|From: "Mark Latus"
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 09:33:40 -0400
Subject: Backstage & Bogosity
Encyclopedia Metallia's been updated since the last page revision. There's also part 1 of Rhi & Ti's Excellent Adventure if Becky's ready to have it added. Haven't heard from her lately but she could be away. This is the schools' march break week in Canada, don't know about the US.
Anyway here's the backstage bits more or less in the order they came out
Yet Another Day Backstage
by Sam, Mark, Frank, Doug
Yet Another Day Backstage...
EVIL MIDNIGHT LURKER PRODUCTIONS:
KAKUTOU SENTAI NIICHUANRANGER EPISODE 1, ACT 1, SCENE 3, TAKE 506 ACTION!
EXTERIOR: A sidewalk cafe in Nerima, across the street from a major video store. RANMA and RYOUGA are having an uncharacteristically civil discussion.
RYOUGA: Saotome, did I just hear you *admit* that you've made my life hell...?
RANMA (subdued): ...Yeah, you did. I didn't do any of that stuff on *purpose*, but that's no excuse...if I'd been payin' attention I mighta noticed you were takin' our food fights seriously. I thought it was just a game, like with Ucchan...
(The conversation is rudely interrupted as KARABERAS teleports in.)
KARABERAS: 'Scuse me, anyone seen that Lurker guy...?
Wonderful. Just when I've broken director's block...I storm onto
the set, manfully resisting the urge to garrotte the Weird Sister with a length of Armenian string cheese. "I'm the Lurker, and *you* just ruined three hours of work! Ever heard of designated teleport stages? Like the one right over there?!"
"Hey, don't get all mental on me! It's not like you're ever gonna finish any of these stories, anyway..." She catches the look in my eye and wisely shuts up. Temperamental chefs and eccentric directors are bad enough taken separately, but when you combine the two into one whole (i.e., me) you get something no one sane messes with. Pity there are so few sane people around here.
"Um...there's an emergency on the SME backlot...they need you to
help rebuild the kitchen?"
Great. Just freakin' spectacular. I should've known bringing the worst cooks in anime together under one roof would backfire. "I'll be over in a few minutes," I sigh. "Now get outta here before I...waitaminute...How'd you get in here? The Lurkerdrome's teleport shields are supposed to be at full power!"
"Shields?" Karaberas looks genuinely confused. "I didn't notice any-thing..."
"Bloody hell! JERRY!!"
"You bellowed, sir?" I'll never understand how Steiner can sneak
up behind people like that. He's a nerd, not a ninja...
"Jer, didn't you say the shields were up?"
"They are, sir. Operating at one hundred per cent efficiency."
"Then how'd *she* get in?"
Jerry extracts a six-foot-wide sensor array from his jacket
(SHRRIP!) and checks the nervous Nemesian out. "Very simple explanation, sir. The shields are only meant to block psionic teleportation. Miss Karaberas uses magic..."
Forcing myself to remain calm, I ask: "*Why* do we only have psi-blockers up?"
"Well, since the whole point is to keep Lord Arkanfael out until we come up with a defense strategy, and since he's from a nonmagical cosmos..."
"Jerry..." I grit. "Haven't you read the HDW Guyver script yet?"
"I've been too busy...studying for my part in Masters of
Hammerspace, sir. You *did* make me one of the lead characters, and I don't want to mess up." Now why is he blushing?
"Commendable, Jer. But if you *had* skimmed the Guyver script, you might have noticed that Rifts Earth is magically *supercharged*. To keep Kronos competitive with the other bad guys, I had to give 'em all kinds of mystic training! In other words, as soon as Arkanfael notices he can't teleport in, he'll head for the nearest ley line nexus and open a rift! Which we, right at the moment, are absolutely HELPLESS to stop!!"
Jerry goes pale. Well, paler. "I'll get right on it, sir. I think Mr. Segawa and I can come up with something..."
"Good. You'd better hurry..." Then I notice something surprising. "Uh, Jer...you know you've got lipstick smears on your cheek?"
"Um...gottagobye." He vanishes in a burst of speed worthy of the Great Gonzo. And was that golden cat hair on his jacket? Sonofagun. 'Studying for his part,' indeed! I never even dreamed they'd fall for each other off the set. Well, that means I'll have fewer problems getting two terminally shy types to display affection onscreen. Ah, young interspecies nerd love...
