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The Years that Never Were

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Review of chapter "Next Season, on the Child of Balime..." from (Past Donor)hellmouthprincess
Damn. I have purposelessly been putting off reading this for ages because I knew what would happen; I'd end up getting hooked and having to read it all in one setting. It's 1:30am and I have work in the morning-but I finished it all. And loved it, I especially loved the symmetry between the two totally different stories. Was slightly devastated though when I suddenly remembered around chapter 60 that Seo's whole world wasn't gonna make it!
Comments from author:
Wow. I'm impressed. Thanks for being such a dedicated reader!

I'm glad you liked the symmetry. I've gotten mixed responses to that, so it's interesting to hear another opinion. Perhaps I'll do more things like this, later.

(A lot of the symmetry was for plot pacing reasons. I had 2 stories I was writing independently that had similar problems, in opposite spots. Seo's Story didn't work because it was too scattered at the beginning, but once you got to the end, with Glory and the Key, the plot was very focused. The Year that Never Was story didn't work because there was a very focused plot at the beginning, but the end (the Valiant) kind of dissipated. I noticed the similarities in the two different stories, punched out some of them a little more, to emphasize the similar characters, and then smashed them together. The result? A structured plot at the start and at the end, one story always leading the other forwards and giving it meaning.)

I've just realized that I've written a number of different stories where the reader knows the main character is doomed, from the moment they sit down to read, but the interesting thing is the journey and not the destination. I think that's what happened with Seo's World.

We all know that her world will die, and that Seo will be saved. But how she gets there is interesting.

(What does that say about me as a writer, I wonder?)

Thanks again for the review! Hope you continue to read on in the series, and continue to enjoy!
Review By [(Past Donor)hellmouthprincess] • Date [3 Feb 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Next Season, on the Child of Balime..." from Mcspender
So, Seo's does have some sort of amnesia, but still have the PSTD of the year... daamn, poor girl
=(. Sounds a lot like Bourne and his condition.

Veery nice previews, I really want to read the one with Dawn making that mistake xD!.
Thank you for this fic, see ya in the next one =)!!.
Comments from author:
You're welcome!

Read on and see!
Review By [Mcspender] • Date [12 Sep 13] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixty Nine" from wswords
Probably should have reviewed this sooner, but I started reading this on my phone and never bothered to log in to post this.

Anyway really like this story, it is one of your better ones, although I think the Seo's World is significantly worse (less engaging at least) than Martha's World, especially before Dracula is defeated. Wish I could explain why, my best guess is seeing the world after it is already destroyed is just unique enough to be more interesting, to me at least.

It is also terrible that since you wrote a lot of little stories instead of a few big ones that you don't get the recognition you deserve (one of the best stories on this site and only 120 reviews, well 121 now). I really think it is an artifact of you finishing stories (one of the dumber qualities of fan fiction).
Comments from author:
I agree, Seo's world is not as gripping as Martha's. But the two worlds really need each other, in this story, and I know that from bitter experience.

I started writing Seo's World immediately after Happy Endings. I called the story "Second Dawn", and thought it would stand alone.

Half way through, I stopped writing and scrapped the story.

It didn't work at all! The beginning plot line was sparse, in stark contrast to the end, which was more structured. The characters were funny and the thing was well written, but it just didn't feel like high enough stakes! Not until the end!

So I wrote some other things. And then I sat down to write my summary of my Year that Never Was story (turned into Martha's story).

That one never even made it out of the "outline" stage.

It was far too dark and depressing, and I'd done that with Bringer of Death and hadn't liked it. Plus, while the beginning had a beautifully structured plotline, that all died away by the end, which seemed like me just being heartlessly cruel to my characters with no good reason. It felt like there was something huge missing.

I played around with putting in some flashbacks to Seo's childhood, growing up in the Axis, but soon scrapped that idea. Didn't help, or even seem that interesting. What I really needed was another plot line going on at the same time, that would compliment Martha's World and also lighten the mood!

Thus... the Years that Never Were.

Where one plot is unstructured, the other is structured. Where one is light, the other is dark. I'll grant you that when you're reading through it, it does feel like the Seo's World parts are less engaging. But if you didn't have them there at all, the Martha's World parts just don't work. They don't feel engaging. They feel annoying.

Yeah, I think you're right about the reviews -- I've been told that before. I'm not sure why that's the case, but it does seem to be true. Maybe people review to persuade the author to write more? I dunno.

Also, at this point, I'm dealing with so many original characters, that I don't get as many readers. So not as many reviews. A lot of the steadfast reviewers from Adventures of a Line Hopper stopped reading when I started this series.

I'd like to think the other reason is that I write some really wow stories, so the merely "pretty good" ones don't get as many reviews. My readers expect more from me. (Don't know if that's true, but I like to think it.)

Personally, I thought this story was pretty good. Not my best, but pretty powerful at the end. I still think it's too long, and that's after I hacked off about a quarter of it. But it's still a good story.

