FimFiction Link - Short ID: 508169/crystal-clarity
Published: Dec '21
'Crystal Clarity' is a three thousand and three hundred-word oneshot. Sombra wakes up in his room, in front of his plans to unleash a spell which could turn the tide of the war, but only through a great sacrifice. As he walks through his castle, two wills clash in his head.
Just like Sombra's broken psyche, I'd say this fic too has a very dualistic quality to it. The first half of the fic until Sombra realizes he's feeling sick due to a corruption features a nice, slow-boiling mystery (as slow-boiling a three thousand-word fic can be), some slightly unnerving descriptions, and a strong conflict in the form of a revelation that turns the fic's until-then meandering pace into an urgent threat. Sombra's haze is depicted quite well and I felt quite intrigued to know what he's gotten himself into and why he's acting so, for lack of a better term, good. I also enjoyed the geode proverb, it's a pretty nice spin on the old apple-adage.
However, the fic's second half dropped the ball pretty hard for me. Sombra's dialogue with the captain just felt awkward and rushed. The latter goes from "I'll kill you tyrant!" to "Yeah let's talk this out" in a moment and then even acts concerned for him. It's a bit of a shame, because otherwise I really like the idea of seeing how an absurd situation like this would play out. I think the captain should have either attacked Sombra outright and then the two came to an agreement while fighting, or he should have been loyal to him from the get-go and Sombra had to convince him that the plan is changing. Both of these ways would have felt much more natural to me. Sadly, what also doesn't help is that this fic is very short. As mentioned in the first section, the mystery is nice and the possessed servants are depicted well, but because of the story's length, the reveal comes before the reader is truly engaged. Not to mention, many of the events which greatly impact this story's outcome are brought up and dismissed in short sentences, without any elaboration.
Overall: 5/10 Ultimately while I really enjoy the concept and while the execution is decent, I feel like the fic's rushing and its dialogue don't allow it to truly shine. I'm still giving it a light recommend, but there is much left to be desired.