Construction Update, Star Wars Disneyland, California

Black Spire Outpost on the Planet Batuu at the Edge of the Galaxy

Here is the latest look at the construction out in Disneyland.  It is looking amazing, and I am so looking forward to my visit!  I was the First Viewer, and First Commenter on this video. Enjoy Yensid 55’s work!

Rivers of American, Disneyworld

The following is a fascinating video from Walt Disney World.  It is a brief You Tube video showing repairs being made on the track that guides the paddlewheeler river boat on its trip around Tom Sawyer’s Island.  Fans will find it interesting to see that this “seeming” river is actually no more that 6 feet deep.  This is a view that guest Very, Very Rarely ever get to see! Enjoy!

RPG game written up in Prose

Blood Domination RPG Essay

Introduction

Blood Domination © by Abracadabra, Inc.

The theme of “Blood Domination” is “blood and contract”. This original work is based on the “Dom/Sub universe” and is a visual novel BL game targeted at women.

What is Blood Domination Storyline? | The controlling “Dom” and the dependent “Sub” — these are “the second genders” of the vampires. When vampires of two different second-genders meet, they can establish a “bond contract”.

Located in a spacious land, in a mountain recess is “Eclair Gymnasium Academy”, a school where young vampires experience youth. The academy teaches its students about “bond contracts” and requires them to find someone to be their contract partner for a limited amount of time.

With the goal of sealing a “bond contract, blood leads theses students to their fated pairs…..

Dramatis Personae

Izayoi – a delinquent who comes from a noble family and acts indifferent towards the idea of forming a contract bond. He behaves like a “punk”. Yellow Hair, Red Eyes

Uzuki – a vampire of ordinary lineage. (My AVATAR) Brown Hair, Green Eyes

Takamine – a broad-minded guy of an ordinary lineage, and the childhood friend of Uzuki. Black Hair, Tall, Brown Eyes

Chihaya – a vampire with the attitude of a “queen”. He comes from a noble family who highly values pedigree. Very Standoffish, Pink Hair, Red Eyes

Kasumi – principal of the academy, wise, gentle, a source of good advice when asked

Game System

“Blood Domination” is a visual-novel Boy Love game. Players get to enjoy the scenarios through scenario tickets. You can play the game for free by receiving five scenario tickets every day at 4 AM Tokyo time. For special scenarios / accessories you will need to purchase “Rubies” which are exchanged for game play items.

You determine the course of the boys love stories by choosing different options throughout the scenarios. Deepen the bond that the player has with his lover and enjoy beautiful CG’s and exclusive scenarios. Pompous, sadistic, hot and cold nobles––these fascinating character traits and more await you! Their interactions are at times intense and other times sweet. Enjoy the thrilling ride! Don’t miss the mind blowing CG’s in this game, which takes place in the “Dom/Sub universe” where the nature of the character’s relationships is that of control and dependency.

7/25/2018, I begin Play as Uzuki

Uzuki’s Tale

Takamine and I arrive at the academy and are amazed at it’s size. There are so many students here! Takamine and I have been friends for years. I feel great comfort that we are here at the academy together. It will not be so scary with Takamine around.

But Takamine and I are separated during the orientation. Trying to find my way to the auditorium I get lost. I study the map, when suddenly there is a pain in my foot! Someone has stepped on it, I look up in surprise.

Before me is a tall blond teen with red eyes. His bearing is noble and imperious. “You should be more careful”, he admonishes me. He glares for a second, then he looks at me strangely, for just a moment, and then is gone. I finally get to the auditorium. I am just in time for opening lecture.

The lecture is given by the Principal of the Academy, Mr. Kasumi. He tells us in general terms about the goal of the academy.  Which is to participate in a 3 month training of Dom/Sub Bond Contracts. The students have the next 2 days to select a partner for their contracts. If any students cannot select a partner, or cannot find one, then they will be paired up by lottery, and then will enter into the training contracts with each other.

Kasumi says that childhood friends cannot make a bond contract with each other, that has proven in the past to be inadvisable. So I cannot choose Takamine for my partner, nor vice versa. I have no idea on what basis to make a decision and so I procrastinate.

Eventually four students, myself, Takamine, Izayoi, and a Chihaya, are all called into the principals office because the four of us have not selected a partner. Izayoi is the boy who stepped on my foot and admonished me the first day!

The lottery is conducted, and I am paired with Izayoi, and Takamine is paired with Chihaya.

Both Izayoi and Chihaya have red eyes. In the vampire world this marks them as natural Doms. While Takamine and me will be the Subs in our bond contracts. Izayoi and Chihaya being from high noble families have their own dorm rooms. Which means that I will be required to move into Izayoi’s dorm room, and Takamine will likewise move in with Chihaya. I am apprehensive because I do not know just what form this “Bond Contract” partnership will take.

The lessons have taught us something about this temporary bond contract that we are entering into. From my notes, I have the ritual that “Seals” the contract for its 3 month lifetime, and will mark us as partners to each other with a temporary tattoo.

Ritual to Formalize a Bond Contract

  • The partners must mix their blood together by rubbing mutual wounds that each have made on themselves.
  • Each partner must vocally proclaim the period of the bond. (3 months in our case).
  • Each partner must drink some blood from the other partner. When the partners have done this, a SAFE WORD for each of them will surface in each of their minds. The Dom partner’s safe word will force the Sub partner to obey a command of the Dom partner. While if the Sub partner counters with his own safe word, then the Dom partner’s command will be negated! This is to prevent the Dom from totally controlling the Sub partner as this is a ‘training’ bond contract.
  • After the partners have drunk each others blood, the wounds to draw the blood will ‘magically’ disappear and be replaced by a temporary tattoo indication that the partners are now totally bound together for the period of the bond contract.

Some of Uzuki’s Notes

  • When a Dom gives an order, and it is not countered by the Subs safe word, the Sub will complete the command, whatever is commanded. Then Dom will drink some of the Subs blood. And a ‘gracious’ Dom will offer the Sub some of his own blood as a reward for obeying the command.
  • If the partners do not do a Dom-Sub Act (DS) every three days, the Sub will fall into a state of starvation. (Narrators Note: a DS is not defined, it can be any old command the Dom desires to make up!) (also noted: Uzuki does not always study the notes that he makes)
  • Despite the risk of a Sub falling into a state of starvation, nonetheless it is permitted for a Sub to use his safe word to reject any command the Sub deems not appropriate.
  • When “True Mates” (people with exceptional blood compatibility) meet, they become unfailingly tied together.
  • Rumors are that many partners with temporary contracts do eventually go on to make real (permanent) contracts with their temps.

Uzuki’s Tale continues….

That evening while Izayoi and I are in our room alone we finalize the contract. Then we decided to test it out.

Izayoi’s safe word is “SUBORDINATE”. He uses it to command me to sit on his lap, and I obey. He strokes me as if I were his pet, and oddly I enjoy that. We drink each others blood as a reward. I am puzzled about how I feel, it feels pleasant!. Izayoi seems almost to be reading my mind as he tells me; “to be controlled means that all your physical sensations as well will bend to me.”

Next Izayoi give me the command: “Subordinate, Strip!.” I refuse and use my safe word “SIT” to refuse the order. The using of my safe word forces Izayoi to sit on the floor like a dog given the command to sit. Izayoi gets mad at being forced into such a silly posture. But I do not relent, after a while he is able to get to his feet, but he is still angry.

Over the next couple of days our relationship is strained. A couple of times he tries to give me a command, but I quickly use my safe work to counter and negate his commands. Izayoi stops protesting at my forcing him to sit like a dog. Instead he stops giving me orders and we live together in silence.

But this means that as partners we are not doing Dom/Sub Acts, DS, on a regular basis. I begin to feel weak, but I had forgotten about the lesson where partners need to do a DS every three days.

A week goes by and I am feeling terrible. Izayoi still refuses to try to command me anymore, but he looks more and more at me as I get weaker and paler. Finally, Izayoi is called into the principals office. I do not know what was said to him, but when he comes back he is all different in manner.

“Uzuki” he says; “you are a fool, and I have been a fool for not remembering my lessons!” He tells me that I am ill and will get worse because we have not been doing our DS acts on a regular basis. He declares that he as the Dom will not let this continue anymore! He roughly tells me; “I am going to command you now, and you will not use your silly safe word to resist my command.

He takes a knife and then stabs himself in the upper arm. He commands me: “Subordinate, drink my blood now!” I am too weak to argue, I obey and drink his blood, immediately I begin to feel stronger!

Again he commands me: “Subordinate, sit on my lap!” And again I obey, he gently puts his hands on my shoulders and pulls me towards him, he bites my neck and then drinks my blood. Then offers me his neck and asks, but does not command me to drink some of his blood. I do and feel much better! Izayoi moves me off of his lap.

He talks to me not as a noble addressing a commoner, telling me that despite our problems, he is glad that I am his partner. Also telling me that he intends to faithfully honor our contract, not only because it was the right thing to do, but because he wanted to honor it.

I find that with his words and his commitment to honor our contract that I am softening to Izayoi, and I have feelings for him welling up inside me that I do not understand. But I am certain that we have become closer, and perhaps become a real partnership.

Although Izayoi and I are more at ease with other. We still only do the minimum DS to prevent me from starving again. He gives me no unreasonable orders that I feel the need to counter. However, a lot of his orders involve me straightening up my side of our room. I have learned that despite his “punk” act, Izayoi is a “neat freak.” He is always cleaning and putting things in order. I am more of a slob, but because I want to please Izayoi, I make an effort and keep things clean on my side of our room.

Kasumi’s Extra Curricular Lesson

We have been in school for a month now. And we are called into the auditorium for an extra-curricular lesson. Principal Kasumi hands bracelets to all of the class and instructs us to hold hands with our partners while putting on the bracelets. Holding hands with Izayoi my bracelet begins to glow. My bracelet goes pink, while Izayoi’s bracelet becomes blue. Principal Kasumi says that as our bond deepens, the colors will blend together. I figure that if that is so, then our bracelets will turn to purple. Izayoi looks at the colors of our bracelets and seems upset, he is crestfallen, and then he runs out of the room. I do not understand! Why is he so upset? I run out of the room to follow him, while Principal Kasumi says nothing but merely looks sad. It will be several weeks before I understand why Izayoi was so upset!

At the end of the week, on the weekend. We are allowed to leave the campus for the day to visit the town. Hoping to deepen our relationship, Izayoi and I go into town to have lunch. In school I usually have lunch in the cafeteria with my friend Takamine, or I get something from the school store and take it out into the garden to eat. But now we go out together. Because of his noble status, Izayoi knows all the fancy places and he leads to a restaurant, so fancy that I am nervous to even look at the menu. But Izayoi says that his family has an account here, and it is food that he likes, and that I will like as well. We have a nice lunch together. This is the first time that we have shared a meal together as partners.

Izayoi tells me something about himself. He hates formality, and he hates the way that some many lessor nobles chase after him, wanting to enter into contracts with him because of his bloodline. He tells me that he respects me for not chasing after him, for accepting him for just himself.

I tell Izayoi that I was always kind of a “cry-baby” when little and that Takamine was always trying to look out for me, and take care of things for me, that was just Takamine’s way. I feel that we are coming closer in sharing these things with each other. But it does not occur to either of us to compare our bracelet colors.

Later back at the school, I meet Takamine. He confides that he has a thing for Chihaya and hopes that they can become a couple. I ask him how it is going between them? Takamine says it is fine, but offers no details about their relationship. I do tell him that Izayoi and I are getting along well enough, and Takamine is pleased with this.

