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ARM 0.1

This page contains all the updates concerning the final revision of ARM 0.1 as they appeared on the original website (from Oct. 30 2012 to Feb. 19, 2014), but in chronological order and on a single page.

 

 

Zero Point

30-10-2012

 

Hello, Cesar here.

It is with a certain irony that I claim to “seriously” begin working on writing Alpha Risk today, since I have actually been working on it for around 14 years. “Procrastination” is certainly a word that comes to mind now, but that is an unfair description in my opinion. “Fourteen years in the making” sounds way better, but it’s not a perfectly accurate description either. However way I may put it, it has all—for better or worse—culminated to right now. Time has long past ran out for me. Alpha Risk is long overdue, and then some.

So what is this the Zero Point of? Maybe it’s as simple as the time to forget about everything else, start writing, and not stopping for anything until it’s finally done. Because it is for this moment that I have sacrificed everything. For this moment I’ve worked for a decade and a half, and if I want it to mean something, then I must do this. No buts, no ors. Just this. Now.

So I’m doing it, plain and simple. The world by the poles. That’s what it takes. I’m all in, and it’s game time. Either this will end up becoming a thing that people like, or I will lose my sanity. There’s really no middle ground here, folks. By doing this I prove who I truly am.

Hopefully gods conspire along the way.

See you beyond.

 

 

0.1

05-11-2012

 


As of today the ARM (Alpha Risk Metadata) document officially becomes ARM 0.1.

ARM 0.1 is a 198,058-word document that contains all the data (and metadata) that is Alpha Risk, and more than everything required for me to write. This type of document I believe is known as a “Bible” or “Notes document” to writers who compose such type of document. It is of course, not the novel itself, but rather everything that belongs in the novel. And, a lot more.

In simpler terms, it is the million-piece jigsaw puzzle that I have created with my bare hands, and that I must now solve.

If I may extend the metaphor here, solving a puzzle with even a million pieces is rather easy, if you know exactly what image you are supposed to be constructing from the box it came in, and you have all the pieces required in the box. But in my case, I created the pieces of the puzzle, not out of a well-defined image, but rather hoping that they will compose an image in my mind that is constantly in flux. This image will not be concise until all the pieces actually compose it. Add to that the fact that only some of the pieces in the box actually work into forming the image, and these pieces, too, are in flux, as they interact with each other.

That is what I would call a “tough puzzle”.

Yet evidently, I am the only person qualified to solve this puzzle. So, why would I be intimidated by it? How could I possibly be intimidated by something that I created? I mean, seriously. Intimidated? Me? Please. Intimidated? Come on. “Intimidated”. Ridiculous.

Ridiculous.

In all seriousness, ARM is the thing I am most proud to have created on my own. It is living proof that Alpha Risk is real, and worth it. So of course that is a challenge I’m all up for.

And it’s a no-brainer I had it digitally timestamped by an electronic notary last week, too. (Full disclosure time: counting annotations and quotes from sources or writers other than myself, that are in the document for very useful reference, ARM is 220,137 words long. That is, 11% longer than just the original content written by me.)

There is an excellent reason for me to have called this document ARM 0.1 and not 1.0. The reason is: the Schema. Or rather, just one part of the Schema—albeit a very significant part.

I intend to begin the final revision of ARM (0.1) as soon as possible, but the description of the Schema will come next.

 

 

ARM 0.1: Final Revision

11-07-2012

 

Front page of ARM.doc. Apart from the title, each word is a hyperlink to the beginning of the respective section on the document. The squares beside each word link to the end of the section.


Thus begins the final revision of ARM (1.0). It is “final” in terms of being the last one before the first draft (after which it will become 0.1.1). The revision consists of me reading down the entire document, fixing whatever I consider needs fixing, and adding or removing content within. The idea is that once I finish, commencing the first draft will be a cinch—inevitable, even.

As you can see from the screenshot, ARM is divided into 10 major sections. In order to explain my progress, I should explain each section in detail. So, in their actual order, the sections are:

QUOTES

Simply enough, these are pieces of dialog from characters. Although there are many items here, they are merely an iota of the total speaking parts. If anything, they are more like “nodes” of dialog that I want to arrive to within the story.

