Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Gamey Rambling and WiPpet Wednesday

It's been a sort-of productive week, surprisingly.  Thanks to Ready, Set, Write! I'm actually writing again, even if it sometimes feels like pulling particularly stubborn teeth, and I managed to complete another two computer games to go towards my New Year's Resolution, which technically means I've now completed it as I've finished 5 games this year.  To be fair, all five have been quite short, but that I finished them at all is pretty good—not least because the two I finished this week I've had since around this time last year.  (For the record: shooting things, hacking things and incinerating monsters is remarkably therapeutic after work...)

The games were The Fall and Digital: A Love Story.  Both were excellent, particularly if you have a massive small weak spot for sci-fi, AIs (the mainframe in The Fall is weirdly adorable, as is Arid) and twisty plots.

I'm also on Final Fantasy XIII, which I picked up during the Steam Summer Sale along with XIII-2.  This may have been a bit foolhardy as I have an atrocious track record with playing FF games: I have fifteen of them, including the XIV demo, and of all of those I've only ever completed one—and it's not the demo.  It's Final Fantasy Adventure on the original Gameboy, and I bought it when I was 16.  Still... I think I'm further through this one than I am with pretty much any of the others, since the voice acting hasn't made me laugh at inappropriate moments (thank you FFX).  It's weird playing games I'd usually associate with my Xbox on my PC though.  I still can't quite believe I can.

Oh, and for all that I'm playing pretty, shiny games on this PC, I also managed to get an Amiga emulator working on it.  From the sublime to the ridiculous.

Enough rambling about that, however...

WiPpet Wednesday

WiPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by K. L. Schwengel where participants share snippets from their works in progress with one twist: the snippet must in some way be related to the date, either through simple means or WiPpet maths.  You can find out more, read other posts and sign up yourself over here.

A spot of basic mathematics for today's WiPpet maths: it's the 24th June 2015, so 24/06/2015.  2 + 4 = 6; 6 = 6; 2 + 0 = 2; 1 + 5 = 6.  6 + 6 = 12. 6 ÷ 2 = 3.  6 + 6 + 3 = 15, for 15 paragraphs.  (Phew.)

Last week, Fayth was at the waystation where he'd agreed to meet the (so far) mysterious Kaeder Pynes, and RQ is still not speaking to him despite his perfectly-good-totally-not-awful attempt at making him smile.

Also, very, very first-draft-y.  Even worse than usual.

He shook his head, then drew to a halt outside Pynes’ door and rapped his knuckles against the frosted pleximetal door.
Without his touching it again, the door slid aside to reveal a wide room with a curved panorama window that Fayth was sure had to be augmented because the detail he could see on the moon beyond was phenomenal. It was almost enough to distract him from the task in hand. Almost.
The room was subtly lit, just enough to see by without spoiling the impression that it all came from the moon beyond, and there was more than enough light to make out the man standing just inside the room. Kaeder Pynes was a tall, older but still handsome man with a ready smile, whose jet black hair was slowly peppering to grey and who had a handshake firm enough to leave Fayth’s fingers tingling.  “Admiral Fayth, when you said you’d found him I almost didn’t dare believe it was true.”
Wearing his smile like a protective mask, Fayth found himself scrutinising the other man. If it wasn’t for Pynes’ slightly darker skin, warm brown eyes and stronger jaw line, he’d almost think that he and RQ could be related—but RQ would have told him that, wouldn’t he? He’d certainly seem more joyful. “I apologise for the delay, sir. It took me longer than I’d like to track him down.”
With an airy gesture of dismissal that could mean something or nothing, Pynes turned to RQ and wrapped his arms around the younger man’s narrow shoulders. “You were faster than I’d expected.”
RQ returned the hug, but stiffly, as if he wasn’t quite sure what to do, and when Pynes released him to give him a more thorough once-over, Fayth thought he saw a tightening of the skin around the older man’s eyes and jaw. Odd... but none of his business. “I try to pride myself on my service.”
“And with good reason. You were the perfect choice.” Pynes turned that million-credit smile on him and Fayth tried to take pleasure from a job well done, he really did, but the smile was just a little too forced for comfort. There was no reason a man with the kind of money Pynes had thrown at the whole thing should look so unbelievable.
But it was none of his business. None of it was any of his business. RQ made that abundantly clear.
“The rest of the money will be in your account tomorrow. I hope that’s acceptable?”
“Oh? Yeah.” Pynes could have been asking him if he’d wanted to sell his soul and he’d have agreed; the sight of RQ’s forlorn face distracted him from whatever it was they were supposed to be discussing. Money? Something to do with money. Money was good. “Thanks. If you need me again...”
Pynes nodded decisively. “We’ll be sure to contact you in the future if your services are required.”
He’d never hear from them again, and suddenly he didn’t mind that one bit. “Take care of yourself,” he said to RQ as he turned to leave, and was strangely gratified to be rewarded with the barest hint of a nod. The door hissed shut behind him and the enigmatic raven-haired gardener was gone.
Fayth should be pleased with his success.
So why did it all feel so hollow?


  1. Great excerpt. Why do I get the feeling Fayth is trying too hard to convince himself he's glad it's done? Also, I'll bet it's about to become his business. LOL!

  2. Fayth is doubting his choice here? Boy did his gardening guest give his head a turn.... I like. I really like how you wrote this scene. (envy, envy envy...)

  3. Okay. So. Gotta nitpick juuuust a little. My husband & kids are just a wee bit ethnically mixed, but there is a notable difference in skin tones. My husband, when not tan, looks like any other white boy. When tanned, people can't tell what ethnicity he is. Two of my children walk around with beautiful, natural, cinnamon-toned tans even in our sunless state of Alaska, and two of them have delicate peaches-and-cream complexions. So skin tone means very little when it comes to family, even when related genetically. ;-) Which may be part of your point, but the way it's worded up there, it struck me as not-quite-that.

    I love the line about not caring if he ever heard from them again. I doubt that's so, but I love that Fayth has that moment. I know that feeling of wanting to put something so far behind myself that it never crops up again, even if I don't regret it or anything like that. Just ready to be done and move on to the next thing. I'm betting that when he does hear from them again, though, it'll be RQ and not Pyne who does the contacting...

    1. It's... hard to explain in this awful first-draft-y state, along with I missed out some stuff beforehand and there's a little more later (and the fact it's 1AM and I've got about 1/3 a bottle of wine in me), but RQ not just white, but has grown up on an orbital, which means no natural sunlight... so he is basically so white it glows. This is part of what Fayth finds so fascinating because as a planetary boy with very mixed heritage, like most people he is naturally quite golden skinned. Considering the resemblance between RQ and Pynes, and that Pynes is from the same orbital station RQ is (and has presumably known RQ for a long time), he was expecting Pynes to be the same paleness that RQ is, not a little more like Fayth. There's a whole host of other factors Fayth has failed to take in (and a whole host more he's yet to discover and I'm yet to write), but that's basically the crux of it. Annnnnd yes it does need rewording, with better reference to it beforehand as well as less... yup, ridiculous phrasing there, but that is (not excusing it) a literal brain-dump at the tail-end of the flu. (And as far as writing goes, it's all downhill from here; I'm pretty sure the best stuff I wrote was while I was ill, which really isn't saying much!)

      As to whether he hears from them again... well, that'd be telling. ;)


Comments always welcome!