View Full Version : Comments on "Ronin's Spring Quest" Here

Charlie Kondek
5th March 2003, 13:31
Hey, all. Instead of inserting my comments into the ongoing "Ronin's Spring Quest" thread, I'm going to put them in this thread, here.

Damn! Frenchy got killed! I'm so bummed. I may bring him back from the dead, but not sure the story calls for that.

Anyway, I enjoy it so far, esp. Tripitaka's stuff and Clayton's street-wise take on JP's dialogue.

Charlie Kondek
5th March 2003, 13:55

Frenchy's ALIVE!!! I'm so pleased.

Mike Williams
5th March 2003, 14:36
"Spring Quest" is becoming addictive. I'm amazed at how quickly you guys bounce off each other to create new episodes.

Just one question: how will you split the cheque for the film rights?



5th March 2003, 17:11
I'm really enjoying the team approach. I've never done it in the past, and have always run into difficulty getting characters in my own stories 'in trouble', for fear I'll never get them out. This leads to boring stories where nothing really gets in their way and I inevitably lose interest and stop writing. Working with the others forces me (and them) to cope with factors we didn't plan ourselves. Grains of sand (or sometimes boulders) that can lead to conflicts (which are interesting), difficulties for the characters and unexpected 'pearls' of creativity.

Good fun!

Luckily, just yesterday I made a point to go back and re-read the earlier posts more carefully. I almost had Tadao running around NYC instead of Los Angeles! I had also forgotten that he was a law-man himself and not just some shmuck caught in a bad situation.


Charlie Kondek
5th March 2003, 18:04
Ooh! Just read your Nina developments and I'm really liking it. You do street-slang so well, too!

5th March 2003, 18:13
Thanks, Charlie. I'm a 'people person' and a bit of a musician so I tend to gravitate to the dialogue end of things.

Tripitaka's resurrection of Frenchy had me in stitches while at the same time admiring the thought of a veterinarian as a 'black-market' surgeon, and your action scene in the apartment was superbly-paced and extremely visual.

Looking forward to tomorrow's installments...


; )

Mike Williams
6th March 2003, 11:47
Just catching up...

Tadao rides the same motorcycle as me - too cool!



Tripitaka of AA
7th March 2003, 12:12
There is some real tension developing chaps, very entertaining.

I was hoping that JP was being held by a third party (I was thinking a bunch of High School Geeks who had invented the gizmo, and were trying to get it back. Complete novices when it came to the world of extortion and menace). My mistake, in not writing that bit while I had the chance.

The various contributors all seem to be working in harmony on this one, very nice to see. You know you're in trouble when people start getting bored and you see a new post that starts "Just then Captain Zarg of the Dorvian Federation landed his Cruiser and leapt from the Airlock door with Zap-Blaster in his hand..." or "..and then he awoke and realised it had all been a bad dream!".

If this was a movie, then I'd say it was time to increase the babe-count. Maybe include a few more "Dead-Meat" characters (Remember Hot Shots"?), that can be got rid of, for dramatic effect. We could certainly do with keeping the waters cloudy for a bit longer, more than one Bad Guy would help to keep up the tension. Keep the audience wondering about what might happen next.

Thanks for the Frenchy scene, he is becoming my favourite "inept" character. It could be played as a comedy character, for light relief, but he takes himself quite seriously (hence the Musashi-style intentions to get close to his enemy and wait for the opportunity to strike).

7th March 2003, 15:07
I think the key to success in this sort of storytelling is to not look too far ahead or get too attached to a particular take on an as yet undeveloped thread. I have all sorts of ideas as to where things could be going and why, but a single scene written by one of you chaps can and will make those ideas moot. That's also what's exciting, though, because it forces you to think outside your own box. Embracing and running with the changes introduced by others raises the challenge, quality and entertainment value of the experience exponentially.

Captain Zarg may make his appearance yet...

