5.08.2012

Fates Free-for-All!

Well, it's over.  And now, I imagine, there are questions.


I'll try to knock a few of the ones that I think may be FAQs out of the way first:

1) Was this always where you intended to end it?

Not always, but for a lot of its run, yes.  Originally, Fates was supposed to end a little after Chuck vs. the Ring  in canon, where Chuck was supposed to get the Intersect 2.0 upload because it was believed that it would override the Lincoln neural pathways (originally Intersect 1.0 wasn't supposed to run on the same pathways; that changed). Bryce, knowing that they would kill Chuck if he didn't have the failsafe, would have forced Chuck to upload Intersect 2.0, and Chuck (and Sarah) would have been forced to deal with the consequences that they weren't ever escaping government slavery.

BUT, once I changed my mind that I couldn't write a million words of Fates and go back to my original writing (the last original thing I wrote was in 2009), Italy seemed a more natural place to end it. Some plotlines were shifted around (Orion was supposed to be a discovery at the end of Part V rather than a  background feature; the Intersects changed), etc.  They were always supposed to get together in Italy.

2) How close was it to your original timeline?

Fates was ever-changing. I'd get an idea in one chapter, for example, and it would follow me to the end of the story.  I'd say the story really shifted gears when I started talking to mxpw and he became the official sounding board.  Which, trust me, is NOT an enviable thing to be. He had to deal with so much whiplash over the years, it wasn't even funny.

Plus, I don't work off of set outlines, mostly because I have ADD.  Once something is written down in great detail, it gets boring. Using loose "tentpole" outlines was much more fascinating. I tend to describe events, but I'll find that while the events don't change, the motivations behind them and feelings about them do.

3)  Rabbits? Really?

That was an accident, I swear.

4) Will there be an ebook?

Not just one, but two.  There will be a regular Fates ebook, available hopefully this week, but I'm also working on compiling the Complete Reference Guide to What Fates Impose into a foot-noted ebook. I've deleted the original from ff-net so that I don't have any incomplete stories in my profile (apart from Curtain Call and Greater, the latter of which I have already started working toward finishing).

5) What are you going to do next?

Sleep.  Finish Greater and Spies and Nerds (with quistie64).  Work on an original novel that I will publish under a penname, hopefully in October.  Possibly write some Castle or Downton Abbey fic.

6) Any future Chuck projects?

I have about fifty ideas, but I think it's safer to say that I shouldn't start any new ones.

7) Gonna be hanging around here?

Honestly, I don't know. I'd like to think that I will, but the blog has kind of faded away as I got deep into writing Fates and Greater:NYE and canon ended.  I will say that although I promised to do a review of Chuck vs. the Good-bye and Chuck vs. Sarah with mxpw...I really hope you won't hold it against me that I have no desire whatsoever to, like Sarah Walker, ever remember those episodes.  Frankly, I don't wanna. Don't makeme.

Anyway, ask away.  Anything you want: why I picked a storyline, what something meant, why I did what I did, what my favorite/least favorite things are, etc. etc.  Let's make this a true free-for-all.

Frea

118 comments:

  1. mxpw8.5.12

    Yeah, how come there wasn't more SWP in Fates?

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    Replies
    1. Because I had to punish you. Obviously.

      Delete
    2. mxpw8.5.12

      I KNEW IT.

      Even after all my blood, sweat, tears, and teasing of the French, this is how you treat me?

      Frea is against (my) happiness!

      Delete
    3. You're only just now picking up on that fact, Maximus?

      Delete
    4. And the mime finally dropped his yoyo! ;-)

      Delete
  2. Ok I'll ask the question I think a lot of us want to knw. Why Lincoln? It was certainly the least well received element of the story. So what wa the logic behind it? Was it always there just to get to the Big Lie, Big truth Sarah reveal in 66?

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    1. Lincoln was the first thing I came up with for the story, actually, before anything else. There are clues in every single chapter that something isn't "right" with Chuck. It was never there "just" to get to the Big Lie, Big Truth (which came much, much later, as Sarah's story was a little more fluid than Chuck's). If I hadn't had Lincoln, I wouldn't have put Chuck in a bunker.

      I mean, it's a bunker, for crying out loud, doing things he could have been doing in any regular office. That didn't strike anybody as weird?

      I wouldn't say that just because you and a couple of others didn't like it that it was the "least well-received." I would think that the least well-received element of the story was probably the fact that it took Chuck and Sarah forty chapters to kiss. But had I bowed to the pressure exerted onto me by quite a few persistent readers, I would have lost all respect for myself.

      Delete
    2. Ok, I guess that makes a lot of sense from the story perspective. I'm impressed that it wasn't revealed till much much later. That is dedicated story telling. So bravo.

      And ok second least well-received lol. Maybe because I came to the story later, after the Grand Canyon, the lack of a kiss never bothered me as much till much later. Kind of like watching the show on DVD vs live. Speeding through the first 36 chapters made the lack of a kiss seem less of an issue. Plus I started by reading Wind and Tide and the other Sarah POV stuff first so my perspective was probably skewed by seeing inside her head first.

      A number of other readers and I discussed Lincoln a lot and most had concerns about it but from what you said here it was central to the original concept. Still not sure I liked it but knowing this now adds a certain element of depth to it all.

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    3. I found the Lincoln storyline brilliant.

      It raised to the story to another level and illustrates the dangers of accepting the conventions of a well established universe.

      Everyone accepted the Intersect as the driving force for Chuck because it is part of the DNA of the Chuckverse. To Trojan Horse the Lincoln programming inside of it added a new layer of tension and misdirection to the story.

      Look how uncertain everyone was, myself included until I had time to reflect on the latest flurry of chapters, as to how things would end.

      Again, brilliant.

      Bravo!

      Delete
    4. I agree wholeheartedly with Darth, Frea i thought the Lincoln storyline was amazing and helped to show why this the pinnacle story in Chuck Fanfiction.

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    5. Thanks, Lou and Kevin! I know some people thought the story jumped the shark when I revealed the Lincoln storyline at long last and I've had a lot of complaints. To hear that people did enjoy it makes every moment I spent freaking out about it worth it.

      mxpw may not agree, but what does he know? Oh, right. Everything. I should be nicer to that guy.

      Delete
  3. What's with the "Go Fish" game being in most of your stories?

    What's your favorite universe that you've written?

    How much did you did you drink cos of Fates?

    What's been the most challenging thing about Fates?

    Why wasn't Chuck wearing a Patriots shirt more often?

