Abandonment Party 2: Chapter 9 (Second Draft)

APHeader2D

Oh baby! This chapter has the new addition to the story that I’ve been waiting to add! And here it sits as an unrefined lump at the start of the draft! It’s really terrible! But I’m not worried; I have plenty of refined goodness going on after that.

Mean’s tournament match has been moved into this chapter, and I’ve gotten it to merge quite well with the original material. SUPER well. Only a couple more chapters and I’ll be past the chain-reaction of doom that I started by screwing with the match order. See, Kim? Changing the plot around after you’ve written a draft isn’t so bad. And the next time your story isn’t working, you can just gaze at this inspirational picture of me:

IMG_0096 copy

DRAFT START

9 – Mean vs. Kay Kary

 

Lord Ley Tecker stepped out of the elevator and into the cavernous main hall of Ley Ledge. The guards by the doors saluted him, and Tecker lifted his can of Metabolic Shotgun in reply. He made his way through the grid of desks that all faced the front window, where the light haze of fog blurred the cityscape far below. He took his seat next to Lord Ley Vail.

“Did you get my call?” Vail asked.

“I did,” Tecker replied. “I don’t think we have enough time. My term will be up way too soon.”

“It doesn’t look good, does it?” Vail sighed. “Maybe we’ll get lucky? Maybe the guy taking your place will be in astronomy?”

Tecker took a sip from his can. “We were just so close. If that attack hadn’t happened we’d have settlers over there by now, not just military! It’s a waste, such a waste. The people are ready to go over, but it doesn’t matter. ‘There are monsters about.’ They’re powerless, and I can’t do anything to help them.”

He glanced over at Lickwolf, the only other Lord Ley in the room. Lickwolf frowned. Tecker twisted around as the doors at the back of the room opened. A man in a black judge’s robe strode in. He had wavy hair that was swept back to his neck, and over his clothes hung a yellow sash.

“Who’s that judge?” Tecker asked Vail. “I’ve never seen him.”

The judge shook his finger at him as he walked through the aisle. “You’ve never seen me? Are you sure about that?”

“Guards!” Lickwolf barked at the two uniformed men at the door. The judge chuckled, shaking his head; the guards were struggling against a shining liquid encasing their bodies.

“Who are you? Put your hands up!” Tecker said. He pulled his grey coat back with one hand and reached for a holster.

“I know they hold your weapons, Tecker,” the judge said. “And you’d better calm down or you’ll be stuck too.”

Lickwolf stared at them and Vail braced himself in his seat. Tecker sighed, straightened his suit jacket, and settled back at his desk. “I have seen you before,” he stated.

“You’ve done far more than that,” the judge said. “You told me to watch the city while you were gone. You said you needed me.”

“You’re one of those police officers left behind after the evac!” Lickwolf said.

“His name is Mackaba,” Tecker explained. “I did ask you to watch the city; it was after the party; I remember.”

“Of course you remember,” Mackaba said. “It was your idea of a joke: to pretend you were leaving when, really, you were staying behind.”

“He didn’t stay on the planet; he would have died,” Vail said, his eyes on the guards. They were fighting to get at their pistols, but the liquid resisted. Their sleeves were inching up to their elbows as they pushed through the clear gel.

“He found a way to keep himself safe from the disease,” Mackaba went on. He walked toward the massive front window and stepped onto the stage there. “You were always there with that trollop, every time. Wearing that black armor. Mocking me as I”–he paused, clutching his sash–”as I watched my captain abandon me. I was keeping the city safe, just like you told me to! But you were right there the whole time! Burning down buildings! Telling me people were missing when they weren’t!”

Lickwolf scoffed. “This is nonsense. Tecker has never been absent. Unfortunately.”

Mackaba smirked at him. “You have no idea what sort of technology they have over there. I got all the way to the top of this cliff, didn’t I? Going between the two worlds is easy.”

Tecker stood up. “So what do you want? Are you after me? Because you can just let the others go if you are.”

“Oh no no no,” Mackaba hummed. “We’re going to have a little vote, just the three of you here. See?” He gestured to the glass and the tops of the buildings outside. “Since you came and smashed up my city, I think that maybe–hey! Why stop there? Let’s have you smash up another one.”

 

—–

 

Mean ran down the hallway with Dark racing behind; through the windows, Kello’s amplified voice could be heard counting.

