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for Cageflight

3/26/2020 c1 OneTruthCup
As you know, I haven’t reviewed the last chapter of Knots yet, but as soon as I saw you posted this, I knew I had to make it a priority. I’m not sure what to expect here, but my mind is open, I’ve watched some bat documentary content before, and I’m prepared to be entertained and/or titillated. Off I go!

So, first thing in the chapter, I’m already picking up a lot of bat traits and behavior. Mentions of migratory inclinations, the nectar that AC tastes, and of course, ahem, Anti-Binky.

At first it was unclear what exactly the “well endowed” anatomy was, but as soon as I realized I just about snorted. Maybe I have an odd sense of humor when it comes to these things (okay, I definitely have an odd sense of humor), but the idea of AC and some buff stranger standing in the rain while the latter gruffly tells him to strip is just funny to me. Probably because of AC’s reactions; he’s a really good reactionary character when it comes to witnessing strange and unusual antics. At the same time though, he’s pretty good at buckling down when he’s in a tough spot. Blue bum naked, indeed.

It’s quite a tough spot AC found himself in, but at least he made the best of it. He tangled with danger as well, given Anti-Binky, but he wouldn’t be AC if didn’t overcomplicate things, I suppose. Also, the fact that he was eager to “entertain” visitors, despite being such a pride about certain things, is honestly so true to character. He just can’t resist the attention.

The same thing goes with Anti-Wendy and the others, I think. For someone with hyper- sexual inclinations, and in a culture like his, it’s probably difficult to refuse such frequent, eager offers. When it comes to the actual partnering, I was immediately struck by the body language. It plays an important role in their culture, and folks like Anti-Wendy use that advantageously. The way her feet grasped AC’s ankles especially caught my attention, probably because it’s just something I’ve never seen anywhere else, and likely something I won’t see again. For me at least, the actions were clear and understandable despite the unfamiliar physiology. Sensual too, especially when you described what Anti-Wendy did with her tongue. Is it weird though that I still find it mildly funny, given all of AC’s squeaks and his general inexperience? Anti-Wendy is just so full throttle with everything, asking “is that it?”, while poor little AC is just going “but we’re just friends?“ and then of course there are his feelings of inadequate “equipment,” so to speak.

Gosh though, AC is a randy little fellow! Sexual attraction is perfectly healthy, especially for all these bat-people, but given the risks and the punishment, AC should have listened to his better instincts more. I swear, he makes 10 times more trouble for himself than anyone else in his life. At least he enjoyed it at first... Honestly though, it was interesting for me the way AC found certain “turn ons” and further explored sexual intimacy. There were some mixed experiences overall, but it’s important that you explored this side AC, because it’s one of many things that defines his culture and his identity. He’s a very sexual, sensual character.

A high point for me here was AC encountering the fruits bats in their most natural state. Dame Charite’s assertions and warnings were honestly foreboding, making me fearful of what AC was getting himself into. Luckily, the result was better than I anticipated, even if there was some cultural roadblocks. It’s a good thing AC is curious.

Oh, and if it’s not obvious enough, I enjoyed how you didn’t shy away from describing the bat-like anatomy. I can’t say you’ve made bat sex into one of my kinks, but this was still fun and fulfilling, both because it meant something to AC, and because this was a unique way to stretch my imagination. The acts are a little vague in some places, but you’ve definitely earned that M rating for this. Some hot stuff! The sex between AC and Anti-Cinder was the highlight for me in that sense, both for the physical details given, and for the thought processes of AC. His description made the act feel tender and personally significant, beautiful, warm, explorative, and exciting, while at the same time... okay, I’ll admit, phrases like “He was all just this... long shape up there,” made me crack a smile, if not laugh out loud to myself. What can I say? Sex can be funny, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing here. His potential for humor is part of why I like AC. He’s such an odd little bean, and of course for someone who normally likes to sound verbose and witty, THAT is the description he goes with. It’s just humorous to me.

