The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sat 20 Mar 2010 - 23:19

Thank's everyone. Next episode will be comedic, again involving a lot of cyborgs.

@MP5 wrote: I'm glad to see smatterings of mention of Allison (rowdy as she was),
I'm happy to use her, and in every case that she did show up (welding, helping the Q-division) she was the only logical choice for that role.
As for her getting a bit tipsy at the celebration banquet; it just seems to fit her hyper personality. Allison will play a role in #13 as well, and have a bunch of conversational lines in #14.

@Alfisti wrote:Of course I always enjoy seeing mentions of Monty. Glad to see she was out on her own (or with the GIS) for most of the op... and not mentioned at the after-party. I can't imagine her putting in more than a token appearance at such an event, if at all.
Well, there is an open bar after the banquet...I can see Jethro wanting to stick around for that, and even Monty if she can sneak a few cocktails while the bosses aren't looking.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 20 Mar 2010 - 23:23

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
@Alfisti wrote:Of course I always enjoy seeing mentions of Monty. Glad to see she was out on her own (or with the GIS) for most of the op... and not mentioned at the after-party. I can't imagine her putting in more than a token appearance at such an event, if at all.
Well, there is an open bar after the banquet...I can see Jethro wanting to stick around for that, and even Monty if she can sneak a few cocktails while the bosses aren't looking.

Kara will be sure to slip out a bottle of Tanqueray 10 for her. Wink

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Sat 20 Mar 2010 - 23:35

@Professor Voodoo wrote:Well, there is an open bar after the banquet...I can see Jethro wanting to stick around for that, and even Monty if she can sneak a few cocktails while the bosses aren't looking.

Well, Jethro's significantly more sociable then his cyborg is... though you're right, an open bar would see her sticking around a little bit longer. Honestly I doubt she'd give a shit as to who saw her drinking though, in her own head at least she's closer to staff then cyborg.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 12 Apr 2010 - 12:27

@Professor Voodoo wrote:When concocting the bomb-squad characters I tried hard not to make them clones of Beatrice. They do feel emotions, it's their ability to show it that's muted. Bernardo was a gregarious character, but all 4 of the bomb-squad girls have apathetic handlers.

I'm working on drafting Michele's reaction to Noël being conditioned to become a better sniper and I would like to reference this bit of background on the girl's and their characterizations if I may.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 12 Apr 2010 - 18:21

@Kiskaloo wrote:
@Professor Voodoo wrote:When concocting the bomb-squad characters I tried hard not to make them clones of Beatrice. They do feel emotions, it's their ability to show it that's muted. Bernardo was a gregarious character, but all 4 of the bomb-squad girls have apathetic handlers.

I'm working on drafting Michele's reaction to Noël being conditioned to become a better sniper and I would like to reference this bit of background on the girl's and their characterizations if I may.

Sounds good. PM me if there's anything I can help with.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sat 24 Apr 2010 - 13:48

Sorry, no update yet. While I may not have been involved in any oil-rig fires, my hard drive is nonetheless dead. I lost everything since my last backup including...

E&M #13, which was about 66% done.
10,000 words of a new, non E&M stand-alone story.
A 4-panel comic I had just begun.

So unless anyone knows some dark secrets about recovering information from a non-functional hard drive, it will be a while before I'm ready with anything new.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by crazyidiot78 on Sat 24 Apr 2010 - 18:18

Can't say i know any of those voodoo. sorry man

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Sat 24 Apr 2010 - 21:32

@Professor Voodoo wrote:Sorry, no update yet. While I may not have been involved in any oil-rig fires, my hard drive is nonetheless dead. I lost everything since my last backup including...

E&M #13, which was about 66% done.
10,000 words of a new, non E&M stand-alone story.
A 4-panel comic I had just begun.

So unless anyone knows some dark secrets about recovering information from a non-functional hard drive, it will be a while before I'm ready with anything new.

Nonfunctional, as in how?
if its just ticking, loud high pitch screaming inside or you can shake and hear it like a rattle, best to send it out and have it repaired. Check prices but the average is like a $1 a gig. Most of the time they would swap out the patters to a new mechanism and the data is recoverable.

If its a fried drive board- you could get a clone drive and swap boards (done that on more than one occasion and it works, but you'll still have 1 dead drive...lol)

A possible attempt is to put the drive into a USB Enclosure and see it you can fetch the lost data that way. They are about $40 for a blank one or $under $100 with a 80 - 100 gig drive in it.

Everything else is running Norton Disk Doctor to get back those lost files due to lost clusters.

Dont go to Geek Squad, Best Buy or some other department store/commercial place. They will charge you $1600 to recover your data and put it onto DVD disks.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Sat 24 Apr 2010 - 21:41

@ElfenMagix wrote:Dont go to Geek Squad, Best Buy or some other department store/commercial place. They will charge you $1600 to recover your data and put it onto DVD disks.
WOW! That's ridiculous-expensive! Last time someone I knew needed a HDD recovered it ran them about $200... still expensive but not "cheap car" expensive.

Meh, maybe it's a difference in business practices between countries, who knows. I know there's plenty of stuff that I hear about in the States where the price makes me need to pick my jaw up off the floor (the tipping culture for example, it just isn't part of the Australian psyche), and I'm sure it's vice-versa.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 12 May 2010 - 3:20

After almost 2 months since the last installment I am pleased to present a New Episode...#13: Shakespeare in the Dorm.

Marisa & Elio take a backseat to Triela & Claes in this one. When an unexpected peace breaks out the room-mates must find a way to focus the cyborgs' unspent energy before it tears the agency apart.


Hard to read, but proof that Claes is familiar with The Merchant of Venice.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Wed 12 May 2010 - 5:51

More detailed thoughts later, but for the time being I can say that I laughed out loud in several places. Smile

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Wed 12 May 2010 - 10:09

Some thoughts on "Victory and Goodbye":

After a 16 hour day of checking, re-checking, and packing equipment for deployment

An understatement, surely? Packing for anything's like the Labour of Sisyphus, rolling the boulder up the hill for all eternity...

"I dunno," Marisa admitted, "I almost lost it when you said that line about my face and my butt!" It was a private game the two shared;

A bit of blokey mutual insult - I'd say that these are the two cyborgs definitely most suited for it. Marisa's already quite tomboyish, and Triela's worldly-wise enough to indulge in the light-hearted spirit of it.

"Well Rico & Henrietta loved it" groaned Triela, "they've been walking around, arm-in-arm, singing all the songs for 3 days straight. The worst part is, neither of them speaks English very well so they never get the words right! Every time they sing a song it's different, and makes even less sense than the time before!" Triela's eyes grew wild, like a crazy person, as she continued; "But no matter how badly the two of them mangle the lyrics, they're both perfectly in sync with each-other! I can't figure out how they're doing it! They are driving me crazy!"

Hmm... I remember from an old maths class years back that "random" functions in computers aren't actually genuinely random but still follow a set pattern - the same situation coming up here? Anyway, it's a nicely cute observation of the two girls.

"Maybe I'll get lucky and you'll step on a land-mine" grumbled Mari, tucking her towel around herself. It was obvious that Triela was not going to give up, so with a roll of her eyes she finally sat down on the bench. That drew a squeal of delight from Triela, who snatched up Marisa's brush and went to work on her long red hair.

I can't really empathise with this as I keep my hair cropped short precisely so that it's as low-maintenance as possible... oh well, something like this is just one small windowpane peering into that dark and impenetrable shadowy vault that is Woman!

the "air-lift" (as it was called) worked very efficiently, but stirred up one hell of a mess, and reduced any visibility they might have had to effectively zero.

The detail here got a smile from me. We use airlifts in archaeology as well, although they're a lot smaller-scale than the big industrial types - some versions literally just use drainage pipes for house.

There was no time to unhook the crows-foot connectors from the air hoses...any second now the patrol would come around to starboard and see the hoses going overboard...so she grabbed a rigging axe and cut them both. The hoses slid through the scupper & down into the dark water just in time.

Interesting complication.

Let's get to work you idiots...we've got 6 jig lines full of squid to haul in!"

Well, that's catering for the next few months sorted out if nothing else.


Mari watched in horror as her handler began taking off his rebreather... If she pulled too hard and broke those they were both as good as dead, and a massive operation would stop in its tracks.

Hell, never mind Marisa, I had palpitations in this paragraph. I'm still relatively inexperienced in the whole diving lark so I still have worries about catching the bends even in a pool session.

for Silvia & Beatrice in Venice, and for Mario Theuma in Milan

Thanks for the shoutouts for my characters throughout.


"Did you use your internal heaters on decompression?" asked Elio.
"Just a little" admitted Mari. It had gotten pretty cold waiting on that ascent line.
He thrust 2 wax-paper wrapped energy bars into her hand. "Eat...quickly."

As some self-criticism of my own writing, I probably don't talk up the cyborgs' abilities enough beyond the usual sharper sense/unnatural strength. Seeing a detail like this is good colour and helps to make full use of the cyborg concept.

Despite the violence, and the sound of dying screams all around her Marisa chuckled when she saw her friend. Even though she was dressed all in tactical black, 'Etta had still managed to wear a skirt into battle.

