881: Samurai Jack Meets Jewel Lee – Chapter VIIPosted: November 7, 2014
Autumnal greetings, dearest Patrons!
Welcome back to yet more of this Samurai Jack fic that seems to have misplaced the canon protagonist. In the last chapter the perspective shifted over the Jewel-Sue’s brother, Jacob A.K.A. Man-Candy, and his escape from Aku’s dungeon via increasingly implausible means. (Seriously, if you can unlock things with your brain then why bother with the water and/or ice bending at all?) Man-Candy also acquired a scroll/MacGuffin from Aku’s Mission: Impossible room that enabled him to reach his sister for a little spiritual healing and wardrobe repair. The two then started the walk back to the village, making the excursion to the tree-house completely unnecessary.
Now, on to the chapter!
Samurai Jack awoke from a deep sleep that morning inside of Jacob Lee’s bedroom.
Hey, it’s Jack! Who wants to place a wager on how long he’ll be in the chapter? Don’t worry about handing over any money;
:Shinobi-san drops a basket of wallets on the desk:
The ninjas have already taken care of that for you!
:fishes bit of fabric out of basket with a pencil:
Looks like one of our Patrons is missing their underpants, though. I just put this in the Lost & Found box.
It has been a long time since he had a decent rest, and had a comfortable bed to sleep in.
This is true, but I question the reasoning behind this. It would be a good idea for him to rest, but Aku’s palace and thus his ultimate goal is within reach – Jack can practically taste it. How would he even be able to sleep under those conditions?
He didn’t get the chance the night before to look around Jacob’s bedroom, but now he had the opportunity to do so.
Translation – enough about Jack, time to talk about the Stu!
As he looked around the room, he saw a framed photo on the wall of Jacob and Jewel as children.
That somehow survived Aku’s attack on the family when Jewel-Sue and Man-Candy were young that was so vicious it killed their mother and caused them to flee London on short notice.
Then he noticed for the first time that there was a samurai sword on a stand next to Jacob’s bed underneath a glass lid.
Jack, the super-alert warrior and all around awesome badass, didn’t notice a weapon that was mere inches from his head? I must cry “Bullshit!” on that, author.
Next to the samurai sword was a white robe with a blue belt wrapped around it inside a case as well with a glass door.
Sweet mercy, I have seen abandoned buildings that were on the edge of collapsing that were better constructed than most of the sentences in this fic. It pains me, it does.
And from behind, no doubt!
there was a knock on the door, and Jack answered it to find Artemis Lee standing before him.
That seems overly dramatic; it’s Artemis’ house so he would naturally check up on a visitor staying with him. Especially considering Artemis has a nubile young daughter who is a big fan of Jack.
Jewel had told her father last night that Jack would be spending the night in their home, and would be sleeping in Jacob’s bedroom.
It’s Artemis’ house and business, but Jewel-Sue is the one telling him who is spending the night and where they are sleeping? I think you’ve forgotten which one is the parent and which one is the child.
He knew for a fact that Artemis wasn’t mad at him, and so assumed he just came upstairs to check on him.
Y’know, Patrons, there are times when I truly wonder what is going inside the author’s head. Take this sentence – it’s a complete non-sequitur. There’s nothing in the narration to indicate that Artemis would be angry, or has ever appeared to be angry – in fact, other than his hair and eye color, Artemis is a big pile of Void at this point – so why would there be a need to point out that he isn’t angry at Jack? It serves no purpose.
“Good morning, sir,” Jack said, bowing to him.
“Good morning to you too, Samurai Jack. Did you sleep well?” Artemis asked.
“I slept like a rock. Is Jewel out of bed?”
“She got up an hour ago and went to the Black Forest this morning.”
“Why did she go to the Black Forest?” Jack wondered.
Dear fanfic authors of the world – please, for the love of all which is held sacred, read your dialogue OUT LOUD. And really listen to how it sounds. You can even record yourself doing it if that helps. Does it sound like something the character would say, or does it sound more like something you would say? Or even worse, is it difficult to even say the line because it is incredibly clunky and unnatural?
The same goes for the narration – read it out loud. This is one of the easiest ways to locate problems with your narrative structure. There is a very good reason that many of the terms used to describe the written word – how a sentence sounds, the narrative tone, the character’s voice – are terms that apply to the spoken word as well. You are talking to your audience inside their heads; if you cannot communicate clearly, then it will come through as gibberish.
