Home » Tuck Talk » Chapter by Chapter » Tuck #116
Tuck #116 [message #4493] Sun, 30 April 2006 16:32 Go to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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Sheesh, how long does it take youse guys anyway? I even put up the ZIP file and ate lunch...

Hopefully this'un will excite some comment.


Ellen
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Re: Tuck #116 [message #4494] Sun, 30 April 2006 17:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rachel.greenham  is currently offline rachel.greenham
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First, you need an omnicient supercomputer.

Then you need a railgun...

Razz


Rachel
Re: Tuck #116 [message #4495] Sun, 30 April 2006 23:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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Looks good. I think you may hve had some fun with this one, some subtle jokes. The funniest being right away when Sarah gives Debbie info on how to run a subversive organization. Smile

Then the various slapstick moments and Sabrina's delayed catch of Mike's obfuscation.

Tuck is beginning to sound and act more like Tuck, which is good.

And what's happening with the team? And the cheerleaders?

Seemed longer than usual.

- Erin
Re: Tuck #116 [message #4496] Sun, 30 April 2006 23:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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Tuck, Mike and company with a railgun? Hoo-ha. Smile

- Erin
Re: Tuck #116 [message #4497] Mon, 01 May 2006 01:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
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Ellen Hayes wrote on Sun, 30 April 2006 13:32

Sheesh, how long does it take youse guys anyway? I even put up the ZIP file and ate lunch...



Hey! I was asleep after reading the new John Ringo novel ("Unto the Breach") in one go.

Alas, the zip file does *not* include Tuck116.txt. I've downloaded it twice, just to make sure.

As for comments, first surprise was finding that Lisa is a *bottom*!!! And likes having welts. I fully understand liking them, I just didn't expect Lisa to be that way.

Debbie being a top is less of a surpise. Smile

The GLEE club is a good idea. And an addition to that note I sent you about the Equal Access Act. A news story I just read about yet anothe GLBT club suiong under it nots that it was the "mid-90s" when such clubs started suing (and winning) under it.

I'm really wondering what the burns Tuck noticed were. They pretty much have to be on his body. And I'm wondering if they are chemical, thermal or electrical. And why he hasn't mentioned them to anyone yet.

I'm also wondering if the "insert" for the school paper is more black propoganda or what. Timing's a bit tight for it to be for the GLEE club, and I'm not sure Sarah knows about it yet. I'll have to read read the story a few more times...

<light bulb>

are the burns on the laptop case?
Re: Tuck #116 [message #4498] Mon, 01 May 2006 07:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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Whups!

Zip file is being reloaded now, this time the NEW one not the old/backup one.

Eheh... *weak look*


Ellen
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Re: Tuck #116 [message #4499] Mon, 01 May 2006 16:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
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Ellen Hayes wrote on Mon, 01 May 2006 04:39

Whups!

Zip file is being reloaded now, this time the NEW one not the old/backup one.

Eheh... *weak look*



Hey, it's not like you didn't find dumb errors on my site (as oipposed to just uploading the wrong file)
Re: Tuck #116 [message #4500] Tue, 02 May 2006 07:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eric  is currently offline Eric
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Brooke wrote on Sun, 30 April 2006 22:35

I'm also wondering if the "insert" for the school paper is more black propaganda or what. Timing's a bit tight for it to be for the GLEE club, and I'm not sure Sarah knows about it yet.

Can't be for the GLEE club, for the reasons you stated. (Also because the GLEE club isn't Debbie's or Sarah's focus, except to the extent that it's one more affinity group for non-mainstreamers, like the band and the drama club. It's not a unifier; nobody seems to be envisioning a Gay-Straight Alliance-type organization, which would be controversial and probably not very large in that time and place.)

It's unlikely to me that the insert would be the literal equivalent of one of the posters; for one thing, it can't be very large if Dan can fit 1000 of them into an envelope for Sarah. (McAllen's enrollment was established as around 1000, and it seems clear that Sarah gave the completed items to the printers for insertion, not camera-ready art for them to print.)

Follow-up...on further review, the posters were explicitly described as 8 x 11 when first proposed, and Dan provides a plastic bag in addition to the envelope. But I'm not sure Sarah could have been carrying two reams worth of paper around without some mention of the fact.

