A Christmas Prince Series – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2017 film A Christmas Prince, The 2018 film A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding, and the 2019 film A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby.

Story

A Christmas Prince

The main plot of the movie is typical undercover reporter fall in love with subject. It makes reporters look bad and honestly the entire things is awkward.

The parts of the story that shine are when the characters are soul searching or making genuine connections. The sister character is fantastic and I could have watched the whole movie about her instead.

Score: 0

The Royal Wedding

The weak mystery is barely explored instead they spend most of it on wedding angst and pushing the main character around.

Again, like the first on the bright spot is the sister. She’s inspiring and adorable.

Score: 0

The Royal Baby

This was a well written closed-circle mystery that kept me guessing until the end. (Although I did have the culprit in my top 3.) The characters were less wet towel and they gelled with each other more. There was some awkward drama and they tried much too hard to pin the blame on Simon, again.

Score: 0.5

Characters

A Christmas Prince

The main character does a great job of being doe-eyed and fell for the prince the same time we all did, when we saw him with his sister. There’s some nice developement for the main three characters but overall it felt lack-luster.

Score: 0.5

The Royal Wedding

The king went from an unsure prince who doesn’t want to commit to being king to now being an unsure king who trusts his advisors way too much. The main character gets pushed around and is only really interesting when she pushes back or is helping the sister. There’s also a storyline that’s lifted directly from Princess Diaries. I’ll give the movie this, they did a great job with the redemption arc.

Score: 0.5

The Royal Baby

Overall this was a cute and joyful set of characters, something that should be standard for a Christmas movie. I liked the new additions.

Score: 1

Dialogue

A Christmas Prince

Mostly acceptable, if a little over the top. There are a few good speeches about identity, but nothing spectacular. The dad and the sister got all the great lines.

Score: 0.5

The Royal Wedding

Completely over the top; comparing the dialogue to a telenovela would be an insult to telenovelas.

However, as a giant nerd, I did appreciate the quotes and nods to other movies.

Score: 0.5

The Royal Baby

The writers built on the geeky quotes from the last one and made sure to include as much dorky future parents stuff as possible. The dialogue for them was believable and cute.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

A Christmas Prince

The cinematography of this movie made me angry and gave me a headache. My family didn’t seem to notice, but the constant slow paning for no reason was extremely frustrating.

The locations were lovely and very thematic.

The music was lack-luster and was only elevated by the christmas music included. (You can’t go wrong with Tchaickovsky.)

Score: 0.5

The Royal Wedding

The cinematographer discovered quick cuts since the last one and they were almost as over used as the pans.

That being said, the scenery and clothing were good and the music classic.

Score: 0.5

The Royal Baby

Finally the useless pans are gone and the director and cinematographer started to frame the shots better. It’s not excellent, but good. The castle and clothing are as beautiful as ever.

The music didn’t stand out much; a few cute scenes but nothing spectacular.

Score: 0.5

Fun

A Christmas Prince

Breaking a ming vase or shooting an arrow through a window is a level of awkward I don’t like. There’s a lot of the movie that just isn’t fun to watch even if you know everything will end up fine.

Score: 0.5

The Royal Wedding

The obvious mystery was dragged out too long, and the angst was also dragged out too long. I spent a lot of the movie rolling my eyes and not yelling.

The sister and eventual warm ending was good though.

Score: 0.5

The Royal Baby

I have a soft spot for good mysteries and this was pretty close. It also isn’t angsty and kept my attention. A lot of fun.

Score: 1

Overall

A Christmas Prince

An excellent cast with a mediocre script and lots of cringe, the only thing that truly saves this is the interactions with the little sister.

Final Score: 2 stars out of 5

The Royal Wedding

An acceptable sequel to a lack-luster movie. Too little plot and too much angst. Again the sister saves the movie but she’s joined by a delightful redemption.

Final Score: 2 stars out of 5

The Royal Baby

Finally a balance between urgency and angst, this movie is the best of the three, with a fun mystery and lots of the best parts of the first two movies. I will probably skip the others in future years and just watch this one.

Final Score: 3.5 stars out of 5

Coin Heist – JenEric Movie Review

How This WorksRead Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2017 film Coin Heist.

