Tomokata

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So...Voyage of the Dawn Treader...Disney, I am concerned.

Just watched the new trailer for Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and as the title says, I am concerned. 
 
For those who have not read the book, the premise is pretty simple.  Prince Caspian is now King Caspian and Narnia is at peace.  The country has rebuilt and the Telmarines who stayed behind are integrated into the utopia that can only be found in fiction.  So, Caspian decides that he is going to find the Seven Lost Lords of Narnia, gets a cool ship named the Dawn Treader, his favorite talking mouse chevalier, and off they go. 
 
In our world, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, two of the four kings and queens of Narnia, are staying with Eustace, their highly obnoxious cousin who delights in eavesdropping on their conversations about Narnia and being a prat about it.  They manage to escape to a little used room and begin talking about their favorite subject and how are they ever going to get back?  Eustace crashes the conversation, and eventually the three children get drawn back into the world of Narnia through a painting of a sailing ship on the wall. 
 
Naturally, they join up with the Dawn Treader and head off with Caspian and crew on a series of rollicking adventures.  Eustace learns that being an annoying git is no way to go through life and has a change of heart.  Lucy and Edmund learn that the reason Peter and Susan didn't come was not because they were not there, but because they were too old.  One needs a child-like belief in Narnia in order to go to Narnia.    
 
The book is not so much about Edmund and Lucy as it is about Eustace.  The Chronicles are morality plays, and Voyage is about how even someone seeming to be the most obnoxious scum can have a change of heart, putting yourself in someone else's shoes, appreciating what you have, and basically Why You Should Be Nice.  
 
The trailer for the movie has some of that, the painting, glimpses of some of the island adventures, etc.  They also have a few things that made me go "Hmmm..." Eustace, the key player in the book, is barely in the trailer at all.  If they don't have his dragon bit, I will be highly put out.
 
The White Witch, however, is in there saying she could make someone her king.  Eh?  The White Witch is gone.  There is no hidden pocket of evil minions for them to run into who keep the belief in her alive, which is how she "contacted" Edmund in Prince Caspian.  Them encountering her makes no sense, whatsoever. 
 
In the Aslan narration of the trailer, he mentions that Narnia is in grave danger.  Eh?  No...Narnia is not.  That's why Caspian felt it was all right to leave.  Yes, the Kings and Queens of old will show up when Narnia is in danger, but that's not the only time they can show up.  The book is not about Narnia.  The book is about Eustace. 
 
There are flashes of Susan and Peter in their kingly and queenly armor, with their kingly and queenly weapons, fighting.  lolwut?  These could be flashbacks, which is what I'm hoping.  This could be happening on one of their island adventures, and it's not really Susan and Peter.  But if it's not...I simply can't figure out how they tie in the two elder siblings, or my worse fear, it's not a flashback at all, but a flash forward.  To The Last Battle.  This is bad.  If they're foreshadowing Battle already, what about the three intervening books, which have nothing at all to do with the four Pevensie children?  Are they skipping directly to Battle for the next movie?   
 
I believe that The Magician's Nephew was reordered to be the last book, instead of The Last Battle, but Nephew is perhaps, canon-wise, the single most important book of the series, going in depth not only into Narnia, Aslan, and the White Witch, but tying everything back to the first book as well.  The Silver Chair is something of an odd acid-trip and my least favorite book, and doesn't really offer much by way of Narnia, but it does offer a lot by way of showing you the world is not just Narnia, there's a lot more there than this relatively tiny nation.  A Horse and His Boy is my second fave book of the series, and if you love Narnia, is a must read.  It expands on mentions in the other books, and gives you a picture of how Narnia fits in with the rest of its world.    
  
And Susan isn't even IN The Last Battle as a queen, period.  
 
I thought The Chronicles of Narnia were going to be The Chronicles of Narnia, not The Chronicles of the Pevensie Children. 
  
