Friday, February 08, 2008

Jason Jones, Compressed

Because I will never finish it otherwise, and I'd really like to. So: a tenth the normal verbiage!

The story so far, compressed:
Jason Jones kills people and drives from Quebec to Iowa, not in that order. Also, there's a blue bird, and an old man.

Jason Jones goes to karate, then kills centaurs. It turns out there's a herd. They came from China twenty or thirty years ago. Policemen are surprised. Then they get killed by invisible floating slicing things. So do the centaurs. Jason Jones is unharmed. He kills the slicers, talks to his dad, and goes to China. The bird shows up a lot. Watching.

Jason Jones doesn't speak Chinese. It's okay. Within six hours of landing, his taxi is hijacked by centaurs. They're bad with English. Jason Jones escapes, then finds their hangout, and persuades them to take him to their boss. They do! Turns out the boss is responsible for killing some people and stuff. Jason Jones objects, with fists, and is taken captive again. Oops.

The boss is called the Great One. He, in turn, is under the control of the Maker, who's in some really cold mountains. Of course, Jason Jones gets taken there. He gets some backstory - the Maker says that it (and the centaurs) come from "another world", transported here by an experiment that would happen in the present. It's a bit confusing. An oracle came, too - told the Maker some of this, and that Jason Jones would return them to whence they came when he completed his role in the experiment, and that he couldn't be killed by earth, fire, water or air. The Maker wants to stay on Earth, so he imprisons Jason to keep him from finishing the experiment. Then Jason Jones freezes in a meatlocker.

Also, the bird from the other parts watched for a bit, then showed up dead on the ground. The Maker has a bunch more but they're not the same. Bit of a rough deal.

Jason Jones is rescued rather spectacularly by a wide assortment of strangers - some apparently human, some not. Jason Jones is rather surprised but he goes along. They flee down the mountain in trucks, pursued by the Maker's creatures. The Great One, in their path, sets up an ambush, killing some of the rescuers and forcing the rest to divert from their planned escape to a seaport. They stow away on a gigantic cargo ship, in the process gaining enough time to get a little more information to Jason.

Turns out that the rescuers are from the same event that brought the centaurs and the Maker to our world. They tell Jason that they all showed up at once, high in the mountains. There were a number of nonsentient creatures summoned as well, many of which were quite aggressive. Most of the sentient creatures banded together to fight the monsters, taking casualties in so doing. Among them were the two oracles, Wan Chu and Wan Ming - one of whom died in the battles. Another was the Maker. The centaurs weren't involved - they ran away instead. This worked out pretty well for them.

After the fighting, the oracle Wan Chu, pressed by the others, delivered a prophecy, pretty much as the Maker told it - they were summoned by a great event that would occur 33+ years later, Jason Jones did it, he couldn't be killed by fire, water, earth, air, etc. Then the Maker asked if they had to return, and finding otherwise, it took the most logical action (considering the general sentiment among those gathered) - it tried to kill everyone. The oracle died, as did about half of the other survivors of the previous battle. The rest fled. Some never re-united, but those that did formed a sort of cabal - they'd hunt for Jason Jones and watch them, trying to find the one mentioned in the prophecy.

Jason Jones stumbled into their way in Canada. The bird, a defector from the Maker's forces (and the reason that he created the Great One - to extend his range), was sent out on a hunch after Jason Jones ran into the old man on the way south. Later events supported the old man's hunch, and when Jason headed out to China, the survivors - they call themselves the Exiles - scrambled to intercept him before he fell into the Maker's hands.

They were a little late.

Anyway, they'd already managed to figure out where the experiment was - it was in the underground labs of UC-Berkeley - a prototype massively networked quantum computer. So that's where they headed as soon as they got back to America.

Other Exiles, who weren't able to move fast enough to get to China, joined them. Jason Jones spent a week in training and spying on the labs, then he goes in on the day of the prophecy. Oddly, when a guard confronts him, he finds he lacks his old bloodlust - but when the Maker's creatures show up (slicers, among other things), he's able to summon it up against them. With belated help from the Exiles, Jason makes it into the building, and is told that he has support coming his way. He manages to, through a combination of luck and... luck, find the component he needs to sabotage to cause the experiment to cascade backwards through the past. Then his support arrives and promptly shoots his leg off.


Turns out they're traitors - Exiles who are pretty sure that when the prophecy says "return to whence they came", it means a sort of conceptual nothingness, not a full reality. This means nothing to Jason either way but for them it is the difference between life and death. They figured, correctly, that the best way to stop Jason was to accompany the Exiles right up to the last minute. Jason Jones is, once more, a captive audience.

At this point things get crazy. The 'loyal' Exiles show up, without a great deal of subtlety, and with a great deal of firepower. Civilian casualties mount. A tanker filled with Maker-spawned monstrosities beaches itself and starts spewing out nastiness, forcing the Exiles to withdraw. The National Guard arrives. Dusk approaches.

Jason Jones considers his motivation. He started out basically wanting to kill everyone until things got fixed but at this point is uncertain that this was the correct approach. Now, he decides, it is probably better to go for a minimal casualty approach. Also, he feels vaguely guilty about the bird, though he's not sure what he could have done differently there. Mustering a burst of persuasive ability, he attempts to persuade his captors, the traitor Exiles, to share his feelings. This backfires rather a bit and ends in an Exile, enraged beyond reason, lunging at him with a very sharp knife.

Jason Jones, trained in martial arts, uses this to his advantage, twisting and maneuvering such that the knife severs his bonds instead. Then he flips the switch, and within minutes (of Jason Jones being trapped in a room with very angry armed people) the experiment, automated, triggers and sends the Exiles, centaurs, and Maker alike home.

Québécois terrorist assassins show up entirely too late to do any good for anyone.

There are a number of unresolved questions. Mainly: why Jason Jones? What's he going to do now? Why can't he be killed by fire, water, earth, or air? And how does a planned second series involving an older, reformed, mostly pacifistic Jason Jones squaring off against a race of morally dubious robots factor into it all?

But, with or without the answers to those questions: that's the complete Jason Jones.

Hooray, it's finally done!


Oldboy said...

i came

King Kessler said...

David has a point. Like half the story attempts to be, or is portrayed as, the climax.

King Kessler said...

On a less critical note: Nicely planned and everything! The Exiles seemed cool; maybe they should have been foreshadowed or something.