Sunday, June 10, 2012

Spanner R4 Update: Chapter 4, First Pass: Slashers, Gangsters, Jihadis, and Nihilists

First Revision 4 edit of Chapter 4, with a special focus on the villains: serial killers Oliver Thorwald, Johnny-Johnny Johnson, and Mark Bernkastel; misanthropic Corporate warlord Lars Thorwald; crime lord Arvid Shield; various Klown gangsters; the mobsters whose Syndicates are identified by ethnic slurs; the third jihadi out of the five who escaped from Bangor Jail in Chapter 3; and that nameless Nihilist who shoots up a coffee shop and tears out his own throat in the brand new opening sequence.

In that opening sequence we find out something important about Shira's Charmer power: if your faith is absolute enough, even faith in nothing, you have no defense against a Charmer as powerful as Shira (or Arvid). She'll demonstrate this over and over in subsequent chapters. Also, she explains the difference between terrorists and nihilists: terrorists want to take over (their specialty is demanding unconditional surrender Or Else), but nihilists merely want to destroy everything. During the fight scene, Jennifer shows that being a Final Girl means she has no more tolerance for nihilists than she does for serial killers (e.g., Bernkastel in Chapter 5). (Reminder to self: at least map out a rough plot summary for The Jennifer Theory so you'll have something to work with once you get to the visual novel.)

Scenes from the Script Frenzy TV episode script include:
  1. the funeral of Dr. Lars Thorwald (whose cloned backup bodies were poisoned in Chapter 3), now merely the notification of his explosive death, but still introducing his research chief and sometime lover Dr. Mina Tatsumi;
  2. the flight over Dictel Park in Bangor (the fictional city I placed west of Bremerton next to the nuclear submarine base) that turns into a fight between Shira and Bernkastel over a girl who turns out to be Mimi, originally introduced in Chapter 5;
  3. the four scenes with Desiree's lost daughter Lucie as she escapes Drusilla;
  4. the Shira/Hope love scene in which Shira warns Hope never to give in to the temptations of power in the Teachers Guild hierarchy;
  5. the "Touhou Online MMORPG" scene with "Aya Shibata" and the first online appearance of J.T. Sparks as "Debaser"; and
  6. the coffee shop scene in which Shira finds herself being headhunted by Corporate coolhunters she names "John Nike" and pranks them by slipping Alka-Seltzer into their Diet Cokes (remember that experiment?).
The rest of the chapter remains from the Second and Third Revisions. However, there's a few changes I want to make:
  1. I want Jennifer's cousin Samantha Blair to return;
  2. Polly's mother Rosalie (Shira's dad's first love) will join the family strategy conference mid-chapter;
  3. Ariel's shop will be in Bremerton rather than Port Townsend, which will be a major plot point come Chapter 16;
  4. Hiromatsu Fukuda, the "otaku no baka" who manages to marry the anime version of Aya Shibata, gets facetiously dubbed "Hiro-nyan" by Shira (partly a homage to flighty Yui and her Azu-nyan in K-On!; "nyan" is Japanese for "meow"); and
  5. the cats at Shira's apartment need to be introduced, not only red tabby Mikan walking on the piano keyboard, but a neutered yet still fierce Angora named Tanner (named after MGM's scariest lion) who will later show an even more violent antipathy toward Dr. Becket than Mikan does in Chapter 16 and should be introduced probably purring on the bed due to his special fondness for Shira, whom animals tend to love as much as they hate Dr. Becket; there's also a dog named Catalina, one of the sweet-tempered Reston pit bulls, who is Shira's registered K-9 that she'll be walking a lot in dog-friendly downtown Bremerton.
My goal right now is just to finish scenes. I'll cut the chapter down to size (once again, to just over 15,750 words) on the second pass.

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