    How much Greater is left to be written?

    Oh, same for R&J!

    Hmmm, do you like tacos or burritos?

    What are some embarrassing Mxpw stories?

    And where are those Italy pictures you'd share after 66? ;)

    What did you think of Chris Evans' butt in Avengers?

    How much do you like these questions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's with the "Go Fish" game being in most of your stories?

      I like themes and things that crossover between different stories. Details that aren't obvious and can be noticed in hindsight, when they won't remove a reader from the narrative (unless it's a really awesome detail). They're like easter eggs and they're brilliant fun to play around with. Go Fish, in particular, holds a place in my heart because it's the very first Chuck scene I ever wrote.

      What's your favorite universe that you've written?

      This is like asking me to pick a favorite kid. But...I love writing in Sarah's point of view above all else. Possibly because I spent 68 chapters in Chuck's POV in Fates and he can be a little exhausting with the fact that his brain never turns off. Sarah can be neurotic and to the point in turns. I adore her in Greater, I love Chuck in R&J, Curtain Call is a blast from either side, Spies and Nerds is so much fun to let loose on, and Carina Miller pwns all.

      How much did you did you drink cos of Fates?

      Not as much as you'd think, but still more than usual. I'm not a drinker at all, so the fact that Fates made me reach for alcohol twice is a big deal.

      What's been the most challenging thing about Fates?

      Consistency. I wrote it over a period of two years. Several huge things happened to me in life. I worked a job that I hated, I started a job I love, I lost one of my favorite people on the planet, I lost my childhood companion dog. And overall, my writing changed. So to carry a story that not only is interesting in the serialized format, but also read in one go, that was the most difficult part.

      Why wasn't Chuck wearing a Patriots shirt more often?

      I have no good answer for this. How's the Manning divorce going?

      How much Greater is left to be written?

      Best guess? Four chapters.

      Oh, same for R&J!

      Most of it, but unlike Greater, it's not organized.

      Hmmm, do you like tacos or burritos?

      Tacos if I have to choose, chimichangas above both of those, followed by fajitas.

      What are some embarrassing Mxpw stories?

      Last night, I had to beta his beta's note. He's shaking his fist at me. Or at the irony.

      And where are those Italy pictures you'd share after 66? ;)

      I will definitely post them up here on the blog. Here's one that you may kind of recognize from the chapter.


      What did you think of Chris Evans' butt in Avengers?

      Made the entire film for me. Seriously. You could bounce a quarter off of that thing.

      How much do you like these questions?

      I adore them, even more so because they came from you.

      Delete
    2. Carina wins at life. I am ubber excited to see how she fits in, in Greater!

      It's going well, except for the fact that some people still refer to me as Mrs. Manning. I'm so over that guy, Chris Evans is where my eyes are at. Thank you for asking!

      I "ooo"'d and "ahhh"'d this picture. So cool, I can see Chuck and Sarah in that scene all the more clearer. Awesome. Also, not a bad looking couple. Can't wait to see the others you share (and more shirtless Italians).

      I agree, 100%! I wonder how much Chris Evans' buns are worth...

      And you always do say the sweetest things. :)

      Delete
  4. Anonymous8.5.12

    Throughout Fates' run, you have mentioned a lot of rewriting time, meaning you changed things. How often did you completely cut scenes and situations? If there are deleted scenes, have you considered adding those scenes back in in one of your eBook downloads? I would love to have a "special edition" Fates.

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    Replies
    1. I have posted my outtakes in a Google docs doc that I can't access at the moment (perhaps somebody will be so kind as to publish a link for me?). As for creating a "special edition" Fates book...I'm sorry, I don't want to do that. These aren't cutscenes like in the movie. If I recognized a scene wasn't working, I took it back to the beginning and rewrote it. These aren't encapsulated scenes, I mean. They're just snippets. I could analyze why I felt a scene wouldn't work in a blog post, but it wouldn't add to a reader experience in an ebook. I specifically wrote Fates to be enjoyed as a sit-down book, read-it-in-one-go experience, and I really don't want things taking people out of the narrative. That said, I will be introducing the annotated Fates, which will have something like 600 footnotes, explaining canon references/nerd humor. So maybe that's the director's cut you're looking for?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous8.5.12

      I'll ANY of more "Fates" that I can get! Thank you!!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous8.5.12

      Sorry, left out a word. That above note should have said: "I'll take ANY of more "Fates" that I can get!" Sorry!

      Delete
    4. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-wSQnBzMnZL23RMEYgncl8sLr4mXZGpZRrMG3LqksrA/edit

      Delete
    5. Anonymous8.5.12

      Just tried the above link and it did not work. Oh well. Thank you for trying.

      Delete
    6. http://docs.google.com/document/d/1-wSQnBzMnZL23RMEYgncl8sLr4mXZGpZRrMG3LqksrA/edit

      Try that. It may not have worked if you're not signed into a Gmail account.

      Delete
    7. 'read it in one go'

      Who reads 500.000 words in one go? That's about as much madness as Sparta.

      Delete
    8. Some of my reviewers are quite insane, then. :)

      Delete
  5. Anonymous8.5.12

    Is there any chance of "Bank Job" getting finished? It would be nice to have all of the "sidebar" stories from "Fates" complete.

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    Replies
    1. Henry8.5.12

      I know that this is a question for mxpw, not for Frea, but I endorse it 100%!

      Delete
    2. This is actually a question for me. Yes, I will be finishing Bank Job (I lost a bet). I don't know when it will be. Since it's not on my profile, I'm less worried about it than I am about Greater.

      Delete
  6. What was the logic behind the bunker itself. Why Siberia? If you were going to create a sleeper assassin, wouldn't it make more sense to have him be integrated into society, like most sleeper cells/assassins are?

    And with that, I mean, why not put him in Siberia under the guise of an ambassador of some kind?

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    1. The logic behind the bunker was that they weren't really certain how stable the Lincoln training was. It would have made more sense to keep the assassins in public/society, I suppose, if they were intended as reusable, but the idea behind Lincoln was to create six unstoppable "first wave" forces, and the bunkers were created as controlled environments for these ticking time bombs. Granted, things didn't exactly go the way they planned.

      Delete
    2. Define reusable. Because, if they're not reusable (e.g: Discard after an initial strike) what was the point in adding a return-to-base mechanism. Wouldn't it have been easier to let the subjects parish in the return fire and as such, create a John Doe situation?

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  7. I don't think anyone would blame you for not wanting to review the finale. I haven't been able to re-watch even the episodes that I liked. Thanks a lot Fedak...

