Wings of Steel

November 5, 2008

The Great Destroyer: Act VII

Filed under: Chapter Ten — Mao @ 12:55 am

Beryl shook her head, red tendrils framing her face, “you always were foolishly sure of yourself, Xavier.”

“Is that so? I rather think I have the upper hand here.”

“That’s where you’re wrong. You think that you can really hurt me? As much as I’d like to see you try, you won’t get the chance.”

Xavier’s blonde brows furrowed with anger, “and why is that?”

She paused a moment, letting his anticipation grow, watching the fear creep into his eyes. There was delight there, a sick sort of satisfaction. It built within her as she spoke, “you assumed I was alone. I’m not.”

Xavier barely had a moment to register what Beryl said before his body was rocked. He felt it build in his back and quickly advance through his body. When he was again coherent, he found himself on the ground, facing his younger brother’s enraged visage towering over him. The door was in shards, bits of wood still moving through the air, as if suspended in slow motion.

He could feel his influence moving through him, tightening his muscles, crippling his tendons. Christian didn’t have to touch him, the damage already done.

Blood flew from his mouth as Christian’s boot connected with Xavier’s chin. He could taste it, though do nothing as it clotted in his throat, threatening to choke him. He was overpowered, he had lost. That realization was almost too much to bear. He tried to will himself upward, but was once again thrown down by Christian’s energy. It pushed against him violently, bouncing him off the floor. He could feel it passing through his skin, immense pain causing his entire body to scream with agony.

There was no remnant of the Christian he had known in the figure that came down upon him like an avenging angel. Blind rage filled his eyes, twisting his face, drawing on his carnal, darker nature. It shamed him to think it, but he saw Eckhard there, in that face, in the violent blows. Something had taken hold of him in the same way.

“I told you I would kill you,” was all Christian uttered, his voice deep and resounding with preternatural fury.

He grabbed onto Xavier’s collar, drawing him forward. Nothing could stop him now, nothing. A need had built within him, one that he had not recognized before. A tingling sensation overtook his arm as he siphoned Xavier’s energy. He felt it fill him, heal all the parts and close all the holes. Had he injured himself at some point? He must have, for he felt the bruises disappear and the bones in his hand reconnect.

Beryl could not bear to watch as Xavier’s body shriveled into a husk, eventually disappearing into dusk. Her stomach rolled, her mind spun. She knew that Christian had acted in defense… of his former self, of her, but it would not erase the carnality of the scene from her mind.

Perhaps, worst of all, was the fact that she could see his energy, the aura that surrounded him. It was as black as hers, tainted and impure. Sanctus Unus’ words haunted her, stung her heart. Were their souls so entwined that her own taint would spread to him? Grief threatened to overwhelm her, brought tears to her eyes.


  1. Oh my GOD, those last two pictures were so haunting! Just… just… gah!

    I could say more, but it’ll have to be later, as I am still giddy over the election. XD Eeeee!

    Haha, you crazy political people. ;) Thanks, V!

    Comment by V — November 5, 2008 @ 1:31 am

  2. No! No! It can’t be the End!! Please!

    I’ve left it open for a continuation, but we’ll see.

    Comment by Asara — November 5, 2008 @ 2:06 am

  3. WHAT? If that isn’t ambiguous, I don’t know what is. I’m at a loss for words. I thought that once this was over, I’d be happy and go on about my happy way, thankful to get two good stories out of you. Now, I’m looking for yet another story. You couldn’t possibly leave us like that. I feel there’s so much more to say.

    Sorry, Eva! I actually did alter the ending slightly to make room for a possible continuation. But know that it would have been just as ambiguous. I prefer open-ended endings, haha. As for more, we’ll see. I don’t even want to consider it until NaNoWriMo is over!

    Comment by Eva — November 5, 2008 @ 3:20 am

  4. Wow. Mao, I am truly weeping right now. I promise I will come back with a proper comment. Right now I don’t think anything I said would be coherent.

    Awww, Gayl! Thank you. I am not happy that you’re crying, but I am happy that you had such an attachment and emotional tie to the characters.