I am probably reading way too much into a simple trailer, which is designed to grab your attention and want to see the movie.  I get that out of context bits are often put together to intrigue a potential customer into spending their money on the product.  But my faith in Hollywood, practically nonexistent at this point, is not leaving me hopeful.  The arrogance that scriptwriters have in taking classic stories and "reimagining" them so they'll "better work" is what screws things up.  No, you don't have to reimagine anything.  They're classics because they already work.  If they didn't work, they wouldn't be classics.

While I am not quite yet disappoint, I am, as said, very concerned.

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RPG Part II - Caught! - Training Short Piece

This is the second piece I wrote at Lord Bushido's request: 
 
 A trickle of saliva wended its way down her swollen jaw, the tickling sensation was a bizarre contrast to the pain wracking her frame.  Saliva, or blood?  She didn't know, and really didn't care.  Her mind was shrieking in overload, agony blazing from every corner of her body.  From the coarse hemp ropes binding her wrists, chafing them into red bloody welts, to the manacles crushing her ankles, to the pain that exploded behind her eyes every time a heavy fist landed, her world had become all about one thing; surviving the hurt.  She'd been here before, and these guys were amateurs.  That didn't make it hurt any less. 
 
The aftershock from the last blow finally cleared and she was able to take in a bit more of her surroundings.  There wasn't much to take in.  Small, whitewashed concrete block room with a single, dingy lightbulb in a dangling fixture.  It smelled of refuse and urine, probably the basement of an abandoned building that her hosts had chased the transients out of.  The heat was stifling, even without the heavy ropes crushing her bare chest, she'd have a hard time breathing that atmosphere. 
 
Blinking, she fought to clear her vision as a face shoved itself inches away from her own.   
 
"So, sweetheart," a guttural voice snarled, accompanied by clouds of fish and garlic saturated breath.  "Why don't you just tell us who hired you, and we can make all this go away.  Why you protecting the no goodnik that hired you, anyway?  You got paid, you don't owe him nothin'."  
 
Cracked lips peeled back in a grin as she focused on the broken capillaries spread like a roadmap across the ample nose on the visage in front of her.  "That would be a double negative." 
 
*crack!* 
 
Lightning fast a massive fist swung, connecting solidly with her cheek.  If the chair hadn't been bolted to the floor, she would have been knocked over.  Groaning, she slowly shook her head as stars shot across her vision.   Fleetingly, she thought of the earnest young man who had hired her.  He hadn't even been interested in revenge, only in making sure her target never got the chance to do anything like what he'd done to her client's sister to anyone else.  No way was she going to hand him over to these goons.  Hell, she probably wouldn't talk even if she detested her client.  More stubborn than smart.  It became more about not giving the thugs the satisfaction of breaking her, than any type of moral imperative. 
 
Besides, she wasn't done yet.  These jerkoffs had made sure the ropes were tight, sure, but apparently they didn't understand the basic principles of lubrication.  Like how the blood streaming down her wrists was making everything slippery.
 
"We ain't gettin' anywhere with this, Sonny," the other man said.  All she'd gotten from him was a general impression of overall largeness.  "This bitch ain't gonna talk." 
 
"Oh, she'll talk," Sonny snarled, burying fingers in her matted hair and yanking her head back, she grunting in response.  "She'll talk.  Who hired you to hit Mr. Coldwell?  Who?  You cost us a lotta' money, sweetheart, but we know you wasn't the one pullin' the strings!  Who was?  Who hired you?" 
 
Amateurs, she thought to herself.  The Koreans were a lot better at this...of course, I was twelve at the time... 
 
"I told you, she ain't gonna talk!" the other insisted.  Sonny released her with a curse, stepping away from her with a final backhand slap.  
 
"Okay, genius, what are you gonna do that's gonna get her to open her mouth?" 
 
"She's a super-assassin type, right?" 
 
"Yeah, I guess." 
 
"I'm guessing she needs all her fingers and toes in order to do her job." 
 
"No..." she mewled, head drooping.  "Please...no..." 
 
The big one stepped into the weak radiance of the overhead bulb.  Extended before him was a worn pair of yellow handled tinsnips.   
 
"God, no, please, don't do this..." 
 
