Joined: 09 Aug 2002
|Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:51 am Post subject: The Final Bits
|What follows are basically my notes to the unfinished Grayhound Chronicles. Consider them either spoilers for things that may never come, or (what they really are) a half finished scribbling of a complete and utter loony.
The over-arching storyline I really wanted to play with was that “good” and “evil” are often more matters of perception than how one goes about labeling themselves. Chris (the namesake of the story) is a golden example of this.
Chris is a phenomenally lucky guy. He wins the lottery, consistently. He survives dozens of sure-fire death situations. He even manages to get the girl without really trying. Of course, he's also the last person who believes in luck and will find some rational explanation or correlation to guide Occam's Razor to explain it all. We, of course, know the source of his luck, he's the “hero” and in such matters he gets a tremendous burst of fortune in his fictional world. That aside, it's still notable that Chris is rational to the point of delusion.
J.B., on the other hand, is well aware of his world and the role he plays, even if he has absolutely no control over what that happens to be. He is the counterweight to Chris as often as the complement. Where Chris has no powers, J.B. Is the focus of a surprising number of them. Where Chris could care less what the rules and protocols of the world are, J.B. thrives on them. Where Chris tends toward lashing out or taking the more violent tactic, J.B. prefers the more indirect and less confrontational.
A rather pivotal point in the early storyline is when J.B. loudly reminds Chris that Chris is a Good Guy.
So that leaves the third party to this mix, the Super Villain in training: Bob.
As noted in the story line Bob and Chris are pretty much cut from the same cloth, but have different general attitudes. While driven to a life of supervillany, Bob really isn't cut for the lifestyle. He's in a loving relationship, living in a peaceful town and while a happy “chaos advocate” is far less likely to go blow up a truck full of explosives rather than send a bunch of cats rampaging through town. He favors chaos as acts of social awakening in order to get people out of their ruts and narrow mindsets. That said, he has a VERY large protective streak as his only act of out and out violence was toward Chris after he very nearly killed Bob's dog. (Something he later has personal regrets about, but doesn't express them directly. It does explain why he doesn't attempt to kill Chris again after discovering he survived the initial attempt.)
So, how does this particular story play out? Sadly, that's the part I've not had time to write out yet. I may still, so treat this as a potential spoiler alert, or then again, since I tend to not cut to the chase very quickly, one of the plot lines getting cleaned up.
The final book was going to focus on the larger Heroes and Villains theme starting out with a meeting in Roosevelt's office shortly after Germany invaded Poland. War was brewing, and the President was debating whether or not to send our heroes to aid our allies. Consultants, at the time, urged against that action since they assured that the population reading about the death of a beloved hero would only demoralize the nation. The President reluctantly agrees to hold back on sending troops until he hears that the Germans are using them. The Contractors, (intent on profiting off of the sale of military hardware) agree to the terms, since they're holding similar talks with all sides, including those in the Axis Powers.
Heroes are commanded to “stay at home and help with domestic issues” since the local police and rescue services were obviously reduced in staff as brave souls fought. Many did as ordered, some did not and secretly went to go fight for their sides, often taking on new personae in the process.
On the field, they acted in secret, the Contractors saw to that. Stories were reworked on both sides as “miraculous turns of events” or “stunning luck”, but never credited to the heroes making the efforts. But that wasn't the only stories that were being crafted by those folks. They also spread tales and rumors that slandered one time favored heroes, or hired villains to smear their good reputations. Soon, those that went to fight for justice became the new sworn enemies. After the war, some of the returning heroes didn't take the news particularly well.
So they decided to live up to their new status and showed the various nations what real villany could be. They didn't act out and destroy towns, they didn't burn orphanages, they decided to corrupt things from within. They set up an organization called USHA in order to 'protect' the population from heroes, when in all respects it was designed to be a point of absolute power. Their's would be a shadow society of unimaginable power that sought to slowly destroy that which struck against them. Nearly worked too, until they got lost in the power they held and in turn became corrupted by the very Contractor group that made it all possible to begin with.
So where do Chris, JB and Bob fit in?
JB knows about USHA's 'dark side', Chris and Bob have seen it first hand. The Facility is more than just a detention center, it's a high grade weapons depot where the most dangerous and unstable individuals are twisted into doing the most dangerous things. Like Dante's Inferno, the worst are in the middle, with the least at the edges. When things go wrong, and they often do, things get ugly amazingly fast. Chris doesn't like the place because it's like having kids serve detention next to the psycho ward. He wants to see it shut down.
Bob, however, knows it far more complicated than that, and you can't just shut down something like The Facility without having a way to handle the bigger problems it was built to hold. Bob would quickly figure out what Chris was up to and realized that while good intended, Chris was on an insanely bad course that needed correction.
This is where things would get complicated in the story line. In an effort to keep Chris busy, Bob would do what he could to distract him with various secondary plots and the fortuitous poor timing of the Canadians. During that time, Bob would also calculate that the easiest way to get control of The Facility would be to bypass the USHA folks and go in as a general Contractor, or at the very least, lie about being one in order to gain access to the faulty suppression towers (yes, it's possible if you know that various agencies don't really talk to each other). He discovers that the towers are just fine, thankyouverymuch, but are rigged to fail via a remote. Being a smart guy, he rigs his own override and effectively seizes control of The Facility without drawing attention to himself.
Administration, suddenly realizing that they no longer control the place, grow very concerned and launch a search for who does control the towers. (Not being in control is, obviously, not something one wants to spread news of.) Bob begins to recruit old friends and colleagues to quietly mount a coup from within. Eventually Bob does step forward and with cool finesse, lets the previous Administration know who is in charge, mostly by turning off the dampeners and showing how even the most unstable and dangerous folks are willing to listen to Bob.
Bob explains that he will be in control of The Facility from now on, and that there will be some changes made. USHA knows better than to attempt to fight back. Bob then goes about quietly clearing the names of those that fought with honor and were called villains. A lot of old wounds are finally able to heal. He doesn't want the job. He doesn't like the job, but he does it.
Because, Bob's the hero of the story.
All the other stories and sidelines are fluff, including how Chris and J.B.'s mom thinks that Becky Sue is just J.B. going through a transvestite phase. (Even if J.B. has a good 8 inches and 60 pounds on Becky Sue.)
So, why the very long pause? Well a number of reasons.
1)It's a h-e-double-hockeysticks of a story with a lot of moving parts.
3)Venture Brothers is doing a far better job telling it.
I may actually get around to writing the rest of this. Every so often I still get a snippet of extra story run rampant through my head. One of the other things I may do is go back and re-write vast portions of the first two books since I didn't really come up with the end until around the middle of #2. And like orange flavored jello with little bits of turnip and asparagus tossed in, there's always room for SaladBarbarian.
not just for breakfast anymore...