    Comment by Gayl — November 5, 2008 @ 3:36 am

  5. Oh no, not Beryl (I knew though, but always hoped I was wrong). I know its part of the bigger picture, but I still got the sniffles. I guess I always hoped for a happily ever after for Christian and Beryl. And what about the baby, what does the baby look like?

    What beautiful writing Mao (such an explosive ending), you had my heart aching. Especially looking at those last shots of Beryl dying…..I think I’m gonna cry again.

    My answer, ‘YES’ I think you should continue. But only if your heart is really in it. No good in writing a story that you don’t truely have the heart for. But I’d LOVE to read more on all these characters. If only to see the child Beryl and Christian had. I’m one of your biggest fans, and you have many :)

    Now if you’ll excuse me…..I have some weeping to do!.

    Unfortunately, we’ll likely never see ‘baby’ Eva. Even if I do a continuation, it takes place like, sixteen or so years after this. :) Thank you! I was so worried about this, that I didn’t execute it properly. It’s such a tricky thing. Thank you for the support!

    Comment by Taryn — November 5, 2008 @ 7:58 am

  6. hahahahaha, well done Valerie!! I think Nicolas deserves to be hurt again! and then you can say you two are even,he did a lot of stupid things to you Valerie!!!

    Those pictures in page 1 are awesome, the one with Nicolas being hit against the wall is my favorite…love the speed/blur effect around the edges, it looks great!!

    Xavier is so full of himself like always…. the pic of Christian running is also awesome!!! And Xavier eyes look so creepy, well he looks creepy…


    I was sure expecting Christian to show up, but I never imagined he will kill Xavier!!! I have mixed feelings about it. I know Xavier was a jerk, he would have killed Beryl if it wasn’t for Christian…but to think that Christian tainted his hands for that jerk, it is just so sad… I wonder if he could live like that… well he is a demon, I bet he could…

    and Poor Beryl her agony and desperation is palpable… just as Christian’s anger and hatred… Wonderful page 3.. :D lol (I’m commenting as I read, so I wont forget a thing! :D )

    :( OMG… page 4 is just heartbreaking, I hate good-byes
    Poor Christian, poor Beryl everything is so unfair, is she going to commit suicide? I don’t know how you do it, but the facial expression in your pictures are just extraordinary, I swear I can see all the love, despair, pain and worry in each other’s eyes (C&B) and the lighting of your pictures is fantastic, you allow us to see just what we need to see!!
    The writing is so heartfelt , it all flows so nice and easily!!!

    :( this is so sad :’( I want to cry…. poor Christian what will he do without his Beryl…

    :( I admit it that last scene made me cry… :( After all Beryl went thru she still has to go thru all this unfair self destroying thing… I don’t understand why… and the way you describe Christian feelings is sooo beautiful and touching, I can only feel sorry for him, the love he felt was so strong and pure… he would have given his life away for Beryl… he did it once and I bet he would have done so again…

    And the last picture is scary but sooooooooooooooooo good!!!!! I love the blood in her eyes!!!

    Wonderful story Mao, I stand up and clap clap to you, bows to you and congratulations!!!

    But before all that, Thank you so much for taking the time to entertain us with your amazing talent!!!!
    I loved every bit of this story. The characters have grown up a lot since KiD and I have grown with them, lol looks like I have knew them forever. :D
    It was sad to see Beryl die, but I really hope that her death is only the beginning!!!

    Wonderful job!! Beautiful engrossing writing accompanied by magnificent picture! BRAVO!!!!! and THANK YOU for your time!!!!!

    You did an awesome job Mao!!!!

    Thank you so much, Sandy! You’re making me blush. :oops: I’m really glad it was all satisfying to you, right down to Valerie giving Nicolas that little ‘push’. I was a little misty-eyed myself, writing this. But the same thing happened at the end of KiD, too. Not sure if it was the realization that it was over or the characters taking over my brain. It’s kind of hard to tell! Thank you for your time–without you guys reading and supporting me, well, this wouldn’t be anything. I really do appreciate it. Words can’t convey just exactly how much it means to me. I’m also glad you caught that Christian ‘tainted’ himself, though he had done that beforehand when he turned his back on Sanctus Unus and accepted Samaria’s offer.