; )

Charlie Kondek
11th March 2003, 16:13
Well, I just set somebody up in what I hope is a nice twist. Take it home, someone!

By the way, one of the more interesting anecdotes I remember reading about Kurosawa was that in writing "The Hidden Fortress," he would create a plot twist that would put the protaganists in certain peril, and his assistants would have to write the characters out of danger. Kind of a neat process, non?

Let's assess where we're at, just so we're on the same page:

Kato Tadao is a cop from Japan (partnered with LA cop JP) who has come to the U.S. ostensibly to bust some criminals (yakuza?) but who really wants to kill a gangster named Kanno. Somebody (Frenchy? There was a lot of lead flying around!) did him the favor, but now Kanno has passed Tadao a mysterious electronic device, which is wanted by both Kanno's former oyabun, Mori, and someone called Mr. Big. Meanwhile, Tadao has a cursh on Nina, an attractive black woman who works at the bakery by his apartment.

Unanswered questions:

Why did Tadao want to kill Kanno?

What is the device?

Who is Mr. Big, and what is his relationship to Mori and the device?

Will Nina return Tadao's affection?

Can JP make it as a rapper? :p

Charlie Kondek
11th March 2003, 16:16
And one more thing?

Did Kanno work for Mori, or was he a rival of Mori's - in which case, did he work for Mr. Big - and is Mr. Big a rival of Mori's??

Tripitaka of AA
11th March 2003, 19:03
When Frenchy went to the Roxxy he said he knew Mori as though that should be his ticket upstairs. I assume that Mori is Mr Big, although I would prefer it if it were a third party, just to mix things up.

Kanno definitely didn't work for Mori, as he sent Frenchy to kill him. If Mr Big is an LA local, then he probably didn't own Kanno either. If Kanno came from Japan with the device (mysterious and intriguing) then his boss is probably back there.

11th March 2003, 19:16
"Fortunately, I'm a better pickpocket than a pugilist. "

Great twist! Whoohoo!

When Frenchy went to the Roxxy he said he knew Mori as though that should be his ticket upstairs. I assume that Mori is Mr Big, although I would prefer it if it were a third party, just to mix things up.

Frenchy's assumption's may or may not be fully in line with reality, let alone those of Kato, Mori or anyone else. We'll see, eh?

Pick up some threads and start stitching...

; )

Charlie Kondek
11th March 2003, 20:24
Well, I bollocksed that up a bit by having JP say "We don't know who Mr. Big is," so they may yet be two different people.

But I haven't read the latest - and, hey, thanks John!

Charlie Kondek
11th March 2003, 20:28
Wha - ?!

JP said "geronimo" and Tadao thrust a whisky bottle into an eye socket. What happened next could only be established by freeze-frame examination of the CCTV tape at LAPD HQ. It took less time than a good sneeze, but resulted in a call for five ambulances and casualties were taken to Emergency Rooms at three different hospitals.

It went like this


11th March 2003, 23:02
Did Nina say 'father' when she should have said 'uncle'?


Stung by the 15-minute editing limit again!

(All part-o-the-fun)

Tripitaka of AA
12th March 2003, 07:42
"discretion is the better part of valour"

"he who fights and runs away..."

"The Good Budoka does not need to use his skills"

:p :p :p :D :p :p :p

And I wanted to meet JP's wife (any kids?), and get to know Nina more ;) . Plus it is time to have another play with the device...

I don't suppose Tadao managed to keep the device in his possession, or did he? If the others got it, does Tadao still have the tracers that he took from the goons at his house? The hunted turns Hunter...

Tripitaka of AA
18th March 2003, 07:21
Kato Tadao (Kato is the family name): Main hero, a highly disciplined and trained MA of the old style (trained in lots of styles and weapons, his lineage includes Chinese styles through his mother) . He is a Police Officer on loan from Japan. His mission in LA concerned the Organised Crime of Japanese origin. He works under Lt Drudge, a bigoted stereotype of grumpy superior. His partner is JP.

