Q&A: April Chat recap

So, it took a few months but we finally have the recap of the chat we did back around April 2013 after ICoS ended.

Contains spoilers for Fade epilogue, therefore, for the whole series!

Questions and answers from the April 2013 chat with Sonny & Ais, regarding In the Company of Shadows and the end of Fade. The chat was done in celebration of getting over 100 members on the Sonny & Ais group on Goodreads.


Q: Will the series ever be published?

A: We hope so but we don’t know when. We still have to figure out editing. We will likely self-publish at that point and advertise it on our newsletter/at the GR group/our various social media accounts so you’ll know if you’re watching any of them πŸ™‚

Q: How did Emilio and Zach get away?

A: Luke Gerant helped them to escape the compound, and then Emilio contacted Chance who helped them to get to an underground medical center he utilizes for his own purposes.

Q: So, what did the ‘yes’ mean in the epilogue? Are they going back or not?

A: We planned it out both ways– Boyd and Sin running, and Boyd and Sin returning. The series was left open-ended like that because it not only lets people imagine the ending they like the most, but because there are also good arguments for why it might go different ways. In other words, either answer could be correct.

Q: What do Sin and Boyd think about the government/Agency after all this?

A: It’s different for both of them.

For Sin, he still wants to protect innocents, and he sees the necessity of what the Agency does. He sees what could happen if they weren’t there, including innocent people who could be harmed. He’s always believed in the Agency’s mission. After working there for so long, he has seen them stop terrorists and protect civilians in many situations. However, he has never agreed with their policy of the ends justifying any means necessary, from collateral damage during missions to the way agents are treated on the compound. He also has trouble identifying as a civilian and being in a β€œnormal” environment after living for so many years as a weapon.

For Boyd, he lost his trust in the Agency long ago and still doesn’t like them for everything they did to him, his family, and everyone he loves, as well as relative innocents (ex: Anderson McCall and Patrick Finley) As a result it’s a toss up for whether he would see the Agency as a necessary evil or more evil than necessary. If he were asked before the epilogue, he would have been happy to see the Agency destroyed for good. But knowing there is a new Agency brings up new questions about whether more good could be done inside or outside, whether his friends will be targeted and if so whether he can help protect them from inside (regardless of how he feels about the Agency), and so on. No matter those answers, he continues to have serious misgivings about trusting the Agency or government ever again and believes no matter what they say, they have ulterior motives that are self-serving and liable to hurt others.

Q: If they don’t go back, wouldn’t they just be left alone?

A: Unfortunately, no. They’d have to continue running for the rest of their lives. The Chairmen will see a new Agency be created. The question is whether or not Boyd and Sin will be on its side.

Q: Will there be a sequel?

A: We have talked about ideas for a possible spin-off series focusing on other characters with cameos of characters known from ICoS but we don’t know for sure yet. That’s something up in the air and would probably be far in the future if it does happen.

Q: The Chairman mentions everyone left behind was liquidated– does that mean they were killed?

A: Some people were selected to remain on at the Agency, but many were wiped out. Especially if they took part in the riot.

Q: Who did get away that wasn’t mentioned?

A: We won’t go into details of everyone but some of the people of note are Bex (there’s a possible idea about her coming back for revenge in the future), Cade, Pat and Emma who fled with his kids, and Adam got away with Gordon.

Q: Did Vivienne ever have any friends?

A: Not really, no. She and Boyd are alike in that they didn’t really connect with others, but Boyd had Lou and Viv didn’t have anyone. Cedrick was the first person she trusted enough to consider as a friend but obviously we know how that all ended. Incidentally, Ais is planning to write a story about Vivienne’s life, named Domino.

Q: Did you have everything planned out?

A: Yes, but some things changed as we drew closer.

For instance, their breakup in Afterimage happened because after Evenfall we realized it was the natural progression of their relationship, and it wouldn’t work to try to write it any other way. Some other things that changed were pretty significant.



Originally, Emilio and Carhart both died toward the end of Fade. In the courtyard scene, originally Carhart was going to be shot and killed almost instantly, and Emilio was going to berserk and basically go on a suicide mission to get himself killed. As it drew closer we realized their deaths didn’t push the plot forward in any way and would have been gratuitous death and angst. The idea of Carhart dying and Emilio living was toyed with, but Emilio would never save himself after the love of his life had been murdered in front of him.


Q: Will we ever see more Emilio and Carhart?

A: Sonny is still writing 180 Proof Vega (the young Emilio series) and will probably write at least a oneshot of Emilio and Carhart following the end of Fade. They also appear in the high school AU joking fics.