    Comment by sandybvv — November 5, 2008 @ 9:28 am

  7. wow…good but sad update. damn, why didn’t someone else die like Nicolas or an Era…why did it have to be Beryl. I hope that there will be a continuation…it was good reading WOS and I hope to see more.

    Thanks, Jacqueline! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Haha, unfortunately, Beryl was set to die from the beginning of WoS. :(

    Comment by jacqueline — November 5, 2008 @ 10:59 am

  8. MAO NOOOOOOO!!!!! I knew I shouldn’t have read this at work. I am about to fall apart at my desk crying for Beryl and Christian. You have done a superb job with this story. I really hope that you continue. You are a fantastic writer.

    Aww, I’m sorry, Detris! I didn’t mean to make you cry at work. Thank you, though. If I decide to continue, it’ll be announced on my blog.

    Comment by Detris — November 5, 2008 @ 11:04 am

  9. Brilliant as always.

    And that song? PERFECT, in more ways than one, here in the US of A!

    Haha, thanks! Of course, the song is kinda about suicide… LOL.

    Comment by Janet — November 5, 2008 @ 11:06 am

  10. That truly gave me chills. Forget what I said about the fights before. This is a truly magnificent ending. As we come to the end of an era, it is truly a sobering moment. I’m glad I came on near the beginning of this saga and I certainly enjoyed the ride. Whether you continue this series or not, I will be happy that you told a story with Knock it Down and Wings of Steel, and boy did you tell it!

    And I spy a quote from The Mummy! That makes me extra happy!

    Aww, thanks, Fini! I’m glad it worked. I was really worried when I posted it. With all the support, I think I’ll continue… but when? Well, not this month. I haven’t ironed out the details yet. As for the mummy quote, haha, I hadn’t even realized that!

    Comment by Fini — November 5, 2008 @ 12:14 pm

  11. Man… I can’t believe this is the end! I want to cry. Not just because of how it ends, but because it’s over. (in a ‘Wings of Steel’ sense *wink wink*)

    I want to cry for Christian. I mean, damn… after all this time he still doesn’t really get the girl, does he? I mean he did get her, but he still couldn’t really get her/keep her. Even though Beryl seems alright with what has to be, I know it’s gotta hurt something awful for Christian, and everyone else that cares about Beryl. <3

    YAY VALERIE! Hahaaa.. I’m glad she gave Nic a nice little smack for his previous actions. And I’m glad he was caught by surprise by it. Mwahaha!

    That last picture is so sad/awesome. It’s a bittersweet graphic. You rock; as if you had any doubts.

    Aww, JMW! You all are making me feel bad for the crying. I should have offered complementary e-tissues or something. ;) Nope, Christian certainly doesn’t get the girl, he gets A girl, but not the girl. Poor Christian! Of course, you know I had to give Valerie the last word on that one. Nobody puts Valerie in a corner, LOL! Thank you so much!

    Comment by JMW — November 5, 2008 @ 12:58 pm

  12. First of all, I would like to thank you for all your hard work. The story is fantastic and the ending leaved up to my expectations (in all ways). Secondly, I would also like to say thank you to your fiance, who supports you in your writing process)))
    Death is only the beginning sounds very promising to me (I mean, in terms of continuation of your writing activity). In your blog you asked your readers’ attitude to the continuation of the story… I, personally,will be happy to read all your new creations, if you find time to share your talent with us…
    Still, whatever decision you will take, I am glad that I found your stories through only God knows how many links, as they were a pleasure to read!

    Aww, you are most welcome! I should thank you for taking the time to read and comment! I really appreciate the support and kind words. :D As for the fiance, uh, he’s the wizard behind the curtain. You’re right, it was something that hints towards more, but in more ways than one. I’m still waiting for someone to guess Beryl’s true fate! Maybe I should have given more hints, hehe. Thank you!!

    Comment by Kathy — November 5, 2008 @ 1:11 pm

  13. Oh Mao! That was absolutely the most powerful ending to an equally powerful story, but I can’t believe it’s over. I feel as though I’ve lost a friend. And although I felt I knew it was coming, Beryl’s death was a phenomenal shock. I can’t help but feel anguished for Christian, and I hope, at some point, you do let us in on the details of what will become of Evangeline.

