The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Thu 24 Dec 2009 - 11:05

Some thoughts on "One Long Day":

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Yow, Avise is going to have to set up a hidden camera to make sure that the no-one's sidling over to spit in his food. He resents lefties and would love to go back in time and punch Friedrich Engels very hard in the face! On a different tack, I think you did well in conveying the caterers as their own small tight-knit and loyal family in the way that they welcomed the diligent Marisa into the fold: the way her helpfulness and industry turns a punishment into a reward - once the work is done, it's all sins forgiven and smiles again. The entire section reminds me of the cook occasionally popping up at odd moments in Das Boot - the foodies are so often anonymous, but we mustn't forget that before tanks, mortars, and missiles, armies march on their stomachs!

Having the bomb squad being able to replicate dance routines seems very appropriate - I find following the dances in my Gilbert & Sullivan plays hard enough as it is, and when I see professional dancers on a stage or even in an old musical flick, the precision of the choreography is eye-watering.... but would it be a bit off-colour to say that they would do well at a Chuck-E-Cheese? Razz

"but it seemed like more fun to cut the cake with Triela's bayonet" - heh, it reminds me of Henrietta practising her sewing while Rico's cleaning a pistol.

Ammonia spray? Crikey, binary girls certainly don't do things by halves.

Ramsey's backstory was interesting, and heartwarming in a way - it reminds me of groundskeepers who are still maintaining Commonwealth war graves even after the withdrawal of empire and all the wars and insurrections that have followed since then.

I've always tended to picture Ferro as being more of a clipped and severe ice queen than your relatively relaxed version, but then again she's only ever had a small role so that's not much to base a personality on, and really any characterisation can be applied. Elio is convincing with the awkward way he takes everything to an extreme (seeing delivering a message as a 'panty raid'). Marisa's doting "he is the best spy in the world" was a nicely understated reminder of the way that fratellos relate.

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I have to get going now, I'm afraid, but I'll write up the rest later this evening.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Thu 24 Dec 2009 - 20:31

Robert Frazer wrote:
Yow, Avise is going to have to set up a hidden camera to make sure that the no-one's sidling over to spit in his food. He resents lefties and would love to go back in time and punch Friedrich Engels very hard in the face!
Hmmm, Avise & Elio are just going to have to tip-toe around the topic of politics when they finally meet (I have a speaking cameo for Avise in ep. #8). Being the son of a single working mother, and having been treated as a "foreigner" all through his childhood, Elio falls decidely to the left of most arguments. In debate he is more likely to quote Charles Dickens than Marx or Engles.

The entire section reminds me of the cook occasionally popping up at odd moments in Das Boot - the foodies are so often anonymous, but we mustn't forget that before tanks, mortars, and missiles, armies march on their stomachs!
On the topic of food: Appealing to the audiences physical senses are a good way to set the mood of any scene, and taste is a powerful and oft forgotten one. Some authors like to describe every detail of their character's clothing (My Immortal...legendary for it's epic badness), but I don't do that unless it's important to the story. I never miss the opportunity to mention what the character is eating though.

but would it be a bit off-colour to say that they would do well at a Chuck-E-Cheese?

Chuck-E-Cheese, has that cancer spread to the UK? On behalf of the former Colonies, sorry about that. I don't even think Jean would be cruel enough to interrogate Padania captives with such horror. Wouldn't Rico love it though?
That begs the question...if the SWA cyborgs ever do have to inflitrate that sinister den of tormented screeching, do they do so as customers or as the mechanical entertainment?

"but it seemed like more fun to cut the cake with Triela's bayonet" - heh, it reminds me of Henrietta practising her sewing while Rico's cleaning a pistol.
I guess I imagine the SWA dorm as a more strictly controlled place than others do. In my stories there is an official "lights out" time, unannounced quarters inspections, and certian items are not allowed. The arrival of Marisa's cake sets off an unsanctioned party that just snowballs into an innocent exercise in cyborg rebellion.

Ammonia spray? Crikey, binary girls certainly don't do things by halves.
I was feeling lazy, and didn't feel like researching brands of glass cleaner available in Italy. Ammonia works good on everything though, and newspaper cleans glass without streaking. I guess I should have said this stuff in Cherubino's "household chores" thread last night.

Ramsey's backstory was interesting, and heartwarming in a way.
Mr. Ramsey's prodigal son will play a small part in the grand story arc, but not for a long time

I've always tended to picture Ferro as being more of a clipped and severe ice queen.
Maybe, but in my estimation she's the hottest of the SWA ladies.
Regarding Ferro & Elio; as I said earlier...One of Elio's quirks is that he gets along with the "jerks" like Jean, Belisario and Ferro better than the usual heroes of the story like Jose, Hillshire & Bianchi. Ferro gets to show a little humor in my episode #7 (still working on it).

Elio is convincing with the awkward way he takes everything to an extreme (seeing delivering a message as a 'panty raid').
Another foible of Elio is that he has a massive double standard when it comes to kids vs. adults. Off duty he loves the whores, but back on compound he's so prudish he won't even talk to Triela until she puts what he considers a decent amount of clothes on. Poor Marisa still has no accurate knowledge of the "facts of life," and as long as Elio has it his way she never will.
Spoiler:

Fear not...Elio will get his comeuppance when Jean makes him the girls' biology teacher!

Thanks for the observations...I'd better get to work on my Ep. 7 now.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 25 Dec 2009 - 16:55

Robert Frazer wrote:I've always tended to picture Ferro as being more of a clipped and severe ice queen than your relatively relaxed version...
Professor Voodoo wrote:Maybe, but in my estimation she's the hottest of the SWA ladies.

I've been guilty of portraying her as a consummate professional, as well, so it's refreshing to see her in less "stiff" style. Though I had her lighten up a little in Charity Begins At Home.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 28 Dec 2009 - 1:42

Episode 7 is posted, details at the top of the page.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 28 Dec 2009 - 10:29

Frankly, Petrushka and Triela are the two most obvious choices to attend a U2 concert. Even though they are all likely too young to be fans, at least those two can pull off being in their late teens.

And Henrietta does seem to be at times a borderline basket case. I'm really surprised Jean hasn't brow-beat Jose into upping her conditioning to try and make her more stable.

"That kid thinks the reason you get two forks in a classy restaurant is so you can eat twice as fast."

Brilliant. I always figured the girls were chowhounds who needed shedloads of food to provide the energy to power their bodies.

Nice touch with the Serie A stuff. Next to God and a good meal, I think soccer is closest to an Italian's heart and I notice many of us take note of that in our fics.

Nice endings, too.

Good

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Mon 28 Dec 2009 - 10:35

Kiskaloo wrote:
Robert Frazer wrote:I've always tended to picture Ferro as being more of a clipped and severe ice queen than your relatively relaxed version...
Professor Voodoo wrote:Maybe, but in my estimation she's the hottest of the SWA ladies.

I've been guilty of portraying her as a consummate professional, as well, so it's refreshing to see her in less "stiff" style. Though I had her lighten up a little in Charity Begins At Home.
Ferro is a consummate professional when on the job. But she is something totally different on the personal level. That is why Henrietta admitted to being scared by her during an interview with Dr. Bianchi, which he called Ferro "devoted to job" and "on her days off she's in the kitchen cooking and humming to her cat." (GsG V2, CH10- The Pasta Prince Part 1). I do remember a couple of scans and even the anime sub being little more descriptive with their words on this though. On her time off, (on V10, I believe) when the others get together after the news), though concerned about the events, she seems more relaxed than normal when she is out of her suit/uniform.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 28 Dec 2009 - 16:24

Kiskaloo wrote: Frankly, Petrushka and Triela are the two most obvious choices to attend a U2 concert. Even though they are all likely too young to be fans, at least those two can pull off being in their late teens.
I admit, my choice of U2 is awkward...most of their fans are our age or older. I chose them because they're political enough to make a terrorist threat plausible, and I'm too lazy to research any modern bands.

The part about Triela going overboard and having, in Hillshire's opinion, "a bit too much fun" was one of my favorite parts to write. What did she do to get into trouble? I leave that to the reader's imagination...

Henrietta does seem to be at times a borderline basket case. I'm really surprised Jean hasn't brow-beat Jose into upping her conditioning to try and make her more stable.
I think Giuse is pretty much immune to his brother's crap...they've been living together all their lives. The anime seems to suggest that they still share a house.


