Aaaaaaaalrighty, so just like the original version I might as well do an afterword of this thing, eh?
This was originally supposed to be done on Gray Desires one-year birthday, April 9th 2013, but combining my general lazyness, real life issues and perfectionism, the release date took an extra four months to be done.
But I honestly think it's worth it.
Originally speaking, Gray Desires was just something I decided to write for fun, back then, Arc III didn't even exist – the story ended on Arc II – and I just wrote it because I felt like it.
Of course, things are never that simple with me.
Gray Desires just grew out of control very, very quickly. What was supposed to be a short story about lust and love, ended up being an over 30k words story with oh so many details that pretty much laid the groundwork for the entirety of Arc III
I'm serious, Sacchi's disappearance was planned from the start, but the reasons were completely different back then. The plot suffered so many rewrites since then that you can't even say it's the same storyline… But the more my plot went on, the more I felt myself looking at Gray Desires and saying "This needs a rewrite."
TSI's review was simply the one thing that gave me the motivation to actually rewrite this. However, with something that was originally a big story by today's standards (34k words man.) rewriting was going to be a pain, and honestly, if I'm gonna do something, I'm gonna do it right. So I had planned for a quota of at least 50k words in this.
I didn't even need to try to exceed my quota by 30k words.
The new gray desires goes in new depths about what happens to the army after Arc II. I felt that the concept of showing what happened within the army exactly was a good idea in general, however, considering that Eastern Wonderland is set in another world entirely, and Twelve Talismans is a fuckfest of immense proportions by default, it was impossible to do it. During or after End of War was also a no-no, it just wouldn't make sense from a storytelling perspective.
So I was left with three options, first, tell the army's day to day life before act I, in between Act I and II, or do it between II and III.
The first option was out-of-the question, since Eastern Wonderland picks up exactly where Arc II left off, and the third option was unfeasible considering what was already in Gray Desires, so… Why not put it in the Gray Desires remake itself?
There was one issue with that decision: Gray Desires revolves around Veemon's and Davis's relationship, so I had to strike a balance between "showing other stuff about the world of Digital Prophecy" and "keeping the story going". I found one way that seemed to work, show a few scenes of Veemon's life inside the army, show his life outside of it (with Davis), and ignore the army life completely after "The Flight" begins.
Rereading the original Gray Desires only made me think one thing: It was so unrealistic I couldn't bear it. Davis has a job, why would he be allowed to go on a week-long trip to Miami, when their income is low enough as it is? I had to get him fired. But that presented a problem of a bittersweet ending (Something I wanted to avoid in this specific story) which lead me to having him working at Takato's Bakery, it made sense, the two are friends after all.
After reading Sacchi's lines, not only did he have very little lines for what is basically the primary protagonist for the rest of the series, and BlackGuilmon himself had very few lines considering he's the secondary protagonist. What was most egregious about Sacchi's lines? Almost all of them were so out of character I wanted to puke.
The Angel Scene was the most egregious example, the scene is told from Sacchi's perspective, we're supposed to read his thoughts and his reactions, the way he was portrayed made him look like a heartless bastard. Even with the added scenes showing he wasn't exactly so, we're supposed to read his thoughts, dammit. That scene needed a damn heavy rewrite.
After all these rewrites to the story, to Veemon's characterization and even to Davis himself, one thing clicked – the most dreaded scene wouldn't make any sense as a rape scene.
But it was the big conflict of the story, I couldn't scrap it, but I couldn't leave it as it was. So now, It's no longer a rape scene, instead, it's just a sex scene told from two, completely different perspectives. I believe I can easily use this for the sequel, Legacy.
After fixing some of the most blatant problems in the fiction and ending everything, I can honestly tell I loved writing this one. Going back to such an old fiction makes me happy, seeing how different my writing was from now (And how much of a smug bastard I was back then, boy can a person change in a year) and how much I (I believe so anyway) have improved.
If anyone's wondering why this version is separated in chapters, it's simple – nobody wants to read 80k words in one sitting, do they?
Originally, I was gonna do a few "extra scenes" about this story, however, these have turned into another story of mine - Isolated Happenings from Act I to II.
The second rewrite to Gray Desires was done out of necessity - not many things were changed, BlackGuilmon's hatred of Guilmon was scrapped, for example, and I redid Chung's battle scene and added Silver's during Determination - and the reason for this were rewrites. This the beginning of Gray Desires, Digital Prophecy has received several rewrites.
The most major one has been the plot cleanup I did recently, which literally erased more than 2/3s of Arc II thanks to it being completely pointless. This includes BlackGuilmon's own specific chapter, which is why the change to his reaction towards Guilmon has been made.
And please, if you're going to review this, don't take plot holes in consideration… Just don't. Take my word for it.