    Thank you so much for sharing this story.

    Thanks, Veron! I can hardly believe it, too. It seems like just yesterday it started! I’ll let you all know more about a possible continuation on my blog, though probably not until after I finish my NaNoWriMo.

    Comment by Veron — November 5, 2008 @ 1:32 pm

  14. Wow. That was truly chilling. I *would* assume she died giving birth to the baby, but you know what happens when you assume. :P

    This really was a fitting end, though I *do* want to know what happens to Christian and the baby. I guess we’ll see? Great work Mao! WoS is seriously amazing, bravo!

    Haha, you’re right, Josh! However, Beryl is dead. There’s a reason her eyes were bleeding, her body was completely consumed after giving birth. Be glad I spared you the gory details. Thank you!!

    Comment by Josh — November 5, 2008 @ 3:45 pm

  15. Wow just got caught up on EVERYTHING just when this ended. It was insanely hard to tear myself away from reading KiD and WoS to answer reality’s calling.(it took me forever to finish it a.k.a. around a month)And here’s the verdict: KICKASS double underlined, bolded, italicised, with stars farting out from it, and anything else that’s awesome. I eagerly await your next project!

    Hey there, Mohohon! Thanks so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it. :D

    Comment by Mohohon — November 5, 2008 @ 5:41 pm


    (and long time no commenting
    I havent gotten a chance to comment for a while but i decided to comment on this last one but anyway)

    OH MY GOSH!!! WHY’D SHE HAVE TO DIE!!!!…well actually I kinda knew someone would die…at first I thought it would be the baby till I saw the one where they showed Evangeline so then I figured that Beryl would die…BUT WHYYYY!!


    The last picture with Beryl’s eyes kinda bloody was…COMACOSIC!(new word and dont worry thats good:)and the whole thing about new life begining as others sadly end was very deep

    In all…this story was AWESOME times INFINITY!! :D
    (that seemed appropriate)

    Thanks, Nikki! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I was definitely upset about having to kill Beryl. :( Hopefully I’ll be able to work on the continuation. With all this support, I’d feel horrible saying no and walking away!

    Comment by Nikki B — November 5, 2008 @ 5:52 pm

  17. What a bloody fantastic finale. I got goosebumps reading the whole thing.

    I felt like crying, for Beryl who has endured more than any human should have and Christian who is forced to watch the love of his life give herself up for the “greater good”.

    It seems so unfair, but also so fitting. After all, a great sacrifice … it makes everything that has happened, everything they have endured that much more poignant, that much more meaningful.

    Every great deed, every salvation needs a great sacrifice for it to have its desire impact.

    Well done Mao, well done. This was the best Sim Story I’ve ever had the honour of reading. Thank you for sharing your world and your characters with us.

    Immersive, vivid, fresh, overflowing with emotion, darkness and a great sorrow. Defiantely touches the heart strings.

    Thank you so much! It means a ton, especially coming from you. I’m so glad you got the gist of the sacrifice. If only we knew just how much Beryl gave up… maybe time will tell with the continuation. I’m just so happy the ending worked, I was worried.

    Comment by Ysbal — November 5, 2008 @ 6:21 pm

  18. *hugs Mao*

    I guessed what would happen but I’m still in tears :( And poor Valerie felt everyone’s grief, not just her own, which shows that even when you know something bad is going to happen, it doesn’t make things any less painful when it does.

    What did Beryl mean? Something good, or something bad? Only time will tell …

    Thank you so much for sharing WoS with us, and don’t shy away from the praise – it’s all more than deserved :)

    *runs across to check the blog*

    Aww, Tanya, thank you! And yes, Valerie can see things that will happen, but it doesn’t mean she has to like them. I’m sure she’d wish for anything but this, for Beryl and for Christian’s sake. As for what Beryl meant, hehe, that’s yet to be seen. ;) You are so welcome! Thank YOU for all the support and kind words!