"That kid thinks the reason you get two forks in a classy restaurant is so you can eat twice as fast."
Brilliant. I always figured the girls were chowhounds who needed shedloads of food to provide the energy to power their bodies.
You touched on that when Kara brings a box of Japanese chocolate cookies to the outdoor range.
Marisa pushes that to the comical extreme, but only due to the sad circumstance of her Gen 2 "memory shadows." I'm playing up the bittersweet again here. Since she spent her pre-cyborg life in a state of constant starvation her subconscious is making up for it. To a lesser extent I think Petrushka displays the same trait because she denied herself as a ballet student.
I took inspiration for that from a Jack London story that I can't remember the name of.

Nice touch with the Serie A stuff. Next to God and a good meal, I think soccer is closest to an Italian's heart and I notice many of us take note of that in our fics.
I'll admit I had to do some research on Italian teams to fill out that scene...I'm not as well versed in international football as I'd like to be. I played in a town league up through my childhood, and played on my High School team long enough to take my H.S. letter, but I dropped it soon thereafter.
Motorsports are the only sports I study inside & out with rabid zeal.

Nice endings, too.
You don't think Priscilla finding the watch was too sappy? I almost cut that.

ElfenMagix wrote:
Ferro is a consummate professional when on the job. But she is something totally different on the personal level. That is why Henrietta admitted to being scared by her during an interview with Dr. Bianchi,
My intent in presenting Ferro like this was not to copy the canon portrayal, but to show the effect Elio has on her.

A real life obsevation about human nature is that certain people will become serious and rise to the responsibility of command in a vacuum...I see it all the time. Ferro is surrounded by screw-offs like Georgio, Amadeo and Priscilla, so she takes the reins by nature, and has to act like a bitch to get things done. When Elio, a man old enough to be her father, is around, she unconsciously defers authority a bit and as a result loosens up.
Since Ferro is way above a 10 year old in the authoritative pecking order Henrietta only gets to see her "in charge" personality, which would scare anybody.


Last edited by Professor Voodoo on Mon 28 Dec 2009 - 16:39; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Can't get the #$%& quotes to work right.)

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Tue 29 Dec 2009 - 21:08

Claes on her top bunk, reading (this time it was a book on plumbing repair)

I have visions of Claes, whenever she's not having Buicks flung at her by hydraulic ram in the testing lab, being used variously as janitor, handyman and office tea lady by the rest of the Agency... Wink

Triela softly cooed, "...your friends can't help you if you don't tell us what is the matter." She stroked the younger girl's hair, and rubbed her back.

D'awwwww, it's great to have a big sis.

Bad move. "There's a problem with Giuse's heart!?" shrieked Henrietta. Triela slapped her own forehead in frustration.

Whuh-oh! Think fast, frog-girl!

Just take the chair where Hannibal is sitting." Mari put down her pistol to move the teddy bear but just before she touched its artificial fur Triela shouted "Careful!" Marisa froze. "He bites!"

I like the touch of Triela's classical bears, it's nice attention to detail.

The Social Welfare Agency was made up of ex-spies, ex-cops, and juvenile girls, all hungry for information, which made it one of the greatest gossip mills the world had ever witnessed.

I like this paragraph immensely. The nature of the event seems very authentic (although death threats for that sort of statement seem a little like moustache-twirling sort of pantomime villainy, I suppose extremists ought to be extreme), and the personal passions of office politics can be just as enthralling as the great constitutional and international intrigues.

She would be taking Claes along on a job to tap wires & intercept Padania communications traffic in Naples. Cool, maybe we'll get to do some shopping!

...and she'll be disappointed when all Claes wants to do is tramp around the garden centre and admire this season's selection of hand-trowels. Razz

"As you see, she's not researching modern music at all...most of these bands are from the 1960's & '70's. I mean...how many 11-year olds know who Warren Zevon is?"

This is a nice little scene as well. I think that it's very true to GSG's character, where the general life of the girls has as big a role as the action.

She was losing control of her breathing regularity, so he put his arms around the girl and squeezed her, then released, over & over, slowly & rhythmically, giving her the cues to get her own respiration under control. Slowly, Marisa came back...when her breaths were again slow and steady Elio pulled a bottle of water from his back pocket and poured it over her hands. That was the final step...as Mari's anxiety attacks went this had been a mild one.

This is another great and compelling event, to see a handler, well, actually handling! It also speaks volumes about Elio himself - I don't doubt that most people when confronted with a cyborg about to have a fit would want to get the f**k out of Dodge, not stay within arm's reach...!

Usually a long ride on the back of Elio's Ducati ST4S was a thrilling experience for his girl...

This paragraph's a nice bit of colour.

Contrasted against the plain-looking students she felt like a celebrity.

Girls do like to sparkle...

dragging her expensive SIDI racing boots in the gravel.

After all of the detail put into the high-end nature ride and the reaction of its arrival, the scuffing of the boots here is a nice contrast to show Marisa's declining state.

Literally, she was like a child going off to her first day of school, with the added complication of an unpredictable nun-phobia

Again, it's good to frame the cyborgs in terms of their girlhood.

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Argh, I'm going to have to leave it at that again, sorry. I'll pick it up again when I next get a few hours free.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Wed 30 Dec 2009 - 7:48

"A deeply disturbing image of the stoic policewoman in a little plaid jumper & knee socks crossed his mind."

Now that Ferro's won a bet... can she lose a bet too? Either way, I like your little bits of "non-work" Ferro. She was always my favorite of the SWA support staff. Maybe it's because she doesn't feel that she's having to drag Elio up by his bootstraps that she can loosen up around him, just a thought.

Great chapter though. Mari's definately starting to show more of her tomboy side, which is cool. I get the feeling that as you've been writing you're also getting a more solid hold on the characters themselves, as well as they're developing.

I liked how Mari starts to get carried away in her own popularity, because it's exactly what you do at that age.

Oh, and her taste in music may not be up-to-date, but it is oddly cool. She and Monty are going to need to exchange notes at some point

The little bit about Priscilla at the end also seemed quite in character for her.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sun 3 Jan 2010 - 5:50

Robert Frazer wrote: I have visions of Claes, whenever she's not having Buicks flung at her by hydraulic ram in the testing lab, being used variously as janitor, handyman and office tea lady by the rest of the Agency...
Probably very true, but she's also got a tempermental side that's easily annoyed, so I'm not confident that she's so helpful all the time. She is snide enough to accuse Mari of having a Freudian complex...


I like the touch of Triela's classical bears, it's nice attention to detail.
Hannibal is a likely name for a Triela bear (especially since she's Tunisian), but her line "He bites!" is a nod to Sir Anthony Hopkins.

This is another great and compelling event, to see a handler, well, actually handling! It also speaks volumes about Elio himself - I don't doubt that most people when confronted with a cyborg about to have a fit would want to get the f**k out of Dodge, not stay within arm's reach...!

Usually a long ride on the back of Elio's Ducati ST4S was a thrilling experience for his girl...

This paragraph's a nice bit of colour.

I actually felt like I didn't go far enough with either the panic attack or the motorcycle ride. Marisa's attack seemed almost routine, although you're right to be concerned for old Elio, he's gotten plenty of bruises, black eyes, and even a cracked rib when things did not go routinely.
As far as the ride on the Ducati goes, I wish I could explain better what riding feels like...like diving, I never feel I'm doing it justice with my prose.

Again, it's good to frame the cyborgs in terms of their girlhood.
This story dealt much more with the girl aspect of things than the cyborg. One would be boring without the other, but to be honest I think more story development can be done during these "girl episodes."

Alfisti wrote:Now that Ferro's won a bet... can she lose a bet too?
Hmmm, sounds like a challenge...I'll have to work that into future episode.

I get the feeling that as you've been writing you're also getting a more solid hold on the characters themselves, as well as they're developing.
That always seems to happen...do you remember when the Star Trek franchise (I don't know how frequently you get broadcasts of that in Australia) was resurrected in the late 80's? For the first few episodes the characters were kind of wooden, as if they were all playing sterotypes, but as the writers & actors got accustomed to working together things really startedto flow.

her taste in music may not be up-to-date, but it is oddly cool. She and Monty are going to need to exchange notes at some point
Maybe, but I fear the young, rambunctious Marisa would get on Monty's nerves pretty quick!

Thanks for the feedback, everyone...more coming soon I hope.
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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Sun 3 Jan 2010 - 8:54

Professor Voodoo wrote:

I get the feeling that as you've been writing you're also getting a more solid hold on the characters themselves, as well as they're developing.

That always seems to happen...do you remember when the Star Trek franchise (I don't know how frequently you get broadcasts of that in Australia) was resurrected in the late 80's? For the first few episodes the characters were kind of wooden, as if they were all playing sterotypes, but as the writers & actors got accustomed to working together things really startedto flow.