One day I notice a ‘contract couple’ halfway hiding behind some bushes, they are kissing, and one of them starts to pull the shirt off his partner, when Izayoi comes up behind me and surprises me! He asks if I am a voyeur, and I deny it.

But I say to him; “how can they behave this way in public?” Izayoi tells me to not be a prude, and to let other couples handle their relationship themselves. Although Izayoi observes: “since it upsets people like you, they really ought to take it to their rooms if they want to go all the way”. I am shocked, he says this as if it were normal behavior for contract partners. But I say nothing, we leave and go our own way.

Later on, I try to talk about partners having sex with Takamine, but I am too shy to ask when I start to blush. How can I ask if Takamine is going to have sex with Chihaya? He is my friend, do friends talk about this? I do not know!

That night Izayoi and I study quietly, then suddenly Izayoi asks me: “I saw you talking with Takamine seriously, are you wondering about whether other partners are having sex with each other?” I nod, and he tells me: “You know you can just ask me about what other couples do, you know?” I do not know how to respond, when again suddenly Izayoi asks me: “Do you wanna do it?, Do you want sex?”

I am shocked at first, wanting to say, “I do not want sex” but I stop and consider: when Izayoi and I do our DS, we are close to each other, and he rewards me by stroking my head and neck, and sometimes my chest, and I like it. Do I want sex with Izayoi? I am not sure and certainly confused. But Izayoi drops the subject, and we continue our studies.

Beginning Third Party Narration

Izayoi’s Fan Club starts harassing Uzuki

Uzuki receives a note with a threat. There are students who would like to get into a contract with Izayoi for his noble blood. These are the Izayoi Fanboys. They threaten Uzuki to cancel his bond contract with Izayoi “or else”. Uzuki decides to ignore them, but things escalate the next day. While Uzuki is in the bathroom, someone puts a bucket of water over the dividers and drenches Uzuki.

Before Uzuki can see who it was, Chihaya (Takamine’s partner) comes in, and seeing Uzuki all drenched, immediately reaches the conclusion that Uzuki is being bullied. Chihaya says that Uzuki should “hit them back ten times harder” and is disdainful when Uzuki says that is not his way. Chihaya then tells Uzuki that he should tell Izayoi about this, but Uzuki, not sure of Izayoi’s feelings, does not want to “burden” Izayoi with this.

However, he does ask if Chihaya could go to his room and bring back a change of clothes. Chihaya says that he is not a servant! And he leaves the bathroom, only to return five minutes later with some dry gym clothes that he gives to Uzuki so that he will not be shamed going into class all wet. Uzuki thanks Chihaya warmly.  But Chihaya just leaves without saying anything. Uzuki resolves not go to Izayoi for help.

However, Izayoi notices that Uzuki had changed clothes and asked why? Uzuki says that he changed because in their last DS act Izayoi had stained his pants, and Uzuki did not want to be seen like that.

(Narrators Commentary: It turns out that a lot of the DS that Izayoi and Uzuki have been doing have become more intimate and involves mutual masturbation. Uzuki has decided that is a normal part of bond contract partners. They are sometimes partly unclothed. It is an interesting commentary that this game is rated 12+ in Japan. So far none of the graphics have shown an “indecent act” nor even shown them any more than shirtless.)

This time though, alone in their dorm room, Izayoi responds by stroking the inside of Uzuki’s thigh, then he grabs him and begins kissing him without commanding Uzuki to do so. Uzuki is puzzled, but does not resist, he likes the feelings that Izayoi’s hand can pull out of him.

The next morning, out of the blue, Takamine calls Uzuki on his cell phone and invites him to double date with he and Chihaya! After checking with Izayoi, the couples set a time and place for their double date.

The Day of the Double Date

The two couples decide to go to the park for their double date. Uzuki notices that Takamine does every little thing for Chihaya. Even though both Uzuki and Takamine are Subs, it seems a little much. But Uzuki remembered that even as kids, Takamine was always doing things for Uzuki, it is just his way.

Although Chihaya seems to accept Takamine’s behavior as something due to himself. And yet, Uzuki remembered that Chihaya got him some dry gym clothes after the water dunking incident. Uzuki decides that if the relationship he sees is pleasant to both his friend and to Chihaya, then he should just not question it.

A finely dressed man approaches Izayoi and asks if they can talk? Izayoi resignedly goes off with the man. At the same time, Takamine jumps up saying that he had forgotten that the shop that sells Chihaya’s favorite Maple Danish will close soon. Takamine says that he has to pick one up for Chihaya and will brings some for all of us. He is off, leaving Chihaya and Uzuki alone together.

This time Chihaya seems comfortable around Uzuki. He tells Uzuki that the well dressed man is a Sub, and he had been destined to be Izayoi’s contract partner. Uzuki is shocked, but Chihaya explains saying; “that in many high aristocratic families they still try to arrange marriages and contracts for their sons, it is their way.” Chihaya tells Uzuki in confidence, that Izayoi had accepted his families plea for the contract with the man. And that they had lived together for a little time. But Izayoi broke the contract when the other had fallen in love with Izayoi, and that was the one thing that Izayoi could not accept.

Uzuki’s feelings of revulsion at hearing about the contract, and then feelings of relief when hearing that Izayoi had broken off the contract, made him think that he, Uzuki, was falling in love with Izayoi. But Uzuki doesn’t dare let Izayoi realize this, for he feels that he would be rejected in a like manner as Izayoi’s other contract partner!

The Unknown man in the Courtyard

After the double date had ended. Uzuki took a walk in the courtyard which had a peaceful garden in the very center. He sits down, and sees a man walk towards him. It is the same man who had once found Uzuki’s textbook that the harassers had hidden, and then the unknown man had returned it to Uzuki. The unknown man comes and sits beside Uzuki on the bench.

He tells Uzuki that he is not surprised to find Uzuki there thinking. The unknown man says: “The central courtyard is a secret place for thinking.” And he opines; “Whenever you feel chaos in your heart, it’s good to listen for the actual sounds around you. Your thoughts and feelings will eventually fall into place, and you will be able to see what you have to do, about whatever it is that you were worrying about!”

Uzuki pauses, sensing that he can trust this helpful stranger. He replies; “I am thinking about unrequited love.”

To which the unknown man says: “That’s like worrying about the sky falling” and “Your fears are groundless” and further that “I can give you as many hints as you want, but the only one who can find the answer is you!” and then “Think very carefully about the one thing that you want the most!”

Uzuki thinks a moment and then says; “I am not very good at deep thinking” to which the unknown man replies; “Not thinking is another way to go, of course!” “Trusting to your body is another way to do it as well. Be unrestrained and don’t lie to yourself!”

The unknown man looks to the distance and Uzuki follows his eyes. They see Izayoi coming towards the two of them in the central courtyard. As Izayoi comes nearer the man turns and speaks in a whisper to Uzuki: “But you know, I think that he (Izayoi) will accept it!”

Uzuki astonished thinks, does he read minds? But speaks nothing as Izayoi approaches the two of them. The unknown man greets Izayoi familiarly, (“huh, they know each other?” is all that Uzuki can think.) Izayoi returns the the greeting of the unknown man, then turns to Uzuki and says calmly; “Let’s go home Uzuki” and Izayoi turns to leave. Uzuki jumps up to follow Izayoi, but then turns to the man and simply utters: “Thanks!”. Walking behind Izayoi the only thought that runs through Uzuki’s mind is that Izayoi had said: “Let’s go HOME, Uzuki.” Izayoi had not said lets go to our dorm room, no he said “let’s go home.”

In their walk out of the central courtyard, Uzuki having already forgotten about the unknown man; tells Izayoi about the words he had with Chihaya on their double date earlier that day. Izayoi curses Chihaya for being so talkative, but he stops and speaks quietly to Uzuki. “There is nothing between me and that man that my family betrothed me to any more!” Izayoi turns away and continues walking home.

Uzuki is relieved to hear this, but is still afraid to tell Izayoi that he is falling in love with him. Izayoi had broken that betrothal because the man dared to say that he loved Izayoi. Izayoi had called that being stupid. Uzuki was afraid of what Izayoi might say if he learned that Uzuki was falling in love with him. Uzuki bit his lip and said nothing about his feelings, for fear that those feelings would not be returned by Izayoi.

And a couple more days go by. Uzuki is starting to avoid Izayoi when they are not ‘home’, he keeps his distance in classes, and in study hall, and at lunchtime. He is afraid that Izayoi will sense his attachment.

Finally Uzuki can take it no more and he collars his friend Takamine for a serious private talk, acting all ‘secretly’. Uzuki talks with Takamine, opening up all his feelings for Izayoi to his friend. He tells Takamine that he is falling in love with Izayoi, but he is afraid of being rejected. As Izayoi once broke off a betrothal with a man who professed his love for Izayoi.

Kindly-natured Takamine firmly tells Uzuki that he is getting all worked up over nothing! Takamine is clear about it, Uzuki should talk to Izayoi. And Uzuki must tell Izayoi about his feelings! “Just talk to him Uzuki! Just sit down and talk to Izayoi, tell him everything you told me!” Takamine and Uzuki have their heads close together as they speak quietly to each other.

Unbeknownst to Takamine and Uzuki, Izayoi has spotted them sitting close together and speaking quietly and conspiratorially. Izayoi, his own emotions getter the better of him, turns on his heels and goes to his room, seething. But Takamine and especially Uzuki, never noticed that Izayoi had seen the two of them talking in the falling dusk twilight.

Izayoi goes “Ballistic”

Returning late to his room, Uzuki enters to find that Izayoi grim faced and restless. It turns out that Izayoi is very angry. Seeing Uzuki and Takamine talking, seemingly talking in an intimate conversation, he accuses Uzuki of dating Takamine behind his back. He then yells at Uzuki saying: “Uzuki! You belong to me!” Before Uzuki can remonstrate with him, Izayoi leaps on Uzuki and rips his shirt completely off of Uzuki’s body. He bites Uzuki on the neck and drinks his blood.

Izayoi then bites his own finger and forcing the finger, dripping with his blood, into Uzuki’s mouth and forces Uzuki to drink his blood. Then still enraged, Izayoi pulls down Uzuki’s pants and underwear and begins to ravish Uzuki’s body.

Uzuki tries to protest, but it is like he is frozen, unable to utter his safe word, but in Izayoi’s rage, there is no guarantee that the safe word would stop Izayoi! Anyway part of Uzuki is liking this attack by Izayoi, likes being dominated by his Dom partner.

Finally Izayoi throws Uzuki onto the bed and he begins to forcibly have sex with Uzuki.  Uzuki realizes that he is being all but raped by Izayoi, but he is strangely enjoying the dominance that Izayoi is forcing him to accept.

After relaxing and then having passionate sex with Izayoi, Uzuki falls asleep, and later on awakes to find himself in bed with Izayoi sleeping beside him. Uzuki is uneasy about his feelings, and he quietly gets up and goes into the bathroom to get his thoughts into order.

Narrator’s Note

My avatar, Uzuki, is upset, thinking that Izayoi merely regards him as a possession, a possession that Izayoi has no intention of sharing with Takamine. Uzuki doesn’t think that his rape is a reflection of any more than an emblem of that possession.

However, I feel that Izayoi was upset and felt threatened by seeing Uzuki and Takamine in what he perceived as a compromising situation. I feel that Izayoi had fallen in love with my Avatar, but his nature is stubbornly masculine and he cannot admit it to my Avatar.

