As mentioned in the last post, in 7th grade I wrote a spy novel and called it “8 Ball.” But not only did I write the novel, I planned out another 24 novels that would feature the same characters in further adventures. Because the world must obviously be made aware of the full story, I have provided a summary of the adventures below. If you read this, your day will be well spent.
Cycle I: The intro cycle, one for each character, one focusing on each character to “launch” the series, as well as begin by mostly sticking to the America’s (and Russia).
1. 8 Ball—Gerard’s focal story. See previous post.
2. Pyro—Jack-centric. To stop a new drug in America from going international, the team prevents a Dennis Hopper-type drug kingpin named Pyro (who sends guys with flame-throwers to torch people who cross him) from smuggling the new drug (also named Pyro after him) on a UPS plane, blowing it up and burning him severely. Later they realize he survived and is putting the drug back on the market, a dangerous drug that leads to an easy overdose which involves a high fever and a violent rage. An action-packed chase across the American South (lots of cars and a train) lead them to his secret volcano base (yes, a secret volcano base) where he’s using volcanic ash to boost the drug. So they cause it to erupt and kill him. I changed this later to having him just use an industrial factory to manufacture the drug. Jack drives an 18-wheeler into the factory and leaps out in time to cause a chain explosion. And Pyro doesn’t “come back,” but instead lies in house arrest in a hospital while they pressure him to give them info about what’s left of his drug empire. Jack also gets exposed to the drug, and it causes him to go into a violent rage. The drug resides in his system, and in later books he would randomly relapse into the heated pyro rage. Gerard also spills a lot of “clever” lines about “getting invited to Pyro’s barbeque” and other fire-related quips.
3. Son of Sun—Sergei-centric. A brilliant scientist trying to keep world peace had created a solar-powered stealth air fortress armed with eight nuclear missiles, called “Son of the Sun.” He never meant for it to be used, but disappeared, and some think he was kidnapped. The plane is hijacked by 3 South American revolutionaries who plan to use it to extort North America and Europe to gain a pact of reparations for colonialism. There’s a game of cat-and-mouse as the team manages to make the plane land a few times and sneak out most of the missiles, pulling tricks like dumping a body off the plane with a coded message, cool things like that. Meanwhile, Sergei gets sidetracked by wandering into an Incan ruin, and leads himself to believe that if he finds three relics from each of the ancient empires (Inca, Maya, Aztec), and time it with an eclipse, he can save the world. Gerard and Claire sneak aboard the plane and leap out with the last bomb, after sabotaging the plane to overload the solar cells and explode it. Sergei happens to climb to the top of a hill during this time and align the three artifacts, making it ambiguous as to wether his quest had anything to do with their success. This leads to his further struggles with delusions and superstitions in the series as brought on by his PTSD.
4. Cold Hearted—Alex-centric. In retrospect this plot closely resembles Star Trek: Into Darkness, but in Canada. Yes, Canada, because it’s cold. Without a death penalty, the government created a loophole law that freezes “death row” criminals alive. 20 years ago is the only time they ever used it, freezing a renegade terrorist of a Québécois fringe group. A group of followers steal him and thaw him out, and he returns to wreak havoc. Initially, he plans to hold an oil rig hostage and threaten to ruin North America’s economy. As the team follows him Alex gets captured and, since she’s the first female he comes across in 20 years, he falls for her and tries to get her to fall in love with him in return. At the end she convinces him to let the both of them climb into a cryo-tube and freeze together. The team manages to rescue her, but she suffers permanent effects: Resistance to the cold, and the ability to lower her body temperature and “hibernate” for an extended period of time (see, this comes in handy later when she wants to spy and avoid body heat scans).
