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The Bad Seeds (15)

Discussion in 'The Story Board' started by Matt A, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. Matt A

    Matt A Smile. Or Else.

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    Inspiring someone to be a gun freak...not sure if I should be flattered or disturbed.:p

    I must admit, my attitude to guns (in fiction: British gun control laws are way tighter than the Daily Mail would have you believe) is largely practical. For example, there's a scene in Raiders Of The Lost Ark where a random henchman starts attacking Indy with a sword, and Indy just pulls out his revolver and shoots him. It's simply a much easier solution to these kinds of problems.;)

    As I said to the others, it just seemed like the best way to reveal his more scary nature. I also wanted more scenes from the actual Academy lectures, and this was the perfect way to combine the two. That, and I got to write lots about guns.:p:D

    Hold that thought.;)

    Actually, the english for "happy new year" is just "happy new year".:p "Cheers" means "thanks".

    Oh yes, and happy new year to you too.:)

    -Matt A-
     
  2. percguy89

    percguy89 Things Change

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    ah:p.... well then, cheers for the lesson.;)

    peace out
     
  3. Matt A

    Matt A Smile. Or Else.

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    No problem.:)

    And now, after over a fortnight, here's another chapter. Sorry for this umpteenth delay: I made the mistake of buying season two of Lost on DVD last week. I'd forgotten just how addictive that show is...:sweat:

    Still, here's the chapter. This is the second Lost Chapter, set between Lost Chapter A and Chapter Six ("Needles"). Frankly, it's not about anything in particular, rather just a way of showing you a few more details about my main cast. Hopefully, it's still interesting, but I'll leave you guys to be the judge of that.:sweat:

    Anyway, here it is:


    Lost Chapter B: Feel The Love

    Right then. Now that little interlude is over and done with, we can go back to the main story, or at least the part of it that concerns us right now. You know, the fallout from me and Aperture making Newton look like a fool.

    Except, I ain’t telling you about that bit. One, I’d rather not go into much detail about it, and Two, there’s something else I want to say here. So I’ll just give you the Cliffs notes:

    Has Newton become the laughing stock of the Academy? Well, not really. As I pointed out a few chapters back, Newton has a certain charm about her…in fact, her natural charisma is such that it’s almost a second Power. So, whilst her carefully-cultivated “tough chick” reputation might be in tatters, as tends to happen when everyone learns you still sleep with a dog-eared fluffy bunny, she has somehow applied the magical Teflon Effect to ensure that she doesn’t look like a complete fool. Don’t ask me how she’s done this, ‘cause I honestly don’t know, but even with the Mr Kensington incident, everyone still respects her. Including me.

    But this is not the problem. Whatever the reality of the situation is, Newton evidently perceives that she has become an object of ridicule, ‘cause this chick is furious. It took her a matter of minutes to twig my involvement in Aperture’s prank, and it was only shamelessly begging for my life that stopped her from handing my arse to me on a plate: even then, I’ve still got nice shiner from where I fell onto the ceiling at full speed. Which hurt, I can tell you that much. And now, with a beating still not enough, she’s decided to give me the silent treatment: she hasn’t even acknowledged my existence, let alone spoken to me, since the day it happened. As much as it sucks, I’m just let her get on with it, ‘cause she’ll cool down sooner or later.

    That, I think, is about all you need to know. Now, with that out the way, I shall move onto what this chapter is supposed to be about.

    Today is Christmas Eve. As a rule, the Academy doesn’t really go in for Yuletide festivities, on account of them having a little more sentiment than us villains are willing to tolerate. There’s a few decorations up here and there, tinsel and fairy lights and stuff, but that’s about it. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed unwrapping presents and stuff, but I can’t say I miss it a great deal.

    But anyway, seeing as it’s Christmas Eve, Ghost and Shockwave have decided to go down the pub and get wasted. Again. There’s two pubs in this place, and both are pretty decent, but I think they’re in The Rose this time. Still, it doesn’t matter, ‘cause the key thing is that I’m not with them. Tonight, I just can’t be bothered.

    Right now, I’m sat in the living room of our flat, indulging myself with a spot of video gaming. No, I’m not too cool for that sort of thing. The TVs in the Academy all come with inbuilt PS2, X-Boxes and Gamecubes, with every single game ever made for them built into an internal memory (the memory that also contains a copy of every film ever shot, but that’s another matter). You just pick up your controller of choice from the box under the TV, select which game you want from the menu, and away you go. At this point in time, I’m playing Ratchet & Clank 2: Locked And Loaded. I’m getting distracted again, so I won’t explain what it is, but rest assured that it probably isn’t the kind of thing you’d expect me to enjoy.

    Suddenly, a door opens. I turn my head round to see Newton leaving her room, heading for the kitchen. No surprise that she hasn’t gone out either. Also no surprise that she doesn’t even so much as glance at me.

    “Good evening.” I call out. Just because she’s giving me the silent treatment, doesn’t mean I can’t be nice to her.

    No response. A split-second twitch says she heard me, but nothing happens next.

    I pause the game so I can focus on what Newton’s doing. Now in the kitchen, she pulls open a cupboard and gets out a glass. She goes over to the sink, turns on the hot tap and fills up the glass with water. Everyone has their odd habits, and I guess preferring hot water to cold is hers.

    “Do you mind doing me a glass as well?” I ask.

    Under the circumstances, perhaps that isn’t the best thing to say. In fact, I really don’t know why I said it. But I did say it, so let’s just see what happens next.

    Newton doesn’t say anything, no sign at all that she’s even heard me. But then, she gets out another glass, and fills that one up with hot water too. Not my preference, but frankly, if she’s willing to get it, then I’m willing to drink it. I call this a plus.

