I'm in a bit of a dilemma. At one point near the end of my story, I intentionally pulled a huge Deus Ex Machina that has no previous explanation, hint or even justification. In fact, I could (and may or may not) completely remove that plot point and the story would remain the same. This plot point is some problem that is suddenly introduced, and almost immediately resolved. However, it does have a purpose. Two, actually:
- Create a tense and shocking twist at the end of a chapter, and;
- Hint at a larger plot/universe.
The second point is the main reason why I'm keeping it currently. The reader doesn't know there is a larger universe/set of linked stories, but the Ex Machina explains a few major events in other stories, such that it no longer is an Ex Machina. That only happens after this current story is wrapped up and finished, though. For someone reading this story, and this story alone, this plot line doesn't have anything to hold on to.
In order to not make this primarily opinion-based, let's assume I follow through with keeping this plot line:
How would an intentional Deus Ex Machina influence the quality/credibility of my story?
Additionally, an insight into what the reader might think of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere Ex Machina, would be appreciated. I had a read at this related question, which was the closest to my question I could find. From what I've gathered, an Ex Machina is more easily forgiven if there is merit in it. I believe the plot point merits the Ex Machina (without its consequences, the story would have a rather unsatisfactory conclusion. Without it altogether, the story would be much the same, save an intense moment).