The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

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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

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 21 Jul 2010 - 21:47

Okay...I'm catching up here. I've just put out to sea on a vessel I'm new to, so the last few days were too busy to spend any real time on the forum.

Alfisti & Robert wrote: The missing divider problems
Sorry about that...sometimes FF.net posts my text reasonably close to how I wrote it, this time was not so lucky. I've gone through and fixed it, thanks for pointing that out.

To be honest I'm surprised and humbled by all of your responses. I really didn't consider this much more than a repository for ideas that didn't fit in anywhere else. The only reason it got long enough to break up into chapters was that I was writing aimlessly, making little progress toward a coherant theme. Hopefully as the next chapter develops I can grab onto that theme while maintaining the bits that people have been enjoying. Your comments go a long way toward pointing out what those bits are.
@MP5 wrote:As for the part about the Fiat... that wouldn't have happened if Allison had just been allowed to bring her Delta.
Agreed...I dare say Allison would sacrifice herself before her beloved Lancia. The Allison in my stories departs from your "MP5 Canon" version of Allison in the area of finance...your Allison is much better funded. I've interpreted her as a teenager always struggling to keep her treasured hot-rod running and running fast. That comes from personal experience...when I was 17-18 every spare dollar I had went toward making my ragged-out '82 Mustang just 1% faster than last Friday night.
@Kiskaloo wrote: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.
I find that a mix of both halves makes for the most realistic character. Nobody in real life is 100% professional, or 100% comical...we're all a mixture of various elements.
As for the polyester slacks...expect more fashion moments with Kara coming in Chapter 2.
@Alfisti wrote:I like that you left this open as to whether Elio was bluffing or not... personally I like to think he wasn't.
One of the hardest parts about Elio's character is balancing the man he is now with the absolute monster he once was. Is he bluffing about burning a man alive? Who knows, but he absolutely has done it in the past.
@Alfisti wrote:I assume Grassa's family name came up in one of the bits of conversation we didn't get to hear
Yes, it comes up in the narration, but I'm assuming the characters heard it during the hour or two they've been watching from the car.
@Alfisti wrote:Good choice, caffiene and sugar all in one neat, tooth destroying package.
By day 4 they're all gonna need some caffeine.
@Alfisti wrote:Actually annoyed, or just taking the chance to show off a bit?
Cold, tired, annoyed...take your pick, but you are right, Marisa does love to show off what she's capable of.
@Robert Frazer wrote:Considering that Michele's socks probably cost more than my entire wardrobe, I can't question that!
I thought that sentence felt kind of clumsy, but I'm glad someone caught it.
Robert wrote:
"Do you think that rumor about Alboreto and the President of Angola is true?"
Elio went into the SIS - but had circumstances been different, he would have been a mercenary bumming up and down Africa?
More of a joke about how many ridiculous rumors fly around the SWA community. More will be revealed about this particular one in episode 15 before Elio finally explains the truth to Jethro in ep. 17.
Robert wrote: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."
You're right, I like your version more. Same with the line about Italian men their grandmothers and their dicks...both changed.
Robert wrote: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,
Lacking your talent for near-poetic narrative I try to do as much with informal dialogue as possible.
Robert wrote: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
You might want to exclude a few things...13 year old Britney's active sex life comes to mind.

Concerning the A&A+R&P scene at the Palermo McDonald's...I'd been dying to use Agapita's "Scottish food" line since I saw a news broadcast about corportate giant McDonalds suing a small sandwich shop in the UK for using "their" trademarked name. The owners of the sandwich shop were in fact named McDonald, so they argued that they had every right to use their own name. The case caused a trans-Atlantic backlash against the McDonald's corporation.

The funniest part of the news piece was a very short interview with the current Laird of the McDonald clan, who sat in his castle in his formal kilt and commented "I don't recall either of them asking for permission to use the name...which they really should do."
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.
I suppose you're right, but you've got to get the evidence of SWA involvement out somehow. It's clues like this that limit the Section 2 team to a cramped 4-day timeline.
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,
Ha! I didn't catch that as I was writing, but you're right...there is a macabre comparison to be made there.

Some months ago you conjectured about cyborgs visiting one of those ghastly Chuck-e-Cheese restaurants. I can see Henrietta & Rico squaring off against each other for an epic Whack-a-Mole World Cup, surrounded by dozens of cheering normal kids...who gradually lose interest and drift away as the game enters its 5th hour with neither combatant having dropped a point. Agapita of course would be there as well, but only for the pizza.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Fri 23 Jul 2010 - 21:50

To be honest I'm surprised and humbled by all of your responses. I
really didn't consider this much more than a repository for ideas that
didn't fit in anywhere else. The only reason it got long enough to
break up into chapters was that I was writing aimlessly, making little
progress toward a coherant theme. Hopefully as the next chapter
develops I can grab onto that theme while maintaining the bits that
people have been enjoying. Your comments go a long way toward pointing
out what those bits are.

Truth be told, I designed "Passion Lives Here" with very much an identical structure to the one that you're using here for "Palermo Round-up" - the Agency team would be based in a holiday chalet, and then the comic would largely be a catalogue of separate incidents, following fratelli on excursions from there out across the Olympic area while they thwarted Padanian disruption behind the scenes. 'Cooldown' scenes between each mission segment would advance the overall plot arc which the individual battles are hanging from.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sat 24 Jul 2010 - 5:34

@Robert Frazer wrote:
Truth be told, I designed "Passion Lives Here" with very much an identical structure to the one that you're using here for "Palermo Round-up" - the Agency team would be based in a holiday chalet, and then the comic would largely be a catalogue of separate incidents, following fratelli on excursions from there out across the Olympic area while they thwarted Padanian disruption behind the scenes. 'Cooldown' scenes between each mission segment would advance the overall plot arc which the individual battles are hanging from.
This does kind of serve as a prototype for a collaborative project I've been thinking of. I'd lay down a premise that involves a large group of Padania militants escaping from a botched safe-house raid...running into the surrounding Dolomite Alps. All the major roads are blocked off by SISDE forces, but it's up to Section 2 to eliminate all the Padanians in that 50 mile radius.

That's where the other authors on the site come in...I'll ask anyone who's interested to write a short adventure involving their OC's...and I'll tie them all into one story.

So writers; if you're interested, start thinking...

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 24 Jul 2010 - 10:26

@Professor Voodoo wrote:So writers; if you're interested, start thinking...

I'm in. Yes Indeed

Feel free to open a thread in the Collaborative Stories (if you're ready to go) or the Plot Bunny Hatch (if you want to discuss it a bit, first) forums.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by MP5 on Sat 24 Jul 2010 - 11:00

Count me in as well. a few more of my OC's will be at your disposal.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Sat 24 Jul 2010 - 14:55

I've been trekking in the Dolomites - something like this sounds like a good excuse to break out the old diaries and photo albums. Smile

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by MP5 on Sat 24 Jul 2010 - 15:16

@Robert Frazer wrote:I've been trekking in the Dolomites - something like this sounds like a good excuse to break out the old diaries and photo albums. Smile

Certainly. at least I'll get a sense of what the terrain is like should Kyo and Ryo insert via HALO jump.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Sat 24 Jul 2010 - 15:37

There's plenty of interest and relevance in the Dolomites. It's the German-speaking part of Italy so you can easily base nationalist sectarians there; it was the Italy-Austria front line during the Great War and there's lots of remains scattered around the mountains from via-ferrata trails to tunnel networks threaded through the peaks; the area's also known for hosting a giant annual cycle race which provides plenty of opportunity for public mayhem. The villa battle at the climax of the Madhouse anime was also set in the Dolomites (or so I judge from the geography shown in the background shots) so there's a tinge of reminiscence to colour stories with as well.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by boomer_gonz on Sun 25 Jul 2010 - 6:23

@Professor Voodoo wrote:

So writers; if you're interested, start thinking...

Alpha knows the Alps like he was born in them. I can see him attempting to co-ordinate the effort while any suggestion Alpha makes being countered by the senior members(handlers maybe), as Alpha's appearance gives off a lack of experiece when that couldn't be any farther from the truth.




Alpha: If they're even half-awake; they won't be using the main roads.

(Insert senior): And how do you know that?

Alpha: It's what I would do. Instead of trying to track them throughout the Dolomites, we'll be better off setting up interception and cutoff points in Campitello, Val di Fassa, Groden, and especially Hayden.

(Insert another Senior): What were the last two again?

Alpha: Sorry, you may know them as Val Gardena and Cortina d' Ampezzo respectively.

(Yet another Senior): So we waste precious time partaking in infiltration and encampment when they could be no more that 10 kM from our position?

Alpha: Remember, they are Northerners and this is their backyard They know this area better than you Romans do. Nice boots by the way.

(Yet another Senior): Thanks, I just bought them.

Alpha: Then maybe it's better you stay here and patrol the exit paths.

(Yet another Senior): Why?!!

Alpha: Because brand new Italian designer leather has no place here in the Alps. We'll be the ones wasting precious time after your feet are too sore to hike.

-After a brief round of laughter-

Alpha: If we pursue them directly, they will simply use this network at the heart of these four areas to double-back and get around us. They'll keep doing this until they find an opening out of the Dolomites leaving us to follow only their circling tracks.

(Senior #4): What's so special about these four areas?

Alpha: The first three connect to multiple branching paths around the Dolomites.

(Senior #4): And the fourth, this...Cortina?

Alpha: Cortina connects to nearly every path that these don't. Any other questions.....

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Sun 25 Jul 2010 - 7:42

@Professor Voodoo wrote:So writers; if you're interested, start thinking...
Hmm, I could have a go at turning my hand to writing, though that could turn out to be either hilarious, disasterous... or both

Not sure how I'd integrate J+M into the main story though. I think anything that did involve them may have to be a sort of epilogue "one that got away (and subsiquently got off''d by a cyborg grumpy about her current job being interrupted by a "target of opportunity" showing up)" type tale. Hell, knowing Monty she'd just as likely walk away and leave the blighter if she felt it would better serve whatever she was currently doing. Jethro too.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 25 Jul 2010 - 9:57

@Alfisti wrote:Not sure how I'd integrate J+M into the main story though.

I'd perhaps see Jethro and Monty staying at HQ, Jethro perhaps serving as a communications coordinator and Monty routing the information being relayed by Jethro and handling all the paperwork.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Sun 25 Jul 2010 - 10:46

@Kiskaloo wrote:
@Alfisti wrote:Not sure how I'd integrate J+M into the main story though.

I'd perhaps see Jethro and Monty staying at HQ, Jethro perhaps serving as a communications coordinator and Monty routing the information being relayed by Jethro and handling all the paperwork.
I was more thinking along the lines of there being a 99% probablity they'd be out of town...

...besides, I'm dubious of letting Jethro or Monty near an Alp. I've seen enough James Bond movies to know what happens when you put British spies in snow covered mountains.




Needless to say, I think Voodoo's got plenty of support for this one.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Sun 25 Jul 2010 - 10:50

Not sure how I'd integrate J+M into the main story though.

