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The Lost System - Chapter 2: To Cast Worry to the Wind

by TheMythMaster


Chapter 2

-To Cast Worry to the Wind-

Far, away from Cartha, and Reveaux, Bartalion and the dreadful Sparkans, on a planet, deep blue, and speckled with verdant greens, rustic browns, and harsh dead yellow and grey that you may be more familiar with, there was a small collection of buildings that, over time, had accumulated more and more neighbors so that it became like a small city. But it was not a typical city, a compound may be a better description if only it didn’t connote such a monotone, unfriendly and militaristic intentions. The buildings varied in size and appearance. There were a few houses of similar design for those who worked there: a large central area devoted solely to food and drink (in particular coffee which was grown nearby) which was such a common necessity; there were three large industrial seemings buildings with tubes, fans, and wire-filled boxes with red levers peppered all over their specialized walls; and also a large collection of hangers, and garages. But, by far the greatest edifice, was the long perfectly level strip of dark tarmac running down the western edge, aligned to run North to South. This, was the headquarters of an unimaginatively named organisation known as MIRA.

For the purposes of imbuing some small amount of originality to the name, I won’t explain what it stands for.

Around this conglomeration, the endless stretches of dust coated Mauritanian wilderness spread on. Over the pot-holed track that wound between, over, and around the rocky crags in the otherwise flat, expanse of heath and shrug, a rust-mottled and well-used truck ran hurried jauntily toward the base from a radio tower far off.

In the base, at hanger seven, a fifty foot high half circle of aluminum with wide open doors letting in a both the exhaustive, perennial sunlight and insectry, and a cool breeze from the sea on the horizon, team No. 7 were doing maintenance. Their ship, large white shuttle, with a bulbous nose below a somewhat sharper windshield, and followed by the fuselage, long moveable wings, and finally three engines, lay surrounded by three small towers of tube scaffolding. It’s underbelly had the same speckling of black sheets that covered the nose and reflected a strange sheen, and the rudder was removed and sat, partially covered in painting tape nearby. Mortimer Javisson, a curly haired short fellow, with his often inquisitive expression becoming more etched into the lines of his face by the minute, had that face inside a small opening in the ship, examining the wiring. Sam Lindberg, the oldest of the bunch, with a big chin, and humorous yellow hair lazed on the top of another scaffolding stack, unbuttoning the old grey jacket he always wore over uniform. He enjoyed a drink from a green canteen, while he half-heartedly worked on replacing a small motor inside the nose of the ship, occasionally trading quips with Vannessa Arkase—his copilot, and the taller of the two. She observed him from the lower level of the same scaffolding rig. Her velvet black hair was held under her cap to keep it out of her way. Underneath this, she had a dark complexion, and sharp features, which were drawn into a frustrated frown as she tried to persuade Sam to get a move on and start helping wash the landing gear. Meanwhile, Europa Newton did just that. The first to graduate training, yet the youngest, she scrubbed hard, while listening to the bickering above. She had small hands, and didn’t smile often, unless at other people to show comprehension or gratitude when words escaped her.

Abruptly, there was a bang, and Moe tried twice to remove his head from inside the ship. The first time he hit something, but the second time her emerged successfully, holding the back of his head with hand and wincing. Vannessa sighed, and climbed over to him.

“What’ve you done now?” She asked.

Moe blinked, and looked up and across to Sam’s perch, addressing him.

“Sam, you haven’t turned breaker C off.”

Sam’s entire body jolted, and he shook his head as if to ward further electricity away.

“So it seems.” He replied, but added: “However, I was under the impression miss Newton had done that?”

Europa climbed up the scaffolding, and Moe looked to her.“Vannessa said you were handling it..?” She answered.

Vannessa huffed.“No, I said Lindberg was—or should have been.”