“Hurry, hurry!” Mean said, leaping into the hex door room and beckoning Dark in. As soon as he met her they vanished and reappeared on the roof.

“Ten!” Kello finished, booming in their ears. “Parlay wins the match!” There came a chorus of mixed reactions from the spectators.

“No! I missed it!” Mean grumbled, stamping her foot. She walked past the vendors with Dark as the glass arena walls were lowered by Pinada.

“It was really good; you almost got me,” Parlay said, pushing out of the throne. A woman with dark eyeliner and oversized bracelets lay upon a circle of flat leaves at the edge of the ring. She snorted, flipping her red bangs out of her eyes. She looked over at Kello.

“This isn’t right,” she said. “That kind of magic shouldn’t be allowed.”

“Creative use of magic is encouraged;” Kello answered, her translucent parasol casting blue light on her face. “Parlay didn’t break any rules.” She pushed a button, and her voice grew louder again. “Kay Kary will be Me-anne’s opponent in the third latecomer match! It will occur in ten minutes!”

Mean frowned. “Hold on, Dark, I’m gonna go tell her how to pronounce my name.” She marched over as Kay Kary picked up a crescent-shaped object and leapt from the ring.

“‘Creative use?'” Kay Kary repeated, tilting her head and fixing her gaze at Kello. “I think you people need to take a good, hard look at your rules again.”

“Excuse me, Miss Kello?” Mean asked. “I need to talk to you about something.”

Kello wrinkled her nose at the two as Parlay started over as well. She touched the flat leaves as she passed and they responded: curling up at the edges and retracting; shrinking into a compact ball.

“Kay, I’m sorry if anything I did offended you,” Parlay said as she hopped out of the ring. “You did really well–”

“Don’t patronize me!” Kay Kary barked, turning and directing the points of the crescent at the woman’s chest. “You people have an unfair advantage! You, Tenny, that stripper girl–you all have powers the rest of us don’t! We don’t even understand how it works, and yet you’re allowed to compete! How is this fair!?”

“Hey, I think you need to calm down,” Mean said, holding up her palm.

Parlay dipped her head. “No, I think–I think she has a point.”

“No,” Mean corrected, “she doesn’t. She’s being obnoxious because she lost. And ‘stripper girl?’ Her name’s Trisk.”

Kay Kary tilted her head at Mean. “You’re an outsider. You think you can just show up and tell us how to act?”

A slow scraping came from Pinada’s glass cube as he slid toward them. “Is there a problem over here?” he asked, leaning against one of the walls.

Kary lowered her arm and tossed her hair. “Everything’s fine, Pinada. I’m getting something to drink.”

As Kay Kary strode away, Mean looked and saw the crowd peering at them. She set off as well, weaving around Pinada. He touched his glasses, watching her.

“Hey, thanks,” Parlay said, following Mean.

“She was being a jerk,” Mean said. “I only wish I had gotten here in time to see you beat her.”

“I am really sorry about that,” Dark said, joining up as they walked across the foot of the bleachers. “I get terrible hangovers when sit at bars and don’t drink anything; just terrible.”

Mean chuckled and found the stairs leading up. She turned, looking looking over her shoulder: Parlay was hanging back, watching them go.

“Hey, you can come sit next to us, you know,” she said. “You don’t have to stay down here.”

Parlay smiled, nodded, and hurried up with them. Darrow raised his eyebrow as they joined him, Tome, Trisk, and Vornis.

“Why are you guys late?” Darrow asked. “I saw you on the couch before I left, Dark. I told you it was almost time. Oh man, were you not awake?”

“I guess I wasn’t,” Dark sighed, sitting down. “I need to wear a sleep mask over my helmet so you can tell.”

“Or you could just take it off,” Darrow muttered. “Anyway, look at that down there; that’s where all the losers go, I think.”

Dark and Mean looked. Two people were seated at the long table set up beneath King’s pedestal. Caldera was at the very end, still wearing his domed hat. Various square bandages were stuck to his face. Donzel Veinsmith III sat next to him, with his case of swords standing behind his chair. His smiling face had a few scratches and scabs marring it.

“Where’s everyone else?” Trisk asked. “I don’t see Tenny.” Parlay leaned over.

“He’s on our left,” she informed her. “See? Down where that camera guy is.”

“Oh, I see,” Trisk said. “Thanks.”

Parlay nodded. “He’s really a nice guy. You should meet him. Outside the ring, I mean.”

