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05 November 2009 @ 04:15 pm
Machines Of Freedom: Header Post  

"Men have dreamed of liberating machines. But there are no machines of freedom, by definition."
-Michel Foucault: Space, Power, Knowledge

Title: Machines of Freedom
Author: Amal Nahurriyeh (amalnahurriyeh, amalnahurriyeh@gmail.com)
Illustrator: Scooly (scooly42, welost9minutes)
Summary: The end of the world is coming. And they're doing everything in their power to stop it.
Pairing: On the gen/MSR border, with mentions of slash pairings.
Rating: R (non-explicit sex, language, adult subjects)
Warnings: None for major triggers, but includes some descriptions of violence (in a R-rated movie kind of way). There are also people under the age of 15 in this story; be forewarned.
Timeline/Spoilers: Post-IWTB, seasons 8 & 9 compatible; exists in my post-IWTB universe, which also includes Whiteboard, The Keeping of Secrets, and Five Times Mosley Drummy Wishes He Never Met Fox Mulder, but not necessary to have read those first.

Written for xf_bigbang 2009.

Amal says, "I want to thank idella, my trusty beta, for falling as in love with this story as I did over the past four months, for helping me keep it on track, and for convincing me Consortium is a proper noun; Aloysia Virgata, who did an late-stage second reading that was very helpful, and also for permanently changing the way I think of the word "swipe" in the context of the X-Files; and for sixpences and scullyseviltwin, for helping to make up for my lack of knowledge about sports with bats in them. Also Scooly, to whom I have proposed marriage no fewer than four times over the course of this collaboration."

Scooly would just like to say that this was the coolest fandom project she has taken part in so far.

There are three ways to read Machines of Freedom. First, it can be downloaded as a PDF, with both text and illustrations. To do so, click on the image below.

Second, if you've got a slow connection and want to minimize bandwidth, etc, you can download Amal's text as an RTF file here, and check out Scooly's illustrations separately, here.

Finally, the text is posted as as 12 separate posts on Amal's Livejournal, with thumbnails of and links to Scooly's illustrations.

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12

Author's Notes
Illustrator's Notes (at welost9minutes)

Machines of Freedom: The Soundtrack
Yen: [XF] UFOriddledfate on November 5th, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC)
I'm downloading the pdf. so fast you wouldn't imagine! Can't wait to read this. It looks wonderful :) (and omg, it also has a soundtrack ♥)
Amal Nahurriyeh: mof: omgship!amalnahurriyeh on November 5th, 2009 09:38 pm (UTC)
You are super speedy, lol. Hope you like!
All the letters I can writewendelah1 on November 6th, 2009 07:40 am (UTC)
Chapter 5 is locked, I believe. But chapters 1-4 are pretty exciting.
Amal Nahurriyeh: mof: csm!amalnahurriyeh on November 6th, 2009 12:32 pm (UTC)
Oy. Sorry--they were all posted as filtered first, so I could get them formatted and linked up and copy-edited, and apparently I didn't ever unlock 5. Oy. It's unlocked now.
All the letters I can writewendelah1 on November 7th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
Well, my browser doesn't let me do rtf so I'll just read it in bits and pieces.
mystiknatmystiknat on November 7th, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
Can I just say... it has taken me two evenings to both savour and devour this fic (blah real life in the way) but my word, it was awesome!

Just wow.

I'll keep it spoiler-free here, but there were some excellent plot devices and plenty of surprises, but yet so plausible - well in an XF way! That can be really rare in fic and I just loved where this story went.

Now I've reached the end and read the author notes, I want to go back and reread it all again - with a new light shed on certain aspects. ;o)

What an ending!

Amal Nahurriyeh: mof: csm!amalnahurriyeh on November 10th, 2009 03:49 am (UTC)
yet so plausible - well in an XF way

That's a pretty low bar, baby. LOL.

Thanks so much! I'm glad you liked it, and that the ending was effective for you.

Yeah, what is this RL crap? Boooooo.
Aloysia Virgata: Misc - High Fivealoysiavirgata on November 9th, 2009 12:45 pm (UTC)
Sorry I'm late to the squee, but YAY IT'S UP! The artwork is fabulous. Well done, you. ♥

ETA: lulz for the "swipe" comment. Hee!