I think that parkour could be parlayed into rock-climbing without too much dificulty. Watch Cliffhanger and Vertical Limit and prepare for lots of implausible leaps across crevasses. Smile

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Sun 1 Aug 2010 - 16:55

Last bit:


As they swam up to the buoy Elio scanned up and down the mooring line with a wrist mounted light. Although the old spy was ready for what he knew was down there, the sight of a corpse underwater had always been a bit unnerving to him. Perhaps it was how the harsh white dive lights seemed to exaggerate the pallor of death, or that every body, no matter how fresh, always seemed to be picked at by marine life before he got to it. He knew these were irrational hang-ups, but for whatever reason Elio Alboreto preferred to pass the body recovery jobs to others when he could.

Is this a detail drawn from life here? I'm not sure what to say other than offer my sympathies for what must be a grim task. Trying to treat it as just a plain dramatic story detail, I can imagine that the effect must be amplified as a body could well loom up suddenly in the limited visibility underwater, making it seem more ghoul-like.

Moving on:

She located the bodies, hanging like a stringer of fish, right where she'd left them, and proudly posed with them, as if she expected her handler to take a photograph.

That suits Marisa down to a T, certainly. I suppose it's like a cat - dumping a mangled bird at your feet and then looking up at you expectantly, waiting for praise and a rub behind the ears.

sharing a bunk with Henrietta

Sharing a bed with my brother when in a hotel usually resulted in one of us trying to throw the other out of the window - kicking for leg space must be especially... vigorous when the sleepers are both cyborgs. Henrietta likely wants everything to be just so before she shuts her eyes, too.


The red-headed cyborg's human psyche played a tug-of-war for few moments, but in the end she admitted that fatigue had her beaten. "You won't think I'm a wimp if I chose the yacht...will you?" she sighed.

Errrggh, I empathise entirely with you, Marisa, it's been many a time that the sense of obligation to push on or take the harder option has tugged at me, too.

I only wish I could chose it" the handler assured her.
Refreshed by his afternoon nap, Brian was the more alert on in his car. He and Allison were re-united, and for once the handler was at the wheel. They were driving the silver 2006 Lancia Lybra which the Mancini & Rissi fratelli had used earlier in the day.

Looks like another missing section divider here.

These girls can do spectacular things, but when they're too tired to concentrate the performance falls right off the chart and they can become a liability.

Tying back into the canon and the remarks about Elsa that cyborgs are ineffective if they're not concentrating. It's always tempting to go off on flights of fancy with our OCs but it's good discipline (which is one of the advantages of fanfiction in the first place) to tie it back down with notes like this.

I do not deny that my heart has greatly desired to ask what you offer

Lord of the Rings - but I must confess, I only know that because I pasted the line into Google. Much to my embarassment, I never got more than halfway into The Two Towers. I really need to go back to it someday.

Once his fellow handler had settled in beside his sleeping cyborg Elio settled in to the chair beside the window. A brief search of the room yielded no coffee (he resolved to send Henrietta out to buy a cheap electric pot if this stakeout continued on into tomorrow)

If Avise was in Elio's position, he'd blink for a few seconds and then overturn the bed. "LIEUTENANT CROCE! What the Hell do you call this? You indolent slob! Up too, sleeping beauty! Soldier-and-escort, totheshops, bytheright quickMARCH! eff-hai-eff-hai-eff-hai-effff..." Wink

the soft whistle of 'Etta's breathing all was quiet.
"Alright, he's gone inside again, try to get a couple minutes of rest" instructed Brian, who got no argument from his yawning cyborg.

Section dividers again.

"What the hell is going on?" McDonnell growled, drawing out his Kimber and chambering a round. Just then his mobile phone rang, causing both he & Allison to jump out of their skins. He let it ring a few times, considering all the angles

Ingenious little sequence there, vivid sense of confusion and panic. Interesting that Elio tried to catch their attention in a low-key way, and only resorted to the phone - which would have been visible and obvious to anyone watching the watchers - when Brian didn't get the hint.


"Good," yawned Allison, "I don't wanna be up all night."
"Looking for Tazio" whispered Brian.

Period breaks don't really work on ff.net, as the text editor defaults multiple blank lines back down to single gaps. This is part of the reason why we have to use section dividers so often...

Whoa..." Giuseppe coughed, waving his hand in front of his face, "...dragon breath! Go brush your teeth first...we don't want to be accused of using a toxic chemical weapon."

Aww... she tried so hard...

That was all the motivation Henrietta needed...as soon as her target was in the hallway she fired one round, which exploded through the man's temple and out the opposite side of his skull. At that same instant, Brian & Allison stormed the room, followed closely by Alboreto.
Taken by surprise the remaining 4 men scrambled for their weapons, but a short warning burst from Allison's CTAR-21 assault rifle froze them in their tracks.

Economical and efficient (and a nice contrast to the blazing entry back in Chapter One)...

At that instant a bedroom door to their left burst open, and a wild-eyed woman in a torn dress rushed out screaming & cursing. The men began to yell at her, and there was a baby screaming in the room she had come from. "All of you get down on the ground!" yelled Croce, but the woman continued to scream at them in Albanian. The 4 men did not obey his command either, yelling randomly at the woman and their attackers.

...eh, not so much!

Allison reacted automatically, and landed a single round between her eyes

The conditioning compulsion here is very well-placed and dramatic, especially as it's not directed at the obvious targets of the drug-pushers.

Seeing a distraction all 4 of the target men grabbed their pistols off the table and the room descended into chaos with everyone, Agency & enemy, cyborg & human firing wildly. In seconds it was over, noise & chaos replaced by utter silence.

While the description was brief it nonetheless inspired a vivid image - the thought of a panicked point-blank flurry literally played this back in my head:



Alboreto answered "That baby isn't squalling anymore."

A real gut-punch moment. The oblique lead-in to it is what makes it work, very good there.

As Elio pulled his jacket tighter and began his solitary walk the old spy tried to recall the first time he'd taken the life of a child as collateral damage. He could not remember.

Even the Agency, with all of its vaunted fabulous science, can't save everyone... is Elio lamenting how he's become conscious of how densensitised he's become, or is this a new line that he's crossed and the Agency's pushing him in deeper than he's gone before?

As before, Voodoo, this chapter sparked and crackled throughout. Making it a series of vignettes actually works very well - I said before that the scene-changes keep things pacy, and we can imagine a blizzard of splinters of scenes snowballing. I'm looking forward to Chapter 2! Smile

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 2 Aug 2010 - 17:03

@Robert Frazer wrote:Is this a detail drawn from life here?
Well, a little...I've had to do a few body recoveries at work, but thus far I haven't had to locate one underwater. It's more of an effort to give Elio a hang-up...a foible to make him a little more human. Character development never stops.
I suppose it's like a cat - dumping a mangled bird at your feet and then looking up at you expectantly, waiting for praise and a rub behind the ears.
Cats & cyborgs: That's a parallel I've considered as well.
Errrggh, I empathise entirely with you, Marisa, it's been many a time that the sense of obligation to push on or take the harder option has tugged at me, too.
Increasing fatigue, mental & physical, cyborg & adult is one of the themes I'm trying to use to guide this story.
These girls can do spectacular things, but when they're too tired to concentrate the performance falls right off the chart and they can become a liability.
Tying back into the canon and the remarks about Elsa that cyborgs are ineffective if they're not concentrating. It's always tempting to go off on flights of fancy with our OCs but it's good discipline (which is one of the advantages of fanfiction in the first place) to tie it back down with notes like this.
One of the things that's too easy to do in fanfiction is to forget that despite the fact that The girl has a mechanical body, she is still an adolescent child. They're not the professionals...they're just kids, and that's one of the things that makes the whole GsG story so dark & intriguing. The cyborgs have all the physical power it's the handlers who are responsible for getting the mission accompished successfully.
I do not deny that my heart has greatly desired to ask what you offer
Lord of the Rings -
Correct! The unwritten backstory is; knowing how much Marisa enjoys sword & combat films, somebody (probably Kara) recommended Peter Jackson's LoTR movies...but Elio recommended that Mari read the books first. I was about her age when I first read them.
If Avise was in Elio's position, he'd blink for a few seconds and then overturn the bed. "LIEUTENANT CROCE! What the Hell do you call this? You indolent slob! Up too, sleeping beauty! Soldier-and-escort, totheshops, bytheright quickMARCH! eff-hai-eff-hai-eff-hai-effff..." Wink
Avise & the S&P team are still having a good time working together in chapter 1, but as the fatigue sets in I'm sure he'll need a coffee.
Interesting that Elio tried to catch their attention in a low-key way, and only resorted to the phone - which would have been visible and obvious to anyone watching the watchers - when Brian didn't get the hint.
It's a low risk move on Elio's part. He knows a cyborg can see the infrared beam...but if he's wrong no big deal, an ordinary human can't.
Whoa..." Giuseppe coughed, waving his hand in front of his face, "...dragon breath! Go brush your teeth first...we don't want to be accused of using a toxic chemical weapon."
Aww... she tried so hard...
Like I've mentioned to Alfisti...in my "universe" nobody gets to remain in their comfort zone.

Thanks for the comments...I'll finish a little later.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Fri 17 Sep 2010 - 3:14

At long last, The Palermo Round-Up continues...Chapter 2.

In this chapter...
-Kara goes shopping with Marisa...
-Agapita sees her first naked man...
-Michele cooks spaghetti...
-Allison does not wreck another car...
-and Rico becomes the first boy cyborg (apologies to all the other boy cyborgs).

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Fri 17 Sep 2010 - 9:24

Monty: Voodoo, I'm going to need to ask you to give me at least a few days heads up before you post each chapter from now on so I can work it into Alfisti's planning. Otherwise he's just going to sit on his arse reading rather than doing anything productive.


Seriously though, another excellent chapter. Proper thoughts later (man am I getting behind in my reviewing of stuff).

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 17 Sep 2010 - 13:35

@Professor Voodoo wrote:At long last, The Palermo Round-Up continues...Chapter 2.

In this chapter...
-Kara goes shopping with Marisa...
-Michele cooks spaghetti...



On a serious note, that cyborg-speak idea is a neat one.

And excellent call on how Michele would react to Marisa (or any cyborg) trying to wax a "witness" that they didn't absolutely have to.

Loved the sniping on Monte Pellegrino.

And Rico Croce for the win. cheers




Everything else was awesome.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Fri 17 Sep 2010 - 17:50

Oh, goody-goody-gumdrops, I've been waiting too long! *rubs hands with glee*

The teenaged cyborg grinned broadly and replied "Mission accepted!" with great enthusiasm. She grabbed her younger counterpart by the wrist and rushed to the communal bedroom to pick out their outfits. Michele was left desperately hoping his cyborg would not get carried away.


Wheeeee! They can spend the day braiding their hair, trying on nail varnish and talking about boys! :3

"Does that mean we can use your AmEx card?" she asked hopefully.

"No" he growled, "it means you can get your butt out of the car and go do your job before I cut your allowance for a month."

Heh, worth a chuckle.

Kara shivered as a chill ran down her spine "Yeah...bad memory there."

"Yup, but it really was a monster cockroach" laughed Marisa.

"I meant watching you get shot!" scolded Kara, quite serious all of a sudden, "Have you forgotten how bad it was? Elio, Michele & I were genuinely scared that we would lose you!"

