The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

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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.

Kiskaloo
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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:

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

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 3 Nov 2010 - 15:13

Thank you all; I once again find myself humbled by so many positive responses. Has anybody yet spotted the massive continuity error I made?

@Kiskaloo wrote:
"That's the bomb that killed Angelica" growled Pagani.
Yeah, he'd want payback for the guys who killed Angelica.

Kara being the one to choose Angelica was a nice touch.
In my timeline Kara & Michele are the only OC series two fratello in this group to have known Angelica. Marisa, Agapita & Allison were all constructed after she died.

I have a scene in an upcoming stand-alone story that expands on Michele's involvement in the Angelica project (Michele is reminiscing to a new handler). I'm drawing on your I know St. Peter won't call my name story, but as is typical of my stuff I'm focusing on the difficulties of the early days.
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.
I see a bit of Triela's big sister/mother-hen instinct in her as well. During this fight she's the one who pauses to cut Marisa's zip line so she can fall and get out of her dangerous position.
A hollow threat to Henrietta, who knows Michele is almost as big a push-over as her own handler.

Henrietta (and the other girls) know you can only push him so hard.
While I'm sure Michele is one of the favorites of all the girls he is still an adult and a supervisor. I do not doubt that he must dispense an occasional stern word.

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).
Okay, good point. That said, nowhere in canon do we see one of the girls killing a child, so I think it's just abberant enough that Henrietta would sense something wrong with it. One of the core tenants of GsG that I like is the idea that the girls are more sensitive than they look. Hillshire observes this in chapter 2 when he laments that the girls are getting mixed up with a morally ambiguous job.


_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.
To be honest, I wish I'd done a better job with this section. It's fragmented and not very visually evocative. It's true that sometimes the mood of the scene rubs off on me and I get fatigued just writing it.

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.
Later on, when the two talk (right before the hand debacle) Rico carefully leaves out any mention of Giuse nearly being killed by a fire-bomb...knowing her room mate would freak out.

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.
Rico is a tough & complicated character to understand. I once characterized her as Yu's comment on the idea that ignorance is bliss but lately I've come to believe that total, complete honesty is the guiding force of her personality. There is absolutely no subtext to Rico's actions...she has zero hidden agenda. In that she's a bit like Winston Groom's Forrest Gump.

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
Kara is treated as a human being by her handler, who respects her opinion, so it would come as a shock to her to be regarded as less. Fatigued as she is I can see her being a little more spiteful about that than say Rico or Marisa, who are quite accustomed with being told to shut up.

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.
That's just a passage that spilled out as I was writing it. I've observed that in real life 2nd in command is often the worst job in the organization. The Commander is under an obligation to be a likeable leader (at least to some extent) so it's his lieutenant who must be the hard-ass (lucky for Jean he's already like that). At the same time it's the 2nd in command who gets all the late night "Oh shit, things aren't working, I need help" calls, because nobody dares wake the boss.

Claes showing sympathy? I'd think she'd be working on how to mimic a handler's voice.
Sure Claes is accustomed to a bit of distance between herself & her fellow cyborgs, but there's plenty of examples in canon where she's "one of the girls." Now if it had been Monty...

_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.
Also an allusion to Giuse's famous statement that their performance drops off when they're not concentrating. Allison is also mad that Brian lied to her about the dog surviving, which sets her up for a conditioning moment requiring Michele to purchase new floormats.

Seriously, cyborg or not, I've never met a girl (or many guys) who did not fall to pieces upon accidentally hitting a housepet.

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.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
The final installment of Michele's cooking as a metaphor for the general tone of the operation. Had the job gone on one more day he might have wound up sitting right next to Henrietta on that couch eating a bag of cookies for dinner.
Monty: "Peach schnapps? The man has Tanq10 and you choose peach schnapps?
Well, they do have a bunch of 10-11 year olds drinking with them...

@ElfenMagix wrote:Reading it twice,
Sorry I didn't give you a heads up before giving your Fernando & Rachel a mention, but since the canned pasta incident was inspired directly by something you wrote in the forum I didn't think it messed with your character's too badly.

With your permission I'd like to consider using those two in some future stories.

Robert & Alfisti, I'll get to a reply to your comments very soon...


Last edited by Professor Voodoo on Mon 8 Nov 2010 - 20:21; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Wed 3 Nov 2010 - 17:08

@Professor Voodoo wrote:Thank you all; I once again find myself humbled by so many positive responses. Has anybody yet spotted the massive continuity error I made?

@Kiskaloo wrote:
"That's the bomb that killed Angelica" growled Pagani.
Yeah, he'd want payback for the guys who killed Angelica.

Kara being the one to choose Angelica was a nice touch.
In my timeline Kara & Michele are the only OC series two fratello in this group to have known Angelica. Marisa, Agapita & Allison were all constructed after she died.
You're not the only one with that continuity error either; When I wrote Solution's Resolution, Angie was still alive. She was killed with I wrote the last chapter to that story. The other future stories will not have her in it, unless its a flash back memory scene. Thus Angie will be missed by the Fernando/Rachel/Francesca/Juanita Fratello and team.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
@ElfenMagix wrote:Reading it twice,
Sorry I didn't give you a heads up before giving your Fernando & Rachel a mention, but since the canned pasta incident was inspired directly by something you wrote in the forum I didn't think it messed with your character's too badly.

With your permission I'd like to consider using those two in some future stories.

Robert & Alfisti, I'll get to a reply to your comments very soon...
As I always said that use my my OC requires written and expressed permission; I gave you the expressed permission that day you dropped by in NYC. I never got around to doing the written part, but you have my blessings on using them.

The scene with the pasta can came from Solution's Resolution when the Italy military took over the compound and took all of the great food they had at the cafeteria and left piles and piles of canned ravioli, to the dissmay of the handers and staff. Only one that actually likes the stuff: Fernando and Rachel, since they were raised up on it in NYC. Evil I can only image what a fine and refined man like Michele Pagani staring at that can and wondering how desperate he was to taking it and cooking its contents.... Answer: VERY DESPERATE! Guh? ROTFL

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 3 Nov 2010 - 23:04

@Professor Voodoo wrote:I have a scene in an upcoming stand-alone story that expands on Michele's involvement in the Angelica project (Michele is reminiscing to a new handler). I'm drawing on your I know St. Peter won't call my name story, but as is typical of my stuff I'm focusing on the difficulties of the early days.
So awesome. On Cloud 9
@Professor Voodoo wrote:I see a bit of Triela's big sister/mother-hen instinct in (Kara) as well. During this fight she's the one who pauses to cut Marisa's zip line so she can fall and get out of her dangerous position.
In her original biography, I did note she was somewhat of a "Den Mother", but I never actually explored that in my fiction, so thank you for picking up the torch.
@Professor Voodoo wrote:While I'm sure Michele is one of the favorites of all the girls he is still an adult and a supervisor. I do not doubt that he must dispense an occasional stern word.
Yup. If he didn't, the girls would surely lose respect for him.
I imagine Michele is one of the handlers the girls go to when they have a problem and they need someone who is going to listen first and judge later.
@Professor Voodoo wrote:That said, nowhere in canon do we see one of the girls killing a child, so I think it's just abberant enough that Henrietta would sense something wrong with it. One of the core tenants of GsG that I like is the idea that the girls are more sensitive than they look. Hillshire observes this in chapter 2 when he laments that the girls are getting mixed up with a morally ambiguous job.
I would guess that Emilio was not truly a child (I would guess he's maybe 15?), but Rico had no compulsion about killing him.
@Professor Voodoo wrote: Rico is a tough & complicated character to understand. I once characterized her as Yu's comment on the idea that ignorance is bliss but lately I've come to believe that total, complete honesty is the guiding force of her personality. There is absolutely no subtext to Rico's actions...she has zero hidden agenda. In that she's a bit like Winston Groom's Forrest Gump.
A good oberservation.
@Professor Voodoo wrote:Kara is treated as a human being by her handler, who respects her opinion, so it would come as a shock to her to be regarded as less. Fatigued as she is I can see her being a little more spiteful about that than say Rico or Marisa, who are quite accustomed with being told to shut up.
Yes Indeed
@Professor Voodoo wrote:I've observed that in real life 2nd in command is often the worst job in the organization. The Commander is under an obligation to be a likeable leader (at least to some extent) so it's his lieutenant who must be the hard-ass (lucky for Jean he's already like that). At the same time it's the 2nd in command who gets all the late night "Oh shit, things aren't working, I need help" calls, because nobody dares wake the boss.
Jean strikes me more as a CO himself than a second in command to Lorenzo. Jean would be the Captain in charge of the company with the handlers as Butter Bars overseeing the "troops". Lorenzo strikes more more as the Bird Colonel - tasked with "the big picture" of strategy and "meta tactics" instead of a hand's on leader/administrator.
@Professor Voodoo wrote: Sure Claes is accustomed to a bit of distance between herself & her fellow cyborgs, but there's plenty of examples in canon where she's "one of the girls." Now if it had been Monty...
Monty: "I would kill you where you stand, but that would entail me having to get up out of my chair and I just can't be bothered at the moment."
@Professor Voodoo wrote: Also an allusion to Giuse's famous statement that their performance drops off when they're not concentrating. Allison is also mad that Brian lied to her about the dog surviving, which sets her up for a conditioning moment requiring Michele to purchase new floormats.
Seriously, cyborg or not, I've never met a girl (or many guys) who did not fall to pieces upon accidentally hitting a housepet.
@Professor Voodoo wrote: The final installment of Michele's cooking as a metaphor for the general tone of the operation. Had the job gone on one more day he might have wound up sitting right next to Henrietta on that couch eating a bag of cookies for dinner.
Probably true.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Wed 3 Nov 2010 - 23:40

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
@ElfenMagix wrote:Reading it twice,
Sorry I didn't give you a heads up before giving your Fernando & Rachel a mention, but since the canned pasta incident was inspired directly by something you wrote in the forum I didn't think it messed with your character's too badly.

