889: For Thee I give Mine Breath – Chapter Three

Title: For Thee I Give Mine Breath
Author:  Lord Asmodeus
Media: TV Show
Topic: Stargate SG-1 / ???
Genre: Sci-Fi/Adventure
URL:  For Thee I Give Mine Breath
Critiqued by TacoMagic

Welcome to the second half of the mind-bendingly pretentious Stargate SG-1 fic that has absolutely no Stargate, yet plenty of purple prose.

Last week stuff happened.  And by “stuff,” I of course mean “barely anything.”  Basically we got a heavy handed scene between two siblings who were arguing about the nature of man.  It was very “mouth of the author.”  Essentially it boiled down to the author’s very suspicious denial of philosophy being important.  Certainly it’s so unimportant that Asmod took the time to write an entire chapter about how unimportant it is.

I don’t think that’s even fooling one-cell organisms.

So the protagonist, whose name I can’t remember and it doesn’t matter anyway, spent most of the chapter being an unrepentant douchenozzle before the SDQF showed up and granted  him his wish to be erased from history.  Or, it might have been everyone else’s wish.  Hard to tell at this point.

And that was pretty much it.  1,200 words to do the same work as about 150 words.

Now, none of that really matters because the next, and also last, chapter has nothing at all to do with it.

“I knew the delusional council would eventually send a mongrel to silence the threat to keep their delusions of peace, love and compassion from shattering into millions of pieces!”

Well, you know, other than the fact that it’s told from the point of view of a pretentious asshole addicted to run-on sentences and purple prose.

Don’tcha feel lucky to be reading this?

If you’re all wondering who the council is, *shrug* no idea.  There was a council formed in the later seasons of Stargate SG-1, but there’s not really enough information here to make that connection concrete.

A rapier emerged from the void, flying past at mach 2 speed heading straightforward into the emptiness of abyss.

Luckily I came prepared with a pair of purple prose glasses this week.

Couple of things here.  First, if you’re flying through the void of space (which I have to assume here given the whole “emptiness of abyss” thing, then you are going way, WAY slower than you should be going.  I touched on this in Jedi’s destiny when the same shenanigans went on there.  In space, you go fast.  Damn fast.  Like, Mach 20 is about as slow as you’d feasibly be going.

Then again, it all depends on your point of reference.  And in this case we don’t even have a setting let alone a point of reference.

Second, I have no idea what a “rapier” is in this context.   The was never a ship called a “rapier” in SG-1, so I’m thinking it’s to do with the unnamed cross.  Three rapiers seem most likely: The rapier from EVE Online, the one from X3, or the one from Wing Commander (actually there are 2 in Wing Commander, the F-44 and the C-117).  There’s also the rapier class of starships in Star Trek, but I think it’s less likely to be one of those.

It could also be that it’s an original ship to the fic and the author just liked the name “rapier” for it.

In any case:

*GONG*

If you aren’t going to explain your terminology, don’t use it!

“I see you brother! How wonderful it would be to pierce your corporal form for eternity! 

Um, ew.  There will be no eternal piercings in the Library, buddy.

To hear you express your agonised pain!

I’m not sure what’s worse, the purple prose or the thesaurus abuse.

To see you grovel at my feet! I’m shivering in anticipation Just thinking about it brother!”

Huh, I may have been wrong.  Maybe this is ol’ what’s-his-name.  Certainly a big enough mustache-twirling douchecanoe to be the same guy.

The dark voice cackled, madness and insanity dancing on its every word like a professional dancer.

Shit, double red-

*ALARM BLARES*

Darkwraiths! FIRE THE BEAM OF BREVITY!

*WIT*

Very pithy.

A glimpse of light appeared in dark abyss, the home – the playground – of predator, the Wicked Hunter.

It’s really hard not to imagine Shatner narrating this fic in my head.

 The light as quickly as it appeared disappeared, snuffed out, in the vastness of the abyss, the dark reigns supreme.

*The purple prose glasses shatter*

GAH!

*Taco falls to the ground clutching his eyes*

The prose is too purple to be blocked!

“Brother! I hear your pleas, you want me to surrender! Atone for my sins? What sins may you be so willingly to accuse me of brother!

There are far too many to list, so let’s just go with the recent stuff: pretentious internal monologue, internal monologue with grandstanding, mustache-twirling in an Awesome-McEvil-free zone, constant use of “brother” where pronouns would be better, lack of vocative commas, failure to properly punctuate a question, misuse of at least two words, random capitalization, general comma misuse, sentence fragments, and, of course, being a dick.

Enslaving the mortal races you say brother? There are no sins brother, only your mind, and your weakness!”

Normally I harp on pronoun abuse.  I think this is the first time I’ve ever had to harp on somebody for proper noun abuse.  Seriously dude, you can use a pronoun every once in a while.  It’s exhausting to read something so mind-numbingly repetitive.

The voice laughed, madness twisting and twirling in every form, crackled with Joy, the avatars of madness gleefully performed their macabre dance, hundred souls of the heathens sacrificed in the name of the Wicked Hunter!

GAH!

*Taco writhes on the floor*

Crunchy!  Have Bifocals whip me up some kind of personal purple prose energy shield!  Tell her she can root through the junk drawer in the kitchen for parts!

Pretty sure I saw a broken Lego and a handful of bent paperclips in there, which should be more than enough to-

*A purple energy shield snaps into place around Taco a few seconds later*

Took you long enough!