Q: What other stories are going to be done in the future?

A: There are a number that might occur.

Sonny is planning to write a Kassian/Ryan novella at some point, and will be working on a sequel to After Midnight (which will happen concurrently with the second half of Afterimage in the ICoS timeline).

Ais has a number of ICoS-related stories she’s considered doing, including ones focusing on: JG, Genna and Riley; the history of Vivienne and Cedrick; Owen and possibly Jeffrey post-Fade; Tayla and Liani. Currently she’s started writing a series set in the past, focusing on Julian Jones, a private investigator who was good friends with Cedrick. It’s called Julian Files.

We also need to write the AU sex scenes we said we’d write. And we talked at one point about writing some sort of story which would include Ferals. (PS: note that Sonny is generally a lot more productive than Ais so his stories are more likely to actually be written)

Also, unrelated to ICoS, we each have future story ideas.

Right now, Sonny is revising a paranormal manuscript and planning to write a contemporary romance about teachers for Nanowrimo.

Ais has a fantasy series she wants to write, and some miscellaneous stories including lesbian and law enforcement themes. For NaNoWriMo, she plans to work on Domino (Vivienne’s story).

Q: Do you have any other plans for ICoS?

A: We had talked about some things, for instance “DVD Commentary” of chapters like S.U. Pacat did for The Captive Prince on her livejournal or other “omake”/extra and fun side notes about background of the series. If anyone is interested in that sort of thing, let us know.

For now, Ais is posting ICoS-related tidbits at her blog ‘The Inner Workings of an Ais,’ found at https://aisness.wordpress.com/.

28 thoughts on “Q&A: April Chat recap

  1. Sue October 7, 2013 / 12:27 am

    So many GREAT things in this post but you know what broke my heart? That one little bit about Emilio & Carhart. Just the idea of them dying or Emilio living without the love of his life KILLED me. Tears in my eyes, slamming fist on desk, screaming NOOOOOO!

    Thank you for savings us from that pain ❀

    I would gobble up any future stories…

    • Ais October 7, 2013 / 1:23 am

      Yeah, it would have been really sad 😦 I think if we’d done that, it would have changed the way people saw the whole series, and probably not for the better. Whenever I know a character is going to die, when I go back and watch/read the piece from the beginning, in the back of my mind the whole time I can’t help thinking, “You’re going to die. You’ll never do this again. You don’t have the future you’re talking about in this scene. This sweet scene of you with __ is now really tragic. This is so sad.” That voice just won’t leave me alone and changes my view of the character’s story, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse, and sometimes just different without an assessment attached.

      • Sue October 7, 2013 / 1:32 am

        It sounds crazy but I just wouldn’t have coped if they or C died. It would have felt like half the story died with them… I know there was so much more to the story but their death would have been such a hard blow for me. They live on and so does their story.

  2. Nikkei Wolvenchilde October 7, 2013 / 1:04 am

    I am so excited for all of these future stories! And I like that my thoughts on them having to run if they didn’t accept the offer were correct. Still seems like even the New Agency is still “either you’re with us or against us” mentality.

    Thanks for the recap! Good info to know.

    • Ais October 7, 2013 / 1:19 am

      Glad you liked it! You were right πŸ™‚

  3. Ais October 7, 2013 / 2:11 am

    Damn this thing! Why does it never let us go past 3 comments?? AUGH. Sue, if you see this– I think that would have been the case for a lot of people, honestly.

    • Sue October 7, 2013 / 2:14 am

      Got it! Thank you rock star :)))

  4. ladysieben October 7, 2013 / 7:24 am

    I already knew, but it makes me SO happy to know Luke Gerant survived and helped Emilio and Carhart escape. I’m also glad they survived and escaped.

    But yeah, I’m a huge Luke Gerant fan even if he’s not around that much. It’s just… well, he’s the reason I kept reading Evenfall. Weird, maybe, but it’s the truth. And I just love how he’s always helping Boyd and Sin (I also love how Emilio points this out to Carhart and Vivienne and they’re all like “huh?”)

    As for whether or not Boy and Sin will return to the Agency, I’m torn. I think they’d do a world of good if they did go back as the Marshals and enlisted their friends for help, but I also feel that could go wrong in a number of ways. Alternatively, staying in the sidelines and escaping for the rest of their lives might not be fun, but it might be more in line with their feelings of (relative) freedom.

    Out of all the stories you might write, I’m perhaps more interested in the Owen and Jeff one. I like the interaction between those two and I do wonder what became of them after they escaped.

