Pace+, 60 Seconds of Combat... 643-words

-K2-

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Okay everyone, thanks so much for all your help. It really cleaned up what I had, put things in order, and I feel improved it significantly. I'll return to this thread and re-review each point when I visit this section again. In any case, for those curious as to where this wrapped up at, check the spoiler.

Harvest weeds, lest crops wither in the field. Everyone came here gambling their sins went unnoticed. They risked their lives to impose sadistic cruelties upon the innocent. We all want to die, so here we all gather, and now it’s time; our lives now forfeit. Wield the scythe, swathe to windrow. Shed sanguine dew, vapor trail winnow. Reap the tare, thresh and harvest...

With everyone focused on Kae, they packed even tighter. Kae withdrew two small pucks, selecting her preferences on each. She tossed up another visual-alert, then shouted, “Who remembers music? Well I like music when I’m spending rits. See how you like these songs.”

Kae heaved one puck toward the street’s tail end she walked in from, dropped the other at her feet, and began counting down. Withdrawing a larger puck from her belt, Kae unfastened the last strap on her jacket. The moment she reached ‘one,’ Kae tossed the puck five feet above her, and dropped to the ground curling tight.

“Reepa!” nearby weeds screamed, driving back against the crowd, but confused yowlees and breeders blocked their escape.


The gyroscopic mine exploded at its apex and everyone within twenty feet of Kae abruptly dropped. Simultaneously, her audible-alerts activated. Digital sirens screamed from each, with the thrown alert sounding a debilitating shriek each fall of the siren’s pitch.

Jolted by the blast wave, Kae surged up, drawing her Lukdai Enforcers. Thrusting them out toward the street’s ends, she pulled their triggers and swept the mob from one side of the street to the other. A three-deep swath of people fell in a wave. Her shoulders compressed and body shuddered, as deep hums and grating roars drowned out the rabble’s clamor.

After one second of twist, Kae paused for two, allowing the first bodies to fall, before she twisted back, painting the swarm again. Thin, heavy projectiles tore through flesh and shattered bone, penetrating deep into the crowd. When each row collapsed, those behind them flailed against the writhing mass, as Kae continued to rake the crush of people.

Conservative distributions during bear markets, ensure optimal investment returns….

On her fourth pivot, a loud tone warned her right gun neared empty. Ejecting its magazine, Kae thrust her gun into its holster. Continuing to pivot and fire with her left pistol, she withdrew a mag from her waist and slammed it into her empty gun. Just then, her left gun sounded its tone. Reloading her left pistol the same as the other, Kae’s free hand reached to her belt, and she spun.

A mine thrown deep into the crowd toward the street’s tail end, barely cleared their heads before exploding, and a thirty-foot circle of people fell away from center. Another mine heaved toward the street’s head, yielded a second grisly crop circle. Layered acrid smog filled the gauntlet of crimson splattered buildings, peppered with shot.

Combine three ounces each of tequila, grapefruit and pineapple juice, and one jigger of apricot brandy, spiced rum, and vodka. Add ice, stir, and garnish with…

Straining to draw her heavy pistols, Kae crouched, aimed, then fired. Back and forth, she swept the crowd with the same methodical precision. Five passes later, her guns’ tones sounded again. Mechanically as before, Kae replaced each magazine and walked toward the street’s tail end, assessing her harvest.

For the most part, the short street was already cleared. Bodies covered most of it, heaped where they fell or crawled to before expiring. Forced to scale the dead and dying, each step down onto pavement raised a splash. A scarlet mist hung in the air; everything, including Kae drenched in cherry sweat.

With the calm came the horror, and Kae’s detached indifference wavered (sounds/most-wounded and smells).
Etc..

Thanks again,

K2
 
Last edited:

Don Coyote

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First, go back to her handguns filled her fists. It's a wonderful image. "Fill your hands, you sonofabitch!" worked for Roster Cogburn and it works here.

Either call the grenades, "pucks", "Reepas" or "gyroscopic mines".

Why didn't the grenades going off directly over Kae's head kill her when the grenades going off directly over the heads of the crowd killed them?

I'm confused about her drawing the second set of grenades. When did she do that and when did she empty her hands to do so?

"Thin heavy projectiles" should be "dense/deadly needles/slivers".

Maybe try something like this-
As the blast wave faded, Kae surged up and filled her fists with the twin Lukdai Enforcers and spun as she fired. The dense needles cut a swath of death through the crowd, three bodies deep. The survivors turned to flee this demon of death but were blocked by those behind them. Bodies choked the streets.

