That’s some 41! … sorry… that was bad. I promise I’ll have a better joke next chapter

Yes! Chapter 41! It’s posted! Wooo! I’m excited for this chapter and don’t have too much to say. Go read it!

Oh, and I’m told we’re close on getting the December images. I’ll post them when I get them both. Oh! And the December Q&A was posted for all to read on Patreon! I repeat, it’s open to all! There were some interesting questions this month and I had a blast answering them!

So before I go, I found a playlist for the holiday season I thought people might like. It’s a mix of video game winter songs. I like having it on in the background when I’m working and I thought you all might like it as well 🙂

See you later in the month!

20 thoughts on “That’s some 41! … sorry… that was bad. I promise I’ll have a better joke next chapter”

  1. Rob should totally go to that party. Drop some engineering knowledge, really liven the place up.

    Nice chapter. Curious to see future interactions with more of the cheerleaders, since Rob keeps winning them over in small groups.

  2. In response to the topic in the author comments: Ha ha, yeah, speaking as someone who identifies as asexual, it’s COMPLICATED. I can’t speak for everyone because, duh, obviously, but also I’m not even sure I count AS asexual. I have a thing where my body doesn’t produce testosterone, so my reproductive system never developed properly, making me effectively a natural eunuch. So obviously I don’t have any interest in sex or any sexual preference. But it’s for a purely physical condition, so does that even count? Who’s to say? It took me a long time to realize the significance of the use of the rainbow for the LGBTQ symbol. Because like you said, there are shades upon shades upon shades. And it’s up to each individual person to decide where they fall upon that rainbow, maybe even in different places on any given day. But then where does someone like me fall upon that rainbow? Am I even in there at all? Or am I, to stretch the metaphor, blind to the colors? So yeah, complicated doesn’t even begin to describe it. I’m actually very glad that you take the time to think about these things and address them in your wonderful story, or know when not to approach something you feel might beyond your scope. (I know what that’s like. I specifically try to avoid getting to specific about romance in my own writing, and avoid sex altogether. Made it funny when I decided to write a comedy short about a townwide orgy without actually describing any sex beyond terrible puns.)

    1. Addendum: yes, I know you aren’t going to respond to this topic. I just wanted to thank you, and throw in my two cents.

  3. Another excellent chapter! I liked getting to know the more friendly, girl-to-girl side of Lily; that was a cool thing to explore after the one-note encounter Robert had with her.

    The big thing that really hit me–and surprised me–about this chapter is how much I actually cared about what Robynne’s sexuality might be. Before I go on, I’ll explain my obvious bias so y’all can take everything I say with a grain of salt. I’m a lesbian, so, of course, I was incredibly sad that Robynne seemed so certain that she wasn’t. Naturally, I like when characters have life experiences that I can relate to, so I admit that my hope was probably just because of that. However, I completely appreciate and respect the decision Taralynn made in choosing this path for the story, especially because so much of the TG theme is about a character suddenly having all their life experiences flipped on their head. From a writing standpoint, it’s probably much more interesting to explore the mind of someone who was attracted to women all their life, then suddenly gets weak-kneed at the sight of a handsome man. I can only imagine how difficult that would be to reconcile if it happened to me, so as far as interesting literary exercises, I totally get the choice to make Robynne straight. Or, seeing as the author comments left some wiggle room in Robynne’s exact orientation, maybe I should say…sexually agnostic? The overall implication was that she didn’t have any interest in women anymore, though. I can’t say I won’t hold a little selfish, internal, fangirl-y bitterness about it, (Sorry, Taralynn!) but I can say it’s not going to keep me from enjoying the story. If I wanted main characters to be 100% relatable to me, I would never be able to read anything, let alone TG fiction. Again, I have my blatant bias, so I get that my opinion is obviously skewed. What I really like to take away from this is that I had no idea I would care this much about it! I think that says really good things about the quality of the writing and the story being told.

    Now, in the interest of bringing some discussion rather than me spouting off my opinions, how does everyone feel about the reasoning behind that decision? I don’t think that making Robynne straight was a bad decision, by any means, but it does feel a bit soon. There was the time skip, but it was only two weeks. Admittedly, most signs were pointing to Robynne liking men: her weakness for their eyes, her apparent disinterest in all the gorgeous women around her, and the fact that everything else about her new body implied that Fate was trying to make her as stereotypical of a girl as possible. This would probably be the eventual conclusion, but I am surprised at how quickly Robynne came to it. For one, there is the extremely close bond that the Shrine Maiden and the Princess had that has been implied a few times. I (again, with my bias) wondered if this might be something more than friendship. That coming back from their previous lives might complicate matters. Secondly, Robynne is doing everything in her power to resist the effects of what Fate did to her. She hates dealing with her long hair and her “recoil issues.” (Another wonderful stroke of phrasing!) She was a nerd before, she is a nerd now. She was an engineer before, she is an engineer now. She wasn’t demure or girly before, and she certainly isn’t now. The list goes on, but all these things that aren’t traditionally feminine, she still insists on continuing from her past because, at her core, she believes she is still the same person. Her body may be telling her that she’s attracted to men, but I thought she would at least fight against that information, at least for a while. So far, though, it seems like this is the only thing that she seems to be accepting without a fight. She’s annoyed by it, for sure, but it does seem odd that she would be okay with considering herself more-or-less heterosexual. She, more than anyone in the story, strikes me as someone who believes that attraction is much more than physical. The social reasons are totally understandable; avoiding being the “smokin’ hot lesbian cheerleader with an accent,” as much fun as that would be as a reader, is definitely something Robynne would want to do. I just thought she would hold on to that part of her identity for longer. At least for more than two weeks. Did anyone else feel the same? Or am I just stretching for explanations due to my personal preferences?

