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The Supreme Court
Title: Here the Deadened Strain Revive
Author: burningvigor
Artist: miki_moo
Fandom/Genre: Supernatural, action, drama
Pairing: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R (violence/language)
Word Count: ~42,000
Warnings: violence and injury, mental instability, transformation, mind control, minor character death

Summary: Banished to Purgatory, Castiel must rekindle his friendship with Dean and mend his damaged mind as they fight for their lives and search for a way back home. With only each other to rely on, they navigate a horrific wasteland populated with creatures both new and familiar, and as the dangers mount they realize that there might be more to their bond than they ever could have imagined. (Note: This fic does not include any season 8 spoilers.)

part one | part two | part three | part four | part five | AO3 | PDF

art masterpost | author notes

Acknowledgements: My deepest thanks goes out to miki_moo for choosing my story and creating such wonderful art for it; to lacidiana for convincing me to do this in the first place and then acting as a beta all the way through the process; to eternity_dreams for doing some seriously last minute proofreading for me; and to deancasbbmod for making this challenge in the first place! Please check the "author notes" link for more detailed thanks. ♥
The Supreme Court
01 October 2012 @ 11:01 am

There are quite a few people who deserve my thanks in helping me to get this fic done, so I wanted to dedicate a space to honoring them! With no further ado:

miki_moo, my artist! Who claimed my fic and soothed my paranoia that no one would choose it, who was flexible and communicative during the whole process and got everything done on time! Like it's been said before, the Big Bang challenge wouldn't exist without the contributions of artists, and it's a great feeling to have someone take the things I wrote and interpret them in a visual form. I'm glad we got to work together! ♥

lacidiana, my beta and moral support and so much more. I wouldn't have even given this challenge a try if she hadn't encouraged me to do it, convinced me that I could do it, brainstormed with me along the way, and reassured me when I had spells of thinking I might not finish in time. But even more than all that, she went through almost every scene with methodical detail to tell me what worked and what didn't, and this fic wouldn't exist if not for her. Thank you so much, BFF. ♥

eternity_dreams, my proofreader. I owe you thanks for showing an interest in the fic from day one and then being willing to give it all a final check-over for grammar/spelling/those tiny little mistakes that sometimes crop up and that I missed because I was scrambling to finish. And to do all of that on a very limited time period. It's because of you that I won't end up rereading the fic only to kick myself when I find a typo I overlooked. Thank you!! ♥

deancasbbmod, the mods who made this challenge possible. I can't imagine how much work goes into organizing everything, getting posts up on time, sorting through all the claims and scheduling, and so forth. And you guys make it look effortless. Thanks for dedicating your time to a job that can probably feel thankless at times. Believe me, it's appreciated! ♥

☆ Finally, to anyone on LJ/plurk/tumblr who cheered me on while I was working on this, or who just tolerated my ramblings or stress-induced updates as I got through this. Any time that someone expressed interest or told me I could do it, that gave me another boost to get it done. Thanks, you guys. ♥


Just some random notations about the fic that didn't really need to be put on the master post, but that I still wanted to refer to somewhere! As follows:

➝ When I decided that I was going to write a Big Bang set in Purgatory (which happened pretty much right after the season 7 finale aired), I made a decision to not read any other fic that took place in Purgatory. I wanted to make sure that my own mental images and ideas about it stayed intact, and I didn't want to accidentally draw from someone else's vision. So if you read this fic and think "wow, that seems really similar to my fic!" or "I feel like I read about this in another fic," it's a case of complete coincidence. Actually, now that this is all done, I'm really excited to go read other Purgatory fic and see how people interpreted the setting!

➝ The title of the fic, here the deadened strain revive, comes from an English translation of Dante Alighieri's Purgatio section of The Divine Comedy. I honestly just searched through it for a phrase that would fit my fic, so it might not even make sense in context, but there you have it.

➝ This fic also contains zero season eight spoilers, so if some scene comes up in the show that seems similar to something here, I'm going to go ahead and say I'm some kind of psychic. (Just kidding. That would be kind of awesome if it happened, though!)