Now, that is the most nonsensically pointless sentence ever.  Seriously, there’s nothing there.  It’s not even descriptive, which is what the sentence is trying to do.   It’s SUPPOSED to be describing a crazy laugh, but it’s not.  It goes off on that weird tangential dancers metaphor, which doesn’t even work because the imagery is so incongruent with what is trying to be described.  Asmod describing how the laugh is like dancing is literally like somebody trying to describe to you how the color blue smells and then saying, “It smells like the vibration you feel during a thunder storm.”

It’s just a fucking pretentious mess.

A hundred rapiers appeared across the abyss, speeding through the abyss, their number steadily multiplying by twice their number every second.

Hey look, more of those things the author couldn’t be bothered to describe earlier.  How exciting!  And they are more… ing with every second!

And so the number of rapiers, coated in darkness, leaving trails of deadly essence multiplied to their millions in minutes and only increasing in number.

*Taco’s shield weakens as the prose impacts it*

See, this, right here, is why you need to calm down on the prose.  Without any actual setting, I can’t follow what is going on.  OK, so you’re saying the ships are coated in darkness, what does that look like, exactly?  Is it like an oily ooze, living shadow, an aura of darkness, just black, what?  Beyond that, what the fuck is “deadly essence?”  What does it look like?  How exactly does that work as a trail?  Are these ships propelled by evil, or is it like magic evil just being left behind?  And without knowing what the ships look like in the first place, all I’ve basically got to work with is, “It’s dark, and lots of generic ships are leaving evil chemtrails of doom.”

If you don’t describe anything, but instead use lots of empty words to sound deep and arty, nobody has a clue what they’re supposed to be looking at.

Suddenly a pulse of light, concentrated in a tiny minuscule form, smaller than a seed appeared, as it appeared the now numbering hundreds of millions rapiers raced towards the seed, intent on devouring the light. Let the feast begin. Or so they hoped.

Author, the hell is going on here, exactly?  I know you think being vague is mysterious, but it’s rather annoying to have no fucking clue about anything. I don’t know what’s happening, I have no context to make inferences, I don’t know what anything looks like, I don’t know where this is, and I don’t know why I should give a fuck.  Which is probably why I don’t.

Also,

*GONG*

Keep your narration clean!  Those last two sentences do NOT belong in your narration, both for different reasons.

The light steadily grew, pulsing as it did so, veins appeared on the seed, green as grass they were, the veins extended the reach of the pulsation of light.

Um, how?  Again, lots of words, little actual content.  That whole sentence could easily have been, “The light pulsed as it grew while green veins appeared on the seed.”  Less than half the words, all of the meaning.

Now, getting back to confusingly vague narration: previously the light and the seed were described as the same thing, but in this passage they are addressed as separate entities.  So what is it?  Is the seed making the light, or is the light its own thing?  Author, I know what you are TRYING to say, but that’s not what you’re actually writing.  In order to mike it sound like you’re a good writer, you’re using too many conflicting words.  Hell, you’re using too many words in general.

You seriously need to go look up the word “drabble” and then try your hand at a few of them.  They are awesome exercises in brevity and density of real content.

Hell, here’s the link: Drabble.

A few dozen of those might help get you get used to writing in a way that doesn’t totally suck.

A barrier started to form around the seed, dissolving every rapier that dared to attempt to breach its wall, converting the energy to increase the power of the barrier.

You know, this is starting to sound oddly like something else

A flash of light exploded within the abyss.

Well, there we go.  Seed appears, is attacked by sperm, and blows up.  The en-

*BZZT*

Dammit.

For a moment, as minuscule as it may be, the darkness was cowed, the rapiers were disintegrated, and light reigned supreme.

*Taco’s shield flickers and then snaps back into place*

I need more power to the shields!

Mad laughter echoed through the white purified abyss, for a moment, before blotches of black ink started appearing in blankness of the cleansed abyss.

Still don’t know what’s going on.  And the fact that this formless void was just “described” as a blank abyss isn’t really helping.

The black ink devoured the light, feasting upon the emotions the light consisted of; happiness, Joy, hope, love, forgiveness and gratitude; being replaced by eternal despair of death, terror of life, and futility of existence.

So is this more of a metaphorical battle, or is this in a universe where things of high luminosity actually do personify emotions?  Seriously, author, describe something!  ANYTHING!

“Why do you struggle so brother? Resistance is futile, for I have devoured your hope brother!

Mmmmhmmm?

Really?  A Borg reference?  That’s what you’re going with?

Without hope your esteemed council so loves to preach, YOU…ARE…NOTHING!”

OK, I keep saying this, but I think it’s time to actually address it.  Being vague and being mysterious are two extremely different things.  Lots of starting authors mistake the two because they share one thing in common: Withholding information from the audience.

The thing that makes the two so, so different is in what you are holding back and why.  Masters are writing mystery withhold only 1 thing: an exact explanation of what is going on.  Otherwise the reader actually will have everything they need to put it all together and unravel the mystery.  Scenes will be complex and expertly constructed often down to minute details that might seem trivial at the time.  Actions will be very specific even if motive is unknown.  And you’ll be pouring over the dialogue trying to flush out hidden meanings.  There is a lot of information, and the adroit reader will be able to make inferences and use deductive reasoning to connect the dots.  The whole thing will be very tight, and very dense. Look no further than the works of Agatha Christie, Margaret Millar, Dashiell Hammett, Edgar Allen Poe, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for examples of how it’s done very, very right.

Writers who are vague are a different story.  They withhold anything and everything to specifically keep anyone from being able to see what is happening.  Descriptions are missing, scenes aren’t laid out, actions have no real apparent intent or meaning, and character dialogue tends to be unspecific, meaningless, and generic.  Because there’s essentially no information presented, you cannot even infer anything from the writing.  You are in the dark because you lack information, not because you haven’t yet figured out what the information means.

