Avengers and Abandonment Party 3: Chapter 19 (First Draft)

First Draft

 

Alright it’s time to talk about Avengers: Age of Ultron! Spoilers!

Spoilers

I liked this better than the first Avengers. That one just felt like it was setting up THIS movie. Heck, all these Marvel films feel like they’re just setting up later ones. But what a surprise––this story actually feels like it’s complete! Zounds!

And yet there are still some flaws. And I figured that most of these problems MUST be due to the characters since any story involving a flying city smashing into something is instantly great. So here’s a list of the characters that I remembered, and some that I didn’t!

Antagonists

Ultron: An AI created by Stark and Banner. Throughout the film he appears in many differing android bodies. He also wants to destroy the world for some reason. The whole “sentient machine wants to kill humanity” thing is kind of overdone, but who really cares; he has a great voice actor and millions of dollars of CGI! At least he’s more interesting than Loki or aliens from who knows where.

Quicksilver: One of two twins that fight for Ultron. I didn’t even know who this guy was when I first saw the film; my friend Kim had to tell me his name. Like most people I had seen the version of Quicksilver from X- MenDays of Future Past. I know he’s a mutant in THAT film and Age of Ultron made it clear that THIS version was given his powers through experimentation, so I just figured he was some other Marvel speedster. I mean it’s not as if anyone calls him “Quicksilver.” Why are comic book movies so reluctant to use the characters’ aliases?

And he died!? What a crock. I didn’t care before but now that I know his name I’m quite upset!

Scarlet Witch: I didn’t know who she was either. Don’t get me wrong; I liked her character along with her brother. Their motives for following Ultron were believable, as well as their later change of heart. The literal removing of Ultron’s heart at the end was a bit much, though.

Protagonists

Iron Man: I thought the first movie had too much of this guy and, well, he’s back again to hog all the scenes. I suppose it’s only fair since he’s paying for all the Avenger’s stuff and even manufacturing the main villain. But he also brings me my new favorite character! Behold:

Vision: I was totally shocked to see this guy and it was a great surprise. See, years ago I had played an Avengers game at the mall. It starred Hawkeye, Captain America, Iron Man, and VISION! I always played as Vision because he had a laser beam blasting out of his forehead. And now, decades later, I finally see him on the big screen! Blasting guys with the gem on his head! Glorious!

Black Widow: I enjoyed her romance with Bruce Banner. Her reasoning seemed realistic, too: they were both turned into killing machines against their will. And it’s not like she’s going to do much else. I think she shot at a robot?

Thor: Zounds! He helped out quite a bit. I know my female cousins are lining up to see his toned bod, but I was quite enamored with the way he moved the story along! Nice work with those future plot visions, Thor! HAMMERS HIGH!

Nick Fury: I am confused about SHIELD. Is it disbanded? Is it just hiding out? I don’t watch the TV show and the last I saw of the group was in Winter Soldier. I thought all the airships had been destroyed too. Oh well. He’s cool so whatever.

Captain America: I’m just glad there’s a character that isn’t constantly trying to crack jokes. For crying out loud WHY does every other character have to do this!?

Hawkeye: Now I’m getting angry: This movie totally ruined him! How dare they distance me from the loner character by giving him a wife and children! I need relatable heroes! I’ve never had a spouse or baby! Or even a house! Get this fantasy crap out of my super hero film; I want single, homeless dudes that never have sex!

Hulk: YES. Here we go––an angry man raging about everything for no reason? Now this I relate to! There’s no way he can ever have a normal relationship? And his friends sometimes have to beat him up while everyone else in the world gapes at him in horror? Yeah, that’s like my entire life! Well done, Stan Lee!

But where did Hulk go at the end? I asked my friend Kim where she thinks Hulk went. She had this to say:

“Hulk disappears for long periods at a time to save on CGI costs. Pretty nice of him, actually. Even during major battles, he’ll go hide somewhere and chill for minutes at a time, and no one seems to notice.”

