Thank you, Techland. Thank you, Dying Light.

With a side of Thanks, CDPR!

Dying Light 2: Stay Human (CGI Trailer December 2021)

Alright. Hear me out (or don’t, this’ll be a ramble).

*clears throat*

I’ve had three notable rough spots in my life. I’m talking under the filthy floorboards kind of rough, at the bottom of the ladder rough and the ladder is on fire rough.

Rough Spot Number Two was the worst of them, all things considered. When I say Kyle Crane saved my life back then? That’s not hyperbole. That’s me being literal.

To be fair, that’s a bit of a story old as time for me; Taff in distress, fictional character to the rescue. He wasn’t the only one either, but I digress.

It’s also a story relevant to so many other people and my heart goes out to anyone else who needed to be pulled from the darkness by a movie, game, book, you name it. You’re valid. Your experience is valid. You’re worth so much.

Anyway.

I wrote Latchkey Hero back then, a story that helped me sift through my trauma boxes and fight my demons. And a story that I have missed ever since I’d finished it, with a yearning deep in my soul to return to Kyle and Zofia that I didn’t know how to satisfy.

One thing I tried to wrap my head around was how to turn it into an original novel, but nothing ever quite fit.

Then I played Cyberpunk 2077 and it clicked. I mean it clicked SO HARD, it took me an hour and I had hammered out a concept for how I could reboot Latchkey Hero in a Cyberpunk-lite setting situated right in my own world that I’d built since I was a kid.

Aphelion was born.

I’m never going to pretend Aphelion is anything else than a reboot of a Dying Light Fan Fic. And I am never going to pretend Varrett isn’t 80% Kyle as I’ve written him in Latchkey Hero.

Because that is what I need.

I needed a story where a group of people is faced with unimaginable hardship but doesn’t give up, and Varrett (just like Kyle) gave me that. Live or die trying; it’s one of his (and by extension Aphelion’s) taglines, it’s the foundation on which the story is built.

But~ even as Aphelion took shape, Bad Times Number Three came. It wasn’t just one thing, but a perfect storm that left me battered and grieving. That, ultimately, led me to almost dropping Aphelion right then, convincing me that I was undeserving (of Kyle, of Varrett) and that my integrity was compromised.

Yesterday, I was one more bad night’s sleep away from putting the pen down.

I spent that bad night’s sleep watching the Game Awards. And I caught the Dying Light 2 CGI trailer.

Now I sit here writing this because of a line painted on a fictional wall in a game that isn’t even released yet and that I know very little about because I don’t like getting swept up by the hype.

Now I sit here telling the void that Techland did it again. That, unintentionally, they’ve put the wind back into my sails.

And I’m grateful for that.

Because I need this story. I need it because I need to pay my respects and thank Kyle for what he’s done for me. And giving him a second lease on life in my heart is the least I can do.

Why do they always ask…

Here.

Here!

She freezes above a shallow pool of water, right as her Light is pulled from her in a sudden, giddy sort of rush. Her shell parts and spins. Goes round and round as the steady pulses of her Light turn into a bright, vivid beacon.

Her Guardian. She’s found them.

Plop

Unfortunately, she’s found them right above some water. Its surface is all wrinkled now, starlight glancing off the ripples where her Guardian landed and fell right back into the wet.

But it’s a… small patch of ripples. She freezes and turns her eye down. Turns her light on. Not her Light light. The normal light. And catches sight of a mess of thick, mottled brown… fur. Wet fur. Lots of it.

A bright, pink tongue hangs from an open snout lined with sharp, white teeth — and a set of big round eyes set on her. And then her Guardian starts wagging his tail. Wags it so hard, he splashes water all over the damn place.

“Oh bother,” she says into the night and shrinks into her shell.

“His name is Splash,” she informs curious Guardian number 74.

Who, unfailingly, gets his face licked when he hunkers down to ask Splash Whose a good boy?!

Which they always do, and she shifts her shell around before puffing it out in mild annoyance.

“I don’t understand why you all have got to keep asking that,” she complains. “Of course he is. The Traveler wouldn’t have chosen him otherwise, would she!”

Splash agrees. He huffs up a bark and his tail picks up its pace to record wag levels. Then he jumps back. Gets his butt up in the air, tail still going, and barks up a loud and deep and throaty bark. He has a very handsome bark. Yes. Very.

Arf. Arf. Arf he goes, until she finally sighs and scoots over with a roll of her shell. She transmats one of his favourite balls down in front of him.

“Would you mind?” she asks. “But careful with the edge.”

The Guardian nods and grins, scooping up the ball and chucking it across the square. Splash bolts after it. Literally. Bolts. Lightning crackles in his wake.

And the Guardian is still grinning. A wide and toothy grin. Which, she admits, is a far cry from the furrowed brow and thin frown he wore before Splash padded up to him, honing in on him like he knew.

