Today (well into May first, where does the time go?), I was thinking about what to do for a blurb for this page when I FINALLY noticed that the original panel one no longer reflected the new narrative. Fortunately, that was easy enough to change… not only was it easy, it’s better. See also panel four: what was once a grossly inappropriate and badly drawn rumpshot is now NBE containment shutdown.


The NBE, while a major part of ATC, is a (relatively) minor part of The Dualist. There are two reasons for the screaming lack of an explanation. The first is that this isn’t the place to explain the NBE. That’s best done in the first or second book. Probably the first* – if it can be worked into the narrative anywhere, it’s there. Given my present level of skill as a writer, I can’t think of a good way to explain the NBE inside The Dualist without ratcheting them up to something Important. They aren’t introduced here. Hell, they aren’t even introduced in DCR. When ATC Is Done and you’re reading all of it straight through, you’ll be all OMG HAVENT SEEN THOSE IN LIKE TWO HUNDRED PAGES YAY as opposed to “wtf is that?”

Viewers are Geniuses.

That, and I’m one of those guys who likes it when people who’ve been around a thing forever react like they’re intimately familiar with it and don’t feel much of a need to explain it – either to themselves, or anyone else. I’m also the kind of guy who knows that being called upon to explain a thing (or feeling compelled to explain a thing) is a true test of one’s comprehension of the thing… or – much more importantly – one’s comprehension of the personality you’re attempting to educate.

That and it allows me to cop out on thinking the concept completely through until I absolutely have to. So long as thing remains internally consistent, it’s all good. And the only consistent things about the NBE are: only a human “third eye” or HRD can perceive them; they’re creepy-lookin’ (either rubber-jointed humanoids or Lovecraftian Monoliths); aaaand…. they don’t so much act or react as Exist. They are a kind of anti-sentience, a gestalt concept, form contingent on perception of some kind of strength as mass. They feed on positive energy the way Wall Street is currently feeding on the taxpayer…. only the phlebotomist isn’t the gubmint, it’s our own consciousness. Writing the suck off as a shit day or a summer cold or allergies or a hangover or whatever. An evolved form of mental defense mechanism – sort of a in-your-head version of the Joo Janta Peril Sensitive Sunglasses – that ignores and/or blocks out anything the physical senses can’t perceive or confirm.

So much for not explaining (bits of) it.

Hooray for boobies!

* While ATC is extensively planned out, it’s more of a skeleton than a body. I know what’s happening with DCR, The Dualist, and Transitional Voices. I can see all of that clearly – though DCR and TV have yet to be locked in, so particulars may change. Book One (“crash”) has a clear, quick, SHORT outline…. which will doubtless become longer as certain “gotchas” such as the NBE Explanation Scene develop.** The latter bits of the story exist as more of a conceptual outline than anything else – I know what the major events are, I’m just not entirely sure how I’m getting there yet. Art and time are the biggest hangups… and it’s not something I’m really going to have to worry about for at least three or four years at my current production pace.

** Footnoting a footnote – it’s ridiculously easy to figure that one out – the BLAMMO! Event of the Epiphany’s appearance would cause NBE to condense… one of the locals encounters it/them, OMGWTF!s, exposition occurs. With any luck, the scene will be a tight, artful piece of Exposition Masquerading As Dialogue. Like the first few scenes of Serenity. Only with bigger breasts.

There’s a reason an HRV of 4.18 is significant. There’s a reason an HRV of 5 is Bad. All May At Some Point Be Revealed… and you can bet it’ll be less of an ass-pull than some of the more objectionable bits of BSG.

(it mostly depends on how long I live and if the long-term plan to get paid to do this thing succeeds)

Coming UP with the ideas… that’s pretty easy, when I’m rested.

EXECUTING them… that’s always been the hard part.

Mastering notes, 2016.12.06 – Minor dialogue adjustments.


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