“She told me Madam Alicia did a reading for her in her Fortune Teller shop, and that she had to go to the Black Forest this morning.
To meet her brother, your only son, who isn’t dead. Don’t forget that part.
Apparently, according to Jewel, Madam Alicia’s prediction can only come true if she went to the Black Forest this morning.
Ummm, no. That’s not even close to being right. The Magic Alicia Ball flat-out told Jewel-Sue that Man-Candy was going to escape Aku’s palace (sometime before noon) and that she should go to the tree-house to meet him. There wasn’t so much as a whisper of a suggestion that he wouldn’t show up if Jewel-Sue wasn’t there. In fact, she didn’t even tell Jewel-Sue to go – she simply “suggested” that she go to the tree-house to meet him.
From how she informed me yesterday, my daughter appeared extremely anxious for Madam Alicia’s prediction to come true,” Artemis explained.
I would hope you would be anxious as well, since Man-Candy is your son. Maybe even go with her to meet him. You’d have to be a pretty cold fish not to …
I’ve just had an unsettling thought. What if Jewel-Sue didn’t tell her father about his son being alive?
Nah! No one could be that pointlessly cruel.
“I see. I could not help but notice the samurai sword and robe in this room.”
The ones under the glass lids that you completely missed until ten seconds ago? Yes, please prompt Artemis into giving us an info-dump on the only other items besides the bed and that single photograph that exist in this room.
And stop calling it a robe! It’s probably either a kimono or (more likely) a gi.
“Ah, yes. My son was an amazing warrior…when he was alive.”
SHE DIDN’T TELL HIM?
What the ever-loving hell?!? That can’t be right.
Pardon me, I need to check something.
—THE LIBRARY IS EXPERIENCING TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES.—
—PLEASE STAND BY—
Sweet mercy, she didn’t. Not once does Jewel-Sue mention to anyone that her brother isn’t dead. She apologizes for taking so long with the Magic Alicia Ball, and then the conversation moves directly to the fire dancing and how awesome Rosalina/Rosaline’s powers are. No wonder she didn’t have anyone with her in the last chapter, she was the only one besides the Magic Alicia Ball that knew what was going to happen.
“Jewel told me about what happened to your son Jacob. I am sorry.
I’d probably be sorry, too – if I knew what had happened to him. It’s never been specified, but it couldn’t have been all that severe if it left no lasting effects.
Aku destroyed my home and killed my family.
Home destroyed, yes – family killed, not so much. Jack’s father, the Emperor, was enslaved and his mother went into exile to protect the magic katana while Jack was in training. Neither one dies at any point. They are probably dead now, though, since it has been several centuries since then.
That is another reason why I wish to return to the past, and undo all of the dreadful things Aku has done to this future,” Jack replied.
That is Jack’s actual motivation, not the “world peace” nonsense quoted in previous chapters. He wants to unmake Aku’s crapsack future.
“I pray you are successful on your quest, Jack. By the way, just so you know, my son did not die in vain.
Every single time the narration wanders in Jack’s direction, there’s someone herding it back towards one of the Sues or the Stu. Every. Bloody. Time.
He died sacrificing himself to save my daughter’s life,” Artemis informed him, glancing at the photograph of Jewel and Jacob as children.
Umm, yeah. Jack knows that. He just told you that he knew what happened to your son. The audience still has no clue, but Jack does. I don’t know why you’d want to keep bringing it up, it’s probably a painful subject.
“Yes, I already knew that. Jewel told me how he died. Your son was very noble to commit such an act.
What the hell happened during this big noodle incident? I am really curious now.
I just wish I could have had the honor to meet him before he was destroyed by Aku.”
Well, you wouldn’t want to meet him after because … ewww.
“Something tells me that you and my son would have gotten along splendidly.”
So Man-Candy and Jewel-Sue should be getting home in 3 … 2 … 1 …
Then they both heard the front door open and close from downstairs.
Damn, I’m good.
Thinking that it was a customer, Artemis went downstairs to see who it was.
Is the shop open at this hour? How early is it? Did Jack sleep late, or is it still morning?
I need a time reference, dammit!
When he got to the cash register he saw that his daughter Jewel returned from the Black Forest.
