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 In which we meet the love interest and find out that he's a douchebag

missabnormal: Welcome back everyone! Here is part two of chapter three! We had to split this into two parts because Ms. Ripley and Ms. Mori needed the break, and it was becoming a drag. But now that we're refreshed, let's continue right ahead!

So the chemistry teacher, Mr. Velt, is annoyed at Bethany and Molly being late, and he gives them a slight reprimand for their tardiness. Bethany then gets a brief introduction from the class by Mr. Velt before she sits down in her desk, which is located next to Molly. Bethany uses this opportunity to analyse her a little.

I saw now that she wore the top button of her school dress undone and large silver hoops in her ears. She had drawn an emery board from her pocket and was filing her nails under the desk, blatantly ignoring our teacher's instructions.

Oh, so she doesn't wear the top button on her uniform? How scandalous! But really, Adornetto. I did not miss that there, you know? Don't think that I'm unaware of the implications of that. And nice, she's totally ignoring the teacher in favour of doing her nails in class.

Ripley: We've barely even gotten to know Molly and I already hate her. Great. *reads on* So Molly tells Bethany not to worry about Mr. Velt and calls him a stiff who just got divorced and insults him for driving a convertible. *deadpan look on her face* Why is she so shallow and condescending about her teacher? Wouldn't anyone be a little bit bitter if they're going through a divorce?

Mako: I really don't like how Molly disrespects her teacher here. He is most likely going through a rough time, but all she cares about is the fact that he's a bitter old man. It's quite irritating to see how catty these characters are. *starts reading* Molly then compliments Bethany's name, saying that while it's old-fashioned, it's still pretty. Bethany thinks that she shouldn't be talking with Molly during class, but she continues talking anyways.

missabnormal: People who talk during class are the kind of people who I hate the most, by the way.

Mako: I agree, it's very disrespectful and annoying. Molly then asks Bethany about where she's from, so Bethany gives a cover story about living with her older brother who is a teacher, and that their parents are overseas diplomats and that they'll come when they can. *looks puzzled* Surely after a while, people will start asking about their parents, won't they?

missabnormal: Yeah. Again, in my novel, my demons have the cover story of being international students! When demons are able to blend in better than angels, you know that there's something wrong!

Ripley: Molly reacts by saying how she's never been overseas but has been to the city. So she went to Atlanta? That isn't very impressive, honestly. But whatever. Molly then starts telling Bethany about how things are a little weird in Venus Cove as of lately.

"How do you mean?" I asked.

"Well, I've lived here my whole life; my grandparents even lived here and ran a local business. And in all that time, nothing really bad has ever happened; there's been an occasional factory fire and some boating accidents- but now..." Molly lowered her voice. "There's been robberies and freak accidents all over the place- there was a flu epidemic last year and six kids died from it."

Ripley: *disbelieving* "The occasional factory fire"? And that's nothing really bad? There's a reason why factories are never in the middle of a town, Adornetto. Factories are generally very unsafe environments, which is why they are built away from a populated area. And on the subject of factory fires, depending on the kind of factory it is, there's a chance of a fire going from a small one to a huge explosion. Need some examples of deadly factory fires and explosions? Here they are!

Note that four of these are fireworks disasters. As many as two hundred people have died in factory disasters and fires, which goes to show just how deadly it is to work in one or even live near one! Yet there are factories all around this small town with a population of three thousand. Yes, I am aware of towns being built for servicing the factory, but those are situated a good distance away from the factory or mill to avoid those sort of catastrophes! And I really hope that those factories are not manufacturing fireworks or anything flammable, or may God help this town.

Mako: And also, if there were more than one factory for Venus Cove, it should be a big city. If there are multiple factories in a major manufacturing site, then a big city is the ideal location. Also, what kind of factories are these? It's important to be able to know these sorts of things before writing things like this.

missabnormal: You're right about that, Ms. Mori. Anyways, Molly then goes onto say that the weird things happening in Venus Cove are robberies, freak accidents, and a flu epidemic the previous year that took the lives of six kids. And then there's also mention of a 'forbidden incident' that happened six months ago. Apparently, some kid climbed up on the school roof to get a basketball, and slipped and fell. *confused* Wait... how the hell can a basketball land on the roof? Unless they threw it up there on purpose, there's no way that a basketball can end up on the roof like that.

Oh well. Now, Molly and Bethany are caught by Mr. Velt. But before Mr. Velt can get angry with Molly for distracting Bethany, this happens.

