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Nathan Large
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Given my own recent blogging, this hits home hard. 

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Chapter 3 of The Bureaucrat's Tale is finished and posted on Empyrean Dreams.  Apologies if this story has seemed a little slow to start.  For one reason, it's intentionally not an action adventure like my last few stories.  For another, I wanted to build up some character background and personality before getting into the main crisis.  Have no fear; trouble spares no man, certainly not a mid-level manager.

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Aha!  At least one chapter is complete and posted before the end of May, my self-imposed deadline.  The Bureaucrat's Tale continues with Chapter 2.  Not bad for being out of the country for three weeks out of the month.  Plus, this story requires that I file every chapter in triplicate, get it stamped and countersigned, plus retain an archived copy for seven years afterward.  Bureaucracy is serious business, friends.

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While the pace at Empyrean has necessarily slowed, I wanted to make sure at least one offering was posted each month.  For April, here is the first chapter of a new story of unknown length.  It explores the events of Escape from Grace from a very different perspective, that of a Collective functionary dealing with the fallout of the Locust colony's destruction.  This story was inspired both by the attitudes of Escape's characters, as well as our interest in making the Empyrean RP setting one where non-combat characters (like a bureaucrat) and stories could be equally viable for complex, challenging stories.  If you've already read Escape, I hope the alternate viewpoint proves interesting.  If you haven't, I hope this new story is still clear within itself.  A second chapter may follow in May, although I have a separate Empyrean project in progress that may supplant this storyline for a while... in which case, a double dose will appear in June.

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As promised, a short, one-chapter story to hold place for March.  "The Swarm" was written in the vein of 'Wierd Tales' horror, but with a sci-fi twist.  As such, it fits in well enough with the Empyrean setting.  Whether it is or isn't canon... well, that's up to future stories, isn't it?

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With one final chapter, Escape from Grace reaches its promised conclusion.  I'm particularly happy with the ending note, which points out the trajectory between this prequel and the original story featuring the Scape Grace (Wreck of the Untranslatable).  Per my update on Empyrean Dreams, I'll be pausing on any new writing for the next three months (late April, soonest).  Still, I expect more tales of the Grace and her crew to appear at some point, either to fill in the ten year gap between existing stories, or to tell what happens to her next.

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I finished writing the last chapter of Escape from Grace... and it turned out to be long enough for two chapters.  To keep a consistent format, I have broken the ending into two parts.  So, technically, the story does not end on Chapter 10, but rather Chapter 11.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.  Oh, and thank you for reading all the way to the end!  The actual, definitely final chapter of Escape will be published very soon.

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Chapter 9 of Escape from Grace is posted at Empyrean Dreams.  The story is rapidly approaching a conclusion.  Thank goodness it's the conclusion I had originally intended, though the path keeps wandering rather far from the obvious route.  Readers of The Wreck of the Untranslatable will know what I mean.  If you haven't read Wreck yet, then please do so after this story finishes (in Chapter 10).  You'll appreciate the historical references that much more.

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Escape from Grace continues with Chapter 8.  This chapter would have been done faster except for several interruptions of mixed valence.  The cast is finally back on the road and ready for their story's conclusion, although it appears I'll need two more chapters to get there. 
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