Of Pancakes and Children

Stories are never really finished, and I’ve yet to have a farewell in my life that wasn’t painful. I’d hoped that when I made the posts about needing a break, that it would be just that: a pause, not an ending. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

Inheritors is ending. With this post.

“But the story isn’t over! What about Gabe and Epione? What about Doppelganger? Nero? Remise? What about Bedevil and Maisa and Meltdown? The Fear? The world’s not safe, the threat is still there! There was no closure!”

I know. I will give you closure here and now. I’m not going to shutter this without telling you how the story ends, or giving you hope that you’ll see Gabe again. Before that, though, I’d like to outline the circumstances that led to this ending, so if you would bear with me, I’d explain all. Or, enough that you’re satisfied, anyway.

A creator has a complicated relationship with both the creation and the audience. I feel I owe you and the story perfection. I wanted to stretch my wings, experiment, try new voices and ideas that I’d never tried before. I wanted to throw every ounce of my creativity at this story. Which, in hindsight, is not really what a serial is about.

When I first started writing the serial, I did it because I wanted to rediscover my joy in writing. I had five novels under my belt and hundreds of query rejections. I was dying in the traditional publishing trenches and I had nothing to show for it. So I set that aside and aimed at the serial world, thinking it might give me back that joy.

I’m not going to lie to you: writing Inheritors absolutely did reignite my joy. The writing was fulfilling, the story abuzz with excitement, the comments and audience interaction like lightning in my veins. In the last several months, though, that all changed.

The updating became a job. I checked in with Gabe twice a week the same way a boss might keep track of his employee’s work. No love, no passion, just making sure it was getting done. Gabe deserved more than that. I lost my passion for the story. Or at least, for this iteration of the story. More on that in a bit.

The other thing that hurt my writing ability ended up being that community interaction. I found I was writing no longer for my own happiness or to see how these characters I loved so much would find a way out of their situation, but to fulfill the obligation to my readers and to make sure the comments were coming in. Of course I got positive and negative comments, just like most creators, but I found that I obsessed over the negative comments and could not appreciate the positive ones in my heart.

Another issue I ran into: this story’s style and genre are not the current niche of the web serial community. They desire certain kinds of stories that I’m simply not interested in writing. A friend of mine, Rhodeworks of Not All Heroes, put it better than I can in his farewell post:

“There’s more I could say, but little point to it. I don’t consider it a failure as much as a re-calibration. An awareness that you want to play baseball when everyone’s just fine with softball, and there’s no real setup to foster something beyond that.”

In that, we’re in full agreement.

The serial trap, the one that demands you post content regardless of how good it is or if it is close to finished, was destroying my creativity. I told myself I was uploading a first draft and people sort of acknowledged that, but that wasn’t even true. I was uploading tiny vignettes that were designed more to keep readers going than they were to tell a cohesive story.

On top of this, I am a student, a journalist, and an editor at my school’s paper. This year will be my last in college, and I expect my attention will mostly be on that fact for the next year. I thought, could I really put this off for a year and pick it up again when I graduated? 

The answer was no.

Another problem I ran into: I do struggle with my mental health. This is not an issue I made up for my break posts. I won’t speculate as to the role they played entirely in my decision, but I knew that the updating wasn’t helping.

It is as Gabe said: “You have to save yourself before you save others.”

If I’m being honest, I am saving myself. I can’t write, think, or create without feeling like I owe someone something. Like when I decided to pick this up to reignite my joy for writing, now I must set it down to do the same.

I’m not saying goodbye to Gabe. While I was on break, I began to draft up how I’d fix the myriad of issues with Inheritors, that glorified first draft of Gabe’s story. I realized I’m not done with Gabe yet. In fact, my partnership with him has only just begun.

I’ve begun work on what I hope will be a manuscript version of Inheritors (name pending) that I can shop to agents and get published.  Someday, Gabe will tell his story again. If you want to keep track of that or my other serial projects, you’re welcome to follow the WordPress, join the Discord server, or sign up for my newsletter.

