Subject: Killer in the Dark + 20
Posted on: 2022-11-20 23:22:43 UTC

This mission has an interesting premise: if PPC staff knock a fanfiction off kilter, they first have to correct the fic's path before they can go on to undo it through proper missioning. It makes sense in universe; the fic's influence on the canon is ongoing due to the Words. If those Words get disrupted, they may not be fully present enough to address. But it feels like the execution didn't really carry through . . . reverting Dour K's intrusion onto the murder scene also, apparently, restores canon, despite all the other murder scenes that had previously happened. (Then again, Thranduil's murder was a flashback sequence. Maybe it was the chronological first murder, and stopping it stopped the others by pure accident? It didn't come across like that in the mission, though.) It feels like such a scenario should have required a two-step solution: fix the badfic, then fix the canon. But I suppose I'm overthinking an early iteration of a minor department . . .

See, this is why I don't drink caffeine! You get buzzed off the drug, and then suddenly there's beheaded corpses. Don't do drugs, kids! In seriousness, Katharine did a good job of taking the premise of gory serial killings in Middle-earth, and extracting humor from it without also trivializing what's happening. The legitimately hilarious errors with "Elrond's twin brothers" and "Gimli, son of Glóin's son" help, but mostly it's carried by how Dour K is written. She cracks jokes and carries on with the repetitiveness of her paperwork, because she knows it's ultimately fiction, and not even the "real" fiction. But she also feels uneasy and put off by the descriptions of the murders, and how wanton it is to portray a Tolkienverse elf committing such acts.

Boy, that is one over-powered CAD! It seems to be getting treated as the source of the Words here, and can therefore freeze the flow of the narrative. Not such a bad thing on an Intel mission, but boy, would that be way too strong against Suvians in the DMS! Freeze time, read charges and execute! Boring. The implication that the CAD is what brings the mission to an end by ceasing the feed is weird, too, and feels contradictory to the physical manifestation of fics in canon, generally.

—doctorlit thinks Rile X can go visit Upstairs for upgrades himself, instead of yelling at his traumatized teammate about it repeatedly. Dang.

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