5. Tea Room Alchemist—Claire-centric. It’s Christmastime in England. A rich old monopolizer industrialist is being investigated for industrial espionage. It instead seems like he is being framed. Claire also realizes she has a brother when her locket matches that of a lawyer working against the monopolist. We learn that ol “Scrooge” is constructing a giant magnetic device on a Caribbean island to alter the course of a cloud of asteroids so they will destroy his competitors. They defeat him and later he falls from Big Ben for some stupid reason. I later revised the idea so that the old man is innocent after all. His young wife leaves him out to freeze in the cold, and his two sons, who are night and day, fight over his estate with their mom. It’s actually a ploy to avoid suspicion that they are hiring a mad scientist to create a device that turns lead into gold by altering it’s electron count, thus making the brothers filthy rich, but then inflating the most stable anchor for money in the world. The device explodes in the scientist’s face, giving him gold “acne.” Towards the end, the gold turns back into lead, giving the scientist lead poisoning, which slowly kills him, and shows that the change is not permanent. Too late, the brothers try the device to flood a pile of lead bricks in the basement of their skyscraper to gold, only causing a meltdown that collapses the building, and it is assumed they perish with it as they fight over the gold they will create. Their mom escapes. Claire comes to terms with learning about her family, and Gerard learns that the “spidey senses” he has been having the last five books are from the exposure to the particle in 8 Ball, and that he is linked with Mondafus, who was also part of the whole gold showdown at the tower.
Cycle 2: In this set, each character got another focus story that broadened their traits, but the team also “went on tour,” covering more of the rest of the world in their missions. This is also begins the cycle in which Gerard fully realizes the psychic link between him and Mondafus.
6. This one involved Alex’s ex-boyfriend, who seduces her again and installs a computer chip thing in her brain that can store data and uses her to smuggle data. But the main plot involves a one-eyed German neo-Nazi kidnapping NATO submarines and creating an underwater base. Also flying blimp explosions and a bike chase. Green nerve gas used to kill the submarine operators.
7. Pyramids and lazers. Really, that’s all I came up with for this one. Egyptian terrorists steal a powerful lazer and, James Bond Style, use it to destroy American and European targets. Their secret base is—surprise!—in the pyramids. Claire is affected by some weird experimental lazer beam in this one that blinds her for like half the novel, but then after an experimental surgery she has amplified vision, and her eyes look permanently freaky too.
8. A frozen corpse is discovered in the Alps that died of The Black Plague. It’s stolen and the frozen sample of The Plague is used by the Romanian leader of a cult to create a supervirus that will kill everyone. The cult members also drink peoples’ blood, since he’s a Romanian count. His mansion burns in a fire, and in his secret base he injects himself with the disease, only to be electrocuted, destroying all last traces of the plague. Jack also gets struck by lightning in his metal plate, but I forgot what I made this do to him.
9. I think these two plots were part of the same story, but forget how. One plot is a French thief who steals huge trucks of gold and tries to smuggle them through candy bar shipments. Another is someone using a circus train, like in Octopussy, to deliver an atomic bomb to somewhere in Russia and make it look like Americans did it. Also involved a suicide pilot flying into the train tunnel carrying the nuclear missile and trying to hit the train, but instead he fights Claire on the plane as it flies through the tunnel, because that can happen. Sergei has a showdown with the master thief and proves a better thief, thought more clumsy.
10. Fortuna’s Wheel—Gerard walks into a cafe and kills an unarmed man. That man is Saul Biggs, the agency’s beaurocratic liason to the US who screws Gerard over all the time. Enter Sir William Randoplph Jameson, an allegedly invincible, old-school, high class, debonair agent who in retrospect was just like the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man In the World, only he looked like David Niven and was a spy. He later becomes a great source of personal low self esteem for Gerard. Sir William is called out of semi-retirement to help the team while Gerard is on trial. William is a gambler and can help the team track down a villain who owns a huge casino and uses it as a front for dealing arms. Meanwhile, Gerard escapes and has to prove himself innocent. Turns out, another man in a Gerard mask killed Biggs. Sergei is able to testify, but is mentally tortured so he is unable to. Claire shoots a man wearing a Gerard mask and hauls his dead body into the courtroom. Once that’s cleared up, there’s a huge showdown at the casino. It explodes.