I liked the note about the skirt. I know it offends the operational soul of some people, but however implausible it is having the cyborgs fight in street wear is one aspect of GSG's appeal to me - togging up characters like Rainbow Six is all very well and good but it gets very samey whenever the paramilitary acronym of the day is togged up in the same straps and belts as the last lot. Besides, when bullets patter off your armoured hide like summer rain you can afford to disdain kneepads and balaclavas!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Wed 12 May 2010 - 10:14

You know, I was thinking at work tonight that I could do with some M&E to read... seems my prayers were answered.

Defiantely a fun and entertaining chapter. Bit rougher around the edges than usual if I'm honest, but definately enjoyable.

I'll admit I was a bit concerned when I saw Monty's name pop up... a play is not the sort of thing she'd be interested in doing. However you handled her reaction and, once Triela had talked her into it, approach to it fantasically. Fun to see the "piece of furniture" line inserted into the story as well. I guess as they say: if you want something done, give it to a busy person

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 12 May 2010 - 13:09

@Professor Voodoo wrote:After almost 2 months since the last installment I am pleased to present a New Episode...#13: Shakespeare in the Dorm.

Awesome.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Wed 12 May 2010 - 15:39

More thoughts on "Victory & Goodbye". Sorry if some of the comments aren't very detailed, but I don't really see much to pick at!

51 Padania terrorists were dead, with another 14 captured, versus zero fatalities for the combined SISDE forces. 3 GIS men had suffered bullet wounds, and one was stabbed, but none of these were considered critical. As for the cyborgs, a few had caught bullets, and there were a handful of cuts, scrapes and bruises, but the injuries were well within the limits of what each girl could endure.

It may sound ghoulish, but I always find these totting-up sessions after a battle oddly satisfying - I imagine the numbers flying like the ringing of a slot machine that's won a prize. I suppose it's like sports - you just have to love statistics!

Marisa quietly but authoritatively pointed out that as Italians they should have used prosecco instead

*Robert breaks out the notepad and begins scribbling*

Only Triela & Agapita came in ahead of you...Agapita did a lot of damage with that mortar of hers."

This is quite embarrassing! Even though I gave Agapita a mortar, she's never had the chance to use it in any of my stories yet!

"Sorry I ruined it for you" sighed Lorenzo.

It's a good sequence, and I can see the narrative sense for having the reveal occur during the party (fun backdrop brings forward the tragedy by contrast, and it also allows Marisa to be roused in the morning for the appropriate show of her uncertain position), but in Lorenzo's position I would have saved it for the morning.

While we were away on the mission, something unfortunate happened. Mrs. Galati fell down in her garden, and her friends had to take her to the hospital."

Slipping it in in stages, lowering her down gently.

I know" she replied, wiping her eyes, "but I can hold it together for her funeral...we have to be there!"
"This is going to be a lot more emotional for you" Elio warned, "I don't think it's a good idea."
She pleaded with him; "Elio, please! I swear, I won't have a breakdown...I have to say goodbye, I can't just forget about her like she meant nothing!"

Interesting perspective on Marisa's phobia - it's not so much that her attitude itself is mellowing, but rather that it's an obstacle to power through to achieve an objective that she wants.

"And we're going to be burying that calming effect!" snapped Pieri, "Jesus Elio, if any other handler had come to me with this request I'd have thrown him out of my office. Why the hell am I even considering this?"

Old Boy's network, chum. Wink

The Chief refilled his tumbler with wine and raised it. "Salute..." he toasted, as their glasses clinked together, "...and may we not end up in prison for this."

It's a very atypical mood for a funeral - dread and panic instead of solemnity - which makes me feel unusual and interested.

"I'll tell you later" replied Alboreto, motioning toward the back seat, "I hardly think that story is appropriate on the way to a funeral. Let's just say a woman and a lot of poor choices were involved."

In-ter-est-ing... is Marisa 9 any suggestion of Elio's misspent youth here?


Both men were on high alert as they entered the portico. "3 nuns, straight ahead" whispered Lorenzo. The 2 had Marisa sandwiched between them.

I'm surprised that they don't have drones overhead to track every single habit within a ten-mile radius and snatch squads with the engines revving.

I can't even cry for her...I feel like it, but the tears won't come. The worst thing is, any time I think of her being gone, all I can think of is myself. How I won't ever look at her photo albums again, how I won't be sitting in her garden next spring-time, how I will never taste her cooking or hear her laughter again."

I can empathise with this from my own experiences.

maybe Avise, he seems to like borrowing my car

You can hardly blame the man, not everyone has a different Ferrari for every day of the week.

Just roll with me on this one kiddo, I'm going somewhere with this." He explained, "The Wizard told the Tin Man 'a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.' You loved Mrs. Galati very much, and thinking about how much you will miss her only proves that."

Good way of bringing things full circle.

"Be careful in the Carabinieri."
"I will" laughed Giovanni, shaking her hand as well, "Have a good night."

...ten quid says that he's blown to smithereens by Marisa 15.

All those years later, no one could explain how it originally got there, or when it had been planted.

Nicely reflective ending. Going a step beyond Lorenzo's musings about memorials in the crypt? Even when the headstones have all crumbled and anyone who would have known you has passed on themselves, something of you survives in some way and so it's never been a life squandered, nor ever truly ended.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by MP5 on Wed 12 May 2010 - 16:14

So I read the latest chapter-- good to see Allison make an appearance, and I had a laugh at the lengths she went to make the sets.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Fri 14 May 2010 - 10:13

@Robert Frazer wrote: I can say that I laughed out loud in several places
Comedy has got to be the hardest thing to write (as you know from WBFP). I gave serious consideration to picking your brain for some theater horror stories (you mentioned that you'd done some Gilbert & Sullivan), but in the end decided that would have been too great a spoiler.

@Alfisti wrote:Defiantely a fun and entertaining chapter. Bit rougher around the edges than usual if I'm honest,
I'll agree with that. This one feels more like a collection of incidents that one coherant story. What can I say...comedy is hard.

I'll admit I was a bit concerned when I saw Monty's name pop up... a play is not the sort of thing she'd be interested in doing. However you handled her reaction and, once Triela had talked her into it, approach to it fantasically. Fun to see the "piece of furniture" line inserted into the story as well.
In my universe, nobody...even the cool & collected Monty, is allowed to remain in their "comfort zone." Characters must be thrust into absurd situations...be they dramatic or comedic. I think that's one of the core themes of GSG. Ex-military men & spies thrust into the role of being responsible for emotionally needy murder-loli's? That is a pretty screwy life.

@MP5 wrote:good to see Allison make an appearance, and I had a laugh at the lengths she went to make the sets.
Allison is finding a niche in my stories as the "mad-scientist" of Section 2. I'll have more driving-oriented stuff for her to do as my timeline reaches spring.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Fri 14 May 2010 - 11:38

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
@Alfisti wrote:Defiantely a fun and entertaining chapter. Bit rougher around the edges than usual if I'm honest,
I'll agree with that. This one feels more like a collection of incidents that one coherant story. What can I say...comedy is hard.

I can't remember who it was, some director, but they said they liked to cast comedians in dramatic roles... because once you can do comedy you can do anything.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
@Alfisti wrote:I'll admit I was a bit concerned when I saw Monty's name pop up... a play is not the sort of thing she'd be interested in doing. However you handled her reaction and, once Triela had talked her into it, approach to it fantasically. Fun to see the "piece of furniture" line inserted into the story as well.
In my universe, nobody...even the cool & collected Monty, is allowed to remain in their "comfort zone." Characters must be thrust into absurd situations...be they dramatic or comedic. I think that's one of the core themes of GSG. Ex-military men & spies thrust into the role of being responsible for emotionally needy murder-loli's? That is a pretty screwy life.

I've got no issue seeing Monty pulled outside her comfort zone, I guess I was just more concerned that she may wind up a willing participant. I know, I should have had more faith (especially seeing as sometimes I think you may have a better grasp on her personality than I do), but I tend to get paranoid like that... particularly as I don't have a lot of canon for Monty that I've written myself.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Fri 14 May 2010 - 14:43

I'll agree with that. This one feels more like a collection of incidents that one coherant story. What can I say...comedy is hard

I get that feeling with pretty much every story I write. It's probably to do with my style of writing - rarely will I start at the beginning and finish at the end, but I'll have disconnected passages scattered across the story as they occur to me, and they gradually get extended until they run up against each other. It has an advantage that if you have a good idea for an event then it can be penned while it's fresh, but really I don't think that it's the healthiest way to write - without a clear starting point it can take extra effort to get going again in a writing session, and with no clear end point - just keep on adding incidents until you run out of dieas for new scenes in this context - your morale can suffer if the story seems to be dragging on without progress. I'm going to try doing things a little more conventionally with my next story.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sat 15 May 2010 - 1:02

Some of the "quoting" is screwed up here...things that shouldn't be boxed in are boxed in. Can't figure it out.

(I think I was able to re-format it correctly for ya - Kiskaloo)

@Robert Frazer wrote:A bit of blokey mutual insult -
I'll be trying to work this in whenever Triela & Mari work together.

That drew a squeal of delight from Triela, who snatched up Marisa's brush and went to work on her long red hair.
something like this is just one small windowpane peering into that dark and impenetrable shadowy vault that is Woman!

A reference back to canon chapter 8, when she wants to brush Angelica's hair (and Claes won't even let me touch hers!).



I imagine Triela annoys all the longer haired cyborgs with this from time to time.


"Did you use your internal heaters on decompression?" asked Elio.
"Just a little" admitted Mari.

I probably don't talk up the cyborgs' abilities enough beyond the usual sharper sense/unnatural strength.