Well said, Kim. I’ll be waiting for you, Hulk, and your realistic take on the single male life.

Is there anyone else I’m missing? I wanted to see Pepper Potts but I guess she turned into a lava monster and melted at the end of Iron Man 3? Oh well. Please enjoy this latest chapter of Abandonment Party 3; it makes way more sense.

 

DRAFT START

19 – Encircled

Tyle had the transport parked and the driver’s side door open. He was turned sideways in the seat, watching the Enpo arrive. They came from the blackened hills; they swam through the river. All of them were converging at the spot with the two towering arms. Tecker was still pointing the gas canister at Slaberdashia in the open-air bed of the vehicle. Vornis was standing near the stampede of Enpo, and dust was starting to cake his jeans. Malice was hopping in a wild circle near him. With a start she froze, bearing her teeth at an empty spot near Tyle’s open door. With a pop King appeared.

“What in the world!?” Tyle spat out. Malice growled.

“Wait! It’s me, King!” the man said as he swerved away from Malice and caught himself on the door of the bus.

“You’re King?” Tyle asked. He held his palm out to Malice and she backed down. “I’m Tyle. Tyle Dhaston. I believe we we had a meeting?” He held his hand out to King next. King steadied himself and smoothed the scant strands of hair atop his head.

“That we did–and you made it!” King laughed. He shook Tyle’s left arm.

“Jesian dependability,” Tyle replied. He jerked his head to the bed behind him. “We also caught a monster. Ah, not you, Vornis.”

“Oh!” King exclaimed. “Oh! Vornis!” He waved him over. Vornis stepped around Malice, who was now rolling around on her back.

“King, did you see Dark or Darrow or anyone?” he asked.

“Yes,” King affirmed. “We were on the pyramid roof when it happened. They went after the ship that attacked us. Tenny too. They’re over there somewhere; they think that’s where Mean is.”

Vornis chuckled. “Well they’re getting plenty of backup now.” He rapped on the side of the bus. “That big woman was controlling all of these guys–these Enpo. They weren’t too happy about it and are on our side now.”

King nodded. “I was being held by their leader–a man in armor.”

“You took care of him?” Vornis asked. King’s eyes went wide and he shook his head.

“You’ll never believe this: Trisk did it!” he said. Tyle nearly tipped out if his seat.

“Trisk!?” he sputtered out.

“Yes!” King replied. “She came back from the virus!”

“The what!?” Tyle exclaimed. “That thing where–but how–?”

“She appeared right where their machinery was,” King told them. “They had a fight–there was another one that looked like a sword but it’s gone now too–Trisk went through that hall just before you got here.” King caught his breath. “I gave her a hex door ring to get back.”

Several of the Enpo near the convergence began to laugh and jeer: Chinpo was trotting against the crowd with Elder Sain clamped between his jaws.

“Dark?” Vornis wondered. “He’s back in his armor?”

“Tell me where Slaberdashia is!” Elder Sain demanded. He pried at Chinpo’s teeth with his hands.

“I think that’s their leader,” King said. “His armor looks a bit different, but it sounds like him. Oh dear, why is he bringing him this way?”

Chinpo went over to Vornis. “Can you bind him?” he growled.

“Yeah,” Vornis said. He touched the vein stump at his side, bringing away a gooey blob. Chinpo spit Elder out.

“Hey, I’ve seen this guy before,” Dhaston said. “He wouldn’t pick up my coat when I asked him to! I never got that coat back.”

“Well we can’t have that can we?” Vornis groused, shaping the vein to hold Elder’s wrists. As he knelt to shackle his legs Elder spied Slaberdashia’s hairy arm dangling from the bed of the bus.

“Slab!” he cried out. “What did you do!? Is she dead!?” Vornis held him back with one hand as he struggled.

“Calm down; she’s just knocked out,” he explained.

“Let me see her,” Elder said.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Vornis replied.

“Please; I’m responsible for her,” Elder said. Malise rolled onto her paws and slinked over to him.