“Never once did you communicate any such thing.” Sam added as Europa also said:“I- I think you said Moe was.”“I thought you were..” Moe replied. “Wasn’t that what you were doing in the cockpit?”“Erm, I wasn’t in the cockpit.”Vannessa nearly lost what little temper she retained.“I was in the cockpit getting the windshield prepped, but since Lindberg has decided to slack off for the rest of his life, I had nothing else to do.”Europa wondered at this why she hadn’t tried to find out. Europa had needed some help, or she could have helped in place of Sam, who now slid down his rig to the floor.

“Where are you going?” Vannessa snapped.

Sam pointed to the great doors. Two small shadows, had detached themselves from the main swath of shade cast by the the doors, and entered the hanger. One was tall, with a sharp, quick mouth, that held a commanding bark. He strode with a strong, measured symmetrical march, his boots thumping more precisely than a metronome. The other, was not tall, nor short, and her serious expression was in conflict with her swaggering, many pocketed pants. She had short, brown hair, straight, well trimmed, and slick with sweat. She came forward first, her lax walk quickening upon sight of the team.

Sam, mirroring the woman’s swagger as they met in the middle. Vannessa came swiftly afterward, scrambling down and, with a look of adulation unsuited to her usual expression, rushed forward with Europa in tow, while Moe, in the interests of efficiency (or possibly, laziness), deigning to stay put where he could hear and participate in the talk below. The man caught up to them swiftly, and flashing a grin Europa’s way, began, his deep, vaguely accented voice resounding around the acoustic hanger:

“Unfortunately.” He began, which is never a good way to. “Team Helio, on Watcher V might be in a spot of trouble. Landers here (he motioned to the woman) lost contact with them half an hour ago.”

Landers nodded, curtly, continuing. “At the tower we’d been receiving reports by the hour, but then we got something.. Rather garbled. I’ve got someone working on trying to make something of it—if there is anything to be made—but then they missed their next report so I rushed over here.”

Europa caught a troubled look cross Sam’s brow at the mention of team Helio, before he composed himself, he had few friends she knew of, and wondered what was happening behind his bored expression. Yet, as she did, it changed to a serious, discerning air, and he queried:

“So then, you came to us for assistance? Pardoning my pride (Vannessa snorted, and Landers rolled her eyes) but, is that wise?”

“Look, it wasn’t my idea—you certainly weren’t—but, well Newton has his reasons.” Landers replied, to which the Newton she referred to was in fact the Vise-head Sir Arthur Newton, and not his daughter Europa.

He answered.

“You’ve trained for a long time, and old ill-feelings are no reason to dismiss an otherwise strong adequate track record, Delta is down a fellow, why not you four?”Moe called to attention himself, waving a grease stained hand from above, he gestured toward their ship, MIRA II and said:

“We can’t be operational in less than fifteen minutes, and even then we’d be undercutting several procedures.”

“You shall take the new ship, she’s been far too long aground since her first tests anyway.” Sir Arthur replied, shooing such ideas away with a flop of his confident hand.

The Sophocles, was, in most respects the same as the MIRA II, only with two new engines, instead of three old ones, and somewhat smaller fuselage. It lay glistening in the sun, upon the runway, the new white paint lacking a single blemish, and the little cockpit windshield glowering down at Europa, daring her to lay hands—nay responsibility—on her fathers precious new toy, and undoubtedly make a mistake.

Landers took them around the ship, and inside for a quick familiarisational tour of any and all components that differed from their own. Moe picked each change up and filed it away in the endless halls of his head, Sam glanced and things and muttered: “wings, tail, engines, stick—looks the same to me,” Vannessa followed every word of Landers with the closest scrutiny, and Europa wished dearly that she had a notepad to write it all down in. There was no way she’d remember all of it, in the end the ship mattered little however so it is pointless to go into it.

Afterward, they were briefed on the particulars of their mission: head to Helios last recorded point (a random area on the sunny side of Mercury) retrieve and, or, make contact, and provide whatever assistance they may. Simple enough really; they had only ever been to Venus and Mars, but Mercury was a similar distance, only in the opposite direction—and, afterall, they had the new ship and everything.