    • Ais October 7, 2013 / 10:52 pm

      For those who mention the side characters, Luke is one people seem to really like– for good reason. As you said, he helped out a lot.

      Thanks for the feedback on the stories πŸ™‚

      • ladysieben October 8, 2013 / 2:13 am

        We should start a “Luke Gerant appreciation” fan club or something. With tons of fan fiction and random squealing.

  5. Ais October 8, 2013 / 2:59 am

    Ale– LOL Showing all these key scenes where Luke appears and disappears in the main story, from his view instead XD So instead it’s Boyd and Hsin and others who keep fucking shit up on compound and he’s like “Wait, hold up friend I’m talking to. I have to go save their asses AGAIN…”

    • ladysieben October 9, 2013 / 3:36 am

      Totally!! I think, if done right, it’d come out as if Luke’s the ONLY reason ANY of them survived.

      • Ais October 9, 2013 / 4:16 am

        lol last night I actually started making a Paint comic as a joke for this, but I can’t remember Luke’s hair/eye color for sure. I thought blond/blue but I wanted to verify. And then I kept getting distracted when I tried rereading…. Β¬_Β¬;

  6. rajednom October 9, 2013 / 12:11 am

    cant imagine the death of Carhart, the pain and all…thanks for scratching that idea, save us from all the heartaches.even the shooting of Carhart so painful, much more his death.juz luv the both of them.
    best writers are those keeping all their characters as much as alive ’til the end of the story, both the good and villain sides, that’s one of the biggest challenge there.and with all the loads of characters the ICoS had, it was really a great job for you ghuyz keeping all interesting at diff level ’til the end.only the part of Luke kinda missing there, juz thought he’d be more of visible in the whole story, he captured my interest from the very beginning, the time they removed Hsin in the box.thought there’s more on him there.the way he ragards and gve interest to what’s Hsin really up to,considering he’s in rage with the person.

    oh, i love Ryan much in there, so adorable, luv Viv even, so strong for a woman.like to think Boyd and Hsin taking the positions of Marshalls back in agency,that’s my personal HEA of the story since Ais and Sonny gve us all the freewill to choose our kind of ending there.thank you ghuyz.gve us more reason to ponder about them and the others too for their own HEA.

    • Ais October 9, 2013 / 2:53 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚ And the open ending, that lets people think about what they’d like to see best. It’s been fun to see what people imagine. So far, most people seem to say they imagine Boyd and Hsin returning to the Agency.

      haha yeah poor Luke… his story just kind of ended up remaining in the background. A lot of people did in the end. There were too many characters to keep them all in the foreground, particularly since Boyd, Hsin, and even Carhart and Kassian– the main POVs– were all so focused on themselves or their own problems.

      That’s awesome that you like Vivienne! Not a lot of people do.

      • rajednom October 9, 2013 / 3:20 am

        ….ohhh…how to delete the recent comment?…i kind of double posted it, since the first one errored, then thought the post failed, now i posted it twice…then cant find any box for deletion…

  7. rajednom October 9, 2013 / 2:44 am

    that would be a lot of pain there if Carhart really died.thanks for scratching the idea, save us from so much pain and all. cant imagine Emilio living without Carhart.
    one thing to scale writers is how they’ll manageΒ to end a story without so much killings of characters.also big challenge there, is how they’ll keep each and every character interesting. and with ICoS, with a loads of characters to keep track, no one to be left unnoticed, i’d say, its a great writings in there.you made us crave for each characters in every page, no one’s left less interesting.
    but have to say this, i kind of anticipated Luke to be more visible in the story, he captured my interest at the very start, during the time they brought Hsin outside the box, thought there’s more of him in there, the way he regarded and gve interest on what Hsin’s up to.
    and ohhh, i do love Ryan, so adorable, cuteness and all…even like Viv also, such a strong woman to envy of…
    and yes, i’d pictured Boyd and Hsin, running the Agency as marshalls, fighting against terrorism side by side with friends. that’s my kind of personal HEA there, since Ais and Sonny gve us the freewill to have our own ending of the story…thanks to that ghuyz…

  8. Ais October 9, 2013 / 4:14 am

    I don’t think it double-posted, rajednom πŸ™‚ At least, I only see one comment posted. I can’t figure out why this thing doesn’t let more than three comments occur in any conversation, so maybe it’s doing weird things with comments and making it look like you did two when I think you only did one?