My guess is that it's an announcement setting a time and place for people to stand and be counted. But given the whole Sarah-in-disguise thing, it's likely to be something along the lines of a Fascists for McAllen demonstration later in the week that Debbie and Sarah can focus parents, students, and teachers/Dobson's office against.

(The announcement can't be too outrageous, though, since it's being presented as something like a paid advertising insert in the paper. However laissez-faire the printer figures to be about inserting it, something that demands, say, the deportation of all American black people to Africa or the gas chamber for all homosexual students would probably lead to a phone call from the printer to a school contact that Sarah couldn't intercept.)

My other thought was a fake doomsday "official notice" over Arlene Raleigh's forged signature, shutting down the school or all extracurricular activities or declaring martial law on campus (vandals shot on sight) or whatever. But while it'd produce an uproar, I can't see where it'd be taken seriously for very long, or that it would be in Sarah and Debbie's best interests to make the school board an active enemy until they have to.

It sounds to me that what we're headed for is a large grassroots group of students, parents and faculty/administrators -- a Good Guys For Freedom group mobilized against hate and bullying and other things that only a fascist would support, put in those terms. (I'm still not sure why Debbie wanted it so badly, Tuck aside; I don't think she felt the need for protection against the perception that she's gay.)

Sarah wants to make sure the group's being controlled behind the scenes by a revolutionary cadre that'll define the terms properly. Debbie of course would want to be the one setting the goals, but I think she'd be willing to rely on her ability to shape public opinion to keep it on track without looking into something like Heinlein's cell system to organize the process.

Brooke, continued

<light bulb>
are the burns on the laptop case?

Interesting thought. I'd been wondering if they might have been on Jody's letter or its envelope, which went through a lot, but that didn't seem very plausible. (Or Ricky's card?) Whatever it is, I'd like to connect it up with Tuck's doing something on the computer afterward that he doesn't want his father to see.

Another possibility for the computer secret is that he was emailing Travis. (I'm not sure he'd phone Travis even if his voice could handle it, given the way their situation stood eleven or twelve days ago. But an email ought to be unobtrusive enough.)

Eric

[Updated on: Tue, 02 May 2006 08:39]

Burn Marks [message #4501] Tue, 02 May 2006 08:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eric  is currently offline Eric
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Can't see where burn marks on the laptop (if that's what they're on) would lead anywhere. Checking back, the only association with fire I can find is the lighter that the kid with the firecrackers at the Homecoming Dance was carrying. And he's identified as a (high school) freshman, so he'd be unlikely to use the excuse of needing car repairs to sell the stolen laptop on a college campus.

Eric
Re: Burn Marks [message #4502] Tue, 02 May 2006 18:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
mkemp  is currently offline mkemp
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Might the burn marks have been left by the defibrillator in the helicopter? From episode 104:
Quote:

"Shocked her three times, that snapped her out of it," McCracken reported to the nurse as they hustled the stretcher towards the ER.

I'd kinda expect Tuck to have noticed such things, but it's entirely possible he was too miserable, or on too many pain meds, to sort out the individual elements.
Jody and Debbie [message #4503] Fri, 05 May 2006 07:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eric  is currently offline Eric
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from #116:

"Can I speak to Jody, please," Debbie asked politely, smiling.
* * *
"So you're gonna be OK?" Debbie asked.

Sounds as though Jody made it through the night, and that Debbie may have convinced her that Debbie and her people (as opposed to the rest of the cheerleaders, her boyfriend, her parents, etc., etc.) are the only ones who really care about her.

Her changing sides would presumably benefit Debbie's cause, but it's going to be difficult at best for the Pack or anyone affiliated with the Tuckers to trust her at all. (And then there's Sarah Tucker: can she disengage emotionally far enough to accept the political benefits or will she try strangling Jody next time they meet? Not that Jody figures to willingly stand in the same room as Sarah any time soon...)