Nonetheless, Europa began to grow pale as they boarded. Her father caught sight of this, and strode over, sympathy in his eyes, for a quiet word.“You will do wonderfully.” He said.

“That's what you always say, it doesn’t change much.”

Her father looked around, at a loss for a moment, and hesitantly continued.

“You, you, are one of the most capable people here—I don’t just mean amongst your team—and… look I have thought hard about this, there is really no reason you needn’t go, and.. I think, something tells me, you really ought to.”

Europa shifted, casting a worried glance at the brand new ship.

“How…” She began, without continuing.

“Arkase giving you trouble?”

“Something like that. I suppose it’s my fault mostly—”

“Just don’t worry about it. Whatever anyone thinks, does, or says: You're in charge, and when you remember that, they’ll fall in line—I know they will.”

“Still, why don’t you just promote her instead; it’d be a lot easier.”

“Maybe. But, well, frankly: Lieutenant Arkase is a pilot, and a bloody good one. She is far better at that, than leading.” He leaned down. “You have it in you.”

There was a long silence as she pondered this. Finally, she turned to go, little else to say, and feeling in a small way better, if not confidence wiser, than at least in the knowledge that her father was so kind. As she turned to go he added one more thing.

“But,” he began, with the first look of worry she had seen on him for years. “If you don’t want to go—aside from any fears—just say so.”

She smiled and turned to board the Sophocles. Truly, her desire to go, to be all the things she was not and measure up, not as she will learn to the shadow of her father, but to that of her future self who she sees but dimly, was stronger and greater than any on board that ship.

That grand, new ship fresh off its first few flights which was at long last, fifteen minutes after their call, speeding down the dark runway and slipping the bounds of earth to cast itself among the constellations, free, finally to fulfill its purpose—or the small part (rather unfortunately for it was a nice ship) it has to play in this story.


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Thu Jun 27, 2024 9:36 pm
KateHardy wrote a review...



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Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm Kate and I'm here to leave a quick review!!


First Impression

Well this was an interesting follow up. A whole new addition to our cast on what's definitely an entirely new world two. Looks like we have a couple of threads forming in this one as we get started on our way.

Anyway let's get right to: Kate's Line by Line Reactions;

Far, away from Cartha, and Reveaux, Bartalion and the dreadful Sparkans, on a planet, deep blue, and speckled with verdant greens, rustic browns, and harsh dead yellow and grey that you may be more familiar with, there was a small collection of buildings that, over time, had accumulated more and more neighbors so that it became like a small city. But it was not a typical city, a compound may be a better description if only it didn’t connote such a monotone, unfriendly and militaristic intentions. The buildings varied in size and appearance. There were a few houses of similar design for those who worked there: a large central area devoted solely to food and drink (in particular coffee which was grown nearby) which was such a common necessity; there were three large industrial seemings buildings with tubes, fans, and wire-filled boxes with red levers peppered all over their specialized walls; and also a large collection of hangers, and garages. But, by far the greatest edifice, was the long perfectly level strip of dark tarmac running down the western edge, aligned to run North to South. This, was the headquarters of an unimaginatively named organisation known as MIRA.

For the purposes of imbuing some small amount of originality to the name, I won’t explain what it stands for.


Hmm not the worst place to kick things off but starting off a second chapter in a row with heavy description is generally not a great idea. You don't really want to have two in a row kicking off on such a slow pace but its not too big of a deal yet. The name of the organization being called unimaginative without it being mention is a little odd. I get maybe you're trying to make it a joke but it really doesn't work if we can't see what it stands for. As it is, MIRA sounds pretty cool actually.

Around this conglomeration, the endless stretches of dust coated Mauritanian wilderness spread on. Over the pot-holed track that wound between, over, and around the rocky crags in the otherwise flat, expanse of heath and shrug, a rust-mottled and well-used truck ran hurried jauntily toward the base from a radio tower far off.

