codaks » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:47 am

Nice story telling.

I really like, no wait love, the way you reveal or interduce Colonol Elliot and also the time where she reflects back on the past with Volgrin. Well made. I'm kind of a sucker for that kind of story telling, when done right, that is.

I've noticed it before, but don't believe I've actually mentioned it. The way you capture the emotion or tension between characters (keep in mind English is a second language to me) is really great. I'm really looking forward to the next installment!

EDIT: I totally agree with Utinniii
Codaks --- OUT ---
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Re: Era of Darkness VOL 2: Chapter 9

Postby Lance Quazar » Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:49 am

Wow, GREAT seeing another chapter so fast.

And, of course, the return of my beloved, my secret crush, my true love, the one and only Colonel Elliot!!!

I'm afraid it'll take a bit before I can get proper, detailed feedback.

But awesome stuff and a LOT of momentum in the plot. Can't wait to see how things continue to develop, but a lot of great reveals here and intriguing hints for the future.

And with the return of Elliot and Sumner, a ratcheting up of this series' fantastic trademark suspense!

Awesome job, Jodo! I'll be reading and re-reading in the next few days, you can bet on that!
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Jodo
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Re: Era of Darkness VOL 2: Chapter 9

Postby Jodo » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:33 pm

Utinniii wrote:Great chapter.

I'll not repeat what I posted elsewhere.

I just wanted to add that I think Elliot is the first Fan-fic human character I would actually want an action figure of.


YES! That is an awesome compliment man, and I appreciate that. I won't tell the other characters, but she is honestly my favorite as well. :lol:

Codaks wrote:Nice story telling.

I really like, no wait love, the way you reveal or interduce Colonol Elliot and also the time where she reflects back on the past with Volgrin. Well made. I'm kind of a sucker for that kind of story telling, when done right, that is.

I've noticed it before, but don't believe I've actually mentioned it. The way you capture the emotion or tension between characters (keep in mind English is a second language to me) is really great. I'm really looking forward to the next installment!

EDIT: I totally agree with Utinniii


Thank you for the feedback! You would never know English is your second language. Heck, most of the time I doubt my own grasp of this language! :lol:

Colonel Elliot is so fun to write for. The tension between her and Sumner will continue, as will Kane's apprehension for the Rebels!

Thanks again for the comment! :)

Lance Quazar wrote:Wow, GREAT seeing another chapter so fast.

And, of course, the return of my beloved, my secret crush, my true love, the one and only Colonel Elliot!!!

I'm afraid it'll take a bit before I can get proper, detailed feedback.

But awesome stuff and a LOT of momentum in the plot. Can't wait to see how things continue to develop, but a lot of great reveals here and intriguing hints for the future.

And with the return of Elliot and Sumner, a ratcheting up of this series' fantastic trademark suspense!

Awesome job, Jodo! I'll be reading and re-reading in the next few days, you can bet on that!


Lance, a trifecta of Elliot fans...I knew you would be down to see her! :lol: :P

No rush on the feedback man, take your time and get to it when you can! Thanks for the comment! :)
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~ Jodo - Check out my latest photonovel as of August/20/17: Era of Darkness VOL 3: Chapter 1!
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Re: Era of Darkness VOL 2: Chapter 9

Postby CloneCrazy » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:44 pm

Loved this chapter! You were able to pick the action up right where we left it and immediately reminded us of the stakes of the narrative. Very well done!

Nice dio work, as always, the GTP walls look particularly good in your series. Speaking of the ship, the effect you used when Dreya was communication with the Stormtrooper Captain was awesome. The city remains one of my favorite dios ever. It is just so photogenic.

Love your framing, particularly in this shot Image just fantastic work!

The moral complexities of rebellion are hinted at nicely when Dreya talks about commitment to truth and justice, but almost in the same breath condemns Brior to an Imperial prison. Dreya remains a very interesting character and her relationship with Jai is proving more interesting than I would have expected. I think Dreya's line, "There's only so far you can run from the Empire... And you can't go back again." is a fantastic thesis for the entire series and a compelling piece of dialogue.

Always happy to see Elliot, I'd be willing to fight Lance for her :wink: Her exchange with Summer was another example of her awesomeness! I thought juxtaposing Volgrin's death over the frame of when Elliot remembered her was very clever.

I think ol' Basso is starting to show what time in an Imperial prison does to a person. His descent into paranoia was a very well done scene. That could have easily been overdone, but you handled it perfectly.

Once again, great work! Looking forward to seeing what's next for the gang!
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Re: Era of Darkness VOL 2: Chapter 9

Postby Lance Quazar » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:33 am

JODO!!!