Story

The build-up and teen angst were forefront on this movie. Despite the name, there was very little heist. The film was disjointed with too many undeveloped threads. The heist was jumbled and not explained. Meaning we weren’t sure where the mistakes in the heist happened. It felt like it wanted to be a heist movie, a teen drama, and an independent art film all at once.

The ending set up a perfect revenge scenario that would have been a great pay off, but didn’t use it and that pisses me off.

Score: 0

Characters

The characters were boring, stereotypical, and angsty-er than a WB show from the early 2000’s. The acting was passable but it felt like they were as confused about what was going on as the audience.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The only thing more grating than the bad heist dialogue or the teen angst was the annoying trope that was the teacher.

Score: 0

Visuals and Music

The visuals were close in and pretty basic. There wasn’t anything that was particularly pretty or impressive but nothing terrible.

The music was okay, lots of angst-ridden heist-like music and a good song.

Score: 0.5

Fun

When they were in heist mode (maybe 20 minutes of the movie) it was fun and exciting. Beyond that it was a little boring.

Score: 0.5

Overall

I’m really angry at the ending. If they’d used the extra coins to flood the market and basically devalue them, they could have gotten back at the jackass that caused the entire thing. Instead they melt them down and add them to a statue… sigh.

Score: 1.5 stars out of 5

2017 Movie Rankings

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

2017 was a surprisingly good year for movies. I managed to see 21 movies that came out in theatres but there were so many more that I wanted to and didn’t get a chance.

This is the ranking of movies I saw in theatres (or rented) that were released in 2017. This doesn’t include Netflix originals, made for TV Movies, or straight to DVD releases.

  1. Coco (GAH! This was amazing in every way.)
  2. Wonder Woman
  3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  4. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
  5. Murder on the Orient Express
  6. Beauty and the Beast
  7. The Lego Batman Movie
  8. Thor: Ragnarok
  9. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  10. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  11. Monster Trucks
  12. Power Rangers
  13. Cars 3
  14. Despicable Me 3
  15. Baywatch (It had its moments but I was a little disappointed.)
  16. Justice League (Better than I expected but not by much.)
  17. Logan (This was a grittier X-Men movie despite being told it was different it was the same old plot holes.)
  18. Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Disappointingly this didn’t capture the fun and pace of the first one.)
  19. The Greatest Showman (Meh!)
  20. Atomic Blonde (I was expecting a Bond movie, not a half-assed mystery with brutal fight scenes. Not my kind of movie.)

I’m not sure what 2018 holds, but I’m guessing more movies and lots more superheroes.

What were your favorite movies for 2017?

Éric

2017 Book Ranking

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

This year I read 31 books. One of them was mine.

If you like paranormal fantasy or medical dramas, check out Parasomnia by Eric Desmarais

5 Stars

  1. Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1) By Grant, Mira
  2. Every Heart a Doorway(Wayward Children, #1) By McGuire, Seanan
  3. Daughters of Britain By Carrière, S.M.
  4. Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10) By Christie, Agatha
  5. Once Broken Faith (October Daye #10) By McGuire, Seanan
  6. Haunted Mansion By Williamson, Joshua
  7. Voltron: Legendary Defender, Volume 1 By Hedrick, Tim
  8. Redshirts By Scalzi, John
  9. The Winter Long (October Daye, #8) By McGuire, Seanan
  10. Oddly Normal, Book 3 By Frampton, Otis
  11. Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real By Gordon, Brian
  12. Dungeonology (Ologies, #13) By Forbeck, Matt
  13. Space Mall By Shaw, Natalie

4 Stars

  1. Temporally Out of Order By Palmatier, Joshua
  2. Spider-Gwen, Vol. 0: Most Wanted? By Latour, Jason
  3. Magic for Nothing (InCryptid, #6) By McGuire, Seanan
  4. Tortall: A Spy’s Guide By Pierce, Tamora
  5. Chimes at Midnight (October Daye, #7) By McGuire, Seanan
  6. Ashes of Honor (October Daye, #6) By McGuire, Seanan
  7. A Red-Rose Chain (October Daye, #9) By McGuire, Seanan
  8. Hi Mom! Hi Dad! By Johnston, Lynn

