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Court of Darkness (chapter four): Aimee and the Clown
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hboff
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 7:21 pm    Post subject: Court of Darkness (chapter four): Aimee and the Clown Reply with quote

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Court of Darkness (chapter four): Aimee and the Clown
Posted by Chuckles
3 November 2006, 10:30 am

http://halosn.bungie.org/fanfic/?story=Chuckles1103061030371.html
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Illiad Simpson
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow, i quite liked this; the dialogue was very well portrayed in my opinion
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Radont
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this was the major biggest chapter so far. In English, that means I enjoyed this one the most. I found it to be quite emotionally charged, from the get-go you connect the reader emotionally to the building being blown up by using the fireman and the small child, that was a very memorable scene.

You didn't 'et up there either, Helljumper's 'death' and then subsequent return was brilliant, and the flashback to Thanatos was expectantly gruesome. I loved this chapter, again, it was the best one of the series so far.
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Commander Demitri Wolf
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly the same thoughts as Radont, this chapter was brilliant, Chuckles. I think I sort of had an idea about Cairren's identity (not as Aimee, mind you), in an earlier chapter, but that's probably what you were intending.
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thedude12345
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think this is my first post on this series, but it rocks. and this one was the best, in my opinion. i loved all of the srcasm when aimee says that shes gonna torture david. for comming back from a HS, helljumper is the chuck norris of halo. keep them coming.
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(Na)Marl
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

--Haven't been on in a while, but this'll show you my appreciation for authors like you. I was talking to my girl friend over an IM:

Marl, King of Inquisition: heh, i found god
Marl, King of Inquisition: http://halosn.bungie.org/fanfic/?author=Chuckles

--Hehe.
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Sterfrye36
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was, quite possibly, the best first paragraph of any story I have read. Beautiful stuff there, Chuck.


The gun jamming. You do know how to make unexpected little twists and turns, don't you? Razz

[quote=Chuckles]Sometimes, life just sucked.[/quote]

You know, sometimes, I think that this is what I enjoy the most about your writing: little inserts like that in the story generally bring out your characters and make them that much more sharply defined. There are no stock characters in your stories, it seems. This is why.

Quote:
"An arm or a leg. I'll let you choose which one."


Best. Dialogue. Ever.



Chuck, how do you continue to pump out such high quality stories ona regular basis? Seriously, if you don't end up with a novel within a few years, I'll be shocked. And rest assured, when you do, I'll be one of the first in line to get an autographed copy!
Cool Razz Very Happy
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CoLd BlooDed
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gah, is this what I've been missing out on (that, and Azraels Cronin Protocol)?!

Definately gotta get back to this and read the other chapters. Don't think I forgot about ya, man! Very Happy
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russ687
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, the notorious Chuckles has posted again. 'Bout time... Smile

You wrote:
On the other side of the room, the nervous henchmen tried to find their triggers as Helljumper moved into firing position, found his own trigger with no trouble, squeezed—and his gun jammed. It seemed as if time itself slowed down to watch as the rebel pistols boomed and a bullet slammed into Helljumper's head; splattering blood across the bathroom door like thick red paint and spinning him around in a grotesque about-face. David watched in horror as the legendary ODST's body collapsed to the floor like a dropped marionette.


Man, that reminded me of The Departed. If you haven't seen it, go to your local Regal or AMC and watch it. The best damn movie I've seen in years.

You wrote:
...as "consultant", but...


Opps, remember your typography rules.

Personally, the shift in Mr. Black's emotional state was a bit abrupt. One scene, he was being the badass and sounding quite confident--unwavering, if you will. Next, he's studdering just like the Governor. It's okay to make a change like that, especially if the intruding character is truly the badass here, but don't be too eccentric. Probably taking out the studdering would have lessened that feeling for me.

On a similar note, O'Carrol's demeanor changed a bit quickly as well. More of a transition would have greatly helped, from my perspective, especially since you've made her to be quite the antagonist. I see why she would change so quickly, but it needs to be supported more by something (say, more about Chuckle's past).

Overall, very good. You kept me glued the entire time. I'm sort of doubting the feasibility of Helljumper "coming back to life," but this is fiction, so I won't rag too hard. Get your next part out, Chuck.