Yes, Izayoi was totally out of control in raping my Avatar. But I have been trying to bend Uzuki to my direction, to speak honestly with Izayoi. If my avatar could have brought himself to speak clearly and feelingly, then Izayoi would not have felt threatened and would not have stewed in his rage until his anger consumed his rationality. But I do not know what more I can do to influence the game play!

A Flashback to almost, not quite 1 Month Earlier

At this point the game takes an abrupt twist and goes to a flashback of one month earlier. Back then we break into a time when Kasumi had called Izayoi into his office for a conference.

Izayoi’s Tale

The principal calls me into his office. He says that he noticed a change in my behavior and he asks me about my past. He says that I need to think about how I am affecting my contract partner, Uzuki. My thoughts go back to the time before I entered the Eclair Academy. I can see the scene in my mind, as if it were yesterday………………

………………..there are other male students buzzing around me, flirting with me, it bores me! I brush them off, calling them “aristocratic bonbons”. I hear a voice, I look around and see two boys. One of them tall with black hair. But it is the other’s voice that draws me, he is shorter with Brown hair.

As I listen to the shorter one speak I feel like there is a current running through me. I am torn! I do not know the names of these two. How can I meet the one with the beautiful voice? I take off and follow the pair. Finally I am able to catch up with one of the students, I put my hand on his shoulder, and he turns to face me. But it is the tall one!

I ask him frantically what happened to his companion, I ask for the companion’s name. The tall one tells me that it is Uzuki that I refer to. He tells me that his name is Takamine. But it is the name Uzuki that lingers in my thoughts. Unfortunately, Uzuki had rushed off to see something or other, but I still remember some of their talk between the two.

I had heard them talking about going to the Academy soon. I realize that they must be students from the branch school. So that means in a couple of months they will move up to the academy, Eclair Academy. Being freshmen, that means that they will be enrolled in the DS courses. I determine that I need not hurry things, I am going to the Academy myself, and I will meet both Takamine and Uzuki there shortly. I have a feeling that it is an absolute certainty that I and Uzuki will meet there at the Academy in three months time. I relax and thank Takamine for his kindness.

The three months pass quickly for me. And then, at the opening day itself, I see Uzuki in the hallway, looking at a map puzzled. He ignores me, so I step on his foot to get his attention. But I cannot think of the words to say, so I insult him and I turn my back and walk off! I was stupid!

After a day I realize that Uzuki is not making any friends, and knows no-one to ask to be his partner. All of the other students have paired up. The way that my tongue freezes when I see him, I am convinced that Uzuki and I are true mates. It is destined that we be together. If I refuse to select a partner also, then at the lottery will we be paired together? I am certain that we will be paired! I am comforted by the thought.

I see Takamine and Uzuki together all of the time. But they are childhood friends. It is natural that they spend a lot of time together, and that they talk together a lot. I try to not let these talks between them make me jealous. But it is hard.

At the lottery Uzuki and I are paired together as bond contract partners. We are thrown together a lot now that we are roommates. I realize that unlike those aristocratic bonbons, Uzuki doesn’t care about my lineage. He treats me as he would anyone one else. Still, I am conflicted. Since I am a Dom I would like to control his movements, keep him around me always. As his Dom I could order him to stay with me, but that wouldn’t be fair. I will not order him to love me!

Flashback Ends, back to Now

I am walking in the central courtyard just to think. I do not know where Uzuki is, probably with Takamine somewhere. I run across Principal Kasumi, he wishes to talk with me. The Principal is below me, but I must have respect for him as Principal. We sit on the bench, and Kasumi begins to speak to me.

The Wisdom of Principal Kasumi

Kasumi has advice for me, I listen as he begins: “When your true mate is your partner, now and then you act differently and just aren’t yourself”, “I guess you can say that the Dom’s desire to control heightens to a crescendo.” “It’s similar to when a Sub enters a starved state. But what is different between the two states is that it won’t go away just by doing DS acts.”

According to what Kasumi is telling me, this desire will only grow stronger the more often DS acts occur!

Kasumi continues: “If you find your true mate, you feel as if you never want to let them go and that’s completely normal.” It’s in the Dom’s nature.”

I ask Kasumi; “What about the Sub’s feelings in all this? Being dominated over one-sidedly.” , “There’s no way that’s good, Right?”

Kasumi replies to me: “Izayoi, you’re a kind young man, BUT Doms and Subs, that’s our fate.” “The fate of vampires, who are all born with a second gender.” “Thus there are tons of Doms out there who have their Subs under complete control.” “But, if you feel that’s not for you…..then you may run into problems.” “Reason is the only thing that can win over instinct.” “Don’t just let passion take over, but face it head on with love and affection.” “So, think about how you can go about doing this.”

I do not understand all that Kasumi has to tell me. But I think that for me the only way is to talk it over with Uzuki, but I do not know if I can find it within me to talk to Uzuki honestly.”

Uzuki’s Tale Continues

I am walking in the hallway when I am accosted by the Izayoi fanboys. Once again they threaten me and tell me that I must break my bond contract with Izayoi. I am defiant and refuse. But I will not stoop to their level and fight back.

The next day I am out in the field, I thought I was all alone, however, suddenly I am pelted with baseballs, they begin to be thrown harder and I am knocked down. I cannot see anyone, but the baseballs just keep coming, I try to protect my head as best as I can.

Suddenly the voices are back, they taunt me, and say that Izayoi is going to abandon me, it is inevitable they say, I am a nothing, not worthy of his blood line. They threaten me with further retaliation, I am dizzy, almost falling into unconsciousness.

There is a yell of anger and rage. It is Takamine, he has seen what is happening and he takes it upon himself to charge my attackers, and surprised, they run off. Takamine drops to his knees beside me. He is angered at the attack, and is upset to see my bleeding. He is yelling that he is going to the teachers, he is going to Kasumi, he will have something done about this outrage, as he called it.

I gather myself and rise to my knees, I restrain Takamine. He is upset that I will not let him go for help. I tell him, he can help me back to my room. But I do not want him to make a scene.

Takamine is livid with my reasoning. I tell him that a big scene will make Izayoi hate me. I tell Takamine that if I involve Izayoi he will blame himself for bringing this trouble on me, and I implore him to say nothing, I do not want to burden Izayoi with blaming himself. Takamine calms and helps me to my feet. He is determined that I get medical attention, and I surrender, he helps me to the doctors office.

Izayoi’s tale Continues

Izayoi is remorseful over the fact that he lost control and used his superior strength to force himself on Uzuki. He knows he was wrong. He knows that he doesn’t want to be too controlling. He still is sitting in the central courtyard brooding on his shame.

Chihaya shows up and warns Izayoi that his fanboys are up to something. Izayoi knows that these bullies wanted to target Uzuki, but Uzuki would not come to him and ask for help. So Izayoi had asked Chihaya to help in intervening with the fanboys.

He asked for Chihaya’s help knowing that his family had helped Chihaya’s family in the past. Because of this Chihaya feels an obligation to keep his eye on the situation. He tells Izayoi that the fanboys seem to have an ally from the outside. Yes, Chihaya says that they are trying to sneak ‘somebody’ into the school.

Izayoi becomes worried that they may get violent towards Uzuki.

Uzuki is left in the classroom alone

Takamine came with me to the doctor, he insisted. He waits patiently while the doctor bandages me and takes care of all my cuts. We go back to the classroom. I have to make an excuse for being late and for being bandaged. Takamine looks grim, but he says nothing to contradict my story.

After class, Takamine asks that I stay in the classroom while he has to drop a package off. Then he will return and walk with me back to my room. I agree because I am feeling weak and hot, I think that I am becoming ill. Takamine leaves me, and I put down my head and doze fitfully until the time that Takamine returns.

After a while I hear a sound, I awake to the darkened classroom, I feel even more weak, and I suddenly realize, I am in a starved state. After our disagreements, I have not done any DS acts with Izayoi, it has been more than 3 days. That explained my weakness, my fever, and my dizziness.

Takamine has not returned, but I must get home. I arise, but there is a sound, there are others hiding in the shadows of the darkened classroom! I fear that the bullies have returned to retaliate! I am here alone and ill!

Izayoi hears from Takamine

I am still conflicted. I am ashamed at how I treated Uzuki, he is not only my partner, he is my true mate. I am his Dom, but I do not want to dominate Uzuki. I can give him orders, and he will like those orders. But, it is not right for me to force him to act as he wouldn’t want to act. I want Uzuki to be free, but I want him to love me as well. I do not know how to act when Uzuki himself seems so conflicted.

Besides, those worthless nobles who want my blood are after Uzuki. I know this, I was not able to scare them off with a show of anger and intimidation. Chihaya knows them and he has warned me. Chihaya will not intervene on his own account, but he does warn me.

I should be with Uzuki and keep watch. Yes, I know what I need to do, I must swallow my pride, I must find Uzuki and stay with him. Yes, I know what I need to do! Before now, both Takamine and Chihaya have told me that I “must settle this” and they are both right!

Just as I have decided, I see Takamine coming across the courtyard. I immediately know he has come to remonstrate with me. As he gets nearer, I speak first. “Takamine, you have told me that I need to “settle it”, and you were right.” I rise and continue; “Yes, you were right and I will settle it”.

Takamine, relieved at my sentiments, smiles. He tells that Uzuki has already been attacked. I grasp my chest, it is a blow. I accuse him of lying. “No, it is no lie” , Takamine tells me. “I saw it from a distance, in the heat of my anger, I charged them and they retreated, but I fear that was temporary, they will return even if I try to stand them off!”.

Takamine also tells me that Uzuki refuses to ask for my help! He says that Uzuki fears that I will blame myself, Uzuki fears that he will cause me burden and worry. Takamine also says that he knows that “something” happened between me and Uzuki that has caused a rift.

I confront Takamine and tell him that it was he who came between Uzuki and me. Again Takamine smiles and tells me that I am wrong; “I have never flirted with Uzuki, I swear” “We have been friends since we were kids” I listen carefully and watch his face carefully, looking for signs of deceit. But there is nothing accusing in his face.

Takamine continues; “Uzuki is like my family, we are brothers. Uzuki can tell me things that he is ashamed to tell you. I have asked him to talk to you, but he is afraid to burden you. He is afraid that you will hate him if he asks anything of you” Takamine further tells me; “But, I will never forgive you if something happens!”.

I instantly realize that Takamine is telling me nothing but the truth. There is no reason for us to be enemies, Takamine and I both are in love with Uzuki, but in our different ways. His only concern is take me to Uzuki. To make me take care of Uzuki, and he will help me with this! Suddenly I realize that Takamine is in love with Chihaya, and nothing will change that.

Takamine tells me that he left Uzuki in the classroom, asking him to wait until he, Takamine returned to get him. He says that Uzuki looked ill. He tells me that it is my responsibility to go and escort Uzuki home.

As I start to go, Takamine holds up his hand. He wants to ask a question. “Are you going to go to Uzuki as a Dom or as a Lover?” At first I am surprised by his impudence, but I give him a firm reply: “I am going as both!”

And further I tell him: “I want to give Uzuki happiness that will please him as a Sub, but more than that I want to now meet him head to head and face him as myself. You will be relieved to hear this, you will no longer have to play the guardian role for your friend, but you may come with me and help”

I grasp Takamine’s hand and we begin to run back to the school, I say to him: “Come my friend, show me where you left Uzuki!” Together now we run to the school, I wave Takamine ahead, to lead me to where we need to be.

As we run I think to myself: “This is what Principal Kasumi was talking about. That part of a Dom’s natural instinct! I will eliminate anything and everything that harms Uzuki, and with my own hands”.