3 Stars

  1. Mik Murdoch: Crisis of Conscience By Plested, Michell
  2. The Mist By King, Stephen
  3. Delegates and Delegation(Schlock Mercenary, #15) By Tayler, Howard
  4. You Can’t Come in Here! (You’re Invited to a Creepover, #2) By Night, P.J.
  5. Silent Night (Fear Street Super Chiller, #2) By Stine, R.L.
  6. Virga: Sun of Suns By Schroeder, Karl
  7. The Librarians and the Lost Lamp (The Librarians #1) By Cox, Greg

2 Stars

  1. The Time Twister By Petaja, Emil
  2. Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1) By Cline, Ernest

 

What was your favourite book for 2017?

Éric

2017 Resolution Report Card

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season filled with warmth and joy.

Last year, I set forth some lofty goals. Let’s see how I did.

1. Write 3000 words a week. (Fail)

This year has been terrible for productivity in writing; unfortunately I haven’t fallen back into the groove. I did manage a Novella of 30,000 words, the serial story, regular posts, and roughly 3000 words into Mystery of the Dancing Lights. I’ll have to alter this goal for next year.

2. Complete The Copper Tarnish by March. (Fail)

I decided mid-year to put this one away and come back to it someday. It’s only at 15,000 words and I’m not happy with it. I think I’ll try and re-work it at a later time.

3. Start the next Elizabeth Investigates. (Pass)

The Hounds of Baker Ville:  I realized it wouldn’t have enough emotional weight if we weren’t more invested in certain characters. I’ve moved the concept to book 6.

I started book 4, called The Mystery of the Dancing Lights. I wrote the intro and the first chapter and then I stalled. Recently I sat down and plotted out the book and now I can’t wait to write it.

4. Read 30 books. (Pass)

I had to read a few graphic novels near the end, but I made my goal. It’s a great way to motivate myself to read and read more than that one series I’m obsessed with. Or worse, just scrolling through Facebook endlessly.

5. Write a Monthly Serial Story.(Pass)

Story is all finished as of December 21st.

You can start reading at Part 1 of Database of the Ageless Kings here.

6. Test, Produce, and Develop 2 new coffee flavours. (Pass)

Both Green Apple and Marshmallow have been great successes. I’ve even got plans for next year.

7. Playtest the new content for FADDS and get it ready for submission in 2018. (Fail)

I got overly ambitious and added too much to the rules. Now I’m scrambling to finish them. Hopefully I can submit by end of 2019.

8. Continue to ensure there’s content 5 days a week on JenEric Designs. (Pass)

Despite the baby, going back to work, multiple colds and flus, not to mention life in general, we were able to continue producing content, and quality I think, every weekday of 2017.

10. Prepare A Case of Synchronicity submission to my publisher and Everdome for pitches at Can-Con. (Pass and Fail)

I haven’t even looked at A Case of Synchronicity this year. It’ll have to wait… unfortunately.

I did pitch Everdome to an agent and queried a big publisher. It was rejected both times but I will find this book a home.


Final Score

So I accomplished 5.5 out of 10. That’s 55% and technically a pass.

Looking at past years I seem to be slipping by 5% each year. Considering that the goals are getting more intense, I suppose that’s normal.

Next year hopefully I won’t get below 50% but in the end it doesn’t matter if I have a goal of writing 150,000 words and I write 100,000, I still did better than if I hadn’t tried.

 

How did your resolutions go?

Éric

 

Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 12 Conclusion

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 3.5 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11


Have your say on the 2018 Serial Story
You Vote, I Write 2018


Part 12: An Emu is literally beside himself.

“No seriously. I had to alter the course of evolution in the galaxy, and then I had to alter the history so that this mammal,” The talking emu gestured at Prince Phillip with a disgusted look, “was the rightful Prince of the Galaxy.” The talking emu, who called himself Hagrid, looked at their Hagrid like he was waiting for some sort of reply.

“Wark?”

“Yes, of course we’re the same person. Don’t let the top hat confuse you.”