Eric
Body Armor [message #4506] Fri, 05 May 2006 20:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lurker
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With respect to the body armor that Bill is constructing for Tuck - two points come to mind...
Tuck's feedback to Bill about the laptop pouch in the cordura body armor looks to represent a change in philosophy in Tuck's mind regarding flight vs. fight. I am inclined to believe that Tuck, if not Bill, may also add hidden pockets for usefully sharp objects. Since this adds weight from a base function of armor, it looks like Tuck is moving to a stand and fight inclination rather than run and avoid.
This then brings up the second point along the lines of why mention something in a story unless it was meant for use later. In other words, it looks like another escalation of violence involving Tuck is being staged where Tuck has made some preparation for the next altercation.
Re: Jody and Debbie [message #4508] Fri, 05 May 2006 23:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Josea  is currently offline Josea
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Eric wrote on Fri, 05 May 2006 04:59

Her changing sides would presumably benefit Debbie's cause, but it's going to be difficult at best for the Pack or anyone affiliated with the Tuckers to trust her at all. (And then there's Sarah Tucker: can she disengage emotionally far enough to accept the political benefits or will she try strangling Jody next time they meet? Not that Jody figures to willingly stand in the same room as Sarah any time soon...)

Eric


I don't think all the pack will have trouble with her, after all it was Sabrina who called Debbie about Jody's letter. Mike is not very trusting of anyone he does not know very well but I seem to recalled that he once said most of the cheerleaders are bitches. Not all of them.

Sarah did not know that Jody went to the hospital to apologize. She also knows that her temper can be very difficult to control. Recall that when she found out about Valerie at the mall, in chapter 101:
Quote:

     "OUR home?  WHY?" I gasped as I stopped walking.
     "Because if I don't get your father between us, I am going to beat the story out of you right now, and that's not right."

She know she needs help with her temper.

-Josea


[Updated on: Fri, 05 May 2006 23:34]

Re: Body Armor [message #4509] Sat, 06 May 2006 04:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eric  is currently offline Eric
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lurker wrote on Fri, 05 May 2006 17:20

Tuck's feedback to Bill about the laptop pouch in the cordura body armor looks to represent a change in philosophy in Tuck's mind regarding flight vs. fight. I am inclined to believe that Tuck, if not Bill, may also add hidden pockets for usefully sharp objects. Since this adds weight from a base function of armor, it looks like Tuck is moving to a stand and fight inclination rather than run and avoid.
Interesting point. I hadn't thought about the armor slowing him down. Is that a serious concern, if it's just his upper body that's covered?

I still don't think he'd try to fight his adversaries 1-on-4 if a reasonable flight alternative presented itself, even if there were "sharp objects" (or a MACE can, or a Taser-type weapon) in his laptop case. (But if Tuck's friends were in danger from a mob, he'd probably be up for one of those endgames where the hero nobly holds his ground, firing at the foe until they overwhelm him by force, so that his comrades can escape to safety.)

The moral, so to speak, of Tuck's last encounter, though, was that there are times when one can't escape, so any chance of improving his odds in that situation would be helpful.

I'm not sure about the "sharp objects" idea -- which, we should note, hasn't come up yet. I think somebody echoed my suspicion a couple of chapters ago, that body armor wasn't much use against a simple brute-force assault, which does suggest that Bill may be preparing Tuck to up the ante by carrying a weapon and inviting retaliation in kind. (I think it'd be Bill's idea, not Tuck's.) But we're not there, yet.

lurker, continued:

This then brings up the second point along the lines of why mention something in a story unless it was meant for use later. In other words, it looks like another escalation of violence involving Tuck is being staged where Tuck has made some preparation for the next altercation.
Again, all that's been mentioned so far is armor, a defensive device. If it allows him to stay conscious long enough to summon help, it's served a purpose in the story whether Tuck can counterattack or not. (On the other hand, it wouldn't have accomplished that purpose last time, if the unconsciousness was produced, as Tuck told us, by ramming his head into a locker three times. And Tuck did succeed in breaking Kyle's nose without recourse to a weapon.)

(FWIW, Ellen specifically disavowed the Chekhov's Gun concept in this story in a post here four chapters ago. So we can't conclude that the body armor assures that there'll be another, more violent, attack on Tuck soon.)
Re: Body Armor [message #4510] Sat, 06 May 2006 13:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
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Eric wrote on Sat, 06 May 2006 01:36

Interesting point. I hadn't thought about the armor slowing him down. Is that a serious concern, if it's just his upper body that's covered?


Yep. Since Tuck needs *rigid* armor (or at least semi-rigid) as otherwise it won't protect the ribs adequately, it will noticeably reduce his flexibility. It's also extra weight. And a not insignificant amount of extra weight at that.