Sadly I've not actually seen much of Star Trek (yeah, I fail as a geek)... but I know what you mean, and it's sort of what I was alluding too. Similar thing happened through Stargate SG1 as the actors got a hold on their characters.

Professor Voodoo wrote:
her taste in music may not be up-to-date, but it is oddly cool. She and Monty are going to need to exchange notes at some point

Maybe, but I fear the young, rambunctious Marisa would get on Monty's nerves pretty quick!

Here you're probs correct. I wouldn't call Monty "nasty", but she does have a short fuse and doesn't take childish bullshit (handler aside), being interrupted or having her time wasted very well sweat To be honest, during her short stays I reckon Monty probably gets on better with the SWA adults than the other cyborgs.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sun 3 Jan 2010 - 19:57

Alfisti wrote:
Professor Voodoo wrote:
Maybe, but I fear the young, rambunctious Marisa would get on Monty's nerves pretty quick!

Here you're probs correct. I wouldn't call Monty "nasty", but she does have a short fuse and doesn't take childish bullshit (handler aside), being interrupted or having her time wasted very well To be honest, during her short stays I reckon Monty probably gets on better with the SWA adults than the other cyborgs.

Scene: Marisa hanging over Monty as she tries to get a stack of paperwork done...

Marisa: What is all this stuff?
Monty: (frustrated) Expense reports.
Marisa: And what's this stuff?
Monty: Customs documents.
Marisa: And what's this?
Monty: (gritting her teeth) Paperwork! It's just paperwork! Haven't you heard of it?
Marisa: I guess...Elio doesn't let me help with things like that.
Monty: (grumbling) I wonder why...
Marisa: Hey, do you think we could both fit our heads into the photocopier at the same time!?
Monty: WTF?
Marisa: You have to be careful; I did it with Miss Priscilla's once and got my hair stuck in the paper feed.
Monty: (facepalm) Jesus fucking crikey...
Marisa: So can I help you with your paperwork?
Monty: (turns in her chair) I have an idea. You know...before the human cyborg program began, the SWA engineers created an experimental cyborg monster from pieces of other animals. They couldn't control it, so they buried it right here on the grounds.
Marisa: (suspicious) Why haven't I heard about this?
Monty: Not many people know...I only discovered it while going through very old reports. No human can defeat it, but I'll bet us cyborgs could take care of it!
Marisa: Yeah! Where's it buried?
Monty: Under the parking lot in front of the Section 2 office building (pointing out window) right about...there. You should borrow the excavator from the landscaping crew.
Marisa: Under Mr. Jean's Mercedes?
Monty: You can just gently move that aside with the back hoe.
Marisa: Good idea! (dashes off) I'll call you when I find something!

Monty returns to her paperwork with a self-satisfied grin. If the blame ever reaches back to me, deny everything.
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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Sun 3 Jan 2010 - 20:12

About an hour later, there's a dull, bass thud, and the room shakes. Monty's immediately alert, automatically slipping into combat awareness. A bomb attack? Slipping a pen into her pocket (so she can stab through the trachea of any assailant), she leaves the office, and is struck by a fresh breeze in her face. The wall at the end of the corridor is missing, and amidst a pile of rubble scattered over the floor is Marisa, half-stunned and babbling drunkenly. "Come on... I can take yez all on..." Then a bestial roar quakes every building in the compound to its very foundations...

Monty: Well, shit. And it was a triple rollover in the Euromillions draw last Friday too...

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 3 Jan 2010 - 20:45

Professor Voodoo wrote:
Marisa: So can I help you with your paperwork?
Monty: (turns in her chair) I have an idea. You know...before the human cyborg program began, the SWA engineers created an experimental cyborg monster from pieces of other animals. They couldn't control it, so they buried it right here on the grounds.
Marisa: (suspicious) Why haven't I heard about this?
Monty: Not many people know...I only discovered it while going through very old reports. No human can defeat it, but I'll bet us cyborgs could take care of it!
Marisa: Yeah! Where's it buried?
Monty: You know that big open area out behind the music room? With the low retaining wall?
Marisa: Yes.
Monty: There's a patch of dirt with some weeds growing in it. I recommend you try there.

Marisa: Good idea! (dashes off) I'll call you when I find something!

Fixed it for ya. Wink

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Sun 3 Jan 2010 - 21:02

Oh god Kisk! What have you released upon this Earth?!!
ROTFL

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Sun 3 Jan 2010 - 21:14

Robert Frazer wrote:"Come on... I can take yez all on..." Then a bestial roar quakes every building in the compound to its very foundations...

Monty: Well, shit. And it was a triple rollover in the Euromillions draw last Friday too...

CYBORGS! COMBINE! (ok. suspect undertone...)



How many slots does a combining cyborg take up anyway?


@Voodoo... you'd be suprised how gentle you can be with a back hoe =P

@Kisk... oh now that's just cruel, poor Mari's already had one run-in on behalf of that bit of dirt.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sun 3 Jan 2010 - 22:03

Now see what you started by suggesting that Monty check out Marisa's mp3 playlist? Now Jean has a severely crumpled Mercedes, there's a cybernetic monster on the loose, and Claes...oh, shit...she's taking her glasses off!

Alfisti wrote: CYBORGS! COMBINE!
Ahhh, the Japanese hero-team archetype...The Leader, the Dark Brooding Guy, one woman, one fat guy, and one short guy who might be either a kid or a monkey.

@Voodoo... you'd be suprised how gentle you can be with a back hoe =P
Oh I don't dispute that, but how gently can Marisa operate a back hoe? I'm guessing Jean's Benz & Claes' rutabagas are fucked.
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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Sun 3 Jan 2010 - 22:06

Ahhh, the Japanese hero-team archetype...The Leader, the Dark Brooding Guy, one woman, one fat guy, and one short guy who might be either a kid or a monkey.



Claes...oh, shit...she's taking her glasses off!

Meanwhile, in another franchise...

"I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as though millions of voices cried out, and were suddenly silenced..."

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Sun 3 Jan 2010 - 22:20

Professor Voodoo wrote:
@Voodoo... you'd be suprised how gentle you can be with a back hoe =P
Oh I don't dispute that, but how gently can Marisa operate a back hoe? I'm guessing Jean's Benz & Claes' rutabagas are fucked.
They're cyborgs! They dont need back hoes!

Shit, for jokes and Anti-'Sandro Antics, I'm not surprised the girls pick up his smart car and put it in strange places or leave it on its roof like a turtle stuck on its shell!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Sun 3 Jan 2010 - 22:58

You don't need Cyborgs to move cars manually... a bunch of cadets will do sweat

Professor Voodoo wrote:Oh I don't dispute that, but how gently can Marisa operate a back hoe? I'm guessing Jean's Benz & Claes' rutabagas are fucked.

Assumably about as well as she can operate a van?

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sun 3 Jan 2010 - 23:07

Alfisti wrote:Assumably about as well as she can operate a van?

Marisa:(arms crossed in an offended huff) I will remind you it was Henrietta who was at the wheel when we crashed in to Claes' garden!
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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Sun 3 Jan 2010 - 23:22

@ Mari - From what I was told none was doing too well with the Van... 'Etta was just the unlucky one.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 0:12

Alfisti wrote:@ Mari - From what I was told none was doing too well with the Van... 'Etta was just the unlucky one.

Marisa: Yeah, yeah, yeah...I said I was sorry! It's been weeks since I was involved in any stolen vehicle crashes...when is everyone just gonna forget about that!? (grumbling) Kara gets to drive a Ferrari, just because her legs are long enough to reach the pedals. Stupid engineers!
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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 0:21

Kara: I like to think it's good karma. Wink Anyway, you just need the right car. Claes was able to drive the Gallardo Spyder with the seat all the way forward.

Claes: Don't encourage them!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 4:22

Kiskaloo wrote:
Claes: Don't encourage them!

Claes: On second thoughts...the last time that twerp damaged my garden I got 5 free hours of "slave labor" without even asking. Yes...(rubs hands in an evil manner)...encourage them...encourage all of them! (insert evil laugh)

ElfenMagix wrote:Shit, for jokes and Anti-'Sandro Antics, I'm not surprised the girls pick up his smart car and put it in strange places or leave it on its roof like a turtle stuck on its shell!

That might just have to make it's way into a future story, but what could Alessandro do that pisses the girls off so much as to seek revenge? He seems more like the young & cool dude who secretly buys beer for them.
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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 10:19

Professor Voodoo wrote:
ElfenMagix wrote:Shit, for jokes and Anti-'Sandro Antics, I'm not surprised the girls pick up his smart car and put it in strange places or leave it on its roof like a turtle stuck on its shell!