Before we get to the summary, there are a number of people I’d like to thank for supporting me over the last year or so of posting this. My father and mother, as old hat as it is, deserve a thousand thanks for encouraging me to write. My writing group, Shannon Winton in particular, deserves endless praise. A very special shoutout to Amulek Sanchez, who loved this story from the first episode, and who I am in considerable debt for his constant support. You are the one person that gave me significant pause in my decision. My Houstonian friends, Malachi, Brooke, Will, Brett, Audley, Claire, I love you, I love you, I love you all. My webfic friends, this crazy and interesting community I was thrust into: Rhodeworks, Hejin57, Rhythm, Third “Jerkface” Emperor Flesnolk, Shadowkey, Snuggle Squiggle, Mary, samberk, Sharkerbob, L. Nimbus, and many many more I am probably forgetting.

Below  is a summary of Volume 6, 7, 8, and 9 as I envisioned them, plus a few of the scenes that I drafted up interspersed throughout, and the cherry on top: the epilogues I drafted a long time ago.

I always knew my ending, but I realize now that it passed me by somewhere in Volume 4, rather than all the way to Volume 9.

I always promised my readers an ending. If you want the ending of this particular iteration of Gabe’s story, then read on. If you’re the patient type, maybe you can skip it and wait for my edited, published version.

I’ll leave the decision up to you.

 

Volume 6: Though Guiltless

Who sinned? The man, or his father? 

From where Hell 2.1 left off, Bedevil, Meltdown, and Maisa follow Rongrong through China to find a way back home, but end up in the grasp of the Warlord, who kills Rongrong but keeps the trio alive so Gabe will come after him. If Gabe won’t kneel, he’ll die, instead. The Warlord attacks New Delhi as his first major declaration of war.

Gabe, Epione, and Flashfire agree to go separate ways to tackle their different problems: Gabe will go find Bedevil and reunite the Inheritors if he can, while Flashfire and Saw Off go after Remise, and Epione herself will deal with New Foundation through means she won’t tell Gabe. Gabe doesn’t like this, but believes he’ll only make things worse. When Flashfire goes on his vacation with not!Meltdown, Gabe and Epione ambush the clone and kill her, guessing that they planned to replace Flashfire. Sure enough, a portal opens, and Gabe charges through, thinking it will take him to Bedevil.

Instead, he ends up in north Sweden, at a hidden facility run by Empyreal and Araphel who have worked with Doppelganger on a containment for the Fear, and it’s there that Gabe finds out the true nature of the Fear: it isn’t a species or a weapon, but the coalescence of all humanity’s collective negative emotions, and that it can’t ever truly die. The entity was created when superpowers emerged, and nothing short of total annihilation or transformation will stop it. Gabe also learns Bedevil was in China, but that she recently escaped, and he dares to hope. Empyreal and Araphel decide to join Gabe, having waited for an opportunity to betray Doppelganger.

While headed south, Gabe feels his suit’s power die out, and he realizes that Archimedes has died.

Gabe, Empyreal, and Araphel link up with Sal Tomas, director of ORDERS, who informs them about Bedevil’s current whereabouts. Gabe agrees to help stop the Warlord so that he can rescue Bedevil, desperate to find her again.

Before the battle, Templar and Linear arrive, and tell Gabe about what Epione did to win back New Foundation: she used Carnality’s power and massacred the clones, even killing the president, and she left with Tim Prince in the aftermath. The battle cost many lives, including Archimedes, and New Foundation is destroyed. Both Templar and Linear are disgusted by her actions, but Gabe isn’t sure what to think.

ORDERS meets the Warlord’s army on his path through north India, ambushing him as he assaults another city. Gabe faces the Warlord, who has severely underestimated Gabe and his allies. The Youxia are routed, killed, or captured, which includes the Warlord himself.

And Gabe is reunited with Bedevil:

“Ruby!” I call, sprinting through the ruins toward the Warlord’s camp. I know she’s alive. I know she is. She must be. I would know — I would feel it if she died. Epione told me that much.

For a moment, even as I cry for her and push rubble out of my way, I wonder if this desperate need to find her is genuine or if it was by Epione’s manipulation.

