Review: Thundercats Season 1 Episode 12: The Doomgaze

January 31, 2009

But I was going to Toshi’s Prison to pick up some power of doomgaze!

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We open in Mumm-Ra’s pyramid. He’s calling upon Nemesis, force of darkness, for help in overcoming the Thundercats and ruling over the Third Earth. I can’t be sure, but this seems like a change in gameplan for Mumm-Ra. Up until this point he’s been focused on stealing the Eye of Thundera. Now it seems he just wants to beat the Thundercats. However, he is sticking with the Evil Team-Up as his modus operandi, so at least there’s that. A big blue flame rises up out of Mumm-Ra’s cauldron (presumably that’s Nemesis) and starts talking to Mumm-Ra in a voice that’s incredibly similar to Panthro’s.

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Nemesis advises summoning the princess Toshi and freeing her from her time-warp prison. Once she’s sprung, she’ll share the power of the doomgaze. Mumm-Ra wastes no time and immediately starts summoning Toshi. Toshi appears in the sky in a flying boat shaped like a crocodile head.

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(I like the jack-o-lantern motif she’s got going on on the sail). Toshi takes Mumm-Ra’s call, and wants to know what he wants. Mumm-Ra, as one might expect, wants he to share the secret of the doomgaze.

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She wants to know why he wants it. Mumm-Ra figures that with the power of the doomgaze they’ll be able to control the Thundercats forever. She points out that she’s trapped in the time-warp prison. To summarize, the important things to remember about this character are that 1) she has the power of the doomgaze, and 2) she’s in a time-warp prison. I think we get it, show. In fact, these are the only things we know about this character, so you can stop beating us over the head with it.

Mumm-Ra thinks that the time-warp prison thing won’t be such a big deal, since he knows the key to getting her out. Toshi doesn’t believe Mumm-Ra, since she’s of the opinion that only she knows the key. They go back and forth over the ingredients to the key in the stupidest argument ever. Seriously, Toshi, what is your deal here? The only thing the key can be used for is to get you out of the frickin’ time-warp prison, so why are you giving Mumm-Ra such a hard time about it? There is seriously no downside for you in this plan. Anyway, the key is: a tuft of hair from a cheetah, a berbil’s tear, a shoe from an enchanted unicorn, and a hero to take Toshi’s place in the time-warp prison.

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We cut (finally!) to the exterior of Cat’s Lair, where Lion-O is practicing some acrobatics with Snarf and Panthro. Lion-O is distracted by a big black cloud, moving in the opposite direction from the rest of the clouds in the sky. Lion-O calls upon the Sword of Omens’ power of sight-beyond-sight, and discovers that the cloud was concealing some sort of airborne jellyfish.

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And it’s headed for the berbil village! They head off to warn the berbils, but the jellyfish is way ahead of them. Despite Roberbil’s best efforts, the jellyfish gets Roberbelle in its tentacle!

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Lion-O, Cheetara, Panthro, and Snarf show up at the village, and the rest of them stand around like idiots while Snarf is the only one with the presence of mind to try to attack the thing. It gets away, moving pretty quickly, so Cheetara decides that she’ll follow the jellyfish while leaving a trail for Lion-O to follow behind her. She runs along, leaving scratch-marks on trees, chasing the flying jellyfish.

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However, she’s running so fast that she doesn’t see a wire net across the path in front of her. She gets tangled up in it, and Slythe shows up with a hatchet. He uses the hatchet to cut off a tuft of Cheetara’s hair.

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Cheetara bursts out of the net that has been holding her, but before she can jump Slyth, the jellyfish grabs him in its other tentacle and pulls him out of reach.

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Meanwhile, Lion-O and Snarf are following the slashed-tree trail that Cheetara left. We cut to Jackalman, a bit further ahead on the path, and he takes a unicorn down with a bolo.

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He runs up and pries the horseshoe off the unicorn. Lion-O and Snarf notice him, but he runs off before they can get to him. As they’re discussing why Jackalman might want a unicorn shoe, Cheetara shows up and tells them about how Slythe stole some of her hair. From all of the strange events, Lion-O deduces that only Mumm-Ra can be behind it all. He again calls upon the awesome power of sight-beyond-sight. He sees a big skull-shaped cliff, with a stonehenge-like circle on top of that.