But I have other problems. "Okay folks, strike the set! We'll resume shooting...oh. tomorrow at ten."
As the crowd breaks up, Ryouga catches my attention. "Hey, if you're headed to the SME studios, can I hitch a ride? Ferrite asked me for some pointers on kasa-jitsu, and if we've stopped shooting for the day..."
"Sure thing. After all," and he chimes in with me, "the umbrella *is* the perfect weapon." Grin. "Just don't tell Ukyou I said that, right? She's kinda touchy when it comes to chefs and combat styles..."
SHRRIP! and we shift from hammerspace to...wherever the heck the SME Studios are located. Raw chaos may be a more interesting view than the smoky gray void outside the Lurkerdrome, but it's also almost infinitely more dangerous...hmm, if we could push Arkanfael over the edge...no, he's probably got enough strength of will to survive cacoastrum exposure, and that'd turn him into a God. Large G. Very bad idea.
My reverie's broken by a mighty roar. With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound, Gojira lumbers by on his (her? its?) way to the Toho warp-gate. Wonder what the big guy was doing here...? Well, whatever. I tell Ryoga to stay put (now we're in Mark's territory the U has vanished) and page Ferrite. Even with the locator beacon we had sewed into his prime bandanna he's still prone to vanishing, and with all the transdimensional traffic around here we might never find him. Best to have the student come to the sensei...
As I make my way past throngs of extras, I notice it's not just the commissary: there's severe structural damage all over the place. Looks like either the Anticooks outdid themselves, or it's something else entirely.
...Yeah, it's something else. A new set has crashed into the main complex (which as a result is now slightly larger than the Lurkerdrome) and caused widespread chaos. Doesn't look like anything we were discussing, unless it's some chunk of Dark Kingdom geography. Now, what the hell...?
I accost a passing Muvian naval officer. "Pardon me, but do you know whose set this is?"
The lieutenant nods. "That's Mr. Gadeken's territory, sir. Just arrived an hour ago."
Gadeken...? He's *here?* (Damnit, I'm *not* gonna act like a drooling fanboy!) "Any idea what he's got planned for it?"
"Not much. His major villain, the Dark Lord Kuri or something like that, tried to make a grand appearance, but we fried him before he could finish the expository monologue."
"He didn't have the chance to get the rest of his name out."
"I see...Have you seen Mark around lately?"
"I think he and Mr. Gadeken were headed toward the cafeterias.
The human quarter came through relatively intact."
Figures. For hygienic reasons the human and youma dining areas are on opposite sides of the backlot, and that means I don't have time to... "Do you have the time to give Mark a message for me?"
"Certainly, sir. What shall I tell him?"
I fill him in on the Arkanfael situation. "...So he's stuck out in reality for a while, but I don't know how long we can keep a ticked-off Zoa-lord out. He doesn't know where this studio is, but that just means his first move's gonna be to breach the Lurkerdrome shields and force me or Jerry to shuttle him over here. Military force isn't really an option; I do have a few characters who could take Arky on, but there wouldn't be much left of the 'Drome afterwards and I'm already way over budget on the sets. Plus I need him alive for HDW. Talking him down might work, but I think what he's really after is a major rewrite of 'Worlds in Collision,' and Mark's already swamped. I've done everything I can to slow Arkanfael down; If Mark or anyone else has any good ideas..."
"Got it, sir. I'll see that Mr. Latus is informed straightaway." The lieutenant salutes briskly and vanishes into the crowd. I pick my way through the battered backlot toward the YCTK, pausing to take a look at Calcite and Daniel Dumas engrossed in simultaneous games of chess, shogi, and go. All three boards are dead even, and there's some heavy betting going on among the observers. I'm not about to guess who might win, but Jiji's got a pool going-how long will the match take? I put down fifty bucks on at least ten hours. It'd probably take longer, but I figure the ultimate loser will concede well before the endgames. Those two scare me sometimes.
(To be continued)
From: "Mark Latus"
Subject: Meanwhile backstage
I normally avoid the fringes of SME. True it's a spectacular view but one misstep and you get to plunge into primal chaos. Which is not recommended even with a Zoalord after your blood. But the guy I needed to see liked to hang around the edge between scenes.