Please get rid of the "I AM EMPTY!" alarm. Kae is trained and experienced in the use of her arms. She would know by feel when her twin dealers of destruction fired their last shot before the alarm could sound. If it's loud enough that your character can hear it over the sirens, gunfire and screams of the dying and wounded, it's loud enough to alert her enemies.

As this is a science fantasy, it's possible the holsters would have the tech to reload Kae's pistols when re-holstered, so long as she ejects the empty mags first.

As a reader, I'm convinced the Voice Of The Mantra isn't Kae's. The voice giving stock market advice and cocktail recipes is. Somebody really messed with her head.

I like what you've got going. The scene is fast and dark.

Can I take a stab at the mantra? If not, don't read further :)


Harrow weeds, lest crops wither in the field. They came to sin. They came to prey on the innocent. We must all die and now our lives are forfeit. Wield the scythe, swathe to windrow. Shed sanguine dew, vapor trail winnow. Reap the tare, thresh and harvest...
 

-K2-

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Hi @Don Coyote ; thanks for helping out. As of this morning, I finally have this chapter and section exactly as I want it (for this round of edits). Let me respond to your post line by line, however.

I agree 100% with hands/fists filled. It's an American colloquialism, but since this is an American tale, taking place in America, and she's American...so what? So, the line now reads: Jolted by the blast, Kae surged up, hands filled with her Lukdai Enforcers.

The grenades are mines, gyroscopic mines to be precise. In rough glossary form:
Gyroscopic Mine: A puck-styled mine/grenade. When thrown, the gyroscopic aspect assists in the horizontal, radial dispersal of projectiles, stacked in six rows about its circumference. Descending elevation detonating, gyroscopic mines were first deployed as elevated/above-ground mines. The addition of trajectory apex sensing, expanded their use as grenades.

A Reepa/Reaper, is the protagonists job classification (everything in this world has an agricultural or ranching term applied to it). So, it is a 'gyroscopic mine,' but since it looks and is shaped like a puck (hockey), as are much smaller 'visible & audible alerts,' I can use that term to compress the sentence and make it more readable.

As noted above, 'the gyroscopic aspect assists in the horizontal, radial dispersal of projectiles.' So, I note she's jolted by the blast wave (plus she's dropped tight to the ground), but not hit by the projectiles. Her subsequent use of them finds the mines 'just clearing their heads.' So, a foot above is not the same as six+feet. In the second novel, in a large area packed with people, she tosses them higher, and the result is a 'bullseye' effect. Her, space between her and people backing up, a ring of unharmed people, a ring of wounded people, the balance of the crowd.

Paragraph(s) with second set of grenades reads like this (pertinent info marked):
On her fourth pivot, a loud tone warned her right pistol neared empty. Ejecting its magazine, Kae thrust her gun into its holster. Continuing to pivot and fire with her left pistol, she withdrew a mag from her waist (right hand), and slammed it into her empty gun. Just then, her left gun sounded its tone. Reloading her left pistol the same as the other (into holster), Kae’s free hand (right) reached behind to her belt, and she spun (threw what she grabbed/grenade).

A mine thrown (right hand) deep into the crowd toward the street’s tail end, barely cleared their heads before exploding, and a thirty-foot circle of people fell away from center. Another mine heaved (left or right hand) toward the street’s head, yielded a second grisly crop circle.

After, she redraws her guns.

I'm comfortable with 'Thin, heavy projectiles...' It keeps the line blunt and technical instead of too poetic. It now reads: Thin, heavy projectiles tore through flesh and shattered bone, penetrating deep into the crowd.

I'll keep the alarms. First off, they're programmable (at which points they sound, Kae just uses them at 30/150 rounds left. That means at half-speed (1,333/min.) she has 1.35 seconds left, and full (2,667/min.) 0.68 seconds before empty. She could set them for stages (every 50-rounds say), or turn them off. But, she's not a professional soldier, and the warning gives her time to react so it's just a couple seconds of reload time. Otherwise, they fire so fast they'd run dry without warning. At full speed she only has 3.375 seconds of fire time on full speed.

Well, science fantasy...kinda-sorta not really. As I mention in the firearm thread, this is very near future. So, it needs to be reasonably plausible. Plus, reloading keeps it simple, her doing work, and finding creative ways to do it. In this scene, she holsters the gun then uses that hand to reload. In big combat scenes where she has time to prepare, she'll wedge the butts of the magazines between her thigh armor strips (imagine the front of her thighs look spiked). Those times, she ejects the mag then slams the gun down over an upright mag and gets back at it.

