Echoes of Beljoxa by myrabeth
Chapter: Hunkered Down

07/13/2015 06:52 pm
Another nerve-wracking episode ... the climax is going to be unbearable!  Can't wait.
I love that I'm keeping you on the edge of your seat! It's a great compliment!

07/12/2015 03:55 pm
Still wondering why Glory and her minions would ransack the house.   And the knights are still in the picture and the General is not up to snuff.    Hoping they all pull the battle off without loss of any of our guys lives/unlives. 
Spike's theory on the ransacking is probably right: They're looking for the means of cracking the code Glory heard Buffy say into the phone. Glory may be a bit of an idiot, but even she could figure out that if Buffy didn't want her to understand what was being said, it was probably important.

We end Hunkered Down approximately 24 hours after the end of Underground Travelers, and Buffy's been asleep most of that time. Healing. I probably should have been a little more clear about the timeline, but it was probably sometime around sunset when Eddie found her in the sewers. (I was working from Buffy's perspective, and she'd lost all concept of time, so we don't know exactly when she was found wandering.) She woke up in the bunker at around 3:30 or 4 am (about 7 or 8 hours unconscious).Then she went back to sleep for another 12 hours, after painkillers and food. She's gotten in some good healing time.

She's still got a headache, and her scalp isn't quite healed over enough for shampoo yet, but she's ok. Our general is a tough little slayer.

07/12/2015 03:02 pm
I don't know why, but 'it's time' are pretty damn ominous words.  Way to go with ratcheting up the tension in this chapter, btw.  Of course, Angel and company are some where over the rainbow in Pylea doing the dance of rescue-Fred-and-try-to-get-out-alive.  Hope this time that there will be no Willow to greet them with bad news! 

How could they NOT decide to put the Important Magic Papers someplace safe?  Sigh.  Humanz!
Hunkered Down ran long, and very nearly had the Buffy and Anya scene moved to the next chapter, to balance out the length a little. "It's time" is a big reason I didn't follow through with that idea. For two short, simple words, they carry a lot of weight. I like to end my chapters on "good lines" (strong, dramatic, or funny) whenever possible, and have previously shifted scenes to the openings of other chapters for that reason (at least in part).

"It's time" being left where it is contributes greatly to the feeling of still being in that Underground Travelers level of tension when you "walk away" from this chapter. Most of the body of it was quiet conversations, sorting out the previous chapter's missing pieces, watching the characters plan the next chapter's excursion to the surface, and a lot of taking time out for character stuff. Hunkered Down is tense in spots, but not as consistently as Underground Travelers was.

"It's time" is a lie, fooling you into thinking you've been tense throughout the chapter, when it's really only been sporadic.  But to be fair to myself, it was an accidental lie. I was well past the decision to let the chapter run long to keep the line as the ending when I realized its true effectiveness.