That, right there, is the big-ass difference.  A mystery writer gives you loads of information but leaves it to the reader to figure out what it means.  The vague writer gives the audience little or no information.

If you want a case study of what vague writing looks like, I invite you to read For Thee I give Mine Breath in it’s unadulterated form.

A moment of peace ensued, in that moment the blackness retreated, as endless onslaught of light breathed life.

rejoicing

Oh brother how you wound me! How much your mind must have decayed for you not to comprehend the greatest of truths of existence? There is no good or evil, only power and those able to wield it!”

*The heavy-handed message of the fic plows through Taco’s shields and hits him in the face*

*A few minutes later, Taco walks into the riffing chamber dressed as a matador*

I challenge you to a duel.

The battle between the light and dark become fiercer with the dark launching several invasions into territories the light has conquered and fortified, and vice versa.

So, just so we’re all on the same page, let me sum-up the chapter so far.  First off, this is taking place in the abyss, which may or may not be the formless void.  It’s probably in space, but who knows.  The only feature in the abyss is a disembodied voice that talks to itself in the form of apostrophe.  Like,  a lot.  While the voice is busy taunting his brother, or at least somebody he just calls brother, a shit-ton of rapiers are suddenly coughed up by the SDQF.  Rapiers could be anything from space fighters to spermatozoa, so picture them as whatever you want.  A seed made of light appears, pulses a bit, and then grows green veins.  This makes the rapiers attack because reasons.  Once all the rapiers are dead, light and darkness start to war with each other creating a dichromatic light show that was so expensive that Asmod had to cut the description from the fic in order to maintain the budget.   Meanwhile, the voice, who may or may not be called “Wicked Hunter” (which is as terrible a screen name as you’re likely to find), taunts the seed with internal monologue.  That brings us to now.

So, with all that laid out, I have one question for you, author.

WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON!?

Compassion say you brother? Kindness say you brother? Do you believe yourself to be above nature! Have you not observed for long enough? Has the epiphany of truth not dawned upon you?”

Dude, we get it. Cut the pretentious internal monologue and just write a memoir on how Nietzsche was right.

A dull silence echoed, as the war continued on, the perpetrators of the war of matter engaging in battle of will.

*A loud purple echoed off Taco’s shields*

Would be nice if we could see these “perpetrators” or this “battle of will,” but I suppose that would mean describing something.

“So you will rebel brother? Deform the natural order?

For the gods’ sake, does this asshole never shut up?  No wonder he’s all evil.  I’d be crazy-evil too if I had to listen to him yammer on all day.

One where in the strong rule the weak, one where in the weak are devoured, where in the strong emerge as victors from the corpses of the weak!

*Squints*

So you mean like, one of these:

Alien_vs._Predator_(2004)_-_Alien

I’m not sure we should be so quick to embrace the xenomorph culture, honestly.  I mean, Nietzsche didn’t say much about it, but I’m pretty sure even he would disapprove of that one.

Morality you say brother? How foolish! Mere abstract constructs brother!

This is easily as irritating as any scene in a movie where you only get to see one side of a phone conversation.

Although it makes the scene somewhat more enjoyable if you picture him having this argument with the speaking clock.

Mere constraints upon potential, to limit the strong, to limit the power from festering in the souls of those most deserved to rule! To merely allow the weak equilibrium with the strong! You would deny this brother?”

At the gong, the correct time will be 2 o’clock.

*GONG*

Silence took host once again as both light and darkness battled for supremacy in the abyss.

You know, the abyss.  That one place.  With the empty.  And the colors.

Oh brother you do humour me so!

Dude, we’re all humoring you.  Anyone who isn’t probably stopped reading already.

I wish I was one of those people.

Only weak spawn such as you equate light with ‘good’, and darkness with ‘evil’, the so called good you preach of brother is subjective, matter of perspective brother, never objective, never set in stone brother!”

For those who still aren’t getting the message, Crunchy will be out in the lobby after the riff to smash you in the face with it.

Ferocious beasts formed from the light and darkness, one ghostly apparition of a feline whilst another ghostly apparition of arachnid.  One made from wisps of light, whilst another darkness.

*Taco tosses his notes in the air*

Yup, I got nothing.  No idea what the hell is supposed to be going on, or where it’s supposed to be happening.  I have a feeling the author was just like, “I GOTZ COOL IDEA FOR A CLICHE STUGGLE OF LIGHT AN DRAKNESS AN IMMA WRITE IT BUT INTERSPERSED WITH A BORING DUDE TAUNTNING TEH LIGHT!  AND THEN ANIMALS FIGHT!”

Either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives.  For both are fated for eternal hostility, for the prize of the victor is life, and the cost of defeat is death.

Yet they both exist in a perpetual state of pretentiousness.  Truly an epic struggle.  Of adjectives.

Conscience you say brother is what differentiates us sentient entities from beasts? What allows us to differentiate between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’? How laughable brother! How laughable! The conscience, which you parade around brother, is merely the result of socialisation process!

That’s pretty judgmental for a random, disembodied voice in a formless void.

WAIT! I finally got it!  This random voice is arguing with a straw man!  Like, not a metaphorical one like in the argumentative fallacy, but an actual one.  He’s got it with him there… in… wherever he is.

Straw man is apparently named “Brother.” It is yet to be seen whether this is any relation to li’l brudder.

lil_b

The so called conscience changes with the tapestry of time brother!

*GONG*

For fuck’s sake, man!  Use the godsdammed vocative comma at least ONCE in this pile of crap!

Perpetually changing along with norms and values brother! So brother what makes you say you can dictate what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’?”

