It’s party time! Kim has completed her critique of the entire book! She started out slow, but I just knew the pure wonder and fast-paced plotting of Abandonment Party would spur her onward to the end!
As she read through the finale, I could feel her excitement coming through her late night Facebook messages:
Two A.M.? She miiiiight have been a bit delirious from reading at such an hour. I’m sure those chapters are fine, heh heh. But we’ll talk about those parts later. It is now time for chapter 19: Disillusion!
Summary: A flashback reveals that Tyle gave up his crippled limbs willingly for the good of the company.
In the present, Trisk and Tyle fight. Tyle grabs Trisk and holds her against a support pillar.
Mean and Dark are still trapped inside the tunnel, with a hex door at each end that sends them back into the middle of the tunnel. Mean comes up with a cunning plan to overload the battery by tossing Dark into the hex door repeatedly.
On Jesice, Tecker meets up with Hatchel and learns his secret: ALIENS! Tecker’s an alien. But he knows magic, and he has enough power to stop Error. (The bronze machine.)
Trisk is still being held in place on that pillar. She switches out of her static art to her ‘tearing’ art. She rips apart Tyle’s mechanical limbs, but switching arts drains her magic and causes her to faint.
First we start off in a flashback at Trisk’s childhood house. Tyle is there too, and he still has all his arms and legs.
- Tyle was seated on the side of a bed with blue sheets.
- Kim – A bed or her bed? Why is he in her bed? Why wouldn’t he just be sitting on a chair? Or was something going on?
Trisk’s bed. People love sitting on beds. You don’t go into a bedroom to sit on a chair. That’s what every other room in a house is for.
Ah, I see. You just want me to put an explicit sex scene in the book. Nice try, Kim!
- Trisk walked over to the bed from the closet, where a punching bag hung next to her clothes.
- Kim – That’s an odd place to keep a punching bag. Wouldn’t the closet bar break? That’s like 80lbs hanging there. Usually need special anchors to hang up, and when not in use, just lays on the ground.
What I MEANT to say was “a punching bag hung next to her clothes, affixed properly to a sturdy ceiling support with the appropriate anchors, swivels, and springs.”
It’s also a spacious walk in closet because of COURSE you need a few feet to account for the sway of the bag. I must have erased all that on accident before I sent you the chapter, Kim. 😉
- She caressed Tyle’s right hand.
- Kim – How old are they supposed to be here? Children? Sounds like an oddly romantic gesture for kids to be doing.
Oops, I forgot say how old they were. They’re teenagers here. This scene opens with the location as ‘Trisk’s childhood home’ so I can see why you might be confused. They are NOT children, and are of legal hand-caressing age.
- Trisk pouted, getting up from the bed. “You just want to be an advertisement.”
- Kim – pouted and got up? Also sounds oddly romantic for her to be on the bed with him. Did they used to date?
Kim, the chapter where Kim and Tyle meet again is called “Reunion of Lovers.” Who did you think I was referring to with that title? Parlay? The flying snails!? Seat cushions?
Now we’re back in present day.
- The news broadcasts went on in the garage-like lobby of the Dhaston building.
- Kim – So are we back in present day?
Yes. Should I outright spell it out in the narrative? I guess I could mention that it’s the ‘Hardpan’ Dhaston building so you don’t think it’s a Dhaston building over on Jesice. They have a few.
- She dashed forward and Tyle wheeled back; Trisk spun on her heel as he retreated. She bolted for the hex door.
- Kim – Why? Where does this hex door lead? Why is she trying to get to it?
Kim! Stop her! She’s trying to escape the book!
The story isn’t that bad, Trisk. I’ll try to give you a motive to run to the hex door, I promise. Just don’t leave!
Ha,ha. I was thinking Trisk was going to warn the people on Jesice, but what good would it do now?
- Dhaston screetched after her in a blur and caught her by the sweater.
- Kim – Ah, so she didn’t protect her sweater properly.
Yeah. As you recall, she took her sweater off before her first fight at Stone Rory. But she accidentally left it on THIS time as a subtle clue to the reader that she isn’t fighting with a clear head.
Or maybe I just forgot to write ‘she removed her sweater,’ and Tyle took advantage of my mistake. These fictional characters sure are crafty.
- Each blow was stopped before meeting his face; the mechanical arm intercepting her hands with swift precision each time.
- Kim – Re-word? Like have him block one blow first, then mention repeated blows and blocks?
Oh, right, like in Dragon Ball Z: The two characters will clash, the first hit will be blocked, and the combatants will be locked in place for a few seconds. THEN comes the ‘Dah-dah-dah-dah-POW!’ of the super-speed fighting.
Now we’re back in the tunnel where Mean and Dark are trapped.
- Mean held out her left arm with a frown on her face: her bracelet’s silver lens was now glowing orange.
- Kim – Wait, there’s a lens? Was that ever mentioned before when she got the bracelet? I thought it was just leather with a silver decoration?