With your permission I'd like to consider using those two in some future stories.

Robert & Alfisti, I'll get to a reply to your comments very soon...
I keep imagining Michele looking at the can as the can looked back at him...

...and it smiled.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 4 Nov 2010 - 0:18

rusty-spring and I have both pined for a "Battle Spaghettios" installment of Iron Chef with Chef Boyardee vs. Iron Chef Italian Kobe.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Thu 4 Nov 2010 - 0:18

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
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.
At the same time it's the 2nd in command who gets all the late night "Oh shit, things aren't working, I need help" calls, because nobody dares wake the boss.
Monty: Tell me about it.

Guess who's not getting a lot of sleep next issue...

My understanding though was that that is the correct role of a good 2IC, to become a buffer between the CO and everyone else. They deal with the day-to-day running of an organization and what issues they can so that the commander can get on with doing commandery things, like looking at the bigger picture.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
Claes showing sympathy? I'd think she'd be working on how to mimic a handler's voice.
Sure Claes is accustomed to a bit of distance between herself & her fellow cyborgs, but there's plenty of examples in canon where she's "one of the girls." Now if it had been Monty...
...she probably would have come down on Jean's side of the argument. J+M are used to working with limited resources, so tend to have a "make do" (with what's available... or that you can beg/borrow/steal) attitude. So instead of whining about how won't work, figure out a way to make the old phone work.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ChaosKin640 on Thu 4 Nov 2010 - 7:25

Hey Voodoo, just finished reading through the whole Pelermo Round-up story and while there isn't really anything for me to comment on that hasn't been mentioned already, I thought I'd at least offer my words of congratulations on an excellent story, once again. I've always enjoyed the strong characterizations you provide in your works, as well as the consistently well thought-out dialogue.
The only two things I feel the need to point out have to do with the end of Ch.3, where you make mention fo two names:
Rachel, Melanie, Triela, they'll all be there when we arrive.
There's Sophia, Pia...and Elsa.
Now, perhaps I'm off base here in my thinking, but those two wouldn't by any chance be who I think they are, would they? If they are, then you have my sincere thanks for the cameos and if not, then you can happily ignore my inane ramblings, Razz
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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Sat 6 Nov 2010 - 18:47

Continuing:

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

he camouflaged weapon did not work as advertised and discharged all 4 rounds at one button push.

Funny, you'd have expected the Japanese of all people to be good at handling miniaturised technology... but still, ewww - four

shots to the face at point blank. He's going to need more than a trip to the dentist to fix that up. An entertaining way

to throw a spanner in the works!

What a mess, she thought, almost crashing into a group of elderly German tourists.

Driving without due care and attention, that's three points on her license!

"Kara; kill!" barked Jean in response, and before she could even think her body reacted, snapping Alfredo's neck

violently.

It's always tempting to give the cyborgs lots of rope in their interactions with the adults, so it's useful to see the essential

hard edges of their nature jut out from under the surface from time to time.

" whispered a man she recognized as "Nero" the Public Safety agent who had supplied her with a Hecate sniper rifle the day

before.

It's also tempting to use poor, beleaguered Section One as no more than redshirts or faceless extras (beyond Pietro &

Elenora), so seeing someone last more than a scene (and in a narratively neat way too) is also welcome.

Jean never actually apologized, he just lit a cigarette and puffed away at it right under the No Smoking sign.

Damn straight, bloody fascists, freggin'reggingrumblemutterwhingewhine...

he first mate caught the parcel and carefully handed it over to Dr. Donato, who ripped away its outer wrappings while the

young cyborg looked over his shoulder with great anticipation. "Looks good...Giliani's got it prepped for immediate installation.

Are you ready for a new hand, Henrietta?"

"Yes sir!" chirped the little brunette.

It's just like Christmas!

The elder Croce took a long drag from his smoke and replied "Fine, I'll get to it as soon as I can."

He understands that it has importance, just not that much importance - another task on the list than a part of simple natural

interaction.

Rather than lifting the weight of blame off her shoulders this made her feel worse. The body that defined her and granted

her the power she was so proud of had failed in battle. She was defective.

Cyborgs have different priorities to regular humans - most people would be relieved to have an excuse to fall back on.

That was when it happened; Marisa's breathing became ragged...her head began to hurt and she began to slip into an anxiety

attack. "No...no...not now!"

Now here's an exciting escalation. We skirted it a little way back during the Paris job, but this is the first time we've

had a real Marisa Moment while Elio's been unavailable. I liked the specific trigger to bring the anxiety attack on (not just the

confined space and the memory of the fight, but the fact that it was during that fight that she took her incapacitating damage

that curdles her despondent mood further, too), and that limitless blue freedom is the tonic to all of her fears of not being

adequate enough that she was fretting over in the examination room.

Allison depressed the throttle and rolled the dark red Gallardo forward through the main gate. "Keep your eye out for a medium height bald man with a limp. PS says he's got a green shirt on." Brian explained, "You're doing great." The cyborg smiled at his compliment. Allison, Brian & Dr. Bianchi had invested dozens of hours in training exercises designed to help her deal with her lorry phobia, even consulting Marisa's handler Mr. Alboreto, who was for better or worse considered Section Two's resident expert on cyborg anxiety issues. As she passed within feet of a huge idling IVECO diesel they both felt it was time well spent

It's good to see handlers handling again.

Waving away smoke Allison coughed "Oh my god, are you okay? Did your weapon go off?"

"No..." muttered Brian, noticing a 2 centimeter hole in the roof panel, "...it's a goddamn sniper, drive!"

Heh, the delayed realisation makes it an appropriately ungainly lurch to make a hurried and frantic escpae.

Room ran out quickly, and the fratello was faced with a dead end on the Via Agordat.

One of the things that I liked most about The Bourne Supremacy was that it had a car chase... in a gridlocked traffic jam. An interesting change of pace - literally!

In general, I do recognise and appreciate the attention you give to the behaviour of the car in different terrains, too. There are more enemies than the gun.

Caught in this deadly cross-fire the helicopter crew had no chance. They tried to turn and escape but luck was not on their side this day. Smoke began pouring from the engine panels, and the aircraft entered a tail-spin, corkscrewing down to land hard near the north end of the runway where Henrietta dashed in to finish any survivors with her P90.

A fun cinematic sequence allround, Voodoo.

(Incidentally, in case it ever comes up - Agapita's longarm is a SA80)

"You told me he was okay!" Allison lashed out. "You told me it got up and ran away! You lied to me Brian...you lied to me and I hate y..." At that instant the influence of conditioning overwhelmed her, and Allison grew sweaty & nauseous.

"Oh crap...get out of the car, quick!" implored her handler, but it was too late,

Going off on a tangent here, but after seeing Marisa and Allison's own various emotional problems I worry myself if A&A's relationship might be a little too cosy. She has trouble with being too literal with her orders sometimes, as has been noted, but I wonder if I should throw in another spanner in the works too. On a different note, I agree with you that it makes sense for Avise to be assigned crowd control - most of his career has been ordinary peacekeeping so he would have knowledge of coralling crowds of surly civvies.

Leaving the door open he walked 50 meters out into the field adjacent to the runway and sat down in the dry grass. Pagani stayed there for a long time,

This was very meaningful.

This is awful!" cried 'Etta, "I'm made out of spare parts, like Frankenstein!"

"Actually, it was Frankenstein's monster who was made out of parts" corrected Agapita, earning her a sharp poke from Petrushka.

"Then I'm a monster!" Henrietta cried.

Genuinely hilarious!

"Have you considered that both of us are qualified to handle this mission alone if we need to?

How easy it is to slip when you've got something to help you...

"I'll bet nobody ever sewed the wrong hand on you" she whispered sullenly, but a bit too loud.

"No," barked Elio, "but I know plenty of people who've lost hands, arms, even legs and gotten no replacement at all much less one the same day!" Several other cars honked their horns as the traffic light turned green, and Alboreto felt like flipping them off before accelerating away from the stop.

Well-observed, from the childish sulk to Elio's broader perspective

Henrietta shot the agents a well timed scowl, and knowing what she was they all inched back timidly.

Down to a fine art!