I channeled a calming energy toward him and watched with satisfaction as he started looking less harangued.

Oh, so you basically mind-raped him?! *starts to get annoyed* You're an angel, Bethany! You should NOT be doing things like this! Yeah, I can't do this. Please, Ms. Ripley?

Ripley: Why not? *sighs and looks through her book* Well, after being mind-raped into complacency, Mr. Velt gives Molly a "tolerant, almost paternal chuckle, which confuses Molly. After another side jab, in which Molly thinks that Mr. Velt is having a mid-life crisis, Mr. Velt starts to turn on the projector, which makes Bethany panic because... *looks disbelieving* she might start glowing in the dark? These are some awful disguises, you know.

Mako: So Bethany excuses herself to go to the bathroom but just stays outside the classroom until he finishes using the projector. And then, she hears a voice asking her if she's lost.

missabnormal: And what do you know? It's our love interest! *grumbles* The biggest douchebag on the planet!

I spun around to see a boy lounging against the lockers opposite the classroom. Even though he looked more formal with his shirt buttoned, tie neatly knotted, and school blazer, there was no mistaking that face or the nut-colored hair flopping over vivid blue eyes. I hadn't expected to run into him again, but now the boy from the pier was standing right in front of me, wearing that same wry smile.

*raises an eyebrow* A wry smile? Really? And that's supposed to make me go "Eeeeeee! He's soooo hot!"? That just makes me believe he's an ass.

Ripley: Honestly, if Hicks had been giving me a wry smile when we woke up from cryo, I wouldn't have been attracted to him at all. What's wrong with a little bit of courtesy?

Mako: It seems like they believe that being rude is attractive. It's quite annoying, actually.

Well, after Bethany reassures him that he's fine, the unnamed boy teases that it's better to learn in the classroom. Bethany turns around, and she suddenly feels an "instant, gut-wrenching physical reaction". *incredulous* Is this supposed to be some sort of love at first sight?

missabnormal: Pretty much. It's trying to show that they have a connection because "OMG HE'S SO HOT". Look, it's okay to have this reaction of utter shock because of how attractive person is, but you can't just try and pass it off as love!

Bethany goes on and describes how he has "the striking good looks of an actor" and the body of a swimmer. You know, I'm a little exhausted with how the male love interest must always be the epitome of manliness. I mean, in my novel, the male love interest of my heroine is not only a demon, but he's actually got feminine features and he likes wearing makeup! Sure, he's both lean and toned, but he doesn't let anyone try and tell him that he can't wear makeup.

And the boy introduces himself! His name is Xavier!

Ripley: After this brief little meeting, Bethany goes back into the classroom, feeling flustered. And then it's time for her gym class, and Bethany gets nervous because she realises that she has to change in front of the other girls. And, I kid you not, the other girls "peeled off their clothes without a second thought and tossed them into lockers or onto the floor". *sighs* Why must girls demonise other girls simply for being more confident?

Mako: Somehow, Molly gets her bra straps tangled and asks Bethany for help. *smiles in amusement* I really hope Adornetto is aware of the lesbian undertones she's writing. Molly then tells Bethany that her hands are really soft and that she must moisturise every night.

Molly asks Bethany whether she met any boys and Bethany tells her about Xavier. She even says that she's glad that he wasn't "a Peter or Rob".

missabnormal: Oh really? The angel, and a Christian angel, believes that the name Peter is disgraceful? Excuse you, Adornetto. Haven't you forgotten about Saint Peter, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ? Not to mention, the Apostle who is considered to be the first pope by the Roman Catholic Church? Jeez, one would think that an angel would be appreciative of people who are named after angels or saints! But no, Peter is apparently a distasteful and stupid name! I can't believe that of all the things... *starts to get annoyed*

*instantly calm* Oh Ruki~ You're so beautiful...

Ripley: *awkwardly* Well, I guess it's my turn now. Anyways, Molly asks which Xavier she's talking about, and Bethany tells her that he's the one with light brown hair and blue eyes, and Molly confirms that this is the love interest. And his name is Xavier Woods, and he's said to be the "school captain". Er, Adornetto? In America, they're known as the 'School President'. 'School captain' is used in former British Empire colonies, so in places like Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, New Zealand, and Zimbabwe. You know, why couldn't you set this damn story in Australia, it's not like anything would have changed!