“So you told her to do this to us?” she growled. “You told her to send us to terrorize these people? To ruin the good name of the Enpo!?”

“Your mission was supposed to benefit everyone,” Elder said. “This planet’s magic is dangerous if it’s left in their hands.”

“Now hold on here!” King said. “We’ve made some mistakes–“

“Mistakes!?” Elder laughed. “Your infantile carelessness almost killed everyone on the planet! We watched as your populace vanished, due to your so-called mistakes!” King swiped at his rough beard, his eyes darting to the side. Elder tipped his head up, gazing out through the translucent visor. “I know you blame yourself for what happened. People don’t trust you like they used to, do they? They accuse you of not being careful enough. You’ve lost your credibility.” Elder leaned in closer. “Let us take the magic. We’ll leave, an then they can hate us in your place.”

Tyle hopped from the van, leaning on his single crutch. “What’s going on here?” he asked. “Don’t tell me you’re going to fall for that, King! I learned the hard way: you can’t always choose who or what people are going to hate. You have to see which way the collective wind is blowing and adapt. And right now I’d say everyone here is against you, Mr. Dark Armor.”

King pulled his crown tight on his head. “Quite right, Tyle!” he affirmed. “How about we let commerce do its thing? I’d like these intruders removed from my country. Could I hire your vehicle to do just that?”

“I like where this is going,” Tyle said. “Load him up; we’ll talk price later.”

“Ridiculous,” Elder muttered. Vornis clasped his hands on the armor and lifted Elder Sain over the rim of the open-air bed. He sat him on a seat near Slaberdashia’s leg. Tecker looked over at him.

“So you’re from another world?” he asked. Sain turned, checking past him: Slaberdashia’s mouth hissed with her slow breathing. “I’m Tecker. I used to be Lord Ley–one of the elected officials on Jesice. It’s a nation on the other world orbiting next to this one.”

“Oh?” Elder Sain uttered. “Why are you here?”

Tecker shifted the canister in his hands, keeping it trained on Slaberdashia’s face. “Well, I’ve always wanted to see this planet,” he said. “And I want healthy relations with this world–heck, any world we encounter. Things may have started out badly for you here, but I think we can work our differences out.”

Elder Sain turned to him. “Work it out? How? You’re dealing with people that have enough magical power to manipulate an entire world. And what do you have? A suit? A title? You have no idea what’s happening, do you? Face it–you’re just along for the ride.” He settled into the seat, facing forward.

Tyle used his left arm to pull himself back up into the driver’s side seat. He shouted through the open window in the back of the cab. “Tecker, I’m afraid this is where you get off. I’m not sure what’s on the other side of that door, and I think I’ve endangered your safety quite enough. You may be a former Lord Ley, but the feds would be all over me if anything happened to you.”

“You heard him,” Elder Sain chuckled. “This is your stop, ‘Lord.’”

“You’re one to talk,” Vornis said. He bounded onto the bus and next to Tecker. “I’ll take the gas sprayer; thanks for keeping it on her.”

Tecker swallowed and handed the canister over. “Just helping out,” he said. He squeezed past Slaberdashia’s body and stepped across her leg on his way to the stairs. King met him at the bottom as he stepped off the vehicle.

“I’ll see to it that he gets back to the embassy,” King said. Tyle shouted back at him through the window.

“Don’t go taking all the credit, now! Remember, ‘Tyle Transports’ got you this far!”

Tecker watched as the bus rolled away, leaving him standing on the trampled field.

——

Dark landed with Mean riding piggy-back; she leapt off him with fruits in her hands. Dark had several more stashed in his poncho.

“Anyone want more of these?” Dark asked. Jelk beckoned with his fingers.

“I could use another,” he said. Dark presented them to him and Mean offered one to Trisk.

“There might be some juice you can suck out of ‘em,” she expressed. She took a knife from her pocket and cut into it. “Here.”

Trisk took them both and finished carving the fruit in two halves. She licked at the exposed juices, nodded, and gave the other slice to Darrow.

