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27 April 2016 @ 07:16 am
_Super Star_ the very sketchy end  

They flew into Nairobi where Jacob's advance team had located all the guides and equipment they'd need. They drove the path of the film backwards, picking exact locations, shooting footage and a few scenes as opportunities presented themselves. In Uganda, Katy Marcil did her folding space dance as the dramatic cloud shadows chased brilliant sunshine across the vivid green grass and white thunderheads gathered over rugged black mountains and the base of the clouds grew purple and darkened the sky. The sun drove beams through holes in the cloud cover and lightening flashed in the distance.

           Jacob sighed in artistic repletion. "You can't buy effects like that."

           Katy was smug and happy, with nearly half her job done, while the rest of them hadn't started.

           They reached Murchison Falls National Park and camped and scouted. Jack and Sue's sultry scene came off well. Then Eldon and Margo tried theirs. The first time she did laugh, the second he got rude and she got mad.

           Jacob sighed. "I'll think about that second one. 'I'll leave you alone if you won't squeeze my testicles any harder.' Hmm. Might actually work. Now can we try it as written before the light goes?"

           Eldon channeled a bit of his God of Perverts behavior from a Houston worlds away, and there was some genuine shock in Margo's attempts to avoid him and cut the confrontation short.

           Jacob smiled in satisfaction, and Margo huddled under Jack's protective wing and they both glared.

           They camped in luxury while Jacob took just the essentials up into the Sudan to film at the Pyramids and ruins of Meroe. Perry and a local were conscripted for a brief scene, where the pursuing Good Guys find the two rich Arabs that the Bad Guy's stole the cars from. Then Eldon was driven up for his first appearance, first, the scene, supposedly still back in the Sudan where he kidnaps the daughter. The second scene when the Good Guys catch up to him at the bridge over the river. The 'Arabs' take one look at Eldon's imaginary pyrotechnics and flee on foot, leaving their cars blocking the bridge. Eldon and two of his royal troops ride off, leap the imaginary flames of the putatively burning cars and galloped off into the park.

           At least, that was the idea. Eldon took one look at the pretty little arab horses and mild mannered 'Wild Trek' mounts that were all Mike could find, and walked his corridors to bring in three of the mares. With illusions of being solid black, bay, and chestnut, the big pintos willingly reared on command, scooped up screaming women, leaped cars and galloped off.

           Mike boggled. "How did you do that? I had to bring some horses in from Egypt. And those are definitely not Arabians."

           "They're Atlanteans. Bigger and heavier. But we'll need all of them soon enough."

           "And camels." Jacob walked around the big 'black' mare Eldon was riding. "Did you buy or rent them? Will there be any problem bringing them with us?"

           "No problem. The owner's got a trailer. Shall I take them back now? And see if he can transport these other horses as well?"

           "Excellent plan."

           Eldon walked his three out of sight and popped them into a bubble. He walked back and eyed Mike's collection. Good looking but too small, too gentle or both to even fake being warhorses.

           "Don't think I didn't recognize your pintos, Eldon. How did you do that?" Mike looked pissed.

           "Magic. Watch." He bubbled the other horses and walked away.

           "Eldon. Stop doing things like that, we really need to have those horses for some other scenes."

           "Indeed. C'mon, Mike. They'll be there." Eldon grinned at his expression, and made sure he was watching when he brought them out that night when they camped. All six drew mosquitoes in the dusk, and he broadcast a spell to repel insects of all kinds and included himself in that effect. The trio of arabians were all stallions, all a bit randy and willing to fight each other, with the three mares so close. Eldon whipped up a hormone destroying spell and laid it on nice and heavy, then tied them with the 'Wild Trek' geldings in between. The guards, both native and the undercover Feds were out patrolling, so he climbed under his unneeded mosquito netting and slept until roused out at dawn.

