LAST EDITED ON Sep-08-18 AT 11:43 PM (EDT)
Notes by Gryphon
Notes by Anne
Notes by Phil
Notes by Matt
COMET TASK FORCE CONTINUES TO CHALLENGE TRIADS - We wanted to show how Emily was coming along on her "reward", and at one point there was a plan to turn it into a mini-story, but the epistolary form seemed to blend into things a little better.
Xiānyàn zhànfàng - "Bright Blossoms". Like most front operations, there is (or was) a serviceable tea room there, but the Agni Kai wasn't just repackaging and distributing the Comet they were receiving there. Several not-entirely-legal betting operations also ran out of their back rooms, and it was not unheard of to find someone fencing small but valuable stolen goods there. Losing those business will have made at least a small dent in the triad's bottom line.
50 jīn - an older unit of measurement that is equivalent to ~58 pounds. Quite a lot of "product", even for an organization the size of the Agni Kai.
headquarters of the Agni Kai Triad - Azana was right back in Heritage - Korra had nothing to do with this.
If she wasn't so dead set on being a reporter - Not that there isn't a tradition of Team Avatar members maintaining "day jobs" in addition to helping to fight some crime, but Emily likely hasn't read up on the Peter Parker school of journalistic ethics yet.
Tenjou-Ravenhair complex - It's not just a family, it's a rock album!
"Got to do this thing right, son!" - As much as he likes to rag Minami about her work habits, Ryo is just as dedicated to getting the job done thoroughly and well, in his own way. He does tend to be a little better about coming up for air now and then, though.
Bellehaven - As with 1140 Wildwood Road in Symphony No. 4, I designed Bellehaven with the house-building tools of a Sims game (in this case The Sims 3), with a lot of input from Phil. At some future point, when we've seen more of it in-story, I'll see if I can put together a tour.
This glider is amazing - It really is! I can't take any credit for this - Gryph and Phil had designed it well before I came on board - but I really love the idea of someone taking the "classic" glider staff design and optimizing it for someone who needs to move herself around the city at high speeds. It's designed with a lot of the same principles as a really high end racing bike, and like anyone who owns one of those, Lhakpa and Ryo probably spend half their time tinkering to find ways to squeeze just a little more speed out of it for a little less weight. (If Lhakpa's not careful, she may end up founding a sport!)
If Lhakpa does so, she'll find competition from the existing wing-suit racing circuit. While the gliders are still a traditional source of transportation for airbenders, the Future Industries "Sugar Glider" wing-suits found popularity among a certain subset of Air Nomads post 172, both for their portability (able to be worn under loose airbender clothing if needed, or on their own) and lack of any exterior items that need to be carried or can be lost. While the suit isn't really practical for its user carrying heavy loads on their own (which is why Lhakpa isn't using it for her delivery service), it's used more often for Air Commonwealth citizens engaged in search and rescue operations.
odd ceremonial armor - The UF universe's Thor is not the Marvel Comics one, but certain aspects of his dress armor here are nods to same, most notably the red cape. The rest of it is based on Nordic carved armor from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, though Thor isn't wearing the helmet.
Korra of Aujuittuk - The original name of what is now the village of Senna, which was re-named after Korra's mother in 201 ASC. It means "the place that never thaws" in Tukisi.
Jera - , the "J" rune in the proto-Norse Elder Futhark. It is the ancestor of the English word year (in this case, a reference to how long the token is valid for), and connotes harvest-time and its accompanying prosperity.
valkyrälskling - Roughly, "one who is dear to (a/the) Valkyrie".
a charm Urd had taught him - IMPORTANT: DO NOT USE THIS as a shortcut for taking off your armor unless you are already wearing your street clothes underneath it. Unless that's the effect you're going for, of course.
some so-called "experts" - Kaira is making sardonic reference to Korra's late, unlamented uncle, Chief Unalaq of the North, who justified his fascist takeover of the South in 171 ASC by claiming that The Spirits Were Angry with their decadent ways (when he had, in fact, angered them himself, like the SS attacking German military posts on the Polish border and then claiming the Poles had done it in 1939).
