Looks like I’ve found my next X-Box exclusive title to buy… Crazy Taxi 3. (Yikes! Can I handle it?!) According to Gaming Age, it’s going to be set in a Las Vegas-like city at night. Lord knows I have some sort of sick fetish for colored neon lights, so I’m gonna REALLY enjoy this; particularly since I can actually reach the triggers on the X-Box controller! I don’t know how or why, but after days of JSRF, I’ve been having no problem quickly getting to those controls. Must be some subtle difference in how they’re positioned compared to the more circular-platform shaped Dreamcast ones. Since X-Box is getting House of the Dead 3 and possibly Shenmue 2, looks like I’ll be getting some sw33t Sega goodies in the future…
Bonked heads with my sister last night trying to work on the outline for UE04. The problem with the concept I had come up with originally is that it hinged in Meiko taking a very illegal, very dangerous mission — B&E into a RealWare corporate building and data theft. I really can’t see her doing something like that, since she’s trying to prosper in business and build a safe, happy future. Being a rogue mercinary outfit doesn’t match up with that.
Fortunately we came up with a way of approaching the plot from the opposite direction, in a more Cowboy Bebop style (“Gosh, this case is not what it seems!”). It works nicely now.
As promised, here’s the discarded outline for UE03. I may reuse elements from this (Confusionism kicks ass!) but I don’t feel it’s a strong enough episode to write, not when I have better ones in the pipeline. I’m trying to find spots where I can trim the length of UE to something mortal man can handle, so some of the ‘filler’ eps will be going by the wayside. But I promise if I ever get this turned into a full length animated series, they’ll go back in. :)
Lorelei walking out of a door just as Mallory’s tugging his sweatshirt back on. Lorelei’s very hung over. Attempts to describe her evening but has holes in very amusing places. Mallory explains that they finished the job; Lore asks if there’s another one lined up? he says he’s not sure. “I hope not. I am in no mood to face a job with now.
“We’ve got a job,” Meiko explains over breakfast. Lorelei cups her coffee tightly.
“Ferry Elder Isaac to Urbana for a conference on religion, then he has a contact for us. Bodyguarding job, it sounds like; there might be an incident tonight there we need to avert. It’s short notice, so I’ll need you two ready to go in an hour…” Kisei and Lorelei at each other’s throats on the issue of preparedness when Kisei takes a few jabs.. but Kisei backs down with a whatever-esque dismissal before it gets silly, since she’s sensible. Eiko wants to go shopping once they hit Urbana since she won’t be needed and wants Mallory to take her, but Mallory hesitatingly admits to wanting to go to the conference at least for a little while. “I need to learn more about Shinto.” Meiko is convinced he’s going to bumble and screw up something; Mal points out he came up with that recipe. A little cajoling and she agrees to it.. but now Eiko’s mad at him. She stomps off to her room. He didn’t mean to upset anyone. “That’s life, Mallory. Every action will make someone happy and someone else unhappy. I’m just glad you didn’t waffle on it to keep from stepping on anyone’s toes.” “Ah..?” “Change your shoes before we go, you’re tracking wet sand all over the floor.” “Aaa! Sorry, sorry! I’ll clean it up as soon as I can!” “And quit apologizing.” “Sorr…” Meiko grumbles and wanders off.