We come to the classroom, Takamine and I. But the classroom is empty and dark! Takamine worriedly takes out his cellphone and dials Uzuki, but we hear the ringing, over there is Uzuki’s bag, there is his phone. But Uzuki himself, he is not here!

Kasumi comes into the classroom and stiffly he tells us that the classrooms are closing for the day. I face him and ask; “Have you seen Uzuki!” the answer is Yes! A little while ago he saw Uzuki walking down the hallway, he points, and then he tells us that Uzuki was with a bunch of students from a different class though…..!!!!!

Out of the darkened Classroom!

Uzuki’s Tale Continues

I find a bunch of students crowding around me in my weakened state. One grabs my arm as the other jostle around me. They are pulling and pushing me along with them out of the door and down the hallway. I am helpless in their arms. I feel so weak and dizzy, I cannot tell where they are taking me!

It is as if the school has been deserted, there are no other students, nor do I see any teachers as these ‘hoodlums’ bustle down some halls and around a couple corners! There is a door, I am pushed into a dark room and fall to the floor. I struggle to get up and stand, but I cannot! The others gather around me, it is clear that they can tell that I am in a starved state. They begin talking to me, they taunt me by saying that Izayoi has abandoned me, that is why I am so weak and helpless, they insist that means that I have been abandoned. One of my attackers says that my contract with Izayoi was ‘an eyesore!’

Suddenly from the darkness, an unknown voice says; “I had a contract with Izayoi, but it was broken, and I was forced to transfer out of this school because of it!” I recognize the voice, it is the man from the park! We were on our double date, and a man came up and asked to speak privately with Izayoi, It’s him! Chihaya had told me that this man had been betrothed to Izayoi, BUT, it was Izayoi who have broken the betrothal and contract. He has been watching and waiting for his chance to sneak into the school and with the help of his thugs, they will try to make me break my contract with Izayoi!

I get to my knees, and then by grasping a chair I get to my feet, only to find a tall student I have never seen before, the voice from the darkness tells me that this student is his current Dom, but that from now on he will be Uzuki’s Dom! This student commands me to kneel to him! Bang, there is a flash of light blinding me, my heart begins to pound! It is like my blood is rioting in my veins and I feel even more starved!

I cannot help myself, my body begins to move despite my wishes. The man says; “This is Sub-Drop, have you heard of it?”, “Normally a sub will only obey the command of the Dom that he is paired with”, continuing with “but when the Sub is in a starved state, it is a different story, if another Dom gives an order while the sub is starving, then it will throw the body of the sub into confusion, That is Sub-Drop!”

I try to not kneel, I do not want to obey this Doms command, but I am so weak…….

The voice continues saying; “and when the sub finally obeys the new doms command, his contract with his old Dom will break! You will be a Sub with a NEW Dom!” I halfway remember being told something like this in an old lesson, I should have paid more attention in class, then maybe there would be something for me to try, I feel empty and full of despair, I dare not obey and kneel, I must resist!

But the other Dom commands me again to kneel, and again there is a flash of light blinding me. I keep up the fight to not kneel, but it is taking all of my will to do so. Voices around me chant, “It is useless to resist” repeating over and over.

In my despair, I see Izayoi face dimly in front of me, and I realize that I LOVE Izayoi, that is what’s important, Izayoi is my Dom and I want no other Dom, and I need to tell Izayoi that I love him, if I can only do that then things will change. At the completion of that thought, I feel some strength, like a soft breeze, it keeps me on my feet, and now I am angry, finally I have something to say to my tormentor………

My voice comes weakly, but as I talk I get a bit louder and firmer with each sentence: “Are you Okay with doing something like that to your contract partner?”, and “Well, he is YOUR Dom right!, Making him give me a command and trying to make him my “Dom”…Are you actually OK with that!!!!”

All the mans says to my anger is: “What do you mean?”

I am really angry now, a new strength pours into my body and I am ready to let him have it. Even if it was unwilling on his part, he is a Sub too, he has a contract with this Dom he wants to force on me, doesn’t he feel anything about that?

Uzuki: “I’d hate it if it were me…..having ‘my Dom’ give some order to another other Sub, a command!…..At first I didn’t know anything bout Bond Contracts, but, the person you enter into a contract with becomes someone you have a Special Relationship with!” continuing with; “How can you treat YOUR partner like that!?” If Izayoi gave someone else’s Sub a command, well I would absolutely hate it. Obeying an order that Izayoi gives me is my privilege as his sub.

The man finally replies weakly by saying: “As I said, it is just a temporary contract with me. He’s nothing more than a game piece. There are no feelings involved.”

Uzuki angrily follows up on his temporary advantage: “Isn’t it because you think of your partner as nothing more than a pawn, that is why things didn’t work out with you and Izayoi!” and “I don’t know why Izayoi ended his contract with you, BUT, at least, I think part of it is because he hates the idea of using people”

The man shouting: “Shut Up!, You Shut Up!!!”

Uzuki is relentless: “If you thought that you loved Izayoi then you would not have been such a coward and you would have faced him head on!”

The man raises his fist, Uzuki still just barely able to stand, shuts his eyes and waits for the blow to strike, bracing himself as much as he could……….behind his shut eyes he hears a shout……

“YOU ARE THE ONE WHO NEEDS TO SHUT UP JERK!”

IZAYOI’S TALE CONTINUES

I heard some noise, maybe some yelling, I race down the corridor trying to find the location. I suddenly stop, it came from in that room, I grab the doorknob and pull the the door open, there is Uzuki!, there is “HIM”, he is raising his fist, he is going to strike Uzuki, I dash and grab his arm. I am Izayoi of old family, I will not let him strike my sub! I will denounce this piece of garbage and the low-life’s he gathers around him!

“YOU ARE THE ONE WHO NEEDS TO SHUT UP JERK!” I yell at him. I have more to say however, “Uzuki is MY Sub. He belongs to me! If you dare to touch what’s mine’…..well, you know what will happen, AND all you other garbage know what will happen to you!…”

The man submits telling me that he is sorry. Shaking he drops to his knees. Uzuki, now with wide open eyes, and feeling great relief, sees all the thugs, now in the background do not dare to challenge Izayoi when he is in this towering rage, the whole scene reeks of confusion.

I release the arm of this slug, he and his fellows are cowering in front of me and my blood line. I turn to Uzuki, and I bow my head and speak apologetically to my contract partner: “Uzuki, I am sorry to be so late. I knew that this man had a reckless streak, but I was very remiss, are you OK? Can you forgive me?” Uzuki nods to both of my questions, and I turn back to the man who threatened him.

I tell him; “I knew that you had feelings for me. But, you see I could not stomach your attitude. Your attitude that so long as I returned those feelings, nothing and no one else mattered! I can’t deal with people like that…that’s why I turned down the contract with you. I had thought that I made myself crystal clear when I spoke to you in the park”

The Man whimpered: “But that was too much Izayoi…Even making me transfer schools”

I reply; “No buts, it wasn’t me who decided that, it was my old man. I will admit that I felt bad that he just had to stick his nose in this business like that. But, you know…..

Uzuki thinks that despite Izayoi’s rough tones, there is a kindness in Izayoi’s eyes as he looks at the guy, Izayoi is really a kind person Uzuki thinks.

Narrators Note: (shades of Eliza Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcey in Pride and Prejudice)

Uzuki Tale Continues

I am thinking that Izayoi doesn’t even toss this guy off to the side. I guess you could say that he is being thoughtful? It kind of makes me jealous. It is not like I want Izayoi to beat this guy up. Everyone else in the room was shaking when Izayoi had that intimidating air of his, so I know that there wont be anymore harassment from now on.

Izayoi turns back to me and says again: “Are you OK? Why did you end up doing what these guys told you?” he asks as he gently touches my shoulder. The feeling of his hand has my heart making a sound that I do not like. I tell him; “uuh…I-I don’t think you should touch me right now, it’s pretty bad”.

Izayoi: “are you in a starved state right now? Why didn’t you tell me about this sooner!?” “For the time being I’ll give you a command to do something simple”

I tell Izayoi that the state of starvation happened because he forced himself on me and after that I was avoiding him!

But unconcernedly Izayoi tells me that he meant that he would give me a command right now so that I could obey and then they could get him out of a state of starvation”

I guess that I am still very unstable, despite the request, and I find myself saying irrationally that I am going to end the contract! In my state I no longer even care that my tormentors are still kneeling about the room, listening to me and Izayoi! I go on in my delirium: “I’m going to make a contract with that guy” pointing at the man would was trying to be my new dom, “I don’t need you Izayoi!”

Izayoi calmly replies to me: “Why are you telling me this, now, so late in the game?”

Suddenly the dams burst, I am crying and can only blurt out: “What do you expect me to do? at this rate…I’m just going to end up falling more and more in love with you!”  I can’t help myself in going on: “But Izayoi, you rejected your last partner because they fell for you. and then you forced yourself on me. But I still love you! But you don’t feel anything for me—!”

There is a long pause and he scratches his head and then quickly strides to my side. And finally Izayoi speaks gently: “Drink my blood…” I hesitate frozen, but  shake my head to refuse. “Just do it, Subordinate hurry up and drink my blood so that you can return to normal, and we can talk about everything calmly and settle all”

I cannot get my Safe word out, part of me wants to countermand his command, but? So I take his finger and bite, and I drink his blood as commanded. With that one sip, the fever that had me in it’s grip fades away! And my head is clearing too! I am ashamed at the words I had with Izayoi, he did not deserve me to speak like that way.

But Izayoi merely tells me: “Are you able to get a grip on the situation now?” With a slightly exasperated grin, he begins to stroke my hair. “Look, if I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t have run all the way here to save you Stupid” I can only begin sobbing.

Sometime later I find myself in our home and in bed with the blanket pulled all the way over my head. I’m so embarrassed that I can’t even poke my head out. Even if it was the starved state that I was in that caused me to act so strangely like that. I can’t believe that I blurted out such a messed up confession and then ended up bursting into tears in front of a large group of people. Like this sucks so bad….Just kill me now…….

Izayoi has come my bedside, and asks me if I have calmed down. I tell him it is impossible, I’ll never get over it, just think of me as dead…..

But Izayoi will not have it, he has become aggravated. He rips the blanket off of me and demands that I quit spouting nonsense and that I get myself together. Izayoi demands, but does not order me to look at him. I hide my eyes behind my pillow to avoid looking right at him.

Izayoi, exasperated: “UZUKI, Hey, I don’t want to use a command on you for something like this. PLEASE look at me!”

I remove the pillow from in front of my eyes, the look on Izayoi’s face is soft and gentle. “Look, I’m sorry. I knew that those guys had their eyes on you. But, I thought that if I just kept intimidating them, then nothing would come of it. I did not realize that someone, my ex-contract partner was behind the scene!”

Izayoi pauses and he faces me completely and he lowers his head in apology; “I was careless, I’m very sorry.” The only reply I can make to his abject apology is that “I’m sorry too! Sorry for avoiding you this whole time.”

Izayoi tells me that; “No, it was my fault as well. And about that night, I’m sorry that I forced myself on you. I was not right in my head, but it was very wrong.”

I feel like the wall of silence that we had put up between us was falling. And, as if recognizing that this awkwardness between us was now gone, my stomach began to growl. That’s right, because of all that happened this after breakfast, I never had gotten anything more to eat. Even though I have not spoken out loud and I released a sigh. And as if he read my mind, Izayoi pulled out of his bag some bread that he had bought at the school store and says; “You want half?”