Just because Azana's in the North Pole this week - And believe me, Azana, Karana and Juni are all going to be ripshit about the fact that they were at the WRONG POLE when everything happened.
If it's any consolation, they're in the best place on the planet to get to the South Pole the fastest at this point, thanks to the placement of the North and South Spirit Portals.
we're all going to die - It was a running meta-joke in the first couple-three seasons of The Legend of Korra that if Korra ever had her hair down, it meant something really bad had just happened. (She mentioned this herself back in Familiar Spirits.) In the fourth season, they abandoned that detail by changing her character design so that she no longer had enough hair to put up in the first place, but I'm not down with that, so...
bandy - This is a real sport, and from what I can see online it really is basically a combination of ice hockey, soccer, and the town brawl. It's popular in Scandinavia, Russia, and Minnesota, but never really seems to have caught on much of anyplace else. The Russians, with their usual charming self-deprecation, call it "Russian hockey".
Originally this was going to be a hockey rink, but then the boss suggested it should be a game of bandy instead, and that really fit perfectly!
I stumbled across bandy by accident, late in the development process, and thought it made for a nice "they do things a bit differently in the South Pole" sort of touch for this scene.
purified aluminum - One can only assume that the local industrial complex hadn't discovered large-scale aluminum refining at the time of the Legend of Korra TV series. This is not really that much of a stretch, given that for a time in the real world, it was so difficult to produce, and therefore rare, that it was considered a precious metal. The aluminum cap on the Washington Monument was a conspicuous display of national wealth when it was originally installed.
What had been a friendly, welcoming space at the heart of the city was now a chaotic wreck - and here we take a page from just about every video game and revisit the earlier peaceful setting to demonstrate how chaotic things have become.
wait another ten years - Well, technically nine, but who's counting?
Mr. Worst Dressed - The stage directions for this bit were, in fact, "Some guys from the Agni Kai attack", so I didn't put much effort into the mooks, but I figured that if Kaiten was a representative of most of the AK's lieutenants, they'd probably lean towards dressing in that over the top fashion.
a doll's eyes - This isn't an indication of mind control, it's just that Iona hasn't really gotten around to having a personality yet.
Today is getting really weird. - Oh, son, you have NO idea.
That's not a trap or anything - How do you get the super-powered crusading Avatar out of the way? Give her a situation she knows she can't avoid.
I've got a weird feeling... - In her defense, Korra never considered that the Lotus would betray her like this - even Tenneq's conspiracy didn't dare violate her home, or involve an outside force. She knows something stinks. She just can't imagine how big the incoming pile of crap is.
Fortress of Solitude - Utena means this in more of a Doc Savage sense than Superman, although there are marked similarities. ('70s Superman fans are invited to envision Korra maneuvering the giant key with Avatar State-level metalbending.)
the compound where I was trained as a kid - As seen in the very first episode, and, in a UF context, in As Long as I Live and Test Drive.
a Future Industries Model 265 could get a serious move on - To the tune of Mach 3.4, in line with the planned supercruise speeds of the real world's never-built second-generation supersonic transports; roughly 2,100 mph at cruising altitude (60,000+ ft).
some unexpected help - I love Wakaba. Supposed to fly down after closing down the house, only to find a riot breaking out? She suits up and goes to stop the riot. You've come a long way, Onion girl.
Corwin's birthday - The timing of this was not co-incidental. Worst birthday pretty much ever.
