Abandonment Party 2: Chapter 17 (First Draft)

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Hm, I do believe I’m half way through this book! Time sure flies when you’re moving sentences into different paragraphs and then writing detailed blog entries about how you moved that sentence into that paragraph.

I’ll be throwing a party for myself to celebrate, of course. Just come to the Jack-in-the-Box restaurant on Jungerman Road at 2 P.M. I have reserved their finest booth for all three of my fans, including a spot for Jack himself of course.

DRAFT START

17 – Mean vs. Dark

 

Vornis watched as the glass plates were lowered. The one next to the shattered chair was cracked, and it ground against broken pieces as it slid out of sight. The voices gathered in the beast’s head now, along with the remarks of his friends as they came from the stands. Arriving first, Mean dropped from the sky. Templetine was quick to exit: rolling off the ring and pushing past anyone that stood in his way.

“You okay?” she asked.

“I don’t think I know,” he replied. “I was with Zenny, then––I was here? I am here?”

“You’re here, Vornis,” Tome said, lifting himself up onto the platform. “I saw what he was doing.”

“And you’ll share any information with us,” Conneld said, landing on the emperor rory with King.

“I plan to,” Tome went on, walking over. “Templetine is cheating.”

Conneld stood with his lips puckered over his manicured beard. He looked down at Pinada.

“I think you need to get the walls up again. You know––to fix the crack.”

Pinada, wiping his glasses on his scarf, squinted at him.

“Ah, right,” he said in his loud, hollow voice. Darrow, Dark and Kello were the last to clamber inside; a teen wearing wooden armor tried, but Pinada gave him a stare: setting his glasses back into place. The teen frowned, walking off.

“Alright, Vornis:” Tome began as the plates lifted up and the outside chatter dulled, “You started out fine. Then he tried the same trick that made you all rush the ring during Trisk’s match: he took thoughts out of people’s minds and fed them to you.”

“That is not possible,” Conneld stated. Tome swept at the stubble on his chin.

“Can you just let me explain this?” he asked. “You did ask me to share what I know.”

“So––what––you saw the patterns?” Conneld asked. “You picked them out of the crowd and witnessed them moving between people? With all the interference here?”

Tome took a slow breath. “Yes. Two people in the audience thought that the Beast should lose. These two thoughts were found and moved to his brain. They merged with a third thought in his mind and overpowered it: causing him to believe that he should surrender. But for one reason or another, it didn’t work completely; he resisted.”

“Probably because “the Beast” isn’t his real name,” Conneld said.

“A possibility,” Tome went on.

“I don’t remember doing any of this,” Vornis grumbled, sitting cross-legged.

“Well, that’s when Templetine began to get worried,” Tome continued. “As you fought the fake suggestion, he started to take every other thought out of your brain. No––not just thoughts. Memories. Everything that had happened today. You stood there, dazed, as he sat down in the chair and Kello counted.

“But when he got to the memories from last night something happened––your instincts kicked in. The ones, well, you know the ones. The protective instincts. They were confused however; they knew you were in danger, yet the only thing going through your mind was your meeting with Zenny. So they improvised. Your mind concocted a false confrontation in order to make sense of what was happening.”

Vornis’ grey brow wrinkled and his white eyes narrowed. “The last thing I remember is fighting Kay Kary: She almost crushed Zenny and I with––so, wait, that didn’t happen? No giant wrecking balls smashing into everything?”

Mean chuckled. “No, what? We left you and Zenny alone for a while. We haven’t seen Kary until today.”

“Wait,” Darrow added, “didn’t we talk about her that night?”

Tome nodded, stroking his chin. “That’s it. That mention probably planted the idea in his head.”

“This is going beyond absurd,” Conneld laughed. “You saw all of this?”

“And there’s something else,” Tome said. “Templetine’s magical energy was only used when he merged the patterns––not when they were actually moved from person to person. This leads me to believe that someone else is the one shifting the thoughts around.”

Kello coughed. “I did not observe any change in Templetine’s personal magic reserves,” she stated. “He has only been using devices and their energy batteries.”

“Well, it was subtle,” Tome said. Kello sniffed.

“I did not miss anything; my job is to remain focused on the match.”

“And who is this other person manipulating minds or whatever?” Conneld asked.

“I can’t tell who it is,” Tome admitted.

Conneld smirked. “Of course not.”

“This is quite amusing, though,” Kello said. “Maybe Eon was right: the traitor Sing is haunting the arena!”

Tome’s yellow eyes snapped over to her. “You’d see it too if you didn’t let your mind wander every few seconds. ‘This country is too hot.’ ‘I should buy a new parasol.’ I’m amazed that you concentrate enough to count all the way up to ten.”