That might just have to make it's way into a future story, but what could Alessandro do that pisses the girls off so much as to seek revenge? He seems more like the young & cool dude who secretly buys beer for them.
He upped his 'service fees.'

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 11:21

Professor Voodoo wrote:
Kiskaloo wrote:
Claes: Don't encourage them!

Claes: On second thoughts...the last time that twerp damaged my garden I got 5 free hours of "slave labor" without even asking. Yes...(rubs hands in an evil manner)...encourage them...encourage all of them! (insert evil laugh)

I sense Michele is going to regret telling Claes where the keys to his vehicles are in his room...

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 21:51

Perhaps it's the cyborg equivalent of cow tipping - they'll sneak out at night, stifling their giggles and guffaws, and have a lark rearranging the carpark. All of the handlers and support staff arrive to take their cars out in the morning, only to find them five rows away from where they thought they were, while Claes has reprogrammed the receivers so that their remote keys actually unlock different cars to their own. Within five minutes, every adult in Section Two has curled, shaking, into a foetal ball, their frame of reference swept away, their sanity loosing its anchor, and quailing with the horror of existential doubt...

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 22:03

Though his Porsche 928 has remote entry, this is why Fernando still uses keys.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 22:28

ElfenMagix wrote:Though his Porsche 928 has remote entry, this is why Fernando still uses keys.

Question is, does Rachel defend her beloved handler from the acts of these malfeasants, or is she the worst one of the bunch?
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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Tue 5 Jan 2010 - 0:02

Professor Voodoo wrote:
ElfenMagix wrote:Though his Porsche 928 has remote entry, this is why Fernando still uses keys.
Question is, does Rachel defend her beloved handler from the acts of these malfeasants, or is she the worst one of the bunch?
Among Cyborgs, Rachel is an interesting mix. Though she does her best for her father/handler, she wants friends too.
This despite in her early days she was the most picked on by almost everyone.

Yes, she protects her father's ride from the wanton deeds of others, for only she can put her feet on it!
But she is also willing to go round and pull out valve stems, loosen lug nuts and reach under and pull wires out with the best of them... Especially to the red Ferrari Dino that some Platinum Blonde cyborg always sits in!

BTW- no one bothers the old red or black Alfa Romero Spyder that Francesca owns. Bad enough having a handler mad at you, try to keep a cyborg calmed down... thats another story!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 5 Jan 2010 - 0:05

Robert Frazer wrote:Perhaps it's the cyborg equivalent of cow tipping - they'll sneak out at night, stifling their giggles and guffaws, and have a lark rearranging the carpark. All of the handlers and support staff arrive to take their cars out in the morning, only to find them five rows away from where they thought they were...

"Will the owner of a Rosso Leto Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, license plate DE51 RED, please remove your car from the loading bay?"

"Will the owner of a Silver Mercedes CL500, license plate CZ 889KF, please remove your car from the tennis court?"

"Will the owner of a..."

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Tue 5 Jan 2010 - 0:59

Robert Frazer wrote:Perhaps it's the cyborg equivalent of cow tipping - they'll sneak out at night, stifling their giggles and guffaws, and have a lark rearranging the carpark. All of the handlers and support staff arrive to take their cars out in the morning, only to find them five rows away from where they thought they were, while Claes has reprogrammed the receivers so that their remote keys actually unlock different cars to their own. Within five minutes, every adult in Section Two has curled, shaking, into a foetal ball, their frame of reference swept away, their sanity loosing its anchor, and quailing with the horror of existential doubt...

3am in the morning: Monty looks out the office window to see a Silver Mercedes CL500, enroute to the tennis courts, being carried past by four cyborgs. Sighs, saves what she was doing, grabs her coffee and wanders outside.

"Anyone touches the grey Audi estate and I'll be making your lives hell as only I can."

I'm not entirely certain Monty has a sense of humor when it comes to most of the other cyborgs.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Tue 5 Jan 2010 - 1:21

Elio: MARISA!!! Get your little arse in here, now!

Marisa: Elio, I swear...it wasn't me this time!

Elio: Oh sure, so tell me, how exactly did your thread become the official "Cyborgs Raising Hell" thread? None of this nonsense is going on in any of the other OC's threads...or the canon characters!

Marisa: (under her breath) It's kinda your thread too...

Elio: What was that?

Marisa: Nothing!

Elio: It better be...or your entire next month will consist of sewer searches for dead bodies and movies with lots of kissing scenes.

Marisa: (sticks out tongue & retches) *gag!*
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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Tue 5 Jan 2010 - 1:34

...bad influence that girl.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Tue 5 Jan 2010 - 7:23

Professor Voodoo wrote:Elio: MARISA!!! Get your little arse in here, now!

Marisa: Elio, I swear...it wasn't me this time!

Elio: Oh sure, so tell me, how exactly did your thread become the official "Cyborgs Raising Hell" thread? None of this nonsense is going on in any of the other OC's threads...or the canon characters!

Marisa: (under her breath) It's kinda your thread too...

Elio: What was that?

Marisa: Nothing!

Elio: It better be...or your entire next month will consist of sewer searches for dead bodies and movies with lots of kissing scenes.

Marisa: (sticks out tongue & retches) *gag!*



Woah... like... meta, dude...

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Tue 5 Jan 2010 - 11:07

*meanwhile, a Ferrari Dino sits on cinder blocks in its own parking spot, and an Ebay listing for "4 Ferrari Rims w/Perelli tires - CHEAP!" goes on display on a terminal in the handler administrative offices*

Ernesto: Hmmm, nice, but I already have them...
...
..
.
Ernesto: PIA! GO CHECK THE DINO NOW!!!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Tue 5 Jan 2010 - 20:59



And now for something completely different...

Damn, this woman would have made one hell of a spy, considered Elio with admiration. Her subtle furniture tricks, her manipulative personnel management, the way she fished for information. Elio had never actually told her he'd been in government service, just that most people offering private sector security once were. Now if he did not deny it she would have her information. He decided to let her have the point without protest, but resolved to be on his guard against Mother Ursula. Marisa would have to be warned...use caution around this woman.

As well as the paragraphs before this being a nice bit of spy tradecraft to resonate with GSG's espionage aspects, I can certainly emapthise with the psychological strengths of the nun... I think people can forget that after decades managing people clergy can get very good at judging character. Speaking from personal experience, there have been times when knowing looks from priests who I've never even met before have gutted me like a fish right where I stood.

Okay, I've seen enough" he muttered, motioning for her to put them down.

Crikey, given Elio's aversion to even entering the girls' dormitory it's a wonder he didn't have a coronary right there and then.

Marisa fished the 92FS out of her motorcycle jacket and held it like a normal girl would hold a favorite stuffed toy. "Elio, please...I'll keep it really well hidden..."

Good juxtaposition.

"Lifetime things-to-do list." That got boring quick. “Attend normal school” was not on the list, but she penciled it in anyway and immediately crossed it off as accomplished.

Not very momentous at all, which is a good way of showing her boredom.

There was a clear hierarchy to the seating arrangement in the pews. Novice nuns sat in front, and behind them the local ladies from the village. Next were the oldest students, girls the age of Petrushka & Kara. The classes were arranged in order of seniority, with girls even younger than Marisa in the back, which meant nobody but the oldest girls had a good view of the priest when he came out a performed Mass.

I would have thought that the young girls would be given more attention - although thinking about it, hormonal rebels need a bit more exposure to remind them who's boss, and surly teenagers lurking in the gloom of the back row are probably a lot more difficult to manage than easily-cowed girls.

he said he'd seen it in a movie starring Meryl Streep, an American actress who Mari had never heard of, but her handler spoke of with a reverence that made the jealous cyborg seethe.

I can imagine that the situation of the Agency, what with a needy adolescent clamped onto you like a limpet, makes "personals and intimates" all but impossible to maintain. Marco kept on a girlfriend for a while but the need-to-know rule forced them apart before too long; I think perhaps the most telling example was in episode 4 of the anime, when Henrietta asks Jose to spend Christmas with her. Jose smiles and accepts happily to her face, but afterwards when he's driving away, he's got a face like dip. Jose was visibly pissed off - Henrietta must have torpedoed some other plans that he had for the day...

"You know…we've got a betting pool set up back here at HQ," she admitted, "I've got 20 euros on her throwing a nun through a plate-glass window before this is over."

Heh, a bit of gallows humour.

he found himself cornered by the crafty Mother Ursula

Ursula's probably the best name you could have given her - it's a very dominating one, I've always throught.

He was impressed by his own imaginary system...perhaps he should talk to the fellows in the special weapons department about making it a reality...especially after the tragic Donatello incident in Milan.

Thanks for the shout-out!