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

I'm sorry if my comments here are a bit brief and not very detailed, but in all honesty I'm not finding all that much to pick up on or question - it's been a smooth ride throughout much of this chapter, you've pulled it off splendidly.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Wed 10 Nov 2010 - 17:40

Okay, wrapping up:

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

"Poetic justice" Avise had called it, and with Jean out on another mission he had only Ferro to convince. Whether she was charmed by his flair for the dramatic or just too tired to argue she consented, and released the weapon from the evidence room for Agapita's use on the mission.

If you come from a regiment where you swan about crowned with a plume of feathers - even when you're wearing a helmet - you're going to have an eye for atmosphere, certainly. Wink

"and might I add how pleased I am that we get to make this kill instead of that insufferable Petrushka and her..."

An interesting avenue for relationship complications. Agapita adores her handler, but would that make her a toady?

This is not her fault an exasperated Avise tried to convince himself, I know exactly how literal she is, I should have seen this coming. "Well shoot the driver now, Goddamnit!" he ordered.

Good use of her limitations - not a completely stymieing brick wall which makes the scene pointless, but rather something which elaborates it instead.

Wgat diffuwunce does it mayge?

I was there first, I expect royalties in the form of copious overexaggerated praise and shameless ego-grooming. Razz

"March?" muttered Petrushka, "Like in the Army?"

I'm inferring a coded insult from Petrushka, that the military man is too programmed himself to think of anything different.

"I could sing some cadences if you'd like" groaned Mancini, "Bring whatever clothes and supplies we've got...it's going to be a long cold night."

I enjoyed this unusual diversion - like the scene where Kara was sniping the yacht, and Allison's driving through the backwoods, a sense of space is a useful counterpoint to the back-alleys and safehouses where most fights are conducted, and fills out the story with a sense of physical completion, being part of the actual location rather than a studio backlot. My heart goes out to poor Avise, though, he's used to riding to the battle in a nice warm APC...

"Too tired to cook" yawned 'Etta

A neat continuity nod here, Jose does note that she practises cooking. Also surprisingly informal from Henrietta (and using her nickname in the text reinforces that), so we can tell that she really is fatigued.

They took 3 hours to arrive and when they did they wanted our handlers to fill out 2 more hours worth of forms

Section One can get tired of playing second fiddle itself, so it asserts itself wherever it can?

All 4 of them sat up and stared at each other. There was a tense silence, finally broken by Alessandro who muttered "Oh, fucking hell..." All 4 of them let out a collective groan.

-Identify your Objective - Get Home.
-Define your Main Effort - Walking several miles thataways.

With such specific concentration, other things might slip your mind - all too believable!

Rico nodded to show her solemn understanding and walked over to the living room where her sister-cyborgs and their handlers & support staff waited. "Everybody...start packing up our gear. We're going back to Rome!"

Well-played, Jean - Rico's bubbly zest ensures that the declaration of endop is a revitalising reward in itself.

Marisa wasn't sure what to think, but she liked Rico's theory. Her handler Elio was not a man inclined toward talking about the greater meanings of life, but he had told her that all things in science, morality and the human heart seek balance above all things. That made sense to Marisa: After all, the world could be a harsh place where violence was battled with more violence, and the suffering of those caught in the middle seemed to have no end. It only seemed logical that all of that must surely be balanced with a little magic

It might sound twee or trite to call this final scene "cute", Voodoo, but I want to reassure you when I say so I don't mean it in a diminutive or dismissive way at all. Bringing the cyborgs together after a splintered narrative creates a sense of completeness and shared experience that encourages a little reflection just as the cyborgs themselves are lying on the couches; it ties all the threads together neatly, and does allow it to gently tug at the heartstrings.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Thu 2 Dec 2010 - 6:38

Elio & Marisa's 15th Episode is ready...
Separate Paths

In this episode...
Triela does something that makes her feel like throwing up...
Marisa does something that makes Hillshire feel like throwing up...
The Minister of Defense has a beer...
...and Mari burns her own tongue.

Sorry about the length...it kind of got away from me and took on a life of its own. Enjoy.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 2 Dec 2010 - 10:52

And there goes my morning... Wink

Heads to the kitchen to fire up the coffee.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Thu 2 Dec 2010 - 11:17

Excellent chapter man, great to see Elio get to play at his old game and hugely entertained with "Bond Girl" Petris. Very Happy

More complete thoughts... at some point (you're right, that was a long chapter). This line however got me thinking:

although it was generally agreed that Monty could knock out both French & English if she'd only be willing to subject herself to the indignity of a six hour grilling by Victor Hillshire
...because it'd be in line with Monty's personality to quietly make sure that while it's generally understood that she's good at, well, stuff; to never really give hard evidence of that. So she probably could knock out both exams but she's never going to let that theory be tested (though, as you pointed out, six hours of grilling would be even more of a turnoff). Similarly, though she's "good" with her PPK it'd be more a case of her pinning up a target and plugging away at it for a half hour or so rather than trying to record groupings and so on.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 2 Dec 2010 - 11:25

"To kick ass."

Fracking brilliant.

Have to speed-read due to a meeting, but I promise a complete review this afternoon.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Thu 2 Dec 2010 - 16:03

Excellent story, VooDoo. Very intriguing and suspenseful. Loved ever minute of it.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Thu 2 Dec 2010 - 19:40

@Alfisti wrote:...because it'd be in line with Monty's personality to quietly make sure that while it's generally understood that she's good at, well, stuff; to never really give hard evidence of that. So she probably could knock out both exams but she's never going to let that theory be tested (though, as you pointed out, six hours of grilling would be even more of a turnoff). Similarly, though she's "good" with her PPK it'd be more a case of her pinning up a target and plugging away at it for a half hour or so rather than trying to record groupings and so on.

Monty's always been a decidedly self-assured sort to say the least, but this attitude of refusing to condescend to assessment must surely come back to bite her in the ass at some point. Is there a skill which she's not actually as good at as she thinks she is?

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by crazyidiot78 on Thu 2 Dec 2010 - 22:01

Loved the interplay between Marisa and Triela. We finally get to see Triela do some mentoring as the big sister cyborg. Loved the interplay with Elio and the minister. Excellent job and also the reason I was almost late for work.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Thu 2 Dec 2010 - 22:02

@Robert Frazer wrote:Monty's always been a decidedly self-assured sort to say the least, but this attitude of refusing to condescend to assessment must surely come back to bite her in the ass at some point. Is there a skill which she's not actually as good at as she thinks she is?
Probably hand-to-hand combat if anything, as it falls into that grey area of proficiencies she needs and has trained at but doesn't particularly like. Despite her attitude, particularly around the SWA, Monty's pretty pragmatic about what she's good and not good at and plays to her strengths when possible. As for her weaknesses, well... that's what she's got a Jethro for right? The problem with that of course is that, given her limited chances to train, Monty concentrates on maintaining her strengths rather than addressing her weaknensses. So it's things like her lack of long-arms proficiency or total lack of sniper training that are more likely to bite her in the behind... or possibly swordfighting (Jethro: I think she knows which end to hold.) Razz

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Thu 2 Dec 2010 - 23:07

@Alfisti wrote: it's things like her lack of long-arms proficiency or total lack of sniper training that are more likely to bite her in the behind...
Got it...no sniper scene in the upcoming J&M/E&M episode in Bruges. Marisa is terrible at it too.
or possibly swordfighting (Jethro: I think she knows which end to hold.) Razz
Marisa: (arms crossed in an angry pout) Elio won't let me learn that either.

Avise: You know, I dare say I'm no dunce with a foil...I could give her a few lessons.

Michele: And I could teach her a few kata's with a katana if you like.

Elio: You two stop right there! What is the most vulnerable weak spot on a cyborg?

Avise: The eyes?

Elio: Correct. So you want to unleash the red-headed terror of Section Two on the dormitory with a sharpened piece of steel? I can barely stop her from running with scissors.

Michele: Perhaps a Scottish Claymore? I doubt she could put someone's eye out with one of those.
Pic stolen from Terrorking96 on dA

Marisa: Oh. My. God. That would be so cool to rush into battle with! Elio, pleeeeaassseee!!!

Elio: Damn it, look what you two have started.
crazyidiot wrote:the reason I was almost late for work.
I've done that to a few people...sorry. Could Cyborg Central be the real reason for the world economic downturn?
@Kiskaloo wrote:And there goes my morning...

Have to speed-read due to a meeting
If it's any consolation to both of you I proofread this thing during the middle of setting sub-sea oil flow lines...

Voodoo: Spellcheck...change that pronoun...that word is too complex for Marisa, change it...
Radio: Survey, can you give us a measurement from the flowline head to the ET-7H well flange?
Voodoo: Yeah...that's 94 feet at zero-nine-six degrees.
Radio: Copy, 94ft at 096 heading.
Voodoo: Okay, back to work...repeated word...spellcheck...re-work this sentence...

For the record, I was not responsible for the BP spill.


Last edited by Professor Voodoo on Thu 2 Dec 2010 - 23:14; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Thu 2 Dec 2010 - 23:12

ROTFL We know. I'll back you up by saying you were in NYC with me chomping down burgers and riding the asphalt in that Ford... Evil

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by MP5 on Fri 3 Dec 2010 - 11:00

Great story as usual; LOVED the whole 'Bond days' references.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 3 Dec 2010 - 16:19

Honestly, after a more thorough read, there is not much I can add. Awesome as always.