No, Master Kaitlyn, or at least I hope there won't be - ...and here comes the heel turn. It had to be someone trusted and in a high position in the Lotus, and we weren't quite willing to go so far as to make it one of the airkids. That said? Still a bit of a shame. I did like Cheong in his first appearances.
the representatives of the Black Rose - At first glance, it may seem like an odd lapse for one of Cheong's minions to say the organization's name in front of the "guests", but then the White Lotus people aren't aware of just how deep the enmity between these two groups of people runs. They probably view them as more like rival social clubs or something.
be a good girl and do as you're told - Similarly, although it must be obvious to Cheong that Kate's being sarcastic here, he doesn't have the context to understand just how astronomically sarcastic.
emblazoned with "PRESS" - Much like flagging combat medics with a distinctive badge denoting their noncombatant status, opinion is divided on whether marking embedded reporters in this way directs the bad guys' attention away from them or makes them bigger targets, but the official stance is still the former.
few... really understood why - Some people seem to think platinum is just a substance before which the Avatar is powerless, like yellow things and the Silver Age Green Lantern. This is... not the case, but despite the ever-growing pile of empirical evidence, the folk belief lingers in some quarters.
Chief Arnook - Chief of the Northern Water Tribe in the late Ri Wu era. Since Korra's father was originally a prince of the NWT 50ish years later, the assumption is that he was descended from Arnook. Interestingly, this makes Korra and Yue, the Moon Spirit, who was Arnook's eldest daughter in life, cousins some generations removed.
Contingency White - Because I'm a goof, I actually worked out several of the codes the Black Rose set up to signal something having gone wrong.
Contingency White - Trinity is loose but situation in hand. Secure and contain.
Contingency Red - Anthy / Annabelle escaped compound, track and capture.
Contingency Blue - Korra unexpectedly on site!
Contingency Yellow - Doublecrossed by Cheong, begin the attack.
Contingency Black - Eliminate all witnesses.
...and then of course Gryphon's suggestion:
Contingency Brown: oh dear lord they told us his giant robot wouldn't work here run for your lives
slashing the heavy-gauge cable - For the record? This was a pretty good plan! If the Black Rose hadn't brought Corrosive Torpedoes, they'd have probably been able to hold the walls this way.
After leaving Oriphos, the Mashō had returned to Kaneko - As you might guess, their show of leaving the Black Rose was entirely for Saionji and Mia's benefit.
(We'll see more about this in a later installment.)
(Though I suspect it was more for "any potential traitors," - kill two birds with one stone, as it's always possible there were MORE traitors in the Black Rose. That's the problem with lots of selfish people, you just can't trust them most of the time.)
Anubishu had decided some time ago that he hated this pathetic little world - Being the winter Mashō, Anubishu really doesn't care about the cold; he has actually been known to freeze waterfalls when he's really angry. But having to put up with his colleagues whining about being cold hasn't helped his mood at all. (Shuten is spring, Rajura is summer, and Naaza is autumn, in case you're curious.)
Christmas '06 - Events from the often-alluded-to Christmas in Sendai.
(N.B. That's the Symphony No. 3 Christmas movement we never actually wrote.)
The girl... she's the key - In humanity's original 21st-century encounter with them, the Fleet of Fog were never known to deploy what are known in the Arpeggio of Blue Steel canon as "mental models", their humanoid interface constructs. This is the first time anyone's ever seen one. (Anyone outside the few people I-401 has interacted with in her brief time with the Black Rose, anyway.)
She is the submarine - People probably had guessed this already buuuut, yeah.
I-401 - The original I-401 was one of the three I-400 (Sentoku)-class submarines built by the Imperial Japanese Navy near the end of World War II. The largest submarines in the world until the nuclear-powered ballistic missile subs of the 1960s, they were designed to carry attack aircraft (seaplanes meant to be recovered by crane, the subs didn't have flight decks) and could circumnavigate the Earth without refueling.
As an aside, the occasional lack of italics in mentions of 401's name in this section aren't errors, they're an attempt to differentiate between references to the submarine and/or complete entity (I-401) and the mental model alone (I-401), as she hasn't received a proper name yet. If she had a regular name as a ship (Haruna, Kongō, et al.), it'd be a little more obvious that's what I was doing, but Japanese subs didn't have names, only numbers.
