Another solid chapter critique by Kim. However, she was a bit upset with me over last week’s post. You see, she felt that I left out TOO many of her hilarious margin edits because I spent all that blog space talking about Piccolo.
So this week I’ll make more room for Kim’s hilarious gags! I’ll just toss out this ‘Justification of Frieza’ essay. It took me five minutes to write. -_-
Summary: Mean and Dark reach the top floor of the Dhaston building. Dring comes running down from the roof. He tells them that Parlay is sending the city of Hardpan crashing into Jesice. Mean calms him down and tells him to escape with Dark.
After Dark and Dring leave through a hex door, Mean finds Parlay on the roof. She confronts him inside a large cage, and the entire thing blasts off from the roof toward the hall above.
Parlay explains how he’s going to saturate Jesice with magical energy. Then he will release the Slate virus, which will be programmed to inflict a ‘static’ effect. He will create a world of people that never change, never get hurt, and never die. And Hardpan city will fall on them, so they KNOW they’re saved.
Mean is reminded of the story of how Pinada saved Overland from a comet. She realizes that Parlay is trying to re-create the same favorable circumstances that made Pinada a hero.
Mean and Dark reach the top floor, where Tyle’s office is.
- A painting of Tyle Dhaston hung on the wall: he was wearing a suit and a chrome-plated version of his mechanical leg. An older, similar-looking man––save for the cybernetic limbs––posed next to him. Mean surveyed the room, and the painting wobbled.
- Kim – Why does only the painting move? Is it magic and trying to tell them something? Did Tyle just die and his ghost is trying to communicate?
Ha,ha, that’s possible. Don’t take this post’s intro too seriously, Kim. I’m glad you’re joking around more often.
As for the wobbling, I meant to say the painting wobbled ALONG with all the other loose objects in the room. The city is flying higher so EVERYTHING should be shaking.
Mean looks out the window and sees some clouds that I forgot to mention before.
- Mean made her way over to the large window, slowing as she gazed out over the city: clouds were moving to cover the sun, and the gold fields beyond the high rooftops had sunken down out of sight.
- Kim – Thought there were “scant clouds” today? And the few that were out were being sucked into the “hall”? Where are the clouds covering the sun coming from? And how can she even see the sun with the giant hall in the sky? How does she see through it or around it? And wouldn’t she notice the hall first before anything else since it’s such an unusual sight?
Yeah, I need to do a better job here and say that THESE clouds are rolling in from the west. I probably should have mentioned them earlier and specify that the ‘scant clouds’ are just above the city. This is the storm that’s going on during the epilogue, so it needs to be on the way now.
And the hall itself is much higher than you think it is. Beeeeecause I never actually told you in the narrative how high it was. Oopsie!
Dring comes down from the roof, crying. He apologizes to Mean for everything bad that he did for Parlay. He tells her that he was smitten with her from the first day they met at the juice bar. He just wanted to be normal. He just wanted Parlay to give him a chance at true love. And then he mentions that the city they’re on is going to crash into a another city.
- “But Pa-lay did something awful––he made a hole in the sky that leads back to Jesice. This city is going wight in!”
- Kim – Seems like he should’ve led with this…
Ha,ha! But then Mean wouldn’t stick around to hear his heartfelt words! C’mon, Kim! It’s almost Valentines’ Day! Let him express his love!
Dark wonders why Parlay would smash the cities into each other.
- “Why in the world would Parlay do that!?” Dark asked.
- Kim – Why is this in Italics?
Oh, you mean you haven’t figured out who Dark really is yet? Well, come back after you’ve read the other three books and see if the italics make sense then. 😉
I know these ‘secret things’ are a pain, but after you learn the whole story it will become clear. Trust me. If I DIDN’T put this line in, your future self would come back to this part and be like ‘Why didn’t Dark say anything here?’ Like, seriously. I’m preventing potential critiquing with this.
Dring sends Dark away through a hex door and he’s never seen again until the final chapter.
- Dark called out as the hexagonal shape formed, with Mean nodding just as he was taken away.