“Do we really have time for this?” he asked. He checked behind him: the Nameless was hovering behind the casino, the upper parts of the statues looming above the bright ‘Joy’s Focus’ sign.

“I’ll warp us back if anything happens,” Trisk said.

“Yeah, I know,” Darrow told her. He took a fruit and slurped at it. “I’m just worried about my friends over there. I like those guys.”

——

The entirety of Shirka’s lone house had been pulled apart: the wood and paneling from the structure was scattered about the glass plain. Enpo were dragging metallic pieces away, incorporating the more manageable bits into armor. A hollow whine sounded from the ruins of the house, growing and deepening to a roar. A distorted swirl of light wobbled into focus as Tyle’s bus emerged. The vehicle rolled ahead, crossed some debris from the porch, and halted.

“Whoa, whoa, what is this?” Dhaston asked. He squeezed the steering wheel and pushed his body into the seat. “What are we driving on? Are those clouds!?”

Elder shook his head with a chuckle as Vornis stood, peering over the side.

“We’re on some kind of thick glass,” he said. “The Enpo are standing on it. There are some buildings out there. I suppose it’s safe.”

“Safe!?” Tyle expressed. “We aren’t even on the same planet! Is this even a planet?”

“I can’t believe she got beat by these guys,” Elder sighed. Chinpo, seated at the cab’s back window, spoke.

“Tyle, this surface is quite solid. You can return the same way that you came, and there is a way like this one that leads to our world. Some of the others are headed there: it’s straight past that building with the glowing smokestacks.”

——

One of the Enpo lounging near the jalopy let out a shout: “He was right! They’re coming!”

With a cheer the other Enpo banded together and broke into a gallop: racing to meet the approaching bus as it buzzed across the plain at high speed.

“What is that thing?” Jelk asked.

“It looks like it’s from Jesice,” Mean said. “Are those wheels, though? Maybe it’s not.”

They watched as the Enpo joined up with the others that sprinted alongside the bus. The humming engine grew louder as the vehicle neared, slowed, and halted a short distance away. Darrow lowered the fruit from his mouth. He pointed.

“Vornis! Vornis is riding on the back!”

“And holy schmoly, what is that thing next to him–his big sister!?” Jelk exclaimed. The driver’s door opened as the engine was cut; Tyle’s crutch tapped on the glass a few times. Trisk’s eyes widened behind the fruit held to her mouth.

“No, it can’t be,” she uttered. She shoved the rest of the fruit into Darrow’s hands. She hurried over to see Tyle lower himself from the cab.

“Tyle!?” she gasped. “Tyle! It is you!”

Tyle fought to keep his grin under control. “Oh, hello there,” he said. “I heard you guys might need a ride?”

“They said you were dead!” Trisk told him. “Your arm and leg are back too; how–?”

Tyle swished his left hand in a dismissive gesture. “Oh, you know. My body’s pattern was stored in Parlay’s magic necklace. No biggie.”

Trisk touched his right arm. “Careful–“ Tyle said. “My hearts are still the same so that side is still weak.”

“But it’s real again,” Trisk said. She reached out and hugged his left side. Mean poked Dark as they watched.

“Is that the orb guy?” she asked. Dark nodded.

“This part is the same,” he said. “So why is everything else on this side–?”

Vornis waved from the back of the vehicle. “What’s up? We got some troublemakers back here. I can’t leave ‘em alone so come on over.”

Mean, Dark, Darrow, Jelk, and Tenny jogged to the side of the vehicle. Vornis urged them toward the stairs leading up to him.

“Might as well get up here,” he said. “The big one’s knocked out and their leader’s bound.”

Elder Sain’s face was blank as Mean climbed up to his level. He let out a sharp yelp as Dark stepped up after her.

“You!?” he uttered. “But how–?”

Dark stopped next to Sain’s seat, looking down at him.

“Don’t know what’s going on?” he asked. “Maybe you should get off.”

