ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

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ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by Invictus »

POSTMORTEM

I will begin by admitting that Advent Rey 2 will likely never be written.

It began as a joke: an epilogue at the end of ADVENT REY that promised to take the story to a pastiche of something else entirely. Having just hammered out a 80,000 word piece of double fanfiction in the very last days of the last summer break of my life, I told myself that no way I would write an even longer, even grander sequel.

But then I told myself that maybe I can write a bit of the sequel. Random scenes of awesome and pop culture references composed into the literary equivalent of a Hollywood teaser. The joke was that the sequel didn't exist and was never going to exist, but it grew into a fancy.

Some time later I decided that I would actually write all of it, regardless of how it came out and regardless of the fact that the premise was deliberately nonsensical - I decided to make sense of it anyway.

Years of planning and IM bull sessions later, I had a clear idea of the setup and characters but still no plot, and two aborted opening chapters. It was obvious that I wasn't going to do it. I considered cutting down the presentation to Mobius-style plot summaries and Siege-style chapter teasers, but still couldn't overcome the problem of no plot. Plotting novel-sized stories out in advance isn't my strong point.

Also, the idea got old. Comix is deserted; the pop culture references are outdated; even the potential audience of two and a half or so is gone. The whole monstrously baroque edifice was rotting in my files like, dare I suggest, a certain balut. So let this microscopic blip in O1 activity be my cue to finally unburden myself of this thing once and for all. Let it return to being a fancy, a joke, in an act of metafictional purification.

The following posts will contain references, rambling and the occasional dump of half-written fiction. Let those who still remember the glory days of Comix! follow along.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by Invictus »

Re: mission

“Congratulations on your promotion from Otis, Ms. Seydlitz. Please, have a seat.”

“Thank you, Herr Schroedinger.”

“To “Chief Media Officer”, isn’t it. A fine cover for your considerable talents! Would you like something to drink?”

“Too late in the morning, too early in the afternoon, I’m afraid.”

“Once again, you resist all flattery. I shall nevertheless avail myself of this little pleasure. The ravages of age, you must understand.”

“Please take your time.”

“I suppose you have already surmised the reason for my summons, to the secret heart of this toy kingdom.”

“Where angels and businessmen fear to tread.”

“But where, hah! But where devils are another matter. I have you your true assignment. Please, browse the file.”

“…A military posting? Here?”

“One I judge you fully qualified for. Do you understand the degree of trust I am placing on you?”

“Quite well…”

“You have long tended for me the dark side of Deutschlandland while I grow ensconced here, fearful of discovery. The Germany of the future couldn’t well have done with my notoriety, could it?”

“I’m sure everything will change once it is in place.”

“Yes, the culmination of my Schattenjahrtausendplan. It is only a matter of years now.”

“Then there will be peace.”

“Peace and glory aplenty for all of us. No more of this fetid city, or this shadow war with its squatter kings. No more of this sham.”

“It’s been a tough few years, maintaining both the truth and the lie.”

“And it will grow tougher still. We arrive at the final stage. The final sprint. But once we succeed, it shall have been worth everything.”

“If this is all for nothing…”

“I doubt you would have come this far with me if you thought such was the case. I prefer to believe that I am better judge of character than that.”

“I apologize, Herr Schroedinger.”

“No need. No ordinary German would have the stomach for what you know of my plan, never mind what is still mine alone to bear. Yours is the rare breed that will carry us to where men can scarcely imagine. If the duties I entrust you seem heavy…then know that there are few others I can trust today.”

“I understand. But nevertheless I have a question.”

“Ask away, as the Amerikaners say.”

“The key to your plan. This boy…”

“Gestating merrily in Doktor Elbing’s lab as we speak.”

“…Can I go see him?”


---

The year is 2017, five years after the demon Darkness’ final defeat over the ruins of Manila. The world moves on, beating its path towards a future with less injustice, less suffering and less apocalyptic danger. Heroes and villains alike come and go, weaving the fabric of history with deeds and disasters. Great warlords are cast down and new nations rise into the welcome arms of the international community. In comparison, the spasm of Darkness’ failed ascension was a mere upset of the status quo in a relative backwater of the Pacific Rim. Horrific as the fallout was, there was debris to be cleared away and a city to rebuild, and things to be set back the way they were.

But five years on, as a renewed city comes under fresh assault from infernal monsters, the events of the Ascension Crisis would prove to be a mere prelude to a madman setting out to reclaim everything he had lost, and more…


Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG

or

DEUTSCHDAMMERUNG

STAGE 2 of the Rebuild of Comix!


---

RE:CORD SCRATCH!

So, that was in fact the planned opening to the whole mess. What's with the timeskip? What's with the new characters?

It all started with ADVENT REY, the background of which I think is worth explaining, and because like three people have read the whole thing. Now, Rey Quirino versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines was Shroom fanfiction, technically part of the Rey Quirino continuity, and like most ideas at the time came out of IM bull sessions with Shroom. Following the smashing success of the first proper Rey Quirino story which saw our lovable asshole Hero of the Philippines defeating a giant tree monster by pissing on it, his story potential was further investigated and much involved crossing him over with various other parts of the Pacific Rim to generally reprehensible effect.

There was Rey Quirino versus the God of Gamblers chronicling his hypothetical vacation to Macao; there was Rey Quirino versus the Super Pigs where he dealt with a nefarious biotech corporation's experiments gone amok or something; there was the time where he would have gotten involved in local politics and actually earned some political credit in Rey Quirino versus the Rising Sun, featuring the eponymous Kamin-created supervillain and a stirring scene of geriatric WWII vets and their mail-order brides defending the beaches of the Phils against perfidious robot Japs; Rey would even have gone further afield, once, to defend the rights of Filipino guest workers in Dubai by stuffing his fists in crispy roasted pigs and punching Arabs. The only way to top that would be to have something involving Japan, and that involved Final Fantasy. Because there's nothing more nonsensical than Rey going all Final Fantasy Advent Children.

So on something akin to a dare, I mashed together Rey Quirino and Advent Children. That's basically what Advent Rey down to every plot beat and character parallel, for those who haven't read it. I don't remember why I drew all the antagonists out of Kamin's characters other than the general antipathy of the time, but I do remember wanting to give them a better treatment than Kamin did, which is why EDGE and CHAOS ended up the Philosophical Guido + Hipster Nerd Midnighter Gay Duo.

But the designated Sephiroth clone, Darkness...

I had plans for Darkness.

You see, there are three different versions of his character profile scattered over the Comix! forum. He might or might not have been behind every bad thing in history. He might or might not have been the minion of Ludwig Schroedinger, Kamin's own Eternal (Germanian) Champion. His extent and capabilities are awfully undefined, especially since he had never actually been featured in a story. He was what I regarded as the archetypal Kamin Karacter, the disposable antagonist. So, why not sub him in for what Sephiroth was in the Advent Children film, an ultimately empty nightmare?

