In Deep Cover by Mark Dykeman


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Post May 16, 2007, 02:52:41 PM

In Deep Cover by Mark Dykeman

Hello, I would certainly appreciate any feedback Aphelion readers would be able to give me on this story, whether positive or negative. Like everyone else, I just want to improve.






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Mark Dykeman
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Post May 16, 2007, 03:46:10 PM

Re: In Deep Cover by Mark Dykeman

Mark

Well, you know I liked it enough to include it this issue ...

Was anyone else reminded of the mysterious briefcases from "Pulp Fiction" and "Repo Man"?

(By the way, not everyone wants to improve. Some of us iz already perfekt. aNd Some of us wants fame and money without improving. ::))

Robert M.
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Post May 17, 2007, 09:10:55 AM

Re: In Deep Cover by Mark Dykeman

Okay, I've read this one a couple times and I confess that I'm a bit confused. Let me ask if what I think happened is correct.

Jesus and Lucifer are entities of the same level. Both have acted as agents for God in various roles, including ones currently assigned to the other. Lucifer's mind was altered to forget that he was ever an agent of God; he was booted out due to the attempt to take over Heaven but his abilities and talents were too great to disregard, so instead of removing him totally, they manipulated him to act on their behalf without realizing it.

Did I interpret the story properly?
"Even the straight arrow needs a crooked bow."
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jaimie l. elliott

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Post May 17, 2007, 10:42:54 AM

Re: In Deep Cover by Mark Dykeman

... I thought that the evangelist character believed himself to be Lucifer, and thought that he was collecting souls or faith for nefarious purposes, but was actually The Son. Lucifer, who had been fulfilling the role of The Son, came to reveal the truth and to exchange roles again.

Mark, who's right? Me, Jaimie, both, neither?

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Post May 17, 2007, 11:12:31 AM

Re: In Deep Cover by Mark Dykeman

Actually, that's what I thought as well, Rob. I just didn't articulate as well as you did. :)
"Even the straight arrow needs a crooked bow."
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Post May 17, 2007, 01:51:29 PM

Re: In Deep Cover by Mark Dykeman

Well guys, this has certainly been illuminating for me. :)

Rob's summary is spot on: Anderson thinks he is Lucifer (or Satan, aka SAnder T. ANderson), but he is actually Jesus (the Son) and they switched places at the time of Jesus's death. He thinks that he is saving these lost souls and reviving Christian faith just so he can "keep the game more interesting", but he's actually an instrument to maintain balance in an experiment and to keep it from ending too soon.

I threw in the whole corporate world analogy to provide a different perspective on Lucifer's fall from Heaven and rise in Hell, and also show how a kind and merciful God might well want to reunite with its former deputy. No one likes to lose or waste talent.

A side note: when I originally got this idea I was actually focusing on the "Telethon For the Almighty" itself and would have dealt with "In Deep Cover" as a short epilogue, but I became more interested in exploring the motivations under which Satan would actually help God and, indirectly, talk about the idea of an apparently non-interventionist deity.

Oops, it's all out of the bag now!
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Post May 18, 2007, 08:36:58 PM

Re: In Deep Cover by Mark Dykeman

There have been stories and movies where Satan acts against powers attempting to end the world precisely because he wants to keep the game going (or where supervillains or vampires or whatever work to prevent disaster for the same reason). Hence Anderson's motives here would not be unprecedented even if he had really been Satan. Actually, I wonder if the real Satan, Deceiver and Seducer, would have even more success as an evangelist than Jesus did ...

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Post May 25, 2007, 10:20:51 PM

Re: In Deep Cover by Mark Dykeman

I believe that a strong hook, input with all your senses, convincing world building, professionalism in writing, believable dialog, endearing characters that grow and change, and a plotline wherein characters try to solve a dilemma are all necessary things in a story (unless it's flash or literary). Many people strongly disagree with this view.

I thought this story was lacking in several of these regards, but rather than start another war of words this month, I'll go in a different direction. This was really my biggest problem with this one:

Not much happens.

That is, if one is not swept up in the concept of the cosmic reality shift, basically, what happens is two guys go into a room and talk. Now, as the story reveals, these are not just two guys. But still, they just talk, then zap themselves out of the room.

I'll give the author credit for trying to build a universe in which nothing is as it seems, and for trying to explore a way that Satan might work for God. Both of those concepts are difficult. However, I didn't find the execution of that premise very gripping, sorry.

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Post May 26, 2007, 01:24:32 AM

In Deep Cover by Mark Dykeman

good writing overall but the switch was just too sudden and easy. I know, it's a complex story element and tricky to get right, but something of that magnitude probably would ideally entail an entire novel.

liked the name Anderson...i think it means Son of Man? Juxstaposed with the Son of God maybe? and the first hint/red herring that something was off came from Sander's dressing room being hot and the visitor uncomplaining about it...and Sander himself was so deep under cover he acclimated himself to the dastardly heat.

Lee

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