-R
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Chuckles
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iliad wrote:
Quote:
wow, i quite liked this; the dialogue was very well portrayed in my opinion

Thanks. Hard to know if dialogue works unless you get comments on it.

Radont wrote:
Quote:
I think this was the major biggest chapter so far. In English, that means I enjoyed this one the most. I found it to be quite emotionally charged, from the get-go you connect the reader emotionally to the building being blown up by using the fireman and the small child, that was a very memorable scene.

You didn't 'et up there either, Helljumper's 'death' and then subsequent return was brilliant, and the flashback to Thanatos was expectantly gruesome. I loved this chapter, again, it was the best one of the series so far.

Joker. For everyone else's information, Radont helps me out by proofreading my chapters. If the first sentence in his comment seems a little off, it's only because he incorporated his favorite error from my rough draft into it. Humor just runs that guy!

CDW wrote:
Quote:
Exactly the same thoughts as Radont, this chapter was brilliant, Chuckles. I think I sort of had an idea about Cairren's identity (not as Aimee, mind you), in an earlier chapter, but that's probably what you were intending.

Yeah, I wondered how much it would take to give her pedigree away. I thought I made it pretty obvious (at least for Halo vets like yourself) that she was a Spartan; especially given the fact that (save for my Short Tales of Terror) I rarely stray far from the SPARTAN program. Thanks for the comment.

thedude wrote:
Quote:
i think this is my first post on this series, but it rocks. and this one was the best, in my opinion. i loved all of the srcasm when aimee says that shes gonna torture david. for comming back from a HS, helljumper is the chuck norris of halo. keep them coming.

I never thought of Helljumper as the "Chuck Norris" of Halo, but I see what you mean. Give him a cowboy hat, a badge and some cheesey lines ... and the real Helljumper would probably kill me Wink Thanks for letting me know that you're reading.

(Na)Marl wrote:
Quote:
-Haven't been on in a while, but this'll show you my appreciation for authors like you. I was talking to my girl friend over an IM:

Marl, King of Inquisition: heh, i found god
Marl, King of Inquisition: http://halosn.bungie.org/fanfic/?author=Chuckles

Thanks for the compliment, but you'd better avoid going outside during thunderstorms for a while Very Happy

Ster wrote:
Quote:
That was, quite possibly, the best first paragraph of any story I have read. Beautiful stuff there, Chuck.

The gun jamming. You do know how to make unexpected little twists and turns, don't you? Razz

[quote=Chuckles]Sometimes, life just sucked.[/quote ]

You know, sometimes, I think that this is what I enjoy the most about your writing: little inserts like that in the story generally bring out your characters and make them that much more sharply defined. There are no stock characters in your stories, it seems. This is why.

Thanks, Ster. It means a lot coming from you. I really debated the "Life sucks" line. On one hand, it said all I needed to; and on the other, it could have come across a little, shall we say, cutesy. In the end, I'm glad I left it.
Quote:
Quote:
"An arm or a leg. I'll let you choose which one."

Best. Dialogue. Ever.

Glad you liked it. Characters like Wiley seem to write themselves sometimes. I can't tell you how much I appreciate hearing feedback like that, because it is one of the only ways to know if something actually worked the way I wanted it to. Thanks for the comment.

CoLd wrote:

Quote:
Gah, is this what I've been missing out on (that, and Azraels Cronin Protocol)?!

Definately gotta get back to this and read the other chapters. Don't think I forgot about ya, man!

Glad to hear it! It's the weekend now, buddy, so you'd better get reading Wink

I haven't forgotten about you Russ. Since your comment was more involved, I'm going to answer it separately.

Again, thanks to everyone who read and especially to those who took the time to comment.

C.T. Clown
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Chuckles
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Russ wrote:
Quote:
Personally, the shift in Mr. Black's emotional state was a bit abrupt. One scene, he was being the badass and sounding quite confident--unwavering, if you will. Next, he's studdering just like the Governor. It's okay to make a change like that, especially if the intruding character is truly the badass here, but don't be too eccentric. Probably taking out the studdering would have lessened that feeling for me.

