903: Life with Raptors – Chapter TwoPosted: December 10, 2014
Welcome back to the second-author remake of Raptor and I published under the working title: Life with Raptors. It’s essentially the same story, but with 20% more vague! With me again is Eliza.
*Cranberry Trout Pied*
I see we’re beginning to experiment with the ingredients.
“I was told that I needed to branch out.”
I see. Anyway, last time on Life with Raptors, we met our author-insert, May. She’s the pretty standard Mary Sue insertion. Good at everything within the confines of a deeply, deeply flawed universe. In this case she is able to cure broken bones without setting them or administering anesthetic of any kind. Nope, all she needs is a splint.
We also met Seth Raptor, the informed bestiality love interest, and his friend Max Raptor, the… doof. They have the opportunity to enjoy flavorful brown balls, and the scene ends. If that sounds like a lot of not much, you would be right.
We pick up this week with another of the author’s strange “I’m not naming stuff after Pokémon characters” notes. No, seriously, she does it again:
(Max is also not from Pokémon, he is named after my real life friend.
Honestly, I think I’d rather see you stealing all your names from Pokémon than adding your friends into the fic.
And will have the same personality.
Be prepared for hyperactive raptor times.)
Great, that’s all we freaking need. A raptor designed after a hyperactive teen. What next? A neurotic Allosaurus who needs to stop and wash his hands every twenty minutes?
Chapter 2: Denise, idiot computer expert extraordinaire
Poor Nedry, he’s the Miranda of the Raptor and I clone-fics. I mean, a certain amount of dislike is earned, he’s the mostly pointless catalyst character who’s only in the book and movie to kick off the crisis on the island. He was largely superfluous because the hurricane which was already hitting the island should have been the cause of the crisis. Nedry’s character was really only there for the token corporate espionage subplot. A subplot that gets derailed by Nedry’s death. Anyway, yeah he’s a greedy dude, but his actual part in the book and movie are so token that he doesn’t really deserve all the bashing he gets in these fics. Certainly he doesn’t deserve all the comments about his weight and being ugly. There are a lot of incredibly shallow pot-shots taken at Nedry in these fics, and I can’t help but feel that it’s due in no small part because he was played by Wayne Knight. And while Wayne is carrying a few extra pounds and is typically cast as character everyone loves to hate, he certainly doesn’t deserve all the shallow jeers. In fact, Wayne Knight actually lost nearly 120 pounds during his career as Newman in Seinfeld; so fat comments based on his performance in Jurassic Park are in particularly bad taste.
“Frankly, I think we would all be satisfied if the authors could be bothered to spell his name right.”
Yeah, if nothing else, spell the damned name right! It’s not even a hard name!
“More good news.”
I had to go back into the raptor pen AGAIN that day because another raptor had also gotten hurt, it wasn’t the same one at least.
If I were scientists working on this project, I’d be questioning whether there wasn’t some genetic damage to these raptors during the cloning process.
“At least they aren’t trying to eat rocks, yet.”
Well, that’s a monkey trick.
“We’ve both been hanging out with Crunchy too much.”
When I swiped my card in the scanner, it didn’t accept it and the door stayed shut tight. I tried again, the same result.
Dude! Did May just get fired for incompetence!?
“First smart thing anyone at InGen has done.”
“What the-?” I said before I realized what was happening. I grabbed my radio.
“Denise, unjam the card scanner so I can get in.” I growled.
“I’ll preemptively add ‘technology’ to the list of things the author does not do very well.”
An RF card reader just ‘jammed,’ I don’t think it counts as preemptive anymore.
“What do you mean? I didn’t do anything.” He said in a fake innocent tone.
“Right, right. A magical fairy did it.” I said sarcastically.
Child, adults don’t act or talk like this. Well, adults at work anyway.
“Nedry was many things. Greedy, unctuous, greedy, an ass to people who interrupted him, um… greedy. But he was never an ass just to be an ass.”
It’s a pretty bad sign when you can’t even get the personality of a one-dimensional bit character right.
“I mean, what would I have to gain by locking you out of the enclosure with the same sick raptor that took my hot dog when I dropped it to check out the security grid when I went there?” The fat computer technician said.
You’re right, Nedry, you have nothing to gain. So why is the author writing this in the first place?
“Because fat jokes.”
“Oh. So it’s all because of a hotdog. Ok, excuse me while I get John, Gerry, and the lawyer.” I said as I pulled open my phone.
“OK! I’ll open it!” He said.
“Thank you.” I said sarcastically again as I swiped my card and entered.
We’re not supposed to like May, right? I mean, she’s a snotty, shallow, ignorant teen whose interpersonal interactions are based heavily on favoritism rather than professionalism.