    Comment by Tanya — November 5, 2008 @ 7:06 pm

    The description of Sesana’s thoughts utterly perfect, especially when she allowed it to happen because Val needed to do it… LOL! I love this Hooray Valerie, get the little… (I will stop now) although not snickering! Finally the woman realized her true strength. 80) Great explanations! I am sorry I am so in awe of Valerie, and her newfound sense I absolutely LOVE it <3 80)

    Beryl is something else, all that power her concentration and Christian arriving to make good his threat from so much earlier. Your descriptions of the entire scene here between Christian and Xavier is chilling and magnificent. I am certainly on the edge of my seat. As well Christians power finally coming into play, his abilities.

    My heart is breaking, poor Christian poor Beryl, her acceptance her words… Those will certainly haunt him for the rest of his days. But will he be able to raise their child without growing the same hatred? Eckard has for him??? Possibly someday we will find out…

    *Sniff* Oh my what a powerful and emotional ending, I am at a loss for words… Bravo and I cant wait to see what you come out with next. 80)

    Haha, Valerie definitely got a little kick in at Nicolas. Not too much, but just enough to let him know not to screw with her. She’s the Seer, after all! I’m so glad that scene worked, action is so hard in the sims 2. I will admit, for the most part, Christian and Xavier’s animations just happened to work. I was definitely surprised! As for Christian, we’ve already glimpsed that he isn’t going to take this loss easily. He wasn’t supposed to know it was planned and the fact that he does changes everything. Poor Eva! Thanks, Cherie!

    Comment by Cheripye822 — November 5, 2008 @ 9:29 pm


    LOL! Phil, you really need to quit abusing your caps lock. ;)

    Comment by Phil — November 5, 2008 @ 10:07 pm

  21. …um, wow. So glad that I started reading KiD and then WoS about a week ago. Although now I suspect that I might want to reread the last chapter, just to get a better understanding of what happened in the end. XD Just mostly confused about how Beryl shifted to accepting her fate – the vision of her child as provided by SU, I guess?

    And while I will quietly ‘ship Christian/Beryl, I can see why their relationship’s totally Not Healthy….they’d probably snark each other to death anyway.

    And on a very final selfish note: I kindasorta hope that there’ll be a sequel to this. Normally, I don’t like “serious” non-challenge photostories, but the story really drew me in and I’m curious to see what you might have in store for the future~ (The pics definitely weren’t hard on the eyes either. :3)

    Hi there, Thika! As for what changed Beryl’s fate, it was that and a little snippet I removed for the sake of a continuation. That is a big catalyst, too. That’s what has Beryl saying “it was meant to be from birth”. ;) I’m glad you enjoyed it! There will likely be a continuation, but I won’t say anything more until the end of November.

    Comment by Thika — November 6, 2008 @ 3:05 am

  22. LOL Go Val!!!
    Xavier is about to get a smack down, dont mess with Beryl.. you cant win!
    *blinks* wow. Christian… holy .. golly … geeeeeeeez! That was awesome, he didnt just kick his hiney he absorbed him. WOW!!!
    okay i dont know what is transforming her, but chills… i have chills!!
    I had to pause before I could continue my commenting. I had to stop shivering and crying.
    that was very powerful Mao. so very powerful.

    Hehe, Valerie certainly got the last word on that one! Christian did a bad, bad thing. I wish I could say it was the last, but no, unfortunately not. Aww, Ruby! I’m sorry, but I’m glad you had such a reaction. Thank you so much for all the support and kind words!

    Comment by ruby — November 6, 2008 @ 10:26 am

  23. Mao, that was effing brilliant. I loved it. Absolutely loved it.

    Thanks! I’m so glad. :D

    Comment by E. Black — November 6, 2008 @ 1:52 pm

  24. I can’t say I’m stunned since I was expecting the worst, but the worst I was expecting was not this.

    Extraordinarily powerful conclusion to such an astonishing work. I feel absolutely horrified for Christian. Truly I expected he would die, not Beryl, and in some way that might have been easier since she has always seemed the stronger of the two.

    Gorgeous and completely gripping. Thank you for continuing to work on this throughout everything else you have had to deal with.

