Backstory, Worldbuilding, and Other Things

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, this is your author writing. If you’ll look slightly to the left in the section labelled ‘Things’, you’ll see a new thing, that being the Troped! Saga-Project-Thing, where all posts related to this project and an introduction to said project will be lovingly listed for those of you who can’t find the page you’re already on. Thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiings…

That being this page, wherein we delve into some of the tedious minutiae of writing an ingenious (-ly cliched) novel. Since it’s always the will of the villain that the ball gets rolling, their motivations are the most important to the plot. While Mercedes’ motivation is not entirely clear to me yet, the stories of the other four Five Bad Band members are–we knew that Cheviot and Twist were the victims of horrible experiments, and that Twist was only there by accident, but why was Cheviot? And what made Winnie the robot join them?

Troped 5b

So, Nick was a drug-dealing public school prep (I have since decided that his real name will be ‘Niccolo Mackenzie’, and his fake name ‘Nick Cheviot’, where before the first names were switched. This makes the obvious Machiavelli reference all my fault, not his) who accidentally killed three people and permanently damaged two more. One would imagine he finds it bitterly ironic, therefore, that he must regularly shoot up in order to survive.

Winnie meanwhile, had a ‘Dead Little Sister’ trope noted beside her name, and having the same scientist/CEO who experimented on Nick and Twist be responsible for her death seems to fit them nicely. I like to think Winnie has a shrine to Regatta on the Parhelion, and that while Winnie is largely emotionless in make-up, Regatta was a bubbly kind of soul–perhaps much like Tessa Lovelace (See other Troped! posts), which could give those two characters an interesting dynamic.

I haven’t mentioned Adrian yet. During the break-out in which he was taken hostage (did the Turner parents have something to do with the break-out? Probably so.) he was left for dead, but rescued by Nick–earning his undying loyalty, even to the point of turning against his own sister.

It does make me wonder why the hell Cheviot bothered to do this whole ruse as a high school teacher if he knew where Amy was and that she was the one who had the serum the rest of them needed to survive without the constant drug-use in her blood. Why didn’t he just get together a team and kidnap her? Perhaps he didn’t know where she was. Perhaps he’d spent the past four years putting himself and his followers in key locations throughout the galaxy where they could get records of high-schoolers who might be Amy and it was just his luck that she happened to be at the school where he, the leader, had placed himself.

In that case it must have been Frontier X who was hiding her identity. Who is Frontier X, you might ask? Well…

Troped 6

After the worldbuilding information on how many colonies there are in the galaxy we get some more information on the man who made the Altercons, killed by Nick when he escaped Ambrosia and rescued Adrian. (What exactly happened that day is food for thought for another time). I realised Trine Zhirenkov is said to be out to get Amy, but I think she’d let her live long enough to lure Nick and his gang out of hiding. Their respective schemes and how Amy came to be on Rhea and living with the Solus family require much more thought though–for another time, perhaps.

Enjoy the existence of Johan Zhirenkov, Winnie’s penpal, who she probably acted as bodyguard to along with Regatta when he was a child, learning what it meant to be human and all that shit. Also enjoy Mercedes’ hobby, the page-marker once again falling onto the page, and me mispelling the word ‘Chief’.

Tomorrow (hopefully) we get a post on one of my other novels, in honour of the NaNo prep month beginning, as the novel in question was last year’s NaNo project. After that, be prepared for a massive twist in the direction of Troped!, not the twist, but an interesting turn of events I probably should have thought of sooner all the same…

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XVI: Anterograde Amnesia Attacks (Part II)

PART TWO

Chapter Twenty-One

Now Nina goes to meet Wei’s parents. Soon they’ll be getting married, aww.

(I wish)

And it would have been both of their first times, since it turns out Wei is also going to remain pure until she finds the right guy. Nina meets Wei’s dad, who after some boring exposition we’ve already heard, tells Nina her dad, who seems to have practically been a saint, won the debating championship of 2132.

Now, Sal had earlier said that the overlords had been in power for over 200 years, and if it’s about 2150 in canon then the overlords must have taken over in about 1950.

Which is something I must have missed.

The rest of the chapter is boring.

Chapter Twenty-Two

Ah, what am I talking about—they’re all boring! But we’re halfway through now, so I need to write shorter summaries.

Luckily, since this book decided to take the big plunge and actually have something of a plot, I’ve decided I can focus on the things which actually affect it. Oh, and I guess I can mention that Nina sees Sal with some new ho (oh noes!) and proceeds to whine about how he’s obviously dropped her because she’s poor, and not because she told him to get da fuk out last time they spoke.

Chapter Twenty-Three

Nina and Wei tell Dee to stay away from her Abusive!Dad, without giving her a reason because they want to ‘protect’ her from the knowledge that he’s abusive. That’s way more important than protecting her from actual abuse!

Then Wei’s martial arts instructor comes by to let the girls know that martial arts exists.

Chapter Twenty-Four

While out with Dee, Nina sees Abusive!Dad, who shouts that he wants to see Dee, and then Sal comes by and speeds them away. So, Abusive!Dad—or Ed, as his name actually is—seems to be the antagonist of the book.

… he’s not a very good antagonist. Sure, we’re told he’s abusive and all, but the actions of the villain are kind of one of those ‘show don’t tell’ things, and Ed just doesn’t seem all that threatening.

Plus, his name’s Ed. Seriously.

Chapter Twenty-Five

Upon returning home, Nina finds that someone’s broken in and stolen the Big Book o’ Plot Device, and she thinks Ed did it because he’s the bad guy.

But then Dee reveals that she was keeping the Plot Device, so it’s all good. Nina decides to go out so she can think about Sal and how boring he is, when she runs into a homeless woman who she recognises as Joan—Mike’s sister who got accepted into FeLS. Dun dun dun!

Chapter Twenty-Six

So FeLS is a government conspiracy thing, huh? Wow. Didn’t see that coming.

Except for how all the adults were going on about it.

But excitement happens, as Nina randomly gets a job offer from an art museum. Yay.

Then, after some boring reminiscing from Grandma, a wild Ed appears!

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Ed asks Nina if her mum left anything for him, so Nina gives him the old Mer-from-the-Selection treatment and RUNS AWAY. She and Wei laugh about it together. Good times.

They go to Derek’s concert—he’s in a boring band I couldn’t be bothered to mention until now—and Sandy shows up so Nina can think about how slutty she looks. Then she goes outside so Derek can get all ‘stop putting yourself in danger’ because of how she…

Because of how Sal is turning into Edward Cullen. Kissing ensues.

Then Nina mentions how the overlords adopted the same policy towards music as the twits from Delirium. Maybe they’ll merge together and XVI-Land can get cured of love, that’ll solve all their problems.

Like the fact that New Orleans was destroyed by another hurricane in 2025, which lead to a new impetus in the search for fossil fuel alternatives (for some reason), randomly exposited into the text.

Chapter Twenty-Eight

The dream team is stopped by the cops for a round of pointlessness, and then leave for—

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Damn, that was a short chapter!