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    1. Haha, I'm grateful not to have to drag myself through that. And also to delete the episodes from my DVR. I need more space for Rookie Blue. Don't judge me.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous8.5.12

      I'm confused. Going by that post you did after the episode aired, I thought you loved it because of the finale's ending. Or is this just a case of you loving the ending but not the episode?

      Delete
    3. Right. Loved the ending overall since it wasn't white picket fence/golden retriever, hated everything that built up to it.

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  8. Totally understand the review thing. I have tried as hard as I can to forget those episodes (which is a shame, because besides the whole memory thing, they were pretty good).

    With regards to Lincoln, did you know that Sarah was keeping that secret during that first relationship, or was it something that you thought of later?

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    1. The nature of the secret Sarah was keeping changed a little over time, but she knew from the moment she had the beatdown on Frank in chapter 8. That was always part of it.

      Delete
  9. hey! i'm kind of down now that you're done, i was actually expecting an open ending finale, seeing as you weren't wraping up the big things (Lincoln and the intersect), thanks for chapter 67!! i was happy just with that one for an ending =)
    I do wonder...how in the hell did Sarah come up with Orion being Stephen? really miss the point there...also, is kind of a mute question, but did you see Chuck free from it all at some point? them having a normal life?
    p.s.: no more curtain call?? i loved that story!
    congrats on the big day Frea!! and happy birthday Crumby!! ^^
    p.s.2: don't know what you did but thanks so much mpxpw ¬¬ jajaja i guess Chuck suffered the punishment more than you and us all!

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    1. Mike8.5.12

      Yeah I totally whiffed on this one, too. What was weird about Orion's newspaper clippings that Sarah couldn't put her finger on? And how did she get from Optimus Prime to "I think he's your Dad"?

      Delete
    2. I'm also a little down, trust me. But happy. I've been listening to "The World is Saved" on youtube on repeat because it explains perfectly how I feel about Fates ending.

      Sarah coming up with Orion being maybe Chuck's dad was something I left up in the air. The ads all had to do with childhood things (I only told you about one, but the others followed in that vein). Chuck, being so close to all of the things Orion hinted at, probably wouldn't have made that connection, but Sarah has a little bit of a wider view.

      As for what I see...

      I mean, I hope Chuck gets free from it all at one point. I really do want the best for him, even though I spent 68 chapters beating on him emotionally, physically, and mentally. He and Sarah went through so much together that I have no doubt they'll stick, and they'll be happy together. It's not for me to decide, of course, as I checked out of the story, and so what I wrote now has to stand on its own. I can no longer definitively say, "This happened or this will happen" because if I didn't put it in the story, then it's not in the story.

      What I like to think will happen: Chuck and Sarah meet Orion. It's Chuck's dad (that, we do know, is from canon). Whether or not Chuck goes on to get rid of Lincoln and the Intersect, he and Sarah still enjoy that gondola ride together that they talked about in the final chapter of Fortune Favors Fools. I like to think that Sarah will pay the gondolier to sing, but they'll maybe get the one who can't sing, and Sarah will pay him even more to sing "their song" to Chuck and Sarah, which is Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up because that's just my sense of humor.

      But who knows? So many possibilities. And I love that.

      Curtain Call? Ask mxpw.

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    3. mxpw please report to administration.... :P

      i forgot! Casey's "it's a gun, you moron, not a person" and "...I'm pretty sure we have Casey for a pet" make me laugh out loud, in the office...wich was pretty akward

      Delete
  10. Anonymous8.5.12

    I was curious about plans you once mentioned about bringing back Jill. Could you possibly go into more detail about what you would have done there and what would have happen?

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    1. Oh, Jill. Jill, Jill, Jill. The original plan, and please accept that this can no longer be Fates canon, was that Chuck was supposed to remember more about his two years in Project Lincoln, and discover that he actually got over Jill during that time, which is why he fluctuates so much about her during the first three parts of Fates. Sometimes he needs to see her, sometimes he forget she exists. His memories and feelings are basically a wreck.

      Originally, the plan was for Jill to become Bryce's partner in the field, hunting down Fulcrum and simultaneously causing Chuck and Sarah to have some heartburn. That would have meant that Chuck could have some kind of reckoning in Part V about his feelings over being dumped/life is what you make of it. However, I liked the idea of Jill being a life lesson for Chuck about how much Fulcrum didn't make sense and how it poisoned everything. Originally, Jill wasn't supposed to get shot during the Trouble arc, but the minute I had the thought, it was too perfect and too interesting to ignore. So I ran with it, and Jill's storyline changed to where she was put in WitSec, far out of the team's reach, and Chuck's feelings about her were kind of shoved into the "repress repress repress" zone where he pushed a lot of things in Fates.

      Delete
  11. alfiem8.5.12

    Are there more chunks of "Greater" planned in the foreseeable future? I assume that concluding the main arc explains what the "working on the intersect code" stuff alluded to in the later arcs is all about, but I wouldn't mind seeing some more 'turning point' arcs like the New Years one, though I'd rather see more RJ etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right now, the plan is to finish out Greater the original story. As for the rest of them, I have ideas, but I don't know if I'll be writing them. I have so much other stuff on my plate.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous8.5.12

    Speaking of Jill....

    I've always wondered what exactly Sarah was thinking when she was in Chuck's room and she saw Jill's Facebook page on his computer in that one chapter. Was it CENSORED? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I imagine the silhouette at the practice range suffered a few more puncture wounds than normal that night, Anon.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous9.5.12

      Sarah WAS cleaning her gun while waiting for Chuck to wake up when he fell asleep in the car outside Jill's apartment that night!

      Delete
  13. I have to ask why you picked the CIA as your major bad guys?in cannon it looked more like the NSA were the heartless bastards(at least to me)
    P.s. is there any particular reason Chuck wasn't more involved in the removal of Lincoln?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It just fit. I see the NSA and CIA as both evil, as they both sanctioned the hit on Chuck in First Date, and the CIA were the ones that recruited him after college and therefore the ones that would have experimented on him and run Lincoln. I don't think the NSA are the good guys by any means; the lack of transparency in the story led to them being the "lesser of two evils" because they were less than thrilled at the CIA for not cooperating, which made them allies to Chuck only through convenience. I don't think Chuck, Sarah, or Casey for one second believe the NSA to be truly altruistic.

