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JosephWongKS
Apr 4, 2009

by Nyc_Tattoo


The next chapter is pretty long so it'll take me a while to finish the review, but first I want to show you all a particular section which is the absolute shining quintessence of Miranda Leek's writing "style".

* snip *


EDIT: Full chapter review has been posted.


JosephWongKS fucked around with this message at 14:13 on May 20, 2013

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Kinu Nishimura
Apr 23, 2008


I have to wonder what's so different about their biology that a difference like that is even possible in the first place. Maybe the spider's venom is annulled if the bitee is pure evil like our pal Rodney here?

attackbunny
May 1, 2009


*facepalm* That's incredible.

I bet these spiders never come up again. This particular Chekhov's Gun will sit on the mantlepiece for the rest of the book.


alcharagia posted:

I have to wonder what's so different about their biology that a difference like that is even possible in the first place. Maybe the spider's venom is annulled if the bitee is pure evil like our pal Rodney here?
I think it's that they only bite Fallen at all. They're racist spiders.

where the red fern gropes
Aug 24, 2011




attackbunny posted:

I think it's that they only bite Fallen at all. They're racist spiders.

You mean innocent heroes that bravely slaughter hundreds of evil civilians going about their daily business. :911:

JosephWongKS
Apr 4, 2009

by Nyc_Tattoo


Chapter 32 - Defunct Den

quote:


Darkness surrounded me. Clare walked forward out of the abyss. I was glad to see her, until my eyes caught the sight of her blood running from slashes.


Said slashes were most likely inflicted by Railrunner himself, being the only creature which had attacked and tried to kill Clare in recent times.


quote:


I screamed her name. But my voice went unheard. She seemed to sink back into the never-ending blackness. I tried to run, but my legs felt like lead, as if I was in slow motion. She disappeared, but then a black figure emerged. I saw that it was a roller coaster, his metal black and decorated in thousands of silver skulls. Both of us let out growls, and charged at each other with the taste for flesh.

I awoke with a sudden start. I was sweating all over and gasping for air.


So roller-coasters bleed blood, crave meat, need oxygen (else they could swim indefinitely), and sweat. Why do creatures based on metallic constructs have every single biological need and response of carbon-based fleshy lifeforms?


quote:


I sat up off the leaf-covered ground and shook my head, trying to rid myself of the horrible nightmare. I looked to see my allies standing around me with worried expressions on their faces. Apparently, I had been making quite a fuss.

“Are you all right?” Thunderbark asked with a hint of agony in his blue eyes.


“Agony”.


quote:


“You don’t look to good,” Merrylegs added in.

“I think I just had a bad dream,” I replied with my wheels still on my head.

“I’ve never seen anybody dream quite like that,” Static said turning to Thunderbark for answers. At first Thunderbark did not say a word, he only stood there rubbing his chin. For some reason I had the feeling he knew, but he did not want to say it in front of Merrylegs and Static.

“I’m not sure what to tell you, Railrunner. I guess we will have to keep it under investigation,” he said at last. However, when he turned to head out, he still kept his eyes on me. He was going to talk later, I could fell [sic] it.


Classic Miranda Leek – always resolve tension in the same chapter it was introduced.


quote:


We started to travel silently among the trees again. The morning atmosphere was pleasant. The birds fluttered up in the canopy as the beads of dew began to disappear. The temperature was perfect, nice and warm but not to [sic] hot.


“A place from the most imaginative mind” has “trees”, “birds”, “dew”, a “pleasant” morning atmosphere, and temperature that is “nice and warm but not to hot”.


quote:


Today we were to pay a visit to Thunderbark’s house. The day before, he said something about retrieving a map. I still had no idea what to expect of his territory because Thunderbark had not lived there for several decades.

Merrylegs and Static walked side-by-side talking to each other. I could only guess on what subject they were speaking of, me.


“Guess” =/= “Certain knowledge”.


quote:


Because, every once in a while they would glance back out of the corners of their eyes at Thunderbark and I. Then the white coaster suddenly slowed his pace and let Static and Merrylegs venture on ahead.

“I want to talk to you, Railrunner.”

“I knew you would, I could tell.” I replied.

“You thought right. I think I know why you are having such intense nightmares.”

“Why?” I asked curious.

“Well, if I remember right, one of the reds had frequent nightmares. I believe her name was Redrail, the fifth red.” Thunderbark spoke as he rubbed his wheels along the bark of passing trees.

“Are you saying there might be a pattern here? Every five reds, the fifth one having dreams that leave them in pain?”

“Exactly. Tell me if you have any more dreams, Railrunner. I have a few theories, but I cannot be clear on them yet.”

“I’ll let you know if it occurs again,” I said. Now it seemed like I had more to worry about.


There are also women red roller-coasters, so there’s a measure of gender equality amongst the Mary Sues of this story. Credit where credit is due.


quote:


About an hour later, the forest got suddenly denser. Little light came through the treetops and there was no activity from Amusement Park Between’s wildlife. Then I spotted a barely noticeable rotten roller coaster track. It was covered in layers of moss and trees sprouted through the gaps between its rails. Vines tangled the scaffolding. It was in such bad shape that it looked as if was about to sink into the earth.

“We are here.” Thunderbark said as he started to lead the way.

Merrylegs and Static continued to mess around the brush. The white coaster walked over to the track and put a set of wheels onto the rails. There was no apparent change in him.

“Humph, no reception,” he sighed as he pulled his wheels away.


52nd sigh of the book.


quote:


“Excuse me?” I asked him politely.

“Since this is – damaged, the track cannot support me with power.”

“Wonderful.”

“Why wonderful?” He asked astonished.

“Some helpful information to keep in mind.” I continued; Thunderbark began to smile at that comment.

“I think I’ll just settle for some good old barrel aged oil.” Thunderbark said as his grin became bigger.


Oil doesn’t “age”!


quote:


“So, oil is a delicacy?” I said snapping my wheels like a human would with their fingers.

Thunderbark then raised his eyebrows astounded. “Yes, had it before, Railrunner?”


Why is Thunderbark “astonished” and “astounded” by everything? Isn’t he supposed to be a wizened, hardened veteran of the roller-coaster wars?


quote:


“Yeah, I found a sudden liking to it.”

“Good, because I have some in my cellar. Oil is like wine, the longer it sets the better it is. Plus it serves as an energy drink,” he said.

“Really?”


Why do roller-coasters need “energy” when merely being in Amusement Park Between gives them enough power for “unlimited concussion beams”?


quote:


“Yup. Now the entrance is somewhere around here,” he continued as he searched high and low. Merrylegs and Static came over to join me, both of their faces coated in worry.

“I smelt the enemies scent.” Static started.


Holy cow, she spelt it correctly!


quote:


“Fresh or stale?” I demanded.

“Static says it is stale. Thunderbark might want to find the entrance quickly, we don’t know if the place has been ransacked or not.” Merrylegs said with a hint of concern in her voice.

“It’s all right,” Thunderbark called. “There is no way that those parasites can get into my den,” he boomed from across the clearing. It was obvious that he thought that was funny because he was chuckling to himself.


Brace yourself - here comes the single stupidest section in the entire book.


quote:


I turned to see that Thunderbark was standing next to a tunnel that could barely be seen because of the underbrush. It blended in perfectly with the rotten track.

“You found it?” I asked.

“Yes, now I better explain, or rather show you what I meant earlier,” he laughed as he fished around inside the tunnel. “You could say I have a really good security system,” he said as he pulled out one of the biggest spiders I had ever seen.

“What -.” Merrylegs started, but she choked on her words.