JP, whose surname is Philips, is a black police officer (rank?) who is a long time Undercover specialist. His wife is a short fat blond woman from Glasgow in Scotland. They met when he was serving in the UK as Military Police at a base in Yorkshire (she was RAF Police at the same base).

Mori Tsuyoshi (Mori is the family name): a small in stature, big in the world of Yakuza, 50-ish, hard as nails and vicious as an attack-dog, but looks like a Bank Manager who wears crisp Italian suits.

Nishimoto : A giant, ex-sumo, ex-pro-wrestler, former celebrity panellist from TV Game Shows. He has always been close to the dark side of the Yakuza family that controls the Kansai region's Entertainment media (TV, Newspapers, Porno Comics, etc). Quite how "involved" he is, was never known by the general public.

Frenchy: Francis Baddiel

Tripitaka of AA
18th March 2003, 07:54
Ooops! I got called away...

Francis "Frenchy" Baddiel: Brought up in the strict confines of a Catholic orphanage, Frenchy escaped from street crime by joining the Marines. He served 5 years in Okinawa, where he hung out with the owners of the local "Hot-Spot". When he was posted to a base near LA, his friends in Okinawa gave him an introductory note, that brought him face to face with Mori. He had started out as a foot soldier for the Japanese crime lord, when his first attempts at establishing a business in the US were facing local opposition. Frenchy's understanding of both countries' customs and methods of business proved useful in liaising with the various forces of vice that prevailed at the time. Ruthless and cunning, trained as a killer and widely read, Frenchy had all the skills to be a deadly assassin, or a worthy lieutenant. It's a shame that he is such a hapless, clumsy, jinx of a bad-guy.

Nina: curvaceous, friendly and attractive. At thirty-five, she is nearing the end of her shelf-life, thinking about a life away from the bars and clubs where her father has made his life. She has been a regular night-owl since she was a kid, and has grown up watching her father and his brother quashing troublesome miscreants with stunningly effective and brutal physicality. Her own relationship with the two giants of Security, was one of complete love and devotion to each other that grew from her mother's early death. The two men were both utterly devastated (having both dated her since High School), and vowed to unite in bringing Nina up as an angel.

Charlie Kondek
18th March 2003, 12:51
Excellent. Excellent! I haven't had a chance to jump in yet (been kinda busy here at work, sorry!) but boy was I pleasantly surprised by Mrs. Philips!

Charlie Kondek
18th March 2003, 13:26
Just added some chapters.

I'll tell you what I would love to see. I would LOVE to see a scene where Tadao is asking JP how to talk to black American women - and of course JP lays his Billy Dee Williams "widsom" on thick. And I would love to see Nina ask her dad or uncle or Kirsty how to talk to Japanese men - and she gets similar misleading information in response.

Then, of course, there's gonna have to be some sex! Probably after a fight...

Tripitaka of AA
19th March 2003, 05:58
Originally posted by Charlie Kondek

Then, of course, there's gonna have to be some sex! Probably after a fight...

Kyuk-yuk-yuk (anyone old enough might remember this as the snigger of Sherrif Roscoe P. Coltrane, from "Dukes of Hazzard") :D

I'm thinkng you're a Movie fan Charlie. Surely it is only in movies that sex & violence are so inextricably linked. I rather like the scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" when Indy is recovering from various encounters, on the cargo ship, and the lady whacks him in the face with the mirror. They kiss, and he winces in pain .. oh, hang on! perhaps I'm thinking of Blade Runner, where Harrison Ford rinses his mouth with Johnnie Walker whisky and traces of blood swirl around the square glass, then Rachel kisses him... no he kisses her doesn't he, and rather forcibly too :eek:

So are you suggesting something hot and steamy with the skin glistening by moonlight with a reflective sheen of moisture and human lubrication {loosens collar}, rhythmic rocking to and fro to the sounds of waves caressing the beach, mirrored by the squeaks of the car suspension springs ;)...

