29 Dec 2016

The Soul Blade Chapter 13 - Commentary

Tricia isn't sitting on her laurels even with the Bladekeeper in town.  Welcome to the commentary for The Soul Blade Chapter 13.

With Grace effectively shutting down the investigation in Chapter 9, I needed to kick start the plot somehow.  The method chosen?  Have Tricia kill someone else, of course.  And not just off-screen, either.  This time around, Tricia shows how it's done, from finding her victim to the bonus ritual afterwards.

Tricia is a little rushed with this murder.  No painstaking planning.  No research, though her research on her last potential victim didn't turn up the type of car she drove.  Just a search through crowds to find a target with potential.  She's been busy but she's been clever enough to avoid a pattern, unlike a serial killer.  Tricia doesn't have a particular choice in victim, making it harder to figure out where and when she will strike.  Obviously, McCoy and Kirk know there's a murderer on the loose, but they can't find a common link, thanks to Tricia's planning.

Peter's role was to be the murder victim.  There's just enough about him - he's young and having a drunken crawl with friends to celebrate the end of school - to make him a person and not a complete cardboard character, but he won't see the end of the chapter alive.  Tricia is not above using any manner to cull him away from his crowd.  Like wolves hunting elk or lions hunting gazelles, Tricia finds a way to get the weakest member of the herd away from the rest.

The ritual was the first time I realized what Tricia was doing with her victims.  I wound up having to re-write parts of Chapter 4 to reflect what Tricia's ritual does.  Originally, the body was tossed aside, but if there's no skeleton, the remains had no way to support themselves.  Brenna, who never got that close to the body, couldn't tell that the body had been filleted.  The police forensics team, though, could, but that's a detail that McCoy didn't want leaked to the press.

Tricia's ritual isn't clean.  When the insides of a person wind up outside, it's messy.  I didn't get into details; that wasn't the point of the chapter.  Tricia is used to the mess by now, so she ignores it beyond having to clean herself up.  The problem she has now is that Peter's friends will remember her.  There are ways to get around being identified, though.  First, they're drunk.  They'll remember a hot woman in a red bikini, which doesn't narrow the suspects that much on a beach.  Tricia can change her hairstyle, clothes, shoes, and makeup to get a quick disguise without looking like she is in a disguise.  The skeleton, though, does look like it's in a disguise.  If people get a good look at it, the game's over for Tricia.  Mind, that's part of the thrill for her at this point.

Tomorrow, sisterly affection, in The Soul Blade Chapter 14.
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, The Real Ghostbusters.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, the year-end wrap up.

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