Cat-Tales 72: Pearl

Official Message Board for the popular Cat-Tales series by Chris Dee, spinoffs, fan art gallery, extras and support
Joined: 06 Apr 2007, 04:00

14 Feb 2017, 21:58 #11

And the new chapter is here! 
Pearl Part 2: Hunting... Teaching Batman to be a world-class cat burglar - It seemed like a good idea at the time.(I have to be honest, it was hard finding a tagline/description for this that didn't call Bruce a pain in the ass. Let's leave it at that.)on the Cat-Tales website and mobile-friendly mirror
-Chris Dee

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Superpowers corrupt... superbly. -Cat-Tales: Identity Element

Joined: 19 Jan 2007, 20:04

18 Feb 2017, 01:34 #12

There's no denying that Bruce is both an apt pupil and a perfect complement to Selina.  Just look at the items they each picked to keep an eye on during the auction and the different ways they used to obtain information on potential marks.  And their secret sign language is back!
I do appreciate the strategy used to gather intel.  Example: running into your mark isn't necessarily a convenient plot twist or simple coincidence: sometimes it's just making an educated guess at the places he or she is most likely to frequent and staking them out.  Another example: if you do find them, but you want to avoid being recognized, there's a few tactics you can try before hiding in the corner.
That being said, Bruce can be a pain in the ass.  Oh, he tries--look at how many ties he bought!  But he still has the precocious prodigy's tendency of jumping ahead.  And that worked...
[+] spoiler
up until he had to go into the Iceberg Lounge and had to jettison all the preconceptions he's given Tommy... because those (false) assumptions would likely get him killed.
So: intel gathered, various lessons learned.  Looking forward to the next step!

Joined: 20 Oct 2003, 07:16

23 Feb 2017, 23:29 #13

Sorry about the late arrival. The last few weeks have been... busy and distracting.
So... Do my eyes deceive me or are Bruce and Selina doing their own weird version of The Thomas Crown Affair?
I strongly suspect that 'doing' an undercover identity so close to BruceFop is going to be difficult for Bruce to manage. Just keeping in character and not slipping into another, similar but different identity is going to test him, I think. I also think that a certain naughty Kitten is going to have a hard time resisting the temptation to see if she can knock him off balance in any way!
Chapter 2 is particularly interesting.
[+] spoiler
I like the "training montage", both for its content and for how Bruce is perceiving it like learning a new martial arts technique - 'Back to White Belt', as Selina put it.
The real proof of the pudding? The Penguin should have at least had an inkling that 'Tommy' was a Bat-alias from body language or speech patterns if the character wasn't good. No, Bruce has managed to pull this one off, or so it seems! It also seems that he's found an interesting little schism in the Gotham underworld (Rogue vs. Russians) that might be useful in future.
Of course, fooling the man who deduced the identity of The Batman will be the real gold medal event, won't it?
So, we're off and there's a wedding in the future, or so it seems! I'll be looking out for more!

They call me BenRG

But... I don't know


Joined: 06 Oct 2002, 16:49

24 Feb 2017, 00:09 #14

Finally got a chance to read this.
Another great chapter, and I have some ideas, but I'm going to hold off on them until the next chapter. Chapter two for Chris is usually the vehicle for the big plot twist or favorite scene. This one is going to be an interesting ride.

One thing I didn't notice at first: Selina's pseudonym personality? Is named Colette.

Colette was the name of the stray that 'adopted' Selina in France during her origin story, back when she was learning with her team on how to be a world class thief. I like that she invoked her own origin as a master criminal while tutoring Bruce in how to be one himself. It also flips the bird at Francois, since the original Colette came scratching at their window just as Selina was giving him the 'don't fence me in' speech; and now Selina's having her 'last fling' before the wedding.

Joined: 06 Apr 2007, 04:00

02 Apr 2017, 19:01 #15

New chapter is here, and you guys get the word before the
rest of the net because I have yet to come up with an appropriate
tagline.  You may recall that we left off with Eddie and Doris having a lovely night on the town that had been interrupted...(Well, eh, that's one way of looking at it anyway.)
Pearl Part 3: Beginner's Luck on the main website and
-Chris Dee

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Superpowers corrupt... superbly. -Cat-Tales: Identity Element

Joined: 04 Sep 2014, 11:07

03 Apr 2017, 10:08 #16

As a dabbler in many things, I recognize that whole "I have this! I know how it works! Lets try showing of the theacher" moment that seems to be building.
I have done this with such skills as programing (cascade Errors everywhere are such a fun thing debugging), electronics (... oops, I think that capacitor farted?) and seem to be somewhat unable to learn from experience NOT to try the same thing over and over. (A sure sign of insanity according the Einstein)
But all in all, the novice has learned enough to be a competent journeyman perhaps, but he still can't help trying to show himself off to the master. This... this will be good. And I expect a bit of a pratfall for him.

