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Ribbon
Original Short Story
9th
53%
223
Captive of Industry
#18630 · 2
· on Captive of Industry
>>Monokeras
>>Miller Minus
>>Samey90

Thanks everyone for your reviews. Let me just respond to a few things.

I agree with those who had issues with the end. I wrote the final scene with Driscoll in a bit of a rush, hence his Disney villain–esque antics and dialogue, and it's fair to say that it came off as artificial and that, as Monokeras says, things kind of fizzled out. The trouble here is that—and this is my own fault—as far as I was concerned, the previous scene with Casey and Taylor is the "real" climax, and the confrontation with Driscoll secondary to that. Unfortunately, it's not written that way—Casey has too easy a time with Taylor, and then they have too easy a time with Driscoll too, so that both function like an anticlimax. Obviously this is not ideal.

Miller (and Paracompact privately) expressed concern with the character of Lauren. I'd hate to see her go, as I'm a fan of prickly characters, but I have to agree her role in the story is problematic. There is a contrivance in the way she's studying Driscoll at the same time that the position Casey applies for opens; that goes unexplained, and I'm not sure that it can be explained. And as Paracompact complained, Lauren is too much the plot mover here. I'm not sure which of the suggested changes I'd go with, whether cutting her, bringing her to the confrontation with Taylor, or changing her role to that of confidante rather than plot mover, but I'll bear it in mind.

One word about the intention with the story, since I don't think anyone picked up on it. My purpose was to explore some implications of this apprenticeship system I devised. It's why I brought Lauren in early with her very specific thesis about it (that it impairs socialization in the workplace). It's why Casey was so concerned about befriending Taylor, which would have been rather strange in a normal office, and it's why Taylor's past is what it is, because I wanted to explore a potential failure mode. I spent a lot of time with the idea in the story, so I'm disappointed that that didn't come across. Another thing to keep in mind if I ever do revisions.

Thanks again!