Which she technically is still in, since this village is in the forest.
Why did Artemis wait until he was at the register to look up and see who was in the store? Did he just stare at the floor the entire time?
Although, she had brought a man with her into the potter shop, and it was the last person Artemis expected to see.
Because he’s supposed to be dead and no one told you otherwise. I hope Artemis doesn’t have a heart condition.
“Jacob?” Artemis said in shock. “You’re alive? How can this be?”
A combination of shenanigans and magic, for the most part.
“Aku made Jewel think I was dead.
Probably by just telling her “He’s dead now” and then kicking her out of his palace.
He didn’t kill me, he imprisoned me in his castle, and that’s where I’ve been this whole time,” Jacob explained.
He had no ulterior motive for this, like maybe brainwashing the idiot and sending him out as a sleeper agent. Aku just tossed him in a dungeon like an old pair of boots even though he never does anything without having an ulterior motive.
“Yet you don’t have any scratches or injuries.”
Ummm… :points at Jewel-Sue: Your daughter has healing magic. Please tell me you know at least that much about your own child.
“That was my doing, father. Jacob was covered in blood, sweat, bruises and scars. I healed his injuries for him in the Black Forest before we came here, because his spiritual energies were too weak for him to heal himself,” Jewel informed him.
So they both have healing magic and Artemis still felt the need to ask why Man-Candy wasn’t injured? Sweet mercy, what a baka.
“How did you escape Aku’s castle?” Artemis asked Jacob.
I told you; shenanigans and magic.
“With this scroll of spells and curses. There was a transportation spell I used from that scroll to return here.
Oh, and a plot coupon/MacGuffin.
I managed to snatch that scroll from Aku’s castle with my powers.”
I remember; it was insanely boring.
“Well, I’m happy that you’re back, my son.”
Don’t hold back, now. Let it all out.
Artemis and Jacob embraced one another, and Jewel noticed that Jack was watching them from upstairs.
Wait, that’s it? That’s all the emotion that Artemis is going to express at the return of his son? Man-Candy is reunited with his family with nary a ripple? Sweet mercy, these characters are cold as frickin’ ice. I know it’s considered manly to be stoic, but c’mon.
He’s back from the dead! Squeeze a few tears out, dammit!
If Jack is still upstairs, how is Jewel-Sue able to see him? He could possibly hear them if he was near the stairwell, but there’s no description given as to where they are located.
He had heard the entire conversation, and felt guilty about eavesdropping.
Why? They didn’t say anything! I get a more heartfelt welcome from my cats when I come home from work.
However, he felt less bad about listening in on their conversation after Jewel approached him.
While he’s still upstairs and she’s downstairs in the shop. Good luck figuring out how they managed that without breaking time-space.
“Madam Alicia’s prediction was correct, once again. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you the other day.
Yesterday, not “the other day” – it’s been less than a day since you discovered Man-Candy wasn’t dead. And yet you still managed to have a big fire-dancing bonfire party, battle some robotic cobras, sleep, wake up early enough to reach the tree-house, wait until Man-Candy arrived – which would be “sometime before noon” according to the Magic Alicia Ball – and then travel back home after expending an ass-load of energy healing your brother and mending his clothes. And most of that was done before Jack woke up.
Damn. Jewel-Sue’s been a busy girl.
She predicted that my brother would appear in the Black Forest this morning, and I saw him in her crystal ball yesterday. I’m so glad Jacob is back with us.”
You could have fooled me. You’ve shown barely any emotions; you make Wednesday Addams look like a bubbly extrovert.
“I am happy for you, Jewel,” Jack smiled.
Must … Resist … Urge … To fish-slap … Samurai…
“Let me introduce you to him,” Jewel replied, taking Jack’s hand and leading him downstairs.
When did Jewel-Sue go upstairs? The narration states that she approached Jack, but she never went up the stairs.
“Jacob, I’d like you to meet Samurai Jack. Samurai Jack, this is my brother Jacob.”
Please stop calling him that. Aku is the only one who refers to Jack as “Samurai Jack”, everyone else just calls him Jack.
“Samurai Jack, I’m honored to meet you,” Jacob said, bowing to him.
“Likewise, Jacob Lee.”
And hey, congrats on not being dead!
I’m glad there’s only two Sues left in the Void, I don’t think I can take many more of these lackluster introduction scenes.