    Thanks, Beth! I didn’t anticipate that you would be, especially after our emails, hehe. ;) As for expecting to Christian to die, I was hoping some people would fall into that trap. I kind of alluded to it a few times.

    Comment by Beth — November 6, 2008 @ 9:58 pm

  25. I’m going to have to come back in a few weeks (when I’m not on such a high from the 4th) and re-read this. The seriousness and finality just haven’t sunk in yet.

    I mean, it wasn’t a surprise at all the Beryl died, we knew she would. I was especially gratified to see Valerie kick some Nicholas ass, though. That rocked!

    And yeah, the song is about suicide, I get that. But I was so damn happy about “other” things that all I could see was the chorus. Happiness staining the somber, I guess.

    In any case, it was an awesome ending, Mao, thank you.

    Haha, sorry, I’m just not very political myself. It was a bad time to release a final update, but my schedule demanded it be released then. I figured a lot of people would be too busy from the election results. ;) As for Beryl dying, I’m sad it wasn’t a surprise, I was trying to confuse and make it look like Christian would. And well, no one has guessed Beryl’s true fate yet… I guess I needed to give more clues? Thanks!

    Comment by Janet — November 7, 2008 @ 10:58 pm

  26. It was good to see a few of the scores settled, although Nicolas managed to get off fairly lightly considering what it seems Valerie is capable of when she just lets go of everything. But then having him always know she could extract more revenge would be fairly satisfying.

    As for Beryl, I just get the sense even though her current physical form may be over; this is not the end of her completely. Her final words and wanting to commit things about Christian to memory just sort of hang out there as a bit of a clue. My first reaction would be an Era, but that wouldn’t prohibit Christian necessarily from being with her, or his anger verging on becoming something really dark, so I’m going to have to ponder that one a bit more.

    I want to say thank you for sharing this with us. It was beautifully told and illustrated and frankly outstanding. I really do hope, purely as a selfish thing that you might continue to work on sim stories, and even if you don’t, that you at least continue to write. It’s such a rarity to find someone who has such an imagination and such originality in their storytelling.

    Aww, thank you, goodbye_sun! I really appreciate it. I don’t think you have to worry, I am pretty sure that a continuation will happen. The details are sketchy at the moment, though. As for your theory on Beryl, you’re right. There’s something I’ve hinted at. I’m sure if you go back to the Ava Adore chapter, you’ll figure it out. Especially with that final line. :) As for the Eras, they no longer exist. There are no Eras anymore. That’ll be explained in the continuation. Valerie isn’t a very violent person right now, but that may change…

    Comment by goodbye_sun — November 9, 2008 @ 7:59 am

  27. Well, “I” knew Beryl would die and move on to another plane, I really can’t speak for anyone else! There were too many hints from Beryl’s meeting with SU for it to not be Beryl. As a mom myself, I fully understand the meaning of “a mother’s sacrifice”.

    I think the chapter/act where Valerie met her mom and dad (before she ascended) helped show that there’s more than just the “earthly” plane. They were rewarded for their sacrifice, and SU alluded to Beryl’s reward for her sacrifice.

    I figured the mothers out there would get it. :) Unfortunately, we still don’t know what truly happened to Beryl… Antony and Abigail are elsewhere, else, but not living. They’ve been rewarded for their sacrifice.

    Comment by Janet — November 10, 2008 @ 2:19 pm

  28. I’ve had a chance to collect my thoughts and I must say the way you left things open at the end allows me to hope that this really isn’t the last of Beryl. Maybe it is in the sense I know her now but there is still some hope that she will be around in some form or another.

    I don’t think her death bodes well for Christian however. He has made 2 grievous mistakes, 1 in going with Samaria and the other in killing Xavier. Add that to his overwhelming grief and that is one dangerous man.

    Eva’s future is certainly intriguing and of course whatever happened to Eckhard and Onael. I also wondered about the Rutilus and what becomes of them now that they are free and what changes with the death of Beryl? You really must tell us! LOL!

    I am excited at the thought of a continuation but you should do it on your terms and not feel pressured. Writing as good as yours is worth waiting for.

