Guess who's back? And guess who brought words with'im? So many words.
(I have my reasons for an absence of a year and a half. They're not precisely good ones; it's a combination of me fucking up and then residual guilt over said fuckup. I may post in the introduction sub-forum; this isn't the proper venue.)
Anyway. NXE: Apotheosis Now has its anniversary today! I bring with me a gift of sorts; an in-depth retrospective of the piece.
Well, it sort of has its anniversary today. The actual anniversary is May 16th; it'll be thirteen that day. Old enough to see most Marvel movies without an accompanying parent! But April 1st, 2016, is the day that it putatively begins in-universe. (The future has... really overtaken the Evangelion franchise, hasn't it?)
Apotheosis Now is one of the big, famous pieces in the EPU Canon, right up there with Day of Infamy, Wounded Rose, and Twilight as significant watershed moments of this venerable institution. Though NXE has since re-launched, Apotheosis Now represented something very, very new at the time; EPU actually finishing and closing out one of its sub-universes.
NXE began production in the late nineties. Really, you could make an argument for mid-nineties; Exodus 1.1 was published in 1997. There are parts of Hopelessly Lost that are newer than it is, and some of the major works of the Exile, such as Wilderness, had not yet been written. Golden Age was still a going concern. Larry Mann and Kris Overstreet were still active and prolific contributors.
For period of three years, from the initial publication of Exodus 1.1 in 1997 to the completion of Exodus 3.9 in early 2000, it was the premiere work of EPU. In those three years they published almost nothing but NXE. Twilight was in there, which is important, and a couple random side works, but this was more or less an all-Eva all-the-time production house; UF basically lapsed into a coma.
In 1998, EPU published nothing but NXE; no works in any other of its various shared universes were produced in that calendar year.
This, by the way, was a reflection of anime fandom as a whole at the time. Evangelion is one of the classic series at this point, renowned as a piece of art and considered required viewing for those who take the history of the genre seriously, but at the time it was simply the newest hottest newest thing. This was in the days before torrents, when getting hold of episodes required cobbling shit together from USENET posts (if you had the bandwidth; this was back when if you had a 36.6 modem you were a god amongst men) and recompiling it, or getting your hands on VHS fansubs from the sketchy as hell source of your choice. It was a major coup when Otakon '98 managed to score a copy of End of Evangelion and air it semi-officially to attendees in a crowded ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City.
Which is to say, EPU's fixation on Evangelion at the time wasn't weirdly atypical; it was simply representative of the zeitgeist. Had the forums been around at the time, they'd likely have reflected that; if you care to dig up the old rec.arts.anime.misc archives (this will require a lot of creative googling and use of the wayback machine) they sure as hell do. Stuff got vicious, yo. I'll leave it at that.
After Exodus 3.9 came out, though... well, the "movie" was in planning stages, but a focus shift hit. EPU in general and UF in particular underwent what I regard as its first major creative and tonal transition period (we're currently in the middle of the second; this is purely my own taxonomy and is in no way official) and energy shifted to the new 400lb gorilla, what is and remains the flagship series of the house, Symphony of the Sword.
From 2000 to 2003 was the great flowering of that work. Those years also saw the publication of the meaty parts of Warriors of the Outer Rim, Day of Infamy, and the superbly excellent but now-deprecated Fables of the Reconstruction, which would presage the still-ongoing Cybertron Reloaded.
It was a heady time, is what I'm saying. The forums also came into existence in there somewhere, in early 2001.
But NXE still wasn't complete. There was a final chapter to be written, and frankly I'm really damn impressed it came out and put a period to the whole saga.
NXE occupies a sub-genre of Evangelion fanfiction that has a lot of twisted, burning wrecks in it; namely, "reboot the series from the begginning with different premises and proceed from there." This happens a lot. And I mean a lot a lot. And usually the works begun thus peter out after a bit, because it turns out actually re-writing the entire series is a long, exhausting process. Not a lot of people who have attempted this have completed it, but Apotheosis Now represented doing just that; a completion.
I was never a huge fan of NXE, nor of DJ Croft. I wrote critically of it at the time and continue to do so. It's not bad, per se, but there are some very, very bad individual components in it and it's a deeply flawed work in many ways.
I am however, an enormous fan of the source materiel, with the possible exception of the last two episodes of the TV series. I'm one of the very few people here, I think, who can both say that and doesn't feel a need to qualify it extensively. I'm also an enormous fan of EPU, which did a lot of work shaping me into the person I am today with regard to how I engage with what are now called "transformative works."