           He filmed a series of scenes with Margo and the royal guards. Then the rest of the cast filmed their scenes, searching for traces of the Atlanteans. They had a three day vacation while the natural lighting failed to co-operate, then the big group fight, the King and four royal Atlantean troops vs G., Jack, Phillip, a couple of the Native Guides with Lyle added as a vacationing British soccer fan. Margo got to bean a troop with a frying pan and then climb a tree with a kettle and fend off all attempts to get her down by dripping almost boiling water. It was quite fun, especially hamming it up around the water fall with Beau, the stunt double, and throwing him in the river.

           Then the other fun scene. The King faces off with G., Margo is still up the tree, The royal guards come up, the Native Guides, and the cook and the twins. Suddenly eyes meet. Royal guard steps forward and the cook clasps her hands in disbelief, then runs forward for a two-large-persons encounter.

           In the background Margo slides out of the tree and she and G. run for it. Both sides back away, with the twins attacking the guard and getting the killer squeeze hug from him in return. "My sons, my big strong handsome sons!" Dumbfounded they follow their mother into the Atlantean's camp.

           With that in the can, they started on the scene down by the river, where Sue and the Brat pull the unconscious Jack from the lake and Sue starts mouth-to-mouth. Eldon and the real guards kept a wary eye on the lake, but apparently the big water lizards—crocodiles, they called them here, very much like what they had in the Rip—knew to stay away from groups of humans.

***

/// Darfur refugees episode

California bleeding heart liberals detour to the border with the Congo when they hear about yet another wave of refugees not being allowed to cross the border to escape from their tormentors. Jacob has vague idea that by filming the whole thing he can shame the Ugandan government into aiding the refugees.

Eldon had no idea, and isn't about to stand and watch those kids get chopped up. He grabs a bubble, throws a Corridor, grabs Star and a sword and gallops out to demonstrate a different sort of chopping style.

Xtreme uses the long Corridors to fetch help, AKA Betelgeuse, Jade and Heso. Star does well in the warhorse role, while Jade and Heso find a hopefully empty World for the refugees. The three go through the Gate with the refugees, and close it.

"Dang, Star, you were down-right impressive. I will not return you being a gelding after all. You just earned full fledged stallionhood."

The chocolate and white pinto nodded agreement, arched his, err, her, neck and pranced.

The Movie people eyed him askance. Lyle was totally agawp. Eldon cleaned up and collapsed into bed.

***

           Eldon slept the sleep of the just for eighteen hours. Or perhaps they were just afraid to wake him. But when he wandered in for lunch, the cook just gave him extra everything and Xtreme asked if he taught sword fighting.

           "Oh sure. Not much use for it these days, unless you're an idiot like me."

           Jack moved over and sat across the table from him. "So . . . where did those people take those refugees?"

           "To a parallel world. They were aiming for a region where there aren't any people, but you never know what you'll get until you're there. But from there they can open more Gates to other worlds and take their time checking them, before they move the people again."

           G. joined them. "All right, we've always laughed when you said you were wizard from another world. Am I going to have to take you seriously?"

           "Oh, not too seriously!" Eldon went back to eating. And smirking as the others exchanged looks.

           Jacob stomped over and glared at him. "So, you really are the big hero. Except that the National Police are trying to decide what to do about sixty-eight dead Conglolese soldiers."

           "I thought it didn't happen in their territory."

           "Is the Republic of Congo going to believe they had nothing to do with it?"

           "Make a documentary, Jacob. You could be a hero, single handedly preventing a war." Eldon turned his attention to the pie.

           "In the mean time, we need to film the next scene. That would be you snatching Margo from the landrover."

           "Right. Where did I leave the horses?"

           He had an audience when he pulled them out of thin air and hid their pinto spots.

           They had planned on filming most of the scene in California, to avoid misunderstandings with lions and so forth. But by scouting ahead for lions, leopards and stray crocodiles and then shooting a bit at a time, at about half speed, they got it all done. There were Ugandan troops watching their every move, and whenever they stopped to incorporate locals, they moved in and hovered protectively. Eyes glued on Eldon.