As opposed to the concept of power which is totally immutable even in the face of changing politics, technology, and social norms, amirite?

Oh, sorry, I forgot that the straw man isn’t supposed to sass.

The light which once fought the dark to a stalemate began to wither and die, as the darkness consumed the light slowly, yet surely.

The hell?  I thought this was a heated battle.   Now that the light has given up why is the darkness suddenly taking its sweet time?

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Oh, right.  Of course.

Innocence you say brother? There is no innocence brother, nor are there any innocents, once gifted with sentience it is their duty to survive, to prosper or wither and die pathetically!

*Raises hand at the back of the assembly*

“Yes, um, if there is no such thing as good or evil but rather they are social constructs, how can anything have an implicit duty or purpose?  For instance, the one he asserts sentient creatures have in regard to their own survival.  Also, why is sentience required to adhere to the tenants of survival?  Surely it’s abundantly clear that even non-sentient life follows this very simple instinct.  Is he trying to imply that sentience should allow itself to be subverted.  If so, why does he say the duty is related to sentience itself rather than just life?”

blue

And don’t call me Shirley.

“Ahh yes, it is all clear now. How silly of me. Please, carry on.”

Innocence brother is the state of ignorance! Of bliss of misinformation! Or of lack of information entirely!

Well, one of the definitions of innocence is indeed that very thing.  Thank you for clearing that up, Mr. Dictionary.  Could you maybe do less defining of commonly understood terms and more describing of setting, please?

Once knowledge is gained no soul is innocent brother, even an infant, would use this knowledge to hurt others!

So wait, is he suggesting that baby reading programs are a bad idea?  Are we to be forever vigilant against learned infants lest they take over the world?  Damn, I guess I should rethink letting Jiwe play with those board books.

It is by nature that we be aggressive brother, to survive, to breed with the strong! Not to decay in filth of stagnation!

Uh, but you just said it was because of the duty of…

You know what, never mind.  Either this idiot is “mouth of author” or he’s a straw man the author has set up by having him argue against an even lamer straw man.

Either way, it’s pretentious as fuck.

Light suddenly gained strength, the tides of war between matters changing once again, as the flow reversed.

Yeah, that’s not helping anyone understand what the hell is going on, dude.

Isn’t this thing supposed to be about Stargate at some point? Can we just skip to that part?

“Must I spell it out for you brother

Well, you obviously think you have to because you’ve been bludgeoning the audience with your inane rant about the absurdity of morality.

Chaos through warfare; Evolution through bloodshed; Perfection through victory brother!

Ahh yes, more Nazi Germany references.  Always a good choice for your metaphysical Stargate fic.

As always, chaos is the way to strength; Chaos is the engine powering life.

Almost true, and at the same time, not close.  I’d deconstruct it, but we’re nearing the end of this buffoon’s rant and I’d rather it just be over.

The greatest joy brother is the ecstasy of victory, and now victory is mine!

Says somebody who obviously never had a fresh, still-warm Boston cream donut.  That is the closet thing to pure, unbridled joy that can ever exist.

Then again, victory is one of those social constructs that can mean anything you want it to.  Maybe victory is successfully getting your hands on a fresh, still-warm Boston cream donut.

And brother the most vital variable of Chaos is conflict, the evolution of a society painted in glorious, beautiful blood!”

Uh, no.  Chaos, by its very nature, is unpredictable.  If something has a vital variable that you can use to affect the outcome, then you don’t actually have chaos, you have something else that operates in a causal manner.

In pure chaos, all variables are equal, unknown, and not meaningfully correlated to any outside stimuli.  In pure chaos, victory would be determined by any arbitrary thing.  Could be eating iced cream at the right moment, singing the entire score of the HMS pinafore backwards, or doing nothing at all.  Odds are, you wouldn’t know the victory conditions until you’ve already won.  That’s the nature of chaos.

Damn, said I wasn’t going to argue with the straw man and the jerk baited me into it.  Oh well, at least after that last bit of dialogue he finally clams up.

The light faltered, and the dark capitalised, every matter of light consumed, until nothing remained.

Speaking of capitalization, I didn’t want to say anything, but yours needs a lot of work, author.

You also used the word “matter” wrong.

One last speck of light remained; this speck of light contained the ideals of love, of peace and happiness and would not let itself be defeated so easily by tempting darkness.

So much for every speck.  I hate dealing with these damn untrustworthy narrators.

Those of you who aren’t getting the super-subtle Pandora’s Box reference please see Ishi in the medical bay for your complimentary reverse lobotomy after the fic is over.

The castor, the agent of the Council, allowed his life essence to flow inside this speck, the last vestige of his power, and his last apparatus against great evil.

Castor?  Are we talking the binary star in the constellation Gemini, the bean cultivated for oil production, or a beaver?

Feel free to take your pick, audience.  Any of those is about as likely as the others.

It took the entirety of the agent’s immense brain power to keep the speck from exploding (too quickly that is), lest his sacrifice be in vain. As the seconds passed by the Wicked Hunter waited for his prey, to strike one last time, and that would be his doom.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Can you actually show us any of this or is that not in the budget?  This is about as exciting as listening to somebody give a second-hand recount of a TV show you’ve never seen based in a genre you don’t like.

As the last of life drained from the agent of Council, the speck of light exploded with the strength of dozens of supernovas, the darkness unprepared and arrogant in victory was caught off guard, and suffered with their existence being crushed.

Ahh, so it was pandora’s box meets big-bang.

Actually, not a terrible concept.  A fucking awful implementation, but the concept is actually rather neat.  In the hands of a good author, this could have been interesting.