    As she walks over to me with the glass, I suddenly find myself taking note of what she’s wearing. A purple silk dressing-gown, to be exact. It’s only 11:30, still pretty early for her (and me), so I’m not why she’s going to bed just yet. Then again, it’s not my job to care. And I daresay, she looks pretty damn attractive in that gown…like she ever not stunningly beautiful, but again, never mind.

    When Newton gets close enough, I hold out my hand for the glass. “Thanks.” I say.

    But she doesn’t give it to me. My reactions are fairly quick, and there’s a few seconds for me to apply them, but such is my surprise at what happens next that I don’t even move an inch.

    With a very deliberate slowness, Newton tips the glass and pours its contents over my head. The water is hot, but not hot enough to burn, so all I feel is wet and foolish.

    “B*tch.”

    Again, Newton doesn’t reply. She just turns and walks back into her room, the door sliding closed behind her. Not even a f***king smile.

    I throw the game controller on the coffee table, watching as it slides across and drops off the other side with a clatter.

    F**k this. I’m going for a walk.

    I stand up and leave the flat, turning left down the corridor. I’m in even less of a mood for The Rose, or even any other drinking and/or partying establishment, and I’m not sure where to go instead. I don’t want to just walk randomly. I doubt there’s anything on at our in-house cinema, at least not at this time of night, and I don’t want to be out that long anyway. I suppose I could go bowling for a bit. That’s always good fun. Yeah, I’ll do that.

    At night, all the corridor overhead lights get dimmed a little. Being underground, the day/night cycle is a little irrelevant, but apparently, 24/7 brightness has a tendency to drive you nuts. Just a little detail I thought I’d share with you.

    As I walk, I can’t help but get lost in my thoughts. You know when I said Newton’s silent treatment? Well, I lied. Frankly, it’s driving me up the f**king wall. Which is probably the point, but that’s actually what annoys me so much. I mean, it’s been eight days already: I can understand her having a general dislike of me for this long, but having a full-on sulk for over a week just takes the piss. It’s not even as if she’s come out of this badly, ‘cause she hasn’t, not really. The initial thing was pretty embarrassing, but there hasn’t been much of a fallout. You know, I just wish she’d get over the whole f**king thing. When you make a drunken confession, you can expect this kind of thing to happen, and betraying a friend’s confidence is just par for the course for villains like ourselves. The sooner she just stops worrying about it, the better of we’ll all be. Story, end of.

    Hey, that was pretty impressive. I managed to explain my thoughts in only a paragraph. A 166-word paragraph, but a single paragraph nonetheless.

    I said earlier that this chapter was about something specific. Well, after all this bullsh*t, I’m just at the meat of it.

    After a few minutes, I get to the Tube stop, where I can continue onto the “Amenities” part of the Academy, and thus my bowling. As I (briefly) mentioned a few chapters back, this Stop is just a ten-foot empty corridor, with the Tube line adjoining the far wall. Not much more to say than that.

    The interesting part is that, leaning against the wall just next to the empty Tube car, is Shockwave. To use that sickeningly prudish Americanism, he’s “making out”. With a guy.

    From what I can tell, this guy is a rock-dude of some sort, with long hair, a thin beard and the kind of “tatty” clothes that look like they were made as such. I wouldn’t have imagined him being Shockwave’s type, but, then again, I wouldn’t have imagined guys being Shockwave’s type full stop. Still, it’s amazing what you don’t know about people.

    Either way, they must have decided to start the after-party early. If you catch my drift.

    With only the slightest break in step, I keep on walking towards the Tube car. Shockwave and the rocker guy stop their two-way face-eating to turn and look at me.

    “Evenin’.” Shockwave grins. Not sure if it’s a happy one or a nervous one.

    “Evenin’.” I reply. My grin is a straight-up happy one.

    “Ghost’s still in The Rose if you want to say hi. Last I saw of him, he was trying to convince a Norwegian chick that invisible men were the way to go.”

    “Sounds like it could be fun. I’ll drop in.”

    I get to the Tube car, and press the button on the side. The door opens with a swish.

    “Enjoy your meal.” I say without looking round.

    Shockwave laughs. “Will do.”

    I step inside the Tube car, the door swishing closed behind me. I sit down and start tapping at the onboard computer, as Shockwave and the rocker guy turn back to each other. I quickly enter my destination, the Amenities, into the computer. They seem totally absorbed in their face-eating within seconds, and don’t turn to face me as the Tube car starts off down the track.

    If you’re as good a judge of character as I hope you are, then you’ll already know that I’m no homophobe. On a purely aesthetic level, the sight I was just confronted with was about as attractive as watching two dogs f**king, but then again, that’s just because I don’t find men attractive. Lesbianism, I could happily watch all day. Still, that’s not my point. As you’ve probably already noted, I’m a fairly tolerant guy, and there’s not much I won’t put up with. Provided he doesn’t try to pull me, then Shockwave can do whatever the f**k he likes. I’m not really concerned about the pro- and anti- arguments, whatever they happen to be, ‘cause I’m just not concerned with it at all. Story, end of.

    Is there a punchline to this? Or a philosophical point, or a cliffhanger? No. I was just being a friendly narrator, sharing a few things with you, my audience. There’s more story, and more chapters, so just read on.
     
