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A Janitor's Adventure: 4.1

by DougalOfBiscuits


Odela led Janny through the door and into a quiet plaza. Janny did his best to take in her chattering as she took him across to the other side but his eyes kept wandering, absorbing instead his surroundings. The centre of the plaza was a fountain, wide spraying purple liquid from a spindly metal structure. From there out the different decorations were in wider and wider rings - thick bushes encircling the fountain, cobblestone paving around that, then a circle of wooden benches on soft pink clay.

“Janny, are you alright?” Odela stopped and stared at him, eyelids also clacking in the silence as she blinked.

“Huh? Sorry,” Janny said. He gestured around himself. They were parallel to the dark metal fountain, strolling along the cobblestones. “It’s beautiful, all of it.”

Odela sighed, smiling at him. “That it is, though I thought you said you’d been to the Hub before?”

Janny shook his head. “Not for longer than an hour or so. And we only stretch our legs on the loading dock, you see.”

Odela purses her lips, which softened a little as they pressed together. “Ah, well, you might as well enjoy your time here. There will be a community night here in a few hours. Why not come back out once you’ve got settled in the hotel?”

Janny nodded, his breath easing out of him. The ground felt a little stealthier beneath his feet and he managed to focus on Odela’s kind, earnest eyes. “Yes, quite. Good plan. Good to have a plan.”

Odela reaches down and patted him on the shoulder with a wide, ten-fingered hand. “You’ll have a great time.”

Janny was more able to join in conversation as they finished crossing the plaza, though it turned out to be difficult to get a word in edgewise with Odela anyway.

“Right, here you are,” she said eventually, coming to a decisive stop with a stamp of her foot. She stumbled briefly. “Oops. Forgot I was in heels.”

They were on a flat, grey pavement, made from maybe carbon fibre or one of those special types of glass. In front of them stood a tall wide building, with four windows on each floor. It was painted lilac, except for some off-white cornices ringing around the bottom of each floor.

“I like the colour scheme around here,” Janny said, taking in the wall in front of him.

Odela had made a move towards the door. Through its glass panels, Janny could just about see a desk, with someone moving around behind it.

“Oh, yes, that was Birt’s work. I tell you, that boy deserves a raise,” Odela said. “You’re ready, right?”

Janny opened his eyes wide. “I wasn’t trying to stop - I mean - I was just saying.”

Oleda shrugged, which produced a clacking noise Janny couldn’t even place the origin of. “No matter. Come along.”

Janny nodded and followed her inside. The reception was well lit with warm yellow lamps hanging from the ceiling. Around the room were hung at least a dozen framed photographs of views from space, geological wonders, structures of architectural magnificence. The photography varied massively in quality from one picture to another, one waterfall even obscured by a big orange shadow halfway across.

“Hey! Over here!”

Janny whipped around, slightly over-twisting his neck. The clerk at the desk, a thin orange being with long spindly arms was gesturing at him.

“Oh, hello,” Janny said.

“You know, you go to the farthest reaches of the galaxy and all anyone notices is the time you accidentally put your thumb over the lens,” the being grumbled, pointing at the photograph with the orange shadow.

“Did you take these?” Janny asked.

“Yes, yes, those are my handiwork. Now, come forward please.” The being snapped his fingers and reached into one of his desk drawers as Janny took a step forward. Just as he reached the desk, the being tossed a clipboard onto the surface, spinning it around so it faced Janny. “Just fill this out and we’ll get you some accommodation.”

At the top of the form Janny saw the words ‘Daer-Ta, Fladaer’. He supposed he had walked in speaking Fladian but still, it was impressive they had a form there waiting for him.

“Okay, I can do this cost,” Janny said, looking up. “Do you accept Endoleon wage card?”

“Don’t worry,” Odela said, “Captives stay free, right Birt?”

Birt hesitated, but nodded. “Going to put me out of business, but yes. So then, Odela rescue you?”

Janny nodded vigorously as he filled out his name. “She was brilliant. Really put them in their place.”

Odela made a buzzing vibration noise. “You were brilliant, Janny. You barely needed my help.”

Janny’s heart squealed as he finished up his admin. “Thank you.”

Birt took his clipboard back and scanned the details with amber eyes. “Alrighty then, here’s your key. You’re in room twelve, buddy. Welcome to the Lofi Hotel, premier destination for members of all flexies.”

Janny raised an eyebrow. “Flexies?”

Birt tilted his long thin face to one side. “You’ve never heard the term? You know, any of the species of the tri-system? Endoleons, Daerians and Finsets, like me? It’s the umbrella term for species who can manipulate their forms to extreme extents. Like twisting ourselves around and round.”

