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Beginning Regrets - The Creature Inside Chapter 4

by bigsisfarmer

After announcing that I was helping, the remainder of the team had some doubts about my loyalty. I guess I don’t really blame them, I mean a strange girl pops out of nowhere and claims she wants to help. I wouldn’t trust me either. After much convincing, everyone grudgingly allowed me to help. 

“Everyone let’s go, Yara, you take the lead.” Nightwing instructed. I had already given them my name while convincing people that I wasn’t going to murder them.

“Wait.” I pleaded, making the small squad stop in their tracks. I saw a slight wave of worry pass over Nightwing’s face, but he quickly hid it. “Do you have any water that I could have?”

I saw Nightwing relax slightly. His hand went to his utility belt, and he pulled out a small bottle. “It’s not much, but it will do.” He held out the bottle for me to take.

I walked forward, and grabbed it, chugging the water down in one sip. I thanked and continued walking forward, handing the bottle back. “The warehouse is this way.” I simply stated, not offering any more information.

Nightwing walked slightly behind me, while the Martin flew above us. I could feel both Ms. Martin’s and Nightwing’s minds interlink, and I knew that they were having a “private” conversation. I rolled my eyes, a habit that I would never break, and slowly, carefully, secretly, pushed my way into their conversation. They had no idea that I was there, I laughed to myself about the Green Blob’s carelessness.

“Nightwing, I’m not sure on this. She has no intention of harming us, but she was raised by them.” Ms Martin urged Nightwing. Being raised by villains was a fact that I wanted to hide, but couldn’t since she would have no idea how I had gotten out here, and therefore it would have been suspicious.

“M’gann. It will be fine. I’ve seen this girl around, and if she bares no ill will, then we can always utilize any help that we can get.” Nightwing reassured her. So that was her name. I stored that bit of information for later use.

“Fine, but if something goes wrong don’t blame me.”

Nightwing chuckled across the link. I retreated, not caring about the rest of the conversation. We had reached the warehouse anyway.

I peered through the foliage, checking the surroundings of the warehouse. To my dismay, I found that the once unguarded hole, was now swarming with guards. I turned back to the group. “You’ve just missed your opportunity.” I thought for a couple of seconds before continuing. “Well, there’s a hatch on top of the building if Ms. Martin can help us. She will need to go through the walls and disable the alarm. I can instruct her how to do so.” I awaited my answer to the suggestion I had thrown into the air.

Nightwing considered the possibility, then turned to Ms. Martin. I noticed that the two younger superheroes still appeared doubtful. “Ms.Martin, if we went a little bit back into the woods, do you think that you would be able to carry both Yara and I to the roof?”

Ms. Martin simply nodded. Without a word, except a huff of annoyance from Beast Boy, we swiftly entered back into the cover of trees. When we had gotten a good distance inside of the forest, the whole squad halted. We had all done this seamlessly, without saying a word, even in the mind link.

Although at first I tried to deny it, I found that I enjoyed the workings of a team like this. I loved the rush that came from silently trekking through the woods, and the completeness from instinctively knowing what your teammates were going to do. I observed the trust that each member had for each other, and felt an unfamiliar longing for that same connection. I had seen similar acts before, but this was different, it seemed more real. Maybe, just maybe, it was because this team was doing good instead of conforming to the selfish desires of their own hearts.

“Yara, Ms.Martin is going to take you up first.” Nightwing’s voice broke through the mind link startling me out of my thoughts. I was looking at the ground, and I looked up to the white eyes of his mask. I nodded, trying to keep my neutral expression.

Suddenly, my body felt weightless. Before I knew what was going on, I found myself being lifted into the air. I tottered slightly, eyes widening, before I understood the situation, and settled down. It felt strange to be suspended into the air, without anything below my feet keeping me stable.

I heard Beast Boy scoff, and I avoided eye contact, knowing I probably looked like a complete fool. Nightwing gave Beast Boy a warning look, but I could still see the slight amusement in the creases of his black mask. Ms. Martin appeared satisfied that her sudden levitation had caught me off guard, and Blue Beetle seemed slightly understanding, yet he was also trying to hold back a laugh.