  4. Faethie

    Faethie Rockstarrlette

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    Honestly, I enjoyed the lost chapter (a and b). A lot. They were amusing to say the least; I did end up laughing pretty hard, and it was quite original to randomly place them here.
    An applause! :D
    I wasn't utterly shocked by Shockwave with a guy, because thats the sort of thing I've gotten used to from you-expect the most fcking weird thing to happen. :p So is he bi? Or just completely drunk? I'm lucky, I know when to stop. Well not really. But I notice when I get completely way more hyper and act real ditzy. :sweat:
    The best part is, for some reason men find girls making out (hey, i'm american, i'll call it that lol) so amusing, and girls think its so gross. Me in particular. Ew. But thats cause i'd never do that...give me a guy anytime. ;)
     
  5. Matt A

    Matt A Smile. Or Else.

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    Thankyou.:D Truth be told, I only started writing them now 'cause I didn't want to sit on them for the months it'll take me to finish this damn story. There wasn't really a plan to it, being original or otherwise, but I'm not too proud to take a compliment.;):D

    And I'm glad I made you laugh. It's always nice when people think you're funny.:D

    Strangely, being called "unpredictable" gives me a happy. I guess I just like to surprise people.;)

    But I wouldn't say Shockwave being gay is weird. Okay, so I made up that detail just for the sake of it, but homosexuality is hardly rare.

    That, I think, is called "too much information".:p

    I wouldn't say Shockwave is either drunk or bi, just gay.;) Again, I just thought it was an interesting twist for the character.

    I have to admit, I am very much a man in this respect. I won't go into this in much detail, on account of how Toon Zone ain't the place for it, but lesbianism is kinda sexy. I guess it's just that I share Felix's dislike for the male form...or just that all men are perverts.:p

    -Matt A-
     
  6. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    Okay then.

    First, I want to say I am reading this story, even though I've only read through the first two 'pages' of this thread. I'll hold off on major critiques until later, but for now I'm definitely interested. It does have a slight bit of your last Titan's story in it, just from the opposite side. That, and so far everyone seems to have a greater control over their powers.

    But again, that's only from the beginning.

    It might take me a while to get all through this, but I'll post back when I'm done. Thought I'd drop a line at least for now. :)
     
  7. Matt A

    Matt A Smile. Or Else.

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    It's good to know you're reading this. Like I said before, I'm curious to know what you think.:)

    But it seems I'll have to wait for your thoughts. You've got a long way to go.:eek:

    You know the odd part? That entire issue has never occurred to me before. The way I've thought of it, these students have had their powers for a good four-five years before the uni recruits them, so they've always had fairly good control...but even then, sheer logic dictates that there must be screw-ups, if only here and there. But no, I've never thought of it. Both weird and fairly embarassing.:eek::eek:

    Still, I'll see you when you get to this point. Laters.:)

    -Matt A-
     
  8. Death58

    Death58 WFWC Vet.

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    Well now. . .the only thing I have to say to this is stop invading my dreams. I would really enjoy having something like that. . .Erm-Anyways, enough about my over addicted video game habits.

    First, I want to talk about Lost Chapter A. Wow. Um-You freaking took me off guard with Ghost. In a way, though, it would definitely have to be scary for the other people there to see. His addiction to guns goes a bit past even a fanatical level. That makes me like him all the more. This little bit of character a character piece on him made him as a character in general all the better!(That was a wordy sentence) Anyways, I like your idea of adding these lost chapters. . .

    Which, of course, leads into my opinion of Lost Chapter B. I like how you dealt a bit more with how holidays are around the academy. It makes it just a little more imaginable, if you understand what that means. . .um. . .yeah. I also liked the bit with Newton pouring the water on Felix. To be honest, I expected something like that but I really liked that touch. Of course, the biggest shock of it all was when Felix saw Shockwave. Didn't even have a remote hint that something like that was going to happen, which also adds a bit more to Sockwave's characters. These two chapters were a nice example of the entire 'world' you've created for this story. Your cast of characters are so insane that you can't help but enjoy every moment.

    Sorry it took me so long to reply. . .but at least through all that rambling above, you realize how much I enjoy the Bad Seeds.
     
  9. Matt A

    Matt A Smile. Or Else.

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    Amen. Part of the idea behind the Academy is that, in its own way, it's a techie paradise: every single toy and gadget you can imagine, and a few you can't, is contained within these walls. Considering the story at hand, I couldn't not give into some wish fulfillment.;)

    Amen again. He already has a bit of an "edge", but these kinds of antics take him several steps further. Makes him a bit more interesting.:):evil:

    And made precisely zero sense. In fact, I can't even think of a response.:p:confused:

    Oddly enough, so do I. It gives a bit more life to the Academy and its inhabitants, which is always good.:)

    But, on the other hand, it also means I have to spend even longer working on this damn thing...:sad:

    Yeah, I do. I just thought it was an interesting take on Christmas, you know, to de-sentimentalise it a little. It's quite in keeping with the rest of the story, I feel.;)

    A yet another spur-of-the-moment thing, actually. Yes, it was obvious, but there was no way I'd pass up something so immature and spiteful.:D:evil:

    Which, frankly, was the point. Up 'till now, Shockwave's always just been "the other one", which whilst not necessarily a bad thing, did mean he was lacking in presence. So with these Lost Chapters, one of things I wanted to do, like with Ghost's gun lecture, was to give him a more distinctive feature for me to work around. That, and it was funny.:p

    Why, thankyou. What I'm after here is something idiosyncratic, something with its own sense of charm...and it gives me quite a happy to know I've achieved that.:D

    -Matt A-
     
  10. Pun-3x

    Pun-3x Member

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    Well, another thing to note is that they're bad guys. That allows for a more liberal use of abilities, with no great regard to responsibility. (of course, I say this before reading all the way through). So in those four-five years, they've probably been 'practicing' along those lines. Just go out and use your powers...however!