Mari felt like making a joke out of it but reconsidered when she saw how upset Kara had become. "Sorry...the truth is I don't remember much of what happened after I got hit. The recovery was pretty awful though, I'd rather not do that again." She resolved to speak more carefully; it was sometimes difficult to determine what could be joked about and what to take seriously.

I'm a big continuity nut so I'm fond of callbacks to earlier stories, but I'm also glad that it was slipped in with a bit of humour without being too clinical about things.

and Elio sometimes buys home-made cigarettes from him, although I never see him smoke them."

Aww. Bless. Interesting she can happily endorse the black market but be unaware of other things.

"Hey Kara, I know this place where you can pay 10x the normal price for an ice cream, but they've got a really fashionable wrapper...you wanna go there after the mission?" Marisa continued to tease.

Well, when I've bought gifts from Selfridges every now and again they do put a lot of effort in a neat presentation. Mum also wraps Christmas presents a lot more neatly than I ever could...

The whole bag sequence is itself a nice bit of colour, good use of the setting.

"I'm sorry, I haven't introduced myself; my name is Amadeo...they call me the the Missionary of Love." Pagani was immediately mortified by the pathetic attempt at a pick-up line.

One of my old friends back when I was in Scouts had an inimitable pick-up line: "D'Y FANCY A SHAG?"

DiGenno's eyes grew wide with rage. "You think you can walk in here pretending to be a customer...wasting my time and trying to fuck my girl?" he growled. Michele took a step back and looked to the cyborgs, who wore equally shocked expressions. None of them had even considered that the platinum blonde was DiGenno's girlfriend and not an ordinary customer.

This was a genuine twist - I wasn't expecting it either. All that talk about silicone-tipped warheads earlier on did make me think that she was just a chintzy superficial shopper of no great significance. Really, running an import jewellery store as he does, you'd think that Efo would be a bit more discerning in his tastes...

Marisa fired on DiGenno, but the blonde woman kicked her before vaulting over the counter. Both she and Efisio escaped through the back door. Kara was still down covering Michele, so Mari leapt to her feet and rushed to grab the door before it slammed shut, bounding over the display case counter. Unfortunately she either over-estimated the strength of the counter glass, or under-estimated her own weight, as it shattered under her foot, tripping her up as she crossed over. Marisa fell face first, but managed to scramble far enough to thrust her head into the path of the door, absorbing the full impact of its steel construction with her ceramic-composite skull.

"I'm fine... I broke the fall with my face." Great movement here.

"We have another mission" he answered, "but first let's grab some lunch."

Since they had worked so well together on day one the Mancini & Rissi fratelli were teamed up together again. "Jean's produced a special challenge for us today" explained Avise as they took the Ford Transit van out. "We're taking out 3 dirty cops; 2 city precinct chiefs who work with the mafia and the Padania, and one customs officer who helps the smugglers sneak weapons through the ports. The catch is, they all have to disappear without a trace. Absolutely no witnesses, and no clues as to where they went."

Looks like another case of missing section dividers here.

Pleased with the success of her morning work Henrietta looked up at the clear blue sky and took a slow, refreshing breath of the cool morning air. Although she would never dream of allowing a bad guy to escape (and thereby disappoint Giuse) the young cyborg felt a pang of sympathy for her bloody captive. She understood perfectly well why anyone would want to remain free on a beautiful morning like this.

Good character moment.


"We are the instruments of His divine justice," replied Mancini without an moment's hesitation, "and He has seen fit to show this by providing us with a perfect firing vector from His own house."

Guiding hand of Providence there... and in any case, while vengeance is God's business, someone needs to deliver the subpoena!

Oh remember when that construction team installed the new environmentally friendly gel bullet stop at the outdoor range so we don't get lead contamination in the soil? Well, they always left the keys in their backhoes and earth-movers overnight, and one time a couple of us girls went out there to check it out and I..." At this moment Allison noticed an unfavorable change in her handler's facial expression, so she quickly reconsidered. "...and I'm gonna stop talking now."

Interesting that Allison just assumes that her handler is going to be a fellow conspirator in her mischief-making.

Even a quiet sniper shot would not be enough to neutralize the next target of the Rissi-Mancini team; the elimination of Captain Gino Rocca would demand a masterpiece in the art of timing. "This one's gonna be a tough nut to crack," muttered Alessandro, looking over a Public Safety provided synopsis of his schedule. "He does the same exact thing every single day, but he's careful...I don't see any more than a 15 second window of opportunity when he's unprotected."

You're laying out an intriguing and interesting challenge.

One suggestion - it was a little difficult to place the first part of this scene so can you add a sentence explaining where the fratelli are? Are they sitting out somewhere, in the van, are they actually watching Rocca as he jogs by?

"So why don't we just hit him at home?" asked Agapita. Everyone froze and stared straight at her, making the cyborg blush furiously, sure that she had said something wrong. "I'm sorry."

Sometimes the most obvious thing is staring you right in the face.

"It could work..." muttered Rissi, flicking his butt away and scratching his chin. "What does his schedule say? When is he going to be home next?" He looked over Mancini's shoulder (which annoyed the soldier to no end)

Uh-oh, they're starting to rub a little friction here...

"That doesn't look like fun!" snapped Agapita, "In fact it looks rather painful!"

I suppose that it would be difficult for cyborgs to get into S&M - given their pain suppression and general resilience you'd have to start coring out kneecaps with a Black & Decker just to titillate, let alone excite...!

Whistling as he strode confidently through his own home, Rocca opened his private bathroom and tossed off his workout clothes. Petrushka experienced a brief instant of panic when he opened the laundry hamper to toss them inside, but he never even looked, and therefore missed seeing the red-headed girl stuffed therein. Petra's panic turned to disgust as the Police Captain's sweat-soaked jogging shorts came to rest directly on her face.

Reminds me of a little story. Edmund Ironside was a brief king who reigned only for a few months but he is famous for resisting the Danelaw, managing to bring King Cnut to a standstill and forcing a peace treaty between the two of them. However, in the flush of victory Edmund was assassinated by his retainer Edric, who infamously killed the king by hiding in the privy and stabbing him up through the backside when he was performing a "necessary function" (or so sayeth William of Malmesbury anyway).

Edric went to Cnut, reporting that by killing the only effective remaining Anglo-Saxon leader he had just delivered Wessex into the Dane's hands so that he was now the king of all England. Naturally Edric expected some sort of compensation for services rendered. King Cnut proclaimed that "you shall be the most exalted man in all the land" - and he was true to his word, cutting off the untrustworthy backstabber's head and sticking it on top of a tall church spire!

"Maybe I haven't!" retorted Agapita, getting to her feet and scrubbing her bare thigh with a washcloth. "Not everybody has your vast experience at such things!"

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Petrushka growled. As the shower continued to run there was a tense silence between the two, finally broken by Petra. "Come on...we've got to get him out of here."

Agapita: SLUT! *slap*

Petrushka: BITCH! *scratch*

People can get along quite happily, but it's at times of crisis when an extra stain is suddenly added, and the strength of different constructions begins to tell.

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That's all for now, but very entertaining so far.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by MP5 on Fri 17 Sep 2010 - 18:07

Excellent Chapter! Bonus points for Brian's usage of a .22. Nice n' Quiet.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by crazyidiot78 on Fri 17 Sep 2010 - 19:01

Awsome job as ussual. I particularly enjoyed the bit with Rico at the boys school.

"Hey!" came a challenging voice to Rico's right, "I don't recognize you...are you new?"

"Ummm...yeah...I'm the new boy" she answered stiffly, "Emilio." It was the first male name that popped into her head. After that she was frozen. What do I say next? What would a boy say? "I sure do like girls with big boobs!"

The boy looked at her strangely for a moment and then grinned ear to ear. "Yeah," he replied, "so do I!" Rico smiled. It's easy being a boy!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Fri 17 Sep 2010 - 21:49

@Robert Frazer wrote:This was a genuine twist - I wasn't expecting it either. All that talkabout silicone-tipped warheads earlier on did make me think that shewas just a chintzy superficial shopper of no great significance.Really, running an import jewellery store as he does, you'd think thatEfo would be a bit more discerning in his tastes...
Maybe it's just because I've been reading Casino Royale again, or just because I tend to over-think things like this (or because I'm getting used to Voodoo throwing curve balls at us) but my initial thoughts on the woman was that she was a possible Padania/Mafia/Soviet contact. That was strengthend when she didn't go away...

Of course I was wrong.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Sat 18 Sep 2010 - 16:39

Continuing:

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At 600 meters in height the promontory of Mount Pellegrino provided a spectacular view of Palermo and the bay beyond. It rose gradually on its south side but dropped abruptly into the sea on its northern face. "Nero" was easy to find...a short grizzled bald man with one eye manning the grill at a tiny tourist eatery with just a few customers

...

Cresting the hill Kara & Michele were thrilled with the view across miles of blue Mediterranean. Ships of all kind, tugs, ferries, freighters, powerboats & tankers plied the waters over a half kilometer below them

Lovely setting here.

A fraction more than a second later & 1000 meters away the top of her target's head exploded in a shower of blood, hair and bone. It was a grizzly display but to Kara it was as beautiful as any fireworks show. "I got him!" she shouted, rolling over on the sharp rocks but paying them no mind.

Pagani snatched the rifle from her and looked for himself, confirming a direct hit. "I told you!" he laughed, just as relieved as she was. The fratello got to their feet & embraced, joyously reveling in their shared triumph

You've talked about the essential role of the handlers in ensuring the strength of the cyborgs, and it was done in an effective and believable way here.

Walking through canyons of shipping containers Lombardi read off numbers aloud. When he came to an intersection in the paths he turned left...but Avise took a right turn. "Sir, it's this way" Christos corrected him. Mancini gave a nervous glance to Rissi...the cyborgs were waiting at the ambush location which was to the right. Did we set up in the wrong spot? he wondered. Afraid of giving away the plan Alessandro angrily snapped his head in a motion that insisted Just follow him!

Lombardi walked a few more meters but then stopped. "Oh...I seem to be incorrect, it was right back there." He cast a suspicious glance on Avise and muttered "But how could you have known?"

Suspicion is proof enough of guilt...

Rissi defended himself; "You obviously didn't look at his desk. There was a paperback book about psychic phenomenon...I knew it was a topic that interested him."

Alessandro calling on his past in Public Safety here.

The two men stood in tense silence for a few more moments, angrily puffing on their cigarettes

Injured pride - perhaps the simplest of wounds, but nonetheless it can be the most intense. Also accurate in saying that Avise can get tetchy and defensive.

until the older man asked "Why is there still banging going on?"

I'm picturing the container bouncing up and down on the ground and dents banging out of it at odd angles. Wink

"The idiot broke the crate we're supposed to carry the body out in!" "Only because I was trying to scoop up the brains you got all over the floor!"

"Alright, enough!" snapped Mancini, "Just use my jacket to wipe up the...remains, I can get it cleaned later. The crate isn't busted too badly, we can still use it." He turned to Alessandro and muttered "Agapita and I will clean this up...you deal with your cyborg."

The younger man's eyes flashed with hot anger. "Are you implying I should take sides against my own partner? Your girl is the one who..."

Neat how you don't actually identify who did what - it emphasises the confused mess of the event.