Edited at 2009-11-09 12:46 pm (UTC)
Amal Nahurriyeh: mof: csm!amalnahurriyeh on November 10th, 2009 03:48 am (UTC)
I am excessively impressed with Scooly. I think the first Sadie-portrait may have made my whole week, lol.

I love that icon.
icedteainthebag: xf-rainbowgunmenicedteainthebag on November 9th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
I can't believe I missed you posting this. I can't wait.
Amal Nahurriyeh: fierceamalnahurriyeh on November 10th, 2009 03:47 am (UTC)

and is making me laugh for reasons that won't make sense until chapter 11

Hope you enjoy! (When is BSG bigbang?)
icedteainthebag: bubbleicedteainthebag on November 10th, 2009 03:57 am (UTC)
I can't wait until Chapter 11 :)

I will enjoy it, probably very slowly. I have the whole weekend free if I get my bigbang fic done.

The posting has started over there, but I don't post until the week of 11/29. I'm still finishing it up. So much fail, but also win. :)
(Deleted comment)
Amal Nahurriyeh: mof: omgship!amalnahurriyeh on November 21st, 2009 01:43 am (UTC)
idella called the ending stealth time travel when we were passing it back and forth. I know, it's total crack, but I love it. And I'm so glad it worked for you despite the, you know, cracky ending. :)

I'd want a hideout like that if the apocalypse was nigh.

Me too.

enj412 on November 17th, 2009 11:34 pm (UTC)
Problem with pdf copy of story
Hi there. I sent my compliments on this magnificent story to your email. I just wanted to post here that I noticed an issue with the PDF version of the story. On page 107 of the PDF, the right side is missing. I can only see the left side of page 107. I think I missed some crucial action there, but the story still made sense. Still thoroughly loved it, but wanted to point this out in hopes that it can be fixed. Thanks so much for this awesome story. If you do fix it, can you send it to me? Email is erinw210@yahoo.com
Amal Nahurriyeh: mof: omgship!amalnahurriyeh on November 21st, 2009 02:06 am (UTC)
Re: Problem with pdf copy of story
Thanks for posting this publicly, so others can see it. I'm going to be fixing the link, to a new copy of the PDF, but if anyone sees this and wants to email me for a new copy, they totally should; just drop me a line at amalnahurriyeh at gmail dot com.
building love in the finishingmedland on November 20th, 2009 11:54 am (UTC)
I'm downloading this and printing it off to read on the bus to the convention. :)
Amal Nahurriyeh: mof: omgship!amalnahurriyeh on November 21st, 2009 02:07 am (UTC)
ppsst, there's a problem on page 107--what email address should I send the corrected page to?
Christy: Dale Cooper approves of this postsnoopdawg on December 2nd, 2009 01:55 am (UTC)
I just finished reading this, and I posted a comment about this over at welost9minutes but realized that I should post it over here, too, since that's not your journal. :p

I really enjoyed the adoption-related parts of this fic. Well, maybe enjoyed is not the word I am looking for-- I'm adopted, and the way you wrote it resonated for me. It reminded me of the first time I met my birthmom, so it was kind of intense and hard for me to read. Which is actually a compliment, in that you wrote it so well that I identified with it. You captured the... tension and ambivalence about feeling torn between adoptive and birth parents really well, especially the linguistic weirdness when it comes to referring to two sets of parents.

I've loved the many smutty fics of yours that I've read, and this work proves that you write non-smut just as well.
Amal Nahurriyeh: mof: csm!amalnahurriyeh on December 2nd, 2009 03:03 pm (UTC)
This comment makes me insanely happy--because I'd really wanted to do this right in a way that would be realistic and emotionally honest but not disregard the complex way any of the people in this adoption triad feel--or try to abolish anybody's relationship with anybody, which I think a lot of William-fic does. So I'm so glad I captured some of this in a way that resonated with you.

I hope the first time you met your birthmom, there were no black-ops army commandos. :)

LOL, I'm glad I'm more than just smut.
Christysnoopdawg on December 3rd, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
Ha, that may have come out insulting, which is not what I intended. Of course you're more than just smut. :p It's just that most of what I read, fanfic-wise, is smut, so that's what I base my judgments on. :p

And no, thankfully, no army commandos when I first met my bmom. :) Crazy relatives, sure, but that's not even in the same category.
estella_cestella_c on December 5th, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
Hi. I've been talking up MOF to friends and finally thought I should talk it up to you. Then I thought email, but no address, so this works.

