How Fates Might Have Gone

So I wrote Parts I-IV of Fates. Originally I planned to write Parts I-VIII of Fates, but…

Well, have you seen how long Parts I-IV actually are? It’s like 1.5 Robert Jordan novels. And I’ve had a lot of people try to take me to task for the “rushed” ending, or the fact that “Fates doesn’t have an end.” You may agree with them; you may not. I don’t really care much either way, honestly.

I stopped writing Fates because it was driving me insane. I picked a place that I thought was a decent ending for everything I had written so far, where the characters were together without any hindrances between them, where everybody was in a good place and ready to go out on the next adventure, which was to get the Intersect out of Chuck’s brain. Am I obligated to write everything I've ever thought about the story since I started it?

Personally, I don’t think so. Others disagree. Again, let them. Here’s what I had planned for Parts VI, VII, and VIII. These aren’t Fates-canon unless I actually sit down and write them, so disregard them or regard them as you see fit. 

Part VI:

This would have been a search for Orion, if I had stuck to the original plan. Chuck wouldn’t have known that Orion was his father and would have instead, being in a not-as-set-emotionally place than he was at the end of Part V, embarked on a quest that resembles a hunt for a great white whale, if you catch my drift. The single-minded obsession would have consumed him, frightened Sarah, and made even Casey take a step back.

What would have snapped him out of it: a pregnancy scare, actually. Not a silly, stupid one like the one on the show, but a legitimate one. (Turns out Sarah’s got a bug.) Chuck and Sarah discuss the future—Chuck is surprised that Sarah wants to get married, but does not want to marry her like he is. He especially does not want to have kids while he still has the Lincoln programming.

Throughout this section, they settle into the uneasy nature of working with the government and having only Beckman as their boss. Chuck relapses a bit with the paranoia (understandable, given what I did to his head). They follow leads given to them by Sergei Ezersky, who would have had a recurring role, as they try to root out the source of Fulcrum, which is frustrating (because let’s face it, Fulcrum on the show sucked and I’m glad I don’t have to try to make sense of it all. Other authors have fallen into that rabbit hole; I wish them luck). The final ramp up of the section is them trying to beat Fulcrum to Orion. Final reveal of the section: Orion is Stephen.

Chuck allows himself to start thinking that maybe he can have a future.

Part VII:

Having sequestered Stephen away, the team begins working with him against Fulcrum. Chuck infiltrates Roark Industries or whatever Roark’s company was called in an attempt to get to their Intersect. His research moves them leaps and bounds forward with removing the Intersect, but they’re not 100% sure that the Lincoln stuff will be removed from his brain. Chuck and the others figure out Roark IS the kingpin of Fulcrum and work to take him out. It goes well at first: the Intersect (and possibly Lincoln) is removed from Chuck’s brain, they blow up RI, and then…Roark is killed, the Ring is revealed, and Chuck and the others sigh to realize that there’s an even deeper conspiracy.

Chuck proposes to Sarah. With the Intersect out of his head, he’s free from government slavery…until Bryce kidnaps him and forces him to upload Intersect 2.0, knowing that the government will kill Chuck if there’s a possibility of the Lincoln programming existing without the safety net of the Intersect.

Part VIII:

Chuck attempts to kill Bryce. He fails and ends up having to work with him instead. The team is tasked to go after the Ring, but really Chuck and the others have a night job contacting Orion and coming up with ways to rid Chuck permanently of Lincoln. They basically take one look at the Ring, say, “F*** this noise,” and go about working for Orion as vigilantes, which sucks but they're together. So…pretty much exactly the same ending I put on Part V, but a lot later, with a lot more Bryce in the story, and the only difference is that Chuck has the Intersect 2.0 instead of 1.0.  Maybe it would have ended with Chuck and Sarah agreeing to stop putting off their wedding and marching down the aisle together, but I don't know. They're together. The trappings don't matter as long as they're living.

The theme was kind of “Government conspiracies suck, but value the people in your life and make the most of it,” which was, huh, how Part V ended.


They meet Aquaman in Venice, discover that he was part of Project Oklahoma City, Lincoln's Fishy Cousin, and go on adventures with him.

Choose what you will.


  1. Anonymous27.6.12

    I'm sorry you were getting harassed about the ending. I actually like it. I'm weird but I prefer happy characters/open ended plot to resolved plot/unhappy characters because then I'm free to imagine their continuing adventures.

    I can see why the story made you crazy. It was so long with no end in sight going by what you wrote above. That's like 8 books. The Lord of the Rings was only six! LOL

    1. I'm with you on the endings, Anonymous. That's why I think I minded the Chuck finale ending (I mean, don't get me wrong, I hated that they went there at all) less than others. It can live on in my imagination if I want it to (I don't. For the record).