“Seems like the pretty standard Hollywood variety of teen. Do they make teen parts in any other flavor?”
Well… uh… there’s the annoying perky one and the class clown.
“That would be Max on both accounts.”
Dammit. That only leaves the angst-ridden brooding teen. And I think we’re all hoping the author leaves that one in the box.
“You’re forgetting the token sexy bookworm.”
I’m hoping that one also stays in the box.
I looked around, no sign of any raptors towards the front.
THAT WAS IT!? What the hell point was that scene with Nedry? Was it to establish Nedry as impishly playful yet cowardly, or May Sue being prone to snide overreaction? What the hell, author? You need to stop from time to time during the writing process and ask yourself, “Why am I including this scene? What does it accomplish?” If you can’t come up with a good answer, then you don’t need the scene.
But I still kept my gun handy, I just didn’t use it at first sight of any dinosaurs, unlike a few who would be eager to blow ones head off, but they would be sued.
“Wow, everyone on this island has issues. Not only are they letting people into live enclosures without proper safety precautions, but they’re hiring gun-happy idiots who are going to shoot up millions of dollars in product just because EXPERMINT!”
Welp, we’re obviously running on an idiot plot of some order or another. Only time will tell to what power the idiocy is raised to.
I went towards the back of the enclosure and found the pack huddled around a dark brown one. It must’ve been a female.
THEY ARE ALL SUPPOSED TO BE FEMALE! THAT WAS A MAJOR, MAJOR POINT OF CANON!
“Down, boy. I will use another one of Herr’s habenero pies.”
I whistled and held a few treats out of the ferns.
Sweet crap, author! How effective do you think treat-based zoology is!?
You want to see what treating a predator is ACTUALLY like? Here, here’s a video of a routine Tiger DNA test:
You notice how many people are involved, and how cautious everyone is being? Did you notice that the first thing they did was anesthetize the Tiger with a dart? Do you have any concept of why that was the first step!?
It’s because PREDATORS ARE FUCKING DANGEROUS!
*Taco runs out of the room flailing*
“He’ll be fine.”
The pack looked at my hand full of the treats, and I tossed them away from the female.
“Protip: If you’re standing amidst a full pack of my kin holding food, you’ve already announced yourself as lunch.”
Causing the alpha and beta to go first before being followed by the other two.
I had a small window of opportunity to figure out what was wrong with the female.
“I imagine it’s depression from being in this fic. I can relate.”
“Oh good! Another scene tag just for Ghostie!”
I looked down at the female who was not feeling well.
“Ellie, what’s the matter?” My third in command, Austin, asked the suffering velociraptor.
“It’s the fic, sir. It hurts. You four go on without me.”
She shook her head and hacked.
“I think she ate something and it got lodged in her throat.” The other female, Lily said.
“I am deeply embarrassed that one of my kin has been brought neigh unto death by choking on a piece of hotdog.”
Ellie nodded frantically. “Well, how are we supposed to help her?” I asked.
“This is a job for Raptor MD!”
Everyone thought about this before we heard a whistle. We all turned to see some of the delicious treats being held out to us.
“Not to mention all-you-can-eat mammal being catered for lunch.”
When they were thrown off to the side, me and Max hurried after them, followed by a confused Austin and Lily.
“Oddly, this probably the only part of this whole setup that is reasonable. Raptors are way more interested in filling their own bellies than they are with the health of one of their pack. People say we’re jerks because of it, but I like to think of it as being practical. Your injured pack mates look a lot less appetizing when you’ve already got a full stomach.”
“I am very enthusiastic about getting to see each scene twice. Even more so because the telling is nearly identical the second time. Word padding gives plenty of opportunity for naps.”
I was both petting and examining the raptor to keep her calm.
“So, you keep her calm by doing the very thing that would cause her the most stress? Are there any trained professionals on the island? Or maybe somebody who watched a few episodes of Emergency Vets on Animal Planet?”
It was then that her head jerked and I reached for my gun just in case. But all she did was hack a few times.
“Working on anesthetized animals creates fewer situations where you have to kill them in self defense while attempting treatment. Just saying.”
“Aha!” I said before feeling her throat. A non seeable lump was in her throat, she must’ve eaten something that got stuck in her throat, or she couldn’t eat.
“So very embarrassed that my kin are able to tear hunks of flesh off their prey and swallow it whole, but somehow can’t seem to get a chunk of hotdog down the gullet.”
*Taco walks back into the room, wiping tears from his bloodshot eyes.*
Not really. The searing pain was a pretty good distraction from the fic, but now it’s starting to go away.