For every special power/ability a cyborg has I think it's important to show a trade-off or disadvantage. Marisa might have internal heating sources to help her underwater but they burn a huge amount of energy. Since cyborgs can't store energy as body fat this could be lethal if she doesn't "refuel."

I liked the note about the skirt.


That's a nod to canon. In the early chapters there's one scene where Henrietta wears trousers...since then Yu has dressed her entirely in skirts or dresses. I picture her showing up for the big fight in a police-style sweater, but with a black skirt & leggings. Everyone just accepts it because cyborgs are odd.

It may sound ghoulish, but I always find these totting-up sessions after a battle oddly satisfying -


That's a part I had second thoughts about. 51 dead to zero? A bit unrealistic...but it had to be that way to support the flow of the story.

Marisa quietly but authoritatively pointed out that as Italians they should have used prosecco instead
*Robert breaks out the notepad and begins scribbling*
One night of drinking (in Naples) and one mild hangover have turned Marisa into a self-declared Master Sommelier.


Even though I gave Agapita a mortar, she's never had the chance to use it in any of my stories yet!


I see Avise & Agapita being useful with more than just a mortar...the go-to fratello for all your light artillery needs. I wonder if Agapita would be interested in trying something like this...



Mk.19 40mm grenade launcher, capable of 375 rounds per minute.

(every other cyborg begins trembling & whimpering in anticipation, hoping she'll say no so they can volunteer to play with it)

Let's just say a woman and a lot of poor choices were involved."
In-ter-est-ing... is Marisa 9 any suggestion of Elio's misspent youth here?


Well, Ep.9 was concocted purely in Marisa's imagination. Episode 15 will have more about Elio's past, and I plan on exposing why he left the SAS after only 5 years during a conversation with Jethro later on.


maybe Avise, he seems to like borrowing my car
You can hardly blame the man, not everyone has a different Ferrari for every day of the week.

That line was inspired by something you (I think) wrote in a forum thread, about Avise spinning doughnuts in the Chief's Maserati.

"Be careful in the Carabinieri."
"I will" laughed Giovanni, shaking her hand as well, "Have a good night."
...ten quid says that he's blown to smithereens by Marisa 15.

Yeah, that would be the family luck, wouldn't it? I do have plans to bring him back in the future though...in an arc involving the Bologna Faction & the "Hannibalists" you mentioned in WBFP Ch. 1.

Nicely reflective ending.


I think one of the interesting themes of the secret-agent genre, from James Bond to GsG, is the idea of sacrifice without hope of recognition. It's like the folk tale of the old man planting a fig tree, knowing he'll never live long enough to see it bear fruit.

@Robert Frazer wrote:
Voodoo wrote:I'll agree with that. This one feels more like a collection of incidents that one coherant story. What can I say...comedy is hard

I get that feeling with pretty much every story I write. It's probably to do with my style of writing - rarely will I start at the beginning and finish at the end, but I'll have disconnected passages scattered across the story as they occur to me, and they gradually get extended until they run up against each other.


I should try that. Often I have a solid story idea, but I get hung up on one passage and I lose all momentum.


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I saw a werewolf drinking a Piña Colada at Trader Vic's. His hair was perfect.
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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 15 May 2010 - 11:21

@Professor Voodoo wrote:I imagine Triela annoys all the longer haired cyborgs with this from time to time.

Kara: "Ouch! Easy on the roots, Triela!"

@Professor Voodoo wrote:

Marisa quietly but authoritatively pointed out that as Italians they should have used prosecco instead.
*Robert breaks out the notepad and begins scribbling*
One night of drinking (in Naples) and one mild hangover have turned Marisa into a self-declared Master Sommelier.

Probably from all the scribbling on a notepad she does watching Kara and Michele in the kitchen as she looks for "cats".



Which wins her no friends amongst the chefs, who think Marisa believes feline is on the menu. Razz


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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sat 15 May 2010 - 12:54

@Kiskaloo wrote:I think I was able to re-format it correctly for ya - Kiskaloo

Thanks...the only one left was the line about Marisa considering herself a wine expert after one night of drinking. It's straightened out now.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Sat 15 May 2010 - 19:52

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
@Kiskaloo wrote:I think I was able to re-format it correctly for ya - Kiskaloo

Thanks...the only one left was the line about Marisa considering herself a wine expert after one night of drinking. It's straightened out now.
One night of boozing usually made experts out of amateurs...
I used to spend many a cold night fixing cars with a blood alcohol content 2X the legal limit. Yeah, the law says you cant drive drive but nothing about fixing your own car under the influence!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by boomer_gonz on Sat 15 May 2010 - 20:04

LOLZ, I can imagine Allison adjusting a turbo; after a three-way drinking match involving Alpha, Kara, and herself.

Allison: Dosh dat wook wike a shoo to you?
Jay: It looks more like a five.
Allison: ...Probabwy a fanshee two.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Sat 15 May 2010 - 20:42

ROTFL

Allison: Shwhy dose thiz nut feet?

Rachel walks in with a sledge hammer... lifts it up to show it off.

Rachel: Ouw meye wayh... I well maque if feet...

*WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM!*

Jay: Wow it does fit now...

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sun 16 May 2010 - 0:08

And where are the cyborgs getting all this illict, contraband booze? The world wonders...

Lorenzo:
(proudly) Will you look at that! I thought we were going to have a bad dandelion infestation, but all the cyborgs are out there weeding the lawns. They did it without even being asked!

Ferro: They're doing what?

Lorenzo: They're weeding the lawns...pulling out all the dandelions.

Ferro: Oh crap (facepalm). SURPRISE DORM INSPECTION, RIGHT NOW!

Meanwhile...in the dormitory basement...

Claes: (sampling the mix with a ladle) It's almost done...just a few more hours.

Rachel: Mr. Pagani's chemistry lessons are really paying off!


Taraxacum officinale, from which you can make some pretty decent wine.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Sun 16 May 2010 - 0:14

It's been well over a decade now since I last drank some dandelion & burdock cordial - you can hardly find it anywhere nowadays, if they even make it anymore. They didn't sell coke as a matter of policy at the Providore in the Scout camp... dandelion & burdock and Calypso ice-lollies were for me the taste of summer childhood.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 16 May 2010 - 0:46

[A month earlier.]



Noël: "Are these enough dandelions for your...project?"

Claes: "This will be just fine..."


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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sun 16 May 2010 - 0:55

@Kiskaloo wrote: [A month earlier.]

Noël: "Are these enough dandelions for your...project?"

Claes: "This will be just fine..."

Perverse minds think alike! Check your Kara, Noel & Michele pictures thread. Posted at the exact same minute!

Meanwhile...Ferro finds the winemaking operation...

Ferro: (arms crossed, tapping her toe angrily) And what may I ask is all this?

Claes: Eh...chemistry homework?

Allison: Biofuel?

Rachel: THEY FORCED ME TO DO IT!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Sun 16 May 2010 - 12:28

LOL! That's My Rachel!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Sun 16 May 2010 - 22:01

Right-o, now the curtain rises for Marisa 13:

Sandro Rissi was among the first handlers to find himself victimized. Up to a point he had given sanction to the shenanigans with a wink and a nod, but when he finally counseled the girls that they might be taking it too far, his Smart Car was abducted and found a day later on the roof of the indoor shooting range.

Heheheh, I remember that one.

(not as a result of overwork, he had been watching some particularly boring evidence tapes and fallen asleep in his office)

Good human detail.

"Damn" Elio thought to himself, "I should have specified that she was not allowed to prank me..."

Hah, nicely observed!

With a groan of resignation she answered "Yeah" and accepted the pipe from him.

Aww, I hoped that Priscilla was more refined than that. 8(

Anyway, a well-written scene, even if it reinforced all the reasons why I avoid the stuff!

Jean would have actually shot at it" Petra laughed, "he hates Sandro's car!"

I always found it incredible that the Agency Lothario putters about in such a dinky little thing. I suppose that with navigating the narrow streets he could be styling himself as the urbane sophisticate; or alternatively, the atypical car choice is a little visual cue to show that as much as Alessando's slept around in the past and fools about with Petrushka now, he's not actually so superficial and there's depth beyond the surface pleasures.

She rolled her eyes. "Okay, let me elucidate; I am the only cyborg who can take a car apart and then put it back together!"

Substitute "clarify" for "elucidate".

"We can find him in the database tonight, and go kill him tomorrow!" offered Henrietta.

You wonder if they're joking, or if this is the childlike logic at work...!

Hillshire, I can't lie to you...my conditioning won't allow it" explained the girl "I'd probably throw up or something." It was a half-truth. She could get away with little lies, but her conditioning did make her feel physically uncomfortable while doing it.

This is an interesting remark. I've tended to envision conditioning as being the elephant in the room in fratelli relations - the uncomfortable, vaguely unseemly thing that you daren't mention but is always lurking there. Going back to their conversations in the TV series, though, H&T are one of the few who can talk about the subject openly and candidly, by virtue of Triela's long life and her 'mother hen' status.

It's getting late so I'll have to leave it at that for now, more to follow soon.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sun 16 May 2010 - 23:42

Jean would have actually shot at it" Petra laughed, "he hates Sandro's car!"
I always found it incredible that the Agency Lothario putters about in such a dinky little thing.
I don't know what the Continental attitude is concerning Smart Cars. Here in the US they're rare enough to be considered rather exotic.

