Just what would you ask your creator if you could grab them for a quick coffee?
A doodle that came out of a writing competition I never got around to entering so I thought I'd post it here.
And yes it is, of course, Mass Effect themed.
The creator conversation
The coffee shop is noisy and crowded. I step inside and the warmth is comforting, a haven from the unrelenting cold. Hissing of steam and clattering crockery draws my attention to the wood paneled counter and I approach installing myself in the short queue.
My mind is not on which beverage to order.
At another time the range of cakes in the glass display case would be tempting. They look homemade and the offered slices are hearty and shun portion control.
The smell of grilled, filled sandwiches reminds me I haven’t eaten, yet I have no appetite. My nerves have the better of me and will not be soothed by comfort eating.
I suddenly find I am face to face with my enthusiastic Barista and despite the complicated array of blends and combinations on offer I disappoint with my request for a “medium black”.
Armed with my prop I look around the nearby tables and then let my eyes check through to the back of the establishment where I see him. Sitting alone, face half obscured by his lap top screen, a half-eaten toasty and two mugs sharing the rest of the small table.
It is only when I pull out the chair that he notices I have arrived but he does not close his laptop.
“I want to thank you for meeting with me, “ I say a little quickly, “I know you’re working to a deadline,” I pause, a little uncomfortable with the irony of my statement.
“No problem, always good to get feedback,” he offers with a smile.
He sounds genuine. Is there a chance this could go well?
“It’s about the ending,” I start unnecessarily. Of course it’s about the ending, what else would it be about. He waits, politely but I sense half his attention is still on his lap top screen.
I continue my rehearsed and practiced argument, “the two drafts you’ve written that I’ve, um, run through… well they… I wondered if there was a chance I could… survive?”
It seems I hadn’t practised enough and he looks a little confused so I try again.
“I mean you seem to have me dying despite the fact that I… win.”
“It’s a story of self-sacrifice, so there needs to be sacrifice,” he says in a tone as if he is trying to explain to a child why knees hurt when they hit the pavement after a stumble.
“But there’s been loads of sacrifice,” I pause, as to my ears that sounded a little churlish. I start again.
“I’m already terribly wounded at the beginning of the final scenes, perhaps I could almost die but heroically pull through? Or, or, well end up with awful scars, lose an arm…” it’s a weak finish but I think I’ve offered some decent options for consideration.
“Not really the same impact as the hero heroically sacrificing everything to defeat the threat to all they hold sacred, their loved ones, the whole galaxy,” his tone is light but I feel he’s still missing the point.
“Look, I know you’re the writer but have you truly considered the impact of my death on my companions, my love interest, everyone who’s counting on me?” That’s a good point I’m sure he hasn’t taken any of that into account I push on, “I’m a hero, people follow me into the jaws of hell, I’m a role model, and you can’t just kill a role model.”
Again I feel I ended a little on the back foot but I feel I’m ahead on points.
“We’re going to have a great epilogue where everyone is upset but really grateful for your sacrifice,” his tone is gentle and he continues in a soothing voice, “you did know this was only going to be a trilogy and we needed to go out with a big ending. This is your big moment.”
“But I’ve survived worse,” I said and I can’t seem to keep the pleading tone out of my voice so continue quickly, “and other franchises have carried on even after they said they would stop at three. I could have my happy ending and just be a… some kind of… just do a cameo in the next one…” I’m trying really hard to think of all the reasons my love interest said I should mention I shouldn’t die, but it’s as if the lap top screen is a barrier I just can’t break through.
I wonder if I should channel my character more. I’ve faced down huge monsters and overwhelming forces with little more than a sidekick and a sarcastic comment.
“Now look dammit you can’t just write me out,” I say almost reaching for my side arm, which of course I don’t have because I’m in a coffee shop.
I do point at him and summon all my authority and dangerous edginess, “listen to me mister you are going to need to rethink this I am not going to curl up and die. I won’t do it… I want my reward… you’ve put me through hell and I’ve always come through for you… I will have my happy fucking ending.”
I think I’ve made my point and he looks impressed but I’m still not sure he truly understands that I won’t be taking his direction in the final scene.
“Well, I want to thank you for your feedback but in the end it is our artistic vision that counts,” he smiles and I can feel his attention slipping away from me and back to his lap top.
I stand and pull my jacket around me feeling strangely cold despite the warmth of a few moments ago.
Silently I walk to the entrance. Yes the time for argument is over, now I’ll take action. That’s what I do I’m an action hero.
Stepping out into the street I feel my body armour shielding me from the worst of the cold and reaching over my shoulder I pull my assault weapon from the rack on my back.
My squad mates are looking at me for direction and I look into the distance to the site of our final battle.
This is what we’ve been working for and I feel I should say something heroic but gunfire starts zipping around us and I am driven by some unknown force to start moving towards it.
To my destiny.