➝ This fic was fueled by a lot of mood music. Florence + the Machine, Poets of the Fall, video games mixes, The Black Keys, and a whole lot of other stuff!

➝ I don't think I made a whole lot of references in this fic, but if you come across something and are curious about it, feel free to ask me. (And then I'll add that here!)

➝ If anything is inaccurate here, it just means I was too lazy to do research, and for that I am sorry.


And this section will just be me babbling on about the experience of writing a Big Bang, as this was my first time doing it and I sort of want to reflect back on it all! Definitely not worth reading, to be honest, but here it is anyway:

♦ There's a few reasons I chose to write about Purgatory. First of all, I was just really psyched that season 7 ended that way! And I figured they wouldn't actually show what happened in Purgatory when the show came back. (Turns out they are going to, which is awesome!) I wasn't really that set on any idea until I saw the finale, and then there was no question. But one of the other things that really inspired me to do this is that due to the budget constraints of the show, most of the monsters on it are pretty much just humanoids with contacts/claws/fangs. I wanted to take advantage of a chance to write about Dean and Castiel interacting with monsters that were really monsters. As it turns out, that was one of the hardest things about my fic, since describing huge beast-like things is not so easy! But I'm still glad I gave it a shot, and hopefully at least some of those descriptions are evocative.

♦ I have never written something this long before, ever! The longest thing I'd written prior to this was about 15,000 words, and I never posted it anywhere. The longest thing I've ever published in recent memory was about 8,500 words. So having something that I accomplished that's over 40,000 words is pretty amazing. Honestly, I used to pass over fics for being "too long" when they were 25k, and now I've written something much longer than that. It's surreal! But I did this in part to see if I could, and I'm pretty stunned that I succeeded.

♦ In some ways, it feels like this challenge blew past me, but on the other hand, it's kind of crazy to realize just how many things happened during the course of me working on this fic. I started it at the end of May and finished the first draft somewhere in the first two weeks of August. Then edited like a crazy women with lacidiana in these last two weeks before the post date. And in that time, so much has happened. This fic was being worked on when I got my wisdom teeth removed, when I went on a trip to Washington DC for five days, when the Olympics aired, when my PS3 broke and sent me into a stressed-out fit for a week or so. It survived my laptop breaking, and honestly, my main concern when that happened was the possibility of losing all of that work. (The hinge on the screen was broken, so I could still use it and transfer my fic to a USB, thankfully.)

♦ The point I was trying to make with that last paragraph is that, when you're working on a piece of writing for a long time, it almost seems to weave itself into the narrative of your life. It brings things out in more detail because you think, "oh, when I worked on this scene, this was going on in my life," or, "oh, I remember that week when X and Y happened, and I wasn't able to work on the fic at all," or whatever it might be. I've never worked on a single project this consistently and with this much determination, so it was interesting to note the effect it made.

♦ Castiel is my favorite character on the show, and that's part of why I wrote this from his POV. I also had more experience with him, due to RP. Still, it was a challenge, and I know I probably didn't always hit on his perspective just right. But I'm glad I made that decision (I considered switching back and forth between POVs), and I have no regrets about it!

♦ I am a fan of pre-slash. I like slow development in fic, and that's why I wrote 40,000+ words of Dean/Castiel with no sex. I love the idea of their relationship getting sexual, but this just wasn't the place for it. I hope no one kills me for being such a tease! (Seriously, though, I found some porny Purgatory-set Dean/Cas fanart and was like, "Oh, why didn't I...?")

♦ A final note. While I write a lot in my free time, most of it is pretty casual. RPing, mainly. I never thought of myself as the type to write a long fic like this, but I just love Dean/Castiel that much, I guess! Anyway, my point is that if you've ever thought of doing something like this, but felt that you didn't have it in you, reconsider that! If you think of a solid idea and really give it your all, you'd be surprised what you can accomplish. I still don't know how I wrote 40k.

And this is longer than any author's notes has a right to be now, so I'll tie things up here. (I just have a lot of feelings, okay.)