As a technical niggle, the P.180 Avanti II has a range of 2600km, so they would have needed to hop-scotch across the North Atlantic, but really, even the aircraft geeks in the audience would give it a pass.

Also, Michele suggesting a Viper? Laine must be exerting a bad influence on him. Wink

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Fri 3 Dec 2010 - 22:05

@ElfenMagix wrote:
Voodoo wrote:For the record, I was not responsible for the BP spill.
We know. I'll back you up by saying you were in NYC with me chomping down burgers and riding the asphalt in that Ford...
See, I have an alibi! Although if memory serves correctly I ordered a gyro.
@Kiskaloo wrote:As a technical niggle, the P.180 Avanti II has a range of 2600km, so they would have needed to hop-scotch across the North Atlantic
I knew the P.180 wasn't capable of non-stop trans oceanic voyages, but I didn't know what the exact range was. Consider that they only have one licensed pilot as well...Michele will need to make a few stops to get some rest.

All this was considered but fell victim to the already near 30,000 word length of the episode. The mention of a stop in Shannon was the only nod given to the reality that there were a few stops along the way...Chicago, Gander, Keflavik, Shannon...
Michele suggesting a Viper? Laine must be exerting a bad influence on him.
Well, it is Miami.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Fri 25 Feb 2011 - 16:43

After far too long an absence Elio & Marisa are back...

Episode #16: Alpine Assignment

In this episode;
Rico likes the snow...
Marisa doesn't like the snow...
Elio pays too much for stuff...
...and Jean gets punched in the face (again).

This time I've managed to keep it under 19,000 words. Enjoy.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 25 Feb 2011 - 18:57

@Professor Voodoo wrote:In this episode;
Rico likes the snow...

Good to know. The current chapter I am working on has the Pagani, Stanaway and (Jean) Croce fratelli in Albertville in February.

Now on to the reading...

study

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Fri 25 Feb 2011 - 20:05

I must say, Voodoo, you've up the challenge for good writingship once again.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by crazyidiot78 on Fri 25 Feb 2011 - 20:10

"He has a bruise...somebody must have punched him!"

"Well Nihad went to bed before we did. Do you think Elio did it?"

"He wouldn't be the first. Lots of people have punched Jean. When I ask him about it he always tells me never mind. I guess the best I can do is just keep him from getting punched when I'm with him."


LMAO ROTFL

Exhaling a deep lungful of L&M smoke Jean finally confessed "Yes...actually I do. I was having a good time the other night at the bar, before I got sucker punched. I'd like to give it another try. Are you up for a beer or two?"

With a grin and an approving nod Alboreto answered "First round is on me."


Wow Jean might get a friend cool

Excellent job Vodoo you have out done yourself again.

Only part I had a question about was with the battle. If Rico only had a 9mm hand gun how was she able to hit the sniper who would for all intensive purposes be sitting beyond the range of her hand gun.
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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 25 Feb 2011 - 20:34

@crazyidiot78 wrote:Only part I had a question about was with the battle. If Rico only had a 9mm hand gun how was she able to hit the sniper who would for all intensive purposes be sitting beyond the range of her hand gun.

They evidently were not taking advantage of the weapon's range, just it's accuracy, and working at very close range.

It's also likely the girls are such crack shots that they can reliably hit the bullseye at the maximum effective range of a pistol round.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Fri 25 Feb 2011 - 20:46

@Kiskaloo wrote:
@crazyidiot78 wrote:Only part I had a question about was with the battle. If Rico only had a 9mm hand gun how was she able to hit the sniper who would for all intensive purposes be sitting beyond the range of her hand gun.

They evidently were not taking advantage of the weapon's range, just it's accuracy, and working at very close range.

It's also likely the girls are such crack shots that they can reliably hit the bullseye at the maximum effective range of a pistol round.
That's right...the whole 2-minute battle was fought at rather close quarters...and the sniper was no genius to begin with. He forgot to dial in his scope for the cold, thin air after all.

Besides...Rico is just shit hot.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Sun 27 Feb 2011 - 1:58

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
@Kiskaloo wrote:
@crazyidiot78 wrote:Only part I had a question about was with the battle. If Rico only had a 9mm hand gun how was she able to hit the sniper who would for all intensive purposes be sitting beyond the range of her hand gun.

They evidently were not taking advantage of the weapon's range, just it's accuracy, and working at very close range.

It's also likely the girls are such crack shots that they can reliably hit the bullseye at the maximum effective range of a pistol round.
That's right...the whole 2-minute battle was fought at rather close quarters...and the sniper was no genius to begin with. He forgot to dial in his scope for the cold, thin air after all.

Besides...Rico is just shit hot.
In WWII, the Polish resistance snipers took shots in less than 100 yards and many within handgun range though they could have taken shots at 300 yards. Its the environment that determines the range of the shot, opportunity only needs to face itself within the sites.
At 100 yards such a shot is possible. Just have to know how.

Yeah, Rico is shit hot.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Sun 27 Feb 2011 - 5:12

@Professor Voodoo wrote:Besides...Rico is just shit hot.
Personally I'm willing to pay that theory.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Officer_Charon on Sun 27 Feb 2011 - 19:28

Meant to comment on this the other day, before shift got WAY too hectic.

Fantastic stuff! I love how Marisa is getting more... self-assured, rather than merely cocky. Methinks getting shot has put a slightly harder, more realistic edge on her.

Couple minor points on word usage (Exalted, vice exulted comes to mind), but on the whole ignorable.

I liked how you neatly explained how a Muslim, obviously "foreign" came to be in the service of the Italian government. Nicely played, and great to see Nihad getting some screen time.

SO happy to see this latest chapter. Can't wait to see what else comes for E+M.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 27 Feb 2011 - 20:51

@Officer_Charon wrote:SO happy to see this latest chapter. Can't wait to see what else comes for E+M.

Quoted for truth.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sun 27 Feb 2011 - 21:30

@Officer_Charon wrote: I love how Marisa is getting more... self-assured, rather than merely cocky.
I actually thought Marisa didn't get much development in this installment. We learned she hates cold weather but that's about it. A few months ago I lamented that I wasn't doing a good enough job developing Elio, so that's what I've been working on for the last two episodes. This time I spent a lot of words on his relationship with Jean, whom he considers a "project."
minor points on word usage (Exalted, vice exulted comes to mind)
You're right. Thanks; noted for change.
great to see Nihad getting some screen time.
It's a shame that Nihad only gets one line in all of canon...he could use a lot more fleshing out; which is what I was shooting for here.

Thanks for the feedback, it really helps.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Mon 28 Feb 2011 - 17:29

I'm surprised that Marisa has such an aversion to the cold - being a diver, I'd expect her to be familiar with freezing water. Still, I suppose her cyborg physiology - and the balmy Mediterranean climate she operates in - insulate her from the worst of it. It'd be interesting to see whether her love of the water can win out over September in the Faeroes, though.

The man gave Elio a dismayed look of pity. "You have not used this tongue to speak to your father?"

"I have never met the man" Elio told him, getting a bit annoyed at the direction this conversation had taken.

An interesting way of slipping in some character through, this exchange illustrating different social priorities.

He asked a simple question "E qual è il tuo nome?"

"Nihad, signor."

*Sings* "It's a small world after all..." Wink

Upon their arrival at the tiny mountain village that morning it became clear that the two cyborgs on this mission held wildly differing opinions on the subject of snow. The sky was clearing after the overnight storm & Rico had found happiness on a small slope of about seven meters. After getting a running start each time, she tossed herself downhill face first to slide down on the front of her coat. Even when she slid too far and thumped her head on the back of a wooden coffee kiosk Rico's enthusiasm remained undampened; she just scrambled back up the hill for another thrilling slide accompanied by triumphant laughter.

I often saw this very thing happen at the receiving area when I was away recently, with young toboganners regularly getting tangled in the fence at the bottom. I also saw some older people once try to bum their way down a red run to the apres-ski at the Folie Douce. That... didn't turn out so well. sweat

I see that you slipped in some cyborg physiology with the casual way Rico treats the application of her 'automatic brake system', too.

Doesn't Marisa have built in heaters for her diving missions?"

Good continuity nod. Maybe it just hasn't occured to E&M to employ them, given the change in setting.

mong their best selling items were heavy expedition coats, fit for a trek up Mount Everest but more likely to be sported by fashion-minded turisti sipping cappuccino at outdoor cafes.

This rings very true. I manage to avoid it because Val d'Isere has a reputation as a hard and demanding resort, but I've heard it said that in most places 80% of the visitors to a ski resort only go on the piste to cruise to the next restaurant...!

objection to long pants, characterizing them as Rico-wear

Heh, I got a chuckle out of this. "Yellow's my colour, BITCH! *Whack!*"!

Ye gods!

Yep, Elio definitely grew up in England. To anyone who's ever read a Commando comic, that was one of the heroes' favourite exclamations.


I'm afraid I'm going to have to cut and run now, Voodoo, but I'll get to the rest of the story soon.