Finally, as to what you call 'the mantra,' that's just dark prose. There would be a lot to explain (so I'll not waste your time), but just like us, Kae has read and heard a vast spectrum of literature and so on. Plus, she has memory that just won't quit. So, she'll recite altered or appropriate bible passages, poetry, technical manuals and so on. The preface in this chapter and various lines, you can find in the spoiler below.

Harrow, unfortunately, won't work. Harrowing means to break up and flatten soil, and chew up weeds and detritus, etc.. She is actually 'harvesting/reaping' these people... yeah, read into that what you may ;)

Anywho, thanks for your detailed input and suggestions in both this and the firearm tech thread!

K2

Nudging her way up the packed street, Rokka-Kae’s stern glare slipped to an inexpressive gaze. Moments before a fight always concerned her. No profanities flooded her thoughts and her fury drained away. Neither hate nor courage filled her; just a hollow indifference that made her wonder, was she a psycho like every other reaper?

The writhing throng beckons… Kae sighed, “Yeah, and then there’s that.”

Already her voice as Kae called it, was babbling away beneath her focused attention. In difficult situations over much of Kae’s life, it was imperative she uncouple her mind—or more her self—to remain distant while her body endured. Sometimes she sang. Others, the voice was poetic or spoke well above her education; anything to keep her detached, control her emotions, and occupy her mind to not dwell upon what her hands were doing.

Thankfully, just like anyone performing a monotonous task, it was her voice, not some demonic instigator; even if she did lean toward darker thoughts until she got down to business. In contrast, times like this—cold and unemotional—her cursed memory was a blessing. Who, what, and where mapped out, prioritized, and targeted as she formulated her plan.

Like a farmer harvesting his crops, Kae’s voice mused callously, a precisely calculated reaping, maximized yield…

Stopping halfway up the street, Kae adjusted her pistols to half-speed automatic. A plodding twenty-two rounds per second rate of fire; each magazine, one hundred fifty rounds of spalling hate; six point seven five seconds of justice per mag— (below line next paragraph beginning)

Rage surged up, overwhelming her voice, and Kae’s trembling hands gripped her pistols. Wrath screamed, draw your guns, beat everyone to death with them. Patience, her voice murmured, firm your plan, kill them all.

A stuttering breath choked in Kae’s throat when she heard the count. Her eyes welled up, till the voice resounded in her mind. Abaddon unfurled his wings to shade the unrighteous, so his locusts could plague them in comfort, and Kae calmed.

And you've seen the rest...thanks for your help.
 
Last edited:

Cosmic Geoff

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With your indulgence, I'll make some comments, mainly on the grammar:
*******************
“Who remembers music? Well I like music when I’m spending rits. See how you like these songs.”

Kae heaved one puck toward the street’s tail end she walked in from1, dropped the other at her feet, and began counting down. Withdrawing a larger puck from her belt, Kae unfastened the last strap on her jacket. The moment she reached ‘one,’ Kae tossed the puck four feet above her and dropped to the ground curling tight.
1 ending phrase with a preposition looks awkward here.
Weeds that watched her screamed, “Reepa!” It wouldn’t save them.

Exploding at its apex2, projectiles raced out from the gyroscopic mine. Everyone in a twenty-foot radius abruptly dropped. Simultaneously her audible-alerts activated. Digital sirens screamed from each, the thrown alert sounding a debilitating shriek each fall of the siren’s pitch.
2 What explodes, the projectiles or the mine? Grammar says the projectiles.

Kae rose, hands filled with her Lukdai Enforcers. Weeds tried to bolt, but confused yowlees and breeders blocked their way. The gangs’ panicked shouts of “reepa,” meant nothing to the outsiders.

Thrusting out her guns toward each end of the street’s axis, Kae pulled the triggers and twisted, painting the crowd from one side of the street to the other. Her guns emitted deep hums and grating roars on half-speed3. The sustained burst compressed Kae’s shoulders as her body shuddered violently and clenched teeth chattered.
3 Half speed seems odd in context. Like others, I am sceptical about her firing two machine-guns one-handed.

