I have so many notes about Chapter 5. I really am not pleased with what I wrote and then shared with you the reader. Sorry. The very first note, the opening paragraph that sets the scene needed a lot of work. Don’t believe me or more like do not want to search through 1,600+ posts, take a look. First the original:
Standing next to their car lights from surrounding buildings, holos, vids, and other advertisements normally bright appeared to intentionally miss Torkal’s, a bar across from the South-West corner of Tumbledown. The squat black building with no windows, only a front door contrasted with the towering neighboring buildings. The only light from two working streetlights and the ambient light from the city. Music from Torkal’s competed vehicles driving or flying by, the barker’s call from drug dealers and the occasional gunshot from Tumbledown. Unlike other parts of Stroud, everyone kept their heads down, except those people looking for trouble. Puddles checked her holster three times in the last five minutes. Whiskers, calm as always, remained alert.
“What a shit hole,” Puddles reiterated for the millionth time, “Do they pay extra for darkness?”
“It is odd, the lack of city environment here.”
“Looks like the rest of the city decided to move on from here,” Puddles pointed to Tumbledown, “Seriously, why hasn’t the city done anything about that mess?”
Whiskers shrugged, “Ready?”
“Yep, let’s go.”
Now the new opening.
Looking down at the perpetual destruction and mess that was Tumbledown, Chuck asked, “When is the City going to clean up TDown?”
“Probably never,” Puddles replied looking around. “There’s no traffic here.”
“Usually quiet,” Chuck replied off-handed, “nobody likes to come here.”
“I can see why.”
The ruins of Tumbledown covered a city block and parts stood over 50-stories tall. A few months after the disaster, before the city could begin clean up, the undesirables of the City moved in, claiming the ruins as theirs. After several newsworthy attempts to move the squatters out, the City moved on. The residents of Tumbledown had to make their own way. Which is how Tumbledown grew and continues to grow into a sprawling and thriving city block, ignored by the city until something comes to a head.
“Look at that,” Chuck said excitedly pointing at Tumbledown.
“What am I looking for?” Whiskers asked, looking around from the driver’s seat.
Puddles nudged him, getting his attention pointing to the left, “That.”
Hovering over the ruins two police cruisers moved their spotlights over the ruins, stopping to highlight a work of art on the side of the remains of a tower. Nearby, a sensationalist vehicle filmed the entire scene. Below residents took cover.
The red navigation light blinked three times. “Torkal’s is right over there,” Chuck indicated.
“Where are the parking lights?” Puddles asked with some worry.
Descending all three of them looked out the window at a blank spot in the city. No lights. The closer they approached details emerged from the darkness, a black windowless building, a parking lot with a few vehicles, a person or two walking to somewhere.
“That is amazing,” Puddles said with awe. “I just noticed that there is a building on top of Torkal’s.”
“Torkal’s is the ground floor to the tower,” Chuck informed them. “There are no connections with the tower, people live and shop above, rarely knowing about the bar that is the first floor of their building. That’s lower Stroud for you.”
“Cannot say I have much experience,” Whiskers mumbled.