The Ultima Storm was, for me, one of those projects that had been sitting on the backburner for more than a year. It started with a scene of Drake and crew crashing over a rocky landscape amidst the broken buildings and shattered streets of old Chicago. All around them, funnels were poking their heads from a purple sky, threatening to drop and throw their tiny transport, an eight-wheeled transport with more spring in its step than a well-tuned low-rider. I’d been listening to Celldweller’s instrumental album, “Soundtrack for the Voices in my Head, Volume 1” and it just came to me, sitting outside and watching a temperamental sky. All I could wonder was, “What if mother nature just hit the reset button.”
But it was too depressing, I needed to give humanity hope of a future. That’s where I got stuck. When I was given the opportunity (volunteered) to start this spring’s Round Robin, I knew I had the perfect home for my little flight of fancy. I started with that glimmer of hope amidst the impending doom and watched with much satisfaction at how my fellow writers envisioned this world, each adding to it in some form or another. I loved it, every addition. From the squatters and their old-world religion, to the bouts of nature coming crashing down, the tragedy of loss and the innocent addition of youth.
My unbiased favorite was the addition by Susan Sheehey. The way she described the storm and held the tension, ending it in an absolute mess was nothing less than brilliant – holding true to the original feel of the story. She’d asked me what I was listening to when I wrote my portion, now I’d love to know what she was listening to while she wrote.
The biggest shock for me was with Jeff Bacot’s addition, adding Sera into the plot. Mostly because I’d assumed Sera was already on the shuttle that had just launched, it added a lot of responsibility to the group, making their trek more difficult ten-fold. Not to say pregnant women are difficult (cough) but his smart-ass comment about him possibly being the father was taken to new levels further on in the story.
I absolutely loved the addition of Lucis and Amara. Originally, I never thought to include children in the story, but as soon as I read them, I wondered why not? I felt that they added a lot.
To be perfectly honest, I didn’t want the responsibility of wrapping the story up. Sure it was my duty as the original poster, but I was having too much fun watching this story unfold through the minds of my talented peers. That and I didn’t want to deal with a labor scene (although with number four on the way, I’m becoming an old hat at this).
All in all, it was great to see so many different writers leave their genres behind and apply their trade to The Ultima Storm. It isn’t where I would’ve gone with the story, and that is in no way a bad thing. I couldn’t imagine it coming together better. So to all those who contributed, a very heartfelt ‘thank you for making this story wonderful and I’m proud to work with you on this.’