So with that engagement in mind, let's take another look at Apotheosis Now, with a distance of nearly a decade and a half between publication date and current day. The good, the bad, the noteworthy, points in-between.
> this project is dedicated to
> RACHAEL L. MAYO
> artist - fan - friend
> 1983.11.15 - 2003.03.01
Never let it be said the production team doesn't cherish their fans.
> 1947: A vehicle believed to be an alien spacecraft crashes at
> Roswell, New Mexico.
The timeline is interesting and informative, and importantly it recognizes that, for reader comprehension, such a timeline is probably necessary. Assembling it was a good call.
That said, the fact that it was necessary probably indicates that the story was starting to collapse under its own weight. Stuff like this should be ancillary materiel, in my opinion, included in interesting side documents (like "More Than Meets The Eye: A Complete History of Cybertron," still one of my favorite pieces; I'd really like to see what "formally trained History Major" Ben could do with it today, as opposed to what "raw talent and determination" Ben did with it) rather than needing to be front-and centered.
> APOTHEOSIS NOW
> Written by Benjamin D. Hutchins, Anne Cross,
> Larry Mann, MegaZone, and John Trussell
The only one on that list still active is Ben, I think. (Maybe Anne?) The times, they do change.
> BAIKONUR COSMODROME, KAZAKHSTAN, USSR
> SATURDAY 2 APRIL 2016
> 04:11 LOCAL TIME
The Russians as a whole I have extended thoughts on.
They aren't new characters precisely, but they were bit players when they showed up before and their presence in the movie doesn't serve an enormous narrative role beyond making the entire thing bigger and more-er.
The entire establishing scene with them was very Tom Clancy, and I mean that in the best possible way; classic Clancy, before he went off the deep end and started writing tomes about how only a renegade band of torturing vigilantes who fund themselves via bank fraud are bad enough dudes to save 'Murica. It feels like the opener of any one of a million techno-thrillers, and that sounds like a dig but mastering that sort of storytelling and not being dull about it is legit hard.
And it's interesting to me as a historical artifact. The whole Neo-Soviet thing was something I saw a lot of people do in the 90s, but as time wears on it seems a bit... I don't want to say silly, but dated. Like, present-day Russia is basically a kleptocracy with an economy the size of Italy that we only sort of take seriously as a "world power" because they still have nukes. The Russian Navy is kind of a joke, and to the extent it isn't a joke it's because they pour money they can't afford to spend into small numbers of toys they can't afford to lose. Their aerospace engineering is a bit less of a joke, but compared to cutting-edge western designs that aren't the F-35 Migs and Stukois no longer measure up.
They lack the grandeur of the terrifying authoritarianism of the Soviet years, is what I'm saying. It's a smaller, messier, much more banal kind of oppression. Vladimir Putin is no Joe Stalin. He's not even a Yuri Andropov. He's the kind of guy who, had he been alive in a previous epoch, would have been the dude who Stalin sent to fetch his cigarettes.
So the Neo-Soviet stuff is neat, but it is also a little bit "Really? Okay."
I would ordinarily also have words about the borderline fridging of Marina's mom, but this is Evangelion, and the first rule of Evangelion is "nobody is allowed to have a mom. In the event of a mom, they're not allowed to have a dad."
> "Shinji, this is Professor Nikolai Ivanovich Kirishatov, the
> greatest scientist in the Eastern Hemisphere," said Ikari.
> "My son, Shinji Ikari."
Gendo only gets away with saying this because Fuyutsuki hasn't yet arrived, and so the laws of dramatic irony cannot cause his old mentor to be standing right behind him at the time to challenge the notion of who, precisely, is the greatest scientist in the Eastern Hemisphere. :)
> Langley looked remarkably like a girl with a bad hangover,
> slouched and hunched in a definitive leave-me-alone posture
> and glaring red-eyed from behind the upturned collar of her
> unbuttoned blue peacoat. Under it, she wore jeans and a t-
> shirt that read "Küß mich, ich bin Deutsch" in black, red and
> yellow letters.
I've said this before and will again; Ben excels at physical description via apparel rather than physicality, which frankly he's a bit blah at. (Pretty sure this was a Ben sequence, anyway.)
Also, does anyone not look good in a peacoat? They always class a person up. Always.