      Fates was never going to have a set end. That group would always have adventures; they were adventurers and would have been basically for the rest of their lives. The problem is that Fates isn't a novel so much as a serial, I guess. It picks up at a point and goes to another point, and there are points up ahead where they overcome some of the adversities they faced earlier, but by those points, there will be more adversities to overcome. It was a vicious cycle, one I got out of by putting up the most optimistic ending I could and walking away.

      Personally, I think the Aquaman stuff is the reality. :) Thank you for the support.

  2. Henry28.6.12

    Well, this sound interesting. But since the fanfic fans (aka FFFs) are notoriously kind and understanding, I think that we can wait during this obviously temporary hiatus of yours, before you start working again on serious stuff. Let's say September can be a good moment for a comeback... :-P

    1. September CAN be a good moment for a comeback. :)

      It just won't be mine.

  3. Anonymous28.6.12

    First, I really enjoyed seeing what you originally planned for Fates. It would have been awesome to read all of that.

    Second, writing all of that would have a HUGE and TOUGH undertaking. How much work would that have been? How much time would that have taken up? I get exhausted just thinking about it!

    Third, I'm sorry that some fans have criticized or harassed you about the ending to Fates that you did. Fandom can be both cruel and kind. Sorry that you got the cruel part.

    Fourth, how you ended "Fates"? Just the fact that you FINISHED the story and GAVE it AN ENDING is wonderful to me! There are so many fan fictions that get started and never get finished and we readers are left hanging there. Writing is HARD work. Most fan fiction fans don't realize that. I think that's a major reason why a lot of fan fiction never gets finished. The writer starts off with a lot of enthusiasm but then the WORK sets in. For you to actually undertake and finish this great and long story...well, you have my admiration and thanks. Fates wasn't just a story, it was an epic. An epic with AN ENDING. So THANK YOU!

    Fifth, I said it before and I'll say it again...You're the only fan fiction writer I've ever seen to promise to finish a story and finish it. It always seemed to me that a writer promising to finish a story was like a kiss of death. That writer promised and never finished. So thank you again for breaking that jinx!

    1. 1) I'm glad you enjoyed what was planned! Bear in mind that this would have all changed radically if I'd actually written it; some day I should publish some of my original plans for Fates, as they would be enlightening. I changed the entire plotline once mid-chapter. It had my beta pulling out his hair.

      2) You're right. It would have been an undertaking of the century.

      3) I'm not made of stone; reader dissatisfaction was growing and would have only worsened the longer I put off the happy ending or had the characters screw up as they are wont to do. I've experienced extraordinary kindness at the hands of fanfiction readers, but the dissenters get louder than the supportive at times and before I began to resent everybody and contrarily start burning my bridges (which, frankly, I did do a little of with certain reviewers (one basically was like, "wow, you're a woman so I must tell you you're beautiful!" to which I replied, "WTF is that noise?" because what the hell does my gender matter while writing a story and he wouldn't have said that to a guy writer and UGH), it was better to put it to an ending.

      4) Writing is work. I saw something called the Overconfidence Complex the other day, and it's so, so, so, so true to life. The less you know about something, the easier you think it is. So many readers take the glib "how to" writing manuals and think, "I'm smarter than so-and-so! Clearly I could do that!"

      That's why we get so many people that want to write the great American novel and so many that never do. Writing is perceived as a lazy, anybody-can-do-it job, like slinging burgers or pumping gas. If you tell people you're a writer at parties, you'll usually get an answer like, "Oh, I'd like to be a writer!" And a good answer to that is, "Would you? I'd like to be a brain surgeon."

      It really throws them off.

      5) Thank you. Yes, I know a lot of writers stop writing their stories for a myriad of reasons. I myself have abandoned stories before. Sometimes they're simply not worth completing, sometimes real life gets in the way. Statistically, I'm about 33% complete, 66.7% incomplete, but the big stories, the important stories, I've usually come back to complete those. Even if it took me five years. One fanfiction was written over four years, but I finished it. Sometimes I have to wait to mature to write an ending befitting of a story, etc. But I *do* finish my stories. Impatiently trying to push me to do so on a schedule when I'm not being paid (which is honestly the only time you can give me a deadline that I'll obey) will only end in tears for one of us.

      And it won't be me. :)

  4. Anonymous29.6.12

    I enjoyed seeing the outlines for the Fates what-might-have-been. Thank your sharing that! And your ending to Fates? What was disappointing to me was that the story ENDED! I didn't want the story to end. I wanted it to go on as getting a new chapter in Fates was so much fun! But...it had to end some time.

    By the way, "What Fates Impose" was, according to the Fan Fiction stat line, 496,743 words. Is it tempting to add in 3,257 words to bring that total to 500,000 words? Just wondering!

