COMEBACK WEEK #5: Kill off key characters


On his forehead, Dash felt a trickle of sweat trickle down his forehead.
‘You see,’ said Colonel Daringman, handling his LaserBlasterGun carefully in his hand with care, ‘I knew that the only way to destroy you was through your sense of duty. Your sense of adventure. Your lack of a sense of where the sensible limits of risk are.’
‘So you sent me on a suicide mission?’ Dash growled with a growl.
‘Not quite,’ the Colonel frowned. ‘I knew you would never commit suicide on a suicide mission, so I sent you on a killing-you-with-a-dangerous-mission mission.’
‘You fiend!’ shrieked Samantha, fainting. ‘How could you?’
‘Let me show you,’ Daringman hissed with a hiss, stepping over the unconscious beauty. Dash felt the air around grow thick with the slowing of time as time seemed to slow. In that one fatal instant, he could see the energy beam emerging from the muzzle of the LaserBlasterGun as if it was space-ketchup coming out of a space-bottle. In actual fact, he knew it was moving at the speed of light or faster as it crawled through the air towards him like a baby made of deadly laser energy being fired from a gun. He was powerless to move, powerless to cry out or even to think. Time slowed again. The closer his death came – the laser baby dawdling now – the slower time seemed to get. In the last instant, the one that seemed to go on forever, he felt a sensation like a weight being lifted from him. For an infinite moment, he knew everything. Then, Dash Gallant, Captain of the Star Corps, hero of the battle of Tor’Sang, the only man ever to escape a Mhal-Evol’Unt interrogation unit, closed his eyes for the last time and joined the ranks of the dead.

20 comments:

  1. Comeback Week #6 - Bring dead characters back to life with no apparent explanation.

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  2. Comeback Week #7 - Have a double agent who is actually a triple agent.

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  3. Comeback Week #8 - Add an extra day to the week because of the Theory of Relativity and subsequent lack of gravity in poorly financed space stations.

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  4. Triple agents are old hat. In the Illuminatus! Trilogy, the ur-work of conspiracy fiction, one character is a quintuple agent, as he works simultaneously for the FBI, the CIA, the KGB, the Illuminati, and the A∴ A∴ (If you claim you know what the initial A's stand for in the last name, you are by definition a poseur.)

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  5. Bad Ideas: Been done. Gordon Dickson's "Zeepsday" is about the discovery that Earth weeks have eight days, and why.

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  6. oh, didnt know that, and what why?

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  7. I like that Samantha somehow says "How could you?" *after* she faints... Nice touch :-)

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  8. Comback Week #6 Revised: Have a dead character come back through the power of love.

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  9. Comeback Week #6: retro-con a story to keep it going after it should have ended

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  10. @Laxori666: that move is also know as "The George Lucas".

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  11. I wonder what kind of space life flashed before Dash's space eyes in his last space moments.

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  12. Comeback Week #5 Possible Sub-texts:

    Kill off key characters to demonstrate that you really are a serious writer, dammit, and want to be taken more seriously by serious people (despite an increasingly grating habit of repetition).

    Kill off key characters when you realise that Comeback Week #4 didn't alienate enough of your existing readership, and think maybe killing off the favourite will do the trick.

    Kill off key characters because the ratings are tanking and you need a way to get some free press.

    Kill off key characters because you're Joss Whedon and that's just what you do (which obviously only works if you actually are Joss Whedon, otherwise see first point above).

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  13. Which is not to say that killing off important characters is going to decrease sales, cf. Game of Thrones.

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  14. You're right: I forgot about "Kill off key characters because you've created an insanely complicated plot and aren't quite sure how to end it and/or because it's one less storyline you need to complete."

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  15. You could also kill off key characters as a way of introducing younger, more charismatic replacements, with many key features hand-picked by focus groups.

    Too bad Dash Jr. won't know he's really a robot built by Fumblebot until he's about to kick the bucket so the story can introduce the more awesome sounding "Dash the Third".

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  16. I just wanted to say that "the laser baby dawdling now" is AWESOME.

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  17. Bad Ideas: An alien had salted Earth time with an extra day in order to make money, but unfortunately for him, the hero of the story was allergic to alien time.

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  18. I'm pretty sure the TV show Primeval committed 1-5 over its run.

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  19. I DIDN'T WANT DASH TO DIE!

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  20. Steven Moffat, Joss Whedon, and George R. R. Martin walk into a bar. All your favorite characters die.

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