Subject: [FFML] Re: [original][fic][DRAFT] Chronicles of War, ch16
From: Jared Waddell
Date: 1/11/2006, 12:02 PM
CC: "" <>

Woo-hoo! C&C!

--- wrote:

If mall was shaped like the letter 'Y' with a horizontal line
the bottom, then JC Penney was in the right side of the bottom

"If" doesn't make sense.  

You're right. The entire paragraph is a descriptive train wreck. Here's
what I revised it to.

The entrance to JC Penney was at the far end of the hallway which held
the music store. The other end of the hallway was a 'work in progress.'
A massive tank of water, not unlike a giant aquarium, was set in the
middle of the open area. A large number of brightly-colored booths and
stands holding every imaginable type of sporting goods were scattered
around the tank. The walls were mostly covered in a number of red and
green banners, but where the new addition met the existing hallway was
an open space where steel beams and exposed concrete were covered in
thick plastic held down with duct tape.

Past the large intersection was the music store, and further down
hallway was a large open space Ed had described as 'in progress.'
trained eyes told him that it was still under construction. Already
had noted the presence of a huge water tank dominating the open
but had not investigated further.

JC Penney was a warm and inviting store with pink marble pillars
brass trim framing a vast entrance big enough to drive two Mack



The name was posted above the doors in bronze lettering illuminated
behind with white light. Someone even stood behind the perfume
to greet them, yellow teeth and black submachine gun glinting
evilly in
the light sparkling off of a hundred shiny piece of gold jewelry.

Yellow teeth don't glint very well.    

That's a problem. He should have a gold tooth, maybe look like a pirate.
I revise this one:

Someone even stood behind the
perfume counter to greet them, a someone with a wide chest and thick,
stocky arms. His square face was split with a thin, savage grin, and a
gold tooth in the center glinted evilly in the flourescent lighting.

Great. Just fucking great.

"You're covered, give up!" The greeter shouted.

James' eyes swept the entrance. There were a pair of tall
ladders to the left, a display of jewelry cases and leather watch
on the left. A scattering of glass and polished stainless steel
were spread across the beige carpeting. Like the droppings of some
crystal bird.

"Shoot down the ladders," James whispered out of the corner of his

"We're covered. I can't take aim," Ed said as loudly as he dared.

"Just do it. Don't think about it, just shut the fuck up and do

Ed nailed his targets on the first pull of the trigger. James
tapped his
twice with a nice sweep to the right between bursts. The greeter
down without firing a shot, 

Why not?  

Okay, I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume you haven't read the
previous chapters. These guys will be skinned alive if they shoot to kill
James. Shooting to wound is fine, and their boss doesn't give a shit if
the hostages are carted out in body bags, but James they want alive. I'm
pretty sure this was explained.

That and James is _really_ fast on the draw.

and the second man stayed behind a
mahogany piece that James figured would take a whole paycheck to
buy. A
third satisfying squeeze of the trigger reduced it to a cloud of

One second gone. He ran forward. Ed went for the island in the
James dropped the automatic and drew his pistol, his ribs aching,
legs pumping, the wind rushing in his ears. He cut his last stride
and pivoted on his leading foot. He was tempting death by trying
execute a round-off handspring in the middle of a gun fight.

I have no clear idea what he's doing.  Why would he pivot on his foot
to do a handspring?  

A round-off handspring is actually doing a cartwheel for the first half,
and a kind of half-assed handspring for the second half. You actually put
your body sideways into the move, set your leading foot pointing in the
direction of the move, and twist ninety degrees before your hands touch
the ground. After springing off, you complete your twist so you land
facing the direction you came. It's one the few gymnastics moves I can
actually do, so I hoped I would get the explanation right. Should I just
drop the foot thing and say outright he did a round-off handspring?

one while holding a gun was absolute suicide.

It was a testament to the quality of his training that he
without getting shot.

It's mostly a tribute to the strange refusal of the bad guys to shoot

See above. At least the SEALs were smart and tried to take him on in
hand-to-hand. Actually that turned out bad for them...

And James was out of bullets.

That's all right.  The bad guys obviously have plenty of bullets due
to their rigorous ammo conservation policy.  Just take a gun away from
one of them.  

