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Robinski - 190909 - TCC Chapter 09 - 3556 words (L)

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Hiya, hiya, hiya,
Well, you don't see that too often. Here is Chapter 09, submitted on the 9th day of the 9th month, 2019!!
You'll be glad to hear it is not 9,000 words long however, only a measly 3.5K. As usual, any and all comments will be grateful appreciate and dissected in reasonable detail in due course. I'm working on the Chapter 07 comments, but hope to be through the novel I'm critiquing on the side by Tues/Wed and therefore back in full swing in responding to all the great comments from past submissions.
Chapter recap:
01 - In small town in British Columbia, Q and M close out the Not-All-That-Curious Case of the Stolen Art;
02 - Q and M decide on what to do next, all the options seem to have some issue or other. Q's ex-father calls;
03 - After some political machinations, we meet EM (the administrator) and TT (the scientist) who at Gen Ex Trick in Yellowknife, NWT;
04 - T is coerced by M into releasing the MTs. They are meant to kill her, but it does not go to plan for M. Now he has a problem
05 - Back with Q and M, they speak to R before going to meet him at the airport, but the plane crashes in 'unexpected' circumstances;
06 - Q and M are questioned at the sheriff's office then taken to the hospital to see R who they manage to speak to briefly before M appears and kills R;
07 - Q and M are in the frame for R's murder. M decides they should run. Car chase thru small town. They collect 80, 'borrow' N's plane and run;
08 - E discovers T's disappearance, is suspended by DM then goes to see the YK sheriff. He takes her to a kill site, but it's only animals, not T
Cheers, Robinski

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7 hours ago, Robinski said:

You'll be glad to hear it is not 9,000 words long

Thank goodness!

In all, I thought this was a good chapter, if a little rough. We're back to Q&M's desperate bantering, which is always a plus. I though a few of the insults near the beginning were sort of generic, but other than that good. I'm mainly having a problem (somewhat continued from last chapter) with Q's motivations. There are more bits and pieces of his old life thrown in, but I'm still not completely clear on why he's so willing to risk everything in this. I think addressing some of the concerns in the last 2-3 Q&M chapters will help clear these up.

And I believe this is the first completely new chapter I've read this time, right? On to new words!

Notes while reading

pg 2: "Plane was only the quickest way to "
--the plane?

pg 3: "they will hang this on me"
--this what? escaping from the police? The murder? 

pg 4: "the dirty also represented proof"
--I vaguely remember this from the last chapter, but do we know what it is or why M planted it? What is it going to prove?

pg 4: "even without K being there to meet them"
--Would K have any way to get there faster than them? Why is this a concern?

pg 5: "You’ll crash us, you lunatic!"
--I thought they were already crashing?

pg 6: “Sometimes, it was just me and M.”
--Good detail. So Q knows him very well!

pg 6: "trying to scratch its own back"
--it's trying to go in loops?

pg 7: "Perhaps a suppressed desire to see J again?"
--but she's dead, yes?

pg 8: "blood rushing to his sense of the ridiculous."
--I don't think this joke quite (heh) landed...

pg 9: "Going up against completely unprepared"
--up against him?

pg 11: "The android straightened easily,"
--There wasn't anything about the android in the wreck. What happened to him?

pg 12: "whipping its head back and causing it to stagger" resistant are the androids? Can they be stunned? I would guess Q would just hurt his fist on the android's metal face.

pg 13: "As you know, a good punch can seriously injure a human.”"
--huh? But Q punched an android.

pg 13: "The Merrion and everything else"
--oh no! I'm surprised Q didn't swerve back to get it.

pg 13: "it was a symbol of his separation from a life that he was very determined to leave behind, but which had caught up with him at last"
--I'm not fully convinced on Q's change of heart yet. The suit was a big part of the last book and he went to great lengths to keep it safe. I haven't seen that big of a shift in his personality yet.