In the base, at hanger seven, a fifty foot high half circle of aluminum with wide open doors letting in a both the exhaustive, perennial sunlight and insectry, and a cool breeze from the sea on the horizon, team No. 7 were doing maintenance. Their ship, large white shuttle, with a bulbous nose below a somewhat sharper windshield, and followed by the fuselage, long moveable wings, and finally three engines, lay surrounded by three small towers of tube scaffolding. It’s underbelly had the same speckling of black sheets that covered the nose and reflected a strange sheen, and the rudder was removed and sat, partially covered in painting tape nearby. Mortimer Javisson, a curly haired short fellow, with his often inquisitive expression becoming more etched into the lines of his face by the minute, had that face inside a small opening in the ship, examining the wiring. Sam Lindberg, the oldest of the bunch, with a big chin, and humorous yellow hair lazed on the top of another scaffolding stack, unbuttoning the old grey jacket he always wore over uniform. He enjoyed a drink from a green canteen, while he half-heartedly worked on replacing a small motor inside the nose of the ship, occasionally trading quips with Vannessa Arkase—his copilot, and the taller of the two. She observed him from the lower level of the same scaffolding rig. Her velvet black hair was held under her cap to keep it out of her way. Underneath this, she had a dark complexion, and sharp features, which were drawn into a frustrated frown as she tried to persuade Sam to get a move on and start helping wash the landing gear. Meanwhile, Europa Newton did just that. The first to graduate training, yet the youngest, she scrubbed hard, while listening to the bickering above. She had small hands, and didn’t smile often, unless at other people to show comprehension or gratitude when words escaped her.


Little too much being introduced in the one paragraph there. Not the worst of places to introduce characters, its just a bit too much I think all at once. Because once you've given that detailed of a start to the craft and then once the rest of it is through, it becomes quite difficult to handle there. At this point none of this information is really going into the reader's head. Its all great to have, little notes of backstory mixed in there too, but this is just far too much information far too quickly. Especially when it none of it really seems particularly important for us to know right now. Those backstory details especially and stuff like height differences could be introduced in much better areas to show a certain thing like how someone feels standing next to another. And details like water drinking would be great in a place to show they've been working on this a while and are tired for example. But it won't do that smack in the middle of an introductory paragraph.

Abruptly, there was a bang, and Moe tried twice to remove his head from inside the ship. The first time he hit something, but the second time her emerged successfully, holding the back of his head with hand and wincing. Vannessa sighed, and climbed over to him.

“What’ve you done now?” She asked.

Moe blinked, and looked up and across to Sam’s perch, addressing him.

“Sam, you haven’t turned breaker C off.”


Well looks like this isn't the smoothest operation in the world. Everyone seems a little bit confused about who is supposed to be doing what. Either that or we've got one person who's very forgetful.

Sam’s entire body jolted, and he shook his head as if to ward further electricity away.

“So it seems.” He replied, but added: “However, I was under the impression miss Newton had done that?”

Europa climbed up the scaffolding, and Moe looked to her.“Vannessa said you were handling it..?” She answered.

Vannessa huffed.“No, I said Lindberg was—or should have been.”


Well looks like there's definitely a case of poor communication plaguing this whole scenario at the moment and it looks to be quite a bad one too from the looks of things.

“Never once did you communicate any such thing.” Sam added as Europa also said:“I- I think you said Moe was.”“I thought you were..” Moe replied. “Wasn’t that what you were doing in the cockpit?”“Erm, I wasn’t in the cockpit.”Vannessa nearly lost what little temper she retained.“I was in the cockpit getting the windshield prepped, but since Lindberg has decided to slack off for the rest of his life, I had nothing else to do.”Europa wondered at this why she hadn’t tried to find out. Europa had needed some help, or she could have helped in place of Sam, who now slid down his rig to the floor.

“Where are you going?” Vannessa snapped.


Well that doesn't look like a crew that gets on very well there. Very awkward talking and doesn't seem to be aware of each other's abilities in the slightest there. Makes for an interesting little mix honestly.