Writing with wit, inventive plotting, sensitive characterization all round, a couple genuine surprises. Somebody said I should have guessed the ending, but why should I try? Surprises are better than getting all defensively squinty.

Beautiful job, and I applaud you for taking on all the appalling challenges 1013 handed fic writers. Except Mulder's brain disease. Thanks for leaving that out.

It does seem unreal to sock Scully with a fulltime surgical job, midlife maternal duties, an unexpected sibling in the mix. Oh, and saving the world from aliens. Talk about a supersoldier. Well, it *is* The X-Files. And Mulder makes a lovely househusband.
jessie_venna on December 14th, 2009 05:55 am (UTC)
I have to go to work. Damnit.

Brilliant as always!
mr. marconi is a donkeypalmaceae on March 19th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC)
I think Chris Carter should just buy this story off of you and make it into the third film because honestly he's going to mess it up so badly, I can just tell. With your plot at least he'd have some hope :) Really enthralling read. Love how you dealt with William. He's so chill in the face of adversity.

Re: Monica and Casey, Monica's what, like 40+ and Casey's 26? I didn't think Monica was the type to go for someone so young?

I found it really interesting that M&S named their kid after Cassandra Spender, what was your reasoning behind that and the name Rose?

Also, kudos for not killing the story by explaining the time travel. The 'not explaining' is something XF did really well sometimes and you're following the tradition very well.
Amal Nahurriyeh: mof: csm!amalnahurriyeh on March 20th, 2010 05:01 am (UTC)
I would think filming this would be *hilarious.* And I love Will in this too!

As for Monica and Casey--well, Casey's lying about her age (she says she was born in '82, which would make her thirty), but it is a little bit of a stretch. Love conquers all, or something. (There's a Monica/Casey-centric sequel in the Caseyverse, if you're interested.)

For Cassandra, I actually chose it for the mythological connotations and the multiple abbreviations possibilities, and considered the Cassandra Spender angle later. I don't precisely have an answer on the question--might they have argued and argued and settled, and then realized the connection, but decided to keep it?

LOL@ your last sentence. XF canon is 95% handwaving, and I tried to keep that spirit alive.
gvillagvilla on March 27th, 2010 01:30 pm (UTC)
oh my gosh, thank you so much for writing this fanfic, Amal! These are my favorites - post-Truth or post-IWTB!
And it wasn't that long, I wish you would write even more in the universe!!

Amal Nahurriyeh: mof: omgship!amalnahurriyeh on March 27th, 2010 04:02 pm (UTC)
I wish you would write even more in the universe!!

Oh, I have. :)

I'm so glad you liked it! It makes me happy that people are still finding it...

Edited to fix link...

Edited at 2010-03-27 04:02 pm (UTC)
e_0 on August 1st, 2011 06:15 pm (UTC)
Reading your Machines Of Freedom again after passing by a recent recommendation thread in Idealistshaven. I don't think i leave a comment last time i read, so i just want to say thank you for writing such as wonderful story, it is purely enjoyable.
Kaitlynkaitmaree77 on November 19th, 2011 11:28 am (UTC)
It is 10:13 as I start this comment, pure coincidence.

So I stumbled upon this via someone's recommendation and I managed to devour it in two nights (two very late nights, thank you very much.)

Your characterisation is superb and it makes me ache in the most wonderful of ways. This is the sort of closure I need, that I crave every damn time I re-watch William with tears in my eyes. And oh my god, Sadie. She is the most adorable little girl and so beautifully real. The ending actually made my head spin, which is damn impressive. I would GLADLY see this on this big screen. I could hear the canon characters in my head, so that speaks for the effectiveness of this fic in relating back to the original series.

Um, so in summation GHFJKGHFJHGFJ. One of the greatest things I've ever read. So. Damn. Good. Thank you *SO* much.
bmerb on November 15th, 2016 05:06 pm (UTC)
Dang the PDF link isn't working for me. Did it die years ago and I'm just too late to the party?