Out of patience Elio leaned over the table and hissed "They help me poop Mari, does that clear things up for you?" At that the young cyborg erupted in a fit of giggles, causing her handler to mutter "This is why I don't explain things to you. It's time to change the subject...how was your night aboard Pagani's yacht?"

I get the impression that Marisa was deliberately teasing the answer out of Elio.

"One had singing cartoon animals, one had an awesome sword duel...which do you think I liked best?" Marisa said with a sly smile. "Oh, I've seen the Mel Gibson version of Hamlet too...Mr. Hillshire started making us read it for literature class, but right afterward Mr. Jean came in and popped in the DVD for arts class. I've never seen Mr. Hillshire get so angry, or curse so much! Triela was totally embarrassed!"

Back when I was in school, the English department had two videos of Macbeth - the Roman Polanski film version, and a worthy RSC workshop recording. They always put on the Polanski version, because Francesca Annis did the "out, wretched spot!" scene in the nude and it was one of the few ways that twenty-six bored boys waiting for the lunch bell could be perusaded to pay attention...!

The handler cast a glance at his own napkin tucked into his shirt, but decided to say nothing. "It'll be fine, you just need to wash it with some club soda before it dries and sets" he tried to assure her. "Cameriera, acqua frizzante per favore!" he called, summoning with his hand. When she arrived the sympathetic waitress saw what the crisis was and urgently ushered Marisa off to the ladies room.

In 78 chapters of manga, 28 episodes of anime and umpteen fanfics, I'm amazed that this hasn't happened before now...

The bell startled her back into consciousness. Rico had been so relaxed that she had dozed off in the stall, her head resting on the soft toilet paper roll. There was plenty of noise outside so the blonde girl put on her uniform cap and carefully exited the bathroom

...

.."Ummm...yeah...I'm the new boy" she answered stiffly, "Emilio." It was the first male name that popped into her head. After that she was frozen. What do I say next? What would a boy say? "I sure do like girls with big boobs!"

The boy looked at her strangely for a moment and then grinned ear to ear. "Yeah," he replied, "so do I!" Rico smiled. It's easy being a boy!

D'aaaaaaaaaw. You just want to bundle Rico up and love her forever.

"This hit is strictly revenge" explained Brian after they'd picked up the loaner from the Public Safety garage, "Giani Fonseca is a regular cop, but last summer he sold out 2 PS investigators to a mafia hit squad. One died, one is paralyzed for life. Today we're going to pay him back."

The eternal theme...

"Look at all those sea-gulls" her handler answered, "there's something messy on that boat and they're enjoying every bite of it."

Once they had pulled alongside Mari handed the controls over to Elio so she could jump across to the sailboat and tie up. In minutes she had secured lines to the port side of the much larger vessel, and reached down to help her handler up on deck. "That's pretty disgusting" the young red-head giggled, looking over the corpse of the woman Kara had shot first. "At least it'll be easy to cut her up before we sink her." The woman's chest cavity was blown wide open with one breast hanging to the side and as Elio had predicted the gulls had been feasting on whatever soft flesh they could get their beaks into. It was not difficult to find Kara's second victim, a blood trail led directly to the steering cockpit. There sat the remains of a man with the top half of his skull missing, his one remaining eye dangling by the nerve. A single big sea-gull lorded over this prize, unwilling to share bits of succulent brain matter that clung to the inside of the Padania man's skull.

Lovely and gruesome, particularly with the lead-in of the flocking gulls.

"Okay, but can we check below deck for the laptop computer first?" Marisa asked, "I kinda need to use the bathroom."

"Aboard a boat it's called the head" Elio teased, but Marisa was in no mood to discuss nautical terminology.

"Whatever...I've gotta go."

Given all the Trarantino pastiches we've been doing in the Crack Thread, this brought to mind the final scene in Pulp Fiction...

The voice of her handler rang inside Mari's head, giving her the instructions she need; Make him mad...psyche him out.

"I am rubber, you are glue. It bounces off me and sticks to you? Nyeh-nyeh-nyeeeeer, doofus!" Wink

The cyborg grabbed his ears and smashed their heads together, crushing his skull instantly. They both fell to the ground, one dead, one dizzy and exhausted.

It suits the uncouth Marisa to finish things off with a Glasgow Kiss.

"Doesn't sound ordinary to me" said her handler. "It's possible that these two Padan's were trying to raise their own Pinocchio. Or perhaps someone else had trained him and he was guarding these two."

If there's one thing that GSG could be criticised for, it's that apart from Pinnochio and Dante it's really lacked clear antagonists. Something like this, though, hunting down the puppet theatre, sounds as though it could be an interesting direction to follow.

-----------------------------
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Good fun throughout, Voodoo, and thanks for sharing! Smile

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 22 Sep 2010 - 22:31

Once again I'm behind...again I'm humbled by so many fast reponses and apologetic about taking days to reply.

Monty wrote:Monty: Voodoo, I'm going to need to ask you to give me at least a few days heads up before you post each chapter from now on so I can work it into Alfisti's planning.
I could have given you your wish this time. I had this episode finished & proofread 4 days before I posted it, but the internet connection aboard this vessel is so slow I needed to wait until I had time to spare in order to upload.
@Kiskaloo wrote:On a serious note, that cyborg-speak idea is a neat one.
It's well within the capabilities of someone with super-hearing. Maybe the concept will catch on.
@Robert Frazer wrote: running an import jewellery store as he does, you'd think that Efo would be a bit more discerning in his tastes...
I'd pictured Effisio as more of a greaseball with his shirt unbuttoned to show off his gold chains than a serious jeweler in a tailored suit. The whole Istanbul connection will be exploited in an upcoming episode.
"I'm fine... I broke the fall with my face."
I like it...Mari might have to use that line in the future.
Interesting that Allison just assumes that her handler is going to be a fellow conspirator in her mischief-making.
More than any other fratello, OC or canon, I see B&A fitting the brother-sister mold. Even with other handlers she's a bit more informal than she should be.
it was a little difficult to place the first part of this scene so can you add a sentence explaining where the fratelli are
Valid point. When you asked that question and I honestly didn't know the answer myself. They're probably standing outside the van...not anywhere near Rocca's jogging path.

Good suggestion; I might need to re-write that passage.
Edmund was assassinated by his retainer Edric, who infamously killed the king by hiding in the privy and stabbing him up through the backside when he was performing a "necessary function"
*sigh* Makes modern politics seem downright boring.
Mount Pellegrino provided a spectacular view of Palermo and the bay beyond.
Lovely setting here.
Inspired 100% by examining Google Earth images of Palermo.
Neat how you don't actually identify who did what - it emphasises the confused mess of the event.
Exactly my intent...I'm happy it came across well.
I get the impression that Marisa was deliberately teasing the answer out of Elio.
Well, she does have the unrefined sense of humor of an 11 year old.
They always put on the Polanski version, because Francesca Annis did the "out, wretched spot!" scene in the nude
I suppose that might have been why my British Literature teacher showed us Excalibur while we were reading Le Morte d'Arthur. Or he just wanted to sneak out for a long cigarette break...
Lovely and gruesome, particularly with the lead-in of the flocking gulls.
That scene was intended as counter-point to Kara's sniper scene, where the exploding head was likened to a beautiful firework's display. Such things look quite different up close.
this brought to mind the final scene in Pulp Fiction...
Damn...you beat me to it! I was going to re-write that scene in the crack thread starring Henrietta (Honey Bunny) & Giuse (Ringo).
@MP5 wrote:Bonus points for Brian's usage of a .22. Nice n' Quiet.
It's actually an old mob trick. A .22 round goes in, bounces around, but can't punch its way out and blow off the face like a large caliber would...allowing for a Catholic open casket funeral with no hard feelings.
Wait...you're from Jersey...you know this already!
@Alfisti wrote: my initial thoughts on the woman was that she was a possible Padania/Mafia/Soviet contact. That was strengthend when she didn't go away...

Of course I was wrong.
But your idea would have fit so well...maybe it still can. Do you mind if I steal it for chapter 3?
@crazyidiot78 wrote:I particularly enjoyed the bit with Rico at the boys school.
I guess that was the highlight of the chapter...almost everyone mentioned that scene.
Rico wrote:What do I say next? What would a boy say? "I sure do like girls with big boobs!"

The boy looked at her strangely for a moment and then grinned ear to ear. "Yeah," he replied, "so do I!" Rico smiled. It's easy being a boy!
*sigh* We men are simple...simple creatures.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by MP5 on Thu 23 Sep 2010 - 0:30

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
@MP5 wrote:Bonus points for Brian's usage of a .22. Nice n' Quiet.
It's actually an old mob trick. A .22 round goes in, bounces around, but can't punch its way out and blow off the face like a large caliber would...allowing for a Catholic open casket funeral with no hard feelings.
Wait...you're from Jersey...you know this already!

Actually, had no serious idea about that--I'm originally a PA native. also, I pictured Brian using one of these:


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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Thu 23 Sep 2010 - 9:31

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
@Alfisti wrote: my initial thoughts on the woman was that she was a possible Padania/Mafia/Soviet contact. That was strengthend when she didn't go away...

Of course I was wrong.
But your idea would have fit so well...maybe it still can. Do you mind if I steal it for chapter 3?
Well it's your story, so knock yourself out Razz

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Fri 24 Sep 2010 - 9:59

Alright... Palmero Part II

The teenaged cyborg grinned broadly and replied "Mission accepted!"with great enthusiasm. She grabbed her younger counterpart by the wristand rushed to the communal bedroom to pick out their outfits. Michelewas left desperately hoping his cyborg would not get carried away.
Sometimes I seriously think Kara views all the other cyborgs as her own personal dressup dolls...

"Does that mean we can use your AmEx card?" she asked hopefully.
It escapes this time... but expect it to get a workout in Monaco Razz

"Yep, that was the mission where I got shot for the first time"answered Marisa, doing a walking twirl in a white nautical dress shewas wearing for the first time "and you got totally freaked out by thatcockroach."
She's really proud of that isn't she...

She resolved to speak more carefully; it was sometimes difficult todetermine what could be joked about and what to take seriously.
Is that... is that a glimmer of tact I see coming through?

"Hey Kara, I know this place where you can pay 10x the normal price foran ice cream, but they've got a really fashionable wrapper...you wannago there after the mission?" Marisa continued to tease.
Nit picky, but aren't you supposed to spell out things like numbers in speech? At least untill you get to ridiculously long ones.

A pair of well practiced cyborgs could easily carry on a conversationin front of their handlers without moving their lips & so far noSWA grown-ups had caught on.
Interesting concept, I wonder how this fits in with the conditioning in terms of not lying to Agency staff. They may want to make a point of not trying it in front of Monty though...

"Maybe you can lure the woman away from the store" suggested Mari.

Kara shot her a fierce glance of disapproval, but Michele seemed to like the idea.
"Not my handler = not my problem."

"I'm sorry, I haven't introduced myself; my name is Amadeo...they call me the the Missionary of Love."
I thought Michele was supposed to be able to be a ladies man if he felt like it... either way, this whole section was just painful (in a good way), even for me.

"That hurt a lot more than I thought it would"
This seems to be becoming her catch-phrase.

