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The Duel of the Ages

Dave's Introduction

Since there are two separate endings to this epic saga, I thought it only fitting that there be two separate introductions, as well. Problem is, Sam pretty much said everything there was to say about how this whole thing got started. Everything, that is, except for this:

I was originally dead set against doing this at all. I wrote that original confrontation between Darius and Blood Drops as a joke -- a one shot deal and nothing more. I half expected Sam to reply the way he did, so when his lengthy response came in, I wasn't too surprised. The problem was, I didn't want to continue it.

I had two main problems with the idea of a lengthy parody of the sort that you are now holding. Number one, I was involved in a novel-length work in which Darius was the main character, and it seemed almost sacrilegious to use this character (who is normally in no way foolish or funny) in a work such as this. I was also worried about how Sam would treat my beloved character when it was his turn to write.

Number two, I was, at the time, in the midst of a writing frenzy, during which time I had completed almost fifty pages of my novel and written two short stories to boot. I didn't want to waste any of that energy on something frivolous and silly. So, I initially sat on Sam's reply for a few days, not doing anything with it. But, during that time, a few things happened.

First, Sam continued to browbeat me into continuing the story from where he had left off. And second, I began to get a little antsy. I kept re-reading Sam's response and kept hating the fact that if it ended now, it would eternally look to any outside observer (not that there were any, but you know how these things seem at times) that Darius had lost. I just couldn't sit on my duff and let that happen.

So, I responded. And the rest, as they say, is history. What followed were long nights during which I would stay up and log in after 11pm (I was at home at the time, so I couldn't log in any earlier), and then stay up till almost dawn (and sometimes beyond) writing my latest response.

Sometimes I feel a little upset that this thing took precedence over my novel for the whole time we were involved in it; but that is entirely my own fault. No one forced me to ignore my own work in order to continue this parody. And, while writing my piece on the physics of Death's realm and the corresponding chase scene through the Omniverse, I began to see how I might actually be able to reuse some of this stuff in a serious work.

In all, however, I am quite pleased with the way everything turned out. I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed co-writing it.

David Parker
September 14, 1994

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