Filming was going to be a little delayed what with the holiday season coming up and Christian ramming his island into the studio complex. But I definitely couldn't really complain about the latter as it had broken me out of that improvised cell. My first experience with character mutiny. Hopefully the last.
Margrave and Azurite were avoiding me and gossip was they were afraid of getting reduced to bit players. Unfortunately both were down as major characters in TKC and I could afford to rewrite at this late date with production begun and the sets constructed.
I suppose I should have expected something like this from Margrave. You can take the youma out of the Dark Kingdom but you can't take the Dark Kingdom out of the youma. However I was very disappointed in Azurite. I think her ego's got a bit out of control since Andy turned her into a messianic figure in CR. Well she can forget another POV story for a while. I'll have to find a way to take them both down a peg or two. I considered putting out tenders for a truly vile lemon script starring the two of them. Hey if people will write them with Ranma and Ryoga that would be a natural. But that doesn't fit in with the SME image. Besides Margrave would probably enjoy it and Azurite would just soldier through stoically. I'll have to think of something else.
Hmmm ... "Girls' Night Out 2 : Eudial's Revenge!"
Yeah right, like I've got the time to write that. Maybe I'll
turn them into comic relief in the Titanite POV story. I'll have to think about this and plot a suitable revenge. But that can wait until later.
Anyway I've got bigger problems right now. Sam's message came right out of the blue. I guess the sins of the past really do return to haunt you.
Ryoga Hibiki nodded as I passed. It's been a while since we worked together and the first few times were murder. Of course it wasn't easy for him to play six different versions of himself. Especially as most of the time the alternates were talking to each other.
The seventh part had been played by a Ryogoid but recent events made me regret constructing the damned things. At any rate after the experience of directing "Crossover" alternate selves fics were simple. Which is handy for my current project. Glad I only have two Senshi counterparts meeting. Trying to get Usagi to play two Sailor Moons talking to each other would have been a nightmare. Coincidentally I passed Ami and Makoto. Makoto gave me a friendly wave but Ami just glowered. She's unhappy about all the time she needs in makeup before she can play Sailor Hermes. Maybe I overdid the horrific injuries a tad.
Through the exit door (marked with a number of ominous warning signs) and I was outside and near the edge. There he was, studying the constantly shifting sky and dictating the odd note to a crystal recorder. He didn't seem to have noticed me.
"Huh? Oh hello Mark." He switched off the recorder and put
down his sandwich. Which immediately tried to scurry away while I resolved not to ask what was in it. I'll leave the frightening menu descriptions to Sam. "What can I do for you?"
So I filled him in on the situation and he nodded. "In brief, there's an angry Zoalord by the name of Arkanfool ..."
"Arkanfael. He's apparently very particular about getting his name right."
"How particular? Are we talking a stern look or pulling your spine out through the back of the neck?"
"Gotcha. Okay this guy wants either revenge or a rewrite. He
can't get here directly but if he gets into the Lurkerdrone he can access SME via hammerspace? Same way the Lurker does?"
"He's a very tough bastard and beating him militarily isn't an
option. At least not without the collateral damage turning SME into a wasteland. Besides Lurker needs him alive for an unconnected fic. Have I got that right?"
"That's it. I was thinking of trying out the Gundam class Ryogoids I designed but never used. But, on reflection, I've had enough trouble with them recently."
"You could cut Xerxes loose."
"He's got power to match Q but less selfcontrol and morality.
As for the other Walkers given their time scale it'll be twenty years after you contact them that they'll look at you and ask what you want."
"Tricky ... I'd say the best stopgap measure is to cut off SME from hammerspace. That'll hopefully buy us the time to think of something better."
"Good." It occurred to me that if we did that we'd either trap Sam here or seal him off from SME. Still it would be better than me getting ripped apart by the Zoalord. Sacrifices were necessary for the greater good of me ... I mean SME.
"So how do we do that?"
