Warning! This blog post will contain spoilers for anyone who hasn’t finished reading Terra Sea Merge yet. Skip this post if you haven’t finished reading the story.
As with the previous novels, I will be sharing with
you some of the deleted portions and rewrites in Terra Sea Merge. Unlike
the last one for Shark Station, this one will not include an entire
chapter, although Terra Sea Merge is very different from the initial storyline.
In the original draft of Terra Sea Merge, Allie was even more annoyed,
frustrated, and disgusted with the exchange students. After letting the story sit
for a while and coming back to it, I realized she was too moody, even for Allie’s
typical personality. So I revamped the entire middle of the novel, leaving her
only extremely exasperated with her nemesis, Brodie, rather than the entire group.
Here are a couple of snippets of what the story used to be.
I felt that the original storyline wasn’t as exciting
as the other Oceania books had been, so to spice it up, I wrote a scene where
Mariah and Teegan went AWOL and decided to explore the city on their own. Here’s
part of that scene:
Raising my eyebrows, I asked,
“Has Mayor Cho been notified of this yet?”
“No, he hasn’t,” confirmed
“I think we need to tell him.”
Ugh, I hated who I was becoming. The rant I had kept replaying over and over in
my head and I realized I sounded a lot like the adults I couldn’t stand. Now I
was ratting out two people my age for doing something they weren’t supposed to
do. Who was I?
One of the privileges—well so
far the only privilege of having to babysit the exchange students was that I
had a personal direct line to Mayor Cho’s c-com. I called him and he answered
on the fourth ring.
“Allie, what is wrong?” Mayor
Cho’s face and upper torso appeared as a holographic projection.
“Two of the exchange students
have gone missing.”
“What?” he exclaimed. “How did
they go missing?”
Astrid appeared close behind
me and answered, “They disappeared when I went to use the restroom. When I
returned, they were both missing.”
Sighing, the mayor closed his
eyes and breathed in out for several breaths before responding, “Which two are
“Teegan Cole and Mariah
“I’ll look up their images
from what Guamanian Governor sent me and put out a digital all points bulletin
for them with Oceanian Security. Hopefully, the surveillance cameras will pick
them up in little time. Standby, I’ll call you once they’ve been found and the
two of you can retrieve them.”
The video call ended and I
plopped down onto a nearby bench. “I can’t believe they’re doing this! This is
such a juvenile move.”
Astrid stood beside the bench
I was on. “It does seem that way. I can understand their frustration, but this
seems to be a little drastic. I wonder if they behaved like this on land.”
Puffing out a breath of air, I
responded, “if they did, then the governor purposely gave us some
“Perhaps the best way to keep
this from happening is if you took over their instruction, Allie.”
I gawked at Astrid. “No way!
I’m already missing out on my classes enough because of having to babysit them.
I don’t want to have to instruct them too. It’s too much. I have my own life to
live here that doesn’t involve them.”
“But if this exchange system
is to work, then we have to make the best effort at it.”
A buzz came from my pocket and
I was confused since my c-com didn’t buzz. When I realized what it was, I dove
my hand into my pocket and pulled out the com-stone. Quickly, I waved my hand
across it to answer the incoming call.
Samantha’s grinning face
appeared and I couldn’t have been happier to see her. “Allie! It’s so great to
see you. We just arrived in Guam and have been placed with our host families
“That’s great, Samantha.”
Either the tone of my voice or
my face gave me away.
“Did something happen, Allie?
You seem off?”
Seeing Samantha made me almost
want to burst out into tears of frustration and explain everything to her, but
I kept my composure since I was in public and Astrid was standing right next to
me. “I’m having issues with the new exchange students, that’s all. It’s been a
lot harder than I anticipated it to be.”
“Well, tell me what’s going on
and maybe I can help.”
I doubted she could, but I
figured I had nothing to lose if I told her. “Two of them have gone missing and
we can’t find out where they are.”
“Are they girls or boys?”
“Two girls, they’re our age.”
“Hmm, I’d say they’re in one
of two places, either Central or the Entertainment District. I’m leaning
towards the Entertainment District because if I was in a foreign city that had
an amazing amount of different technology than my home, I would head for the
place of fun.”
My c-com began pinging with an
“I’m so sorry, Samantha, but I
have to go. I’ll call you back later.” I reluctantly hung up on my friend and
answered the Mayor’s call.
“Allie, we found them. They’re
in the Entertainment District inside one of the old-timey arcades. I’m sending
you the location now, but I would take the train and get over there as soon as
possible before you lose them.”
“We’re on our way now,” I
Well, Samantha was right; they
were in the Entertainment District.
When we arrived at the arcade,
the bustle of the gaming stations that I’d seen when I was here before was
almost entirely absent. Teegan and Mariah weren’t being very smart about going
to a place where mostly students hang out in a city where homeschooling was a
non-existent practice. It meant that no other students would be in the arcade
at this time of the day.