We munch on the bread for a while and then Izayoi speaks to me, as if he wants to get something off of his chest:

“just as how Subs fall into a starved state, Doms also have something where they begin to act strange. The desire to take control over their sub becomes stronger and stronger…or it’s like they want to hold the Sub down and make them completely theirs. That is what happened to me then..but, there is no excuse. I’m sorry for being violent and raping you”

I think this over and decided that if Doms have something like the starvation state that Subs fall into, well, then I guess what happened was legitimate. Plus if I had really hated it and didn’t want it, then I could’ve just used my safe word. But when I mention this to Izayoi, he shakes his head.

“No, you would not have been able to use your safe word, I did not give you any command to negate! I was so possessed that I just overpowered you without even thinking of giving you a command! So that my forcing myself on you was not an extension of a DS act, it was just me being too possessive, and because it was forced on you, that is why it did not count as a DS act, and that is why you started to fall into a starved state to begin with!”

“It was just that you kept going on, Takamine this, and Takamine that, so I suddenly got so jealous! Look, if the person you like keeps going on and talking about another guy, then yeah, it made me jealous! It made me out of control”

Izayoi then suddenly looks away, his cheeks lightly turning pink. It’s refreshing for me to see Izayoi like this, I spoke up: “Then, that was me being Jealous of YOU earlier today. Then that makes us EVEN.”

Izayoi, musses his hair up while thinking, and then makes a proclamation:

“Listen and listen well, because I am only going to say this once…Uzuki, I Love You. And it’s got nothing to do with you being my Sub, but because I know that you are my True Mate. That said, I am not going to wait for some DS acts to bend your feelings to me. No, even since the day I heard you and Takamine before you even entered this school. The first time I heard your voice, I knew you were my True Mate.” Then with a minor pause; “After we graduate, Uzuki please become my Formal Contract Partner and My Mate…………”

Finis

INTERSECTION’s!

There are times when the worlds of literature and cinema collide, and even intersect.  For me at this moment, my interest is in the intersection.  This intersection can come about in several ways.  Most commonly it comes from a preexisting book that becomes the basis for the making of a movie.  It can be that a work of fiction, or sometimes a nonfictional book can become the start of a new movie.

Then sometimes the movie is made first, and an extra spat of commercialization rears its head.  With that the producers may decide to commission the writing of a book to further cash in on the success of the movie.

Then there is another type of Intersection where a book and movie can be developed concurrently.  This indicates a supreme confidence of the producer that he is on a “winner”.  And further that the momentum be continued  across both the worlds of Cinema, and Literature.   Indeed, sometimes the intersection becomes an a whole cottage industry that cascades.  Not only across Cinema and Literature, but also moves into the largest jackpot of them all, Merch…!

It is this case that becomes something more like a collision.  It reminds me of of the target chamber in the Large Hadron Collider.  The ideas behind the movie and the book are accelerated around the collider, and then intersect on the target, and there is formed a cascade. A myriad of merchandising opportunity!  A multiplicity of product lines, from clothing to licensed school supplies to Comics, Tween and Teen Magazines, and even more books and movies.

A prime example of this “collider cascade phenomenon” is the Star Wars franchise. A franchise now operated  by the Disney Corp.  It all began with one movie, Star Wars, released in 1977, and destined to become one of the biggest Cinematic franchises of them all.  When this happens, it is interesting for the literary minded of us to examine closely the books that result from this phenomenon.


Star Wars Trilogy Book 2, Random House Books 1995

This trilogy consists of three books that cover the original three movies.  These books are:

  • “Star Wars: A New Hope” by George Lucas and Alan Dean Foster from the original screenplay. copyright 1976 by Ballantine Books.
  • “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” by Donald F. Glut, based on a story by George Lucas. copyright 1980 by Ballantine Books.
  • “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” by James Kahn from Screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas, based on a story by George Lucas. copyright 1983 by Ballantine Books.

The notes that I made from reading the books are indicated by being put into an Italic font and indented from the rest of the text.  The observations made from, and of these notes are my own.  There are clear departures in these books from the original movies familiar to the Star Wars fans.

Some of these departures seem to be from using early versions of screenplays available to the authors.  With revised versions of the screenplays used in the actual filming.

There are other cases where the evidence suggests that there were ‘on the spot’ changes made in the course of the filming.  And that these particular changes never made it into screenplay rewrites.

Then there are a couple of scenes that were in the original screenplay. But they seem to have wound up being cut during the editing of the films.  No doubt due to time constraints.  But it is unfortunate as these scenes were very interesting, or sometimes very funny, and would have made worthy additions to the enjoyment of the films.  But the inclusion or not of these scenes is clearly an artistic license, with myself meaning no criticism of the judgments that had been made!  With all of that being said: let’s continue with the commentary.


Star Wars IV, A New Hope

Having exterminated through treachery and deception the Jedi Knights, guardians of Justice in the Galaxy, the Imperial Governors and bureaucrats prepared to Institute A Reign of Terror among the disheartened worlds of the Galaxy. Many used the Imperial forces in the name of the increasingly isolated Emperor to further their own personal ambitions. Prologue location 80

This expression indicates to me that George Lucas used an early edition of the screenplay to write this.  This quote from the book implies that Senator Palpatine had become emperor by a not explained route, and then was being manipulated by rogue governors and bureaucrats.  In other words the emperor became a figurehead in the hands of others.

This is a direct conflict with later Canon! Where it would be clear that the then Senator Palpatine representing the planet Naboo, was an able politician who would maneuver his way into becoming the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic.  All the while, he was also the Sith Lord Darth Sidious playing puppet master to the separatists of the Republic. Using them to destabilize the Republic and to force the Senate to give him more and more power. Ultimately making himself the emperor of a new Empire supplanting the Republic.  According to the later canon he was most certainly not the “increasingly isolated Emperor” depicted in this original novelization

Odd Naming Convention of droids: See-threepio instead of C-3PO, and Artoo-detoo instead of R2-D2. Chapter 1 location 105

I don’t quite know what to make of this convention.  These literal translation of the droid’s designations is throughout the both books.  The Prequel Volume as well. At first glance, I might assume that a voice recognition program was used to transcribe these novels.  BUT, that seems not possible since the original novel and original screenplay was back in 1977!

All future readers of the series would accept the now common practice of referring to See-threepio as C-3PO, and just accept the fact that capitalization is need for 3 of the four characters!  And of course Artoo-detoo is actually R2-D2!

Those robots knew that no machine could match the fluidity with which those shapes moved and instantly assumed fighting postures. The new arrivals were humans and harbor, not Mechanicals. Chapter 1, location 142

What I find odd in this quote from the book, is the word Mechanicals.  Throughout the movies the term used in “Droids”, short for Androids of course.  This suggests that an early version of screenplay was used for the writing of this novel.

Darth Vader is referred to as being “the Sith Lord”.  Not a Sith Lord, there is no indication that Chancellor Palpatine was also a Sith Lord, in fact the Sith Lord Sidious. Chapter 1 location 167

The above note is a serious deviation from the Star Wars canon!  As true Star Wars fan know, while Darth Vader was indeed a Sith Lord (as well as being an Ex-Jedi Knight), but he was most certainly not “the Sith Lord”.  Darth Vader was the apprentice to Darth Sidious. While this is not evidence of an early version of screenplay. This reveals that once the canon was expanded in the writing of the screenplays for the prequel movies, there was no attempt to make changes in this the original novel.

And Yet, the true Star Wars fan would really want to see this novel rewritten to properly acknowledge the Sith Lord lineages.  The history of the past Sith empires is now too integral to the Star Wars Canon. And for the ‘villainous’ amongst us, it is a slander upon the memory of the Emperor, Darth Sidious to be portrayed as a puppet of the Senate and the Bureaucrats.  The First Novel should have a big ASTERISKS on its cover, and there ought to be a replacement novel to fit the canon properly.

“Force will not keep the empire together.  Force Has never kept anything together for very long. the more you tighten your grip, the more systems will slip through your fingers. You’re a foolish man, governor. Foolish men often choked to death on their own delusions.”  Chapter 7 location 1844

This quote from the novel was cut in the final screenplay to just: “the more you tighten your grip, the more systems will slip through your fingers.”  Which is shame. The entire quote would have been much more effective, and would have shown off the character of Princess Leia much better, than just the saving 16 seconds of dialogue!

Star Wars VI: The Return of the Jedi

A Scene Not Included in Filmography:  Outside the small Adobe Hut, the sandstorm wailed like a beast in agony, refusing to die. Inside, the sounds were muted. It was cooler in the shelter, more hushed, and darker. While the beast without howled, in this place of nuance and shadow a shrouded figure worked. Tanned hands, holding Arcane tools, extended from the sleeves of a kaftan like robe.  the figure crouched on the ground, working. Before him lay a discoid device of strange design, wires trailing from it at one end, symbols etched into its flat surface. He connected to wired into a tubular smooth handle pulled through inorganic looking connector, locked it in place with another tool. He motioned to a shadow in the corner; the shadow moved towards him.  tentatively, the obscure form rolled closer to the robed figure. “Vrrrr-dit dweet?” the little R2 Unit questioned timidly as it approached, pausing when it was just a foot from the shrouded man with the strange device. The shrouded man motioned the Droid nearer still. Artoo-Detoo scooted the last distance, blinking; and the hands rose towards his domed little head. Chapter 1 location 6309

It is a shame that this scene was not included in the opening of the movie “The Return of the Jedi.  It would show a clear maturation of Luke after his disastrous, nearly fatal encounter with Darth Vader.  Luke was not ready and was wounded terribly, but managed to escape from Vader with a daring and high risk escape attempt performed by Leia, Chewbacca, and Lando at the end of “The Empire Strikes Back”.  But with this scene it would have been clear that the force was indeed quite strong with Luke.

How else could he have the knowledge and technical capability to construct his own lightsaber after losing Darth Vader’s old lightsaber in the fight on Bespin’s Cloud City?  This scene also foreshadows his coming duel with Jabba the Hutt by showing him hiding this new lightsaber inside of R2-D2’s domed head. This scene would have been perhaps 5 minutes long, but would have been a fantastic setup, a mysterious shrouded man working in a shop, and then revealed to be Luke with a prescient peek inside the shrouded hood.

Contradiction?:  “So I took you to live with my brother Owen on Tatooine … and your mother took Leia to live as the daughter of Senator Organa, on Alderaan.” Chapter 3 location 7223

It is curious that this entry has survived all these years in this novelization.  Owen was the only son of Cliegg Lars who had married Shmi Skywalker. Thus his son Owen became step brother to Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader).  So Obi-Wan Kenobi telling Luke: “So I took you to live with my brother Owen, would have meant that Obi-Wan (“old Ben”) was also Luke’s Uncle. There is absolutely nothing along this line in the movies to suggest that Obi-Wan and Owen Lars were brothers!  Indeed it would have meant that Obi-Wan Kenobi would have been Anakin’s Step Brother as well!

As for the second part of Obi-Wan’s quote. Luke’s mother Padme had died in childbirth so Padme could NOT have taken Luke’s twin sister Leia to live as the daughter of Senator Organa, it was Obi-Wan himself who took Leia to Alderaan himself to the Senator.  What reason would he have had to lie to Luke about this point? This is just a contradiction that was never caught by the proofreaders.