Pyrite shrugged. "I've never studied Hammerspace. I've looked
at it enough to know it's different from the quantum pandimensional membrane I normally mess around with. It's also completely different from raw chaos which I've been studying lately." He waved an arm at the constantly changing lightshow surrounding us. "Get in touch with E.M. Lurker and ask him to have this Jerry Steiner contact me. Maybe we can work something out."
He looked a little devious. "As an alternative do you have any personal enemies among the other writers?"
"No, why would I?"
"Pity. We could have stuck one of them with a glamour of you
and let Arkanfael tear him apart. He thinks you're dead and leaves then you're off the hook." I guess I looked at him sharply as he sounded defensive. "Just a suggestion!" Pause. "Is Doug expendable?"
"Of course not!" I admit I thought about it very briefly. "That's incredibly unethical! Besides he hasn't finished his story yet."
"As you like. Well have Lurker's people contact me.
Incidentally are we resuming Kingdom Come soon?"
"Another day or two. The Sabers-Shadows-Ryogoid fight demolished most of the soundstage so we're still rebuilding. That island's abrupt arrival didn't help. Lucky we didn't lose too many of the sets and FX had already shot the 'Tokyo goes boom' stuff. So I've comandeered the new stage we're giving Doug to wrap up shooting on 'The Babe Wore Blue.' By some fluke it wasn't damaged. It's way too small for shooting TKC but it should do fine for the CTU interior shots in Babe. Oh, if Doug asks it's still under construction."
With that he went back to studying the chaos and I left to call
Sam. I'm still going to need a permanent solution to the Arkanfael dilemma. Maybe I could troll r.a.a.c. for a drekfic writer who won't be missed. Invite him to SME, stick a glamour of me on him then send word to Arkanfael I'm ready to discuss the rewrites. After the first few cliches Arkanfael makes a mess and goes home thinking his honour is satisfied. And the world becomes just a little bit of a better place.
I have to admit it's tempting
From: Frank Barr
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 97 18:35:24 EST
Subject: Meanwhile, over in Andy's part of the backlot
I took a sip of water from my oversized coffee mug that said "Andy Combs: SME God" and sighed contentedly. (The mug was given to me by Topass in a blaitant attempt to persuade me to make the love scene with Titianite into a full blown Lemon. I told him I'd think about it.) The shooting of today's scenes had gone well and I was just sitting there in my trailer going over my notes for future chapters of Crystal Tokyo Saga when there came a pounding on my door. "Go away," I shouted. It was probably some SME character demanding a rewrite of of their scene or wanting to do a sides story and I'd had enough of that nonsense, thank you very much. Until I finished Crystal Renegades there was no way I was answering that door.
The pounding became more insistant but I could hardly hear the muffled thumping. One of the first things I did when I set up shop here at the SME backlot was to have my trailer soundproofed. I could ignore whomever was out there no matter how hard they pounded. Then something bashed against the door very hard but the door didn't budge. The second thing I did was to reinforce the doors walls and windows with ultronium which absorbs kinetic energy. A meteor couldn't pierce these walls. There came an odd noise that sounded something like "poit!" as a teleport failed. The third thing I did, after Titanite pulled her little teleportation number on me was to install T-shields so I would not be disturbed. Heh! I took another sip and chuckled. Nope, nobody was getting in unless I let em'."
KABLAM! KABLAM! KABLAM! Crash! Someone shot out the hinges and the lock and kicked the door in. "Combs!" A familar voice raged, "Thanks to you I've seen hell!" The figure stalked inside and angrily stomped the office chair on the opposite side of my desk to flinders. "Ryoga!" I exclaimed in alarm, "what are you doing here?" Fire burned in his eyes and his mouth split in a fanged snarl of rage, "You have destoyed my life and you don't even recognize me! Guess again Combs!"
Then I noticed that "Ryoga" was wearing a military style greatcoat with a blue uniform reminicant of Beryl's Generals. In his left hand he held a dueling pistol of the Ancients that still smoked from blowing out my door. "Uh... Ferrite?" I asked hesitantly. "Yes, Ferrite!" He shouted. "Thanks to you and your 'voice actor' suggestion I wind up looking like this," he said gesturing to his fangs and now shorter stature. Indeed, he was at least a foot shorter and the coat was quite floppy and dragged the floor.