“I’m not sure about confusing but it’s really adorable,” Sophia tried not to giggle. It hadn’t been that long that her greatest wish was to go to a good university to become an engineer. Since she woke the Prince and headed out on this adventure, people had been trying to blow her up, a lot, she’d been attacked by a shapeshifter and negotiated with a sentient moon. A talking emu was just the last straw; the tiny bowtie and top hat combined with the deep BBC voice was too much. She burst into giggles.

“Hagrid, who is this wretched mammal you dragged with you?”

“Wark, Wark WAARRRK!” Hagrid, the regular one, screeched.

“Fine Fine. Keep your pet, if you like. As long as they don’t get in my way.”

The regular Hagrid looked like he was going to dive at the new one, but Phil put his hand to block him. Saying, “Sir. You can insult me all you like, but Sophia is the best of us. She’s kind, gentle, strong, resourceful, beautiful, and implausibly intelligent.”

A shudder passed through the speaking Hagrid and somehow the tiny top hat didn’t fall off. “Disgusting. I’ll never get used to seeing your kind speaking. Thankfully it won’t be long… Come along me.”

The emu turned around and walked out of the small hanger. Hagrid followed him and the others followed Hagrid.

Walking out of the hanger was a huge shock. The place had looked massive from the outside, but inside it was vertigo inducing. The entire database was shaped like the inside of an egg; a large oblong sphere with nothing but massive structures on its surface. Each looked vaguely like a circuit board or other computer insides. In the center of the galaxy-sized egg was a small yellow dwarf sun.

The buildings were connected by a lattice of steel rope bridges that must have worked as both circuits and a way for the creators to move around.

“This wasn’t built by humans,” Sophia observed, and the top hat wearing emu snorted derisively. She didn’t wait for Phil to say anything and explained, “The door controls are at foot level and all the control panels I can see are made to be operated with a head or beak.”

“You’re not as dumb as you look. This is the Database of Ageless Kings, built by my ancestors as a way of making sure Emus would always rule the universe.”

“How?” Phil asked with a smirk and furrow that Sophia knew was his confused expression.

“How was it built? Or how does it work?” The emu asked but didn’t let anyone answer before he continued, “It took a hundred generations and the brightest minds. It works by quantum entanglement, manipulating the atoms in the core of our galaxy.

“You see, the matter in the centre of our galaxy is under such a strong gravitational field that they work almost completely out of time. That means their entanglement is with the atoms that created the universe and by subtly altering those bonds you can re-write the universe and reality as we know it.

“Unfortunately, the calculations are such that even an emu can’t make the changes without the help of the greatest supercomputer in all of existence.” He finished his monologue as they entered what was obviously a giant control room.

“Wark?” Hagrid said, and Sophia was seriously starting to wonder how smart he really was and who had been taking care of whom.

“Yes. I do need you. You see, when the Ageless Kings built the Database, they added a safeguard to prevent the royal family from destroying the universe with their greed. In order to make any minor changes, you need to sacrifice a part of yourself. If you want to make a large change you must sacrifice yourself.

“At first, I used clones of myself, but turns out they cause the calculations to be slightly off and I haven’t been able to get the universe quite right. That’s when I came to the conclusion that I needed myself.” He sat in an emu-sized chair and reclined. A keyboard appeared at his feet and he started to type something. “You see I needed a version of myself that wasn’t intelligent, that wouldn’t challenge me. It really wasn’t easy getting you here.”

Sophia watched him type and smiled. “Is Phil still considered of royal blood for the Database? Can he make the changes?” She could read the screen and the keyboard. It might have been designed by emus, but it was written in the royal language. The same one she’d been learning since she found the ship. She assumed it was a way of making sure that every royal, no matter the alterations to the universe, could use the Database.

“Absolutely, but he’d have the same cost as I would and I can’t just sacrifice him. It must be me.” He wasn’t concentrating on her, he was concentrating on his typing.

Making a sign to Phil and hoping he understood that she wanted a distraction, she walked to the front of the chair and sat down. She put her arms at the same level as the keyboard.

Phil remembered he had the stun gun and shot the wall. The explosion was flashy and loud but didn’t do any damage.

“Fool! What are you doing?” The fake Hagrid demanded. The real Hagrid took the cue somehow and started running around like a panicked emu.