A more mundane explanation could be; that's what Alessandro can afford. In canon, only Hillshire & the Croce brothers are shown driving expensive cars, and there is the suggestion that they come from backgrounds of affluence. Agency pay is good (as hinted at by Lauro) but perhaps not Michele Pagani good.

Substitute "clarify" for "elucidate".
Allison is trying to be unnecessarily wordy here. Besides, the word clarification appears in the next sentence, so it would be repetative.

"We can find him in the database tonight, and go kill him tomorrow!" offered Henrietta.
You wonder if they're joking, or if this is the childlike logic at work...!
I think they're just bored enough to be serious, but it's the kind of thing they'd realize was a bad idea once the excitement wore off. Rico is definately not joking about going out for ice cream...that is a topic of grave importance amongst cyborgs.

I've tended to envision conditioning as being the elephant in the room in fratelli relations - the uncomfortable, vaguely unseemly thing that you daren't mention but is always lurking there. Going back to their conversations in the TV series, though, H&T are one of the few who can talk about the subject openly and candidly, by virtue of Triela's long life and her 'mother hen' status.
Conditioning...now that's a topic that could launch a thousand threads. I'm going to dodge that debate right now, and conjecture that Yu has kept the specifics of what conditioning can do and what it can't vauge to allow for more narrative flexability.
I'm sure every girl reacts differently, and her relationship with her handler influences that reaction. Rico tells Fillipo Adani "I'm no good at lying" which implies that she's never any good at it, but I suspect the engineers try for the goal of a cyborg who can lie flawlessly during a mission, but must be perfectly honest with her agency authority figures. Success varies...Bianchi obviously believes Henrietta is capable of lying during his interview with her (Chapter 10) and Angelica gives a misleading answer to him minutes later (the ID badge thing).

As for Triela, she may have a strong relationship with her handler, but she's still a 14 year old girl, so I'm sure she has some secrets she hopes Hillshire doesn't learn about. Illict midnight supply runs to the nearby motor service plaza perhaps?

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Tue 18 May 2010 - 22:31

@Professor Voodoo wrote:As for Triela, she may have a strong relationship with her handler, but she's still a 14 year old girl, so I'm sure she has some secrets she hopes Hillshire doesn't learn about. Illict midnight supply runs to the nearby motor service plaza perhaps?
Why need a car when a cyborg can climb out a window, run across the compound, jump over a 30ft fence and do a 1/4 mile dash to Vinny's Liquor and Pizza Palace; and do the same in reverse....

Wait, they need money for this, right?

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 19 May 2010 - 1:01

@ElfenMagix wrote:
@Professor Voodoo wrote: Illict midnight supply runs to the nearby motor service plaza perhaps?
Why need a car when a cyborg can climb out a window, run across the compound, jump over a 30ft fence and do a 1/4 mile dash to Vinny's Liquor and Pizza Palace; and do the same in reverse....

Wait, they need money for this, right?
The last line is a reference to Robert's Wham, Bang, Fizz, Pow, which addresses all of that, and explores the lunacy that results from the girls' midnight runs.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Wed 19 May 2010 - 6:31

Mr. Mancini would have held her late, asking a bunch of questions (Where were you? Why were you late? Why the bloody hell are you soaking wet?) in an intimidating manner

I can see this happening, certainly. He's used to having some guilty reprobate private frogmarched into his office for a dressing-down and three evenings whitewashing the guardhouse.

Disregarding the final 2 minutes of their exile from the classroom Triela rushed back in, dragging Claes by the wrist.

This was actuallly quite a good framing device. The moving in and out of the class keeps interest active during an extended dialogue, as well as the rushing in and taking over of the class giving us something concrete to judge Triela's eagerness against.

The class roared with laughter, so Henrietta jumped right in on the jest. She threw her arms around Marisa's mid section and begged "Daddy...buy me a pony!" to which Mari sternly replied "No!"

I can imagine Jose crumbling under the soul-flaying gaze of Henrietta's deep, wide, wet, soulful eyes, and then be found trying to clear the cost of a stable and feed with the Procurement office through terms of tactical diversity - a cavalry unit will allow the cyborgs to conduct pursuit over broken terrain faster than on foot or vehicle! Smile

I wonder if Rico and Henrietta were perhaps a little too dopey, but it serves for comic effect and it's believable in any case, so I've no complaint.

"Lots of stuff" she replied, "It'll move the gondola's through the canals, control all the special effects, and operate the curtain...trust me it'll be awesome! Besides, I have to cut holes to drain the water out anyway."

Is this GSG or The A-Team? Allison certainly loves it when a plan comes together. Gleefully ridiculous.

"Well, Shakespeare" answered Triela, who hoped she could entice her fellow cyborg by being a bit evasive. Monty was not very sociable, but she did have a curious streak that Triela wanted to use to her own advantage.

I enjoy the little headgames here.

"Watch that tone of voice, young lady" warned Hillshire, getting a little bit annoyed. "I know the play is important to you, and know you've worked very hard, but we have our orders. Even Chief Lorenzo tried to pass this one off to Section One but the Minister of Defense specifically requested Section 2 and specifically requested you & I.

There's disadvantages to being the Agency's golden girl, it seems.

"He didn't object" answered Triela. Because I didn't even call him. It was only a little lie.

It's economical with the truth.

"Security & terrorism" muttered Hillshire.

That surprised both girls. "Right in the middle of peace talks?" asked Triela, "Isn't that kind of provocative?"

Shifting into teacher mode, Hillshire made the situation into a lesson. "What does that tell you, girls?" They both thought about it for a minute, but neither Triela nor Allison ventured a guess. "It means the talks aren't going well" Victor explained, "The PM is making this speech to put pressure on the Five Republics Faction...show them he's ready to walk away from the negotiations."

"So we might be back in action soon?" asked Allison.

Hillshire did not provide a straight answer; "We'll just have to wait and see."

Good not to forget the backdrop, and it makes the scene more than just a reason for a rush to the theatre.

"Duke of Venice?" muttered Monty with a blank expression, "I thought I was the Duke of Milan...we're doing The Tempest, right?"

"No! The Merchant of Venice! Monty...did you rehearse the wrong play?" gasped Triela, "Please tell me you didn't rehearse the wrong play!"

"Oh my..." Monty replied, "...well that's embarrassing."

"EMBARRASSING!" shouted the horrified Triela, "This is a disaster!"

Monty confirmed for epic troll...

On stage things were not much better. Henrietta never took her eyes off Giuseppe in the audience, causing several of her fellow actors to miss cues. Rico shouted every one of her lines at the top of her lungs, and when Avise Mancini whispered to a fellow handler "We can't hear you Rico" she failed to understand the joke and turned directly to him, repeating the line even louder for his benefit. Even the stoic bomb squad girls laughed at that.

Marisa turned out to be one of the worst hams in the history of acting. She strutted around the stage like a pantomime villain, stroking her beard and delivering every one of her lines with in bombastic fashion, making them sound comically over the top. She did impress her audience when she came to Shylock's soliloquy about justice and revenge...by actually pricking herself with a hidden dagger when she came to her line "if you prick us, do we not bleed?" The sight of real blood on stage surprised even her fellow cast members...she had not given any indication of her plan to do that during any rehearsal.

Everything here sounds very believable and true to the cyborgs' natures.

Capping it all off there was an uncomfortable moment when Gina, playing Portia, held her final kiss with Bassanio way too long for comfort, only releasing Triela when she started to squirm


Ah, hot teen murder-bots totally lezz out... welcome to the wonderful world of fanservice, Voodoo. Wink

It did not seem to matter that it was terrible...everyone, audience & participants had considered it great fun.

I can appreciate that - even if it was an unmitigated catastrophe, it's a source of relief, and a valued reminder that fighting is not the be-all and end-all.

"They did" Victor assured her, "and most important, you stepped up and solved the problem I gave you...in a way I never would have imagined." He put his arms around his cyborg and embraced her. "You did great...congratulations." Although she would never admit it, Triela felt wonderful when he said that, and wished he would never let go.

A gently tender moment to wind-down on.

For a long time they were both silent, until the dark haired girl in glasses finally said "So, I think we should do A Midsummer Night's Dream next, what do you think?"

Classic "here we go again!" ending to cap off a light-hearted story.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Fri 21 May 2010 - 19:04

I see Avise & Agapita being useful with more than just a mortar...the go-to fratello for all your light artillery needs. I wonder if Agapita would be interested in trying something like this...



Mk.19 40mm grenade launcher, capable of 375 rounds per minute.

(every other cyborg begins trembling & whimpering in anticipation, hoping she'll say no so they can volunteer to play with it)

Y'know, Professor Voodoo, there could genuinely be something in that: using cyborg strength to carry an automatic grenade launcher slung at the hip, belt-fed to an ammo hopper carried on her back...



There's no kill like overkill.

The only trouble is, though, is that it isn't really conducive to a good story. Such a weapon would seep pretty much all of the drama out of stories very quickly!

AVISE: Agapita, there're terrorists holed up in that building! Take them out!

AGAPITA: On it, sir! Firing for effect!

FUDDA-FUDDA-FUDDA-FUDDA-FUDDA!

AGAPITA: Building cleared!

AVISE: ...literally. Agapita, you do know that was Grade I listed by the heritage office, right?

AGAPITA: Uh... I'm contributing to the economy, keeping construction firms in work?