NOTES

This section is better defined in terms of the other sections, i.e. as “whatever doesn’t fit anywhere else”. However, it contains a lot of vital information, and it’s certainly the longest of all sections.

THE TALK ABOUT…

This one is the most tenuous section. It has pretty good ideas and themes for discussion, from speeches to small talk (but not the actual writing like “Quotes”, just the ideas).

SITUATIONS

Summaries of many scenes in the story. Includes a Scenarios sub-section describing the places (cities, buildings, rooms) where the story takes place.

ACTION SITUATIONS

Scenes that are largely action-oriented. That is not to say that the scenes in “Situations” aren’t exciting, too. They are, but the scenes in this section are focused on the action rather than anything else.

NAME PAGE

Lists the names of everything (characters, objects, concepts, groups, etc.) with their etymology and/or inspiration. This section is actually divided into three: Definitive (names that are set on stone), Unassigned (things that don’t have a name yet or haven’t decided on a definitive name yet, AND names I want to assign to something but haven’t found that something yet), and Possible (ideas for names that could end up being used, or not).

TECHNOLOGIES

Another bulk of the document, it describes all technologies (artifacts, weapons, systems, etc.) in the highest possible detail. There is a distinct purpose to this madness, but that is a talk for another day. It mainly contains the subsections “Mainstream”, “ALPHA”, “Weapons”, “Xors”, and “Nephilim”. But please don’t read too much into the last two for now.

CHAPTER

Rather a misnomer. This section contains usually long and broad descriptions, not of chapters, but in fact “story arcs” or themes, that span an entire chapter or several chapters throughout. There is curiously some overlap with “Situations” here. I decided to put certain scenes in here that catalyze subsequent scenes, or that even define the entire plot of an arc or chapter.

EQUIPMENT

Exclusively for descriptions of equipment carried and used by Alphas. Nothing else at all (not even other tech found in ALPHA itself), making this the shortest section by far. In hindsight I easily could have merged this section into “Technologies” (particularly the ALPHA subsection), but it has stayed on its own since the beginning. So, eh.

PROFILES

Begins with a list of characters and their descriptions (appearance, personality and story-wise), then proceeds to the descriptions of the main characters/groups, which are longer and more elaborate. After this, it contains the “Character Traits” subsection, which has a list of interesting character traits that I could apply to my already existing characters; this includes clothing/features, backstories, motivations, and personality traits.

And that’s the end of the document. There are a few other parts in the document, either within sections or between them, but they are not worth mentioning here.

I will provide updates along the way to report on my progress. These progress reports will also make me accountable for my work, and for the time I spend on it. No excuses.

For this reason, it is important I set a schedule and a deadline for finishing this revision. However, I expect to come up with a reasonable estimate only until after I have gauged my progress for a couple of days.

I hope to post updates not only between sections, but also if I make changes worth of mention, and if I consider there is something else I should talk about along the way.

I’ve done several of these total revisions throughout the years. But this time it will be different. This time, it will be definitive. That is a promise.

 

 

Addendum

12-10-2012

 

I wanted to say something that I consider merits a post of its own.

This is the first time I’ve ever written (or talked, etc.) about Alpha Risk and ARM so candidly. That’s why I got the weirdest feeling while I was describing the sections of ARM on the blog.

First of all, I’m not all that concerned about things like spoilers or revealing ideas about Alpha Risk before the novel even exists. What I do find a bit unsettling is that I will be mentioning things like “[Xors]” and “Nephilim” that at best mean nothing as of right now, and at worst sound dumb when I say them outright. Of course, these issues will be moot once Alpha Risk is done, and someone understands what the hell it is I’m saying here. But until then I will simply write whatever I feel I should write here, whether it makes sense in the present time or retroactively. I trust that the novel will speak for itself in due time, and then somebody will be interested in the ramblings I’m posting here. Otherwise writing this would be outright pointless.