“The guards in Aku’s castle spoke incessantly about you. Nothing good you would want to know about. However, I would like to warn you that Aku’s going to send out more bounty hunters to try to destroy you.”
Well, yeah. Next you’re going to tell me that the sun will rise in the morning. Aku always sends out bounty hunters and assassins to kill Jack – that’s kind of his whole purpose as a character.
“Thank you for the warning. I will be prepared to fight,” Jack responded.
Also unnecessary – he’s Jack. Jack is always ready to fight.
“I knew you would be prepared to fight Aku’s bounty hunters. You are most likely used to battling that demon’s minions by now, am I right?” Jacob wondered.
See? Even this idiot knows that!
“Yes, I am. Aku has a price on my head, and his bounty hunters will stop at nothing to get the money by killing me.”
They’re BOUNTY HUNTERS, baka! They track down people to receive a bounty, which is usually some form of negotiable wealth. That’s their entire job description – it’s even in the job title!
“Well rest assured, you’re safe in the village of Arab.
Except for that sudden robot-cobra attack the night before. That probably was a fluke, though. I’m sure staying in the same place where you were previously attacked by your nemesis’ minions is a good idea.
The Samurai Sisters have fought off plenty of Aku’s minions and bounty hunters already.
We know. Now move the fuck on.
I’m sure my sister has already told you all about the group of female warriors that she leads.”
For the love of monkeys! Do we have to hear about the Sues again? Every time the plot starts showing signs of progressing you drag that Dead Horse out of the stables so fast, it’s got skid marks on its ass. But go ahead – tell the audience once again how awesome everyone is.
“Indeed, I have. Jack has already met Luna, Sasha and Rosalina. However, he has not yet met Luna’s older sister Jade or Serenity,” Jewel interjected.
Which is weird, since every single person in town showed up at the big bonfire. You’d think the other two Sisters would have stopped by to say hello.
“Then Jack must’ve seen Sasha’s earth bending, Luna’s awesome powers of darkness, and Rosalina’s skills with fire too, correct?” Jacob asked Jewel.
Why would Man-Candy assume that the Sisters would have shown off their abilities when they met Jack? They did, but there isn’t any way he would know that. There are many ways they could have met that would not have involved displays of power.
“He’s seen some of my powers as well, but he didn’t get to see much of Sasha’s earth powers. Although, Rosalina put on quite an amazing fire dancing performance last night.”
Man-Candy returns from the dead and gets a couple of sentences to catch up with his only living parent before the Sue-stroking begins.
“Too bad I wasn’t there to see Rosalina’s fire dancing. I love watching her perform.
Well, this village loves having an excuse to throw a big-ass bonfire party, so they’ll probably use your return from death to do just that.
By the way, how is Rosalina?”
There’s a fifty percent chance she’s set herself on fire at least once this morning. Maybe sixty, she’s pretty reckless.
“She seems to be doing alright. Everyone here in the village still thinks you’re dead. Wait until they all find out the truth,” Jewel said, changing the subject real quick.
And I have no idea why you would have ever changed the subject from his return in the first place. If someone in my family died and then came back, that’s all I’d want to talk about.
“I know. Everyone in Arab will be both shocked and surprised.
“I bet I could start my own religion!”
(I am a naughty, naughty girl.)
Also, I’m getting rather hungry. Being a prisoner in Aku’s castle has made me famished for some decent food.
Yeah, being beaten and tortured for an indeterminate length of time really makes a body peckish. I bet you could go for some sushi right now.
Let’s go to the Sushi & Bar restaurant. Does that sound good, Jewel?” Jacob suggested.
I hate being right sometimes.
“Sounds like an excellent idea.
Sushi, for breakfast? Since when would that ever sound like a good idea?
Come on Jack, you can come with us.”
“I would be honored,” Jack replied, following both of them out of the pottery shop.
And this, in a nutshell, sums up Jack’s role in the fic. He’s an afterthought, a tag-along – the caboose of the fic.
When all three of them arrived at the Sushi & Bar restaurant, it was packed full of customers.
Damn. Breakfast sushi is much more popular than I thought. Kind of odd that so many people would have the secret password to get into this place.
And there’s only three? Who’s missing?
Jewel managed to find them an empty table at the back of the place.