LORENZO: Oooooh, my poor head... that's another week's worth of arguments with the insurers. Put A&A back on the mortar!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Fri 21 May 2010 - 19:35

Most of my battle scenes are short few liners. There is the occasional 3-pages of dialog- the bad guy must have his say while the soon to lose victory is still in his hands. Fernando hates that!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Fri 21 May 2010 - 21:04

@Robert Frazer wrote: Y'know, Professor Voodoo, there could genuinely be something in that: using cyborg strength to carry an automatic grenade launcher slung at the hip, belt-fed to an ammo hopper carried on her back...



AGAPITA: FOR THE AGENCY! DIE HERETIC SCUM!


*Runs off to load Dawn of War back on his computer.

@ElfenMagix wrote:Most of my battle scenes are short few liners. There is the occasional
3-pages of dialog- the bad guy must have his say while the soon to lose
victory is still in his hands. Fernando hates that!
But it is useful for learning how to disable the giant space-laser or where the lair's handy-dandy self-destruct button is.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sun 23 May 2010 - 9:06

@Robert Frazer wrote:
Mr. Mancini would have held her late, asking a bunch of questions...in an intimidating manner
I can see this happening, certainly.
Jeeze, I can see Avise is going to be really popular with the cyborgs.

I wonder if Rico and Henrietta were perhaps a little too dopey,
I'm certainly guilty of making Rico a bit too much of a comic doofus, but in Henrietta's case I feel I might have gone too far in the opposite direction. There are at least 3 examples in canon where Triela teases her, and 'Etta does not display a very quick sense of humor in retaliation. Her nature might just be a little too timid to jump right in on a joke.

Is this GSG or The A-Team? Allison certainly loves it when a plan comes together. Gleefully ridiculous.
MP5 introduced Allison as a cyborg specifically tasked with driving missions, but for my stories I've parlayed her mechanical skills into a sort of mad-scientist persona. Like Avise, coffee is a major part of her life.

Another thing about Allison; I suspect that (like Claes) she gets away with more than the average cyborg because of all the odd jobs she does around compound.

Ferro stomps into Brian McDonnell's office holding a cardboard box...

Ferro: McDonnell, I just caught your cyborg attempting to sneak this box of contraband into the dormitory! Do you have any objections before I throw the book at her?

Brian: (*groan*) I warned her that she was on her own if she got caught pulling this nonsense.

Ferro: Good, because I intend to...

Brian: Hold on for just a second; you might want to reconsider. Wasn't she going to fix the exhaust leak on your Alfa for free?

Ferro: Well...yes, she was.

Brian: She might not be so accommodating if you come down hard on her. How much would it cost you to have a civilian mechanic weld that up?

Ferro: (considers it for a minute) I see. Perhaps I might just go with a warning and confiscation of the banned items.

Brian: (thinking to himself) You owe me big-time kid.

"He didn't object" answered Triela. Because I didn't even call him. It was only a little lie.
It's economical with the truth.
Going back to the "how much dishonesty will conditioning allow" question.

Monty confirmed for epic troll...
Can we expect anything else from Monty?

On stage things were not much better.
Everything here sounds very believable and true to the cyborgs' natures.
I'm sure you've witnessed some theater horror stories yourself, Robert.

Ah, hot teen murder-bots totally lezz out... welcome to the wonderful world of fanservice, Voodoo.
Gina is an OC created by Piero, and she is confirmed to be into girls. In her interview she laments that Triela was converted too young for her tastes.

@ElfenMagix wrote:Most of my battle scenes are short few liners. There is the occasional 3-pages of dialog- the bad guy must have his say while the soon to lose victory is still in his hands. Fernando hates that!
Seems to me Rachel would be the biggest complainer in that situation...

Fernando: (shackled down to the laser-table, his cyborg alongside) So, do you expect me to talk?

Auric Goldfinger: No Mr. Fernando...I expect you to die. Using highly charged particles this laser will...

Rachel: BOOOOOORRRING!!! Just make with the damn laser already!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Sun 23 May 2010 - 10:23

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
Monty confirmed for epic troll...
Can we expect anything else from Monty?
Not really no...

Though to be fair: Monty doesn't generally intentionally set out to aggravate people (unless of course they've done something to annoy her and she feels some of her own particular subtle brand of divine retribution is required). She just consideres the rest of the world in general, and most of her fellow cyborgs in particular, to not be worth her time and acts accordingly. People she doesn't like just don't get an opinion. However to people she does like and/or respect she can actually be quite helpful... even if she's being grumpy whilst doing it.


Ferro:
Monty, these intelligence reviews, I was wondering if...

Monty: (snaps fingers and holds out hand without looking up) Give 'em here... if you let someone else at them I'll only wind up having to correct their mistakes later anyway.


Also, ulterior motive: Monty now gets first go at whatever new info's coming in and doesn't have to rely on what someone else might think is important to her. Plus by helping out there's always a chance that someone will feel indebted to her... which is always nice.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Sun 30 May 2010 - 17:56

I've just been having a read-over Marisa 11 again, Voodoo, and I think that it's one of my favourites in the series. There's lots of colour text to make full use of the Italian setting, and it's obvious that you were enjoying talking shop with the diving segments! Wink The section upbraiding Marisa for taking all of her gear for granted also certainly hit home. There were good character observations throughout - the return of the Marisa Moments was well-placed with a convincing lead-in, and I could hear Michele's voice when he reccommended the hotel to Elio - it might be seen as showing off if people were more insensitive, but he means to share it in a good-natured way. Marisa in her dress and with her hair down certainly provoked a cute "d'awwww" too (I liked the observation later on when she's braiding it up again, too). The sinking of the cruiser was also handled in an interesting way.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Sun 30 May 2010 - 19:53

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
@ElfenMagix wrote:Most of my battle scenes are short few liners. There is the occasional 3-pages of dialog- the bad guy must have his say while the soon to lose victory is still in his hands. Fernando hates that!
Seems to me Rachel would be the biggest complainer in that situation...

Fernando: (shackled down to the laser-table, his cyborg alongside) So, do you expect me to talk?

Auric Goldfinger: No Mr. Fernando...I expect you to die. Using highly charged particles this laser will...

Rachel: BOOOOOORRRING!!! Just make with the damn laser already!
Fernando: RACHEL!!! IF I GET KILLED, YOU WONT GET FED DINNER TONIGHT OR ANY OTHER NIGHT AFTER THAT!!!

Rachel: EEEP!

Rachel climbs up the wall, along the ceiling and wrecks the over hanging laser unit, making it drop onto Mr. Goldfinger's pointy little head!

Rachel (as she undoes her god-father's shackles): Why do all the bad guys have pointy little heads, daddy?

Fernando: Its a genetic thing, Rachel... Now what you want for dinner?

Rachel (looking at the crushed Mr Goldfinger spread his living blood on the floor): Hmmm... steak maybe?

Fernando: Steak sounds good. Now lets go before this place blows up.

Auto-Alarm: ATTENTION!!! THIS PLACE WILL SELF DESTRUCT IN 10 SECONDS!!!

2 hours later at Charlie's Steak house...

Rachel: We got lucky there, didn't we?

Fernando: Luck nothing. It was pure skill... Every Evil Doer has a secret plan of escape. It was just a matter of remembering the floor plan. Since his was Complex Design #638620913500145675214, the secret escape was behind the second reel to reel computer memory storage unit.

Rachel (to herself): Yeah right...

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sun 30 May 2010 - 22:21

@Robert Frazer wrote:I've just been having a read-over Marisa 11 again, Voodoo, and I think that it's one of my favourites in the series.
Thanks. It was an odd one to write, but I think people enjoy "vacation" stories because you get a lot of character exposition done when your OC's can let their hair down (literally in Mari's case). It may be a bit early to ask, but are you planning a holiday for A&A?
There's lots of colour text to make full use of the Italian setting,
More research than I've done for any other story.
it's obvious that you were enjoying talking shop with the diving segments!
You don't think that got a bit dry (bad choice of words)? I tried not to let it creep into a boring litany of breathing gas caluculations, but at the same time wanted to convey a feeling of silent intensity which (as you know youself) a diver experiences.
The section upbraiding Marisa for taking all of her gear for granted also certainly hit home.
Also meant to show the reader that Elio grew up poor and gets touchy about seeing money spent for extravagant reasons. He has nothing against seeing Michele spend his money though...especially when Million Dollar Pagani picks up the dinner check and the bar tab.
the return of the Marisa Moments was well-placed with a convincing lead-in,
I think it's important to conceed a trade-off for any special skill one gives their OC...so as long as Marisa can dive she will be afflicted by anxiety attacks. They are getting less frequent as she builds confidence & experience though.
I could hear Michele's voice when he reccommended the hotel to Elio
Like Avise, I picture Michele occasionally speaking with a bombastic flourish. Maybe it's an officer thing.
Marisa in her dress and with her hair down certainly provoked a cute "d'awwww" too
I think I got diabetes from writing that portion, but the audience sometimes needs a reminder that Mari is in fact a girl.
(I liked the observation later on when she's braiding it up again, too)
A symbolic act that came to me as I was writing it. Henceforth, Marisa never takes her hair out of braids unless she's on holiday.
The sinking of the cruiser was also handled in an interesting way.
One thing I'm not quite comfortable with is that twice so far (this tale + Operation Copperhead) Elio goes on a rant about how the plan is stupid and we shouldn't do it this way...but then he does it anyway and the plan goes off without a hitch (almost). I think I need to work some more unexpected complications into my action scenes. That said, Marisa's cartoonish ropes & pulleys contraption to fire into the fuel tanks was fun to write.
As for the destroying the yatch, I was aboard ship when I wrote this so I just wantered around my own vessel imagining how I would sink it with stuff I could find on board. That's the kind of research you don't tell your shipmates about!