BTW, he doesn't need "sharp objects" (and such are unlikely to be legally carryable in any case). Various "blunt" objects can be carried with greater or lesser degrees of legality.

In spite of the attack, I don't thi9nk he could get a concealed cary permit. Though *qualifying* for one on everything but age wouldn't be hard, just tiome consuming.

Mace or a stun gun (the short you have to press into the opponent) are possibilities. BTW, with some version of "mace", Tuck will have a *distinct* advantage over most folks. I speak from experience here.

Back in junior high someone used a tear gas pen on me. Having suffered from major allergies all my life, the watering eyes weren't a serious impediment.

If someone tries that sort of thing on Tuck and it doesn't trigger an asthma attack, Tuck is going to "merelyt" be opewrating under a lesser degree of impairment than he's often operated under.

Which reminds me. Way, way back he told of getting chased home from school by a bully and while recounting it wondered how he was able to function.

I can answer that. The first major asthma attack *I* ever had was while at a friend's lake cabin. So he was trying to find the hospital in the nearbyu small town in the middle of the night (this was in the late 60s, long before cell phones and 911). I was having to *consciously* work my chest muscle to get enough air. And I could feel; them getting tired.

That scared me enough that the adrtenaline surge eased off the attack long enough for us to get to the ER.

Bet Tuck had something similar happen.

Re: Body Armor [message #4512] Sat, 06 May 2006 14:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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lurker wrote on Fri, 05 May 2006 17:20

This then brings up the second point along the lines of why mention something in a story unless it was meant for use later.

Eric wrote on Sat, 06 May 2006 09:36

(FWIW, Ellen specifically disavowed the Chekhov's Gun concept in this story in a post here four chapters ago. So we can't conclude that the body armor assures that there'll be another, more violent, attack on Tuck soon.)


And I'll formally disavow the concept again.
I don't have an editor/publisher forcing me to conform to genre standards for some twisted reasons (or even good ones); and my creative background is ROLE-PLAYING GAMES. Crimson Herring Casserole is one of the dishes I make best.
So, don't assume that these people are going to act like Characters In A Book (especially a bad book). And don't assume that the usual literary plot devices work here like they do elsewhere.

No, wait. DO assume that the usual literary plot devices work here like they do elsewhere. Please. =)


Ellen
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#116 [message #4513] Sat, 06 May 2006 17:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
sluggo  is currently offline sluggo
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I was leaning on the idea that the body armor was of a psycological tactic on Bill's part. He knows that Tuck is obstinate about going back to school. He also knows that Sarah will try anything to keep him out of there. The armor is a compromise.

My second idea on the body armor is that depending on how Bill designs it, he could be adding his own wishes that Valerie not come back. It would be tough to be Valerie if several of the suble things that make people see Valerie instead of Tuck are covered in layers and layers of fabric. Since he is using Brian to design the armor and not Tuck's dimensions, the armor will probably look more like a man than a woman.

I know Shelia doesn't know about the incident with Debbie in the basement, but I hope that something she says to Tuck gets him to talk to Debbie and really appologize. It will be better for Tuck in the long run.


-sluggo-
Re: Body Armor [message #4514] Sat, 06 May 2006 22:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Erin Halfelven  is currently offline Erin Halfelven
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Besides, Chekhov's rule was for a play--a literary form with very limited action space. For a picaresque epic like Tuck, it just doesn't apply. Smile

- Erin
Re: #116 [message #4515] Sun, 07 May 2006 08:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rachel.greenham  is currently offline rachel.greenham
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sluggo wrote on Sat, 06 May 2006 22:12

I was leaning on the idea that the body armor was of a psycological tactic on Bill's part. He knows that Tuck is obstinate about going back to school. He also knows that Sarah will try anything to keep him out of there. The armor is a compromise.

My second idea on the body armor is that depending on how Bill designs it, he could be adding his own wishes that Valerie not come back. It would be tough to be Valerie if several of the suble things that make people see Valerie instead of Tuck are covered in layers and layers of fabric. Since he is using Brian to design the armor and not Tuck's dimensions, the armor will probably look more like a man than a woman.


I've had some disquiet about the body-armour thing ever since it first arose. I think you just nailed the 'why' for me. Smile I'm brought back to that short conversation between Bill and Tuck the morning of the attack, when Bill basically lays it down that Valerie will have to go and that his 'double life' will have to end.