Also I have no idea why this is chapter 2 rather than a prologue.  Seems like if you’re gonna tote out the big bang, you’d want that slightly before your introduce your dickbag of a character.

The Wicked Hunter as a last resort unleashed as much power as he can before he too was disintegrated into atoms, even his incorporeal form would not allow him to survive the coming onslaught of light.

Wicked Hunter is still a terrible screen name.  Even worse for a character in a fic.

This was his end, and he knew, as such he was going to go out with a even bigger bang!

Thanks for spelling that out.  We totally could not have gotten that without you force-feeding us the information.  Next you’ll be telling us that water is wet.

From where the Wicked Hunter once stalked, an explosion of dense darkness exploded, the dark sweeping across the abyss, consuming the abyss itself to fuel its battle against the light. The two enormous explosions impacted, shaking the very fabric of time, and reality, slowly the after effects of the impact ceased. And there was nothing but a slither of energy, combination of the Agent, and the Hunter.

Aaaand, I’m right back into the zone of not knowing what the hell is going on.  Author, you had a nice “beginning of the universe” thing going.  It was poorly written, but at least I understood where it seemed to be going.  Now… now it’s all gone.  Right back to square one.  And square one has the words “What the hell am I reading!?” written all over it.

In desperation to escape the void, the emptiness that now stood as the two great Beings finished their combat to non-existence, the remaining ambient energy acted.

The fuck does that even mean!?  Author!  Less words, more showing!

The act was chaotic, completely random; the results would be most unexpected.

*The DRD Alarm explodes as agents pour into the room through the doorway*

OH, IT IS GO TIME!  EAT GONG LAUNCHER!

-[One immensely violent, not to mention expensive, scene later]-

So, I have to make the check out to the Accounts payable DRD payable accounts division?

“Yes, sir, when you pay in full we’ll take the cuffs off and unbolt you from the ceiling.”

What if I told you how to get into the pie buffet room instead?

-[One scene of gratuitous pie eating later]-

Hey, while we’re down here anyway, we should see if Gumdrop’s making cookies!  And I think I saw a bottle of Goeth’s special reserve in the locked cabinet behind the security force field.  Didn’t even post guards!

-[One scene of gratuitous consumption of dimetrodon cookies and green mutagen later]-

Ssso that wassthe firrrsth time I walked in on Cwunchy practicin’ hes bawlroom dancin.  He washint too bad, akshually.  Hesh got the right hipssh for that gown.

-[Two days later]-

Oh man, those DRD boys really know how to party.  Get a few nut pies, a dozen dinosaur gizzard cookies, and a bottle of green goo together and it’s a night to remember.  Provided you can remember any of it through the haze of mutagen.

Though the jerks still made me pay the fine.  Got me all mutagen’d up and told me it would be funny if I wrote the check out for 20% more than it said to pay.

One portal, opened in 1991 Germany, to be specific Schleswig-Holstein, in the town of Flemsburg to be even more accurate, the portal and its ambient energy within reacted to the only sentient entity nearby, the ambient energy viewed the greatest wishes of the sentient entity, and reacted accordingly.

Perry Spit

The hell kind of sentence is that!?

Little game for everyone.  How many things can you spot that are wrong with that sentence?

For reference, I can see at least nine things wrong.

The ambient energy, whilst reacting to the greatest desires of the sentient entity nearby, wished to survive, as that is the greatest wish of all existence, to simply survive, and as such slowly infused into the sentient entity, whom from now on would be one with.

Ugh.  That sentence isn’t any better.  Let’s see how many I can pick out here:

  • Before it was wishes, not desires.  Those could be two different things.
  • Your comma usages is bad and you should feel bad.
  • Incomplete dependent clause.
  • Survived is used redundantly.
  • Narration claims that the greatest wish is to survive, yet is granting the greatest wishes of the entity, which are implied to be things other than simple survival.  This is directly conflicting information.
  • Whom might be used incorrectly, but it’s uncertain since it starts an unfinished clause.
  • The dependent clause assumes implicit contradiction where there is none.  IE: Implies that somehow it is natural that fulfilling the wishes of the entity is at odds with the energy’s own wish for survival.  However, this is not logical nor established prior in the fic.
  • Sentence ends with an incomplete thought

Only eight things, seven if that last sentence is fixed in a way that makes “whom” the correct pronoun.  So this sentence was slightly better than the previous one.

Doesn’t make it good, just less bad.

To fulfil the wish, the remnants of the energy, now free of constraints from battle, the second portal opened in Northern Schleswig, at exactly 793 A.D in the land of the Angles.

WHY ARE ALL THESE SENTENCES SO POORLY CONSTRUCTED!?

So, he goes back to the land of the Angles in the 8th century.  I bet the author is super-proud of himself for knowing about the Germanic heritage of England.  Though I suppose that might explain the Germany boner.

The portals ambient magic than continued to absorb the humans in the settlements nearby, that day total 10,000 Angles ceased to exist in this timeline.

*Twitch Twitch*

Asmod, grammar better.

So, magic portal energy thing wipes out 10,000 people 1,200 years in the past.  Welp, so much for the future.

The one male in 1991 A.D and 10,000 souls in 793 A.D were thrown into an area of space in which strength would be mandatory to survive.

Umm, okay?  Are you implying that strength was unimportant in the 8th century.  Because if you’re saying that, I’ve got it on good authority that strength was pretty damn critical back then.

Where in weakness would result in certain death.

And on that note of poor grammar, this horrible little turd of a fic finally ends.

So, now that we’ve read the whole thing, I think we need to ask the important question of:

WHAT THE HELL WAS THIS ABOUT!?