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Mumm-Ra and the Mutants are there, and Mumm-Ra calls in Toshi so they can start the ceremony. Lion-O tells Cheetara to cross the burning sands of the Phosphorous Desert, while he and snarf go via the Crumbling Cliffs of Vertigo. This will let them hit their enemies from both sides. Cheetara sets off across the desert.

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And Lion-O sets off along the cliffs.

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Snarf slips off the tiny ledge they’re on, but Lion-O pulls him back to safety. They get to a gap in the ledge, and Lion-O pulls out his sword, “HO!”, and shoots a beam across the gap to create a bridge for Snarf to cross.

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Unfortunately, the Crumbling Cliffs are true to their name, and the ledge on the far side collapses under Snarf’s weight. Lion-O shoots a line from the knuckle of the Claw Shield and swings down to save Snarf and get them both across.

We cut back to Mumm-Ra, who has begun his incantation, and Cheetara has managed to sneak up behind the stone circle unnoticed.

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And so have Lion-O and Snarf.

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So their “get them from both sides” plan seems to have gone off without a hitch! Mumm-Ra tells Toshi that he’s ready with the stuff he was bringing to the party, so she flies most of the way down from her crocodile boat on a levitating disc.

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Lion-O finds her beautiful, in an evil sort of way. With everything ready, Mumm-Ra says, “now, let the sorcery begin!” Then, he calls upon the ancient spirits of evil to transform his decayed form to Mumm-Ra the Ever-living. Toshi once again explains the whole “free me from the time-warp prison so I may share with you the power of the doomgaze” plan to Mumm-Ra. Lady, it was his plan. He knows it. We know it. Get on with it!

Mumm-Ra uses red rays to zap the various ingredients. Roberbelle makes an effort not to cry, thereby denying him the berbil’s tear. Snarf tries to pressure Lion-O to act, but Lion-O is mesmerized by Toshi. Mumm-Ra zaps Roberbelle with some more magic, and he gets her tear.

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Snarf tries even harder to get Lion-O into gear, but he’s still in a trance. Toshi hovers down closer to Mumm-Ra. Cheetara gets tired of waiting for Lion-O to make a move, and decides to act on her own.

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Toshi is pretty happy with the progress on the “free me from the time-warp prison” thing, but wonders where the hero that will take her place is. Lion-O has finally gotten into the action, but this was part of Mumm-Ra’s plan all along! He wants Lion-O to take Toshi’s place in the time-warp prison!

“Thunder, thunder, thunder, Thundercats, HO!”

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The other Thundercats head off in the Thundertank. Meanwhile, back at the ritual site, Cheetara is fighting with Monkian. With some judicious use of super-speed running-in-circles and her extendo-staff, she easily defeats him. Slythe threatens Lion-O, but Cheetara knocks Slythe on his ass (no mean feat with that giant tail that he’s got…) and she tells Lion-O to focus on Mumm-Ra while she deals with the Mutants. But Mumm-Ra tells Toshi to summon up her power of the doomgaze and use it on Lion-O, which she does.

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Caught in the power of the doomgaze, Lion-O stops fighting, and the Sword of Omens returns to its normal short size. The Thundercats symbol in the sky fades out, and the other Thundercats out in the Thundertank take that as a particularly ominious sign. They decide to take the shortest route, across the Field of Daggers. (Third Earth geography certainly has been exciting this episode, hasn’t it?) The Field of Daggers is a region which shoots giant spikes of rock up at you as you cross it. Panthro tries to drive around them, but can’t avoid them all.

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Back at the ritual site, Lion-O is paralyzed and helpless. Mumm-Ra explains that he’s going to lock Lion-O in the time-warp prison, and then rule Third Earth and, eventually, the Universe. Snarf tries to stop him, but Toshi gets Snarf in the doomgaze, too.

Meanwhile, Cheetara has been busy fighting the remaining Mutants. She ties up Slythe and chases off Jackalman. She notices that Lion-O is in trouble, but Mumm-Ra tells her that she has no choice but to submit to a superior power.

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Toshi uses her doomgaze on Cheetara, too. But it doesn’t work! Mumm-Ra implies that maybe Toshi hasn’t “summoned up” her powers. That’s not the problem, though, as Cheetara explains: “Your mystical powers have no effect on me. You may mesmerize men with your evil beauty, but I am a woman, you hold no mystery for me.” (Keep in mind that this must mean that Snarf was interested, even though they’re radically different species).