      Chuck was pretty involved in the removal of Lincoln, actually. I didn't really put him on the science side of things because in Fates, that's not his area of expertise; it's Ellie's. But Chuck allowed them to poke around in his brain every day. I think it spoke of great faith in his sister that he let her handle it while he worked through other things, like his own issues and the fact that he had a pretty strong case of clinical depression in Part V.

      Delete
    2. alfiem8.5.12

      Was it also possibly some degree of deference to canon regarding Beckman's character? I feel like that's why Graham gets evilled up so frequently in fan-fiction. The way the show was written I'm sure he also would have been completely into 'cuddly grump' mode by the end of season three if he hadn't been killed, but since he was killed people feel more free to make him a traitor or more outright malicious than they'll make Beckman.

      Delete
    3. Nope.

      Beckman is a grump in Fates. And she's definitely a villain in her own right. I enjoy her character on the show, but I hated the fact that the government see-sawed between good and evil. And not in a good, ambiguous way but in a "we're so lazy that we'll make them the villain" this week" way. We don't see much of Beckman, but she has her own agenda in Fates. I think if she'd been the one in Graham's shoes, with her dirty underwear being waved all around (Lincoln project, Chuck being alive, Gwen Davenport willing to expose any of it), she might have been the villain instead of Graham. Graham and Beckman, in my mind, made sacrifices to get to where they are in Fates and they protect their own...in their own strange way.

      Delete
    4. I guess I understand that now.how did you and mxpw work on fates?through the phone?e-mails?meeting in person? all of the above?

      Delete
    5. Carrier pigeons and old KGB code. It was tense, exacting work, and it turns out there's not really a good phrase in Russian for "roborabbit," but we made it work.

      (Chats, mainly)

      Delete
  14. If put on a scale, would you say writing this story has been more rewarding, or more 'I think this is the ninth circle'?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. The two aren't mutually exclusive.

      Delete
  15. Should have totally been more cake in Fates! Would have increased it's delicious value infinitely! :D

    But seriously.. I can't think of a question now, so I'll just stick with that. :>

    /katsumaro

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    Replies
    1. It's okay. The cake would have probably been a lie, all things considered.

      (Yes, I know it's pie)

      Delete
    2. If a Portal reference, it's a cake.

      Delete
    3. Hahaha, wow. I take it back. Can I blame sleep deprivation for this one?

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    4. Haha. It was cake in the game. :P

      Delete
  16. QUESTIONS
    Was Frank a happy accident?

    If you could change 1 thing about fates, what would it be?

    what song did you listen too the most in the making of Fates?

    Do you think "Oh Fates Sarah would do this when watching TV?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Was Frank a happy accident?

      Yes. But then, so were most of the things that ended up taking off. You can never tell what those things would be. Did I imagine Frank would go on to star in other stories and have his own POV story? Definitely not. Am I pleased? You bet.

      If you could change 1 thing about fates, what would it be?

      How I handled the Jill stuff/stalking.

      what song did you listen too the most in the making of Fates?

      Slow Club - Christmas TV. It's one of the few songs from the show I latched onto. I discovered that if I was writing emotionally wrenching stuff, I usually listened to happy songs. Contrary.

      Do you think "Oh Fates Sarah would do this when watching TV?

      All. The. Time. Heck, I had a moment during the Avengers movie that stunned me into shocked (and appreciative) silence.

      Delete
    2. Mind telling us what that moment was?And why stunned you?

      Delete
    3. Sorry, I can't. Not without spoiling everybody who hasn't seen it, as it's pretty important.

      Delete
  17. Ever any thoughts of the card being the Queen of Hearts?

    Too on the nose?

    Or did all the trials & tribulations Chuck & Sarah went through with their 'Fates' just make the Joker so apropos?

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    Replies
    1. My aunt always picks the Queen of Hearts during this one magic trick I know, so that card always carries that connotation for me.

      And I think you mean Jack. :)

      Delete
  18. Ok, I have a question, a small stupid one which I'll try to elaborate into something more :)

    In the second-to-last chapter, there is a moment where Chuck mistakes Italy for Spain regarding the bull fights.
    "Chuck winced at his gaffe. He knew the festival took place in Spain every year, but for some reason, it had just slipped out."
    Normally I wouldn't make a big deal out of it but with Fates, I am little paranoid to all those seemingly unimportant btw mentions. You said somewhere that everything that's in the story has a reason (Chuck's sudden running away, later to be explained as Lincoln programming etc.).
    To my question, is this truly just some random remark or was this a hint to something similar to the unfortunate effect of the cannon Intersect - memory loss? (a storyline I really didn't enjoy in Chuck)
    And, did you even ever consider to add to your story this kind of side-effect of the Intersect?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. This was just a random remark. We all forget little stupid stuff when talking to people. I like adding a sense of natural to Chuck and Sarah's conversations. It keeps them grounded.

      And no, I never thought about adding memory loss as a side-effect to the Intersect because it never made sense to me. Headpain was always there, nosebleeds as the brain reaches beyond its capacity, but I've always thought the idea of the Intersect overwriting things in the brain, with it being only Intersect 1.0, was kind of silly. Even in Intersect 2.0, it made no sense: the only way it would have worked is if the memories disappear right away as the new processes take over the brain all together. The Intersect should never have been expanding. It should have installed in one go, like a computer program, not organically like a plant. If Chuck were going to lose his memories, he would have needed to lose them all at once as they were "overwritten" by the Intersect.

      Delete
    2. Yes, exactly my problem with this storyline, thank you for never considering it :)

      Anyway, thank you for Fates, it was a thrill to read it and I'm looking forward to your future work - whatever it may be. I'll be sure to keep an eye out for you (twitter stalking etc.).

      Delete
  19. 7 Lincoln subjects. 1 terminated. 5 bunker'd. Was it 5 including Chuck, or 5 + Chuck? Either way, how did Kohl end up with Carver?

    Also, is there any way I can have a png of the playing cards from the Go Fish cover you posted on Tumblr?

    Isn't it neat that you can go relax to the fair this May, now?

    And, have I told you how awesome you are, today? If not, very. (You too, Maximus! Don't be jealous. :P)

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    1. 7 Lincoln subjects, 1 terminated, 1 freed from his bunker and shot, 5 (including Chuck) remaining. I never really looked into the intricacies of how Kohl and Carver ended up together, but I kind of think Carver viewed Delta and Foxtrot, his most troublesome subjects, as pets. Well, he viewed all of them as pets. Chuck's just the one that literally got away.