Charlie Kondek
19th March 2003, 13:48
Is it getting warm in here, or...? :D

Charlie Kondek
19th March 2003, 13:52
David, in re: the latest, with the platonic Tadao-Nina paralleled by JP-Kirsty...


Tripitaka of AA
21st March 2003, 20:24
Thanks Charlie, you managed to get them in bed together, I just managed to keep them clean ;).

Time for a visit from the goons don't you think (surely they didn't lose ALL their tracing equipment that night at Tadao's apartment!).

Charlie Kondek
24th March 2003, 13:50
Yes, I have to find some time. Although - have we seen a combat scene from Clayton yet?

And there's still room for more authors to join the fray! Does Tony only do poetry or what?

Tripitaka of AA
23rd April 2003, 11:04
Perhaps now that the true-life dramas of the Gulf are beginning to lose their grip on the TV schedules, it might be time to resume making our own entertainment.

Seems like Kato, J.P. Nina and now Kirsty are all in trouble again. Who is it this time? Will they be using the women as hostages? Will there be an opportunity for a final showdown with Mr Big and Mori, in some abandoned warehouse by the docks with guns and cars and suitcases full of money? The next thrilling instalment could be down to you!

What happens next?

Mike Williams
23rd April 2003, 12:05
Aaagh, a whole month between episodes!!

Thanks for keeping it going, David - I wish I had the imagination and literary ability to contribute.



Charlie Kondek
23rd April 2003, 14:00
Originally posted by Mike Williams
[BI wish I had the imagination and literary ability to contribute.[/B]

Hey, Mike, it hasn't stopped me! Come on, jump in. The water's fine. Write it in verse, if you like!

Tripitaka of AA
29th April 2003, 01:13
So the good guys are now at Mori's out-of-town mansion.

Lefavre is following up on the story that Frenchie didn't talk about. Seems like Drudge hasn't told him about the involvement of undercover cops, so Lefavre is having to do the donkey work step-by-step.

Mori will be the first Japanese guy that Kato can talk to... what will that conversation be like?

Time for a punch-up. Kato and JP have no weapons, what will they improvise?

Come on guys, everyone is welcome to add... if it is crap, we'll just have to write around it :D.

Charlie Kondek
29th April 2003, 20:53
Hey, I started to add but I have te refresh myself on the characters...

LOVED the Capt. Zerg bit!

Tripitaka of AA
30th April 2003, 01:00
Thanks Charlie, I just re-read from the beginning (skimmed more like), we've got some great contributions. I love the way the different styles can blend together.

But keeping track of characters can be a real headache.

Thanks for the Sword Stand, how can we use it, I wonder :cool:

Charlie Kondek
30th April 2003, 15:58
All right, I added a couple of chapters.

Here's what I thinking, but you don't have to do it this way.

-Kato and Co. must now fight their way out of Mori's San Francisco estate.

-Nishimoto, "Mr. Big," still wants the GPS, and it's his gang that's ambushing Lefavre and Gudjonsson.

But of course, any way you want to spin it...

P.S. I think Kato Tadao is of old samurai background with ninjutsu as one of his family's principal studies, but that's just me. He's good with a wide variety of weapons, that's for sure!

Tripitaka of AA
30th April 2003, 20:34
ditto on Kato's lineage ;)
although Samurai wouldn't normally descend to the "dirty fighting" of Ninjutsu, would they? (I speak from teeny-weeny knowledge base, so no offence intended if I am way off).

Liked the latest contributions, is anyone out there going to commission a full screenplay? I have some great ideas that aren't in this first draft!! ;)

Tripitaka of AA
30th April 2003, 20:42
Charlie, I wrote my last bit in advance of reading your latest. My compliment was in anticipation... but sir, you have surpassed yourself. You are a master indeed. The gps is a work of genius. I salute you (where is THAT smiley when I need it).