Upon reaching the buildings after one second of twist4, Kae paused for two, waiting for the first swath of bodies to fall, before she twisted back sweeping the crowd again. Calculated efficiency increases harvest5, the voice callously murmured.
4 Not immediately apparent what is meant by 'twist'
5 Implies that she, or somebody, makes a habit of 'harvesting'.


Three deep people fell in a wave as though Kae wielded an invisible scythe; each pass netted a hundred people or more. Thin, heavy projectiles streaked deep into the crowd. They tore through flesh and shattered bone, shedding sanguine dew with their vapor trail winnow.

A loud tone sounded upon her forth pivot when her right-hand pistol neared empty. Pogue upset Kae so badly, she forgot6 to swap out magazines, Dumont and the wall guards recipients of its previous carnage7. Without thinking, Kae swapped out mags methodically as her slaughter.
6 Had forgotten?
7 Awkward phrase.And, what does 'its' relate to?


Continuing to pivot and fire with her left pistol, Kae ejected the right’s magazine, thrust her pistol into its holster, and in a fluid motion pulled a fresh mag from her waist, slamming it into her gun. Two-seconds later her other pistol sounded its tone. Mimicking her moves for that gun she had with the first, Kae’s right hand reached behind to her belt, and she spun.
8 On a nitpicking point here, a holster would not hold the gun rigidly, making it more difficult to insert a magazine into it. And would she not need to look to see which way round she was holding the magazine, +where she was pushing it?

Throwing a gyroscopic mine deep into the crowd toward the street’s tail end9, it barely cleared their heads and exploded. A thirty-foot ring of people fell away from center, forming a crop circle. A second mine heaved toward the street’s head yielded the same. A layer of acrid smog filled the gauntlet; buildings peppered with shot and painted red.
9 You seem fond of starting sentences with xxx-ing words. This sentence is bad. > She threw a.... ; it barely... before exploding

Fury conjoined with grief boiled-up in Kae’s mind. Before she could hesitate, the voice flooded her consciousness with morbid prose.

Harvest the crops, lest they wither in the field. Everyone came here gambling their sins went unnoticed. They risked their lives to impose sadistic cruelties upon the innocent. We all want to die, so here we all gather, and now it’s time. Our lives now forfeit. Reap the harvest.

Straining to lift her heavy pistols, Kae crouched and aimed toward the street’s ends and fired. Back and forth sweeping the crowd repeatedly, five passes later her guns’ tones sounded. Mechanically as before, Kae replaced each magazine and walked toward the street’s tail end, accessing her harvest.10
10 What do you mean by 'accessing her harvest'? On a nitpicking note, she would apparently have to climb over bodies rather than walk.

For the most part, the short street was already cleared11. Bodies covered most of it, stacked where they fell or crawled to before expiring. Forced to scale the dead and dying12, where she didn’t, each step raised a splash. A scarlet mist hung in the air; everything including Kae painted in cherry sweat.
11 Cleared of the living, I assume, rather than cleared of bodies, people and miscellaneous obstructions.
12 Clumsy sentence. > She was forced to... dying; The comma after 'dying' looks like a comma splice to me (q.v.).


With the calm came the horror (sounds/wounded/most and smells)... Etc.
*************
All that said, it looks like a fast-paced and brutal action sequence. Kae's brief thoughts do not seem out of place.
 

-K2-

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Hi @Cosmic Geoff ; I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Unfortunately, the piece has evolved considerably since the version you critiqued. If curious, you can read where it stands in the spoiler below. Thanks again for your input!

