by Katie

Author's Notes

Revenge has been a long story in the making.  It started with the "Deathfic Challenge" posted on M7Fic back in 1998 (or maybe 1999, I've kind of lost count by now).  What is currently the prologue was the whole story at the time, but then people sent feedback asking what happened next, and I started thinking, and several years later, I finally had an answer for them.  As frustrating as the wait has been for the people following the story (and for me in writing the story), I'm not sure I could have done it justice back when I first started writing it.  As it is, I'm rather happy with the outcome.

The story is vaguely AU-ish in the sense that it's set after the first season, and certain key events in the second season probably wouldn't have happened as they did if this story had really taken place in that timeline.  So, I kind of created my own timeline.  I did use information revealed in season two as appropriate, but only if it was something that would have been in place during season one (for example, the name of the railroad).

I couldn't have completed Revenge without the help of many people.  After all this time, I'm bound to forget some of them, but please know that if you ever at any time gave me advice, feedback, information, or a prod to get done with the darn thing already, I'm very grateful.

Specifically, Carolyn and Shellie talked this story through with me more times than I'm sure they wanted to, and never beat me about the head for not writing down what we'd talked about.  They encouraged me, read through bits of the story for me, gave me lots of ideas, critique, and feedback, and always acted like they believed me when I said I'd finish the story.  There's a possibility they may both be saints.

Marla has been emailing me with encouragement since, I think, the first post.  Every time I thought it had been long enough that I could get away with deleting the story and no one would notice, I'd get an email from her.  And then, she even offered to beta for me and helped me work out some rough spots that made the story much stronger.

Wendy, Theresa, and Leanne all beta'd this monster as well, giving me great suggestions and saving me from embarrassing mistakes.  Any remaining mistakes are my own.

Sarah B. deserves the credit for calling ""The Streets of Laredo" (AKA "The Cowboy's Lament") the "saddest song in the universe", thus inspiring that particular scene and the one after it.  In the interest of historical accuracy, one site I visited dated this song to 1876, which would make it anachronistic for when I set Revenge.  Consider it authorial license.

I don't think she's in the fandom anymore, but RinaKiel did some research for me about traveling distances without which I couldn't have written the story.  Wherever she is now, she has my thanks.

Zen's Magnificent Seven Page, particularly the transcripts section; Mattie's Black Powder page; G.M. Atwater's Magnificent Seven Trivia; and Christine Jeffords' article "Doctors, Healers, and Health: The State of Medicine in the Old West" were all invaluable tools.  Any mistakes I may have made in using their information is entirely my fault.

The section titles are taken from "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" by Julia Ward Howe.

This story has been a part of my life for quite a while, and I'll admit it's hard to let it go.  I actually found myself thinking, "In the sequel . . . ", but I think I came to my senses in time.  I'd love to hear from you what you think of it, good or bad.  You can email me using the "Feedback" link below.

February 1, 2004