Just then, the Thundertank pulls up, and the other Thundercats start attacking. Cheetara grabs the cape that Toshi had draped around Lion-O’s shoulders, and throws it back at Toshi, which sends her back to her crocodile boat in the sky.

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Lion-O is freed, and joins the fight against Mumm-Ra. Mumm-Ra realizes he’s running low on power, so he flies away, back to his pyramid.

In the coda, they’re discussing the situation, and realize that Snarf is still stuck in the power of the doomgaze. Wilykit notices the cup that Mumm-Ra used to capture the berbil’s tear, and figures she should try just dumping it out on Snarf.

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It works! Snarf is freed, and “comically” isn’t aware that the adventure has been resolved while he was in the trance. The rest of the Thundercats laugh at him.

And to think, Mumm-Ra’s plan would have worked if Slythe had just killed Cheetara when he had the chance. Or if Toshi knew that her power was completely ineffective on 50% of the population. You’d think that would be the sort of thing she might have noticed before.

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Novel Update

January 31, 2009

Word Count Indicator
Current Word Count: 45031
Words Written Today: 634

Quality Indicator
Current Resolved Issues: 22
Current Open Issues: 31
Issues Resolved Today: 4
Issues Opened Today: 1

I did more work today than the word count indicator shows. Chapter 6 needed a pretty hefty rewrite, and now there are less words there than there used to be, which hurt in the indicator. I’m over 45k words now, though.

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Also, this is the debut of my new indicator. Still a little crude getting it up on the blog. The idea is that each color band represents the number of chapters that are of a particular length. The green ones are between 2000 and 2500 words, the yellow between 1800 and 2000, the orange between 1600 and 1800, red from 1000 to 1600, and dark red below 1000 words. The goal is to have as much of the chart green by the end as I can. I think I’ll only post the chart weekly. I still need to get the hang of how to create nice looking charts in OpenOffice.


Review: Thundercats Season 1 Episode 11: The Ghost Warrior

January 30, 2009

The first rule of Thundrainium battle club is: you don’t talk about Thundrainium battle club.

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We open on a dark and stormy night. Two bolkens are seeking shelter from the thunderstorm and see a giant tree in the middle of a field and decide that it looks like a perfect place to wait out the storm.

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The settle down at the base of the tree, and moments later it is hit by lightning and splits in half.

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They are unhurt, and discover that some steps had been buried under the tree.

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One of them guesses that the steps lead to a tomb, which he considers quite lucky, since he’s decided to start an exciting new career in grave robbing. They enter the tomb, and discover a door with symbols on it, symbols intended to ward off evil (I suspect the big red X in the center is the most potent anti-evil symbol).

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The bolkens rationalize that they aren’t evil, so there’s no reason they can’t bust in. They get a running start and actually smash through the door, which knocks the anti-evil symbol down and cracks it in half. They don’t find any treasure, but there are lit torches. With spooky blue flames! Still hoping for treasure, they push a giant stone slab to reveal an opening in the floor. Smoke rises up from the opening and solidifies into an anthropomorphic cat person with a single saber tooth.

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Based on the saber tooth, the bolkens identify him as the legendary Groon the Destroyer, who ravaged Third Earth centuries ago. The bolkens figure out that they’ve unleashed his ghost. Groon is happy to be out, but feels weak. He wanders around and sees Cat’s Lair. He seems familiar with the design, but is surprised to see one here on Third Earth. Knowing that Cat’s Lairs are excellent sources of Thundrilium, he heads inside, phasing through the doors.

Inside Cat’s Lair, all the Thundercats are gathered in the control room, talking about the weather. A door opens behind Cheetara, and she notices a chill.

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Tygra is quick to cast blame at Snarf for leaving the door open, but Snarf denies it, and points out that an open door wouldn’t account for the rapid drop in temperature. Which you would think Tygra would know, being the architect of Cat’s Lair and all. It isn’t like that door opens to the outside… Anyway, the door closes on its own, which Lion-O finds peculiar. There’s some loud banging, and some stuff hanging from the ceiling starts swinging ominously. Panthro is quick to dismiss it, though, and offers to turn up the heat. However, he’s thrown out of his chair!