           At the first opportunity, Eldon used his corridor to LA, took the other corridor to the hacienda, played with the kids, and calmed Mrs. North and Miss Higgins down. "Everyone is fine, Betelgeuse should be back soon. I'll come and go as much as I can." With the nine hour time difference, midnight in Uganda was three in the afternoon at the hacienda, which worked out fine once he'd made a speed bubble so he could also sleep. All things considered, the nanny and maid found the continued parental absence spookier than Eldon's extra-dimensional travel arrangements. Barely.

           They migrated eastward across the country, a hundred and eighty miles back to tie into the scene with Katy folding space . . . They all eyed Eldon with alarm at that point, and got a bit quiet.

           A Ugandan official showed up and told them they'd been very foolish to have interfered with the violence across the border, and would they please leave immediately. They happily packed up and crossed into Kenya for the last scenes.

           The brief final scene, with the host of five hundred Atlanteans crossing into Somalia was actually shot in Kenya, and then all the camels and local horses disbursed back to wherever they'd come from.

           Then the last battle, a night time scene they could have filmed almost anywhere.

           And with dizzying speed they were back on an airplane, and back in California. It was not quite as much of a shock as gate travel could be, but it was close.

           Mrs. North and Miss Higgins were quite relieved to have him sleeping in the house and helping to get the kids off to school.

           "Sorry about all the excitement. Betelgeuse should be back soon, and the others, well, I don't know how busy they got. Things like this are one reason we consolidated all the kids and hired nice, sane assistants."

           He unbubbled the three horses, dosed them all with wine again in case of infectious diseases from Africa. Star got a sex change spell, as promised.

           They had any number of interiors to shoot on the sound stage, and some night scenes. Even a few blue backdrop scenes to be spliced into the African footage they'd shot. Then they dubbed the voices. Couldn't have the waterfall covering up everything that was said. But he got home to the hacienda every night.

           The Feds showed up at his townhouse after a bit more than a month.

           "We understand that you doped our men with something."

           Eldon started laughing. "Oh, the poor sods. You didn't believe a word they said, did you? C'mere." He led the way to the garage, and through the corridor to the other garage, and out to the big hacienda and the pastures. He played with the kids and helped with their homework while the Feds came and went. And more of them showed up, and then some scientific types.

           "Okay, we're getting a bit crowded. How about I make a whole bunch of corridors, and you can go away and play with them, eh?" They went away with their personal Corridors stuck on pieces of paper.

           He bought more horses, so all nine of the older kids could ride at the same time, and with the young horses coming up on two years of age fast, started riding them just a tiny bit. The hormone suppression was holding good, so the two colts were still out with all the mares and fillies. He suppressed Star's hormones, after he realized he was going to have six foals next winter.

           One morning he woke up to find Betelgeuse eating pancakes in the dining room.

           "So, where did you guys end up?"

           "Rolling grassland, no other people. And no animals. Your buddies loved it. We made sure they'd found water and food, and once you got close to the mountains it was really nice. Mother made a gate home so we could buy a bunch of goats and sheep and cattle for them. And we bought lots of wine and doped it with you-know-what. We gave everyone a dose, then turned it over to their shamen. So all your friends will be just fine. Then Jade decided to try and find that world where we . . . well. Anyway they decided to rescue some of the Gang who've been in prison. I had them drop me off in the Book, and it's taken me about a month to find the right page, using corridors. Sheesh. This spot is all bristly. I think you've opened up a whole ton of possibilities."

           "No doubt. Gah. Yeah. Ronnie and Zap, another two more of the amoral idiots that led me astray. Couple other wizards, couple of witches, Smokey and Arrow. And Old Duke Rivolti, a trained Auralian assassin-whore named Wenda. I think Xen removed all their magic genes, but we know how to put them back in now. I'm going to hope they can't find their way back here." He grinned suddenly. "On the other hand, your timing is perfect. College classes start in three weeks, and we've all got a week and a half to buy or make you Christmas presents. Welcome home." He gave her a hug and headed for the kitchen to fix his own plate of pancakes.

           "I forgot all about college." Betelgeuse looked intimidated.

           "You'll do good. You're smarter than most people, you just need to add facts."

           "You never wanted to go to college?"