    I’m definitely clinging to some hope, here; I won’t stop wishing for an amazing Angela/Robynne superpowered supercouple. Aside from my headcanon, as I said before, the strength of my response to this made me realize how much I cared about the characters, which was a really wonderful surprise. Keep it coming, Taralynn!

    1. i whould say Robynne is fighting it in her own way. she knows that sexually is at least in part physical. and she whould be very aware of the change in that aspect if for no other reason she whould fall into the dont think about elephants trap as she actively tried to avoid the topic.

      all that being said she is avoiding the issue the same way she deals with her touch phobia by not getting into a relationship. she has only reached the accepting there is a problem stage, she is fighting against it in her pattern whitch is to say avoiding an issue she knows she has a problem with

  4. hey guy just wanted to say a few things 🙂
    first.) Another great chapter good work tara. i will post my 2 cents on the chapter when i have time.

    Two.) It’s a bit late but i finally to will’s bio pic up on the wikia. yes it’s still alive and growing just not as fast as it was when i had 30+ untapped chapters to pull from.
    three is a general remember that anyone can add to the wikia slash fix my dyslexic floundering trying to pass themselves off as real words. 😀 [considering witch how was i the one who started it. seems like an exercise is self flagellation in my mind]

    3.) [spoiler for ch41] this kinda links back to two but does everyone want a page for Lily or just a footnote in cheer? cheer is getting big enough that it needs a page of its own instead of a footnote in cammy’s page but do we think lily needs a page?

    lastly sorry i haven’t bean so active in updating the wiki i have been a little distracted with running a D&D game where the players pushing to play more and more and i have bean struggling to build the world fast enuff. but one of my players is going to be DM’ing a game as well from now on. as such we are alternating the game’s giving me some breathing space so i should pick up again after the holidays.

    1. Ah, I’d completely forgotten about all the half-finished work I did on the Wiki. My bad lowten, I’ll start chipping in again to help distribute the burden.

  5. Time for my weigh-in too, it seems. It was another great chapter, and not only was the conversation a fascinating one, but I really enjoyed see Lily humanized. In her brief run-in with Robert, and an even briefer scene with Stacey, I had really gotten a negative view of her personality. But this chapter revealed that while she still has those negative qualities, and wasn’t misrepresented before, she’s not a truly bad person underneath it all. It was nice to see some of her better qualities peaking through.

    I also found it the conversation as a while quite an intriguing journey through the female psyche and group dynamics, especially since nowhere in my life did my social circle interact with cheerleaders, haha. (Not even when I played sports.) Much like Robynne herself, I was caught off-guard at quite how extensive the rumor mill runs. You mentioned that you learned the cheerleading world through your sister? Did you never have a desire to try cheerleading? Given how central they are to the story, I’m a little surprised that it wasn’t a part of your own life.

    The humor at times was great as well… “recoil issues,” haha. Though with Cory’s commentary, I’m ashamed that we won’t get to read the conversation where everyone debated how to handle Robynne’s sexuality with the cheer squad.

    Though the big topic of discussion has been Robynne’s declaration of her sexuality. The reasoning sounds pretty much right to me. I mean, as an engineer it sounds right to me that Robynne would want to pick an answer and stick with it… and that she wouldn’t want it to be an answer she would have to explain every time she gives it. Though I think the answer she gave may be the truth, or it may only be “close enough for now.” Though Robynne has clearly given it some thought, it’s undeniable that her body is physically attracted to guys, and she hasn’t felt anything for any of the beautiful women around her… I almost feel that Robynne hasn’t come to a complete answer yet. I feel like not only with all the other stuff she has going on in her life, where I in her situation I feel like that’s a line of thought that’s still a little too big to handle completely. She only adjusting to her new life in stages, usually focusing on what’s right in front of her. The thought of what her exact sexuality, her “type,” and what she might want in a future relationship are so far off in her future and so complicated it’s a problem she’s only partly acknowledging. To borrow a gaming reference, it’s like worrying about how you’re going to deal with the uber-hard post-game bosses when you’re still in the early levels. You know you want to do it, but the details are too far away to think about in concrete terms. For the non-gamers… a different analogy may be like thinking of marriage in the first few dates.

