Author Topic: Child Of The Night  (Read 2389 times)

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Offline shester

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Child Of The Night
« on: October 19, 2008, 12:00:45 AM »
In Child of the Night do you think John would have survived what the Scarrans did to him if this happened before Aeryn left in DWTB?  Could she have brought him back?  Would he have used his memories of her to hold on to while he was being tortured? Or would he have just said to "hell with it" and not struggled to stay alive? 

I was getting ready for bed and couldn't get this out of my mind.  Why do I love this story so much? 

Sybil
« Last Edit: October 19, 2008, 07:49:36 AM by KernilCrash »



Earth.  Terra Firma.  Seems forever it's filled my thoughts, been my goal.  And now...I'm here.
John Crichton-Terra Firma

Offline KernilCrash

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Re: Child Of The Night
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2008, 08:19:18 AM »
Morning, Sybil!

I hope you don't mind that I turned this into a new topic.  ;D  It seemed to deserve one all it's own.  :laugh:

Wow.  Good question.  <ponders and winds up with a major case of brain cramp>

First, I reserve the right to change my mind once I spend some time envisioning this.  ;D

I think John would use the same anchor in order to survive the torture.  It was his mantra during Revenging Angel, and although it was TJohn who said it, the fact is that Aeryn is his one constant, his guiding star.  So I think he would cling not so much to Aeryn as his love for her in order to sustain him.  When the reader and Aeryn finally see John's final descent into insanity in Chapter 18 (of the longer version), John is down to where he defines himself entirely by the fact that he loves Aeryn.  Even after her rejection in Fractures, I think he would still define himself that way.  It is the choice he eventually makes in DWTB; he will take the one bone of Aeryn, even if it means giving up on his dream of returning to Earth.  (Sorry if I'm rambling, but I'm kind of thinking this through as I go along.)

What I think would play out differently is everything after that, on both sides of the relationship.  I think Aeryn would still go after him (to rescue him), but she would also be absolutely overloaded with guilt and confusion, probably to the point of totally coming apart at the seams emotionally.  At that point in canon, she is struggling to figure out how to deal with that level of emotional pain and loss.  If she were to almost lose this John, I think rather than kicking her into the realization that she still has a John Crichton, that it would drive her almost insane with the worry that he might not recover and that she might lose him a second time. 

And Unity would be incredibly painful for both of them.  That would turn into a hindrance to John's recovery, rather than the thing he holds on to and that sustains him.  He might even be suspicious at first, question whether it's Aeryn or why she's in his quiet dreaming place, and possibly reject here.  He very definitely would not simply fall into her presence, chanting, "Aeryn, Aeryn, Aeryn, Aeryn" the first time he realizes who has entered his internal world. 

God, it's causing heartache just thinking about it.  That's one of my personal favorite moments, and I can't see it happening if they aren't comfortable and committed to each other at that point.

Actually, I think the scenes involving Unity would start to feel like Whispers, only worse because they would be sharing thoughts in both directions.  :weeping:  John would know how badly Aeryn is hurting, and she would know just how badly she was hurting him, and still would not know what to do to get it to stop. 

I think if I were to write this (NOT going to happen because it would be too frelling painful), that I would use the whole process of getting John to "emerge" from his catatonia as a way for the two of them to reconcile and for Aeryn to come to understand why John makes the decisions that he does; i.e. "Was it easy to be a hero?"  I still don't see a glorious sense of victory when he comes back.  It wouldn't be a triumph of love.  It would a stubborn refusal to give up in the hope that something better lies ahead. 

In summary ... Ouch. 

;)
« Last Edit: October 19, 2008, 08:22:58 AM by KernilCrash »
Happiness is not a destination.  It is a method of life. -- Burton Hills
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain. -- Vivian Greene

Offline shester

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Re: Child Of The Night
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2008, 08:19:06 PM »
A thread just for COTN sounds good to me.

In Revenging Angel, John still had hope that he would have a chance with Aeryn even though his twin was with her.  He loved her and could fight for her.  When she came back and TJ was dead he realized that fighting for her wasn't going to work.  He was devastated.   He didn't know how to compete with a dead man.  A dead man that was him.  But I could see him clinging to the fact that he loved her even if things were not right between them.  Yeah, John would have given up Earth for Aeryn. 

She would definitely go after him.  She wouldn't want him to die.  (Although in ITLD at the end of part two when he tells her to fly safe I kept thinking that there was no way she would leave TJ on that command carrier.    She would have made sure he got off the ship when she did.  She just left him with no word.  He was there with Scorpy and that ship exploding all around him.  I never forgave her for that.  No surprise huh? :D)   Even John told her later in Promises that he would trust her with his life.  I think if he died she would never get over that.  Possibly more than trying to get over TJ's death.  Because this John would die thinking she didn't love or care for him.  That is a lot to have to live with.