As to a few specifics which still apply:
3. Like others, I am sceptical about her firing two machine-guns one-handed. ... Well, I've fired machine pistols (one at a time) that didn't have high-tech recoil compensation like her guns have, and I didn't have a problem (and I'm rather smallish and definitely not the strongest). I'm more concerned about their weight, but I tried lifting identical weights and holding them, without the assist you'd get with controlled rise. For this much combat, it wouldn't be an issue. Here are her pistols FTR: Fictional Firearm Tech Questions...
4. Not immediately apparent what is meant by 'twist' ... It's even more confusing now I suppose (since I don't state beforehand, 'she twisted.') Meaning, to twist her body as she sweeps the face of the crowd.
8. On a nitpicking point here, a holster would not hold the gun rigidly, making it more difficult to insert a magazine into it. And would she not need to look to see which way round she was holding the magazine, +where she was pushing it? ... Depends on the holster. Many of mine hold their pistols rigid enough (I actually tried this beforehand to be sure). As to the magazine, not really. If you've arranged them to be drawn a particular way, they're orientated properly when grasped. As to 'where she was pushing it,' I'm not sure what you're asking, but again, if you know where the gun is (grip back, in holster), and have the mag orientated properly in your hand, it's merely a matter of shoving it in the mag-well until it latches.
9. You seem fond of starting sentences with xxx-ing words. ... Fond or a bad habit is debatable. But, yes, I do more often than I should. It is something I notice and try to reduce, right up until the sentence becomes clumsy or excessively long without it (I'm not the best at phrasing, and still see one paragraph in the new version which is heavy with starting 'ing' words which I should tweak). One thing I don't like, are numerous paragraphs/sentences starting with her name (I've seen some texts where every-other sentence began with the character's name and I don't care for it).
10. What do you mean by 'accessing her harvest'? On a nitpicking note, she would apparently have to climb over bodies rather than walk. ... That was an earlier misspelling of 'assessing.' And, what her profession does is 'harvest' residents. Everything in the current government system is given an agricultural term. The 'climb over bodies' aspect is addressed in the edit below.
11. Cleared of the living, I assume, rather than cleared of bodies, people and miscellaneous obstructions. ... Yes, considering the street was packed with people shoulder to shoulder--without a way to escape (text not shown)--I didn't feel it was too much of a stretch to assume what I meant. Although, I could be wrong and should rephrase it.

Thanks again.


K2

from: Chapter-26, A Just Harvest, Liberty Stumbled-G8
<60-seconds of combat (between red sections).

After another cheer, Kae waited until their ribald shouts reached a fevered pitch. Hatred muddied by despair boiled-up in Kae’s mind. Before she could hesitate, the voice refocused her.

Harvest weeds, lest crops wither in the field. Everyone came here gambling their sins went unnoticed. They risked their lives to impose sadistic cruelties upon the innocent. We all want to die, so here we all gather, and now it’s time; our lives now forfeit. Wield the scythe, swathe to windrow. Shed sanguine dew, vapor trail winnow. Reap the tare, thresh and harvest...

With everyone focused on Kae, they packed even tighter. Kae withdrew two small pucks, selecting her preferences on each. She tossed up another visual-alert, then shouted, “Who remembers music? Well I like music when I’m spending rits. See how you like these songs.”

Kae heaved one puck toward the street’s tail end she walked in from, dropped the other at her feet, and began counting down. Withdrawing a larger puck from her belt, Kae unfastened the last strap on her jacket. The moment she reached ‘one,’ Kae tossed the puck five feet above her, and dropped to the ground curling tight.

“Reepa!” nearby weeds screamed, driving back against the crowd, but confused yowlees and breeders blocked their escape.


Kae’s gyroscopic mine exploded at its apex, and everyone within twenty feet of her abruptly dropped. Simultaneously, her audible-alerts activated. Digital sirens screamed from each, with the thrown alert sounding a debilitating shriek each fall of the siren’s pitch.

Jolted by the blast, Kae surged up, hands filled with her Lukdai Enforcers. Thrusting them out toward the street’s ends, she pulled their triggers and swept the mob from one side of the street to the other. A three-deep swath of people fell in a wave. Her shoulders compressed and body shuddered, as deep hums and grating roars drowned out the rabble’s clamor.

After one second of twist, Kae paused for two, allowing the first bodies to fall, before she twisted back, painting the swarm again. Thin, heavy projectiles tore through flesh and shattered bone, penetrating deep into the crowd. When each row collapsed, those behind them flailed against the writhing mass, as Kae continued to rake the crush of people.

Conservative distributions during bear markets, ensure optimal investment returns…

On her fourth pivot, a loud tone warned her right pistol neared empty. Kae ejected its magazine, and thrust her gun into its holster. Continuing to pivot and fire with her left pistol, she withdrew a mag from her waist, and slammed it into her empty gun. Just then, her left gun sounded its tone. Reloading her left pistol the same as the other, Kae’s free hand reached behind to her belt, and she spun.

A mine thrown deep into the crowd toward the street’s tail end, barely cleared their heads before exploding, and a thirty-foot circle of people fell away from center. Another mine heaved toward the street’s head, yielded a second grisly crop circle. Layered acrid smog filled the gauntlet of crimson splattered buildings, peppered with shot.