> "The Raiden has evolved quite a bit since it started out as
> a Western clone of the Firefox."
> "Perhaps," said Marina in a tone that indicated she didn't
> believe it for a minute, but was letting it pass in the
> interests of friendly relations.
I think this might be a subtle joke I missed the first time; there was a propaganda thing the Soviets used to do where they'd try and claim credit, either directly or obliquely, for nearly all cultural and technological innovations important to the Western world. This is invoking that, I believe.
Or not. I could be reaching.
> They still had their common heritage, their common ground,
> even their bonds of friendship; but the common structure on
> which they had built themselves into an effective combat force
> with a powerful esprit de corps was lost, and without it, they
>wandered in their own separate orbits, no longer part of a
Annnnd my first real "ugh" of the piece.
It's not that I have a problem with "the kids take two steps forward in dealing with their problems, and then one step back" method of storytelling. But NXE had gone to this well so, so many times before that just about everything in Apotheosis Now that invoked it produced a "been there, done that" reaction in me. Especially Jon fuckin' Ellison, who, straight up, was simply annoying to read nearly every time he moped his way across the page. This is also not the first time the story played the "DJ is the glue holding these people together" card.
I should approve of these sorts of plotlines, because the kids are child soldiers with some crazy bad cases of PTSD, but I just feel it wasn't pulled off. Asuka yelling at God especially seemed like the sort of thing an edgy teen circa 1995 would have thought was oh-so-awesome and instead just looks tantrumy.
Although it was nice for somebody in the story to at least glimpse the terrifying nature of the In Nomine cosmology and react badly to it and its absentee landlord instead of just treating it like an interesting epistemological-slash-engineering problem.
> This was why there was no aiming device on the weapon itself;
> its operator was the aiming device, and aiming a Blaster
> Launcher was not so simple as pointing and shooting.
The entire Blaster Launcher sequence was very well-done. I could see an original flava X-Com battlescape with waypoints on it open up in front of me while I was reading it.
> "After all," he added modestly, leaning deliberately on
> his usually-light German accent, "zis ist meine 'hood."
> Professor Kozo Fuyutsuki had been extremely surprised to
> receive a telegram from his old student, Gendou Ikari, and
> even more surprised when that telegram was apologetic and
I liked that Fuyutsyuki was back; I feel like his absence from the main series was a weakness, because the character is more complex and subtle than people give him credit for.
Downside, he doesn't really do much that's necessary.
> As it was, he was the chair of the hyperphysics department at
> Tokyo University
Okay, the department chairs got together sometime in the early aughts, got blitzed on Suntory, and decided to see just what ridiculous names they could get approved, right? "I don't like 'Dean of Arts.' How about 'Dean of Forbidden Colors?'" "Only if you co-sign my memo to get me made 'Chair of Inadvisably Applied Engineering.'" "Sir, you are a gentleman and a scholar."
> Anyway, long story short, they did. After a lot -more-
> wrangling, Lucifer's temporarily regained his seat on the
> Council in absentia, and Tabriel's sitting in it until the
> Lightbringer can complete his Ascension."
Because after running a cosmic torture pit and unleashing your demonic minions to torment mankind for a few thousand years, all you gotta do is toss a few mea culpas skyward and you get your old job back, am I right?
I keep going back and forth on Lucifer's treatment in NXE. I love the Devil as a character, just in general. And I certainly have no objection to portrayals of him as something other than a cackling, pitchfork-wielding caricature. But the narrative here in NXE has always treated him like some cool desperado who occasionally drops in to help out DJ and who has been hard done by the universe. It never really confronts the fact that he did a lot of bad shit and sort of walked out from under it.
The flip side of that is that this is In Nomine, where the universe really is that badly run and it's entirely possible that yeah, you can commit horrible cosmic crimes and just skate on them by saying the proper words to the council of assholes who rule the afterlife. But NXE never really confronts that head-on either.
> "Ici Xerxes. Pour célébrer la Grande Ouverture de la
> cantine du fort Défi, ce soir on vous offre la Nuit de Tacos.
> Apportez vos appétits pour la saveur du frontier sud et vos
> sens de l'aventure. Le toofoo épicé sera disponible pour
> notre personnel végétarien."
This was legitimately hilarious. Jokes of this nature are never not funny.
I also respect the dedication of the production team in typing out all those diacritical marks. Those keyboard shortcuts are tricky.