I ran with that. I ran with that some more. I remember describing him to Shroom as the "Deadpool of Dark Lords": I made his shtick the fact that he was *aware* he was a fictional character, and a badly-written and badly-served fictional edgelord at that. Hints of this can be spotted in Advent Rey. being a supervillain was something he did as performance art, and over-the-top atrocities were something he committed against a universe that he knew wasn't real. His motivations in Advent Rey stemmed from him finally having enough and looking for a way to transcend his condition - it's his story as much as it is Rey's - and at the end of the story I basically sent him off as a character. He was returned to the form of a balut, an egg representing potentiality.

Yes, it turned out that I wrote all of Advent Rey just to rehabilitate Darkness as a character.

Not that I had anything nice planned for him, if you know your Evangelion.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by Invictus »

So, let's move on to the EVANGELION REVEAL in Advent Rey's epilogue. The ancient Nazi warlock Ludwig Schroedinger had caught up with his errant minion and had used the urban reconstruction following Darkness' devastation of Manila as cover to build his own Geofront under a theme park. Darkness is now crucified like the First Angel in a lake of his own womb-fluids, and Schroedinger has nefarious, world-ending plans for him.

For those who are not familiar the plot of the classic anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, a reluctant teenager is manipulated by his sinister father into a giant robot to stop giant monsters from getting to the giant monster he keeps in the basement, except the giant robot is also a cloned giant monster. Religious symbolism is involved, as are psychological and eschatological themes.

Why would the conclusion of Advent Rey segue into a full-spectrum pastiche of this? I have no idea. There was a vague conception to raise the stakes, to turn Advent Rey 2 into the second escalating act of a grand metafictional battle between all of Shroom's and Kamin's Comix characters. This justified bringing Ludwig Schroedinger in and his undead Nazi goons in, at any rate, and figured heavily into his ultimate mastermind scheme. But I don't put it beyond myself to sabotage my own narrative themes in ADVENT REY just for kicks, either. (REDEEM DARKNESS AS A CHARACTER sevenwingedbalut.jpg MAKE HIM A MACGUFFIN IN THE SEQUEL) It was a heady time.

Anyway, the pastiche demanded populating, and in the grand tradition of Advent Rey I began pillaging existing Comix! characters, preferably from Kamin and Shroom, to fit the narrative roles in Evangelion. This netted fewer matches than I needed and was regaining enough authorial self-respect (or alternately, the obligation to heed the consequences of the last story) not to want to write a complete copy of Evangelion anyway, so I created a few original characters, some of which became very important to the plot as it was revised. This included the eventual protagonist.

The original viewpoint character of Advent Rey 2 was going to be Rey Quirino again, catapulted by his own responsibilities into a world far outside the simple superheroics he was used to, now dealing with proxy geopolitics with perfidious foreigners and horribly fiddly giant robot development and that handling the Ascension Crisis was probably the last time his life wouldn't be so complicated. But that was overly complicated in the sense that a lot of moving parts were going to be on constant narrative display, and frankly a bit intimidating. Neo-Manila, the setting that I built for the story and which I will show off in subsequent posts, was something that deserved visiting from fresher eyes. Adding to this were lingering themes and references from other sources on forbidden biological experiments, I decided that I could build myself a more suitable protagonist.

Enter Kai Neusternberger. "Kai" because it is a legit German name *and* sounds indelibly Japanese. "Neusternberger" indicating his upbringing in the house of Neusternberg, which is Ludwig Schroedinger's recreation of his ruined ancestral castle the Sternberg; and the fact that he can hardly name himself after an international Nazi supervillain war criminal, even if the man is his adoptive father. Here are my initial notes on the character:
  • A combination of Rey’s boyish average looks and Darkness’ hyper-Liefeldian looks results in something conventionally rugged
  • A Rey Quirino clone, but grown over a scaffolding of Darkness' meta-organic tissue so not entirely stable
  • Conceived to be Ludwig's vanguard of the world's renewal, but created by Theo as a curiosity
  • Rigorous military training from decanting, groomed to be the Erlengel’s pilot but only has been alive for a few years, so inexperienced and untested
  • Entrusted to defend Neo-Manila from the attacking Demons, but is constantly drawn to antagonization with the rest of MANGS
  • Not loyal to the Germanian cause, not fighting for his comrades, but chases after Ludwig's approval
  • Devoted to Ludwig as father figure and moral compass but partly to escape his identity issues
Rigorous military training, special genetic clone *and* teenage son of the project mastermind; it was amusing when I realized that he was basically Shinjui, Asuka and Rei in one.

As hinted above, Kai was grown in a tank for the sole purpose of piloting a giant robot, also grown from Darkness' tissue. While the precise metaphysics of this compatibility never left a state of flux, it does make him a handy weapon against the waves of otherworldly monsters that started attacking Neo-Manila for mysterious reasons, and his defeat of the very first one promptly made him the new darling of the Filipino press, a hero for a new and uncertain age. As you can imagine, at the beginning of the story Rey isn't very happy with the attention Kai gets and fights back with all the means at his disposal; which is about as dignified as it looks like for the most famous man in the country with a president in his pocket and several key posts in Neo-Manila itself to pick on a teenager who lives a cloistered life in Deutschlandland, goes to school with a bunch of similarly isolated expats and Reich remnants and occasionally gets told not to run away. Kai gets to see Rey as The Man; a genuine foe in a teenager's eyes who makes it that much easier for Ludwig to poison against with his words.

Kai is also the key. He is a clone of both Rey Quirino and Darkness the demon, wrought from the latter's tissue and the former's DNA which I imagine isn't that difficult to get hold of. There is great occult significance in the essence of what is still the Dark Heart of the Philippines and the current Hero of the Philippines, not that long from the apocalyptic conflict, being united in the same body. Riding and controlling the Erlengel, an armored semi-divine cyborg in the Evangelion vein but more importantly is a viable metaphysical copy of Darkness Tenebrae itself, he can accomplished what Darkness failed to do - to immanetize the eschaton to his father and master's own designs.

But that's not all for implications. Kai also inherited Darkness' memories - strange and confusing dreams of battle and loss with foes both familiar and unknown. And soon he starts manifesting Darkness' powers, granting him abilities far beyond that of a vat-grown super-pilots - and agency far beyond that of a secret science project.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by Invictus »

In the theme of seeing through the Neon Genesis Evangelion pastiche, let's go through the rest of Ludwig Schroedinger's faction, the closest equivalent to NERV there is.

Ludwig Schroedinger
"What remains of a man after a century of dead causes?"