      Sure, I'll email you the file when I get around to it. And I'm looking forward to relaxing at the fair this May. ;)

      And I'm not nearly as awesome as you or Max. Happy birthday, again.

      Delete
  20. What story were you trying to tell?

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    1. Frank's.

      Unfortunately, Chuck and Sarah got in the way.

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    2. So Fates is a romance, then?

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    3. Fates is a Sallie story.

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    4. What?! I thought Fates was a Frarah story.

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  21. Many of my questions have already been asked and answered, so thank you - but that doesn't mean I don't have a couple more.

    Was it all Bryce's fault? Seriously, was him changing Chuck's record's what got him out of the Intersect project but subsequently moved into Lincoln (where it seems all good intersect failures go)? Is that Chuck's thinking when he meets Bryce at the airport or are they mutually exclusive?

    What is the one Sarah POV in this story you might want to write - if you were to ever write anything else about Fates?

    I know you've answered that you plan on finishing the main Greater piece - how about the Spring Vacation you started on the blog? Please?

    Do you plan on reading it start to finish? I do - top of my summer reading list.

    Do you plan on reading the reviews again?

    And why - why - were we Rick Rolled? Really, Rick Rolled?

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    1. Was it all Bryce's fault?

      That depends on how you look at it. I can't definitively tell you whether or not it's Bryce's fault (well, I can; I'm the author, I controlled the universe until I wrote "The End," but that's besides the point). I gave everybody enough empirical data to form their own opinions on whether or not Bryce is at fault, and you have to decide if you believe Chuck's opinion or not.

      What is the one Sarah POV in this story you might want to write - if you were to ever write anything else about Fates?

      I think if I were to write in Sarah's point of view again, I'd try to tackle the events of July 11th from her POV. Chances of me writing this story aren't exactly high, though. I'm a little weary.

      I know you've answered that you plan on finishing the main Greater piece - how about the Spring Vacation you started on the blog? Please?

      Maybe. It all depends on how I feel. Sorry I can't give you a more definitive answer than that.

      Do you plan on reading it start to finish? I do - top of my summer reading list.

      Definitely. I reread my work a lot. It gets interesting. I don't know if I'll stick to reading cover to cover because I'll probably get bored and skip ahead to scenes I like and then go back to remember things, but it'd be a fun experiment.

      Do you plan on reading the reviews again?

      No way in hell. I appreciate them, I do, but that's a roller coaster I have no need to ride again.

      And why - why - were we Rick Rolled? Really, Rick Rolled?

      Because Graceless O'Scanlin is a delightfully evil mastermind and I adore her.

      Delete
  22. Well, I think it's Bryce's fault, not that you asked. Chuck's brain never stops & I'm pretty sure he covered this 12 ways from Sunday.

    And I was truly just curious about the Sarah POV - although I'm not so proud that I won't ask pretty please on the Spring Break - stupid maybe, but not proud!

    And Frea, how does it feel to write such a great story? Dr Seuss quotes accepted ;)

    Ooo Oooo - one more, one more!
    I know you don't want to publish "outtakes" (good idea in my opinion) but how about Max's beta comments? They must be interesting.

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    1. If the muse moves me to write the rest of the Spring Break story, I might. I wouldn't hold my breath, though. Like I said: kind of weary.

      How does it feel to have written such a great story? I can't move my head. Seriously, I did something to my neck last week and it hurts.

      As for the beta comments, you'll have to ask Max for those. :)

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  23. Sigh - one more ...

    Is this the S5 jab you tweeted about?
    Sarah nudged him, smiling up at him. "Scared?"

    "That I'll slip on this rock and hit my head and forget everything that's happened to us in the past twenty-four hours? You bet." Chuck managed to return her smile. The rock wasn't as uneven as he had thought, and it was a little thrilling to be up there.

    "Don't worry. I'd make you remember. Even if I had to beat it out of you."

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    1. Is it my fault that they make it so easy?

      Delete
  24. Anonymous8.5.12

    First, thank you for such a fantastic story, with fully-realized characters and an intricate and believable plot. It's been such a joy having Fates to read these past two years or so, and I will miss it. The story was great and the ending was, to me, perfect. This particular story has ended, and the characters are free to continue with their lives. We have enough hints to see where the future may lie, but you've left us all free to imagine what would be.

    I could go on and on about all the wonderful things about this fiction, but this post is about questions. I have both a comment and a question, even if they may be about minor points that aren't important or even don't really exist outside my mind.

    First, the comment. Until the last couple of chapters, I was worried that if Chuck was no longer part of the Intersect project, Sarah would be sent to finish the 25-year sentence imposed on her by the highly believable, if completely illegal, kangaroo CIA court, especially without Graham to run interference. I would hope Beckman and Gwen would step in, and I'm annoyed that Bryce, who created part of the mess, seemingly got away with a slap on the wrist. I did find that completely credible, though, especially Sarah appeared to pay the price when Bryce took her to Siberia without letting her know it was unauthorized and again when he got upset that she didn't want a relationship with him. It was credible, but infuriating. I adore this Sarah, and I worried about her.

    My question involves the Jack of Hearts (hearts? I now can't remember). With the role that patterns play in the workings of both the Intersect and I would suspect the Lincoln project, did that unusual pattern on the playing cards help keep Chuck under control in the bunker? If so, did Sarah inadvertently break that control by stealing the card?

    So, let me finish by saying "Congratulations!" I know it was hard at times, especially when you were attacked about both the storyline and your output (which was fantastic; you do have a life). This is something to be proud of, and I hope to be able to read more of your published works in the future.

    And, again, thank you.

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    1. Hey, Anon! I'm glad you enjoyed Fates and thank you very much for all of the compliments. I know some people had a hard time with the ending, but to hear that so many loved it really makes my day.

      As for your comment: I never even considered that Sarah would go back to the kangaroo council. She'd had her sentence, Chuck saved her from that, and like Chuck, she became sort of joint property of the NSA and the CIA (Beckman outright tells her this in the sixth chapter). Disappearing agents might be something the NSA would object to. One of the things I hoped to keep alive in Fates was the idea, from the Pilot of the show, that the intelligence agencies don't play nice together. Having to work with CIA/NSA agents from the other side, the two agencies really kind of viewed Prometheus like a thorn in their sides. And Chuck does make something of a throwaway line in Chapter 57, I think, about having information out there very much like his original Grecian bluff. In hindsight, I probably should've called more light to this fact.