Descripto jump as Mallory falls over when the house shudders from a reality shift. Eiko is busy playing video games and doesn’t say goodbye. Crew packs off for the conference center with Elder Isaac. Lorelei’s carrying a strange metal tube on a back holster. “What’s that?” “Painful,” she replies. “I have a headache. No further questions, please.” Once we end the descripto jump, we get to the conference hall atrium, where many people in various garb are discussing things… some quite heatedly. Mallory realizes he has no idea what a ‘shinto costume’ would look like. He’s about to ask Meiko for help when Sally and Hollings the Perplexed show. Issac greets Hollings, and heads off. Meiko takes the front and greets the two, introduces Kisei as her tactics and strategy expert (nod) and Lorelei as her bodyguard and martial arts expert (nod after a wince). Asks if there’s somewhere private they can discuss the situation. Hollings confuses them. Sally points to a side room they can use. Mallory’s about to follow — meiko stops him. “We don’t need you. Go take care of whatever it was you wanted to do.” “Err..” Door closes. Mallory looks around. “Can I help you?” Sally asks. “Err… Shinto?” “What about it?” “I was hoping to find a.. err.. Shinto Bishop? Shinto Rabbi? What do they have, exactly? I’m not entirely certain…” “That’s quite alright, sir.” “Mallory.” “Sir Mallory?” “No, just Mallory. Sir sounds too, err, not me. Or Mal, Lorelei calls me Mal. And Meiko calls me Houseboy but I think Mallory would work okay for you. Err, because we just met. Not that I have another name for folks I haven’t just met, err, I really just go by Mallory when I have a choice and I’m not saying I’m trying to force you into a… uh. I’m confusing you, aren’t I?” “Yes, thank you!” “…huh?” “I’m not sure if NAME-san has arrived, he’s a representative from Nippon.. we could look around if you like, while they’re discussing things.” “Ah.. thanks! Um. One question.” “Yes?” “Why did you just thank me for confusing you?” “I’m an acolyte on in the Way of Confusionism, of course.” “Oh. …huh?”
Jumping descripto as we run down confusionism. (religion which says that being confused is the natural state of humanity, that the universe is full of mysteries which cannot be understood by mortal man and the best way to live is to learn to flow with the inexplicable and the incomprehensible) [most of the notes on confusionism are in my head, I never wrote them down.]
When we return we find our pair sitting on a bench in the atrium, and Sally explains why she joined (her existential crisis: used to live on Arboria, but her father was a diehard aethiest after the rival Christian factions started tearing the place apart, and Sally desperately needed to understand why this was happening. Confusionism taught her that ‘things happen’ and it’s okay to not understand.). Mallory explains about how his mother was from Nippon, and he’s sort of running around the Multiverse like his father did, and he wants to understand his past more. “I think she might like that, even if I don’t understand why she might like it because she’s buried in Sleep Hill back in Grunwald and is dead and can’t hear me say that. I’ve never really followed that thing except some sort of notion of what a ‘ghost’ is or something, which I was hoping I could get cleared up…” “It’s one of the Incomprehensible Mysteries, I’m taught. We may never find an answer, because there is no answer to find within human understanding… I guess that makes me an agnostic. It’s all very confusing, which is the point. …but I wish my parents would be supportive like yours are.” Explanation of her dad’s crusade. She cuts off near the end realizing they hadn’t even looked for Name-san, and that they should probably rejoin the others.
Meeting room, where Kisei’s finished studying the plans for the last ten minutes of silence. Runs down the problems with the hall; and we link up that the one who’s threatening Hollings is Sally’s dad (who is totally anti-religious and sees Hollings as having brainwashed his daughter). A suggestion is made that there be someone undercover on the stage to pass as a Confusionist, and they suggest Lorelei. Hollings considers, tosses a koan at Lorelei, whose response is “Eh? That’s nonsense. Who cares?” and he says she wouldn’t pass as a Confusionist. some reasoning later and Mallory is put on the stage (he demand/volunteers despite Meiko’s objections, and when Sally stands up for him Meiko gets vaguely jealous) and Lorelei in the audience with the Our First Lady of the Evening crowd. Kisei refuses to say where she’ll be, for intel reasons. Meiko accepts this; we see some trust between them about their skills.
while speech, mallory sees dad and sees he’s trying to shoot SALLY, not Hollings. he dives to cover her, gets grazed and assumes he’s dying. Kisei shoots Hollings, and he falls from the rafters; Lorelei catches him and handcuffs him. Bit of a sour ending as dad tells Sally he has no daughter anymore, only some brainwashed drone, and he felt it was better to put her out of her misery. Later, Eiko makes up with Mallory out of ‘Wah!’ over hearing about his wound.
(I don’t like the ending since it’s kinda depressing and Lorelei/Kisei don’t really do their jobs properly; this early in the series we gotta establish that they are awesomely asskicking)