    1. Hahaha, no, no, it's not tempting at all, sorry. ff-net actually inflates word-count by quite a bit. AO3, where I have Fates stored permanently, gives a much more honest wordcount for Fates at 439,564. :)

      Which is still a hell of a lot of words, I know.

      Part of me is sad that Fates ended and...nope, I can't continue with that lie. Or I should say that I'm sad that Fates ended for others, as for me it became a cage by the end. No matter how much I enjoyed writing it, I think a writer like me needs to keep moving in order not to stagnate. Some writers are happy writing the same type of thing their whole lives, but I'm apparently not one of them (right now I'm working on a straightforward Edwardian love story that's very proper, and a silly spy plot at the same time). So I'm sad that I had to end it for others, but so relieved to have it off my own plate. :)

    2. Anonymous5.7.12

      FF.net's word count changes based on some internal file conversion process. In some formats, if the original file has a lot of mark-ups for font, div, and/or paragraph sections, FF.net over-counts those mark-up words and story words. When using FF.net's online editor, it gets worse because it counts its own mark-up. However "clean" files are usually off by 0-3 words. Creating a "clean" file is tricky. Selecting the entire file and resetting the font sometimes works.

  5. Anonymous29.6.12

    I actually regret reading this cause now I wanna read the rest of the story.
    But you have other unfinished chuck fics right? Do you plan on finishing them, or did you just take a break?

    1. I'm on hiatus at the moment. I won't make set promises because if I break them, people get angry, but I would like to finish them very much. :)

  6. Thank you for sharing what might have been. I have always found your author's notes interesting and would encourage their inclusion in the e-book (if you haven't already). I had some opinion on the ending...haha, but totally understand your position. I found it way more satisfying then the show. Your hiatus/retirement from Chuck fan fiction will be sorely missed. As I tell my wife, you write some good Chuck! Along those lines, I do hope you finish your other stories but seriously no (I mean it) pressure. Fates was a monster. Thank you for writing it (I still don't care for the accursed season 3; really! what's up with odd numbered seasons?)and thank you for finishing it. Good writing with your other chapters and keep us up to date.

    1. If you contact @_NeilN on Twitter, he can tell you about a service that will download the entire ebook with author's notes rather easily, I think. He prefers that (and reading on Stanza, which makes me shudder), but I really, really hate reading author's notes when I'm reading finished things (I like going straight into the next scene) and I'm pretty sure my opening A/N for Fates was dead wrong, so I try not to remember my notes. :)

      And you're very welcome. I know people had problems, but I figure that the ones that did, there are other Chuck stories out for them to enjoy that don't take as many risks as Fates did, so I don't really feel at all bad about that. Fates was indeed a monster, and I appreciate the people that aren't pressuring me, like you, good sir. :)

      Thanks for the support!

    2. Anonymous5.7.12

      fanfictiondownloader.appspot.com. It requires a Google login. Sigil or maybe Calibre can be used to add Frea's great cover art.

  7. Hi Frea,

    Thanks for the update. Quick question, I noticed this morning that the "Say What, Now?" Tumblr link isn't working. When "Who Said Whiplash Is A Bad Thing?" went away it took me some time to find the new one. Anyways, rambling aside, do you have another new Tumblr or is "Say What, Now?" under maintenance?

    As always, cheers! - MC

    1. The Tumblr was started to be used by all of the CIA, but it turns out I was the only one that used it, so it's now my personal tumblr at freaoscanlin.tumblr.com. It's a lot of Downton Abbey stuff, just to warn you.


  8. Anonymous8.7.12

    I'm sorry, i was one of the people who said the ending was rushed *blushes*
    But i did say that i liked the ending and that i understood why you had to finish it. I would have loved it if you continued, because i really enjoyed reading Fates. But that's your decision of course and fans should know their place and stop harassing authors.
    Anyhow, i'm glad you shared your ideas for the unwritten parts :)
    Ps. what fates impose is kinda my all time favourite Shakespeare quote now haha

  9. I have to say, I'm happy that you ended it where you did. It was a nice ending, leaving the search for Orion open. In my mind, they found, he fixed Chuck up, and they all lived happily ever after :P.

  10. garnet20.8.12

    First of all, I came late to the Fates universe, and finished it in about 3 days (some of which was at work) and I would like to thank-you very much for undertaking this project in the first place, and for ending with an ending.:) I cannot imagine the work that went into this epic. I can say that, if they had used this as the basis for the CHUCK TV series, I would have watched Fates at least as happily as what I did get to see. So you have my admiration, and my thanks.

    And BTW, I'll keep the alert so if you do decide to return to Fates at some point in the distant future, I'll be there! In the meantime, I hear there is a new C+S story set at the Olympics so... I'm off to read that.


Please remember to be courteous to all other Castle Inanity commenters.