      And that's a good question about the cards. I never even thought of it that way, but no, Sarah didn't break the control by stealing the card. They kept the bunkers mildly gassed (You see Chuck mistaking withdrawal symptoms for agoraphobia in the first couple of chapters) and control the amount of interaction with the world that the subjects have to keep the programming "pure." Bryce and Sarah, by visiting, alone broke Chuck's control.

      :)

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    2. Anonymous9.5.12

      I figured the idea of the card was just my mind going off on a tangent, but good to know. And you did a great job of showing the animosity between the agencies as well as their mutual annoyance with having to deal with this problem team, successful though they were.

      Now, to re-read from the beginning while keeping an eye out for all the clues and hints and foreshadowing. That may be the best part.

      Marianne

      Delete
  25. Anonymous8.5.12

    hmm where to begin...

    first of all thanks for this epic, a lot of sleepless nights and a few liters of dr. pepper were devoted to your handiwork - so thanks for that

    so questions: there'll probably be a few more when the full book comes out but for now

    gwen and russel davenport - what's their deal? the genesis of them? and how does Gwem manage to have so much clout that she manages to fend off graham and beckman?

    is there a mother bartowski in your verse? Canon mom was kinda...well - so just wondering what kind of general take you had on Chuck and Ellie's parents

    does Fulcrums shadow ever stop looming? I know you wouldn't want to give definitive answers one way or another - but do they have a plan for the intersect that explains why they blew up the new intersect program aside from not wanting the government to have more?

    is the orion - bryce connection still true in fatesverse?

    sorry for the endless barrage here

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    1. Anon,

      You're very welcome, and thank YOU for the wonderful compliments.

      gwen and russel davenport - what's their deal?

      The very first thing I wanted to remove in Fates, and this is rather ironic, I know, was the threat of sending Chuck to a bunker...because it would have been a little been-there-done-that. mxpw and I have always joked what canon might have been like if Chuck had realized he had some rights (hint: very different/no indentured servitude). So when I started writing Fates, I set up Gwen, kind of a no-nonsense, will always be in Chuck's corner sort of character. I removed her from the hierarchy of rank and hinted that she and her team operate outside of normal structures, which means they don't really fear the head honchos. I didn't really have time to get into her backstory, but I did tell you a lot of things: she's smart (went to Harvard), tenacious (Russ comments that she has a mean right hook), and canny (very observant). Her original name was Samantha Davenport, but then Fake Name aired. My favorite thing about her is her suspicion of Casey and Sarah.

      I like to think that if Gwen weren't being an agent advocate in the FBI, she'd be a rights activist or a real mover and shaker in the political set. She's very high-strung, which is why I love that Russ Davenport is so unshakeable and laconic.

      is there a mother bartowski in your verse?

      They didn't approach the Mary Bartowski storyline until the end of Season Three, by which point I had already set up Fates as an established story. At that point, I was picking and choosing what I wanted to keep from canon (sometimes canon nullified something I wrote, sometimes canon nullified something CANON wrote), so when Mama B rolled around, I took one look at it, rolled my eyes, and kept going. So there's not a real answer to this one: Mama B may be exactly the same as she was in canon, as I always worked on the theory that Fates was canon with one little thing changed, which meant that everything up to that point (Chuck's graduation from Stanford) was inevitably true....or Mama B's storyline came after I started writing, so she's probably dead or just evil. Your call.

      does Fulcrums shadow ever stop looming?

      I think Chuck and Sarah sum up their feelings on Fulcrum quite well: it's a terrorist organization with no purpose and no common goal except to weaken the infrastructure of the United States Intelligence Network. Why it wants to do this, that was never answered in canon. Given that Fulcrum ended before I started writing Fates, I couldn't actually ascribe a reason to it and stick to my own theory, so...I let Chuck have what I think is a natural reaction to something that makes no sense and is threatening something he doesn't really care about anyway: "F*** it."

      is the orion - bryce connection still true in fatesverse?

      Probably. I'm glad I stopped writing the story so that I don't have to fall through the logic hole THAT one caused.

      Delete
  26. Anonymous9.5.12

    First, thank you for giving us such great reading material for the last 2+ years. And thank you for creating this free-for-all!

    After the card made an appearance at the end of 65 I went back and started rereading W&T & FFF. One sentence in one work leads to a quick conversation in another which leads to a pinnacle moment in your main piece...I just, I can't get over how consistent you are. Are you really just that amazing or did rereading help you remember things that you decided to recall later on?

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    1. Hey, Anon,

      I'm not really that amazing, I promise. I put my pants on, one leg at a time. Except when my pants are on, I go on to write What Fates Impose. [/Walken]

      (No, the secret is, I reread A LOT. Though my beta reader is one of the most awesome people on the planet, his memory is not the greatest, so the consistency fell to me, which makes sense. I was the one writing). Thank you very much for the compliments!

      Delete
  27. Define reusable. Because, if they're not reusable (e.g: Discard after an initial strike) what was the point in adding a return-to-base mechanism. Wouldn't it have been easier to let the subjects parish in the return fire and as such, create a John Doe situation?

    Reusable: able to be used again.

    The thing is, Lincoln ended up being a bureaucratic nightmare with too many cooks in the kitchen. To start off, Carver was insane. Gwen and others outright said so. Chuck's research/Gwen's comments pointed out that the government didn't really know the full nature of the Lincoln subjects. They didn't really know what failsafes were built into these people, but they did know that they could be useful, so it was easier to leave them in the bunkers.

    And you're forgetting the very nature of optimism. Even if the Lincoln subjects were designed to be sort of a one-off thing, a first wave attack, the government did spend a lot of money getting them up to snuff. So if there's a possibility you can keep your toy, why not go for it? I imagine that the Return to Base mechanism also goes hand in hand with the self-termination mechanism if the mission doesn't go well.

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    1. Ha, I meant reusable as in how you perceived the assassins to be reusable. Because the way it's phrased now, it's a melting pot of contradictions. The bunker--and anonymity as a result--makes sense if they're reusable, but at the same time, it doesn't because they're put in desolate places (or Chuck was, at least) that make extracting and employing the assassin ten times more difficult for the government.

      I get that they couldn't know about every failsafe, especially if Carver played it close to the vest, but they essentially knew what they were signing up for. Graham knew 'some' of the phrases, so he knew the gist of what was going on, thus explaining the motivation for putting Chuck in a bunker. But the trouble they went through seems weird, considering the earlier notion of having them be first strike assassins.

      Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, the entire idea of having them be assassins strikes me as odd. Assassins would usually denote someone who has a single target. The way Lincoln is described--or at least, what I'm gathering here--is something more akin to a terror group. If I'm interpreting your comments correctly, using them as a first strike team gives them an almost 0% survival rate.