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As with the last several installments, I loved this. I think it's going at a good clip and I like seeing more of Q's backstory. I like the humor of the piece too, and I called out some of my favorite lines below.

Generally, I think this entire revision has put the essence of Q and M back into the narrative, that I remember from the first book. I still love their dynamic and how it is changing, and in many ways I think like this book more than book one. I'm interested as well in the B plot as well with the lesbians (go figure) and am just thoroughly engaged.


14 hours ago, Mandamon said:

but I'm still not completely clear on why he's so willing to risk everything in this.

This is a good point. He wants to see J again, right? Other than that is it just to tie up loose ends of his life?

14 hours ago, Mandamon said:

pg 13: "The Merrion and everything else"
--oh no! I'm surprised Q didn't swerve back to get it.

At this point I think I'm as attached to the Merrion as he is!


As I go

- pg 4: 

“Can you reconnect the guidance system, Ei?” Qu asked hopefully.

“Not having ejected it from the cabin window per your instruction, sir, no.”

I'm confused by this interplay. Since it didn't toss the thing out the window, couldn't it be reconnected?

- pg 7: because no partner of any calibre liked a man with a hangnail.<-- dead from laughter

- pg 7: 'quite amazingly stupid plan' love it

- pg 13: True, but my analysis suggests that neither of my companion’s punches were good. The risk was minimal <--- OMG yes. The zingers keep coming

- strong ending!


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Like the others, the casual discarding of such an important piece of clothing as that suit didn't sit right with me. At the very least, i feel like I need more support for the decision. Likewise, I'm still unclear what is driving Q to pursue this, especially when it's been one disaster after another for him. M's motives seem to be sheer cussedness and a minor's inability to agree to binding contracts, and I'm fine with those. ;) Q, being the driving force of that section, I feel like needs a bit more than that.

 M & Q have a lot of action in their chapters, and it's good action, but I feel like not a lot really is going on in them, if that makes sense? They've done a very large amount of traveling and called each other a number of amusing names, but we're 9 chapters in and I'm really wondering what they're doing with the plot? It doesn't feel to me like they're very connected at all.  Maybe they only need to show up, Columbo-style, at the halfway point, so that the villains can have more uninterrupted chapter space to set the stage for them? I don't know. They're on-model in a way they weren't in previous versions, and that's a very large improvement that I've been noticing and appreciating. My problem now is, mostly, that they don't seem to be the protagonists, or part of the main plot of the novel. They just keep retreading things I-as-a-reader already know. 


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I stumbled over the start of this chapter, I think because it's not the problem I was expecting to come back to; the last Q&M chapter left off with E being disconnected from the net. I'm also surprised that the characters don't try to address the fact that E has been disconnected in this chapter at all. Have they already tried and failed? 

Does obliterating the registration number on the plane really buy the gang a lot of time? Surely it's not something that anybody would be able to see and check until they're already landed, and the circumstances of their landing are going to be highly suspicious no matter what. 
I don't have a ton to say about this chapter, honestly. On its own, I enjoyed it.  Overall, though, I'm getting anxious for Q and M to actually get to Yellowknife and start doing actual case work. Right now it feels like they are spending a whole lot of time getting to the main story. I wonder if perhaps some of these chapters could be condensed and combined? (The same might be true for the other POV chapters as well.) 
I'm also getting really anxious to see Q and M having the upper hand for once. They've spent the entire story at a disadvantage (to say the least) and I'd like to see what happens when things actually go well for them, too. 
A few little things: 
p.9 "Going up against completely prepared" should be "going up against him"

p.10 " contemplate his guilty feelings aboutu" extra vowel! Slay it !
p.12 "He had it to the passenger door..." should be "he made it," perhaps? 
p 12 "...the right blow could cause an live reset" should be "a" 
The ambulance android points out that our friend the android is not connected to the Net as if that somehow detracts from his credibility, but I don't really see the connection? 
P. 13 "...before someone who gives a **** arrive" should be arrives 
Edited by Silk

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