At no point during the heavy-handed incoherent morality ramblings did this fic wander anywhere close to something that could be considered plot!  The damn thing was, at best, a transparent diatribe about morality and whether there is meaning.  An empty vessel filled to the brim with pretentious musings that have already been had by others of far more eloquent thought.   This was easily was the most egregious case of an author trying way, way too hard to seem deep and artistic that I’ve ever had to suffer through in my tenure as a Librarian.

But.  At least it was far less offensive than Jedi’s Destiny.  Not that it’s really that hard to make something less offensive than Jedi’s Destiny.

Anyway, I’ve got one more one-shot for next week.  I was originally going to start in on my next project, but I remembers that next week I’ve got a lot of things on my plate, so it’s better for everyone if I push it off until December.

Until next Wednesday, Patrons!

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150 Comments on “889: For Thee I give Mine Breath – Chapter Three”

  1. SC says:

    I seem to recall that nobody took even one iota of that jive.

  2. SC says:

    I’d like to point out that the author’s username, Lord Asmodeus, is an asshole in Star Ocean, and the demon-prince of sexual desires from the Book of Tobit, amongst other things.

    There you go, there’s my mini-infodump for the day.

  3. SC says:

    before the SDQF showed up and granted him his wish to be erased from history. Or, it might have been everyone else’s wish. Hard to tell at this point.

    You don’t remember? The entire Library drew a huge arcane circle on the floor in the basement and started chanting in tongues to try and make whatever-his-name-was disappear straight into hell.

    Ishi even provided leeches.

    Not sure what purpose they served, but he provided them.

  4. Herr Wozzeck says:

    If you aren’t going to explain your terminology, don’t use it!

    But Taco! Samrt!

  5. SC says:

    Oh man, those DRD boys really know how to party. Get a few nut pies, a dozen dinosaur gizzard cookies, and a bottle of green goo together and it’s a night to remember. Provided you can remember any of it through the haze of mutagen.

    *SC gazes into the abyss of Herr’s empty pie stash*

    … You’re sure those were NUT pies?

  6. Herr Wozzeck says:

    “I see you brother! How wonderful it would be to pierce your corporal form for eternity!

    Well, honey, last I checked demotions don’t typically involve sharp pointed objects. They typically just involve… you know, talking.

  7. Herr Wozzeck says:

    The dark voice cackled, madness and insanity dancing on its every word like a professional dancer.

    As a trained Baroque dancer, that image is absolutely one of the dumbest images I’ve ever seen. Jesus Christ, what is this, the old Disney sing-along videos?

  8. SC says:

    *The purple prose glasses shatter*

    GAH!

    *Taco falls to the ground clutching his eyes*

    The prose is too purple to be blocked!

    Well, only one solution now.

    The opposite of purple is yellow, so:

    BIFOCALS! GET THE YELLOW PROSE CANNON!

    Specs: Yellow prose?

    Harvested fresh from lemon fics.

    Specs: GAH!

  9. Herr Wozzeck says:

    The voice laughed, madness twisting and twirling in every form, crackled with Joy, the avatars of madness gleefully performed their macabre dance, hundred souls of the heathens sacrificed in the name of the Wicked Hunter!

    *starts writhing on the floor*

    My God, what is this!? It’s like the author read a book by James Joyce, didn’t get what Joyce was actually trying to do in said book, and then decided to write a story in that style. My God, what is this!?

  10. SC says:

    You seriously need to go look up the word “drabble” and then try your hand at a few of them. They are awesome exercises in brevity and density of real content.

    Actually, I could use some brushing up on my drabble skills, myself. My NaNo novel is 40,299 words complete and I’m still only at the beginning of the story when the protagonists are still meeting each other for the first time because I’ve been going into way too much fucking detail about things that I could justifiably leave vague.

    • TacoMagic says:

      Or justifiably leave out.

      That was something I heard at a writing panel once. Sometimes, in order for your story to be good, you gotta cut parts you love. And you gotta cut a lot of them.

      • SC says:

        Yeah, thankfully NaNo is just “get 50K on a word document”, so I can worry about all the revisions at a later date for the moment.

      • TacoMagic says:

        Nano is pretty easy. Just write a 10 word sentence, then copy/paste 5,000 times. Boom, novel.

      • SC says:

        Well, I like to put a bit more effort into it than THAT, bit there’s certainly nothing in the rules that says you can’t just do that and slap a name on it.

        • TacoMagic says:

          Right, which is my problem with the whole shin-dig of quantity over quality.

          They really need to make a National Short-Story Month (NaShoStoMo? sounds vaguely Japanese…) where the goal is to produce a story of under 5000 words which you’ve done at least 5 full drafts on and have had peer reviewed by at least 10 people.

          I think that would ultimately produce way more writing improvement then just the current endurance race to 50k.

      • Most fic authors have an “once and it’s done” philosophy; they don’t realize that a finished novel has gone through a half-dozen or more rewrites and probably contains only a small percentage on the original rough draft.

      • SC says:

        Which is why they end up here so frequently, because they made the mistake of calling writing easy.

        Pfft.

      • SC says:

        I keep thumbs-downing comments I mean to thumbs-up! Gah!

  11. SC says:

    GAH!

    *Taco writhes on the floor*

    Crunchy! Have Bifocals whip me up some kind of personal purple prose energy shield! Tell her she can root through the junk drawer in the kitchen for parts!

    Pretty sure I saw a broken Lego and a handful of bent paperclips in there, which should be more than enough to-

    *A purple energy shield snaps into place around Taco a few seconds later*

    Took you long enough!

    Bifocals: It is only temporary until I get the yellow prose cannon charged!