Cycle 3: This cycle revolves around a network of royal families from countries across the world who are wrapped up in the conspiracy of the kidnapping of some princess, and WW3 may or may not break out if she is not found, which unravels a cluster of subplots involving a mad scientist trying to create time travel and an sword made out of a rare metal being part of an alleged prophecy to prevent WW3, when actually the metal inside it must be part of a device to close a portal that will cause devastation on the world because of time machine, and it also had to do with the particle in Gerard’s mind and how it had to be switched with the one inside Mondafus, and so they almost switch bodies for a while. Other lost creations of the guy who made the Son of Sun plane then disappeared come into play, but he’s still missing. This cycle also heavily featured the exploits of Sir William Randoplph Jameson.
Cycle 4: This set was basically centered around techno-punk, including cyborgs, clones, computer viruses, new futuristic weapons—showing up in each of the five was a computer inside a briefcase that did something crazy like control all the world’s satellites if someone broke the code to open it. There’s also a subplot with Dr. Stukov becoming the primary antagonist for a while after Mondafus is incapacitated by switching particle thingies with Gerard, and Gerard has to battle the bad side of Mondafus seeming to take over him. Stukov in the end volunteers to perform a surgery that will equalize their link and maybe end it forever. Or will it?
Cycle 5: The end, but really the calm before the storm. There were three novels I planned to be very introspective, slow-paced, cerebral. Then one involving a vast global crime conspiracy that seemed to be behind half the stuff from the other cycles. But it’s defeated too easily. In the last novel, the true evil threat is finally revealed.
21-23 These each involve the revealing of the guy—we’ll call him Greg, a William Hurt type—who invited the Son of Sun plane and all these other things. Apparenly he felt so responsible for possible world destruction that he went into a coma. His three caretakers (a shrunken woman, an invisible man, and a man whose gravity is reversed—all due to experiments they helped him perform) live and watch over him in a facility in the Himalayas. The team has to help him “wrap up loose ends” he couldn’t fix in his coma. The first is his connection to the scientist who invited the alchemy wand for the two brothers, who are still at large and must be tracked down. The second involves a colleague of Greg’s who went “Col. Kurtz” and took control of a wild jungle tribe through a hypnotic device. The third involves a man who thought the agency had wronged him and was out for revenge, using technology from Greg’s labs to wreak havoc.
24. This mostly involves the quick rise and fall of a SPECTRE-like organization, but a subplot I was excited about was having an assassin chase down Gerard, making him weary and running without sleep until he’s tracked down in a shack in a snowy wood. The assassin makes him write a letter admitting he’s been beaten before dying, but he instead writes the letter as if it’s from the assassin being beaten by Gerard. The pen squirts acid and he blinds the assassin before making him write his own name on the letter and then killing him. All without Claire’s help. Gerard has come a long way.
25. A faceless (literally—like, not even a mouth), black-cloak-wearing villain had set up the evil organization as a red herring, and has amassed resources for a giant fortress hovering above the earth. The team each has a last single mission to perform before invading a crazy island and then boarding the space fortress, where the villain will use an EMP-cannon thing to directly target any place in the world with a nuclear assault that cannot be countered. He tests it out on a real city. The team is tortured by him and put through weird endurance trials. Each person in the team discovers they are manifesting some kind of ability that somehow reflects their personality or role: Sergei can walk through walls, Alex emits EMP, Jack can throw cars, Claire can heal people, and Gerard can do something psychic or something. Of course Mondafus, Stukov and the giant all team up with them and sort of redeem themselves to take the villain down, but die in the procress. Nobody in the 8 Ball team dies, of course. They all just retire. Huge montage of all the coolest parts of the other 24 novels. Readers thank me with hugs.