28 Sept 2017

The Devil You Know - Commentary 10

Ione's stalker returned, but couldn't keep up as she left for Paris, in The Devil You Know Chapter 10.

Ione's stalker appears yet again and still unseen.  The stalker has a new car after a mysterious engine problem in Chapter 8.  Following a bus is difficult.  It's not that the bus is faster; it isn't.  The bus makes stops and it starts getting obvious that there's a tail when the car doesn't take the opportunity to pass.  Downtown Ione has the advantage.  Ottawa is a mess of one-way streets that even local drivers can't handle.  Where she got off the bus, she has a block to get to the stop she wants while her stalker has to find a north-bound street that will allow for a left turn to go back.  The main north-south road, Bank, doesn't allow left turns during rush because of the heavy traffic.  The westbound trip means that the stalker can't follow.  Even with today's LRT construction, the bus eventually hits the bus-only Transitway, and there isn't a road that runs parallel.  Even the station at the Bayshore mall is away from the road and parking.  Ione used local transit to give her stalker the slip.

I'm taking some liberties with the capabilities of the Carp Airport.  It's not a big airport, meant more for private planes than heavy commercial traffic.  A jet may be pushing the runway's capacity.  Yet, somehow Jack managed to land one there.  That alone should have people wondering.  If it isn't, I must have either hooked the reader or lost the reader.  The reader can decide.  However, I did give a nod to reality during take-off.  Jack really doesn't listen to people in authority.

Mara makes her first appearance.  She wasn't a planned character at all.  I needed her because Jack's jet needs a co-pilot.  But once she was there, she became useful and brought along her own backstory and story arc.  Mara was also fun to write.  She's not just an extension of Jack, though that was the original reason for her inclusion.  Mara joins Ben in the roster of characters who didn't remain in their original scenes.

The references to 10am all come from the MST3K episode featuring Danger! Death Ray.  The hero of the movie, Bart Fargo, at one point helps himself to his hotel room's bar, and damn the excessive cost to the room.  The riff of the moment is, "It's 10am somewhere," implying that Bart may have a drinking problem.  The audience will if they drank every time the main music played.  The line stuck in my head for some reason, so it'll get tossed in every now and then when appropriate.

Kopi luwak is a real coffee.  The beans pass through the digestive system of the civet cat before being collected.  The "wild sourced" means that someone had to go looking for the beans.  I'm sure it's a delicacy and the processing removes any, um, residue from the civet, but I'll pass, thanks.  Why does Jack have the coffee?  He's a man of wealth and taste, and he knows people who do drink that coffee.

Friday, Jack shows some of his cards, in the The Devil You Know Chapter 11.
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, hiatus due to circumstances.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, expanded universes.

* There are exception, including Deadpool and Pinkie Pie.  Most people in their works consider them off and slighty mad.


  1. This is as far as the file that I have went. You could almost have cut the chapter after Jack tells Ione to take her own luggage, before she meets Mara, putting the rest into another instalment. This seemed like one of the longer ones, at any rate.

    I'm kind of impressed that Ione's tail lasted as long as she did. Not having knowledge of the Carp airport, I'd be inclined to hand-wave... meaning you seem more dedicated to source material, whereas I'd be inclined to make something up that "works because our world is different". No idea what effect that has on readers, or who gets upset by runway realism. To each our own.

    Incidentally, you're missing a star, I have no idea what your aside about exceptions actually refers to. Related to the insane coffee?

    1. It was one of the bigger ones. It didn't split up nicely; cutting after Jack tells Ione to take her own luggage would have a smaller than average chapter. Keeping Mara gets large than average. TDYK wasn't intended to be serialized, unlike /Unruly/ and /Subject 13/, so the chapters are of varying length.

      Ione's tail is determined. I did some research on the airport, but couldn't really figure out how much runway Jack's plane needed, so I did handwave in the end. There's probably runway and airport purists that would be upset over incorrect details.

      That might have belonged to a different post. I tend to use a previous file to keep formatting, so I may not have deleted the footnote. ^_^;; It may have been a hectic week for me.