The closer I get, the stronger the bond, and the less I care. If it is by Epione’s hand, so be it. “Ruby!” I love her. That is true. “Ruby!” She’s here, in this wrecked fortress, I know she is. She goosebumps my skin, she flutters my heart. “Where are—”

“Gabe!”

I soar into the air, toward her voice.

She is. She is! She is emaciated by her captivity. Her golden hair gone, buzzed to the scalp in uneven patches. Yet she stands in front of a metal building with Maisa and Meltdown, holding the leash of a mechanical collar strapped to Thearch.

Ruby wavers, seeing me. Her eyes, they are her (her!) eyes. She holds her head high, her shoulders square. Her imprisonment has not destroyed her spirit, which I know belongs to the woman I met in Houston. I can feel that it is her by closing my eyes and seeing her silver light like the moon cresting on the horizon of the ocean.

I open my eyes. My very uncool greeting after a month of wondering if she was even alive: “Hey.”

Ruby smiles, wipes her tears with her free hand, and says, “Hey is for horses.”

And then we two lovers are in each other’s arms again, showered with kisses and tears, whispered lovelies, the treats of our fingertips, our lips, our eyes. I caress her buzzed scalp, and she whines and says she is sorry, she knows I love her hair. I tell her not to worry, that I love her new look. Her laugh is broken, the little shards of shattered joy clink in her throat. A kiss can taste so bloody.

“There’s my dork,” she whispers.

 

Volume 7: Flesh and Blood

Who can conquer the fear of the world? 

volume 7 art.png

art by Ana Critchfield

The volume opens with Flashfire and Saw Off leading a group of masks to fight the Setting Suns, who have held Remise prisoner at Nero’s command. They triumph over Hecate and her followers, freeing Remise, but they find out how bad the war between the States and the UWC remnant has been on Central America. The fear of the world is growing.

Gabe wants to walk away from public hero life, but knows he won’t be able to rest until Doppelganger is defeated and the Fear is somehow destroyed. For him, his plan to start a family with Bedevil is at stake. He tells Bedevil about Epione’s plan to kill the Fear, and she worries.

ORDERS makes its final move on Doppelganger, finding his location through Empyreal. He’s retreated to the facility in North Sweden. Through Empyreal, Kassandra, and ORDERS’ investigations, his entire network is exposed. Gabe leads the assault on the fortress and ends the life of the man who would be his father. Before he passes, Doppelganger asks Gabe if he can conquer the Fear, but Gabe has no answer for him.

Meanwhile, Epione has started her own plan to beat the Fear, by cultivating positive, loving relationships to use as weapons. She’s started a commune where she actively influences the emotions of everyone, making them fall in love and have positive emotions, while Tim Prince uses his power to remove any suffering from them.

 

Volume 8: Principalities

A forced sacrifice is just a murder. 

Six months after Doppelganger’s death, Epione receives a vision from the Fear after searching for it. He speaks to her through Nero, telling her he will come for her, and destroys her commune by possessing Tim Prince once again. All her cultivated weapons are destroyed.

Epione begs Gabe and his friends for help in fighting the Fear. Gabe is integrated into ORDERS and helping them restabilize the Middle East, and Bedevil has just become pregnant with their first child. The two are reluctant to help Epione, but Gabe has had nightmares of the Fear returning. He knows this fight is coming eventually. Bedevil agrees, knowing that as long as they have their child, things will be okay.

Epione convinces Gabe, Bedevil, Saw Off and her girlfriend, and Meltdown and Flashfire to let her use their bonds of love to fight the Fear. The Fear sends Nero to hunt her, while Tim Prince and a few other hosts are sent to key locations across the world, doing as much damage as possible. Epione tries to use the weapons — and they fail her. Bedevil and Gabe’s love works fine, giving Gabe an opening to enter Nero’s psyche, but the other two couples are repelled by Epione, who appears just like the Fear to them.