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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Tue 1 Mar 2011 - 3:16

Thanks for the feedback, Robert. I'm struggling over some rocky spots in the first part of Chapter 17 (co-starring Jethro & Monty) and it's a real motivator to get myself to work.
@Robert Frazer wrote:I'm surprised that Marisa has such an aversion to the cold -
I made the decision in order to juxtapose her against Rico's bubbly love for the snow, but it can be explained using made-up Series Two psychology. Marisa's former persona lived in an unheated, leaky squatters flat...she was always cold & uncomfortable. Like nuns & needles the cold is a sub-conscious reminder of her unhappy past.

Can you tell I just pulled that out of my ass?
It'd be interesting to see whether her love of the water can win out over September in the Faeroes,
If it means a deep, dark dangerous dive she's sure to find a way. Her dry-suit should do the trick...and she's always got those nifty internal heaters.
He asked a simple question "E qual è il tuo nome?"
"Nihad, signor."
*Sings* "It's a small world after all..." Wink
You once said you regarded plot devices that suggests everyone knew eachother in the past cheap & cliché...and I've just done it in my last two episodes. In both cases I couldn't resist.
I often saw this very thing happen at the receiving area when I was away recently, with young toboganners regularly getting tangled in the fence at the bottom.
It has snowed only once since I've lived in Louisiana...Christmas Day 2004. On that day I witnessed two Louisiana chidren try to go sledding. They lacked a sled, and more importantly a hill so they took turns pushing each other around the yard on the lid of their father's beer cooler. Yes...all the redneck jokes about this place are true.
Doesn't Marisa have built in heaters for her diving missions?"
Good continuity nod. Maybe it just hasn't occured to E&M to employ them, given the change in setting.
I felt a reminder (that she had internal heaters) would be in order since they come up later in the story.
Ye gods!
Yep, Elio definitely grew up in England. To anyone who's ever read a Commando comic, that was one of the heroes' favourite exclamations.
Seeing as he grew up a tough street kid in 1950's-60's Liverpool it would make sense that Elio read comic books but since I did not at that age I lack the knowledge to reference them.

Most of Elio's interjections are stolen from James Clavell's Dirk Struan character from Tai-Pan.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Tue 1 Mar 2011 - 3:37

@Robert Frazer wrote:
Ye gods!
Yep, Elio definitely grew up in England. To anyone who's ever read a Commando comic, that was one of the heroes' favourite exclamations.
Heh, I've still got a stack of those stashed away at my folk's place.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Officer_Charon on Tue 1 Mar 2011 - 4:07

Wow... somewhere, buried deep in my parent's boxes recovered from storage, I may have an issue or two.

Ahh, nostalgia...

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Tue 1 Mar 2011 - 5:58

Well, seeing as I'm stuck at work waiting for a courier... seems like a perfect opportunity to get some reviewing done.

Word for the wise: no matter how urgent it is, no matter how many billions of dollars it's holding up: never say "next flight it" at two in the afternoon. It won't make a brass razoo of difference and you'll get home on time.

But anyway, on with the show.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:As relative newcomers to the British Army the 22nd Special Air Service did not posses a depth of historical tradition enjoyed by other regiments, but what their headquarters lacked in the banners and ashes of ancient battles the men themselves made up for sheer cocky grit, bordering on the reckless. They also had a distinguished history of not being there, as veterans of the special forces regiment were fond of saying. They had not been in India as the country fractured into West Pakistan, India proper & East Pakistan, they had not been on the Sinai peninsula during the Six Days War and they were not in East Africa now. To Staff Sergeant George Bucknam it still felt bloody hot for officially being back home in Britain.
Great opener mate. I get the feeling you've been taking notes on Robert's openings.

The Major had high hopes that this particular soldier might soon earn honour for the regiment in the boxing ring, having recently fought a much larger Frenchman of the Commandos Marine 12 rounds to a draw in an informal bout outside Dakar.
Define "informal". A nice little nod to one of the grander military sporting traditions though. Touches a chord for me as my grandfather was a boxer during his time with the Royal Marines.

Settling for anything less than a Chief's wife or daughter would be beneath our Corporal Alboreto!"
Mostly leg pulling? Or has Elio got himself a reputation of sorts to back it? Considering some of his... other... escapades.

Elio awoke with a start. As the dream faded into fuzzy ambiguity he took a few seconds to orient himself to the waking world. He glanced over at the Section Two Agent in the driver's seat and muttered to himself "Nah...couldn't be."
Another one of those thing you intend to leave us hanging with? As others have said though: it's nice to see Nihad getting some page-time. Many of the other support staff have been fleshed out, but he hasn't really been touched on.

In the furthest row back slept Jean Croce, his face bathed in the blue glow of the laptop computer still sitting on his knees, head slumped against the window.
I take it that Jean's getting to the stage that he feels he can afford to be a little more human around Elio. Somehow I couldn't see him dozing off in the presence of some of the other handlers... the ones he feels he needs to actively "lead".

I'll be good all the way to Madesimo; you go ahead and enjoy the peace & quiet.
This I can relate to. I actually quite enjoy driving long distance, but anyone along for the ride had better shut up and do their best impression of not being there.

You're going to make me break my hip before the mission even begins!
Showing our age Elio?

Monty: *deadpan* Ferro, if we have any jobs in icy conditions in the future with Alberto, I'll need you to requisition a walking frame for him. I'll not have my work jepordized by some geriatric falling over.

Rico seemed content, and as long as she did not cost the SWA money by damaging the coffee kiosk with her head he saw no reason to sanction her.
Got a grin out of that.

Such was her eagerness to get to someplace warm that Mari was likely to act without thinking things through completely.
As in even less completely than usual?

"PS tracked his IP address," Croce replied "it wasn't easy...the cliché of seven proxies does not do this guy justice. If he was setting us up I think the address would have been easier to find."
Lucy: I could have done it quicker.

We don't have Public Safety support this time so be as tidy as possible.
Monty: Welcome to my world.

"Well aren't you cheeky? Are you expecting to be praised for pure dumb luck?"
As much as it's nice to have a plan for everything, sometimes pure dumb luck just has to play a role.

Croce tried the usual detective tricks; he looked for a notepad next to the telephone (hoping to find at least the impression of numbers) but found nothing.
One he learned from Hilshire I take it? Wink The way you've phrased "usual detective tricks" gives me the impression that Jean's running through a list of things he thinks should be done rather than using any innate instinct. That'd make sense as his background is military rather than in police work or espionage.

She landed on Cudia's mattress and after once bounce to dissipate her momentum...
Not just because she likes jumping on beds?

...and that's my parcel arrived. More to come later.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Tue 1 Mar 2011 - 18:27

@Alfisti wrote:Well, seeing as I'm stuck at work waiting for a courier...
I know how that feels. It's no exageration to say I get 4-times as much work (writing & reviewing) done when I'm at work (aboard ship) than I do at home.

I'm resolved to not fall behind on my replies like I've done before...
Great opener mate. I get the feeling you've been taking notes on Robert's openings.
Since I've never been in the British Army I was unsure about the accuracy of certain details. A PM to Robert helped.
Define "informal".
Friendly...it wasn't a barfight. I'd say the match had proper gloves & a timekeeper but no ring or official scoring...the outcome (in this case a draw) being decided by the crowd.
Settling for anything less than a Chief's wife or daughter would be beneath our Corporal Alboreto!"
Mostly leg pulling? Or has Elio got himself a reputation of sorts to back it? Considering some of his... other... escapades.
Well, all of the Troop members get their share but there's something to be said for Latin charm & libido. The reason Elio left the SAS will be revealed (to Jethro) in the next episode...it involves a woman and a lot of poor choices.
"Nah...couldn't be."
Another one of those thing you intend to leave us hanging with?
No ambiguity this time; I'm pretty certain that was a 7 year old Nihad that Elio met in Eritrea.
I take it that Jean's getting to the stage that he feels he can afford to be a little more human around Elio. Somehow I couldn't see him dozing off in the presence of some of the other handlers... the ones he feels he needs to actively "lead".
Valid point; I certainly ascribed that attitude to Ferro earlier in my stories. Alternately it might be seen as classic canon Jean; the man gets his rest in the van on the way to the job so he won't have to waste any "mission time" on annoying details like sleep.

On Jean Croce: I think it's kind of cliché to have a fratello outright hate the man. Personally he's one of my favorite characters in the series...he feels responsible for everyone else but feels unworthy of love himself...he puts on a tough, brutal facade but is one of the most damaged characters in the story. On the surface he's harsh with Rico but based on her competence & happiness he's doing something right. Hell, he bought her a pillow...what more do you want from the guy?
For Elio he's a project, a part of the job. Early in his tenure at Section Two Lorenzo told him "This young guy could be great, he just needs a push in the right direction. You held his position at MI6 for years...see what you can do to provide a little guidance."
As for Jean he feels a little uneasy around his "senior subordinate." It's a little awkward barking orders at someone nearly old enough to be his father. Did Lorenzo hire him to spy on me...to check up on how I'm doing? If I screw up is he going to get my job?
Final point; whenever they're in public I'm always careful to make Elio defer to Jean's authority...if the older man has doubts he'll bring them up only in private.
I'll be good all the way to Madesimo; you go ahead and enjoy the peace & quiet.
This I can relate to. I actually quite enjoy driving long distance, but anyone along for the ride had better shut up and do their best impression of not being there.
Rico: But Mr. Alfisti, I really love the snow...don't you love the snow? What's your favorite thing to do on the snow? Sliding? Skiing? Ice climbing? Do they have snow in Australia? You have to go way up North to find good snow in Italia. One time I...