My first reaction to this was that you were reading a different story than I was. I just couldn't see where I had done anything to make Mr. Black seem weak. But then I saw my error. Let me explain. For some reason (probably a lack of sleep) I had missed the fact that you had twice mentioned that it was his stuttering that made his character seem a little off. You're right: the stuttering was out of place for him. All I can say is that on second look, I haven't a clue why I put it in there. In all other ways (that is, other than the stuttering) I think he is very much in character ... and then he's stuttering like a frightened child. Gah! Thanks for pointing that out.

Quote:
On a similar note, O'Carrol's demeanor changed a bit quickly as well. More of a transition would have greatly helped, from my perspective, especially since you've made her to be quite the antagonist. I see why she would change so quickly, but it needs to be supported more by something (say, more about Chuckle's past).

O'Carrols rapid change in demeanor is meant to underline the shocking nature of David's scars, not her past friendship with Chuckles. Yes, the revelation of Chuckles' involvement certainly adds to it, but it is the demonic brutality of Thanatos that started it all.

But even if it had been primarily about Chuckles, I think what is mentioned about him would have been sufficient for the moment. Going into a prolonged flashback or exploration of O'Carrol's memories would have (in my opionion) taken the reader too far out of the scene. I usually take the "hint at it now, unveil it later" approach.

Quote:
I'm sort of doubting the feasibility of Helljumper "coming back to life," but this is fiction, so I won't rag too hard.

I assume you mean "coming back to life" in a you-thought-he-was-dead-but-he-really-wasn't sense, rather than anything literal. Let me set the record straight for everyone: he didn't need to come back to life, because he never died.

That said, I don't see it as all that far-fetched. Helljumper takes a non-lethal shot to the head [the bullet enters through the eye and exits out the side of his head a little more than an inch later] and falls to the ground. They don't shoot Sagus because they need him alive and he goes nuts; killing one guy, critically wounding another and beating the crap out of Sean. In the rush to save his dying comrade, Sean speeds off to a hospital the moment Sagus is subdued. In the chaos of saving one life and seeing his other guy slaughtered, he doesn't take the time to make sure Helljumper is dead. At the end, Helljumper is talking tough and is obviously ticked off--but he is also wounded. This will become clearer as the story moves on. Yes, such a shot is survivable, but it is still more than a simple flesh wound. But like you said, this is fiction (science fiction at that!) and he will be able to do more than someone who actually took a shot through the eye.

Thanks for the comments, Russ. Good to hear from you.

C.T. Clown
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CoLd BlooDed
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have the time to write a lengthy comment, so let me just say that this story is extremely well fabricated. I haven't been affected nearly as much (as in by having that constant feeling of dread) by your writing since your earlier series. This just takes the cake. I can't wait to see where this goes. I could see that entire opening seen like it was a movie.

Great job, Chuckles. Very Happy
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russ687
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoops, off the bat, it's stuttering. Sheesh, I can spell, I know I can... if that was a confusing factor in my comment, I completely understand. Smile

Chuckles wrote:
O'Carrols rapid change in demeanor is meant to underline the shocking nature of David's scars, not her past friendship with Chuckles. Yes, the revelation of Chuckles' involvement certainly adds to it, but it is the demonic brutality of Thanatos that started it all.

But even if it had been primarily about Chuckles, I think what is mentioned about him would have been sufficient for the moment. Going into a prolonged flashback or exploration of O'Carrol's memories would have (in my opionion) taken the reader too far out of the scene. I usually take the "hint at it now, unveil it later" approach.


This probably wouldn't have been a point unless I was already thrown off by Mr. Black's rapid change of character. It's one of those things where if you see it happen once, the next time it might be happening you automatically categorize it. This obviously wasn't as big as a change as Black's, in my opinion, but it became apparent once I was reeling off the former scene's character inconsistency. Nonetheless, make sure you do address her change of demeanor at some point.

Chuckles wrote:
I assume you mean "coming back to life" in a you-thought-he-was-dead-but-he-really-wasn't sense, rather than anything literal. Let me set the record straight for everyone: he didn't need to come back to life, because he never died.