In this chapter Sal randomly blurts out that he and his entire family are NonCons. Sandy is distraught, but then Sal tells her that the evil government lied about her dad’s death and she immediately believes him.

They discuss things they’ve discussed a million times before. Again.

Chapter Thirty

The dream team goes over the Plot Device while Ed the Terrible waits outside.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz…

Chapter Thirty-One

This chapter is devoted to Sandy going on and on about what a great thing the FeLS is and Nina doesn’t tell her about Joan because she’s just that great of a friend. Then again if I had to put up with Sandy, I might take any opportunity to see her abducted by the overlords.

Then it’s time for Grandma to exposit some more backstory that Nina should have already known about her mum and Ed. Nina has important things to tell her, but not as important as spending time with Sal, so she leaves.

Sal decides to take her to a La Resistance hideout. For a while they feel like they’re being followed by Ed, but at this point I assume they’re always being followed by Ed and don’t really care about it because he never DOES ANYTHING!

Chapter Thirty-Two

Nina meets Sal’s Aunt Rita (remember that name being mentioned? I didn’t) after hearing him talk about how things used to be great when there was free speech and shit.

Then kissing ensues.

Chapter Thirty-Three

Rita explains that Nina’s mum decided to become Ed’s girlfriend because he was the agent assigned to investigate Missing!Dad’s disappearance and was too stupid to realise that she was only with him for the info. Also he overheard mum telling Nina about the Plot Device, but was too stupid to tell anyone else about it. What a threatening villain.

Then Nina takes Sal home so she can be embarrassed over her grandpa’s missing leg. How dare he have a missing leg!

Chapter Thirty-Four

Ah, three quarters done. Hang in there, imaginary friends!

Things get serious as Ed kidnaps Nina and punches her so hard she “…actually felt my brain rattle in my head” which I guess is what happens when you have a brain as small as Nina’s. She escapes thanks to soft drinks, (Ed really is an incompetent moron) and runs to her beloved friends.

Sal helps by going on and on about how he’s going to kill Ed. Wei takes Nina to the bathroom to clean her up, where her face has immediately swollen up so badly that I can’t help but wonder if Ed was Edward Malus, who punched women while wearing a bear-suit in the Wickerman remake.

Maybe the bees will get him in the end…

Chapter Thirty-Five

Sal and Wei decide to use Wei’s dad’s influence to take care of Ed, after lots of boring conversations, of course.

Chapter Thirty-Six

So it turns out that Nina’s application to FeLS that her mother bought back from the overlords has gone missing, stolen by Ed the Terrible so he can get her into the FeLS program which Wei reveals is secretly not there to train girls to be diplomats IN SPACE, but to sell them into sexual slavery. What a twist. A really stupid twist.

Yeah, I saw this one coming a mile off, and I’m surprised no one in the book did even though as Nina points out, it makes no sense when girls are supposed to put out for everyone anyway. Apparently the difference is that the FeLS are virgins, which I’m sorry to point out can only happen once.

So why not just go ‘hey girls, want to lose your virginity to an overlord for an extra bonus!?’ and forget about the whole FeLS charade, which no doubt wastes a lot of time and resources?

Like sending the girls to Mars, which apparently no one notices, even though fifty of them went to FeLS in the past few years from Nina’s school alone. Nina protests that it sounds like fiction, and Wei tells her that ‘1984 was fiction, but it came true decades ago’.

Uh, no. Sorry to break it to you, guys—you may have one up over the morons from The Selection, but Big Brother is watching you and laughing his head off.

Well, they hit upon the idea that the only way out of this is to not be a virgin, but rather than considering that option for herself, Nina is thinking about Sandy. They don’t seem to think about actually telling Sandy about the whole sex slavery thing, but instead tricking her into losing her v-card for her own safety.

But not with Sal, of course! Nina’s twu wuv with Sal is much more important than seeing that Sandy doesn’t become a sex slave!

And then they forget about the whole thing and start talking about Derek’s band. Priorities!

Later on after the wonders of holistic medicine are applied to her face (the overlords have outlawed this too, what a tragedy) Wei’s dad tells Nina he’ll take care of everything.

Chapter Thirty-Seven

So the day of Nina’s tattooing approaches, prompting Nina to give Dee a lecture about how girls have no reproductive rights in this world, la la la, poorly disguised exposition dumps—probably shouldn’t have one of those so late in the book.

Chapter Thirty-Eight

Well, that was a really necessary chapter. This chapter has some more bitching about the overlords and the GPS trackers that they put in children—not to keep them safe, but to scrutinize their every move, of course—that’s why you get the option of having it removed when you’re an adult, because children are the most dangerous members of society.

Wei tells Nina about her thistle tattoo being meant to represent the Order of the Thistle, an ancient secret order that protected the true king of Scotland… which sounds like a bunch of made up bullshit to me. Turns out they’re not made up, but they’re not a secret and they never ‘protected the true king of Scotland’ either.

But never mind that, it’s time for bullshit romance. Nina tells Sal that even when she’s sixteen she doesn’t want to have sex with him, and Sal says he doesn’t want to have sex with her either, so they’re the perfect sexless people for each other, I guess.

And then Dee disappears.

… Good.

Chapter Thirty-Nine

Nina blames her sister’s disappearance on her attraction to Sal. That’s what happens when you get a boyfriend, girls!

… and then Dee randomly shows up again. Wow, that suspense really had me going… for about a minute.

And Sandy’s got her XVI tattoo, which gives Nina the opportunity to tell the reader how much she loves Sandy, even though she’s a total ho—but not enough to warn her about not signing up for the sexual slavery program!

Chapter Forty

Nina goes to show the Plot Device to Wei’s mum and is followed by some guy on the way—suspense! Or not, as it turns out he works for Wei’s parents. Also, she runs into Joan, in case we forgot she existed.

Turns out the books was written in invisible ink! Which has to be somewhere in the top twenty most contrived plot devices of all time… But it turns out they were better off not knowing what was in the book, as it proves to be a disgustingly sappy love letter from Nina’s mum to her dad.

Oh, and it turns out Dee isn’t Ed’s daughter after all, she’s La Resistance!Dad’s. What a twist.

Nina goes home and still doesn’t tell Dee any of this. What a great sister!

Then Sandy phones up to say she’s been chosen for the sex-slavery program and she’s super-excited, and Nina still refuses to offer Sal up as a prospective virginity-taker, because that’s her boyfriend!

Well, shit, Nina—I’m sure you could find some guy willing to do it, and Sandy would perhaps be willing too if you TOLD HER SHE WAS IN DANGER OF BEING A SEX SLAVE! She believed you about the NonCons and her father’s death! Why wouldn’t she believe you about this!

Chapter Forty-One

Nina and Wei go to the Secret Hideout to find the evidence of sex trafficking, but Wei slips and knocks herself unconscious like a spaz, and Ed shows up to threaten to rape her and tell her that he already raped Sandy to get information on her location.