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Panthro, channeling Moe, wants to know who the wiseguy was. Cheetara informs him that it wasn’t any of them, there’s some alien force in there with them. Wilykat is quick to add that it’s stronger than Panthro. Panthro’s assessment of the odds that something is stronger than him? Not Likely. Tygra looks at the control console and calls Panthro’s attention to the fact that the gauges are going wild. He’s probably watched a lot of Gauges Gone Wild videos, so I trust him to know it when he sees it. A piece of machinery rips away from one of the walls, slides across the floor, and pins Panthro against a wall.

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Tygra is concerned that the Thundrilium is being drained. Panthro orders Tygra to grab the controls, but when Tygra tries he can’t get to them. There are invisible hands in the way.

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Lion-O and Cheetara help Panthro escape from the equipment that was pinning, but before he can do anything the console starts sparking, and the lights dim. Tygra figures out that whatever is doing this is drawing its strength from the Thundrilium. Groon semi-materializes to taunt them.

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Cheetara and Wilykit try to attack him, but he uses teleportation and psychokinetic power to defeat their attacks. Wilykat tries to use his Lariat, but Groon transforms it into a burning ring of fire around him and Wilykit.

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Lion-O tries to attack Groon with his sword, but Groon just teleports around to dodge the strikes. Groon finds this whole situation highly amusing. Then he grows to giganto-size.

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Groon fades out, and then so does the scene. We cut to a wolo village, which Groon is giving the Godzilla treatment.

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He decides that he’d like some Thundrainium, what Third Earthlings call “fire rocks.” Third Earthlings really suck at naming things. We cut to Cat’s Lair, where a coalition of Third Earth natives is petitioning the Thundercats for aid with the whole Groon the Destroyer situation.

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The wolo spokesperson explains that Groon is demanding fire rocks, but they don’t have any. It’s been forbidden to mine fire rocks for a hundred mega-years (I wonder if a mega-year is longer or shorter than a galacto-year). Fire rocks were banned because their power was too difficult to control. Tygra notes the similarity to the Thundrainium they had on Thundera. Lion-O promises to help, although he’s not sure what they will do yet.

We cut to Groon, who has located some Thundrainium pits in a location that he’s already familiar with. Dude, if you knew where it was, why were you bugging everybody else about it? He forges a mace out of the stuff.

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Back at the Cat’s Lair control room, the Thundercats discuss the situation. Cheetara points out the the ghost was familiar with Thundercats, but isn’t sure how. Lion-O figures they’ll need to know as much about him as he knows about them if they want to beat him. He tries to use the Sword of Omens’ power of sight-beyond-sight, but he doesn’t see anything. Tygra points out that this is because the Eye has no psychic powers. This gives Panthro an idea, so he throws a pointed look at Cheetara. She pleads with them to not make her do something. Apparently Cheetara has the power to receive psychic visions. Sometimes they just come, other times she has to bring herself to “the brink of oblivion” to get them. Tygra adds that it can take her weeks or months to recover. Lion-O gives her an out, but she volunteers to do it anyway. She stars spinning in a circle.

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Her vision begins. She sees Groon, but he’s not the Destroyer, he’s… a Thundercat! (He also has two teeth in the vision). Furthermore, Groon used to hang with Jaga.

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They were great friends, and great warriors, defending Thundera against all invaders. But Groon got greedy. Groon and his army of marauders swept across Thundera destroying and looting. Jaga pursued him, and they fought. For days. Jaga won. Groon was banished from Thundera and set adrift in space.

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So, the Thundera branch of the ACLU kept this guy from getting the death penalty, and then the ancient residents of Third Earth had to deal with him? Nice going, jerks. Cheetara’s vision ends with the banishment, but they all figure they can fill in the rest of the details themselves.

Now, Cheetara’s vision was interesting and everything, but there wasn’t anything particularly psychic about it. Why couldn’t the sight-beyond-sight of the Sword of Omens have told them that? We’ve seen it show images from the past before. Does it have some kind of time limit on it, or something? And if this stuff on Thundera happened during Jaga’s lifetime, shouldn’t the other Thundercats like Tygra or Panthro at least know the history, even if it was slightly before their time? You’d think that an army of marauders sweeping across the planet would be the sort of thing that would make the news. Or was Jaga like a gazillion years old at the start of the series? Confusing.

Anyway, something starts shaking Cat’s Lair, and they all rush outside to see what it is. It turns out to be Groon the Destroyer whacking the heck out of the lair with his Thundrainium mace.