Well, that much is obvious. I was mostly thrown off by the fact that after he was shot (and apparently didn't die), he was able to almost pretend to be dead (in the sense that he didn't move or make any indication that he was still alive when those thugs were still there). Possible, of course, but it came across a bit more far-fetched than it may actually be. In any case, you're looking at just one opinion, plus it does add some punch to the storyline for Helljumper to have a new sense of vendetta. Smile

Get your next part out, Chuck.

-R
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, I don't care who you are, you take a slug to the face, you're gonna pass out.
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Chuckles
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sterfrye wrote:
Quote:
You know, I don't care who you are, you take a slug to the face, you're gonna pass out.

Yeah, that was the basic idea. I certainly didn't want to give anyone the impression that Helljumper lay there feigning death while Sagus fought for his life. The way I had it happening in the unwritten backstory is that he woke up hours later in a pool of his own blood, gave himself some basic medical attention and--knowing O'Carrol/Peel as he does (I'll explain more in the next chapter) waited for the inevitable retrieval of his body so that he could capture someone who knew where O'Carrol was.

For those who have either forgotten the Helljumper's backstory in Ghosts of Erebus or have never read it in the first place, here it is. It explains a lot about his actions:
Quote:
With blurring quickness the Spartan dove over the rocks, rolled to his feet and leveled his pistol . . . at empty space—space that should have been filled by the head of his adversary. It was hardly a surprise anymore: nothing about this fight had made any sense.

He, like all Spartans, had been trained to respond appropriately in every conceivable combat situation. If the enemy did this, he did that, and did it with inhuman quickness. By the time a Spartan completed training, moves and countermoves performed in the heat of battle were reflexive almost to the point of being involuntary. Although he had been thus far ineffective, the Spartan knew that his responses had been doctrinally flawless.

But he had never faced an opponent like this.

Crouching behind a bush fifty-feet behind the bewildered Spartan, Helljumper smiled as he aimed his pistol. He wouldn't miss. At this distance the legendary ODST could shoot the ring off a man's finger without drawing blood.

BANG! BANG! BANG!

Three shots, three hits, one hole.

Dr. Catherine Halsey was not easy to shock, but as she watched video display on the Navy's combat simulator, her mouth dropped open. Quickly regaining composure she stood, causing the VIP's around her to follow suit. Turning, to her left she looked straight into Admiral Denning's eyes "That man," she said pointing emphatically at the screen, "is not fighting the Master Chief."

Helljumper would never forget the look on Halsey's face as she left the base. He had seen it in the face of many opponents, but it had never felt quite this sweet. It was a look of fear. Another soldier, a lesser soldier, would be picked to test the Spartan leader, and the thought made the veteran ODST smile. They were scared of him, and that was victory enough.

With an IQ well over two hundred, Helljumper was as formidable with his mind as he was with weapons. Early in his military career he had applied his stunning intellect to revamping the Navy's outdated combat training. His recommendations were flatly rejected. Although obviously brilliant, the brass judged them too sweeping and too radical—and thus decided to do nothing.

The kernel of his doctrine was as old as warfare itself: know your enemy. But he took it a step further. Spending untold hours watching video, reading manuals, and reviewing war journals, Helljumper catalogued and memorized the operational tactics of every organized military known to man. With this knowledge he developed responses that used the enemy's own tactical discipline to control them. Tirelessly conditioning himself in effective, yet unorthodox tactics, he rendered his own moves invisible to his enemy, all the while using his opponent's ingrained, predictable responses to lead them exactly where he wanted. It worked flawlessly on his fellow soldiers, and now he had proved that it worked on Spartans as well.

Shaking violently as the Pelican punched through the upper atmosphere, Helljumper's thoughts were jarred back into the present. Looking at the nine ODST's accompanying him on the drop ship, he swelled with pride and admiration. These were the best-trained soldiers he had ever led into battle; the select few who were bright enough to adopt his combat doctrine and tough enough to carry it out.

A voice crackled in his headset, "Five minutes 'til we hit dirt, sir!"

"Five minutes, men! They say this place is Hell, so don't be surprised if you see some old friends! Lock and load!"

Hope that clears up any confusion. And, in case you didn't catch it, the fight at the beginning of the above selection (between Helljumper and the unnamed spartan) took place in a simulator.

C.T. Clown
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