I'm curious...

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Re: I'm curious...

Post by Nachtsider on Tue 1 Jan 2008 - 21:07

Wileama wrote:Cyborgs don't struggle to prove themselves worthy for the job, like their human counters parts, they are simply made for it.

Apart from this little bit here - there are quite a few parts in the canon indicating that our girls had to strive at getting to grips with their heightened abilities, and look what happened to Henrietta and Elsa continually trying to prove themselves to their handlers - LoC and Wileama have pretty much grasped what I've been aiming at with my OCs and my interpretations of the original cast.

Super-soldiers are what these kids are, and my take on things is that it would make sense for the Agency to fully utilize their extraordinary potential instead of producing an army of puppets who blindly follow orders and function only slightly better than an ordinary trooper. And where OCs are concerned, their primary function in my book is that of complementing - not supplanting - the canon characters, and carrying the plot forward in situations no canon character could. Take Liesel's forensic investigation of Elsa's death as told to Triela in 'Iceberg', for instance. While I retrospectively admit that Beatrice could have filled in that role just as well, Beatrice didn't exist back when I wrote that chapter, and Liesel was the only one on hand with appropriate skills to conduct that installment. Same goes for Aharon and Meir of 'Battlezone' fame, who were the only people capable of offering the SWA girls any form of expertise in dealing with al-Qaeda on their own turf. And while my OCs possess some skills that the canon characters don't have, the door swings both ways. Triela still rules the roost in CQB, Rico's still the best sniper, and Angie's still mighty quick on the draw. I present the SWA (and its allies) as being something like the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team or similar, where everyone has some special skills, talents, and experience to contribute to the collective pool.


Danjo3 wrote:BTW, this is exactly why I didnít want to say anything - I knew it would touch off a pissing match and thatís what I was trying to avoid. Itís my own fault though, I should have known betterÖ

But I will give you credit for this Nachtsider, at least you didnít go Panzer on my ass.

Since when was this a pissing match? It always struck me as a cordial, intelligent debate between cordial, intelligent individuals.

I'm not sure exactly what happened with Panzer, people, but I won't make the mistake of going into it here. Maybe I'll contact one of you in private.

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Re: I'm curious...

Post by Danjo3 on Wed 2 Jan 2008 - 2:05


Letís just do a quick summary of Liesel:

- Fought in Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) while attached to Task Force 11.

- Fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom with British Special Forces near Basra, and with 75th Exploitation Task Force in hunt for weapons of mass destruction.

- Veteran of numerous successful law-enforcement operations under the temporary aegis of various Italian security forces.

- Lives alone in apartment whose interior reflects the polished tastes of herself and her handler.

- Endowed with knowledge of a variety of subjects ranging from chemistry to electronics.

Now letís compare her to the best that canon has to offer, the Princess Triela. You know what? You canít. Your MS blows her out of the water. She blows away all the canon girls. As a matter of fact, the only person in the Agency she doesnít surpass is Biff - and thatís pretty close.

BTW, every now and then, Biff and Liesel like to go out for lattes. They swap war stories and decorating ideas. Thereís no other man in the Agency who has Biffís knowledge of fabrics and color coordination.

I know that Liesel is nothing more then fan fiction and I know how much fun OCís can be. Iím not trying to rag on you Nachtsider nor am I asking you to get rid of her. All Iím saying is that sheís not even close to playing in the canon ballpark.


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Re: I'm curious...

Post by Nachtsider on Wed 2 Jan 2008 - 2:58

In my fanfiction, Angelica and Triela were with Task Force 11, too, and virtually all the SWA girls were gambolling around Iraq at the relevant time. Even if we're talking canon, though, it's pretty obvious that every Agency cyborg would have plenty of successful law-enforcement operations under their belts - see Episode Six, for instance. I'm not sure what special significance can be made of Liesel living alone in a well-kept apartment, and the 'special skills' bit I've already covered above. Therefore, the stuff you raise doesn't really cut much ice.

But the idea of writing a story starring both Britney/Biff and Liesel/Altheus is mighty intriguing, Danjo. I think I'd take up the challenge, but only if you okay the idea. If the answer is yes, I promise to forward you a full copy of the script before publishing in order to make sure I've used your characters correctly.

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Re: I'm curious...

Post by Danjo3 on Wed 2 Jan 2008 - 3:59


No offense Nachtsider, but thereís no arguing with an OC author. They all defend their characters as they would their own child. You know what? Your right. Liesel fitís in perfectly with the other girls. I donít know how I missed that. My bad.
Nachtsider wrote:But the idea of writing a story starring both Britney/Biff and Liesel/Altheus is mighty intriguing, Danjo. I think I'd take up the challenge, but only if you okay the idea. If the answer is yes, I promise to forward you a full copy of the script before publishing in order to make sure I've used your characters correctly.
As I said earlier, I like your work and writing style. I would consider it an honor for you to incorporate Biff and little Britney into one of your stories. You have my blessing.

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Re: I'm curious...

Post by Wileama on Wed 2 Jan 2008 - 6:14

I'm not touching this Mary Sue argument. So don't drag me into it please. There is an interesting tangent that I want to explore.

Nachtsider wrote:Apart from this little bit here - there are quite a few parts in the canon indicating that our girls had to strive at getting to grips with their heightened abilities, and look what happened to Henrietta and Elsa continually trying to prove themselves to their handlers.
Yes the girls do train a lot. However they don't require the same desire about getting better as the human counter parts. If you want to get into Special Forces you have to want it with every fiber of your being, or you will wash out. You have to have the drive to push yourself beyond exhaustion. You have to have a conviction that the hardships you suffer are worth it. Being a little bit crazy doesn't hurt either. The girls don't need any of that, they have conditioning. If they are told by their handler, move faster, they move faster. If they are told, stay out all night, and train, they do it. They don't say this sucks I would rather quit. They can't quit. So yes maybe they do push themselves from time to time. However I don't think it's the same thing.

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Re: I'm curious...

Post by Guest on Thu 3 Jan 2008 - 11:43

An interesting point. The thing I'm wondering about is whether the conditioning goes against their will, or changes their will/disposition. It seems that it's a bit of each, and maybe more of the second. They do want to get better, and they do want to do what they are doing, but this is caused largely by the conditioning. It makes them want to please their handlers and to need/desire their approval more then anything (whether they admit it or not). So in a strange way they are driven and want to do what they are doing. It's just that if they were suddenly "de-conditioned" (which is impossible from what we know so far) they would proubably want out.

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Re: I'm curious...

Post by ElfenMagix on Thu 3 Jan 2008 - 12:10

3klicks wrote:An interesting point. The thing I'm wondering about is whether the conditioning goes against their will, or changes their will/disposition. It seems that it's a bit of each, and maybe more of the second. They do want to get better, and they do want to do what they are doing, but this is caused largely by the conditioning. It makes them want to please their handlers and to need/desire their approval more then anything (whether they admit it or not). So in a strange way they are driven and want to do what they are doing. It's just that if they were suddenly "de-conditioned" (which is impossible from what we know so far) they would proubably want out.

I would not say that it goes against them, it is more like drives it to a preferable direction. It is not like they are in bed wondering why they did something they did not wanted to do, its more like they are wondering if they did well enough to please their handlers. The ones under light condictioning are aware to this. The heavier dosed ones are more oblivious to it.

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Re: I'm curious...

Post by Guest on Thu 3 Jan 2008 - 12:25

Elfen-Magix wrote:I would not say that it goes against them,
That's what I'm getting at.

Although, there are some things they have their doubts about. For example if Hillshire was different he would have come out of hiding and ordered Triela to take Mario, or under an even different set of circumstances to kill him. We know she wanted to let Mario escape, at least untill he can meet his daughter, but the conditioning would likely make disobeying a direct order very difficult (if not impossible). So the conflict of interests is possible. For the most part though, the girl's new-found adoration and attachment to their handlers means that they are neutral to, or enjoy their work. Triela was likely to have let Mario go because she kenew Hillshire well enough to tell that he would not be particularly upset about it, or, if she didn't know that directly, she followed Hillshires example of a generaly kind disposition.

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Re: I'm curious...

Post by Wileama on Thu 3 Jan 2008 - 17:26

You know if Hillshire had turned to corner, and asked Triela to kill Mario. Triela probably would have argued with him about it. Granted she would have slammed Mario's ass into to the ground if had tried to run away. Yes she would ultimately kill Mario if Hilshire wouldn't come around, but Triela would be upset over it.

That's what interests to me about Triela. She has her own opinions. She seems like the only operational cyborg that has a real understanding of the situation she's in. I feel like I could sit down with her, and have an intelligent discussion about the morality of what it is she does.

In general though their free will does seem curved by conditioning. It's subtle some times, but ultimately they aren't free. The conditioning makes them loyal little killing machines.

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Re: I'm curious...

Post by Guest on Thu 3 Jan 2008 - 17:57

Nothing is really one sided. The only thing I would insist on is that in a direct confrontation of wills the handlers have the upper hand.

What I'm getting at is actually weird. They're lives are very controled and not exactly controled at the same time.

The conditioning is imperfect so the main thing that has been altered and that the cyborgs really have nothing or very little to say about are they goals and what they value; namely their devotion to their handler. On the other side of the coin the conditioning does not seem to work like programing. The cyborgs are left with a hefty dose of free will as to what they do with their altered goals/values.

A large part of what the conditioning does seems indirect to me. There are a few things that the conditioning does that act by bending the cyborgs' existing personalities/wills, but most of what the conditioning does is change the person. They create girls with certain tweeks to their wills/personalities in the begginign, but do not have as much control later (without repeating the process).

I'm being all over the place, how about an analogy. You can have a remote control lego car, or you can have one of those lego cars that you can program. The remote control car ou simply steer however you want. The programable car, on the other hand, you program and then you press "go". You know more or less what the car is going to do, but you cannot be certain of what the exact result of your programing will be, and if it is different from what you thought it would be then changing it is a lot harder then if you just had a remote.

Damn, it might be just me, but it seems that my ability to communicate is steadily decreasing over time.

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Re: I'm curious...