Even forgetting all of that, this blog, as I’ve said, makes me accountable for making Alpha Risk a reality, and at least that makes writing the blog worthwhile. Neglecting this blog would be betraying both Alpha Risk and myself. And I’ll be damned if I let that happen now.

Well that’s enough of that. Down to work it is.

 

 

ARM 0.1 Final Revision – Update 1

11-05-2012

ARM 0.1 Final Revision

14.2% Done

Currently at: NOTES

1%

 

Done with the Quotes section. I’ve realized that among the characters who will best benefit from the most prominent quotes, are Poincaré and 1H. This is because I’ve only recently understood each of their roles as communicators of “the truth” (from each one’s unique point of view). But, there’s some great stuff there to say for just about everyone else, as well.

Nothing else specific to report, really, except maybe that it took me shorter than expected. However, I don’t think other sections will take me as little as this. Especially Notes, which is up next.

 

 

ARM 0.1 Final Revision – Update 2

11-15-2012

 

                ARM 0.1 Final Revision

25.26% Done

Currently at: NOTES

37.5%

 

As I make progress down Notes, I should explain something. The fact that I’m currently in a section doesn’t imply that working in other sections is off-limits. In fact, I’ve already modified other sections during my work on Notes. Obviously all sections are connected to each other through the elements they contain, and this is how the tapestry of AR slowly unravels for me.

Case in point, I’ve considered changing the names of two major characters and [The game] after reading some notes regarding them. I have yet to decide the final replacement names for these. And that modification belongs on Name Page, rather than Notes. Once I’ve settled on a final name, I will properly reflect the change on all other sections.

I’m particularly ticked off about changing the name of [The game] because I loved the name it had, but it was based on what I just found out was a major mistake on my part, regarding a misspelled Japanese verb. I haven’t fully discarded its original name yet though, and it is still one of the options over at Name Page. But it’s unlikely I will end up using it now that I know it’s an error.

The good news is that I’ve finished polishing major aspects such as the class hierarchies, insignia icons, and Metag ID code structure. In fact, I finished with the ALPHA subsection almost without realizing it. But there’s still more Notes to go…

 

 

ARM 0.1 Final Revision – Update 3

11-27-2012

 

ARM 0.1 Final Revision

47.06% Done

Currently at: THE TALK ABOUT…

1%

 

Having finished NOTES, I’ve gone through so many things, that I can’t talk about all of them here. From overviews of the major factions, to the entire history of ALPHA (starting from UNICOT and the ZPE, and all the many things that follow), to the major themes, and so much in between… it’s a lot to take in.

And yet, it’s not the proper story itself.

But, it’s a major part of the aether that the story will thrive in. So conceptually, these are the most important elements of the story. And insofar as of today, they are all practically finalized.

I will say this: the Umbral mission outline made my brain hurt, like usual. However, after a few corrections, I feel it’s pretty much ready. And this at least is a proper part of the story, so there’s that iota of joy.

Like I said, “The Talk About…” is perhaps the flimsiest section. Hopefully, something tangibly useful is buried within. Let’s see then…

 

 

ARM 0.1 Final Revision – Update 4

12-04-2012

ARM 0.1 Final Revision

50.9% Done

Currently at: CHAPTER

14%

 

There has been a slight change of plans.

The idea of going down the Situations section (and the Action Situations section) is to establish how the scenes fit into the story, and where. I realized the only way to do this properly is to first go down the Chapter section, in order to see the bigger picture, and understand the spaces where the scenes would fit, before trying to fit them. Therefore, I’m revising the Chapter section before proceeding as normal.

I think this top-down methodology I’ve decided upon is intuitive and more productive when you have big pieces (chapters/acts) and small pieces (scenes) to begin with. I can see how some writers could still use a bottom-up approach in this situation and still do well, but I’m sticking to my plan as of right now. I suppose I’ll be indeed approaching the story from the bottom up by the time of writing proper, but I suspect that by then this will only be a quarrel of semantics.