Sorry...this could go on for hours.
Mari was likely to act without thinking things through completely.
As in even less completely than usual?

"PS tracked his IP address," Croce replied "it wasn't easy...the cliché of seven proxies does not do this guy justice.
Lucy: I could have done it quicker.
Public Safety is really in a lose-lose position here.
Ask for Section 2 help before the mission: Damn it can't you idiots handle your own jobs?!

Don't ask, mission gets screwed up: Damn it why didn't you idiots ask for help when you needed it?!
Croce tried the usual detective tricks;
One he learned from Hilshire I take it?
Well, Hillshire didn't exactly invent the trick, but I'm sure the handlers share techniques.

Thanks for the feedback, mate. I hope to be sending you a few draft copies of Monty & Jethro scenes for ep. 17 soon...looking for your input.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Wed 2 Mar 2011 - 3:45

@Professor Voodoo wrote:On Jean Croce: I think it's kind of cliché to have a fratello outright hate the man. Personally he's one of my favorite characters in the series...he feels responsible for everyone else but feels unworthy of love himself...he puts on a tough, brutal facade but is one of the most damaged characters in the story. On the surface he's harsh with Rico but based on her competence & happiness he's doing something right. Hell, he bought her a pillow...what more do you want from the guy?
You're preaching to the converted here mate. It took me awhile to warm to his character I'll admit, but once we got to know him a bit better...

Croce tried the usual detective tricks;
One he learned from Hilshire I take it?
Well, Hillshire didn't exactly invent the trick, but I'm sure the handlers share techniques.[/quote] I think what I meant by that was that detictiving isn't something that comes naturally to Jean.

Thanks for the feedback, mate. I hope to be sending you a few draft copies of Monty & Jethro scenes for ep. 17 soon...looking for your input.
Send away, I look forward to it and shall attempt to answer in some sort of reasonably short order.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Wed 2 Mar 2011 - 18:15

Rachel: I'm Pressing "Yes" But Its Not Doing Anything!

Britney: I dont think you're pressing hard enough.

*A crunching sound can be heard from the mouse under Rachel's hand.*

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Wed 2 Mar 2011 - 22:58

Continuing:

in a movement so fast only Marisa with her cybernetic eyes could detect it, he flipped it around to display the €500 bills

Good attention to detail - however privileged a position the Agency has in Italy's black budget, they're not going to be carrying around whole bags of Marie Theresa Dollars with them.

The handler stopped right in his tracks on the snowy sidewalk and muttered incredulously "Well aren't you cheeky? Are you expecting to be praised for pure dumb luck?"

She turned, and wearing a mischievous smile replied "It never hurts to ask!"

Kids learn quick.

Miss a meal or two and there was a noticeable drop off in both concentration & energy level. Factoring in the cold & 1,400 meter altitude Jean estimated his charge was burning as many as double the calories she normally required (already a considerable figure).

Which lets you play the field, pleasing both the technically-minded readers who enjoy a the nitty-gritty of cyborg physiology, and the moé crowd who are delighted to have more opportunity for cute scenes of pretty girls eating cake.

Sure. Listen; if everybody who came around here claiming to be a 'friend' of Luigi Cudia was really his friend the man might be able to borrow some money from them to pay his debts!

Interesting how two separate threads from Elio and Jean twisted together into the same yarn of Luigi's debt, it feels pretty elegant and lets the scenario seem more developed by allowing multiple approaches to the same problem.

Even when assaulted by the extraordinary power behind Rico's boot the door itself did not break...it took one more good shove from her to force it open.


And we see the reason for that when Jean notices that the door was still bolted - more good attention to detail.

Jean said, scratching down the numbers in his notebook. To him they were just that...numbers.

I wonder what Jean would do if he ever should find himself in a situation where there's no-one to charitably indulge his revenge quest.

Elio had visited the city hall that afternoon and procured some detailed maps of the area

This is an incredibly petty nitpick, I know, but seeing as they're in a mountain resort village, maybe the tourist office would be a more setting-appropriate location?

so both men hurried down the street as fast as their dress shoes (poorly suited to the slippery sidewalk surface) would allow them.

Sounds about right -a good 85% of skiing injuries happen down in the resort rather than on the mountain. of course, the difference is that if you slip on ice in the village you might get a twisted ankle, whereas if you're wiped out by a snowboarder you might be looking at a broken neck...!

At the time I thanked him but halfway up the mountain at Pen y Fan I could have murdered the bastard.

When I was training in Grantham, the UKSFR came along touting for recruits. I took one look at the video they were showing of some poor hero struggling up the Brecon Beacons and I just went "...f**k that."

Elio walked out of the restroom, back into the cigarette smoke & noise of the tavern, and it took him a few moments to notice something strange going on near the bar. His slightly intoxicated mind snapped to alert when he realized there was a scuffle going on, and it involved his companion. Damn it, Alboreto cursed himself for leaving Jean alone. It was difficult to get across the crowded room quickly without knocking people over and potentially making the situation worse but the Agent picked his way through as fast as he could. "What's going on here?"

*Sigh* Kids, you can't take them anywhere, can you?

Fernando, Jacob and his own ex-fiance's brother had all hit Croce at one point or another, and those were just the ones Elio knew about.

Avise: You asked to see me, sir?

Lorenzo: Ah, yes, Mancini, come in. I was just going through your personnel file - you haven't punched Jean yet?

Avise: Uh... um... no, sir?

Lorenzo: Tch! I'm disappointed, Mancini, I would have thought that a veteran officer would not let his paperwork build up like this. You cannot officially complete Induction until you've socked him one. Here, take this declaration, and once you're finished make sure that he signs off on both lines and tears off the counterform at the bottom for himself. You can then take the main document down to Costanza at Records, she's been waiting for it all week.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Thu 3 Mar 2011 - 1:56

@Robert Frazer wrote: however privileged a position the Agency has in Italy's black budget, they're not going to be carrying around whole bags of Marie Theresa Dollars with them.
I think it was actually you who inspired the whole "bribery roll" thing. There are few references to such a thing in canon. Giuse slipping a waiter €500 after Henrietta assaults him, and Hillshire paying a hotel clerk €200 to look up Cohen's name are the only two I can think of immediately.
She turned, and wearing a mischievous smile replied "It never hurts to ask!"
Kids learn quick.
I suppose right now she's feeling like it's a good time to push her luck...she's just screwed up (by leaving all her warm clothes in Rome) and been rewarded for it with a shopping bag full of brand new stuff.
Henrietta: Hmmm...maybe I should try that trick.

Marisa: It doesn't always turn out so well...sometimes Elio choses another way to "warm me up." (blushes, rubs backside)
pleasing both the technically-minded readers who enjoy a the nitty-gritty of cyborg physiology, and the moé crowd who are delighted to have more opportunity for cute scenes of pretty girls eating cake.
Also another opportunity to show Jean's competence. He knows he could push himself for days but that weapon of his requires regular service.
I wonder what Jean would do if he ever should find himself in a situation where there's no-one to charitably indulge his revenge quest.
I have no doubt that he'd be in jail or dead. Of course, he & Giuseppe are not exactly poor. One wonders how deep the Croce inheritance really runs.
Elio had visited the city hall that afternoon and procured some detailed maps of the area
This is an incredibly petty nitpick, I know, but seeing as they're in a mountain resort village, maybe the tourist office would be a more setting-appropriate location?
Valid point. When I wrote that I was thinking of a humourous incident from about 1991 (I was 17). I desired a good map of my village so I visited the town hall to see what they had. I was directed toward some placemat sized tourist maps pointing out various historical sites but I informed the town clerk that I was looking for something better, like a surveyors map.
Town Clerk: (a lady in her 70's) Oh...yes we have those, but we have to charge for them.

Young Voodoo: How much?

Town Clerk: A dollar.

Voodoo: (facepalm)
-a good 85% of skiing injuries happen down in the resort rather than on the mountain.
I suppose I should feel honoured to be among the select 15%. The only time I've ever been downhill skiing (Lermoos, Austria) I managed to break my hand on the very first slope I tried...but at least it happened on the mountain and not in town! As the day wore on I suppose I was guilty of a little Rico-style entertainment; crashing horrendously & repeatedly without injury is fun.

The scene was actually a set-up for the walk home, when Jean falls on his knee because he's drunk and his shoes are not snow boots.
When I was training in Grantham, the UKSFR came along touting for recruits. I took one look at the video they were showing of some poor hero struggling up the Brecon Beacons and I just went "...f**k that."
Glad you got the Pen y Fan reference. For the record I was never even tempted to try out for special forces.
*Sigh* Kids, you can't take them anywhere, can you?
Jean: It wasn't my fault! That jerk just walked in and told the penguin joke!
Lorenzo: Ah, yes, Mancini, come in. I was just going through your personnel file - you haven't punched Jean yet?
So does Jean get danger pay for repeated facial impacts or does Lorenzo just keep setting him up because he thinks it's funny?

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 3 Mar 2011 - 2:52

@Professor Voodoo wrote:I suppose right now she's feeling like it's a good time to push her luck...she's just screwed up (by leaving all her warm clothes in Rome) and been rewarded for it with a shopping bag full of brand new stuff.
Henrietta: Hmmm...maybe I should try that trick.

Kara: "I find it works great!"

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Thu 3 Mar 2011 - 2:59

@Kiskaloo wrote:Kara: "I find it works great!"
Marisa just doesn't have karma like Kara.

Marisa: *%^#& karma! You'd think I burned down an orphanage or something in my previous life!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Fri 4 Mar 2011 - 12:30

Ok, so picking up from Rico bouncing on a bed...

Contrary to his concerns about blending in Nihad was finding himself quite the célébrité du jour at the ski lodge.
Sometimes standing out is useful.

There was a buffet of alpine specialties
Cyborgs + buffet, this can only go badly.

Elio: You ever wonder why there's no "all you can eat" places within a fifty-mile radius of the SWA compound? They've all gone bankrupt.

"I'll be doing the expense log tonight; how much did you go through?"
Always an unfortunate side-effect of working for a government bureaucracy.

"Jeeze, Jean..." whispered the older man, "...that's an enormous amount of sugar! Are you trying to have them bouncing off the walls all night?"
Eh, stick 'em outside for an hour, they'll quickly burn through it.

Their trip to the tavern for "a beer or two" was fast turning into an all-nighter but Elio was unconcerned.
Funny how that seems to happen, one beer becomes two, becomes three... and eventually rolls into that stage where you're too drunk to care.

Nihad was the first awake. He set about cooking breakfast, thinking the
smells would rouse everyone else, but once finished he still had to go
wake the girls.
Frying-bacon-smell: most effective alarm clock known to man. Well, it always works for me at least.

Elio shook his head. "No, it doesn't" he replied, "you just get better at dealing with it."
Truer words I imagine.

One of my favorite sections of the chapter actually, the exploration of the two characters. I also find it midly amusing the number of uses you seem to manage to find in your writing for a simple trip to the pub: from deep character exploration to outright humor.

"even if we could communicate with headquarters and get one up here it
would set off a red flag to the Padania team that we're operating in
town. Furthermore, Luigi Cudia is likely to run if he sees a
helicopter."
Not to mention that in the thinner air a chopper's going to chew fuel.

Briefly considering the consequences of such a move Elio decided there wasn't much damage they could do and consented.
Coming from someone who operates on a daily basis with the cyborgs and has spent the majority of his adult life raising a rukkus for a living... that's not entirely comforting.

"Dumb, sir, but not luck" Rico pointed out
For a second there I thought she was having a jab at Marisa.

It seemed reasonable to both cyborgs
Again, not comforting, considering who the two cyborgs in question are.

he whipped off his gloved...
I think there should be an "s" in there somewhere.

"I personally intend to to have a large dinner since we paid almost €950 euros for it."
Ferro: Nine hundred and... Right. I want all those rations collected and brought back to tha Agency. The next fratello going somewhere remote can have them and save us on rat-packs.

Another excellent chapter mate. Again, really difficult to nit-pick your work.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Fri 4 Mar 2011 - 21:56

@Alfisti wrote:Frying-bacon-smell: most effective alarm clock known to man. Well, it always works for me at least.

It's how I know Islam is wrong. I mean, what kind and loving God - worthy of worship - would ever demand that His children do without bacon? It's just plain irrational.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:Jean: It wasn't my fault! That jerk just walked in and told the penguin joke!

All joking aside, there's an element of tragedy - not just awkward inconvenience - beneath this scene, too. Even if a life is not always beset by continual explosive and dramatic crisis, it is still high-pitched at a taut state of cutting tension and cruel strain, which might be seen as more painful and tormenting. There's no rest for the wicked, as they say.

On with the story:

Not knowing whether to be surprised or offended, Elio took a step back and left Jean alone for a few moments. As he remained on his hands and knees Croce's lips were still moving; muttering something under his breath that Elio could not hear. The older man realized that Jean had not been talking to him at all...he was hallucinating & carrying on a conversation with someone that was visible only in his own mind.

Hmm. I wasn't expecting a visitation from Enrica so this was an interesting scene, although I'm not sure that it was altogether to my taste. Regardless of whether Enrica is actually a ghost or just the alcohol, there's always a certain air of menace attending her appearances, with her sneering expressions and strutting step. That sense of cold dread is enhanced to an icicle point by her arriving in quiet and private scenes. I don't have any problems with Elio getting a look at Jean's inner workings, but I feel that this encounter might have had a stronger effect if we switched to Jean's perspective for her appearance - maybe she's browbeating him in the mirror when he's cleaning the sick off of his face in the hotel bathroom - and then had Elio broach the topic later, saying that he was watching him through a crack in the door or something similar.

I can't remember who it was last night but it's always someone I failed to protect. My sister...my parents...Sophia...hell I even saw Beatrice once; she didn't say a thing, she just stared at me. They're always pressuring me...always berating me for not pushing hard enough.

This is, however, an intriguing alternative take on the issue in its own right. The suggestion that it's not Enrica specifically who's harrying Jean adds some more nuance to his character - it's not just the plain and straightforward issue of revenge that's aggrieving him so, it's the whole issue of neurotic drive that's afflicted himself since youth. Since his grandfather's funeral Jean has forced himself into the uncomfortable mould of "a cold-hearted person" who pushes on relentlessly and demandingly because that's what he feels people expect of him, but being crushed into that box is causing him pain even now.

Jean shook his head. "Not practical" he replied "even if we could communicate with headquarters and get one up here it would set off a red flag to the Padania team that we're operating in town.

Well, they could always pretend to be heliskiers, but I take the point - observers might be suspicious anyway.

"It's spectacular" gasped the red-head, "it's so clear." She took her eyes off the view and said directly to Rico "Almost worth getting frozen down to our bones to see this!" As the Agency's designated diving cyborg Mari was no stranger to breathtaking sights, but underwater, even under the best of conditions visibility ran out in less than 30 meters...usually much less. With their sharp mechanical eyes the girls could pick out every detail for hundreds of square kilometers around them; Rico enthusiastically pointed at a peregrine falcon riding the air currents about 2000 meters away.

I can certainly empathise with Marisa here.

The man was stripped to his boxer shorts and taped to a chair with his feet in a tub of what was now solid ice. A plastic cup half frozen in the tub, and icicles hanging all over his body told the story. The Padania hit squad had gotten there first and used cold to provide the traitor with a horrific death. Cups of water had been poured over Cudia as he slowly froze. His face was locked in an expression of terror...it was likely that his cause of death was a heart attack but he had obviously suffered intensely before that happened.


Eeeeeeeeesh. I always think that a setting should be more than a mere backdrop and its features should be actively entwined with the action, but geez... that's not cricket.

Jean Croce had no argument to counter that, so he grudgingly climbed into the bed and under the covers with the rest, Rico tucked comfortably under his left arm.

I love that last little detail with Rico. The whole scenario is deliciously warped really, one of those discomfiting juxtapositions that helps give GSG its character - the kids are in the bed like they're huddling in with their parents during a stormy night - but that stormy night is rarely Alpine winter with risk of lead hail!

He wasn't sure what surprised him more...Rico remembering such an arcane detail from History class, or the fact that Avise Mancini had actually said something remotely positive about the Soviets.

Avise: Eh, I just sit down in my chair before bedtime and spend a while thinking about how all that fyceline stench wafting up from their weapons was rotting their brains day by day, it helps makes up for the slip.

Elio: ...okay, Mancini, I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that and so not have to realise that you're a maladjusted, obsessive freak.

Avise: Judge not, lest ye be judged, Mr. AWOL-to-chase-skirt-while-on-SF-assignment.

"I dare say Jean Croce just made a joke!" chuckled the older man.

An interesting battle with plenty of movement. The only thing it missed was a Padanian getting clotheslined when Marisa took a ski and battered-up like it's the World Series. Wink

With a grin and an approving nod Alboreto answered "First round is on me."

Woah there, Elio! Now that the mission's over you'd better make sure you can still claim this all on expenses before you start paying resort prices!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sat 5 Mar 2011 - 7:18

Thanks for the continued feedback, both Alfisti & Robert! I'll answer these in two posts so I don't blow a mental fuse trying to get the quoting right...
@Alfisti wrote:
Contrary to his concerns about blending in Nihad was finding himself quite the célébrité du jour at the ski lodge.
Sometimes standing out is useful.
This is actually the passage I got stalled on for nearly two months...seems odd when I go back and re-read it.
Cyborgs + buffet, this can only go badly.

Elio: You ever wonder why there's no "all you can eat" places within a fifty-mile radius of the SWA compound? They've all gone bankrupt.
Another reason Elio did not bring Mari along on his secret mission (with Minister Petris) to the US!

Marisa: But Elio...if you can eat the entire 96 ounce steak in one sitting it's free! I can do it, I know I can!