Thanks for another stellar chapter and for cranking these out at such a great pace. You really seem to be on a roll at the moment, both with the frequency of your chapters and, of course, the always high quality of your work. The pacing of the story is really ramping up and I couldn't be more delighted to watch it all unfold.

A lot of fascinating new developments and story beats here. But I do have some questions, so I'll get those out of the way first.

First of all, I'm still unclear about the nature of the relationship (friendship?) between Dreya and Kane. They seemed in those early chapters like they were old friends, though obviously Kane didn't know that Dreya's loyalties were with the Alliance.

I'm still a little unclear about that. As I touched on in my last chapter, I want Dreya to take a slightly more central role here. She's a marvelous character and she goes back to the very beginning of the first volume. Don't get me wrong, I like Wroth, too. I just so desperately want to know more about Dreya and what her history is with Kane.

I'm still curious as to what the mission was supposed to be back on the Dawn and the ice planet below. I think that maybe you or one of the chapters implied that brior was trying to have the Dawn handed over to the rebellion? Not sure if that was actually the case or my misunderstanding of it.

But why did Palpatine contact Brior prior to his mission? Why would Brior proceed when he knew the Emperor himself had his eyes on his actions? What was going to happen on the planet surface if Able Squad WASN'T deployed there. So many uncertainties about what was going on back then. I mean, I'm sure that's the intent and I love the mystery element to the story, but I'm dying to here more concrete answers about some of these questions.

I really do love the thorny moral problem about the rescue of Brior. I think it's great that, despite being fugitives themselves, Kane and his men still don't want to throw in their lot with the rebellion, who they still regard (at least somewhat) as being the enemy. It's awesome that Kane sees helping the rebellion, even as part of a larger goal to help Brior, as being a bridge he won't cross. At least for the moment

I like Kalin's line about "moral justice", I think it's very realistic that Imperials could view the rebellion as having an inflated and twisted sense of their own moral superiority. These are great touches that really flesh out the characters and make them feel more real (and, in turn, which help flesh out the Star Wars universe as a whole, giving us shades of grey characters that we seldom get to see in the actual films.)

A lot of great dialogue and back and forth between the characters. Again, everyone has a unique perspective on everything, which really heightens the drama.

I do love one particular exchange, but I feel like you should have played it out a bit. Dreya's comments about Brior "duty to uphold justice....Do any of you understand that?" is excellent. It's confrontational and really zeroes in on her point of view and is a great, direct question that goes to the heart of Kane's torn loyalties. I do wish we had seen Kane give a response to that question instead of having Jai interrupt.

On a technical level, your photograph is absolutely spectacular, such gorgeous and crisp images. The lighting is excellent and everything looks beautiful. The shots of my beloved Colonel Elliot in particular are stunning.

And, of course, I couldn't be more delighted to see my favorite heartless villain return. Elliot is again fantastic, cunning and amoral and utterly delightful. How she toys with the poor, hapless Sumner. Sumner remains a bit of a boob - how that guy made it out of the academy is anyone's guess. But I do confess to feeling a little sympathy for him after the death of Volgrin and how hopelessly in over his head he is with Elliot.

All of the pieces are moving in fantastic and engaging directions. Can't wait to see how things continue to play out. All of our major characters have complex, thorny issues to sort out. Kane, Dreya and Jai are wonderfully conflicted and complex characters, your storytelling is so sophisticated and smart.

Keep up the great work and thanks again for another delightful chapter!!!!
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Re: Era of Darkness VOL 2: Chapter 9

Postby Jodo » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:04 pm

Lance Quazar wrote:JODO!!!

Thanks for another stellar chapter and for cranking these out at such a great pace. You really seem to be on a roll at the moment, both with the frequency of your chapters and, of course, the always high quality of your work. The pacing of the story is really ramping up and I couldn't be more delighted to watch it all unfold.


Thank you sir! I just finished writing the conclusion of this volume, and I've started working on some cool stuff for volume 3 too. I have an 11 page paper due this Thursday, but then I'm hoping Friday will be free for some photography!

First of all, I'm still unclear about the nature of the relationship (friendship?) between Dreya and Kane. They seemed in those early chapters like they were old friends, though obviously Kane didn't know that Dreya's loyalties were with the Alliance.

I'm still a little unclear about that. As I touched on in my last chapter, I want Dreya to take a slightly more central role here. She's a marvelous character and she goes back to the very beginning of the first volume. Don't get me wrong, I like Wroth, too. I just so desperately want to know more about Dreya and what her history is with Kane.


You'll enjoy the next chapter then. :wink: And potentially the October Special I have planned as well (God willing).