And Tuck's reaction to that is extremely telling... But right now Tuck's in a much more emotionally vulnerable place. Holy crap, someone made the observation to me after 115 came out that Tuck's being betrayed by the people close to him, but I didn't get a clear explanation of that statement. I wonder if this is an example of what was meant by that...

Well, there's also this: A theme that's been running through Tuck from the very start - and especially strong around the time he ran away in April - is Tuck under pressure from those around him to be who they want him to be, and not who he is. (Whatever that ends up being.) This could fit into that long-running theme, maybe.

Although it's worth pointing out that at, what, 12 or 13? Brian shouldn't have *that* manly a figure yet... Or did I misremember his age? Nevertheless, armour is visually and symbolically masculinising, yes.

[Updated on: Sun, 07 May 2006 09:02]


Rachel
Brian [message #4516] Sun, 07 May 2006 21:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eric  is currently offline Eric
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Brian's 14, if I remember correctly, which is consistent with Ellen's method of school scheduling (generally grade level plus six years). We haven't seen anything that I recall about his physical development, but his voice is changing.

Eric
Re: #116 [message #4517] Sun, 07 May 2006 21:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Brooke  is currently offline Brooke
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sluggo wrote on Sat, 06 May 2006 14:12

My second idea on the body armor is that depending on how Bill designs it, he could be adding his own wishes that Valerie not come back. It would be tough to be Valerie if several of the suble things that make people see Valerie instead of Tuck are covered in layers and layers of fabric. Since he is using Brian to design the armor and not Tuck's dimensions, the armor will probably look more like a man than a woman.


To start with, you *can't* re-tailor the armor that way. Not without risking making it ineffective. That's *why* Bill had to haul Mike & Tuck out to the store. To make sure it'd *fit*.

Whatever the mods he's making are, they are *external* stuff added on to the basic armor.

Second, if he was silly enopugh to try that sort of tailoring, Tuck couldn't wear it. His tits wouldn't let him. It'd be *worse* than trying to get a guy to cram his "package" into a too small cup. Because a cup doesn't rub back and forth across things with every step you take.

But the armor would break up Tuck's profile some. But it won't change things like voice, *most* body lasnguage, nor the way he is *perceived*.

And that last is the killer. People rarely *look* at people they know, they see what they *expect* to see. Remember back in April when Tuck tried to show Susan the way his body was changing?

He practically had to hit her over the head with a baseball bat. Because she looked but she didn't actually *see* what she was looking at. She just saw "my dorky little brother".

Hell, we do it to *ourselves*. I've had a number of startling moments when I encountered a mirror by surprise and saw myself before my mental "filters" had a chance to intervene.
Re: #116 [message #4519] Sun, 07 May 2006 23:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
sluggo  is currently offline sluggo
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Tailoring the armor to futher protect his ribs will thicken up the waistline of the armor, making it more "manish". But I was kind of reaching for that idea. Bill seemed to accept Valerie more than any of the others, but he is still hesitant. I'm not sure that Bill is doing it just to get rid of Valerie, but I'm sure it won't hurt Bill's feelings either.


And with the discussion of Travis on the other thread, thats one more chapter without even a hint if Travis knows about what happened to his Girlfriend/Ex-Girlfriend. I'm sure that with all the rumors running around the other schools that he must have heard something.

[Updated on: Sun, 07 May 2006 23:55]


-sluggo-
Re: #116 [message #4523] Tue, 09 May 2006 11:39 Go to previous message
Leesya  is currently offline Leesya
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sluggo wrote on Sun, 07 May 2006 23:53

Tailoring the armor to futher protect his ribs will thicken up the waistline of the armor, making it more "manish". But I was kind of reaching for that idea. Bill seemed to accept Valerie more than any of the others, but he is still hesitant. I'm not sure that Bill is doing it just to get rid of Valerie, but I'm sure it won't hurt Bill's feelings either.

...



With the lack of any facial masculinization, still long (at least at the moment) hair, slight build and proportionally wider hips than a "normal" male, I think Tuck with body armor will probably look like the female police officers you see in real life where the armor definitely gives them a stockier, more uniformly cylindrical than classically hour glass look, but they still look like women.
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