    It's like the Force. Yoda tells Luke after he asks if the Dark side is stronger that it's simply easier; a faster solution to the Light side. That really is no different in this case, so the concept of knowing how to use their abilities in the atmosphere they'll be working in sounds like it'd work fine this way.

    Of course, I'll read through and see how that pans out... ;)
     
  11. Matt A

    Matt A Smile. Or Else.

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    You know, that was a brilliant response. Damn near the ideal solution.:eek:

    It's so impressive, in fact, that I've had to rip it off in this chapter. You'll see what I mean when I get to that part, or at least you will if I've got it right.:p This is the third Lost Chapter, set between chapters six and seven ("A Big Night In"). This is a "guest spot" for a character I used early on in the story, and I felt was interesting enough to get more than one appearance. Hopefully, you'll find it funny.

    Oh yes, and for the film buffs amongst you, there's a fairly significant reference to Trainspotting towards the end. If you know the film, you'll get it.;)

    That's enough of my ramblings. Enjoy...


    Lost Chapter C: …The Surface

    Now, I know what you’re thinking. Me and this Scratch chick must have met before, right? And it must’ve been a bad meeting, right, ‘cause she was so open about hating me? Well, whether you’re thinking that or not, both counts are absolutely spot-on. Me and Scratch have known each other for a while, and though we haven’t had that many run-ins, we certainly have our thoughts on each other. And I don’t need to tell you what they are, right?

    Right this second, I feel like telling you some more about Scratch. How much of a part she’ll play in this narrative, I’m not sure, but it’ll be useful for you to know about the woman who so unexpectedly saved my life. So, for no other reason than that I can, I shall recount to you the story of how we first met.

    Okay, so you don’t care. Do you see any other narrators? Well, in that case, shut your pie-hole. You chose to read this, after all.

    Anyway, the story. This was two days after Ghost’s little scary-gun-lecture incident, and as is my thing on Sunday nights, I went down to the pub for a drink. Or lots. The pub in question, as you might’ve been expecting, was The Rose. It’s quite big, about forty feet from one end to t’other, and in its own way, really rather odd. Well, not odd, ‘cause it looks exactly like a pub, but in this context, that’s precisely what makes it stand out. Imagine it: you’re sat inside your typical village pub, all varnished wood, low-key lighting and fogs of cigarette smoke, and you look out the window to see the blindingly white paint of the Academy halls. It doesn’t quite stack up, does it? Still, in its own way, this makes the pub a nice little place to be, a warm, comforting, hermetically-sealed world of its own creation. And because this is the Academy, there are no creepy old men to bother you, which certainly makes it a lot better than a real village pub.

    So, I’m in The Rose, with my regular posse of Newton, Ghost and Shockwave. We’re sat round a table in the corner, opposite from the bar, quietly blitzing through our many drinks as quickly as possible. This place closes at midnight, only two hours from now, so we need as hammered as possible before then. Personally, I’m chugging through basic pints, Carling, Fosters and the like. They’re nice, but I’m only having them because I don’t dare ask for a White Russian in a place like this. I just daren’t. Anyway, we’re in the table in the corner, surrounded by about a dozen other tables filled to capacity. The Rose is usually quiet, but it’s very popular on Sunday nights.

    …Which is why I’m here. Felix Findlay is on the never-ending pull, and with at least fifty other people in this pub, he should be in luck.

    But before I get to that part, there’s something else I need to cover. As I mentioned a few chapters back, Shockwave is a bit of a booze-hound. I wouldn’t say he’s an alcoholic, at least no more than I am, but that man does like his drinks. There’s a general rule with alcohol, that the more you consume, the stupider you get: as all those “don’t drink and drive” ads like to tell you, being drunk reduces your ability to think sensibly and logically. But in Shockwave’s case, something very unusual and inexplicable happens.

    The more he drinks, the smarter he becomes. No, seriously. Just read this:

    “Superpowers are the weirdest thing to ever happen to human culture. Even if a high-tech alien race landed, or God himself appeared before us, they still wouldn’t cause as much confusion as superpowers. It’s not just that no one has a clue where they came from or how they work, even after the ISA has been studying them for a decade. The really odd thing is control. We all know the stereotype: a lonely kid, just hitting the rough patch that is their teenage years, suddenly discovers they can do something weird. Fly, read minds, fire lightning bolts from their arse, whatever. They’ve already come to the conclusion that they’re a freak, but this just makes things worse. They’re frightened that they’ll hurt someone, they’ll be rejected by all the “normal people”, so they hide, never reveal their powers to anyone. Or worse, they try to hide their neuroses by helping the helpless.”

    This is after his fourth pint. And he’s only just getting started.

    “I’m not one of those “supers’ rights” people. I don’t think we’re “gods among insects”, or any of that bullsh*t. I mean, some of the best students in this place aren’t supers. How our powers work, where they come from, I admit it’s odd, but it’s just no concern to me. The only important thing about our powers is that, because we have them, we may find it easier to act as we wish. As everyone thinks Voltaire said, “I detest what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. The only duty we humans have is to be happy: it doesn’t matter how, so long as our life is fulfilled. By choosing the side of villainy, we have refused to beholden ourselves to rules or customs, to everything that separates us from whatever makes us happy. Being a freak is of no concern to us, nor is having the regard of wider society, nor the welfare of bystanders who play no part in our affairs. There is no reason why it should be.”

    This carries on going for a bit, but I think you get the general idea. Sadly, once he sobers up, Shockwave will have forgotten all this, but for now, he’s up there amongst the higher truths.

    I’m not sure how much any of the above had to do with anything, but I thought I’d recount it anyway. It was part of the scene, it was interesting, and it filled some time.