Because, yes. Splash is a good boy. He’s the Traveler’s Goodest Boy and the whole Tower is better off with him.

Latchkey Hero, a Dying Light Fan Fiction

2016-04-14 – 3 years – 350000 words

“On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.” – George Orwell

The fall of Harran robbed man of its humanity, and Zofia Sirota of her innocence. Finding redemption, with the city rotting away around her, seems to be a pipe dream at best, until a man falls from the skies and turns futility to hope. Either that, or he’s about to make things a whole lot worse.

Kyle Crane

LatchkeyHero.com

Season 1: Latchkey Hero
A man falls from the skies and makes things a whole lot worse.

The Gunsmith: A Lady’s Favour
There’s a little girl in dire need of modern-day magic, and still, Crane tells Zofia: “Stay here.”

At the Tower: Hide and Seek
In which Kyle Crane finds it horribly difficult to stay on target and regrets having put on jeans for the day.

Season 2: Volatile

Season 3: #SaveHarran

All the art you see has either been done by delborovic, saph-y, or nucleargers (nsfw).

Kyle Crane
Kyle and Zofia (not Fi, not Zo, not Sofia, don’t you dare)
Kyle Crane
Kyle and his Cranebar
Kyle Crane
Kyle Crane
Dying Light Latchkey Hero
“official” cover art

I’ve done it. Finally. It took me three years, and a bunch of times of almost giving up, but here I am. The last chapter has been drafted, and all that’s left is a little more patience and a few more nights of editing what I got. Then Latchkey Hero is done.

Thank you, everyone, who has taken the time to read it.

It’s been… an experience. Thanks to you and with you, and like for any experience’s third birthday, I ought to at least make some noise. So here it is, that noise. A bunch of links on where to find the complete series, its sparkling new website, and some art that I’ve collected over… uh… the years. Literal years. Man, this feels weird.

Fan Fiction on Discord

We’ve been around since 2016, when a handful of people from the /r/FanFiction subreddit decided they needed yet another method to procrastinate their writing.  And while we’ve been working really hard on being successful at that, we haven’t been able to stop people from joining and being immensely creative. More than once someone ends up popping in and getting inspired to start writing and posting and Can you believe it? Writing? On our writing server?

Several. People. Are. Typing. Ohgods.

Who we are:  We’re writers. Readers. Artists. Friends.  
What we are: A multi-fandom environment bringing together everyone, with 2000 members and steadily growing.
What you’d find if you were to come by: An inclusive and friendly environment, where we support each other in our every day lives as fans and writers. 

Why We Write.

 But what do we do? Aside of not writing? 

Help each other with exactly that. We have channels dedicated to helping with rubber ducking, plot hole stuffing, spag, and one for when you need help with adding extra spice to your smut fic. And if you’re the competitive sort, then you’re likely to find someone to sprint with.

On top of that we host regular events, such as drabble nights in which we get together to write 100 word ficlets over the course of an hour. Other highlights include Story Time, a fan fiction reading event which will hopefully see its return in 2019, since we’ve had a lot of success with it previously.  We even had our very first Creative Writing Workshop recently!

Interested?

I’d recommend reading through our rules and our channel guidelines, too. Though you’ll be able to find them on there if you decide to come visit. The basics are rather simple though: 

Be kind to each other and to each other’s fandoms, don’t be an arse, and keep topics relevant to the channel they ought to be in.

Get an invite link right here, or grab it from the /r/FanFiction Subreddit.

Dying Light: Latchkey Hero

Season 3, #SaveHarran

. . . is outlined.  For the first time, I’m actually seeing the ending in front of me.  Not just by thinking about it, but by flipping through the notepad that I’ve had with me from the start, where Latchkey Hero’s first few words were written, and where I’ve plotted and outlined almost all of season two and three.

 

It’s falling apart, I admit, but with all the abuse it’s been getting I am not surprised.  And with abuse I mean waking up in the middle of the night, having an idea and figuring something out and dropping the thing three times before finding a pen.

But what delights me the most?  How absolutely perfectly it fit.

1FD70F6F-6954-4680-87AB-ED6CDAC877AE

No one can tell me that this isn’t a sign.  That Kyle Crane’s and Zofia’s journey isn’t about to pause where it ought to, because they’ve done the unthinkable and been with me for two years of incredible joy and headache.  Mostly joy though.  And pride.  I am so proud of them.

Yeah, it was Latchkey’s two year birthday on the 14th of April.  🎊

Neat.  Right?

So.  What now?  Now I got to write everything that I’ve outlined, and get back to posting once I’ve caught up.  Which, I’ll be honest, feels a bit like I’m staring at the Mount Everest right now.  It’s all a little scary.

But we got this.  748 words and counting.

Latchkey Notepad