“I did,” Trisk replied, looking sideways. “He came to our room last night. Took me to see the training ground.”

Parlay dipped her head. “Oh. Okay then.” Trisk waved as she caught Tenny’s gaze. Tenny waved back.

“Look who it is,” Charlie said, talking in Tenny’s ear. “What’s Parlay doing sitting with them?”

“I don’t know,” Tenny dismissed. “I’m more worried about that beast character. Look–he’s completely recovered. It’s as if Donzel didn’t do anything.”

“Yeah, it’s gonna be tough,” Smatter said, looking up from where he sat cross-legged on the ground. “What art will you use for him?”

Tenny swept his hand through his short hair, stopping to scratch at the base of his neck. “I think I’ve ruled static out; he just looks too strong. He could probably hold me down with one toe.”

“But he’s got those giant blades,” Smatter said. He took a kernel of popcorn out of the bag in his lap. “He’ll chop you in half if you don’t have static on.”

“That shouldn’t be tough,” Tenny said, shaking his head. “I saw how he moves them; I can dodge. I’ll probably go for your art, Smatter. If he can regenerate from what Donzel did, I’m sure he can recover from the damage tearing will cause.”

“Alright, but you have to say ‘smatterized’ when you hit him,” the boy said, scooping a handful of popcorn into his mouth.

“Uh, okay I’ll do that,” Tenny said, blinking.

Up in the stands, Mean smirked at Trisk.

“Trisk, you didn’t tell me he came to the roooom!” she sang. “What happened? Where did you go?”

“Don’t you have a match to get to?” Trisk asked. Mean stuck her tongue out, got up, and tugged at her shirt.

“Alright, but make sure you fill me in later. By the way, did you see what kind of magic Kay Kary uses?”

“Oh, I can tell you,” Parlay offered. “See those giant bracelets she wears? She sends those rings out and hooks your arms with them. The crescents, too: while you’re caught in the rings, she pins you down to the mat. She uses magic that alters an object’s weight and the effect of gravity on it. It’s a good strategy; you should be careful.”

Mean locked her fingers together and stretched her arms out. “Oh dear, how will I ever handle that,” she said as her knuckles cracked. “Thanks, Parlay, but I think I’ll be fine.”

“You’re really confident!” Parlay cried, clapping her hands. Mean smiled back at her, picking through the people on her way to the stairs. Kay Kary watched her on the way down, holding crescents in each of her hands.

“What are you doing sitting up there with her?” Kary demanded as Mean neared.

“Who, Parlay?” Mean said. “None of your business.” She hopped up onto the mat and walked to her end of the ring.

Kay Kary snorted. She strutted over to the throne, leaning against it with her arm. She tossed a crescent up and caught it. “I’d better not see any of that cheating from you–” she began, “ego or whatever. Your little blond twin up there wouldn’t have won without it.”

“Please get on your side, Kay Kary,” Kello sighed. Kary pushed away from the throne and sauntered to the far edge. Pinada rose his hands to lift the four walls into position. Mean glared across the ring. She removed a remote from her back pocket.

“We shouldn’t even be having this match,” Kary said. “Everyone knows King let you in for publicity; if you weren’t from another planet you’d all be in jail for crashing his fair.”

Gamemaster Kello tapped her parasol on her shoulder. “Alright–begin!”

Kary sneered and flung her arm out; the remote in Mean’s hand popped from her grip and arced over the wall.

“Oh nooooo!” Mean cried. She stretched her arm after the lost device. “My remote just flew away on its own!”

Kay Kary swept the circular bracelets off her wrist. They shot out from her hand: soaring in a row and parting as they hovered near Mean. The petite girl let out a loud gasp as the rings forced themselves past her tiny hands and up to her elbows. She flailed and opened her mouth in exaggerated shock as they tripled in weight and dragged her to the mat with them.

“I can manipulate an object’s motion through gravity,” Kay Kary announced. “I can make things fly, or become so heavy that you could never pick them up.” She jingled the crescents, stalking forward. Mean struggled as the rings held her down.

“Egad! We don’t have such things on my world!” Mean lamented. Kay Kary laughed, running a hand through her streaked hair.

“It’s one of our oldest tricks,” she explained. “Now hold still–wouldn’t want to snap off one of those scrawny arms.”

Kay dove and planted the crescents into the mat: their pointed edges digging in on each side of Mean’s limbs, trapping them. Up in the stands, Parlay wrung her hands.