Arguably Kamin's most prolific creation, the multiversal champion of all things Germanian. Unfortunately, he's like the third prominent German mastermind supervillain to arrive at the scene of the Comixverse and perhaps lacks some impact for it. Like Siege's Stalag Luft and Magister's Paul von Austerlitz, Lugwig's origin is buried at the beginning of the 20th century and their life is tied to a great war that never ended for them.

But unlike the long lineage of Stalag Lufts which went from WWI Sky Captain to WWII Techno-Warlock and then clawed its way into business, politics and presumably respectability through the subsequent generations, Ludwig Schroedinger is still Ludwig Schroedinger. The current scions of the Lufts can point to a man who is a few years their great-grandfather's senior and peers in magic, but while the former family has changed and flourished and buried its history deep; the latter simply persists, a childless international fugitive, going from one failed scheme to another for a century.

And while Paul von Austerlitz *can* match Ludwig Schroedinger in age and perspective, the former at least has a well-sketched motivation, several shocking reverses in life and a burning grudge against JASON GOLDSTEIN, DIRECTOR OF SDI that guarantees some kind of Metal Gear-esque conclusion to his story. Ludwig doesn't have that. Like Darkness, he was a character that was quite ready to be twisted to my ends of schlocky, character-destroying gonzo.

I've had a bit of speculative backstory revision that involves him being the caretaker to a declining magical family who essentially took over its knowledge and assets because of how he has a fancy castle and a magical library but no "von" in his name, but frankly it doesn't matter for the purposes of ADVENT REY 2. I did not come here to celebrate Ludwig Schroedinger's life; I came here to bury him. His Schattenjahrtausendplan is his swan song, his final supervillain scheme - utilizing the eschatological properties of Darkness to rewrite the universe. He has invested everything into this plan, going deep underground in Neo-Manila with the surreal German-themed property development/theme park that is Deutschlandland as cover. That he rebuilds his ruined ancestral castle as the centerpiece, however, seriously and openly represents his sincerity in uprooting himself to the edge of the orient along with whatever assets he has left. Good thing the general gonzo level of Neo-Manila prevents this from standing out.

In Advent Rey's epilogue he explains his motivations to Imelda Marcos in terms of Theosophy - that bastard fin-de-siecle mysticism that goes on and on about Atlantis and spiritual races of man matches his syncretic study of magic and the general intellectual environment of his youth pretty well, I think. But I suspect the Theosophist leanings he displays are little more than blandishments for his allies of convenience, since the success of his plan won't do the Philippines much good. His true plan to overwrite the omniverse with the CRISIS OF INFINITE REICHS has always been a touch metafictional. But his motivations behind *that* can actually be traced to Ludwig's backstory, about how his wife and children died in a zeppelin crash in WWII, coincidentally destroying his castle. Somewhere in the infinite profusion of Kaminesque Germanities he plans to unleash is a reality where his family is still alive, and that perhaps motivates his grotesque quest more than anything. And in pursuit of this he never moves forward, never realizes that he can build a new family - little else can explain what underlies his century of fruitlessness.

Ludwig Schroedinger is surrounded by what's left of his minions - the undead SS tankers of The Company of the Dead; the collection of minor demonhosts known as the Century and chief among them Otto von Klausenberg, Ludwig's longtime right-hand man. None of them can operate openly without blowing his cover, having been identified with their master for most of a century. There may not even be enough of them left from attrition to constitute a viable threat, even when disregarding that what were cutting-edge products of demonology in WWII may not be so formidable by today's standards. Klausenberg in particular - once a loyal and competent officer as seen in Malchus' Shadows of Stalingrad, now more animating will than man - for having battled for primacy with the malign forces bound within him longer than any man should have, facets of personality shorn away in the all-consuming struggle. This is what is left of Ludwig's original inner circle, the minions he can most rely on being undermined by age, stasis and the the small details of his own plan.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by Invictus »

The last post summed up the existing characters of Advent Rey 2's primary villain faction, which I shall retroactively designate Der Neusternberg Gruppe ("DNG"). But an aging demonologist and his Wolfenstein minions does not a NERV pastiche make, even with the addition of a teenage clone to pilot the giant demon-robot. The other supporting staff members of NERV were fairly prominent characters in their own right and I didn't intend to handwave the internal operations of DNG, especially when so much of it will inform our protagonist's experience and perspective. So, meet the OCs:

The chief operations officer for all those giant robot operations is Lucine Seydlitz, featured in the opener. Like her Evangelion counterpart, she is named after a WWII warship. A graduate of the hypothetical business school that EVIL Inc. runs to provide competent managers for other supervillain organizations, Seydlitz is a talented and ambitious executive and a recent recruit into the DNG, relatively young and caring little about her employer's deep and dark history. Of course, in EVIL Business School they probably give mandatory courses on how to stay detached, stay professional and always have a (sometimes literal) parachute no matter what kind of loony you end up working for; but Seydlitz failed at that. I initially had her be someone whom Schroedinger plucked out of a dying parallel universe in an early trans-universal experiment in order to justify her loyalty, but I think it would be more interesting if she was just a talented and driven individual who found the wrong cause to apply herself to, in a world that's actually a marginally better and more secure place than the present day of Comix.

The photogenic Seydlitz has a cover identity as Deutschlandland's CMO, but she also applies her passion to directing giant robot operations, the most important part of which is babysitting the pilot as you'd expect from the source material. As such she also acts as Kai's nominal parental unit, an awkward learning experience for both concerned. Seydlitz I suppose shares all of Schroedinger's secrets without really understanding his motivations, taking to excel in every assignment from him as a matter of personal pride; I'm not even sure if she really understands how cruelly Schroedinger has foisted onto her the risk of becoming emotionally attached to someone who is ultimately to be sacrificed. Seydlitz is Kai's caretaker figure opposite Schroedinger as distant and stern father, having the effect of moderating Kai's desperate chase for approval along with god knows what else.

Also mentioned in the opener is Otis Guenther, the actual CEO of Deutschlandland to outsiders and responsible for administrating all its above-ground affairs. He goes way back with Seydlitz in EVIL business school, but the strict duties of his position requires that he very deliberately doesn't know what he's funneling his absolutely vast black budget into. Unlike Seydlitz, he's a cautious man who scrupulously sticks to his whitewashed CV and his creative accounting, but he has enough personal friendship with Seydlitz to see where she's heading and give the occasional veiled word of caution, not that it takes.