  12. Herr Wozzeck says:

    See, this, right here, is why you need to calm down on the prose. Without any actual setting, I can’t follow what is going on.

    Not to mention that that particular sentence is actually also a sentence fragment, despite how wordy it is. The verb doesn’t agree with the subject, and I doubt that the verb was meant for the subject given what follows after it, so I classifyit as a fragment.

  13. SC says:

    And that was pretty much it. 1,200 words to do the same work as about 150 words.

    I could bust both out of my ass in less than three minutes and still have all my facts straight and the details nice and tidy. I bet you anything this author took like three hours and called it a masterpiece.

  14. Herr Wozzeck says:

    “Oh brother how you wound me! How much your mind must have decayed for you not to comprehend the greatest of truths of existence? There is no good or evil, only power and those able to wield it!”

    *sigh*

    I should’ve known it would turn into the world’s most pretentious PSA…

  15. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Only weak spawn such as you equate light with ‘good’, and darkness with ‘evil’, the so called good you preach of brother is subjective, matter of perspective brother, never objective, never set in stone brother!

    So it’s all a “matter of perspective”, huh?

    Okay.

    *BAM

    Come back when you’ve actually thought about morality instead of being contrarian just for the sake of being contrarian, Mr. “I’m not bound by the irrationality and illogical qualities of emotion”. Maybe I’ll take you seriously once you realize that skepticism is only useful when you can put together evidence and context in your mind for why it might be a good idea to be skeptical. Idiot.

    • SC says:

      You know, I sometimes back a much more literal form of “light is not good/dark is not evil” in my writing, but only because I like to look at other sides of the line and see how and where it starts to turn grey, not because I’m trying to make a grandiose statement about human nature.

  16. SC says:

    Innocence brother is the state of ignorance! Of bliss of misinformation! Or of lack of information entirely!

    You know, my dictionary provides a much more dramatic definition of the word without being so damn pretentious about it.

    Like so:

    in·no·cence
    / ‘ inəsəns/

    noun

    noun: innocence

    1. The state, quality, or fact of being innocent of a crime or offense.
    They must prove their innocence.

    Synonyms: guiltlessness, blamelessness, irreproachability
    He protested his innocence.

    2. Lack of guile or corruption; purity.
    The healthy bloom in her cheeks gave her an aura of innocence

    3. Used euphemistically to refer to a person’s virginity.
    They’d avenge assaults on her innocence by others

    Synonyms: virginity, chastity, chasteness, purity; etc.

    Origin:

    Middle English: from Old French, from Latin innocentia, from innocent- ‘not harming’ (based on nocere ‘injure’).

    See? Isn’t that so much better?

  17. Herr Wozzeck says:

    The so called conscience changes with the tapestry of time brother! Perpetually changing along with norms and values brother! So brother what makes you say you can dictate what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’?”

    Um, a whole crapton of cultural history based around such things as “where” and “when” and “what” that can be easily researched now that we’re in the internet age and we can access all kinds of literature on the subject?

    Oh, sorry, I forgot, that would actually require to you to look at evidence, and it would further require you to think about it. Because why put in all the hard work to make a well-reasoned argument that favors your position when you can just throw your arms in the air and be skeptical just for the sake of it?

  18. SC says:

    WHY ARE ALL THESE SENTENCES SO POORLY CONSTRUCTED!?

    A question I frequently find myself asking when riffing Matty and Stone-Man’s works.

  19. Herr Wozzeck says:

    One last speck of light remained; this speck of light contained the ideals of love, of peace and happiness and would not let itself be defeated so easily by tempting darkness.

    *sigh*

    You know, for being such an “advanced, mature, and thoughtful” diatribe on the nature of morality, this bit does remind me a little too much of the Felix the Cat movie.

    Which, coincidentally, is about as padded out and pointless as this fic!

    • SC says:

      Wait… I think he just made a reference to Pandora’s Box.

      …We just couldn’t leave Greek mythology out of this, could we?

      • TacoMagic says:

        Yeah, it was a pretty transparent reference. And if Asmod thought he was doing something new with that, he needs to stop writing and go back to read the classics for a few years.

      • SC says:

        It wasn’t even a GOOD thinly-veiled reference! Is have at least considered forgiving him if he had put it in the fic in a way that I didn’t immediately notice!

  20. SC says:

    Asmod, grammar better.

    But how can gra-

    Wait, I think I did this one already.

  21. Herr Wozzeck says:

    From where the Wicked Hunter once stalked, an explosion of dense darkness exploded, the dark sweeping across the abyss, consuming the abyss itself to fuel its battle against the light. The two enormous explosions impacted, shaking the very fabric of time, and reality, slowly the after effects of the impact ceased. And there was nothing but a slither of energy, combination of the Agent, and the Hunter.

  22. “I see you brother! How wonderful it would be to pierce your corporal form for eternity!

    Huh. Maybe it’s an actual pointy-thing rapier.

    • SC says:

      Well, I don’t see him piercing very far through the guy, then. Unless the blade is reinforced, but what’re the odds he thought of that before showing up?

    • TacoMagic says:

      It was really this passage that threw me off:

      Suddenly a pulse of light, concentrated in a tiny minuscule form, smaller than a seed appeared, as it appeared the now numbering hundreds of millions rapiers raced towards the seed, intent on devouring the light. Let the feast begin. Or so they hoped.

      Made it seem really unlikely that we were talking about a sword but rather some kind of self-aware bio-ship.

    • Colonel deFraug says:

      Okay, so is it a swept-hilt, cup-hilt, pappenheimer…what? You thought that rapier couldn’t be broken down further? I haven’t even gotten into blade variations yet. All of that is just hilt style.