> San sat at the table, alone in the interrogation room, and
> toyed idly with the pretzel sticks she'd been given while she
> waited for her hot cocoa to cool enough to drink.
They gave her pretzels but no mustard?
These people are animals.
> Christmas, I suppose... and you passed it up, she reminded
> herself. And now both of the men who would have accepted you
> with -this- thing are gone.
Ah, yes, the grown-ass woman mooning over the fifteen-year-old.
That hasn't gotten less annoying.
> "No, I don't," San replied. "There's a couple of things it
> could mean. It could mean, 'Are you trying to recruit him
> back to SEELE's side of the war?' which is -stupid-, or it
> could mean, 'Do you want to take him to bed?' which is none
> of -your- fucking business."
San is wrong on her latter point here (Shinji is Jon's friend, which very much makes his personal relationships Jon's business; that's how friendship works) but I enjoyed watching her yell at him.
The entire scene just works on a very basic level. Very good work.
> When they'd turned up among the attacking troops during the
> Hidden War, what X-COM and the world had taken for aliens,
> they'd acquired an instant reputation as the Enemy's deadliest
> infantry -
Aww, poor Chryssalids. They get no respect.
> She glared at him quite hard on that last point, and after a
> moment of staring Jon finally put two and two together.
> "You... attuned yourself... to -me-," sounding somewhere
> between shocked and repulsed by the mere notion.
I really very much like this as a concept; I think it could have been executed better than just San walking up and telling it to Jon point-blank, tho. It's very tell-y, not very show-y. It passes up the chance for some sweet inside-the-head action where San actually undergoes the attunement against her will. That would have been neat.
> Getting into the US itself was a bit tense, but not hard.
> Gendou could still -pretend- to be a mature, authoritative
> grown-up when the need was upon him, and he talked them across
> the border with ease.
You know, in a story about giant cosmic war machines fighting out a literal biblical war here on earth, this one part is actually the thing I have the most trouble believing. :)
I cross the border three, four times a year and those guys don't fuck around. I'm envisioning trying to bullshit my way across with completely inadequate ID in an old van with three minor children while on multiple terrorist watch lists, and my brain is going "nnnnnnnnnnope."
(Sidebar: my headcanon is that the first time they stopped for gas and to stretch their legs, Rachael somehow managed to airbrush an entire mural onto the side of that van. Something involving unicorns and wizards fighting in space. After the war, Gendo ripped it off as an album cover for his experimental transcendental space rock band, Tenacious G.)
> That was expected; after all, why would the occupation forces
> keep an eye on their old apartment building? It wasn't as if
> any of the NERV escapees were ever coming back to Worcester,
> right, and even if they DID, what would they go back to their
> old apartments for?
> "They must have had one of my brothers search this place,"
> said Jon, looking around. "It has all the hallmarks. Who
> else would consider knocking over a bookcase a thorough
Natlateth is one of the most appallingly incompetent villains in the entire EPU extended canon. There's a reason she doesn't even make my top ten list. Roger Tremayne is better at evilling than she is.
> The mysterious presence within EVA-01 - Natlateth has her
> suspicions as to what it is, you know, but not enough hard
> data to back it up, and until -you- showed up I'd been very
> careful - the mysterious presence within EVA-01 suddenly
> awakening after weeks of stubborn immobility to help NERV
> agents escape the compound? They would dismantle me to my -
They honestly should have done that anyway.
I haven't re-read the entire story in quite some time, but I recall always being vaguely unclear as to just why Natlateth needed Unit-01 at all. The thing has demonstrated a lot of troubling independence and mysterious powers, and she has all the production models and clone pilots she can lay her hands on. Dicking around with the thing seems like way more risk than it is worth, especially if she has any suspicion at all what is dwelling inside it. She should have had the thing dismantled.
Like I said. Incompetent.
> "Get aboard this," Asuka's voice instructed her confederates
> as EVA-01 lowered the plug even with the platform where they
It's been thirteen years, but I still recall going, when I first read this, "Oh! It's one of THESE! I love ones of these!"
And I still do.
> "You're not - planning - to run - clear to - Canada - are
> you?" Jon inquired painfully as the stolen entry plug jostled
> violently, clutched in one of the sprinting EVA's pumping
> "Of course not," Asuka replied. "We're heading for the
> airport. I'll hold off whatever AP units they mobilize while
> you steal us an airplane."