Charlie Kondek
30th April 2003, 21:01
Originally posted by Tripitaka of AA
...sir, you have surpassed yourself. You are a master indeed. The gps is a work of genius. I salute you (where is THAT smiley when I need it).

Oh, sir, sir! It is I who salute you, you have made some wonderful contributions to the tale, as well as deserving the credit for initiating the whole project! Everyone who has contributed has done a fine job, and I still see room for more contributors (as do you). Speaking of which, in another thread, as I think you saw, I called out Tamdhu... Come in, Tamdhu!

Tripitaka of AA
1st May 2003, 11:15
... and after much E-slap-on-back and E-High-Fives all around, Charlie and David celebrated with a couple of pints of E-Beer at the local(!). :beer: :guiness: :alcohol-stuff: :god-damn-those-smilies-that-everyone-else-knows:

Charlie Kondek
1st May 2003, 13:21
Agreed! And then we got e-drunk, which was quite easy to sober up from, really.

Oh, and in re: ninjustu: without addressing the agendas that various persons or groups have, I would say that it is historically accurate to depict a samurai as having ninjutsu amidst his curriculum. From what I understand, while ninjas were a separate body, their techniques were taught to samurai, and ninjutsu techniques are included even today among some koryu. So a samurai who specializes in ninjutsu would not be too far-fetched.

However, that's just the way I pictured Tadao. Could he be something altogether different?

Charlie Kondek
7th May 2003, 15:10
David, love the recent additions.

Also, I think we have had a transatlantic moment. To my knowledge, Americans don't use the term "nil by mouth," which means "don't feed this person," right?

I love the way you handle Frenchy, by the way.

Tripitaka of AA
7th May 2003, 18:24
Did I forget to mention that the veterinarian is an Englishman? He is a disgraced Gynecologist who took a little too much interest in his patients. He had a passion for tattoos and was discovered to have given some of his lady-clients indelible messages where only intimate partners would see them. They took the form of step-by-step instructions on which parts to apply friction to, and which to lubricate. It all got very messy and the English Press had a thoroughly enjoyable time with the Headlines ;)

Charlie Kondek
13th May 2003, 13:05

Have been reading the recent additions, and enjoying them as usual. Still have to find time of my own to add on. Thinking of doing something with Frenchy...

Tripitaka of AA
13th May 2003, 18:20
I've set up a duel between two sword types. Tadao is squaring off against a mystery opponent who has just enjoyed seeing his colleagues sliced and diced before him. Does Tadao know him? Does he know Tadao? Is he any good?

Or will Tadao do an Indiana Jones - whip out a pistol and drop the bad guy with a shot to the head!

There are other bad guys in the house, mopping up resistance, plus any of Mori's own troops who remain. Kirsty will be revving up for a quick escape, perhaps there is a rope ladder handy for Tadao to hang on to (visions of Willem Dafoe in "Platoon", running from the approaching enemy and being left by the chopper - Barber's "Adagio" in the background :eek: ).

I don't know much about swords or swordplay, anyone else care to describe the duel...?

Tripitaka of AA
20th May 2003, 16:03
This story seems to be nearing the conclusion. You'd better get that Frenchy scene in soon or it might end up as the epilogue (end it with a group laughing and we'll freeze-frame it for the end-credits just like Starsky & Hutch :D ).

I have a little twist in mind that I will pop in to the next post, but still room for a load of new authors.... come on in, the water's lovely!

Charlie Kondek
21st May 2003, 13:36
I need to clear my plate this morning. Can't wait to see your twist. I wonder if some would-be writers are daunted at the fact that they didn't get in on "Spring Quest" at the ground floor. Perhaps they'll jump aboard for the sequel: A Ronin's Autumn Quest?

Tripitaka of AA
21st May 2003, 17:08
Don't forget the comedy sequel "A Ronin's Summer vacation" done in the best National Lampoon style ;)

Mike Williams
21st May 2003, 17:15
Or the spinoff: "A Ronin's Ever Quest", in which Tadao decides to stay at home with his Playstation.