Sam pointed to the great doors. Two small shadows, had detached themselves from the main swath of shade cast by the the doors, and entered the hanger. One was tall, with a sharp, quick mouth, that held a commanding bark. He strode with a strong, measured symmetrical march, his boots thumping more precisely than a metronome. The other, was not tall, nor short, and her serious expression was in conflict with her swaggering, many pocketed pants. She had short, brown hair, straight, well trimmed, and slick with sweat. She came forward first, her lax walk quickening upon sight of the team.

Sam, mirroring the woman’s swagger as they met in the middle. Vannessa came swiftly afterward, scrambling down and, with a look of adulation unsuited to her usual expression, rushed forward with Europa in tow, while Moe, in the interests of efficiency (or possibly, laziness), deigning to stay put where he could hear and participate in the talk below. The man caught up to them swiftly, and flashing a grin Europa’s way, began, his deep, vaguely accented voice resounding around the acoustic hanger:


This one's a little confusing here. The previous introduction while a bit much did give us a clear idea of where everyone was in relation to the other. I feel like the fails a little in that department with the amount of back and forth detail that we've got going on.

“Unfortunately.” He began, which is never a good way to. “Team Helio, on Watcher V might be in a spot of trouble. Landers here (he motioned to the woman) lost contact with them half an hour ago.”

Landers nodded, curtly, continuing. “At the tower we’d been receiving reports by the hour, but then we got something.. Rather garbled. I’ve got someone working on trying to make something of it—if there is anything to be made—but then they missed their next report so I rushed over here.”


Hmm looks like a little spot of trouble. This conversation is going much better, or at least I suppose there's less awkwardness. Not that awkwardness is bad. (Unless of course you didn't want the team to come across awkward.)

Europa caught a troubled look cross Sam’s brow at the mention of team Helio, before he composed himself, he had few friends she knew of, and wondered what was happening behind his bored expression. Yet, as she did, it changed to a serious, discerning air, and he queried:

“So then, you came to us for assistance? Pardoning my pride (Vannessa snorted, and Landers rolled her eyes) but, is that wise?”

“Look, it wasn’t my idea—you certainly weren’t—but, well Newton has his reasons.” Landers replied, to which the Newton she referred to was in fact the Vise-head Sir Arthur Newton, and not his daughter Europa.


Hmm. How old exactly is this Sam. Cause my man here is talking like he's a gentlemen addressing the queen in a formal context. People just don't tend to talk like this usually. Are these planets somehow known for being especially formal? I somehow didn't gather that in the banter between the crew and this person here seems in no way ranked high enough to justify this much formality.

He answered.

“You’ve trained for a long time, and old ill-feelings are no reason to dismiss an otherwise strong adequate track record, Delta is down a fellow, why not you four?”Moe called to attention himself, waving a grease stained hand from above, he gestured toward their ship, MIRA II and said:

“We can’t be operational in less than fifteen minutes, and even then we’d be undercutting several procedures.”


Well finally something that makes a lot of sense there. Short notice like that really isn't great for any kind of flying ship, so love that we're getting a small nod to it.

[quot“You shall take the new ship, she’s been far too long aground since her first tests anyway.” Sir Arthur replied, shooing such ideas away with a flop of his confident hand.

The Sophocles, was, in most respects the same as the MIRA II, only with two new engines, instead of three old ones, and somewhat smaller fuselage. It lay glistening in the sun, upon the runway, the new white paint lacking a single blemish, and the little cockpit windshield glowering down at Europa, daring her to lay hands—nay responsibility—on her fathers precious new toy, and undoubtedly make a mistake.[/quote]

That really is a big glaring spot of random description there. It is a complete change of pace from the tense sounding negotiations to this almost cheeky sounding description of the ship.