Birt waved one hand then whipped it around his torso. It wrapped around and around, all the way up to his shoulders. He lifted his hand up from his left collarbone and gave another little wave. Janny gaped and let his own arm extend, reaching out to Birt, who was now unravelling himself. Birt stopped halfway and shook Janny’s hand.

“Nice to meet you, mate,” he said. “I’ll help you get settled. Then later on you’ll join us for the festivities, right?”

Janny looked around at Odela, who was watching this with a bemused smile.

“I’ll be off,” she said, “Have to get back to work. But I’ll come check on you tonight, if that’s alright with Birt.”

Birt put a hand on his chest. “Come on, you know we’re always welcoming to outsiders… especially ones who bring something for the barbecue.”

Odela chuckled as she moved to the door. “Well, yes, quite. I shall bring you some Hot Horcs.”

“Yes!” Birt clenched his fist. “Thanks, Odi!”

Odela nodded curtly, once to each of them, then took her leave.

Birt was still grinning when Janny turned back to face him. “Seriously, dude, you are in for a treat tonight. Lemme show you to your room.”

Birt led Janny through a few short, dimly lit corridors with a door or two on each side. After a few lefts and a right, then another left, they entered a narrow stairwell. There were a couple of small windows but for the most part it was dim too. Still, nowhere near as dark as the spacious corridor of an Endoleon ship.

Janny’s room had a window onto the plaza, which Birt stood looking out of for a moment. When he turned around, his face was dark in contrast to the bright sunlight that flooded in behind them. Janny knew they had moved closer to the nearest star - Silden, it was called by Daerians - and it occurred to him that it ought to be warmer, especially in a hotel room with the windows closed.

As Janny’s eyes adjusted, which doesn’t take long for a Daerian, he realised that Birt’s expression was also rather dark.

“Are you alright, by the way?” Birt asked, all the excitement gone from his voice.

Janny crowned. “Little warm, but yeah.”

“Just… you hear things about that lot…” Birt’s eyes searched his face.

Janny tilted his head to the side. “Scentians?”

Birt moved closer and spoke barely above a whisper. “The SRA. Scentian Resurgance Army. I mean, sunsake, how many of them were there?”

“Two…” Janny replied.

“Only two in one of those big drifters?” Birt’s eyebrows raised.

“Their craft was tiny,” Janny said. “I barely fitted. And they were nice to me.”

“Then why’d you escape?” Birt asked, his voice getting a bit louder.

Janny looked down. He mumbled, “A fair point, I suppose. I don’t know that much about politics.”

“Look, man, I don’t know you but just - be careful. I wouldn’t trust a Scentian as far as I could throw my arm,” Birt said. His eyes darted about and he added, “Or an Endoleon, really. Just… stay safe, man.”

He patted Janny on the shoulder and headed for the door. He looked round as he reached the doorway and put the smile back on his face. “You realise you were talking to yourself about windows and the sun, right?”

Janny sighed, but also smiled. “I’m just going with the flow at this point.”

Birt laughed. “Fair enough, buddy. And it’s cool here because all the species in our area are as far out as each other from their respective suns - we like roughly the same temperature.”

“Ah,” Janny said, nodding. “That’s very interesting to know.”

Birt smiled with one side of his mouth and put his hand on the door frame. “See you at the party tonight.” As he swung lazily around and headed off down the corridor he called, “There’ll be lots of interesting stuff there!”


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263 Reviews


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Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:23 pm
mellifera wrote a review...



Hey Bisc! I hope you're doing well on this fine day :D


I haven't read anything prior to this chapter part, so I'll try to refrain from commenting on anything that I should have known had I done so. I apologise if it does interfere with my review!


Janny did his best to take in her chattering as she took him across to the other side


Is there any reason you didn't include this dialogue? You don't specifically mention that Janny didn't hear her, only that he was trying to listen but was somewhat distracted? Did he retain any of it or was it "in one ear out the other"?

was a fountain, wide spraying purple liquid from a spindly metal structure.


I want to see a fountain spraying PURPLE LIQUID where do I sign up
(I do want to comment on "wide spraying purple liquid" because, as a sentence, is doesn't... sound quite right? I don't think there's anythingwrong with it, it just... reads weirdly)

eyelids also clacking in the silence


Are her eyelids made of some kind of hard material (metal, etc) that would cause them to make noise?
(As a quick side note, going to add that "also" in that sentence doesn't really... work? It implies it's in addition to something else, but I wouldn't necessarily classify "stopping and staring" as that something else, so it kind of jarred me from the sentence? It's REALLY small and nitpicky though so take that as you will haha)

"That it is, though I thought you said you'd been to the Hub before?"


