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This is a scene that happened during Symbol of Hope that I had to cut due to story length. The conversation in this scene canonically happened. Maybe one day I’ll be able to make a Final Mix version of these stories that includes all the extra bits.
I’d mentioned before how my writing process is a lot of ‘write a lot’ followed by ‘cut a bunch’. Sometimes I really like the pieces I’m cutting. That’s what the phrase ‘cutting darlings’ means.
This isn’t the same as killing off a character.
A notable example of an idea that didn’t make it into the final cut was the NPRP: Natan Personality Replacement Program. He was awesome. Unfortunately, I couldn’t fit him in satisfactorily. I tried to revive him for Phoenix Emperor as the personality of Natan’s clone body, but still, that didn’t work, and he got cut entirely.
In the following deleted chapters, there are elements that I kept, such as Vathion playing with his new ship and his conversation with Bibbole. However, everything else in this excerpt was ultimately deleted because it didn’t work. As such, if there are spelling and grammatical errors, that would be why.
Here’s the best scene NPRP was in. And a drawing I did for it.
I’ve been working on a few other projects to get myself some cash in the meantime – and as a result, I’ve been spending a lot of time hunched over on the floor sewing. Ugh. Once this is done, I’m not touching a sewing machine again in a while. My fingers are about ruined from stabbing myself repeatedly with pins. Owie.
In any case, I’ve at least got something to update the site with!
Symbol of Hope: UNSENT
I’m sorry, Miki.
I am really truly sorry for what I will do to you.
It isn’t fair. I know it isn’t, and I know that nothing in your life has been fair. You certainly didn’t ask for what happened to you. But I didn’t ask for this to happen to me either. And I guess we’re in the same boat on that one…. And I’m sorry for that too. I could apologize every minute of every day for years and never be sorry enough.
The thing is: I know you’d forgive me. That just makes me feel worse – because I can never tell you how I used you. You will die thinking that I loved you… and maybe that’s a blessing. Being that no one’s ever said those words to you before. I’m a coward and a liar, and you’ll pay the price for it. I’m sorry.
I know what the odds are. I know how things will go. I’ve spent so long, thinking it all through – and it comes down to action, responsibility, and the desire to live. I’ve been doing nothing but reacting my whole life. I let things happen and then I do something. I’ve never set up a situation where I set the rules and knew the score from the start. I’ve never dared to go that far. Now, it’s come down to life or death. I have the choice to act or not. I can just let myself die here, and then the Empire will fall, and billions will die because I didn’t have the guts to sacrifice one person to save my own skin.
I’ve come to realize that the difference between action and reaction is responsibility.
By merely reacting, I take no responsibility for what’s happened to anyone around me. My decisions were a result of someone else’s actions. The deaths caused by my orders are simply byproducts of the situation I was handed. In acting – making a conscious choice to take a situation and bend it to my will, I am taking responsibility for it and what occurs.
I’ve decided to take responsibility.
I do not intend to outlive you by much, Miki. Even though I can’t love you, I can at least honor your sacrifice by saving the Empire and quietly removing myself from the picture. I don’t deserve to live – and especially won’t after I’ve finished mopping up this mess. There is no place for someone like me in the ordered world. After all, its people like me – the deviant individuals – that made this mess to start with. But for now, I am the only one who can save civilization.
Funny that… I can save civilization, but I can’t save the only truly innocent person in all this.
I’m so …very sorry. And the irony is that I can never tell you or anyone else what I’ve done. No one will know my shame or your nobility.
While I really would have loved to keep this scene, I have found that NPRP makes things too easy. As a result, he’s been cut from the new draft of Symbol of Hope. BUT! Because it’s now a deleted scene, I get to put it up on the website for your viewing pleasure. ^_^
Chapter 2: DELETED
Vathion took a slow breath and grinned. He was alone in the quiet enclosure of his fighter. Its sleek black interior swept up from the floor board to just past his head in a solid bubble of darkness lit dimly by little lights behind his shoulders. There were no windows, just slightly shiny walls.
Paymeh had been avoiding him since he had returned from getting the fleet fixed. He admitted, at least to himself, that it was nice to not have his father’s Hyphokos around, reminding him of a bunch of things he really would have liked to have forgotten – at least for a short time. And, at least while he was alone, Vathion could admit that maybe he was being a bit hard on Paymeh, and had been rather cruel to Savon earlier. Sure, Jathas had died, but… maybe Paymeh had honestly mistaken him for his father? Savon certainly did not deserve to be treated badly; she had done what she was told to do. He would figure out something to make it up to her.
Shaking his head, Vathion shifted a bit to get comfortable in his seat. “Wake up, Princess,” he stated as the password to start the AI.
“State user name,” the AI replied.
His ships were finished – all of them in twelve days, and without even a hint of problems. Though it had taken slightly longer than he had first been quoted, the turnaround was still incredibly short. Vathion was quite proud; not only were his ships beautifully repaired, but they had been repainted from their original busted and dented white and red to black with Natan’s crest on one side of each fin in red. The Wilsaers, of course, had been upset that he had wanted so few colors. Vathion had also gotten the Wolfadon phaser arrays and the Tricannons he had wanted, as well as shielding and more guns, as he had discussed with his Fleet engineers.
Pretty much, everything that he had wanted, Vathion had gotten, and thought that he had paid a fairly cheap price for it. In the end, Vathion had used ten out of the eleven Rebel ships captured.
Now, he was back at Marak with all his ships just in time for the first episode of the Natan Fleet Show that would star him. Mirith had left the morning after she had come to see him, meaning that Hiba had somehow managed to get the entire episode filmed in just under two weeks. The man could move fast when he wanted.
Vathion stood proudly in front of the mirror, “I’m good,” he told his reflection, briefly admiring his violet hair, green eyes, violet Bondstone, and dazzling smile. “I’m awesome; better than Dad any day.” Continue reading “Deleted: Symbol of Hope Ch1”