Combine three ounces each of tequila, grapefruit and pineapple juice, and one jigger of apricot brandy, spiced rum, and vodka. Add ice, stir, and garnish with…

Straining to draw her heavy pistols, Kae crouched, aimed, then fired. Back and forth, she swept the crowd with the same methodical precision. Five passes later, her guns’ tones sounded again. Mechanically as before, Kae replaced each magazine and walked toward the street’s tail end, assessing her harvest.

To a significant degree, the short street was already cleared. Bodies covered most of it, heaped where they fell or crawled to before expiring. Forced to scale the dead and dying, each step down onto pavement raised a splash. A scarlet mist hung in the air; everything, including Kae drenched in cherry sweat.

With the calm came the horror, as Kae’s detached indifference wavered...


60-seconds of combat shown graphically:
Slaver-Battle-2.jpg
 
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pambaddeley

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I think there is a bit too much happening in some of these sentences. There are also places where the subject is changed so that it doesn't make sense e.g.
Throwing a mine deep into the crowd toward the street’s tail end, it barely cleared their heads and exploded
I expected your character to be the subject of this sentence as in Throwing a mine ....., , she then followed up with .....
But instead the subject switches to the mine itself. So it should be something along the lines of She threw a mine deep .... . It barely cleared their heads, then exploded.
There are quite a few instances of this - another is "Forced to scale the dead and dying, each step down onto pavement raised a splash. " The step is the subject there, not the character. It threw me out of the narrative constantly and I didn't find it easy to follow/picture what was happening. So maybe that could 'Forced .... each step she took down onto ....' but really I would rework that entirely.

And with the pucks at the start - if they are explosive devices, she throws one back along the street, one at her feet and one into the air? So presumably the one at her feet blows up and kills her before she even starts firing?

I agree with the commentator above - I'm not convinced by the running commentary about something else. Mowing people down at high speed and with fast co-ordination is more demanding than working on a conveyor belt. She's not casually picking people off at leisure.
 

-K2-

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Thanks @pambaddeley for your input. You're not the first to mention that my sentence subjects get confused. It's one of those things I work at and am conscious of. But, I still struggle with it. It's just one of those things that doesn't sink in or stand out to me. In any case, I'll try keep that thought as I work through the entire MS.

Regarding the 'pucks,' I suppose at each instance I could say visible-alert/audible-alert/gyroscopic-mine, but it starts getting a little too exact, IMO. They're each black, each puck shaped, and I do state 'small/large,' but let's see how it reads:

Old way:
With everyone focused on Kae, they packed even tighter. Kae withdrew two small pucks, selecting her preferences on each. She tossed up another visual-alert, then shouted, “Who remembers music? Well, I like music when I’m spending credits. See how you like these songs.”

Kae heaved one puck toward the street’s tail end she walked in from, dropped the other at her feet, and began counting down. Withdrawing a larger puck from her belt, Kae unfastened the last strap on her jacket. The moment she reached ‘one,’ Kae tossed the puck five feet above her, and dropped to the ground curling tight.
New way:
With everyone focused on Kae, they packed even tighter. Kae withdrew two audible-alerts, selecting her preferences on each. She tossed up another visual-alert, then shouted, “Who remembers music? Well, I like music when I’m spending credits. See how you like these songs.”

Kae heaved one audible-alert toward the street’s tail end she walked in from, dropped the other at her feet, and began counting down. Withdrawing a gyroscopic mine from her belt, Kae unfastened the last strap on her jacket. The moment she reached ‘one,’ Kae tossed the mine five feet above her, and dropped to the ground curling tight.
Well, that reads fine (naturally reducing gyro-mine to just mine on the second instance). The only trouble is, now the reader knows what is about to happen before it does. So, where her attack comes as a surprise to the reader one way (considering her original rage based plan was foiled and her playful manner with the crowd before hand), this way they know three paragraphs ahead of time she is attacking, and how.

Does it matter? What do you think?

Thanks for your help. I'll try and work on my sentence subject issues more.

As to her background babble, I'm good with it. Just like you or I might daydream/hum/think about other things when performing a monotonous task, so does she. Plus, detaching herself from what is happening is very appropriate considering the character's background.

K2
 

pambaddeley

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Thanks @pambaddeley for your input. You're not the first to mention that my sentence subjects get confused. It's one of those things I work at and am conscious of. But, I still struggle with it. It's just one of those things that doesn't sink in or stand out to me. In any case, I'll try keep that thought as I work through the entire MS.