Scene Not included in Filmography;  “You may not enter,” the officer said evenly. Vader did not waste words. He raised his hand, fingers outstretched, toward the officer’s throat. Ineffably, the officer began to choke. His knees started buckling, his face turned ashen. Gasping for air, he spoke again. “It is the … Emperor’s … command.”  Like a spring, Vader released the man from his remote grip. The officer, breathing again, sank to the floor, trembling. He rubbed his neck gently. “I will await his convenience,” Vader said. He turned and looked out the view window. Leaf-green Endor glowed there, floating in black space, almost as if it were radiant from some internal source of energy. He felt its pull like a magnet, like a vacuum, like a torch in the dead night. Chapter 5 location 7706

This is another scene that would have been powerful in displaying the power of Lord Vader, as well as the deep devotion that he had formed for his master, the Emperor.  With the planet Endor floating in the view window, it would have really set the mood for Vader’s mission to capture his son Luke and bring him to the Emperor so as to turn Luke to the Dark Side, and join at the side of Vader and the Emperor.  It would have been a scene that fans would talk about for years. It is a pity that it was cut to save perhaps 4 to 5 minutes!

Another Scene not include in Filmography;  “Honorable Elders, we must aid this noble party not less for the trees, but more for the sake of the leaves on the trees. These Rebels are like the Ewoks, who are like the leaves. Battered by the wind, eaten without thought by the tumult of locust that inhabit the world – yet do we throw ourselves on smoldering fires, that another may know the warmth of light; yet do we make a soft bed of ourselves, that another may know rest; yet do we swirl in the wind that assails, to send the fear of chaos into the hearts of our enemies; yet do we change color, even as the season calls up us to change. So must we help our Leafbrothers, these Rebels – for so has come a season of change upon us. Chapter 6 location 7962

This was the climax of Wicket’s speech to the Ewok Council explaining why they had to come to aid of the Rebels.  This would have been a scene where C-3PO would have had to translate sentence by sentence, but it would have been powerful to hear the reasoning of the Ewoks.  It also would have been quoted by many fans, and would have led to an even greater love and affection for the Ewoks in Star Wars Canon.

Contradiction?:  Vader shook his head. “Ben once thought as you do –” Chapter 7 location 8130

This is the scene on the landing platform where Luke has been led in irons to Darth Vader.  Luke tries to reason with his father when Darth Vader refers (this one time) to “BEN”. I call contradiction!  As a ten year old Anakin Skywalker knew the future General as “Obi-wan”, and this was true all through his years as a Padawan to Obi-wan.  Even once Anakin had become a Jedi Knight on his own worth, he still knew and referred to his former master as “Obi-wan”.

It was not until after Anakin’s defeat, that Obi-wan Kenobi took both Luke and Leia and fled into exile that he then took up the name “Ben” Kenobi.  He had left Anakin Skywalker seemingly for dead on the planet Mustafa after their duel, and that began Obi-wan’s exile. It is not reasonable to think that on leaving Anakin on the burning lava that he would have said; “Oh, by the way, I’m changing my name to Ben, just so you will know if by some chance you survive!”  Come now, there is no way Darth Vader ought to have said the name “Ben”.

 

New Aventura Hotel at Universal Orlando

Review Video on YouTube by Tim Tracker

After watching his video, I am considering adding this hotel to my next trip down to Orlando to see the new Star Wars Land.  Perhaps spending a night or two here.  It is right next door to Volcano Bay and the both the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, and the new Sapphire Falls Island Resort.  Any way, check out the video below.

You Tube Video of 10 objects invented just to defy the laws of Physics

I found this video on YouTube while reviewing video’s that might be interesting to my mother to view while in her Assisted Living Facilities.  I watch Baseball and Basketball with my mother, but I like to vary it with interesting video’s!

While this one would not appeal to my 91 year old mother.  It certainly “blew my mind!” with this 10 inventions!  And I figure that it would appeal to some on my blog viewers as well.  So let’s cut down all that “chit chat yak yak, and get on with the show!” (courtesy of the Country Bear Jamboree)

 

Imagistics

Paul D. Dute

Cruise Ship Imagistics © 2018

Introduction

I took my first cruise back in 1990. It was a sailing out of Port Miami on Carnival Cruise Lines. I was concerned over whether I would be bothered by motion sickness. So for this first cruise I had booked a 3 night 4 day cruise that would stop at Nassau and Freeport in the Bahamas. I was attracted to the idea of cruising from many years watching Love Boat episodes on the TV. But because of my previous short water voyages, I was leery of getting seasick. Which explains why it was so long before I actually got myself aboard a cruise ship.

On this, my first cruise, I had taken along some Dramamine and took a pill before sailing. Then I had another pill later on in the evening while the MS Fantasy was out at sea. However, for the rest of the cruise I took no more pills, and was not at all seasick. The MS Fantasy was a 70,000 ton ship, and it was the largest cruise ship for its day. And the cruise was smooth.

I found that I liked, no make that, LOVED cruising. There was relaxation during the day, and then multiple opportunities for entertainment all through the evening. There were Jazz clubs, Comedy clubs, Pop Clubs, Live Action Showrooms, and also a couple of cozy Piano bars.

My first cruise was only 4 days long, but I returned back to shore so incredibly relaxed! It was so enjoyable that I resolved to take another, longer cruise as soon as I could afford it.

I was to take a second cruise in 1992. This cruise was on the maiden voyage of Princess Line MS Regal Princess. This was a one week cruise to the western Caribbean. But this time there was a period of very rough seas on the cruise from Cozumel back towards Fort Lauderdale. Yet, even so I was not sick! Not once!

It was after my 1992 cruise that I decided that I wanted take more and more cruises. I liked the lifestyle on a cruise ship. There were plenty of entertainment venues in the evenings. And during the days there was plenty of time to read, as well as to take in seminars and talks about any number of interesting topics.

On my conventional vacations there was often a tight schedule that had to be maintained to make various connections, and various reservations. When going to any of the large theme parks in Florida there was a lot of walking, and traveling between parks and attractions.

On a cruise ship that is all turned around and upside down. Another way to look at things? A cruise ship is like a skyscraper turned on its side and floating on the sea. A sailing skyscraper that can take one to all of the islands and tropical regions. On most ships the dining rooms are in the aft of the ship, while the main showroom is in the bows. This is done as it causes the diners to traverse the entire midship area of the ship on their way to the main showroom. Thereby passing all of the shops and bars onboard.

This means that on the average ship about the longest distance that one has to traverse is perhaps 1,000 feet either fore or aft, and perhaps a deck or two up or down. That eliminates almost all of the walking that one is forced to do when going to one of the theme parks. It eliminates all of that shoe leather loss! It is a great time saver as well, giving one much more relaxation time while on a cruise.

There was one little change from previous cruise routines. On Carnival for breakfast and lunch, meals there was no longer individual seating. (I must admit, that was always very extravagant, and not at all efficient use of the dining staff, so I really do not blame the cruise lines for making this policy adjustment.) It did mean that I was to be thrust into much more contact with the other passengers. But it was also more exciting for me to interact with other interesting people while onboard the ship.

It was this experience with interaction with other people that would lead me eventually to consider a change of my image.

Should I Change my Image?

There is a common factor to all of my cruises up to Thanksgiving of 2012. On each of my previous cruises I had boarded and behaved as myself. I am shy, introverted, and socially awkward. To be blunt, I am quite boring. I do not like to join in on things, and I stay in the background, and am mostly unnoticed. In fact, I find that performing normally while in a social setting to be very stressful. It is the most likely time that I will stutter and stammer. This is particularly true in a setting that I am not familiar with. It doesn’t help the situation to know that when boarding a cruise I know ahead of time that there will be a couple thousand strangers aboard. People that I know nothing about, and have never seen. The only helpful thing in these particular cruises, was that in taking a series of cruises on the MS Carnival Pride I had come to know some of the crew.

As I began to think about taking yet another Carnival cruise for 2012, I also began to think that perhaps I ought not travel as myself! No, perhaps I ought to be somebody else. I would keep my name since using a alias is difficult nowadays. So, I would still use my own identity. But, perhaps I ought to travel with a whole new personality, a new personae as it were! My thoughts immediately flashed to one of my favorite books! : “The Image Men” by J.B. Priestley.

In this novel, Priestley created the characters of Professors Tuby and Saltana. They are impoverished academics. Owen Tuby is a professor of classic literature and Cosmo Saltana is a professor of philosophy. They had known each other over several decades. Tuby teaching at colleges all over Asia. While Saltana was a professor traveling between universities in South America. From time to time they would meet at a variety of educational conferences to renew their friendship.

But now in 1968 they have both returned to London and are both staying at the Robinsons Hotel, Bayswater, London. They run into each other in a sitting room and try to decide what to do with themselves. In the sitting room is a mature lady, well-dressed, seemingly prosperous, reading a file of what clearly seems to be legal papers. The lady bursts into tears and is called away by a page to answer a call, leaving her papers behind.

Doctor Tuby decides to glance at the papers to perhaps understand the lady’s distress. He discovers that it is indeed legal papers purporting to be about something called the “Drake Sociological Foundation”. It is addressed to a Mrs. Elfreda Drake. Tuby quickly returns to his seat and relates the information to Professor Saltana.

Doctor Tuby and Professor Saltana decide to present themselves to Mrs. Drake as sociologists, and on the spot they invent a new sociological discipline “Social Imagistics”. Dealing with the Selection, Creation, and Projection of useful images for public life. They persuade Mrs. Drake to come in together with them and form the “Institute of Social Imagistics” and to then try to attach this new institute to a new university even then being built on top of an older existing college.

Mrs. Drake agrees to join with them because as she says: “my late husband heard about sociology before he died and thought it was a good idea. That is why he left me a million dollars, so that I could do something “sociologically” in his memory. “

This novel is an account of the events that unfold as Tuby and Saltana try to make this Institute come to life with the assistance of Elfreda Drake.

With the memory of this novel coursing through my mind, I then and there decided to create a new personae for myself, a new image for me to project on my next vacation. I will become “the political writer aboard the cruise ship”. The writer who is a workaholic, even on board a cruise ship to the Bahamas, he can’t stop writing. Yes, that sounds like it could work!

Before I could get to work and design the image that I wanted to “wear” on the cruise, I got distracted at the end of October with the approach of hurricane Sandy. It was being called “the storm of the century” due to its immense size, and the fact that it was aimed right at the New Jersey coast on one side, and New York City on the other! It was quite possible that it could go right over my head at Harding Woods. It was worrisome for me to watch on the Doppler radar, that huge storm that just kept coming towards New Jersey. For a week I could think of nothing else. But then at the height of the hurricane the power went out as the hurricane track was 10 miles to the north of me. After 12 hours, the power came back on, and things slowly came back to normal.

The Image 1.0

By November 1st, my cruise was 28 days away, and I could begin to think about my “image”. As related, I decided to be a political writer. I choose this because the election was coming up on the 6th. The election would still be on everyone’s mind as I would board the ship.

I decided that I would use my Dragon Speech© recognition software to dictate into my journal. I would sit in the lounge and dictate into my headset with the boom microphone connected to my laptop. I had hoped that it would attract attention, and that would prompt people to ask me what I was doing. I would say that I was writing “Blurbs”. When pressed, I would say that my blurbs were used by political speechwriters to add that certain “homey” touch to the formal speeches and statements.

I would claim that my “blurbs” were in wide circulation in the political world and were used as the basis underlying political messages to the electorate. I would have to sure that I never mentioned any particular candidate. I would also have to claim to be covered by a strict NDA, and to refuse to take credit for any particular speech or statement.