Mari was glad she had been spared yesterday; if some nun had whacked her unexpectedly she probably would have ripped the woman's arm off and blown the mission.

Nice way of converging details from different points and keeping every detail relevant.

"No," Marisa replied flatly, "it really was awful. It was supposed to be a puppy but it looked like a lumpy sausage on pegs."

Oh no, it's a criticism of how Western philosophy has been and limited by and is still in thrall to the Platonic Theory of Forms. Slap that onto a sticker on the base and sell it to the Tate Modern for £15,000. Razz

A white blob appeared on the fringe of Marisa's peripheral vision, so she adjusted her focal width to see it without turning her head.

You're definitely succeeding in making the detention sequence seem dusty and dreary. You could say that that's cliché but that'd be ridiculous really - detention's not meant to be fun, difference for the sake of difference would be inappropriate. Your visualisation's very good, even to the distraction through the window, and the telling remark that Alicia is a mouth-breather...

Rather than being reduced to sobbing contrition, Marisa Alboreto stood before her with a self-satisfied smirk. When it became obvious that Sister Theresa was done she dropped her right hand to her side...and offered the left.

Heh, shades of Kes here - tearaway boys who've seen the cane so much it's just nonchalant routine more than anything else.

We're done here" he growled, "have Marisa sent to the visitor’s apartment."

Elio definitely is furious in this section. I'm in two minds about the mention of Roberta, though - on the one hand it a little awkwardly breaks up Elio in full indignant spate (and the mention of her seems redundant when Elio later goes on to admit he couldn't do anything about the situation anyway), and on the other it does positively let the "We'll see who wins in court and in public opinion" line stand on its own with a sense of forceful full-stop finality. It could go either way.

announced a short rotund nun who always seemed to have a smile on her chubby pink face.

I'm jumping the gun a bit here, but when the fighting eventually starts further on down the story I thought that the two laundrymen were too obvious to be the culprits - I know it sounds ridiculous in retrospect (how would Padania have been able to infiltrate the nunnery decades in advance, probably before they even existed?), but when I was reading this for the first time I was anticipating the nun hiding a shotgun under her habit! sweat

Mother Ursula looked from her football scores and smiled...watching the whole game and thinking it was very cute. So Miss Simoncini has finally made a friend...pity that Alboreto girl won't be staying long.

I like the general idea of this scene, but with it being relatively soon after the uncommon event of being chewed out by a determined parent, would Ursula be perhaps a little more wary around the Alboreto girl and the prospect of her staying long? I might have made it a different nun - but then again, Ursula's role does suit her perceptive nature and as she's the only significant nun character she does need as much screentime as she can get. Again, something that could go either way.

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

I've got an early start tomorrow - no rest for the wicked! - so it'll have to stay at this for now, Voodoo, but next time I ought to be wrapping up the story.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 6 Jan 2010 - 15:00

Robert Frazer wrote:
And now for something completely different...
Thanks for getting us back on topic, Robert, things were getting pretty damn goofy in here. For a minute I thought you were going to offer everyone a crunchy frog, or introduce a man with 3 buttocks.

I can certainly emapthise with the psychological strengths of the nun... I think people can forget that after decades managing people clergy can get very good at judging character.
One of the first decisions I made about this story was that the head nun would have to be a very strong character. I like the way she turned out, enough so that I felt giving the parish priest a speaking role would have diminished her.

Crikey, given Elio's aversion to even entering the girls' dormitory it's a wonder he didn't have a coronary right there and then.
Spies, terrorists, mafiosi, Elio can deal with them all, but this he did not sign up for! I've considered throwing the ultimate challenge at him. He & Marisa are on a joint mission with Hillshire/Triela, and Victor goes out for a few hours (perhaps to meet Roberta...) leaving Alboreto with the cyborgs. No sooner does Hillshire leave than Triela pulls Elio aside and informs him that her period is irregular and she needs him to bring her to the store. "Damn it you kraut, answer your fucking phone!"

I would have thought that the young girls would be given more attention - although thinking about it, hormonal rebels need a bit more exposure to remind them who's boss, and surly teenagers lurking in the gloom of the back row are probably a lot more difficult to manage than easily-cowed girls.
I really don't know how the nuns would handle the seating arrangement at a Catholic Girls school (I've never attended one for 2 obvious reasons), so the scene was written to impart a sense of bizarre ceremony which Marisa has never seen before. Regardless of where everyone is sitting the nuns do a vigilant job of ensuring "all eyes front."

he said he'd seen it in a movie starring Meryl Streep, an American actress who Mari had never heard of, but her handler spoke of with a reverence that made the jealous cyborg seethe.
Because of my ignorance about Catholic schools I stole most of my inspiration from a recent film called Doubt. Mentioning the lead actress is my way of working an acknowledgement of that into the story.

I can imagine that the situation of the Agency, what with a needy adolescent clamped onto you like a limpet, makes "personals and intimates" all but impossible to maintain. Marco kept on a girlfriend for a while but the need-to-know rule forced them apart before too long; I think perhaps the most telling example was in episode 4 of the anime, when Henrietta asks Jose to spend Christmas with her. Jose smiles and accepts happily to her face, but afterwards when he's driving away, he's got a face like dip. Jose was visibly pissed off - Henrietta must have torpedoed some other plans that he had for the day...
Alessandro seems to have gotten lucky with the one he got...

Thanks for the shout-out!
Happy to have worked it in. Avise has a speaking cameo in my episode #8 (if I ever finish the damn thing).

Elio definitely is furious in this section. I'm in two minds about the mention of Roberta, though - on the one hand it a little awkwardly breaks up Elio in full indignant spate (and the mention of her seems redundant when Elio later goes on to admit he couldn't do anything about the situation anyway), and on the other it does positively let the "We'll see who wins in court and in public opinion" line stand on its own with a sense of forceful full-stop finality. It could go either way.
Maybe it was a cheap toss in, but people seem to like seeing canon characters thrown into the situation. Maybe it does break up the flow of Elio's tirade a little, but he never lowers his voice.

I thought that the two laundrymen were too obvious to be the culprits - I know it sounds ridiculous in retrospect (how would Padania have been able to infiltrate the nunnery decades in advance, probably before they even existed?), but when I was reading this for the first time I was anticipating the nun hiding a shotgun under her habit!
Agreed, the villian's were too obvious, but the story was already 18,000 words long. The attack is really just a side-plot in this one (albeit a necessary one) with the focus staying on Mari's personal adventure. Maybe I could have worked in one "inside nun" though.

it being relatively soon after the uncommon event of being chewed out by a determined parent, would Ursula be perhaps a little more wary around the Alboreto girl and the prospect of her staying long?
Yeah...that's a really good point...might have to re-work that.

Thanks as always!
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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Sun 10 Jan 2010 - 17:12

...if the world were made up of generous people like him there would be no need for people like us. If Evil is the offspring of hate & greed then fear & apathy are certainly his nursemaids...

An appropriate time for a moral aside, whereas my own in Long Weekend was probably a bit hamfisted.

Marisa groaned, and carefully exerted a little power to drag Simoncini to her feet, "Come on, if they want me, then they get both of us." Alicia grinned more broadly than anyone had ever witnessed during all her days at the Rufina Academy.

Alicia's not going to be transformed immediately, her hesitation in this scene was good way of bringing that back to mind.

More like a very scary angel.

And they certainly can be!

For her part, Alicia was very uncomfortable with all the attention she and her no friend seemed to be getting
She carefully made sure to keep Alicia in tow, and got a prestigious with her spot near the front of the double-line

The type's a bit wonky in these two places. "new friend" and "prestigous spot with her".

Some normal girls obviously need a good reason to push themselves she thought, with the smug self assurance of a person on top of her world after all, the same girl never gets it two days in a row, right?

These repeated references are good for showing the passage of time as much as they are ensuring that no element of the scene is discarded - they're checkpoints by which we can judge Marisa's progress.

"Okay, so enjoy it while you can" he replied with a tinge of sadness in his voice. She will just have to learn for herself.


*Sigh* Kids have got to break their own hearts...

Won't the guys back at the office be disappointed when they all lose the betting pool.

I had a fiver on "nun 'inadvertantely' caught in crossfire", myself.

"Arrghhh, waste of your time and mine" complained Mr. Kolikos, although Elio was not sure how being escorted wasted the laundry man's time "you know Claudio, he's a good boy!"

Kolikos has a pretty authentic voice.

"What about the laundry? I has work to do!" he complained.

I wondered if Kolikos was maybe being a little too sanguine here, but then again, given the context of a terrorist campaign people get used to it. Obladi Oblada, life goes on.

"Good," he growled, "Round up any students you have down here and put them in Mr. Kolikos van.