As another aside, I did consider Takao for this role instead of I-401, but Corwin simply cannot handle a Tsundere-class
hornyheavy cruiser in his life right now. (It's also harder to see her, or indeed any of the other canonical Fog ships, abiding the sort of treatment a ship is liable to receive from the likes of Captain Touga. I mean, can you see Kongō putting up with that shit?)
Cease! - Corwin is, basically, sending an NMI command to every single one of Iona's nanites. This is a COLOSSAL undertaking, especially away from the Celestial realms. It's no surprise he basically KOs himself doing it.
unconvincing and uncooperative - It's difficult to be smooth, even when you're Touga, when the person you're being smooth at has literally no idea what you are on about.
five fast, evenly-spaced strikes - In the original blocking of this fight, Izumi was going to open with attempting chi-blocking, only to find that it doesn't work on demons the way it would a mortal - allowing Touga to sucker punch her. Then we thought about that, and said "Naaaaah." If Izumi is going out, she's going out eyes open, blade drawn. Because of her sacrifice, an abomination that plagued the Ten Worlds will be destroyed.
Izumi of Kyoshi Island dies a hero.
Not when I can make a difference. Never again! - This was, honestly, one of the hardest things to do. Anthy's done so much to keep from being the prize that others fight over. She deserves to have a role in defending her family.
It's important, too, to keep in mind that just because we didn't see what happened inside the keep yet, that doesn't mean we never will.
Killiniq - Like many navies, the Southern Water Tribe Navy names its ships after cities and towns. Killiniq (Tukisi: "ice floes") is an island fishing community in the eastern part of the country.
I'm a method actor - Kate plays a blind swordswoman in a series of movies. She does her own stunts. Rajura never studied.
rather torpid outlook - One of my biggest "a-hah" moments when helping with the fight scenes was the realization that Nazaa...just didn't give a shit! He's there out of Duty, not much else - and after all, the virtue of his armor IS Obedience. After that lightbulb, things went remarkably quickly.
I'll do you a favor, boy, and make this quick - He really considers it one. Naaza likes to kill things SLOWLY.
"Have I mentioned that I really don't like you guys?" - Surprise!
trying to find some sort of worthy opponent - Shuten really isn't as far gone as the other Mashō. He's got a decent heart, under the crap. Someone just needs to make him realize that...
no honor in challenging her in that condition - You can take the man out of the situation that gave him his honor, but you can't take the honor out of the man in the rotten situation. (Unless he's willing to give it up. And for all that the other Mashō have been harshing on him, they keep telling him to keep it, so...)
Oni Mashō - Ogre General.
You are still too predictable - ... someone like, say, Saionji. Surprise again! After all, someone who's been down that particular hole knows the way out.
the only things she could see clearly - I originally had it written that she took off her glasses so everything was blurry, then just stopped looking altogether, until it occurred to me that, Rajura's illusions being psionic, it probably wouldn't work that way. Geoff suggested a way in which Kate could turn that to her advantage.
it was evident from the way Rajura conducted himself that he was entirely ignorant of the Force - He's not, actually - he didn't spend all that time around the Black Rose duelists for nothing. But he's wholly ignorant of the fact that Kaitlyn has any connection to it, because Roger kept emphasizing how RARE and SPECIAL it was. So he has no idea that Kaitlyn can sense Utena.
he needed killing - ", your honor," is a perfectly valid criminal defense in the Republic of Zeta Cygni. It's not guaranteed that it'll work, but it is an officially recognized form of guilty-but-not-guilty plea.
through the empty socket of his missing eye - So, shit got pretty real in this installment. The stakes are a lot higher - in a lot of ways, the Battle of Fort Tonraq is the first engagement in a very real, very dangerous war. And that means casualties on both sides. It's going to take a toll on everyone - but Rajura is one of the ones that even his own side won't miss.
