Dear reader,

Frankly, I'm not certain how long it's been since this meager 7-part story began. I believe it would've been about 2 years ago or so, so as you can calculate, this hasn't been one of my fastest moving projects. However, it has been one of the closest ones to my heart. I like action/adventure, and I make no apologies for that. I'm proud to be an action junkie. And I could not have received a better compliment than "action in the grand tradition of the pulp fictions that George Lucas and Steven Spielberg put to good use in the Indiana Jones films" that I was told in a feedback regarding a middle chapter. (You know who you are, I hope you don't mind the quote.) That is the movie-like, visual, action-filled style that I have tried to bring to APOCALYPSO (and several other stories of mine). I succeeded for at least one person. I hope I can succeed for more of you.

APOCALYPSO has everything I, personally, look for in a great story. Comedy and tragedy. Adventure and romance. Physical and moral conflicts. Famous characters that have even made it to the TV screen and fifth-stringers who have only been seen in one book. Cameos. Subplots that get resolved and danglers that will get resolved in another story someday. Characterization that tries (and hopefully succeeds) at making every character a distinct individual. Action and cliffhangers to bring you to the edge of your seat. And maybe, just maybe, antagonists that some of us might even think have an interesting moral point to make. That doesn't necessarily mean it *is* a great story -- a story can have all the necessary components and still fail to click them together very well. It also doesn't mean it can be a great story for *everyone* -- if you're a Pretty Woman or There's Something About Mary fan over Aliens and Predator, odds are there'll be less for you in the story than for fans of the latter movies. There *is* still romance. There *is* comedy. But not as much as action. This is an action adventure.

Due to the lengthy period of time that this story has taken to complete, I think the differences in writing style between chapters can be noticeable. This is an opportunity for you to see how I have evolved (or devolved, depending on your opinion) as a writer over time. I considered radically editing the early chapters after completing the whole story in order to be more comfortable with some things in them, but in the end, I decided not to go thru with it. I believe in leaving your stories out there at the level of quality that they were originally posted. Otherwise, with the nature of the Internet, you'll end up having different versions out there where in Chapter 1 (1996) a character says something, and in the 1999 remake something quite different, and in the 2005 version something yet even more different. I'm a continuity freak, and it is important to me that things are solid and consistent, even more than that they be excellent. Professional writers don't get to go once they're more experienced and repair the mistakes they made in their early movies either, save for the *very* occasional remake (like the aforementioned George Lucas and Star Wars). It's an exception, not the rule.

I did, however, edit the older chapters in regards to typography, changing things so that paragraph spacings are now the same in early chapters as in later ones, that thought balloons receive the same kind of notation in all chapters now, and things like that. Fixing these things doesn't mess up continuity, which is why I had no problem doing them. If anyone has early chapters of Apocalypso archived, it would be keen if you could replace the early chapters with these new reposted ones for consistency's sake, but there is no loss story-wise if this doesn't get done, so no big deal either way.

I would like to thank those people without whom this story would not exist. Most importantly, Jen Morrioghan who has been incredibly supportive of this story and given me incredible amounts of encouragement to finish it. Thank you, Jen. Without you, this story would still be unfinished. Also, Dr Benway, who I can never thank enough for all his excellent, mature, intelligent, honest and reliable feedback. Thanks go also to Redhawk (who I hope enjoys the character showing up towards the end -- you know who I mean), a fellow action enthusiast who I believe was involved in the early brainstorming for this story, although I must admit I don't clearly recall those events anymore at this point. I do think, though, that Indigo was the one who came up with the name for the story, and for that, she receives a great deal of thanks as well. Thank you, Chris Claremont and others, for wonderful characters, and thank you, Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza, for X-Force's action-oriented direction and mentality. Thanks to James Cameron, John McTiernan, Renny Harlin and many more for great directing ideas and inspirational photography. Thank you, He-Man, Transformers, M.A.S.K. and Marvel Comics, for teaching me the English language so that I could write this story.

And thank you, Jim Carrey, for being in the back of my mind saying "Get ON with it!", reminding me that people are here to read the story and not my blatherings.

So, without further ado:

The first six chapters will be reposted tonight, for the benefit of people who have not read them. I'll keep a little pause then, and stuff the conclusion into your inboxes Sunday morning before I leave the computer for several days. It's a bit of a tight schedule, and I hope I won't overload anyone's inbox. If I do, feel free to beat me severely for it. I'll be following up on the events of the story's ending on New Year's weekend with a brand-new action (but not really adventure) fic as well.

Merry Christmas (even if the story takes place around July 4th).

-- Samy Merchi | <> | Reader & fan of superhero comics; writer of superhero fanfiction Female supremacist; anarchist; personal pacifist; mass darwinist

Part 1

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