Wait until you hit the "London, 1860" part of "Trials" (next story posted). Dear God, that's a wonderful story!
Review By [wswords] • Date [11 Sep 13] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixty Nine" from (Current Donor)Shieldage
Good life for Dawn. Whoa, missed chapter 67 and the paradox machine activating completely. Oh, the regeneration stopper is a chemical? Nice touch having the TARDIS override dracula's thrall. Does tie up everything nearly with the embarrassment making one promise to one alternate buffy rather than a multitude. So the paradox machine could have worked given a proper charge and time to deploy it? Not exactly something easy to destroy lodged between dimensions, which points out the hubris of the master making it an easily accessible part of the ship and not, say, burying it in concrete.

Nice way of eliminating broken Seo from the final timeline, except for what information and caring she passed on.
Comments from author:
Yeah, you'd think the Master would have thought about the whole "someone might destroy the paradox machine" thing, huh?

Don't speak before you read the last chapter. Remember, from the beginning of the story, that Seo does break down crying the moment she sees her Mom.
Review By [(Current Donor)Shieldage] • Date [11 Sep 13] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixty Nine" from Letomo
Ooh, nice little chapter, showing what's happening on the earth, while all the heavy drama is going on in the sky.
Comments from author:
Why thank you! I think I'm getting better at that technique where you tell a story by switching between different storytellers, showing little bits in the middle. I'll keep working on it -- it's a cool technique, used all the time in movies and on TV, and I think I can make it work in print!
Review By [Letomo] • Date [11 Sep 13] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixty Nine" from Mcspender
So that's how Seo's dad found her, at least he did good on his promise to take care of Seo =).
Smart thing what Dawn's doing, very smart, and well Martha is getting one step closer to her goal =).

I really wanna see what do you got planned for the future of the series, specially when Seo's gonna know good ole Bilis.

Cool chapter, see ya!!!.
Comments from author:
She'll meet him 14 stories from now.

Yeah, I think the Embarrassment is really sweet in this story! I mean, the Doctor *totally* screwed up his goodbye to Buffy, making her think he was abandoning her just when she needed him most, even though he was actually sacrificing his life to save her and Seo. And Buffy had no way of finding out that the Doctor was actually doing the right thing for them, because the Doctor died!

But then the Embarrassment comes in and fixes the Doctor's mistake. Tells Buffy what should have been said, during the goodbye, if the Doctor had been better at domestics.

It's so nice of him!

And then he saves Seo, which is even nicer!

I love that bit about Dawn. You know (insider scoop), originally, I was going to have that be a regenerated version of Seo wandering around helping children. In fact, the reason I made sure Seo regained her regenerations in "Happy Endings" was specifically to make sure that she could regenerate in "the Years that Never Were." But when I was writing it, I suddenly thought... why not make it Dawn, instead?

And it worked so much better with Dawn!

So there's your inside scoop. Keep reading for more info on the future of the series. And Season 3... Seo gets to meet Jenny!
Review By [Mcspender] • Date [10 Sep 13] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixty Eight" from (Current Donor)Shieldage
So Jack doesn't jump at this point, because he wants to stay on board and help Martha and the Doctor?
Comments from author:
Jack knows that if he doesn't stay, the Master will take out *all* his frustrations on the Doctor, instead of dividing them between the Doctor and Jack. Hence, Jack has to stay.
Review By [(Current Donor)Shieldage] • Date [9 Sep 13] • Rating [9 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixty Eight" from Mcspender
Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees - Emiliano Zapata.
You did good Seo, you did good. And once again, that ponce who calls himself Master, learns that sometimes, some people thinks that's better to die free.
Cool chapter, see ya!!.
Comments from author:
Sineya said to this version of Buffy that she'd teach Seo to be good through her example and her gift -- which was death (jumping into the portal). In the end, Buffy did exactly that.

Seo learned from her Mom. When all she has left is her own life, she gives it, and with love.

Of course, the Master is judging Seo by his own standards for himself. She assumes she is "pretending to be dead" and "has some plan" to come back to life... because *he* has exactly that tucked away in the works! He figures her suicide has to just be rubbing her victory in his face because that's how *he* sees his own death in the Doctor's arms, at the end of Last of the Time Lords.

Basically, the Master assumes Seo is like him. Or, at the very least, like the Doctor, who'd only jump like that if he had some trick up his sleeve.

But just how much is she like that? And how much is she like her Mom, who'd throw herself into a portal with no plan or trick, just to save the universe without sacrificing someone she loved?

Did Seo regenerate and swim to shore? Or is the Doctor right, and Seo is actually dead? And does the Doctor really know, or is he just trying to lead the Master away from looking for Seo's body, so she can escape?

