Again, there's some things I want to blab about, so I'll go through them in more-or-less chronological order:
-Ever since writing Chapter 6, I'd been pondering the idea of bringing Leeron back again. At the time, I couldn't really think of a way for him to contribute to the plot, so it might have been unnecessary, but I still really wanted to do it. Because 1) it just seems like something he would do, 2) since this part of the story is about the characters learning to cooperate again, it would be appropriate for at least one person from the colony to get back in touch, and 3) Leeron is just really fun to write. XD
-So yeah, that sex scene (or lack of it). The main reason I cut it is because I have no confidence writing porn. I mean, I get embarrassed enough just writing foreplay. >_<; But the second reason is because I imagined there to be a very long, awkward conversation proceeding it, which would take too long and cause the chapter to go on a huge tangent.
And I had that conversation all thought out too. The way I see it is, Nia is familiar with the concept of sexual reproduction thanks to the Anti-Spirals, but doesn't know the mechanics of it or how it applies to romance. So when Simon first tries explaining sex to her, and uses very romantic terms, he only succeeds in confusing the hell out of her. Then he gets down into the details of how it works, which ends up sounding pretty appalling, and she only starts to understand once he tells her its main purpose.
But then she misunderstands, thinking Simon just wants to make babies with her, and she warns him that since she's an Anti-Spiral Messenger, the chances of her getting pregnant are close to 0.
Also he asks her to please stop using the term "mating" because it's not sexy at all and makes them sound like animals, and Nia points out that humans technically are just animals, and he's like BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT!
Also at one point Simon starts to freak out because he realizes Nia is a virgin and oh god, what if he causes her to explode when he breaks her hymen?! Why didn't this occur to him before?! ABSOLUTE DESPAIR. So for a while he's just curled up in the fetal position while Nia pokes at him in confusion. Eventually she asks him to detail how much damage it could cause to her body and then assesses that it should be okay.
Basically, there's a whole lot of talking before they even get to the sex, requiring more patience than Simon ever knew he had, and needless to say the mood is thoroughly ruined, so they have to start all over again. XD; But it does pay off in the end...!
-One thing I'd wanted to do for ages was the Simon/Yoko/Nia argument from hell. I kept looking forward to when all three characters would be together just so I could put that in. XD I know it's pretty stupid, but I had a lot of fun writing it. I just really liked the idea of these totally not-normal people having a normal type of argument, only it's not normal at all because it involves shooting your ex in the eye and how the current girlfriend used to be a killing machine.
-This is ironic now that I look back on it, but for the attack on the Lord Genome Head, I had originally planned for Nia to be the one doing the attacking. Like, I imagined that the Anti-Spirals would sort of reset her programming, so she'd go back to her old Messenger persona, and Simon would have to coax her out of it using The Power of Love a la episode 22 of the TV series.
But then I realized that that would just be taking a step backward in Nia's character development, when at this point her development should only be moving forward. (Not to mention it would beg the question of why the Anti-Spirals didn't just do that earlier if they were capable of it.) So I scrapped that idea.
Still, I needed the attack to happen somehow, since I had hinted at it and it would make no sense for the Anti-Spirals not to. So, because Gurren Lagann is about constantly upping the scale, I decided to have an army of other Messengers attack instead, and let Nia be the hero instead of Simon. And then as I began writing the chapter, I got the idea to also incorporate it as part of the climax to the Simon/Yoko subplot, since the characters would be retracing their steps from Chapters 9-10 throughout the chapter.
-Speaking of which, I'd intended for the chapter to be Nia-focused, but most of it ended up being taken over by the Simon/Yoko subplot and Simon & Nia's interactions with the crew. ^^; I guess that couldn't be helped, since I wanted to resolve those subplots here too, which required a lot of development. Yet another case of me trying to accomplish too much in one chapter. ^^;
I'm glad I added those extra scenes though, because I think Yoko's characterization really benefited from them. So I've gotta thank Tobu Ishi for being my beta, because her input really helped in regards to that. <3
And by the way, the dialogue between Simon and Yoko at the end? I had parts of that written down for a long time. Seriously, it's in some of my earliest notes for the story. So I'm glad I was finally able to get it out there. I feel like the story has reached a milestone now. :D;
-Back to Nia. At some point I realized that if I was seriously going to have her survive, there had to be a reason for it. In the original story, Nia accepted her own death for a reason, so in order for her to accept being saved in this story, she needed a reason for that too.
Originally, she goes along with it because that was what Simon promised her (and because he'd probably go nutso and cause the Spiral Nemesis if she died), but eventually, she would still grow uncomfortable with it. So I had to give her some sort of goal, something only she could do, for her to want to be saved. Of course, that doesn't mean her discomfort will go away, but I'll leave that for the next chapter...
-I feel bad for ignoring Boota during the last part of the chapter, though it's for a reason. >.>; I imagine that Simon did worry over him after the battle (and had to force him to go to the medical bay because Boota wanted to stay and help), but since neither Nia nor Yoko saw that, I couldn't fit it into the chapter. I regret that now since I guess it makes Simon seem like he didn't care. D: In his defense, there wasn't much time to stop during the battle, and Boota deliberately played down his injury to keep from distracting him.
Anyway, by now, I think it should be possible to guess how this story will end. Everything's been set up in this chapter. Now all I've got to do is tie everything up...