    The images in this one were stunning, capturing every emotion in them.

    Bravo Mao.

    Aww, thank you, Gayl! I’m glad you enjoyed it. :) As for it being the last of Beryl, we’ll have to wait and see, won’t we? As for what you said about Christian, very true. I’m glad you caught that. He’s teetering on the edge and I’m afraid he isn’t going to be able to recover this time. At least, not as easily as before. Thanks! I will definitely be doing the continuation on my own terms, but I still don’t know exactly what that means yet.

    Comment by Gayl — November 11, 2008 @ 6:08 pm

  29. I’m shocked and blown away. Beryl is dead? No way, it was hard to accept but you must have some sneaky plan to it.

    Haha, sneaky plan? Me? Never!

    Comment by karen — November 13, 2008 @ 9:33 am

  30. *sniffles*

    Aww! /comfort

    Comment by Tiffany — November 16, 2008 @ 6:40 pm

  31. Hey Mao!

    Excellent! I love Beryl, but I think there are better things in store for her.

    I’m glad you’re continuing, and even better, I’m caught up, so I can follow along.

    BTW, I still love Nicolas, I don’t think I could ever be disappointed by him. :D

    Hey, thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it. :D

    Comment by Lachesis — November 21, 2008 @ 9:37 pm

  32. Wow. I cheered a little bit when Valerie threw Nicolas with mind powers. I loved getting a little bit of her perspective at the end. Poor Beryl and Nicholas. It had to end with sadness.

    Hey Jess! I’m glad you enjoyed seeing Valerie throw Nicolas around, LOL. And yes, it had to end with sadness. :(

    Comment by afterland jess — January 10, 2009 @ 5:08 am

  33. Oh my god! Seriously. I didn’t see this ending coming at all. This was so sad. Is she really lost to him forever… even if he dies too?

    This was a truly wonderful story Mao… I guess you have been continuing on somewhere else (hopes). I still have so many unanswered questions. *Scuttles off to see if there is a new story*

    Thank you, Verity! I really appreciate you taking the time to get caught up. :) There is definitely a new story! Angel of Lies.

    Comment by Verity — May 2, 2009 @ 2:02 pm

  34. Hi! I just found your stories, and I read both since yesterday afternoon (I’ve caught the flu, so I found your stories at most perfect time to kill some time). I couldn’t bring myself to stop reading till I read it all. You have an amazing imagination, well, quite frankly, it’s all amazing – the story, the universe, the characters, pictures, sets… Just wow. I was actually surprised by the ending, it was hinted though the entire story it would end in tears, so I expected a massacre. :) I’m also hoping Beryl isn’t completely gone, but I’ll see. Not to babble anymore, I just wanted to let you know I liked your story, and to thank you for sharing these amazing stories, it was honestly a real pleasure reading them.
    Well, moving on to AoL. :)

    Hey there, Meralgia! Thank you so much. Your comment really means a lot to me… especially at this point in time, where I’m really questioning what I’m even doing this for and why. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you so much for commenting!

    Comment by Meralgia — June 7, 2009 @ 4:29 pm

  35. Awesome.

    I read it all from KiD from here.


    That is all.

    Hey there, Damon! Thanks. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    Comment by Damon — August 29, 2009 @ 3:02 am

  36. Two down, one more to go! I took my time reading this story. KiD was such a rush of events that, at times, were barely understandable, so I felt pushed to keep reading. With WoS, I had a much easier time fitting the pieces together myself, so I could slow my pace and ponder.

    Sorry if I’m a little too analytical (and long-winded). If I’d commented on every act (which I will do once I’m caught up with AoL), my feedback would be much more excitable. But after the fact, I’m mostly left with my overall impressions. There are several differences between this story and KiD. Mostly obviously that this is much better thought through. KiD was like watching The Matrix for the first time with my eyes closed.

    But what hit me the strongest is the finality of the stories. I know KiD is open-ended and does lend itself to a sequel, but the end still felt like the end. I could’ve drawn my own interpretations from it and called it a day and that power hit me. WoS failed to have that power. Maybe I’m too critical, but reading the end of WoS was like finishing one chapter of a book. You just flip the page and there’s more. Obviously, AoL does exist now, but it still seems to me that WoS fails to seem like a story within itself. I was bracing myself for the immense satisfaction and loss that I usually feel when I finish a story, but it never came.