He started pacing back and forth muttering, "it's not as if I don't work hard, show up for my scenes on time, make only modest suggestions, and now look at me. The template for the poor sucker who always gets beat up and pushed around. It's bad enough that I never get the girl, now I'm a clueless loser." He turns his attention back on me before I can press my silent alarm button and get a few Knight Sabers that I keep on retainer to eject him. I force a pleasant smile and hope he doesn't get too violent. Putting his fist through my desktop he shouts, "Well I'm not going to stand for it! You call Frank up and retract that voice actor stuff right now! This cross continuity crap is driving me crazy. I can't count the number of times I've bit my lip with these damn fangs."
"I really wish I could," I say, "but when I make a creative decision I stick to..." Before I can complete my sentence, he grabs my desk and his eyes get all wide and wild. He shrieks in a high pitched voice, (high pitched for Ryoga anyway) "Don't push me, man!" My mouth gets dry and I bring my cup shakily to my lips spilling a little water on my notes. Then it hits me. Thinking quickly I dash my mug of water in his face. True to the Jusenkyou curse, Ferrite transforms and I give a chuckle of satisfaction. Whew! That was close. Rubbing my hands in anticipation, I pull out a moon cat sleep module and a bazooka and call, "here, piggy, piggy, piggy!" I'll show that upstart character.
"Grunt!" Comes the heavy throated, porcine sound from the opposite side of my desk. Strange, that didn't sound like a baby black pig. Then, with a feeling of dread I remember Frank's net handle: Warthog! Things get painful for the next few moments. Finally, the angry, two-hundred pound warthog trots out the door, it's tail aloft like a flag. I make a note to call Frank this afternoon after I get back from the hospital.
Sometimes, the creative process can be painful...
So what does it feel like to be a literary character, Andy?
From: Frank Barr
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 97 17:04:02 EST
Subject: Bogosity beyond belief
See what happens when you let it get too quiet...
Ferrite was just coming back via a back alley from a meeting with Yui Aino over on Mark's side of the SME lot when he spotted a female form curled up in a trembling heap. Thinking it was a human character that had accidentally ordered from the youma menu at the cafeteria, he pulled a bottle of antacid from his pocket and hurried over to help. A moment later, the bottle shattered on the asphalt when it dropped from his nervless fingers onto the asphalt. The young woman was Titanite! It couldn't have been the gardinel chitterlings then. (He knew, he'd seen her put away four plates of the disgusting stuff in one sitting.)
He bent down to examine her but there seemed to be no outward signs of trauma, she just lay there trembling and whispering, "the horror... the horror..." Laying next to her in the alley were a video recorder and what looked like a classic Star Trek tricorder. Pulling out his cellular phone, he quickly dialed up Calcite's agent who patched him through to his fellow SME character. After a quick explanation and description of a few teleport points, Calcite, Margrave, Pyrite and Azurite appeared in the back alley. A thourough, if brief, examination by Pyrite did not reveal the reason for her distress either. Administering a sedative, he teleported back to the infirmary with her.
"Looks like she was doing a bit of dimension hopping," Azurite said examining the gate-device disguised as a tricorder. "Did you see any sign of what might have caused this?" Calcite asked Ferrite. "None," He answered, "I just found her like this. Maybe the video recorder will tell us something." Calcite rewound the tape and they crowded close to look into the small screen.
The tape opened with a shot of Titanite's face as she narrated into the camera, "I've traced our parallel selves to our old apartment and am attempting to discern the branch attribute that makes this universe different from our own." The view of the camera then pivoted to view a room of what looked suspicously like the kitchen of the Renegade's old apartment. A short little man with pinced features was over by the stove frying something in a pan.
He was an odd fellow with a scowl that seemed to be frozen on his face and his thick, black hair cut into a soup bowl haircut.
The door to the kitchen opened and Calcite stepped in, or at least, that worlds version of Calcite did. Rather than Calcite's normal, full, flowing green hair this one had it thin, curly, and brown with almost none on top. "Magnesite..." the Calcite on the video began.