 

 

ARM 0.1 Final Revision – Update 1

12-15-2012

 

ARM 0.1 Final Revision

51.3% Done

Currently at: CHAPTER

21.9%

 

I know that there has been little progress since the last post, as you can see from the progress bars. However, something important has happened that merits its own post and I’ll explain why.

I have finally been compelled to change one of the names I was most fond of in all of Alpha Risk.

I was so fond of this name, in fact, that I have been using it as my username in a myriad places on the Net. Back when I came up with it, I was very proud of it, especially since was an anagram for another word and whatnot. (“Ain’t I clever!” I must have said to myself). So I decided to use it not only for myself; oh no, it would also be the name of not only one character, but two, and simultaneously the name of an entire faction, to boot.

But since then, certain things happened.

I discovered too late that this name was painfully close to the name of a character of one of the most popular book series of all time. They are so similar, that more than once while using that username, people started discussing those books with me as if I had undoubtedly named myself after that character—despite the spelling difference. I assume they thought there was no phonetic difference, and they would have been unfortunately correct. (It’s not that I don’t like those books, I really do, actually; it’s just that I wasn’t naming myself after that character!)

That was quite long ago. But just this year I discovered that the name, in the exact spelling that I thought was so “original” and “unique”, was taken by a professional musician with a recording contract and whatnot. Now, you may be thinking that doesn’t sound like that big of a deal (it’s not like this artist is super-popular already or anything); but either way, it should be the final nail in the “dropping-this-name” coffin. (I’m sure this name suits this artist well, however way he came up with it himself; “good luck to ya” is all I have left to say about him.)

Yet even with all that, I still was in denial about this name. And only recently have I convinced myself: the name just doesn’t work for my purposes. Even with the anagram element, and the fact that I tried to make this convoluted backstory involving leetspeak and the Russian language to justify it, it was just not worth it.

The final push I needed to scrap the name for a new one was simply to find a name that works.

And found it I did. It was already a possibility for the name of one of the members of this very faction, in fact. Turns out this name is not only more deeply related to hacking than I realized, but it even comes with its own logo! That is definitely a deal sealer for me.

So I’m glad to introduce for the very first time, the Xors.

(In the end, I guess that “renaming your darlings” is less traumatic than murdering them.)

 

 

ARM 0.1 Final Revision – Update 6

01-18-2013

ARM 0.1 Final Revision

56.87% Done

Currently at: Situations

0%

 

Long overdue update, evidently. Holidays maelstrom finally over. CHAPTER rundown finished. Longer than expected, and also straining. I wish the plot had ended up more organized and clear after finishing than this. At least it’s clearer. All I know is that the Situations rundown will bring more tiny bits of chaos into the mix.

Also: negligence. For which I have no excuse, so why hide it. The guilt is there though, as it should be.

And I once talked about setting a deadline. That deadline would have been the end of January. Clearly that is not applicable anymore.

I remember mentioning that I would either see this through, or go insane. I’m starting to think those two situations are not mutually exclusive anymore.

 

 

ARM 0.1 Final Revision – Update 7

02-18-2013

 

Alpha Risk mind map, as of today. Looks terrible, I know. And it will only get worse.


ARM 0.1 Final Revision

62.8% Done

Currently at: Action Situations

47.1%

 

As expected, running down Situations added a lot of pieces (i.e. scenes) to the puzzle. However, it has helped me bring clarity to the flow of chapters, the order and relationship with one another, and even the story and intentions of some characters. That is not to say there’s still a LOT of assembly and clarity to go.

Still half-way through Action Situations, the pieces will keep piling on, no surprise there. It would be silly to believe that I will be using absolutely all of the scenes–action or otherwise–but they’re all considered at one point or another.

I plan to reach Name Page by the end of the week. If that’s the case I will nail down a deadline for finishing the document.

 

 

ARM 0.1 Final Revision – Update 8

02-26-2013

 

Told ya.