@ElfenMagix wrote:Fernando: RACHEL!!! IF I GET KILLED, YOU WONT GET FED DINNER TONIGHT OR ANY OTHER NIGHT AFTER THAT!!!

Rachel: EEEP!
Ahh yes...the threat of missing a meal can be a force inspiring enough to motivate a cyborg to break out of her own solid steel shackles.

Rachel: (with her mouth full) Just shuddup and pass me a roll Mr. Voodoo!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Sun 30 May 2010 - 22:52

It may be a bit early to ask, but are you planning a holiday for A&A?

One idea I'm batting about is a heritage tour to Monte Cassino resulting in them getting roped into a chase for missing art with lots of locked-room mysteries, lining up the suspects and the like, but that's going to need a vast amount of research and planning (and rewatching The Thomas Crown Affair and half of the episodes of Johnathan Creek, at that) before I can start, so it's only something for the very distant future.

One thing I'm not quite comfortable with is that twice so far (this tale + Operation Copperhead) Elio goes on a rant about how the plan is stupid and we shouldn't do it this way...but then he does it anyway and the plan goes off without a hitch (almost). I think I need to work some more unexpected complications into my action scenes.

Mmm... I see what you're saying, but I wouldn't be too worried about it - in fiction we have the rare privilege of allowing a plan to survive the first contact, so it doesn't hurt to enjoy it - it's like a machine that you've created springing into action. The reader can appreciate good design. If some things do seem to be pushing your luck, you can stem it for a time by being self-aware (like the 'gotta get lucky sometime' when they wedge the cabin door shut), and after you've made that go as far as it can, giving your heroes hard fights. Visible cuts'n'bruises are the quid-pro-quo for a successful plan - the reader can appreciate your smart moves without feeling that you've breezed through it all unearned. Injuries are currency with which you buy plot indulgences.

It's no spoiler to say that Agapita is going to get the shit kicked out of her in "Occupational Hazards"...

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Tue 8 Jun 2010 - 19:45

After a few rounds of Scotch and The Green Fairy, Fernando hands Elio his Archos Video Player as it begins to play a video...



Fernando places 2000 Euros on the table after Elio puts down the video player at the end of the video.

Fernando: If I drop my watch into that hole, I bet that Marisa cant get t back...

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 9 Jun 2010 - 0:43

I'm assuming they're on a yacht off the Bahama's or something...
@ElfenMagix wrote:
Fernando: If I drop my watch into that hole, I bet that Marisa cant get t back...

Elio: (who is also pretty drunk) That's a pretty cool movie...but with just a few days of training I could send Rachel down to find your watch. That video was 4 minutes long, any cyborg should be good for 5 and Mari can hold her breath for 20. With that kind of time & cyborg eyes she could locate and recover your timepiece...and probably a lot more barnacle encrusted junk off bottom that we're just gonna tell her to throw back because it's stinking up the deck.

Elio continues to ramble about diving physiology. Fernando is only half paying attention...he's concentrating on a bikini clad local Bahamian woman on the beach...watching her through binoculars.

Elio's ramblings follow...
Spoiler:
...Once you've gotten past those first few feet getting down is easy, and takes little energy. Because of building pressure the volume of gas in your lungs is halved with every 33 feet...at 33 your lungs are half their surface size, at 66 they're 1/4, at 99 they're an 8th. So you drop like a rock, even if you're not Rico.

This becomes a liability as you come up...you really have to fight to ascend. Since your lungs have shrunken so much they don't provide any buoyancy. A SCUBA diver has compressed gas in the tank, so their lungs inflate to normal size, but a breath diver has to make their ascent on pure strength...but that's not too difficult then you have a wall to climb.

One more thing...did you notice the guy exhale as he came up the last 30 feet? That's so he doesn't blow out a lung. It's more of a concern when SCUBA diving with compressed gas, but good breath divers do it out of habit.

(takes a drag of his scotch)

When you do a long breath hold it's not lack of oxygen that eventually makes you breathe. It's your carbon-dioxide receptors that trigger the breathe reflex. I don't know how the professional breath divers supress that, but I do know that those receptors can get burned out after years of diving. Carbon-dioxide is acidic after all. A guy my age has to watch out for that, but in Marisa's case she has an artificial organ that filters the CO2 out using lithium hydroxide solution. You should hear her complain when she has to drink that stuff...it's caustic and tastes terrible, but she needs it on a long breath dive.

Fernando: (taking his binoculars down) Huh? What were you saying?

Elio: Nothing important. (looks at the empty scotch bottle) Looks like it's time for another bottle. (tries to stand up, but falls out of his deck chair)

Fernando: Just get a cyborg to fetch it for us. A few more sugar cubes too. You know; Scotch & The Green Fairy would be a good name for a band...

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Wed 9 Jun 2010 - 17:53

[OOC]
-A great post there...
[/OOC]

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 12 Jul 2010 - 23:20

Finally, a new episode, or at least half of one.

#14: Palermo Round Up; part 1

A force of 6 fratelli (plus 4 support staff and two doctors) sets up temporary headquarters in Palermo, Sicily to assist Public Safety in a massive operation against mafia targets with possible Padania connections.

This one was getting kind of long so I decided to try splitting it into chapters for the first time.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Tue 13 Jul 2010 - 3:29

@Professor Voodoo wrote:This one was getting kind of long so I decided to try splitting it into chapters for the first time.
Works for me and the end point you chose to make the break is suitable.

More later, but minor thing now: you might want to check the layout. I don't know if it's a problem with translating between whatever file you sent and the way ff.net displays it, but there's a couple of changes in location/time that aren't particularly well marked. I don't know if that was deliberate on your part (it does make the chapter a bit jarring like too much is happening at once on too little sleep), but if not it's kinda off-putting.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 13 Jul 2010 - 10:16

@Professor Voodoo wrote:Finally, a new episode, or at least half of one.

Awesome. Can't get to it until this evening, but read the opening paragraph and loved it.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by MP5 on Tue 13 Jul 2010 - 10:28

Very well done, Voodoo. The ending was very dramatic. I liked that you had Brian think about life after Allison was gone.

As for the part about the Fiat... that wouldn't have happened if Allison had just been allowed to bring her Delta. Still, a noble sacrifice.


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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Tue 13 Jul 2010 - 17:53

Two days ago my laptop suffered a hard drive failure ( ) so I'm on a library PC at the moment. As a result a detailed review is going to have to wait for a while, I'm afraid, but I can say now that you've knocked this one out the park, Voodoo - loads of lovely incidents with lots of diversity, and some good reflective scenes too. Smile

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Tue 13 Jul 2010 - 18:12

@Robert Frazer wrote:Two days ago my laptop suffered a hard drive failure ( ) so I'm on a library PC at the moment.
Errrggghhh...I was in that position just a few months ago. I don't know how badly your hard drive is screwed, but I at least managed to recover my data by booting the computer up in "Safe Mode" and offloading the information to an external hard drive.

Whatever happens I hope we haven't lost the next Avise & Agapita adventure.....Good Luck!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 13 Jul 2010 - 21:43

Okay, I blew my lunch hour reading this on my iPhone, but I could not reply until I got home.


In..frelling...credible...


Robert's gift is his ability to use adjectives to set a scene so real, you feel you're watching moving pictures more than reading text.

Your gift, Professor, is characterization. You create characters so interesting and vivant that I don't want the story to end because I don't want to be apart from them.

You write the OC's as well as the original creators and you write the canon characters as well as Yu. How you keep all this information in your head, I do not know, but it shows so brilliantly on the "page".

I play Kara for pure laughs in the forum, so she's a total flake. But in my OC fiction, she's a girl with common sense who strives to do her best. You are able to draw from both sides, showing Kara as a professional mission operative who also is a teenage girl who acts like a teenage girl and is a bit spoiled. So indeed she would consider wearing polyester an affront since she favors natural materials - silk, cotton, denim, leather, etc.

And you played Michele perfectly. Calm, cool and collected. A combat veteran who has seen hell first hand, but doesn't like to be reminded of it (the torture scene) and would definitely want to protect Kara from witnessing such.

And not just my OC's, but the other's, as well. I could sense Allison's frustration at only being able to drive the cars a few meters to the parking area and how her own desire to vent her frustration with a hard drive of Michele's Gallardo gave way to her acknowledgement that Kara needed to vent her own frustration at having Claes tweak her nose. And Claes would tweak Kara's nose.

I am so looking forward to Part 2.

And Part 3. Wink


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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by crazyidiot78 on Tue 13 Jul 2010 - 22:34

Un freaking believable. Nicely done you have out done yourself again. The way you weave all the characters and settings together is incredible. I'm still in awe of the ending. I can't wait for the next section.
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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Wed 14 Jul 2010 - 3:13

Ok so, more extensive thoughts. As a few folks here have already said: you really outdid yourself on this chapter...