“Merrylegs, everyone, there is nothing to treat,” he began while the gigantic spider crawled around in his wheels.

“These spiders are harmless to rides like us, you see when they catch a Fallen’s scent, they’ll come running. If they bite a Fallen, he or she dies within an hour.”

“Cool,” Static said edging in for a closer look.

“How far can they smell a Fallen?” Merrylegs asked, becoming less fearful.

“From about fifty yards, but it is enough to scare them out of their wits!” Thunderbark laughed as he returned the spider.

“Thunderbark?” I asked.

“Yes, Railrunner?”

“If you said that only a roller coaster could kill a roller coaster, what effect do these spiders have on them?”

“Good question, it can only paralyze one for three days.”


Magically racist guard-spiders whose venom are both deadly lethal and merely paralyzing until Schrodinger’s box is open. That’s it, we’ve hit peak stupidity.


quote:


“Oh, that really comes in handy then.”

“You bet it does Railrunner. Now if you all follow me, it is somewhat of a tight squeeze.” Thunderbark said as he walked on all his wheels into the cave.


Now it’s a tight squeeze? After you managed to fit into museum corridors and storage rooms when you stole the McGuffin Jewel?


quote:


The passage in the tunnel was narrow, the spiders were proving to be hard to avoid. They would only move out of the way at the last second before you stepped on them. Then Thunderbark suddenly made a mesmerizing sound like that of a low cell phone beep.


How is a “low cell phone beep” “mesmerizing”?


quote:


Miraculously, they moved out of the way, clearing a path so we could pass through at ease.

“Problem solved,” he said. “It is not much further now.”


Miranda Leek can’t even bear to allow her “heroes” to suffer the most minor of inconveniences. Reminds me of those old Superman comics where Superman got the ability to super-weave and super-cook.


quote:


“Good,” I retorted. I was tired of my seats rubbing the top of the tunnel. I could tell that Merrylegs was not too crazy about the situation either, because her pole would scrape the roof and dust would fall into her silky red hair. Then we finally reached the end [missing an “and”] opened a brass door to reveal a small (in some standards) cozy den.

“Now, I know my place isn’t as fancy as Railrunner’s temple, but it still suits most.” Thunderbark said as he started to tap the floor with his wheels, he must have been looking for something again.

“Still Thunderbark, its antique style gives it a relaxing atmosphere,” Merrylegs said as she shut the door behind her.

“Well, they do say when you are built in the 1920s, you stay in the 1920s.” Then Thunderbark found what he was looking for. He then told us to stand back as he pushed in a lone rock that stuck out of the den’s wall.

Shockingly the floor pulled away to reveal the passageway to a VERY high tec [sic] vault.


Everyone amusement park character in this book, regardless of age, has the sense of wonder of a child. A child that had been dropped on the head every day since birth.


quote:


“But I don’t always have to be old fashioned!” Thunderbark laughed, his voice echoing off the den’s walls. He then led us down a large and wide spiral staircase to the area outside the vault. The trapdoor slid shut overhead as we all arrived. The walls were solid chrome and blue lights flashed among the interior. It looked like something from the movies. He walked up to the big heavy-duty door. To the right was one of those eye scanners that you see in all the spy films. Thunderbark leaned in and put his right eye up to it. A green ray of light sailed over his pupil and a split second later the door opened.


The most “high tec” thing in the vault is the retinal scanner, and those have been around since 1981.


quote:


The room was cold and mist leaked out of the pipes.


A ‘VERY high tec vault” in a world with “technology that is far more advanced than any humans” has exposed pipes and doesn’t even have a proper humidifier.


quote:


Against the walls were four gigantic barrels.

“This is your oil cooler?” I asked him.

“Well, partially. It also hides a secret; [missing quotation mark] he said opening a little compartment on one of the barrel’s sides. Then another trapdoor released in the wall behind the fourth barrel. Then we ventured inside.

It was a very empty room with only a steel chest in its center on a podium. Thunderbark ran his wheels over the chest’s smooth surface. He then fiddled with the combination lock, it was a touch system and all of its numbers were like the language that I saw all over Amusement Park Between. Then the chest popped open to revel [sic] a steel rod that looked like a mailing tube.

“This is it.” Thunderbark said holding it up for all of us to see. “The only map of Amusement Park Between.”


A world with “technology that is far more advanced than any humans” is dependent on paper maps and doesn’t have the equivalent of online or electronic maps.


quote:


About an hour later, all of us sat around Thunderbark’s table drinking oil (except Merrylegs) looking at the map; our eyes scanning every line, valley, city, every single detail. The map looked as if it had been hundreds of years old with its yellow tint. For many years it seemed to be guarded heavily by a god like creature, or rather machine.


What good is a map that’s hundreds of years old?


quote:


“Amazing isn’t it?” Thunderbark asked me.

“Sure is. I did not know that this place was THAT big!”

He laughed one of his belly laughs; it seemed that Thunderbark would only laugh like that after he fulfilled one of his needs. To me, it was somewhat hilarious. It also seemed that he was laughing at me. Sometimes it look as if like I was an excessive toddler that kept asking questions and demanded answers. At other times to Thunderbark it was like I was a savior, a powerful warrior the answer to all Amusement Park Between’s problems. Most of all, a companion or ally.


This comes close to the racist spiders in stupidity.


quote:


“I think it is getting late,” Merrylegs said yawning.

“It is, let’s get some sleep. We have a long day of traveling tomorrow.” Thunderbark said getting up.

Minutes later we got settled down into the four bedrooms. I lay awake in the bed pondering. I was suddenly weary; I had the feeling something bad was going to happen soon.


The “something bad” is that this book goes on for another 30+ chapters.

JosephWongKS fucked around with this message at 01:45 on May 21, 2013

Bobbin Threadbare
Jan 2, 2009

I'm looking for a flock of urbanmechs.



JosephWongKS posted:

Oil doesn’t “age”!

Machine oil does age, actually; the compounds that make it effective at whatever variety it is can break down over the course of months or years. Of course, this also means that oil is better fresher, so...

TombsGrave
Feb 15, 2008



I'd ask "why three days exactly and always?" but really, all the roller coasters are virtually clones other than color and detailing, so naturally they have identical responses to poison.

Iced Cocoa
Jul 14, 2011



No maps. Why no maps? Why is this the only map that exists? Why would one write this kind of trash? They know the towns and the rivers, for instance Achterbahn is apparently big enough that it takes five days or so to go some part of it, so I don't even know why you could just say "go to the island in that river" and one would instantly know that the island in question is Pikachu Island.

gently caress it, some things are not worth the effort thinking about. Even when they have rides that are airborn none of them apparently had the courage to fly around and map the place.

JWKS, I think it is next chapter, but in the e-book I got there is a very strange typo which is even stranger than usual. Could you tell me if it is even in the printed book or not? Because it feels more like whatever conversion program used to make the e-book somehow goofed up than actual typo.

attackbunny
May 1, 2009


quote:

“I think I just had a bad dream,” I replied with my wheels still on my head.
'my wheels still on my head'

quote:

Thunderbark said as he walked on all his wheels into the cave.
That's about as efficient a means of locomotion as bunnyhopping everywhere on a bike.


quote:

“Still Thunderbark, its antique style gives it a relaxing atmosphere,” Merrylegs said as she shut the door behind her.
"This cosy rural hideaway boasts four bedrooms, one bathroom, a high tech vault complete with retinal scanner and Cray-1 supercomputer, and a guard system of Theraphosa racisti. Its antique style gives it a relaxing atmosphere, and the rural location and concealed entryway guarantee that you won't have to murder any unexpected visitors any time soon!"

horriblePencilist
Oct 18, 2012

It's a Dirt Devil!
Get it?

