Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Quantum Mechanic: Un-Deleted Scene One

No bells or whistles for this, I'll have to find a place to insert it later. Maybe this will replace the conversation with Riley Williams. Anyhow.
UN-DELETED SCENE 1: Douglas wins a prize

Randall James knocks on a door in Montana. Alvina Orange answers, then stares mute for a moment as she recognizes the man standing before her.

"Omigosh," she gushes. "I, uh, I'll go get - no, wait, you come on in, make yourself at home. I'll go find Doug, OK?" Randall smiles, nods, and steps inside.

"Hey, there," Douglas says affably as he walks into the living room. "I see you're not above a phone book. To what do I owe this visit?"

"You need to do a little PR work, my friend. I want you to have the Randall James Prize for Proof of the Supernatural."

"I don't need to be rich, Randall. I just need to work on building my powers so that I can do some real good."

"I understand, and this will be real good. Here's what you do: you take a few minutes to show us that you're 'real magic,' then you donate the million dollars to charity. I could think of six really deserving ones right now. No matter whether it ends up being six weeks, six months, or six years until you decide to do your thing, you'll be helping a lot of needy people in the meantime."

"Well, that's true. But - "

"But, nothing! This is a win-win situation! You're already public, you'll get a ton of good publicity, and you'll be laying the groundwork overseas by showing some good will to those outside your home nation."

"I understand. I even agree. Here's the problem: do you really think a bunch of SkepCo investigators are going to just sit and listen as I explain my powers? It will take too much time. I'd rather stop actual crimes than mere tragedies."

"Who says you can't do both?"

"Randall, I can't be everywhere at once."

"But you're here, now. Were you also here when you came to show me your fancy new duds?"

"Yes. What of it?"

"I'm on special assignment from SkepCo to find you. I've got two weeks to get them something, but until then, I'm completely unaccountable. So you put me up here, and I get my scoop. Then you take a few minutes to go through our tests, and you get the prize. We'll give you cash, even. Hell, if you like, I can even handle the whole thing for you! It's my money, I've just got it tied up in SkepCo waiting for some asshole to come up and take it. So do you feel like being that asshole?"

Douglas thinks. It seems almost too easy - no, wait, Randall is just making it easier for him. The paperwork, the write-ups, devising tests that Douglas can complete quickly, this is all hard work. But Randall will be the one doing it, leaving Douglas free to fight crime in the meantime.

"OK, I'm sold. When do we start?"

"Can you talk and fight crime at the same time?"

"Yeah, that's what I've been doing this whole time."

"Then how about now?"


Zach L said...

Semantics arguing time! A retcon is, from TV Tropes, Reframing past events to serve a current plot need. In this case you're not reframing anything -- although this does serve a current plot need. This is more a "Deleted Scene" than a retcon.

If, however, you wrote a scene after this one that reveals that James Randall is only doing this as part of some crazy insurance scheme or whatever (I DON'T KNOW DON'T LOOK AT ME AAHHHHH), that would be a retcon -- the introduction of new information to provide a new perspective on existing information.

D said...

Fun Fact: the use and meaning of words is important. Semantics are only unimportant when you already agree, but someone's saying it wrong. :)

And yes, this does serve as retroactive continuity, because it strengthens the justification for the expansion of Skeptics Coalition International (SCI) to Skeptics Coalition International & Education Networking Center of Earth (SCIENCE). I plan on working more of this in, to justify them writing their name on the Moon. (Also, now that it's a mini-Matrioshka brain, it's also more like a "heavenly sphere" than the real Moon ever was. But that's trivia for ya.)

So yeah, I think we agree, you just can't read my mind. Yet.

Zach L said...

ah, yeah, I just don't see strengthening the justification of something as a retcon, only changing it. we already knew that skepco was working with him, and that Randall liked him; this scene was just like "oh hey extra goodies". yeah, like you said, you were basically retconning something that hasn't even happened yet (from my point of view!), so it's more like.... continuity. :P

D said...

Oh, I see how it is! No, seriously, that's a good point, and a valid interpretation of the general principle. Hooray for talking right the fuck past each other!