Victoria Kane (Part 8)

It was past mid­day when Victoria prop­erly awoke. She had set an alarm for 8 to remind her to call into work. There was no one on site who was dir­ectly in charge of her depart­ment, so she had to spend a while being shunted around the phone net­work before she reached someone who would actu­ally take down the fact that she wouldn’t be in that day. A curt woman told her to “feel bet­ter soon” but she didn’t hear any com­pas­sion in those words.

Then she walked into the lounge and kicked Sam awake. Or at least awake enough to com­plain about being kicked. [continue]

Victoria Kane (Part 7)

Sam was Victoria’s old­est friend. At times, she wondered if Sam was her only friend. Outside of Sam, she just had col­leagues and people she knew through Sam. Oh, and all the people she some­times talked to online, whose blogs she read and who filled up the “friends” lists on vari­ous social net­works, but none of that seemed real. Though they had a lot more reason to be there than the bitches she went to school with, who clogged up her social feeds with end­less pic­tures of sticky babies and dogs that had hideous birth defects bred into them.

Like those bitches, Victoria had known Sam since school, but Sam hadn’t been one of the exclus­ive elite who got to go to Ridings School for Girls. [continue]

Victoria Kane (Part 6)

The train­ing room looked more like a dance stu­dio. A pol­ished wood floor and a full-length mir­ror on one wall. Victoria was trans­por­ted back to the hor­rific world of child­hood bal­let les­sons. A world of pink tights and shoes that cost an extor­tion­ate amount, des­pite con­sist­ing of almost noth­ing. An out­fit that eli­cited cries of ela­tion from her mother whenever she put it on.

There had been one boy in her class. He wore black tights and a white vest. Victoria had envied him. Though he had an inab­il­ity to stand still. He would fid­get con­stantly, often try­ing to pull his tights up as far as he could, or to push his arms down inside them so he seemed like a mon­ster made of only legs and a head. [continue]

Victoria Kane (Part 5)

Victoria turned the screw­driver a final quarter turn and that was it: the new serv­ers were installed.

“Why do I still enjoy this when I do it every day as part of my job?”

“I can­not answer that, sir.” The com­puter was sound­ing bet­ter now the upgrades were in place. And the extra resources had allowed a hitherto unknown GUI to spring forth. The OS was obvi­ously Linux at the core, but Victor’s pen­chant for the dra­matic had led to an inter­face like some­thing vomited up by Philip K Dick’s fevered ima­gin­a­tion, and twice as confusing.

Fortunately, user-friendliness didn’t matter.

“Computer: now you’ve got the abil­ity, give me a schem­atic of the building.”

A wire­frame appeared on the touch­screen embed­ded in the desk before her. [continue]

Victoria Kane (part 4)

She was in the base­ment. The steps that had appeared in the floor of the study had led her down here. She had been impressed by how the trap door had closed up when she had stepped off the last step, but she wasn’t impressed with the basement.

It was made of bare and fea­ture­less con­crete and was full of old card­board boxes. If she wanted to see such a thing, she could just visit her par­ents. Though this base­ment had fewer lawn mower parts. Her father didn’t share Victor’s engin­eer­ing aptitude. A single bare bulb hung from the ceil­ing. There was no switch or pull cord. [continue]

Victoria Kane (part 3)

Victoria’s heels clicked on the highly-polished wood of the hall­way floor. She stopped. Her heels clicked, but the sound was dull and didn’t echo. The ceil­ing was high and the walls were wood-panelled to match the floor. By rights, this place should echo more than an ‘80s drum kit.

Victoria rapped a knuckle against the pan­el­ling on the wall to her right. Dead. Being entirely sound­proof was likely not the last secret this place might hold, but cer­tainly interesting.

She turned and shut the door behind her and was greeted by a muted thunk and a dull click as it latched shut. [continue]

Victoria Kane (part 2)

“What are you doing here?”

Victoria ignored him as she walked into the office. Art was the archi­tect behind her cur­rent cos­metic woes. She was pretty sure that he wasn’t yet deserving of her atten­tion. She sat down behind her desk and imme­di­ately diver­ted her ire towards the mess of papers and com­pon­ents that littered it. It didn’t mat­ter that she was the one that had left it all there.

“No, ser­i­ously, dude, what are you doing here?” Art scooted his office chair over so he was look­ing at her across the corner of her desk. “You had a close rel­at­ive die. [continue]

Book Review: God Save The Queen by Kate Locke

God Save The Queen by Kate LockeOnce again I picked this up in an attempt to find some­thing Gail Carriger-esque. This cer­tainly fits the bill bet­ter than my former attempt. Leaving aside the super­fi­cial sim­il­ar­it­ies (feisty female lead char­ac­ter named Alex-, Scottish alpha were­wolf love interest, pub­lished by Orbit) it fares bet­ter on the humour front. While it can’t match Gail’s writ­ing, it scores points for know­ing when to let go and have some fun. To not take itself too seriously.

While Alexandra and Alexia might share sim­ilar names and cer­tain traits, where they dif­fer is their like­ab­il­ity. Alexandra is par­tic­u­larly frus­trat­ing at times. She’s stub­born and big­oted and you quite often want to tell her to shut up. [continue]

Victoria Kane (part 1)

Victoria’s head felt like a scab. Her hair was now barely over an inch at its longest. It itched inter­mit­tently and she couldn’t stop touch­ing it. Worrying it.

She had learnt sev­eral things in the past few days. First, she had learnt that not being able to find an elastic band was no reason to leave her hair down at work. Then she had learnt how eas­ily long hair can get stuck in a CPU fan. This led dir­ectly to her learn­ing not to trust her male col­league when he said he could free her. She hadn’t seen the scis­sors coming. [continue]

Book Review: Kick-Ass 2 by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr

Kick-Ass 2 by Mark Millar and John Romita JrUpon fin­ish­ing this book, my over­whelm­ing feel­ing was “where is this going?” Not because the book lacked dir­ec­tion, but because it’s very obvi­ously a bridge to some­thing else. The first Kick-Ass book had a tidy end­ing with a hint that there could be more. Kick-Ass 2 doesn’t have that neat­ness. It feels like there should be a few more pages to let things settle.

Also at the root of that ques­tion is that this is a darker book than the ori­ginal. While Kick-Ass does take a dark dir­ec­tion when it comes to ima­gin­ing the impact of a “real-life super­hero”, Kick-Ass 2 goes off the deep end some­what. [continue]