Again without warning, I was lifted higher into the air. I flew beside Ms. Martin without any will of my own. She remained silent, which was to my satisfaction, and I made no indication to talk to her either. I already disliked her and wanted no more interaction than I was forced to have.

She set me down on top of the roof. It was a little more harsh than what I would like, but I paid no mind. I was already used to plenty of pain, and landing a little hard on a roof wasn’t going to faze me. Without another word, Ms. Martin left, leaving me completely alone on the roof of a top-secret base that specializes in pain.

Well thank you very much Ms. Asparagus.

A few seconds later, Blue Beetle made his way up to the roof, with Beast Boy, who was shapeshifted into a small bird, landing behind him. They also remained silent, most likely due to my previous hostility. Then, at last, NIghtwing came into to view, with Ms. Martin. I noticed that she set down Nightwing gently, causing me to roll my eyes.

I pointed to a hatch that was on the roof. It was well hidden, but if one were to look closely, then it became apparent. “There’s the hatch.” I lowered my finger and looked directly at Nightwing. “If we open it now, an alarm will sound off. Ms. Martin should phaze through the roof and turn it off.” I looked around at the doubtful faces that surrounded me, and directed my attention towards Ms. Martin. “I can instruct you how to disable it from here.” I looked at both Beast Boy and Blue Beetle. “Once we get through, we might encounter a few guards.” I glanced back at Nightwing, starting to feel slightly unsure, but I showed no signs of this, and kept my expression neutral. “We can open another door once we make it far enough in. Since the guards appear to be highly distracted, then they shouldn’t notice as long as it isn’t open for long” I silently awaited my answer.

I’m starting to regret this.

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573 Reviews

Points: 43308
Reviews: 573

Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:47 pm
Panikos wrote a review...

Hi, bigsisfarmer! Just dropping in for a quick review. Unfortunately, I've not read the other chapters of this and my knowledge of Batman is faaairly limited, but I'm still going to do my best to give you some helpful advice.

Starting with the positives, there's a nice clarity to your writing which I really appreciate. You don't overload us with information or description, which means that I was able to follow the narrative pretty easily, despite coming in late to the story. Like Tuck says, there are a lot of characters in this scene, which does make things slightly confusing, but I still got the gist of what was happening and didn't feel lost at any point. That's good - if your chapter makes sense to people who don't know the wider context, it's a sign that you're writing clearly.

You also do a pretty good job creating an ongoing sense of tension, at least with regards to Yara's precarious place within the group. There's something inherently interesting about a protagonist working alongside people who don't fully trust them, and you handle that trope well. It helps that Yara doesn't behave in a completely trustworthy way, given that she's snooping on private conversations. It makes their suspicion of her feel more authentic and well-founded.

With regards to critiques, my first bit of advice is more of a nitpick, but I promise it's the only one:

“Everyone let’s go, Yara, you take the lead.” Nightwing instructed.

“Wait.” I pleaded

Your dialogue formatting is a little off. When you have a dialogue tag (e.g. 'he said', 'she said'), the dialogue preceding it should never close with a full stop. Usually, it closes with a comma, though it may also close with an exclamation mark or a question mark. So it would look like this:

“Everyone let’s go, Yara, you take the lead,” Nightwing instructed.

“Wait!” I pleaded

The only time that you should close dialogue with a full stop is if there is no dialogue tag after, and the dialogue is instead followed by an independent action. As in the following example:

"Come here." He snapped his fingers at me. "Here. Now."

In all other contexts, there should never be a full stop. Finicky, but easy enough to remember. This is a recurrent issue throughout the chapter, hence why I mentioned it, but it won't take long to fix.

