As I said last week Kim already has a new chapter ready to go! I must honor her effort with quick blog posts. But first here’s a summary:
After Mackaba’s attack, Agent Tramania finds Mean and nurses her back to health. When Tramania goes to tell Darrow and Trisk what happened, Trisk tricks Tramania into taking them to where Mean is.
Whew. It’s a good thing I don’t have to say any of this out loud. How did this book turn into tongue twister hour?
Anyway, Trisk whisks Mean away to a hidden tower for some training. They ascend to higher floors by focusing on different emotions to activate the hex doors leading upward. This also gives Mean a chance to tell her thrilling backstory!
- Night had fallen in Darrow’s tropical spot. Monitors glowed, all set on their trays. The stars were smudged, appearing as flickering spots through the translucent tree leaves above. Amid the light rustle of leaves in tall branches, there came a loud pop.
- Kim – This creates a peaceful tone for the beginning of the chapter, but seems like they would all be worried about Mean instead, if she’s been missing for two days. Odd tone shift when Tramania appears.
Hm, you could be right. What do you think? Should Darrow be pacing and wringing his hands?
And, uh, this opening almost sounds like that poem The Night Before Christmas:
Monitors glowed, all set in their trays; while Darrow dreamed of happier days; when out on the hex door there came such a clatter, he sprung up from his lawn chair to see what was the matter: Upon the hex door Mackaba came in a flash: his uniform in tatters and clad in yellow sash!
Ha,ha I’ll stop before I get carried away.
Now Agent Tramania shows up at Darrow’s hex door. Not Mackaba.
- After a few moments of silence his grin faded; this person was taller and dressed in pink.
- Kim – Pink dress? Pink uniform?
Tramania is wearing full spelunking gear complete with explorer’s helmet, kneepads, and oven mitt. No, I’m kidding. Fine. A dress. Whatever. Come up with a cute ensemble in the comments.
- “You found her!? Where was she!? It’s been two days––Dark’s been looking everywhere!”
- Kim – Wait, she’s been missing for two days, yet when someone comes through the hex door and he thinks it’s Mean, he just smiles and pushes up on the arm rests? Seems like he would be about falling out of his chair.
Well, Darrow is lazy. But falling out of the chair WOULD be funnier. But now I’ll have to change the book AND my Night Before Mackaba-mas poem.
Tramania leaves through the hex door and visits Trisk at Stone Rory Refuge next.
- “Sorry to startle you. My name is Tramania Newbold. I have a short message.”
- Kim – But she didn’t startle her? Trisk didn’t react at all, so why would she say that?
That’s the joke; Tramania said the exact same thing to Darrow. These are practiced lines from a government worker. She’s just going around feeding them this rehearsed crap so she can get back to spying on people.
Now we skip ahead to the tower where Mean and Trisk go to train.
- “The image on the ceiling is just a representation of the path to come.”
- Kim – What image on the ceiling? What she’s seeing through the open space? Thought that was like a rotunda?
The ceiling is showing an image of the upper floors as they would appear if the building was whole. But since each floor is in a separate area of the world, they’re not really connected.
But hold up–what’s a rotunda? Lemme check the dictionary. “A large and high circular hall or room in a building, especially one surmounted by a dome.” Wait. Wait. There’s a NAME for this kind of tower!? -_-
Now Trisk needs Mean to feel hatred in order to proceed up to the next floor. There are pictures on the wall that provide clues as to what emotion you need to experience.
- She turned to indicate a mural on the far wall: It depicted a large man in a sweater. He was lying on his back in some sort of arena. His arms were sprawled across the bottom edge of the painting.
- Kim – Trisk really hates large men in sweaters, I guess? Um, was he wearing anything else besides the sweater?
Trisk wasn’t the one who put the mural there! And yes, he is wearing something else. The perspective of the image doesn’t show it though. Sorry.
- This man’s face was half-obscured by the shadow of the brim of his dome-shaped hat.
- Kim – Is this like a crown? Or a bowler hat?
No it isn’t a bowler. What are those wide hats that go out past the shoulders? Ah. I remember now: they’re mushroom man hats. I’ll be sure to go back and call it by the proper name.
Mean feels hatred for Mackaba and what he did to her. They move to the next floor.
- “You made it, so don’t dwell on that feeling anymore. We can rest a bit before trying for the next level.”
- Kim – They need to rest already? Hope there aren’t that many floors.
Ha,ha. I know, they only went up one floor. But Mean had to focus her mind on hatred in order to do so! And that meant she had to think about a recent experience where she was trapped in water and shot up with poison darts! Trisk just wants her friend to get a break after such a painful recollection. I guess Mean should be thankful you aren’t the one in the tower with her, you slave driver! 😉
- The man pictured was wearing an oversized sweater, his gaze vacant as he cradled his head with both hands.
- Kim – Is it the same man? Or does everyone have matching sweaters? Is Trisk wearing the same sweater?
Yes, the next floor has a picture of a different man but he has the same sweater. It has the maze-like mandala design on it, same as Trisk’s. Sweaters for all. I thought I put that in the chapter. Whoops.
Now it’s time for Mean to divulge her past.
- “Well, there is something I’ve been feeling guilty about. Can I say it out loud, though? Can I just tell you?”
- Kim – Who else would she tell? There’s no one else in there, right? And how else would she tell Trisk other than out loud? Would she write a note? Are there writing utensils nearby?
This is something Mean says to Trisk, but she’s also sort of questioning herself. Like: “Can I do it?” or “Can I really say it out loud?”
Trust me, Kim, I know the feelings of a woman’s heart!
- Mean sobbed into the white folds of her robe, vanishing as Trisk reached out to console her.
- Kim – Wondering about expanding this a bit?
Hm? What do you mean? She vanished, leaving Trisk behind. And as you said there are no notes, writing utensils, email, or phones for Trisk to use. What is there to expand? I’d make a silly multiple choice question but I seriously don’t know what you’re saying here, haha.
And that confusing bit brings the chapter to a close! As I write this post Kim has also finished chapters twelve and thirteen! I’d better get busy.
Ugh, Borderlands 3 comes out this week too. A true test of willpower is in store for me.