Then he gives a good old fashioned villain monologue, about how he was the one who killed her mother! And I’d be totally surprised if it hadn’t said that Nina needed to evade her mother’s killer on the blurb of this book, and the only person she ended up evading in the book was Ed.

This causes Nina to accuse him of being a pervert. Seriously. The guy just admitted to murdering your mother and raping your supposed best friend, and all you can say is ‘pervert’? Seriously?!

And then she hits him over the head with a pipe.

Chapter Forty-Two

Well the dream team shows up to help, but Ed the Terrible is already dead, an anti-climactic end to an anti-climactic villain.

Also, Ed knew that Nina’s mum knew where her husband was, but didn’t get the overlords to extract the information because… they just wouldn’t do it? Was that too smart for them? I hearken back to Delirium when I say HOW DID THESE PEOPLE GET IN POWER!?

Chapter Forty-Three

Turns out Ed murdered Sandy too, so sad. If only she could have somehow known about the danger she was in… but I guess that was just impossible, oh well.

After Sandy’s sappy funeral the police come by to ask about Ed’s disappearance, but the grandparents don’t know anything. They especially don’t know that Dee is really Resistance!Dad’s daughter, because Nina didn’t tell them… because they were ‘safer’ that way.

Oh, Nina. There’s your anterograde amnesia acting up again.

Chapter Forty-Four

So, Nina gets her XVI tattoo and it’s given all the significance of anything else in the book besides her and Sal’s relationship, i.e. not much. Which is great, considering it’s the TITLE OF THE BOOK!

And we end with a surprise party!

Also Nina gets a call from her real dad, and she recognises his voice immediately, even though they’ve never met. And Nina gets one of those tacky half-heart necklaces from Sal. Bleeeuuugh.

AUTHOR Q&A

Some really insightful stuff here. Possibly not in the way it was intended though. It speaks of a person who had some good ideas but didn’t really think them through. And then there are what appear to be study questions…

FINAL THOUGHTS

Study questions! Oh dear, oh dear—I didn’t realise there was going to be a test! Must be my damned anterograde amnesia, always getting in the way! Dawn—what do I do!

Dawn: Shut up, freak—I’ve got to get this XVI tattoo. Otherwise I won’t be able to have sex! Then I’m going to sign up for this whole female diplomats IN SPACE program, that’ll get Nathan to go out with me!

Female diplomats IN SPACE? Wasn’t there something kind of freaky about that… something about sex slavery or… oh well, I’m sure it’s nothing! You want to step in Aphrodite? This book didn’t have a Dawn character so I could use your input.

Aphrodite: Like, no. That Sandy character was an embarrassment to great ho characters like me everywhere! And that Ed character was an embarrassment to great rapists like me!

Uh, it’s interesting how you say that so proudly… though I must say, you the teenage heroine’s slutty rival character did make a more convincing villain than Ed the Terrible.

Aphrodite: Interesting, nothing. Come here, Dawn, get the Sailor Moon tattoo instead, that’s much cooler. Though this book could hardly be cool without me in it.

Dawn: Ultra!

XVI: Anterograde Amnesia Attacks (Part I)

XVI

It’s the anniversary of the first Ungood Book Commentary I ever posted! Yay!

So here’s another one.

Back to dystopia now, this is the book ‘XVI’ wherein at age sixteen all girls get a tattoo of the number XVI on their wrist, advertising them as available for sex. The tagline is: ‘In the future, innocence ends at sixteen’. (as opposed to the present, where it ends the minute a porn pop-up gets through your ad-blocker, long before sixteen).

Condensed review on Goodreads here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/582688062

Chapter One

Our heroine Nina wanders around with her dumb best friend Sandy (yep, it’s another of those characters. Yay.) talking about boys and other exciting topics. Exposition is dumped like the barrels of toxic waste from Troll 3; everyone has a GPS tracker, tattooing numbers on people has been going on ever since the Overlords saw the Black Cat anime—uh, I mean, for twenty years, Nina’s mother is against the program, there’s a caste system (I wonder if fives are artists?), and everyone’s a vegetarian.

Crap. Everyone’s a vegetarian in my book too.

… I thought of it first!

(I didn’t really. I did think of it independently though. I’m Alfred Russell Wallace to this author’s Darwin! Well, not really, Wallace didn’t believe in evolution as it pertained to human beings because of his religious views concerning the nature of—

Oops. Turned into my mum there. Never mind.)

Nina then tells us some more about her woes of her mother’s abusive boyfriend being married to another woman, as she and Sandy go to visit her crazy grandparents.

Chapter Two

A minute of silence is held because of La Resistance, here called ‘NonCon’s because the Overlords require trigger warnings. Nina tells us her mother taught her that they were all individuals and they all had to think for themselves, and they were not the messiah—they were a very naughty boy. Nina is the only one that thinks this way, of course, because she’s special.

They arrive at the old people’s home so Nina can exposit more on how her dad died after her grandfather had an accident and lost his leg, and how the NonCons killed Sandy’s dad, only she doesn’t think they did because like all La Resistance, the NonCons wouldn’t kill people! It must have been the Overlords!

Chapter Three

While Nina’s grandfather is eccentric, the Evil Overlords’ Minions search the building for NonCons. We learn that the grandparents also hate the government, and they’re religious. Also people live on the moon now, which is apparently ‘sacrilegious’.

I don’t know!

Then Grandma pops by to tell Sandy she dresses like a whore, and that someone got taken away by the Ministry of Love, which in this dystopia is called B.O.S.S., so I guess this is what will happen when Jethro Gibbs takes over the world.

Nina and Sandy leave to go have some lunch, while talking about how the government conspires to keep poor people under control with drugs in the food! And how much the police suck when they stop them for an ID check! And how the CIA put radios in her teeth at night! We believe in anarchy!

Then Nina wonders out loud about a suspected NonCon, and Sandy tells her that if he is a NonCon, he’ll be ‘re-assimilated’ by the Borg—uh, B.O.S.S.

Uh, did Nina not already know that? Except she did, because it happened to one of their teachers, who used to be fun, and now is all boring. The overlords suck! Apparently so much so that people have to remind each other about it all the time in case they forget!

Chapter Four

Nina and Sandy meet up with some guys called Mike and Derek. Mike has an injury given by his dad who’s apparently routinely experimented on by the government. The truth is out there!

So, can we hear more about this XVI thing yet? I get that this is a dystopia now, you can start with the gimmick.

Okay, here we go; during lunch Nina says how she doesn’t want to be anyone’s girlfriend because that would mean having sex, and in this society girls should have sex with whoever asks them. Which isn’t quite the same as being someone’s girlfriend, Nina.

Sandy say she can’t wait until selection day, because she can sign up to be a ‘FeLS’ along with the other poor girls and become a diplomat. IN SPACE! Although they’re never seen again, so somehow I sense another government conspiracy.