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Lion-O tries to zap Groon with a beam from the Eye of Thundera, but Groon blocks it with his mace, which causes the beam to fizzle. They wonder how they can fight a ghost, but then Lion-O gets an idea. They can fight a ghost with another ghost: the mightiest Thundercat of all! “Thunder, thunder, thunder, Thundercats, HO!” Lion-O calls out for Jaga, who appears in the sky, similarly sized to Groon.

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However, this has been what Groon’s been playing for all along. He wanted to call out Jaga so he could have a rematch. Groon points out his ace in the hole to Jaga: he forged his “battle club” out of Thundrainium. Tygra points out that Thundrainium weakens Thundercats, and Panthro adds that this will make it impossible for Jaga to win. OK, didn’t they establish that Groon was also a Thundercat? Why isn’t he affected by the Thundrainium? It can’t be because he’s a ghost, because Jaga is affected by it. Does Thundrainium weaken only Thundercats, but not non-Thundercat Thunderans? In any event, Groon and Jaga fight, and Groon manages to disarm Jaga.

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Lion-O throws Jaga the Sword of Omens, which also transforms itself to giganto-size. They’re fighting, but Jaga keeps getting weaker due to the Thundrainium. Lion-O tells Jaga to take his strength. Jaga is reluctant, but Lion-O, as Lord of the Thundercats, commands it.

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Jaga and Groon fight again, and Jaga is getting the upper hand this time thanks to the strength boost he got from Lion-O. Jaga knocks the Thundrainium mace into the sky. Groon surrenders, and promises never to fight Jaga again. Jaga puts the sword in his belt and turns to walk away, but Groon wants him to shake hands. But it was all a trick! When Jaga gets close Groon snatches the sword from Jaga’s belt!

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“Your righteousness has made you strong, Jaga, but it has also made you foolish!” (I guess he subscribes to the Dark Helmet theory of goodness…) However, the Eye of Thundera makes a noise, and the Sword of Omens pulls Groon up into the sky and disintegrates him.

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Lion-O congratulates Jaga, but Jaga attributes the victory to the strength of the Lord of the Thundercats. Jaga tosses the Sword of Omens back to Lion-O, and that restores his strength. Lion-O guesses that Jaga was onto Groon’s sword-snatching plan the whole time. Jaga tells him, “better an honest enemy than a false friend, Lion-O.”

In the coda, Tygra is working on a damage assessment of Cat’s Lair, and says there isn’t any structural damage, so repairs shouldn’t be too difficult. The bolkens from the top of the episode show up, and confess that they were the ones who set Groon’s ghost free. They say they didn’t mean to, they were just trying to rob his grave. They apologize for the whole mess.

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Panthro is pretty angry, but Lion-O tells him to go easy on them since they made a mistake, and mistakes can be valuable if you learn from them. I don’t think I made any mistakes, but I know I learned something: only steal from graves that aren’t occupied by giant evil anthropomorphic cats.


Novel Update

January 30, 2009

Word Count Indicator
Current Word Count: 44397
Words Written Today: 911

Quality Indicator
Current Resolved Issues: 18
Current Open Issues: 34
Issues Resolved Today: 2
Issues Opened Today: 1


Novel Update

January 29, 2009

Word Count Indicator
Current Word Count: 43372
Words Written Today: 802

Quality Indicator
Current Resolved Issues: 15
Current Open Issues: 36
Issues Resolved Today: 2
Issues Opened Today: 0

I think I’ve created a perverse incentive with the way I’ve been tracking wordcount. I need to rewrite chapter 1 because it has the wrong viewpoint character, it doesn’t have enough action, and is primarly just a huge infodump that sets up the world. But it’s also my longest chapter, so rewriting it will be a lot of work but probably won’t move my wordcount number… I know it’s not rational to have that impact my decisions about what to work on, but I’ve been putting it off for days even though I know I need to do it. I think the perverse incentive built into my indicator might be why I’ve been procrastinating on the chapter 1 rewrite, or at least a contributing factor. It’s starting to block my other work, since I don’t want to work on other chapters that focus on the same character until I nail down where he is at the start of the story. Hopefully I’ll be able to force myself to tackle it tormorrow. I hope that once I do that things will flow a little more smoothly.

EDIT: Well, as is often the case, writing about this issue here on the blog helped me work through it. After I posted this, I went back and rewrote chapter 1. The revised numbers for today are:

Word Count Indicator
Current Word Count: 43486
Words Written Today: 916

Quality Indicator
Current Resolved Issues: 16
Current Open Issues: 35
Issues Resolved Today: 3
Issues Opened Today: 0


Review: Thundercats Season 1 Episode 10: Mandora-The Evil Chaser

January 28, 2009

Bad boys, bad boys, watcha gonna do? Watcha gonna do when they come for you?

