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Story [various] The Secret Diary of Walter Mitty Jr. (update 12/31: The Dark Half)

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by Lazy K, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. Lazy K

    Lazy K Jedi Knight star 2

    Sep 22, 2012
    NOTE: Based very loosely on James Thurber's short story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. This is the diary of Walter's son, who has the same penchant for daydreaming.

    The Secret Diary of Walter Mitty Jr.

    [hr][/hr]12/27/12: First day of winter break. No more work until 1/6. Hurrah.[hr][/hr]
    The suns of Trisolan shined through the clouds in a dazzling display of color. Walter Mitty Jr. squinted into the light, wondering if he should take a holo. If he was lucky, he'd never have the chance again.

    "Glad it's finally over, Sarge?"

    "Is it?" Mitty said. "We won the war, Vincent. That's all. Sure we gave the Bugs a lesson they'll never forget and they'll think twice before attacking us again. But there's no guarantee that some future Bug leader won't think thrice - and use the lesson we taught against us."

    The young soldier's face darkened as he considered his sergeant's words. "So that's it, then? After all we sacrificed - after all we lost - all we did was hand over the War to our grandchildren?"

    "I didn't say that. But just because we won doesn't mean we won. The War's far from over, Vincent. Because, you see, diplomacy is the continuation of war by other means."

    Vincent grinned wryly. "Um, Sarge? I think you have the quotation backwards."

    Mitty grinned back. "Not for a soldier it isn't."

    He returned his attention to the suns. Although he'd been stationed here for five years, he'd spent most of it above the planet's atmosphere. Even on leave, he never went lower than the orbital station. The thought of being away from his TAC fighter when the Bugs struck - of not being able to make a difference - had kept him well above the gravity well.

    But now he was here. And he had to admit the view was beautiful. But it wasn't home.

    Give me a dirty old creek in Texas, he thought. Still, it would be nice to have something to show people where he'd been. Maybe I'll take a holo from orbit. Or the suns rising from behind the moon.
  2. Lazy K

    Lazy K Jedi Knight star 2

    Sep 22, 2012
    [hr][/hr]12/28/12: Slept till noon. Didn't know I was so tired. Tried to reteach myself add-ons. How can I have forgotten so much?[hr][/hr]
    It was raining again. Walter Mitty Jr. always found it puzzling how much weather there was in the Matrix. How can it simulate all these raindrops without a system overload?

    "Any sign of them yet?" Lawrence asked.

    Walter frowned at his partner. "We've only been here for five minutes. They're probably still trying to figure out where we are."

    "Yeah, because only an idiot with a death wish would even think of jacking in this close to the mainframe."

    "They're machines, Lawrence. For them, geography only exists in cyberspace. There's no lag when data flows at light speed, you know."

    "Yeah, but still -"

    "But nothing. Now shut up and let me work."

    Walter returned his attention to the task at hand: a door whose security was pure overkill for City Hall. But the lock wasn't the problem. The problem was that whatever was inside was worth more than anything he'd hacked into before, which meant the machines' armed response was going to be intense when they found out.

    Hopefully, they'd be in and out before they did.

    "Mitty? I think I heard -"

    "Just your imagination." He risked a glance at his partner, who was holding his gun in a way that didn't assure Walter a single bit. Why do I always get paired up with the jumpy ones, he grumbled silently.

    A soft click told him the lock was open. He then spent another ten minutes disabling the triple-redundancy alarms wired to the door. No doubt about it, whatever was inside was worth more than the crown jewels.

    "We're in," he said at last, so quietly Lawrence needed to be told twice. "Let's go."

    Inside they found filing cabinets. Lots of them.

    "Any idea what we're supposed to find?" Walter asked, but his partner was already jogging down the aisles, zeroing in on a manila folder that, to Walter's eyes, looked identical to every other folder he'd seen before. But whatever it was, it was making Lawrence at least as excited as he was usually nervous.

    "This is it," he breathed. "The crown jewels. The Holy Grail. Mitty, man, we have struck the jackpot!"

    Walter looked at the files he'd been handed. To him, it was just jibberish. He shrugged. "Yeah, great. Can we go now?"

    "No way. I can't take these without raising alarms from here to Zion and back. I have to make copies."

    He took out a small camera from his jacket and started fiddling with it. Walter took this as his cue to disassemble the stapled files and spread them out on the floor as neatly as time allowed.