I have two suggestions that are probably going to sound strange, but personally, I would either separate the sentences ("That it is. Though, I thought you said you'd been to the Hub before?") or remove the question, since technically it could be a statement ("That it is, though I thought you said you'd been to the Hub before.").
aLSO ODELA you can see things multiple times and still appreciate their beauty sO

Odela purses her lips,


Tense change :P

The ground felt a little stealthier beneath his feet


?

Odela reaches down


:p

Janny was more able to join in conversation as they finished crossing the plaza


Again, is there a reason you wanted to exclude the dialogue? I'm curious to know what they're discussing here. What kind of idle chit chat do they, as individuals, come up with? What do they like to talk about? How does it make them feel? I think you have a good opportunity to include character development here!

"You know, you go to the farthest reaches of the galaxy and all anyone notices is the time you accidentally put your thumb over the lens,”


Haha omg this is fantastic I love <3

Janny crowned.


Is "crowned" what you meant to write and it's just something I've never heard of before, or...?


I'm in love with how well you are able to submerse your reader in the story. You have worldbuilding knit in with the overall story so it never feels like too much. It feels natural to have all these things, even though they aren't what you would find in our world, so huge kudos to you for incorporating that in so well!


"I barely fitted. And they were nice to me.”


"fit"? Or was this intentional? I don't think it's naturally meant to be in his dialogue, because it doesn't follow how Janny has been speaking before, but I'm always hesitant to correct dialogue for this reason.



Even though I entered into the story late and didn't have a grasp on what was going on or who the characters were, I found that it wasn't hard to get into the immersion of reading through the story and fall into the flow of it. It's really cool to find that when I haven't read anything more of this! Again, there's another testament of your worldbuilding ability in there, and how well you wrote it.


There's a few sentences (I pointed out a few) that I found worded oddly, but those are easy fixes and nothing to worry about right now? I think that's the biggest issue that I noticed, honestly.


Overall, however, I enjoyed it! I might come back to help dig out the other parts from the Green Room, and see what's up with this party business!


That's all I have for you today! If you have any comments or questions about anything I said, please let me know! :)


I hope you have a wonderful day, and Happy RevMo!

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Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:52 am
Dossereana wrote a review...



Hi @DougalOfBiscuits I am here to do another review on one of your great chapters. So lets get right into it shell we. First of I just want to make sure that you understand how much I like your writing.

I really liked how you stared this chapter of, I really like the sound of Odela she seams really kind so far. Her name is lovely I really like it. Odela and Janny seem to be getting along really well to gather right now.

The centre of the plaza was a fountain, wide spraying purple liquid from a spindly metal structure. From there out the different decorations were in wider and wider rings - thick bushes encircling the fountain, cobblestone paving around that, then a circle of wooden benches on soft pink clay.

Great description I loved reading this bit. As you should already no, I really like reading descriptive things, so this bit was really nice to read. It all made lots of sens to me. I did see a spelling era though, its with the word centre, its just a little thing that can always happen, and it is easy to change.

centre<center see it was just the e and the r that got in the wrong place, so nothing big.


Odela sighed, smiling at him. “That it is, though I thought you said you’d been to the Hub before?”


I do like this line in all, but i was reading it and, I feel like Odela started to say one thing but then she went to the next thing the line just does not seem write. I mean the "That it is. just does not go with the rest of the line. its really confusing me, if there is a real good reason for it being there then I think you should make that a bit more clear.

Odela purses her lips, which softened a little as they pressed together. “Ah, well, you might as well enjoy your time here. There will be a community night here in a few hours. Why not come back out once you’ve got settled in the hotel?”


This just seemed really nice. I liked this hole thing it was so lovely to read, Odela really does sound like a nice lady to be around.

[quote]Oleda shrugged, which produced a clacking noise Janny couldn’t even place the origin of. “No matter. Come along.”

Just something that I would like to say here. Because you put both of there names into this one line the person hew is speaking and be ether one of them, so this can be very confusing for the readers.

So that is all that I can say I hope you like this review. If I was being to harsh and not very nice then I am really sorry pleas for give me lots. I really liked this chapter, don't thing that I did not like it because I did, I just think that somethings need a little fixing in this one, witch does not happen to often. Again never stop writing I love reading your works.

I hope you have a great Day/Night

@Dossereana Out In The Sky Of Reviews





I am proud of my self, the reason why some of you might disagree with me a little with, but nevertheless I still proud.
— Oxara