"It's Moe!" The little fellow said angrily, " How many times must I tell you knuckleheads to adress me like my film idol Moe!" With that he picked up the frying pan and whacked the Calcite/Larry across the face with it. The pan bonged loudly but the Calcite of any world is fairly sturdy so all he did was blink. "React!" Magnesite/Moe hissed, "you're supposed to react!" "Uh... Nyahhh!" Calcite/Larry yelled covering his faux injury. "Why don't you leave him alone," Azurite dressed as Shemp said over the counter. "See this?" Magnesite/Moe said holding out his fist. Azurite/Shemp sighed and slapped the fist whereupon Magnesite's arm came around and hit Azurite on the top of the head. "You'd best stop that," Pyrite/Curly-Joe said, "we've business to take care of." "In character," Magnesite/Moe said peevishly. Adopting a lisping falsetto he said, "Stop that or I'll give you such a pinch!" Magnesite/Moe slammed the shutters closed on Pyrite/Curly-Joe's nose. "Owwww! That huuurt!" came the muffled cry from the other side of the shutters.
"Where's that other knucklehead?" Magnesite/Moe asked aloud to no one in particular.
"Here I am. Nyuck! Nyuck!" A voice said from off camera. The view panned to take in the Titanite of that world. She was in view for only an instant when the one holding the camera let out a bloodcurlding scream and retreated to the SME dimension. The rest of the film consisted of a view of the alley from ground level with Titanite whispering, "the horror" over and over again.
"I didn't see that last one," Margrave said, "rewind the tape."
Calcite did so and froze the frame on the Titanite of the other world. In view was a barely recognizable Titanite, obease to the point of being round, a too tight, striped shirt stretched over her jelly-belly, her long locks shaved into a buzzcut. There, frozen in the video viewer stood Titanite/Curly in all her Stooge glory.
"Oy!" Ferrite exclaimed.
Who had this "what if?" question in his mind...
From: Douglas Helm
Subject: BTS - Caught in the middle...
A little credit :
This little BTS idea was inspired by a private comment from Ben.
Of course as a clarification to Becky, this is all meant in fun ^_^
Sakuya is seated in the converted broom closet off of the main gate guard house. We, or rather she had been telling me of what she thought of the lack of progress on the Scottish Trip script.
"You know, Doug, it really is annoying. I know that you finished MTT awhile ago. What are you working on anyway that has taken up so much of your time. I mena it isn't like you write stuff the size of a Latus chapter." Sakuya said. I squirm visibly. Sakuya wouldn't really understand what I did. Actually if she knew it might lead to bodily harm.
"Well" She prompts glaring at you. It does not help to have created a character that can wipe you out financially. It doesn't help that I've just given her powers. As I'm debating if I could out run one of her attacks a knock on the door is heard.
"I'll get it." Sakuya says. I'm quite happy to oblie her considering that it gets me out of having to answer her question about what I've been working on.
That's when all sense of safety flees as I her a familiar voice. "Oh say is Doug ahh..." I don't need to lo9ok up to see who it is. I already know. I'm doomed and I'm just now debating which one will have the pleasure of pounding into a pulp. At first there is silence, glancing up I see both Sakuya's looking at each other. They are locked in a grim staring contest. My sense of self preservation kicks in and I start inching towards the door. Just like primal hunter they attracted to the motion of their prey. Before I know what's happening I'm pinned to the wall by two set of identical eyes that are screaming "what the hell did you do!"
"Ah, hi. Sako-chan... What are you doing here." I told her never ever come onto the lot. More for my own safety then anything else. That and she really has nothing to do with our on going work her.
"I wanted to know when you going to continue shooting."
"Continue shooting? shooting what?" The other Sakuya says. A try to pry myself free but it's no good. "Now ladies, please. You wonldn't want to do anything to me..." The look they toss me contridicts what I just said. Turning to the first Sakuya or Sako-chan I say, "Will wouldn't be very happy with you if you hurt me and I couldn't finish the script. I also have to kepp up the update." Sako-chan seems to consider my words.
"You still haven't answered my question." Sakuya says, "what have you been doing with this second grade duplicate!" I wince slightly at that remark but before Sako-chan can retort I step in to prevent any harm to either me or my office.
"Sakuya, Sako-chan is a perfect copy of you. The only real difference with you is your origins. Thats all." They seem to size each other up at that point and look at me. I think I'm safe... Heh boy I just got myself into deeper shit.