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We open on a blue metal container with prominent “danger” warnings. Lion-O and Snarf, walking through some tall grass, stumble across it. Snarf, by the way, is carrying a really conspicuous bag on a string around his neck.

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Lion-O hears some noises from inside, and decides to open it up, supposedly because someone may be hurt, but really because he’s just curious. He tries to only open it a crack, but the people inside bust the door wide open. Three individuals escape. The first is a guy in a cape with weird tubes sticking out of him.

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The second is some kind of speedy robot.

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The third is a mantis-like creature with metal clamp hands (he may be a robot, too, it’s hard to say).

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At first it appears that the last one is quite friendly, until Snarf notices that his coin purse (with his collection of tricentennial Thundera half-dollars and his lucky Jaga penny) has been stolen. Lion-O is skeptical, until Snarf points out that the Sword of Omens was also taken. They try to chase the thief down through the grass, but can’t find him. Just then, from out of the sky, someone flies in on a space-motorcycle.

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She’s upset because Lion-O has just released three of the universe’s most wanted evil-doers. She had left them there until they could be transported to the Gray Penal Planet. She then calls Lion-O an “inexperienced oaf” and Snarf a “fuzzy shrimp”. Snarf wants to know who she is, so she flashes her badge and introduces herself as Evil-Chaser First Class Mandora, Interplanetary Control Force.

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She then demands the Lion-O and Snarf help her apprehend the escaped prisoners, explaining that she’ll need their local knowledge. She wants to start first with Plutar, who she expects will seek out gassy swamps. Lion-O figures that The Living Ooze would be the best match to that description. They all pile on her space-motorcycle and set off to find it.

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Mandora explains that everything Plutar touches eventually dies: trees, flowers, animals. Cut to Plutar (the guy in the cape), who is killing everything he touches.

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The Living Ooze, who turns out to be more anthropomorphic than I expected, is upset that someone is polluting his streams and killing his trees, since that’s his job.

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Plutar and The Living Ooze go back and forth for a while on the subject of who’s a bigger badass when it comes to killing things, but Plutar eventually proposes teaming up to turn Third Earth into a wasteland (it’s not entirely clear why he wants to do this, but I guess he’s kind of like a Captain Planet style eco-villain who believes that destroying the environment is its own reward).

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The biggest kink in this plan is that Plutar knows the evil-chaser is hot on his trail. The ooze is skeptical that an evil-chaser can hurt him, but Plutar informs him that Mandora has a weapon capable of destroying both of them. They figure they can team up and trap her in the valley.

Cut to Mandora, Lion-O, and Snarf on the space-motorcycle. Lion-O points out The Living Ooze at a bend in a river. Mandora figures she’ll need to land on the riverbank next to the ooze. She tries is, but the ooze rushes under her as she’s putting down, and she skids out of control.

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They’re all thrown off and trapped by the ooze. Lion-O almost breaks free, but Plutar nails him with some kind of gas attack, which knocks him back down into the ooze.

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Mandora, still projecting that she’s in control of the situation, warns Plutar that resisting an officer is a punishable offense, and tells him to turn himself in. Plutar scoffs that Mandora can’t do anything, since they’re all trapped in the ooze. Mandora, however, slips out of her uniform (she’s got an off-the-shoulder body-suit underneath) and out of the ooze’s clutches to make her way back to her bike. She whips out what Plutar calls “the enzyme catalyzer”. The ooze makes a valiant attempt to get her.

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Unfortunately for Mandora the weapon isn’t working because some goop got in the filter. She uses some eye-beams to make some emergency repairs.

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With her weapon working again, she’s able to instantly dissolve the ooze, and poses in triumph.

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Plutar tries to jump her from behind, but she drops to the ground and zaps him.

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He ends up sparkling clean. Lion-O asks what the gun shoots, and Mandora explains that it’s an ancient formula, now a closely-guarded secret: soap. Mandora puts Plutar on the back of her space-motorcycle and takes him back to the cell-sled. Lion-O hears a familiar noise, that speedy robot.

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Snarf is concerned that it will run over a deer, but Lion-O figures he’ll just drop the giant nearby boulder onto the robot before that happens.