    And this is when it happens. The bit you’ve been waiting for. Two tables away, five women are sat with their pints, laughing over whatever it is they’re talking about. Maybe the local gossip, maybe not. I can’t tell what they’re saying over the jukebox: “Back In Black” by AC/DC, if you’re curious. But anyway, sat at the far end of the table, right in my eye-line, is Scratch. She’s Asian, as I said last chapter, with short black hair and light brown skin. The black Slipknot T-shirt and full-length black leather trenchcoat make her a look a little more butch than I usually like, but frankly, there’s just no disguising beauty.

    It’s not until a few days later that I discover what the elbow-length black gloves are there to cover up, but for now, they’re just an interesting addition to her look.

    Ghost, sat opposite me, suddenly notices that I’m looking off into the distance. He turns round to see what caught my attention, then turns back.

    “You’re looking at the Asian chick, right?” he says.

    “Yeah.”

    Ghost leans across the table, as if to impart some mystical advice. “Take a word from the wise.” he says. “Avoid that one. The word on the street is that she’s a psychotic, man-hating hell-b*tch, the kind that even ‘70s feminists would’ve cowed in fear at. Or perhaps bowed in awe. Either way, you get the drift.”

    Newton nods in agreement. “Personally, I’m just appalled at your taste.”

    I shrug. “Well, I’ll take your suggestions. Thanks for bringing sense to my mind.”

    Am I being sarcastic there? I’m not sure.

    But still, it doesn’t matter much. With various inaudible goodbyes, Scratch promptly gets up, picks up a black handbag hanging off the seat, and starts walking out the pub. I’ll just have to chalk this one up as a momentary attraction.

    A few metres from the door, a guy comes up and taps her on the arm, or as best as you can when holding a pint in each hand. All I can really say about the guy is that he’s wearing a grey suit.

    Scratch turns to face him, silent for a few seconds of thought. Eventually, she reaches out and takes the glass in his left hand. But she doesn’t drink it, instead reaching up and pouring its contents over the guy’s head. She pushes the empty glass into his hand, leaving him wet, bemused and foolish as she turns and walks out the door.

    And with that, Felix Findlay has fallen in love.

    I’m not sure how I come to the decision, but I suddenly push my chair back and stand up. My friends don’t seem to have noticed what Scratch just did, but they do notice what I’m about to do.

    “Good luck, brother.” Ghost says, with what is probably an ironic grin.

    “Cheers.”

    I turn and walk through the crowds, pushing through the pub doors no more than ten seconds after Scratch left. She’s off down the corridor to the right, about two-hundred yards away. I quickly catch up.

    An important thing to note is that this happened before the stunt Newton pulled on me two chapters ago. If things had been the other way round, I wouldn’t be quite so foolhardy at this point.

    “You know,” I say in my chirpiest voice, and not even remotely sure of where my words are coming from, “I’m very impressed with the way you dealt with that young gentleman.”

    Without breaking stride, one I can only just keep up with, Scratch turns to shoot me a look somewhere between confusion and annoyance.

    “Excuse me?” I can’t place her accent. Somewhere in London, I think.

    “I mean, even in this place, it must take a lot of guts to do something like that. A girl who can do that, she’s special.”

    “Thanks. What do you want?”

    “Where are you going?”

    “Home.”

    “Where’s that?”

    “It’s where I live.”

    “Wicked.”

    “Excuse me?”

    “I mean, I’ll come home with you if you like, but I’m not promising anything.”

    This sounds suspiciously familiar…

    Scratch stops dead, so abruptly that it takes me a few paces to catch on. Her expression is iron-hard. “What’s your name?”

    But this doesn’t…

    “Fel-. Er…Wildfire.”

    There’s a few seconds before Scratch replies. In the dimmed lights the Academy uses this time of day, and in a seemingly endless white corridor devoid of all other features and peoples, she suddenly appears very, very spooky. The yawning pit in the bottom of my stomach tells me that I’ve just f**ked up.

    “Right. Wildfire. What a stupid name.

    “Well, Wildfire, do you find this kind of approach usually works with girls? I’d say you don’t normally approach girls at all, but there’s something about you that suggests you think you’re an old hand at it. You’ve probably tried every chat-up technique there is, but this at least is a new venture for you. You’re hoping that if I look past this arrogant exterior, I’ll find a quiet, sensitive man, a thoughtful and generous lover, someone chivalrous, daring, intelligent, loving, loyal, all of those things. Someone, in fact, who is exactly what you think I want, but the exact opposite of the self-important waste-of-space you really are. But hey, don’t us girls just love that?”

    Er…

    Yes, this is really how we met. I think it explains pretty much everything you need to know. And I wish to never speak of it again.

    “I think this is the part where you f**k off.”
     
  12. Oh look I'm...

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    I'll say no more than that was the most amusing rejection I've ever seen.;) :D
     
  13. Rae

    Rae Insert amusing comment

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    That chapter was highly amusing, as was the one before. Felix realy doesn't seem to have any luck with the ladies at the moment.

    I wish i could write more, but physics coursework becons

    Rae
     
  14. Matt A

    Matt A Smile. Or Else.