This is a minor point but you might want to specify putting the wounded in the van - there's probably a few too many pupils there all to cram in at once.

Elio, come in...hostiles in the gym! 2 armed males!" Marisa reported on her radio.

Heh, Franco & Claudio had their ears open when Elio was barking off orders!

Keep away from me!" she cried, "Those men only want me, if you stay with me they'll take you too!"

Sod's Law, eh? You spend the week building up her confidence and then she screws your careful plan up by playing the hero!

As carefully as she could, Marisa threw the Mother Superior out the window, shattering glass before she landed on the sloped metal roof of the garden shed just inches below. She slid down and tumbled harmlessly into the soft soil of the vegetable patch, shielded from the tinkling glass shards by her veil.

Hahah! Neatly ingenious way of wrongfooting expectations. I don't think that it's physically possible to 'carefully' throw someone through a window, though - that detail does sound fairly ridiculous. Would Marisa really spend time carefully inching up her sights while a baddie's got his gun on them as well? Just delete that phrase and have Marisa go hell for leather in swinging Ursula up, over and gone.

Elio was on the scene fast, sliding in on his knees in a fashion not often witnessed in men of his age. The handler gave her the same look-over as his cyborg had. "No blood" observed the boss, "she's breathing..." he began to laugh, "...she's fainted."

A bit of extra drama, accentuated by the sucker-punch surprise, to end the note on a high, and then with a laugh the danger's truly passed.

It took 3 pizzerias and 5 delivery drivers to fill the entire order on time.

Yum!

The nun continued her statement "...we both know the truth about what happened today. It was a miracle directly from God."

...is it a bad thing that I laughed at this...? Embarassed

"I suppose this is what Elio was warning me about" Marisa lamented to her only remaining friend, who was of course Alicia Simoncini.

Fame's a fickle thing alright.

By consequence of her delay she accidentally became the last girl in line, and as she passed the nun was not as lenient as she had been on Marisa's first morning. The cyborg never told her handler or anyone else about that humiliating smack, and carried her secret embarrassment to the grave.

Hahahahah! Full circle after dodging the smack on the first day.

This little episode also brings to mind the Falklands War, of all things. I was reading Admiral Woodward's memoir (One Hundred Days), and he relates one unfortunately all too-believable anecdote of grinding bureuacracy. He's come back to cheering and celebration, after being a key figure in a vitally important war which has restored Britain's national self-confidence after almost four decades of postwar decline... and then he gets a letter telling him that, as he had not been using his entertainment expenses account for the last three months, procedures duly deemed it superfluous to requirements and accordingly he had received a paycut.

"Remember, Ceasar, thou art mortal."

She gave a glance over her shoulder, and caught one last glance of the Academy as it disappeared behind a veil of trees, conscious that it was the last time she would ever see the school.

Bit of a sombre moment here - that quiet moment of reflection when you've closed the book is always a good indicator that it's been significant for you.

Maybe make it "one last glimpse of the Academy", as you've already used "glance" earlier on.

"Someone had a little too much fun" grumbled a haggard looking Victor Hillshire, shooting his cyborg an irritated glance as he dropped his completed report in the IN box. Triela kept her head hung low in contrite submission, but could not manage to wipe a sneaky grin off her face, which told everyone in the room that whatever trouble she had gotten into had been worth it.

Oh, Hilshire, you silly fool, didn't your mother ever tell you to be careful what you wish for? All this time you've lamented what's been done to Triela and have wanted her to be a normal girl... but you forget just what ordinary teenagers can do!

4 years on, Priscilla was browsing a pawn shop in Rome when she noticed a peculiar inscription on a gold watch. The intel analyst had a mind like a steel trap...she never forgot a name and this one sounded familiar enough to investigate.

One week later Carlo Simoncini received a package by government courier. It contained his Grandfather's gold watch.

Yeah, I have to say that this was a wee bit twee. Also, even if Priscilla was a brilliant investigator, having that one detail spring into her mind after four years was reaching a little bit too. It's nice to have a happy ending, and the sense of the universe being put to rights is a heartwarming one, but I think that the wind-down in the office with the laughing over the betting book was happy enough.

A great read altogether, Voodoo, and I look forward to No. 8!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 11 Jan 2010 - 3:44

An appropriate time for a moral aside, whereas my own in Long Weekend was probably a bit hamfisted.
I found The Long Weekend brilliantly gritty & bleak. A saccharine bit over moralizing might have been out of place in that story.

The type's a bit wonky in these two places. "new friend" and "prestigious spot with her".
Frustrating...I proof-read these things 3 times over and still miss things. Thanks for pointing that out.
Kolikos has a pretty authentic voice.
I wondered if Kolikos was maybe being a little too sanguine here, but then again, given the context of a terrorist campaign people get used to it.
The laundry man is a character who didn't get much development because I was trying to limit the story to a reasonable length. As a result all I could do is make him a reasonably likable guy who always seems to be a thorn in Elio's side.
This is a minor point but you might want to specify putting the wounded in the van - there's probably a few too many pupils there all to cram in at once.
Perhaps, but Elio knows the people at the chapel were not the targets...only the distraction. Help will probably reach them from the village before it could reach them if he brought the wounded up to the school. The way I envisioned it there were only a few girls milling around the chapel on their day off anyway, and Elio is trying to get them all to a place where they can be sequestered for a head-count.

I don't think that it's physically possible to 'carefully' throw someone through a window, though - that detail does sound fairly ridiculous.
I suppose you're right. I wrote it that way to make clear that Mari isn't getting any wicked thrill out of tossing a nun out a window...speed was implied. Maybe I need to re-work it a bit.

It took 3 pizzerias and 5 delivery drivers to fill the entire order on time.
Yum!
Agapita is not going to be pleased when she finds out she missed that.
The nun continued her statement "...we both know the truth about what happened today. It was a miracle directly from God."
...is it a bad thing that I laughed at this...?
Laugh away, please...my intent was not to poke fun at people who believe in miracles. Elio immediately thinks the worst, the exposure of the SWA, the possible downfall of the government, but is dealt an unbelievable piece of luck. Maybe that is a miracle...or maybe having a cyborg at the right place, at the right time was the miracle. Providence works in strange ways...
Some normal girls obviously need a good reason to push themselves she thought, with the smug self assurance of a person on top of her world after all, the same girl never gets it two days in a row, right?
The cyborg never told her handler or anyone else about that humiliating smack, and carried her secret embarrassment to the grave.
These repeated references are good for showing the passage of time as much as they are ensuring that no element of the scene is discarded - they're checkpoints by which we can judge Marisa's progress.
Hahahahah! Full circle after dodging the smack on the first day.
It's obviously a pretty taboo subject...adults hitting kids, but in the context of the GsG universe I think it's one that can't be avoided (Yu even goes there a few times). Still, I felt I had to tip-toe around the issue, and present it as a humorous plot advancer.
I went back and cut one line because I thought I was over using kid-smacking as a plot device. When Marisa & Alicia are running off to their handball game, Alica says "I don't think your daddy is the Devil at all" and then thinks More like a very scary angel.


The original line went: Marisa issued a wicked smile and replied "Sometimes, when you want to fight off demons, you need to get help from the devil himself!"
Alicia gasped, "Your daddy is the Devil!?" but then added with a giggle "It must be hell when he spanks you!"

It was an effort to show Alicia developing more confidence, in the form of a sense of humour.

This little episode also brings to mind the Falklands War, of all things. I was reading Admiral Woodward's memoir (One Hundred Days), and he relates one unfortunately all too-believable anecdote of grinding bureaucracy. He's come back to cheering and celebration, after being a key figure in a vitally important war which has restored Britain's national self-confidence after almost four decades of postwar decline... and then he gets a letter telling him that, as he had not been using his entertainment expenses account for the last three months, procedures duly deemed it superfluous to requirements and accordingly he had received a paycut.
"Remember, Ceasar, thou art mortal."
That is a great anecdote...

Maybe make it "one last glimpse of the Academy", as you've already used "glance" earlier on.
You're absolutely right...another proof-reading slip.
Oh, Hilshire, you silly fool, didn't your mother ever tell you to be careful what you wish for? All this time you've lamented what's been done to Triela and have wanted her to be a normal girl... but you forget just what ordinary teenagers can do!
I admit that was one of my favorite parts to write. What did Triela do to get Hillshire so angry at her? I leave that up to the reader's imagination.
One week later Carlo Simoncini received a package by government courier. It contained his Grandfather's gold watch.
Yeah, I have to say that this was a wee bit twee.
Finally someone agrees with me about that bit being too much!
Episode 8 kicked my ass for about 2 weeks, but I think I'm finally in the home stretch...it shouldn't be much longer. Again, thanks for the unbelievably thorough, and very constructive review, it's so much more than I could have hoped for.
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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sat 16 Jan 2010 - 9:05

Okay, after 3 weeks I finally have episode #8 ready. This episode's special guest fratello is Kara & Michele Pagani, and as I said earlier, Avise Mancini has a speaking cameo.
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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 16 Jan 2010 - 11:28

Professor Voodoo wrote:Okay, after 3 weeks I finally have episode #8 ready.