"Then tell us who, that's all you gotta do," the big man almost crooned, with a nasty smile revealing mossy teeth. 
 
"I--I can't..." 
 
"Then say goodbye to your little piggies, sweetheart," Sonny chimed in, obviously relishing her sudden, palpable fear. 
 
Meaty fingers flicked back the hook, allowing the snips to snap open and he took another step towards her. 
 
Behind her back, one gore covered hand slipped free of the restraints, and she winced as strips of skin were torn off on the rough rope. 
 
"Do it, big guy.  She'll be spillin' her guts before you can say 'zambuca'," Sonny urged.  The other man needed no further prompting and took the final step forward, kneeling and grabbing her right foot. 
 
Her other hand came free, and strained shoulders screamed in protest as both hands shot forward, grabbing the head of the big man in front of her.    

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RPG - Assassination - Training Short Piece

The following was written during my training at the hands of Lord Bushido: 
 
 A breeze snaked down the back of Tomo's neck as she crouched in the shadows, watching the house.  She ignored it.  The breeze had nothing to do with what she was there for, and could only bear silent witness to the unfolding events.  The lights in the stately manor house had finally gone dark, the last being the master bedroom, a wide bay window facing the courtyard she now lurked in.  Mentally she reviewed the dossier she had received three days ago on Mr. Alan Coldwell, 46, married to Irene, two sons in college.  Public persona read like a Forbes 500 fantasy; head of a large global company dedicated to finding and developing renewable resources.  The private persona was a bit less philanthropic.  The bulk of his personal wealth had been made in human trafficking and the modern day slave trade.  Her client had been eager to explain his reasons for the contract.  Tomokata didn't really care.  Mr. Coldwell's activities were more than enough to make the hit worthwhile. 
 
The night guard assigned to the lushly landscaped courtyard strolled by, smoking a cigarette, the SMG casually hanging at his hip from the shoulder strap.  Her lip curled.  The private security Mr. Coldwell had hired was next to useless.  There wouldn't be any need to even confront them, much less kill any of them.  The guard continued on his way, following the winding path deeper into the carefully manicured trees, and she made her move.  Slipping from the shadows beneath the spreading weeping willow she'd been observing from, she darted forward to the house, a hand dipping into one of the many pouches slung around her narrow waist.  Quickly, with an economy of movement, she crouched by the back door, fingers deftly working the lock picks she had procured.  Her  recon had said that this door's alarms were left off to allow the guards easy access to the house proper.  Their mistake.  
 
Noiselessly, on well oiled hinges, the door swung open and she slid inside into a large well appointed kitchen, which would be airy and welcoming during daylight hours.  Now it was merely another dark room she had to go through in order to reach her goal.  Crouching behind the granite topped kitchen island, she stowed away the lock picks and unsecured her suppressed Glock, but did not draw it.  Just in case.  There were three guards on random patrol routes throughout the entire house, and it was best to be prepared.  With whispering steps, she left the safety of the island and moved to the door that led to the stairway.  Quick peek around the door frame revealed no visitors, and she began her ascent. 
 
Soon enough, she was at the master bedroom, who's window she had been so assiduously watching all evening.  This door creaked, so she reached for a tube of graphite from a pouch and quickly squeezed a healthy amount into the hinges.  It worked like a charm.  When she turned the knob the door moved like a ghost.  Just as quietly, she closed it behind her and moved to the side of the bed.  Mr. Coldwell lay on his back, mouth hanging open, a slight snort escaping him now and then.  His wife, the pretty blond trophy wife, slept in peaceful ignorance next to him.  Tomokata had done her research.  Mr. Coldwell was a diabetic, insulin dependent.  The next object she removed from a pouch was a syringe and a small aerosol can of topical anesthetic .  Tetrodotoxin, good old blowfish.  No one would question another puncture mark, and unless someone was specifically looking for it, the poison would never be detected.  The client had requested it look like a natural death, and as she sprayed Mr. Coldwell's bare arm with the anesthetic and inserted the hypodermic, that was exactly what the client would get.  

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