- Kim – Sounds like Dring could’ve sent him anywhere. They’re very trusting here.
You’re right about them being too trusting. I’m going to change this part so that Dring and Dark go back down to the underground tunnel instead. The mechanism to stop the city will be down there, but it will require a power transfer from Dark’s suit in order to get it working. Y’know, since Mean drained the engine when they escaped from Dring’s trap.
This will also bring up the issue of trust: Dark’s armor will be powerless as the city falls. He will have to trust that Dring will save him with his hex door magic. And since Dring is jealous of Dark, he might NOT save him!
With Dring and Dark gone, Mean decides it’s time to go after Parlay himself.
- She walked to the door labeled “ROOF” and yanked it open: a curved ramp lead upward, and she took a deep breath, stomping up.
- Kim – Why is it curved? Is it like a spiral staircase with no stairs? How did they get anything up to the roof with something like that? And why no stairs?
I’m shocked, Kim! How can you be so insensitive to the needs of an orb-bound person like Tyle? This is his building! He can’t climb stairs! And if HE can’t climb them, then NOBODY will. Ramps for everyone.
- Kim – Oh good, so he’ll hear her coming? That’s nice of her to give away any element of surprise. Maybe re-word?
Parlay already knows Mean is coming up because he can sense her magic. Mean knows this, and she’s also upset that she has to walk up a weird curved spiral staircase. That’s why she doesn’t care if Parlay hears her stomping. Just be glad I don’t have her scream “PARLAAAAAAAY” as she runs up, Luffy-style. 😉
Mean reaches the roof.
- She reached another doorway that lead out to the top of the building, and a cool rush of wind greeted her as she pushed it ajar.
- Kim – How does she know where it leads before she opened it? Maybe: At the top of the ramp, she pushed open another door and a cool rush of wind greeted her?
The sign said ‘ROOF’ before she went up. But yeah, your wording is still better.
Mean sees the hall for the first time.
- Inside the immense pentagon, the top of tall cliff could be seen through blue haze, along with the hanging city.
- Kim – Is that the name of the cliff? Tall Cliff? Or a tall cliff? And kind of wondering if it should have a name?
Ha,ha. No, I meant ‘the top of a tall cliff.’ But Tall Cliff would be a good name. I just didn’t think it needed a name since it’s the only super-tall cliff on the continent. But, yeah. Tall Cliff. That’s good. Thanks for the smashing idea, Kim.
Parlay is already in the cage, smiling.
- Parlay was still standing inside the large, squared-off section of flooring.
- Kim – Still standing? This is Mean’s POV, so she wouldn’t know that. Maybe: On the roof, Parlay stood inside a…wait, it’s a section of flooring? Could it just be called a rooftop deck? And still not sure what the purpose of this thing he’s standing on is. Like why can’t he just stand on the roof? Does he need a special platform to look cooler? Or does he work better standing on a wooden floor no matter where he is? Did he make Dring build a wooden floor for him before this? Or was it already there? Is this wooden floor thing important to the story in some way?
Kim called me to discuss this flying cage. She suggested that I introduce it earlier in the book. I don’t really have a problem with doing that, since there was a story behind the cages anyway.
You see, there weren’t many flying vehicles on Overland. Most people flew around on rories, the magical snails you’ve heard so much about. And rories attacked anything in the sky that was much larger than they were. So the hovering platform Parlay uses would only be used by the very wealthy, since it had to be programmed with anti-rory defenses. That’s also why a cage surrounds the platform. That part isn’t so expensive, though.
Kim told me that the water park scenes would be a good spot to dump this info. Sounds fine to me.
Mean is angry that Parlay is smiling when she meets up with him. She believes he manipulated Dring, and left Tyle to die.
- “And what about Dhaston?” she asked. “Are you just going to let him die down there?”
- Kim – Um, wait, didn’t she leave him to die too? Or is he already dead? It sounds like everyone else has seen him and left him to die in this book. Is it just Parlay’s turn to go see him and leave him to die too and she’s just letting him know?
