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16+ Language Violence

Que Sera Sera Chapter 14

by DragonNoir


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language and violence.

Chapter 14:

“What do you want from us?” Fox demanded.

“I need you to go pay a visit to a certain place,” Ryan explained calmly. “You’ll find it’s well-guarded, but I’m sure you’ll manage. Your main task will be to eliminate all humans within that place, except those held as prisoners.”

“You want us to destroy a lab. Why use ten words where one will do?” Fox said, almost with annoyance.

“Moving on, will you be able to do that?” Ryan seemed to not even acknowledge Fox’s comment, which caused her some suspicion.

“Why do you need us to do it?” Dragon asked, he seemed more calm and collected than his partner.

“It’s necessary for me to get an insight on human activity in regards to the Enhanced.”

Clearly not what he’s after. Fox thought.

“Actually, yes it is what I’m after, Miss Fox,” Ryan said. Fox was taken aback.

“Wait, you can read my thoughts?!” Fox exclaimed. “Get out of my head!”

“It’s my special ability. Every Enhanced has one and I thought you'd know that.”

“And they’re all passive? Non-offensive?”

“You seem much more intelligent than you look, Miss Fox. In fact, I’ll tell you your abilities by diving into your mind and finding that information within you. But only after you finish the mission.”

“And how will you be certain we finished it?” Fox asked.

“I have hacked the CCTV system, therefore I’ll be able to see everything inside and outside the lab,” Ryan didn’t show any emotion when answering Fox’s question. “Any other questions?”

“Where’s the lab?” Dragon asked.

“Cold Fell. You’ll just have to go dead ahead from the doors. It's impossible to miss. Anything else?”

“No, that’s it.”

Then get going you two.”

“What about me?” Jane asked. “Can I co-”

“No,” Ryan cut in. “It’s Dragon’s and Fox’s job. They can handle it by themselves.”

Something’s up with this dude. Dragon thought. He didn't have a problem with sending her after us.

“But Ry-”

“I said no,” Ryan was extremely harsh towards Jane, which was enough to get Fox to have her input in this argument.

“Give her a break,” she said, sass beaming from her like light from the sun. “She’s mature and old enough to make decisions for herself.”

“Fox, I hope you know how to survive in the wilderness if this is how you’re going to carry on,” Ryan seemed to be getting quite angry. “Now move your lazy asses and get to that lab already!”

Dragon and Fox decided to argue no further and left them. As soon as they closed the bunker door behind them, Fox began to analyse that conversation.

Clearly he doesn’t care about the scientists. Fox thought. He would’ve mentioned them since they are our targets.

“He didn’t show us any plans of the lab,” Dragon stated. “Do we go back and ask him?”

“No,” Fox replied. “He’s trying to see whether he can trust us. It’s a trial.”

“Then shouldn’t we go ask him?”

“I’m sure he would’ve told us if we were required to know it. He’s not as dumb as he looks.”

“If he is, he’s probably unable to breath and talk at the same time.”

Fox chuckled.

“Come on, let’s get this over with,” she said. When Fox was about to run off, Dragon quickly placed his hand on her shoulder to grab her attention.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” he asked. “We don’t have to go if you don’t want to.”

“But do you want to go?” Fox asked.

“I’ll only want to protect you. I don’t want to see you in pain after we come back because of flashbacks.”

“I’ll be fine, Dragon. Let’s get going.”

***

“Jack?” Vixen said. He and Jack were still in Jack’s room, talking. 

“Yeah?” Jack replied.

“How would you describe Fox?”

Jack was intrigued by this question.

“I’d say she’s quite caring yet sassy. Why do you ask?”

“We talked yesterday after we met. Well, we didn’t really talk...”

***

Vixen curled up on his bed, rocking back and forth. He had the image of Fox’s face still fresh in his mind as he muttered to himself:“It’s her… I’ve finally found her…”Suddenly, there was a knock. Vixen was scared. What if someone heard him?

“C-come in!” he said, his voice was quite soft and made him seem very timid. As the door opened, his eyes widened dramatically. In the threshold, stood Fox.

“What were you muttering?” she asked. Vixen tried to say it. He wanted to say it. But his voice couldn’t say it.

“I…” he began. “I…”

Fox closed the door, hoping it would solve the problem. She smiled warmly.

“No one can hear us now. Tell me, what’s wrong?” she asked again. Vixen kept on trying to force himself to say it.