...of course, now that you've shown us you can do it we expect this standard everytime from now on

Stuff that jumped out at me:

"Ladies..." growled a displeased voice over their hidden ear-piece
radios, "...I'd like to see a little less grab-ass and a little more
professionalism." It was Allison's handler, Brian, watching from an
apartment across the street.
"Whoa...all-stop on that! Continue
just like you were" Alessandro Rissi corrected. He un-keyed the
microphone and explained to his fellow handler, "They're supposed to be
posing as teenaged parking attendants. What they're doing is exactly how 3 minimum-wage kids their age would behave. Relax...they're doing fine."
I really liked the contrasts you drew between the characters through the whole chapter, particularly since you were dealing with so many personalities all at the same time. Little things like this exchange between Brian and Sandro reflecting on their different backgrounds, or Elio and Jose's reasons for sending their cyborgs to bed later on... or for that matter Jean not sending his kid for a few hours shut-eye.

"That's what I hear from the ladies in payroll" chuckled Rissi
Very, very in character. As Kisk noted, you write the OCs and canon characters as well as their creators... sometimes I wonder if you don't write them better than we do.

Bribes and threats may be neccessary, best to leave that sticky business to Ferro.
Monty: It must be just so nice to have someone to clean up after you...

"I'll be busy tomorrow morning. We're using Bright Star as a field hospital, so I need to be aboard to help with set-up.
Interesting use for Bright Star...

Next morning, Michele walks on deck to find a freshly rested (and so back to her usual self) Marisa painting large red crosses on Bright Star's side.

Michele: Marisa, what are you... do I even want to know what you're doing?

Mari: Good morning Mr. Pagani! Well, Mr. Mancini was teaching us about the rules of engement, and hospital ships can't be attacked if they're clearly marked. So I thought that, if we marked ours, it'd give us a safe base to operate from!

Michele: Mari, for starters this is supposed to a top secret operation, advertising our presence hardly fits into that and besides: it didn't work for the Centaur and somehow I doubt our enemies are playing by the rules anyway.

Alboreto paused, hovering the lighter over the frenzied prisoner with
the same casual expression he had worn from the very beginning.
"Oh...alright. Giuse, Priscilla, it looks like your soft-sell convinced
him after all. We won't need to do this."
I like that you left this open as to whether Elio was bluffing or not... personally I like to think he wasn't.

Olga intercepted Rico on the way to the common bedroom and steered her
toward the bathroom. "Brush your teeth and wash up first, myshi."
Great line out of Olga as well.

Jean gave a nod to Ferro, who rubbed her eyes & began the briefing without formality:...

...Ferro waved her hand in tired frustration and replied "I haven't got
time to type all that up...get your notebooks out if you want to write
down specifics.
Good way of adding emphasis to the situation, just enough out of character for Ferro to let us know that this isn't a "normal" situation.

"I'm getting Demagni...you guys catch Sallusito!"
I assume Grassa's family name came up in one of the bits of conversation we didn't get to hear

"Well, Scottish or not, it isn't bad...
Proof that cybrogs will enjoy any food put in front of them.

Ferro felt a flush of excitement. She was utilizing a cyborg on a
mission. As she pulled the Ford back into traffic and parked a block
away Ferro wondered what it would feel like to have a cyborg of her own.
Indications Ferro might wish she had a slightly more glamorous job? That Ferro's offering Rico praise when her own hander won't makes for an interesting dynamic as well. I'll be interested to see how the relationship between these two progresses.

"He's busy yelling at Allison right now...something about a car we
borrowed from Public Safety. Oh, good...Mr. Pagani is coming out to
help her."
Smooth way of giving us an idea of the timeline that's in place with a lot of things happening at once.

"Want to keep it simple and just get a few pitchers of cola?"
Good choice, caffiene and sugar all in one neat, tooth destroying package.

It made him think though, deeply.
Between you and Robert, Jean's been given a lot to think about lately...

until with a groan of annoyance the cyborg girl said "Oh, just let me
do it!" With a helping hand from one of the PS men she climbed up onto
the boat and one by one tossed each body-bag on deck, never even taking
her harness & tank off.
Actually annoyed, or just taking the chance to show off a bit?

Alboreto was tired down to his bones, but he needed some time to think. "Thank you, but I think I could use a walk."
As I said before; great, powerful way to wrap up this particular chapter.

Looking forward to the next installment.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Wed 14 Jul 2010 - 10:14

Whatever happens I hope we haven't lost the next Avise & Agapita adventure.....Good Luck!

Thanks for the vote of confidence. It's not a total catastrophe - I keep all of my crucial work files on a flash drive so neither my dissertation nor A&A are going to suffer - but it's a bit of an inconvenience as I've got a fair amount of ancillary data and programs which, while I could get by without them, would make things awkward if they went missing. I'm taking it to a techie assosciate when I go back up to Manchester next week, hopefully he can do something with it.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Fri 16 Jul 2010 - 17:43

Right-o then, let's take a gander...

Allison lamented getting behind the wheel of so many exotic automobiles but only being able to drive them as far as the parking lot, Kara objected bitterely to being seen in public wearing polyester slacks & Petra complained about the lack of tips.

There's a nice interplay between the three characters here, and it's always good to see second-generation cyborgs in an spying capacity rather than just kicking the door down and letting rip as the younger girls might do.

From the drivers side stepped Pagani, looking magnificent in what was for him a rather average suit.

Considering that Michele's socks probably cost more than my entire wardrobe, I can't question that!

"Did she slip you a note?" Petra conjectured. Checking to her left and right, Kara backed into the shadows where she could not be seen and unfolded the paper. Almost instantly the serious look on her face turned to one of red faced anger. "What is it?" asked Petrushka.

"She tipped me..." growled Kara, holding up a €5 note, "...that bitch!"

Great balance of drama and comedy here.

What they're doing is exactly how 3 minimum-wage kids their age would behave. Relax...they're doing fine."

Alfisti already covered this pretty well himself, and I'll say the same as him.

"Do you think that rumor about Alboreto and the President of Angola is true?"

"The job offer?" Rissi replied, "I don't know...it's a pretty wild story, and not something that could realisticly happen...but it's a rumor that just won't die."

A glimpse at what might have been, maybe? After being kicked out of the SAS, Elio went into the SIS - but had circumstances been different, he would have been a mercenary bumming up and down Africa? A lot of SAS members go and do, to be honest - the SAS is just extended training. It pays a lot better than the Army...

you thought I was being silly for insisting we bring folding chairs instead of machine guns. Which is more useful right now? Fancy sitting on wet pavement to eat?

Ah, tradecraft covers all eventualities. Would Marisa consider it to be easier to just carpet-bomb the district where the target is sighted, and chalk up the collateral damage to greenifying the city with demolition work?

The back door opened a second time, with Jean and Michele coming through. Alboreto drew his Beretta, but lowered it when he saw that it was just his fellow team members.

This is a little thing, but I'd probably swap the phrases here around a little. "The back door opened a second time. Alboreto drew his Beretta, but lowered it when he saw that it was Jean and Michele coming through." By delaying the reveal a little, we still get a bit of drama about the possible threat that Elio is responding to.

Michele gallantly carried Claes to avoid dragging the hem of her evening gown through the garbage-strewn alley

Heh, nice detail.

"I hope they don't mind that we took the long way home" muttered Kara, as she pulled the Gallardo into the indoor parking garage under the Public Safety building that was their temporary home.

"Ladies, before we head back - what is Tokyo time?"

"About 11PM"

"We know what that means?"

"Drift!"



She bobbed her blonde head toward the office door to her back. "They're questioning the prisoner, but they're not ready for me yet" Rico yawned, "I hope it's soon, I'm tired."

"Aww, I'm sure it won't be too much longer" said Kara sympathetically.

Noticing a dirty plate and empty glass holding onto a thin residue of milk on the floor under Rico's chair Allison asked "Eh, Rico, is there anything left to eat?"

An adorable sleepyhead, a nice meal, and blunt torture - it's that weird juxtaposition which helps makes GSG what it is.

Save his dick for when he's about to snap...for most men that's the last straw...even an Italian man will sell out their own grandmother to save that!"

Another little thing here, but drop the "even" - as it stands it implies that Italians are especially stoical, rather than prizing their tackle above all else.

Sandro, you're pretty tall, can you pop the battery out of that fire detector? And Jean...have you got your cigarette lighter handy?

I liked how Alessandro's action was concealed within Elio's dialogue here - by dispensing with it that way with no special attention in the narrative, it reinforces the breezy, nonchalant nature of Elio's activity.

Olga intercepted Rico on the way to the common bedroom and steered her toward the bathroom. "Brush your teeth and wash up first, myshi."

D'aaaaaaaaawwww. Kara's mimicry further down is a nicely human effect, too.

estimate that we have only 4 days before word spreads through the underworld that we are operating in the city. After that our suspects will certainly go into hiding, and the opportunity will be lost. That means a lot of work...for all of us. We can not expect predictable schedules or very much rest over these next 4 days.

Good way to frame the action in this story.

Brian smiled, but gave no quarter, "10 minutes...the clock is ticking."

"I don't know why you're working yourself into a sweat about this. That rat-bastard Teoni skipped town already" muttered Hector Demagni, dipping his brioche into a cup of granita.

There seems to be a formatting error here - you're missing a section divider.

This time Demagni laughed out loud; "You read too many spy novels! What do you think, we got some secret government agency watching us with spy cameras & shit right now?" He leaned back in his seat and grabbed his crotch. "Hey, federali look what I got for you, stronzi!"