Jelk came up next, tugging on his hair tuft and gaping at Slaberdashia’s unconscious body. He plopped down in a seat and spoke to Vornis. “Man, you caught both these guys? All we could do was run from everybody we met.” He eyed the vein shackles at Elder Sain’s ankles and wrists. “You sure that’ll hold him? These guys have pretty strong magic.”

“He shouldn’t be able to use it,” Dark said. “Not while he’s wearing that.”

Trisk came jogging up the stairs behind Tenny. “Yeah, just don’t let him take off his helmet. He slices things. Like, everything.”

Dhaston had taken the driver’s seat again. “That was him!?” he squealed through the cab window. “He sliced that building in half and you put him in my car!?”

Tenny leaned over to Darrow. “Am I supposed to know who this is?” he asked.

Darrow shook his head. “Nah, we met him when your planet was empty. He was friends with Parlay.”

A warm smile appeared on Tenny’s face. “You knew her?” he said, turning to Tyle.

Tyle sputtered. “Her? I think you need your memory checked, bud.”

Tenny looked to Darrow again. “Don’t worry, man; you still remember it right. Tyle just doesn’t know Parlay used to be a woman.”

“Are you kidding me!?” Tyle blurted out.

“What do you mean, ‘used to be?’” Tenny asked.

Trisk jabbed Darrow in the gut. “We weren’t going to mention that part, remember?”

Sain gritted his teeth behind the armor’s visor. He flicked his eyes toward the horizon where the Nameless was moving out from behind the casino.

Vornis shifted the canister back to his other hand. “So you met these other guys?” he asked. “What did you say, Chinpo? They’re all siblings?”

Chinpo was seated on the roof of the cab. “Slaberdashia called them as such,” he explained. “But we never saw one until now. Who did you encounter? Did they use magic like hers?”

“We saw the guy that was swapping memories around during the fair,” Dark said. “A tall guy in a turtleneck. We left him on that statue-ship.”

“He took some of Tenny’s memories, though,” Darrow lamented.

“Well they don’t seem all bad,” Mean offered. “I met Whittler. She’s the one that, uh, attacked everyone with knives after my final round. But–! She was being tricked into doing it! I think.” She stood before Elder Sain. “That’s right–we were coming to tell you that Cougo forced her to attack us and then wiped her memory.”

Elder Sain held up his shackled arms. “If you want me to do something then let me out of these,” he said. “I am the one responsible for my siblings; it was I that punished Shrine Haas when he went to your world. He used the name ’Templetine,’ I believe.”

“Sounds like it was the permanent kind of punishment,” Jelk observed. “I guess that explains that empty building we found.”

“What?” Mean said. “Is that what Whittler wanted? She knew you’d kill him?”

“Whittler is bloodthirsty,” Elder told her. “She would perform the execution herself if she had things her way. But she isn’t one of us; she is allowed to be here by Beebee’s grace.”

Jelk snickered. Mean glared at him.

“I met her,” she said. “She’s actually a nice woman, so don’t laugh.”

“I’m sorry,” Jelk said.

“I did sort of smack her in the face though,” Mean admitted.

Jelk sputtered again and Dark held his hand to his mouth.

“Why would you strike her; Beebee has never harmed anybody!” Sain said.

Mean rubbed her elbow. “I thought she was going to cook me for dinner or something,” she said. “I thought everyone here was like Hellzoo.”

“Like a what now?” Tyle asked. “Please tell me that’s not something else I have to worry about.”

“I don’t know–do we?” Vornis asked. Mean sighed through her teeth and looked out at the casino. The Ferris wheel was dark, along with the surrounding attractions. The blinking signs on the building itself were the only lights active.

“We saw her over at that park:” Mean said, “She was there fighting with one of the other guys that kidnapped me.”

“Hellzoo? You mean Shirka?” Elder Sain asked. He lurched forward; Vornis held him back with his free arm. “Did you see what happened!?”

“We were busy running for our lives, man!” Jelk said. Dark took the canister from Vornis and held it on Slaberdashia in his stead.

