Playing With Shadows

This long week is almost over.  Travel Day today, and it’s looking like it’ll be a good day.  I might not even think too much about the fools on the road this afternoon when I’m making the trek back to the Real Home.

Even though I had copious amounts of fuzzy head yesterday, I got into Diners at the Memory’s End, and I kept at that sucker.  I didn’t want to stop.  Well, a couple of times, it felt like I wasn’t making any headway, but that was shaken off.  Slowly, yes, but shaken it was, yes.  I have my goals, you know?  Writer’s gotta write.

But fun was being had last night.  I’d forgotten–me?–that in the original version of the story, after the telescopes were in the process of being set up, and Albert and Meredith were waiting for the fun to happen, they were playing a game.  Of course, “playing” is a loose term, as they were virtually immersed inside a first-person shooter.  Back then I had them wearing pretty simple gear with electromagnetic shields, fighting against some alien creature I just made up on the spur of the moment.

That was twenty years gone, however, and I’ve picked up on a few things since then.  One, I made the world much bigger.  Two, I put them both in powered armor because–hey, powered armor equals big guns.  Lastly, though, I gave them Shadows to play with . . .

If you ever watched Babylon 5, you remember Shadows:  usually invisible black spider-like creatures that was four-square for chaos and death.  Sort of like head crabs in Half-Life, only these take your body as well when they attack.  Since all they want is to see you dead–or be their bitch, whichever seems like more fun to them–they make for a worthy foe to face and mow down.

It was actually fun to write last night.  Albert in his sort of hulking Forever War-style suit, with a huge gun in one hand and twin pulse lasers on each shoulder, and Meredith in her sleeker, faster, more nimble Bubblegum Crisis-style suit–with high heels, naturally–up against the creatures that inhabit the shadows.  Throw in some crazy music I was listening to right before bed, and the slaughter of the big, black bugs becomes something of a surreal experience.

It was while I was listening to said music last night that I realized the game really sets up Meredith what comes later in the scene.  The game lets her get her inner bad ass out and on display, and that boosts her confidence, and . . . well, one thing will lead to another, you know?  She’s never been like this before, never been allowed to take the stage and shine, and with everything else she’s dealing with in her life (which comes out later in the story), this becomes her moment to take some real action.

Shadows are everywhere, sometimes making you do things you shouldn’t do.  Including  them in at this point in the story seems right, because it opens up something else that will take the story in another direction and–corrupt it?  Naw.  Maybe that’s to harsh a word.

Maybe just darken it a tiny bit . . .