Nina whines about everyone talking about sex again, and reminds them about a girl they knew who got raped and set on fire, because that’s what dirty, filthy SEX leads to! Nina instead goes to admire a statue of Abraham Lincoln, letting us know that there’s no USA anymore and it’s all run by ‘councils’ because…

And then she comes across a homeless guy being beaten up.

Chapter Five

Nina intervenes, and the athletes beating the hobo up immediately consider raping her, but don’t because they’ll be late for practice. Great motivations! Wait, if these guys can rape her and get away with it because they’re athletes even before she’s sixteen… why is turning sixteen so bad? Because now poor people are allowed to rape her too?

But Nina makes a new homeless friend out of the encounter, so it’s all good. In fact, the guy (whose name is Sal) may even be a Generic Love Interest, because he’s not really homeless at all, and I’m guessing he’s secretly with La Resistance!

Chapter Six

Derek (the hypotenuse in a Generic Love Triangle? Only time will tell…) gives Nina a charm for her bracelet because a heroine’s got to have some meaningful jewellery, amirite? Sandy berates her because apparently helping homeless people is a criminal offence. (?)

They talk about turning sixteen again, and Sandy says it’ll be great, ’cause they’ll be able to have sex! While Nina says it’ll be bad because they could get raped, even though they already can. No, Nina’s going to art school instead (hooray?) even though her family was supposedly poor (unless this is the Selection rules caste system).

And then they go to the zoo to meet up with the twats from ‘Born at Midnight’.

No, not really; this is the future so I’m guessing those idiots are all dead by now.

Chapter Seven

After a ‘look at the cute widdle animals!’ interlude, Sal pops up again. He’s covered in bruises, so Derek asked if he ‘kissed a trans’.

Uh… I hope that doesn’t mean what I think it means…

Generic friend Mike exposits that Sal’s parents died in a crash of some sort, (no doubt another government plot), and apparently dead parents are a turn-on for Sandy, so she starts flirting, which annoys Nina because how dare Sandy flirt with a boy!

Sal tells them he lives with his brother, working in public transport, to which Mike replies:

“You work on trannies? That is so cool.”

I’m saying nothing, guys.

Nina then compares Sandy’s thinking Sal is attractive with the athletes who threatened to rape her, because that’s exactly the same kind of thing! And then good old Mike gives Sal Nina’s number without her permission. There hasn’t been such a good friend since Miles from Evermore!

And like Haven from Evermore, Sandy immediately hates Nina for Sal being more interested in her, which Nina blames on the whole XVI thing, when it’s really because Sandy is badly written.

Chapter Eight

Nina goes to watch her sister Dee so her mum can have a date with her abusive boyfriend, or actually, so she can meet someone called ‘Rita’. A series of boring conversations ensue, and then the fuzz show up. Dun dun dun!

Chapter Nine

Well, Nina’s mum’s been stabbed off-page, and the news is broken off-page too, for maximum dramatic effect.

They go to the hospital, where the mum’s been put on life support via the ‘Infinity Machine’, which mum had apparently always said was dangerous technology that should be outlawed!… for some reason. The rules of the machine are explained to the girls; they can talk to their mother for ten minutes each. That’s pretty much ‘the rules’.

Nothing about how the machine works? No? Come on, even techno-babble is better than nothing!

After some clichéd sappy goodbye crap, Nina’s mum tells her that her father is still alive and she must go to the Dagobah system to find him and learn the ways of the Force. Or that he’s in Chicago and she has to give him a book—the late fees from the library are going to be killer.

And she dies! /Phelous

Chapter Ten

So, Nina and Dee are taken to some agents of B.O.S.S., where we learn that Dee is supposed to be eleven, though she’s acted like she’s about six for this whole time. They search the house, steal their copy of ‘1984’, tell them Big Brother’s watching, twirl their evil moustaches and then bugger off.

The girls go to live with their grandparents, Nina making sure to keep Dee away from Abusive!Dad, because in this dystopia men can use their illegitimate daughters as servants. Uh, if girls over the age of sixteen have to put out for all and sundry, doesn’t that create kind of a problem when it comes to legitimate and illegitimate children?

So Nina asks Granny about Rita and stuff and finds out she might have been in the FeLS, or kidnapped, there’s some bitching about the evil government, boring stuff happens…

And then Abusive!Dad tries to call Dee!

Chapter Eleven

…which leads to nothing. Nina tells Granny that her dad might be alive, and Granny’s like ‘whatevs, brah’, and tells her exactly how her father died, as she apparently didn’t already know. Maybe she has anterograde amnesia, which is why everyone has to keep telling her stuff like this?

Grandpa One-Leg says he wouldn’t be surprised if Missing!Dad was alive, because he’s been around a while and he’s read books like this before.

Nina goes out to buy some food, and runs into Sal, who tells her he’s sorry about her mother’s death, which prompts Nina to go ‘You don’t knooooooow me!’ and try to flounce, but he stops her because there has to be a romance in the book.

Chapter Twelve

Ah, the quarter-way mark. Well, I think we can safely say we have a plot in this one, mediocre as it is.

Nina and her annoying sister angst about their mother and we are blessed with Nina’s deep and thoughtful views of religion.

“Religion seemed to me like one group of people telling another that their colour of red was the best. And that everyone had to believe that, or else.”

Thank you for that, Nina. Since the overlords outlawed religion I guess I’m going to have to file this one under ‘blasphemy against the holy periodic table’.

And then Sal shows up again. Hooray.

Chapter Thirteen

Nina spends some time berating herself for daring to be attracted to a guy, and Sal gives us his own wangsty backstory about his parents dying and the overlords not giving him any benefits.

Then La Resistance manages to broadcast a message about the overlords, and people think it’s the ‘Elliminator’, the leader of the NonCons.

Calling it now—it’s Nina’s dad.

More boring conversations and reflections ensue. Sigh. This is the trouble with YA dystopia. So little time to give an accurate picture of the world, flesh out the characters and have a plot that the go-to mode of storytelling resides in the good old infodump.

Chapter Fourteen

Well, it’s the old ‘first day at school’ trope, and Nina meets a girl called Wei, who’s done some creative thingamy-bob with her tattoo, because it’s illegal to cover it up and…

Well, now’s as good a time as any to ask the big question: Why?

General: *Explodes*

… no one will get that reference.

But anyway, why tattoo every girl over sixteen with ‘XVI’ to mark them as available for sex? To control the people? How? If the overlords believe that all women should put out for all and sundry because they’re just evil, why bother with the tattooing thing? Did people not care about what a big deal this was when this policy was instituted? Was this something the overlords came up with one day when they were high? If you wanted to make a commentary on over-sexualisation of teenage girls, couldn’t you have come up with something a bit more… practical?

Meh, I’m bored with serious questions—back to the boring plot! Nina thinks Wei might be Sal’s girlfriend because she saw them in the general vicinity of one another, but then dismisses that theory because they weren’t holding hands!

Chapter Fifteen

Grandma tells Nina about some of the photos in the Big Book o’ Plot Device, her dad’s old friend Jonathan, their old hangouts, and then—with the help of her trusty surveillance scrambler—launches into a tirade about how evil the overlords are, and how they’re brainwashing everybody with the media!

