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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Pressure Tournament: Scene Cut from Gay SciFi Sons of Taldra

The first Taldra novel included references to something called a “pressure tournament.” This scene, cut from Chapter 6 of the second Taldra novel, explains what the heck a pressure tournament is and has some nice exchanges between the twins.

However, it adds nothing to the story and actually slows it down too much. Also, Jase’s students seem too young for a game that Argen didn’t play until his late teens. I left the game up to the imagination of my readers.

The following appears in my online Glossary for Degranon and Sons of Taldra.

“Pressure Tournament: basketball meets Trivial Pursuit and holograms. Both books include references to it. Played in school.”

Here’s the unedited, unused scene.

* * *

Argen and Telius sat together amid the crowd on the bleachers that surrounded the pressure court. On the court itself, two teams of pre-teen boys and girls (five children per team) ran back and forth: the Solid team and the Striped team. Their uniforms made the names of the teams obvious. The Stripes had the pressure ball; one of the taller girls on the team gripped its spongy gray circumference with both hands as the Solids ran toward her, shouting possible answers to the holo-image question that she approached. The words took shape as she ran, so she knew their answers couldn’t be right, answers to a question they had not yet fully seen.

Multiple-choice answers appeared randomly, hovering in the air around them, darting about in giant letters that resembled holo-ads.

“She’ll get this one,” said Argen, leaning close to his brother’s ear. “It’s easy.”

She tossed the ball into one of the answers, just as one of the solids tried to block her toss. A buzzer rang positive, and the unseen announcer shouted the judges’ decision. “Another two points for Valcine Mid-School’s Stripes!”

Argen elbowed Telius. “What did I tell you?”

Telius elbowed him back. “Don’t bruise your only brother.” He practically had to shout, because of the growing applause. “Were you good at this game?”

Argen tipped his head back, as if to suggest Telius had underestimated him. “My best friend and I were the best.” He gazed off, suddenly looking sad. “But that was a long time ago.”

Telius touched his shoulder. “Maybe not so long. Gratitude for coming with me.”

Argen nodded, but then jumped up and cheered as Jase-Dawn’s team gained the winning score. Telius jumped up as well, not quite understanding the thrill of watching someone else play a game, but still proud of Jase-Dawn and his students. Jase-Dawn turned to the brothers and smiled as the opposing coach handed the Stripes a plastic trophy.

(end of scene)