ARM 0.1 Final Revision

64.43% Done

Currently at: Name Page

0%

 

Finished with Action Situations. But before proceeding properly to Name Page, I’ll try to organize the mind map into a more coherent and helpful entity than it is right now. Evidently, the ultimate goal is to have all pieces correlated and organized into a single narrative infrastructure, but arranging loose parts into “lists” by relevance and preference will suffice for now.

All in all, I don’t find it unrealistic to finish Name Page by next Saturday. That is thus the target.

 

 

ARM 0.1 Final Revision – Update 9

08-18-2013

 

eventsjun600

Much better. Significant progress for sure, but there’s still much left to be done.


ARM 0.1 Final Revision

68.12% Done

Currently at: Technologies

1%

 

I’m alive! Now, work may have slowed down somewhat, but there has been significant progress on many fronts–something that the percentage itself may not portray properly. Not the least of which is the overall plot infrastructure, though I’ll admit there’s still much to concretize.

The good news is, pretty much all the names for all the characters/things/concepts/what-have-you are pinned down and set for good, except for a couple which I’ve decided to select as I write along and get a feel for their true form. It was shocking to realize how many characters were still missing a name at all! It’s all good and fixed now, thankfully.

It also helped that so many Chaos Theorists, and Fractalists, and Nanotechnologists, have such kick-ass names…

Anywho, up next is Technologies, quite a doozy for sure. Expect an update, and soon.

 

 

ARM 0.1 Final Revision – Update 10

08-18-2013

ARM 0.1 Final Revision

85.22% Done

Currently at: Equipment

2%

 

Very significant progress; quite swift, as well. The main reason for this is that I consider the Technology items to be quite solid by now, even more so than I remember having written. This is hard sci-fi territory for sure, if I may say so myself. (It also helped that I reduced the indent of several blocks of nested bulleted items, which reduced ARM’s total page number, and thus increased the completion percentage).

Now, I planned on making more than one post concerning Technology as I progressed, but seeing as I’m already done, I decided to unite all the notes onto a single post. I do try to be careful about what I talk about before the actual “product” is finished, and I would love to disclose so much more than this… but this is what I should share for now, methinks.


General

  • I’m amazed at how often technology can often drive the plot all by itself. Not as the dreaded exposition infodump, mind you. But rather, in the manner that their nuances can drive actions and motivations, especially as new attributes are discovered and acted upon. For instance, this happened with the cryptovirus, and to a lesser extent the Cataphract. I would say that the [Nagastra] falls under the same description as well, but I’ve had to reconsider its nature and utility so often, that I consider its complexity a hindrance to defining its plot rather than an aid.
  • It constantly worries me how reality keeps trying to catch up to what I’ve written in there. I wrote long ago about AR uses for social networking enhancement in Mainstream, and it turns out I might as well have been describing Google Glass, pretty much. A similar thing happened with wristphones, but just how popular those will actually get remains to be seen as of today… (At least I still have keyphones to fall back on…) To be fair, I constantly keep myself informed about cutting edge innovations and gadgets, which allows me to be inspired by them long before they get developed as mainstream products.

 

Weapons

  • I hadn’t noticed how overplayed the FN2000 actually is these days. I found it everywhere when I looked for it. Anything that needs a futuristic-looking rifle, goes straight to the FN2000. A similar thing happens with the P90, but in my opinion not to the extent of the 2000. It’s kind of ridiculous. So, Alphas themselves won’t be using the P2000. On a side note, I learned that the creator of the Halo rifle designed the rifle months before having ever seen the FN2000, and he had been right to fear that people would think he’d ripped off that design even though he came up with his first. Oh, I know that feeling, man. I know it too well.
  • Nico’s [Prime/Elite] Weapon was originally the Cobalt, but that would have been pretty silly. The Razor Rifle is the most obvious weapon for him since he is support. The weapons themselves were originally called “Select Weapons”, but I noticed how that would be confusing in some situations.
  • Fragmentation grenades may be powerful in combat, but they do horrific things in real life that I do not approve of personally. That is why Punica grenades are concussion only. (Not “concussion” as most sci-fi works use it, but real Concussion grenades, of course.)
  • “Do Alphas carry too many things?” is a question that started popping up every once in a while. I still don’t know the answer to that, but I integrated the fluxblade into the Multitool goo, so their standard loadout has lightened at least a bit.