While he was distracted, Sophia used the keyboard, upside down, and altered his code. She hoped he would be too arrogant to double check his work.

“What are you going to do with us?” She asked loudly and the other two stopped flouncing around like fools.

“You’re so unimportant that I don’t care. Goodbye me and thank you.” He hit a few more keys and then hit the enter key hard.

The lights flickered and a voice said, “Major galactic calibration in progress. Please stand by. Sacrifice accepted. Are you sure about your decision?”

The top hat wearing emu smirked, creepy on an emu, and said, “YES!” and then started to cackle.

“Sacrifice accepted. May the Ageless Kings look after your soul.”

The fake Hagrid disappeared in the middle of his evil laugh.

“What did you do?” Phil asked in awe.

“I switched the target of the sacrifice and nullified all his code. I also made the universe a tiny bit less obsessed with blowing things up.” She said it without looking at Phil. Looking at him would make the next part of what she had to do much more painful.

The disembodied voice of the Database counted down, “Calibration in five, four, three, two, one.” The calibration would have no effect on them so she ignored it and continued to work.

She played with the constants of the universe to make tiny changes. The first was making sure his family hadn’t died and that his sister hadn’t been trying to kill everyone. Second she made sure that Little Sister got her wish; an upgrade and a manual. Last, she made sure that emus wouldn’t be stuck in Northern Ontario.

The changes might result in her never existing and would certainly result in them never meeting. They weren’t big enough to hurt Phil. It would cost him a little blood and that’s it.

“I’m sorry,” she said standing and hugging Phil.

“Minor recalibration accepted. Calibration in Five.”

“Ouch,” Phil said as the sacrifice was taken, “What did you do?” His eyes were wide in panic.

“Four.”

“I’m sorry. You deserve to be happy with your family and your world.”

“Three.”

“But what about you?”

“Two.”

“I love you, Phil.”

“I love you, too!” he replied and kissed her. Their kiss caused every part of her body to tingle with pleasure and she both forgot about the timer and her sadness. If she had to fade out of existence, it might as well be kissing the man she loved.

The kiss continued and nothing happened. Eventually they came up for air and looked around. “Did it work?” she asked herself aloud. A few moments with the keyboard told her that everything had changed the way she wanted it.

“Sophia. The Database is shielded. You’re not going to change if you’re in here. How else would that emu still exist?”

He was right and she couldn’t help but smile. “Your family is alive and so am I.”

Tears streamed down his face and he said, “Since you just wrote yourself out of existence and we’ve sort of got a thing going, how do you feel about moving in together?”

“The ship would fall apart without me.” She replied and kissed him again.

“Wark!” Hagrid bobbed up and down excitedly.

“You okay with my pet emu?” she asked.

“Absolutely. He’s the most important bird in the universe.”


If you enjoyed this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?

Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 11

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 3.5 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

Part 11: An Emu is Surprised by what is Found at the Database

The alarms were going crazy and Sophia had to climb over Phil to get out of the small bed. She didn’t want to leave him, but he was snoring peacefully and it seemed cruel to wake him until she knew if they were going to die quickly or slowly.

As the door opened, Hagrid stood up in one quick motion and as if nothing had happened, started to follow her. The bridge was closest and it wasn’t until she reached it that she realized she wasn’t wearing pants. She vaguely remembered being too warm and pushing the blankets and her pants off. Phil gave off a lot of body heat for a skinny guy.

“Pants or no pants, we need to shut off these alarms and save our lives. Right, Hagrid?” she said to the emu. Twisting his head to the side quizzically, he gave her a wark and started to nuzzle her shoulder. “You’re not so bad either, you over-grown turkey.”

Looking over the panels, she gave a deep sigh of relief and shut off the alarms. Nothing was going to kill them. The engines were damaged in the blast and shut themselves down before burning out.

For the first time since she butt dialed hyperspace, they were having some good luck. The ship had stopped in the vast expanses between solar systems. That meant there was little chance of meeting anyone or getting pulled into the atmosphere of a stray planet.

A shiver ran up her spine and she turned up the heat in the ship.

Before she started to fix the ship she needed breakfast. She still felt a little weak from last night and some food would help.