“She had a suit of armor with her,” Dark said, tipping his head back in Sain’s direction.

“It didn’t look like mine, did it?” Sain asked.

“It did,” Mean affirmed. “Only it was large enough to hold the tall guy.”

Elder Sain settled into the seat. “No, she couldn’t have the real ones,” he said. “Not now; I’ve been so careful.”

“I’m pretty sure that armor was real,” Tenny said. “It opened up–covered him. All the magic I was sensing in him just vanished.”

“No,” Sain whispered. He let his head fall into his hands. “I’ve kept this armor on the whole time–”

“What does that have to do with anything?” Darrow asked. “You can’t do much in there anyway.”

Sain kept staring down. The Nameless was gliding across the glass plain, leaving a long, white reflection beneath it. Dark cleared his throat, speaking back to Sain again.

“There’s something in your head you don’t want getting out.”

Elder Sain turned. “That’s right,” he said. “You may think we’re monsters: living in some nightmarish place. But we came from someplace even worse. Forced to perform in experiments by the one that created us. Her name is Zonzabee–one of the first beings ever created.”

Jelk nearly toppled over. “Zonz!? The Zonz? Manufacturer of the Bottomless Hall? That one!?”

“How do you know what he’s talking about?” Trisk asked.

Jelk straightened up. “I’m always researching offensive personas to use at the fair games; ol’ Zonz is a classic. I thought she was just a myth, though.”

“A myth?” Elder Sain repeated. “I wanted it to be so. I wanted everything from that place to be forgotten. This armor is the only thing we brought with us when we escaped: I wear it to hide the memories of Zonzabee’s works.”

“You didn’t have any problem with taking it off when you sliced King’s pyramid up,” Trisk said.

“I don’t need to hide anything from you,” Sain laughed. “It’s my siblings. Some begged Cougo to take their memories of that place out of them. So I had him put the most unpleasant ones in me. But Shirka–with her ability I couldn’t risk being exposed.”

“You put on the armor so she couldn’t get at your memories,” Dark said. “But she only makes illusions; what’s the risk?”

“You don’t know anything,” Elder Sain said. “Zonzabee wouldn’t bother with something as petty as that. Shirka was designed to manifest memories as real, physical objects.”

Mean looked at Dark. “But she only made illusions before.” She looked back to Sain. “Do you mean that ring?”

“I said you didn’t know the whole story,” Sain snapped.

Trisk tapped Mean on the shoulder. “I can punch through his armor again if you want.”

“You really did that, didn’t you?” Mean said. “But no, it must be what Whittler said: they need to steal magic from lots of people. And they’d all need to be thinking about Hellzoo.” She stroked at her hair, bunching it behind her head as she thought. “There wasn’t anyone on the planet when we fought. It was just me and a few others that saw her.”

“It’s as I said,” Elder Sain began. “A few people would only give her enough strength to make harmless phantasms. I know about all of this already; I know every incursion she’s made into your world. I was the first to realize your population had reappeared and I put the armor on immediately after that. Now release me so I can go deal with her.”

“What do you say?” Tyle asked through the cab window. “Want me to get you all back home? I’m sure you can finish whatever it is you’re talking about on solid ground, hm?” His eyebrows rose, expectant. The Nameless continued to drift across the starry sky.

Mean touched Dark’s arm. “Wait. Hellzoo did get seen. Dark, the hall!”

“Is that what you call it?” Sain chuckled. “I know of this; it’s what Shirka attached her avatar to. I told you there weren’t enough people on the planet to see her.”

“It didn’t go to another spot on the planet,” Mean said. “It went over to our world.”

Sain faltered. “What? No–it doesn’t matter. Your world doesn’t have magic.”

“That’s right,” Dark said. “But Mean–“

“That’s what Parlay was doing!” she finished. “Hellzoo could have shown up at anytime, right? Parlay had that hall open for at least an hour while the city was flying around and we were fighting.”