“How dare you––!” Kello accused, saying nothing else as she wrung the handle on her umbrella.

“Now, we don’t need to insult our gamemaster,” King said. “After all, we can’t prove any of this happened.”

Tome nodded. “I can. It seems that our mystery person can’t destroy patterns outright; he can only move them out of one mind and into another.”

“You’re saying they’re still here,” Conneld said.

“Oh that’s just wonderful,” Vornis growled. “So who has ’em, then? Did you see?”

“They’re right over there:” Tome explained, gesturing, “the table with all of the previous matches’ losers.”

Vornis twisted around, groaning as he saw a long table set at the foot of the King’s wooden pedestal. Caldera sat at one end, and Tenny and Trisk at the other: with every other previous contestant seated between.

Tome walked over to the glass wall. “Now, we just go over there and ask about any anomalous memories that they have.” He turned back to Conneld with a small grin. “And since I know you were spying on us last night, you should be able to tell if they’re being truthful or not.”

King chuckled, waving at Pinada to lower the wall. “He’s quite good, isn’t he, Conneld?”

Conneld muttered, walking with the others as they left the ring. Vornis was first to the table, and Parlay look up at him with her wide, bright eyes.

“I’m sorry you lost it,” she said. “At least you got to the semi-finals! That’s further than me!”

Vornis flexed. Then he frowned, letting his arms sag.

“Seems I’ve got a problem, though,” he announced to the table. “My memories from today and last night got swapped into you guys. We need to––ugh––hear about them from everyone. So that we can prove Templetine’s cheating.”

Jelk slapped the striped tablecloth. “Dang, so that’s why I ate breakfast twice!” he exclaimed. “And I remember going into the ring and not getting booed! Shoot––I knew it was too good to be true.”

Conneld rolled his eyes. “Anyone else? Something from last night? Someone more serious, perhaps?”

Eon cleared his throat, clad in a bright yellow jumpsuit. “I remember something,” he said. “I was in one of those areas free from the taint of magic. There was a woman in glasses. It was cold. She wanted to know why I had abandoned her there. But surely this vision is a gift from Sing––showing me the path I must take.”

Caldera snickered. “Oh, right, your glorious psycho. Sorry to break it to you, but the only path you’ll be taking is to a padded cell.”

“What did you see, then?” Eon asked. Caldera held out his hand, picking at the various bandages there.

“I don’t have to tell you guys anything.”

“Excuse me?” Donzel interjected. He raised his arm. “I remember something.”

“Oh, hey,” Vornis greeted. “I didn’t think I’d get to see you again.”

“Likewise,” Donzel replied. “But this girl that I saw: she is important to you, isn’t she?”

Vornis swept his palm over the bald spot on his head. “Yeah. I don’t think things are going so well, based on what I’ve heard.”

“Well, you were kissing in the memory I have,” Donzel stated. “You were quite passionate.”

“Woo!” Jelk squealed, stomping his foot. “Go, beastie, go!”

Donzel glanced at him. “Anyhow, after a while you began to tell her that you’d atone for some previous behavior. That you were going to make things better between you two.”

Vornis leaned closer. “Did she buy it? I mean, what did I say?”

“She seemed wary,” Donzel went on. “But I don’t know what happened after that.”

Jelk toyed with the tuft of hair below his bottom lip. “So who’s got the next part? This is getting juicy.”

“I’ve heard enough,” Conneld said. “If I need to know any more, I’ll investigate on my own.”

“But wait!” Vornis cried. Conneld cut him off.

“I’m sorry for what happened, but there’s no way I can prove that Templetine is involved.” He tugged at his uniform and the medals clinked as they bounced on the ribbons that hung from his chest. “I’ll notify you of any progress I make.” He stepped away from the table, and Vornis looked to Parlay, Tenny, and Trisk.

“Well, do any of you know what happened next?” he asked.

“No,” Tenny replied. “I only remember being with Trisk last night.”

Jelk sat straight up. “Whoa, are you for real? How come I only got the crappy memories?”

Donzel shook his head and Parlay shrugged her shoulders. Vornis hissed through his teeth, looking over at where Caldera sat.

“What?” he uttered.

“You know what happened next––I can tell,” Vornis said. Caldera drummed his fingers on the domed hat that lay on the table.

“Why should I tell you?” he asked.

Vornis touched the blade at his side, then drew his hand back. “Look, I don’t have anything against you,” he said. “And we both got beat by that jerk. He’s scamming all of us somehow, and I think that the less that we fight each other––the less satisfaction that smug idiot gets.”