I quickly used a sedation needle and she lashed out a little, but before long she was knocked out.
Well look at that, she finally sedated something. Should have used a dart gun on the raptor after separating her out of the pack into an enclosure, but at least she used a sedative. I’ll take what I can get with this fic.
I opened her mouth and reached my hand in.
That really isn’t sm-
It wasn’t smart to do to with a carnivore, but I had no tools for prying stuff out of animals, plus it WAS sedated.
Right, what she said. You know, you’re supposed to have facilities to do this kind of work. You know, facilities that have those tools you didn’t bring with you.
“You know, if it’s been long enough for the anesthesia to kick in, the other raptors have probably finished their treats by now and would be ready to move on to lunch.”
I finally felt something, it was metallic. I grabbed it and slowly pulled it out.
“Oh, maybe it wasn’t a hot-dog.”
I think it’s too early to hope for that.
What sat in my slimy hand was a Diet Coke can, and I could link that to one person. Who could drink all the calorie drink free sodas he wants and never get thinner.
STOP IT WITH THE SHALLOW INSULTS! We get it, author, your insert is a horrible and shallow human being who can’t get past another person’s weight. Can we move on to something else. Also, diet soda is not that uncommon of a thing.
“Somehow I find the fact that this raptor ate a soda can to be more depressing than if it had been the hot dog.”
Yeah, most species have better food recognition than that. Especially predators who tend to be a lot more choosy about what they eat.
“I think the scientists need to go back to the drawing board and try something other than wood pulp for their DNA reconstruction.”
I was about to leave when a bandaged leg appeared from the ferns.
“Ahh! A disembodied leg! Run!”
Shit just got real, people.
I was then face to face with the alpha.
Quick, grab the alpha and run. The leg is right there! *Points*
He sniffed me, looked at my arm, then at his slowly reviving subordinate.
“Why aren’t you running!? The leg is going to get you both!”
The rest of the pack followed. Looking at me with curiosity. “Uh…hi…” I said nervously.
Okay, maybe it’s because they have the leg heavily outnumbered.
“That means nothing to the leg! ALL IS LOST!”
One of the raptors, the subordinate male was about to attack when the alpha blocked his way.
“Don’t Bogart the kill, bro.”
“Get away from her you bags of scales.” I heard from above. I looked up to see Robert Muldoon aiming at the raptors.
“At least this author got his name right.”
Even spelled it right, which is nothing short of amazing given the track record of these fics.
The raptors growled, but just stood there. “May. Get out of the pen, now.” He ordered.
LISTEN TO THE MAN!
I looked back at them once, then hurried out the door.
“Hey, she did listen; that would be a first. Still, it’s not a good sign when the crazy alcoholic is the voice of reason in the fic.”
Dammit. I guess that means we get to see the same scene all over again.
Austin and Lily had tried the treats and liked them, but I hid one away for Ellie just so she didn’t miss out.
“Well, at least Seth seems less of a douchebag than Sorin was.”
You know, that’s true. Sure, he isn’t acting like a raptor, but he’s been far less of a manipulative jerk so far. A bit of a drama-llama, but not nearly as bad as Sorin.
It was then that I heard a hiss coming from Ellie’s direction. I hobbled over and saw “her” taking care of Ellie.
Well, I’ll be damned, she used quotes correctly.
“I’m as surprised as you are.”
I stepped out to make sure everything was okay, and she seemed to freeze. I backed up a little, and the rest of my pack finally showed up.
Why did Ellie freeze when Seth showed up.
“Why isn’t Ellie unconscious?”
Hey, yeah! She’s supposed to be knocked out cold at this point.
Austin growled and was about to charge but I blocked his way. It was then that I heard a male human’s voice come from the top of our territory.
I looked up to see an older man calling us “bags of scales”, to step away from the female human.
I guess their understanding of English comes and goes.
“Nan desu ka?”
I had to learn her name, but first, I had to take care of my pack.
If only the author could have figured out a way to do it earlier, then all the pronoun shenanigans could have been safely avoided.
I growled at the human, but made no move, and then, my human hurried back to the place humans could only exit and enter from. I sighed.
“Speaking of pronoun shenanigans.”
Esh, that was confusing.
“Soon Seth. The time will come in five days, during the electric rain.” Max said. (Raptors have a few “primitive” sounding words)
So much wrong, I can’t even.
“I’ll get it! First, there is no way that the Raptors could sense a storm five days in advance. We’re good, but not that good. Well, aside from Crunchy; he cheats and uses the force. And, if he’s wrong, he just makes his own storm. Second, NO AUTHOR’S NOTES MID-FIC! Third, ‘electric rain’ isn’t primitive sounding at all. Finally, we have to take back what we said about the correct quotation usage. There was no need for them in the author’s note.”