Um… is there seriously anyone left in this dystopia who doesn’t know the government are evil? As for the brainwashed by the media thing, I always feel that the media’s influence on our lives is overestimated, otherwise Chick Tracts would actually work. I’d blame the whole drugs-in-the-food thing before the cheesy adverts.

Still, Grandma doesn’t miss the opportunity to berate Sandy some more for being a ho, then she abruptly leaves so Nina can do some reminiscing about Abusive!Dad and wangst for the future of the human race!

Chapter Sixteen

XVI! XVI! The number of the beast!

Yeah, this looks to be a chapter as boring as any other. Nina has another conversation with Wei, who tells her she understands her, so I guess her parents were also killed by the overlords (the overlords should really just cut their losses and kill the children as well, they all join La Resistance anyway).

Then Nina goes to the old hangout, to find Sal—being creepy. They have a special moment. And another. And another. And it goes on. And on. And on.

Oh, and there’s some smooching. Yay.

Chapter Seventeen

Nina takes a break from Sal to have a conversation with Wei—no doubt the replacement best friend character in the vein of Amelia, Stevie-Rae, Della and Miranda, etc. She tells Wei she wasn’t very good at art, then tells the audience she was at the top of her old class. I guess her old class were just shit.

Wei tells her that their parents all used to be friends, and wants to bring her over.

Chapter Eighteen

Now that she’s had her first kiss, Nina divides her life up between ‘before kiss’ and ‘after kiss’.

No, really.

Sandy phones up to ask Nina if she can ask Abusive!Dad to put in a good word for her at FeLS, but shockingly Nina is upset with this. It’s no wonder people are worried about Sandy becoming legal—I’m not sure if her tiny brain is capable of informed consent!

Nina thinks about Abusive!Dad and how he might have killed her mother, then has a boring conversation about it with her grandparents. Then she has a boring conversation about it with her friends.

Chapter Nineteen

More boringness with Sal happens, and he starts asking questions about her father, which makes Nina think that’s the only reason he’s interested in her and so he randomly reveals some important plot points.

Turns out Nina’s dad was the leader of the NonCons and possibly faked his own death, and the day Sal’s parents died they were trying to find him. Nina is aghast that her father might have been a criminal—even though she herself hated the government and so did her mother, but her anterograde amnesia must be acting up because Sal has to tell her that La Resistance are the good guys.

Then he says that even though the government says things are good, they’re actually bad. What a twist. And Nina thinks for the first time that the whole XVI thing is bad!

Wait, she thought that the whole time! This amnesia is really serious, any minute now she’s going to ask Sal ‘Who are you… WHAT DID YOU DO’ /Pulse3

Then she flounces.

Chapter Twenty

Abusive!Dad drops by trying to see Dee, so Nina gets the dream team to shuttle her back and forth everywhere. Meanwhile Wei decides she and Derek will make a good Beta couple for the book, and Nina approves of how she looks at him in a nice way, and not in a slutty way like that ho Sandy!

So Nina brings Wei over to her house, gushing about how awesome she is.

(CONTINUED IN PART II)

Chapter One: Ordinary High School Student (III)

A little later than usual, due to me watching anime online and losing track of time (for the record, here’s a question to anyone watching Re: Hamatora–WTF was up with that ending!? Way to finally explain almost all the problems I had with the series… and then ruin the whole thing with a resolution completely pulled out of your arse!)

Ahem. This is the third and final part of Chapter One; after this we move on to more planning, backstory, solidifying ideas, and all that technical shit. Before that you can have the pleasure of another one of my book deconstruction lites, next time will be a dystopian tale of what happens when an author feels like commentary on a topical issue should form the basis for their novel, but doesn’t actually seem to have anything to say about that issue. Ladies and gentlemen–prepare yourself for XVI, coming in a few days or something.

When we last left our own heroes, Amy and her friends were leaving school, talking about what they were going to do that afternoon. (Wow, that sounds like a real page turner, doesn’t it?)

*~*~*

But surprisingly it was Jocelyn who nixed the idea with an annoyed groan.

“I’m tired of watching other people’s stories,” she complained. “Junior year is half over, so we’ve only got another year and a half of being ordinary high school students. Everyone knows that’s where the best opportunities come from, and at this rate we’re just going to end up being a group of girls Hero McProtagonist crashes into as he runs after Badman Von Death. Maybe one of us will get taken hostage for about a minute, but that will be it!”

“Oh, Jocelyn,” sighed Amy.

“I’m serious! At this rate I won’t even warrant a hair-colour description; and I worked hard on my stupid hair!”

Amy sighed again, a dozen scoldings Dr. Solus had levelled at Jerry running through her mind, and all on the same theme. ‘He who goes looking for trouble, finds it’.

“You do have nice hair today,” Hannah assured Jocelyn. “Very Marilyn Monroe. Except, you know, purple.”

“Sunset Violet was the colour I got from the catalogue,” Jocelyn said indignantly. “The point is that if nothing happens before we get to college we’re just going to end up knife-fodder in a slasher story, and if we survive that then assuming we don’t go into law enforcement we’re pretty much doomed to Chick-Lit.”

Audrey frowned. “That’s… a very simplistic view to take, Joss. Not that I should be surprised, I suppose—coming from you and all.”

“Besides, what’s wrong with Chick-Lit?” asked Hannah. “It’s where the least bad things happen!”

That was true, probably—Amy wasn’t a fan so she supposed she wouldn’t really know. On the other hand, bad things had already happened in Amy’s life. Even now she sometimes found herself keeping an ear out for the station-wide emergency alarm, and she always made sure she knew where the nearest evacuation route was, no matter where she was on the station.

Rhea was her home, her second home, but no less precious to her than her first now she knew what it was to lose one. If she had to, she’d have liked to have known what it would take to protect it, so she could maintain her life on board.

“Law enforcement wouldn’t be awful either,” she mused.

“Yeah, but you’d have to study on Earth or one of the A-classes,” said Jocelyn, “But you can be an ordinary high school student anywhere; and you’re more likely to find your true love.”

Amy snorted. “Not at this school, if the guys I know are—”

Thump.

Just as the four girls were passing out of the gate and onto the street, a boy on roller blades crashed right into Amy, sending both of them and Audrey crashing to the floor. Amy yelped as her knee scraped against the paving stone while Audrey managed to break her own fall somewhat with her satchel, but the boy was jarred into an impromptu midair spin, landed awkwardly and skidded a foot or so along the curb before falling into the road.

Jocelyn and Hannah darted forwards.

“Oh my god, are you guys okay!?” cried Hannah, diving to Amy’s side.

“For Christ’s sake watch where you’re going!” Jocelyn shouted.

Cringing, Amy sat up and clapped a hand to her knee, a large part of which was now mottled with little half-torn away pieces of white skin, welling up with tiny trickles of blood. She clasped her hand against it with gritted teeth and looked angrily to the boy who had knocked her over.