“I… I…”

Soon, he couldn’t hold it in. He burst out crying.

“I’m sorry…” he sobbed. “I want to say it… But I can’t…”“Look,” Fox said. “I understand you’ve probably been through a lot but spit it out already! Were you abused and I just look like your abuser?”Vixen shook his head, still crying.

“Then what is it?!” Fox seemed to be getting annoyed. No matter how much he begged the Heavens to give him a voice, he couldn’t say it.

“You know what?” Fox said. “When you’re ready to tell me, come find me.”

She left shortly after that, but Vixen didn’t stop crying.

“I’m so sorry… So sorry…”

***

“So what were you crying about?” Jack asked.

“I wanted to tell her something she clearly didn’t remember,” Vixen replied. “I wanted to say…” he swallowed deeply. “That I’m her brother.”

Jack’s eyes nearly popped out of their sockets - metaphorically, of course.

“You what?!” Jack exclaimed. “How come you remember that you’re her brother, but she doesn’t remember you?!”

“Do I look like an encyclopaedia about the Enhanced?”

Jack was still in a state of shock.

“But honestly… That’s crazy! I never knew Fox had a brother! If you want, I’ll tell her for you.”

“No,” Vixen said shortly. “I appreciate the help, but no. I’m the one who is hiding this from her, so I’ll be the one to tell her.”

“You know what? Why wait! Let’s tell her now!”

“Erm… How about maybe no?”

“C’mon! The longer you’ll wait with it, the worse the situation will become. Besides, I’m sure Fox will be overjoyed to know it!” Jack nudged him with a wide smile. A small grin played on Vixen’s lips.

***

Dragon and Fox arrived in a hilly area, hiding as far away from the prison-like structure as hu- I mean, Enhancedly possible. Fox scanned the walls to get familiar with the defenses.

“They’ve got a few searchlights,” Fox stated. “Definitely more than fifty army men on the walls and a few snipers.”“And on top of that, possibly an army of Enhanced inside it too,” Dragon said.

“Let’s not get that pessimistic. Besides, we were told not to attack the prisoners.”

“Since when do you actually obey Ryan's orders? You were being a little brat to him just a minute ago.”

“Hey, watch your mouth or you’ll break some bones,” Fox growled. “Anyways, I won’t follow them fully.”

“Why’s that?” Dragon raised his eyebrow.

“Because I plan on interrogating a few of the scientists, as well as reading through as many information files I can get my hands on. It’s logical to suggest he wouldn’t want us to do that if he’s hiding something.”

“Or doesn’t want us wasting time. Even then, what exactly are you trying to find out?” Dragon looked intrigued.

“More about the Enhanced and what the scientists plan on doing next. It’s not like I’ll just let Ryan know all the facts.”

“You realise that Ryan has control over the CCTV system?”

Fox raised her eyebrow with disappointment painted over her face.

“Did you really fall for that bluff? It’s clear he hasn’t because he didn’t even offer to show us any footage.”

Dragon shrugged.

“So, can I get attacking already?” he smiled. Fox rolled her eyes playfully.

“Fine then. I’ll wait until I see an opportunity to get in undetected.”

In an instant, Dragon spread his wings and was gone and screams could be heard clearly from the walls as they were smouldered by fire. Fox paid no attention to the howls of pain; instead, she searched for a chance to run in.

***

Suddenly, there was a knock at the door.

“Come in!” Jack called. The door inched open to reveal Jane.

“Can I join you?” she asked.

“Sure,” Vixen said clemently. Jane entered and closed the door carefully behind her. She sat down on the bed next to Jack.

“Just out of interest, what’s it like to be Enhanced?”

There was a moment of silence.

“Well,” Jack said. “I guess it’s mainly to do with what abilities you have.”

“Are you essentially trying to ask whether being Enhanced is worth it?”

There was another moment of silence before Jane replied:

“Yeah, I guess.”

“Well,” Jack began. “To be perfectly honest, I’d say it is. Once I noticed a tick on Fox’s shoulder after she had a close encounter with some stray dogs. A human wouldn’t be able to do that with a naked eye, would they?”

“No,” Vixen replied, “But a human would be able to fit into society without any problems which we face.”

“Give me an example of one of those problems then,” Jack raised his eyebrow. “Excluding being supernatural and different.”

“Humans would attempt to manipulate us to their own benefit. Just like the scientists who created us.”

Jane listened actively, not just out of common courtesy, but also out of pure interest.