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    Thankyou.:D Though, to be honest, I can't take all the credit for it: about 90% of the dialogue there was taken from Trainspotting. I re-wrote a few of the lines, and changed the way it ended - in the film, Felix's direct tactic actually works, albeit in a very twisted way - but the scene is still pretty much the same. And, indeed, the point of this chapter was simply to pay homage to one of my favourite movies.;)

    Thankyou again. I do like to be funny.:D

    No, he doesn't. And that's entirely because I enjoy watching him suffer.:p:evil:

    In that case, I forgive you. And you have my sympathies. Coursework really kinda sucks.:sad:

    -Matt A-
     
  15. percguy89

    percguy89 Things Change

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    SWEET!

    another visit from the asian scratch.

    not that i have any obsession with asian people in stories, but it's seen so rarely that i must stand up and salute whoever puts one in a story.

    i salute.

    not to mention the fact that the ending was pretty damn hillarious.

    man, that freakin *****.

    the funniest thing is, i could totally see that happening to one of my friends.

    but in other news, nice chapters, and an interesting kind of intermission half time show with the story. very original, and creative.

    i'd expect nothing less from you matt.

    peace out, and nice chaps.
     
  16. Matt A

    Matt A Smile. Or Else.

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    Which was kinda my point, though perhaps not in the way you thought.:sweat:

    One thing I've been doing in this story is subtly mocking the idea of "token [insert ethic/social group]", the kinds of characters who always crop up in comics just so the creators can say they use black/asian/gay/elderly/whatever people. Frankly, I feel that's an insult, an a way of showing empty PC credentials at the expense of creating proper characters. So, whilst I've been using Token characters here and there, I've been putting deliberate spins on their roles. For example:
    • Psyker was the Token black Academy student, but was a sadistic loony who got brutally murdered halfway through the story.
    • Poltergeist is the Token black 'Force member, but rather than being "straight from the ghetto" like most Token black characters, is a posh computer geek with zero attitude ability.
    • Shockwave is (as of the Lost Chapters) the Token homosexual, but this has next-to-no impact on his character, and he was outed purely for the purposes of a one-scene joke.
    • Newton is the Token sexy female amongst the main cast, and whilst Felix has given her the pedestal typical of such characters, this is purely because he has the mistaken belief that the two of them are meant to be together.
    • Scratch is the Token asian, but is a man-hating Gothic ice-queen whose one use is to decimate Felix's belief that he's an all-round stud.
    I'm not sure how much this has to do with what you said, or even if you care, but I just thought I'd show my thought processes behind my single use of an asian character.;)

    And I can see it happening to quite a few of mine. Hence the funny.:D

    Again, this is another one of those underlying jokes: throughout the story, there's a constant shortfall between what Felix percieves and what a situation really is. For example, he beats the Omega Force through massive luck and their incompetence ("Rush Hour"), and even though every subsequent duel with everyone leaves him barely escaping with his life, he still carries on believing this this one victory makes him a kung-fu god. Or, perhaps more relevant here, he believes that he can pull any woman he desires, yet within only the first half-dozen chapters, up pops Scratch to brutally remind him that most people actually think he's an idiot.;)

    Yes, I do enjoy torturing my lead character. He makes for such a good punchbag.:D:evil:

    So no pressure, then.:p:sweat:

    Still, thankyou. As I said somewhere else, I believe that being called "original" is the highest compliment that can be bestowed (except perhaps recieving an Oscar or a Nobel Prize;)), so that makes me feel all warm inside.:D And I too like the change of pace these Lost Chapters have provided: it's made me feel much happier about working on this story.:D

    -Matt A-
     
  17. Matt A

    Matt A Smile. Or Else.

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    And here, simply because I can, is another chapter. I've decided to stop with the Lost Chapters for a little bit, and get back to the main story before even I start forgetting what's going on.:sweat:

    In this case, what happens here is fairly self-explanatory. The reason for that is, if not right away, also fairly self-explanatory. It's a little...flat for my liking, but seeing as this is already the second draft, I'll just leave things as is for now. We'll see how this turns out.:shrug:

    Anyway, that's enough preamble. On with the show...


    Chapter Thirty-Four: What’s The Big Idea?

    “I might as well ask the obvious question. Do you have a plan?”

    I pause for a second, not 100% sure of how to answer. I was hoping he wouldn’t ask the question, but I suppose that was stupid. I might as well just go for the truth:

    “To be honest, you guys are my plan.”

    Gunslinger nods and smiles. “I thought as much. Well, we all might as well grab a pew.”

    I think that means we should sit down. Shockwave, Angel and Sonic park up on the sofa, Poltergeist about to join them when a surprised yelp and an angry “f**k off!” tell that Ghost has beaten him to the fourth spot. Gunslinger and Newton take the two office chairs from the computer desk, ready to do whatever with the terminals. Flora and Poltergeist go off to get chairs from elsewhere in the room, bringing them back over to the group. I’m happy enough leaning on the back of the sofa, and no one else questions it. Those sat on chairs spin themselves round to face the rest of us. It almost feels like a Round Table here.

    Befitting his role as King Arthur, Gunslinger speaks first. “Right then. Us five have already devised a plan of sorts, and whilst we will be requiring our new arrivals’ input, it’s safe to say that our original plan is the one we’ll be going with.

    “The fact that you’re all only offering to help now suggests that you don’t know as much about the Claw-Bots and their production as you perhaps should. But these things are not new opponents for the Omega Force, and we’ve studied them at great length over the last seven months. The important point is that, whilst each ‘Bot has its own independent AI, they are primarily directed from another location. Until today, we only had suspicions as to where this was, but now we know for sure. Basically, we can either get out onto the streets and spend several days destroying the ‘Bots one-by-one, or we can simply break into the Academy and spend several hours shutting them down remotely. This won’t be easy, but from where I’m standing, it’s still the less suicidal option.

    “However, this isn’t all. The Academy is the single biggest threat to this country. Not just today, but ever since it was created. The plan isn’t just to remove the Claw-Bots. The plan is to destroy the Academy altogether.”

