Monday, March 5, 2012

I, Crimsonstreak Commentary: Chapter 15

Chapter 15

Will the Real Colonel Chaos Please Stand Up?

Author’s Notes

  • The title of this chapter was almost “The Final Countdown.” Ladies and gentlemen…Europe!

  • Chris paraphrases Princess Leia with the line, “It’s not going to take them long to figure out where we went.”

  • In the air with his father, Chris reminds us momentarily that superheroes can still feel awed from time to time. Flight is a compelling thing, especially when you can’t do it on your own.

  • So how did two Colonel Chaoses come to exist? Is the “evil” Chaos a clone? Our hero’s father has some explaining to do.

  • Constrained by the limits of cloning, robotics, genetics, and common sense, Colonel Chaos started thinking outside the box. The I, Crimsonstreak universe operates on the theory of a multiverse; that infinite possibilities exist in infinite universes. Chaos was so obsessed with getting his wife back that he “stole” a version of her from a different parallel reality.

  • “I’ve read a lot of comic books” isn’t necessarily true for this author, but I have seen a lot of comic book movies and read a few too many superhero novels.

  • This is an immutable law of fiction: you can’t have a parallel reality without mentioning a goatee. Star Trek fans will recognize this as a reference to the classic episode “Mirror, Mirror.”

  • I nearly worked myself into a corner on resolving who was behind Chris’ imprisonment. I rewrote that scene dozens of times before getting it to a point where it made sense. Sometimes you think you have something figured out, and then realize that it doesn’t make as much sense as you thought it did.

  • Chris’ father did indeed send him to Clermont. He thought the explosion caused by Chaos 2 was a manifestation of Chris’ growing superpowers. Once he realized that Chaos 2 had transported himself to his own reality, Colonel Chaos erased all records relating to Chris’ whereabouts. Yeah, my brain is exploding, too.

  • Colonel Chaos 2 is a bad guy. There’s no doubt about that. However, there are signs that his mental instability followed the death of his own son, Christopher Matthew Fairborne. In effect, both Chaoses have faced family tragedies that sent them spiraling into grief. Neither recovered. Another parallel: the loss of Miss Lightspeed forced Chaos 1 to pluck a version of his wife from an alternate reality; Chaos 2 crossed into another reality after his wife disappeared.

  • The discussion about the NWCW and its intentions has a similar dichotomy to the discussion about the depowering technology from Chapter 13. Governments are what people make of them; they can be good or they can be bad.

  • Typically, the closer Crimsonstreak and Imperator Chris are in proximity, the stronger mutual reaction they share. However, Crimsonstreak feels a painful sensation from Clermont, which means something very bad has happened.

  • Both Colonel Chaos and the Crusading Comet are pretty smart, yet neither could solve the one-way nature of the Comet Accelerator. Note that Chaos was able to get past the power limitations.

  • A secret research facility off the coast of Florida. Sure. Whatever. You know, I had rock tumbler as a kid. Neat toy.

  • Why Warren would ever complain about flying coach is beyond me. I’m glad Chris calls him out for it.

  • Hmm. Could Zeus Caesar be out and about?

  • This chapter is a little heavy on expository dialogue, but the characters needed a minute to take a breath and figure out their next move. We’re now ready for the big showdown.