    • rajednom October 9, 2013 / 4:40 am

      …yeah, kind of posted the first then when i checked didnt appeard to the thread (error)…reposted then suddenly there’s two, auggghhh, looked for deletion box but there’s none…watta…think need more customization for this site also for a more user-friendly thing…think so?…

      • Ais October 11, 2013 / 3:25 am

        I might try to find a better template/design for this blog at some point that will remain mobile friendly but could hopefully address the issues in the comments. Thank you for your feedback! πŸ™‚

  9. Lorraine October 10, 2013 / 10:51 pm

    β€œomake”/extra and fun side notes about background of the series. If anyone is interested in that sort of thing, let us know.

    I want…count me in!

    Also, I’m in the minority thinking Boyd & Hsin don’t go back to run the agency. The Forakis mission netted the Agency great intel and Aleixo as a contact, which made it a huge success. Aleixo led the Agency to the facility that was holding Boyd and which also led them to files on the founders of Janus.

    The Marshal has to be ruthless, since the Agency is all about the ends and doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the means. I don’t see either Boyd or Hsin wanting to be ruthless in that way, ie, to order someone to pose as a sex slave for any length of time. That requires a huge ability to dehumanize others and compartmentalize oneself. IMHO.

    • Ais October 11, 2013 / 3:31 am

      It’s awesome that you got it, about the Aleixo mission. That’s pretty much how most of the Marshals viewed the world– strip everything down to the endgame, and it makes sense. But you add in the emotions and the trauma and all of that, and it gives a different story. So of course, Boyd and Hsin’s story was a lot of pain and suffering and other difficulties, but take a step back and it’s a different story of saving the country from domestic terrorism, etc.

      For Boyd in particular, if he did go back to the Agency, I don’t know how he would order someone to do a mission like the Forakis mission. Even at that level of leadership, his instinct would be to spare any agents what he had to live through. He would rather have to go through it again himself than make someone else be affected by that for the rest of their lives. And yet, as you said, there’s certainly a balance of ruthlessness or seeing the bigger picture that the previous Marshals have all shown. Ultimately that sort of position probably deals with having to find a way to protect humanity without losing humanity.

  10. Lorraine October 16, 2013 / 4:41 am

    “Ultimately that sort of position probably deals with having to find a way to protect humanity without losing humanity.”

    Great philosophical question…can one keep one’s humanity while ordering another to act in a way that completely dehumanizes them?

    I don’t know. I think it can only be done through extreme compartmentalizing and denial of the cost to the individual. How else can you send someone to be a sex slave for an indefinite period of time, or on any of the other long term, dangerous assignments, which all served the greater good and were necessary?

  11. Fina Lau January 1, 2014 / 3:21 pm

    I think whether or not Boyd & Sin accepted the Agency’s offer, it will still have a good storyline. Their personalities seemed like they both can stay true to their moral code no matter what happens.
    I’m musing the idea maybe the don’t choose yes/no to the agency, but choosing their own solution to it. Maybe they will build their own organization like the agency but better, or something like that.
    But I’m sure anything you and Sonny decide to write in the future will be exciting to read.

    Oh, I was at the point of tears when I get to the part where was Carhart shot and Emilio letting out agonized screaming. They are such great characters in the book, I’m happy they are still alive in the end.

    • Ais January 2, 2014 / 2:15 am

      I hadn’t thought of it, but that’s a cool way of putting it– that they could stay true to their moral code no matter what. I like that! Thanks πŸ˜€

      One of the reasons we wanted to end the series the way we did was so people could think about what made sense to them as an ending. I think it’s really cool to see the different ways people could see it going, like the way you mentioned which I think is the first I’ve seen someone theorize that in particular.

      E/Z will be in the holiday anthology (which got super delayed because our schedules sucked so now it’s just a post-Fade anthology) so you’ll get to see more of them there πŸ™‚

  12. bukingkay October 7, 2016 / 6:02 pm

    Your story is awesome! I hope you do continue writing it, whether or not Boyd and Hsin decides to go back to the Agency or to continue running away. I finished the whole series in under 4 days, that was how captivated by the storyline I was! You are a great writer, and I will surely be waiting for any continuation to his story. I hope you actually have an ending instead of letting our imaginations run wild. It’s very hard imagining different endings if it did not actually happen in the book. =)

    • Ais October 7, 2016 / 6:48 pm

      Aww, thank you! <333 Did you see 1/27? it's an anthology set after Fade and it answers (sort of) some of the questions about What Next?, but then it, admittedly, adds a bunch more questions lol So you may have already read it.

      • bukingkay October 7, 2016 / 8:40 pm

        I’m currently reading it now! I really don’t know how I feel after finishing Fade, whether I should jump for joy or sit down crying. Anyway, just so you know, I’ll always watch out for any of your works, because they’re really really great! Keep on writing, because you are awesome! πŸ™‚

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