Sunday, October 13, 2013

Page 279

--donation bonus (day #10, post 5/5)--
Hector frowned beneath his helm. He tried to extend a hand toward her, but she flinched.

“No, please! This is all just too much! I don’t want anything to do with you!” She ran away from him. “I’m sorry!”

He watched her go. He couldn’t really blame her. He was the reason she was in danger to begin with. It was probably better this way, honestly. He just wished it didn’t feel so awful.

“She’s just traumatized,” said Ms. Trent. “Give her some time.”

He doubted time would make much difference. He looked at his teacher.

Small cuts riddled her face. Her hair and clothes were all a mess. She didn’t look any less traumatized than Sheryl, really.

“H-how are you feeling?” he asked her.

“Alive. Thanks to you.”

“Don’t be too grateful. I... I’m the reason he was trying to kill you...”

“I don’t understand,” she said as they began walking. “What was he trying to accomplish, exactly? That was your father, wasn’t it?”

“That thing was not my dad. It was... a monster. It killed him and took his body...”

She hesitated. “I wish I couldn’t believe you. But after... well... I’m not about to doubt your word.”

“It was trying to... hurt me, I guess...” He took a quiet breath. “It’s dead now, but... it sure as hell succeeded...”

“Why did it want to hurt you? Because you’re the Darksteel Soldier?”

Hector paused at that. “...The what?”

“Oh, come on. I’ve seen the news. A young, black male in a metal helmet, terrorizing criminals around the city. You can’t tell me that’s some other guy.”

“Yeah, o-okay, that’s me, but... the Darksteel Soldier?”

“Isn’t that what you call yourself?”

“Uh... no...”

“Well, that’s what they’re calling you. You didn’t know?”

“I, uh... I haven’t really... been paying attention to the news lately...”


  1. All said, I'm kind of sad to see Geoffrey die like this. I was all set for them to be an ever dueling duo, where hector raises mountains of steel to annihilate corrupted titans that were formerly people, but now... I dunno...

    1. Yeah, I understand. I considered going that route, but after thinking on it for a while, it seemed silly to me. There will be no shortage of antagonists in this story. And given Geoffrey's utter recklessness, having him consistently surviving his clashes with Hector (and others) struck me as rather contrived.

      Also, while Geoffrey was a fun character, he was not exactly complex. He worked to a rather singular tune, which would probably grow dull after a while, I think. Yeah, he's doing something cruel again. He's hurting people again. He's fighting Hector again. They're both stronger again, but who will come out on top this time? ...No one, apparently, because the author wants them to keep growing more powerful before finally doing something decisive. How predictable.

      But I definitely see where your anxiety is coming from. The story's biggest villain thus far is suddenly dead, which leaves a rather large vacuum to be filled.

    2. I'm not sure if I don't like your tone...
      Or if I LOVE what you're implying ;)

    3. Well... the biggest villain in this story is not exactly dead. only Geoffrey is... but he mentioned mentors, and there's no shortage of people that made geoffrey look like a baby... we even met some of them already.

      Also this fight firmly sets up the sliding scale of idealism vs realism. It's nice to see "realistic" "superheroes" for once.

    4. Oh, of course. "The story's biggest villain thus far," as in, the one given the most narrative focus. He was the story's biggest. Not Eleg's biggest. I apologize if that wasn't clear.

  2. The end of chapter 31 would be a good end spot for a first book if you ever decide to publish this, or sell paper copies on the website.

    1. If I organize the story into ebooks, I'll include full story arcs--or "Oaths," as I'm calling them in the Table of Contents.

  3. Maybe chrome will letme comment

    1. iOS upgrade messed up Safari some more.

      How does Ms Trent know it's Hector? Did he take his helm off? You explicitly wrote that he didn't feel like taking the helm off in front of them, a few posts back.
      Does Sheryl know?? I've been hand waving it because she/ just acted so traumatised.

    2. Sheryl found out on page 266. Hector never explicitly shows Ms. Trent that it's him, but she spent a lot of time with Geoffrey while they were waiting for Hector to arrive in the teacher's lounge. Then she witnessed their entire conversation and fight in said lounge. Then she spent more time in the lounge with Sheryl.

      Ms. Trent would definitely know it was Hector by this point. Even if no one told her, she would have figured it out on her own

      But if you're looking for my actual "canon answer," rather than just what I implied in the text, then well... it was Geoffrey who told her. He was his usual chatty self, and they had a delightful conversation where he talked at length about Hector, pretending to be his real father.

  4. I'm in total agreement with you. Geoffrey is definitely too lacking in depth and subtlety to be a long-running villain. That said, I suspect you've got something much more diabolical in mind as an arch-nemesis :)

  5. For some reason, this did not show up in my list of new comments. I only just now noticed it because Andrul happened to also comment on this page. So dang.

    BUT YEAH. I KNOW, RIGHT? Though, they wouldn't know that he's undead. The most apparent thing about him is the way he uses metal on his "victims" and so forth.

  6. I dunno Darksteel Soldier is pretty interesting. Based on what they know its a creative name. Plus its a bit more mysterious which fits with the difference between us who know he's undead and the media who know he's a black guy wearing a helm and "victimising" people.

  7. The Darksteel Soldier. Very very nice. It's cooler than your title actually. But he's definitely a Knight now.

  8. Frost, I read your comment and all I could think of is Naruto. And I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for not going down that route. You've written a story where if there's no justifiable reason why a character (good or bad) should or could live, they don't. I really appreciate that and it causes to really be invested in some characters when they are in danger. I hope you stay true to this line in the coming arcs.

  9. Not to put down shanara, but this should be obvious...

  10. Darksteel Soldier, huh? Is that gonna be in-universe nickname and the readers will know him as the Zombie Knight? How bout a compromise, "Darksteel Knight!" That sounds pretty cool to me :)

  11. i dont know why but when she asked what he called himself on my mind i could only hear SKELETON MAN!!!!!!! HE IS THE SKELETON MAN!!!!!( such a good story

  12. "Oh, her? Yeah, she's just traumatized. No biggie."

  13. I gotta say, The Zombie Knight has a much better ring to it than The Darksteel Soldier.

    Stupid news media...