Moving on to less clinical problems, probably the biggest criticism I have of this piece is that the setting isn't evocative enough. While I like that your writing is clear and quite simple, for the most part, I think you could stand to be more descriptive at times. You need to use the senses more. It's fairly difficult for me to put myself into Yara's shoes because you don't tap into her physical sensations and surroundings enough. For instance, when they move into the forest, you offer no real description to support the transition - it's only after re-reading that part that I even realised they'd gone back into the woods at all. Try and ground us more in the setting. Talk about the smell of the earth and the trees, or the midges, or how the soil shifts a little under Yara's feet. There's no need to go overboard - a few details go a long way - but description is crucial to atmosphere.

I also felt that the moment when Ms Martin carries Yara to the roof was pretty under-described, even though that's one of the most notable moments in this chapter. She barely acknowledges it - Yara seems a bit surprised, but then completely adjusts. Try to describe the feeling of weightlessness more, actually inviting the reader to share in Yara's surprise. Does it feel like being hoisted into the air by invisible hands? Does it feel like her insides have turned to gas, leaving her so light that she's hardly aware of herself? Get specific. We can't relate unless you do.

Overall, I do think this is a decent piece. It's clearly written, and while your pacing could be a little quicker, I didn't get bored while I was reading. There's a subtle tension throughout, and the conflict between the characters has a lot of potential. Just work on getting into Yara's head a little more, giving us more details about the setting. Keep it brief but still specific.

That's all from me. Keep writing! :D

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353 Reviews

Points: 25581
Reviews: 353

Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:49 pm
Tuckster wrote a review...

Hey there bigisfarmer! Tuck stopping by for a short review. I'm so sorry it's been sitting in the Green Room for so long, so I'm going to do my best to give you some extra-helpful feedback :D. Fair warning, though—I haven't had the chance to read your previous chapters, so I apologize if you've addressed some of my concerns previously. Hopefully my fresh eyes are still helpful to you!

“The warehouse is this way.” I simply stated, not offering any more information.
I would cut out the word "simply" here; you don't really need it since it's conveyed in the rest of this thought, and the more your verbs are able to stand on their own without relying on an adverb to prop them up, the better!

They had no idea that I was there, I laughed to myself about the Green Blob’s carelessness.
This should be broken up into two separate sentences, or at least separated by a semicolon instead of a comma.

“Fine, but if something goes wrong, don’t blame me.”

Nightwing’s voice broke through the mind link, startling me out of my thoughts.

Well, thank you very much, Ms. Asparagus.
If this is a quote from someone, there should be quotations and an indication of who's saying this, and if it's a thought, it should be italicized and credited to someone.

Overall, I liked the relationships between the characters. The general distrust of Yara gives Yara even more motivation to work hard so that they trust her and welcome her as part of the group, and it gives some more dimension to the other characters.

One thing I wanted to mention is the sheer number of characters you have introduced here. Obviously as a new reader coming in after not reading 3 chapters, it's understandable that I'd be a little bit lost, but considering this is still early in the chapter, you have a lot of characters for your reader to keep track of, and the more characters you have, the more their personalities will begin to mesh together in the reader's brain because there have been a lot that are introduced in a short amount of time and it's a lot to keep track of. Ideally, you'd be able to cut out some of these characters at least until you've established your core group. I would encourage you to cut out more minor characters like Beast Boy and Blue Beetle, which don't seem to have an irreplacable role here.

I also don't feel that I've really connected with your main character during this chapter. Once again, I don't know if you've established that earlier, but based on this chapter alone, I don't really have a reason to cheer for her and hope that she wins. I don't know what she really wants out of this, what her motivations are, and what her character is, and that's something that should be clear by now through her actions, even if it's not explicitly stated anywhere and if it's made clear in other chapters.

But overall, I found this concept interesting, and I hope to be able to read more of you and see the journey and progression of these characters! You definitely have a strong beginning on your hands, and I hope my critiques are helpful in editing and taking this story from good to great. If you have any questions about my review, just let me know by way of PM, and I'd be happy to provide any clarifications. Most importantly, keep writing!


It is only a novel... or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language
— Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey