Way to return Claes her memories?

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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 9 Oct 2008 - 19:24

Ok, on a side note...

In the story I am working on, events occur that cause Claes to start to recover at least snatches of some of her memories. She still doesn't understand their context, though.

Do you feel that Claes' refusal to fire a gun is absolute - she just won't pull the trigger, period - or that her failure to shoot on the boat in Chapter 34 was because she did not want to take a life?

I've written a scene where she, of her own volition, decides to watch Kara practice firing her XM8 and P2000 SK in preparation for the mission they go on. It's pretty much just a quick firing test to make sure that the weapons are working properly and are accurately dialed in.

Michele has his own personal weapon with him, a VP70-M with holster-stock given to him as a boy by his father. While he uses his Agency-issued P2000 SK, he does take it out every now and then to fire.

That weapon, as we all know, is the one that was Claes' personal sidearm when she was paired with Raballo. She recognizes it, but she doesn't know why she does, since she normally doesn't partake in firearms practice.

I'm debating whether or not to have her actually fire it. Hence the reason why I am wondering if folks think her "block" is absolute or just when it comes to taking life. Personally, I can write it either way - if she won't shoot, then Michele just lets her hold it. Either one causes sparks of memory to come back, again confusing and out of context.

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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by ElfenMagix on Thu 9 Oct 2008 - 21:41

I'm going with the glasses on/off Claes scenero on this one. As such, when Rabello trained her, its been Glasses off, even though he trained her to second think her objective before pulling the trigger.

In S'sR, Claes still has her gun, locked up in the gun locker every room has. She has not fired it since Rabello's death until S'sR Airport mission. In all, Claes is still a Gunslinger Girl and above everything else, there is nothing she would rather be doing than going onto the field and do missions.

Aside from that. In thinking how the Human mind works, Claes picking up Michele's gun would open a flood gates of memories- mostly jumbled pieces that will make no sense to themselves but pieced back together will show her the past. The problem is, she does not know where to begin or how to piece it right. If she fires it (as you know, with the rear stockin place, it becomes a 3 round automatic weapon) with one round fired, she might get a few memories. But I would speculate that if she fired it in 3-round automatic mode- since it is the only unique firing pattern she had compared to all the other girls, in its uniqueness- the Hover Dam of fragmented memories will fall upon her. How she handles it, is on you.

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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by Nachtsider on Thu 9 Oct 2008 - 22:21

I've already explained how I feel about the 'glasses on/glasses off' thing, in that I feel it's a gross oversimplification of how things work.

Kiskaloo, I agree that Jean need not necessarily have been involved in Raballo's murder, much less Rico. However, I feel that involvement of a fellow cyborg would allow for more drama and many interesting scenarios that could allow for great fanfiction. The idea that one of Claes' friends would be hiding such a terrible secret, couple with how Claes might react if she knew that said friend had Raballo's blood on her hands, is excellent food for thought.

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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 9 Oct 2008 - 22:24

As I have written it at the moment, Claes wants to fire it. She sees the praise Michele bestows on Kara and how Kara beams under his praise. It triggers in her a desire to be praised, as well, and she asks Michele if she can fire the weapon. He agrees.

Michele helps her set the proper stance and she fires six rounds at single shot, getting used to the weapon. She notes that it "feels right" in her hand, but the initial recoil surprises her, though as she fires she becomes more comfortable with it. Michele then notes that the weapon can fire three-shot and attaches the butt-stock. He notices that her natural stance with the weapon in this configuration is the proper one for target shooting so he sets up a silhouette for her. She rips off four sets of three round bursts and puts four in the head and five in the torso. The pattern is a bit ragged, but it's decent. Kara is impressed as is Michele.

They're the only people in the room (other then the range master and I'm tempted to have him exit before Claes fires) and Michele doesn't know Claes used the VP70-M. He just knows that she had to have been trained in firearms and he figures a 9mm pistol would be "mild" enough for her.

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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by Nachtsider on Thu 9 Oct 2008 - 22:25

It's already been linked to death, but I'll do it again for Kiskaloo's benefit:

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2512377/1/Of_Eyeglasses_And_Multiple_Personalities

This story, I feel, explains the whole glasses issue perfectly.

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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 9 Oct 2008 - 22:31

Yes, I read that one.

I do touch on the glasses thing at a later point (Kara and Claes have a talk in the hotel room in Geneva), but I don't really accept it being an "on" and "off" thing. Raballo was clear that there were times she needed to respond to violence with violence, but that she should keep her humanity.

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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by Danjo3 on Fri 10 Oct 2008 - 1:53

@ElfenMagix wrote:In all, Claes is still a Gunslinger Girl and above everything else, there is nothing she would rather be doing than going onto the field and do missions.
I disagree. I donít think any of the girls are too crazy about the work theyíre doing. They do it because they have to and to please their handlers. If selling cookies could achieve the same goal, I have no doubt they would rather do that instead. And Iím sure no one feels as strongly about this as Claes, who being a pacifist at heart, feels that any kind of violence is a betrayal of her promise.
@Nachtsider wrote:I've already explained how I feel about the 'glasses on/glasses off' thing, in that I feel it's a gross oversimplification of how things work.

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2512377/1/Of_Eyeglasses_And_Multiple_Personalities
Agreed. I think the glasses on/off theory is somewhat insulting to Claesí intelligence.

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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by ElfenMagix on Fri 10 Oct 2008 - 21:41

Petra is not the only one the medical team has f'ed up on her memories. There was Henrietta (fortunately for her), and Angie. And why not Claes? She is holding onto a subconscious program put there by the promise she made to Rabello. It is an Emotional Memory, which typical conditioning mindwipes can not affect for some reason. Thus, she is acting on a subconscious level when the glasses are taken on or off.

Note: Subconscious- Not Conscious, Not Fully Aware of the sitatuon. she has even stated so when she had to explain why why attacked Petra. And in that, I still say she kicked Petra's ass when Petra took her glasses and that she fucked up on that boat mission because of her not taking off her glasses.

If Claes was aware of what was going on with her and the glasses, she would be the most dangerous of the girls because of her ability to think outside the box and use this added 'ability' to her advantage.

This is not an insult to her intelligence. How can it be when the mechanism running this run under its own program hidden from her intelligence? This is not necessary a different personality switch, but a different programming switch.

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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by Danjo3 on Sat 11 Oct 2008 - 2:40

@ElfenMagix wrote:Note: Subconscious- Not Conscious, Not Fully Aware of the sitatuon. she has even stated so when she had to explain why why attacked Petra. And in that, I still say she kicked Petra's ass when Petra took her glasses and that she fucked up on that boat mission because of her not taking off her glasses.
Kicked her ass? I tell ya Elfen, itís hard to believe we are looking at the same book. All that happened was that Claes surprised Petra, Knocked her down, took her glasses back and walked off and all the while, Petra was not fighting back. She was just making a half-hearted attempt to defend herself. If this had been an ass kicking fight, Petra would have been beating the living shit out of Claes. There would have been fur and blood flying in every direction, but nothing even close to that happened. As I said earlier, Petra wanted nothing to do with it.

And as far as the boat is concerned, do you honestly believe the out come would have been different simply because she removed her glasses? Would taking them off suddenly turn her into Super Claes? Would she have been able to dispatch that woman with one hand tied behind her back? Iím afraid the answer is an obvious no. Claesí problem was not the glasses on her face, it was her lack of training and an aversion to violence that fucked her up (to this day, I donít know what was going through Jeanís head when he decided to put her in that situation). She later said she wanted to pull the trigger but couldnít. Itís ridiculous to think that if her glasses had accidentally fallen off, she would have started blasting away at everything that moved. I think you need to give her character a little credit.

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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by Nachtsider on Sat 11 Oct 2008 - 2:59

@Danjo3 wrote:And as far as the boat is concerned, do you honestly believe the out come would have been different simply because she removed her glasses? Would taking them off suddenly turn her into Super Claes? Would she have been able to dispatch that woman with one hand tied behind her back? Iím afraid the answer is an obvious no. Claesí problem was not the glasses on her face, it was her lack of training and an aversion to violence that fucked her up (to this day, I donít know what was going through Jeanís head when he decided to put her in that situation). She later said she wanted to pull the trigger but couldnít. Itís ridiculous to think that if her glasses had accidentally fallen off, she would have started blasting away at everything that moved. I think you need to give her character a little credit.
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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by boomer_gonz on Sat 11 Oct 2008 - 9:23

Finally got around to posting in this thread.

As mentioned previous; Deathra's fic, Of Eyeglasses and Multiple Personalities, explains this point in full and with great detail.

While Claes is a very skilled thug of an operative (I mean just look at the way she handled that poker), I doubt she has a definitive on/off switch. While one can in fact make that assessment based on her reaction to Petra putting on the glasses, I believe it was more a matter of possession than of an actual switch.

Next, giving Claes her memories back would be like giving a bad idea a 40 and a bag of chips.

While she still remembers fragments here and there, its not enough to make a coherent psycho-visual memory. I still view the conditioning process as something with a black box or even a multitude of black boxes that even those that made the conditioning process have yet to understand. Over the years it seems to me that Claes very well might have become a cold and calculating personality. With vengeance on the mind, it seems that someone as unassuming and well connected within the Agency as Claes might start to take it apart systematically all leading up to a final solution.

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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 11 Oct 2008 - 10:16

@Danjo3 wrote:Claesí problem was not the glasses on her face, it was her lack of training and an aversion to violence that fucked her up (to this day, I donít know what was going through Jeanís head when he decided to put her in that situation). She later said she wanted to pull the trigger but couldnít.

In my story, Lorenzo and Jean tell Michele to take Claes along on the Geneva mission because they want so "field data" to go with all the lab data they have collected on her. They may very well have ulterior motives, but that's what they tell Michele.

Claes and Kara have a talk about the Piedmont incident and the glasses. Kara gets pretty upset with Claes over what she feels is melodrama on Claes' part over the promise. But it is the promise that is the reason for Claes not wanting to be violent. The glasses are just a physical reminder of that promise. Whether she has them on or off, the promise still exists for her.
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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by Danjo3 on Sat 11 Oct 2008 - 12:16

Uh Kiskaloo? I couldnít help but notice that all of your replies in are in the form of your fan fic. Seeing as how this is a canon thread, OC facts are kind of irrelevant.

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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 11 Oct 2008 - 12:55

Fair enough, but what I believe Claes' motivations within the canon are influence how I write her in OC fiction.

I still believe that Claes is bound by the promise in and of itself, and that just taking off the glasses would not negate that promise. On the Piedmont mission, she didn't want to fire a gun, period. If it was just a "glasses on, glasses off" thing she could have easily taken them off. She took the pistol because she was ordered to do so and the conditioning still holds sway, in the end.

Petrushka seems to understand this, which is why she told Claes she would handle any actual gunplay that occurs. She gives Claes the pistol just for security in case their two opponents are armed. IMO, based on the evidence I have seen in the manga and the anime, Claes wears those glasses because they are important to her. Not because they hold her in check from committing violence. After all, what violence around the SWA compound does she need to worry about?

I do not believe she went after Petrushka with the intent to injure her. She just wanted the glasses back and reacted as her conditioning trained her to do when she perceives a threat. Once she recovered the glasses, the threat was "neutralized" and she stopped her attack.

As for Episode 12, she took the glasses off to protect them from damage. Not so she could switch into "combat mode" and engage the terrorists. As I recall, the Senator's daughter did not wear glasses so it would have been better for Claes not to be wearing them, period, to better "match the profile". Again, I believe she wore them there for the same reason she wears them everywhere - they're important to her and she likes to have them around.


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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by Nachtsider on Sat 11 Oct 2008 - 16:28

@Kiskaloo wrote:I still believe that Claes is bound by the promise in and of itself, and that just taking off the glasses would not negate that promise. On the Piedmont mission, she didn't want to fire a gun, period. If it was just a "glasses on, glasses off" thing she could have easily taken them off. She took the pistol because she was ordered to do so and the conditioning still holds sway, in the end.

As for Episode 12, she took the glasses off to protect them from damage. Not so she could switch into "combat mode" and engage the terrorists. As I recall, the Senator's daughter did not wear glasses so it would have been better for Claes not to be wearing them, period, to better "match the profile". Again, I believe she wore them there for the same reason she wears them everywhere - they're important to her and she likes to have them around.
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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by Danjo3 on Sun 12 Oct 2008 - 1:11

@Kiskaloo wrote:I do not believe she went after Petrushka with the intent to injure her.
And this.

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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by ElfenMagix on Sun 12 Oct 2008 - 11:20

Getting back to the topic (and no- despite what valid points are being made here, a brain washed person is what a brain washed person does. Thus all points of intelligence binding into action are moot.)...

OK, Claes gets her memories back, and goes into interogation mode as to what happened to her handler. What then? What if she finds out who pulled the trigger, and who made the contract for the hit? I say that she would go after them for some answers before killing them for revenge. This will take form of a very cool and calculting Claes in doing her bit to honor her handler.

Now I say that Jean had his (first hand) in this because, when he arrives in Claes/Triela's room in his coat as if he just returned from a case. He did not go to his office to change out of his coat nor did he bothered. He was also very cold about telling her and non supportive as one should. Even in the military, when an officer is sent to a home to notify a family that their family member was killed on the line duty, he is there to give support to that family for what needs they might have even if its a shoulder to cry on. Jean was not there for that, and in being outright cold tells me that he had a manipulative hand in the action.