You'll find out these answers in the next two chapters.
Review By [Mcspender] • Date [9 Sep 13] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixty Seven" from Cutiepie
Just out of curiosity, was the Doctor not able to regenerate there at the end (probably related to his paradox machine exploding pretty much in his face), or did he regenerate and die again and again to use up all 13 of his lives? Otherwise, if he could/did regenerate, it seems like the entity *ought* to have been able to "rescue" him and return him to his family for the ending of their universe.

Poor Seo. I can see how she would think that this entire mess is her fault, even though it really isn't. And there isn't anything that would convince her that she was innocent in it either. =[
Comments from author:
Yeah, the first one -- Doctor not able to regenerate. If the entity wasn't around, the machine would have just exploded and the Doctor would have died right away. But the entity is, as he mentioned he does in Your Nature, cheating with time a little to give the Doctor an explanation and an apology.

You'll get to see the entity saving Seo in the next section.

Very much poor Seo. Especially since she had Twilight in her head, throwing the blame and guilt back in her face so it could convince her to kill herself. And it doesn't help that Seo was raised to look up to the Doctor and Buffy as role models, and then realized she was the one who "caused their deaths", so to speak.

You can see why the post-watching-this-timeline freakout was the closest (according to Twilight) that he ever got to making Seo actually going through with it.
Review By [Cutiepie] • Date [9 Sep 13] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixty Seven" from Mcspender
And the final curtain is near, I wanna see how the entity saves Seo, at least, there will some sort of closure.

Cool chapter, see ya!.
Comments from author:
You saw it in Happy Endings from Seo's point of view -- her first memory -- but you'll get to see it, again, in this story. From the entity's point of view.
Review By [Mcspender] • Date [9 Sep 13] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixty Six" from Mcspender
Yeah, the Doctor is really bad at domestic stuff, too bad that Buffy was so blinded that she tried to do it, and like you said before, that really bites her in her butt in the worst moment.

And now Seo knows what she ignores about herself, I think she's smart enough to listen Jack about that particular subject.
Cool chapter, see ya!!!.
Review By [Mcspender] • Date [8 Sep 13] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixty Five" from Mcspender
I think this chapter was about corruption and betrayal under distress. Some people feel that their breaking point is their family, others feel is their own sense of self worth.
It's very hard to resist to the pressure, and damn, poor Seo's at least has an anchor in her love for her family, but Ben, what did he had?. I mean, even his own body and mind weren't his!.
I couldn't even say that he'd betray his Hippocratic oath, poor bastard =(!.

By the way, coool omake, and damn, I forgot everything about the Teletubbies xD!.
So Ace( A member of the Explosives Church of the Boom god) vs the Knights??. Oooh yeah!!!. I can imagine the preetty explosions =D!!!.
Boooom for the Booom god xD!!!!!!.

Cool chapter, see ya!!
Review By [Mcspender] • Date [7 Sep 13] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixty Four" from Mcspender
So that was the mistake that helped Glory, daamn :S!!. Poor Seo, no wonder she feels so guilty about it.
Aah, the Master and the Doctor, what's a little bit of torture among friends??. And yeah, forcing someone to stand a maraton of Barney the purple dino, it's a veeery nasty torture :S.

Cool chapter, see ya!!!.
Comments from author:
Yeah, you can see, now, why Seo blames herself for getting caught, huh? That's not just guilt-trip central talking. Glory would never have found Seo if she hadn't walked right up to Glory and bit her on the ankle!

At least Dawn can know that it really *wasn't* her fault that Glory found her.

Then again, Seo is just a baby...

Hahahahaha! Yes, that's *definitely* what the Master is doing to the Doctor! I can just imagine it...

"No! Stop!" the Doctor cries, waving his arms, frantically. "Dinosaurs aren't purple and singing!"
"They do now!" the Master leers, ducking down to whisper in the Doctor's ear. "In my new Time Lord Empire, there will be nothing but purple singing dinosaurs."
The Doctor flails and barely stops himself from having a seizure, as Barney begins the "I love you" song.
The Master brandishes his laser screwdriver, twirling it in his hands.
"Oh, but Doctor," the Master chides. "We haven't even gotten to Teletubbies, yet."
Review By [Mcspender] • Date [6 Sep 13] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixty Three" from Mcspender
Ooooh boy, baby on the loose; I hope they can find Seo in time :O!!.
Nice trick with the Buffy bot switcheroo, Spike did not saw that coming.
Teh hehehehe!!. I'm glad to inspire your plot bunny; any chance to see even more ridiculous deaths inflicted on the Knights of Byzantium xD???.

Cool chapter, see ya!!!.
Comments from author:
I'm thinking Knights of Byzantium vs. Ace. Actually, might make that into a full-fledged story.

Maybe that's how she meets Dawn...

Review By [Mcspender] • Date [5 Sep 13] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixty Three" from Tir
Seo vs Glory. Hmm, that's David and Goliath on a whole new level.
Review By [Tir] • Date [5 Sep 13] • Not Rated
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