      Soooo, with that said, what exactly WAS the true nature of the program? Were they assassins, terrorists, or a budding private army?

      Delete
    2. Were they assassins, terrorists, or a budding private army?

      Yes. :)

      Delete
    3. ... I hate you so much right now :(

      Delete
    4. I think Crumby has started a self-help group to deal with that response.

      Delete
    5. I am pretty sure Gwen could also be a Lt for the Chicago police department. Who works with this Dresden fellow.

      Delete
    6. I took on meditation. Alcohol helped too. ;-)

      Delete
  28. I like your work in general. I do hope that you will continue to publish new material in the chuck universe every now and then.

    I also hope that this blog will not fade away even if there is only one update every month. This is a community that I believe can continue to still thrive even if the flagship show or topic frequently changes.

    I believe that most people who read this, and contribute or just lurk around, all have similar interests. It would be a shame to lose all this.

    Any castle or downton abbey fics would be a welcome addition and maybe something that can be used to keep everyone together.

    Overall, don't hesitate to use this blog to help you with your original works. I know that you have no idea who I am, but I would like to help or contribute here where needed.

    Thank you for your writing.

    Looking forward to more.

    Adrian

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    1. I really like the book cover/picture for fates

      Delete
    2. Hey, Adrian!

      Thanks for all of the compliments. :) I was a little surprised by how much I ended up loving the book cover. mxpw pointed out that Sarah looks angry, and it's honestly one of the reasons I picked that picture: Sarah is so, so incredibly angry for so much of the book.

      And thank you for the encouragement. Whether or not this blog goes away, I will still be online in some form: I'm becoming more active on Tumblr, and of course there's also Twitter. When I publish, I'll of course include updates of where to find me on my new blog and website. You're very right in this being a community: I've met so many wonderful people in my time in the Chuck fandom, and I'm glad that we're still around to enjoy each other.

      Delete
  29. I just want to say, Frea, that I really enjoy reading your work. I recently recommended Fates in a geeky book club meeting as the work of fiction that I enjoyed reading the most in 2011. When choosing an excerpt, I felt I had to choose the robo-rabbit chase.

    As much as I enjoy this work, though, I feel that you are currently being hampered by your source material. Chuck was a fun show with a great cast, but it never took itself as seriously as you do this work. You can, and should, do better.

    So my question is, then, what original work do you have on your plate, and, when you do make it available, where can I get a hold of it and pay you for your work? You are far more talented than many other independent authors out there and deserve to be rewarded for your efforts.

    P.S.: That being said, if you do still choose to dabble in the various AU Chuck worlds you've created, I'd love to read more of Sarah's AU from Fates (in and around her visit to her dad in prison and in DC) and anything from the Greater-verse. I've really enjoyed those.

    Thanks again and congrats on finishing Fates.

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    Replies
    1. Rossco,

      Thank you very much for the compliments! I'm incredibly flattered that you recommended Fates in a book club meeting (it makes me feel like I've arrived, almost). Of course, part of me is amused. I had to pick an excerpt a few months ago for a newspaper article on the story, and I chose a short snippet when the meth lab blew up. The hilarious part is that, to me, action is my weakest area of writing, so to hear that the whac-a-mole and meth lab scenes are floating out there as excerpts is just really, really funny.

      As far as being "hampered" by my source material, I'm not sure I agree. Like I said, I'm of course flattered, but there's always been a part of me uncomfortable with being compared to Chuck the show. You said it: the show never took itself seriously. For the most part, it didn't have to. It was a silly spy caper that fumbled when it tried to be a serious spy caper, whereas I had the time to craft what I wrote and nobody to answer to but myself and maybe my beta occasionally (don't tell him I said that). We filled different purposes and without the show, Fates doesn't have a single leg to stand on.

      Please keep in mind that I'm a very subversive writer. This isn't to say that I'm a troll, though I do enjoy being trollish if the inclination strikes. My favorite thing about writing is deconstruction and reconstruction: changing one small detail and watching the pieces fall where they may, and then building a story from there. You've seen me do it with Fates (Chuck graduates), Greater (Chuck has a kid), W11 (Sarah runs instead of accepting Graham's offer), and even R&J (Mary takes the family and runs). These stories all work explicitly because the source material is there to work with. As an original author, you have no idea if I can carry that principle that makes these stories work (I hope I'm a good enough author, but I'm as yet untested, as I haven't released my original fiction on the world).

      But I understand what you were trying to say, and thank you nonetheless. I will of course post updates, including my new penname and the book I hope to release in October, which all of you can give me all of your monies to buy, naturally.

      ;)

      Frea

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    2. Call it a hunch, but I think you'll do fine.

      Delete
  30. About the "clues", did you ever wonder before posting if some things weren't too revealing, not revealing enough, or were you waiting for reactions and were surprised when it did and/or didn't happen?

    Like, in 33, for example, when Sarah used the phrase?

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    1. There were some things people picked up on right away that I was like, "Huh, maybe I should've made that harder." And then there were things nobody commented on at all. I could never really be sure what was going to be caught and what wasn't. Fates was a constant surprise.

      Chapter 33 was fun because in the original draft, you see the whole phrase, but mxpw thought that was a little blatant (I think he was right), so I got to learn to write around it. Not hard to do, as Chuck is having a panic attack due to his inability to breathe and all...

      Delete
  31. Anonymous9.5.12

    I really enjoyed "Fates" and thank you so much for writing it and FINISHING it. I am so glad that it is NOT one of those stories left forever in unfinished fan fiction limbo. And with that in mind, I think that you are the first fan fiction writer to promise to finish a story AND actually finish it. Too often, I have seen fan fiction writers make that promise and then the story never gets finished. So I not only thank you for writing "Fates," but I also thank you for breaking that "promise/finish" curse!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed Fates! Not sure I actually broke any curses, though, as plenty of writers have taken breaks and returned to their stories (I once took four years to write a fanfic much shorter than Fates), and besides, half of the reason I finished Fates is that it gave me the opportunity to use my favorite phrase ever: "Told you so."

      Delete
  32. Anonymous10.5.12

    Why exactly are those beds in the rooms in Riomaggiore so hard? Is that something common in foreign countries? Forgive the dumb question but I have never traveled outside the US.

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    1. Not that I know of, anon. The bed I had when I stayed at a hostel in Riomaggiore was fantastic. I just like throwing little details into scenes to give them flavor.