Overall, to me, this whole chapter felt like AC was being systematically broken down, albeit unintentionally. Perhaps Not broken down in the sense of breaking him as a person, or turning him into some emotionally wrecked husk (although he did encounter some trauma), but more in the sense that his notions and symbols of civility were increasingly played with or taken away. The more he was broken down the more he came into touch with deeper, even darker parts of himself. Longing and lusts and fears that he never or rarely dared to indulge outside the enclosure.

Anti-Binky started the process, symbolically forcing him to shed the outermost layer, the materialistic, the artificial notions of civility and instilled “shame.” It is a tangible, physical change first, not yet enough to affect AC much more than skin deep. Although foreign, he is to some extent surrounded by the familiar, and as such his thoughts in this period are focused on the problems he has carried in from the outside world, issues related to Anti-Wanda, to his trial, to people he’s met and things he’s done, sometimes compared to the present. A few times he reflects on his time working in the Eros Nest, very much aware of the behind the scenes workings, the gawking visitors, and how carefully selected everything is. At this point AC is more or less his usual self, nakedness and frisky behavior notwithstanding. If anything, I’d say his behavior is resistant to properly meshing with the rest of the colony the way he should. When Anti-Binky further punishes him, AC is broken down physically and emotionally, much more than before.

Later, when he’s mixed in with the fruit bats, he’s built up, but not as AC was before. Natural instincts take precedence, his mindset drifts further from how it was, and thoughts of the outside world are mostly limited to short, simple relationship comparisons. He begins to embrace the nature of the colony, and once again the rules instilled in AC since his youth are further stripped away, but this time in a much more meaningful sense. Its shameful for him to realize, but his experiences and desires cause him to question the ideals that he suddenly seems at odds with. Later, the subject of the zodiac isn’t even brought up in relation to pairing. It’s just done. Of course, AC doesn’t entirely forsake the beliefs he grew up with, but for the most of the latter half of this chapter, the once all important rules are pushed to the back of his mind.

Despite that, it’s clear from a number of interactions that AC has never truly belonged with either colony, and that his understanding of the world will always alienate him from the group. Once again he is brought to his lowest point, this time mentally.

It’s only at the very end, removed from the enclosure and reminded of what’s important, that AC is once again built up. Full circle.

I’ll also mention here that the feeling of isolation of captivity were very pervasive this chapter, at least for me. By starting the chapter already inside, you amplified to idea of being trapped, or the world being limited to the inside. Progressively, its as if AC’s world becomes smaller.

On another note, the end of this chapter brought some promising notions, and a nice measure of closure. AC’s question of whether he should stay in the enclosure felt answered, in that he’s a free spirit who never quite belonged with the group, for all that he had some good times. He was definitely going native towards the end there, but a reminder of the outside world, the good and the bad, and his relationships, brought him back to reality in a satisfying way. One thing I enjoy about AC is that he entertains a variety of thoughts and questions, and even fantasies, with an amount of freedom and detail that most characters don’t partake in. He’s a goofy little gentleman!

Goofy or no though, I’m still waiting for that one big blow, the reveal about AC and Mona’s faux betrothal. I like Móna, but their relationship is a violent implosion waiting to happen, and not just because of the total sham that Julius is maintaining. At the same time though, I feel like the two have also reached a new point of emotional honesty. I finally get why AC was running away so much, and where Mona’s priorities now lie. Even though I’m sensing some new hurdles for them in the future, the intimacy between them, the important kind! was very touching. The reunion was a very emotional and gripping moment, in a very different way than the rest of the chapter (not in a bad way though!)

(Bonus points for the Head Pixie appearance, of course. I can wait to see some of this from his viewpoint)

Anyway, I think that’s the gist of what I have to say here, although I’d love to discuss it more with you later through some PMs. Until then, I hope this finds you in good health and happiness. Bye!

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