All the cereal from the kitchen was either gone or liberally sprinkled on the floor. She gave Hagrid a nasty look and searched the cupboards. She eventually found some frozen bread and peanut butter. She’d brought them on for the nights she spent in the ship fixing it.

Those days felt so long ago. She ate quickly and started repairs. She started with the external patches which were the easiest to fix but the hardest to get to. She was just stripping from the space suit when Phil stumbled into the engine room with a tray of food.

“Why are you fixing the ship in your underwear?” he asked, blushing as he put the tray of food down on a small table.

“I didn’t want to climb over you to get at my pants. I just turned up the heat. Am I making you uncomfortable?” she was trying to be flirty and she thought she might have succeeded based on his deepening blush.

She sat down across from him and looked at the food. There were fresh eggs, bacon, ham, orange juice, milk, and even rye bread. “How?”

“The replicator,” he said his brow furrowed. They looked at each other for a few moments and his eyes grew wide and he asked, “You didn’t know about the replicator?”

“Like a matter replicator? That can create any kind of food or clothing?”

Nodding he said, “Yes.” A note of awe came into his voice as he said, “You fixed this entire ship from a massive crash without using the replicator?”

“I used what we had on the farm and bought or created anything else I might need.”

“You’re amazing. Absolutely amazing!” It was her turn to blush. She distracted herself by eating a piece of bacon. It was salty and delicious.

“This is good…” She paused and added, “That’s why I could never find where you hid the cereal.”

They laughed and ate and laughed some more.

After they’d eaten, he showed her the replicator and she created a matching set of work clothes. He offered to help her fix the engines and install the gravity generator. He took orders well and it was nice to have him helping. She had loved working on the ship alone, but sharing it with Phil made it even better.

When they’d done all they could for the day she said, “I need a shower.” She headed for the showers and turned when Phil didn’t follow. She walked back to where he was standing and looked him in the eyes. His beautiful eyes looked down at her and she asked, “Can I kiss you?”

Breathlessly he whispered, “Yes.”

She kissed him then and it started out softly in the corridor and continued passionately in the showers.

It took a few days of repairs before the ship was in good enough shape to attempt the trip to the Database of Ageless Kings. During those days they worked, ate, and at the end of the day they fell asleep cuddling.

When the ship was fixed they still had a day to be together before they arrived at the centre of the galaxy and the Database of Ageless Kings. Like all days spent madly in love, it passed too quickly.

The centre of the galaxy is a super-cluster of black holes and super-giant suns; the gravity was incredible and even with the extra gravity generator it was difficult to navigate. They managed it and found a large spherical station positioned perfectly in the overlapping gravity fields.

As they approached, a docking bay opened. “I’m not sure I like this,” Sophia said.

“Me neither. I expected some sort of lock or code would be needed,” Phil said in agreement.

“Wark!” agreed Hagrid.

They entered the docking bay and waited for something to happen. When nothing did, they decided to go out of the ship and explore.

As they exited the ship, a deep voice said, “Welcome to the Database of Ageless Kings. Took you long enough.”

Standing at a door not too far away from their ship was an emu in a tiny top hat and bowtie. “My name is Hagrid and you have no idea how difficult it was to get you here.”

Read Next


If you’re enjoying this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?

Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 10

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 3.5 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9

Part 10: An Emu Knows that Bombs are SO Five Chapters Ago

In the hall behind her, Hagrid, the Emu, was snoring. The sound was enough to cover anything Prince Phil or Fake Dove were saying. He was still blocking the doorway while fighting off the doppelganger of his ex-girlfriend with an electrified sword.

Meanwhile, the only word Sophia had heard was, “bomb.” This was the third bomb she’d been close to in as many days. It lost its novelty but not its terror. She was holding a gun that could stun, kill, or disintegrate and she knew what she needed to do. If only Phil would get out of her way.

She tapped the gun to stun and waited for her chance. He parried and moved back against a brutal assault from his opponent and was almost all the way out of the door. She grabbed his shirt and yanked him out of the way.