Gabe dives into Nero’s mind and rescues him from the grip of the Fear, ending Nero’s possession, but not before catching a glimpse into the Fear’s heart: a pitch black core of all the horrible memories of the world, wounded by a spear made of pink light that holds Epione’s memories of Flashfire.

The other hosts go on a massacre while Epione reels from her loss. Gabe doesn’t know what to do to avert the crisis, but joins the fight with the other hosts. Many die, including Remise, Templar, Sal Tomas and many ORDERS knights, but eventually the hosts are either killed (or rescued, in the case of Tim Prince).

 

Volume 9: Against the Cosmic Power 

We all have a role to play. 

Gabe refuses to surrender, to let humanity’s negative emotions consume the world. He asks Epione if there’s a way they can get back to the core of the Fear. Epione gave up her love to fight the Fear, and knows that if she ever took it back the creature would be nigh unstoppable. Knowing this, Gabe forgives her for her actions, and they make up their friendship.

Epione tells Gabe she would need another powerful lance, someone like Gabe that could create an opening. Gabe asks her if faith would work, or some other positive emotion, and Epione thinks it could. Gabe, Epione, and Bedevil come up with a plan: get back to the core of the Fear with the combined Affect of the world. They know they can’t destroy the core, otherwise humanity would cease to have emotions, but they can change it by inserting their own Affects into the Fear’s core.

Gabe rallies his forces, knowing that if they make a move, the Fear will use whatever hosts it has to defend itself. In the intervening weeks, Gabe resurrects Megajoule’s persona specifically for this task, wearing copycat armor and taking on the name to get people hoping again. Meanwhile, Epione and Bedevil seek out all of the empaths they’ve become aware of, even the Youxia and Tim Prince (who was crippled by his last encounter with the Fear).

The final forces are gathered: Krater joins Gabe’s army, and even the likes of Nero and the Warlord sign up. In the end, Gabe gathers an army of Heavyweights dozens strong that all respect his strength or his courage.

The empaths together begin to pull the Fear’s core out of the Affect and the final confrontation between humanity and its darker side begins. Dozens of full hosts and thousands of zombified humans swarm Gabe’s army while the empaths do their work. The powerful emotions and energies of this battle cause powers to go haywire. Both Krater and the Warlord are killed. Gabe is almost killed, but before he passes out, he feels light shining on his face, and life returning to him. Power flows into his body, hope, faith, love, every positive emotion that exists, and he realizes his plan worked: he has become the focus of humanity’s hope, a counter to the Fear.

Gabe presses his advantage and pierces through to the Fear’s core with Bedevil and Epione. Somewhere in the charge, Bedevil falls behind, so that only Gabe and Epione make it into the core. Gabe is content: Bedevil and his child will live on, safe in the new world.

Except, when they arrive, Epione uses her power to take all of the positive Affect into herself.

“We all had a role to play in this, Gabe. You performed yours beautifully.” Epione’s eyes spill silver tears that scatter into the air like glorious diamonds. They dance up into the darkness of the Fear’s intricate engines. “Now it’s time for me to play mine.”

I reach for her, desperate to pull her back, or to join her. I will not let her die alone, I will not let her make this sacrifice by herself! “If you die I didn’t perform my role.” I am begging her now. “We bear this together! We agreed, Epione!”

“Ah, no, Gabe.” She reaches back to me haphazardly, just two fingers stretched toward my hand. Those fingers begin to unravel into slivers of light that resemble the petals of a rose. “They still need someone like you down there. Your role was never to join me. You… you were my friend, my dearest friend, the one I trusted to understand me. And in that regard, Gabe…”

Her body melts upward in a spray of color, the strands of her Affect catching into a multi-colored fire that begins to spread through the black spheres of the Fear’s engine. The one remaining part of her is her face, which is twisted with heartbreak and hope.

Through gleaming, silver tears, she says one final word:

“Bravo.”

In an explosion of warmth, light, and emotions, the Fear is transformed into an ethereal being. Gabe is expelled from the core. Epione experiences one last moment of mortal lucidity as her mind is spread across the entire world and she observes billions of lives all at once, before she becomes a being of pure Affect.

