Friday, February 19, 2016

Set to Kill, Chapter 7: Minions of the Puppy-Kickers

I'm 25,000 words into Set to Kill.  I have copied and pasted a large chunk of Chapter 7 here.


For the record, yes, everyone who read It Was Only On Stun!, there is holdover from that book -- you might recognize the character of author Matthew Kovach.

In this scene, Sean Ryan has just finished reading a section of a parody written by Kovach on his blog.

The parody title is Tearful Puppies Bite Back.

Yes, I'm subtle.

Anyway, Sean has just finished something called "Minions of the Puppy Kickers," which starred Fred Moshevsky, and his bossses, Terry and Patty Smith-Smythe-Smits, editors of Rot books.

Other characters include...

Jesse James, nicknamed "Shiva, destroyer of worlds."
Gary Castelo, the Intergalactic Lord of Hate.
Rachel Hartley, Vile and Glamorous Space Princess
Orion Matthews, professional editor
Kendall Adler, creative director for Rot Books
And Rot authors Johnny Prada and Jerry David

Because subtle.

Sean Ryan looked at the iPad in amazement at the last whole sentence. Wow. Kovach went there? He wrote it down? I have to ask him how fast he was sued after that. Which one was written? Slander? Libel? Gotta keep up with my legal terms. Lord only knows how many people will come after me now that I'm back in the States. Wonder if I offended enough people last time out.
He looked up from the iPad and frowned at the crowds. The costumes were already out and about, and one reason why Sean hated working conventions – he couldn't exactly put up wanted posters for Barney the dinosaur if it came to that.
Then again, last time, I was nearly skewered by Zorro, so …
Sean sighed. I should be walking the hotels. There is no way this is going to be as easy as last time. He called up the schedule on his iPad. Every Puppy-related event and panel had been marked.
Unfortunately, if he counted all of those things that involved a Puppy-kicker or a Puppy, he would be doing nothing but going from panel to panel, and have to tri-locate for several of them.
Thankfully, most of these events are in the Hyatt, otherwise I'd have to be in multiple buildings at the same time.
Sean got up and started for the Hyatt, thanking God that he'd be there at least an hour early.
He walked from the Sheraton and made a left at the Hilton, moving up the hill for the Hyatt. He had considered staying in the hotels, enjoying the skywalk and the air conditioning, but each of those skywalks looked like a bottleneck waiting to happen. He considered having them closed for the duration, but that just seemed like all sorts of bad ideas. Considering how many tens of thousands of people were at the convention, limiting ways around would do nothing but cause additional trouble.
He went for the back of the Hyatt, and stopped dead. There was a line of people already wrapped around the block.
Sean walked up to the line, and asked who was there. He was told that there were two Canadians from a mid-60s science fiction show were there, on stage (together for possibly the first time in years).
And this is the line to see them?”
Nope. They've been moved to the Marriott Marquis—the line is for watching them on remote large-screen TVs.”
Sean cringed, and pushed past the line.
Sean went for the back stairs of the Hyatt, taking them two at a time, then went down, into the basement, walking through the carpeted halls, heading for the addition called he “international tower,” which only synced up with the hotel's main floors at two different points – the lobby and the basement.
Sean followed the map, and wandered down, past the giant Jabba the Hutt statue and the gaggle of slave girls in golden bikinis, past several of the rooms for readings, and was about to hang a left for the escalators when he came to a dead stop.
Oh for God's sake. You gotta be kidding me.”
Two rooms had a large sign over it that read, simply, THE ARSENAL.
Sean peeked in. It was an armament museum. It was almost every gun he'd ever heard of, with swords and explosives and Sean really, really hoped none of it was live.
He sighed, shook his head, and started out … until he saw the exhibit labeled “real nuclear bomb, sans fissionable material.”
Can I slam my head against a wall now?
If you fire a gun in act three,” came a voice from the side, “show it on the wall in act one.”
Sean glanced over at the speaker – Matthew Kovach. Today, the writer wore a black polo shirt that read “Tox” spelled out in geek letters, with a flaming skull over the heart. “I really hope act three is really quiet, or else we're all screwed.”
Story of my life,” Sean answered. “I should be headed out. Aren't you on a Puppy panel next?”
Kovach nodded. “On the way. You?”
Yup. Follow me.”
As they rode the escalators up, Sean leaned against the rail. “So, I read your post today on the minions of the puppy kickers?”
Kovach chuckled. “Is that a question, or a statement?”
A statement, I guess. Though the real question is, well, when did the lawsuit come in?”
What lawsuit?”
Sean furrowed his brow. “You put down, in print, that Fred Moshevsky was behind the SWATting incidents. You realize that accusing people of a felony like SWATting is grounds for libel, or slander, or what have you. Defamation of character.”
Libel is written,” Kovach explained. “Slander is spoken. Technically, it's both. But realistically? It's a blog. I'm not making money on it, and even though a few thousand people have read it, it's been clearly read in context as a parody, a joke. No one is thinking I'm actually accusing them of SWATting the big dogs of the Puppies. Or even the average puppy.”
Sean lifted a brow. “Yes, but still, these guys – the SMURFs? – don't seem to be the sort to forgive and forget. Petty and vindictive feel more like their speed. Suing you for harassment value should be enough, I'd think.”
Kovach shrugged. “True. But if they have money problems, they may not be able to sue me, especially if they can't win. You may not know this, but in the early sixties, it was decided that defamation cases had to show intent to defame. And how do you prove what I intended to do?”
Point taken.” Sean stepped off the escalator, and waited a beat for Kovach to join him.
The two of them walked past the elevator – it wasn't even an elevator bank, just one elevator – and opened a door that led to a narrow hallway with mediums-sized ballrooms on either side.
Sean smirked. “Yes, you're on the right, the Puppy Kickers on the left.”
Ain't I though? It was one was for me to keep track.” As Kovach reached for the door handle, Sean said, “One more thing – Fred Moshevsky, a hunchback with a lisp? Really? Laying it on a little thick, weren't you?”
Kovach shrugged. “It was funny. And after Kendall Adler went postal online, and Moshevsky stopped only a few steps short of her, I knew I had to do something on minions, and you don't get more iconic thank Igor. I mean –”
Kovach stopped, and Sean heard the door behind him open. He glanced over his shoulder, and started.
There, walking into the hallway, was a bearded, greasy-haired, hunchback. As he limped towards the left side of the hall, Sean caught a glimpse of the name tag: Fred Moshevksy.
Sean blinked. “You have got to be kidding me.”
The hunchback looked up. “Yeth? Can I help you thir?”
Sean shook his head, speechless. Moshevsky limped into the ballroom.
When the door closed, Sean looked at Kovach. “Even had the lisp. Son of a bitch. Nicely done.”
Kovach looked after the hunchback with a frown. “No kidding. Apparently, some things I really can't make up.”

No kidding.”


    It was one was for me to keep track.”
    It was one way for me to keep track.”
    and you don't get more iconic thank Igor.
    and you don't get more iconic than Igor.


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