If Rico was involved in this (and more likely she was), Jean can simply order her to never speak of the hit again to anyone, especially to the other cyborgs. As for Rabello being hit by a hit and run- The SWA can simply cover it up like they did with all their other killings; including the Elsa Incident. Many choices can be made here, especially since Rabello was followed around, and more than likely he was shot from behind with a silenced weapon (whether at close range or at a distance depends on the oppertunity). As seen before, the news of how his death happened does not have to match what actually happened. For all we know- the reporter was killed too.

Now these memories when a person goes catatonic like Claes did when she heard the news of Rabello's death, go into a deeper part of the brain where it is more difficult for the person to access and harder to understand when touched upon them. It is lso hard for a brain washing/conditioning process to manipulate. (This is where the glasses bit fit in, because if Claes was rewritten totally- why is she still wearing the glasses?) It takes a lot of drawing out, but unfortunately, something can bring them out like an angered tiger pouncing on its care giving zoo keeper unexpectantly. What that something is depends on the individual person. Jean is trying to find out what, if anything can bring out those memories of Claes. That is why he is testing her with movies of fishing, and taking her out on trips. But he is not taking it far enough. I'll bet giving her a fishing rod and letting her catch a fish will open those flood gates of memories like a small nuke at the base of Hoover Dam.

Then... Look out.

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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by Danjo3 on Sun 12 Oct 2008 - 12:47

I think this whole topic is like spinning your wheels in the mud. Letís face it, hard core Claes fans are always going to see her as a super-hero type character who is just waiting for the right trigger to set her off. When that happens, she will swiftly and silently move through the Agency, and with the stealth and skill of a Bruce Lee type Ninja, taking out every member one by one until no one is left (where she gets theses skills and why everyone is just waiting around to get killed is beyond me). After that, It wonít be long before she assembles an army of minions and overthrows the Italian Government. From there itís just a hop , skip and a jump away from world domination.

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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by TTIO on Sun 12 Oct 2008 - 13:01

Your title certainly fits at this point, Danjo Razz

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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by Danjo3 on Sun 12 Oct 2008 - 13:44

Well letís not forget that Claesí intelligence is far superior to that of most mere mortals - even though sheís just a kid who happens to like reading.

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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 12 Oct 2008 - 14:59

The following are my opinions based on reading the relevant manga chapters and watching the relevant anime episodes (from both the first and second series):

In the manga, I believe Raballo did not want Claes to be a mindless killing machine. However, that does not mean he wanted her to be a pacifist. He trained her to "think before you shoot" and that to "know when to shoot is more important then knowing how to shoot". He also taught her how to use non-lethal combat tactics and techniques so she would not always have to use firearms and/or kill to complete a mission. And yet, it didn't work. She allowed herself to be stabbed by the punks in the subway before she killed them with her gun. And when Marco threatened Giuseppe at the shooting range, Henrietta responded with violence which compelled Claes to do the same towards Henrietta.

But after that incident on the range, the SWA was going to send Raballo back to the Carabinieri - likely whether he wanted to go or not. And they were going to re-write Claes and Henrietta to make them more effective soldiers. So now being out of the loop and uncomfortable with how the girls were being used, Raballo made the decision to blow the agency's cover.

Raballo knew that talking meant he'd never come back to the SWA (and not because I believe he thought he would be killed). And yet he didn't want the Agency to make Claes a killing machine. So he took her original glasses and replaced the lenses with plain optical glass and gave them to her so she would have a physical reminder of, if not Raballo, of his teachings. And those teachings were the same ones as before: "Think before you shoot" and "Do not use force unless on a mission". Those were his last words to her per Chapter 06.

Yes, he also said "When you wear these glasses, I want you to be good", but I think that applies to behavior ("behave yourself") and not an emotional state ("be only kind"). Chapter 34, unfortunately (IMO), expands on this by adding "be quiet and shy" which, IMO, does change the "good" to become an emotional state of being.

It is possible that the opening page of Chapter 34 is a sign that Claes has come to misinterpret the promise. Those words may be what Claes remembers (in actually, what she thinks she remembers) Raballo saying, when in fact Chapter 06 he never told her to be "quiet and shy", just to be "good". What was intended to be a statement on her behavior has now warped into a command on her emotional state.

It appears that promise has come to take on a stronger and stronger role in Claes' psychology over time. I believe that it is possible that the promise has become corrupted over time, likely because Claes has not been active (or even out of the compound) since Raballo's death. Since she doesn't train and doesn't take part in missions, I believe she has forgotten that Raballo wanted her to fight only when necessary ("on a mission") and to not act irrationally when she did so ("think before you shoot"). Now, she thinks that the glasses mean she should not fight, period. And that prohibition applies whether or not she has them on.