In the aftermath, Gabe is despondent, but Bedevil manages to help him through this time. Nero finds Gabe a few weeks later, and even though they fought together to save the world, he can’t let go of his hate of Gabe or Megajoule, and attacks Gabe. The fight ends swiftly, since Nero had no power stockpiled, but Gabe is shocked when Nero does not return. He doesn’t know if it was Epione or if Nero simply lost his power in the final battle.

Gabe eventually comes to accept that what happened was okay, and that he is glad to be alive. He accepts the role that Epione had him play, as well as his role in all of the events that came before, and at last finds a sense of peace. He spends his last months as Aethon/Megajoule training Maisa to be his replacement and making sure the friends that survived are well taken care of, including Saw Off, Flashfire, Meltdown, and Linear.

And so, we come to the final moments of Inheritors.

The bell above the door to the Rise ‘n’ Shine diner sounds its merry call as I enter with Bedevil. The cushions are just as I remember them: painfully neon, the leather cracked with time, and everything is covered in chrome and retro tiling. The waitresses skate by and smile at us. One of them rolls up to a little podium with a sign asking us to wait to be seated.

The waitress’ smile fades and she tilts her head. “I know you from somewhere.”

I chuckle. “You probably do, but I’d prefer if you don’t sound the alarm. Table for two, please.”

Unfortunately, the waitress is star struck. She stammers worse than a drunk loon, her eyes are wide, and she grips the host stand like it’s keeping her upright. “You’re… you’re… you’re…”

“Famished, thanks.”

“Table for two,” Bedevil echoes. She squeezes my hand.

“R-right away!” The waitress pulls two menus, almost drops them, but manages to recover and skate us over to the booths. I ask for a particular one, one that I remember sitting in the last time I was here. She seats us and asks, “Dr-drinks?”

“Coffee, please,” I tell her, struggling not to laugh. Bedevil is not as amused — I woke her up at 6 a.m. to walk around downtown Houston — but she manages to place a polite order for orange juice. Once the waitress skates off to place our drink orders and tell all the other staff that Aethon and Bedevil are sitting in one of the booths, I assume, I turn back to my wife with a smile. “You really need to become a morning person, you know.”

Bedevil grumbles at me. “Why did you drag me out this early?”

“Because, the last time I was here, I found out you were moving to Houston.” I grin at her. “It was the first night that I met Maisa, too.”

Bedevil softens at that and reaches her whole hand for me to take. I do so and we sit there, smiling at each other like two dolts.

Sure enough, some of the other waitresses and kitchen staff are peeking at us around the corner, amazed that some of the most renowned capes in the world are eating at a run down retro diner. They whisper and smile, and I’m glad we’ve made their morning.

I recognize the one that rolls up to our table with our drink orders. The waitress that served me last time I was here. Cindy, I believe. “It’s good to see you again, Gabe.”

“It’s good to be back,” I tell her. “Probably won’t be in Houston long, though. We’re on a road trip.”

“Where are you headed?” Cindy asks, dropping my coffee in front of me.

“California.” I suppose now is as good as any time to surprise Bedevil with our destination honeymoon, the one we never got thanks to the cloak alliance revealing themselves right after our wedding. “We’re meeting this one’s mom for the first time. We thought about settling down there, too.”

Bedevil snaps right awake at that. Her face scrunches and I can tell she is doing everything in her power not to start bawling right here.

Cindy puts her orange juice in front of her. “Anything for breakfast?”

“You know I just really need some banana pancakes and some Captain Crunch, if you have it.” I don’t take my eyes off Bedevil. “Anything for you, love?”

“J-j-j-j,” Bedevil starts, and then the tears start flowing.

“I’ll give you two a minute,” Cindy says, rolling away.

Bedevil slaps my hand and buries her face into the table, struggling not to sob loudly. “You could have told me in private!”

I rub the back of her head. I guess I thought she wouldn’t react so strongly. “Sorry, babe.”

“You owe me twenty back rubs.”

“Granted,” I manage between laughter.