Her strike was aimed with precision - Utena is VERY good at Rope-a-Dope, and Anubishu had NO idea what was coming.
magna-suits - A smaller counterpart to the Future Industries Mecha-Tank, the Southern Global Magna-Suit is effectively a mid-sized power armor with magnet-driven actuators that give it surprising dexterity in the field. Their smaller size and flexibility makes them ideal for exploration, recovery operations, and riot control. Unfortunately, they're also easier to steal.
Korra's expression went grim - Korra is, at this point, pretty much a divine fury. I almost feel sorry for the poor bastards. Almost.
I came back to try to rescue another from his corruption - And sadly, no success there. That failure will weigh hard on Saionji for some time to come.
Saionji's whole mission? To try to give Touga a chance to redeem himself. But the man who, at one point, might have been worth saving, was long, long dead.
the helmet split - Call back to the original redemption of Shuten in Yoroiden Samurai Troopers. I really liked that moment, though when it happens in the anime, it's the first hint to the good guys that the evil people in armor might actually be HUMAN BEINGS.
vanishing in a whirl of wind-blown snow - It will be some time before spring comes back to Shuten.
(As an aside, Springtime for Shuten was supposed to be a total flop; no one expected it to be the breakout hit of the 2415 Kaneko Imperial Theater season.)
rolling, howling roar - Imagine this, just multiplied and amplified by about 10-20 times. Not all of the polar bear dog spirits are related to Naga, some of them have just joined in on the hunt out of respect for the pack.
doubted he could live with himself - Being defenestrated is all well and good and is to be expected in this line of work. To be refenestrated? Better that he hit the wall instead.
I find your lack of faith disturbing - And here Anakin gets to tap into his latent Vader-ness.
Captain Caveman problem - Captain Caveman was a Hanna-Barbera cartoon superhero of the 1970s. As his name suggests, he was a caveman with superpowers. One of the show's running jokes was that his powers would occasionally crap out on him, usually at the least appropriate times.
Annabelle and Garnet - they're gone. - This entire battle, everything that happened? All for this. And as far as Akio is concerned, the losses could have been an order of magnitude worse, and he'd still be pleased as long as Annabelle ended up in his hands.
Remember when people thought Akio was becoming a bit of a joke? That act was deliberate. He's been working towards this for a VERY long time, and doing everything in his power to make sure that they wouldn't see it coming.
To give you an idea of how long we've been planning this? We've got notes from 2002 and 2006 that lay the groundwork for Akio's ultimate endgame.
Tell me there's some way I won't kill you. - Fortunately for Utena, someone clicked on the Paragon option - but only just.
Sigil Stone - Those who have played The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion may recall what these look like. The one at the Ohtori Institute is rather larger than the ones featured in that game.
Here is the soul of one such as you were forged to slay - This invocation was so very vindicating to write.
the dragons call it viirdaanik - Another UF-Draconian word constructed from the available canonical fragments of the dragon language of Nirn from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. viir - dying, ceasing; daanik - doomed.
Otomeshihō - So, Touga getting his due was a significant point we'd decided on not long after I came in on the project, but it wasn't settled on exactly how. Then Anne delivered...pretty much this entire scene in one night. And it was so.
he's still completely dumped - SO dumped. There aren't enough boxes of chocolate in the entire damn universe...
"They w-want us to feel like this is the end of the game, and we've lost. It isn't. We haven't." - and that's the thing. I won't lie - this installment of The Order of the Rose? Ends dark. It's not a good place - and that was a big stumbling block, because it's not a place any of us were really happy about leaving it...but it's not over. It's a hard thing. But they will not let this stand.
"We'll be ready for whatever we find." - This had to be Wakaba. Because she's been down to the very bottom with Utena, too.
BEIFONG - Locked in a room with a furious Lin Beifong? Anubishu is going to wish Korra had left him plowed into the glacier.