Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I, Crimsonstreak Commentary: Chapter 8

Chapter 8

Crimsonstreak and Warren Kensington IV in… Road to Central Processing!

Author’s Notes

  • The chapter title is a reference to the old Bob Hope/Bing Crosby Road to… movies. Some readers may associate the title with several Family Guy episodes. I assure you that Hope and Crosby did it well before Stewie and Brian.

  • From the get-go here we can see that Chris and Warren aren’t getting along. Warren doesn’t trust our hero. Morty even (kind of) comes to Crimsonstreak’s defense here. Warren is extremely ticked off by Chris’ insistence on referring to him as a “kid.”

  • The flashback to Chris’ teenage years paints us a picture of a relatively happy and duty-bound family. As a “kid” who hasn’t fully grown into his powers, Chris is banned from going on a mission with his parents. He knows how Warren feels because he’s been there before. That doesn’t mean he’s going to stop calling him “kid.”

  • Metal Gear Solid remains one of my all-time favorite video games. The part where Psycho Mantis “reads” your memory card and takes control of your gamepad is one of the greatest moments in gaming. I spent an entire Christmas vacation playing through Metal Gear Solid on my Playstation.

  • Central Processing is probably the scariest place on Earth. Bureaucracy! Oh, the humanity!

  • As Warren creates the pass cards for Chris, Morty, and himself, we see a quick reversal of roles. When it comes to technology, Warren is king. Thus, he’s in control of this situation while Chris is forced to sit on the sidelines.

  • “I am Adam West” is Chris’ own comment on his jittery nature. It equates him of a superhero on Adam West’s level. You could take it to mean Crimsonstreak always carries around some shark repellant. You’d think a guy who escaped from the Clermont Institution for the Criminally Insane would have a little more backbone, but he hasn’t been on a real mission for a long time. Cut him some slack.

  • I like how Crimsonstreak is wary of how the mission is going according to plan. He mentions that things go exactly according to plan “about five-percent of the time.” The very fact that the plan is going according to plan is, paradoxically, not according to plan.

  • In Indiana, we call our motor vehicle agency the “Bureau of Motor Vehicles” (abbreviated BMV). Other states have the “Department of Motor Vehicles” (abbreviated DMV).

  • In a late draft of the book, instead of strutting around like “he owns the place,” Warren “sweats like there’s no tomorrow.” The latter was a vestigial reference to the nervous and whiny Warren from the early drafts. We’ve established his character with a little swagger, so the change keeps it consistent.

  • Warren’s comment on the power grid of the New World Common Wealth gives us another indication that everything isn’t perfect. The power grid is rather unstable, although it’s entirely possible the Sanctum Cometus has something to do with that.

  • ”But I, Crimsonstreak, am not fast enough.” Title plug!

  • Crimsonstreak processes information quickly and survives thanks to his quick wits, but he’s thrown off-guard when the clerk recognizes him. Also, forgetting to put his helmet back on is a stupid thing to do, even if it’s a natural reaction given the situation. Again, our hero is not infallible. He makes mistakes.

  • The clerk’s enthusiasm to see the “Son of Chaos” speaks to the cult-like awe Colonel Chaos has tried to cultivate. It’s amusing to see Warren forced to be the tagalong “Cal.”

  • “Enemies of the Common Wealth must die” is the rallying cry of the New World Common Wealth. The phrase appears several times throughout the book, much to Chris’ chagrin.