           "Never occurred to me. I like being a wizard, I like doing things with my hands. This acting was a real surprise. Fun, but . . . well, it's been growing on me. But really, I think I'd be happy without it. The kids, horses, experimenting with magic. That's what I like."

           "You know what you need to do? Give the kids classes in fighting. Hand-to-hand and with swords. Horseback riding. All the sort of stuff they'll need if they ever go back to Comet Fall."

           "I'm doing the riding lessons. Fighting would be an excellent addition. And maybe I can bring in some extra students."

           Xtreme was not his only new student. Jack, G., and the four Feds came as well. And Margo and Lily came 'to watch' and were quickly sucked into the lessons as Betelgeuse demonstrated how to not get completely thrashed by Eldon.

           It reminded him painfully of the Wizard's School he'd attended as a teenager. The days had been spent learning how to do everything from shielding one's thoughts from others to throwing fireballs. Evenings were for sword practice, with quite a few of the students riding into Ash for lessons from the Auld Wulf once a week, and in Eldon's case, again for unarmed combat training. What they called the Martial Arts, here. Not that his childhood training had been bad, but the Auld Wulf, the God of War, was the best.

           He wished he could send the kids there.

           Well, when it came to training in magic, on this world Eldon was the best. He'd add magical training as the kids or adults showed any awakening of ability.  

           Perhaps this place could be their home, the place they remembered so warmly. He could only hope that they would never be exiled from their home.

 
 
 
ekuah on April 27th, 2016 01:53 pm (UTC)
Ok. here are my 50 cent.
I know this is a preliminary sketch, but it's so rough and the story feels so rushed, that it wasn't really fun to read (except Part 2)

Second: reality Check.
Eldon was much to casual with throwing around magic. Or the other way around: the locals were not freaked out (or in disbelief) enough.

Third: Eldon
I had not expected him to kill 68 soldiers in cold blood. Thats something you would accuse Rior or Jade with. I know they were in the process of murdering innocents, but Eldon has much more finesse methods to do mischievous mayhem.
I think something like this would be more fitting to his character:
Jacob stomped over and glared at him. "So, you really are the big hero. Except that the National Police are trying to decide what to do about eight dead Conglolese army officers, sixty huge purple rabbits and an equal number of missing Conglolese soldiers."

Edited at 2016-04-27 01:54 pm (UTC)
matapampamuphoff on April 27th, 2016 02:06 pm (UTC)
One of Eldon's emerging qualities is that he really doesn't _care_ what other people think about him. He's not going to hide who or what he is. Overconfident? Oh yes, but when no matter what, one can just open a gate and walk away from anything, it does tend to make one less worried about repercussions.

As to the blood bath, this is the man who is going to destroy an entire world. There's no final count on how many Helios were left on their home world when it dissolved into the inbetween. Or captives they missed. Or Oner or Fallen troops who didn't leave fast enough.
ekuah on April 27th, 2016 02:13 pm (UTC)
Maybe you are right about the blood bath, but still I feel a little bit disappointed about him.
And about "just open a gate and walk away from anything" that does not mix well with his feelings to some people on that world or the world itself.
quote:"Perhaps this place could be their home, the place they remembered so warmly. He could only hope that they would never be exiled from their home."
matapampamuphoff on April 27th, 2016 02:28 pm (UTC)
You don't go chopping up kids with machetes around Eldon and survive. Period.
ekuah on April 27th, 2016 02:35 pm (UTC)
Ok. Ok.
I got it.
I will refrain from commenting from now on.
matapampamuphoff on April 27th, 2016 04:53 pm (UTC)
No, keep commenting. But there's no point in belaboring a point on a sketchy draft that won't get any further work for years.

You'll never agree 100% with what a writer does in his or her own universe. And the writer can only hope to not totally break the trust of the reader that the stories will go somewhere the reader will enjoy, despite that.
muirecanmuirecan on April 27th, 2016 09:20 pm (UTC)
Yep. Clearly a conflict of opinion on character behavior between writer and reader. Guess who wins such a conflict of opinion? It isn't the reader. ;)

And as Pam notes this is an early very rough draft to get the basic story, character and ideas down. Who knows how Eldon may have evolved and changed by the time Pam revisits the story in a few years. Mind you I don't think things will have changed much by the time Pam gets back to rewriting this specific story but hell she may have a suddenly story change pop up out of nowhere that changes things. I doubt it but she could.