Caldera clicked his tongue, looking sideways for a moment.

“Alright, fine; here it is: You said that after something was done––some job––that you’d try to get enough money together. You said that you would find an apartment in the dead zone.” He took a breath. “So that you could be with her from then on.”

Parlay smiled as wide as she could. Vornis slapped his hands down on the table, nearly causing it to tip.

“I said that I’d live there!?” he gasped. “How did she talk me into that!?”

Donzel looked down at the tablecloth with a blush. Darrow slapped Vornis on the shoulder.

“I’ll miss you, big guy,” he sobbed. “Have a great life.”

Vornis grumbled and tipped his head at one of the empty chairs next to Trisk. “So I guess I sit at the loser’s table for now.”

“And I suppose we’d better get in the ring, Dark,” Mean said. “We don’t want Little Miss Parasol tossing us out because we were two seconds late.”

“Yeah, good luck you guys,” Darrow said, walking off with Tome. “I mean, we know who’s gonna win, but good luck anyway.”

Jelk perked up, sticking two fingers in his mouth and blasting out a whistle. “Time to party with the Darklord!” he cheered. “You got this!”

“You’re kidding, right?” Caldera chuckled. “He has no chance. Not in that suit.”

“Oh, I know,” Jelk said. “I’m just talking about his performance. Do you think people remember me for my wins? It’s the show that they want.”

Dark climbed the stairs to the ring. Half of a smile stretched through the crack in his visor as he took his spot.

“What?” Mean called out. She took her side as well with a raised eyebrow.

“I’m just thinking that you’re going down––” Dark expressed, pointing at the floor, “big time.”

Pinada lifted the glass walls and Mean let out a smirk.

“Start the match!” Kello announced.

“Alright, here we go,” Dark said, fishing around in his cape. “And look what I got!” Out from the black folds he presented an object: a remote control with flat buttons.

“What is that?” Mean asked. She crept forward, keeping the chair between him and herself.

Dark pointed it her way. “I thought you’d remember;” he said, waving it around, “you used it all the time!”

“Oh! My remote!” Mean said. “My thing-making one!” She put her hand on her hip, peering around the chair with a smile. “So you’re going to use my own tricks against me?”

“Well you’re not using them,” Dark replied. Mean flicked her fingers and the remote slipped from his hand.

“What was that?” she hummed. “I’m not what?” She gestured again and Dark wobbled. He dropped to his knees.

“Hey now––you’re getting a bit too cocky,” he said, his arms quivering as he fought to hold himself from the floor.

Mean took light steps around to the chair’s seat. “I guess you’d better get rid of that armor if you want to teach me a lesson,” she said, sitting down.

“One,” Kello counted. Dark bowed to the mat: his helmet clunking against the surface.

“I guess––I guess you’re right,” he said. “I can’t fight you like this.”

He shivered and fell all the way to the ground. A small seam split down the back of his helmet. It traveled over his back, branching out to his arms and stretching to his legs. Outside the walls, Trisk, Tome, and Vornis all stared. Darrow dropped his mug and the contents spilled out.

“Dark!” Mean gasped. “No, wait, I’m sorry! I didn’t––”

“Just kidding!” Dark laughed. The mat rebounded as he flew twenty feet into the air: his cape twirling as he flipped and came down next to the throne. As he landed, Mean jumped and sputtered.

“What!? How!?”

The seams on Dark’s armor closed as he picked her tiny frame up from the chair and gave it an unceremonious toss. She caught herself, hovering, as Dark plopped down in her place. Mean shouted as Kello counted.

“When did you learn that!?” she cried. She pointed at Dark and he jerked forward. He leaned back into place with little effort.

“Oh, I’m not doing anything,” he teased. Kello counted to two.

“You’re moving your armor––canceling me out!” she protested. She tapped the mat with her heel and bounced upward: yanking the chair up with her. Dark slid off, tumbled, and bounded up after her. As she and the chair floated just over the glass wall, Dark rose up to their level. He folded his arms and his cape fluttered at his back.

“Okay, how are you doing this?” Mean said.

“Powers of Darklord,” he replied.

“Powers of bull crap,” Mean shot back at the lips smirking out from his helmet’s crack. As Dark’s cape caught a breeze, the fabric revealed the rory clinging to his side. Mean let out a groan.

“Told you it wasn’t me,” he expressed, tossing out his hands. “He thinks it’s his shell and that I’m the rider. It started that night you were gone. I’ve been practicing.”

Mean shook her head, chewing her lip.