The mad scientist in residence is Doktor Theophil Elbing, again mentioned in the opener. As you can tell from the name he is another one of those Theozoologist clones, a duplicate of perhaps the only mind on earth willing and qualified to splice metaphysical superhero DNA and demon flesh. He is responsible for Kai's creation, as well as overseeing the construction of the giant demon-robots in DNG's arsenal - in conjunction with Schroedinger's own demonological theory, anyway. Elbing represents the part of the Theozoologist's psyche that just wants to follow through with a good Eschaton - he's willing to do all the metaphysical heavy lifting for Schroedinger's plan just for the chance of being at ground zero as it unfurls. As such, he's a foil for Seydlitz in that he treats Kai as an interesting albeit valuable science project. He's also a foil for Schroedinger in that he cares only for the science and mechanics of his project, as opposed to the latter's grand vision and mystic priorities. And regarding whatever sources of self-worth that Kai himself manages to obtain, I guess he's a foil for those as well - not that he judges, but the good Doktor is the one most likely to explain the meaning of Kai's existence in the least human terms.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by Invictus »

Shroom reminded me about the existence of the Otto Skorzeny clones who seem to come with every single Theozoologist. In this case they form his entourage of identical ubermenschen lab assistants, a bit of which was inferred in the ADVENT REY epilogue. Like all the other Third Reich remnant minions, they can't be afforded to be seen outside the castle because they kind of are a recognized thing. The Mossad has had a whole working group tasked solely to hunt them down for decades, while other intelligence services take the rehabilitatable ones, giving them plastic surgery and new lives because seriously not every clone wants to go down the path of their gene-father. Along with the undead Nazis and demon Nazis, Neusternberg has pretty damn airtight opsec - a kingdom within the kingdom that is Deustchlandland, itself one of the foreign fiefdoms carved out of Neo-Manila.

Which reminds of a few more characters who are also nominally part of the Germanian faction, but whose complexities deserve their own posts.

DNG's resident Kaji-analogue is John Baylor, who also manages to play the same role in every other equivalent organization in Neo-Manila. In fact, it is his influence that brought the diverse interests of the city together to oppose the giant monster threat, forming the Manila Association of Neighbourhood Guardians (MANGS). As we will see, Ludwig Schroedinger is not the only faction in town who can pony up a giant robot for ostensible municipal defense purposes.

John Baylor is one of those characters who either developed a great deal of unexpected complexity or got arbitrarily wrenched out of shape to serve the purposes of this story, depending on your perspective. Left marginally wiser and richer from the events of ADVENT REY, Comix!Baylor has gone way up in the world during the intervening five years, gaining the kind of stature comparable to his CWS incarnation, almost. Now a world-class arms dealer with some very impressive achievements under his belt, he provides vital intelligence and connections to the German faction, however little he can be trusted to do so.

And then there is the resident cyborg ninja in the form of Jose Rival. Now there's a character I awkwardly shoehorned into the very end of Advent Rey; a typo of actual real-life Filipino national hero Jose Rizal blossoming into some kind of demented Batman analogue whose defining characteristic is resentment towards Rey Quirino's fame. Though as Comix!Philippines is required to be a merciless indictment of real life, of course Rival's the bad guy here. This also forms his primary impetus for aligning with Schroedinger, since he's a cyborg ninja though of course his true allegiances are far more complicated. Rival's role with the Neusternberg mainly consists of sneaking shit - not being some kind of Nazi war criminal helps, as well as his already established reputation as a feared urban legend in Neo-Manila. In fact, at the very beginning of the story he would already have been carrying out false-flag political terrorism to ambiguous effect - is his actions really enforcing Schroedinger's confidentiality, benefiting the Germans' native political backers (the Marcos family), or someone else entirely?

At this point we also can't forget the precocious Theresa Neusternberg, who [CLASSIFIED]
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by Invictus »

I suppose I need to explain Deutschlandland.

As a consequence of the character development ADVENT REY forced upon Rey Quirino, he didn't just grow a spine, but also a sense of responsibility. Gone was the vapid product-endorsing celebrity who was content to surf on an endless series of cash-ins of his inexplicably popular image. Rey realized what massive power he had in the hearts and souls of Filipinos and began to flex his muscles. Of course, building and running his own theme park (themed after himself) is also an oh so typically self-aggrandizing way of doing this, especially with it being built on top of a recently flattened national capital being the real shitsting. National hero develops real sense of responsibility towards his people, proceeds to build a theme park on depopulated ruins, the joke is basically. I'm not sure if in my IM-bull session exuberance I've moved a bit beyond honest satire by that point, but Shroom seemed to approve at the time. But again, that might have been the IM bull session exuberance.

But then it got worse. The idea was even more jokingly raised of foreign rivals muscling in on Rey's theme park-building business. The first named competitor was Deutschlandland, a theme park themed after Germany, built by German financiers. The time, the joke was in the idea of staid, square Germany being theme park material, not to mention the name itself. (Apologies, German-speakers). That joke stayed largely a joke, while I speculated on the sheer property damage caused by the Tree of Anti-Life over Manila. And then I launched on some Akira riff off Advent Children because that's like the two pieces of anime Shroom knows, and Shroom allowed that a rebuilt Manila can be called Neo-Manila.

That's where it really took off. I riffed that Neo-Manila was rebuilt into a habitable city in record time, but only because the badly mauled government leased the old city off to various foreign powers to develop as they will and then declared the whole thing a free economic zone. Opportunity rushed into the ruined capital, followed by capital itself and re-employment and some really, really weird stuff that I should leave for my post on Neo-Manila. Deutschlandland changed character from pure theme park to some kind of German-themed semi-colony combining high-tech industry with experimental urban planning. Let my notes elaborate:

"renting out Bauhaus condos and Bavarian villas to those who can afford them (and keep to the neighborhood management rules), Deutschlandland invites the world into the Germany of tomorrow. The spacious and well-planned estate features top-notch venues for highbrow entertainment, an exclusive private academy for world-class educations and several small but fruitful research institutes, all overseen by an omnipresent cybernetic system that unobtrusively rations power and water, directs motor and foot traffic for optimal travel times, and gently but firmly guides the enclave’s occupants through its hyper-rational regime. Compared to the free-wheeling anarchy that is the rest of Neo-Manila, such clockwork regimentation is hypnotic to some, terrifying to many more. Neither the richest, largest nor the liveliest of the enclaves, Deutschlandland is nevertheless indispensable to the growth of the city - the cultivation and transplant of the supernatural darkwood fuel, the setting of city-wide standards for hygiene and security and aspiration, the pioneering of the giant robots that guard Neo-Manila today - all contributions that have spiraled out of its peculiar genius and shadowy patronage. Every way it stands apart from the din that surrounds it only serves to magnify its reputation for confidentiality and exclusivity."

Of course, the big artificial mountain with the castle on top of it towering over the whole thing still marks the place out as bizarro German Disneyland.