“Jack,” she said. “Do you have some kind of passive, special ability?”Jack looked very confused.

“No…” he replied, “Not that I know of anyway… Why are you asking?”

“Ryan said he can read people’s thoughts apparently.”

“I mean,” Vixen said. “I can teleport. Myself and others around me.”

Jane’s eyes widened. 

“Wait, does that mean you can, like, send me to Paris or somewhere else?”

“Well… I can only guarantee you’ll land in that area… I can’t send people to specific locations, but a more general area. I tested it once on a scientist by sending him to Cardiff. He landed in the Bristol Channel, just on the coast of Cardiff.”

“Oh, ok.”

Then, an idea jumped into Jane’s head.

“Now that I think of it… Vixen, can you teleport me to Cold Fell?”

“Cold Fell?” Vixen was confused. “Where’s that?”

“North Pennines. Is that enough info?”

“I mean… I can try, but I can’t guarantee you’ll get the-”

“What’s this about?” Jack asked, gazing suspiciously at Jane. She sighed heavily.

“Ok then. I want to help Fox and Dragon on a job at a lab.”

Jack looked at Vixen.

“Teleport me there.”

“But-” Jane began.

“No!” Jack spoke loudly, but wasn’t necessarily shouting. “It’s dangerous. Plus, what are you going to get out of it? Other than a guaranteed argument with Ryan when you return. He clearly sent them because he trusted them to get the job done and that it's their job.”

Jane raised her eyebrow.

“Then why are you going?”

Jack smiled and sighed. 

“I’ll say it as simply as I can: I need to. Vixen, do it.”

Author's Note: I definitely need to write more Ice Queen now. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this chapter! I am more than happy to accept suggestions, if you have any, as to where the plot should go. Not that I don't have a plan, I'm just curious what you guys think. Once again, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this chapter!


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Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:21 am
Panikos wrote a review...



Hi, Dragon!

Nitpicks

“You want us to destroy a lab. Why use ten words where one will do?” Fox said, almost with annoyance.

Moving on, will you be able to do that?” Ryan seemed to not even acknowledge Fox’s comment, which caused her some suspicion.


1) It doesn't feel natural for him to say 'moving on'. People normally say that when someone's gone extensively off topic, but Fox hasn't. Nor was she talking at length, so it just comes across as a hamfisted way to show his reluctance to dwell on the topic.

2) Don't tell us he doesn't acknowledge her. We should be able to see that from the dialogue alone.

“It’s necessary for me to get an insight on human activity in regards to the Enhanced.”


What does this even mean? It could mean anything.

"Then get going you two.”


You need a comma after 'going'.

“I said no,” Ryan was extremely harsh towards Jane, which was enough to get Fox to have her input in this argument.


You keep slipping into writing that's too blatantly telling. Show the harshness in the dialogue, don't just inform us of it. Say he raises his voice, hits the desk, whatever. When your characters are in high emotion, you should show rather than tell.

“Give her a break,” she said, sass beaming from her like light from the sun.


Rule of thumb: if you have to tell us a character is being sassy, they're probably not being that sassy. We should be able to see it without being told. Personally, I don't think 'Give her a break' is that much of a zinger. It doesn't suggest sass to me - she just seems like she's being a decent human being.

Write the dialogue and trust the reader to see the sass in it. If you have to tell us it's there, the dialogue isn't strong enough.

“Fox, I hope you know how to survive in the wilderness if this is how you’re going to carry on,” Ryan seemed to be getting quite angry.


1) Remember that you don't close dialogue with a comma if there's no dialogue tag. That's the one circumstance where you close it with a full stop. So this would be acceptable:

“Fox, I hope you know how to survive in the wilderness if this is how you’re going to carry on,” Ryan said, seeming quite angry.

However, because you don't have 'Ryan said' or 'he said' or anything, it should just be:

“Fox, I hope you know how to survive in the wilderness if this is how you’re going to carry on.” Ryan seemed to be getting quite angry.

2) You're telling again with the bold. You tend to fall prey to it most when you write dialogue. You'll write a line that suggests a certain emotion very clearly, but then you feel the need to clarify what that emotion is immediately after the dialogue. Resist the urge to do that. The reader is better than you think at reading the situation and working out what a character is feeling. You can also show the emotions of your characters in slightly more indirect ways, as well, by describing body language or tone of voice.

“If he is, he’s probably unable to breath and talk at the same time.”