 

Naming

  • I set upon the name multipad long before the iPad was an actual thing, but really, who the heck is gonna believe that…?
  • Noovoice used to be called “noospeak”, and I later realized it sounded like newspeak. But I didn’t change it because of that; I changed it so it wouldn’t be used as a verb, and because frankly noovoice sounded cooler to me.

 

Etc.

  • I decided to add a cyclogyro core as a central thrust system for Aeros. Though I don’t hope to talk too much about it in the story itself, this should make their flight a bit more believable. This doesn’t apply to ALPHA hoverships, of course.
  • I thought sometimes of patenting one or two of these, particularly the nullphone. I’ve come to realize that this would be problematic given that I don’t have the actual expertise to describe their technical functioning (a “constructive reduction to practice”), which is highly recommended for patents to do. I did propose the stickon beacon for an Electronic Engineering class project, but nothing came of that, obviously. Quite frankly, I don’t mind anymore if other people actually end up creating things based on my ideas; it’d be fantastic, actually.

 

Well, moving on: Chapter would have come next; but since I already went down that one, I’ve fast forwarded to Equipment—the shortest section of all. Then comes Profiles, the final section. Onwards, then!

 

 

ARM 0.1 Final Revision – Update 11

10-10-2013

 

ARM 0.1 Final Revision

97.86% Done

Currently at: Profiles

84.56%

 

Very close to the end now, evidently. Not many changes to the characters’ profiles to speak of. I am currently at Character Traits, the final subsection of the final section. Although this section is far shorter than the rest of the Profiles section, it has taken me longer. The reason is what you could call a pet peeve of mine.

 

[What originally appeared here was a rant on characterization. Looking back it seemed quite out of place here, so I moved it to my personal blog, and it can be found here now. -C.]

 

Well, enough ranting. I’ll now go down the list of character traits I’ve been working on, and apply them to my characters accordingly.

 

 

ARM 0.1 Final Revision – Update 12

02-17-2014

 

ARM 0.1 Final Revision

98.31% Done

Currently at: Profiles

92%

 

Well, that took much longer than I expected but it was also much more important than I’d posited. The progress bar may not reflect it, but all characters have evolved dramatically thanks to working on their character traits.

Like I thoroughly explained, constant characterization is important for any character because it keeps them both well-defined in the reader’s mind, as well as hopefully memorable throughout the story–and beyond. I also said that certain traits would in fact help explain the attitudes and motivations of characters, and boy was I not kidding about that.

In establishing the simplest attributes for characters, such as hair color, clothing, and accessories of all sorts, I found asking myself, “Why? Why exactly are they wearing this? Why is their hair color this? What is the reason behind their look?” and this alone forced me to establish their roles. I realized I had several characters which I had no idea how they truly fit in the story. Establishing their look required me to establish their nature and purpose, and that in turn allowed me to more clearly define them visually and thematically. Even those characters I thought I knew well already had to be seen in a new light once I detailed their traits. Now I have a full cast of characters, not only with stylish looks, but also with clear roles.

The most striking example of this was, without a doubt, Cyan. Given the full effects of the Incident, I figured that Cyan should display at least a partial hint of the effects on himself. So I decided a gray streak across his hair would be appropriate. This forced me back to a question that still plagued Cyan’s character: his immunity. Why and how exactly would he only be partially affected by the Incident? It was at this moment when the whole mystery unraveled right in front of me, and the answer set in like the perfect puzzle piece I was waiting for. Inevitably, it explained the character as a whole. And it all came from what hair color he should have.

So detailing my characters was even more important than I had ranted about, as it turns out. And it wasn’t an easy road. Learning the proper names for natural and unnatural hair colors; finding names for those types of clothing you’re thinking of; how wildly jewelry and piercings change name depending on the part of the body they’re worn; the names of the clothes they wore in Ancient Rome, the late Feudal Age, the Renaissance. Like usual, researching for Alpha Risk led me to learn so many new things along the way, even if it wasn’t in the most scientific of fields.