Mako: Why is it that these authors can't do proper research for their stories? It's truly baffling. But anyways, Molly warns Bethany not to go after him. When Bethany asks why, Molly tells her that Xavier has baggage, which makes him turn down nearly every girl who asks him out. As it turns out, he used to have a girlfriend named Emily who died in a house fire two years ago, and Xavier is still in mourning because people kept talking about how they were going to be married, even though they were sixteen.

I hate to break it to you, but I don't think sixteen-year-olds are even thinking about marriage. But apparently, they were so in love that it was obvious that they were going to get married.

missabnormal: So then, after Bethany frets about how short the gym uniform is and explains that it'll risk exposing the fact that she has no navel, she just gets changed. And you know what's even more stupid? These angels don't have V-shaped scars when they come to Earth, their wings are still folded on their back!

Once Bethany changes, she joins Molly in applying makeup. But who wears makeup to gym class? Anyways, Molly gives Bethany some lipgloss, and she's confused. She says that"unlike the other girls, I hadn't been experimenting with my mom's cosmetics since I was five". Damn, will this preaching ever stop?! Yeah, I don't wear makeup either, but that doesn't mean I shame girls who wear it!

Then, Molly smells something. Bethany panics for a moment, but it turns out that it smells like rain, which is apparently the natural scent of angels. Then another friend of Molly's, a girl named Taylah, tells her that it wasn't raining.

Ripley: Taylah? Who spells their kid's name like that? Is this Australian?

missabnormal: Most likely.

And now, we've got the drill sergeant who doubles as a high school gym teacher, straight out of a high school movie! *disgusted* I hate this book. I hate it when books and movies always portray high school as some sort of clique-filled place where everyone drops whatever they're doing and goes to prom or football games. Bethany is able to do the exercises and she doesn't even break a sweat because angels don't sweat.

Mako: Molly notices this and says that Bethany must be very fit. *raises an eyebrow* That's called hypohidrosis, Adornetto. It can lead to people having a heat stroke, or even dying. If people noticed this, they'd probably call an ambulance for Bethany, who should at least pretend to be huffing and puffing.

Ripley: And while we're on that subject, we get this.

...added Taylah, tipping the contents of her water bottle down her cleavage. It attracted the attention of a gaggle of boys nearby, who gaped at her. "It's getting hot in here!" she teased, parading past the boys with her now see-through shirt until the gym teacher noticed the spectacle and charged over to us like a raging bull.

Seriously? *annoyed* Don't think that I didn't see what you're doing, Adornetto. Geez, you could easily make a drinking game based on the amount of slut-shaming in this book! But I wouldn't really recommend it, you'd probably land some serious damage on your liver.

missabnormal: Also, where'd the boys come from? Does this school have co-ed gym classes or something? Gah, whatever, we're almost done!

So, Bethany continues her day, hoping to get another look at Xavier and daydreams about him. She tries to remind herself about the mission and tells herself that she won't let him distract her. It would have been a good place to end the chapter, especially without her saying that she's gonna fail.

And we're finally done!

Ripley: Are we free to go?

missabnormal: Yep! You and Ms. Mori are free to go now! Thank you again for your help! I'll call you again in the future!

Mako: See you around!

(she and Ripley leave)

missabnormal: Now that we're done chapter 3, I'll call in some help for chapter 4. And again, I think I know who to get~ (she smiles happily)

Continue to: Chapter 4- Earthbound

Go back to: Chapter 3- Venus Cove (Part One)
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 In which we are suddenly thrust into a cliché high school movie! And I receive help from two badass women!

missabnormal: Hello everyone! Remember how I said that I needed some guest sporkers to help me out? Well, here they are!

(The doors to the theatre open. A woman with curly hair and a boiler suit enters the theatre, a polite smile on her face. A Japanese woman with short hair also enters. They are Ellen Ripley and Mako Mori.)


missabnormal: It took a lot of persuasion to get them to help me out with this. But hey, after a while, I managed to get their permission! *turns to Ripley and Mako, barely concealing her excitement* Um... it's nice to meet you, Ms. Ripley, Ms. Mori. My name's missabnormal, but just call me missy.

Mako: *gives a polite smile* It's nice to meet you, missy.

Ripley: *sits down* So, what are we doing?

missabnormal: We're sporking bad literature. Our current work-in-progress is called 'Halo' by Alexandra Adornetto, and it's a love story between an angel and a human.

Mako: *sighs as she sits down* Well, so long as it has nothing to do with the kaiju, I'll be fine. Let's get started.

missabnormal: Yep! So, we open up to Chapter Three with a description of Bryce Hamilton School!