Only a small part of the people in Deutschlandland are in on Ludwig's conspiracy. The expats and upper-class aspirants who moved into the condos certainly aren't. Most of its staff and employees isn't. (That said, Ludwig certainly has a way to suborn its central control system.) Even the small private academy which is where Kai Neusternberger goes to school isn't, though the classmates I've come up for him all have pretty odd backgrounds. There's the delinquent Stalag Luft V who has come very very out of the way to lay low after he was kicked out of the North Pole Wizard Academy for something pretty serious, and befriends Kai out of sheer spite. There's Albert Ritter von der Himmel who is just a huge harmless geek despite being some kind of South American Third Reich remnant, and turns into an even bigger geek upon discovering Kai's secret. The two are, as astute readers might already have noticed, also analogues from Evangelion. And there's Immaculada, a teenage clone of Imelda Marcos who might be just one of a number of vat-grown clone organ donors for the rich and powerful of the Philippines, an example of just what kind of currency that this dark wonderland of science deals in...
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by Shroom Man 777 »

then I launched on some Akira riff off Advent Children because that's like the two pieces of anime Shroom knows
:P

Hey I just watched Gundam Unicorn. And Princess Monononononoke!

But this is, seriously, great stuff. Man, this should still be made into an actual story. But it is a friggin' huge complicated load. Even just seeing the summaries of our IM bull sessions is hilarious and as good as a story itself.
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by Invictus »

Shroom Man 777 wrote:But this is, seriously, great stuff. Man, this should still be made into an actual story. But it is a friggin' huge complicated load. Even just seeing the summaries of our IM bull sessions is hilarious and as good as a story itself.
Just wait till I get to the stuff I never shared on IM ;)
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I'm afraid Dave.
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

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And beyond the calm of Deutchlandland there is Neo-Manila, which I've probably spent the most thought on. What exactly is Neo-Manila?

---

Neo-Manila rose from the ashes of Old Manila not as an empty promise, but as a reality more terrifying than any had anticipated. It began as a power-sharing arrangement between the tattered remnants of President Aquino’s administration and a freshly triumphant Rey Quirino, itself born of heated promises extracted during the eleventh hour of national apocalypse. Nevertheless, the Filipino political establishment was far from willing to cede away a portion of the national capital – at least, not to Quirino alone. In the name of equitability, other sections of Manila’s smoking ruins were also set aside as legal and economic free-zones, and other parties interested in redeveloping said zones were solicited. Rey Quirino would have his playground; but he would have to share it with ruthless visionaries and slick international consortiums who more than matched him in every area of his newfound vocation. Through this grand arrangement, the bickering political clans and plutocrats who had long been the country’s powerbrokers hoped that Philippines’ most fortunate son would finally be humbled, and in doing so bring the House of Aquino down with him. But after five years of turbulent efforts, Neo-Manila had blossomed beyond the plans of all and sundry.

Neo-Manila is a united city. In five years it has not only moved on from the devastation wrought by the Ascension Crisis, but surged ahead to become a new national wonder. The energy spent in reconstruction seemed inexhaustible; ruined districts were reclaimed and rebuilt into new architecture to part the smog, the bright fruit of foreign investment and domestic will both. The free-zones became wellsprings of expertise and opportunity, drawings millions to the rejuvenated city to make fortunes out of ventures the rest of the nation has yet to have words for. Unburdened by tradition or common restraint, industries and vices alike flourish in an unholy conflagration of wealth chasing wealth, fad banishing fad. But at the beating heart of the storm is a civic spirit forged in a crisis worse than any that had come before, a throaty defiance against the desecration of the national soul. Indeed, the new breed of Manilan is an admixture of the old municipalities and many other places besides, proud of the resilience and adaptability which even now they use to thrive in the cutthroat competition of their city. Everywhere, immense urban ingenuity is in evidence: even the debris of the black day has had its uses found – deadwood from the Tree of Anti-Life still burns in stoves today, more fierce than any charcoal.

Neo-Manila is a divided city. Permanent refugee slums lie in the shadow of fortified villas. Killer cyborgs swagger down neon-soaked avenues. Old churches and new cults alike thong miasma-choked streets and brave the shattered depths of Old Manila to win bodies and souls. For their livelihoods citizens either submit themselves to the economic fiefdoms that have long since divvied up the pie, or beat their own treacherous path to riches; or indeed, fall and become grist for the black trade, the blood rings or worse. The freezones are a law unto their own, their nabobs on the Greater Manilan council the proxies of unsympathetic agendas, their influence eclipsing all lawful authority. A weakened national government has washed its hands of the city save for a few fortified enclaves, and much is allowed to pass as long as it fills its treasury – and the wallets of its politicos. And beneath the determined bustle of the city's life, shadows multiply and conspiracies fester.

To the discerning, Neo-Manila is a scab grown large over a gaping wound, a boomtown well past its time. It is difficult to shake off the impression of the recent and near-catastrophic attack from a kaiju-like creature as a necessary rebuke on its exuberance.

---

The most important thing I learned about real-life Manila is that it's not a city, but technically 16 cities grouped into the metropolitan zone that is Metro Manila. Each city has its own mayor and government, including the actual city of Manila itself, but as far as I can tell no overarching administration exists on the metropolitan level. This led to...possibilities.

Even assuming that the damage was mostly limited to the older, more central parts of Metro Manila, it's not particularly plausible that the whole city was rebuilt by 2017, five years after the events of Advent Rey. But then Neo-Manila is one of those feverish, magical realism places less shaped by common sense and more by the gonzo elements of a comicbook universe. The debris from city-sized deathtree that collapsed along with Darkness' ambitions didn't vanish, so the survivors started burning it for fuel and power - and it turns out to be extremely common and supernaturally effective fuel - so people went ahead and used it to get Neo-Manila's infrastructure off the ground. And then the scientists of Deutschlandland figured out a way to actually grow more of the stuff from extant cuttings, so people never stopped burning satanic superwood to power the city, despite it being a postmodern metropolis. Just imagine the sky over Neo-Manila, stained black by the most primitive of power plants, mixed with the exhaust of new automobiles and god knows what else. The resulting air is not particularly breathable, but nobody minds because spending the day in air-conditioned malls is a national pastime (just ask Shroom), and new property development had brought on enormous hive-malls that can indeed swallow up the population of an entire city, where they can be surrounded by all the signs of prosperity and worldliness.