A quick look to aim and she fired the gun. It hit Fake Dove, the Crimbils, and she was pushed back. It took four more shots before the woman fell down to one knee and turned into a small grey alien with a big head. “A grey alien? I guess Mulder was right.” Sophia shot her two more times and the Crimbils fell to the ground.

“I was supposed to save you for once,” said Phil dejectedly.

“You’re adorable, but how does this gun work?”

“I’ve told you everything I know.”

A quick glance at the bomb told her it was like the first one that had been on the hull of the ship. A small bomb that had a little antimatter inside it, making it extremely dangerous. She’d studied the design and physics behind that bomb as much as she could in her free time.

The computer told her that the gun worked by disrupting the molecular bonds of its target. Doing so would destroy the bomb but release the antimatter and the ensuing explosion would kill them.

“Damn, if we move it; it explodes. If we shoot it; it explodes. If I try to disarm it; it explodes.” Sophia sighed in frustration.

“What if you shoot it at the same time it releases the antimatter? Couldn’t you contain it in the energy of the gun?” he asked.

Sophia was going to dismiss the idea but thought about it. If she could make sure nothing touched the antimatter except the energy from the gun she might be able to guide it out an airlock. Thankfully there was an airlock on the bridge.

“Once it’s out the airlock I can throw it and the gun right as we jump to hyperspace. Ok, get ready to hit the hyperspace button.”

The plan was crazy, but she had no other choice and didn’t have any more time. She quickly set the gun to disintegrate and waited. The bomb had a convenient countdown timer and she was able to time her shot perfectly.

With the antimatter in tow she headed for the airlock. Stepping inside she held on to the gun with one hand and closed the inside door. With the inside door closed she wrapped her arm around the security bar and kicked the outer door open. The air rushed out and she threw the gun, hoping Phil’s timing was good.

The second she threw the gun she kicked the door close button and felt the now familiar pull of hyperspace. It was followed by the ship rocking back and forth.

Opening the inner door wasn’t easy. All the air had been drained from her lungs, and combined with the stress of the past few hours, made her feel weak. She barely managed to pull herself up into a sitting position and closing the door.

“You’re bleeding,” Phil ran over to her and helped her to the captain’s chair. “I’ll go get the med kit.”

The objection died as the blood dripped over her left eye. All she could think of was the work that she still needed to do. They needed to reach the Database of Ageless Kings before one of these bombs succeeded.

She must have fallen unconscious, because one moment she was on the brightly lit bridge in a lot of pain and the next thing she knew she was in her bed with a bandage on her head. Phil was holding her hand and he sat in an awkward crumpled position next to the bed.

“Phil,” she whispered and pulled on his hand.

“Yes?”

“Why are you on the floor?”

“I didn’t want to leave you and I didn’t want…” She couldn’t see him clearly but she could hear the blush in his voice.

“Am I dying?”

“No. Absolutely not.” He paused before adding softly, “Please.”

Tugging on his arm she shuffled to the far end of the bunk. He took the hint and joined her on the bed. He curled up and she snuggled into him hugging him. He smelled of sweat, deodorant, and emu. He must have moved Hagrid.

She hugged him and they fell asleep cuddling.

The lights flickering woke her up. The flickering lasted a few moments before they died completely along with the hum of the hyperdrive. Sophia was all for ignoring it when the alarms started going crazy.

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If you’re enjoying this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?

Come see us at CAPCON 2017

This Saturday from 9am to 4pm, JenEric Coffee and Crochet will be at the Canadian War Museum in the dealers room of CAPCON.

CAPCON is Canada’s premiere scale plastic model contest and run by the wonderful IPMS Ottawa. This is a fun event to go and check out, and bonus you can go to the museum at the same time.

We hope to see you there!

Database of the Ageless Kings (Serial Story) Part 9

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 3.5 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8

Part 9: An Emu Proves Dangerous

“Did you change the administrative passwords on the ship?” Phil asked. Sophia couldn’t see him since he was sitting behind her in the fighter ship, but his voice sounded worried.

“Sorry. I had to do a fresh restart and that wiped the original codes.”

“Oh, thank the Gods.” She could hear him relaxing. “Dove knew all the codes and she can’t change them without knowing them. Connect to the ship and have it open the airlock.”

