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04 January 2009 @ 04:14 pm
Fic notes  
A few Many notes on Holy Thursday, Day of Judgment ...

Judgment Day. devilc basically asked for Derek and Kyle on Judgment Day. After some dithering, I came up with two ideas: the one in the story which is a fairly straight-forward retelling of the first few days, or the one I did not do, which would have been Judgment Day, Take Two, in which a grown Derek goes to rescue his younger self and Kyle and take care of them better, possibly changing the future when Kyle was taken (or possibly putting himself into a loop). But the second one was more complicated and would be longer, and I've already been there, done that with long fics at Yuletide. So option one went forward.

And since I have an unholy love for flashbacks/memories/hallucinations/prophetic dreams/etc (and italics), I knew that the story would be in two threads: Derek tells the story, and he remembers it in flashback. Those two things would not be exactly the same, because (a) it's a difficult memory and (b) the Connor/Reese household never tells all the truth.

Now we know that (in this iteration) Judgment Day is going to be April 21, 2011. So a bit of googling came up with the fact that in the liturgical calendar, that's going to be Holy Thursday (i.e. the Thursday before Good Friday). Besides wishing that Judgment Day actually is dated to Good Friday, I decided to use that as the basis for my "theme" -- that Derek starts out a normal kid and by the end of that weekend, his world is completely destroyed, his soul perhaps forever tarnished, and he's now become the parent to his brother, since his parents are dead.

We have a bit from Derek about what JD was like already: he tells John about seeing the missiles and the sky turning to fire, we get a bit of a flashback, and Derek tells Sarah about living in the tunnels. But there are two problems with canon:

(1) Derek and Kyle were outside when the bomb hit. They do not have TIME to get underground if they're too close to the bomb.
(2) any nuclear weapon lets off EMP, which should be disruptive to Skynet, too, and not, I should think, first choice for a computer network as a weapon.

So my solution is that Skynet actually launches lethal, but conventional cluster bombs and it's the humans who launch a high-altitude nuke to try to kill Skynet with EMP. This also would mean the fallout in LA is much less, and Derek and Kyle could still trot about on the surface only a few years later without worrying about it.

Once I figured out how Derek and Kyle actually survived, writing was fairly quick.

I didn't want Derek and Kyle to be on their own right away -- and since Terminator-verse is all about one woman who went from normal to extraordinary, so did Derek and Kyle's mom, Anna. She is, basically, any woman I know -- she works in a bank, she does yoga, she cooks, and by any standard, she isn't "ready" for Judgment Day. But she makes herself ready - she walks from her job back home to her sons, packs up their supplies, and sets off to the tunnels under downtown.

And then, on the journey (in the darkened subway), they find that not everyone is in disaster-mode yet of helping. And Derek kills the gangster dude threatening his mother by sticking a knife in his neck. (and no, I don't describe the gangsters - there are plenty of young men of all races who could do this and it doesn't matter).

I think it's important to note that Derek's killing a human, even before he sees his first machine. Remembering his words about Sarah and how her heart is pure because she hasn't killed - it should be that much more tragic to realize that he doesn't feel like he's been pure for a long, long time.

In the parallel narrative, however, Derek never tells John that he killed the gangster. He holds that secret to himself, ashamed of it, and also because he doesn't know that John killed Sarkissian. So therefore, the tragedy of the Connor-Reese household continues -- that secrets are killing them, more than the metal ever could.

And then, finally, the question of how Derek and Kyle survive when the metal have come into the subway and are wiping everyone out. Anna empties her gun into one and it does nothing, but when she falls, she takes it with her. She's smart and she's brave, and she saves her sons. (I only hope that I could be so smart and brave and protect my son in such a way if I ever need to).

This sets up Derek and Kyle on their own and that's where I end.

okay, tl;dr, I know. :)
A work in progress: SCC Derek/Sarah Memoriesancarett on January 5th, 2009 01:36 am (UTC)
Hey, I enjoy reading meta and following you through your story thought processes. It sounds as if your yuletide SCC fic went through much more thinking-out than my own pinch-hit and I'm intrigued by all the careful working-out you did, here. I agree with you that what Derek keeps inside, what all of them keep inside, is what's the problem!
lizardbeth: Derek and Sarahlizardbeth_j on January 5th, 2009 03:08 am (UTC)
ah, you see here in part the fruit of writing fic based on Caprica post-attacks, and my rather extensive bookmarks on nuclear bombs and radiation poisoning (cheerful collection, isn't it? *g*). So some of it I had already thought of before. But yes, this one was particularly thinky.

And oh boy, yes, I just want to put all of them in a room and not let them out until each character tells everybody else ALL the truth!

David Hines: cameron's headhradzka on January 5th, 2009 02:44 am (UTC)
Not tl;dr at all. Your story was one of my favorites out of Yuletide, so I'm really glad to see inside a bit of your process.
lizardbeth: Derek with gunlizardbeth_j on January 5th, 2009 06:20 am (UTC)
aw, I appreciate that.

'Process' makes it sound so... official. This is more like my "didja see what I did thar? didja?" post. Don't want people to MISS it, I guess. lol.