The whole “electric rain” thing really highlights a constantly present flaw in most of the Raptor and I clone-fics. Almost all of them try to have the raptors talk in a way that shows that they shouldn’t have certain words. Now that COULD be a good thing if handled correctly. Indeed there are lots of things that raptors shouldn’t necessarily have any understanding of. However, there are several problems with attempting to write that.
First, doing it requires a LOT of work and a LOT of skill to pull off. Since most fic authors are too lazy to put in the work and haven’t put in the work to become skilled, you end up with a mess. To do it right you have to constantly scrutinize and re-scrutinize everything that the raptors are doing and saying. For instance, why would they use the term “electric rain” instead of “storm”? “Electric rain” implies that they know what electricity is, and using “electric rain” in place of “storm” seems to indicate that not only do they understand electricity, but they understand it better than weather. That’s completely back-asswards. Whenever fic authors attempt to do this kind of thing either the terms are completely illogical (like here) or the application is woefully inconsistent (like in Raptor and I).
Second, trying to make the raptors seem primitive and uniformed typically results in the authors having the raptors use lots of descriptive language for things. This typically results in very clunky narration that is both confusing and tedious to read. Even in the best hands, dialogue and narrative based around having to describe every unknown object is going to get old fast.
Third, the Stargate SG-1 Principal. One complaint I hear all the time about Stargate SG-1 is that everyone in the universe seems to speak English. My counter-argument is that if every show started with 20 minutes of linguistic derivation just to get to the main plot, nobody would have watched the show because, while realistic, it’s not interesting to have to do that every damn episode. That’s why a lot of Sci-fi (or speculative fiction for those so inclined) relies heavily on the existence of universal translators. This let’s them skip past the problems of language and get on to more important things. And indeed, more often than not it’s far better to just skip over the minutia of linguistics in favor of keeping the plot well-paced and interesting. There is a reason why reality doesn’t usually overlap with what makes a good story. In this case, the raptors speaking immaculate English would probably be a trivial concession for keeping the plot moving along. Instead we get an asinine term for storm and then an author’s note that derails any kind of flow the fic might have managed to produce.
“Want to place bets on how long until the author botches the primitive language thing with inconsistent voice?”
You mean botches it again?
“I know, then, I shall have my dominant female.” I said.
Just like in Raptor and I, the author has no idea how a pack works.
“Huh…? W-what happened?” Ellie asked as she woke up.
“Huh, situationally activated anesthesia. That’s a handy thing to have.”
“My human saved your life.” I said as I dropped the treat in front of Ellie. She sniffed it, ate it, and soon she was part of the bliss club. Members: 5
So, what was that, four lines before it became inconsistent?
“Three if you don’t count the first inconsistency.”
It’s like fic author’s don’t read their own stories or something.
Okay, fic authors don’t read their own stories, and it shows.
“What’s a bag?” Lily asked.
They know what electricity is, but not what bags are. I don’t even know how to make fun of that.
“Yay! Another one for Ghostie!”
“It’s a good thing I showed up or those raptors would’ve been eating you to the bone.” Robert said as he walked along side me.
Man, Muldoon is on a roll!
“Well, not if you consider that he probably knows that May Sue keeps going into live enclosures.”
Right, if Muldoon really was smart, he’d have just let things take their course.
“Not quite what I meant, but close enough.”
“I was protected. I had my gun, plus, the alpha male keeps the rest of the pack from attacking me.” I retaliated.
You’re a special kind of stupid, aincha, May?
“Stupid prey kinda robs the fun of the hunt, but it keeps the belly full just the same.”
“Male? May, all the dinosaurs on the island are female from what Wu told me.” Robert said.
Hey look, the author acknowledges the fact that her fic is violating canon. Sorta.
“Well, he’s wrong.” I thought silently as we continued on.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, WHOA! Back the fuck up. You KNOW that there aren’t supposed to be any males, and yet you haven’t told anyone that there are at least two in the raptor enclosure!? What the fuck are you thinking!? Wow, just…. wow. That’s pretty stupid and short-sighted even for a Mary Sue.
“So, basically, everything that happens with the Raptors in the first book is May’s fault because she couldn’t be bothered to tell anyone that she found some male raptors. I shall have to send her a gift basket. She was absolutely instrumental in our takeover of the island and eventually the planet.”
Should I be worried about that last part?
“Only if you’re delicious.”
Next time: We. Have. Guests.
“The guest might be William Shatner.”
And that’s it for this week. Hate to tell you all, but it only gets stupider from here. Until next week, patrons!