05/08/2014: Chapter 64 Is Almost Done, ReallyHey, and sorry for so long without updates. For those of you who aren't following my Tumblr, there is one sentence I'm still trying to get right in chapter 64, and I'm slowly inching closer to it. It seriously shouldn't be long now. If any of you are still reading, this would be a good time to refresh your memory on what's actually going on in the fic (but if you can't be bothered, I'll update the Plot Recap page when the chapter goes up either way).
Chapter 65 really should be relatively quick. I've mentioned before that I have some issues with chapters 66-70, though, and I'm hoping to get back on my originally intended "show several chapters to betas and make edits to all of them before posting anything" plan. So that could take some time. Not as long as chapter 64, though. Chapter 64 was 100% me being a ridiculous perfectionist about it because it's May. Normally I'd have posted it like a year ago.
And just to give you something after all this time, here's the first scene. It's not hugely remarkable, but it's something.
The quickest way to Acaria City was to fly. Skarmory couldn’t fly as fast as Charizard with a trainer weighing him down, so May borrowed Mark’s Charizard. It was strange flying an unfamiliar Pokémon, and despite how many battles they’d been in together, she could never quite shake the feeling that she just didn’t trust him like one of her own.
(Chaletwo didn’t comment on that, but he was probably rolling his immaterial eyes.)
They reached the city in the evening and checked into a trainer hotel. Chaletwo hadn’t talked to her most of the day, which made her almost forget he was there at all; if anything that bothered her even more. She didn’t know how Mark could stand this.
“He can stand this because he doesn’t freak out over it,” Chaletwo said as she entered her room and collapsed onto the bed. “I don’t understand why you’re so tense. You know me; I know you; I already know your Tyranitar killed a boy. Exactly what are you afraid of?”
She winced. “That’s not the problem,” she said, turning onto her side.
“Then what is? Do girls your age think about boys or something? Because I assure you I’d tune that out anyway.”
“No!” She sat up in disgust. “What, is Mark thinking about girls all the time?”
May lay back down with a sigh. There was silence.
“You still haven’t told me what –”
“Thoughts are supposed to be private,” she said between gritted teeth.
“I’m not going to blab everything you think to Mark, if that’s what you’re worried about.”
“Again, that’s not the point.”
“Then I don’t have the faintest idea what is.”
What was the point? May wasn’t entirely sure how to answer that. Thoughts were random and uncontrollable, and people should have conscious control over how they appeared to others. That didn’t mean they had anything to hide. It was just… who you were was the choices you made about what to say and do, and if somebody was reading your mind, you didn’t have a choice about anything. It was creepy and terrifying.
“What? Of course you can still choose what you say and do. It’s not mind-control.”
May clenched her jaw and thought about empty white space.
“If it helps,” Chaletwo said after a moment, “I don’t have to read your thoughts all the time. I can tune you out completely unless you ask for me or something important is going on.”
She shook her head. “I’m fine.”
Chaletwo gave a long telepathic sigh. “If you insist. What do you think of our prospects without Mark?”
“We have Robin,” she said.
“She’s a whole lot better than nothing, obviously, but you and Mark did train for a couple of months for legendary battles, which she hasn’t.”
“But Robin is good at battling, which Mark isn’t, so that pretty much balances it out.”
“I wouldn’t go that far. Mark made it to the quarterfinals of the League. I realize you’re the more skilled battler, but…”
“Mark is okay,” May said firmly, “but Robin is top-notch. She’ll pick up the strategy in no time. If anything we’re better off now.”
Chaletwo sighed again. “Well, I suppose optimism is nice. Either way, you should get some sleep; tomorrow will be a long day.”
May nodded and stood up to brush her teeth, and Chaletwo didn’t speak again for the rest of the night.
Negrek (05/08/2014 05:51:26)
What is the sentence? What are you trying to say and why do you not like it? I swear I will sit down and workshop this damn sentence with you if that would help aaaaargh.
This does look like it's going to be a fun chapter, though! Can't wait to see the rest. Although I'm a little confused as to how Chaletwo can't tell what's bothering May if he's all up in her thoughts and all, unless he's just being polite and pretending not to know.
eevee_em (05/08/2014 19:59:31)
Oh hey, an update.
SilverLatios47 (05/08/2014 23:47:34)
I've been rereading in anticipation of this update.
Rejoice! I understand the need for perfectionism but the wait has been grueling on the fan side. I hope you finally get through those tricky May parts(She's worth it, she's probably my favorite human character) and wish you a much smoother editing run for the rest of the book! Love the teaser and simply can't wait for more.
Butterfree (05/09/2014 00:11:48)
Although I'm a little confused as to how Chaletwo can't tell what's bothering May if he's all up in her thoughts and all, unless he's just being polite and pretending not to know.The way telepathy works in this universe, Chaletwo only has access to what she's consciously thinking at any given moment. So he definitely knows "grr get out of my head this is awful", but May doesn't want him much deeper than that, so she's not exactly inclined to introspect about why she really doesn't want him in her head at the moment.
It's a sentence where I attempt to imply a lot of things in the space of time it would take May to start to think something and then not continue that train of thought. It's a tricky thing to manage. But I'm closing in on it!
Glad to see some people are still here!
Chibi (05/10/2014 02:47:45)
Glad to see some people are still here!You can't get rid of us that easy.