Heheheh - anyone hiding under that lampshade there? Wink

There was a hanging sign just above the last storefront, so Kara decided to use it. She jumped, and caught the metal frame. Using her own momentum the cyborg swung her legs around the corner and saw the target 2 meters below her, aiming his pistol straight ahead. From there it was an easy matter to drop down on top of him. Demagni did not see her until it was too late, and found out quickly that his tormentor was not only tough and fast, but heavy. In an instant she had kicked his Beretta away and pinned both arms behind his back. Lacking any handcuffs (she'd left them in the car) Kara whipped off the turquoise blouse and wrapped it around her hands.

Bah. One of my castles in the air - things to spend my future lottery win on - is to bankroll a third season of the anime and insert all these OCs to official canon (it can happen...) so we can see tricks like this in glorious full motion.

"€20? Get real, jackass. I've got tubes of lipstick that cost more than that."


Heh, nice quip.

Lacking the armor of the Benz Allison & Brian were vulnerable. The cyborg steered to present her side of the car to the gunfire, instinctively shielding her handler. Sallusito charged them, and shoved his pistol in the driver's side window, straight at Brian. This was an act Allison could not tolerate...she grabbed his arm and pushed it forward to keep her handler out of the line of fire.

Good to remember the compulsions of conditioning (particularly when we come to the final incident this chapter).

"I know" sighed Allison sadly, rubbing the steering wheel "she gave her life for us. Thank you, girl." The cyborg climbed out of her window, carefully avoiding dragging her jeans through Sallusito's blood, and hopped down off the roof to run her hands across the hood of the fallen Benz and offer a few worlds of comfort

MP5, do you play 40K at all? Allison would make a great tech-priestess. Wink

I'll have to leave it at that for now, Voodoo, but a great and gripping start.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Wed 21 Jul 2010 - 12:13

Across town Petrushka, Agapita, Avise & Alessandro were taking time
out for breakfast themselves. "So this is the famous...McDonald's."
commented Avise, ingesting a tentative bite of his ham & egg
sandwich.

Oh, I'm positively giddy with anticipation. Smile

"There are no burger restaurants in Nasiriyah" he declared with a
dramatic flourish that his colleagues has become accustomed to, but
then he reconsidered and added "at least none with breakfast service."

That said, they do a mean falafel.

"Well the place is called Mac Donald's...isn't it?"
Agapita replied, "I just assumed..." The other all had a brief laugh at
her expense, so with a snort of indignation she went back to munching
on her own sandwich.

You do have a good eye for character - Agapita was pretty much nailed here.

Petra my dear sister, there is absolutely no time of day when it is inappropriate to eat pizza

She's not wrong!

They were an odd quartet, the ex-military man who sat straight upright
in his seat, and spoke in grandiose tones, using his hands as much as
his voice to make his points. Avise was used to being a center of
attention, and he enjoyed the role. Contrasted against Mancini was
Rissi, the sharp eyed spy who laid back lazily in his chair and enjoyed
his chameleon ability to blend in with any environment. Accompanying
them, the prim & somewhat breezy Agapita, whose feminine poise gave
counterpoint to the martial splendor of her handler, and Petrushka,
possessed a of wide eyed casual cheer that belied the attentiveness she
had learned from her master. What was perhaps most odd was that this
cluster of contradictions got along so well, each finding amusement in
the exotic charms of the others company.

Like complementary colours - very good observations, I think.

"Alright, get the hell down all of you, this is a robbery!" shouted
Mancini, brandishing a massive Israeli Desert Eagle pistol (borrowed
from Olga). He fired 3 shots straight into the air for effect, the
un-silenced pistol's cannon-like boom nearly drown out by the screams
of terrified patrons. Without being told the cashiers began to stack
bundles of euro's on their counters. "Take a hostage!" he ordered.
Agapita went straight for the target, a Cosa Nostra embezzler named
Fredo Matani, approaching him from behind & and jamming her
Tanfoglio automatic under his jaw.

One of this story's successes is the sheer variety of incidents that you're cramming in - the breadth helps emphasise the scale of the operation, speaks well for your imagination, and makes the story really pacy (and that sense of a beat helps bring the four-day 'time limit' into urgent relief too). It's a great set-up that you're using well.

Police arrived at the bank within minutes, just as all of the staff were coming to the confusing conclusion that no money
had been taken. Just as the reports were being filed, a smartly dressed
woman with short dark hair came in, flashed the correct credentials,
and commandeered all of the security camera recordings & witness
reports for an "on-going government investigation." She was gone
as soon as she had them, loaded into two heavy boxes, which a very
young blonde girl with an odd haircut helped her carry out the door.

This is one detail that doesn't quite fit. While it's a necessary narrative event to set up two more upcoming scenes, if the point of staging a bank robbery was to perform a snatch without the Agency tipping its hand and revealing its presence to the Mafia it seems counter-productive to have a government official stroll in right after the event and publicly impound all of the evidence. Still, I admit that I myself retreated to 'illogical' procedure with that whole issue of rules of engagement in WBFP, and the convenience of it doesn't strain suspension of disbelief too much (particularly when the scenes that are derived from this are entertaining ones!).

Brian, Kara & Allison all cringed...apparently word had not yet
reached the Field Commander that the Fiat had sacrificed itself nobly
for the the republic. "Eh, about that car...I've got to brief Pagani
before he leaves...Allison; you explain what happened to Mr. Croce."

One of the better things about having a loyal cyborg who'll follow your every instruction!

Kara gave a glance out across the water and asked "Venus Palermo?"The
two men, not possessing the advantage of cyborg vision, traded
binoculars back and forth, Elio confirming "Yes...and it's just Venus. Palermo is the home port.

I really liked this part of the exchange - little questions like this help make the dialogue seem a lot more authentic.

2 minutes passed, with all 4 of the shore party watching the deck
intently. The other 5 mafiosi were lounging about, drinking wine and
holding fishing poles without any real expectation of catching
anything. "Oh! Oh! I saw it that time!" Allison exclaimed, "Up near the
front of the boat!"

Even with the gory detail of Elio's explanation of Marisa's technique, there's an almost cartoony sense of mischief here in this scene, like a game of whack-a-mole in reverse as Marisa pops up and down again and bops the goons, accentuated by the fact that others are spectating like a show - that's not a criticism, by the way, as it gives the scene a certain thrill. Good to see a cyborg using her specialty, too.

The Section Two members watching from the cabana knew different...6 men
had just been assassinated in plain view of a public beach and no one
had even noticed.

I might sound like a paranoiac conspiracy theorist, but you have to wonder - how many reported accidents, suicides and disappearances are actually something more - and how many people go without anyone noticing?

Ferro & Rico did not talk much as she drove back to field
headquarters. Despite having worked on the cyborg project since its
inception she had never actually made small talk with one of the girls,
and she did not know where to start. Even when she had escorted Rico
& Henrietta down to Taormina for a holiday with their fratelli she
had not engaged either of them in social conversation.

It's good to give Ferro some focus. She's definitely amongst the most interesting of Section Two's support staff - as you've said yourself, it's temptingly easy to caricature her as a prim and strait-laced ice queen, which is perhaps being unfair to her. I agree that she's probably trying to nose around her demeanour to express something (like seeing her nudge tentatively around the issue of work and lunch with Rico), and maybe her severe office manner isn't because she's a humourless crone but rather because she wants to show dedication to her work as a way of conveying a hint of ambition (as seen in her excitement to be using a cyborg).

Outside the back door was a trash-filled courtyard ... Helmut Beicher lay dead.

Nice amount of movement here.

Rico leaned back and brought a finger to her chin...her usual "thinking pose." Grown-ups always make things difficult.Allison
was slightly miffed at losing her seat in the Gallardo for the ride to
the lunch spot, but at least she got to drive the van. Her eagerness to
impress Mr. Alboreto, whom she considered one of the "car guys" of the
agency (he had after all run countless laps at the fearsome
Nurburgring racetrack in Germany) unfortunately turned to
disappointment when he fell asleep in the passenger seat almost
immediately.

Another missing section divider here.

And one hot tea!" Marisa added with an upraised finger, still shivering.

Jean had dozed off on the couch, and Olga did not wake him.

Same again.

just in time to catch Priscilla fumbling with his shirt button. An awkward moment passed as the two just stared at each other."Ummm...I
was just...you were sleeping...and I..." the mortified intel analyst
tried to explain, but Jean just sat up, rubbed his face and pretended
as if nothing had ever happened.

OLGA: Doorbell!

JEAN: Oh, I'll get it...

DELIVERY GUY WITH A THICK 'TACHE: Anyone here order a pizza?

JEAN: *Raises eyebrow at Priscilla*

PRISCILLA: *Goes crimson.*

AGAPITA: *Poking head out of bedroom* Ooh! Quattro Fromaggio! I've been waiting ages.

The residential apartment Public Safety had provided was proving to be a poor office space.

Like the 'pointless' question about the name and port of the boat mentioned above, notes and asides like this are really important for grounding the scene and making it seen complete - part of a world, not just a backdrop.

or a cyborg to have independently developed the same culinary tastes as
her handler...there was no explanation Croce could come up with. It
made him think though, deeply.

Lovely little character moment. The flashback arc in the manga has been a real boon to Jean, really - he's another member of the cast who's perhaps a little too easy to pigeonhole as the "joyless git", but recent chapters have given him an appreciable depth and context to frame his character.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

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