Joined: 08 Feb 2003, 18:55

05 Apr 2017, 01:54 #17

Well, Oberoten, of COURSE this wont end well. If it ended well, there would be no story!

The only real question before the board is in just what way and for WHOM will this not be ending well. Certainly the smart money would seem to be on Bruce because he is the protagonist, He to whom all challenges happen and must be faced (even if not overcome) because otherwise there is no story.

Just what the Hero's journey is so far in this story though... may be more than what we seem to see on the outside of the tin. Certainly there is the Bruce learning just how the really good criminals REALLY work bits, But I wouldn't put it past Chris to meta-whisper in Selena's ear that this whole exercise might help Bruce further integrate his Bruce and Batman sub-personas into a slightly more integrated, heathly (or as much as a cape can be) mental whole she can love even more.
And is the sort of tale the Millers of the world that think Psycho-bat is the be all and end all of Batman could never tell.  Heck, I'm not sure they could even read it all the way through (I AM alluding to desire, not ability though)
Last edited by Star Ranger4 on 05 Apr 2017, 01:58, edited 1 time in total.
Hear that thunder rolling till it seems to split the sky?

That's every ship in Grayson's Navy taking up the cry-


-- "No Quarter", by Echo's Children

Joined: 19 Jan 2007, 20:04

17 Apr 2017, 10:17 #18

Well Bruce certainly needed a lesson in humility, or at least that one might want to keep his mind open to learning new things and understanding the process instead of skipping all that and going straight to the conclusion.  Still, the inevitable smackdown wound up being a little more personal than I expected.  Even if Selina's words about Bruce's subconscious opinion of criminals (and her) weren't true, the fact of the matter was that she believes them. 
To his credit, he didn't waste any time denying it.  All it took was a night of pummelling and talking to himself (feels like it's been a while since we had a conversation like that, though usually it's between 'Bat' and 'PsychoBat.'  It's nice to see that again, even if it strongly suggests that he needs to spend some time at Arkham.
Once he stopped pre-loading Tommy with preconceptions and let him 'be himself,' it was amazing how smooth and effortless things became.  Whether fooling Eddie by asking way too many questions to be Batman or interacting with the Crispins staff, he was able to handle them because he didn't force Tommy to act or behave unnaturally.  And sure enough, he managed to find Selina--earlier than planned.
I tend to be a little less critical of his desire to continue practicing his lessons on his own.  There's a thrill and excitement in learning your lessons, applying them and being rewarded for doing so.  It's only natural to continue feeding that while you're on a roll.  Besides, sometimes the best way to drive the lesson home and reinforce what you've learned is to practice, practice, practice.  Bruce could simply be doing the same thing.
And while he's doing that, he can also lay the groundwork for researching a certain Barry Hobbs.  I'm eager to see what the lessons and the preparations will lead us to...

Joined: 06 Apr 2007, 04:00

06 Jun 2017, 20:45 #19

New chapter day!  Pearl Part 4: Tea and Larceny.  Bruce wanted five days to perfect his cover - but what exactly is he doing with them?  Read on the main CT website or
-Chris Dee

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Superpowers corrupt... superbly. -Cat-Tales: Identity Element

Joined: 18 Jun 2014, 16:39

07 Jun 2017, 18:43 #20

I am writing this review from the back of a roof top hotel bar. The view is lovely, the breeze is...bracing (Its a mid-city hotel, so expectations must be managed) and my daughter is trying her damnedest to be, quote unquote, helpful. Opinionated terror that she is, she is off to the side trying to explain to a rather put upon bartender why generic hiphop and thudding base lines at 4:30 in the afternoon do not constitute a classy mellowed out atmosphere.

Looking around at the cross-section of the patrons here, she is fighting a losing battle. She knows it. I know it. The bartender knows it (I see a healthy reconcilliatory tip in his future) But I digress...

I am here because I am an exile. And its all your fault.

The cliff notes version of events goes something along the line of hellstorm of a week, accursed morning hours, heavy lunch, seize-the-opportunity afternoon nap and the fact that I tend to make rather unattractive nasal noises when the funnies claim their due. In my defense, I was going to take a nap too, but then she started going on and on about the latest chapter in Selina's saga. Ultimately-though, perhaps the more accurate term would be inevitably--concessions were made. I settled down to read. She settled down to hibernate the sun away.

5 minutes in, I was snickering. 10 minutes, and the 'unfortunate' side effects of my mirth were in full swing. 12 minutes in and I find my self out on my ear and technically divorced for the rest of the afternoon.