He’d rolled onto his back, and with his knees drawn up she couldn’t see his face, but he was dressed all in black and, somehow, was utterly silent.

“Amy, you’re bleeding!” Hannah whimpered, biting her lower lip at the sight of the small amount of blood on her knee.

“I’m okay,” said Amy. In actual fact her knee hurt like hell, but for the moment she was more angry than in pain. Who skated so fast when they couldn’t see what was coming around the corner?!

Whoever he was, he sat up a few seconds later and crawled back to the sidewalk, although he was hardly in any danger on the road. Very few small vehicles travelled the streets of Station Rhea; with the Monolifts in between the various layers of the stations and said layers only supporting little more than fifteen thousand people, there wasn’t much need for personal transport on the station—the only vehicles that did go over the roads were the public services vehicles, and that wasn’t that often.

Safe from such perils, Amy was able to get a good look at the guy, and was surprised to find what a good look it was. Black hair—bottle-black, by the look of it—silver-grey eyes, pale skin; the two bandages on his face and the one wrapped around his upper left arm, disappearing beneath his t-shirt, did almost nothing to detract from the fact that he was beautiful—like, mythical godly being beautiful.

But they did make her wonder if this god made a habit of crashing into things.

“Jesus,” snapped Jocelyn. “No wonder they call you ‘Harbinger’!”

Blinking, Amy looked from Jocelyn back to the boy for confirmation, but he just sat there, staring at them.

Harbinger. She’d heard that name before around the High School—’I hear they took Harbinger off the bench last week; five people died!’, ‘Did you hear Harbinger was at a club last night? He used it to put half the staff in traction’, ‘You know we haven’t heard from Harbinger lately—maybe the government finally weaponised him and he was deployed to the roving fleets’.

With stuff like that she’d thought ‘Harbinger’ was some famous sports star or internet celebrity, not a student at her school! Was he really as much of a walking disaster as all that? She tried to take a closer look as if just by looking at him she could somehow come to a conclusion, but…

Such amazing eyes… they have to be modified, no one has eyes like that!

Suddenly she realised he was looking right at her. She averted her gaze quickly, but he didn’t say anything.

“Hey, are you listening to me!?” Jocelyn yelled at him.

Amy looked back and saw the boy still staring right at her. She felt a shiver ripple over her shoulders and for a moment the pain in her knee was forgotten. There was something odd about the look he was giving her, something odd about him in general, come to think of it.

There was just this feeling…

Without a sound he stumbled to his feet, shaking slightly on the unsteady row of wheels. She saw his left leg flinch when he put his weight on it, but the intense expression on his face didn’t change at all, he just put the leg down again, more gently.

No one said anything for a few moments. Then the boy turned, and skated away.

“Hey!” Jocelyn yelled again. Audrey stood up and dusted off her jacket and Hannah relaxed a little.

“Was that really Harbinger?” she asked.

Jocelyn just sneered so Audrey filled them in.

“Yeah, that’s him,” she said. “He’s super into athletics; I see him sometimes when we share the field with the boys’ teams. Even when he’s not playing team sports though, the accidents that happen are crazy—I saw him trip himself and two other runners up once, one guy almost broke his arm. No wonder people think he’s cursed.”

“You’d think they’d throw him off the team by now,” said Jocelyn, huffing.

“No way,” said Audrey. “He’s the best we’ve got by a long shot.”

“I heard he does it on purpose though. Remember the collision that totalled the equipment shed last semester?”

Amy remembered it. “That was him?” she asked.

“They got their hands on a Transpod somehow,” Jocelyn told her. “And everyone else in the pod was drunk except old Harbinger, that’s why he was the one driving.”

“They must not have found anything suspicious about it though,” said Hannah. “I mean, if they’re still letting him come to school and all. Maybe one of the others did something stupid because they were drunk—yanked the steering wheel or something.”

“Transpods don’t have steering wheels,” said Jocelyn with a roll of the eyes. “I’m telling you, he crashed it into the shed on purpose. There’s no way he couldn’t be doing this stuff on purpose. He’s crazy.”

Crazy.

In the distance, Amy could still see Harbinger getting further and further away, skating on the road now and seemingly going nowhere. Somehow, even after what Jocelyn had said, there was only one thought in her mind.

What’s his real name, though?

One Year Closer To Death… And Diddilydum?

No, it’s not my birthday–rather it is the one year anniversary of me starting this blog. Hooray. As a treat for you all, I’ve prepared nothing, nothing at all, because I didn’t realise it was the anniversary until WordPress told me just now. Unfortunately the rest of today was spent dwelling on the fact that I hate everything in the world, so I’m not in the celebratory mood.

Well, I guess I still have my writing. Who could possibly hate that? No one, of course–at least if they know what’s good for them!

So here’s some of my writing…

… From when I was ten years old. See the notes at the end for some kind of insight into… this. For another example of my ten-year-old self’s work, read my post entitled ‘In The Beginning There Was… Teletubbies?’, which I wrote back in February ( https://racheliliffe.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/in-the-beginning-there-was-teletubbies ). As it was there, the punctuation and grammar have been altered for readability, but otherwise this is as it was written. For some of my more recent writing, Buy my novel, ‘Rooks of the Knot’ from amazon or kindle, as a birthday present to this blog.

*~*~*

DIDDILYDUM THE FLY

Diddilydum was a fly. He was very stupid and extremly lazy. Diddilydum met Melady Clam; they became best friends. One day Melady Clam died. [1]

HOORAY[2] shouted Diddilydum I dont have to pay for her birthday  present.

Diddilydum had a new best friend, Sitting Duck. Sitting Duck, was sitting around when Diddilydum gave him a new and improved, wonderful assassination.[3] Sitting Duck died.

Yippee, cried Diddilydum I dont have to pay for his christmas present. Diddilydum got another best friend ………….

sdhgrdnhgfkyrdyhr,kurhfrjtwyrfytrjyredmjhgfj,ht,kuty,oipoiyoiyopouliyel [4]

Diddilydum found out he was a zillion years old and luckily enough

sdhgrdnhgfkyrdyhr,kurhfrjtwyrfytrjyredmjhgfj,ht,kuty,oipoiyoiyopouliyel

died ( obviously)[5]

Now stupid lazy old Diddilydum got a new best friend……..Colonel Zex [6]

Diddilydum thought he could kill Zex. But Zex new how to pilot a Gundam

and he blew Diddilydum to SMITHERINES[7][8]

 

THE END!

*~*~*

[1] If we assume that the ‘Melady Clam’ mentioned here is the same figure who attempted to defeat the Teletubbies in ‘Teletubbies‘ with song, and failed–leading to her death and cannibalisation at their hands, then this story must have been running concurrently with that one.

[2] Unlike in ‘Teletubbies’, no speech marks appear in this work. As ‘Teletubbies’ predates ‘Diddilydum’, it appears this was a stylistic decision on the author’s part; but perhaps, given the author’s present laziness, these were simply left out because she could not be bothered to include them.