That’s usually the job of the host/hostess or wait staff.
They all glanced down at their menus and eventually each of them finally acme to a decision. Jewel and Jacob both decided to order two bottles of Aqua Star as their refreshments.
The two characters with water powers are ordering the beverage that restores water powers. Big shock there. That seems like a lot, though. How big are these bottles?
Samurai Jack decided to order himself a pot of green tea.
Hey, the author remembered what Jack’s drink of choice is! That’s one point in her favor.
Then all three of them came to a decision to order one jumbo sushi platter so they could share.
Man-Candy has been held captive and likely starved for an unknown time period, and you’re making him share his food? Harsh, man.
I guess Artemis is the missing character. He can’t close up the shop for an hour to have a meal with his newly returned son? You run a pottery shop, dude! I don’t think there would be a crockery emergency big enough to keep the store open no matter what.
“May I take your order?” It was Luna who was their waitress for the evening.
I am not at all surprised that she’s here even though she’s only supposed to work part-time. I don’t think there’s another waitress in the place. She’s probably going to pour their drinks and make their food as well.
And evening? What the ever-loving hell are you talking about? Jack just woke up! It’s morning! Logically it would be later in the day since Jewel-Sue has had time to travel to and from the tree-house, but this fic pretty much ignores the linear progression through time.
“Hello, Luna. Did you miss me?” Jacob asked, as she looked at him wide eyed in shock.
He managed to enter the restaurant, cross the crowded dining room, and take a seat without anyone noticing that he’s the guy who is supposed to be dead?
I hate to break it to you, Man-Candy, but I don’t think anyone really missed you.
“Jacob? What in the world? You’re alive? How can this be?” Luna said, taken by surprise.
Yeah, he’s alive. Now tell us about the daily specials.
“Long story short, Aku fooled Jewel into thinking I was dead.
I’m still not sure how or why that happened. Aku wouldn’t pretend to kill Man-Candy and then imprison him without a reason, it would have been easier just to kill him outright.
Truth be told, he imprisoned me in his castle, I escaped by using a spell from a scroll, and Jewel brought me here after I met up with my father.”
I think you skipped the torture portion of the narrative, Man-Candy. It must not have left a lasting impression if you’ve forgotten about it so soon.
“Wow. Sounds like you have been through quite an adventure. I’d love to talk to you more, but I have work to do. Speaking of which, have you all decided on what you want?”
“Yes, we have. Two bottles of Aqua Star, one pot of green tea, and one jumbo sushi platter, please,” Jewel answered, as she, Jacob and Jack handed Luna their menus.
This is supposed to be an Adventure fic, right? Are we ever going to get to the point where something happens? I’m about to lapse into a fic-coma.
“Coming right up. By the way, the jumbo sushi platter is on the house. It’s my treat since I’m so happy Jacob is alive,” Luna said, taking the ticket order up to the counter where Luke was.
Unexpected bonus to coming back from the dead – free food! And it’s not those high-cholesterol brains the zombies are always raving about.
“I missed this place. It’s nice that Luna’s giving us our food for free.”
“She just did that because she’s happy to see you alive and well, Jacob,” Jewel pointed out.
Hey, it was the least she could do. And I mean that literally – buying a single plate of food for you to share with two others was probably the least amount of effort she could expend to welcome you back. Hell, she’s still making you pay for your drinks.
“Yeah, I know. Bet the rest of the Samurai Sisters will be happy to see me alive and well too,” Jacob added, his mind drifting off, and focusing on one Samurai Sister in particular.
Is it time for the awkwardly folded in romantic sub-plot already? My, how the time just flies by when the fic is a grinding slog of misery.
“I know who you’re thinking about right now, brother. Planning on reuniting with Rosalina, and reigniting that spark between you and her?”
“You could say that.”
A-ha. It’s funny ‘cause she’s a firebender and they’re igniting the spark of romance!
Yeah, so … :awkwardly shifts feet: How ‘bout that local team? They really sports well, don’t they?
:crickets continue chirping:
:crickets silenced abruptly in mid-chirp:
“We’ll drop by her house after we’re done eating,” Jewel smiled, as their drinks and food arrived to their table.
So on Man-Candy’s list of important things family comes first, followed by sushi, and then his girlfriend is dead last. That better be some damn good sushi.
That’s all for this week, Patrons!