The Bryce Hamilton School was located on the outskirts of town, set on the high peak of an undulating slope. No matter where you were in the building, you looked out to see a view: either vineyards and verdant hills with the odd grazing cow, or the rugged cliffs of the Shipwreck Coast, so named for the many vessels that had sunk in its treacherous waters over the last century. The school, a limestone mansion complete with arched windows, sweeping lawns, and a bell tower, was one of the town's original buildings. It had once served as a convent before it was converted to a school in the sixties.

And we already start off with a geographical fail. Really, Adornetto? The Shipwreck Coast? That's located in Australia, near Victoria! Yeah, there is one in America as well, but that's in Michigan, not Georgia. Seriously, a little research never hurt anyone! How the hell did the editor not notice this?!

Ripley: So wait, is this going to be a common occurrence?

missabnormal: Yeah. Our author is Australian, so she has a habit of sprinkling in some Australian terms, phrases, and the like in this book.

Mako: Well, I guess it's a good thing that I spent enough time with Chuck Hansen. He used a lot of Australian slang in our spare time during training.

missabnormal: According to Bethany, the school had a reputation for moving ahead with the times, and was "favored by progressive parents who wanted to avoid subjecting their children to any kind of repression". Yeah, don't think that I didn't miss that there, Adornetto! I know exactly what you're talking about!

Okay, I'm passing it onto you, Ms. Ripley.

Ripley: Okay then. *opens up her copy* So now, this Bethany girl is standing outside the school gates with her siblings Ivy and Gabriel, and she's feeling nervous about it. She claims that butterflies are "doing callisthenics in her stomach". It's spelled 'calisthenics' here in America, Adornetto. Bethany then states that as an angel, she had "listened in on the prayers of teenage girls and most of them centered on being accepted by the "popular" crowd and finding a boyfriend who played on the rugby team".

*angered* So what, you ignore the prayers of teenage girls who wish for their parents to stop abusing them, who hope to be able to afford a decent education, who pray for their mothers to come back because they don't know what the hell happened to their mother when she went into space?! Amanda probably prayed like hell for a miracle to bring me back to Earth, you know! For fifty-seven years! And she never even lived to see me come back!

(Mako gently rubs Ripley's shoulder in consolation)

missabnormal: I agree, Ms. Ripley. Why is Bethany focusing only on the shallow prayers? And on a side note, rugby is Australian, Adornetto. If you did research, you should know that it's called 'football' here. And college football is BIG in the South! You cannot get it confused like that!

Mako: I'll take over now. *opens her own copy* Bethany starts to describe various cliques in this school, who are all dressed in uniform like her. And it all sounds a little bit, er... strange, I guess? I wouldn't know, since I spent majority of my life in the Jaeger Academy, and even in Japan, there's nothing like this.

missabnormal: It's all out of a high school movie, Ms. Mori. Think Mean Girls, 'cause this is what it sounds like. Nothing like this exists in real high schools, American or Canadian.

The music posse was made up of boys with shoulder-length hair, untidy strands falling over their eyes. They carried instrument cases and had musical chords scrawled on their arms in black felt pen.

Ripley: Where are the girls? And why would they draw on their arms if they can get tattoos?

Mako: I've never heard of musicians drawing chords on their arms. (She reads ahead to the next clique)

There was a small minority of goths who had set themselves apart by the use of heavy eye makeup and spiky hairdos, and I wondered how they got away with it. Surely it must contravene school regulations. 

missabnormal: That sounds more like the punk scene, or even cybergoth.

Those who liked to think of themselves as artistic had accessorized the uniform with berets or hats and colorful scarves.

Mako: *purses her lips* That sounds a little bit arrogant, doesn't it? "Those who liked to think of themselves as artistic"? That basically implies that they're not really artistic, or that they're not true artists.

Ripley: Also, why berets? Isn't that a French stereotype?

missabnormal: Seems like Adornetto combined the two. She must believe that all artists wear berets and the like. I know several art students who don't dress like that. And I have a friend from France, and she doesn't even wear a beret! At this point, it's becoming a really lame high school movie.

Some girls traveled in packs, like a group of platinum blondes who crossed the road with their arms linked.

Ripley: "Traveled in packs"? *snorts dryly* They're people, not wolves. And great, I already see the hatred for blondes coming.

missabnormal: Ah, it's too common in these kinds of stories, Ms. Ripley. Because everyone knows that blondes are EEEEVIL boyfriend-stealers who don't deserve to go to heaven! *looks sickened* I feel sick just saying that.