    That aside, I still enjoyed this story, but I will honestly say that some elements of KiD were more enjoyable. To explain what exactly would take me an essay and I won’t bore you with that, but parts of WoS really seemed to drag. I understand the need to foreshadow, emphasize, or build emotion, but there were a few scenes where I felt trimming was still possible without losing any effect.

    Pushing complaints aside, I adore Christian. I adore this story, but Christian is the core of this story for me. Some could argue that it’s Beryl, but Christian drew so much more emotion. I knew for a while that Beryl would die and it was a sad event, but not the death itself. In fact, if someone had to die from the “good” side, I hoped it would be Beryl. What saddens me is the pain Christian has to suffer. I loved his character in KiD and WoS develops a new side of Christian that builds on and changes what he was all at once. Your foreboding that he’s only going to sink deeper was very well laid out and is my main motivation for reading AoL.

    Speaking of which, if AoL is the final installment, as you’ve said, I hope that more lose ends are tied. Open-endedness has merit, but to the extent where the reader is able to draw confident conclusions, in my opinion. So I want to be able to say this is over and is what it is when that story concludes. As much as I’ll hate to let the characters go (and I’m sure it will be immensely difficult for you), I can if I have a clear vision or belief about where they’re going.

    All in all, you’ve done an excellent job again! So my final critique is say that “Death is only the beginning” is so cliche. But cliche is okay. I just felt like I had The Mummy ringing in my head when I read that. Hope you enjoyed my comment!

    First of all, I’ll say that I definitely appreciate the feedback. Although, I’ll admit that saying WoS failing to seem like a “story itself” kind of stings. I worked really hard on Wings of Steel and to me, it had deeper meaning and resonance than KiD. It actually means something, it’s not just some selfish woman trotting about running into trouble. But again, I kept a lot of things veiled because of their meanings and I don’t want to bog people down with things they might not necessarily care about. Still, it is the middle of a trilogy and it is capable that it may not seem like it has its own two legs to stand on.

    KiD may have been more enjoyable because it wasn’t as serious. Unfortunately, I’m not very good at “non serious” stories. KiD was an experiment to see if I could do it and unfortunately, I can’t! So, with Wings of Steel, I resumed my normal tempo and everything else. I’m sorry that you felt certain parts “dragged”; there are a lot of characters. It makes me a little sad you didn’t attach to anyone but Christian, especially because he is not a main feature in Angel of Lies so much as a supporting character.

    You might also want to be aware I do companion pieces that include the prologue to all of this and pieces that occur between Wings of Steel and Angel of Lies that do help explain some things people might have issue with. That’s on my Little Bits of Fiction site.

    Thank you, again, for your comments and for taking the time to read!

    Comment by Lotus — December 19, 2009 @ 11:03 am

  37. Oh wow, Christian just came out of nowhere! That scene worked really well – it really was like I was seeing it from Xavier’s perspective.

    The first picture on Page 4 is awesome, which I am glad I noted down when I first saw it because it would have completely flown out of my mind after reading pages 5 and 6.

    I am just so sad right now because I adored Beryl! I never thought you’d give Beryl and Christian a happy ending but it was an absolutely brilliant ending nonetheless.

    Beryl’s last words were quite powerful AND I’m hoping they are open-ended enough for you to possibly bring her back again in AoL!

    Thanks, Carla! I can’t believe you made it through yet another one. ;) I’m glad you liked the pictures. The hood had become unstable and was crashing constantly. Wings of Steel’s last few updates were quite a trial to get done because of this. I’m afraid I kind of slacked off the picture taking a bit, I was so frustrated, LOL.

    The last bit of words, I had intended, were a remembrance rather than an utterance. But that’s a subtle thing. I had planned to elaborate, but didn’t want to spoil it. Consider it something Sanctus Unus said to her. ;)

    Comment by Carla — January 6, 2010 @ 10:19 pm

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