Remember this important rule and debating authors will go much smoother for you. ;) The author is always right about her universe, stories, and characters. When such as we have here the author does discuss things with us the readers she still retains final say.

God why I can I blast off paragraphs like this and keep going for pages yet sit down to write a story and draw a complete blank. Hell why can't I even sit down and write any of the reviews I want to write? I can babble out paragraphs here or elsewhere on all kinds of topics at the drop of a hat but sit down to do what I want ... write a review to praise a book and author I like and I draw a blank. The same thing happens anymore when I try to tell a story. Yet I can ramble out verbally telling myself a story while driving long distances and then stare at the paper unable to type....... . ::whimper::
matapampamuphoff on April 27th, 2016 11:52 pm (UTC)
Type anything. I find it best to start with dialog, however stupid, because it gets me immersed in one of the characters and then I can write a story.

Right now . . . Between a difficult family situation, allergies and repeated sinus infections, all adding up to not sleeping well and compensating with caffeine and eating too many carbs . . . I'm doing _everything_ that makes it hard for me to write, all at the same time.

I force myself to write 500 words a day, and usually at least double that. But I really hate knowing I'm not at the top of my form. But if I only write on the good days, nothing gets done.
muirecanmuirecan on April 28th, 2016 01:02 am (UTC)
I need to do that sit down and just write. It is the advice I see people give and I should just do that. It after all advice that works.
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on April 27th, 2016 03:31 pm (UTC)
Comments let Pam know what looks odd to you or probably needs more explanation.

For my part

==With illusions of being solid black, bay, and chestnut, the big pintos willingly reared on command, scooped up screaming women, leaped cars and galloped off. ==

Elsewhere the theory is that illusions and spells only affect living minds so the vid recording would show pintos ?

The computer post-processing can probably fix that but, if so, needs a mention.

Edited at 2016-04-27 03:33 pm (UTC)
matapampamuphoff on April 27th, 2016 04:55 pm (UTC)
Oooo! But Eldon doesn't know that . . . until they're back in LA looking over what they've got. That could be turned into an amusing ending.
Bretbretw on April 27th, 2016 07:43 pm (UTC)
Well, I've seen you turn other early, rough drafts that I thought would be problematic into amazing stories, so I have some confidence you'll do that with this one too.

The things that don't (yet) work for me are:

* The federal agents seem like an unnecessary distraction. Is their whole purpose just to get Eldon a passport?

* The Lily scene seems extraneous. Seems like an awful lot of work to prove he's the bad guy. With enough expanding, could be enjoyable.

* The movie within the book thing is awkward. It's kind of a hokey movie anyway, but I was unable to decipher the plot/flow. I couldn't figure out what was going on with Margo and "the god of perverts."

* I presume I'm supposed to remember Jack, Margo etc. from a previous story? Unfortunately, I don't, and I think that implies that the two stories need to be in the same collection, probably back-to-back.

* I also presume that a previous story gives the background on what Jade, Rior, etc. are doing in parallel that causes Jade to show up seemingly out-of-the-blue? Without that, it's kinda confusing.
matapampamuphoff on April 27th, 2016 08:57 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, I'm dredging up all the loose ideas way out at the end of the series, right now.

The feds will be regulars, and trying to figure out how to do gates when the Cyborgs show up.

Lily has to go. Eldon's going to be floating around the Multiverse being Mall Santas and landing on balconies on Saturday Nights. Note the Cyborgs that are after him in SN.

Eldon's a movie star. He does movies.

