8 Mar 2018

Mecha Academy Episode 1 Chapter 2 Commentary

Sides are taken, a spy in the midst, and shunning.  Chapter 2 left a main character on the outside looking in.

Chapter 1 ended with Rhiannon slamming Dusty into a wall.  Chapter 2 picks up right after, with Lars about to jump into the danger zone.  Without Ric there, Lars might not have made it through the chapter.  It's not much of a fight, though.  Rhiannon is the agressor and Dusty is passive.  Dusty does have her reasons for that.

Mecha Academy is an older story idea of mine, inspired by various mecha anime and possibly Marmalade Boy, along with the mecha RPG Mekton Zeta.  I had scenes in mind when I first started writing November 1, 2017.  One of Dusty's lines returned, word for word, though I wasn't expecting it - "She and I, we've met before."  Six words, and they were retyped as I let the scene play out.  There are differences from the original scene I had, the big one being Rhiannon getting violent.  This escalated things early, but holding the characters back at this point didn't work.

I may have accidentally started a basis for shipping Ric and Lars.  As soon as I typed out, "Hey, dude, top or bottom?" I knew I opened a door.  Yet, I left it in.  If Mecha Academy gets popular, then slash fic writers have something to work with.  Not that slash fic writers need anything, but it's there.  The line also had me thinking.  The story is in the far future, with a star-spanning empire and high technology.  Why would such a setting be binary only?  In the 60s and 70s, there were SF series with the first women to be something, like starfighter pilots.  Today, though, that shouldn't be a plotline.  We should be past that.  Same with LGBT in military service.  So, sure, there isn't an issue in the setting about that.  And yet, and this is completely on me, I don't have a planned LGBT character this time around.  But there isn't the stigma, either.

Some of the setting building I did came up this chapter.  Commander Haag's uniform consists of an orange shirt of a heavier material much like the one here, a pair of black pants, and a pair of boots.  Before NaNo started and even during downtimes when I wasn't writing, I brainstormed what the uniforms of the various branches of the Royal Guard would be.  The Foot Guard, which includes the cadets at the Academy, wear what armies around the world today do, with beret colour signifying the type of job, artillery, armour, infantry, etc, the member did.  Most of the colours I came up with were based on the military forces of Canada and other Commonwealth nations.  However, I noticed that search and rescue teams wore blaze orange berets, to be better seen.  If you watch any starfighter battle in Star Wars, most of the Rebel and Resistance pilots wear an orange jumpsuit; the Rebellion wants to recover their pilots if they eject.  And that got me thinking.  Star Guard personnel will spend much of their career on a starship.  They don't need camouflage like the Foot and Sea Guards.  In a battle, they'll need to be seen if something happens to their ship.  Thus, Commander Haag wears an orange shirt.

I also worked out what the cadet uniform is, loosely basing it on that worn by students at the Royal Military College.  The cadets wear a white shirt, have the choice of tan pants or skirt, black dress socks, black shoes, the option of a black tunic, and a white beret.  I may have put too much thought into how the uniform appears, but given the setting, it needed to be done at some point.  Plus, with the information in a separate file, I can reuse the work elsewhere if needed.

Friday, Mecha Academy, "Roomates" Chapter 3, "Welcome to the Colonel KL Terin Military Academy".
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, Reboot: The Guardian Code.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, on adapting to tabletop RPGs.

1 comment:

  1. I would say Rhiannon comes across as the main character to this point, because we started with her point of view, the main conflict we've seen revolves around her, and she was largely at the centre of the group coming together for dinner too. The other cast members are getting their time too though, nice scene with the guys (though I didn't even consider the ship) and even the blonde gets a couple scenes.

    -Does the Foot Guard ever get mistaken for the Foot Clan?
    -"fish of some sort on a bed of rice or lasagne"... fish on a bed of lasagne would be interesting.
    -Trig getting political and having elections, what a crazy idea. ;)
    -Your "Previously"s have returned to using quotations. Personal preference?