Pretty convenient how those toy manufacturers made a plush doll for amusement parks of every possible animal species to fill APB.

Iced Cocoa posted:

No maps. Why no maps? Why is this the only map that exists? Why would one write this kind of trash? They know the towns and the rivers, for instance Achterbahn is apparently big enough that it takes five days or so to go some part of it, so I don't even know why you could just say "go to the island in that river" and one would instantly know that the island in question is Pikachu Island.

Are you psychic? I was gonna ask when we'd get to the part where the Coaster Gaang fights a horde of bootleg Pikachus.

attackbunny posted:

'my wheels still on my head'

'my fingers still on my head'


Lastly, how does Amusement Park Between work? I assumed it was a parallel world, but this chapter makes it sound like it's a single island like Azeroth. Where is that island? On another planet? Somewhere hidden in the pacific?

Iced Cocoa
Jul 14, 2011



horriblePencilist posted:

Lastly, how does Amusement Park Between work? I assumed it was a parallel world, but this chapter makes it sound like it's a single island like Azeroth. Where is that island? On another planet? Somewhere hidden in the pacific?

It was easily missed, but it looks like that when it is 11 PM in APB, it's 11 AM in the real world. And later this rule becomes mindboggingly stupid because of the situation at hand. I'm not going to spoil it further.

Bobbin Threadbare
Jan 2, 2009

I'm looking for a flock of urbanmechs.



Special Agent Victor Captain got the warning regarding Railrunner's newfound abilities in time to disengage, but not before a number of officers were shredded the same as Detective Black. The roller coaster train was allowed to escape into the surrounding neighborhood unopposed, but Captain wasn't too worried about finding it; based on what Black told him, there was only one place it could possibly be headed.

The two men sat quietly in the federal agent's car as he drove to their destination, flashing lights dimmed by tinted windows and siren muffled by layers of armor. Captain occasionally glanced at Black, worried by his periodic cringes and gasps of pain. Victor would rather have seen the detective go straight to the hospital, but Black had made it clear that it was already too late for any medical attention; being familiar with the effects of the powder he had used, Captain was forced to agree.

As their car swung onto a long, straight rural highway, Detective Black broke the silence. "Thanks for the lift."

Captain looked over at his passenger again. "You should probably call your wife."

Black nodded and pulled out his cellphone. He selected his contact list and found his wife's number, but his finger hovered over the call button. What could he possibly say? What could he tell her? What would she say?

He couldn't do it. Instead, he called his voicemail and set it to record a message. They'd be able to find it afterwards. "Mars? It's Rick," he began. "I'm...I'm sorry. I wasn't careful enough. I don't have much time, but there's one more thing I have to do before...

"I love you. Tell Sarah I love her, too. Goodbye."

Black turned off his phone and leaned back as he rode through another dizzy spell. There was something bothering him, something that was out of place. Something Railrunner had said, something Officer Donnelly had described in his report from the ambulance. If he could only figure it out...

Perhaps it was the periodic exhaustion and bouts of pain that connected the random thoughts in his head. Then again, perhaps that was what kept him from realizing things earlier. Detective Black turned to Agent Captain. "So what's a roller coaster known for, Vic? What's it there to do? Two things, two emotions: fear and exhilaration. Happiness. And what I felt off that thing when it went on a rampage was some mighty strong happiness. So what if it was feeding off of fear? What if these things are just a bit empathic, even less than me, just enough to feel fear and turn that into joy? And what if it goes the other way, too?

"You read Rob Donnelly's report of the car chase, right? They'd given up completely right at the end, and they were laughing at some stupid joke. The fear was gone and they were laughing when Railrunner screamed and ran! So if fear becomes happiness, then happiness becomes fear!"

Agent Captain shook his head. "There's a hell of a lot of supposing going on there, Rick."

"And I suppose you've got a better idea?"

"Yeah. Snipers and anti-armor rockets. Speaking of..." Captain grabbed the radio receiver. "Dispatch, this is Special Agent Captain. How are those reinforcements coming along?"

"Roger, Captain, SWAT regulars are right on your tail and converging on-site. Snipers are a few minutes behind, but the Guard colonel says the imported RPG's won't be ready for another hour."

"gently caress!" Agent Captain cursed, smacking the steering wheel. "Minutes behind and they'll need more to set up, and meanwhile the bastard already has a lead and once he finds that portal he's out of our reach. gently caress!"

"And with that fancy new sanguikinesis of his, the regulars won't be able to hit him as fast as he can hit us." Black was silent for a moment before continuing: "But there is one thing we could still try." Captain objected, but Black interrupted him. "I've got nothing left to lose, Vic. You know that. And an old con man like me is ten times better at faking emotions than any SWAT guy on the force."

The special agent gave Black a long look as he pulled in to the parking lot. The detective's grim expression made it clear that nothing, not fate nor time nor death itself would stop him from ending the monster roller coaster's rampage. All Captain could do was sigh in defeat and nod his acceptance.

"Would you mind stopping by that ambulance before we reach the gate?" Black asked, pointing through the window. "I need to borrow a crutch."



Mystic Park was utterly silent on what should have been a bustling Sunday evening, the first weekend after its grand seasonal opening. Instead, the park was closed, police tape enhancing the chicken wire fences that blocked off the Park's property from the surrounding farms and campgrounds. Barely blossoming trees shook in the wind, providing the only sound to two hundred acres that should have been full of the shrieking of amusement ride passengers, the babbling of flowing crowds, the sizzling of grills, and the steel rumbling of roller coasters.

A small number of police officers and security guards had been left behind to keep the park off-limits to the morbidly curious and uninformed visitors, but all were found dead or dying from massive internal trauma when the first SWAT teams arrived, even those who had run or hid instead of trying to confront the bloodthirsty monster. The reinforcements were still attempting to set up a new cordon when Black and Captain arrived. "So what am I looking for?" the detective asked as a paramedic resized a spare crutch to fit under his arm.

"Dimensional portals are always based out of reflective surfaces," Captain explained. "Mirrors, still ponds, glass windows at the right time of day. I believe there is a hall of mirrors in Mystic Park, but none of the panes would be large enough for a roller coaster train to fit through. Most of the water rides probably won't work, either; too choppy."

"Hey, isn't there a big reflecting pool up by the Dynamo?" the paramedic, Lenny, offered. "I remember meeting a date there once."

"That's right, yeah," Black confirmed. "I passed it on my tour through the place when I was staking it out. Chief Lugo told me it's where they keep the laser light show equipment when it's not in use."

"Better hurry over, then, Rick. I'm guessing his confederates have already crossed over, but it seems as though Railrunner has decided to stick around for a bit of 'revenge.' There's no telling when he'll get bored and finally leave."

Black checked his pistol's chamber and switched off the safety. "Time for some revenge of our own."



The reflecting pool was only a few minutes away from the entrance by foot, even considering Detective Black's occasional limping. The pond was open at one end to the park's main thoroughfare and bordered on the other sides by a two-story restaurant, a ferris wheel, and the main hill of a wooden roller coaster, the Dynamo. Benches were scattered all around the plaza, so Detective Black picked one under a tree for a little shade from the midday sun and waited, his gun in his lap.

The wait was not long objectively, although Black had enough time to wonder more than once whether he'd survive long enough for the creature to find him. He didn't sense its arrival, however, until it shouted at him.

"YOU?! How are you still alive?!"

Black was standing with his gun in his hand in a second, although naturally his ankle took this opportunity to swell and twist painfully. Grabbing his crutch, he hobbled backwards to the edge of the pond, eyes peeled.