Ha,ha,ha,ha. I didn’t write that part, but yes, Mean and Dark went past Tyle on their way to the elevator. Parlay even calls her out for it:
- “Once again, instead of doing something yourself, you choose to blame me. Whining and accusing––you’d fit right in with those from my world.”
- Kim – Yeah, kind of agree with him here. Why didn’t she and Dark do anything to stabilize Tyle or something? And why did Vornis and Darrow just leave him to die? And didn’t Trisk try to kill him first? The heroes are a little dark here.
When did I ever call them heroes? And what were they supposed to do to help Tyle anyway? They aren’t doctors. There’s no 911 to call. They have no idea how to get Tyle off his orb. The only one that can really help is Parlay, so Mean just assumes he’d want to save his henchman.
With that said, I do like it when the reader is able to agree with the antagonists on some points. Makes them more believable. It WAS all covered in my Frieza essay, but oh well.
- His loose, white shirt billowed against the tight vest that he wore, and he looked down at Mean as she walked closer.
- Kim – Just letting you know he really sounds like a pirate here.
That is also a plus for antagonists. But you don’t need an essay to tell you that.
Parlay tells Mean that he’s going to expose everyone to the Slate virus.
- “A virus! I knew it!” Mean snapped, “You liar! You––”
- Kim – Wait, why is she calling him a liar? He just told her what he’s going to do.
Oops, I need to make this more clear. Mean is referring to the original infection that sent all the other Jesians back to their home planet before the start of the book. Parlay claimed that he didn’t do that, but he was behind it after all. I guess he might as well admit it to her now. Maybe he does in the next chapter? I can’t remember.
- “You have no idea what the slate virus is,” Parlay purred. “It is blank until given a command to copy. I won’t give it the command to kill.”
- Kim – To copy as in replicate? Or to obey?
Hm, I guess that sentence could be taken a few different ways. ‘Command’ is a problem too, since that noun can refer to either an order or the act of ordering. Is the virus copying a command? Was the virus commanded to copy? I could just say “It is blank until given a magical pattern to force upon its host.”
Parlay launches the cage.
- He clicked the button again and the cage lurched, splitting from the roof and launching upward. Mean staggered and steadied herself, bracing her legs as Parlay chuckled.
- Kim – Couldn’t she just use her magic?
Mean COULD do that, yes. But she wants to keep Parlay in the dark when it comes to her abilities. It’s that ‘element of surprise’ you were speaking of earlier. 😉
Parlay is discussing his plan with Mean when something interrupts.
- “ENGAGING PRESSURE AND TEMPERATURE REGULATIONS,” a robotic voice called.
- Kim- Huh, where is that voice coming from? The remote?
Error came back to life! Hide!
No, it’s the flying cage’s AI that said it. I didn’t want the reader to get confused when Mean didn’t shiver or faint from the thinning atmosphere.
Speaking of the cage: Kim, didn’t you suggest a different name for it on your phone call? A viewing platform? Maybe I’ll call it that instead. Sounds more sophisticated.
Mean realizes that the events happening now are very similar to the story of Pinada the hero.
- She trailed off, looking up through the bars to the hole roaring above them. “Like a comet.”
- Kim – Wait, the hole is roaring? Like it’s making a sound? How are they even able to talk to each other then?
Um. Wait! I think the robotic voice has something else to say!
“EXCESSIVE ROARS DETECTED. EXTERNAL NOISE DAMPENERS ACTIVATED.”
Ha,ha, maybe not. But yeah, all the air and magic is pushing through the hall into the lower air pressure environment of Jesice. So there’s noise, but I guess I’ll say it’s more like hearing a jet plane engine far overhead.
And with that the chapter ends. Did I put in enough of your jokes, Kim? Please tell me in the comments. And there never was a Frieza essay. 😉
See you next time!
“I just didn’t think it needed a name since it’s the only super-tall cliff on the continent.”
So you’re saying it was extraordinary. Those kind of places are usually named. And you’d better save “Tall Cliff” for the villain in a future book!
Okay, guys! Get to work thinking up a name for the cliff then! Most of the named cliffs on Earth are all boring. “White Cliffs of Dover” or some such.