8FOLD: Darkhorse # 9, "Make It Magnificent"

Tom Russell joltcity at gmail.com
Tue Jul 5 19:35:04 PDT 2016

On Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 2:03:47 AM UTC-4, Drew Perron wrote:

> >    "Medusa?"
> >    "Yes?"
> >    "Could you not share this? These two minutes, can you keep that between us?"
> >    "Of course."
> awwwwwwwww ;.;
> >    "I think I'd like to be alone now."
> >    "I understand. Would you like to listen to some music?"
> >    "Yeah. Yeah, that'd be nice."
> >    "What would you like to listen to?"
> >    "I can't pick anything right now. Could you?"
> >    "Of course. It's been a pleasure working with you, Melody Mapp."
> >    "You too."
> oh nooooooooooo ;;;;;;;;;_;;;;;;;;;
> >    Melody lies down on her side, curling her legs up and tucking one
> > hand underneath her head. With her free hand she wipes her face and
> > nose clean. She takes another deep breath, and then finds herself
> > quietly mouthing the words.
> >    She's surprised, then, when the song ends; the song's a lot longer
> > than two minutes, and she had less than that left. She opens her eyes
> > and sits up to look at her watch. Three minutes past ten o'clock.
> ...aaaa :D
> >    She should be dead by now. Or dying, at any rate, her entire body
> > going into one last seizure that lasts an eternity. She pokes at her
> > watch, and the instant that she does, there's a distinct CLICK from
> > within its gears. In the blink of an eye-- a blink even by Melody's
> > thousand-frames-per-second standards-- the watch collapses and
> > dissolves on itself, and then disappears into thin air.
> ...aaaaaaaaaa :D
> >    This, of course, is more than a little terrifying. That feeling
> > subsides as Melody stares at her wrist, which bears the impression of
> > the watch she's worn for the last six years. It's sore now, like the
> > watch had always been too tight, but she had never noticed it until it
> > was gone. She rubs her aching wrist. She rubs it at super-speed.
> >    She's alive, and she has her powers. What the heck?
> aaaaaaaaaaaaaa! :D :D :D :D

That whole scene with Melody and Medusa was really, really hard to write, because the tone and the pace of the thing was so incredibly important to get  right, and there were so many ways it could have went very, very wrong. It has to carry emotional weight that, given the nature of Melody's forward propulsion, has been "kicked down the road" throughout the series. It's gratifying to hear that, at least for one reader, it worked as intended. Thanks, Drew. :-)

> >    "Sorry," says Kate, shaking her head. "It's like there's something
> > in my head rattling around. Something to do with mancers." She turns
> > to Melody. "You mentioned it, and it started to jog something, but now
> > it's gone. I went after the vertigo guy, and apparently he did a
> > number on me. I can't remember any of it. And yet I think there's
> > something important rattling around in the old noggin, I just can't
> > reach it.
> Yes yes yes--
>   After everything settles down, I'm going to talk to
> > Rainshade to see if she can try and unlock it."
> nooooo ;-;

Yeah, it's... it's going to be a whole thing.
> >    "What, Simon?" says Bethany. "Your brother, Simon? Melody has a
> > crush on Simon?"
> >    "No," says Melody. Then, blushing and shrugging: "I think he has a
> > crush on me, though."
> >    "Oh, he's had one for a long time," says Kate. "And I'm pretty sure
> > it's mutual. Melody just doesn't know it yet."
> Interesting.

I think Simon probably had a crush on Bethany too-- he was just hitting puberty the first time he met her in JOURNEY INTO # 19, he was 13 and she was 25-- but Kate knows better than to mention that in present company. Simon hasn't gotten a lot of screen-time, but he's someone who was brought into Kate's super-hero life early on, and is comforting being a "supporting character" in that world, as it were. Whether or not that makes him a good match for Melody remains to be seen, but they're both good-natured, responsible, nerdy young people, and Simon's *probably* a better match than, say, Prince Terak, who really needs a dutiful and obedient bride. At the very least they'll probably go on a couple of dates and see how it works. :-)
> >    "He breathes through his nose, right?"
> >    "Yeah. That's generally how it works. Why?"
> >    "Because his mouth is going to be occupied in my land down under."
> >    "Oh, gross," says Kate. "You made it gross. I don't want to hear that."
> XD XD XD oh my god

This was the least-dirty variant I had on this one. I felt it was important to express Melody's libido/sexuality but in a non-ACRA way, and this (like the Hemsworth interlude) seemed like a natural place to do so.

> >    "The multiverse needs you," she says. Then, "I know you don't come cheap."
> >    She tosses a large bag to the ground. Bunny gnaws it open with her
> > teeth, and thousands upon thousands of tabs come pouring out.
> >    "That's the first installment. Will you stand with us?"
> >    Bunny nods.
> HELL YEAH. :D :D :D That's fascinating, I didn't expect a *triumphant* ending, 
> nor one that tied into the larger Pulse War storyline.

Well, I mean, it had the little [PW-##] label on each part. :-) That's usually a good sign it's going to tie in eventually.

Regarding triumphantness, well-- that was kinda always intended. Melody's stories have usually been, or at least have been meant to be, cheerful, light, and positive, if tempered somewhat by the spectre of death and loss. I tried to remain true to that in this series.

Mary was also surprised that things turned out okay for Melody, and often says that my stories tend toward Depressing, which, I don't know. Certainly JOLT CITY was downbeat, but in the end Derek saves space and time, and Dani brings Martin back from the dead. That's pretty much a happy ending, isn't it? (Though not for poor Pam.) RED HART ends with a sacrifice, but also has Van coming back as a space-robot.

What I'm saying is, sure, bad things happen, and sometimes to good people, but on the whole the good guys win, the bad guys lose, and people are at least a little happier than they were when the whole thing started.

> I enjoyed this a lot. It's another one of your stories that's very much about 
> character interiority even as big whizz-pow cosmic events happen around said 
> characters. Which, y'know, that's just my jam. <3

Mine too! Thanks for the kind words, sir.
> Drew "slangslangslang" Perron


More information about the racc mailing list