    Truth be told, I’m not sure how I feel about this. Stopping Jefferson and his army, now that all his students are its squad commanders, means defeating every single person who currently lives in the Academy. We know that, we’re ready for that. But defeating the Academy for good? I don’t know. Frankly, I was so focused on stopping the ‘Bots that I didn’t give any thought about what would happen to the place next. I’ve now officially Betrayed it, I know, and I’m biting the hand that used to feed me, but I suppose I was kinda just hoping for a change in management.

    If none of the above makes any sense, then tough. I can’t explain it any better.

    Luckily, Ghost is more succinct. “What?” he snaps.

    “As you’re probably well aware,” Gunslinger says, “we spend an average of five days a week fighting criminals. Two-fifty to three-hundred perps out a fifty-million-plus general population isn’t much, but it’s enough. Whether they’re super-powered or not, we fight the dangerous ones, the ones we do not want on the streets. It’s no fun dealing with these kinds of psychos.

    “Out of these three-hundred-ish crooks, a good ninety percent are either trained or sponsored by the Academy. Something we’ve known for a long time is that, if the Academy is removed, then Britain’s streets will be significantly safer. We won’t be out of a job altogether, but that’s not the point. The Academy has always been very well connected, and up until now, we’ve simply lacked the ammunition to attack them head-on. But now, with the mayhem they’ve just started causing, this is our chance to remove our biggest enemy. Whether with you or not, we’re doing this.”

    I shrug. “I can’t speak for my friends, but I’m in. I’ve come this far, so I might as well go all the way.”

    I don’t know if this is the truth, but for now, it’ll do. I’ll figure out my real thoughts once I’m on the road.

    Shockwave, Ghost and Newton all make their own gestures or noises of agreement. I’m not sure if they’re actually behind it, or have just grudgingly accepted things, but assent is still assent. Like I said, we’ll deal with it later.

    Newton turns to Gunslinger. “So, now that’s out the way, how do you plan to achieve this total destruction scheme of yours?”

    “That depends on what you can tell us.” he replies. “Our plan was simply to force our way into the Academy through the nearest entrance, fight whatever security systems they have, and then find and shut down whatever computer is controlling the Claw-Bots. Poltergeist can use his powers to cart in enough explosives to blow the joint,” I’ll explain this one later, “so we’ll then place them, set them and retire to a safe distance. We were prepared to do all this blind, but seeing as you’re now here, we won’t have to. How exactly should we go about all this?”

    Me, Shockwave and Ghost don’t bother to dispute that Newton is the best one to answer all the questions. Out of the four of us, she’s the only one who bothers to pay attention to this sh*t.

    Newton drums her fingers on her leg for a few seconds. Eventually, she figures out how best to explain things.

    “On the whole,” she says, “security shouldn’t be a problem. There are sentry guns at every entrance, but they’re all manually operated, and because everyone is out on the streets, I imagine there won’t be anyone to use them. They might leave one or two people behind to act as a rearguard, but they shouldn’t pose much of a threat. And once we’re past them, the Academy will be wide open for us. The ‘Bot factory is in it’s own section of the facility, but the controls will probably be in Jefferson’s office. We’ll be able to get there without any significant problems.

    “It sounds stupid, I know, but the theory is that their reputation and contacts would persuade any threats to think of something less stupid to do. I guess they just don’t expect anyone to be this insane.”

    Gunslinger smiles. “Then they obviously don’t know us as well as they think.”

    Amen, motherf**ker.

    “So, where do we make entry?” I ask. I might as well contribute something.

    “It’ll have to be somewhere close by.” Gunslinger says. “If we have to trek all the way across London to get to our entrance of choice, then who knows how much damage could be done by the time we’re finished?”

    “In that case, there’s only two places.” Newton says. “Mind if I use your computer?”

    “Do you know the password?”

    “No.”

    “Then no, you can’t. Tell me what you want done, and I’ll do it.”

    Newton turns to the terminal behind her, and prods one of the keys. The previously black TV screen flicks to a grey dialogue box over a light blue background. Only really, really huge.

    “Or I could just do it myself.”

    She pauses for a few seconds, then taps in the number 4815162342. Lo and behold, the screen then suddenly changed to the largest rendition of a Windows desktop I have ever seen. (Not sure how that’s possible on what appears to be an iMac, but who gives a f**k?)

    The Omega Force are promptly dumbstruck. The three of us who actually know Newton just see this as yet another party trick for her. That’s my girl.

    “How the…how the hell did you know that?” Poltergeist whispers after a few seconds.

    Newton grins. “It was the right length, and if I had a set this big, I’d spend all day watching TV too.”

    And that appears to be that.

    “Well, now you’re there,” Gunslinger says, clearly impressed, “you might as well show us what you wanted to show us.”

    There’s an icon in the right-hand corner labelled “aerial footage”. Newton clicks on it to reveal a satellite image of Central London, which she then quickly zooms into one particular building. Based on my fairly good mental geography, it’s the British Museum, though I’m certain it shouldn’t have all the rubble strewn around the courtyard outside, or the destroyed cars and suchlike in the nearby streets. This is moving footage, from what I can tell, though nothing is really moving.

    “This is live, I take it?” Newton asks.

    Gunslinger nods. “Yes.”

    “Good.”

    Newton turns back to face the rest of us, ready to explain what she’s after. “From what I managed to establish this morning, the ‘Bot factory has a tunnel leading directly to the British Museum. Though there are other places, this is the main route they’re using to get these things up onto the streets.”

    And she found that out how?

    “As I said before, this is one of only two Academy entrances in Central London. The other is in Harrods, which isn’t far, but in the current…situation, it’s still a longer hike than I would prefer. At this point, it’s likely that all the ‘Bots are up on the streets, which means we shouldn’t encounter that much resistance if we use this route.”