In the famous "shower scene" in Chapter 33, Claes says that she was not angry with Petrushka and that her body responded automatically to Petrushka wearing her glasses. Now, she could have been lying to Alessandro, but the subsequent 25 chapters have given me no reason to believe so. So her statements, IMO, negate the idea that she willfully attacked Petrushka - either with or without the intent to cause her bodily harm. Because, IMO, she should not have been able to attack Petrushka because of how she now interprets the promise - active pacifism. And yet, her conditioning is still there, underneath the surface. And that conditioning says that when attacked, respond in kind. She states the glasses were important to her so her mind perceived Petrushka wearing them as a threat and her body responded to re-acquire them. Her objectives in the fight panels look to be to get back the glasses and nothing else. And when she did, the threat was negated and so was her active response. She had Petra on the ground. She could have continued to press the attack. But she stopped and instead carefully removed the glasses. Because that was the sole objective. If those glasses kept her violence in check, IMO, she should have continued the attack. That she did not, again, makes me believe that they are nothing more then a kind of totem.

Jean and Dr. Bianchi both know Claes is starting to recover her memories. And I am sure Jean knows Raballo took her fishing to Alpine lakes. That is why at the end of Chapter 33 they send her on a field trip to Piedmont. Why did they send Alessandro and Petrushka? Perhaps because they felt Petrushka would be the best option if Claes suddenly needed to be...restrained. Petrushka has no prior history with Claes like the other girls (Henrietta, Triela, Angelica, Rico) do so there would be less of a chance of her hesitating or trying to reason with Claes first if ordered to restrain Claes.

Talking to Petrushka on the dock in Chapter 34, Claes states "I got these glasses from someone and I promised this person that I would never be mean". Again, according to Chapter 06, this never happened. Rabllo just told her to be good and to understand the magnitude of what taking a life in the performance of her duties meant. Raballo did not want her to become a pacifist - Claes became one on her own because her recollections and memories were faulty.

Petrushka does ask her why she attacked her then, and Claes responds "because you just took my glasses". But she immediately adds "I know I broke my promise when I did that". Again, IMO this is Claes admitting that she feels the promise prevents her from being violent, period. Not just when she is wearing the glasses. That she did not have the glasses on when she attacked Petrushka was not something that allowed her to attack. It was the conditioning response that drove the attack, and that someone else had those glasses is what caused her to attack. I expect if she had her glasses on and Petrushka had the key to Raballo's room, Claes would have attacked her to get the key back if Petrushka had not handed it over willingly. The key is not as important to her as the glasses, IMO, but it is important enough to trigger the conditioning response.

As to why Jean sent Claes with Petrushka on the mission, my earlier comments notwithstanding, it seems to be clear because she was the only other operative there. Jean did not bring Rico with him, so she was unavailable. And again, if it was a case of Claes not having her glasses meant she could fight, Jean would have forced her to leave them behind.

I'm not sure what Claes means when she tells Petrushka that she is "so turned off", but Petrushka doesn't take it as an insult, so...
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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by ElfenMagix on Tue 14 Oct 2008 - 15:23

Very good insight on the research done there, Kisk.

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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by Ghostfriendly on Sat 24 Jan 2009 - 22:29

Spoiler:
The most recent manga chapter seems to show Henrietta having some of her memories from before conditioning restored. Is there any chance that Claes would be put through this herself, or put herself through it behind the agencies back?

It seems the generally anticipated reaction of Claes if she regains her memories is revenge. I don't see that as in her character. She might want to get back into the field, but there'd be little she could do to change her own situation. The other girls might be affected by her change from unemotional to tormented, though, and start questioning their own situations.


Last edited by Ghostfriendly on Sun 25 Jan 2009 - 17:47; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 24 Jan 2009 - 22:32

I am of the opinion she would not want revenge if she remembered Raballo.

Even if the SWA did kill him (and we must admit that we don't have any direct evidence linking such a thing, just supposition), they buried it really well so likely the only people who do know are Petris, Lorenzo and Jean (and maybe not even Jean).

So Claes has nothing to be incited about to seek revenge.


As to whether Claes will recover her memories, it may happen. She is starting to remember things in the manga, so Yu may decide to continue that or perhaps Belessario is right and over time, she will come to forget him and the promise...

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Re: Way to return Claes her memories?

Post by ElfenMagix on Sat 24 Jan 2009 - 22:39

As long as Claes is lead to believe that it was actually an accident, there will be no revenge factor for her to have. Both Kisk and I have worked on this angle as as our stories are concerned.

The only problem here is if she discovers through other sources that Rabello was deliberately killed and the SWA had a hand in his death. This will then turn into revenge lust for her.

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