Remember that 'breath' is the noun form. You need 'breathe' here, as that is the verb.

“I’d say she’s quite caring yet sassy. Why do you ask?”


Be careful that Fox's sassiness doesn't become an informed trait. You're really pushing it on the reader, but we should be able to decide if it's there for ourselves. I don't think there's a single instance in the Harry Potter books where Harry is described as sassy, but with lines like 'There's no need to call me sir, professor' we know that he's got sarky wit by the bucketful. Relinquish control of how your readers perceive your characters, because if you try to make them see them a certain way they'll just react against it.

In the threshold, stood Fox.


You don't need that comma.

“I understand you’ve probably been through a lot but spit it out already! Were you abused and I just look like your abuser?


This seems like a bizarre conclusion to instantly jump to. It's so specific. If she just said something like: "Do I remind you of someone or something?" then it would be a bit more natural. It's weird for her to be so precise.

“No,” Vixen said shortly. “I appreciate the help, but no. I’m the one who is hiding this from her, so I’ll be the one to tell her.”

“You know what? Why wait! Let’s tell her now!”

“Erm… How about maybe no?”

“C’mon! The longer you’ll wait with it, the worse the situation will become. Besides, I’m sure Fox will be overjoyed to know it!” Jack nudged him with a wide smile. A small grin played on Vixen’s lips.


This whole section was weirdly fast. Why did Vixen switch so quickly from being physically unable to get the words out to suddenly agreeing to tell her? People's emotions don't work like that. It's also weird that Jack would be so emotionally insensitive as to just immediately push him into telling her. It isn't really Jack's business at all. Even if he thinks Fox deserves to know as soon as possible, you'd think he'd talk Vixen through it a bit more and try to be more supportive. You'd also think Jack would want to ask what Vixen remembers of Fox, given that he's the only Enhanced they've met that has any memory of his past life.

“Did you really fall for that bluff? It’s clear he hasn’t because he didn’t even offer to show us any footage.”


This seems like a massive gamble. Surely the more logical reason for him not showing them the footage was that they weren't in the room with the CCTV feed? Yes, she might suspect that he's lying, but it's beyond reckless to go into it assuming that he's not watching.

“Well,” Jack said. “I guess it’s mainly to do with what abilities you have.”

“Are you essentially trying to ask whether being Enhanced is worth it?”


Who is saying that second line? Is it Vixen? You need a dialogue tag.

“No!” Jack spoke loudly, but wasn’t necessarily shouting. “It’s dangerous. Plus, what are you going to get out of it? Other than a guaranteed argument with Ryan when you return. He clearly sent them because he trusted them to get the job done and that it's their job.”

Jane raised her eyebrow.

“Then why are you going?”

Jack smiled and sighed.

“I’ll say it as simply as I can: I need to. Vixen, do it.”


I didn't really understand what was going on in this last bit. You need to establish who is saying which bit of dialogue. Is Jane the one who says 'Then why are you going?' If so, what does she mean? When did Jack even hint that he was planning to go to Cold Fell? I thought Jane was the one who wanted to go?

Overall Thoughts

1) I like that you're breaking the chapters up into more scenes and following more characters, but I agree with Biscuits that your pacing is too fast. You could spend far, far more time dwelling on the conversation between Vixen and Jack, because that section passes in the blink of an eye, and you don't delve into a lot of questions that I'm sure Jack would want to ask. You could also devote a lot more time to Dragon and Fox's journey out to Cold Fell. How far have they travelled? What do the surroundings look like, smell like, feel like?

2) I think you need more time spent on the conversation with Ryan at the beginning, as well. It's way too sudden. Dragon and Fox have essentially been asked to go and murder a bunch of people, yet they haven't got questions about who these people are and why it's necessary to slaughter them all? It just makes them come across like careless sociopaths - Dragon especially, seeing as he can't wait to get killing. I thought Fox said in the last chapter that she wanted to do good. Even if they're 'evil' scientists and they have no sympathy for them, indiscriminately murdering every human in the facility is monstrous - they can't know that everyone working there is doing it willingly, especially given what they've learnt about Jane being pressured into assassinating them. It's also open to manipulation - for all they know, Ryan might have an ulterior motive that they're playing right into. There's no way they wouldn't demand to know more before they agreed to the mission. It's not like Ryan can control them, seeing as they outnumber him and Dragon seems to be the most powerful Enhanced there is.