    Additionally, given that Robynne does her own thing and marches to the beat of her own drum, she also might not want to deal with artificial labels. A few of my LGBT friends have expressed to me that even with the dozens of potential categories, the idea of labeling who they are in such a specific way is something they really hate. That labels are a large source of their problems in the past, and just making new labels doesn’t fix it, only makes it worse. I know that’s a source of controversy between some people, but I know that those opinions exist, so some of it may have something to do with how Robynne looks at it. Just something to think about, so I thought I’d share what I’d heard.

    The timeskip felt okay. It was such a short amount of time with so little change so far, that it hasn’t really felt like there’s been much of an impact. But I did get the sense that some time had passed.

  6. For someone who is supposed to be smart, it still irks me when Robyn doesn’t grok some of the things said to him: Window Shopping. How hard would it be not to put two and two together here?

    Not complaining to the author. I’m complaining at the character. Good chapter.

  7. As per usual, this series continues to engross me with it’s champion level character sequences like this one. It’s stuff like this that got me hooked on reading what could have been a simple gender bender story , between the constant descriptions of physical emotions, insight into characters personal thoughts and the way the dialog presents itself in general – these feel like people talking to one another.

    Curious how things will play out going forward , wondering just how much this current version of MGP will continue to deviate from the original. It’s certainly felt like the aftermath from the Mall incident has been MUCH more in depth.

    This also makes me wonder if , perhaps MGP should have some kind of a book end soon ? like the next big action sequence taking place over a few chapters that leads to a break. As though Chapters 1-50 were meant to be a Novel (say , Game of Thrones a song of fire and ice) and chapter 51-100 or whatever are book 2 and they have their own narrative arc ?

    Either way , Keep up the writing Taralynn and I’ll keep reading !

    1. Nope, I’m thinking a reference to Douglas Adams would be much more in line with the geek that is our story’s main character. ;-Þ

      1. I think that WAS meant to be a Douglas Adams reference. One of the proposed Questions to match the Ultimate Answer IS, in fact the simple multiplication problem. Except it’s “What do you get when you multiply six by seven?”, which actually equals 42. jmuchiello’s 6×9 comes out to 54, which is quite a few chapters off. Might want to doublecheck your math, jmuch.

        1. No, he was completely correct. In one of the later books in the series (I don’t remember which one, and I’m too lazy right now to Wiki it), Arthur Dent is brought to the Question, since he was one of the processing units of Deep Thought 2.0. And ‘what is six times nine’ is the Question that was on the verge of being revealed when the Vogons did the Earth in.

          There has been much discussion of the meaning of the Question. My personal take on its meaning is that the Question and the Answer correspond *if* you use a base-thirteen numbering system.

          Therefore, the Universe is based on a base thirteen system, or there are a total of thirteen dimensions. Superstring theory needs a little bit of updating to support that, but the cosmologists that support it are already supposing 11 or 12 dimensions (depending on which version of the theory they’re supporting), so 13 can’t be that unreasonable….

          1. Yes, RSB, the point of my post is the a geek like Robynne would have read ALL of Douglas Adams and he would know that 42 is the answer to “What is six times nine?” In the books, Arthur Dent gets that response by pulling letters out a bag one after another while he’s trapped in the ancient past of the “new” Earth. Ford Prefect’s assumption is that since Arthur was removed from Earth seconds before the Answer was supposed to be given, his data is “incomplete” and that the correct answer “what is six times seven?” would have been in his head if he had stayed on Earth a little longer. Of course, he’d also have been blown up, but that’s just a detail.

            As for base-13, Douglas Adams was known say he never would have thought about making a base-13 joke but if works, sure, go with it.

  8. Nice new chapter. Some toughts on it: Robynne, I feel you, there are things that can be hard to come to terms with. The irony is that now Robynne IS gay. He still identifies himself as male, and his body is clearly attracted to males, so tecnically he is a gay trans boy now. Confusing, right? Well anyway, I hope he gets to come to terms with himself, especially considering his healing factor will destroy any chance of transition, hormone pills, or any other remedy for gender issues.

    I hope Taralyn uses this loophole to get him away from periods tough, poor Rob does not deserve having to go through that. In addition, it would add extra “scientific” basis for the gender-flipping, due to his genes having been kept mostly intact, with only one having been altered, instead of the entire Y chromosome having been erased, wich is completely impossible by our current understanding of genetics.

    As always, congrats for the nice work, can’t wait to see the next one.

    1. I’ll disagree with the part about the Y-Chromosome. The Y-Chromosome is simply a degraded X-Chromosome with the SRY gene and only a small number of usable genes that men utilize on it. Chromosome are simply folded up chromatin, the long strings of DNA which make up the human genetic code. That genetic code is alterable even by humans (CRISPR-Cas9 being the current forefront of that tech), and that genetic code also determines how Chromosomes fold. With empathokinesis, which can rearrange an entire body below the cellular level in mere moments. (Not to mention decrease the mass of Robert’s body to match Robynne’s mass.) Altering a chromosome would be more than possible via empathokinesis.

      1. You are arguing science in a world with magic? It’s magic. Robynne is a woman. She will experience all of the joys of womanhood, I’m sure.

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