Log in

No account? Create an account
29 September 2019 @ 01:46 pm
_Professor_ new prologue maybe  

The Murder

“You’re not even a Oner.” Professor Yppo swayed on his feet, breathing in shallow pants. “I can’t feel you!”

The miserable thief, the traitor, the alien . . . spy jerked to his feet, his right hand reaching around and grabbing his left arm. “Shit! Already? Well, well, and here you are, practically volunteering . . .”

“What are you talking about? You stole that data, made up data all around it. Fabricated everything you needed to get a paper published . . .” Yppo clutched his chest and staggered back, thumped into the office door, grabbed the handle and twisted as he staggered back, almost falling as the door opened.

“Oh dear . . . It’s not your heart, is it?”

But instead of restraining him, the thief pushed him through the door, into his secretary’s office. Then the son of a bitch just sat in his secretary’s chair and pulled open the bottom drawer.

Where she keeps that big first aid kit?

Yppo turned and took aim at the outer door.

“Don’t go too far!” Mocking laughter followed him down the hall. Quiet and dark, just a few well-spaced lights that stayed on all night. Emergency exit lights. The fire extinguisher cabinet . . .

I could pull the alarm . . .

Why didn’t I wait until tomorrow to tackle him?

Then the dirty traitor was back, took his arm and steered him down the hall to the men’s lav. The lights flashed on, motion activated.

“What are you doing? Why. . .he ran out of breath. . . are you wearing latex gloves?

“Don’t worry, it won’t take long . . . Hmm, didn’t you say something about needing to see a doctor about a mole? And you touched your side . . .”

Yppo was shoved against the sink, his shirt tail jerked out and lifted.

“Oh . . . that doesn’t look too bad. But let’s remove it anyway, Okay?”

Yppo panted. “I need . . . my heart . . .” He screamed.

“Oops! That was a bit much, but I don’t actually want the part with the mole . . . down she goes.”

A flushing noise.

Yppo turned his head. Blood running down his flank and soaking his trousers. He pulled his shirt down, pressed his hand on the wound and grabbed the door handle, pulled it open and wobbled though.

A hand on the edge of the door above his, the man was right behind him, herding him back to the secretary’s office. The first aid kit was on the desk. He collapsed in the secretary’s chair and opened it, smearing it with blood. Bandages . . . he grabbed the largest, fumbled it open and tried to get it to stick . . .

"Oh, let me help." A hand wrapped in a hankerchief grabbed his hand and pulled it down , curled his fingers around the drawer handle, then released him.

No comm on the desk, just that other little box that . . . that man . . . was opening, putting something bloody into it, taking off his gloves and putting them in there too.

“Call . . . please . . .” He couldn’t seem to feel his feet and the lights were going out. He made an effort to stand, to get to his office, his com . . . the floor . . . shoes walking away . . .

(Anonymous) on September 30th, 2019 04:20 am (UTC)
I wonder about this...
It somehow seems the wrong literary tactic to let the readers know there's a murder before Rael does. If you somehow dole out this info after a few clues that something was wrong with the death, then it seems more like a fair mystery.

Unless you re-write the first few scenes to have Rael being referred to the job with the mystery already in process, ie "we want you to teach, but also find out what went on". As is, you have Rael deciding that the student's she's teaching are being mis-trained, and trying to decipher *that* mystery. I think the info in this snippet should only be presented when the mis-training and *strange* death are already linked, for some value of "linked".

matapampamuphoff on September 30th, 2019 05:51 pm (UTC)
Umm, I think maybe letting the reader know there a really nasty sort out there, and then watch Rael bounce happily into it might be interesting.
(Anonymous) on October 1st, 2019 09:06 am (UTC)
Hum, interesting question. Classical mystery often hides the criminal for quite a while, in a cloud of suspects, while the PI tries to sort out motives, method, and opportunity. Red herrings, clues, all that stuff. Of course, then we have the Columbo style, where often we know the bad guy right up front, even watching them commit the crime. The fun then comes in seeing whether Columbo, stumbling along with just one more question, can manage to turn the tables on the criminal who thought they had gotten away with it, hiding the evidence, making someone else look guilty, heck, making it look like an accident. Huh, Rael as a Columbo style PI, giggling, blinking, and... catching the bad guy. Wow, there’s a thought. This is magical reality, right? Is there a God of PIs? I mean, we have the god of spies, why not one for the poor overworked PIs? Probably a Columbo type, now that I think about it, although some Sherlockian commentary wouldn’t be amiss. Oh, let poor Rael accidentally call on the God of PIs... I know she’s not on Comet Fall where all the gods are, but she visits?
mbarkermbarker on October 1st, 2019 09:07 am (UTC)
Sorry, that was me. Forgot to sign in...
Joe Wojo Jr: pic#110087271wojorider on September 30th, 2019 06:03 pm (UTC)
Time line of the novel
This could well change your entire timeline for the novel. If we the reader know that a murder was involved, doesn't that mean that you have to involve the main characters earlier in THAT mystery?
matapampamuphoff on September 30th, 2019 08:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Time line of the novel
The two purps were in the faculty meeting which was the old prologue or the new chapter one.

Rael meets most of the suspects by ch 5 when the new office is installed. By the time Raels head for the Uni, Dr. Yppo's been dead a month, of a perfectly natural heart attack.
stan_millerstan_miller on September 30th, 2019 07:16 pm (UTC)
I've read this a few times now and think I'm catching on to what is happening. Maybe add some more clues to what is going on so folks get it at first read?

“Shit! My Oner skin graft is dying already? Well, well, and here you are, practically volunteering . . .”

Traitor is a bit misleading too as he isn't a actually a Oner, maybe use it less and alien or spy more?

I do like this as an opening.
matapampamuphoff on September 30th, 2019 08:03 pm (UTC)
The skin graft is fairly obvious, and Rael has to figure out that's how the Purps are passing as Oners. So I'm inclined to minimize the hint, rather than lay it all out.
(Anonymous) on September 30th, 2019 09:51 pm (UTC)
Not that obvious. I thought it might be hiding an injection site for a Princess poison.
(Anonymous) on September 30th, 2019 09:56 pm (UTC)
I think the prologue gives spoils some of the who dunnit joys. It is too early to know it's not the One, the Multitude, or some other home grown villain causing the lack of training problem.
(Anonymous) on September 30th, 2019 10:16 pm (UTC)
"High gravity. The ocean gleamed in the noon sun. She walked along the shore, spotted a tidal pool and walked over."

I assume that high gravity implies no moon. If true, where do the tides for a tidal pool come from?
matapampamuphoff on September 30th, 2019 11:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Marooned
Solar tides are about 1/3rd as high as lunar tides. Their interaction, in and out of sync is the major reason there are spring (very high and very low) tides and neap (moderate high and low) tides.

Edited at 2019-09-30 11:53 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous) on September 30th, 2019 11:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Marooned
Thanks, I had no clue that they were that high.