He didn't have to look very hard. Railrunner's twenty-foot bright-red steel frame was easily visible through the nearby trees and it was only thanks to approaching from behind that Black missed it at all. Rather than responding to the question, the detective raised his firearm and shot.

Railrunner screamed in pain and raced over to Black's position, rising up on its rear legs to roar threateningly as long metal spikes extended impossibly from its small plastic wheels.

Detective Black laughed.

It was kind of funny, really. Who ever heard of a were-roller-coaster before, really? Werewolves at least made some kind of sense; wolves ran in packs, harried their pray to death like humans once did, and were only a bit smaller on average. Haunted amusement parks weren't so novel either, but it was always evil clowns or demons twisting a happy place into a dark reflection. So was Black really supposed to be intimidated by the most elegantly designed, most perfectly engineered, most safely constructed vehicle ever made? Please.

The shock on Railrunner's face only made the detective laugh all the harder, and this translated into a growing anxiety. The roller coaster train attempted to dodge past Detective Black and into the pool, but Black brought his gun up to aim at the creature's head even as he laughed. After futilely dodging from one side to the other, Railrunner screeched its metallic cry and spun away. Not to be deterred, Black fired four more rounds and jumped into the train's rearmost car.

Sensing what had happened, Railrunner screamed again and attempted to whip Detective Black out of its seats. The rear of the train was not a tail, however, and its centipedial legs were built for traction, leaving Black only mildly discomforted as he swung back and forth. Laughing all the while, he began to climb up Railrunner's body, hopping from one car to the next on all fours, using each faux-leather seat and cushioned restraint as a stepping stone, and occasionally firing a round towards its head to keep it on its toes.

Growing desperate, Railrunner charged forward, crashing through the ferris wheel's queue house and directly up onto the side. The pastel blue supports began to groan and bend from the unbalanced weight, and Detective Black nearly dropped his gun as he flopped back and forth against Railrunner's body, hanging onto a restraint handle for dear life. The creature began to twist and curve across the vertical surface of the ferris wheel, changing direction and orientation in an attempt to drop the detective off. For his part, Black holstered his pistol and began to climb, sometimes up, sometimes down, and sometimes across, but always closer to Railrunner's head. This became increasingly difficult as the main support strut began to buckle and the wheel slowly bent towards the reflecting pool below, and Black silently thanked God that his arms had not been injured.

At last, Detective Black was no more than two cars away from the monster's head, more than close enough. Railrunner knew as much itself, and it spun its head an inhuman degree to face the detective. Immediately Black felt a pressure building in his chest, the creature's psychokinesis battling with the Hoodoo powder's magic. Spying the amulet dangling from Railrunner's neck, Black cried, "Oh no you don't!" and leaped upwards to grab it. As his fist closed around the charm, the pressure relaxed and Black smiled, glad to know that Park Beyond foci could be negated with mental interference the same way that regular ones were.

Too helplessly afraid to defend himself, Railrunner could only ask, "How?" as Black pulled out his pistol.

"It's your own fault, really," Detective Black responded. "You should've known you would lose the most dangerous game." He set the weapon against Railrunner's chin and emptied the magazine. The roller coaster train slumped back, still at last.

His job complete, Detective Black allowed himself to look back, curious as to how he would get down. Unfortunately, his leg twisted out from under him once again and with both hands full he lost his balance. The necklace cord snapped from around Railrunner's neck and Black fell towards the shallow pool below.

Richard Black had always heard that you relive your entire life in your last moments, but he found that it wasn't entirely true. All he could think of were regrets. I wonder what it would have been like if I'd asked Sandy out instead? I wish I hadn't been so obvious in the department store. I wish I'd been there when Dad died. I wish I'd lived to see Sarah's prom night. I forgot to take out the trash today. I hope Mars remembers. I suppose she'll be fine without me. She was always great at remembering those little details I keep forgetting.

He closed his eyes as his noontime reflection came up to meet him.



Detective Richard Black will return

Iced Cocoa
Jul 14, 2011



Bobbin Threadbare posted:

Detective Richard Black will return

Please be true :ohdear:

Bobbin, you might be sick of hearing this over and over again, but I love this story of yours. I never thought that Twisted! could inspire such a thing. What you've written is a thing of beauty and it is leagues better than what Joseph Wong is going through. Even if it is just a polished turd, it has been polished to the point where one can be fooled into that it isn't a turd at all.

Radio!
Mar 15, 2008

Look at that post.



Detective Black :ohdear:

Jeek
Feb 15, 2012


Oh no Detective Black :ohdear: And I assume the storyline is now split from Miranda's since Railrunner is subdued/dead, right?

As for the story proper: Joseph, I think the reason why "A place from the most imaginative mind" is so utterly boring is that the said "mind" is that of Miranda Leek.

JosephWongKS
Apr 4, 2009

by Nyc_Tattoo


Chapter 33 – Capture

quote:


The next morning I awoke to see Static and Merrylegs feasting on breakfast. The whole night I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. I looked at what they were eating, something vegetarians would die for. Now that I truly was a scream machine I had grown to dislike greens completely, my diet was strictly meat.


What the hell is a “scream machine”?


quote:


I sat there and did not eat a thing. My mind was in a haze again, I was once more distracted by my own thoughts and worries. I thought about Clare, about the strange dreams, and the fact that everyone thought differently about me because of what I was – a roller coaster. I shook my head to get my mind clear, it only worked a little.


Everyone thought differently about you because you are a psychopathic, sadistic mass murderer.


quote:


I started to believe that the main thing that I wanted was Clare to be with me. If there was some way she could live with me here –


Odds on Clare becoming Shadowtrack – Rising.


quote:


“Railrunner, have you seen Thunderbark?” Merrylegs asked, cutting into my personal thinking.


“Personal” thinking? As opposed to what?


quote:


“As a matter of fact I haven’t.” I said after a long pause. I then ran into his bedroom to look if he had left a note like I did. Sure enough there was one.


code:
Dear Railrunner, Merrylegs, and Static,

We have no good meat, so I am going down to the river to fetch us some fish. 

I’ll be back soon, and Railrunner, don’t do anything stupid. 

Thunderbark


Asking Railrunner to not do anything stupid? Might as well ask the rain to fall upwards or the Sun to revolve around the Earth.


quote:


I could only gawk about how beautiful his writing was; I guess it was because he had been writing with his wheels for years. Then suddenly my head began to burn, like I had an extreme temperature. Then an image of Thunderbark came into my mind, my heart started to race after I witnessed the whole vision. I ran back into the room where Static and Merrylegs ate. They looked at me as I burst through the door.

“Thunderbark is in Trouble!” I ran with my muscles pumping. I was furious! The way I felt when I left to the real world and gotten myself into deep trouble. Was Thunderbark possibly trying to get back at me? No, there was no way, couldn’t be, not after that horrible image! I leaped over the rotten track pieces like a rocket. I followed Thunderbark’s familiar scent, without warning another joined his. I felt my nostrils flare as I smelt the foul and sour odor of a Fallen. I snarled as I thought about sinking my teeth into them.


What happened to the magical racist guard spiders?


quote:


The scents got stronger and stronger, and then I burst into a clearing where Thunderbark was wrapped up in some kind of strange net, with Freakshow grinning wickedly beside him. I glanced at Thunderbark, tears came through the corners of his eyes and blood seeped out from various scratches. I stood up and gave Freakshow an ugly sneer.