“I warned her!” she cried. “I told her that would happen!”

She looked over at Vornis, whose suppressed chuckling lined his grey face with countless wrinkles.

“Why are you laughing?” Parlay asked. “She’s lost right away!”

Below, Mean pretended to cry.

“I forgot,” Vornis said, snickering, “you don’t know what she can do.”

Parlay looked over at Dark. He covered the top of his helmet with his hand. “She’s going a little overboard, isn’t she?” he groaned.

“Oh help!” Mean cried out, flat on her back and sniffling. “I’m too stupid to know how to do anything! I’m from Jesice, and I’m really dumb!”

Kay Kary backed away, peering down at Mean with her overshadowed eyes. “I thought Jelk was the only clown we had here. Are you trying to take his place? You’re making a fool out of yourself.”

Mean tugged at her bonds. “Oh! Wait!” she exclaimed. “I’ll just fly out of here!” As she spoke, the crescents wobbled and the rings jiggled at her limbs. She strained, working the points out from the mat as her body lifted inch by inch from the ground. Kay Kart shrieked.

“You little–you’re moving my things! You liar! You can–”

The crescents snapped free, flying off; Mean leapt up and soared straight into the air; the audience uttered gasps as she left the ground. She rose past the tops of the glass walls and hovered just above them, picking the rings from her arms and dropping them down to where Kay Kary stomped.

“Cheater!” she cried, shielding her face as one of the loops whizzed past. “You’re one of them!”

Mean hopped on top of the wall and kicked off with her feet, bounding over to the other side. She buzzed Kello’s umbrella, halting just above her.

“Hey!” Kary called out to the Gamemaster. “It’s ring out! Start counting!”

“I read the rules,” Mean shouted back. “As long as I don’t touch the ground it’s okay.”

Kello gave a nod, tilting her parasol to the side and peeking up past the rim at Mean.

“Bull!” Kary shouted, pacing back to the ring’s center. She reached for the throne. As she approached it the entire thing bounded upward. Kary hissed through her teeth, spinning back again to glare at Mean: she was coaxing the throne over the wall and through the air to her. Their eyes met, and Mean swooped into the chair, grinning.

“This–is this even allowed?” Kary spat, watching Mean soar around the sides of the ring in the throne. Kello began counting in reply.

Kary snapped her fingers and the large bracelets zipped up from the mat through the air to her. She stiffened both arms and the rings looped through, fitting snug to her shoulders. With a hop, she too took to the air, hanging from the bracelets. Mean jerked her head at Kary, swatting her back down.

“So that’s how you wanna play, huh!?” Kary shrieked. She gestured at the throne and it tipped forward into a dive; Mean yelped, tucking her arms, legs, and head in. There was a crack as the throne struck the ground: the armrests and high back making contact while Mean’s tiny body remained curled on the seat, safe.

“Kay Kary if you break the throne you are disqualified,” Pinada said.

Kello counted “Five.”

Kary pointed at the chair as it rose up again. Mean uncurled and grasped the armrests tight. The throne trembled as the two glared at each other; tipping one way, then the other. With a sharp spin it jerked off toward the crowds. Those below yelped and reached up as Mean passed by: she clung to the chair as it bucked and swung. The bottom swirled up for a moment and Mean remained fastened to the seat upside-down. She bared her teeth with a wide smile as Kello made it to eight. The people below her cheered her on.

“Stop!” Kary demanded, running over and kicking the wall. “Stop cheering for that skinny cheat!”

Mean righted the chair and slammed it down at the side of the ring, close to where Pinada stood.

“You can stop with that,” Mean shouted over the wall. “If Mrs. Rules over there thinks it’s fine then it’s fine. You could learn how to fly too, you know. It’s a lot like moving an object, and you know how to do that.”

“Shut up!” Kary shot back. “You’re an alien; you don’t know how it is here! I can’t just ‘learn’ it!”

“Ten,” Kello announced. “Me-anne wins the match. She will move on to battle Parlay.”

The crowd whistled and clapped as Mean stood up. “I love you, Me-anne!” a guy called from somewhere. Kay Kary pulled at her hair and swore.

“Well done,” Pinada said, gliding his box closer to her. “You could both move the chair, but your ability to modify your own weight kept you held fast.”

“Oh, come on guys, it wasn’t that tough,” Mean laughed, taking a backward glance at the stands. Dark saluted her, and Vornis, Jelk, Darrow, and Trisk cheered.