Random story; a friend of mine from dive school named Toshiyuki once took on the "eat 5-liters of Ramen in one sitting and it's free" challenge (in Tokyo). Both he & his friend were unsuccessful but it begs the question; Just how much do you actually save by getting 5 liters of Ramen for free?
"Jeeze, Jean..." whispered the older man, "...that's an enormous amount of sugar! Are you trying to have them bouncing off the walls all night?"
Eh, stick 'em outside for an hour, they'll quickly burn through it.
Rico might be gleefully sliding down the hill again but I'm picturing a forlorn Marisa with her face pressed against the door like a cat caught out in the rain. For some reason I also picture Monty sitting inside; content with a roaring fire & her snifter of brandy, utterly ignoring Mari's plaintive scratching at the glass.
Frying-bacon-smell: most effective alarm clock known to man. Well, it always works for me at least.
I intentionally left the breakfast menu vauge because I honestly don't know what typical Northern Italian breakfast is like. I based the previous night's dinner buffet on Southern Bavarian cooking, which I assume would be similar to Alpine Italian, but I was clueless as to what was for breakfast because I never made it downstairs for that meal (I blame Bavarian lager for that).
I also find it midly amusing the number of uses you seem to manage to find in your writing for a simple trip to the pub: from deep character exploration to outright humor.
That's always how it turns out when I pull an all-nighter at the pub.
Briefly considering the consequences of such a move Elio decided there wasn't much damage they could do and consented.
Coming from someone who operates on a daily basis with the cyborgs and has spent the majority of his adult life raising a rukkus for a living... that's not entirely comforting.
I was setting the reader up here. Hopefully you were expecting a riotous Rico & Marisa on snowmobiles scene but you got the Padania attack instead.

Still, a cyborgs on snowmobiles scene would have been cool.
"Dumb, sir, but not luck" Rico pointed out
For a second there I thought she was having a jab at Marisa.
In my universe Henrietta might toss out a jab like that on her friendly rival, but not Rico. Even poking fun at a Padania sniper seems a bit smug & cocky for her.
I think there should be an "s" in there somewhere.
You're right. Thanks...noted for change.

"I personally intend to to have a large dinner since we paid almost €950 euros for it."
Ferro: Nine hundred and... Right. I want all those rations collected and brought back to tha Agency. The next fratello going somewhere remote can have them and save us on rat-packs.
It's still less than Pagani spent on delivery during his last stake-out!

Moving on to Robert...

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sat 5 Mar 2011 - 9:26

@Robert Frazer wrote:
@Alfisti wrote:Frying-bacon-smell: most effective alarm clock known to man. Well, it always works for me at least.
It's how I know Islam is wrong. I mean, what kind and loving God - worthy of worship - would ever demand that His children do without bacon? It's just plain irrational.
This should interest the archeologist in you. It's (paraphrased) from a short piece in National Geographic magazine: It's always been assumed that the Old Testament prohibition on eating pork was based on the common sense assumption that pork could not be safely kept in the Middle Eastern climate. Ongoing excavations of Philistine ruins seem to contradict that...their landfills are chock full of pig bones, implying that they were successful at the husbandry of pigs for generations.
This would suggest that the Rabbinical edicts against pork had less to do with food safety than they did with local economics...an ancient boycott of their rivals product!
I wasn't expecting a visitation from Enrica so this was an interesting scene, although I'm not sure that it was altogether to my taste. Regardless of whether Enrica is actually a ghost or just the alcohol, there's always a certain air of menace attending her appearances
Valid point. I felt Yu had already covered the experience of a "visitation" in canon so I was shooting for a more cryptic, disjointed look at it...Elio stepping back and thinking What the hell is going on? This guy is more fucked up than I thought he was. Continuing on the same vein...
This is, however, an intriguing alternative take on the issue in its own right. The suggestion that it's not Enrica specifically who's harrying Jean adds some more nuance to his character - it's not just the plain and straightforward issue of revenge that's aggrieving him so, it's the whole issue of neurotic drive that's afflicted himself since youth. Since his grandfather's funeral Jean has forced himself into the uncomfortable mould of "a cold-hearted person" who pushes on relentlessly and demandingly because that's what he feels people expect of him, but being crushed into that box is causing him pain even now.
I'm one of those who subscribes to the "alcoholic hallucination" outlook rather than the "real ghost of Enrica" angle. The latter explanation is no less valid...this is fiction after all and if cybernetic loli's can exist ghosts certainly can as well.

Attributing the visions to booze does allow for multiple visitors, since it's all going on in Jean's head. Personally I don't think I'll be pursuing the plot device much more than this though...but who knows, it might become useful in a future story.

Well, they could always pretend to be heliskiers, but I take the point - observers might be suspicious anyway.
Helicopter insertion would be the logical choice here, but that wouldn't have allowed for the isolation that set up the final fire-fight. I kept dropping hints about the difficulty of using wireless communications (Nihad had to go along personally to set up logistics, Jean couldn't get his reports e-mailed off) to further set up the team's isolation. Admittedly, that's a feeble excuse for not being able to procure a chopper.

"It's spectacular" gasped the red-head, "it's so clear."
I can certainly empathise with Marisa here.
I guessed you would, having just returned from skiing in France. An unbelievable view was the most vivid memory I have of my one ski expedition to Austria. Despite breaking my hand & not being all that successful at learning to ski (downhill) I'd consider the trip money well spent just for that view. And I don't even have cyborg eyes.
Eeeeeeeeesh. I always think that a setting should be more than a mere backdrop and its features should be actively entwined with the action, but geez... that's not cricket.
Glad that came across. I was hoping to send a chill down a few spines.
He wasn't sure what surprised him more...Rico remembering such an arcane detail from History class, or the fact that Avise Mancini had actually said something remotely positive about the Soviets.

Avise: Eh, I just sit down in my chair before bedtime and spend a while thinking about how all that fyceline stench wafting up from their weapons was rotting their brains day by day, it helps makes up for the slip.
Rather than burden my stories with socio-political debate I'm just treating Mancini's single minded disgust for all things Communist as a character quirk that all Section 2 knows about.
Avise: Judge not, lest ye be judged, Mr. AWOL-to-chase-skirt-while-on-SF-assignment.
Elio: It was the early '70's, Mancini, the era of free love!

Avise: Wasn't that the 60's?

Elio: I don't care. It's the 2000's now and I'm still doing it thanks to those little blue pills.
The only thing it missed was a Padanian getting clotheslined when Marisa took a ski and battered-up like it's the World Series. Wink
That would have been a good touch. I briefly considered letting Mari dispatch the last one with a ski-pole to the skull but opted for another reference to the cold instead.
Woah there, Elio! Now that the mission's over you'd better make sure you can still claim this all on expenses before you start paying resort prices!
Oh but that's why he chose the working-class tavern frequented by the locals instead of the tourist place.
Elio: Hey, Pieri...you ordered me to work with Jean, right? Mentor him & such?

Lorenzo: I suppose.

Elio: So drinking with him is technically part of my job, right?

Lorenzo: I don't like the direction this is heading...

Elio: So I should be able to write off the bar tab as an Agency expense!

Lorenzo: Just get the hell out of my office.

Once again, thanks for the feedback!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Sat 5 Mar 2011 - 11:10

@Professor Voodoo wrote:Random story; a friend of mine from dive school named Toshiyuki once took on the "eat 5-liters of Ramen in one sitting and it's free" challenge (in Tokyo). Both he & his friend were unsuccessful but it begs the question; Just how much do you actually save by getting 5 liters of Ramen for free?
Well I dunno what it's like in the US, but in Australia a decent bowl of ramen will run you between seven and fourteen dollars. As to what it was worth in Tokyo... honestly I wasn't paying a lot of attention. I was just happy that I was handing some bloke funny money and he was putting food and beer infront of me in return.

Rico might be gleefully sliding down the hill again but I'm picturing a forlorn Marisa with her face pressed against the door like a cat caught out in the rain. For some reason I also picture Monty sitting inside; content with a roaring fire & her snifter of brandy, utterly ignoring Mari's plaintive scratching at the glass.
Monty: Did you ear something? Throw another log on the fire Skipper.

Seriously, the mental image made my night... which is saying a lot considering we're talking a night that involved sitting around, drinking wine, eating chese and binge-watching Luc Besson films.

I intentionally left the breakfast menu vauge because I honestly don't know what typical Northern Italian breakfast is like. I based the previous night's dinner buffet on Southern Bavarian cooking, which I assume would be similar to Alpine Italian, but I was clueless as to what was for breakfast because I never made it downstairs for that meal (I blame Bavarian lager for that).
I guess I've always pictured it as the sort of "standard" continental breakfast: cold meats, bread and spreads with hot coffee and/or sweet flavoured tea. At least, that's what I remember getting most places I've visited in Europe.

For a second there I thought she was having a jab at Marisa.
In my universe Henrietta might toss out a jab like that on her friendly rival, but not Rico. Even poking fun at a Padania sniper seems a bit smug & cocky for her.
True, maybe it's just because I'm an arse but that's how I read it. Razz

It's still less than Pagani spent on delivery during his last stake-out!
I was under the impression that Michele mostly picked up his own tab.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

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