“So why wait that long?” Dark said. “Unless she was waiting for something else to occur?”

Mean nodded and paced over to Trisk. “Parlay had that hall open so that magic would get dumped all over our world–he said it would flow there naturally.”

“Ah,” Jelk affirmed, stroking the tuft of hair on his chin. “‘Magic flows to where none exists.’ One of the first things you learn in school.” Trisk gave him a patronizing pat on the head.

“And that’s when Hellzoo showed up,” Mean said, pacing back over to Dark. “After Parlay said that everything had been saturated. That’s when she showed up. That’s when reached through to the cliff and the city.”

Elder Sain smacked his shackled limbs against the seat. “Are you telling the truth!?” he demanded. “She appeared in front of a city!?” He pulled himself up. “How many people!? How many people saw her!?”

Dark tapped the canister against Sain’s chest. “Everyone could see it,” he said. “All over the island. St. Tra alone has nearly half a million. The areas on the ground below that have around two million.”

“We could never figure out what she was doing,” Mean said. “Those chains were just wrapping around buildings and wrecking things. She just wanted to be seen.”

Sain fell back into his seat. He clenched his hands into fists and slammed them against his legs. “Millions!? She was seen by millions!?” He kicked the floor with his boot. “She acted as if you had destroyed her avatar before anything had happened!”

“We did destroy it,” Mean told him.

“But that’s all anyone on Jesice could talk about,” Dark said. “‘The monster in the sky’ was on the news–everywhere for months.”

“How could I have been so stupid!?” Elder Sain shouted. “She played me! Always talking of revenge; all while she had an entire island of people focusing on her!”

“They couldn’t even use the magic themselves,” Dark said. “Does that mean she would have gotten it all? But what did she do with that energy? Made the armor?”

“That’s why the others didn’t stop you on your way here;” Sain said, “She was able to recreate everything; contain them like how they used to be.” He spun in his seat, scanning the plain; the buildings; the ship.

“Contained?” Mean asked. “That’s what the armor was for?”

“We were all put inside our own suits,” Slaberdashia said, her voice rough. Vornis spun and stood; Chinpo’s hairs stood on end. Dark held the canister’s nozzle toward her head. “I won’t try anything,” she went on. “I’ve been awake ever since we came back to Arsiling.”

“Slab, are you alright?” Sain asked.

Slaberdashia coughed. “Elder, I couldn’t sense our siblings,” she said. “But there are people. There are others. They’re coming. Out from the other worlds.”

“What?” Sain uttered as a sudden cloud appeared in the sky. The group watched as the Nameless tipped forward: a plume of smoke expanded from somewhere behind it. They heard a delayed smack as the side with the male statue pitched in their direction.

 

DRAFT END

Super-Quick First Draft Notes:

Tyle, Vornis, and the Enpo take Slaberdashia and Sain through to Arsiling

But before they go I had King talk with Sain again. Nothing important; just some dialog I wanted to try out. If it works out I’ll probably move it to an earlier chapter. Y’know, during the parts where it’s just the two of them at the pyramid and they need something to discuss. Most of it is information that Clance has already mentioned. Maybe I’ll tell the story of why King chose his persona.

I’ll also need a better name for Tyle’s company than “Tyle’s Transports.” 😛

Everyone slurps some juice out of fruits

You may think that this is just a waste of a page. But dang it––proper hydration is important! And Trisk didn’t have anything to drink since she battled for her life against Pinada, was flung through time, beat up some guy at an upside-down pyramid that got diced into pieces and then ran around a magical casino.

C’mon! She’d be thirsty after all that! I need to keep things realistic.

Tyle’s Group Meets Mean’s Group

Man, there is just too much stuff I can do here. So many of these characters haven’t seen each other in a while; I could just let them talk forever. In fact I spent so much time writing that this turned out to be the longest chapter so far. That’s why there’s that abrupt ending. “Oh no, the ship is tipping over!” Yeah what a cliff-hanger. It’s like a mile away; who’s it going to hit?

 

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