 

—–

 

“That smaller girl won,” Cots expressed, squinting over the bar at a wall-side monitor. “She came in here once, you know. She didn’t have any money but she was here. Right in that seat.”

“Yeah, Cots, we were here when that happened,” the woman sitting in the end stool laughed. She tapped out a cigarette from a box in her hand. “You know, that armored fellow is going to fight next. I hope he does as well as the others.”

A man in plain clothes on the next stool over chuckled, staring at the wine bottles behind Cots. “Those aliens were really in here?”

“They came in just the other night: the two of them, alone,” the smoking woman replied. The man, with his elbows on the bar, turned and smiled. He had a white grin and a well-trimmed beard fashioned into points.

“Sounds like you and the barkeep are pulling my leg,” he said. A tap came on his shoulder.

“I saw them,” a smaller man said, jabbing at the air with his finger. “They came in and sat at that table. For a long time.”

The bearded man looked at where the short man was pointing: it was a table by a window that displayed black hills against the setting sun.

“I sat behind them,” the shorter man went on. “They played that game with the animals.”

The bartender Cots slapped a worn, wrinkled hand on the counter. “I watched them play that! First time here, and they were blazing through levels like they were in here every night! I should know: I got the high score back in–when was that?”

And as the bar patrons went on, the man stroked his pointed beard, listened, and smiled.

DRAFT END

Choice Edits:

9 – Mean vs. Kay Kary

This chapter’s title used to be “Villain’s Legacy,” but Eon isn’t in it anymore so I changed it. What a toughie.The title above is placeholder until I can think of something else. If I was a pun-loving man I’d probably go with “Mean Spirited.” But I hate puns. I HATE THEM SO MUCH!

Lord Ley Tecker stepped out of the elevator and into the cavernous main hall of Ley Ledge.

This entire first scene with Tecker is the all-new stuff I added to this chapter. And that makes it first-draft quality––BEHOLD! Any information you need to know is just blurted out! Descriptions are rushed like a Zerg six-pool! And then–MACKABA APPEARS OUT OF NOWHERE!

She touched the flat leaves as she passed and they responded: curling up at the edges and retracting; shrinking into a compact ball.

Like I stated before, there’s no need to go all-out explaining Parlay’s abilities again. I just need to put in a little reminder.

A slow scraping came from Pinada’s glass cube as he slid toward them. “Is there a problem over here?” he asked, leaning against one of the walls.

It can be tough to describe characters that don’t move around like normal people. It gives me interesting opportunities though–Pinada can lean against walls wherever he goes! He can be outside, nowhere near a wall, and still be all like “what up, homies?”

Two people were seated at the long table set up beneath King’s pedestal. Caldera was at the very end, still wearing his domed hat.

This table with the previous rounds’ losers wasn’t in the first draft. I decided to add it in so that they could still participate in the story–y’know, react to the later matches. And of course I totally forgot to have them do ANYthing else in this chapter. I’ll try to remember next time. 😛

“Alright, but you have to say ‘smatterized’ when you hit him,” the boy said, scooping a handful of popcorn into his mouth.

I thought that Smatter’s ‘catchphrase’ was annoying so I turned it into a joke. YES! You work for ME, characters!

“Egad! We don’t have such things on my world!” Mean lamented. Kay Kary laughed, running a hand through her streaked hair.

As I said, this whole match was taken from chapter 11. I think it’s hilarious.

“Kay Kary if you break the throne you are disqualified,” Pinada said.

Pinada is the guest referee, so I guess he should probably say something. I also added this part with the throne being flung to the ground–along with Kary using her rings to fly–just to spice things up a bit. It wasn’t in 11’s first draft.

“That smaller girl won,” Cots expressed, squinting over the bar at a wall-side monitor. “She came in here once, you know. She didn’t have any money but she was here. Right in that seat.”

I hated to change Cots’ line about watching the meteor fall ‘right through that window’ or whatever, but this is pretty funny too.

Next time–!

Jelk’s match has been moved, but the result is the same: Dark must now battle, uh, wait a minute. The next chapter isn’t what I thought it was. Hold on, what is this? Oh crap. They’re talking about Eon and the part I moved again. It’s like half the chapter!? Nooooo, it’s the part where they need money, but I changed the story so they have it already! Um, I’m not sure what to do with this. I need to go look at my inspirational picture some more, ha,ha,ha.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *