Named after the Front Line Assembly track, the chapter four cover sits somewhere between The Operative and Leitmotif in terms of plotinuity.

Provision existed as Seasons In The Abyss for a damned long time. Years. Back when this thing had a scope like The Dualist, when the script existed as a pile of ideas and notions as opposed to a focused outline with tons of cruft kicked to the floor.

Despite being a bitching Slayer track, after awhile Seasons just didn’t fit. Not only is it over-long for a chapter title, it’s also inaccurate. The second choice of title – Diatribe, after the band – was tossed for the same reason. Provision, however, enjoys the benefit of accuracy. It’s also thunderously literal and, barring major revisions, promises to be the most ham-fisted and stunningly obvious use of chapter title text to date.

Large parts of this chapter are ham-fisted and obvious, actually. While Provision continues the ATC tradition of in media res indirectness, it promises to be a relatively straight-up, straight-forward kick in the teeth. And if it isn’t, there’s one thing it will be – short.

The chapter plot is presently 24 pages, with approximately fifteen of those in a solid near-production state. They happen to be the first ten and the last five, which has been cause for a lot of hairpulling lately. I know what’s going into those nine, I know it’ll fit with room to spare, and every time I work on it that section comes out completely different and completely wrong. Chalk it up to performance anxiety – the scene I’m deadlocked on sets pretty much the entire story in stone, so every new detail has to be thoroughly examined and thought out. I’ll get it locked in eventually, but I’m not holding my breath in the hopes of timely clock-punching progress.

Fortunately, the bits that refuse to resolve aren’t the bits in the front. Those bits have been fairly solid for awhile now. While I still need to do some spit-shining, the first third-plus of the chapter is in about the same state that Leitmotif was in when I committed it to paper. I’ll be doing that this week, actually – prepping the first ten pages of the DCR.4 script into workbook form and figuring out the details of the photo shoot that’ll cover the first five pages. I plan to do the shoot within the next week or so and to get at least the first page up in September. Due to time and asset constraints I expect “block one” (the first ten pages) to take at least a couple of months to grind out.

I’m fine with that. If my math holds, ATC is 490 actual pages at the moment. Completing DCR.4 block one will put the work at 500, which is a milestone I’d love to reach this year.