    Though it must seem odd that 99% of these entrances aren’t in Central, considering how the Academy itself is below Westminster, it actually makes quite a bit of sense this way. The more out-of-the-way the entrances are, the less likely it is that someone will stumble across them by accident.

    Angel laughs. “You know sis, it seems you are more than just a pretty face.”

    Newton nods in return. “Yeah, it’s been said.”

    99% of the time, the one who’s said it has been me.

    Gunslinger claps his hands together. “Well, I think that’s all. The sooner we saddle up and get gone, the sooner we can sort all this stupidity. Anyone have any questions?”

    I kinda do, but I won’t say it. The weird thing is that, not even ten minutes ago, this lot were beating the living crap out of each other. Now we’re calmly working together on a borderline-suicidal plan to destroy our former home. It’s amazing what adversity does to people.

    “I do.” Ghost says. “Where the f**k did you guys get explosives from?”

    “Brentford.” Poltergeist replies with a smile. “He once decided to go beyond mere thievery. We had other ideas. The upshot is that we’ve got four tonnes of C4 sat in our armoury.”

    I can almost see Ghost’s eyes lighting up. “You guys have an armoury?”

    Uh-oh.

    “Oh, sure. We got every damn thing in there. M16s, M79s, AK-47s, HK Mk23s, SPAS-12s, PSG-1s…if it’s buyable and uses gunpowder, then we have one. More than one, in a few cases. It’s mostly for ‘Slinger here, but a situation is big enough, then the rest of us get to play too.”

    “I think I kinda love you.”

    Actually, just this once, I think I can cope with our resident crazy person getting his hands on some guns. Something tells me his favourite obsession could come in handy. That, and I want a play.

    “I suppose you could borrow something.” Gunslinger says with a smile. “You never know. Well, let’s get this show on the road. We have a Day to Save.”
     
  18. Oh look I'm...

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    I think we've grown to love your characters so much that whatever they say is gold.;) :D

    Seriously, now, why on earth did you think that the chapter was going to be flat in any way? The Omega Force have been waiting for just the right time for a conflicted individual to show up at their door step and say that time is now.;)

    It was also very interesting how Felix (and the others, supposedly) put off their decision of loyalty until later. This means that we could be in store for some radically cool twists, or not. Someone could decide to go belly up at the last gasp, to use a British phrase.;)

    And, of course, Felix's idealization of Newton was most amusing. He might not be as disconnected (romantic, luvy-duvy wise) as we all think.:evil: It'd be very interesting to see his relationship with his mom, just to know how he's come to think of women in general.:rolleyes2: :)

    Once the Academy finds out that Ghost has had access to an entire armoury, they'll be in for it.:evil: :evil: :evil:

    Overall, an amusing and hilarious read! Me want more!!
     
  19. Matt A

    Matt A Smile. Or Else.

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    You know, I've never really thought of that possibility. Characterisation isn't one of my strong points, I've always felt.

    So thankyou for that vote of confidence. It means a lot.:D

    It's just that this chapter is basically two-thousand words of exposition, and I didn't know how to make it read like anything other than exactly that. I suppose the context works in my favour, but after spending about five hours working on this damn thing, I'd kinda lost sight of that.:sad:

    I think "balls up" is the usual phrase. And it's more about accidents and related incompetence than moral turn-arounds.:p

    But still, I get your point. Will be having those "radically cool twists"? Maybe, maybe not. I'm still planning that one out. Either way, the main reason I put that part in is because, as I've taken great pains to point out, Felix doesn't entirely understand why he's setting out on this war against the Academy. Despite the momentus personal changes it represents, he doesn't know where he's going to wind up at the end of all this.;)

    He isn't disconnected in the slightest. He just believes he's too much of a he-ho to realise it.;)

    First up, I'm not a Freudian, so I'm not sure how relevant that would be. I certainly don't hold my own mother has the ideal of womanhood.;)

    Secondly, I have actually provided hints about that relationship. Not many, and they're usually buried amongst other things, but they're findable. The gist of it is that Felix believes his parents think he's a dissapointment and have disowned him accordingly, and he's more than happy to let that situation continue.

    Yup. It should be fun.:D:evil:

    -Matt A-
     
  20. ArtificialIdiot

    ArtificialIdiot Doktor Aies

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    You know my thoughts on Lost chapter B, but Lost Chapter C was amusing as hell! :D Great way for them to meet, greatest rejection ever and a welcome return from Scratch - Even if I had forgotten about her until you reminded me with that. Still, the chapter helps establish her more - So no bad thing!

    And here we go, here we fragging go! The build up to some insane, super hero action is go! And what an amazingly, super heroic plan they cooked up! Charging in, blowing the place up and screwing the consequences and collateral damage - Planned out like a true team of heroes, there! :D Some interesting notes about the acaemdy there too, about how they think their reputation will save them - Like most things to do with that place, it makes a perverse kind of sense. And after all, villains have a tradition of underestimating their heroic counter-parts, which really, has been a theme throughout this now I think about it.

    The thing that struck me, just under how freaking cool and snappy most of that dialogue was, is that Newton knows far too much information than she should. Even for Newton. Do I sense a betrayal in the offing? Maybe not, but speculation is all part of the fun. Either way, I'm excited! I'm hyped! Ghost gets to use guns again!!!! Although, I take it seeing as their armoury has the standard, American military rifle, it'll have the British one too (SA80) ;)

    Either way, the next few chapters are gonna be awesome! Huzzah for all Hell breaking loose!!
     

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