Unity would be terrible.  You are right.  John would probably be a bit like he was in JQ when Aeryn was saying and doing all the things he wanted.  That was when he knew the game was still on.  In COTN he would wonder what else the Scarrans were doing to him I would think.  He would be so suspicious that he may even have tried to hide from her in his mind because he wouldn't trust her reason for being there.  Whispers just about killed me.  And you are right it would probably be like that plus Aeryn knowing how much she has hurt him and yet she wouldn't know what to do to help him because she is still grieving for TJ. 

It would be a hard thing to read and I couldn't imagine trying to write that kind of heartache because that is what it would be for both of them. 

I still would like to know how they got back together before the Scarrans captured him.   I know I am greedy. ;D

Sybil




Earth.  Terra Firma.  Seems forever it's filled my thoughts, been my goal.  And now...I'm here.
John Crichton-Terra Firma

Offline KernilCrash

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Re: Child Of The Night
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2008, 08:54:52 AM »
You generated a really important thought.

I'm not sure John and Aeryn could have achieved Unity at all in COTN if they were still at odds. 

I'm writing this from a spot slightly outside the vantage point of the person who created the story because the section where it is revealed that it was John that initiated Unity was one of those passages that the Youses Muses Gang wrote on their own without my involvement.  ;) 

The first time John and Aeryn slide into Unity is in Chapter 4 (of the extended version) when Aeryn discovers how much pain John is still enduring.  Rereading that this morning, I can't envision a single portion of that scene taking place the same way if this took place anywhere between Fractures and DWTB.  I think John would be extremely wary, he would be hiding certain portions of his feelings and psyche from Aeryn, and there is no way he would place every last vestige of his trust in her.  And when Aeryn first gets thrown out of the 'meeting' by the pain, I can't see her demanding to go back inside his mind to help him. 

Lordy, just reading that segment and envisioning how it might play out differently is depressing me.  AUGH!!   :weeping:

;)

But back to the point ... I just can't see either one of them dropping their guard long enough to achieve Unity.  If John were to enter into Unity with anyone under the 'alternate' plot, it would probably be D'Argo. 

I never forgave her for that.  No surprise huh? :D)

My breaking point came both earlier and later.  I was so damned angry at Aeryn for being willing to just fire off to Earth with TJohn (in IP:IA) and leave the other John behind.  I became a confirmed MJohn advocate in that moment.  The other half of the equation for me was Aeryn leaving in DWTB.  Those two moments led to me writing the original version of Cloths Of Heaven, which ended at the end of Chapter 1.  The original version that my betareader saw ended right there, where John left Aeryn the goodbye message and disappeared.  I was angry with Aeryn, and wrote a 'payback' fic.  It was good, it was devastating, and my betareader said that if I stopped there, Scaper-readers everywhere would be screaming and slitting their wrists.

:LOL: 

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It would be a hard thing to read and I couldn't imagine trying to write that kind of heartache because that is what it would be for both of them.
 

Fortunately I'll never write it, and no one will have to read it.  Whispers was tough enough on all of us.  :weeping:  One interesting thing about the creation process for Whispers is that my betareader at the time pushed fairly hard to get me to place Whispers at some other point in the canon timeline ... some place more cheerful.  And I refused, because it would have changed the story from drama-angst to comedy.  As tough as it is to read Whispers the way it is, the thing that makes it such a commanding story is the emotional matrix.  Without that, it just becomes another cute, lightweight "hear what everyone is thinking" story. 

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I still would like to know how they got back together before the Scarrans captured him.   I know I am greedy.


:laugh: 

I think a lot of the story works very well for very late Season 4, except for the presence of Jool.  If I were to go through and take out Jool, put in Noranti instead and tweak her behavior to fit the 'recasting', I think it works very nicely for somewhere in between La Bomba and Bad Timing.  So there ya go.  That's how they got back together.  ;) 

Although I shudder at the thought of Noranti in the pool or John sharing a 'Meeting' with her.  :scared:

:LOL: 

Let's keep Jool, okay?  :laugh:

Wow.  It's kind of too bad that I hadn't seen those episodes and didn't set it then (I could have left Noranti on Moya or sent her on a spiritual retreat).  Just think of the additional emotional context I could have worked in if John and Aeryn were sharing Unity after Aeryn got captured by/rescued from the Scarrans.  Imagine John finding and sharing Aeryn's "Crichton ... only ever Crichton" moment.  :lovies: 


Happiness is not a destination.  It is a method of life. -- Burton Hills
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain. -- Vivian Greene

Offline shester

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Re: Child Of The Night
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2008, 02:59:36 AM »
I don't think they could have obtained Unity either.  Too much pain and sorrow at that time in their relationship.  I don't know.  Aeryn may have demanded to go back in.   I don't think she would have left him like that because if he died and she didn't at least try she would have had to live with that guilt.  But definitely John would be wary and would not let her in so easily.  It would be kind of like when she stood up with him to go to the command carrier.  He knew it was not for him but for TJ.   If she did do unity at that time he would wonder why she was there.  That would be hard.