I would even go so far as to create a template (looking like an official “type” of form) that would be displayed on my laptop screen while I was dictating. However, I would have to be careful of this template, and not let anyone get too close a look at it.

During the course of my 2012 cruise my projection of this image was hit and miss. While a couple of people were interested in what I was doing, since voice recognition was a relatively new thing for the public at large.

But there was no real stir amongst the passengers. Also I had not really considered what to say when I would be asked just exactly who I was writing for. Just to claim an NDA was not satisfactory. It had no “punchline”, no real “feeling”, no empathy there. There was needed something more, but I could not put my finger on exactly what I needed to do for the image. I had not done enough homework!

I should have really given it more thought when I was getting ready to go. I really ought to have written an outline or something! I KNOW!, I KNOW!, I should have written up an “image analysis”. Just as Doctor Tuby or Professor Saltana would have done in the novel by Preistley. In the meantime, I had a couple of days to think about the matter before we reached Freeport on Friday.

I need a course correction to Image 1.0

I decided to deal with the inevitable question of “just who are you writing these blurbs for?”. I tried to imagine just how the question would arise:

Query: “Who were you writing this stuff for?”

Reply: “I am covered by an NDA, I cannot tell you”

Query: “come on, you can tell me! I won’t say anything!”

Reply: “Well, I really can’t say anything about it!……But let’s just say that my clients were not unhappy about the elections results earlier this month! (small sly smirk, break eye contact and look downwards)” Yes, I think that might be a little “sexy”. But I shall have to make sure that I have it memorized before Friday!

I wanted to have this memorized before the Captain’s Frequent Cruisers Party immediately following the noon departure from Freeport. It is a frequently rowdy party. As when the captain is the host, complimentary double-pour cocktails are a’flowing for the afternoon! It would be a good place to surface my image update. However it was to turn out to be a slightly chaotic afternoon. And the evening that followed was also not conducive to giving a performance.

The party had been going for a couple of hours. I was becoming quite tipsy, loosening my grip and my determination to stay in character. That afternoon after, say 3pm or so, became quite hazy and uncertain in my memory. It was not until later on in the day, when I found myself waking in an strange cabin, to find a tableau of 3 other naked people draped on the beds of the cabin. I was the first to stagger awake. I found my clothes on the floor, hurriedly got dressed and made my way back to my own cabin. I had the presence of mind to note that I had left cabin #1221, but I’ve no idea whose cabin that was. And while not sure what had happened there, I thought that I could guess. It had been quite a party after all!

OK, I would just have to be a little shy for the rest of the cruise. I never did learn any details about that afternoon. So I could never determine if I had revealed my imposturing inadvertently or not.

For that reason, I did not think that my “Image” was all that successful when reviewing the matter after the end of the cruise. But it was just my first try! Next time I would simply have to do a better job of preparation, and avoid the parties, or at least cut down on the drinking!

However, for both 2014 and for 2015 another cruise was not in my vacation plans. In 2014 I would take a multi-day visit to Walt Disney World. For this I would have to fly down to Florida and stay in the resort. It would be inconvenient to have a new Image, a new Identity almost.

As for 2015, I would again take a multi-day visit, this time to Universal Orlando, to see the new Diagon Alley in the Universal Studios. And once again this would have to be done by flying down to Florida and staying at the new Cabana Bay Beach resort at Universal. Again, trying to deploy a different image and cope with security in the airports would be inconvenient, to say the least. So there would be no image work to be done for those two vacations.

And yet, I would be taking a cruise after these two vacations were done and journaled. So a new revised Image would be needed for that next cruise of 2016!

The Image 2.0

I had begun the planning for my 2016 cruise right after I had returned from Universal Orlando at the end of 2015. Yes, I did take a break in my planning to enjoy the xmas and New Years Holidays. But it was early on in 2016 when I had decided to cruise for the week after Thanksgiving 2016. I would book the cruise for Sunday 11/27/2016 through Sunday 12/4/2016. I had also settled on once again cruising on the MS Carnival Pride cruise ship sailing out of Baltimore.

My two vacations staying for a multiple days at both Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando resorts actually made for a very tiring set of vacations. Lots of walking, and lots of traveling between parks. It was time for me to once again take a cruise and be able to have a full week of total relaxation!

I had the cruise booked by June 2016. Then I began to plan the shore excursions that I would take on this upcoming cruise. This is not a task to be taken lightly. The shore excursions selected can be very important to the enjoyment of the cruise itself. The cruise line offers a full set of options on the excursions. One can be active physically with skiing and parasailing, or can focus on history, or enjoy scheduled, preplanned parties. With all of this planning disposed of, it was time for consideration of my new image.

How does this strike you?

My projection of the “political blurb writer” was somewhat less than a smashing success when I attempted it back in 2012. While a couple of people on the cruise were interested when I would be wearing my headset and dictating, they stopped and did ask me about my behavior. But I had wanted “More!”.

I considered the thought that “political” writing just did not have any “bite” with people. There is so much cynicism with politics nowadays. Perhaps the thought of someone actually writing the tripe that is issued as political speak, seems off putting. Perhaps……..

On the other hand, I had gotten the idea of changing my image from a J.B. Preistley novel. Perhaps I could be a novel writer? I thought that I had something there. It was a good idea, I finally decided. After all how attractive it would be for someone to think that they might be a character in an upcoming novel? Yes, Yes, I told myself, there is a germ of an image projection here. Keep it up Paul, I told myself.

As the year progressed the idea became more and more came clear to me. Accordingly, I decided that I ought to make an attempt at formalizing the “image” that I wanted, in the form of an Image Analysis.


The Image Analysis File

The client wishes an image that he will use aboard a cruise vacation. Unsatisfied with his current understated image, the client wants something that is more assertive, and more appealing to the audience available on the ship’s one week cruise. We propose that the client assume the Personae of:

The Cruise Ship Novelist

This image would most certainly appeal to other passengers on the ship because:

  • People find the idea of a novelist appealing. The novelist attempts to capture real life and bring it into a more ideal prose form. The novelist is free to impose changes in reality that make a story more compelling, more poignant. People are well aware that a novel is not true life, but they will accept, and sometimes, love the alternative reality presented in novel form.
  • People who take a cruise once, tend to take more cruises on a regular basis, as studies show. They also tend to be attracted to the temporary exciting lifestyle available on a cruise ship and will relate to a portrayal of events uniquely available on a ship. For this reason, the self same people would be attracted to the idea of a novel based on cruise ships, and would find the idea that they might become a “character” in a novel appealing!
  • If the proposed Image Projection is well handled, then people aboard the cruise will talk to others about the prospect of a novel being written about the cruise that they are all taking. It could easily become talked about onboard, and will even be an article of their conversation after they return home and talk to their peers about the cruise! “Did you know there was a novelist aboard the ship?!” “He was writing a story about “…topic…” and you know what?…..”! “I’m going to be in the book, under another name of course”. Then these people will be on the lookout for ANY book that seems to involve a cruise, and they will brag that they are actually “….appealing character in book….”.

Details in the Projection of Image.

  • Client will need to practice ahead of taking the cruise. He must master the image of a bookish, introverted author. It is important to not OVERACT this image. An understated character will be more interesting to the passengers on the cruise ship. Client should prominently carry a hardcover book while in the boarding line.
  • Wearing glasses will promote the image of a novelist, somehow people hold the idea that authors wear glasses all of the time, so studies show.
  • When a yawn comes on, client must remove the glasses with a flourish and pinch his/her nose in “thought”. This will draw eyes to the client, and the viewer will ‘wonder?……’
  • Client must take every opportunity to flourish the hardcover book. Pick a book with a bright cover, and an ambiguous title to wave about. It is important for the Client to carry the book at breakfast time and lunchtime, and to READ while eating. “Authors” always read a book by other authors at meals, the other passengers aboard will think. The reading of a book thus prepares the writer for the inevitable writing session later. That is what they will conclude.
  • When the Client is at cocktail bars around the ship: Be Careful, carrying a book here is problematic, it seems out of place to many. But, reading a book at the bar would attract attention quickly and be talked about. Client should Be cautious doing this! A book at a sit down cocktail lounge is good! A book while seated at the bar itself is “too much”!

Things to AVOID when Projecting the Image.

Client should NEVER mention a title for the book! Client should ALWAYS insist that “I am not sure about the title yet!”

Vary with; “I haven’t decided”,

or vary with; “I want to see what the editor thinks” ,

and sometimes; “What do YOU think would be a good title?”.

Client should never be specific over what the book is “all about”, NEVER, EVER be specific. Instead suggest:

“Well, I haven’t really decided on the focus, it is just about what it is like on board a ship, and the curious things that happen aboard” (mention something silly or unusual observed aboard),

or say “You know, sometimes I find that the ‘characters’ TAKE OVER and lead the WAY”,

or “I find that the concentrating on the middle of the book is the best way to start! The writing process itself will settle the beginning and the ending, as I go along! I know that sounds strange!, but that’s the way it is with me!” (make sure client practices a sly smirk to use after saying this).

Spreading the Image around the ship.

  1. Client should be very visibly reading the selected book at all meals, and while sitting down in a lounge.
  2. Client should ALWAYS be seen carrying a laptop bag. When questioned if that is uncomfortable, client should loudly declare “I’ve got my manuscript in there!”

      1. This will usually cause an exclamation, and then client can begin conversation  about “the book about cruising” that he is TRYING to write. NEVER, EVER suggest that it is near done!

      2. Remember, Client is always “BEGINNING” to write the book! This suggests that client has no firm idea where it will go, and the people around client will OFFER ideas to help client out.

       3. Client should listen to their ideas and NOD SAGELY to whatever they suggest, say “That’s INTERESTING, PERHAPS I can work that in!”

       4. If client has a notepad handy, write the suggestion down, be sure to note down the suggestors name for flattery sake. When they see Client writing their names down, it will suggest that they have made an important contribution!

  1. Before meals the client should position himself prominently at a position that people will have to WALK PAST on their way to the dining room. Note: an Apple laptop is ideal as the apple icon on the back of the screen lights brightly and attracts the eye making the client highly visible. Besides “artists” prefer Apples, everybody knows this.
  2. Client should be very visibly touch-typing, even if the client is only typing gibberish. People are impressed if you seem to be typing and looking around the room for ideas at the same time. BUT, if someone leans over towards clients screen, Client must make sure that he closes the laptop, and acts mysterious, this will attract attention for certain! Remember, the client HATES people looking over his shoulder.
  3. END FILE

I start projecting Image 2.0

It is Sunday, 27 November 2016. Today is the start of my cruise. It is also the day that I begin to project my new image! I am quite excited, and a little nervous as well. I will behave as my normal self as I drive to the Port of Baltimore. I will also have to be myself while traversing both the security and check in lines at the terminal. However, once I clear these hurdles and start my walk up the gangway, then I will have to assume my new personae, “The Cruise Ship Novelist”. I will have to start the projection of a completely new Image! I knew that I would need a little luck to pull this off! ……….

Once I had gotten through the security and check in lines, then it was time to start my act of being “The Cruise Ship Novelist”.  I was thinking about this, and was rehearsing some of my lines as I walked aboard the ship, crossing the Renaissance Atrium Bar, on my way to the elevators and up to my cabin #4164 on the Main Deck. In my cabin I took about 15 minutes to get my shirts and pants hung up in the closet, and my other garments secreted into the closet drawers. Then I was ready to leave the cabin.