I could clearly see Henrietta acting that way after killing Tomas and Salvadore - "Hey! You have your natural charms and I have mine." Plus, maximum body count for Jose is important to her, even if it just seems to depress him (based on his talk with Doctor Bianchi in the manga). I wonder if that is because Rico counts the bodies for Jean (who has vowed to kill everyone even tangentially related to the bombing that took Sophia from him).

Interesting how Marisa feels brave in part because of her strength. One wonders if it's something she uniquely feels, or all the girls (consciously or subconsciously) take comfort in their (un)natural superiority?

I imagine a young girl would indeed "go batty" cooped up in even a guided cage (to say nothing of a dross one) doing nothing but staring out at a warehouse for hours - and then days - on end.

"Cream puff". ROTFL

And you remembered that Michele hates to drive in the city. Good

Michele hates spiders, so I think Kara would probably be freaked out by a cockroach. Yes Indeed

Mari was conscious, but not entirely lucid; "Elio, look! I finally got shot!" she muttered drunkenly.

I could really see that being a point of pride for a cyborg.

So awesome to see someone else run with Kara & Michele. cheers cheers

Loved it, and not just because my OC's were in it. If you replaced Michele and Kara with anyone else - canon or OC - it would have generated the same reaction - Awesome!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Alfisti on Sun 17 Jan 2010 - 0:06

Kiskaloo wrote:
Interesting how Marisa feels brave in part because of her strength. One wonders if it's something she uniquely feels, or all the girls (consciously or subconsciously) take comfort in their (un)natural superiority?

That's actually a good question. Part of me thinks that they probably do... remember how cut/shocked Triela was after being TKO'd by Pino? How many of them are aware of it is probably a different matter. Of the canon girls part of me thinks that probably Triela is aware just how dependent they are on their augmentation... and then only because she spent a couple of weeks getting roughed up by the GIS. Outside of canon I imagine Monty's pretty aware of it, if only because she's less powerful than everyone else and that she and Jethro tend to view "going cyborg" as a last resort measure, and obviously Mari's aware of it...


In other news: excellent chapter.

Spoiler:

"I thought about it" Elio told him, "and offered her a number of
instruments to choose from, but the only one she had any interest in
was the tuba, and I'm not going to inflict that on the rest of the dorm."

This cracked me up... that's just total Mari wanting the biggest, loudest, most obnoxious instrument available. Oh well, it could be worse; it could have been the drums... or the bagpipes. I really do like the way her character and personality is developing, she's definately a bit more rough around the edges than many of the other girls.

"Big brown guy, about 5cm long?" asked Marisa, never taking her eye off the warehouse, "Yeah...I call him Jean."

This cracked me up, actually the whole "meeting of worlds" was an interesting contrast to watch. However I don't know how keen I'd have been to leave the Ferrari lying around unattended, so much for "not drawing attention". Maybe Michele should have packed something from the evidence locker in the boot just to give himself a plausible explination... then again, going by the next bit that would probs be more an Elio thing to do

Cafe mocha, 2 shots espresso, 4 pumps of chocolate and a single pump of raspberry syrup.

I have the uptmost respect for Michele... but I would have ordered what Elio orderd, or possibly just an espresso, depending on how good the barista is: people who put flavoring in coffee should be shot

They were interrupted by Alboreto's phone buzzing. He answered it, but
there was nobody on the line. The older man cursed and poked at the
buttons, trying to answer the call. "Elio, it's a text message" Michele
finally informed him. This guy really was from an alien world.

I'm not certain about this particular bit... I mean, sure Alberto's basically a grumpy old man at times, but if he's been running in Intelligence circles shouldn't he at least be resonably up to date on things like that? For example: dad and I got iPhones about the same time, and I have to go to him to ask questions a lot of the time.

Bit off topic here, but it's funny how the stereotype goes. We see the elderly as being tech-illitterate most of the time. One of the mature-age students for his research essay last year at uni did the elderly and technology, and weridly found that many were happily sending emails, on facebook, forums and shooting txt messages back and forward with their grand-kids... often with greater abandon than said grand-kids' parents might have been.

Bianchi never took his eyes off the cyborg's monitors, and they had all
returned back to normal. He finally turned to look at Elio and nodded
to show his approval.

And so do we start seeing a thawing of the relationship between these two? Or was that just a passing moment?


Man, it's getting more and more difficult to pick holes in your work.

Off topic again, but if you were looking for places to get a handle on a Brit use of hte English language, could I suggest watching the BBC version of Life on Mars?

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 17 Jan 2010 - 3:49

Alfisti wrote:
Spoiler:

Cafe mocha, 2 shots espresso, 4 pumps of chocolate and a single pump of raspberry syrup.
I have the uptmost respect for Michele... but I would have ordered what Elio orderd, or possibly just an espresso, depending on how good the barista is: people who put flavoring in coffee should be shot
Spoiler:

Michele is more flavoring the chocolate than the coffee. When he drinks "straight" coffee, he uses sugar and half-and-half. It's when he makes hot chocolate that he likes the raspberry and that at times carries over to his mochas.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sun 17 Jan 2010 - 9:16

Kiskaloo wrote:I could clearly see Henrietta acting that way after killing Tomas and Salvadore - "Hey! You have your natural charms and I have mine."
I think 'Etta acted a bit abrasively here because she did not get from Marisa the praise she lives for. For her, praise from Giuse is like a gold medal, but praise from a fellow cyborg is at least bronze, and still very desireable.
They certainly do each have their natural charms...Henrietta has the charm of a sweet 10-11 year old, while Mari has the charm of an axe murderer.

Interesting how Marisa feels brave in part because of her strength. One wonders if it's something she uniquely feels, or all the girls (consciously or subconsciously) take comfort in their (un)natural superiority?
Interesting question. Underneath all her swagger Marisa has some confidence issues, but what cyborg doesn't? One of my favorite Triela scenes in the canon is chapter 22. She hands Hillshire her writing assignment, and when he praises it as "excellent" she asks "Really?" with a timid lack of confidence in her face.

I imagine a young girl would indeed "go batty" cooped up in even a guilded cage (to say nothing of a gross one) doing nothing but staring out at a warehouse for hours - and then days - on end.
And any sane adult would go batty cooped up with a hyperactive kid for a week.

Michele hates spiders, so I think Kara would probably be freaked out by a cockroach.
I took that from Kara's Interview with a Cyborg. The "Hello Kitty" underwear was a guess, but considering what Japanophiles both she & her handler are, I think it's a safe guess. Michele doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would buy her anything sexy.

Mari was conscious, but not entirely lucid; "Elio, look! I finally got shot!" she muttered drunkenly.
I could really see that being a point of pride for a cyborg.
Oh yeah...she's been looking forward to this day. She has no idea how serious it is.

Alfisti wrote:
...that's just total Mari wanting the biggest, loudest and most obnoxious instrument available...it could have been...the bagpipes
I started with the trombone...switched to tuba & seriously considered the bagpipes (the Scottish war pipes would suit her) but I'm going to include bagpipes in the story later, when Marisa discovers the Irish Uilleann pipes.

...shouldn't he at least be reasonably up to date on things like that?
Oh, Elio knows what text messages are, he just has trouble operating his own agency provided phone. He didn't know how to access Marisa's mp3 playlist before the school mission either.

...do we start to see a thawing of the relationship between these two?
Well, I think they're both professional enough to put differences aside when there's a wounded cyborg to take care of.

Thanks for the feedback, as always!
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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Sun 17 Jan 2010 - 9:47

Professor Voodoo wrote:
Alfisti wrote:
Kiskaloo wrote:
Interesting how Marisa feels brave in part because of her strength. One wonders if it's something she uniquely feels, or all the girls (consciously or subconsciously) take comfort in their (un)natural superiority?

That's actually a good question. Part of me thinks that they probably do... remember how cut/shocked Triela was after being TKO'd by Pino? How many of them are aware of it is probably a different matter.


Interesting question. Underneath all her swagger Marisa has some confidence issues, but what cyborg doesn't?

