Yeah, so, shifters. (spoilers ahoy!)

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Discussion about other works of James Galloway (Dragonstar, Alpha Project, The Fox and the Hawk, and others)

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Yeah, so, shifters. (spoilers ahoy!)

Post by Fel » Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:44 pm

I'm putting this here because things might get spoilery.

I wrote the first chapter the way I did not to tease you guys (not COMPLETELY) but because the story will be LONG. Because of that, I felt that slowly revealing the details of what was going on across the first four or five chapters would be best, as Rafael very slowly starts to learn just what he is and what it means, and what matters most to him, why it's so important to a whole lot of other people. Rafael is of critical interest not only to the Shifters, he's also a major focus of interest of the Jinn, who are the only reason he was born in the first place, as well as the hereditary enemy of the Arcadians, which are the Goblins of Tarterus.

If you can handle spoilers, then here's "where the story is going" in a nutshell:

Rafael is a Jann, the mortal offspring of a human and a Jinn, one of the most rare forms of life in every frame in our universe, for one simple reason. A Jann can only be born if the Jinn that fathers him sacrifices his life to impregnate the human female. Rafael's father died to bring Rafael into the world, and for a race of immortal beings, the idea of death is as unthinkable as it is frightening. So, you can imagine just how rare a Jann is. Rafael was born for a reason, part of the endless war between the Jinn and the Ae, and both sides will show themselves during the course of the story, complicating the efforts of the Arcadians to capture him and the humans to protect him. The Jinn brought him into the world for a reason, and the Ae want him to be dead. Very, very dead.

Because he's the offspring of parents from different frames, that means that he is ALSO a Shifter. But he's a different kind of Shifter than the Arcadians because his extra-frame parent is from the frame "above" the Earth frame instead of "below," which means that he walks between the Earth Frame and the native frame of the Jinn rather than the Earth frame and Arcadia. But because he is a Shifter, than means that he can survive in ANY frame, not just the two frames he can move between. This is true of any Shifter, not just Rafael. Rafael can't shift into the Arcadian frame, but the difference in time won't affect him either for good or for ill if he's pulled into the Arcadian frame by an outside force. While he can be forcibly shifted into the Arcadian frame by Arcadian Shifters, he has the ability to shift back to his home frame, the Earth frame, at will. Any Shifter can return to his native frame as a basic ability. So while the Arcadians can kidnap him, they can't easily keep him in Arcadia. Once the two planets are in alignment, Rafael can shift back to the Earth frame. The Shifters know this, and they also know that Rafael DOESN'T. They know that Rafael has no idea who or what he is, and they intend to exploit that fact for everything that it's worth.

Rafael can Shift between the Earth Frame and the Jinn frame, but that ability was suppressed by the necklace he was wearing. Now that it's gone, he can use his power as a Shifter, as well as his powers as a Jann. Jann heal at a highly accelerated rate (those broken ribs will be healed in about 4 days) and can even regrow lost body parts, and are "perfect" physical specimens. Rafael is the ultimate example of human potential, with perfect DNA (a fact that will make him VERY important to certain people in the government) and very nearly superhuman strength, dexterity, agility, and hand-eye coordination, gifts from his Jinn parent. As such, his amazing athletic ability is due to his Jann nature...and that's all a Jann can do. They have no other powers, but in the human world, Rafael's athletic prowess is power enough. But as a Shifter, Rafael can alter the flow of time in relation to himself in a very limited basis. The episodes where time slows down for him isn't some "in the zone" effect of being in the thick of competitions, it's because for Rafael, time REALLY DOES slow down, which from those watching him, makes it seem as if he suddenly speeds up. He can alter his position in time to either slow it own or speed it up on a very, very small scale.

If you want to equate this ability to a super hero, then the closest would be The Flash. Rafael can't move as fast as the Flash, but since he can slow down time in relation to himself, it gives him the ability to move with blazing speed to anyone observing him.