Regarding the 'pucks,' I suppose at each instance I could say visible-alert/audible-alert/gyroscopic-mine, but it starts getting a little too exact, IMO. They're each black, each puck shaped, and I do state 'small/large,' but let's see how it reads:

K2
It wasn't calling them pucks I was querying - but if she drops a mine at her feet doesn't it blow up and her with it? That's what I was asking!
 

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Just for the record, since this is a long thread due to so much great help, I've tried not to overwhelm it with a number of visible revisions (which I've tended to put in spoilers). Below is the version as it stands (many of the later responses have used old revisions) hopefully that helps.

@pambaddeley ; The audible and visible 'alerts' (generate sirens or a smoke cloud respectively), are 'small' black pucks. A gyroscopic mine (grenade, which only sends projectiles out in a horizontal conical ring, not up or down), are 'large/larger' black pucks. So...

Kae withdrew two small pucks, selecting her preferences on each. She tossed up another visual-alert, then shouted, “Who remembers music? Well, I like music when I’m spending rits. See how you like these songs.”

Kae heaved one (small) puck toward the street’s tail end she walked in from, dropped the other (small puck) at her feet, and began counting down. Withdrawing a larger puck from her belt, Kae unfastened the last strap on her jacket. The moment she reached ‘one,’ Kae tossed the (larger) puck five feet above her, and dropped to the ground curling tight.


Which is a problem (with the text) if you don't see it and it's confusing. I'm just not sure at this moment how to make it clearer without giving the surprise away. Any ideas?

Thanks for your help,

K2


from: Chapter-26, A Just Harvest, Liberty Stumbled-G8
<60-seconds of combat (between red sections).

After another cheer, Kae waited until their ribald shouts reached a fevered pitch. Hatred muddied by despair boiled-up in Kae’s mind. Before she could hesitate, the voice refocused her.

Harvest weeds, lest crops wither in the field. Everyone came here gambling their sins went unnoticed. They risked their lives to impose sadistic cruelties upon the innocent. We all want to die, so here we all gather, and now it’s time; our lives now forfeit. Wield the scythe, swathe to windrow. Shed sanguine dew, vapor trail winnow. Reap the tare, thresh and harvest...

With everyone focused on Kae, they packed even tighter. Kae withdrew two small pucks, selecting her preferences on each. She tossed up another visual-alert, then shouted, “Who remembers music? Well, I like music when I’m spending rits. See how you like these songs.”

Kae heaved one puck toward the street’s tail end she walked in from, dropped the other at her feet, and began counting down. Withdrawing a larger puck from her belt, Kae unfastened the last strap on her jacket. The moment she reached ‘one,’ Kae tossed the puck five feet above her, and dropped to the ground curling tight.

“Reepa!” nearby weeds screamed, driving back against the crowd, but confused yowlees and breeders blocked their escape.


Kae’s gyroscopic mine exploded at its apex, and everyone within twenty feet of her abruptly dropped. Simultaneously, her two audible-alerts activated. Digital sirens screamed from each, with the thrown alert sounding a debilitating shriek each fall of the siren’s pitch.

Jolted by the blast, Kae surged up, hands filled with her Lukdai Enforcers. Thrusting them out toward the street’s ends, she pulled their triggers and swept the mob from one side of the street to the other. A three-deep swath of people fell in a wave. Her shoulders compressed and body shuddered, as deep hums and grating roars drowned out the rabble’s clamor.

After one second of twist, Kae paused for two, allowing the first bodies to fall, before she twisted back, painting the swarm again. Thin, heavy projectiles tore through flesh and shattered bone, penetrating deep into the crowd. When each row collapsed, those behind them flailed against the writhing mass, as Kae continued to rake the crush of people.

Conservative distributions during bear markets, ensure optimal investment returns…

On her fourth pivot, a loud tone warned her right pistol neared empty. Kae ejected its magazine and thrust her gun into its holster. Continuing to pivot and fire with her left pistol, she withdrew a mag from her waist and slammed it into her empty gun. Just then, her left gun sounded its tone. Reloading her left pistol the same as the other, Kae’s free hand reached behind to her belt, and she spun.

A mine thrown deep into the crowd toward the street’s tail end, barely cleared their heads before exploding, and a thirty-foot circle of people fell away from center. Another mine heaved toward the street’s head, yielded a second grisly crop circle. Layered acrid smog filled the gauntlet of crimson splattered buildings, peppered with shot.