    "Say cheese," Lawrence said as he took several shots. "Multiple redundancy," he replied to Walter's unasked question.

    They were turning the pieces of paper over when a sound caught Walter's ear. He grabbed Lawrence's arm to get his attention. "Hear that?"

    A look of pure panic crossed his partner's face. "Agents? Now? Here?"

    "Sounds like it." Walter took out his cell phone and checked the reception. It wasn't jammed . . . yet. "How much time do you need?"

    "Ten minutes. No, fifteen. I have to make it look like we never found these."

    "Fifteen, huh?" He speed-dialed for the backup team and got no response. Either they were busy or they were dead. So here he was, one man against God knew how many Agents. This wasn't going to be pretty. "I'll make sure you get them, then."
  3. Lazy K

    Lazy K Jedi Knight star 2

    Sep 22, 2012
    [hr][/hr]12/29/12: Played Monster Hunter 3G and wrote fan fiction all day. Maybe I should get out more?[hr][/hr]
    Walter Mitty Jr. peered out from the bushes, wondering what he was doing here for what had to be the hundredth time. He was a scribe, for goodness sake! His natural habitat was indoors surrounded by paper and parchment, not this forest with its wild and dangerous creatures.

    Granted, the beasts he was looking at right now - a pair of moss-backed hogs who were rooting for mushrooms and such - didn't seem much of a threat. But Walter knew enough to know that where there were gentle herbivores, there were also ravaging meat-eaters. And nothing could last long in nature by being gentle to the core.

    "Your work is good, but it isn't realistic," High Scribe Yosef had said, back when he was still in the civilized world. "You lack . . . experience, yes. A bit of fieldwork will do you good."

    "But I can't leave!" Walter said, panic entering his voice. "I haven't finished copying the Dondruma transcripts and -"

    "Vasha can handle those tasks," Yosef said firmly. "This is for your own career. Anyway, you need to get out more. The exercise will be good for you."

    "If you say so, sir," Walter mumbled, biting back comments about the High Scribe's girth.

    "You won't go alone, of course. There are hunters who work closely with us. They'll make sure you stay safe."

    One of them had introduced herself as Ramona. He recognized her green armor as one made from scales of the fire-breathing Rathian. Guild Law forbade hunters from using armor whose materials they hadn't procured themselves, which meant she must have killed or captured at least one of those dangerous wyverns.

    He had felt safe for about three seconds before she dumped a suit of light chain mail into his arms, told him to stay out of trouble, and began examining her equipment in a way that discouraged all talk, small or otherwise.

    So here he was, spying on mosswine while Ramona was doing who-knows-what. He'd been given a short sword and shield that he had no idea how to use because, in her exact words, anyone who goes on a hunting quest is a hunter and hunters take care of themselves. Got a problem with that? No? Good.

    He thought of the report he would write afterwards and the scathing descriptions he would use. It only made him feel somewhat better.

    Something odd was happening. The hogs were sniffing the air, looking tense and agitated. Walter thought he felt a slight rise in temperature, but that was impossible because a shadow had fallen across the glade.

    Then he heard the leathery flapping sound made by two incredibly large reptilian wings. And he felt the rush of wind as something green and terrifying came down upon the mosswine like the wrath of an ancient god.

    A Rathian, he thought.

    He crouched down behind the bush, trying to make himself as small and invisible as he could. Hopefully the Rathian would take the hogs and leave. Hopefully it wouldn't notice a tiny human who was barely a mouthful. Hopefully -

    It turned. And saw him. And roared.

    It was like a bomb had gone off just beside his head. For several seconds he couldn't think of anything because the sound had forced everything else out of his brain. When he came to, he found he had clamped his hands over his ears despite the fact that his helmet was in the way. He saw the Rathian looking at him, or rather his armor, and he saw realization dawn in its eyes as it mistakenly saw him as a threat.

    "Oh gods," he whispered. "I'm going to die."

    Then he heard the sound of a battle horn. So did the Rathian, who turned its head to see another hunter challenging it. Ramona pocketed the horn and drew her sword, a monstrous weapon as large as Walter and a hundred times more deadly.