After yesterday's long boring stakeout Henrietta was happy to be out in the sun getting a little exercise with Giuseppe...
Great lead in for the passage, and a glimpse into how 'Etta sees things... chasing down bad-guys is just another fun thing to do with her handler rather than a job.

"You're gonna have to use grapples," instructed Mancini, "wait forthe camera to pivot left, then toss your hooks there and drop down tothe window."
"Both of you give us your guns" added Rissi.
Good interplay of the two handlers here, each profession covering aspects of the job relevant to it.

"Throw them out the window I guess. It's not as if he'll be needing them anymore."
Aren't the patroling guards going to notice a sudden rain of undergarments? Another thing that's been niggling at me: where did they get this bloke's itinerary from? I assume Public Safety's had him under observation for awhile before the roundup but not had enough info to move on him?

Gino Rocca stood dumbstruck as he struggled to register what a strange16 year old girl was doing in his private bathroom. "What the hell areyou waiting for?" exclaimed Petrushka, "Kill him!"
...maybe they should have let Petra take the hit... I can see whoever takes the anatomy class having an awkward time for the next few weeks as the SWA has its agents brush up on male anatomy.

Brit: Can I get credit for those classes?

'Etta shrank back into the couch at the threat, but her room-mate was typically unoffended. "I do look like a boy!"
You know it never really hit me just how contrasting the two room mates were: boy-ish Rico and the super girly (I was going to say "ultra-feminine", but it just didn't seem like the right descriptor) 'Etta.

"A PS agent shipped this crate from Athens 2 weeks ago, and it's been awaiting pickup since it arrived" explained Avise.
Again, I was under the impression that they were working fast on information gathered only a few days before...

The younger man's eyes flashed with hot anger. "Are you implying Ishould take sides against my own partner? Your girl is the one who..."
And it all comes crashing down, little sleep, over work and stress will do that. I remember our ID class from last year always seemed to work well together, but you could see the cracks appearing at the end. Another month and I'm sure the whole thing would have just imploded.

Like all cyborgs Marisa was sharply attuned to her handler's routine,so she responded with alarm upon noticing him produce a new &unexpected pill during lunch at an outdoor tattoria. "Elio, what isthat?"
Nice little exchange to give the reader a chance to breathe.

"I didn't want to look like a dork" Marisa groaned.
The handler cast a glance at his own napkin tucked into his shirt, but decided to say nothing.
I'm sure there's a point, somewhere around the fifty mark, that people just cease to care.

He lit a cigarette before driving away.
People seem to be smoking a lot in this chapter, stress, fatigue, both?

Sometimes I also wonder if we don't all have our little default litterary props to help set a scene. I know for Issue02 of J+M there's drinks on the table in almost every scene... and I did it entirely without realizing. I don't consider it a bad thing though, just mildly interesting.

xpecting a roadblock with tire spike strips Fonseca backed out of thethrottle and slowed down. There was indeed a roadblock, but not the onehe was expecting.
I'll admit for a second I was seriously expecting a JCB here a-la the original Italian Job.

Ballerina del Sud
I'm just guessing here, but that should translate to something roughly along the lines of "Ballerina of the South", seems like a strange name for a Padania yacht, or does it allude to what is being kept inside and where it's being taken?

The cyborg grabbed his ears and smashed their heads together, crushinghis skull instantly. They both fell to the ground, one dead, one dizzyand exhausted.
Marisa's head seems to be taking a lot of abuse today...


Another great chapter mate, looking forward to the next.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 24 Sep 2010 - 13:03

@Alfisti wrote:
The teenaged cyborg grinned broadly and replied "Mission accepted!"with great enthusiasm. She grabbed her younger counterpart by the wristand rushed to the communal bedroom to pick out their outfits. Michelewas left desperately hoping his cyborg would not get carried away.

Sometimes I seriously think Kara views all the other cyborgs as her own personal dressup dolls...

Funny thing is, in my OC universe she only manages her own fashion. Petra suggested Claes' initial outfit for the Geneva mission, but Michele was the one who actually purchases her wardrobe.

That being said, I have no issues with her serving as a "fashion consultant" for the other girls in other's fiction.


@Alfisti wrote:
"Does that mean we can use your AmEx card?" she asked hopefully.
It escapes this time... but expect it to get a workout in Monaco Razz

Kara: "It doesn't do any good in your wallet, so hand it over!"

@Alfisti wrote:
"Hey Kara, I know this place where you can pay 10x the normal price foran ice cream, but they've got a really fashionable wrapper...you wannago there after the mission?" Marisa continued to tease.

Nit picky, but aren't you supposed to spell out things like numbers in speech? At least untill you get to ridiculously long ones.

As I understand it, numbers below 10 should be spelled out, and then only when by themselves. That is at least how I approach it and I imagine I learned it in some Style Guide (Chicago or Microsoft, I imagine).

@Alfisti wrote:
"I'm sorry, I haven't introduced myself; my name is Amadeo...they call me the the Missionary of Love."


I thought Michele was supposed to be able to be a ladies man if he felt like it... either way, this whole section was just painful (in a good way), even for me.

Clearly this was before he met Caterina... Wink

And yes, it was painful to read, but hilarious, as well.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sat 25 Sep 2010 - 1:58

@Alfisti wrote: Sometimes I seriously think Kara views all the other cyborgs as her own personal dressup dolls...
Lenci dolls I believe Agapita called them.
Is that... is that a glimmer of tact I see coming through?
Maybe Mari's just getting tired of the taste of her own foot in her mouth.
Nit picky, but aren't you supposed to spell out things like numbers in speech?
As I understand it, numbers below 10 should be spelled out, and then only when by themselves.
I wrote it out both ways and decided the numbers better suited Marisa's informal speech pattern. I'll keep that in mind for the future though.
I wonder how this fits in with the conditioning in terms of not lying to Agency staff.
That's a great topic for debate, but I think as long as an agency adult does not directly ask a question the girls can be evasive without their conditioning giving them away. Maybe it's just more useful that way for us writers...what's a dorm full of kids without a little mischief?
They may want to make a point of not trying it in front of Monty though...
Lacking the outright power of some of her sisters Monty might want to be careful about who she "rats out." How much duct tape does it take to secure a cyborg to the flag pole?
Aren't the patroling guards going to notice a sudden rain of undergarments?
Damn, I considered that but didn't think it was a big enough detail to waste a sentence on. I suppose the guards are out front, making sure nobody enters the alley but not paying much attention to it. I'll have to be more careful now, knowing that you've got an eye for such details.
Another thing that's been niggling at me: where did they get this bloke's itinerary from? I assume Public Safety's had him under observation for awhile before the roundup but not had enough info to move on him?
I see the role of PS as mainly information gathering & support, not direct action (which is the role of Special Ops), so yes, Public Safety had him under observation before handing the info over to Jean's team. Ferro, Priscilla, Olaga & Claes are stuck at Field HQ sorting all that out and making up mission dossiers for the fratelli.
I can see whoever takes the anatomy class having an awkward time for the next few weeks as the SWA has its agents brush up on male anatomy.
Hillshire: As Academic Supervisor I nominate Alboreto for the job.

Elio: Kraut bastard...

Like Elio I suspect Avise is a handler who has not invested much training time explaining such matters to his young charge. Combine that with Agapita's rather prim demeanor for comic awkwardness
Brit: Can I get credit for those classes?
You can teach those classes Britney.

Biff: Hey, what's that supposed to mean?

Britney: Eh...nothing Biff!
"A PS agent shipped this crate from Athens 2 weeks ago, and it's been awaiting pickup since it arrived" explained Avise.
Again, I was under the impression that they were working fast on information gathered only a few days before...
I know it started that way but writer's block has forced me to expand the list to guys PS has wanted taken down for some time. I aluded to that a little when Brian & Allison got sent after a PS "add-on" as penance for crashing the Fiat on day one.
Fear not...I can work this into the plot! The previous episode was Triela & Claes' Shakespeare story, which only happened because Section 2 was sidelined by peace talks. They're just working through the backlog of work PS built up during the forced vacation.

Does that sound like I made it up on the spot?
"I didn't want to look like a dork" Marisa groaned.
I'm sure there's a point, somewhere around the fifty mark, that people just cease to care.
I've often said "There's a point in your life when you see a miniskirt and go from saying Check out what that girl's wearing! to Who let that girl out of the house wearing that?
People seem to be smoking a lot in this chapter, stress, fatigue, both?
Absolutely...it's a metaphor for all those things. Michele's cooking is also sliding downhill as fatigue tears everyone down.
Day One; Lamb & Bean Cassoulet
Day Two; Spaghetti Bolognase
Day Three; ?????????
Ballerina del Sud
I'm just guessing here, but that should translate to something roughly along the lines of "Ballerina of the South", seems like a strange name for a Padania yacht, or does it allude to what is being kept inside and where it's being taken?
You've caught me in epic laziness. I was sitting on the bridge of my vessel, beating my head against the wall looking for a good name for the sloop. At that moment a supply boat named Southern Dancer called over the radio. Okay! Southern Dancer it is! In Italian of course.
Marisa's head seems to be taking a lot of abuse today...
And that is critical to Chapter 3.
@Kiskaloo wrote:Funny thing is, in my OC universe she only manages her own fashion.
It just seems to me like something Kara would have fun with...like Triela brushing the younger girls' hair.

Speaking of Kara & Michele...you mentioned that they are fans of the Pixar studios CGI films, but I took a guess with the movie they watch aboard the yacht with Marisa. What is their take on mainstream Disney?
Magic Kingdom or Evil Empire?
Clearly this was before he met Caterina...
Yes, I'm aware Michele does have game, but he's also an honest guy who would not find it easy to fake it, am I right? It would be far easier for him if he was genuinely interested in the woman.

Besides, the theme of chapter one was Great Success. Chapter Two; Things start to unravel. Chapter 3 is going to be a clusterfuck...

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Sat 25 Sep 2010 - 7:15

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
They may want to make a point of not trying it in front of Monty though...
Lacking the outright power of some of her sisters Monty might want to be careful about who she "rats out." How much duct tape does it take to secure a cyborg to the flag pole?
I don't think even Monty's enough of a prick to go ratting the other girls out, and honestly it wouldn't be her style. She may not particularly like anyone, she may consider everyone else a bit thick and she may offer up advice to the staff that's contrary to what the other girls might like. However, at the end of the day Monty's major wish is that everyone just generally stay out of her way and do what they're damn well told when they're told to do it. Actively winding the other cyborgs up (much and/or without provocation) would be sort of self-defeating. Even if she did decide to rat them out, Monty's got enough in the way of self-preservation instincts to not do it in front of them. However you can bet your bottom dollar Jethro will eventually get an executive summary of what was said if she deemed it important enough. Coming back the other way, Monty's eventually going to get a rundown on whatever Jethro's been told, even if it's supposed to be "handlers only".

Again, I was under the impression that they were working fast on information gathered only a few days before...
I know it started that way but writer's block has forced me to expand the list to guys PS has wanted taken down for some time. I aluded to that a little when Brian & Allison got sent after a PS "add-on" as penance for crashing the Fiat on day one.
Fear not...I can work this into the plot! The previous episode was Triela & Claes' Shakespeare story, which only happened because Section 2 was sidelined by peace talks. They're just working through the backlog of work PS built up during the forced vacation.