Combine three ounces each of tequila, grapefruit and pineapple juice, and one jigger of apricot brandy, spiced rum, and vodka. Add ice, stir, and garnish with…

Straining to draw her heavy pistols, Kae crouched, aimed, then fired. Back and forth, she swept the crowd with the same methodical precision. Five passes later, her guns’ tones sounded again. Mechanically as before, Kae replaced each magazine and walked toward the street’s tail end, assessing her harvest.

To a significant degree, the short street was already cleared. Bodies covered most of it, heaped where they fell or crawled to before expiring. Forced to scale the dead and dying, each of Kae’s steps down onto pavement raised a splash. A scarlet mist hung in the air; everything, including Kae drenched in cherry sweat.

With the calm came the horror, and Kae’s detached indifference wavered...


60-seconds of combat shown graphically:
View attachment 72232
 
Last edited:

IronTaurus

New Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
2
So many good replies so I may not add much.
Sorry to say I have not read this story so many names are unfamiliar to me.
I have no real critique on the writing, for me it was pretty smooth for a written fight scene, not too long or too short, it gave a sense of a badass scene but in a written text that did not feel stupid.

I will try to point out something though and it is not a critique in a sense but rather a tip.
A fight scene can be written differently based on the POV, if the person whos POV you follow is inexperienced you would write it as a chaotic mess to portray the confusion caused by inexperience. While a clear written and detailed described fight scene would portray the person as a veteran. I got the feeling this was a veteran but some parts was a bit more blurry and chaotic. While a veteran can still have a chaotic fight scene such as if the fight scene would be a more realistic view of a war such as the Omaha beach scene from the movie Saving Private Ryan or if the said veteran is getting tired and starts to slip. In this case however I feel it was neither, some parts of the fight scene was described very clearly and detailed such as:
"Continuing to pivot and fire with her left pistol, Kae ejected the right’s magazine, thrust her pistol into its holster, and in a fluid motion pulled a fresh mag from her waist, slamming it into her gun. "
That describes not only her gun and the sound but also the full process of changing a magazine,

while others felt more chaotic such as:
"Exploding at its apex, projectiles raced out from the gyroscopic mine. Everyone in a twenty-foot radius abruptly dropped. Simultaneously her audible-alerts activated. Digital sirens screamed from each, the thrown alert sounding a debilitating shriek each fall of the siren’s pitch. "

Hope I get my point across and that it helps a little at least.
Good luck!
 

-K2-

mƎ kn0w dUm!
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
2,050
Location
'Merica
Hi @IronTaurus ; Thank you for the help. Just above your post you'll find the latest version of this section (your examples from older revisions).

You bring up a good point about experience, which I hope I've demonstrated throughout, with one more aspect to that, experience through repetition.

The character is neither skilled nor gifted, or even trained. Worse still, she's primarily driven by rage which ensures a lack of control. As an example, when she fights bare-handed, if her temper isn't piqued, she tends to lose rather badly. However, when her temper is fired (always in defense of others, never herself), though she flails, kicks, knees, elbows, head-butts wildly, it happens so fast and furious it tends to overwhelm larger and tougher opponents. Same-same when she uses her swords. She wildly hacks and slashes--enraged--with zero-skill. But it's enough to get past the moment.

In contrast, the few times these massive harvests/slaughters take place, she has a number of aspects about herself and the conditions that help her. Conditions like: most streets are narrow and flanked by 'rowhouses,' meaning, it's a lot like fighting in an alley. Now pack that alley shoulder to shoulder with people, none of which are innocent bystanders (for a number of complex reasons). Her attacks always come as a surprise, and as shown, her weapons are volume-based/high firepower.

In such cases, the real advantage is her unfortunate past. When she has time to prepare, she detaches (emotionally/subjectively). She must do that since she would otherwise never commit these acts. So, now in a purely objective mindset, she considers the situation, quickly plans and executes that plan without giving herself a chance to think about it. Like here; toss up a mine to clear area around her, and just sweep the crowd back and forth till empty. When empty, change mags quickly, throw mines, sweep again till empty.

She's not picking out targets, avoiding innocents, assessing threats, adjusting her actions on the fly. She is simply, robotically repeating the same motions performed numerous times over seven years--that she is supposed to do everyday, but doesn't.

When there is some hiccup to the plan (e.g. she's injured in return), then her rage takes over, and it becomes rather chaotic and unskilled. When the action stops, the regret boils up, then she's in real trouble because at the end of the day, she feels she should die more than anyone else.

Thanks for your input and help!

K2
 
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