The ultimate expression of his ability to separate himself from time is the ability to shift into the Jinn frame, where time as we know it doesn't exist. Neither does matter. The Jinn frame is a world of nothing but energy, and a world that Rafael will learn later in the story is not a friendly place to him, because of the Ae. The Ae see Rafael as a threat to their control over their native frame, and they'll want him dead when they discover him.

The reason is simple: Rafael is invulnerable to the "magical" powers and abilities of both the Jinn and the Ae within the Jinn frame. He would be a juggernaut there, able to tear through any Ae's defenses and kill them...which is why the Jinn made him, and the Ae fear him. To kill him, they have to do it in the Earth frame, where he is not immune to their power. Rafael was created to be a living weapon, a tool of war in the struggle between the Jinn and the Ae, and how Rafael deals with that revelation during the course of the story is almost a story unto itself.

Why do the Shifters want him? I won't go into detail, but I will say that they need him alive and Rafael WILL NOT LIKE what they want him for.

This story is probably my most ambitious in that it's going to span four different worlds (Rafael will visit both Arcadia and the Jinn frame during his adventure, as well as a frightening trip to the sister-planet of Arcadia, the harsh and hostile desert planet of Tarterus) and will involve major political machinations from several different major power players. They all either want Rafael or want him dead, because of either who he is or what he is. The humans want him for who he is, the Arcadians for what he is, and the Jinn, the Ae, and the Goblins of Tarterus also want a piece of him for what he can do for them or what he can't do if he's dead. I've never tried anything this complex before, so I can only hope I don't blow the whole thing up.

There, there's your "where it's going."
Just another guy from the shallow end of the gene pool.

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Re: Yeah, so, shifters. (spoilers ahoy!)

Post by bjeane » Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:42 am

wow, just wow!

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Re: Yeah, so, shifters. (spoilers ahoy!)

Post by lapland » Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:53 pm

You may not have wrote any story this complex but the end result will be amazing as usual. Definitely a story I can get into.

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Re: Yeah, so, shifters. (spoilers ahoy!)

Post by SYED » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:26 am

Am i the only one that thinks that the death of his mother and destruction of his home was not an accident? The thing is just who was it that did it, what with all these different factions.
We know that each plane has its own faction, but do shifters, the human scions of other worlds, have their own factions. They cant be happy being weapons in their parent's war?

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Re: Yeah, so, shifters. (spoilers ahoy!)

Post by AgCOtter » Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:59 am

This will teach me to read other parts of the forums before I reply. it looks like you have done a lot of the prep work and have things lined out for the next chapters. I think that "May he live in interesting times" is appropriate for what is about to happen to him. To which I say "YES!" Bring it ON!

Thanks again for you work, I enjoy it very much.
"Let's be Very Careful out there people!"

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Re: Yeah, so, shifters. (spoilers ahoy!)

Post by PrincelyGuy » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:39 pm

Your plans are ambitious and I am looking forward to the story. Thank you for providing the overview of the story and now I am waiting anxiously for each chapter to see how this fleshes out. Looking ahead, I see lots of spellbinding chapters that end with a cliffhanger where we are left wondering how he gets out of it this time.

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Re: Yeah, so, shifters. (spoilers ahoy!)

Post by Mizriath » Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:11 pm

Let me understand this right

3 frames

Natural Occupants
Above Jinn & Ae Natural shifter ?? Magic + humongous ability

Earth Humans Human+Jinn = Jann = shifter = Fast healer + superhuman comparative to humans

Below Arcadians Natural Shifter ?? Humongous ability too ... no magic

Can Rafael be superb in both the Above and Below world and more normal on Earth.

Not asking for the plot but just the power matrix. :)
The sea flows as long as Earth exist, Love is alive as long as people exist. I will read Fel's stories as long as my heart still beats.

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Re: Yeah, so, shifters. (spoilers ahoy!)

Post by Catgodify » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:41 pm

Shifters is going to be yet another masterwork i can feel it already!