      • SC says:

        I was thinking – and probably, so was the author – the version most people who think “rapier” would be most familiar with.

        So, I don’t know, say cup-hilt and super thin, flexible piercing blade?

  23. Herr Wozzeck says:

    One portal, opened in 1991 Germany, to be specific Schleswig-Holstein, in the town of Flemsburg to be even more accurate, the portal and its ambient energy within reacted to the only sentient entity nearby, the ambient energy viewed the greatest wishes of the sentient entity, and reacted accordingly.

    Well, let’s see.

    1. It’s a massive run-on sentence.
    2. Did it have to get so specific about where in Germany it was?
    3. If you did, why didn’t you just state the town name to begin with instead of going on this long list about shit we don’t care about?
    4. It contains a major redundancy in the second half with the whole “ambient energy” bullshit. You know, in that it basically says the exact same thing twice in a row.
    5. “Sentient entity”? Why not just say “person”? That’s fewer words, and it sounds less pretentious too!
    6. Shouldn’t there be a vocative comma before Schleswig-Holstein? I mean, you’d do it in conversation when talking about “to be specific, [location]”!
    7. And speaking of locations, you spelled “Flensburg” wrong.
    8. If it wasn’t for the previous chapter, this sentence would otherwise be so vague I’d have no idea what the fuck is going on.

  24. Ssso that wassthe firrrsth time I walked in on Cwunchy practicin’ hes bawlroom dancin. He washint too bad, akshually. Hesh got the right hipssh for that gown.

    I was wondering where my Belle cosplay gown went.

  25. The constant use of “brother” makes me hear this whole thing in Thor’s voice.

  26. The E.N.D says:

    A rapier emerged from the void, flying past at mach 2 speed heading
    straightforward into the emptiness of abyss.

    A rapier is a slender, sharply pointed sword, best suited for thrusting attacks, used mainly in Early Modern Europe. I think that’s the meaning the guy was going for.

    Seriously, was “slender blade” to simplistic for his tastes?

    • SC says:

      Evidently, yes.

      Also, I don’t see a rapier holding up well at mach-2 speeds. Fraug can probably elaborate more on that.

      • Colonel deFraug says:

        You know, I haven’t done any tests. Perhaps I need a bigger railgun.

        More seriously, you are talking about something made of primarily spring steel and mild steel moving through an absolutely empty void. This, of course, leads to some problems. If we are indeed talking about a completely empty void, Mach 2 is meaningless. I assume we’re talking about Mach 2 at STP in earth atmosphere, but without a fluid medium to be moving through, Mach numbers don’t mean diddly. So if we peg our Mach 2 to 2,470 kph, we also need to establish motion relative to something…let’s use its emergence point.

        Under this condition, there’s no reason a rapier couldn’t move that fast. You aren’t seeing any real acceleration one way or the other, and there’s no drag to make bad things happen. (Hence Mach not meaning diddly.)

        In an atmosphere, however? Bad things. Given the weight distribution in any rapier, it would likely want to fly pommel first. If it started flying blade forward, that’s going to create a tumble that will likely lead to nasty problems. Even if it’s flying pommel first, you’re liable to see some nasty things happen with drag. Worse, in a complex-hilted rapier (most of them) weight isn’t symmetrically distributed, so tumble city again. In a cup hilt…yeah, nasty drag effects.

      • SC says:

        For just two seconds of your life, Bifocals can make a rail cannon out of a paper cup and some silly string.

        No, I don’t know how either.

        But I’m all seriousness, that actually was not what I was expecting at all, so I’m a bit dumbfounded at the moment.

      • Colonel deFraug says:

        Always happy to keep you on your toes.

    • Based on the rest of the fic – yes.

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      Knowing how he was around stuff? Yes. Yes, it was.

    • TacoMagic says:

      Given what the rapiers were doing, it seemed more likely that he was talking about a ship or some kind of sentient space squid than a sword. They do a lot of things you don’t really picture a sword doing, like flying around at mach 2.

      But, a bunch of floating swords seems about as likely as anything else at this point. Honestly, the descriptions were so poor and the actions they did so un-rapier-like that I never actually considered he might mean the sword rather than something named after the sword.

  27. The E.N.D says:

    “I see you brother! How wonderful it would be to pierce your corporal form for
    eternity!”

    Let’s see…
    1.Yandere- yup.
    2.Overuse of the word “Brother”- check.
    3.Jerkass- obviously.
    4.Double-entendre- Hoo boy…

    Jin Kisaragi, is that you?!

  28. The E.N.D says:

    Well… The prose does go into details (pretty vague ones, I might add) about them being “coated in darkness”. Maybe they’re magic or completely constructed out of darkness.

    Which would make the lack of details all the more jarring.

  29. What well of nonsense spawned this?

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      What, the fic? I imagine it’s the author’s egotistical pretension that spawned it.

      ‘Cause I can tell you from experience that he’s a pretentious douchebag. *points at the comments of Part 1 of this snarking*

  30. Also, chapter 6 of subject 23 is apparently missing he story tag as it doesn’t show up with the chapters.

  31. Explodium says:

    Heh…I stumbled across several of this guy’s comments before. Thought he sounded like a pretentious git who thinks being in bed a thesaurus makes him look interrigent.

    Guess I was right…

    Anyone else thing he writes nonsensical garbage so when people inevitably get confused he can say “Hurr hurr u don’t get it cuz u dum and I smrt!”?

    • Herr Wozzeck says:

      You know? Having actually gotten into a conversation with the guy where he eventually accused me of inventing evidence to support EclipsePheniox’s extreme case of plagiarism? Yeah, that wouldn’t surprise me if he did that.


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