(PS: just kidding! This has been a great story, can't wait to see how it concludes. Props to all the authors.)

Tripitaka of AA
21st May 2003, 18:53
Or the half-sequel half-trailer (like the Matrix movie, wait for the next one...) which will be titled "A Ronin's Re-quest" in which Tadao rings up his local radio station and...

Tripitaka of AA
22nd May 2003, 20:38
So, have you read the latest bit. If not, then please do so before my next bit on here, to avoid the spoiler.

Tripitaka of AA
22nd May 2003, 20:46
What do you reckon bout Nina? I'm thinking Government Agency, or it could be a new bad guy. Government Agency allows it to be an unsolved question, without getting us into a whole new story... think the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, where the Ark ends up stored in a massive Government Warehouse ... lost forever in a sea of bureaucratic greyness.

It also allows the romance to be resolved without altering his basic position. The sequel becomes easier if he is still a single man with a past, instead of some happily married dude living in a happy neighbourhood mowing his lawn on a Sunday.

Mind you, if everyone hates it, we could ask for the entry to be deleted (John Lindsey can do that, can't he?).

Charlie Kondek
10th June 2003, 13:16
I skipped your last post to avoid spoilers, just wanted to let you know that I have been WAY busy at home and at work - but I WILL be getting back to this. I don't write fast, I'm sorry! Ronin's Quest Re-Loaded WILL happen...

Tripitaka of AA
10th June 2003, 13:45
Thanks Charlie... don't want to lose you now. Who would I share the royalties with? :D

I haven't worked out my next bit yet, so feel free to jump in if you want. Like I said though, I'm thinking the next couple of posts will wrap it up and we can start a whole new story.

Charlie Kondek
10th June 2003, 13:48
Agreed. And then, like I said, hope more will join in. Not that you and I and John Clayton haven't been brilliant...!

Charlie Kondek
10th June 2003, 16:57
Okay, I added some. Hope you like it, though it's not exactly what you had in mind. Still room to alter it, and I think I have one or two more ideas. Including: WHERE'S FRENCHY?

BTW, if Nina is _______, are her uncles involved in that line of work?

Tripitaka of AA
10th June 2003, 23:17
Nice one Charlie, we clearly enjoy the creation of challenges to be met by the protagonists. I wonder if this new development is the tease for the next episode, or the prelude to a finale that will make Matrix look like Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds.

A quick view of Frenchy could be the humourous epilogue to this story... or a slight interlude to allow us to get the popcorn in.

And as for our friends Bill & Ted, loafing in San Dimas.... you cheeky blighter!:D made me spill my coffee :)

Charlie Kondek
11th June 2003, 13:50

By the way, I really like the way you handled the sword fight. It was a pleasure to read.

Tripitaka of AA
11th June 2003, 18:48
Charlie and I shall continue to heap praise upon each other, but we will welcome others to join us :)

You can start by praising me, then Charlie, then me again...

Or you could add some more to the story. That might be even better!

Charlie Kondek
8th July 2003, 15:35
David: I'm heading for the finish line. Take it home!

Charlie Kondek
8th July 2003, 15:56
Am adding EPILOGUE TWO now, then perhaps you can wrap it up?

9th July 2003, 08:55
Oh Charlie!

:nw: :nw: :nw:

The way you drew all those loose threads together, fantastic. A perfect example of how to do the ending (well, it will be if we can sell the rights to the sequel without the customers rioting in the cinema).

I'll need a bit of time to sort out a way for everyone to be heading off into a sunset (Europe is due East of California, and if I'm not much mistaken the sun sets in the West).

I'm SO glad I waited for your promised Frenchy scene.

Charlie Kondek
9th July 2003, 13:24
Ha! Thanks, man. Actually, I though the JP-stoned-out-of-his-guord-on-painkillers scene could have been funnier. I have really enjoyed this.