Bedevil sits up and wipes her eyes. Her nose is red, dripping with snot, her mascara runs all over her cheeks. There’s a mark on her forehead from where she planted it on the table. And all of this, she is the most beautiful woman in the world.

One of the kitchen staff marches up to the table and slaps a $20 bill on the table. “$15.87,” he declares. “Plus Cindy’s tip.”

Only then do I recognize him. I remember so much about that night, the gunfire, the burning, the blood, the pain of Epione pulling bullets out of my skin, the look on the trafficked girls’ faces as they were dragged from the vans, even the fact that Pandahead was a scrawny kid himself. I’d almost forgotten the boy and the girl that sat in the booth behind me while I dreamed of the same pancakes I’d ordered just now.

He traded out the beanie and the rags for a black chef’s coat and hat, and he’s become a young man, but it is unmistakably the boy that lost his mother’s money, whose meal I paid for all those years ago.

In awe, I stand up to shake his hand, and try to give him the money back. I’ve got no use for it. “You don’t owe me anything.”

He takes his cap off and shakes his head furiously. “My sister and I owe you everything.”

The girl with the dead look in her eyes. I remember, I remember! “Is she okay?”

“Yes, she’s great, she’s about to go to high school, and we live in an apartment not far from here,” he says.

“May I… can I stop by? My wife and I?” I ask.

The young man laughs and smiles. “Yes! Yes, you can. I get off at noon.”

I glance back at Bedevil, who looks a bit lost but supportive regardless. She nods.

“What’s your name?” I ask him.

“Gabriel,” he tells me, and I laugh, and I laugh, and I laugh, and I rise, and I rise, and I rise

 

 

To Julian,

I often think of you, even now. How could I not? You were my father. You gave the world hope when all was dark. Your fire burned bright and just a bit too early. I wish you could have seen your victory. You died never knowing what we would become, even though you left us the road map to get there. I tattooed your words onto my arm, to remind myself that I must always strive to become a better version of me.

I hope that we are worthy inheritors of your legacy. I hope that, if you still exist within the Affect as a spark of bravery, that you smile down on us and continue to inspire our courage. We’ve turned our gazes to the stars, Julian, and I know you would love that. We look beyond our humdrum star, people turn their powers toward the advancement of our species. You planted the seed of a great tree you knew you would never rest under.

I, following after you, have done my part to nurture that seed into a small sprout. I know that, someday, humanity will go do the same to the universe, to help it restart from the long reign of the Fear. I know I will not see this come to pass.

For one bright moment I was the focus of humanity, just like you. For one singular instance their hopes and their power rested on my shoulders.

And just like you, my moment has passed.

Thank you for everything, Julian. You didn’t give me the best parts of my soul. You gave me the ability to find them myself.

With all my love, joy, grace, and hope — Gabe.

 

To Ep…

I still see you in my dreams. If you still feel… if you’re still Epione… I hope you’re well. I hope that you really are alive in a way I can’t possibly understand.

 

As for the rest of you.

I suppose that you, who followed me all this way, want some assurance that I’m well. You want some kind of proof as to my future: a happy marriage with Ruby, our one point nine children and a white fence, our two dogs Isabelle and Pawpaw, and God knows how many animals besides.

You journeyed with me through hell. You want into heaven, too. Or at least you want to make sure that I made it past the gates, safe and sound.

Alright, then.

You may imagine this:

Right now, this very second, imagine that I am making pancakes in a tiny kitchen with spices on the counter in kooky looking jars that Ruby bought from a discount craft store. Imagine the woman I married and love to this very day on a floral pattern couch, a guitar positioned uncomfortably in her lap due to her baby bump, while she sings a beautiful song I’ve never heard before. Imagine she wears flowers in her wild, golden hair that our daughter Grace wove for her from the garden, and she has the rapt attention of Grace, Isabelle, and Pawpaw, as she serenades them.

