Fri. Dec 9th, 2022

Based on my recap notes for the finale, It’s likely fairly obvious that I ended up being disappointed (principally with myself) with how the season ended because, IMO, it was too akin to me telling instead of showing, as well as a bit too much railroady … so I had an idea with how to “fix” it as well as to push forward some of my sub-plots and the like.

To wit, I’m thinking of beginning on Mora again, around the time that Sae is dealing with his former CO getting whacked, but with Buck.

  • He’s on the high station and sees Cynia Richter, his former crewmate. Since he wanted to talk to her after, this is logically that moment and they converse as they walk (during which time he realizes that there’s something off with her.”
  • Unfortunately, by then its too late and he discovers more protomoss-infected soldiers surrounding him! Even worse, there is a big ass bomb heavily contaminated with protomoss that Cynia detonates after telling that this [word: Fragment? Timeline?] is not ideal for ‘the work.’ The world explodes in a blue flash…
  • And suddenly, Buck is back at the Holiday List Gala along with the other PCs at the rally point. Somehow, he knows that something isn’t right but, like everyone else, he doesn’t remember the tail end of 4.22.
  • PCs, including J-Aris in his bot shell, hear lots of gunfire as well as screams and calls across the restored comms for help. ‘They’ve got a bomb’ can be heard.
  • Push PCs toward tactical firefight … with Infected and Cynia. They’re tough (Unliving) but sane.
  • During the firefight, Lara (Ine Givar) declares victory…and executes Archduke Norris on live televid!
  • When PCs finally defeat Infected, Cynia is still trying to trigger the bomb because this [word] is not ideal for the work. She’s obviously infected as well and when shot, she tells PC(s) that they cannot stop the work before suiciding- triggers something that ends with just her flesh hitting the floor. No bones or blood or muscle or organ. Just meat.
  • PCs realize Norris is dead, observe Ine Givar cut down by assaulting security and bots restored by J-Aris…
  • Suddenly, Sae’s boss not dead? How’s that play out? He still knows the truth about Norris, but since Norris is dead, this may not matter anymore.
  • All PCs experiencing weird deja vu for some reason.
  • Duchess Josephine of Regina is blaming Mora for Norris death. Norris’ heir is grievously injured by Ine Givar, may not survive. Drums of war beating.
  • Reveal Korbin was to be named Baronet anyway?
  • Pretty much all of the other stuff the PCs did at the end of the previous adventure – Armin gets some biosculpting, Sae is promoted in Intel, Spinward Star expands, etc. – happens as it did.

This opening episode will serve as an “Author’s Saving Throw” as well as a major “Oh, crap. The Spinward Marches have clearly gone nuts!” ? It also ramps up the threat of the protomoss as the timeline has been fractured. I’m already planning on

Once again, I’m influenced by that comment by … Kromm, I think (?) somewhere on the boards about not waiting to bring in the very interesting stuff which was why I was thinking about having the assassination take place in this altered timeline. I’ve always intended on eventually removing Norris from the equation. Added bonus: it puts his significantly weaker (politically) heir in his place so the entire power structure of the Marches starts going wobbly as the various sides attempt to woo her to their side. And, of course, both sides will have a vested interest in her never regaining the level of power her true-father had – it’s the whole strong king, weak barons vs weak king, strong barons thing…

Hmm. What about this: Buck is basically cast in the Holden (from The Expanse) role (post book 2 when The Investigator starts appearing to him) because of Subject 1036 touching his mind – that psion was stupid powerful; being able to Jump an starship the size of the Drake? That’s almost reality-altering level – as well as being in close proximity to the first protomoss-laced explosive that shifts reality. So, throughout season 5, I could essentially give him the really bad version of Flashbacks as he starts to see Alternate Flashes from time to time as reality recovers from the breakpoint. There needs to be something that pulls Buck to that moment … maybe its the downed Infected guy? Actually … that could work. If she was sort of “resetting” to the Moment while using protomoss somehow and Buck was the detonation proximity, he’s then pulled to the most recent Moment where was closest to the protomoss (which was when you guys had back-tracked and retrieved the gravity belts and were planning out your assault) … and this could easily not have been her destination Moment at that! But thanks to 1036 having Touched him previously – see before-mentioned ‘reality warper levels’ – that overrides her intent (and she probably isn’t even aware of it either.)