They were easy to find at the
back of the arcade playing some retro games. So focused on their games, they
didn’t even notice Astrid and I approach.
“Teegan,” I said in a firm
Her long dark brown hair with
blonde highlights whipped me in the face as she spun around, her caramel eyes
“What are you two doing here,”
wondered Mariah, her arms folded, her eyes focused on us in an accusatory
“We are here to ask you the
same question,” calmly explained Astrid, an edge of diminishing patience in her
tone. “Why did you run away from the dormitory?”
“It was boring and we wanted
to have some fun. What’s wrong with that?” Mariah tucked a stubborn lock of her
chin-length hair behind her ear.
I let out an incredulous
sound. “Are you being serious? We need to take you back to the dormitory now.
Clearly, everything both Astrid and I have said to you about the precautions you
need to take as you are unfamiliar with Oceania yet have meant nothing to you.
Stop arguing and come with us now!”
I let Astrid ensure the both
of them followed as I led the way back to the nearest train station. We wound
up waiting almost an hour due to few trains going to the Entertainment District
this time of day.
Teegan and Mariah sat next to
us quietly, but I could tell that both of them were fuming on the inside. For
someone who’s broken many rules myself, I still can’t figure out why they
thought it was okay for them to just run off and do what they wanted. If this
was the way the exchange students were going to be acting for the duration of
their stay here, I wouldn’t be surprised if nearly every Oceanian hated them.
Due to Allie’s frustration with the exchange students,
I had a passage where she went to Katrina for advice. Katrina is one of my favorite
side characters because I love how unapologetically herself she is. She’s not
afraid to speak her mind regardless of what others think. Unfortunately, for me
to go another direction with the story, I had to cut her blatant advice out of
the story. Here is her advice to Allie
on how to handle the exchange students:
By the time I got back to
school, my class had already ended and the school was like a ghost town.
Needing a friend, I decided to go down to the sublevels where the labs were.
Although I didn’t have a specimen at the moment, I knew Katrina would be studying
her newest one.
Just as I’d expected, I found
her sitting at the stool in front of the tank, taking down observations on her
digipad. She didn’t notice me until I was almost right up on her.
“Oh hey, Allie, what’s up?”
Katrina returned to writing.
“What’s up? My blood
pressure,” I leaned against the corner of the tank, still fuming from my
Katrina spun on the stool to
face me, crossing her arms. “What happened?”
“These stupid exchange
students! It’s like just because they were chosen out of however many people to
be the ones to come to Oceania, they think everyone should bow down to them.
They think that just because they’re here, that they should be allowed to go
wherever and do whatever they want when they want to!”
“Isn’t that what Land Dwellers
do in their own cities and towns?”
I opened my mouth to speak,
but my jaw just hung agape.
Katrina cocked an eyebrow,
Sighing, I admitted. “Yes,
Land Dwellers are used to a lot of freedom to do anything they want to do. At
least, that’s the way it is in the United States. I can’t say much about other
countries since I’ve never been there.”
“Didn’t you once tell me that
to keep infection down that every entrance to a public place has a scanner that
scans for diseases?”
“Okay, so then that is a bit
of the freedom taken away. Are there any other rules or laws that are similar
to the way things are here in Oceania?”
A thought for a while, but
couldn’t come up with anything else. “I don’t know.”
“Look, Allie, human beings
don’t like change. Some people pretend to, but most really don’t. There may be
a few people who delight in it, but I don’t believe them.” Katrina stood up.
“These students are coming from a world that is very different from ours.
Compared to where these guys are from, Oceania is going to feel very
restrictive and unforgiving to them. Getting them to adapt to that isn’t going
to be easy.”
“Then what do you think I
“Have you tried knocking them
senseless and then rebooting their brains?” Katrina smirked.
“Katrina, you know I can’t do
that…even though sometimes I want to.”
“Well, the only other option
is to try to explain to them why our society is different and how it works for
us. I’m not entirely sure about the Land Dwelling nations, but I doubt they’re
all the same. See if you can find examples of how other nations have laws
similar to ours and use it as a case for showing that Oceania in essence isn’t that
different from their world. Maybe then they will calm down a bit.”
Katrina returned to her stool.
“But if that fails, I highly suggest striking them on the head and leaving them
outside the city for the six-gills.”
“Katrina!” I complained.
“Fine, fine, fine, do what you
I hope you enjoyed these deleted scenes from Terra Sea Merge. There will be one last blog post for this book later this month. Stay tuned to read that one!
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post
and if you have any comments, you can leave them here on my blog or email me
directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’d love to hear from you, especially if you think either of these passages
should have stayed in the novel or that you’re glad they were omitted.