That would require leaving cover, which would require some generous cover
fire, which is hard do without bullets...but he manages anyway. They're
only aiming for his legs.

Murder by numbers!

That was lame, even for him.

He reloaded, his hands a blur as he worked the action and controls
his gun even while spinning a hundred and eighty degrees while
lying on
his stomach. A second later, he sighted down his gun and slowly
around the base of the island. The soldier was indeed hiding behind
opposite counter. James took the opportunity to get quickly to his
and jump over the main counter.

He came down on top of a dead soldier with an MP5. He snatched the
and checked the clip 

See?  Who needs to reload?  

rifle, no grenades, no handcuffs, no watch, and no Taser. The man
even have a scar on his tall face, and every hair was positioned

Faces aren't tall.  They're long.  

D'oh! Fixed this one.

"So, you're the big bad assassin," he said.

James kept his face relaxed. "Well, since I'm killing you guys, I
you can call me that, but what makes you any different?"

The soldier ignored the commentary track. "I'm talking about your
boast--or was a dramatic revelation--to your friends back at 'home
base.' Interesting choice, that music store."

"Let me guess, you like salsa music?"

"Your affection for inarticulate patter has been well documented,
Whoever-you-are. Don't expect it to get a rise out of me."

James snapped his fingers. "Aha! You would the big bad

would be

Fixed. And several other ugly errors around here fixed also.

The man raised an eyebrow. "Perhaps."

"I can tell you something you want to know," James said in a
conspiratorial whisper.

The soldier didn't look impressed. "Probably not."

Dude, if you don't want to know anything, pull the trigger.  

Again, he'll be pulled apart on the rack if he does. He's just waiting
for reinforcements.

"You can't beat me."


"I was stating fact there, not making idle chit-chat," James spoke
the soldier's words.

Pull the trigger.  

The man smiled. "Thanks for getting rid of your friend, and I think
know when you are beaten."

You have no real reason not to pull that trigger.  

Maybe I should have said he was stalling for time somewhere.

"Indeed," James said, straining all the emotion he could from his
"Now, I can tell you how I eventually take you guys out, throw off
memorable one-liners, save the day, and spend my vacation in
or you could just hand over that gun and save me some trouble."

"You chatter far too much for you own good."

"your own good"

As in "You stand and around and listen far too much for your own good."

It's the holidays, aren't people supposed to stand around and talk too

"It won't take long to explain."

The man's gun was rock-still. "You're already dead. You just don't

No, dead is what happens _after_ you pull the trigger.  WHAT ARE YOU

For the explain everything.

In the sequel!

James leaned back and smiled. "All a matter of perception, my
man. Ready to see my magic trick?"

"Don't move." The soldier's voice hardened.

James remained perfectly still. "Keep your eye on the bird." The
eyes tightened just as the word 'bird' left James' mouth. He struck
a rattlesnake, grabbing the soldier's gun hand and forcing the
pistol to
point up at the ceiling. Then the man made his fatal mistake; he
to use his other hand the force the gun back on James.

I think we both know when he made his fatal mistake. 

Your bad guys are a bit on the overly incompetent side.  7

Hmm...I'll make a note of that. I'm trying to get a good balance over the
course of the book. In the beginning, James was really holding back and
found himself hard-pressed to deal with these guys. I remember the
earlier fight scenes where James and Ed would be out-numbered by
three-to-one and losing, and James would pull off some zany move and
knock out half the guys in two seconds or shit like that. By this part of
the story, the terrorists are employing inventive methods of capture, but
they have their orders, and their boss is a lunatic (the boss' handler is
far more sane, but if these terrorists killed James, they'd be liquidated
anyway). They aren't going to disobey him, and James has figured this out
and begun using it to his advantage. To an extent, the soldiers should
look incompetent compared to James for one reason: James has a dozen
times as much training and practice as they do.

Maybe they should have more Tasers, or try to take him on with meelee
weapons or stun guns more often.

Later terrorists aren't so forgiving. After this mall thing is over, the
next time James meets him, they are trying to kill him, and there's no
moments of being held at gunpoint while exchanging second-rate

It won't happen in the mall though. Fair warning.

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