One of my big flaws is that I tend not to put pen to paper unless something really stirs me emotionally (see: my behavior towards France and APH in general for the past three years) or I think I have all the pieces of a fic that I need to make it work. It'll just be like--I think of something, it'll go "click" and I'll go "ah-HA!" and start writing. In other words--until I think the story's ready, I don't write anything.

In the meantime, I toy with basic premises to see if I can't tease something out and create that "Ah-ha" moment. The time travel one...didn't work (and I am ashamed I told it to my best friend the first time we met in about a year and a half).

Here's what I've come up with so far for the Brainwashed!Saiyan idea:

Runners
It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Zombies, Run!, aka the fitness-radiodrama-videogame app with a canon gay ship, zombies that know how to use rocket launchers, and a villain who is fine with sacrificing the lives of others in his quest to conquer death. I'm also a big fan of Mirror's Edge. What do they both have in common?

They have what are known as Runners.

In Zombies Run, Runners are responsible for everything from recon to rescuing others, to finding basic supplies needed to survive in a zombie apocalypse. In Mirror's Edge, they serve as underground agents for The Resistance. They usually have a handler of some sort to give them directions, warn them, and generally keep them out of harm's way.

In Captive Hearts, this was Chi-Chi's role--whether or not her ficwriter knew it, Chi-Chi was not the "Mysterious Nightingale," she was a runner in a post-apocalyptic dystopia, bringing supplies, trying to help captives, and generally going into harm's way to try and help a struggling humanity through stealth and agility.

I say "try" because it was a poorly executed idea with a lot of potential. And I want to play around with it.

I have been thinking about making Videl the protagonist of this fic--she'd be one of the best-primed characters to be a runner. She's physically active, and Mirror's Edge and the stunts you can pull really have me thinking of ways to use her chi. I mean, martial arts CAN lend themselves to parkour moves and tricks, and with a bit of ingenuity, I bet you can somehow utilize chi to run on air/fly over big gaps.

I'm still trying to figure out how to justify not flying/blowing shit up (I think that the aliens/whatever are extremely sensitive to ki, and since they're so much stronger, it's better to use it not at all or in short bursts). It's a work in progress.

Dragons

I'll come right out and say it; I'm taking a page from FE7's book here.

In this retooled version, there's a creation myth about a goddess who gave her body and spirit to protect the world, so that the ones she loved could flourish.

For the most part, that's not a metaphor.

The villain of this story is a dragon who came from a dead universe with his sister--they are part of a handful of survivors, who branched out in an attempt to find someplace else to call their own. In their journey, they somehow came across Planet Namek in its infancy, and they were the ones who inspired the Namekians to create the Dragon Balls.

His sister found humans clinging to life on a desolate star. Moved with compassion for them, she told them to get on her back, curled herself into a ball around the dying star, and cast herself into the deepest of slumbers.

The brother, meanwhile, is trapped in human form, having used most of his energy to create animal life, plant life, and the ability to grow vegetation to sustain that life. As the eons pass, he finds himself growing disgusted with humanity's vices--the scars they've left on his sister's body, the wars that spill the blood his sister is trying to sustain, the ugly parts of humans that no one wants to talk about. He is bitter, he is angry, and he can do nothing about it because he has no power.

But he has found a way to attain it. It will be slow and agonizing. But he can figure something out, which ties into my next idea...

Faustian Deals
Have I mentioned you should really watch Puella Magi Madoka Magica? Because you should really watch Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

...Anyway.

I'm taking some inspiration from that in order to provide a sort of "deconstruction" for Goku's wish for power. "Oh, you want to be a stronger fighter? Well, okay. I can give that to you.

"Just let me have...a year of your time. Or two, at most.

"You're interested? Wonderful! Then let's begin. ...Ah, don't try to struggle, I'd hate for them to tighten and cause more discomfort. There's no need to resist, anyway. I'm just going to have to...adjust some things about you. For one thing, we'll have to get rid of that troublesome affection for your friends. And your reluctance to kill your opponents. And your soft ideals and personality.

"Yes, Son Goku--under my tutelage, you will be the strongest warrior in the world."

/brain-breaking torture commences

Haven't decided if it happens with any of the others. I AM, however, toying with the idea that it happens to GOHAN instead. "You'd like peace? I can help you with that. I'd just need a few things--some of your time, for one. And then I'd need your strength--but just for a little while. And remember--it's all for a world where you'd never have to fight.

"I'm so glad to hear you accept my proposal! These cuffs--well of COURSE they repress your chi and strength. I can't have you going back on your side of the deal! Now. Let me show you your enemies--and why you should hate them.

Why yes, they ARE humans. Why are you so surprised?"

/brain-breaking torture commences

Things Man Was Not Meant To Know

The reveal that humanity's basically living on the back of a GIANT FUCKING DRAGON who is still technically alive and who's waking could end the world may count. Also, it's now canon that there are twelve other universes, all with their own warriors. Surely some of the horrors from the Dragon's universe could be shown/brought to Earth--either as part of the brainwashing or a battle tactic.
_______

So that hits on everything I want to cover, I think.

A few things I know are going to happen for sure:

- The Brainwashed Saiyan is either going to be Goku or Gohan. Because I have a thing for undeniably good characters being broken. Also with Gohan there's the lovely opportunity to DECONSTRUCT ALL THE DADDY ISSUES, plus it'd give me an excuse to have Videl as the main character.

- There ARE going to be crossovers with other series--but they're going to function like sidequests in Zombies Run! or Fire Emblem, being optional stories that, for the most part, won't be part of the main story. This will both satisfy my crossover kink and allow me to pretend I am writing an epic-length fic that is NOT a crossover. /sage nod

- This is probably going to be the rough draft for an original story. I've found that with fanfic, I'm better able to come up with plots, characterizations of various canonical compliance, and a good writing style. Once it's written, I'm going to Replace the names with original names and let it rest before coming back to it, re-reading it, and then hammering out revisions and proofing from there.

So that's that. Hope everyone else is doing okay--as for me, tomorrow it's back to long hours until Thursday. Hopefully next week will be less exhausting!

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chatham_t_rivers

October 2013

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