Man, these roller-coasters are pathetic cry-babies if being captured and scratched in a few places is enough to send them into tears.


quote:


“Looks like I have captured the great white.” She mocked. “What do you think about my prize, red?”

“First off, I have a name, it is Railrunner. Get that through your dismembered skull. Second, Thunderbark is not a trophy!” I growled.

Freakshow stood motionless at my crude comment.


Exactly what was “crude” about Railrunner’s reply? :psyduck:


quote:


A black carousel horse that had the pattern of his skeleton all over his body emerged from behind the mismatched roller coaster. He smirked, so that I could see that he had fangs like a vampire. I rolled my eyes in response.


Oh great, now they have vampire amusement park rides.


quote:


“Hello Bones, would you like to meet Thunderbark and - Ra–lrunner [sic]?” she hissed.

While she wasn’t paying attention I hit her with an unexpected lightning bolt. She screamed in agony as she fell to the dirt. She arched her back and snarled, then threw a fireball at me. It missed by only a few inches.

I turned to see that she pulled Thunderbark to the edge of the river to be loaded on a swinging ship. Two other roller coasters yanked him over the ship’s side.

“Lets [sic] use him as bait for the red herring!” she laughed. “I’ll deal with him later. Now move!” She finished as the ship swam off.


Ships do not “swim”!


Oh wait, this is another amusement park ride “ship”, so maybe it does swim. My apologies to Miranda Leek.


quote:


I went as fast as I could possibly go. I couldn’t let them have him! I heard Thunderbark’s desperate cries for help. I sped along the river’s edge like a bullet. The world was a blur as I ran, the fastest I had ever run.
Determination kept me moving at full tilt.


For a supposedly hardened veteran of the roller-coaster wars, Thunderbark sure is a pathetic coward.


quote:


Then I saw Thunderbark leaning on the rail of the ship with several rides trying to keep him restrained.

“I’ll be fine!” I heard him yell.


Wasn’t he “desperately crying for help” literally just a second ago?


quote:


I’m not letting them get away ! I thought.

“They will keep me alive! They...GRRARH...are using me as bait! I... will be... all right!” He said as the Fallen dragged him from my view. This time I wasn’t going to listen to him. Gathering all my strength, I lunged up into the air and aimed for the ship with my claws outward. Freakshow snickered, and aimed a concussion beam at an overhanging tree limb.

The blast’s aftershock sent the limb back towards me. It hit with such a force that my path stopped and I tumbled down into the water. My ribs burned from the impact as I surfaced and hung over the floating log.

I glanced at the ship, which was miles ahead. Frustrated, I banged my wheels onto the wet bark. Thunderbark was gone, but he dropped me hints like he did in the real world on how to save myself. This time however, the tables were turned. He was dropping hints on how to save him.


What hints?

Iced Cocoa
Jul 14, 2011



JosephWongKS posted:

What the hell is a “scream machine”?



http://railrunnermiranda.deviantart.com/art/Scream-Machine-304571927

quote:

What happened to the magical racist guard spiders?

Thunderbark obviously went out hunting and so he was not in range of the spider's protective radius, duh.

quote:

“Hello Bones, would you like to meet Thunderbark and - Ra–lrunner [sic]?” she hissed.

Holy crap was that actually in the book itself? The printed version? How do you miss that?!

quote:

What hints?

quote:

“Lets [sic] use him as bait for the red herring!” she laughed. “I’ll deal with him later. Now move!” She finished as the ship swam off.

...

“They will keep me alive! They...GRRARH...are using me as bait! I... will be... all right!” He said as the Fallen dragged him from my view.

There is one thing to to be subtle about it, but Miranda manages to be in a league of her own. She has no faith in the reader to puzzle things out for themselves, so she whacks them over with a 2-by-4 because she can't risk her precious book being complicated to any degree for her readers.

JosephWongKS
Apr 4, 2009

by Nyc_Tattoo


Iced Cocoa posted:


There is one thing to to be subtle about it, but Miranda manages to be in a league of her own. She has no faith in the reader to puzzle things out for themselves, so she whacks them over with a 2-by-4 because she can't risk her precious book being complicated to any degree for her readers.


But that's not even a "hint". It's something Freakshow already said out loud, within Railrunner's hearing. That goes well beyond whacking your reader with a 2-by-4.

my dad
Oct 17, 2012

this shall be humorous


Bobbin, I don't know what to say...

You had before you a book that brings the word "bad" to a whole new level. A monstrous, twisted mass of bland plotlines, flat characters, awful grammar and spelling, wish-fulfillment fantasies, and many, many other hallmarks of terrible writing - glued together by the unimaginative mind of a teenage furry. You hacked it apart, untwisted the loops and coils, and weaved them into something new and interesting.
Your "fanfic" genuinely surprised me, got me attached to the characters, made me want to read more and eagerly await new chapters. One day, I'd love to get a chance to read a book you wrote. Thank you for making an internet stranger's day more enjoyable.

JosephWongKS
Apr 4, 2009

by Nyc_Tattoo


Chapter 34 - Definition

quote:


My life: sucks

Too bad it lasts forever

Iced Cocoa
Jul 14, 2011



Ahahah! I was wondering where that chapter was. :allears:

Hey Bobbin, I'm tempted to put your story, first part, into a kindle format for me to just keep and read whenever. I don't know how to put it in epub and I use kindle so it's pretty much for me. Would you mind if I did this? And perhaps upload it elsewhere for others to download and possibly convert?

Seraphic Neoman
Jul 19, 2011




So Shadowtrack is pretty much guaranteed to be Clare. Woohoo domestic abuse cycle continues :sigh: Thunderbark is gonna die in Railrunner's arms. Railrunner will be on the verge of defeat at Ironwheel's hand before some magical macguffin deus ex machinas him a victory.

This story is so cliche it's incredible. Once you get past the roller coaster Mary Sues with horrible characterization, it's an incredibly flat book that is composed entirely out of worn-out cliches. THERE I NOTHING ORIGINAL HERE. It's amazing. Even the worst writers have some small flare of originality, stopped clock is right twice a day and all that, but Miranda doesn't even have that.

And now our characters aren't only psychopaths, they are whiny psychopaths.

Because this book needed to be worse.

attackbunny
May 1, 2009


I'm bummed out that Detective Black mught be dead, but that was a really great story. Thanks for sharing it, Bobbin.

quote:

everyone thought differently about me because of what I was –
What is that again?

quote:

a roller coaster.
Ta.

quote:

“First off, I have a name, it is Railrunner. Get that through your dismembered skull. Second, Thunderbark is not a trophy!” I growled.

Freakshow stood motionless at my crude comment.
How can my head be dismembered? Freakshow thought. It doesn't have limbs. It isn't supposed to have limbs. Right? She pretended not to have heard him and surreptitiously checked out the other rollercoasters' heads.

quote:

“Hello Bones, would you like to meet Thunderbark and - Ra–lrunner [sic]?” she hissed.

While she wasn’t paying attention I hit her with an unexpected lightning bolt. She screamed in agony as she fell to the dirt.
RAILRUNNER YOU WORTHLESS DOUCHEWANK SHE WAS HALFWAY THROUGH MAKING INTRODUCTIONS. Sure, if you electrocute people before they've finished telling you their name then at least they know that you're an UNMITIGATED SACK OF CRAP, but that is just RUDE.

quote:

She arched her back and snarled, then threw a fireball at me. It missed by only a few inches.