Landers took them around the ship, and inside for a quick familiarisational tour of any and all components that differed from their own. Moe picked each change up and filed it away in the endless halls of his head, Sam glanced and things and muttered: “wings, tail, engines, stick—looks the same to me,” Vannessa followed every word of Landers with the closest scrutiny, and Europa wished dearly that she had a notepad to write it all down in. There was no way she’d remember all of it, in the end the ship mattered little however so it is pointless to go into it.


Wait hold on. Are you suggesting fifteen minutes is not enough to do proper checking procedures on their old ship but is somehow enough to teach everyone about the differences between that and a new ship and get that prepped and ready to go because that logic is not logicking at the moment.

Afterward, they were briefed on the particulars of their mission: head to Helios last recorded point (a random area on the sunny side of Mercury) retrieve and, or, make contact, and provide whatever assistance they may. Simple enough really; they had only ever been to Venus and Mars, but Mercury was a similar distance, only in the opposite direction—and, afterall, they had the new ship and everything.

Nonetheless, Europa began to grow pale as they boarded. Her father caught sight of this, and strode over, sympathy in his eyes, for a quiet word.“You will do wonderfully.” He said.


Well the look of sympathy and the pale look don't seem to go together too well there. I have no idea at this point how that's supposed to be. The narrator suggested the father was expecting the daughter's downfall, now this suggests the daughter is just not confident enough.

“That's what you always say, it doesn’t change much.”

Her father looked around, at a loss for a moment, and hesitantly continued.

“You, you, are one of the most capable people here—I don’t just mean amongst your team—and… look I have thought hard about this, there is really no reason you needn’t go, and.. I think, something tells me, you really ought to.”

Europa shifted, casting a worried glance at the brand new ship.


Well okay it looks like we're mostly cementing on the daughter having doubts thing for the most part. That's a good sign, focusing down on the one thing fully there. Although the dialogue there is highly questionable. Saying that out loud, it feels very forced there.

“How…” She began, without continuing.

“Arkase giving you trouble?”

“Something like that. I suppose it’s my fault mostly—”

“Just don’t worry about it. Whatever anyone thinks, does, or says: You're in charge, and when you remember that, they’ll fall in line—I know they will.”

“Still, why don’t you just promote her instead; it’d be a lot easier.”


Well that doesn't seem like great advice there to be completely honest, but at least the father does appear to be supporting the daughter there, which is rare enough in these things so I'll take it.

“Maybe. But, well, frankly: Lieutenant Arkase is a pilot, and a bloody good one. She is far better at that, than leading.” He leaned down. “You have it in you.”

There was a long silence as she pondered this. Finally, she turned to go, little else to say, and feeling in a small way better, if not confidence wiser, than at least in the knowledge that her father was so kind. As she turned to go he added one more thing.

“But,” he began, with the first look of worry she had seen on him for years. “If you don’t want to go—aside from any fears—just say so.”


Well that looks to once again be a bit too stiff sounding there. Just very formal for a father daughter interactions based once again on the fact that crew conversation from earlier was much less formal.

She smiled and turned to board the Sophocles. Truly, her desire to go, to be all the things she was not and measure up, not as she will learn to the shadow of her father, but to that of her future self who she sees but dimly, was stronger and greater than any on board that ship.

That grand, new ship fresh off its first few flights which was at long last, fifteen minutes after their call, speeding down the dark runway and slipping the bounds of earth to cast itself among the constellations, free, finally to fulfill its purpose—or the small part (rather unfortunately for it was a nice ship) it has to play in this story.


Well not the most cliffhangery of endings there even though it looks like you're trying to achieve it. I feel like you're trying to achieve the sort of narration you'd see in Lord of the Rings which I mean you are. But there is also a reason why so many people have seen the movies are not read the books. They're really, really tough to read. So just keep that in mind if you really want to commit to that style, cause it will put it into a niche.

Aaand that's it for this oneee!!!