I think D'Argo would have been the better choice if that was the case.  They had really bonded and D'Argo understood John better than Aeryn at that time. 

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My breaking point came both earlier and later.  I was so damned angry at Aeryn for being willing to just fire off to Earth with TJohn (in IP:IA) and leave the other John behind.  I became a confirmed MJohn advocate in that moment.  The other half of the equation for me was Aeryn leaving in DWTB.  Those two moments led to me writing the original version of Cloths Of Heaven, which ended at the end of Chapter 1.  The original version that my betareader saw ended right there, where John left Aeryn the goodbye message and disappeared.  I was angry with Aeryn, and wrote a 'payback' fic.  It was good, it was devastating, and my betareader said that if I stopped there, Scaper-readers everywhere would be screaming and slitting their wrists.

LOL

I felt the same way when they were talking about leaving for Earth and they didn't even think about John on Moya.  Don't even get me started on DWTB, :laugh:  I could write a few pages on how mad I was at her then.  That is why I was so glad that John didn't fall all over her the first part of Season 4.  I would have lost respect for him if he had.  He had been through too much for him to do that.  And he really didn't trust her at that time.  She had too many secrets that she wasn't telling him.   I am probably one of those that would have been perfectly happy with the Cloth of Heaven ending with John's message.   Aeryn getting a dose of her own medicine.

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Fortunately I'll never write it, and no one will have to read it.  Whispers was tough enough on all of us.  weeping  One interesting thing about the creation process for Whispers is that my betareader at the time pushed fairly hard to get me to place Whispers at some other point in the canon timeline ... some place more cheerful.  And I refused, because it would have changed the story from drama-angst to comedy.  As tough as it is to read Whispers the way it is, the thing that makes it such a commanding story is the emotional matrix.  Without that, it just becomes another cute, lightweight "hear what everyone is thinking" story.

Whispers was perfection.  It was a great place to be in canon.  They were both hurting and I love the way it played out.  I really loved John getting sucked into Moya and not being able to get out. I like the way you wrote that.  I love Moya and I like that John could communicate with her.  And your use of physical pain being the only way he could detach himself from Moya was such a good idea.   He was locked in emotional pain and the physical pain was nothing compared to what he was going through with everyone's emotions crowding his mind.  Moya's, Aeryn's and everyone else.  It is a really great story but a hard one to reread.

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laugh

I think a lot of the story works very well for very late Season 4, except for the presence of Jool.  If I were to go through and take out Jool, put in Noranti instead and tweak her behavior to fit the 'recasting', I think it works very nicely for somewhere in between La Bomba and Bad Timing.  So there ya go.  That's how they got back together.  ;)

Yeah, Jool puts a bit of a kink in the timeline doesn't she? 

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Although I shudder at the thought of Noranti in the pool or John sharing a 'Meeting' with her.  scared

She wouldn't have wanted to "wash off the juices". :laugh: 

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Wow.  It's kind of too bad that I hadn't seen those episodes and didn't set it then (I could have left Noranti on Moya or sent her on a spiritual retreat).  Just think of the additional emotional context I could have worked in if John and Aeryn were sharing Unity after Aeryn got captured by/rescued from the Scarrans.  Imagine John finding and sharing Aeryn's "Crichton ... only ever Crichton" moment.  lovies 

Even in Unity John was able to hide the worst of his torture from Aeryn and the rest when they were in his mind.  If this happened between La Bomba and BT do you think John would have hid the rape from Aeryn?   Would she have been able to see that thoughts of her helped him get through that?   "Only every Crichton"  I can just see the smile on his face when he heard that. 

I liked the whole unity thing and the fact that John could initiate it with Aeryn.   I loved the way you had them experience sex with each other and be able to know how each one felt.  That was really good.  It made it even more intimate and something they could hang on to even later on.

Well, it is almost 3am, I hope some of this made sense.

Sybil



Earth.  Terra Firma.  Seems forever it's filled my thoughts, been my goal.  And now...I'm here.
John Crichton-Terra Firma

Offline UTChick

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Re: Child Of The Night
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2008, 06:19:10 PM »
Great discussion!  I wish I had something really concrete to add to it.  Man, that story would've changed so much to be written at DWTB point.  Neat hypothesis, though.  Unity, though was such a neat concept & to have that enhanced by their relationship made it neater.  That part would've been lost with D'Argo being the main connector (not the Unity but the additional enhancement).