3) Even though I'm glad you're addressing some of the things I mentioned in the last review, be careful not to force it in. When Jane asks about what it's like to be Enhanced, it still needs to feel natural and like there's a reason for it to come up in conversation. At the moment, it's very out-of-the-blue, and you deal with it hurriedly as if you want to get it out of the way. It's also not always best to solve the problem of missing elements by adding them in later in the story. It's better just to incorporate them into the second draft when you get to it. Think of it like a cake. If you make a cake the first time and forget to put sugar in, you don't pour the sugar onto the cake after it's come out of the oven. You just remember to put sugar in the next time you bake it.

In short, I'm glad to see Jane inquiring about what it's like to be Enhanced, but it's a conversation that would be better placed earlier in the story. It feels a bit tacked on at the moment, like an afterthought.

I'll call the review there. It was still an exciting chapter to read, but this one felt a bit more hurried than the other ones you've done recently - you need to breathe out and slow down sometimes. Nevertheless I'm looking forwards to seeing what happens next, and to reading more of Ice Queen.

Keep writing! :D
~Pan




DragonNoir says...


Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad you enjoyed it despite the errors. I'll be sure to slow down a bit for the future. Once more, thank you for the feedback.



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Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:51 pm
zaminami wrote a review...



Hey, Dragon! Haven't seen you in a little while. Heeerreeee'ssss Kara for a very quick review!

The first thing I noticed is that this was almost all dialogue. I would recommend you change this with either some more descriptions or body language or something like that.

Also, give me your soul.

Moving on....

STOP! Grammar Time!



Clearly not what he’s after. Fox thought.


Same with any dialogue, you would use a comma and not a period when you're finishing up a thought.

Then get going you two.”


Probably a typo, but you need a quotation mark in the beginning of this dialogue.

“It’s her… I’ve finally found her…”Suddenly, there was a knock.


You do this several times during the flashback, but you need spaces.

“I’m so sorry… So sorry…”


After three periods the next word - unless it's "I" or "I've" or something like that - has to be lowercase.

Otherwise, you're good!

Random comments and fangirling:



Jack nudged him with a wide smile. A small grin played on Vixen’s lips.


Shipped :wink:

So, this was a really short review. Of course, it doesn't help that I didn't read the rest of the series, but whatever. You have good grammar and you made me fangirl a bit, so that's good :D

Give me your soul --

Kara




DragonNoir says...


Thank you for the feedback! I'll make sure I review something of yours by the end of next week. I'm happy that you enjoyed this chapter despite all the errors. Also, take my soul if you wish lol.
Once more, thank you for your feedback.



zaminami says...


:D I already took your soul silly. XD yo welcome



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Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:18 pm
ExOmelas wrote a review...



Here I am!

Nit-picks:

Then get going you two.”

You forgot the opening speech marks.

Dragon and Fox arrived in a hilly area, hiding as far away from the prison-like structure as hu- I mean, Enhancedly possible

Woah, who's the "I" in this situation? You mean you, as in the writer? That's rather inconsistent with your narrative style so far.

Overall:

Technically I didn't point out all the nit-picks. Sometimes there were bits where you should have taken a new paragraph but didn't but they were like bits with two lines of speech squashed together, so they'll be pretty obvious when you come to editing. Also the one I noticed was in italics and I couldn't be bothered putting it in italics in the quote xD I'm sure you'll be able to find your own typos :P

I think the main issue with QSS atm is that it's going a bit too fast. See how you have essentially two parts to this chapter - the mission and Jack's room - I think I'd rather a chapter on each and in a lot more detail. When you do conversations between each character, I want to know their tone of voice/gestures/facial expressions. Or when you introduce me to a new place I want some details of setting. Not to mention, going slower makes things tenser, so I would especially like it to go slower in bits with Ryan.

Moving on, Vixen being Fox's brother is very interesting. Although, it then doesn't really make sense for him to be muttering about their being another one like him - rather it would make sense to focus on the finally having found her aspect of it. I'd definitely like to hear some backstory on this at some point and get a good dig into Vixen's emotions. I will say that I remember enjoying Jack and Vixen last chapter and I think they were my favourite bit here too, so you're definitely doing something right with them :p

Hope this helps,
Biscuits :)

This review courtesy of
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DragonNoir says...


Thank you for the feedback! I'm glad you liked it despite the errors. I'll try my best to not make these mistakes in the next chapter. Once more, thanks for the feedback! :)




No one achieves anything alone.
— Leslie Knope