11 Dec 2014

Beaver Flight Commentary - Chapter 7

As always, please read the chapter before continuing.

The Beavers have a typical morning, with Tori needing more sleep and Renée needing a caffeine IV drip.  Darcy directs the team to expand on the work Tori's doing.  One would think that the senior staff would be doing this, and they are, but Darcy wants to keep her team busy and away from each other's throats.  Darcy also wants an update from Tori, who really doesn't think well first thing in the morning.

The footage from the prologue showed Russian marines being shot, with the men being taken away.  Yulya Emelin, the commander of Bear Flight, was shot in the attack.  Not killed.  Neither were the marines taken away.  Tori's imagination runs away with her, but she is starting to get the idea.  The scene let me bring in the original idea, "Venus Needs Men!" and have it voiced in-character.  It is an odd idea; there's no guarentee that alien physiology matches up with human, or, as Tori puts, a human Tab A can fit properly into an alien Slot B.  Tori's other idea, human men as food stock, is also out there, though aliens may prefer their humans fresh.  Darcy's effort to keep Tori on track fizzles, but let me have Tori (mis)quote The Untouchables.  Even the 007 route, used in You Only Live Twice and Moonraker, requires some sort of compatibility between human and alien bodies.

While the more scientific minds work on their puzzle, Renée heads out to be the social researcher.  Uniforms on the station are varied.  Different commands have different needs, and wearing a uniform every waking hour, while the norm for soldiers on duty while deployed, isn't something a civilian gets.  There's a need to step away from the job, even for the pilots who could be called to launch within a moment's need.  The lounge is a way to escape being on duty even when off, so uniform regulations are relaxed a bit.  Hue is Renée's soul sister; they both have needs beyond the basics.  Hue is starting to be the base's scrounger, the woman who can get whatever is wanted if it's not on official lists.  I didn't plan on her going that route, but it turned out to be useful.

Tori and Dom's examination of the aliens let me get a few other details out.  First, the aliens should be visible to anyone looking in the right direction.  They just appear.  The comment about red shifts should really be about blue shifts; the colour blue has a short wavelength while red has a long one.  Second, there's character interaction involving Tori where the other person isn't annoyed.  Dom even revealed some of her interests and family.  Third, Tori's specialty is useful.  At the quantum level, physics doesn't behave as expected.  Subatomic particles can pop into existance in empty space, apparently violating the Conservation of Matter.  The popping, though, doesn't mean a piece of chocolate cake with lemon frosting will appear on a table.  Quantum physics is still being investigated, but it makes for an interesting premise in science fiction.  Finally, it gives enough information for Darcy to make decisions on how to deal with the invaders.

The chapter highlights the drawbacks of writing by the seat of your pants.  I needed details that really should have been worked out before I started.  The alien invaders have an objective, but what it is, I should have known by this chapter.  Instead, I was still working out their tactics and realizing that their attacks weren't working out in a way that made sense.  I also needed to work out my main characters in advance, a lesson learned with By the Numbers, where I had written something with my leads prior to the story proper.

Tomorrow, Chapter 8, "First Contact of the Third Kind".
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, the 2014 Jack the Giant Slayer.
Saturday, over at MuseHack, fixing adaptations.
Also Saturday, check out Comics Bulletin for comics-related reposts of Lost in Translation.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad the "breeding" idea wasn't just accepted, as Tori fired off some alternatives, with some good Darcy reactions. Tori's definitely becoming more likeable, even if she remains somewhat clueless in her human interactions. I'm also liking that she's getting scenes with Dom, there's a bit of a sisterly-like friendship forming there, in my opinion.

    The story is dragging a bit though, not sure if that's owing to the uncertain objective you mention. The characters themselves are admitting that they're just doing "busy work" that senior officials have already done, or are doing. Meaning the only reason to show US this, rather than do a time skip, is either for the purposes of world building (which we get a bit of in terms of tech and "Hawking-Cooper", but the appearance thing was already SEEN in the attack from part 4) or character development (and honestly the interactions feel like a retread of the previous part, but without the added subtleties like the Kangaroos wanting to change their name, since the conversation focus is on attacks... or boyfriends). I suppose if the intent is to show that 3 months of days like this would lead to losing your mind, there's something to that. But surely there's an earlier twist in store.