I, too enjoyed Whispers.  I can handle angst as long as there is a glimmer of some positiveness to it at some point - besides when you feel that much pain, the resolution only feels that much better.

Offline KernilCrash

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Re: Child Of The Night
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2008, 09:25:27 PM »
The original question was a really good one!  :agreed:  It gave me a good case of brain cramp (in a good way) when I first started thinking about it.  The story would have been as different as Whispers would have been if I'd set it at a time when John and Aeryn were happy together.

Happiness is not a destination.  It is a method of life. -- Burton Hills
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain. -- Vivian Greene

Offline shester

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Re: Child Of The Night
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2008, 08:51:33 PM »
Did you decide on the name after you wrote it or before?  Do you usually have the name of your stories first or after it is written?

After reading the story I can see where Child of the Night comes into play.  Was it simple for you to name it or did it take you awhile?

Sybil



Earth.  Terra Firma.  Seems forever it's filled my thoughts, been my goal.  And now...I'm here.
John Crichton-Terra Firma

Offline KernilCrash

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Re: Child Of The Night
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2008, 05:47:54 AM »
Did you decide on the name after you wrote it or before? ... After reading the story I can see where Child of the Night comes into play.  Was it simple for you to name it or did it take you awhile?

Uhhhhh ... <thinking thinking thinking> ... I don't remember exactly when it got named.  I know it got named very early in the process, and it was one of the titles that was just "there", instead of one that I had to fight to find.  But it was named long before it was finished.   

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Do you usually have the name of your stories first or after it is written?

It really varies.  Some stories name themselves almost before I get the first word on the page.  Others resist being named right down to the last instant.  Guy Stuff would have been posted a few days earlier than it was except I couldn't get it named.  Using a computer to write, as opposed to writing by hand, tends to encourage getting a story named early since it means there's a stable file name.  (WRONG reason to settle on a story name. :LOL: )  But that doesn't rule out picking something temporary and then going through LOTS of name changes. 

The shorter stories tend to acquire a name faster because the entire tale usually forms inside my head all at once.  Short stories tend to be more focused on a single theme or concept anyway, so it is usually easier to find a name that speaks to that plot or theme, even if in an ironic or evasive manner.  Food Fight is a good example of that kind of title.  It tells what the story is about, but doesn't suggest where the Farscape spin is going to take it.  :devil: 

Part of the challenge with coming up with a title for the longer stories is that I seldom write the story from front to back.  I've found that writing the ending first works very well for me.  Even if the ending eventually gets so heavily edited that nothing of the original version remains, it still gives me a 'target' -- i.e. some theme to focus on -- that keeps the story on track, and keeps all the various subplots, twists, and turns revolving around a central theme.  I did *not* do that with Cholak's Demon, and the story got away from me and refused to quit.  :laugh:  I couldn't find the ending!!  :hair:  I have done it with Measure of Devotion (the ending has already changed twice because of what I've written in the middle), and it is drawing the story toward that eventual destination nicely.  I'm digressing a little, but the point is that sometimes it isn't until I get the beginning of the story written that I find the right name for it.   Night Walker went through a couple of name changes before I wrote the very beginning where John isn't sleeping at night, and I realized that I had THREE night-walkers wandering around the story (insomniac John, the lake monsters, and John's dreams after he's been injured), and I settled on that title. 

Measure of Devotion got named very early because I know where the story is going, and I know the central thrust.  The title for Foot Falls got changed from something else relatively late in the process, after I'd written Aeryn's flashback of when John first became sick and realized I had several instances of foot-fixation in the story.  :laugh:  Finding a title for The Chrysalis was a battle right down to the end, probably because there isn't a great deal of plot to the story.  It's just John, Aeryn, and hot water.  :naughty:
 

Happiness is not a destination.  It is a method of life. -- Burton Hills
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain. -- Vivian Greene

Offline werleysr

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Re: Child Of The Night
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2015, 09:09:51 PM »
LOVE LOVE LOVE this....I cry, I'm happy, encouraged...read this all the time....this is wonderful....

Offline shester

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Re: Child Of The Night
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2015, 09:17:19 PM »
My favorite of all her fanfiction. 

Sybil :owl:



Earth.  Terra Firma.  Seems forever it's filled my thoughts, been my goal.  And now...I'm here.
John Crichton-Terra Firma

Offline KernilCrash

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Re: Child Of The Night
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2015, 07:22:02 AM »
LOVE LOVE LOVE this....I cry, I'm happy, encouraged...read this all the time....this is wonderful....

:lovies:  I'm glad you enjoyed it.  :redhearts:

Happiness is not a destination.  It is a method of life. -- Burton Hills
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain. -- Vivian Greene