[3] As the assassination mentioned (and spelled incorrectly) here is described as improved, one can infer that Sitting Duck had been assassinated before, and given his name is ‘Sitting Duck’ and death was never permanent in my stories, this seems likely. One wonders why his death was considered an ‘assassination’, rather than simply a murder.

[4] Another character whose name was decided by randomly hitting keys on the keyboard for a few seconds–a method I forgot to include in my recent post regarding naming your characters; most famously used in the classic story ‘The Eye of Argon’.

[5] ‘Diddilydum‘ unlike many of my stories from this time, does not end with the introduction of a randomly named impossibly old character, or with a statement of their death, but rather inserts it here, near the middle. An interesting anomaly.

[6] This is (incorrectly spelled) the character ‘Zechs Merquise’, from the anime ‘Gundam Wing’ which was popular at the time and the first fandom of the author. I believe the rights to the character belong to Toonami.

[7] Smitherines. def. ‘Small pieces of Mr. Smithers from the popular American cartoon show, The Simpsons’ ?

[8] One can assume this conflict with Diddilydum the Fly was the reason Colonel Zechs was unable to assist the free world during the regime of the Teletubbies, leaving their defeat to the serial killing school teacher Mrs. Gloop.

Well, writing all that pointless shit as made me feel a lot better, as has the news that a;fjvh;euhfpsiuehbglkwrhgisgblhrgpiwuehtrgiuiueyriuhfb has died, aged 19, after being cleft in twain by the famed barbarian Grignr only two weeks out of the academy. Happy anniversary, scum!

Chapter One: Ordinary High School Student (II)

So it’s an exciting day at Rachelloon Productions; I finally figured out how to do those widget things. Sort of. Maybe I’ll do some more later, but for now you’ll all have to make do with a single page about the marvellous me. I know–it’s like giving a chocolate cigarette to a crack addict, but I’m sure you’ll all live.

In Troped! news I’ve decided pretty much how this whole chapter is going to go, and cut a few things from the outline I’d decided on back in ‘A Plot of Sand’. Where we last left our heroes, Cheviot made fun of Jericho in his English Lit class, the bell rang and everyone left except Amy and Mercedes, who now approaches Cheviot in an unsavoury manner…

*~*~*

“Mr. Cheviot,” she called, extending the last syllable of his name by an extra beat.

He was still smiling, though he must have known what was coming.

“Yes, Miss. Talbot?”

“I got your e-mail yesterday. About my grade.”

“Ah, yes. Did you have any questions about the catch-up requirements?”

‘Catch-up requirements’ was a phrase Amy pretty much expected to hear in conjunction with Mercedes Talbot’s name. It would have been a surprise to her if Mercedes hadn’t been failing this and probably every other class. But then, that’s what happened when you spent more time ruining other people’s relationships than you did paying attention to your own work.

Mercedes grimaced and stopped in front of the teacher, so close that he recoiled against the desk and Amy was almost sure she could see genuine discomfort. He kept smiling, but she was beginning to feel annoyed for his sake.

“Not really a question,” said Mercedes. “I was just wondering if I really had to do it. I don’t think I’m going to do Shakespeare any better the second time around.”

Cheviot sighed. “I’ve said before I’ll help you with it, Miss. Talbot. You’re brighter than people give you credit for; you just need to put in more of an effort.”

“Isn’t there any other way I could make the grade up, Mr. Cheviot?” she whined, and then she leaned forward as if to trap him on the desk, but he evaded her at the last second with a chuckle.

Amazed by the other girl’s brazenness, Amy began to seriously consider speaking up. This isn’t a middle-aged gym teacher who hasn’t seen a real girl’s boobs up close in years, she thought, angrily. Cheviot won’t fall for it; stop embarrassing yourself!

“I’m afraid your only other option is to repeat the entire year,” said Cheviot.

Slumping a little, Mercedes took up Cheviot’s previous perch on his desk and crossed her legs, tartan miniskirt bouncing above her knees with enough force from her abrupt movement that it showed off at least two more inches of leg than it should have. Sadly for her the gesture was lost on Cheviot, who had his back turned so he could open his filing cabinet.

“Would I get to be in your class again?” she asked, licking her lips.

“Unfortunately, the chances would be slim. More likely you would be in Mrs. Morrin’s class and I must warn you, she does ‘Hard Times’ every year. Why don’t you come along to the reading club after school and I can set you up with a tutor?” Cheviot picked a folder out of his filing cabinet, closed the drawer and turned back around. “Miss. Turner, for instance—”

Not me! Not me! Not me! thought Amy desperately.

“But I’m just way too busy, sir,” whined Mercedes, slithering off the desk and towards Cheviot again. She actually reached out and tucked a few short strands of black hair behind his ear before he could tilt his head out of her reach. “Things to see, people to do—you know what I mean, right?”

Cheviot sidled past her with the folder held up between them, somehow still smiling and somehow still calm.

“It sounds like you lead an exciting life. Have you thought about talking to our guidance counsellor about—”

“Ugh, they already sent me to her, but she’s so boring and the whole thing is useless anyway. What do I really need any of this for when I’m just going to be a supermodel, you know?”

Supermodel? Amy was incredulous. Sure, Mercedes had what it took to steal boyfriends from more ordinary-looking girls, but there had to be a million girls as pretty as her looking for the same position, and Amy’s bet was that the vast majority would have vastly more appealing personalities!

But Cheviot just kept smiling, and said, “It’s good that you have a goal in mind. Now, I’m afraid Miss. Turner wants to see me, so if you’re sure I can’t interest you in some extra help with your work…?”

Pouting, Mercedes rolled her eyes and turned to the door.

“I’d be happy to get some extra attention from you, Mr. Cheviot, but I’ll have to check my schedule.”

“Well, you do that and drop me a line when you figure something out.”

“I will. Goodbye, Mr. Cheviot.”

“Goodbye, Miss. Talbot.”

Mercedes mercifully left the room at that point, giving Amy and then Jocelyn a nasty smirk on the way out as she flipped her dark hair over her shoulder. Her stupid high heels clicked all the way down the hall. Amy found herself rolling her shoulders uncomfortably; amazed that Mercedes could literally make her skin crawl.

Cheviot meanwhile looked like he was trying his hardest not to cringe before he finally relaxed and turned to Amy.

“And how can I help you, Miss. Talbot?”

His eyes were green too, but naturally so—pale and tinged brown. Amy wasn’t so stupid as to have a real crush on a teacher these days, but she had to admit that she could understand why a good quarter of the girls at school apparently were.

He wasn’t even that stunningly attractive or anything; though hardly plain-faced either, with gold-tan skin, fine features and a small, neat, black goatee. There was just something sophisticated about his looks and mannerisms that made him compelling.

Not that it meant anything, of course. It was just the way things were.

“Um… about the reading group… ?”

“Oh yes, did you get the list for this semester?”

“Mm,” she nodded. “I was just wondering, uh… the first text is ‘The Clerk’s Tale’?”