But in other places there are slumtowns and even untouched ruins that the fever of reconstruction has passed by, some of which have even literally been built over to form Under-Manila, where Morlocks and the most desperate of refugees and outlaws mingle. The Catholic Church ministers to these souls even as special Vatican delegations linger to collect evidence on the eventual beautification of Cardinal Sin and Corazon Aquino, the two departed souls who helped Rey Quirino save the country. Their influence is heavily contested by the Technotheocracy, who also bring the blessings of technology and cybernetic reconstruction to the mutilated masses, and even today it's easy to find people with limbs of gleaming chrome, provided gratis to match the quality of all but the most expensive American prosthetics. The rich took the opportunity to build fiercely fortified suburbs and gated communities, while on the street the people are at the mercy of permissive laws and legislators with business interests. Neo-Manila is the only city in the world where the underground cyborg bloodsport of Teknoken is legal, and as a consequence no important person is found without their own swaggering retinue of cyborg heavies, registered in name as legitimate contestant teams. At the rebuilt national park, there is a new monument of Rey Quirino sitting triumphant upon an iron throne, the throne built from all the knives he had summoned from across the country to dickstab Darkness. Manila Day, the day on which this mighty victory was won, is a public holiday where children celebrate by eating chocolate balut, which are basically kinder egg knockoffs.

The foreign enclaves are even weirder, almost cities of their own even though every day millions of Neo-Manilans commute into their gates for their jobs. There is of course Deutschlandland, run by a German front company and funded by Ludwig Schroedinger and select Filipino political families such as the Marcos, surrounded by castle walls and focusing on high tech and privacy. There is Mayflower Hills, built by an American evangelical consortium, consisting of a series of massive environmental domes looming over eastern Metro Manila and the shallow Laguna de Bay, inside which the perfect American suburban life is replicated for homesick expats, along with a Heaven theme park and an animatronic hell. There is New World East, a massive series of Hong Kong-style apartments run by a consortium of Chinese businessmen, featuring all from cramped flophouses to luxuriant serviced penthouses and fifty-story towers with classical Chinese villas built on the roof, the only one of the enclaves that attempts to cater to the masses. And there is of course Reyworld, mostly a schlocky and kind of second-rate theme park that also segues into general property development just to compete, sprawling hive-malls branded of course with the Rey Quirino brand. All four places serve their own forms of magic and excess.
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by speaker-to-trolls »

The amount of thought you put into, as you described it, a novel length in-joke, is a little frightening, but fascinating nonetheless. I got a glimpse of some of these ideas in Advent Rey, the slightly melancholy nature of Darkness' whole quest and so on, but I didn't get exactly how much thought had gone into it.

It would be great for this to be a story in its own right, but as has been said, these notes are intriguing all on their own.
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

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The other foreign enclaves are a less important part of the story, their presence being something of a legacy element from back when Advent Rey 2 was going in a more G-Gundam direction, with each country sponsoring a giant robot to fight each other for sport. That angle was largely done away with when I decided to focus on the Evangelion pastiche and thus the Germanian Erlengel and its pilot, so the whole landscape of jockeying national stereotypes faded away somewhat into the hypothetical background. Their giant robots would still have played a part in the hypothetical monster-fighting action sequences, but uncharitably mostly as fodder. Or more charitably, to help illustrate Pacific Rim-style eleventh hour peril as MANGS again and again barely scrapes together 1.5 deployable mecha to meet the next crisis.

Mayflower Hills is the American enclave, and as previously described it deals with the pollution and clamour of Neo-Manila in the most drastic and expedient manner of sealing everything into a series of interconnected environmental domes. So you have this hazy landscape of the city and its boomtown skyscrapers and shit, and you would also have sections of the city seemingly eaten up by gigantic domes. Mayflower Hills hearkens back to the long RL relationship between America and the Philippines as well as the irrational favor pinoys show to anything western, according to Shroom anyway. Like all the other foreign enclaves the Hills are open to expats and aspirational locals alike, but there's also a driving ideology to the place and a logic behind its incongruous transplants of ideal American life. My inspiration is that evangelical, dispensationist streak in American Christianity combined with the doomsday survivalist streak also found in American society, and similarly the backers of the enclave definitely intended it to be the foundation of a new and bright city on the hill, something away from all the effete liberals and city slickers that have overrun America, something that would be spared God's wrath when the world finally ends. This does bear a little similarity to Ludwig Schroedinger's theosophist spiel, but to their credit they aren't the ones actively working to make the world end. Like those attempts at reconstructing Noah's Ark and that weird survivalist settlement with literal castle walls funded by gun manufacturers that was on the news a few years back, Mayflower Hills is heavily inhabited by cause-driven investors who may or may not be getting their money's worth.

I've sketched out several important backers to Mayflower Hills who were representative of their whole deal and were going to show up in the story:
  • Sharon Ellen Jay: Formidable wheelchair-bound matriarch representing the Dominion of Powers Church, a *very* Pentecostal denomination that is fighting both the Catholics and the Technotheocrats for Neo-Manila's soul. Its strength comes mainly from the formidable material backing of Mayflower Hills itself, but it also practices strategic-level spiritual warfare (believing that everything is possessed by demons from people up to countries, giant prayathons, bible warriors going around stabbing invisible demons to death, etc.) that given recent comicbook events, actually seems to work. She's mainly a reference to the real-world figure Phyllis Schlafly.
  • Mete Madder: Your itinerant public intellectual, lobbyist and media wonk, bouncing from one conservative think-tank to another until he's too toxic for mainland America entirely. Again, there are similar figures in American politics. I haven't put much thought on him, but I suppose he handles all the slick PR stuff that the enclave's board of True Believers finds too worldly to deal with.
  • Rider Wildgrave: Oh boy. A man who brings heavy political muscle and connections to Mayflower Hills, starting his career as a pro-wrestler whose extremely heel-y career culminated in him dishonorably unmasking a rival luchador and putting on the mark himself, resulting in a curse that bonded the luchador mask permanently to his face until he could atone for his misdeeds. Instead of doing that, he went into politics, became the governor of Indiana or something, retired and decided to throw in with this course. I kind of ran away with his backstory for some reason, but having nobody bat an eyelid to a respectable politician who goes around in a Luchador mask seems par for course for Comix. Also, "Rider Wildgrave" is the wrestler name he kept because he felt that his real name was too mundane and unmarketable. He was born Rhadamanthys Wilgraf.
  • Sam Trask: Better known as Captain Capitalism. (Ho!) He is also involved in this mess possibly because AMERICA, possibly because he still nursed that stinging grudge against Rey Quirino from Fidel Soup and leaped at any opportunity to outdo his rival in the arena of proper capitalistic business-savvy. In effect he's just as big a kook as the rest of the list. Nevertheless, his company does provide some of the high technology that the enclave needs.
New World East is the Chinese enclave, Hong Kong's revenge for...something that barely matters now. (I think I got that out of my system when I flattened Rizal Park) As mentioned, it is operated by a consortium of Hong Kong property developers and tycoons, further backed by ever-flush Mainland China money and with the coordination of wealthy and influential Filipino-Chinese minorities through old-fashioned kickbacks and connections. If the reader has even been to Hong Kong they'll find familiar the massive forests of thirty-storey constructivist apartments in powdery-bright paint, complemented copiously with faux-classical columns, glass-fronted clubhouses and pretentious Italian names. The enclave's apartments come in a variety of prices, sizes and levels of luxury, and where they haven't rebuilt anew they simply bought out a number of intact neighborhoods and nudged their shops into serve the residentials, taking their share in rent and protection money. Compared to all the other enclaves, New World East is the most mundane and the most up-front about making money, and indeed among the enclaves it is the most populous as well as being the biggest economic powerhouse. Say what you will but that property development consortium is experienced at running massive housing estates and good at creating captive markets. That said, the enclave is hardly immune to aspirational excess, like with the five replica Arc de Triomphes in one of its main plazas, one for every year of propsperity after the Ascension Crisis and with every apparent plan to build one more per year.