“Yeah, you thought this was going to be easy, huh?” Dark said.

Mean darted, swiping her hand at his side. He swished away in a swirl of cloth, shaking his finger at her.

“Ah––remember!” he said. “Stone rories shouldn’t be touched by greedy little hands!”

Mean withdrew her fingers and Dark hovered closer, biting his lip as he chuckled.

“You’re loving this,” she stated.

“Sure am,” Dark said. “I think we should find a better way to settle this, though. How about a race? We fly to––oh, how about that tree on the hill over there and back? First to the chair wins.”

With a nudge, Mean lowered the throne back to the ring. “Pft, the hills are covered in trees.” Shading her eyes with her arm, she peered out over the pyramid’s square sides. “Do you see that building the coasters are coming out of?” she asked, pointing with her free hand. Dark began to answer: his body rocketing off before he could reply.

“Hey!” Mean called after him, zipping off in his wake. On the pyramid’s roof, Kello tossed her parasol down.

“King, your rory!” she demanded, motioning at herself. He raced to comply: straddling the shell and diving from the platform with one hand on the reigns and one on his crown. Kello scrambled on as he dipped close, clasping King around his hefty waist. With a kick of King’s heels the rory ascended again: racing after the two specks in the sky, leaving the spectators abuzz.

“I’m sorry!” Dark shouted. He tipped his helmet forward and his cape rippled in violent waves behind him. “It just took off!”

“Yeah whatever!” Mean said, coming up behind him and snatching the hem of the billowing fabric. He slowed for a moment and Mean nudged past him: kicking off his armor with one foot. As she whipped ahead she sent Darklord spinning. He righted himself and stopped to unfasten the clasps on his cape.

“Darn thing’s slowing me down,” he exclaimed, taking the cloth and tossing it back. King dipped his rory in an attempt to catch it; the wind caught the cape and blew it at Kello’s face.

Mean soared onward and the tops of colored tents meshed together beneath her. A lone track snaked across her path, soon joined by others as she neared the painted, wooden tower. With a rush and a choir of screams, a coaster rolled past. She dipped and followed it: settling on the tower’s roof as the cars were guided inside.

“Okay, Dark, I made it!” she called out, twirling back to face the pyramid. With a metallic flash the armored man bulleted onto the roof as well: catching the surface with outstretched legs and arms; taking off a few shingles as he slid to a halt.

“Oh yeah, that’s much better,” Dark said, leaping up. He brushed grit from his hands and shuffled a shingle back into its spot with his boot. Mean folded her arms.

“I’m kind of jealous;” she admitted, “that helmet and suit make you pretty aerodynamic. And the wind gets in my eyes––you don’t have that problem.”

“You’ll just have to wear a leotard,” Dark laughed. “Uh, oh––look who it is.”

He pointed up at the jeweled shell hovering in the sky. Kello gestured at them with firm, even strokes.

“Oh, we’re out of bounds,” Mean said.

Dark smiled. “It would be funny if we both lost right now.”

They both let out a chuckle, shared a glance, and launched themselves from the roof. Dark took a quick lead and Mean swerved as he did: squinting her eyes and trailing at his heels. The Imperial Pyramid loomed before them, its wide top towering overhead. The layers of slanted windows stared back as they flew: tapering down to the pointed, angular base. Dark peered at the view and then behind him.

“Hey! You slacker! You’re drafting!”

Mean smiled and they both cleared the rail at the roof’s edge. As cheers welcomed them, she gave Dark a nudge: his speed doubled; he overshot the ring and continued upward. Mean laughed and dove into the ring, where twenty-seven identical thrones now sat.

“What!? What is this!?” Mean asked. Knowing chuckles sounded from the crowd. She scowled back at them, and with a shimmer another throne materialized.

“Oh, you little––” Mean uttered as Dark came back from his trip, settling on the top of the glass wall.

“I’ll give you one guess to find the right chair,” he teased. Off to the side, King and Kello landed ringside.

“Goodness,” King stated. “What happens now?” Kello hopped from the shell, retrieving her umbrella from the ground and sweeping it onto her shoulder again.

“People have tried things like this before,” she sighed. “There’s one piece in the true throne that has no pattern; it can’t be duplicated.”

She watched as Mean lowered herself into one of the chairs.

“Hey, Kello,” she shouted, “does any chair count?”

The gamemaster said nothing. Mean muttered something as Dark settled into the chair next to her.

“So close, so close,” he said. His grin behind the helmet was brief; no count came; Kello shook her head.