Imagine that I am no longer Mr. Olympia, but Mr. Dad Bod, and I am no longer an active cape, that I successfully passed the torch to Volition after a few more years of service following the creation of the Morning Star. Hope that I left behind the part of me that needed to bleed on the streets, that needed to sink his fists into the injustice of the world. Believe that I am at peace: I take long walks with my wife and my daughter every day while we wait for her younger sister Hope to be born. See me on the shores of California, sharing earphones with Ruby as we stroll through the sand and feel the warmth of the sun on our faces.

Will it that I no longer burn pancakes when I cook them.

You may imagine one last thing:

Grace, who is now four years old, has long, golden hair like her mother, and blue eyes like mine. She laughs like Ruby; long, loud, goofy and pure. She broods like I did back in Houston. She is beautiful beyond my capacity to describe, as if there is some diamond part of her that exists just beyond my senses. She loves to wear coats that are too large for her, and never takes off her yellow rain boots, not even when she goes to sleep, so that I can always hear where she is in the house by the squeak of her shoes.

You can imagine all this, my dear friend, because it is true.

You can imagine me happy because I am. You can imagine me in love with Ruby because I will be until I take my last breath. You can imagine my child Grace and her not-yet-born sister Hope because I am watching my wife play a private concert for them, right this second.

You can believe that I have found peace.

However, one part wasn’t true: I still burn pancakes. We both knew that was a stretch, didn’t we?

I have several things for you, my friend. A request, some parting words, and a quote.

My request is that you always chase after yourself. I mean the truest part of you that makes you… you. If you have any love for me you will run after that bright version of yourself beyond the horizon. You will make that greater being your mark and in doing so you will become them. You will do everything you can to be good, and right, and just, a stellar example of a human. If you have any love for me, you will do that.

Remember, you are your power. Your power is you.

You will also do the same for your brothers and sisters, and by this I mean every other person on this planet. We are colors entwined. Woven together. Together we sink or rise, right? You will uplift each other, you will be kind, you will make mistakes and grow beyond them. You will look back at me and think: he did not go far enough, what a primitive man! You will lose me to history and only remember me as a distant star that once guided the zeitgeist of the world. And together you will keep forging ahead.

We are our power. Our power is us.

May the Morning Star watch over you.

Here are my parting words, after all this time. My friend, may these words guide you as they guided me, may they be the key that unlocks your heart and your mind, may they be emblazoned on your heart as sure as they are tattooed on my arm. May you love them as I have:

Reach. Dream. Strive. Become.

 

If we long for our planet to be important, there is something we can do about it. We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers.

 

– Carl Sagan

 

The End

9 thoughts on “Of Pancakes and Children”

  1. Even with an abrupt ending, this was a great story, very creative, with a rich cast of characters. Definitely made it into my top five. You wrangled quite a journey out of this, and I did appreciate the improvements made with the rewrite. Whether or not the print edition comes to fruition, this was an impressive accomplishment. Thanks for the great tale, and good luck with your future projects!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I will never forget this amazing story, I will never stop supporting you, while it saddens me that it is “ending” here, I am glad you are taking care of yourself. I look forward to seeing The Inheritors in all their glory when you get it published. I am glad you are giving us closure instead of ending abruptly. Thank you for all you have done for all of us, my best wishes to you in all that you do 💓

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sad because Inheritors over, but I’m also happy because it happened. I was a silent reader of this story, but I really enjoyed everything you put into this. The world building, the characters, and the powers were all top notch, and your skill and dedication as a writer truly moved me. Thank you for finishing this story, and I’ll be sure to pick up a copy if – or when – the novel comes out.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember leaving this story at the end of Volume 4. “The Point of a Knife” ended with foreshadowing of a new bad guy. I held off reading Volume 5, since I wanted to experience it in one sitting.

    Today was going to be the day I binge read “Compulsion to Move”. Coincidentally, today was also the day I found this post (which contains pancakes and children. Delicious and cute).

    I’m sad to see this story end, but I’m glad that Inheritors had an ending. Another web novel I once read called “The Zombie Knight Saga” ended abruptly. 11 months of no updates from George M. Frost, and I’m still hoping for a new chapter.

    Thank you for giving us readers closure for your story, Megajoule. Good luck and well wishes from a netizen.

    Like

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