As always, please read the chapter first.
Amber's background came out here, more to set up Sexton's entrance than to really show off Amber herself. The byplay between Amber and Maria let me show that Amber is more than she appears, despite being true to herself. She is young, though; Amber has more in common with Maria than with any of the rest of the Ladies.
Sexton's appearance probably could be seen coming. I'm not sure if it's from Sexton's character or from author desperation. Sexton was written to be vindictive, so having him threaten Rose's family yet again made sense. However, if I had more experience writing longer works at the time, the taking of Maria as a hostage would have happened just once. The duplication of action is the main reason why this story is not being worked on for potential publication. The ideas are salvageable, though. The core cast was set up for an ongoing series, as seen in the title of the work, Lethal Ladies: Case File 001 – The Ouroboros Mission.
Amber's reaction to Sexton's orders are, well, Amber-like. She's stalling for time, so she will be literal. Sexton says no talking, Amber won't talk, even to answer his questions. Annoying the villain, though, is not a good idea when he's wounded, angry, and has a shotgun. A note on the weapons seen in the scene - I chose then for word count where possible. I saw the light at the end of the NaNo tunnel and started using all the tricks I knew to pad the word count. I wanted to make sure I did reach 50 000 words. Rollins' submachinegun became a Heckler & Koch because the company gave me two more words than Colt did.
Padding the word count, though, doesn't mean adding random words and sentences. I needed to keep myself in the flow of the story, so side trips about Detective Lepinski's graduation day never came to mind. I might have been able to throw in another flashback to the Cold War when Rose and Elena worked against each other, but that was needed far earlier. Going back wasn't an option at this point. I had the end in mind and needed to get there while still adding word after word. That said, Elena's flirtation with Lepinksi helped and came from Elena herself and not a need to add to the word count.
The 404 joke was padding, but I couldn't think of any other means to get inside the building. Sometimes, though, the oldest methods are the best. Dialling a random apartment and pleading can work. Most people aren't heartless, especially when someone is trying to reach a sick and frail relative. As for apartment 404, the entire gag works off the 404 error when trying to reach a non-existant webpage; "404 Page Not Found". The elderly couple in the elevator was more to show why the trick worked; there are tenants who could very well have fallen and broken a leg or a hip.
The show of clearing the apartment was to keep the interest up, despite showing where Sexton was earlier. From Rose and Elena's point of view, they didn't know if anyone was in the apartment. The arranging of scenes wasn't the best; today, I'd have to two in a different order, with the time stamp on Amber's scene earlier than the one on Rose and Elena's. That way, the call at the end added at the end Amber's side of the story, tying the two scenes together.
Tomorrow, how to annoy the villain.
Saturday, over at MuseHack, The LEGO Movie. Everything is awesome!
Coming soon, a mix of gaming and NaNoPrep 2014.