Overall

Overall the plot itself is pretty interesting upto now, at least from the little hints we've gotten. Europa is the most memorable character I'd say so far, since she's the second one we've actually learnt a little about and is a more relatable character with her self doubt. The others in this chapter honestly feel very flat right now except maybe the father. We only get about three lines of dialogue from them so its too early to tell really, which is not a problem. We had one focus on Europa and one character at a time is a perfectly fine pace. Looking forward to seeing what this small role the ship plays happens to be.

As always remember to: Take what you think was helpful and forget the rest!

Stay Safe and Have a Nice Day!
Kate


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Thu Jun 27, 2024 7:10 pm
TheRebel2007 wrote a review...



Hey there, TheMythMaster! Rebel here for a short review!

I hope my criticism of the previous chapter wasn't too harsh! This chapter, however, was better written than the previous one - but, alas, the long drawn-out descriptions almost completely drown out the character interactions - again. I understand that you are trying to worldbuild here, but it just feels too descriptive. There is an idiom in scriptwriting, which also applies in prose: "Show, don't tell." Reading the narrator just describing things feels too bland - it'd be better if, for example, there's an introductory paragraph at first, then you introduce the characters, and then and only then you start describing the surroundings and settings as the characters interact with each other. A good example of this would be Liber Primus of Vergil's Aeneid, where he starts with "I sing of arms and a man..." and goes on to summarise his journey and background in some lines, and then directly enters the story - in medias res (or literally, "in the middle of the thing") - without any further hubbub, and goes on to introduce characters with suitable descriptions of their interactions and the setting itself. These are some examples of character interactions followed by light description (you may make the description a bit more lengthy if you want):

TheRebel2007 wrote:“Herr Hitler,” said a monkey standing on a cloud with a long cane, “You don’t know about the Hujubuju Expedition, do you?”

“Oh no, not that again!” An African woman with traditional attire cried, “Please, Sun Wukong Sir, not that! Anything but that!”

“Why, my dear Amina?” A man with native Philippine tattoos said, laughing, “That was Si Holmes’ biggest embarrassment. I am never going to let him forget about that, eh?”

~Chapter V, Nine

I think you get my point.

Also, this paragraph:
TheMythMaster wrote:“Never once did you communicate any such thing.” Sam added as Europa also said:“I- I think you said Moe was.”“I thought you were..” Moe replied. “Wasn’t that what you were doing in the cockpit?”“Erm, I wasn’t in the cockpit.”Vannessa nearly lost what little temper she retained.“I was in the cockpit getting the windshield prepped, but since Lindberg has decided to slack off for the rest of his life, I had nothing else to do.”Europa wondered at this why she hadn’t tried to find out. Europa had needed some help, or she could have helped in place of Sam, who now slid down his rig to the floor.

This would have looked better and it would have been more readable if the dialogues were separated by a paragraph. It was a bit confusing to understand who was saying what.

Also, the dialogues and the interactions of the characters felt a bit forced to me. Perhaps, it is just me, but the dialogues don't roll off the tongue naturally when I read it, for example:
TheMythMaster wrote:“Maybe. But, well, frankly: Lieutenant Arkase is a pilot, and a bloody good one. She is far better at that, than leading.” He leaned down. “You have it in you.”

This just doesn't feel right when I read it out aloud - unless it's an accent which I am really unfamiliar with.

Also, like in the previous chapter, there are several grammatical mistakes, typos, and errors in general - you should definitely proof read these. On the brighter side, the characters feel perhaps a bit more relatable compared to the previous chapter - maybe because they are on Earth? I am not sure. Also, it seems like the story is set on a retro-futuristic planet Earth - either it's had a different timeline, or it's set in the future, which I found cool. And yes, I would love to see how the stories from the first and second chapters weave into each other in the following chapters.

Again, I hope I wasn't too critical of your work. Overall, this is an improvement from your previous chapter. All my comments are purely subjective, and the choice of accepting and adapting them to your own works is purely your choice. Anyway, that's all. Keep writing! :p

P.S.: This review was brought to you by Team Tortoise.





Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate.
— Captain Jack Sparrow