You’re right! I didn’t mention the lens before! PLOT TWIST!
I’ll just go back and put it in the original description. And… done.
Mean is about to use Dark and his armor as an object to throw down the tunnel so that the hex door’s battery wears down.
- Mean smiled. “Great idea, Dark.” She backed up past the half-way point of the tunnel.
- Kim – Why is she doing this? I guess so he doesn’t appear where she’s standing, but it’s not quite clear.
Yeah she’s backing up so Dark doesn’t hit her. What? You got it. I see no need to clarify further.
Although if Mean WAS standing in the hex door destination area, the hex door at the end of the tunnel wouldn’t activate. Hex doors have safeguards against telefrags, as the the term is known in the game Doom. So Dark would be able to escape. That would leave Mean trapped in there, though. 🙁
Now we’re back on Jesice, where Tecker is running around after hearing about Error.
- Tecker shook his head. “Huh? Hatchel? The man I go jogging with sometimes?
- Kim – Has this been mentioned before ever? Or is this new information? If so, should be mentioned before.
Yeah, Hatchel was jogging with Tecker in chapter nine. You JUST critiqued that part six months ago, Kim! C’mon!
- The Lord Ley addressed the two in a curt manner. “Hatchel and Overseer J. You’ve already met.”
- Kim- Is that her name? Or is J a placeholder for a name? And if he knew her name, why not use that before when he looked over and saw them arguing?
Yes, the letter J is her name. Should I spell it differently? Jey? Jae? J’hyaegh?
Kim’s note here is pointing at ‘Also, that you’.
- The doors closed. “All right, Hatchel,” Tecker said. “Vail just told me that you’re an alien. Also, that you can stop the machine that’s been eluding the military’s attacks all day. Anything else you want to add?”
- Kim – Re-word? Sounds a little unnatural out loud.
You’re still reading these lines out loud? This work is meant to be experienced in the mind! The bun is in your mind!
However, you seem to be right this time. How’s this?
“Vail just told me that you’re an alien. And that you can somehow stop the machine. And that Brad Smith is the greatest, most handsome writer in the entire universe. Anything else you want to add?”
Read that out loud a few times, Kim. See how it plays.
- “Just that I have a good reason for keeping quiet about the alien thing: I have a daughter to protect.”
- Kim – So he’s kept that a secret for years but decided to tell Tecker now because reasons?
Hatchel MUST convince Tecker that he can stop Error. That’s why he needs to tell him that he’s an alien that understands the magical technology. I don’t say it here, but his daughter is Mean. And since she’s off-world now he can finally reveal the family secret without fear of her being chased by alien hunters.
Now we’re back at Trisk and Tyle’s fight.
- Tyle still held Trisk tight at her neck, pressing her against one of the lobby’s bare, steel supports. She clawed at the synthetic skin on his pale arm; she kicked at the air under her feet.
- Kim – How are her legs not able to reach his torso? Are her legs that short? Or is his pale arm that long? Usually legs are longer than arms.
I went to Kim’s house shortly after she critiqued this chapter. I told her: let’s act this scene out. I’ll be Tyle, and use this ottoman as the Dhaston orb under my leg. You be Trisk, since the character is based on you. Then, I’ll choke you and you try to kick me.
That’s a really good idea, right? And guess what? Kim was able to reach my torso with her kicks! And even my face! Turns out that legs ARE longer than arms.
When I regained consciousness, Kim had some ideas about how to make this scene more believable. She said “Have Tyle’s synthetic arm stretch out like Inspector Gadget. Then Trisk can’t reach him and she’d HAVE to destroy it.”
Ehhhhh, I might just re-write the entire scene.
But how? Any ideas, guys? Could he use his entire body to pin her against the pillar? Maybe grab her from behind in a submissive hold?
But the scene needs to end with Trisk SHREDDING Tyle’s mechanical arm and leg.
- Trisk crumpled against the support pillar. “You always looked better without those,” she mumbled with staggered breath.
- Kim – Nice ending line!
In case you haven’t noticed, Kim uses the ‘sandwich’ method of criticizing. She graced me with a single compliment in chapter one to soften the blow of the next 4,390 complaints.
I’m kidding, Kim! Kidding! Don’t kick me again….
- She slumped over and closed her dark eyes.
- Kim – Not clear on what magic she just used or what just happened.
It’s because I was really vague about it!
But it would be awkward to have Trisk explain it as she’s getting choked. So I’ll have MEAN explain it as her bracelet is flashing in the tunnel. She’ll be like, “Oh no! Trisk is using up her magic! That must mean she’s switching out of her static art and into tear mode! That will destroy any inorganic limbs that are choking, grabbing, or pummeling her, but she will faint afterwards from the shock of losing her magic!”
Yeah. Yeah, that’s good.
See you next time in chapter twenty! Six more to go! 😉