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They get him, and the deer runs to safety, but the robot gets back up and is pissed off. Apparently the robot’s name is Burnout. He tries to run Lion-O down, but Lion-O uses a rope fired from one of the knuckles of the Claw Shield to snag a tree branch and get out of the way. Burnout charges again, but Lion-O leaps out of the way. He charges again and Lion-O throws the Claw Shield underneath him to knock him over. Mandora flies in and takes stock of the situation, and decides to use her boomerang.

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She misses, but Lion-O snags the boomerang and throws it at Burnout again. The boomerang dispenses some paint onto Burnout’s eye, which causes him to lose control and drive into the river.

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Mandora likes the cut of Lion-O’s jib, and thinks he might make a good evil-chaser. She says that catching Quick-Pick won’t be as easy as this was, because he has a reputation as a master escape artist. Mandora plans to use a tracker to hunt Quick-Pick down while Lion-O takes Burnout back to the sled-cell on the space-motorcycle (wasn’t it a “cell-sled” earlier?).

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Mandora activates another tracker on the space-motorcycle that will let Lion-O find her once he’s got Burnout locked up. Lion-O and Snarf start flying back, and Mandora uses her tracker to find Quick-Pick. She tracks him to a sandy area, but doesn’t see him, even though the tracker says she’s right on top of him. As she’s looking, she’s sucked into the ground!

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As Lion-O puts Burnout into the cell-sled-cell, an alarm starts beeping on the space-motorcycle. Plutar tells him that “it means the lady’s had it. She’s probably been zapped out at last.” Lion-O hops on the bike and flies off to the rescue.

Cut back to Mandora, who has been captured by boar-people.

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They toss her in with Quick-Pick, who was presumably captured earlier. He refers to their captors as mud-hogs and explains they don’t have a language except for snorting, although they do have a king.

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The king of the mud-hogs has confiscated the Sword of Omens and Snarf’s coin-pouch from Quick-Pick, and is wearing them on his belt. The mud-hogs take Mandora and Quick-Pick up to the ceiling of their underground lair, where they have holes that are just big enough for someone’s head to fit through. Above ground, with Quick-Pick and Mandora’s heads sticking out of holes, a vulture flies around, menacing them. Lion-O comes flying in on the space-motorcycle and scares it away.

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Mandora warns Lion-O to stay back, but he doesn’t listen, and he and Snarf get captured by the mud-hogs, too.

Back underground, Lion-O explains that if he could get the sword, he’d be able to get them all out of trouble. Mandora suggests that Quick-Pick do something about that, as he’s an escape artist and pickpocket. He’s reluctant, but Lion-O talks him into it. He sneaks up and grabs the sword off the king’s belt.

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Unfortunately, the mug-hogs get to him before he can do anything with it. Lion-O suggests throwing it, which he does, and Lion-O bursts his bonds and grabs the sword. “Thunder, thunder, thunder, Thundercats, HO!” The giant Thundercats symbol shoots out of the Eye of Thundera, through the cavern roof, and into the air. The other Thundercats see it, and do kind of a roll-call as they pile into the Thundertank. “Tygra ready, ho! Cheetara Ready, ho! Wilykit and Kat, ho! Reactor Engaged, Traction locked, all go!” (That was Panthro at the end).

The mud-hogs have surrounded the former prisoners, and Mandora tells Lion-O, expecting to be killed in moments, that he would make a great evil-chaser. But before they are all brutally killed, the Thundertank bursts through the wall!

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It scatters the mud-hogs, and Tygra wonders if they should use the cat-blaster on them (I wouldn’t think so, since they’re not cats. Maybe the mud-hog-blaster would be a better choice…). Panthro, however, figures that they’d be more afraid of the headlights, and flips on the high-beams, blinding them.

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In the coda, Lion-O, Cheetara, and Wilykit seem especially concerned that Snarf will “say it”. Panthro comes in with Snarf’s coin purse, which Mandora recovered, which pleases him greatly, although its sets him off on one of his lectures. And apparently they were all concerned that Snarf would say “you’re too curious” to Lion-O, which they all find hilarious for reasons that escape me.


Novel Update

January 28, 2009

Word Count Indicator
Current Word Count: 42570
Words Written Today: 1119

Quality Indicator
Current Resolved Issues: 13
Current Open Issues: 38
Issues Resolved Today: 6
Issues Opened Today: 3