    "Told you we hunters took care of each other," she said, grinning widely. "Now get out of here before you get yourself hurt!"
  4. Lazy K

    Lazy K Jedi Knight star 2

    Sep 22, 2012
    [hr][/hr]12/30/12: Wrote for fic-gift exchange. Wrote holiday(?) L/M fic. There may be more to life than stories, but right now there's nothing better.[hr][/hr]
    Walter Mitty Jr. never knew what to get Igor for Hogswatch. The whole thing was backwards, really. It was Igor's job to get whatever it was the researcher required, be it distilled liver extract of a dozen male virgins or tame lightning from a furry cat. How he got it was not something Walter needed to know.

    The phrase "plausible deniability" had yet to enter any of the Discworld's many tongues and probably never would, at least in Ankh-Morpork under Lord Vetinari's reign. Guilty was guilty and not knowing didn't absolve you of any crimes. Lawyers existed to twist the law for their clients, but even they knew there were limits to his Lordship's tolerance.

    But Igors operated under another set of laws, or rather the Lore. Some may call it "What you don't know can't hurt you *1". Others would say "What you can't see doesn't exist," something cats and quantum physicists would find hauntingly familiar. In Lord Vetinari's case, he allowed mad scientists to be ignorant of Igors' deeds because they were discreet enough not to let their actions have any consequences whatsoever on the running of the City.

    Needless to say, Walter did not have this skill. If he did, he wouldn't need an Igor.

    Of course, in a way he knew what Igors wanted. Everyone knew, really, who knew anything about Igors. They wanted fresh body parts, jars to put them in, and ice to keep them from rotting. Oh, and needles and thread. But these were about as personal as socks and bath salts *2.

    Walter prided himself on being a caring employer, the sort who would know what his employees would want for Hogswatch without interrogating them. Unfortunately, his actual social skills were pretty much nonexistent, which was why he was hard at work on inventing a device which would plug into a man's soul and reveal his greatest desires.

    He only had two problems at the moment: first, that he was unsure in which organ the soul would reside. Common sense told him it was the heart. But Igor, after a series of increasingly ironic "If you thay tho, marthter"s, had let it slip that he believed it was the brain.

    The other was that he had yet to figure out how to pinpoint the innermost desires which fell within his budget for Hogswatch shopping.

    Still, he was confident he would get these fixed at least a week before Hogswatch, and that he could persuade Igor to be the first test subject.

    *1 Untrue. Knowing is half the battle, or so the saying goes. Many a tyrant has been caught totally unaware by revolutions because he neglected to find out just how ticked off his oppressed peasantry was.

    *2 Both of which were impractical as gifts. Igors usually had feet of different sizes, which doubled the possibility of awkwardness when you were caught measuring their shoes. As for bath salts, empirical observation over the years had made it clear that Igors did not eat, sleep, bathe, shave, or use the privy. How else could they appear at a moment's notice?
  5. Lazy K

    Lazy K Jedi Knight star 2

    Sep 22, 2012
    [hr][/hr]12/31/12: Re-reading SW books for characterization references. Are these really the same books I read all those years ago?[hr][/hr]
    Walter Mitty Jr. was sitting at his PC typing when the visitor arrived unannounced.

    "Hello, Walter," a gravelly voice said. "We need to talk."

    Walter looked up, annoyed at having his writing session interrupted. Then he remembered he was alone in his house and he had the only key. At least, he had been alone . . .

    "Who are you?" he asked the stranger, somehow managing to angry rather than afraid.

    "What, you don't recognize me? I'm wounded."

    Tall. Thin. Dark skin, dark hair. A scar running down the left cheek. Walter didn't have to look to know he was holding an unsheathed katana behind his back.

    "Raymond Kobayashi?"

    The man smiled. It was the sort of smile you'd expect from an alligator. "Good. Knew you'd figure it out."

    "But you're -" just a fictional character, he wanted to say. But there was something about the man that made Walter realize he was dead serious. He was, or at least he thought he was the real Raymond Kobayashi, a hit man for the yakuza.

    "You said you wanted to talk?" he asked.

    "Yeah. About your last book. I don't think it was a good idea to end the series like that."

    "I'm sorry you feel that way. But the books were getting too dark and the publisher thought -"

    "Stop making excuses, Mitty!" Raymond yelled. "I'm not ready to go out like that. You're not ready to end it like that. I know you, Mitty. You were thinking about another book. The diamond heist and the Okumura coup."

    It was all he could do to keep the shock off of his face. How could this man know something Walter had yet to write down anywhere?