I SWEAR I had posted this somewhere before but now I can’t find it, so I’m posting this here. A quick overview of how I was going to go full Scottish brogue with the character who appears in Fade chapter 40.
SUPER SUPER SUPER IMPORTANT NOTE!! THE BIGGEST SPOILERS EVER ARE BENEATH THIS CUT!! DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THROUGH FADE CHAPTER 41!!!!
Ok this came up in this conversation where I was geeking out about Nora Sakavic’s series All For The Game (more commonly known by its first book, The Foxhole Court) and getting into the fandom (THANK YOU LOVELIES <3). I ended up mentioning Scotland as a side note and how I’d planned to make the Scottish psychotic character in Fade speak even more heavily in his accent but I didn’t because it was too difficult to understand.
I actually wrote about 3 drafts of that scene, changing his dialogue to varying degrees of Scottish brogue in the process. Here’s the most Scottish of the dialogue options I had:
AGAIN, BEWARE, MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW!!!
How I was going to have it in the book:
Boyd ducked and felt a knife slice across his upper arm. He glanced around quickly but couldn’t see his pursuer, so he threw himself toward the nearest building door. The man was so fast he nearly appeared from thin air, sending Boyd flying back with a hard kick to his ribs.
“Nae, little bird,” the man said with a heavy Scottish accent. “You have to get back to your cage.”
Catching himself before he hit the street, Boyd started running back the way he’d come. His mind raced. If he couldn’t get to public or allies, he’d have to fight. He couldn’t fight head on with a Mod of unknown strengths. Staying a moving target was his only hope until he could find a place to hide and regroup.
~ ~ ~
He rolled to the side but wasn’t fast enough to escape a kick to the stomach that jarred his whole body. He hissed and reached for his gun again but the man was too fast. He grabbed Boyd by the right arm and flipped him, crashing down on the hood of the car. A sickening crack filled the air and a shock of white hot pain lanced up Boyd’s arm. His gun was yanked out of his holster and pressed against his throat before he could react.
The pale man’s blue eyes peered at him, inches from his own. Specks of dirt still clung to his cheeks and eyelashes.
“D’ye know why I volunteered to go after ye?” the man asked conversationally. His accent was so heavy it was almost difficult to understand him. His body pressed into Boyd’s, holding him in place, while the gun idly rolled against Boyd’s Adam’s apple. “I like playing with humans. I like the chase. But ye scunner,” the gun dug into Boyd’s throat, cutting off some of the breath he was trying to catch. “Ye dinnae know how to play right. Ah’d better kill ye now.”
Boyd drew in a sharp breath, his heartbeat a violent tattoo in his chest. He reacted as fast as he could.
When the gunshot went off, it cracked through the alley with a resounding echo.
The man barely blinked when Boyd shoved the gun away at the last second with his left hand. Boyd was briefly disoriented by the crack of gunfire so close to his ear. The gun clattered to the ground somewhere out of reach.
“I thought you’d do that,” he distantly heard the man saying, and felt him move minutely.
~ ~ ~
“Come on, now– I like watching this part but yer an agent so stop fighting and ah’ll make it quick. It’ll go straight into yer brain.”
Boyd hardly heard the comment as his head exploded in pain greater than he’d ever felt. His feet kicked out, scuffing the ground, unable to gain any purchase to move or kick the man. His left hand was captured by the man’s relentless grip, and his right arm was the only thing stopping the knife from going straight into his skull. He could feel the broken edges of the bone grinding against each other with the pressure.
The man leaned on him, heavier and heavier, and Boyd could feel the knife jagging slower, deeper into his eye.
“Dinnae ye want to die with dignity, little bird?” came the Scottish drawl. “If nae, ah’ll make it fun for me. Ah’ve been gantin’ for vivisection.”
With a harsh gasp for breath, Boyd growled, “Then do it, you sick fuck.”
The man’s eyebrows rose interestedly. “Yer aff yer heid but ahmno gonnae say nae.”
How (I’m pretty sure) we ended up having it in the book:
Boyd ducked and felt a knife slice across his upper arm. He glanced around quickly but couldn’t see his pursuer, so he lunged toward the nearest building door. The other agent was so fast he nearly appeared from thin air, sending Boyd flying back with a hard kick to his ribs.
“Nay, wee bird,” the man said with a heavy Scottish accent. “You’ve got to get back to your cage.”
Catching himself before he hit the street, Boyd started running back the way he’d come. Staying a moving target was his only hope until he could find a place to hide and regroup.
[no dialogue, no gun, knife attack]
~ ~ ~
“Come on, now– I like watching this part but yer an agent, so stop fighting and I’ll make it quick. It’ll go right into your brain.”
Boyd hardly heard the comment as his head exploded in pain greater than he’d ever felt. The man’s weight bore down on him, pinning him. His feet kicked out, scuffing the ground, unable to gain purchase to flee or hit the man. Jerking on his left arm only felt like his hand would get pulled off, and his right arm was the only thing stopping the knife from embedding deep in his skull. He could feel the broken edges of his arm bones grinding against each other with the pressure.
The man leaned on him, heavier and heavier, and Boyd could feel the knife jagging deeper into his eye. He grit his teeth, holding in another ragged scream.
“Dinnae ye want to die with dignity, wee bird?” came the Scottish drawl. “If no, I’ll make it fun for me. I’ve been gantin’ for a vivisection.”
It took a few harsh, truncated breaths to be able to speak. “Then do it, you sick fuck,” Boyd growled.
The man’s eyebrows rose. “Yer off yer head but I’m no gonna say nay.”
One reason I took out the Scottish Modded Agent being like HAI THERE FRIEND I LIEK 2 CHASE TEH HYUUMINS is because involving the gun there seemed a little problematic and the dialogue slowed down the way the scene ended up going, no gun involved, no dialogue, all a bunch of action in a row, this time with just the knife involved instead of a gun first and then the knife. I felt like it flowed better and kept the tension more alive. The other version would have had the dude stab Boyd in the eye after it came back from the Hsin part, but I thought that having the knife attack happen first was more of a cliffhanger and more tense when it went to Hsin than it was with a less alarming “he moved minutely.”
Anyway that’s one bit that would have been in there, and it mentions that this guy actually volunteered to go after Boyd, he wasn’t assigned. Also in one of the earlier versions Boyd was going to try to run across the wall separating the street from the park-like area or even run through the trees and try to escape that way. But then I saw google streetview of the street I was writing this on and was inspired by the ramshackle view of one of the rooftops with the tiles falling off. It seemed like a very Boyd thing to do, to try to make gravity aid him in attacking someone who is inhumanly modified and otherwise beyond his speed or strength levels– much more Boyd to do that, than to try to outwit the dude in straight speed. He knew from being with Hsin for all those years that the person who is modified in whatever way will always win that fight.