27 Nov 2014

Beaver Flight Commentary - Chapter 5

As always, please read the chapter before continuing.

In Chapter 4, we saw the aliens appear, with heroics by Tori to rescue an Australian pilot.  Chapter 5 is the fallout.  No plan ever survives contact with the enemy.  Beaver Flight, barely a team, is fragmenting.  Darcy has her work cut out.

Tori makes a point early.  While the Beavers are on a military mission on a military base, three-quarters aren't military but civilian specialists.  They weren't trained to be soldiers day-in and day-out.  The other flights, except maybe Russia's Bear, are the same way.  To be fair, even soldiers need down time in their day, time to bond with fellows without rank structure in the way.  While Beaver Flight wasn't trying to emulate M*A*S*H, the TV series was an influence.

The appearance of Pac-Man was to have a bit of fun figuring out what video games would be like in 2128.  It's difficult to kill a franchise.  Popular characters will remain popular, with fan bile targeting the creative crew of a bad outing instead of abandoning the franchise.  It takes an active effort on the part of the creators to turn off fans.  Thus, the first-person eating game, Pac-Man: Ghost Hunter.  The game is part of the world-building that could have used more work before starting.

The conversation Dom and Renée have reflects the issues of a long-term mission where logistics are complicated.  Getting from the Earth to the Moon takes a lot of energy.  Cargo is limited by mass.  Necessities like food and water take priority over luxuries.  Data is easy to send, though.  MicroSD memory holds 128 gigabytes easily and is smaller than a fingernail.  Given another hundred years, and data storage should boost the capabilities to the terabyte range.  Regular entertainment runs that involved files, which includes everything from ebooks to movies and entire TV series, don't add that much mass.  More ahem personal items do, and may have to pass through other barriers as well.  Renée is also more open about her needs; it's the Quebec/Ontario divide.

The last scene is Darcy laying down the law.  Darcy is aware of the building friction and knows she needs to shut it down.  Tori and Renée, in particular, are always rubbing each other the wrong way.  The threat of the ring may work, at least for the short term until routines are settled and personal space is found.  The conflict between characters is good for drama, but there's an external threat that needs to be dealt with that takes priority.

Tomorrow, Chapter 6, "First Patrol".
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, managing expectations of adaptations..
Saturday, over at MuseHack, there goes Tokyo again, with the 2014 Godzilla.
Also Saturday, check out Comics Bulletin for comics-related reposts of Lost in Translation.

1 comment:

  1. Good grief, Tori and Renee are teenagers. To start, no, Darcy. You did not come down too hard on Victoria. Had she disobeyed orders with a clear strategy, maybe, but no, she charged in without even having sensible coordinates. I'm surprised you didn't get a dressing down for her actions. Which makes Tori's general smugness in posture and tone for the first scene rather infuriating, such that even though her point has validity, I kind of wish it didn't, because it's like rewarding bad behaviour. Why couldn't Darcy hear this from someone else? Tori even sticks her tongue out!

    The second scene works MUCH better, because even as Renee is acting with no more professionalism than Tori, Dominique maintains the high ground. She acknowledges the issues, yet sticks to what she knows with her degree, and rather diplomatically points out the limitations in Renee's thinking. The actual discussion about sex is, I suppose, valid, but I might have thought it to come up before, given Renee's feelings about the subject. Though I can also see her not thinking about it, based on the fact that, yeah, she's acting like a self-important teenager, used to having others take care of things for her. Adding family was a nice touch though.

    Really interesting point here you make about the Pac-Man: the inclusion does feel natural, and like so much world building, when done right is the sort of thing you might overlook - yet notice if it were absent. Kudos.

    The conclusion felt a lot better ("maybe if you cuddled" got a laugh) and while I am at the stage of yes, just put Tori and Renee in a ring and have them fight, threat be damned, the fact that I find it so grating is a sign I'm investing. Honestly, more so than I am with the external threat, so it's good that they caused a casualty in Peri, so that they remain active and easily bumped back up in importance.