      Delete
    2. Henry10.5.12

      @Anonymous: ICYMI, tap water is pretty safe to drink in Riomaggiore. And yes, Venice stinks... ;)

      Delete
    3. Actually, Cinque Terre is a neat region. My friend and I went hiking there and brought empty water bottles, which you can fill up free of charge at each of the different villages. Trust me, you'll need it. the hikes are...fun.

      Delete
  33. Anonymous10.5.12

    Just wanted to congratulate you on this epic piece of storytelling. I can remember reading the first chapter back in Feb-10 during the season 3 misery-arc and it was a breath of fresh air. Truly an amazing read and a definite re-read for the upcoming summer holidays. As S. Bartowski would say, you're aces Frea!!!!

    Not sure how valid this question but in the Fates Timeline on this web site it states that Casey receives an anonymous tip on 28th Sept about Chuck and Sarah being in Athens. Can you cast any futher light on who sent it? Maybe Bryce?

    Please keep your twitter account up to date on any future projects because you're definitely a talent to watch and follow.

    Victor

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    1. Hey, Victor!

      Always neat to see who's been there reading from the start (and to find out when readers that stayed til the end started reading)!! Thank you for the compliments.

      The Fates Guide does say that Casey received an anonymous tip. I like to think of it as being sent by Bryce, as Chuck and Sarah pretty much confirm that Bryce was the one that left the menu in the room in Athens, making him pretty much the only one that knows. Perhaps, though, Randy left Casey the tip.

      Wonder why he would do that.

      Delete
  34. Anonymous10.5.12

    I'm curious about Chuck's bunker room mate, Brent? How does he fit into Lincoln?

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hey, Anon. I'm going off of memory right now rather than checking, but I killed Brent off before the story even started. He was one of the scientists; I kind of imagine he and Paul, Chuck's other bunker-mate, roved all over the five or six bunkers, making sure their subjects settled into the routine that would eventually become their world.

    Of course, Carver eliminated him. That almost makes me feel bad for naming Brent and Paul after a couple of real life friends of mine, as the real ones are very nice guys.

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  37. Hi Frea. First off wow I can't believe Fates is finished... more or less on my Birthday to (4th of May give or take the time difference). A complete coincidence but thank you for birthday present anyway :) . We've exchanged the odd message on here or twitter over the years but I've never actually written a review as such, praised you on your writing, especially of Sarah a couple of times yes but given... 68 chapters that seems really rather ungrateful to me so sorry (and to MXPW to I'm sure if he's contributed half as much as you say he more than deserves heaps of praise to).

    Secondly thank you for dreaming up, fleshing out and actually being devoted, determined and possibly demented enough to finish Fates. I think to my knowledge it's a unique work in fan-fiction, it's rare to find anything as well written, let alone that in many ways goes on to outshine it's inspiration.

    I came fairly late to Chuck, I played Mass Effect 2 when it first came out and after finishing it saw that Miranda was voiced by Yvonne and I ended up checking out her previous work, which led me discovering Chuck. I then blazed through season 1 & 2 in about 10 days and went straight into the first few aired episodes of the season that shall not be named. I've read what you've written on the subject and I think we both felt much the same way about it, and felt it really rather strongly. I happened by chance to take a look at some Chuck fanfiction and ended up reading quite a lot of it and discovered Fates. I think you were around Chapter 18-20 somewhere around Stanford anyway... I think I gravitated to it for many of the same reasons that you came to write it. I burned though reading it in about 3 days (and that was sitting on an uncomfortable desk chair for hours). I followed it pretty religiously for a long time... I took a break last year, partly due to the gaps in updates and because of wanting to know what happens next (I thought I'd build up a buffer lol).

    Around chapter 62 which I clicked on out of curiosity to see where you'd gotten up to... I then ended up staying up through the night catching up to date... oops I've never stayed up till it got light again before. Not for a TV show, not for a movie, not for a video game. And it's been relatively painless following it since then. By the way I was completely prepared to defend you ( you not being a sadist to your characters, one of the things I loved most about Fates was the complete lack of unbelievable needless angst that I think is far, far too prevalent in Chuck fanfiction in general) and then you blow up Ellie, I actually said "OK Frea you're a sadist".

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  38. Thirdly I never read all the reviews or got into any of the debates about the the direction/s you choose to go as a writer but thank you for sticking to your guns and telling your story the way you wanted to. I think most of the time you hit the nail on the head regarding believable and credible character development (even if you didn't always give everyone what they thought they wanted), certainly a million times better than the show ever did post season 2. Would like to see what happens next to your characters... well yes as a fan of Fates of course I would but given that you're currently time line wise at the beginning of Season 2... I can completely understand why you wanted to tie things up the way you have. One of the things I loved about the start of Fates was how obvious it was that you were loving writing it. I hope the struggles and periods of writers block over the years didn't taint your memories too much. And at least for me I wouldn't have wanted you to keep writing to the point where it became a chore. I think that might have shown negatively in the writing anyway.

    Fourthly I'm sure if I reread Fates, something I'm looking forward to doing, I'd have a load of questions but as things stand I do have one big-ish one. It's was/is Sarah indoctrinated/imprinted on Chuck following her first trip to the bunker? There's plenty of strong clues/hints that they were pumping some type of gas/drug into the bunkers, obviously including her dream sequence and other reactions and the psychological tests after her and Chuck are brought back to the states two years later showed a very strong reaction on Chucks part to Sarah. Was Chucks reaction in part due to the Lincoln conditioning/programming? If so I wonder if to some extent Sarah might have something similar towards Chuck (there's a hint of it near the end of the story with Sarah not wanting to think to much about certain things (or being able to focus?), though you never spell it out?). Sarah had already been through extensive CIA training, obeying orders, torture resistance training, etc, didn't have much in the way of friends/family bonds and also a photographic memory (who knows what else Graham may have been incorporating into her training (she was his enforcer supposedly)) she then over the following years was repeatedly putting her life in Chucks hands when he was her teams eye's in the sky/tech support? But quite a few of Sarah reactions to Chuck throughout the story... are extremely strong. I'm not trying to say she had full Lincoln programming just that from her childhood and training she may have, going into the bunker, been predisposed to being very receptive/susceptible to it, and being so angry at and suspicious of Bryce latched on to Chuck?

    Fifth thank you again for all your and MXPW's work over the years and I look forward to one day getting to read the rest of the Bank Job, It'll be nice for your Fates cast of characters to have that as a swan-song.

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