The academic types were easily identified; they wore pristine uniforms with no alterations and carried the official school backpack. They tended to walk with a missionary zeal, heads down, eager to reach the sanctity of the library. 

Ripley: You serious? No one even picks on the nerds these days, it's more like people are intimidated by them.

Mako: And not all academic students are quiet and timid like that. I was quite the studious one in the Jaeger Academy, but I was also a fighter.

missabnormal: True that.

A group of boys in untucked shirts, loose ties, and sneakers loitered under the shade of some palms, taking swigs from soda cans and chocolate milk cartons. They were in no hurry to move inside the school gates, instead taking turns at punching and leaping on one another. They tumbled to the ground laughing and groaning at the same time. I watched one boy throw an empty can at his friend’s head. It bounced off and rattled on the sidewalk. The boy looked stunned for a moment before bursting into laughter.

missabnormal: I've seen boys doing stupider things than that, honestly. And not all of them were the jocks, actually.

Ripley: Just like my time with the Marines. Like when Bishop did the knife thing with Hudson, even though he could've easily gotten his fingers stabbed.

Mako: *reads on* So, after Bethany receives her class schedule from Ivy, she and Gabriel make their way into the school, and for some reason, everyone is staring at them as they enter the school grounds. I'm pretty sure those students have better things to do than to stare at every new student they receive, right? Is this common in these sort of books?

missabnormal: Not just books, Ms. Mori. It's common in every bad high school movie as well. Anways! Bethany and Gabriel meet the secretary of the school, who laments over how a basketball game will have to be cancelled because of the forecast predicting rain, so what does Gabriel do? He changes the weather so that the game can happen!

Ripley: And like that's not going to have an effect on weather patterns around the world? You'd think that these angels would use their powers sparingly, right? We also get a description of the school building, which sounds more like a college campus than a high school!

In the main wing the corridors were carpeted in a dark burgundy and oak doors with glass panels led to antiquated-looking classrooms. The ceilings were high and some of the old ornate light fixtures still remained. They were a stark contrast to the graffiti-covered lockers lining the corridor and the slightly nauseating smell of deodorant coupled with cleaning agents and the greasy odor of hamburgers coming from the cafeteria. Mrs. Jordan took us on a whirlwind tour, pointing out the main facilities (the quadrangle, multimedia department, science block, assembly hall, gymnasium, and tracks, playing fields, and the performing arts center). She was obviously pressed for time, because after showing me my locker, she blurted some vague directions to the nurse’s office, told me not to hesitate should I have any questions, and took Gabriel by the elbow and whisked him away. He looked back at me apprehensively.

missabnormal: Well damn, Adornetto! Is this the kind of high school that you went to? Because this is definitely more like a college campus! Also, no one even graffitis lockers anymore, they have to pay if they do so.

Once Gabriel is led away by the secretary, Bethany takes a look at her schedule, and she cannot decipher what her first class is. And what is her first reaction? To panic and want to go back home. Again, I'd like to ask God, why should I put my trust in this angel? If this is what Heaven has to offer, then I really don't know if I can trust them.

Mako: Bethany then gets the attention of a girl with "titian curls". Wouldn't it be easier to say 'auburn hair'? But anyways, Bethany asks the girl for help in finding her first class, which turns out to be chemistry, which this girl also has. The girl also asks whether Bethany had spares in her previous school, which Bethany doesn't really understand. She says no, and we finally learn that this girl's name is Molly. And I must say, her description sounds quite... interesting.

The girl was beautiful with glowing skin, rounded features, and bright eyes. Her rosiness reminded me of a girl in a painting I’d seen, a shepherdess in a bucolic setting.

Are you sure that Bethany isn't feeling any sort of attraction towards her?

missabnormal: All this is unintentional, honestly. But still, it's fun to see them describe just how attractive other girls are, even more so than the love interest.

Ripley: I'd want to read a story about Bethany and Molly, honestly. It'd probably be far more interesting than this. So anyways, both Bethany and Molly turn up at Mr. Velt's chemistry class late, and Mr. Velt isn't too pleased at this. God, how much longer is this chapter going to be? This is so boring!

missabnormal: How about we stop here for now? Looks like we'll have to split this into two parts. So, you two can take a break. Thanks for doing this with me!

Mako: You're very welcome.

missabnormal: So, now that this chapter is going to be split up, I look forward to seeing you in the next part of this chapter!

Continue to: Chapter 3- Venus Cove (Part Two)

Go back to: Chapter 2- Flesh
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