Being even less important to the plot, here are again some representative characters of the enclave:
  • Sir Sulla Szeto: The CEO of the controlling company of Mayflower Hills and its chief administrator, retiring after a long and illustrious service with the colonial administration of Hong Kong (thus the knighthood), then taking a variety of sinecure positions on the boards of various Hong Kong megacorps, then finally landing this twilight job, being blown to Neo-Manila by political winds that did not favor colonial-period civil servants of his sort. The man has the air of an elderly mandarin, drawn and pink-lipped as a side-effect of the expensive rejuvenat treatments he gets in China, and is genuinely refined in a vaguely Confucian way. It barely has to be said that his half-hearted marks on the fleshpot that is Neo-Manila appear incongruous at best.
  • The Tiger Taipan of Taugig: What's up with this guy, aside from demonstrating beyond doubt that I have a problem and the problem is alliteration? I think it was from Shroom informing me that the Triads also exist in the Philippines? Anyway, this guy is a native and he's hoovered up all the responsibilities of being the native guy who deals with all the native stuff for the out-of-town executives. He styles himself as the last of the old-school taipans, which is the sort of transplanted tycoon who knows all the ins and outs of doing business in the unrefined hinterlands, is a father to all his employees and stands up for the rights of his countrymen. But really he's just your usual flamboyant triad boss, albeit with an informal license to all the underworld affairs of the Chinese enclave.
  • Nexarch Balbinus: Head of the Nexarchate of the Philippines and patriarch of the Technotheocracy. Your borged-up Technopriest who found his fortunes rise high after capitalizing on the aftermath of the Ascension Crisis, allying himself with the Chinese enclave because they're the only ones who didn't bring their own religion and their own giant robot technology to Neo-Manila, something that became very important as the giant monster attacks began. The Nexarch is an ambitious man who long resented the fact that he answers to the Autocephalous Archdiocese of the Far East, one of the three major divisions of the Technotheocracy as outlined by Siege, and in his opinion also a bunch of Siberian techno-mystics who don't know the first thing about ministering to the sophisticated crowds of the big cities, where all the potential converts are. I took the Eastern Orthodox influences to mean that it is possible for him to make his own church district autonomous as well: as long as he can build a Nexarchate with enough clout, and using Neo-Manila as a springboard to the rest of the Pacific Rim metropoles might let him achieve that.
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by Shroom Man 777 »

There is nothing NOT gonzo in REY-Vergeltung is there? :lol:

Comix pro-wrestling must up its game if it hopes to compete against Teknokken. I wonder who had the rights to broadcast Phaeton's challenge.

I bet Vince McMahon was temporarily disgraced when it is discovered that he was the one who introduced MAN LAW to steroids.
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by Invictus »

Shroom Man 777 wrote:I bet Vince McMahon was temporarily disgraced when it is discovered that he was the one who introduced MAN LAW to steroids.
But you forget! MAN LAW became a sort of international hero after the Challenge of Phaeton, when the millions of tons of sweat that boiled off him in his MANLY grappling with the living star formed rainclouds that ended many a drought in Africa. They invite him to the Live Aid concerts now.
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by Shroom Man 777 »

This must happen in the reconstruction of NEO MANILA.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... pines.html
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by Czernobog »

Please don't use this as an excuse to remove all my Comix stuff. I know most of it wasn't all that good, but still...

Oh, and give Ludwig a badass death scene. Maybe he turns to the side of good and sacrifices himself to save the day, I dunno. Just make it cool.
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by Invictus »

Czernobog wrote:Please don't use this as an excuse to remove all my Comix stuff. I know most of it wasn't all that good, but still...

Oh, and give Ludwig a badass death scene. Maybe he turns to the side of good and sacrifices himself to save the day, I dunno. Just make it cool.
*shrugs* I never intended Advent Rey 2 to be the definite future of the Comix setting, but then it's not like the universe is active enough to still have a fixed present. That said, I ought to get back on this a bit - I shouldn't be leaving the thread hanging even if I'm plowing all my word-hours back into SOTS's sudden take-off.

As for Ludwig, it'll be grand, at least. Guy shouldn't codename himself Wotan, plot grandiose Gotterdammerungs and expect anything good to come out of it. *double shrug*
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by speaker-to-trolls »

First... Wow, Invictus, what do you do to your brain to come up with this sort of thing? How do you put so much method in your madness?

I have always thought Ludwig could make an interesting villain for these same reasons, that his desire to resurrect the Second Reich is in some way tied to his family's death and his obsession with magic. Neil Gaiman described the plot of his Sandman books as the protagonist 'learning that one must change or die', I see Ludwig as a man for whom change means his wife and children burning to death, his country shattered and handed over to lowborn thugs, change is something so abhorrent to him he will risk the death of worlds to change everything back

While I can't imagine him 'turning to the side of good', hr is far too far gone for that, does the fact Kai is essentially his son... Does that mean anything to him? Or is the boy really a means to an end at the end of the day?
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by Invictus »

speaker-to-trolls wrote:First... Wow, Invictus, what do you do to your brain to come up with this sort of thing? How do you put so much method in your madness?

I have always thought Ludwig could make an interesting villain for these same reasons, that his desire to resurrect the Second Reich is in some way tied to his family's death and his obsession with magic. Neil Gaiman described the plot of his Sandman books as the protagonist 'learning that one must change or die', I see Ludwig as a man for whom change means his wife and children burning to death, his country shattered and handed over to lowborn thugs, change is something so abhorrent to him he will risk the death of worlds to change everything back

While I can't imagine him 'turning to the side of good', hr is far too far gone for that, does the fact Kai is essentially his son... Does that mean anything to him? Or is the boy really a means to an end at the end of the day?
There happens to be a PM from you dating back to 2013 about Ludwig's motivations. About how he is obsessed with scrying for alternate timelines and better futures which may in fact be alternate universes and how he uses these insights to guide him. I had no recollection of this, but I would be very surprised if your idea didn't in fact catalyze what I eventually wrote up there. So thanks!