I turned to see that she pulled Thunderbark to the edge of the river to be loaded on a swinging ship. Two other roller coasters yanked him over the ship’s side.
drat, she's quick.

quote:

“Lets [sic] use him as bait for the red herring!” she laughed. “I’ll deal with him later. Now move!” She finished as the ship swam off.
The use of 'red herring' as 'literary device leading readers towards a false conclusion' makes zero sense here. The only sensible conclusion is that Freakshow wants to impale Thunderbark on a hook and use him to attract a literal massive red herring, presumably so she can ride it like a rodeo bull. She'll deal with Railrunner later, right now she gots fish to ride.

quote:

quote:

Then I saw Thunderbark leaning on the rail of the ship with several rides trying to keep him restrained.

“I’ll be fine!” I heard him yell.
Wasn’t he “desperately crying for help” literally just a second ago?
"Help! Help! I'm extremely scared!" Thunderbark yelled.
"Hey, Obi-Sigh Kenobi," Freakshow said, "you do realise the only thing around that might help you is Big Red down there?"
Thunderbark thought about that, and then yelled louder. "Railrunner! I'm fine! Don't save me!"

quote:

My life: sucks

Too bad it lasts forever
Hey, Railrunner, you know why your life is a bitch? It's not just because you're a whiny murderous little poo poo. It's because you don't have the guts or the imagination to just grab a giant fish and ride that motherfucker out past the horizon.

Kinu Nishimura
Apr 23, 2008


Wait was that the actual chapter?

JosephWongKS
Apr 4, 2009

by Nyc_Tattoo


alcharagia posted:

Wait was that the actual chapter?

Yes. That's it. That's the whole of Chapter 34.

Bobbin Threadbare
Jan 2, 2009

I'm looking for a flock of urbanmechs.



Iced Cocoa posted:

Hey Bobbin, I'm tempted to put your story, first part, into a kindle format for me to just keep and read whenever. I don't know how to put it in epub and I use kindle so it's pretty much for me. Would you mind if I did this? And perhaps upload it elsewhere for others to download and possibly convert?

Feel free. There are a few ways online to convert from text to pdf or text to epub, so you can put it in whatever format you please. There are a few things I wouldn't mind revising about the story, but it's against my policy to put in that sort of effort into the things I do for free on the internet, so I'm just going to leave it as-is. If you want to collect and share it, go right ahead (but it'd be nice if you credited me, too).

Iced Cocoa
Jul 14, 2011



I actually handcode the .opf and .ncx files, though I don't know all the shortcuts and tags to put in there. Has serviced me well before though. I'll have your username listed as the Author both in tags and on the title page, and the title page will also includes a link to the thread and, if you want, link to your SA profile.

Too bad I totally lack a cover page.

Looks like the site can convert .mobi files to .epub, but I have encountered a glitch already with that and gotta have to fix that. It also comes up with converting to PDF.

Thanks for the link, they really help.

Kinu Nishimura
Apr 23, 2008


JosephWongKS posted:

Yes. That's it. That's the whole of Chapter 34.

What, but

That's a Twitter post, not a chapter of a book

Decoy Badger
May 16, 2009


At least "several rides keeping him restrained" was somewhat clever.

TombsGrave
Feb 15, 2008



alcharagia posted:

What, but

That's a Twitter post, not a chapter of a book

John Dies at the End has a chapter that's similarly short--21 words or so--and it's one of the most effective chapters in the book, purely for the sense of dread it builds.

Notably, it contains no complaints on the part of the protagonist about how much it sucks to be an immortal roller coaster that has made a multitude of very bad decisions.

Kinu Nishimura
Apr 23, 2008


TombsGrave posted:

John Dies at the End has a chapter that's similarly short--21 words or so--and it's one of the most effective chapters in the book, purely for the sense of dread it builds.

Notably, it contains no complaints on the part of the protagonist about how much it sucks to be an immortal roller coaster that has made a multitude of very bad decisions.

The capability of less words to do much more isn't lost on me. Some of my favorite parts in House of Leaves are the bits where the text gets really minimal per page. (I haven't read John Dies at the End, though: any good?)

These words don't do anything. They really just don't convey anything but the complete and utter tragedy Rodney lives, the sheer sorrow of The Murder King. Eight words to catch up on Rodney Phillips's Twitter. Absolutely fantastic.

Edit: Seriously, how long has it taken him to answer to Railrunner? That's just off. Even if someone ran up to me with absolutely irrefutable proof that I was actually a non-euclidean alien named Floopgort I wouldn't stop answering to my name. Didn't he have parents? Thunderbark dropped him off with human parents, right, that's how he got to be named Rodney. Does that mean nothing to him? Are they just a null factor, does everything he's ever been as a human just not mean anything, why would you give up everything you've ever done to go pal around with an old coot with abnormally heavy breathing and his stupid sidekicks who never do anything? What is your problem, Rodney?!

Edit 2: , alcharagia sighed.

Kinu Nishimura fucked around with this message at 04:58 on May 22, 2013

where the red fern gropes
Aug 24, 2011




JosephWongKS posted:

Asking Railrunner to not do anything stupid? Might as well ask the rain to descend upwards or the Sun to revolve around the Earth.

Fixed. It doesn't sound so far-fetched, really.

JosephWongKS
Apr 4, 2009

by Nyc_Tattoo


Chapter 35 – Aggravation

quote:


I limped back to Thunderbark’s house. Merrylegs and Static watched me worried. Everything was silent; my wheels trembled as rage built up inside me. I felt myself growling from deep within my chest as I walked quickly.

“Railrunner -.”

“drat IT!” I yelled slashing the rotten track into, my claws digging deep in the wood.

“Railrunner!” Yelled Merrylegs. “What is wrong?”

“THAT drat BITCH TOOK THUNDERBARK!” I shouted furious. Merrylegs looked at me blankly, so did Static, they had no words to speak.

“YEAH, YOU BOTH HEARD ME! THOSE ASSHOLES TOOK HIM! HOW IN THE HELL DID SHE CATCH HIM! NONE OF THIS poo poo MAKES SENSE!” I said cutting a tree in half with one swipe.

“Railrunner, calm down!” Merrylegs tried to coax me. I snarled and chucked a boulder like a cannonball.

“I agree, calm down and for crying out loud Railrunner, quit cursing!”


Seems like Miranda Leek gave that her bizarre fixation on swearing not just to Thunderbark but also Static.


quote:


“SHUT THE HELL UP!” I then turned and ran.

+ + +

I followed closely behind Railrunner. Trees had fallen onto the path and some were muddled. Railrunner was so strong, probably deadly when he was throwing one heck of a roller coaster tantrum. I had seen him mad, but never like this!


And now for Merrylegs as a first-person narrator. As though this book weren’t already confusing enough.


quote:


I could not get over the fact that Thunderbark had been captured! Of all the bad luck! I knew Thunderbark too well; I knew how he would handle this.


How Thunderbark handles it is to cry like a little baby, apparently.


quote:


Railrunner on the other hand was an unstable molecule.


Miranda Leek apparently didn’t pay attention during her chemistry classes either. “Molecules” are by definition stable – it’s atoms that are “unstable”.

I guess Miranda Leek could also be referring to [url= http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unstable_molecules]the technology[/url] invented by Reed Richards aka Mister Fantastic, but that doesn’t make sense either.


quote:


I could hardly keep up with him; my legs were starting to grow numb! Then he unexpectedly slowed and veered to his right. I followed him, half fearing for my life.

Railrunner ran to the edge of the cliff that overlooked the Acterbahnn.

He then roared the BIGGEST earth shattering roar I had ever heard, Thunderbark couldn’t even top it. His roar echoed all through Amusement Park Between, powerful sounding, threatening. His mouth was completely open, showing all of his razor teeth, the thought of them going into me, made me sick to my stomach. Railrunner’s roar then died down into a whine.