“Yes,” said Cheviot, with a little resignation. “The school board wouldn’t let me do the Miller’s.”

Amy made a mental note to look that one up later. “Yeah, um, I was looking for it online, and some of the links said they were presenting it in translation… so I wanted to make sure we were doing the translated version, because that’s what we all thought was going to be—”

Cheviot was already shaking his head. “Oh, no,” he said, dashing her hopes. “We’re doing the original. I’m sending you all the files tonight.”

For a moment Amy had to stop and blink. Nervously, she mumbled, “It’s just that I looked at the first page of the original and it was kind of… incomprehensible.”

Cheviot chuckled. “The version we read will have a glossary. Don’t worry about it; Chaucer is always difficult at a first glance, but once we go over the conventions of Chaucerian English I think you’ll pick it up pretty quickly.”

Amy wasn’t so sure. But she didn’t want to press the issue and sound stupid, so she smiled faintly and nodded her head.

“Oh, okay. Uh, I guess that was all I wanted to know.”

“I’ll see you tomorrow then.”

“Great, thanks!”

She laughed a little, gave him a small wave and then almost lost her balance turning on one foot to the door. Crap, maybe she was stupid enough to have a crush on Cheviot. She hoped he didn’t think anything of it.

By the time she left the class she could see Audrey and Hannah had found their way to the classroom and had been standing with Jocelyn just out of her view in the hallway. She breathed a sigh of relief.

“Hey,” she greeted them.

“How was ‘the Chev’?” asked Audrey, accompanying her question with a little faux-street gesture. She sidled next to Amy and the four of them began to walk towards the exit.

“No one calls him ‘the Chev’, Audrey, that’s just stupid,” said Jocelyn.

“He was fine,” said Amy, trying to nip Jocelyn and Audrey’s bickering in the bud. The two of them had been best friends practically since before they were born—their mothers had met at a New Parents group on the colony—and by this point they were like an old married couple.

Audrey put an arm around her shoulder. “Uh-huh. The Chev is always fine.”

“Oh, for Christ’s sake, Audrey, stop it before I disown you as a fellow human being.”

Audrey dropped her arm back to her side, smirking. She wasn’t being serious when she called Cheviot ‘the Chev’, or even when she referred to him as ‘fine’; she wasn’t even in his class for English. But Audrey liked to tease Amy like crazy, and did so with a dry and comically bored tone.

Well, Amy found it comical anyway. Most of the time. Hannah too, apparently, since she was giggling beside them so much.

“Where are we going anyway?” she asked, as they walked out of the building and onto the grounds.

Hannah shrugged. “Movies?” she suggested. “The ‘Immortal Blood’ movie came out. It’s supposed to be good.”

“I don’t see how it could be,” said Audrey, “seeing as the books were a load of crap.”

“You think everything is crap,” Jocelyn told her. Then she grinned. “Maybe ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ is playing?”

“For Jerry’s sake, I hope so,” said Amy. “If he gets held back again he’ll probably have to take catch-up classes with just him and Mercedes.”

“Yeah, and then she might breathe in his general direction and give him an STD.”

“Jocelyn!” cried Hannah. “Don’t say stuff like that!”

Jocelyn gave her a look. “I’m serious though, you should have seen her trying to sex up Cheviot in the classroom just now—she was practically shoving her tits in his face going ‘give me a better grade Mr. Cheviot, and I’ll give you a—'”

“Okay!” said Amy loudly. Each of them swiped their Mini-Pads over the security barrier on their way out of the main gate. “Moving on, I’m totally up for seeing ‘Immortal Blood’, once I message Dr. Solus and make sure it’s okay. What about you guys?”

“If you don’t mind me making snide comments the whole way through,” said Audrey. Amy would have expected that either way.

Powering Up

Today the bad pun in the title refers to me deciding what superpowers the main characters are going to have, along with some other background information. Mostly for the villains.

Without further ado–background. Enjoy the page-marker ribbon in the bottom right-hand corner that accidentally fell against the page while I was scanning it, causing me to write over it in Microsoft Paint because I couldn’t be bothered to walk all the way over to the scanner and re-do it. I’m so dedicated. XD

Troped 4b

Winnie the android does not have genetic-experiment induced super-powers as she is an android; while Tessa and Hannah have no reason to get powers, but I decided Harbinger had secretly been one of the experiments before coming to Rhea, although I’m not yet sure how that is. He’ll have to be older than he pretends to be, I imagine. Note Harbinger is still referred to as ‘Joan’ in these notes.

The fact that his power is healing will come into play quite early on, though it won’t be made explicit at first–in short, Amy will be mildly injured and, using her power of power-copying, will subconsciously heal her injury super-quickly. This also fits in with Harbinger being, well, a Harbinger of Doom; he deliberately injures himself and sometimes those around him to practice his healing power.

Power-copying seemed like the ideal choice of power for Amy; it has the potential to give her god-like Mary Sue abilities, but I could also restrain it by having her copy only one power at a time. Either way, it makes her very versatile. Giving Cheviot two powers (because… the scientists knew he would be a main character?) to make him extra threatening also gives him versatility, and in my head telepathy is very difficult to master, meaning Amy can’t just use it against him right away. His other power is one I haven’t quite decided on yet.

Mercedes’ inta-lust power is one you might recognise as that of Alesha (sp?) from Misfits, though Mercedes is able to exercise complete control over her power, and it’s pretty much what you’d expect from a slutty cheerleader who isn’t a cheerleader. [Indeed, all of these powers are ones I’ve taken from other shows, but for super-powers that’s par for the course]. Adrian’s power is pretty self-explanatory, but it reflects his personality of putting up walls. Jericho will, near the middle of the book, be involved in a horrible incident that leaves him burned over most of his body, and after the 5BB find him the only way to save his life is to give him the Macguffin Serum.

(And, according to the note at the bottom, make the Jericho-doll that Cheviot joked he was going to make at the beginning for chapter one.)

Unfortunately, having a power from this serum means you have to inject yourself with a stablising drug regularly or you die; the only two exempt from this are Amy, who was given the perfected serum, and Harbinger, who can heal himself. This may be why Cheviot will not suspect Harbinger, as he will assume anyone not under his control/protection will not have access to the drug and will therefore have died. Harbinger probably left with a group who did not want to join Cheviot’s mayhem and murder scheme and is the only survivor from that group.

This leaves Twist, or ‘Luce’ as his friends call him, who gets poison claws and a madness mantra, which isn’t a super-power, but is something I’ve always thought it would be fun to write. While Twist worked on the Altercon Project (‘alter’ + ‘convict’. See how clever I am?), he was not aware that they had been using live human test subjects–when he found out by accident the Leader kidnapped him and used him as a test subject too. A bad reaction to the serum caused him to become pretty insane.

I was going to give some more backstory, But I seem to have written more than i intended to on this topic. Thus, I will return with Part II of ‘Ordinary High School Student’ soon and leave More Backstory for another time.