Does that sound like I made it up on the spot?
Yes... but I'll pay it.

Besides, the theme of chapter one was Great Success. Chapter Two; Things start to unravel. Chapter 3 is going to be a clusterfuck...
Monty: Well I'm glad we're well out of that.


Last edited by Alfisti on Sat 25 Sep 2010 - 12:23; edited 3 times in total

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Sat 25 Sep 2010 - 9:54

That's a great topic for debate, but I think as long as an agency adult does not directly ask a question the girls can be evasive without their conditioning giving them away. Maybe it's just more useful that way for us writers...what's a dorm full of kids without a little mischief?

That's the way I see it, too - a direct order is explicit and cannot be countermanded, but if there's latitude for interpretation it will be taken.

I know it started that way but writer's block has forced me to expand the list to guys PS has wanted taken down for some time.

I don't think that it's inconsistent. Palermo wouldn't be a place of peace and tranquility before the Agency's task force rocked up - Section One would have had several targets that they'd have been monitoring before this new surge was proposed, and it's entirely possible that they'd have decided to wrap it up and bring them in in addition to the new enemies identified by more recent intelligence.

Like Elio I suspect Avise is a handler who has not invested much training time explaining such matters to his young charge.

The way I figured it, Avise would think that he'd have nothing to tell - Agapita's 16-17, she's a big girl, she knows that when the p0n0s and the vag00 go together sexy-time happens. The older second generation cybrogs also move in different circles to the first generation so they need to be more "socialised" and have a knowledge about how people act even if they don't necessarily follow up on it themselves. Besides, the age of consent in Italy is 14 and the former Mimi Machiavelli didn't strike me as a character who'd beat around the bush in such matters, particularly when in her introductory manga chapter she sighs wistfully about H&T's "amore" and credits her boyfriend for "calming her down" from being a juvenile delinquent. As Voodoo says, though, past experience doesn't figure into current practise: Agapita has a very different personality to her pre-cyberisation forebear, and she's certainly more hesitant about and averse to turning theory into practise.

Day One; Lamb & Bean Cassoulet
Day Two; Spaghetti Bolognase
Day Three; ?????????

"Here's a fiver, go get yourself something from that McDonald's on the corner" Razz

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 25 Sep 2010 - 14:00

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
@Alfisti wrote:People seem to be smoking a lot in this chapter, stress, fatigue, both?

Absolutely...it's a metaphor for all those things. Michele's cooking is also sliding downhill as fatigue tears everyone down.
Day One; Lamb & Bean Cassoulet
Day Two; Spaghetti Bolognase
Day Three; ?????????
@Robert Frazer wrote:"Here's a fiver, go get yourself something from that McDonald's on the corner" Razz

Michele would never, ever, subject any of the girls to Mickey-Heaves. Even if he is so tired that Henrietta and Rico need to hold him up by standing next to him in the kitchen, he would cook them something. Remember, the man does feel affection for all the girls. Wink

That being said, in his opinion Hamburger Helper does have pasta in it, so it's a legitimate Italian dish in his mind when he's that tired. Razz


@Professor Voodoo wrote:
@Kiskaloo wrote:Funny thing is, in my OC universe she only manages her own fashion.


It just seems to me like something Kara would have fun with...like Triela brushing the younger girls' hair.

She probably would, to be honest. She is a very sociable girl by nature.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
Speaking of Kara & Michele...you mentioned that they are fans of the Pixar studios CGI films, but I took a guess with the movie they watch aboard the yacht with Marisa. What is their take on mainstream Disney? Magic Kingdom or Evil Empire?

They both love Beauty & the Beast and were very impressed by The Princess and the Frog.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
@Kiskaloo wrote:Clearly this was before he met Caterina...
Yes, I'm aware Michele does have game, but he's also an honest guy who would not find it easy to fake it, am I right? It would be far easier for him if he was genuinely interested in the woman.

Absolutely.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:Besides, the theme of chapter one was Great Success. Chapter Two; Things start to unravel. Chapter 3 is going to be a clusterfuck...

So can't wait!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Sun 26 Sep 2010 - 23:25

Michele would never, ever, subject any of the girls to Mickey-Heaves. Even if he is so tired that Henrietta and Rico need to hold him up by standing next to him in the kitchen, he would cook them something. Remember, the man does feel affection for all the girls.

What about putting a ready meal in the microwave? There's still some personal agency in setting the timer and pressing the door button...

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by theprodigalson on Tue 26 Oct 2010 - 17:00

This is where we go to pat you on the back, right Voodoo? I know its been awhile since this was posted, but I just wanted to hop in and say I love all your works! The Marisa and Elio Chronicles have made many a "delinquency notice envelope-stuffing" session at work a likeable affair. The others seem to have covered everything well enough so I'll just way I love the pace you have established here. The "rush!" atmosphere was very engaging. I like foreward to the next installment!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 27 Oct 2010 - 4:33

@theprodigalson wrote: I like foreward to the next installment!
Thank you Prodigal. There's so much going on on this site that I run into the same problem, often reviewing stories & art weeks after its been posted. All the same it's nice to know another person enjoys what I've offered.

You shouldn't have to wait too long before the final chapter of the Palermo story is ready...I already have the ending and all I really need is one more action scene to fill in space. Watch this space...

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Wed 27 Oct 2010 - 5:05

@Professor Voodoo wrote:Thank you Prodigal. There's so much going on on this site that I run into the same problem, often reviewing stories & art weeks after its been posted. All the same it's nice to know another person enjoys what I've offered.

You shouldn't have to wait too long before the final chapter of the Palermo story is ready...I already have the ending and all I really need is one more action scene to fill in space. Watch this space...
One of the things I like about this forum is that it seems to be generally understood that it can take days or even weeks to get around to doing things like reviewing, commenting or whatever. Not because people aren't interested but because there's only so much free time people have and, moreover, so much time people have where they're in a mental state to say something interesting/useful.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sat 30 Oct 2010 - 22:03

The final chapter of The Palermo Round-Up is posted.

As promised, things turn into an absolute mess in this chapter...

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 30 Oct 2010 - 22:55

Must...read...NOW!!!!! study

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Sat 30 Oct 2010 - 23:05

What Kisk said...

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by crazyidiot78 on Sat 30 Oct 2010 - 23:34

Voodoo you've outdown yourself again. An excellent ending to the story. I loved Marisa's anguish over not being able to help because of her leg injury and I found her actions at the chop shop fit her perfectly. The bit with Henrietta's hand and her self declaration as a frankensteins monster was just awsome. The best part is the situation totaly works with the way the actual cyborg parts work in GSG. It made me wonder why some one hadn't tried it before.

Personaly i think in my mind what really stole the show was Jean. From his actiona with Kara going so far as to use the conditioning to get her to comply to his later apology to her about the mistake. Also conversation with Rico at the end thanking her for saving Jose and letting her pick what they will do for a weekend off realy starts to show that might be more than a revenge obsessed hard ass.

Not one to let it end there you really went all out with a true crowning moment of heart warming with the girls discussion on the top of the yacht. Kara pointing out Angelica's place in the stars, with the other girls adding in their fallen sister's in arms was, well I don't have the words to describe it., When you also had them add in Elsa and the fact that she wasn't alone anymore I will freely admit it brought a tear to my eye. Excellent job you really manage to capture both the girls and their handlers true thoughts, feelings, and motivations.
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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 31 Oct 2010 - 2:11

A full review tomorrow (as I want to read it again), but in a nutshell...

Spoiler:

Fuck...Me...

Brilliant. Nothing less than brilliant. And the end scene literally has me in tears.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Sun 31 Oct 2010 - 10:57

Reading it twice, Voodoo, I must say that was the best thing I have read in a very long time. Lots of action tempered with moments of quiet, problems to be resolved and issues dealt with. I'm not into cutting it up and making comments, but to say in a whole, that was great.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 31 Oct 2010 - 13:12

WARNING: Here there be spoilers.


First off, once again I absolutely love how you write Michele and Kara. I think part of the reason I lost interest in writing them was because I enjoyed reading how others wrote them more.

And soon they'll be in pictures thanks to Alfisti. On Cloud 9




_The Third Day_

"That's the bomb that killed Angelica" growled Pagani.

Yeah, he'd want payback for the guys who killed Angelica. Yes Indeed

"I'm willing to kill a dozen Padanian's just for making me wake up this early" joked Kara.

Allison added "And for cutting up so many innocent cars for their evil plans!"

Guess the coffee has not yet fully infused the girl's veins. Wink

Loved the combat scene in the chop-shop. Kara has always been fond of Henrietta (she was the first girl to welcome Kara into the fold), so I could totally see her providing cover for her if she felt the situation allowed for it.

_Under the White Sheet_

"Mr. Pagani is gonna have you reconditioned if you go wandering through his yacht with that hand of yours dripping artificial blood on his carpets," warned Mari, "so let's just sit here quietly until the doc's are ready for us."

A hollow threat to Henrietta, who knows Michele is almost as big a push-over as her own handler. Wink

That being said...

Michele Pagani walked in just in time. "Henrietta put the sheet back right now" he ordered sternly. The young cyborg obeyed and scrambled back to her examining table. "What happened yesterday is currently need-to-know information which Marisa is under orders not to discuss, am I understood?"

"Yes sir" she replied, her cheeks flushing pink. It was uncommon for Mr. Pagani to raise his voice, so Henrietta knew he was serious.

After giving Kara and Claes the Nissan Juke, Henrietta (and the other girls) know you can only push him so hard. Wink

I was kind of surprised she would express shock at Marisa killing a young boy. I would think the cyborgs would not care about who they kill (I hypothesized in my stories that this was a defense mechanism to prevent them from going crazy from the guilt or starting to like killing and become psychopaths).

I also like how you had Michele play the "sympathetic shoulder" for the girls. I've written how he feels a bit guilty for the situation they are in, even though he played no part of them being there. So he tries to treat them with respect and compassion as much as possible.

_Parking Garage_

And the friction between the Ricci and Mancini fratelli builds as the slog grinds on and minds, bodies and emotions continue to deteriorate.

_Giuse & Rico_

A very logical pairing. The four have worked together so much that they should be effectively interchangeable parts. Well, I imagine Jean running Henrietta would not end well… I like how Rico knows that Henrietta is going to be very annoyed somebody else was spending time with "her" Jose and that Rico needed to minimize the damage.

Rico has always creeped me out in the manga and anime, but she's rapidly warming in my heart thanks to the writing on this forum.

_The Mobile Phone Incident_

Kara flipping Jean Croce shit? Damn, she really is at the end of her rope. ROTFL

Seriously, while it initially struck me more as an appearance by "Forum Kara", you have done such a great job of showing how the "daily grind" of this mission has indeed ground down all of the handlers and cyborgs that I could very much believe that Kara, operating on the ragged edge, would act out of her normal character and give a man she fears more than respects some lip and put a mission at risk out of spite/pique - well, at least a mission where nobody else were at risk of serious injury.

And yet, she begins to understand that the man is not the cold automaton she believed him to be and that his dedication and focus to his job has so often made her job easier.

And Jean, not used to taking shit from anyone, much less Kara Pagani, was perfectly in character by snapping at her, wondering how Michele puts up with her attitude and then ordering her to just STFU.