So here I am; a pleasantly cold local brew close at hand, a daughter with possibly far too much time on her hands ever since she graduated trying to read over my shoulder and a new chapter of Cat Tales on a separate tab on my computer. Today was a good day. Today was a great day. And when the lady of my life finally emerges from her deep slumber and we can dissect and wax rhapsodic about every little thing that happened in this latest offering, the day shall have finally earned the designation of having been truly ''Catworthy'

I have never been very good at reviews, I will admit. I don't have a technical leg to stand on to pick apart the minutae of your style and prose. I see good writing. I like good writing. I see good characters. I like good characters. I am a simple man. The whens and whys dont often bog me down.

But lately, I've been thinking. Why am I so hooked on your work? It all began when my wife compared Selina to one of my favorite heroines in literature: Karris Whiteoak.

Brent Weeks is a high fantasy author who grounds his work in gritty characters and harsh grey moral zones. His books, while excellent, can be quite the draining experience, especially for those who prefer their characters to, you know, win once in a while. It isn't uncommon to see most of his reader base fizzle out one book deep into one of his series. His depictions are that powerful.

So why do his die hard fans hold on? In a phrase, his characters are worth the work. Through out his literary works, his characters are as anti-archetype as it is possible to be. One might draw parallels to the 'Power of the Narrative' metaphor used so skilfully by Bruce. Whenever we, the readers, encounter a situation illustrated in a book, we develop expectations. We know how things can go, how they are supposed to pan out. Well, Brent doesn't fall in with that nonsense, and neither do his characters.

Thats just it. That's why I keep coming back here. I love Bruce. I love Selina. I love reading each and every interaction between them and the larger cast of characters. But more than that; more than the chemistry and the sparks and the jibes, I love the fact that they are complex enough to be more than mere 'protagonists' whenever I think about them.

They are people. They are complex, messy, beautiful, highly intelligent people. And the real beauty of if is the narrative doesn't just tell you how smart and competent these people are. They get to show it to you themselves. There are moments in Cat Tales where I actively have to slow down, or even back track, just to keep up. And I love every moment of it.

And just like how any account worth nailing down often takes months of slog, glad handling and unholy coffeeless mornings, I don't begrudge you the occasional 100 year wait time between chapters (my daughter is worried that my inner gremlin is showing a little bit. Don't know what I took her to school for if no one explained to her how Relativity works...) I deal with the heartache (No, I am not being melodramatic. It's my heart, isn't it? ), because I know Bruce and Selina are worth the wait. They never disappoint. And they always leave me wanting more.

The last couple of additions into the Cattales Universe have served as a particularly poignant reminder of how lucky I am to have found a woman as magnificent as my Liz.

It's been almost thirty years and I still wonder at how she still finds my *ahem* nasal diction funny, how she insists on at least trying to cook dinner no matter where my work escapades drag her or how viciously she haggles for discounts no matter what font and size the very obvious price tag is printed in. (Heh. My daughter's gone off to find something else to occupy her time. Protocol achieved). She is the greatest gift I could have never concieved, and I am still unwrapping my present to this day.

My daughter is just as precious and even more of a mystery. Someday, she is going to redefine her corner of the world, just like she redefined mine. Until then, her foppishly grinning dad will just have to content himself with paying off the ire off bewildered bartenders and polishing his shotgun for when the suitors fall inevitably short of all and every reasonable expectation.

I gush. I apologize.

It's just that watching Bruce and Selina take these tentative (for them) steps into fully claiming their happiness has me taking a more measured look at my own and appreciating that life is not all that bad.

To our estimed couple, I address the following. As I explained earlier, they live (at least, they do for me) and, as such, can hear and appreciate what I have to say:

Watching your love and lives blossom and thrive through all the trials and tribulations that you two have faced has been an honor and a privilege. Marriage, in and of itself, both changes nothing and everything. 'Nothing' in that the degree of your affection doesn't change. You are still the same people living the same lives. But 'Everything' in that marriage is as much a statement as Batman is a statement.

There will be moments when the magnitude of your commitment looms over you and colors every aspect of your world. It even say so on the label. Just remember, it takes time. Time is not every thing, but it is your primary investment. Take the time to listen, to internalize, to understand, to be happy, to be sad, to be frustrated, to be mischeivious, to spoil, to glory in each others presence. Marriage, as an institution, is intrinsically ridiculous and flawed; so remember that anyone crazy enough to take the plunge with you on account of a piece of metal and rock, a signature and a cake is someone worth taking the time to get it right with.

Thank you for let me indulge in your world and for enriching mine.

I wish you all the happiness in the world.

Speakking of which, it's about time I went and woke up mine. Id like to say I'd do it with a kiss but I know myself well enough to know it will probably involve a pillow to the face and a hasty retreat...Who am I kidding? I'm not that brave. A gentle nudge will suffice ( I am such a wuss)

Thank you Chris. Thank you for taking your time to do this and do it right. I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again. I will forever be thankful for the day that Selina sashayed into our lives. It is always a pleasure to remake her acquaintance.

So until next time, this has been the Gatimu family wishing you well in you and yours

Have a spiffy 2017!