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Cascades of Time (Chp 11)

by mystogan

Chapter 11: An expected alliance; an unlikely friendship

(Location: Angel’s Mansion, Time: 1:00 p.m.)

“So let me get this straight,” said Farah, “this chick was getting attacked by the same men that got Crystal and you saved her. Now she bought you to her best friend’s place and they want you to do what exactly?”

“Well, we have men to protect Nicole, but clearly your friend Max is better at it. That’s why I was wondering, if he could be her bodyguard.” enquired Angel. Farah looked incredulous. Max and Nicole both remained silent and seated. A butler walked up slowly, with a tray assorted with various delicacies. Farah helped herself, before she returned to her shocked expression. She gave Max a look, but he remained passive. Angel looked from one to the other. She needed to be more convincing.

“Well while you are here, you can stay in my mansion. It’s got everything. All I ask is that Nicole is protected.”

“Why does she need protecting?” Max asked directly looking at Nicole. “Why were the men after her in the first place and why would you go to such lengths to make sure she is protected in the future, unless you know something else that you are not telling us?”

Angel looked at Nicole. Nicole nodded and rose from her seat. For a moment she looked very confident, but then she seemed to revert back to her shy-self. Angel sighed slightly at this, whilst Farah gave a look of satisfaction.

“Well since you saved my life, I guess I owe you the truth. I think I know why your friend was kidnapped.” At the mention of the word friend Farah smirked annoyingly. Angel shot her a warning look. Nicole continued regardless.

“Recently I came across some strange energy readings. They were of a scale so large that I am certain the enter globe is experiencing some sort of shift in energy patterns, atmospheric disturbance or something. Such a thing can only mean experimentation of dangerous things and obviously banned projects somewhere. I know so because I aspire to be a scientist. Now the fact that your friend Crystal was kidnapped probably means that they are using humans to experiment on. This is all a guess but it sort of makes sense.”

“And they came after you because they know you figured it out?” said Max. Nicole nodded.

“I accept your request then. Where is my room?” Max stood up as well. Farah looked flabbergasted. Angel looked on in triumph.

“Max, what do you think you are….”

“Spare me Farah. We have no other leads. This way we can save someone and find Crystal. Besides, I reckon those men will come back.” Max walked off behind the butler, who led the way. Farah looked on with contempt.

“Oh I know why you really want to stay, man slut” she muttered under her breath. “Well where is my room then?”

(Location: House number 9 in the residential district, Time: 4:30 p.m.)

“Alright now that we are here, can you at least tell me now? Why are we here?” whined Nicole, as she dragged herself to the doorstep of house number nine. Max turned and addressed her query.

“As I told you before, the world has a whole illegal system running underneath, full of people who fight criminals. In this house lives a woman who is part of the network as well. She is an information provider. Practically every settlement has useful people like her. Now stop asking me questions. I will answer anything later.”

The door opened to reveal a lady, old of age but stern of appearance.

“How may I help you young man?” she enquired ever so innocently.

“My balls rolled over here.” replied Max. Nicole bit her tongue, to stop herself from laughing.

“Well you better come in and get them then”. The old lady stood aside, to let them both in.

The inside of the house was littered with papers and used biscuit boxes. There were various snacks lying around, some half eaten, and the others chewed on. The house smelt odd. It had a clash of perfumes, one from lavender air freshener and the other from boiled honey mixed with eggs. The old lady led Max and Nicole past the horrendous living room to a table in the dining room. She sat them down before taking a seat opposite them.

Max spoke first. “Do you have what I asked you on the phone?”

“As it happens, yes I do. My name is Janice. You may address me in person from now on. The men you are tailing are still in the city. They are getting orders from within the city as well. If it was a signal from outside it would be obvious. Now I know this much. The men are nothing. They are just the playthings of someone greater. They get their orders from the air.”

“In other words someone in one of the airships is sending them commands.” stated Max.

“Yes. Go to house number ninety three. A man called Ben will open the door. Your password is ‘I heard my mother came by’. He will help you find the correct airship. He is good at intercepting the air lines. The two of you better leave now. If, as you say, this girl got attacked, then it is likely the men are tailing her. I don’t want them coming here.” Janice asserted.

“How much do want?” asked Max taking out his wallet.

“Oh I want nothing. Just get those men of the streets. They are too dangerous for my liking. If you get rid of them, consider that payment. But I suspect Ben will want some cash, so don’t go and spend it all.” Janice stood and led Nicole and Max out of her house. As they were leaving a fat cat rolled out from under the table and purred at Nicole. A fruit bar hung out of its mouth.

Nicole spoke as the door closed behind them.

“How fascinating. This entire time people like Janice have been in this city. This is great. If they team up with the police they can do anything.” beamed Nicole. Max grabbed Nicole and pulled her close.

“Now listen to me. I will say this only once. This network was born out of the fact that the world is unstable. The government are useless and the police don’t help. This network runs on its own. They will never merge. While we are together, you follow my rules. Got that?”

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178 Reviews

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Reviews: 178

Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:59 am
Paracosm wrote a review...

Hey Myst! I'm going to do a quick review. I won't get into grammar, you have it down fairly well. Primarily watch out for run on sentences. There are also some typos. For instant, in the first paragraph, 'bought' instead of 'brought'. Anyway, I won't point out every little typo and grammatical error. I will focus on voice, characterization, and word choice.


This story is primarily carried through dialog, very interesting dialog. But, I would've liked to see some more flare with the voice. You are pretty straight forward with the information you convey, this is effective to carry the story along, but some purple prose could really spice things up. It'll add emotional depth to your story. You have strong dialog, just work on your voice some, this includes using strong verbs to enhance dialog and characterization further.


This doesn't have much to do with characterization, but it's the best place to fit it in. You have a lot going on, and a lot of characters reacting to situations. Limit the number of characters in a scene to only those that you feel are necessary. Ask yourself if they, a) carry the story, b) add to the atmosphere, and c) contribute with interesting dialog.

I know so because I aspire to be a scientist.

You're a writer, so you've heard this a thousand and one times. Show, don't tell. With this bit of dialog, you kind of come out in the open and tell us she wants to be a scientist. You'd be better off showing the reader this. What I mean by 'show', is maybe make a scene where she is using her skills she's learned, that way you don't have to come out and say 'she's a scientist'.

Overall, your characterization is fairly strong. It'd be nice to see the characters in more depth. Right now they are crowded, and they don't have much room to interact. Try to break up the information you are portraying through different scenes, with some of the characters off separately, this will give you a chance to let their characteristics bloom.

Word Choice

In the second paragraph, the reader needs more specifics.

She gave Max a look, but he remained passive.

What sort of look did she give Max? I think you could improve this sentence with a nice verb, like 'She scowled at Max, but he remained passive.' This tells the reader a little more about what she's thinking. It's important that we know what is behind this 'look'. Remember to use specific verbs wherever you can. Verbs are always better than dialog tags and adjectives.

In conclusion, watch out for typos and run on sentences. Try to give your characters more room to let their personalities bloom. Show, don't tell, and remember that a verb is always better than an adjective. You have strong, well developed characters, they just don't get much of a chance to show themselves. Your dialog is exciting, and it carries the reader forward. That's all I've got, keep up the good work, and keep writing!

It is spiritually invigorating, says a friend, who converted at eighteen from Christianity to poetry.
— Anne Lamott