“Crap,” Dark said, as he and Mean leapt up at once. She vaulted over the armrest and into the next chair in the row; he did the same. Kello counted to ‘one.’ Darklord and Mean stared at each other.

“So who do you think got it?” Mean asked.

“Get up and find out,” Dark proposed.

“Two!” Kello announced. Mean rolled her left shoulder and settled back in the seat.

“So that’s how it’s gonna be, huh, Miss Mean Lavir,” Dark said.

“Yes it is, Mr. Dark Lord,” Mean replied. “You said whoever got to the chair first wins; this just makes it fair.”

Dark tapped the armrest with his fingers as Kello counted upward. “More excruciating, you mean.”

“Come on, man!” Jelk yelled from the loser’s table. He whipped his fist through the air, urging the crowd into a frenzy.

“Did you see which one got it?” Darrow asked.

“I lost track,” Vornis said.

“This is so stupid,” Caldera groaned.

“Ten!” Kello finished. “Me-anne wins! She will face Templetine in the final round!”

Applause showered the two as they rose from their chairs; another throne appeared and fell to the floor. The remote snapped to Mean’s hand and she turned the thing off.

“You did it,” Dark stated, walking to her. “Good job.”

“You too,” Mean laughed. She took his hand and clasped it in hers: raising it up as the glass walls came down.

DRAFT END

Summary:

Vornis, having been in the Dead Zone, now finds himself transported into the middle of a match with Templetine at the arena. The throne is broken, and Kello has declared Vornis the loser! Oh no!

Tome explains that something began removing Vornis’ memories during the fight, and that those memories were given to the previous rounds’ losers. Even after the hilarious accounts from those affected, Conneld still isn’t convinced that it’s proper evidence to convict Templetine.

Afterward Mean battles Dark in the last semi-final match. Dark reveals that his rory Cocoa can now use his armor fly, and he proves to be evenly matched against Mean. After a quick race and the most thrilling game of musical chairs ever, Mean wins because she’s the main character! I mean because she happened to guess the correct chair to sit in, ha,ha,ha.

Choice Edits:

Templetine was quick to exit: rolling off the ring and pushing past anyone that stood in his way.

What a slippery fiend, he evades all attempts to describe his character! Even this far into the first draft I still didn’t know that much about Templetine. I think I just hurried to push him out of every scene at this point, ha,ha.

“You’re here, Vornis,” Tome said, lifting himself up onto the platform. “I saw what he was doing.”

Tome saw what magic was happening in the ring!? Even with Pinada’s pattern-blocking walls up!? Hm, this might actually work in my favor. There is a way Tome could have seen it, and I think I might have set up the explanation without even intending to!

“Your mind concocted a false confrontation in order to make sense of what was happening.”

This is some real Star Trek “Frame of Mind” stuff here!

DATA SOMETHING'S GOT ME!

Jonathan Frakes is signed up to play Conneld in the film. Or maybe he resembles King a bit more nowadays.

“Wait,” Darrow added, “didn’t we talk about her that night?”

Tome nodded, stroking his chin. “That’s it. That mention probably planted the idea in his head.”

Whoops, I cut out the part where they mentioned Kay Kary in the previous chapter. In the first draft they bring her up after they get out of the carriage, and that’s supposed to be the suggestion for Vornis’ false memory. Oh well, this all makes PERFECT sense even without that tiny detail!

Eon cleared his throat, clad in a bright yellow jumpsuit.

Oh no, Matt! More Moonraker influences! The patterns of Bond’s greatest space adventure are invading my brain!

Moonraker

“You’re moving your armor––canceling me out!” she protested. She tapped the mat with her heel and bounced upward: yanking the chair up with her. Dark slid off, tumbled, and bounded up after her. As she and the chair floated just over the glass wall, Dark rose up to their level. He folded his arms and his cape fluttered at his back.

No, no! Why is all of this so sloppy? OH wait. I remember why. I remember that I didn’t want the match to go like this at first. Something strange happened, though. It would take too long to explain right now; I’ll tell you later.

“People have tried things like this before,” she sighed. “There’s one piece in the true throne that has no pattern; it can’t be duplicated.”

So I’m guessing Dark set the remote to copy chairs while they were gone, and there’s a piece of vein in the real one so that Kello can tell it apart from the fakes.

Hey, I actually have a good reason for forgetting this time! As I said the original match I intended was NOTHING like what you see written here. I changed my mind at the last moment, making everything up without even thinking about it beforehand at all.

Now, what was the original plan, you might ask? It wasn’t as friendly, I’ll tell you that much.

I’ll put the whole story in the next post’s intro. Later, taters.

 

 

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