How utterly awful must Railrunner be that his companion legitimately fears being killed and/or eaten by him?


quote:


He hung his head low and breathed hard. Hesitantly, I bravely ventured forward.

“Railrunner?” I said in the most calming voice I could muster.“

Go away Merrylegs.” He hissed, not even turning to look at me. He then sat down and stared at the horizon with one of his deadly glares. I galloped over to Railrunner and positioned myself before him. I gulped.

“You have a lot of nerve to stand in front of me.” Railrunner growled.


Threatening people weaker than he is and acting like an rear end in a top hat to his companions – this scene sums up Railrunner’s character so well.


quote:


“You’re being a jerk!” I said to him without thinking. I saw him start to tremble again. Trembling in anger, so ready to kill me. I waited for the roller coaster’s teeth to rip out my throat. I still wasn’t finished speaking my mind, so I continued.

“Why are you being such a hothead! Railrunner, you have an anger management problem!”


One of the biggest under-statements of this book.


quote:


He snorted in disgust, and gave me a threatening grimace.

“I didn’t ask for any of this, Clare!” he retorted. My eyes widened.

Then he realized what he had said and hung his head in defeat. Then there was nothing but an awkward silence between us.


That’s not a typo on my part – Railrunner really did say “Clare” in the book. I’m not sure whether him saying “Clare” is a typo on Miranda Leek’s part or was deliberately included to illustrate the state of Railrunner’s psychosis.


quote:


+ + +

I fought back my feelings. Everything seemed even more messed up than it was before. All of my memories bothered me to no extent. Merrylegs continued to look at me, her eyes showed pity. I sighed.


53rd sigh of the book.



quote:


“I’m sorry Merrylegs, I couldn’t control myself. I can get out of whack sometimes. I am just really stressed right now.”


“I didn’t really mean to beat you, it’s just that I can’t help myself,” said the domestic abuser to his battered spouse.


quote:


“I know you are. You’ve been the same way since you found out what you were. Maybe - I should–take a look.” Merrylegs said after a short pause.

“What do you mean?” I asked her a little confused.

“Railrunner, they say that unicorn carousel horses have the power to see what’s in ones [sic] mind. I am no different. If you don’t care, I think I should have a gander.”


Do any myths or legends of unicorns (let alone “unicorn carousel horses”) mention them having mind-reading powers?


quote:


“Go ahead.”

“Lay down.” She said.

I obeyed her command, I still had no idea how she could “read ones mind”. I watched quietly as she trotted forward and bent her head down.

Then the tip of her pearl colored horn touched my forehead. Merrylegs inhaled and then shut her eyes, and mine seemed to have a black shade go over them as my body trembled. My wheels burned and my head started to throb. My skull felt like it was on fire. I gritted my teeth. My senses seemed to vanish, but I could still hear Merrylegs, she seemed to have labored breathing, every once in a while she would whimper. Then we both couldn’t take it anymore, and we broke from the connection.


Remember the scene Chapter 30 where Merrylegs had been bitten by an amusement park plane and Merrylegs was all “Do it! Lick the poo poo off and wrap it please!” and Railrunner was all “My forked tongue ran over her wound, I hated to taste her blood, blood of the good. I liked the blood of the enemy” ?

With this scene about “body trembled” and “labored breathing”, the sexual overtones between Merrylegs and Railrunner have just been kicked up a notch. And then you consider that Merrylegs is afraid that Railrunner will kill her and Railrunner keeps “trembling in anger” and giving her “threatening grimaces”, and there’s a strong domestic abuse subtext on top of that as well. This book has seriously messed up inter-personal relationships. :stare:


quote:


I got back to normal in no time, however Merrylegs shook with fear. She breathed hard and her eyes watered.

“I- have never seen ANYTHING like that. Your head is filled with horrible memories! I saw everything.”


All the horrible memories are those which Railrunner has inflicted on the innocent people he has butchered indiscriminately.


quote:


“Everything?”

“Everything, from anytime.”

“Interesting,” was all I could mutter.

“Now since I have seen what lies within your head, I understand what Thunderbark told me.”

“What?”

“He said that you were, different.” She smiled tenderly.

“Different as in how?”

“Different as in special.”


“Special” as in “special”. :downs:


quote:


I walked with Merrylegs back to our “base”. Static looked up from the meal he was currently engorging himself on. He swallowed a mouthful of food, and then opened his mouth to speak.

“R -.”

“Let’s just keep comments to ourselves, and forget that event even happened.” Merrylegs interrupted.


That “event” was Railrunner throwing a violent tantrum and posing direct physical threat to his own companions! How can something like that be glossed past?


quote:


“What about Thunderbark!” Static said ignoring her completely. I growled a warning. I wasn’t in the mood to fool with Static’s nonsense.


How is that “nonsense”? Isn’t Thunderbark’s predicament what they are here to discuss?


quote:


“Static, we haven’t completely forgotten that fact,” Merrylegs went on.

“We’re going to have a meeting to decide how we are going to proceed.”

“Well, if we are having a meeting, Railrunner better take a chill pill first.” Static said under his breath. I snarled and edged for him. Merrylegs ran to stand between us.

“Don’t you push it, Static!” she scolded.


Reminds me of a battered spouse leaping to the defence of her poor maligned abusive husband.


quote:


Static sighed. “I will go to the meeting, if Railrunner promises not to be a gutter mouth.”


54th sigh of the book.

Also, continued obsession with swearing.


quote:


“Don’t press your luck, Static! [missing quotation mark] I snarled through clenched teeth. I moved closer to him still, he began to roll backwards in retreat.

“Static, you seriously don’t need to carry it on. Railrunner is very stressed as it is.” Merrylegs said in her reassuring voice. There was an awkward pause as the two continued to stare at one another.


It frightens me that Miranda Leek clearly thinks that Railrunner is in the right here.


quote:


“You read his mind didn’t you?” he said quietly.

“Yes, I did.” Merrylegs replied. It was the only answer she could think of.

I continued to glare at Static. Why was he acting so stupid? Merrylegs thought the same thing as me, I could tell. Then she turned and headed to the entrance of the den, and I followed close behind her.


Apart from hanging out with Thunderbark, Railrunner and Merrylegs, how is Static acting “stupid”? What the hell is wrong with everyone in this story?


quote:


We sat around the wooden table. Odd that there was an empty space. I was used to seeing the wise old white coaster sitting there. Merrylegs sat across from me and Static at the end. I sat alone, afraid that I would get pissed off and snap again.

“Now,” Merrylegs began. “Do we have any clue where the Fallen could’ve taken him?”

“I do.” I said.

“Shoot.”

“Thunderbark knew, he gave me hints to where those bastards were taking him.”

Static rolled his dark eyes. I gave him a warning glare, and them flipped him off. Funny, because that expression did not exist in this world. I could flip every one I hated off on a continental basis, and no one would know.

However, my allies sitting before me and Thunderbark were the only ones who knew that gesture. To them it meant back away.


I thought it wouldn’t be possible to make Railrunner a more contemptible character, but somehow Miranda Leek keeps pushing the envelope on that front.


quote:


Suddenly, Merrylegs reared back and smashed her hooves on the table. Our attention came off each other and onto her.

“Boys! Stop this nonsense! You are both being immature children!” She yelled. “Static! You are the one who started this! Shut the heck up!”


Static was the one who started this?


quote:


Then it was quiet, Merrylegs still stood in her defensive position. I looked at the wall and Static stared down at the grains of wood on the table. I turned to look at him, he snapped his head up to see me. I let out a long sigh.