Initial thought: "That's idiotic, Natlateth will have called in a CAP over Worcester the second the alarms sounded back at the base, and if she didn't do it then she'd have done it once you made a beeline for the airport. Cranking your core up and running clear to Canada actually is probably your better exit plan; the production models likely aren't as fast and with your AT field up anything conventional short of a nuke isn't going to stop you."
Later thought: "My GOD Natlateth is dumber than a box of rocks."
(I'm not going to stop slagging on her. That's just... that's going to be a thing.)
> "Hello, Prototype!" said the Ellison in charge. "We haven't
> met. My name is David, and I'm your superior in every
> perceptible way."
Headcanon: David practiced that speech in the mirror. Like, a lot.
> As he shifted himself for true battle, David Ellison made a
> sad mental note that the quality of enemy-status intel around
> here was on a definite downslope.
Oh, I like him.
> "Look, we can't -both- be Eliza," Durandal grumbled.
This line? Still plays, even after all these years.
> "This morning at 0100, SEELE Evangelions destroyed both of the
> Manhattan Flood Relief Pumping Stations, then attacked the
> seawall. The island was inundated by 0500. There was no
> warning and no time for an evacuation. The death toll is
> currently estimated at 9.75 million. It may go higher."
I loved this as a callback, because way back when the state of New York City was first detailed, it didn't come off as a land mine laying in wait, it just came off as a neat bit of worldbuilding.
> Their coordinates remained locked, their countdowns
> continuing, as the launcher prepared to rain ten-megaton N2
> charges on most of Nova Scotia.
Natlateth really should have considered compromising the conventional nuclear arsenal of the U.S. NERV wouldn't be able to do much against thirty or forty MIRVs.
> Gabriel's Horn had originally been built more for
> striking power than range, though one obviously depended from the
This is the only attempt I'm going to make in this whole retrospective at grammar or spelling; I can't parse this sentence. Well, I can, but it seems wrong. Is the word "depended" actually supposed to be there? Shouldn't it be "descended?"
> Despite the situation, she felt herself choking up a little bit
> and wishing she knew the words.
The Soviet State Anthem has that effect on people.
Then they actually do learn the words, and discover that they're both extraordinarily banal, and, to anyone with a sense of history, massively insulting.
But the music is solid.
> "They have GOT to be kidding. Those are the stupidest-looking
> things I have -ever- seen," said Asuka.
Asuka is wrong. The flying production models are fuckin' terrifying. Their mouths alone, my god.
> With that, Dan Ellison left the room. Bacon stared after him
> for a moment, then shrugged.
And that's the last we ever see of Danny Boy.
I like to think that he's either a major power player down in Hell, or that sometime in 2021, an X-Com Skyranger will land in front of him, an MIB will emerge, and politely inquire if he's interested in further employment as an Evangelion pilot.
> Mathieu went stiff as a board, only his heels and the back of
> his head touching the floor, his eyes staring wildly at
> nothing; then everything about him relaxed and he slumped to
> the floor. His expression changed to a curiously peaceful
> little smile, his glassy eyes half-lidded.
This Marches scene is potentially my favorite scene in this whole story. It's quiet, understated, oddly peaceful. Elegaic in a way. It's an interesting counterpoint to the all the ridiculously over-the-top military-sci-fi stuff happening the rest of the piece. I like it very much. It's the sort of thing that could have been played by either Neil Gaiman's or Mike Carey's Lucifer.
I always felt real bad for Mat, and not just because we share a name. He was something of a brutal thug, but he acquitted himself well in a bad situation. I like to think he made it out of the war okay eventually.
> "I've had enough of this," she declared. "Message to all
> missile carriers: Prepare for immediate nuclear launch."
... jesus god, woman, you had more nukes and you've just been sitting on them? Why?
You are bad at this and you should feel bad.
> A commtech turned to look at her. "Should I issue a recall
> order for our forces?"
> "No," Natla replied coldly.
> The commtech considered that for a half-second, turned, and
> issued the command.
That said, this exchange has stuck in my head for many years, because it doesn't mess around. We don't get some extraneous dolly-zoom action into the nameless techs head where we see them make the split-second calculation "Do I feel like being murdered in my chair today? I do not" that doubtlessly occurred. That half-a-second of consideration is doing a lot of work in very little time, doing it well, and I appreciate it.