Post by Wileama on Fri 4 Jan 2008 - 5:51

Triela seems the only cyborg really capable of rebellion. That said I agree with you Klicks she's going to ultimately wind up doing what she's told. However all the other cyborgs are too busy trying to please their handler, or on too high a dosage of conditioning. Henrietta loves Jose so much she wouldn't dream of refusing him. Angelica would probably only refuse Marco if he told her to snap Perro's neck. Rico on the other hand is probably on a high enough dosages that she wouldn't bat an eye if Jean told her to kill Henrietta.

I get what your saying about the free will angle of it all. They have free will to choose how they preform a task. Just not free will over what tasks they preform. That's not a good description. Maybe it's more they are free to be who they are, but not what they are? Your right this is hard to explain. There is a lot of control, but that control is about as finesse-able as a sledge hammer. Gah. I don't believe the english language can appropriately explain this in one, or two sentences.

Thankfully I think we are on the same wavelength already.

There is one think that I'm wondering about. I highly doubt Triela has a lower dosage then Henrietta. Yet Jose accidently gave her an order that kept her up all night. Maybe it's a part of being a cyborg. However I can't imagine doing an all nighter at that age. So that's a lot of weight on an order. So as time goes on what changes. I'm certain something Jose says could be taken in such a way as to keep Henrietta up all night. However it doesn't seem to be an issue once a girl has a chance to develop.

Why is that? Is it, because other order interact in a complicated manner to give her freedom to operate. Or as she develops does she simply gain a better ability to interpret these orders. If so what mechanism allows that interpretation?

Do you think Triela ever had an incident during training involving a Henrietta/Claes like incident? I assume she must have. My tired mind just finds that at opposition with her later rebellious nature. No that's not true. Hillshire does a lot to encourage her to operate independently. If you can't think for yourself then you really can't operate independently. Still do you think he had to give her an order to allow her to question her? Even if neither of them was aware it was an order. Or was it something that just eventually happened as she was allowed more, and more independent operation?

Which raises a question. Does an off hand comment like, 'you should like this movie' make it an order? I suppose that depends on how much they've learned to interpret what their told.

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Re: I'm curious...

Post by ElfenMagix on Fri 4 Jan 2008 - 11:10

Like Henrietta, Triela's conditioning medication and rewrite orders is set to the minimum level, perhaps lower than Henrietta. Citing this, Henrietta questions about her relationship with Jose, while Triela questions everything. It could be that they are set to the same dosage, but since Triela is larger (ie: taller) then Henrietta, to her its like taking less medication.

Also, Hillshire goes about his missions very differently than most of the others. He does a lot of intell gathering before catching/killing his man. Triela has learned this through him, and the other things that sets her different from the others. You have to remember- the Hillshire/Triela teams are sent out to "Bring'em Back Alive" missions than most of the others. Except for Marco, who did go to college and then law school, Hillshire is a college grad. EuroPol does not accept street cops into its ranks, they take on the highly educated and most recommended members of the force. Hillshire has to be teaching Triela a lot while on the field.

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Re: I'm curious...

Post by Guest on Fri 4 Jan 2008 - 11:26

For the staying up all night. The order was not contrary to some strong impulse in Henrietta, so there was no real reason for her to disobey it. If Hillshire told Triela to practice all night it's likely she wouldn't be [articularly rebelious about it. I think she'd do it.
On the other hand if Jose told Henrietta to kill him, that would be a whole different bag of tea.

The older cyborgs (as you ssaid) have a greater ability to interpret orders. "Cyborg age" is also important, since the girls are really born again. When they wake up they are suddenly in a new reality that they know very littel about. As time passes they learn what they can do and what they can't do, what the options are in general. The first day after awaking as a cyborg I doubt the girls are even conscious of the possibility of disoeying.

In the Toni scenario, Triela was not chasing him because she was ordered. She was doing it on her own accord because she knew, in general, that that was what Hillshire wanted. The directness of the order was really minimal.

I think an order can only be a direct statement along the lines of do this or don't do that. But, obeying direct commands is actually the smaller part of the system. The larger part would be their wanting to please the handler; how they do that depends on the girl.

If the girls is older, and na older cyborg she treats her handler less literally. The younger ones are also capable of almost subconsciously reading their handlers expectations.

In the case of Henrietta if Jose said you should like that movie she would do her best to like it to please him.

On the other hand there is Triela. She is confused because Hillshire's expectations aren't exactly celar, but also because she can pick up more then just what he explicitly says.

For example in the scene in the begging of the series when she shoots the guy and Hillshire gets angry at her, she says "If that's the way you feel... Why don't you just pump me full of the medication?" What she is reffering to here is that Hillshire is saying something that is contradictory to his actions. He acts as if he wanted her to make choices, but here he is telling her not to make them.

A lot of her confusion comes from her picking up many, often contradictory, signals as to what he wants.

Another aspect of the situation is that Triela is older then most of the girls. Triela still thinks more along the lines of Jose simply loving her and being kind to her. The way she finds to do this is to please him. On the other hand Triela wants more then that. She also wants Hillshire to respect her, she wants to be "worthy" and to prove herself to him. This is not something you get simply by pleasing someone.

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