For a book that I could prominently flash around, I had chosen my personal copy of “The Image Men” by J.B. Priestley himself! It had a bright white cover, and the author’s name and the title of the book were in tall red lettering. It was a totally appropriate book for me to use as a prop! I put my laptop bag on my shoulder. As I was heading for the cabin door I thought to myself, in a rather nervous voice; “IT’S SHOWTIME!”

I decided to head to the Alchemy Bar on the Deck #2, the Promenade Deck. This was a new bar added to the ship when it went into its last rehab. Called “Fun Ship 2.0” there were a couple of signature bars that would be added, eventually, to all of the Carnival Fleet. I was most interested in the new Alchemy Bar. And it was to be dramatic, interesting, and even included it’s own custom carpeting with the chemical symbol of Ethanol throughout.

The Alchemy Bar would become my favorite place to perform. In order to reach the dining room, most of the passengers would have to come through the center of the Alchemy Bar. The line for the dining room would run right in front of those wonderful curved marble tables, with the just the right height upholstered bar stools with backs. I would set up there with my MacBook and it’s illuminated Apple Icon. I would be instantly visible to everyone in line. As I touch-typed and cast my eyes around the room, it would look as if I was casting about for an interesting idea. This was the perfect spot for me to be discovered as “the Cruise Ship Novelist”!

I set up in the Alchemy Bar at 5:30pm and started in with my performance. I had a set of templates in my word processor so that it would be easy for me to take the notes for my journal. But it would appear that I was blocking out the outline for my novel. However, that Sunday evening there was no real reaction to my performance. Several people stared at me while they were waiting in line, but no one spoke to me at that time.

Later that evening while having my supper in the Mermaide Grille, I decided on a routine for the cruise to maximize the effects of my new image. The Normandie dining room would be out. There the tables were more isolated from each other due to the formal atmosphere. My performance would be easier, and more convincing, in the more relaxed atmosphere of the casual dining room, the Mermaide Grille on the Lido Deck. So here is how I decided to go;

  • Breakfast in the Mermaide Grille. I would set up here with my unopened MacBook, but I would have my reading book open and read while breakfasting. The relaxed feeling here ought to make people more open to question me.
  • Lunch in the Mermaide Grille. I would behave the same as at Breakfast.
  • Afternoons would be spent at various locations around the ship that were in high traffic areas. Here I would be seen with a cocktail and have my laptop open, highly visible, and my book prominently placed beside me. I would act very convivially, and be open to conversation with any who cared to ask about my Priestley book, or about my constant typing into my laptop.
  • Suppers would also be in the Mermaide Grille, behaving the same as for breakfasts and lunches.
  • Evenings would be when I took a break from my writing. However, I would make sure that even in this lounge or that, I would have my laptop. (if asked I would say; “just in case inspiration strikes”) And I would have my ebook (with it’s internal reading light turned up as bright as possible, thus being highly visible) along with me!
    • As a precaution, in the evenings, the waiters were all cued and tipped by me to loudly declare “Sir, your usual: a Rum and Coke!” with my frequent calls for something to drink. However the staff all knew to serve me a plain coke without any rum, in the evenings. (HEY, my ‘Hemingwayesque’ image must be maintained after all!)

EUREKA! I get a nibble!

Monday, 28 November 2016. I got my first nibble early! Well, they say that the fish bite best in the morning after all. Aboard cruise ships there is an old tradition of discount Bloody Mary’s served from 8am to noon. I would suppose that this goes back to the days of combatting scurvy, those days Bloody Marys and a G&T were considered medicinal. In my early days of cruising the Bloody Marys would be half-priced. Nowadays they are a mere dollar or two off the regular price. And Yet!…..

My habit in the past was to come down to the Atrium bar every morning after breakfast and have a Bloody Mary, or two. As far back as I can recall, there has been the same Asian bartender (Ratchanee) on duty in the mornings (and in the evenings) aboard the MS Carnival Pride. She had gotten in the habit of calling me Mr. Paul.

And this Monday morning when I came to the bar, she brightly greeted me with a cheery: “You’re back aboard Mr. Paul!” I warmly greeted her and I did not even have to tell her what I wanted. She just went and made up my morning usual: Bloody Mary, no celery, just 3 dashes, no more, of Worcestershire, and no umbrella please!

Although it is not the best of form, I had my laptop at the bar, and started to make some notes. After tending to a couple of other ‘regulars’ at the bar, she came back to me and asked what I was writing? (My first nibble)…….

I told Ratchanee that I had decided to switch to fiction, and that I was starting a novel about cruising. She got all excited, (and with my left hand I signaled her to speak up a bit.) Bless me! dear Ratchanee, she played right along! Asking me if I was going to write about the Carnival Pride? I told her that yes, yes I was, but I would have to change the names for the novel.

Still excited (and speaking loudly, enough for the whole bar to hear) she asked: “You mean I am going to be in your book? this ship too?” Oh, she was being a darling! So I decided to bait the hook for the patrons of the bar. “Yes indeed,” I brightly spoke: “Of course since we have been friends these past five cruises, so some of the stories you have about below decks are also going to be included, names changed of course”. I could almost feel the ears of the people around the bar twitching!

Gosh, “this is fun!” the thought started to roll around my mind. I hope that my performance is selling. I should know in a couple of days. Meanwhile I was determined to leave a note with a nice tip for my dear Ratchanee, she was perfect!

Another Nibble, in an Unexpected place

Tuesday, 29 November 2016. Although I had not planned to eat in the Normandie dining room. This day I decided to take a break and have my supper in the formal dining room. It was well that I did so. For once I had snagged a prime table. The Maitre de had placed me at a table for two on the upper level of the Normandie dining room right up against the railing of the balcony overlooking the lower level.

I had not brought my laptop, although I did have a book to read while dining. I had also not expected anyone to interrupt me. But, a couple did! It turned out to be an Alan and Suzy, who recognized me and my book. They told me they had heard I was writing a book, and they wanted to know how it was going. I replied; “It’s going pretty good, but I need a plot twist worked out. However, tonight I am taking off because I wanted a bit of luxury dining”. Alan told me; “I quite understand and we’ll leave you for now, but perhaps we will be seeing you later in the cruise?”. Another nibble, apparently there is some talk onboard the ship about me.

Overheard on the Lido Deck

Wednesday, 30 November 2016. During my supper in the Mermaide Grille, I had my open laptop and book with me while having a light supper after a long day in the Magic Kingdom, when I overheard from behind me:

  • “There is that crazy writer!, I heard he is writing a SCANDALOUS! book about what goes on in this ……………. “ (voice fades away).

Interesting! Word about my image, (becoming “scandalous” to boot), is clearly spreading about the ship! This is FUN! Who could have known I could be so interesting? I chuckle in glee on the inside, but I do not break character! The Show Must Go On!

Hook, Line, and Sinker!

Thursday, 1 December 2016. Today was to be the breakthrough of my performance! And it would happen just as I was to take the Bahamian Bar Hopper Tour! How fortuitous. On this shore excursion that was to last from 11am until about 6pm, we would visit four bars. With a complimentary cocktail in each, and a 1 hour party at each of the following bars.

  1. The Blue Parrot at the end of E. Bay Street and Hall Lane (a bar known to James Bond). Within sight of the Sidney Poitier bridge.
  2. Margaritaville on Paradise Island, right on the waterfront between the two traffic bridges.
  3. Fish Fry Central out near the cargo port on W. Bay Street. An unprepossessing and bit shabby bar. Must be owned by a friend of the bus driver.
  4. And finishing up at the Señor Frogs at the foot of the old British Colonial Hotel, another place well known to James Bond from the movie/book “Thunderball”.

I went out to the dock to wait for the shore excursion to start. There was a delay of some sort, and the tour group wound up sitting on the wharf waiting for our tour guide. While there I ran into Alan and Suzy again. They introduced me to their friends, Hugh and Crystal. We talked about the book a bit, and I told them that I had not brought my laptop since I had hit a block. I told them; “I need some sort of plot twist and I’ve lost my way. I am hoping for some inspiration to strike while we party!”

As it turned out, Alan and Suzy lost interest. However, Crystal, Hugh and I hung out for the rest of the day at all the bars. We talked lightly at the Blue Parrot. It was not until we reached Margaritaville on Paradise Island and our third round of cocktails that the conversation became lively.

I explained that I had my protagonist to the point where he had to “Run”, and at what point would the best to escape from the ship and disappear? They really got into the idea!

We had to rule out Monday and Tuesday of the cruise, since the ship was at sea, no way to escape without bribing or otherwise coercing the captain!

Hugh thought that the shore excursion to the Magic Kingdom on Wednesday would be good. But after much discussion we had to rule it out. Presumably Counter-intelligence would know that there were three areas where they would have to keep a watch; the ship terminal itself, the Ticket and Transportation Center at DisneyWorld, and the Entrance/Exit plaza at the Magic Kingdom. While once inside the park, the only way to escape would be to jump the park perimeter, hope to avoid Disney security and make it across the alligator filled swamps, no thanks!

Crys thought that escaping from Nassau was promising. But both Hugh and I thought that counter-intelligence would certainly cover the airport, and have agents on the Prince George Dock! There was the possibility of using a small boat, but then go where?

By the time we reached Señor Frogs, the cocktails and the parties had kind of made our thinking muddled, and by 8pm we all decided it would be best to get back to dock and get aboard the ship! Leaving the escape route unsettled.

As far as I can tell, my performance is still undetected. They think I am a real novelist!

“Thank God for the Freeport Mailboat!”

Friday, 2 December 2016. I would meet up again with Hugh and Crystal while on yet another shore excursion. This time at Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, during our visit to the Garden of the Groves. We had a nice time, it turned out that they liked gardens as much as I did, and we all enjoyed touring this fabulous garden.

After the tour we gravitated to the grill in the garden and had sandwiches and beer. Talk turned again to how my protagonist could make a “break for it”. I told them that I had an idea, and wanted to know what they thought of it?

My idea had started to solidify as we docked at the Freeport Port Terminal. I noticed that the Freeport shipyard was adjacent to the passenger terminal, and in the turning basin was the Freeport Mailboat!

My idea was that IF, my protagonist could get to the Mailboat before going through the passenger gate to the terminal, THEN maybe he could get to the Mailboat unseen, and bribe the captain to get him to one of the smaller islands when the mail was delivered. Then once on this outer island he might find a small plane and pilot who would take him to a small airport, “with no questions asked”. So I wanted to know what Hugh and Crys thought about the idea?

At this time we ordered some Margarita’s and happily went over the plan, working out the details until the call came to board the bus and return to the ship. I think that it was a job well done by my Novelist!

My Performance Comes to Its End

Over the next two days of the cruise, I would meet a couple of more people who had heard about me from Alan/Suzy and Hugh/Crys. And while over cocktails we would talk more about how my book was coming along. It was great fun for Saturday at Sea, and the morning of disembarkation Sunday. I made sure that I said NOTHING definite about my “Book”. We discussed title ideas. And we would discuss various escape twists. I assured everyone that I had a whole notebook of ideas from them. I exclaimed that once my hangover had subsided I would get to work on my outline.

I also assured everyone that this would be a time in coming out, the composing and polishing of a novel is long and laborious. Right up to Saturday evening, Ratchanee at the Atrium Bar, kept the talk about “the Crazy, but really nice, Writer onboard” going on. She really was a darling!

While not everyone aboard was talking about me, I feel that my imposture was a success, and I must admit that this, “my performance of a lifetime”, was a lot of fun! But it was a great deal of work, and a lot of rehearsing. But perhaps I might try it again sometime. I am planning a trip to Volcano Bay over at Universal Orlando, hmmmmm, I wonder what I could go as?

FINIS