  • Hair color, hairstyles, eye color, clothing, eyewear, hair accessories, makeup, piercings, jewelry, equipment, skin decorations, tattoos, wearable devices, skin markings. Researched all of these. I know of these now more than I ever thought I would!

 

  • I wanted to share this one example of what I had to deal with: So I decided on this piece of clothing I wanted for Hervor, but how to describe it properly? Well it’s hard when such piece of clothing has no proper name, but rather a multiplicity of possible names: shoulder cowl – shoulder wrap – cowl – capelet – cowl capelet – capelet shawl – neckwarmer – shoulder warmer – ponchette. I could go on.

 

  • Surprising how useful Google Images can be when trying to find accurate names for things–and viceversa, when visualizing things from the names provided to you.

 

  • I was also concerned about overall heterogeneity. I think I reached a pretty balanced palette of color and gender. But I guess this is just out of my own fondness (i.e. obsession) for symmetry.

 

  • I completely redid the Sixth Symbol. I didn’t realize how utterly silly the original design looked. So I redesigned it to have the form it should’ve had all along.

 

So what’s left? Faction traits (just a few to apply to certain factions, or not), and loose personality/storyline traits to apply to specific characters, or not. And that’s it. Hopefully Definitely won’t take me another three months to finish, dammit!

 

 

ARM 0.1 Final Revision – FINAL UPDATE

02-19-2014

ARM 0.1 Final Revision

100% Done

COMPLETE


It is done.

After working for so long, I’ve finally reached the end of ARM 0.1, and thus the final revision is complete. With the spellcheck done, ARM 0.1 officially becomes ARM 0.1.1, and it will be ready for timestamping as such once it is stripped of external references and links.

Working on the unassigned character traits led me to once again polish certain characters’ attributes, as well as define certain characters’ key storylines; in particular Feigenbaum and her involvement with Retcon.

Apart from that, I worked on several other tidbits from all over. Here are some final notes from that.

  • Once again I had to rethink Nagastra’s nature. Funny how it keeps giving me headaches trying to tell an interesting story with it. For the sake of keeping convolution to a minimum, I will make it as a fast-hitting weapon as possible, and see where that takes me.

 

  • Wildcard is a mercenary. Theon is a mastermind. Kurush is a psycho. This distinction is important and I’ll have to keep it in mind when dealing with them.

 

  • Relating Scythe to Scythian would make for an interesting and quite believable folk etymology, if you ask me.

 

  • Apparently I broke Word’s real-time spellcheck. It kept telling me that the document’s too long and I’d have to check for errors manually. That’s what I had to do at the end, anyway, so okay.

 

  • The final major changes I did involved the ALPHA Plexus hierarchy. I decided to remove the Tierce echelon, keeping it only for Didymos and other Plexuses of larger size (if they do in fact exist). That effectively makes a standard Plexus three times smaller; but, I also reduced the hypothetical amount of Plexuses from 11 to 7-10. That resulted in a shift from 8,019 units (maximum) to 1,701 units (minimum). And I’m alright with that. All this came from a lingering feeling that ALPHA is just too big for its own good, especially when you compare it to certain Special Forces unit sizes, like Delta (~1,000), navy SEALs (~2,000 with DEVGRU having 200 to no more than 300), or Green Berets (~5,000). So its overall size makes more sense to me now. After all, ALPHA is supposed to be a covert ops group, not a massive Earth-engulfing military force. Right?

 

  • The other major change was renaming Triumvir from Triskele. Considered changing either them or the Triarch to that. Haven’t completely ruled out doing that instead, though.

 

So evidently, the step to take after this is to begin writing as soon as possible. However, there are a few things still to do before that. Other than prepping the document for timestamping, which should take two to three days, I have ancillary documents to re-read, but none of which have more than a few pages. So, getting everything prepped should take me a few days to a week more. Until then…

 

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