While Triela's been the only one to actually articulate it (when she was moping after losing in Montalcino), I think that strength is vital to all of the girls' mental well-being. It's why they've been created, and their physical superiority and various special abilities are what justifies everything. If they were no better than an ordinary human soldier, what would have been the point of chewing them up in the SWA grinder in the first place? As it is, the ability to kick aside jumping mines and toss cruise missiles like cabers (!) is what makes it a fair trade.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Sun 17 Jan 2010 - 10:11

Robert Frazer wrote:
Professor Voodoo wrote:
Alfisti wrote:
Kiskaloo wrote:
Interesting how Marisa feels brave in part because of her strength. One wonders if it's something she uniquely feels, or all the girls (consciously or subconsciously) take comfort in their (un)natural superiority?

That's actually a good question. Part of me thinks that they probably do... remember how cut/shocked Triela was after being TKO'd by Pino? How many of them are aware of it is probably a different matter.


Interesting question. Underneath all her swagger Marisa has some confidence issues, but what cyborg doesn't?

While Triela's been the only one to actually articulate it (when she was moping after losing in Montalcino), I think that strength is vital to all of the girls' mental well-being. It's why they've been created, and their physical superiority and various special abilities are what justifies everything. If they were no better than an ordinary human soldier, what would have been the point of chewing them up in the SWA grinder in the first place? As it is, the ability to kick aside jumping mines and toss cruise missiles like cabers (!) is what makes it a fair trade.

Angie too has had such moments of doubt and pain, esp. in Vol 1 & 2 a and in the Pasta Prince Episode of the anime. Marco drove her hard at times during the weakest of her moments, and in the end of Vol 9 he finally realizes it. But Angie as sweet as she was never took it out on anyone else.

Professor Voodoo wrote:
Kiskaloo wrote:I could clearly see Henrietta acting that way after killing Tomas and Salvadore - "Hey! You have your natural charms and I have mine."
I think 'Etta acted a bit abrasively here because she did not get from Marisa the praise she lives for. For her, praise from Giuse is like a gold medal, but praise from a fellow cyborg is at least bronze, and still very desireable.
They certainly do each have their natural charms...Henrietta has the charm of a sweet 10-11 year old, while Mari has the charm of an axe murderer.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 18 Jan 2010 - 4:14

ElfenMagix wrote:
Holy shit...is that a porcelain statue of Lizzy Borden? That is cool...and definitely something Marisa would want on her bedroom shelf.
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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by ElfenMagix on Mon 18 Jan 2010 - 10:35

Professor Voodoo wrote:
ElfenMagix wrote:
Holy shit...is that a porcelain statue of Lizzy Borden? That is cool...and definitely something Marisa would want on her bedroom shelf.
Lizzie Borden I would not mind.
Its the knife block Claes has on her little corner of the cafeteria's kitchen that has everyone spooked!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 15 Feb 2010 - 11:51

Professor Voodoo wrote:I will explore the characters of the 4 "Bomb Squad Girls" more in future stories. They're meant to be a bit of comic relief.

With every new episode of So ra no wo to that features Noël Kannagi, the more I want to create an OC around her. She's a mix of Beatrice and Yuki Nagato and I think she'd be a natural as a "Bomb Squad Girl". Yes Indeed


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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 22 Feb 2010 - 15:18

Kiskaloo wrote:
Professor Voodoo wrote:I will explore the characters of the 4 "Bomb Squad Girls" more in future stories. They're meant to be a bit of comic relief.

With every new episode of So ra no wo to that features Noël Kannagi, the more I want to create an OC around her. She's a mix of Beatrice and Yuki Nagato and I think she'd be a natural as a "Bomb Squad Girl".

When concocting the bomb-squad characters I tried hard not to make them clones of Beatrice. They do feel emotions, it's their ability to show it that's muted. Bernardo was a gregarious character, but all 4 of the bomb-squad girls have apathetic handlers.
I'm going to do a character sketch (someday) but all I've decided so far is that while they all look different, they have the same blank expression, and all wear their hair in practical, identical pony-tails.
________________________________________

My episode #9 is finally complete & posted. This is a weird episode, with little to no "Gunslinging," which is probably why it took me so long.

Fear not...episode 10 is about 75% done & it's almost all action.
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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 22 Feb 2010 - 15:29

Professor Voodoo wrote:When concocting the bomb-squad characters I tried hard not to make them clones of Beatrice. They do feel emotions, it's their ability to show it that's muted.

Which makes sense, as you'd want someone with nerves of steel and cold as ice when working disarming IEDs and bombs.


Professor Voodoo wrote: Bernardo was a gregarious character, but all 4 of the bomb-squad girls have apathetic handlers.

Which also makes sense, as the handlers probably don't expect their charges to "reach the end of their warranty period" and therefore why get attached to them?

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 22 Feb 2010 - 15:44

Kiskaloo wrote:
Professor Voodoo wrote: Bernardo was a gregarious character, but all 4 of the bomb-squad girls have apathetic handlers.

Which also makes sense, as the handlers probably don't expect their charges to "reach the end of their warranty period" and therefore why get attached to them?

To tell the truth I just imagined them as jerks.
Free from the commitments of investigation, and endless safe-house raids, they set their girls to work on just one thing...building bombs, and disarming them (the BSqG's are also responsible for causing explosions)...freeing their own lazy selves to sit around playing cards all day.

The other girls like Kara & Marisa are given a basic primer course in EOD, but they hate that block of their training because it's "soooooo boooorrring." The bomb-squad handlers just toss them a manual and tell them to "build a bomb...hand it to the girl on your right...disarm it."

I'm toying with the idea of Michele & Elio taking a walk over to to inspect things for themselves (responding to complaints from their own cyborgs). Pagani tries to tactfully convice the men to reconsider their training methods...Elio kicks their table over and tells them to "get your arses to work and teach the kids something."
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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 22 Feb 2010 - 16:05

Professor Voodoo wrote:I'm toying with the idea of Michele & Elio taking a walk over to to inspect things for themselves (responding to complaints from their own cyborgs). Pagani tries to tactfully convice the men to reconsider their training methods...Elio kicks their table over and tells them to "get your arses to work and teach the kids something."

Good

Also, read Chapter 9. Might not have had any gunslinging, but it was still really entertaining. Yes Indeed

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Mon 22 Feb 2010 - 16:27

That's interesting. I was thinking about the Bomb Squad myself a while back, although my own musing went in exactly the opposite direction - I imagined that all of the girls shared a single handler, as part of a next-gen Agency experiment into commanding group units instead of forming individual partnerships. Part of the reason why the cyborgs are so heavily conditioned wasn't just to give them heightened calm control over sensitive components, but also because the experiment was a failure - if the girls could express any more than the most subdued personality traits then bilious jealousy would have them ripping each other's heads off. Thus the beleaguered handler, even though he clucks like a mother hen around his little brood of disarmers who are all perfectly obedient, would always have a worry in the back of his head about whether or not he was sitting on a bomb himself.

Anyway, sorry, don't mind my ramblings - I don't mean to start imposing myself into your own writing. This doesn't entirely fit anyway - I quite liked the girls' friendly if methodical-expressed interactions during the party scene (the "error of omission", the dance moves) in your earlier stories and this sort of scenario with its undercurrent of tension would undermine and spoil that really quite appealing scene, so pay my thoughts no mind.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 22 Feb 2010 - 17:30

Robert Frazer wrote:That's interesting. I was thinking about the Bomb Squad myself a while back, although my own musing went in exactly the opposite direction

Wow...that is good. I wish I'd considered that when constructing the BSqG's...but it's a bit late to go back now. I especially like your vision of one overworked handler supervising 4 cyborgs. Perhaps someone can make use of that idea.

I've had a few ideas myself that were very promising but just wouldn't work out in the long run. For example; when I was feeling creative ( ) one night I dreamed up a conclusion to my saga. Turns out Elio is a mole sent by the Prime Minister to fullfill his prophecy of ending Section 2. Alboreto poisons the organization from within, setting handler against handler, while Marisa assassinates the most powerful cyborgs until she herself falls. Elio's last thoughts before he dies are that he was probably successful in accomplishing his mission, but in doing so he threw away the only meaningful attachments he'd ever had.

When the weed wore off I still liked the idea, but didn't have the heart to do it.
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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Robert Frazer on Mon 22 Feb 2010 - 17:41

when I was feeling creative ( ) one night I dreamed up a conclusion to my saga. Turns out Elio is a mole sent by the Prime Minister to fullfill his prophecy of ending Section 2.

Yow. Well... that's one way of downsizing government bureaucracy and enacting real-term budget cuts, I suppose!

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 22 Feb 2010 - 17:43

They're both really neat ideas, frankly.

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Re: The Marisa & Elio Chronicles

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