And Claes showing sympathy? I'd think she'd be working on how to mimic a handler's voice. Wink

Seriously, I like how Claes was portrayed in this chapter (and the story, as a whole). Showing concern for her fellow sister's health and sympathizing with Kara. So often played as a hard-ass, she's much more "one of the girls" here.

_Good News, Bad News_

And yet Jean shows why Kara thinking of him as an asshole is not libelous. Wink

_Bad News_

The girl has a mechanical body. However, she is still an adolescent child.

Indeed...

_Ambush_
Another sign of how the teams are falling apart, emotionally: Allison more worried about killing a dog than saving not just her life, but the life of her big brother.

And indeed, Michele would be more worried about one bullet in Allison or Brian than 1000 in his Gallardo. And yet, he has his emotional limits and they have finally been reached and he just needs some time alone to recover. Good

_Loose Ends I_

It looks like Elio is also bumping up against his own limits.

_Loose Ends II_

Agapita: "But you told me to you told me to you told me to!"

The younger man waved off his questioning and tried to act as if he was in greater pain than he was, but clenched teeth and a guilty look from Petrushka added evidence to Avise's suspicions. "Damn it, Rissi, you weren't driving, where you? You had Petra driving!"

"Wgat diffuwunce does it mayge?" snapped the spy, still trying to stifle his nosebleed.

Mancini straightened up like a sergeant at drill and retorted "Petrushka is neither trained nor licensed to drive, that's what difference it makes! That's why you crashed our only automobile!"

Michele: "Okay, so now I have to add Petrushka to the list?"

Triela: "The list?"

Michele: "Of people who can both drive and have wrecked a car. It was Kara, Claes and Henrietta. Oh, and Allison now."

Triela: "I didn't wreck your DB9."

Michele: "No you did not. Can I interest you in a transfer?"

Kara: "I heard that!"

Jean & Michele returned to Field Headquarters well after dark with their tired cyborgs dragging their feet behind. They had managed to round up 2 more low priority targets and kill a third, but for the most part the two fratelli had spent the night trudging around looking for targets that were not there anymore.

"You two go wash up and get some sleep" Pagani instructed, but Kara & Rico needed no urging. Even Jean went straight to the men's common bedroom for some sleep. Michele would have been right behind him but for the flickering glow of the television. He walked over to find Henrietta curled up on the couch watching an Audrey Hepburn movie (dubbed in Italian) with a bag of cookies tucked under her arm. "Henrietta, is that all you've had for dinner tonight?" Pagani asked.

She never took her glazed eyes off the screen. "Too tired to cook" yawned 'Etta, holding out the bag "Want some?"

Michele was exhausted himself, and the last thing he wanted to do was start cooking, but a sense of adult responsibility impelled him to do something, hopefully something easy. He looked through the kitchen cabinets for anything which could be prepared with minimum of effort and dish washing afterward, and there it was staring him in the face. A one kilogram can of ravioli stood directly at the center of the cabinet amongst the other, harder to prepare foodstuffs. It had been slipped into their mission load-out as a prank by fellow handler Fernando G., who knew only he and his cyborg Rachel could tolerate the ghastly stuff. The canned pasta offended Michele's every sense as a gourmet and his every sensibility as a chef but at the same time his whole body screamed out with fatigue.

Accepting that defeat came one degree at a time, Michele reached up into the cabinet and grabbed the can, trading at least for the moment his ideals for the promise of sleep.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.

_The Fourth Day_

Kara: "Okay, maybe Jean isn't always an asshole."

_The Heroes of Old_

On Cloud 9 Cry On Cloud 9

Monty: "Peach schnapps? The man has Tanq10 and you choose peach schnapps? I don't know you and you don't know me."

Kara being the one to choose Angelica was a nice touch. I always expected she felt a bit jealous/out of sorts that Michele cared for her so much, but in the end, she understood that his heart was big enough for both of them.

An absolute epic ending to an epic story. You walk with the gods, Professor.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Officer_Charon on Sun 31 Oct 2010 - 17:33

I just wanted to jump on here and comment on how much I've loved the evolution of Marisa and Elio both during the progression of your series.

I pretty much agree with Kiska in all particulars with regards to commenting. That final scene pretty much hit every "D'awww" button in me, to say nothing of harkening back to the first anime series finale. Well played, sirrah!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by MP5 on Sun 31 Oct 2010 - 20:17

I can't say anything that hasn't already been said, Voodoo. Except, Bravo.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Mon 1 Nov 2010 - 2:39

Oh, goody-goody-gumdrops, I've been waiting for this since you said that you only had one action scene to go a few days back, Voodoo, and wondering if you were going to be posting it each time I saw you online!

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"Can't we turn on a light?"

I was imagining that Rico would be saying that before she was identified as speaker in the next line

"No Rico, we don't want to wake up Ferro, Priscilla, Claes & Olga,

This is a small point, but Kara is being strangely particular and long-winded when she's trying to be quiet and discreet. Rather than listing out all of the staff, she should just say "the others" or "Claes and the grown-ups".

Current intelligence suggests that this is where the garbage truck which exploded in front of the DCPP in Rome originated."

Interesting way to magnify the importance of the operation and to give it more consequence, by tying it in to such a vivid and major event in the manga proper.

raising her hand as if she was in class

An important visual detail. Thrusting her hand high up, rather than just giving a vague wave, shows her energy and eagerness.

Marisa tripped and lost her balance, falling backwards, smashing through the skylight glass. Her rope zipped across the rooftop until it stopped with a hard twang. All the cyborgs & handlers stood watching with mouths agape.

Well, Marisa is of Irish extraction, it makes sense that she'd have some kinship with Murphy.

They found the staircase padlocked, and with no cyborg among them to break the lock Brian had to painstakingly pick it, wasting precious time.

I know that he picks the lock precisely in order to cause delay and make the mission unravel that bit further, but outside of plot necessities there doesn't seem to be any reason for them not to just shoot the lock off - the battle is in full swing already, there's no need to be discreet. Maybe add a line where one of the characters raises his arm to shoot but he's stopped by another who warns him that he's just as likely to hurt everyone with ricochets and shrapnel, leaving Brian to do his safer lockpicking - that gives it more justification, and also amplifies the sense of frustration too as aggressiveness has been thwarted.

Marisa stamped her foot, both out of frustration and a desire to demonstrate the functionality of her right leg. "Mr. Jean, please! I'm just fine! It's totally my fault that I blew it on the roof! Yell at me, smack me, do anything you want but please don't take me out of action for a problem that doesn't exist!"

Most people would be happy to have an excuse for why they messed up...

"You mean I'm allowed to walk on my own?" the girl replied sourly, "I'm surprised you don't force me to ride in a wheelchair."

Definitely the right tone of petulance here.

Claes wanted desperately to support her friends in any way possible but could not imagine taking a human life herself, and at times like this it shamed her that she was not able to help or protect them in battle.

I wonder about this myself - Claes moves in a different orbit to the other girls and most of the time seems to hold herself in splendid isolation - while other cyborgs help her in the garden it seems to be a case of them coming to her rather than her outreaching to others. That said, though, she did go along with the Swiss lake mission - is the sense of aloofness actually from Claes herself, or rather something imposed by circumstance as everyone else has shoved her into a corner?

"Do you want me to go find a grown up?" Henrietta offered, with concern in her voice,

Henrietta the teachers' pet?

"It is a kid! Marisa you lied! What happened yesterday; why did you kill a child?"

There's a note of hurt in "you lied". I also note that she says "a kid" and "a child". the cyborgs are not ordinary children - Henrietta seems to be approaching this from the detached principles of military rules against non-combatants and general morals of innocents, rather than seeing the child as a youthful compatriot.

...the hum of elevator cables...

Heh, nice foreshadowing.

who had been cowering behind their automobile since the 3 shots had been fired.

Aw, she was making such an effort, too...

After all of that buildup, I'm reminded of a scene in Kill Bill. Uma Thurman has already carved up most of the Crazy 88 and in this last stage is still outnumbered a dozen to one by enemy swordsmen, but she takes them down anyway in a stylish silhouetted battle lit only by shadowlight. She's just about to swing down and lop off the head of the last one - when the lights come back on and she stops with the sword-edge just an inch from his neck, and a bug-eyed expression of seething infuriation on her own face - when she sees that he's just some terrified young tagalong teen who can barely hold his sword. Not entirely relevant, perhaps, but that's the atmosphere this sequence generated in my head.

"Well, yes...we all looked like a pack of monkey's trying to fuck a football back there. Honestly the only reason I was waiting in the elevator was that I couldn't find the stairs...happy accident, eh?" Alboreto muttered. "Don't take it to heart, I screwed up yesterday and got my cyborg knocked out of action.

There's a grocer's apostrophe there on "monkeys", but this excerpt mainly allows me to give a comment on the chapter in general. When you were previewing chapter 3 in earlier posts with terms like "clusterfuck", I was expecting a build-up to some almighty eruption with all of Palermo's villains teaming up to assault the Agency safehouse. The gradual breakdown that we have actually witnessed, though - bits steadily falling off of the wagon and cracks causing things to rattle before coughing to a halt - works better for this story. The first two chapters were a catalogue of separate incidents so there was no background buildup, so suddenly yanking up the threat level in the third chapter would have come from nowhere and not fit at all. A big battle also might have been less a 'climax' and more of a 'blow-out' and been dissatisfying, and also wouldn't have allowed for the gentle ending you settled on. Altogether, I think that the approach you took here is a sound one.

I think we all need a coffee.

And hacking up bodies while hoping that no-one using the parking lot walks in on them would be tiring work!

I think that it also suits Avise's approach to the Black Gold. Avise enjoys coffee greatly, but he doesn't have a refined palette - as LT1, WBFP5 and OH6 show, he tends to just guzzle down volumes of regular, and even when he varies the routine his tastes remain fairly conservative (as in OH8 where he just has an ordinary espresso). It's probably yet another hangover from his army days, as they don't serve frappucinos in the mess. He'd be perfectly willing to take advice from Michele about gourmet blends and try them out, but after so long knocking back Nescafé he might find the preapration of the higher level of coffee a bit too much effort and drift back into old habits.

----------------------------------
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I'll have to leave it at that for now, but rest assured that it's an enjoyable read to the end.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Mon 1 Nov 2010 - 18:53

Okay, carrying on:

------------------------
------------------------

On the down-side, there would be Henrietta, and her infamous jealousy to deal with. Just spending a morning with her handler was enough to incite the brunette cyborg's rage for a whole week. Rico knew she would have to act carefully.

Still, they're roomates so I anticipate that Rico knows how to handle Henrietta as much as Jose himself does...

Signor Carrio may not be in the Army anymore, but he hasn't stopped drinking. Most likely he's passed out in bed at this hour. This'll be an easy pick-up

Heh, a brief but valid plan with some well-observed lateral thinking - and the apparent simplicity also lets us know that it's going to be anything but.

Croce walked past her to the bed where a motionless figure lay. He could not even detect breathing, so he carefully drew back the covers. "Damn it!" muttered the handler. Where he expected to find the suspect there was only a pile of pillows, stacked cleverly to look like a sleeping body.


I know that it's a tried and true and much-respected staple of fiction throughout the ages, but this sort of trick can't actually work, surely?