Ludwig's biggest goal is to overwrite the universe with...Germanity. I mean sure this insane goal is essentially a metafictional manifestation of the whole Kamin vs Shroom idea, where he doesn't quite succeed but does manage to pull lots of crazy shit from all of Kamin's numerous universe ideas scattered around these forums to do battle with Comix, but again that personal motivation of restoring his family also goes into it. (And here I take pains to avoid extemporising furth plot points right now) In any case, by the endgame of the story he would have lost control over his plan and hardly be at his most rational.

Kai isn't his real son, no. If he had been able to move on he wouldn't be jeopardizing the whole omniverse doing this. Ludwig wouldn't have been entirely indifferent as a foster parent, no, but his idea of fatherhood is to instill a horrible desire not to disappoint anyway, and I think indistinguishable from any genuine lack of tenderness. And in any case, by the end it's Kai who would have gained enough self-determination to reject him.
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by Czernobog »

I hope this story just isn't an excuse to laugh at me for all my bad ideas...
You have ruled this galaxy for ten thousand years.
You have little of account to show for your efforts.
Order. Unity. Obedience.
We taught the galaxy these things.

And we shall do so again.
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by speaker-to-trolls »

Czernobog wrote:I hope this story just isn't an excuse to laugh at me for all my bad ideas...
Have a look at all the information and planning here, man, you can only say "Grand Germanic Generalissimo Gerhardt Gesundheit Grinned Gruesomely, Goldstein Grimaced" for so long and that length is a lot shorter than what's been written.
"Little monuments may be completed by their first architects, but great ones; true ones leave their copestones to posterity. God keep me from completing anything."
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by Shroom Man 777 »

While there is a notable element of poking fun in these, Jesus Christ the amount of effort, new and original ideas plus innovative takes on established Comix material and whatnot exceeds most, like 90%, of other things in Comix*, yours truly's writings included - there's no denying this. Barring the other insane stuff written by others for Comix.But even then the first ADVENT REY has the distinction of being an actually-finished and quite-huge story. The details, man.

*This is probably one of the few things similar to, for example, Mobius' even-huger, even insaner Total Extinction and CSW complete-stories and mutli-story-arcs, which are truly preposterous in size and scale and time and effort and planning.

Also, not to be a dick,but to be honest, the work Vic put into, for example, making EDGE and CHAOS a bromantic affable couple of douchebag assholes running circles around Rey and providing running commentary on Darkness' lunacy, and the tetanus-inducing degrees of ironic hilarity in his portrayal of Darkness' lunacy, and his few sentences of explanation in this thread regarding Ludwig Bigwig's tragedies and resulting psychoses - actually contribute a lot to the mentioned characters. It enawesomes them in ways no amount of skulls or spikes or muscles or huge guns or generic demon hordes or 23423th PrussiaNazImperial legions can.

Sometimes... lots of times, actually, I re-read Darkness' spiels in the first ADVENT REY because stuff like "I read the portents from the crushed bones of orphans. They were pleasing to me." amuses and entertains me to no end.

In short, what Vic has done for Kamin's, and Heretic's, and my own characters (plus the Philippines, etc.) is a homage much like how HOT FUZZ affectionately homages and tributes those ultraviolent buddy cop action movies, or SHAUN OF THE DEAD with the classic zombie films it pastiches.

This amount of effort could not have been mustered... without love. <3 :oops:
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by Invictus »

Shroom Man 777 wrote:This amount of effort could not have been mustered... without love. <3 :oops:
Aww shucks.

For myself, I'll say one thing: In my personal fantasy casting of characters in this story, Ludwig Schroedinger is played by Ian Mckellen. And I can tell you that this is not who I'd cast for a character I don't care about.

And anyway, let's get back on track and see what I remember. Five years after ADVENT REY, what has become of the main man himself, Rey Quirino?

Well, he's bigger than ever. He is still the official Hero of the Philippines, as the new and tasteless monuments in the rebuilt Rizal Mark will attest. He is the epicenter of the utterly gigantic commercial enterprise designed to exploit his exploits, a far cry from the passive endorsement-eating figure he was before the Ascension Crisis. He takes, or has taken an active hand in expanding his own brand, and his image adorns everything from cartoon series to singles albums to the all-encompassing construct that is the Reyworld theme park, his crown jewel. He has taken genuine risks, and won genuine triumphs. He's probably the richest man in his country right now.

Rey Quirino has also broken through to politics, his final frontier. Noynoy Aquino's fears that Rey could become popular enough to threaten his presidency if he ever started paying any attention to politics turned out to be misplaced, mostly because I discovered after completing Advent Rey that Filipino presidents only ran for one (long) term anyway. By 2017, Noynoy would be out. Indeed, the President of the Philippines in ADVENT REY 2 is yet another of Moynoy's sisters, Kris Aquino, famed for being the queen of the talk show hosts and not for having an ounce of political experience. Something like Oprah meets Palin, as Shroom reliably informs me. And while it's not inconceivable in the Phils, as I'd imagine, for the outgoing President's well-known sister to win on nepotism and the weight of the Aquino name alone, it won't surprise me that in everyday policy-making, she just does whatever Rey Quirino suggests because Neo-Manila is the new beating heart of the country and Rey is the chairman of Neo-Manila.

That's right. Neo-Manila is of course still a collection of actual cities as original recipe Manila was (plus a few autonomous foreign enclaves), but now a supervisory authority stands above them all, and the very name of the position reflects its corporatic bent. Businesses must play ball with Rey if they want their payola. National senators and other government worthies let Rey have his way in exchange for fingers in the pie. To some extent, his position as Chairman of Neo-Manila is quite responsible for the engine of corruption that it has become, and not just because I wanted to turn him into another G Gundam reference. (Though Rey *would* be the kind of person to eat Pocky out of a champagne glass.)

And yet with a web of influence weaved around the national establishment, a presiding position over churches, municipal governments and foreign megacorps and a president in his pocket, it still isn't enough for Rey. He not only guards his position at the top of the heap jealously, he is still actively expanding his influence against the other politician-clans of the country, and even his former allies the Ramos clique. There is something that drives him inexorably into occupying center place in the Philippines.

His PHANTOM PAIN.

EDIT: Okay I remembered wrong. He liked his pocky in a big fancy brandy snifter. WITH ICE.
Last edited by Invictus on Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER
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Re: ADVENT REY 2: REVERGELTUNG

Post by Shroom Man 777 »

It would be Ian McKellan's equivalent to Christopher Lee having a ball with his over the top characters like Saruman, Dooku, Dracula, and... pretty much everything Lee played his whole life?

I am surprised at how much power Rey has accrued. I didn't think he had it in his tiny brain. Then again, this is the Philippines. I bet Miriam would loathe him.
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"Sometimes Shroomy I wonder if your imagination actually counts as some sort of war crime." - FROD
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