55th sigh of the book.


quote:


“Sorry. Sorry to you both. I should have never acted that way. I couldn’t get a hold of my temper, but give me a break I’m a roller coaster. I can be downright sour and crude sometimes.” I finished hoping that Static would apologize, too.


With such insincerity in his apology, Railrunner could be a politician.


quote:



At first I thought he was going to send me a dumb remark, but he surprised me.

“I’m sorry Railrunner. I am just flabbergasted by the whole fact that Thunderbark is gone. You may continue.”

“Apology accepted. Now as I was saying, Thunderbark gave me hints where he was to be taken.”

“Maybe Freakshow took him to Zjoir Prison. That’s the Fallen’s most heavily guarded, and the most feared. All kinds of war heroes have been kept prisoner there.” Merrylegs suggested.

“Maybe.” Static agreed.

“Couldn’t be.” I interrupted.

“Why do you say that, Railrunner?” Merrylegs asked confused.

“Thunderbark mentioned they were going to use him as bait. Heck, even Freakshow mentioned it. She said, that he was for the “red herring”. Oh my- I think I know where he has been taken!”

“Where!”

“Freakshow had her men transport him to Ironwheel’s lair. She knew I would go after him. Ironwheel will use Thunderbark as bait to get to me.”

“Railrunner- I think you are right.” Merrylegs said pulling out the map.

“Ironwheel’s castle is at least a hundred and fifty miles away. Up in the Dread Mountains, the most barren place in all Amusement Park Between.”

“Everyone says that is where hope goes to die.” Static moaned.

“I don’t give a rip how dangerous it is. Thunderbark needs us, and so does this world. We are going to Ironwheel’s lair no matter what.”

“It will be a long way.” Merrylegs sighed.


56th sigh of the book.


quote:


“Do we have money to get some supplies?” I began, worried what the answer was.

“We don’t.” Merrylegs said disenchanted.

“Well, where is the nearest city?”

“Zegria. It is fifteen miles away. It has various opportunities to make several g’s.” Merrylegs replied as she began to perk up.

“To Zegria?” I asked.

“To Zegria,” she replied.


Why are they still going to populated areas? Ironwheel can’t be much of a tyrant if the most wanted criminals in the land can blithely stroll into a crowded city.

Iced Cocoa
Jul 14, 2011



There is so much domestic violence subtext in all this that I'm afraid for Miranda. Him being someone in severe need for anger management becomes a plot point for Vertigo:

quote:

My oc Railrunner, for those who know that coaster well, know that he has an unstable temper - an unpredictable one at that. His temperment is a result of his dark past that troubles him greatly. Railrunner is stubborn and willful, but can be gentle and fun loving despite his appearance and threatening displays.

quote:

In Vertigo, Railrunner has a problem with his uncontrollable temper - in which his outburst are so violent that his will seems to not be in control and unexplainable happenings occur. He sits down with Mistymetal to explain what's been happening to him. Mistymetal is incredibly gentle with the red coaster. She thinks of him as if he's her son.
Note: Mistymetal is a character in Vertigo that does not appear in Twisted. My speculation is that she's the mother of Firetrack, the second red, there are couple of clues strewn around that hint at that.

quote:

Railrunner and Shadowtrack have been in love even before they were both transformed into twisted roller coasters (living roller coasters that reside in Amusement Park Between and you will find out how they changed in my book Twisted) In the sequel Vertigo, Railrunner begins to have...problems, horrendous displays through his unpredictable temper. Railrunner's temper is not ordinary like any other coasters. No, it is some sort of powerful force linked to him being a red. (you will find out what this is called once vertigo is released) His "power" is so severe that if angered to the breaking point, he could destroy both himself and Amusement Park Between. This has made Shadowtrack even more close to him despite the danger that she could endure. Her love seems to be the only thing that soothes him after any episode.

And it looks like compiling all the text from the ~*~Fanfic~*~ cracked my brain. I had my first Twisted! dream. I dreamt that I was visiting HorriblePencilist, and he had every published work of Miranda. All about Twisted! Some old comic/novel combo (where Railrunner befriends african-american bumper car and there are horrible racist undertones), and the first manuscript of Vertigo. I think there were 4-6 hardcovers in that collection of his, all first editions.

Iced Cocoa fucked around with this message at 09:06 on May 22, 2013

Kinu Nishimura
Apr 23, 2008


I hate you, Rodney.

I also hate his stupid name. I've made it a point to never refer to him by his stupid name. drat it you psychopath you spent thirty-odd years calling yourself Rodney you don't just switch over. Why am I so bothered by this

where the red fern gropes
Aug 24, 2011




this is so bad

attackbunny
May 1, 2009


quote:

“YEAH, YOU BOTH HEARD ME! THOSE ASSHOLES TOOK HIM! HOW IN THE HELL DID SHE CATCH HIM! NONE OF THIS poo poo MAKES SENSE!” I said cutting a tree in half with one swipe.
Miranda, you... really, don't have your actual characters scream about how the plot makes no sense. You can't afford to do that.

quote:

“Ironwheel’s castle is at least a hundred and fifty miles away. Up in the Dread Mountains, the most barren place in all Amusement Park Between.”
Should have named it the Russian Mountains. Missed a trick.

alcharagia posted:

I hate you, Rodney.

I also hate his stupid name. I've made it a point to never refer to him by his stupid name. drat it you psychopath you spent thirty-odd years calling yourself Rodney you don't just switch over. Why am I so bothered by this
Well, it is a really stupid name.

Twisted rollercoaster names: Railrunner, Thunderbark, Firetrack, Shadowtrack, Angeltrack, Ironwheel, Mistymetal, Moonblood, Redrail, Freakshow, Prototype.

Actual rollercoaster names: The Cyclone, Leap-the-Dips, The Racer, Kingda Ka, Steel Dragon 2000, Top Thrill Dragster, Millennium Force, Saw: The Ride, Nemesis, Oblivion.

About the only thing I could see an amusement park actually naming a ride is Freakshow, although they would then get violently petitioned for disrespecting people with deformities or disabilities.

Radio!
Mar 15, 2008

Look at that post.



Iced Cocoa posted:

Note: Mistymetal is a character in Vertigo that does not appear in Twisted. My speculation is that she's the mother of Firetrack, the second red, there are couple of clues strewn around that hint at that.

By "hints" you mean she outright states it several times over the course of one chapter, right?

Iced Cocoa
Jul 14, 2011



Radio! posted:

By "hints" you mean she outright states it several times over the course of one chapter, right?

Surprisingly enough, no. She hasn't published Vertigo yet, though a lot of her hold pieces have plot bits here and there. When we're at the last chapters I might end up compiling all those plot snippets to summarize Vertigo for the thread.

How I got to the conclusion is that Firetrack was raised in some specific place with his mother. He lived for most of his life there. Mistymetal has been at that location for ages, in some cave where she guards rides that were believed to be dead. (Please God don't have Angeltrack there :cripes:). Mistymetal also guards the secret on how Darkrail, the baddie of Vertigo, can be killed. Who was the one who killed Firetrack. And Mistymetal knows something about Railrunner's anger issues, and looks at Railrunner as his own son. Given how utterly simplistic and cliche Miranda's writing is, I don't really have any doubts that she is the mother of Firetrack.

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Bobbin Threadbare
Jan 2, 2009

I'm looking for a flock of urbanmechs.



Between her fixation on mild swearing and the pages missing from the "sex" portion of relationships, I get this feeling that Miranda may have been raised in a strongly conservative religious environment. It's not a terribly uncommon upbringing here in the United States, particularly not in a Southern state like Tennessee.

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