"Sir...it's a pressure sensitive pad, don't step off of it!"

Ouch. Mr. Carrio is a mean drunk.

Flames caught them quickly, but Rico had wisely chosen a wool blanket which gave them some protection.

Well, considering that she had all of three seconds to grab something it's more luck than wisdom, but I take your point nevertheless. Another petty point, but you might want to add a quick note that Rico is pulling herself out from under the bed as she reassures Jose.

The experience left Kara with a miserably violated feeling, a reminder of her artificial nature and the control the Agency held over a mechanical body she was only borrowing.

The sparkle of a gilded cage can only distract you from the fact that they're bars for so long?

Jean had not even complimented her on a job well done, and had probably forgotten all about it by now.

Or so she thinks, determined to see the worst in the situation.

A pang of guilt stabbed at Kara's human heart; nobody ever thought to thank Jean for the job he did. How do you go about thanking a man like him anyway? she thought,

Part of the burden of a military life - being reviled and mocked by the people you're protecting is something you just have to respect with a philosophical sigh.

I wonder if Jean might actually feed off of the resentment directed his way to some extent - the strained atmosphere removing comfort and understanding away from him, and stoking up frustrations in himself, and so strengthening and keeping him by default in the hard-set flinty face that he's set to the world. I don't believe that Jean is naturally nasty, he's not so grim a character as he presents himself - from his grandfather's death to his early career in the manga, he's been playing a role that he feels that he ought to. It even goes beyond Sophia's death - when he gives Rico a hug at the range after Angelica's death, we understand that he's cold to and demanding of her because he feels that he shouldn't be affectionate to a weapon, rather than him being unconscious of the fact that he's being insensitive. Jean is a jerk because he perceives that he has to be to endure in this line of work, inflicting bitterness and infuriation on himself to be the goads driving him on - if he mellowed out, he'd run out of fuel.

Get down!" yelled the bodyguard to the left. He grabbed Kara's wrist and yanked the phone-gun to him. "Nobody's used a phone like this in 10 years...it won't even work on a modern network! What the hell are you up to?"

Well, whaddya know? Turns out that fashion is useful after all!

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Again, I have to head off now, but more to come soon.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Officer_Charon on Mon 1 Nov 2010 - 19:15

@ Robert: Actually, I've seen the pillow trick work... to a point. The human mind sees what it expects.

In my case, the idiot slipped in the closet he was ACTUALLY hiding in, giving himself away, but up to that point, we were thinking he was still in bed.

And as to your comment about the military's lot in life, I can attest to that: I've been spat on, whilst in my Marine dress blues, doing a Toys for Tots toy-gathering drive. The heifer had the gall to call me a murderer.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 1 Nov 2010 - 20:27

@Robert Frazer wrote:I know that it's a tried and true and much-respected staple of fiction throughout the ages, but this sort of trick can't actually work, surely?
@Officer_Charon wrote:@ Robert: Actually, I've seen the pillow trick work... to a point. The human mind sees what it expects.

In my case, the idiot slipped in the closet he was ACTUALLY hiding in, giving himself away, but up to that point, we were thinking he was still in bed.
I've actually pulled it off. Set up the pillow trick in a tent mate's bunk during the Bosnia War and he fell for it completely.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Wed 3 Nov 2010 - 9:32

Alright, thoughts on the final part of Palmero.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:"Hey, Etta...Rico...Petra...come on, wake up."

"Aww, damn...Kara what time is it?"

"0300...I know, it sucks. Aggie...Allie...it's time to wake up."

"Even Avise doesn't get me up this early."

"Can't we turn on a light?"
Great opener for the whole thing, that you've not really identified who's who except in speech really gives the impression of those sort of pre-dawn whispers, stumbling around in the dark. Someone kicking you in the head repeatedly 'cause they're at the wrong end of your hootchie and need you to get up and take the next picket...

Marisa tripped and lost her balance, falling backwards, smashingthrough the skylight glass. Her rope zipped across the rooftop until itstopped with a hard twang. All the cyborgs & handlers stoodwatching with mouths agape. Slapping his face with his palm Alboretowas heard to mutter "Bloody hell..."
I think a few others have said it before, but one of the real strengths of your writing is how you weave these threads through the story. Seemingly insignificant stuff (like the Euro coin from the early chapters) suddenly becomes important later on. Suddenly it's the same with Marisa's constant head injuries, not to mention the leg problem as well effecting her attitude. It really helps make the whole work cohesive rather than a series of random events.

Henrietta was there too, but she was already injured, a mangled right hand preventing her from using her P90.
For the record, the P90's ambidexterous. I'm sure with her Gen1 strength firing it single handed shouldn't be too much of a problem for 'Etta. However, as you pointed out, single handed it'd be even more difficult than the pistol to reload.

"Save ammo!" Allison shouted, "We're gonna run out at this rate!"
Always a good method for ramping up the tension. It's also a nice nod to the fact that the fratelli seem to have come prepared for a short suprise attack, not a prolonged firefight.

Outside on the opposite rooftop the handlers tried their best to pickthese escapees off but in low light they were hard to hit, and mostescaped.
And setting up for the rest of the chapter, suddenly the game's up.

It's just a little thing, but I reckon this would have been better finished with something like "and most vanished into the shadows." or something along those lines. It gets rid of the mild awkwardness of having two (three?) "escape" based words close together. It's also a little more atmospheric and forboding... possibly cheesy if you're not careful though.

"That's not likely Henrietta. I can't have two cyborgs out of action at this point." The Field Commander
Actually, this first botched mission is in a way is a bit of a highlight in terms of Jean's character in that he's managed to salvage something out of a disaster. And now this ability to keep driving and manage his manpower comes to the fore as well. Come to think of it, this whole chapter's a bit of a Jean highlight... he's the bloke to have around when shit hits the fan.

Jean finished for her; "Marisa's damaged leg gave out, that's what blewour timing. I've sent them both to the yacht to be serviced."
Good choice of words for Jean. Someone who viewed the cyborgs in a more human light may have chosen others, but "serviced" is perfect for Jean. And while they're at it, rotate the tyres and fix that annoying squeak.

"I don't see what harm a little yoghurt could do" the chestnut haired cyborg pouted.
Another good character section, this time for 'Etta.

Monty: I agree, she's sweet and all but just a touch dense. More-so than the average person I mean.

Stubborn and self centred, which is what makes her character fun.

_Parking Garage_
I've no idea why, but the first thing that popped into my mind on reading that was the movie "Get Carter"... the Michael Caine version.

Rather than interfere the older man decided to simply hang back & observe this one.
Fighting down the urge I assume to bang the two youngsters' heads together.

Alboreto gave her a scowl and muttered "Have you ever cut up a body before? You're going to be amazed at how messy this gets."
I'm sure Mari's going to be incredibly cut that she missed that.

Rissi lit a cigarette, thought for a second and offered one to Avise,who accepted. "How much longer can this go on? Between us we must havedone more than 30 missions in 3 days."
Far more effective than an olive branch.

They had each hoped the older & more experienced Alboreto was planning on stepping in at some point and advising Jean that enough was enough.If he did plan to do such a thing he was not sharing the information,so both Rissi & Mancini knew it might be a long grind.
Something tells me that Elio's probably pushed a team just as hard (if not harder) for just as long (if not longer) before.

I like that you mentioned he talked it over with Ferro as well, the lady doesn't get enough credit.

"A little sleepy but I'm okay sir" she chirped, "I hope Henrietta is going to be okay."
I guess one good thing about being heavily conditioned is that fatigue probably doesn't effect you as badly, at least on an emotional level.

yammer on your cell phone like a normal teenager...
Damn, Kara must be getting a reputation... I've got her filling a similar role in the next issue of J+M

"I need water" her mind screamed out, and even in the depths of a Marisa Moment she recognized the irony that she was floating on a deep blue sea that she could not reach.
A step forward for Marisa if I'm not mistaken, in that she's just managed a panic attack by herself. Clumsily perhaps, but without aide.

Here traction was a little better, although she shuddered to think ofwhat this harsh use was doing to the low-slung undercarriage.
It'll probably be ok. At least she shouldn't have to worry about scraping sumps or the like. One of the upsides of having a flat, aerodynamic undertray is that, at a pinch, it makes a pretty decent bashplate.

"We need to find cover," growled Brian, "maybe from those trees we can fight back."
"Theinstant we stop we're sitting ducks!" Allison argued, "We need morespeed!" As the dirt road took a 90 degree bend she saw what she needed,and went straight instead of turning.
Got a laugh out of the differing modes of thinking... guess we all know how pays more attention to Clarkson.

Claes had been trained on the system but had never actually operatedit, especially not with a friend and her handler being shot at by asniper in a helicopter.
Yep, training can't substitue for experience with a system, particularly under stress. For some reason I really liked this short segment... possibly because one of my other favorite fandoms is the Honor Harrington series and it reminded me a little of the combat sequences in that.

Elio walked up and reported "We've got the local police placated butthere's going to be a whole lot of damage control to do. Giuseppe, giveme the keys to the Fiat...Mancini & I will stay to answer questionsand smooth things over. The rest of you should take the van and get thegirls out of here before somebody gets too nosy and we need to have'Etta kill them. Michele, how's the Lambo? Is it driveable or do weneed to arrange a flat-bed?"
Speaking of command styles, one advantage Elio seems to have is his age and experience. So when it comes to situations like this where people are probably starting to look for a bit of guidance it makes it that much easier for him to quietly take the reigns and get the whole situation under control.

"No, you're right of course" replied Giuseppe, cracking a grin of hisown "someday we're going to look back on this and it's going to be really funny."
I think it's really funny right now, and something tells me I'm not the only one.

"Not if we cut across country" Mancini replied "I haven't seen a mapbut as soon as we get to the top of one of these hills we should beable to spot civilization...it'll cut kilometers off the march."
Something tells me Avise is actually happy about this.

Avise: Damn right, good march in the mountains, fresh air... builds character!

Sandro: I don't think my character needs any extra building right now thankyou.

"Too tired to cook" yawned 'Etta, holding out the bag "Want some?"
Probably a lucky escape for all involved there... even with the canned ravioli.

"So we arrived at the police station, but they were only open duringthe day" Agapita explained, "we had to find the Chief's house and wakehim so we could report the accident and call Public Safety."
Surely there's still payphones around in Italy. Though I guess if it never occured to anyone to follow Claes' suggestion, looking or a public phone possibly didn't occur to them either.

"Well it means a lot to me" Jean said softly, "and when we get back toRome I'm taking the first available weekend off. We will do whatever you want."
Wow he must be tired.

Michele thought for a minute and replied "You'll have to ask theCaptain for a definite number, but I imagine we can do the 260 nauticalmiles in a little over a full day."
Seems a little slow for a semi-planing hull. Last I checked the Sunseeker 37 was capable of a bit over 20 knots. Though I guess if they're not in a rush...

"Arrghh...no more sorry's!" growled Allison, "We're sorry, you'resorry, everybody's sorry...now here, have a drink!" She passed Marisathe bottle, who took a long sip before handing it off to Kara.

Monty: are you drunk?

Allison: Tipsy.

That said, lovely ending to an epic arc. Even I got the warm and fuzzies for a bit there.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

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