Jade and Rior barely escaped after a story that I think I showed you guys the start of, with Xen in a hand-to-hand fight in the Lincoln Bedroom.
muirecanmuirecan on April 27th, 2016 09:23 pm (UTC)
I wondered where lily fit in with Saturday Nights. Makes sense she is an early idea that will run off and have fun elsewhere in your mind.
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on April 27th, 2016 09:51 pm (UTC)
Lily or someone is mentioned in _Black Point Clan_

=={Incendiary} I just dinged Eldon to let him know he had company."
"So he doesn't show up with three blondes?"
"Nah, he's actually kind of stuck on one girl. It's cute, watching him try to figure out how to court a nice girl."==
matapampamuphoff on April 28th, 2016 12:16 am (UTC)
Black Point Clan was written so long ago, it's going to be a real job revising it.
(Anonymous) on April 27th, 2016 11:35 pm (UTC)
To me this still reads like one step above an outline. To be a story, it either needs a problem (or needs the problem to be a bit more obvious if I missed it).

And to speak up about the battle casualties, I do think there's a mismatch between what Eldon did and what you appear to be setting up as a "regular home base" with moral behavior. But I think it could be handled by being a bit more emphatic with the explanation of what the soldiers are doing to the refugees. Or maybe getting a bit more of the explanation you had above into the text to explain what Eldon is thinking.
matapampamuphoff on April 28th, 2016 12:05 am (UTC)
This just a sketched out idea, with a few fully written scenes here and there. In some ways it just gives me something to aim at while I'm writing the earlier stories. Or it gets a persistent idea out of my head so I can write what I ought to be writing.

The story problem. Of all the skills that it takes to tell stories, finding the problem and making the whole story serve the purpose of solving the problem is the thing I am absolutely worst at.

Yes. Worse than spelling and grammar.

For this particular story, I'll pick something when I get to the story to rewrite it. Best guess, at this point, is that the government is aware and alarmed at the little bit he's already done. The solution, as you see above, is to overwhelm them with corridors and bags and gates.Keep them so busy, they forget Eldon isn't exactly on their side, so he can make a secure home here. I may write Jade and Heso out of the story, or if they make trouble, Eldon may bubble them up and deliver them to Disco.
(Anonymous) on April 28th, 2016 11:08 pm (UTC)
Of all the ideas above, I like the "Bubble them and deliver to Disco" best. Maybe they can figure out how to break out of the bubble just as they're delivered? or something else to complicate, but that puts a more definite difference between Eldon and the more criminal parts of the gang.

It might need a few thoughts from the viewpoint of Rior too, but even he might think it a plus if it made Disco somewhat satisfied with the capture.

And hey, posting partial ideas at least lets us suggest improvements and problems to serve up. I'll let things marinate for a while, and see if I can think of an improved problem.
hollybambolo on April 29th, 2016 06:14 am (UTC)
This is post-Lodge, right?
Lots of continuity holes, right. Eldon almost seems more like post-Helios Eldon in this than he did in the other movie story or in Lodge. Closer to being God of Heroes than God of Perverts. A little too altruistic, maybe? Or too empathic? He had no trouble morally when it came to screwing around with Fean or the physicists' wives. Maybe there's some character stuff I've not seen or you've not written yet that's happened in between.
I thought killing a bunch of soldiers about to kill children was perfectly in character for Eldon. Though if you want to change it, as one of Nil's students, turning them into goats might be a possible instinctive reaction. Might give him some problems with the movie folks and the government folks, going forward.
matapampamuphoff on April 29th, 2016 01:58 pm (UTC)
Yea. After the gang splits up and runs, Eldon's part goes:

_Castles of Air_ where he starts under the Goat spell.

_Lodge in the Mountains_ where they're robbing banks while partly morphed and accidentally pick up some very dangerous weapons.

Then _Last Merge_ where he settles down to watch football in the same world as Castles, gets involved with a bunch of college students, who are snatched by the Helios, and he uses the biggest device on them, destroying their world. He escapes by bubbling the suburban and floating away from it all.

_Nowhere Man_ where he grabs a world, and emerges on a busy freeway in Los Angeles, and becomes a movie star.

_Super Star_ more movies, imports some of the gang's kids, brings himself to the Feds notice, etc.

_Serpent_ where he encounters the Cyborgs (barely started)

Edited at 2016-04-29 01:59 pm (UTC)