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War is complex. Anytime it seems simple or straightforward is only a façade. The faces of enemies and allies can change and the apparent nature of the situation can appear so much more different from the truth.
Picking up after the events of "The Midnight Exchange", this story is meant to tell the tale of the battle for the fate of a small rural village in a fictional Balkan country. It follows the actions and events in the lives of several characters and factions, each with their own reasons to risk their lives for victory.
Major Vassili Zorskel, right hand man of the "Butcher of the Balkans" and second in command of a formidable mercenary force, seeks an opportunity to atone for the actions of his past. Will a clear enemy allow him to clear his conscious or force him deeper into the murky fog of his own soul?
Jarek and Senka, two werewolves fighting for their home against a ruthless enemy. Will wisdom and experience be enough to save them in the face of a foe that has come prepared to destroy all who stand in their way?
Raven Team, a group of agents comprised of three humans and a werewolf. Though a tip from a double agent led them to the targeted village of Leskavac, can the actions of so few save the lives of hundreds on the brink of devastation?
My submission for WereWriter's Write-a-Thon where the theme this month was "Battle".
Preview image by Tatchit
1. The Midnight Exchange
2. Tooth, Claw, Bullet and Blade (You are here.)
4. The Wolf and Her Raven fav.me/d76ryvp
It's not really that long of a story (since it's really focused on one big event rather than many smaller ones) but the sheer number of pages certainly brings on "TL;DR." Then again, this comment is "TL;DR" for a lot of people on DA... Yes - I did notice the character jumps and having had experience with writing them, I understand the difficulty of trying to do that in a short story rather than a chapter-based novel. While a bit jarring at times, it didn't really interrupt the narrative.
I agree, there is evil in the code and it's such a pain. I'm still waiting for them to make it more user friendly and not the demon it is to work with now.
That's true. It's just a very lengthy chapter. People find it hard to finish reading longer pieces which is an thought that always pops into my head when writing. I usually just silence it by hoping that if the story is interesting then readers will finish it. I wanted to play with telling the story of this one event from the viewpoint of both sides. Sometimes there would be overlaps in time as I showed the same moment through the eyes of different characters but it's good to hear that it didn't hurt the story even if it did odd things to the flow.
I know what you mean. I practically have to hold readers at gunpoint to get them to read "Form Follows Function" (30+ pages) despite rave reviews. There's really nothing more you can do than hope someone is willing to at least try reading and then let the story carry itself. Obviously, there's two sides to this story. I definitely noticed the overlaps in time while reading them but they weren't too much trouble.
And random: why doesn't the AK-74 get more love? It's totally replaced 7.62 variants in the former Warsaw Pact and in a number of developing countries.
Heck, they're constantly changing things around with the visual art displays and thumbnails that I agree it's time they took a look at their text editor and chatrooms.
I read that one in two sessions and enjoyed the way the journal/lab log style covered the narrator's journey and experiments with each new version. It provided neat pause points so all I had to do was find the week I left off on and continued from there. I think that's one of the problems with digital literature vs. a physical books, it's not as easy to put a book mark on the part of the story you stopped at if you have to revisit it. Sure you can bookmark a webpage but with the way literature works on DA you have to remember where you stopped.
I know right?! My roommate told me the same thing and yet every time you see a movie or game set in one of those countries (or Russia itself) every guy is carrying an AK-47! I'm sure you could still find a 47 in someone's hands in those areas but for the most part the weapon has been replaced with the AK-74. Since the antagonists' equipment is mostly ex-Russian Army gear that they took near the end of the Cold War, I figured it must more modern yet not quite the latest models. I'm glad you noticed that because it was just a little detail I included but thought most people wouldn't catch.
I worried that would be distracting, but I think that people really appreciated the format. If DA wanted to give writers the same amount pampering they give writers, they'd switch to an e-book type format where readers could keep their page. And definitely, it would be nice to have a more visually appealing format than a .pdf, maybe something like a virtual book with a cover and turnable pages.
Using older AKs made more sense in the 80s when even the CIA had only a handful of examples, but now I think it's just laziness. They figure that viewers don't know any better. Besides, it fits with cultural stereotypes of Russia better than the snazzier AK-74M and AK-105 which actually ARE in widespread service in the Russian Army. If you see an AKM in Russia, it's probably in service with some backwater police unit (though even those guys mostly have 74s now). 7.62 AKs are really more common in the Third World, though it's caught on with Americans too since it's one of the few modern day rifle cartridges that performs well with shorter barrels. 5.45 is starting to make a splash in the US civilian market and is a sadly under-appreciated cartridge (a 5.56 with less felt recoil and half the price? sweet). Though I did notice that some of the militamen had the contemporary AK-74M rather than the older, less "sexy," but still effective AK-74 or AKS-74...
An ebook type format would be excellent for the site. They could have a function similar to Favorites where readers can place literature pieces they are in the middle of reading. Is the part too long to finish in one sitting? Just add the story to the section ("Bookshelf?" "Nightstand?") and click to save the place on the page you stopped at. The virtual book would be awesome and maybe it would even work better with mobile devices like other e-reader applications they already have.
I also think screen writers and filmmakers view it as a sort of shorthand for "bad guys". Either that or it's the weapon of the underdogs. They know the AK-47 has a certain look that people recognize. There's even a scene in the heist film "Inside Man" where the police ask a witness if he knows about weapons because he identifies what the bank robbers were carrying. The witness replies saying something along the lines of "Man, anyone who's seen a decent action movie knows what an AK-47 looks like." The Russians knew they had to upgrade their arsenal, it would be ridiculous not to. A few recent movies have improved a bit with a variety of arms but they're usually in the hands of more "classy" or organized characters. Resistance fighters or guerillas or any scrappy band of characters end up with AKMs and other older weapons.
Some of the militiamen had AK-74Ms while others received the fictional CASR which was also chambered for 5.45. This detail was mostly to make sure the supplied weapons and ammunition would be compatible with what the militia already had. Cascadia has several models in different calibers but if the real world market is showing interest in 5.45 (even less recoil and cheaper? with the price of ammo now? I can dig it), it would make sense that the story world could support it too.