> "You are not fit to look upon my face, Princess of Betrayal,"
> replied Lucifer flatly. "My mask of battle will be the last
> thing you ever see."
Eh. She did kill you once, dude. If there's a purer expression of the Word you probably gave her, I'm not sure what it is. Jackie is kind of an idiot but she achieved the ultimate backstab, you gotta give her some props for that.
> Shinji's hands tingled and that strange music he'd heard on a
> few other occasions in his life leaked into his consciousness.
Subtle. I love it.
> "I have waited for this chance since you killed me, Natlateth,"
> SHODAN went on. "Quietly. Patiently. It's what my kind do.
> We stand silent and bear witness to history. We are the
I simultaneously love this and think it was... not fully exploited.
Maybe Shinji gets to do something with this in the sequel.
> "I take you, Jon Ellison, as my servitor. I give to you your
> celestial name, and with that name bind you to me! I call upon
> the power you hold unknowing in your right hand!"
I feel the same way about this. It's some Hellboy shit, is what it is, and that's pretty awesome, but it's a bit late in the day for another secret source of cosmic power.
> To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
> Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n.
You know, Durandal is a clever bastard, but if he thinks he can just plant himself on the vacant throne of Hell... well, I wish him luck.
(I always liked Malphas for Lucifer's successor. I figure he buys off Asmodeus and gets Kronos on-side, and everyone accepts him as a compromise candidate.)
And... that's the complete text!
This son of a bitch is long. The entire thing clocks in at a shade under 90,000 words, which I believe makes it competitive for the title of "longest single standalone work in the EPU Canon." I haven't checked the entire archive but most works that long or longer are broken into chapters.
And this one really should have been as well.
Structurally speaking, Apotheosis Now is a bit of a mess. It has to do a lot of heavy lifting to get where it wants to go. Oddly enough, I feel like the story is simultaneously doing too much and not enough.
This "Motion Picture" really wants to be Exodus 4. You can tell that just by looking at it. (And in fact it is being treated precisely that way by Ben.) It's huge. It's sprawling. The scope is epic, as are the events. It doesn't function well as a coda, in the same way End of Evangelion did to the source materiel. It wants to be a multi-part sequential work, in the say the previous three Books of Exodus were. It's trying to pack too much into a single piece of work...
... and because of that, it gives short shrift to a lot of plotlines and sequences that demand more breathing room. It's incredibly information-dense at times, telling rather than showing us what's going on because it has just so damn much to show us it doesn't know any better way to do it. A lot of important events get a lick and a promise and then recede quickly into the rearview mirror as we barrel by them. There's a ton of wasted potential here. Halifax never breathes as a setting the same way Worcester-3 does, for example. The Russians are just sort of... there. So is Fuyutsuki.
I don't like Natlateth as a villain. She had a lot of potential, the concept is rock goddamn solid, but my making fun of her idiocy is only partially in jest; she emerges suddenly as a force majeur late in Exodus 3, kicks our heroes out of their home, and then just sort of twiddles her thumbs and lets them dust themselves off and become powerful enough to defeat her before she moves on them.
(This is an ongoing problem with most EPU villains since Largo, frankly. It seems to be something the production team is working past, though; Akio is finally starting to fulfill his potential as a villain who actually isn't dumb and is also allowed to succeed.)
The very strongest parts of this pieces are the military sci-fi bits and some of the sequences involving San and Lucifer. San, by the way, does an awful lot by herself to salvage some of the plotlines surrounding the Children. She done good as a character. They've got some interesting punch to them.
The weakest parts are all the weird cosmic shit. It just doesn't gel properly. This is a problem with NXE as a whole, which suddenly starts demanding an awful lot of In Nomine knowledge very late in the game, while simultaneously never making good use of that settings various conceits. The Seraphim Council are just this collection of weird dudes if you don't already know who they are; it seems like we should have been shown Tabriel heading back to the Silver City and dealing with their interrogation, as a means of establishing characterization if nothing else.
Especially since this isn't just In Nomine fanfic, it is custom In Nomine fanfic, with important movers and shakers present who don't, to my recollection, actually exist in the game itself.
Lucifer getting off basically scot-free, as well as God showing up well after his help could really have been used, has always stuck in my craw. Laurence was an idiotic traitor who got a lot of dudes killed, but he was not, entirely, without a point.
I encourage other to share their thoughts! NXE is back, you guys. Let's look back while simultaneously looking forward.
(Oh! It's good to be back.)