"I want to see proof." Sakuya demands
"So do I, I don't settle to be second-classed!" Sako-chan put
in. "Alright, just let me get to the computer and both of you can look through my files. At least stuff that's public. I mean there are things that Sakuya can't see... There are some parts of the Scottish Trip that have to be kept secret from the lead characts. And Sako-chan can't see stuff for her script." Grudgingly they let me to my computer and I frantically try to trace what files they can see so I can save my own skin....
Just outside the main gate a new author is arriving oblivious to the dangers and whackiness of the SME lot ...
The Candle Light Author
From: "Mark Latus"
Backstage at SME : Payback Time
"Okay let's hurry up people, time is money. Costuming! The script has Ferrite in a tuxedo, not the naval outfit. Get him changed now! And Ferrite stop whining about the makeup. This is a new incarnation so we could just use another actor! Magnesite you don't get a cameo because it's 500 years before you get freed. Now go away! Have a word with Frank about 'Power ...' or something."
Things were more or less under control on my sound stage as I got ready to shoot the first installment of "Tales of Crystal Tokyo." The only thing missing was ...
"LATUS!" As I'd rather expected an angry Margrave stormed in. "What the hell are you doing giving Azurite another solo story when I haven't had mine yet!"
From her chair Azurite points out, "Well you did get one by Frank dear."
"Yeah, while my own writer was supposedly too busy on TKC to do anything else. What the hell is this?"
I say casually, "Inspiration. Have to strike while the iron is hot."
"Yeah right. This is because I mutinied isn't it? Well Azurite was in that with me so why does she get forgiven so quickly?" Margrave eyes narrow, "Just what have the two of you been up to? I'll give you casting couch!"
As she moves forward three people glide in front of me. Margrave stops in confusion as her senses tell her two aren't human while the third has an unreadable scent.
"Margrave I don't believe you've met Daniel Dumas. Dan's at a loose end until I resume 'Hurricane Season' so he's serving as my security adviser until we've resolved the Zoalord problem. And these are his boomer associates Cynthia and Kevin." Margrave's still trying to pick up something readable from Dan. "I should mention that Dan has the ability to shut down his emotions at will which is why his scent is so neutral. Add to that his enhanced mind and I have a great villain."
"Excuse me Mark but I must protest the villain label." As always Dumas sounds polite. "I merely do what is necessary for the greater good of all even if I must hurt those I love."
"I stand corrected. Now Dan, Margrave should be studying her solo scenes for part nine of TKC."
"Of course. Kevin, would you escort Ms Margrave to her dressing room?" The boomer nods and courteously extends a hand. Margrave considers resisting briefly then gives in and lets it lead her away.
I'm sure Daniel's already anticipated my next order but I give it anyway. "Make sure she doesn't sneak back here and ruin the filming. I've got to get this done quickly then resume shooting TKC!" He nods and tells me everything is under control. I wish I could decide if it was a good idea hiring him. He's efficient but I can't help wondering why he hasn't tried to rewrite the draft for the BGC story. What's he up to? I sigh, this is what comes of creating characters who are smarter than yourself.
Azurite's looking a little edgy. "Ah Mark ... about the uhh ... abduction thing ..."
"Water under the bridge. Beside I'm sure it was all Margrave's idea."
"Uhm yes! That's exactly right. And I really appreciate this second chance."
"Not at all." Hah, like I'd really forget two of my characters turning on me like that! This story's my chance to pay them both back. Margrave gets to fume about Azurite upstaging her again. As for Azurite ... what I haven't told her yet is that I'm not releasing "Tales ..." until I've got the first DKR series completed. And that is months away. Once it's shot I'll just keep it stored on the SME page while I claim I'm sorting out the continuity details with Frank. Knowing she's got a starring role in an unreleased completed story is going to get under Azurite's skin and drive her wild! It'll be eating away at her as she waits for the day I complete the first series. An excellent retribution against both of them.
The moral to all characters out there is don't cross your author! We're slow to anger but terrible in our wrath.
"Ferrite, you look good. Okay places people and let's make magic. Roll the opening credits ..."
"And that's a wrap. Okay Azure we need you over at TKC for the Lady Azurite opening scene. No rest for the wicked, let's move!"
Hard to believe it was so long ago...