I'm still curious as to what the mission was supposed to be back on the Dawn and the ice planet below. I think that maybe you or one of the chapters implied that brior was trying to have the Dawn handed over to the rebellion? Not sure if that was actually the case or my misunderstanding of it.

But why did Palpatine contact Brior prior to his mission? Why would Brior proceed when he knew the Emperor himself had his eyes on his actions? What was going to happen on the planet surface if Able Squad WASN'T deployed there. So many uncertainties about what was going on back then. I mean, I'm sure that's the intent and I love the mystery element to the story, but I'm dying to here more concrete answers about some of these questions.


Yes, that was implied during a previous chapter, that upon arrival to the planet a small coup would take place and the Dawn would be captured. Outside of the absolute canon story, through some devices, the Imperials would willingly disembark from the Dawn, and that would have allowed the Alliance operatives the chance to seize control of the vessel.

In one of my early drafts, the Dawn was seized after a "meaningless" full scale ground assault was launched on the barren planet. With that opportunity, the coup would take place, the bridge would be sealed off, and they were going to get away scott-free. That left me without any difficult circumstances to overcome, and I also wanted the story to have a beginning, middle, and end. With a stolen SD, the story could have went on and on. :lol:

I really do love the thorny moral problem about the rescue of Brior. I think it's great that, despite being fugitives themselves, Kane and his men still don't want to throw in their lot with the rebellion, who they still regard (at least somewhat) as being the enemy. It's awesome that Kane sees helping the rebellion, even as part of a larger goal to help Brior, as being a bridge he won't cross. At least for the moment

I like Kalin's line about "moral justice", I think it's very realistic that Imperials could view the rebellion as having an inflated and twisted sense of their own moral superiority. These are great touches that really flesh out the characters and make them feel more real (and, in turn, which help flesh out the Star Wars universe as a whole, giving us shades of grey characters that we seldom get to see in the actual films.)


Definitely! And thank you so much for these comments because I really do enjoy the shades of grey in all things (All 50 :lol:). Kane and the squad are definitely being pushed into a corner. They're not use to being without resources, and having been gone from the Empire for so long I could imagine they each have their own personal stress about that. Coupled with the idea of helping terrorist, I'd say they're in a very difficult spot!

A lot of great dialogue and back and forth between the characters. Again, everyone has a unique perspective on everything, which really heightens the drama.

I do love one particular exchange, but I feel like you should have played it out a bit. Dreya's comments about Brior "duty to uphold justice....Do any of you understand that?" is excellent. It's confrontational and really zeroes in on her point of view and is a great, direct question that goes to the heart of Kane's torn loyalties. I do wish we had seen Kane give a response to that question instead of having Jai interrupt.

On a technical level, your photograph is absolutely spectacular, such gorgeous and crisp images. The lighting is excellent and everything looks beautiful. The shots of my beloved Colonel Elliot in particular are stunning.


As always thank you sir! :mrgreen:

And, of course, I couldn't be more delighted to see my favorite heartless villain return. Elliot is again fantastic, cunning and amoral and utterly delightful. How she toys with the poor, hapless Sumner. Sumner remains a bit of a boob - how that guy made it out of the academy is anyone's guess. But I do confess to feeling a little sympathy for him after the death of Volgrin and how hopelessly in over his head he is with Elliot.


I knew you would enjoy that. Elliot still remains my absolute favorite character. The ruthlessness, lack of empathy, and grit is super fun to write for. I know people want to see more of her, but it's almost like the Xeno in Alien. The less you see of it the scarier it can become. You never know what she is doing when not in sight. :lol:

Sumner has some maturing to do as an officer, but as a boot licker he does aim to please!

All of the pieces are moving in fantastic and engaging directions. Can't wait to see how things continue to play out. All of our major characters have complex, thorny issues to sort out. Kane, Dreya and Jai are wonderfully conflicted and complex characters, your storytelling is so sophisticated and smart.

Keep up the great work and thanks again for another delightful chapter!!!!


Thank you so much as always man, I really appreciate all the dedication you put in providing feedback to everyone. It always feel super rewarding to read your input and critiques! :mrgreen:

Vol. 2 Ch. 10 will hopefully be up at the end of this month, though it is a more condensed version than what I had originally planned. I'm going to do a bit more editing, and expand a few section here and there. My goal is to keep it under 80 frames while also making it seem less rushed. Originally it was 2 chapters, but they felt too drawn out being 65 frames each.

Plus, I simply CANNOT wait to start Volume 3. I'm looking forward to it quite a bit, and I hope some of the new set pieces will expand Ethna a bit.
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~ Jodo - Check out my latest photonovel as of August/20/17: Era of Darkness VOL 3: Chapter 1!

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