“I have a better idea.” Sophia sent a lockdown command to the ship and then had it open the airlock. It was barely big enough for the fighter ship and she squished some cleaning supplies. “I didn’t think I’d ever need this room so I used it as a closet.”

Between the tight quarters and the abundance of cleaning supplies, even with the sensors shut down, there was no way Dove could not have heard them.

Despite the certainty of discovery, they tried to be quiet as they exited the fighter ship, stripped off the suits, and moved towards the bridge.

The lights flickered on and off, in the way Sophia had only ever seen in horror movies.

Whispering, Phil asked, “Did you do something to the lights?”

Sophia shook her head as they entered the hub of the ship, the dining area. It connected to each part of the ship. It was disaster. There was food everywhere, her favourite cereal was scattered around, and there seemed to be thick green goo on the walls.

“Oh no!” Phil was white and he sat down on the nearest chair. Sophia cringed at the smooshing sound the chair made as he sat. He jumped up and looked at the seat, smelled it, and finally sat back down. “I just sat in milk…” He sounded relieved and just stared at the wall with the green goo. “I’m sorry.”

“Why are you sorry? Phil… What’s going on?” Sophia was worried. He’d reacted better to certain death by bomb, twice, than he was now. Whatever he was thinking it must be scary.

“Dove is dead.”

“How do you know?”

“The blood. It’s from a Crimbils.” He gestured at the goo, indicating it was blood.

“Dove is a Crimbils?” Sophia asked, confused.

“No. Yes.” He gave a big sigh. “The Crimbils are a shape shifting race that eat their victim’s brains and change into them. They know everything their victim did and can mimic them almost perfectly. On top of that, they can manipulate others into liking or lusting after them.”

The full meaning of what he said hit her, and all she could think of saying was, “Sorry.”

Taking a deep breath he stood up and said, “This means she’s probably an assassin. I guess this means we can kill her.” He sounded sad, but his brow was crinkled determinedly. He walked over to the wall and pressed a place that looked like everything else. A panel opened showing a gun and what looked like a fencing sword. Seeing her surprise, he said, “This ship and I were together for years before you. We still have a few secrets.” He tossed her the gun, “Point and click. The button on the side prevents accidental discharge; tap it once to set it to stun, twice to kill, and three times to disintegrate.”

They walked down the still creepily flickering corridors in silence. As they walked, they started hearing a loud rhythmic banging sound. It got louder as they got closer.

All kinds of things could have been making that noise and Sophia imagined all the more farfetched and scariest possibilities. The absolute last thing she expected was what they found.

With a dented metal mixing bowl on his head, Hagrid was ramming the door to the bridge. Every time he hit the door he’d jump back and run back at it.

“Hagrid. Please stop,” she pleaded. The sound of her voice made him stop, but instead of reacting like the lovable, if mischievous, Emu that she’d grown to tolerate… and love, he turned and ran towards her.

She tapped the button on the side of the gun once and barely managed to get a shot off before he hit her. A line of energy flew out of the gun and stopped him in his tracks. He didn’t fall, however, and started moving towards her again. It took three more shots before he gingerly curled up and went to sleep. Loud snoring and all.

It wasn’t until she was stepping over him that she saw the green blood on his wings.

They walked to the door and released the lock. Phil opened the door and went in first. It was a good thing; as he walked in an identical blade to his, glowing green, sliced down in front of the door. He blocked it as if it was nothing and turned to face the person on the other side of the door. Since he was still in the doorway, Sophia couldn’t see Dove.

“Who sent you?” he asked.

A soft chuckle answered him and Sophia watched as he defended himself against more attacks. She tried to squeeze around and fire but couldn’t get a good shot.

“Who sent you?” he repeated.

She was tempted to pull him out or push him in but was worried that he’d get hit. She didn’t know what the glowing, humming swords could do but she didn’t want to get him killed.

The chuckling stopped and a voice that sounded like Dove, but without any of the bounciness or false joy, said, “The Queen, your sister, sends her regards!” The statement was followed by a series of beeping sounds.

“Amazing,” Phil said, sounding both tired and annoyed. “Another bomb.”

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If you’re enjoying this year’s serial story why not check out those from past years?