Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

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Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Robert Frazer on Thu 4 Feb 2010 - 0:10

They may be killer cyborgs, but regardless of whether it's flower-pressing or FIBUA, girls just wanna have fun. A few extra-curricular excursions seems a harmless enough indulgence... but then, in the flush of excitement, things aren't thought through.

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

This time around, I thought that I'd try my hand at a more light-hearted story. I don't think that I'd necessarily call it a comedy - I don't have the confidence that I can pull that sort of writing off - but I will be toning down the drama a little. I might not even kill anyone in it - and that's an astonishing admission from me, as it usually takes a bodycount in at least double figures to get me out of bed in the morning. Wink

Incidentally, if everyone's puzzled by the sudden abscence of Agapita - sorry if it's unhelpful but I have been jumping about the timeline a fair amount with these stories, and they're not in chronological order. Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. goes back to the period between the death of Angelica and the St. Mark's Campanile battle, before Agapita was created.


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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 4 Feb 2010 - 0:30

Loved it as always!

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Alfisti on Thu 4 Feb 2010 - 9:33

Sounds like the boy needs a hugging pillow Again you've perfectly captured the moment of Jose's sleeplessness, the reference to the "Princess and the Pea" fairytale was a nice touch as well.

Who knew – maybe Ferro would be appreciative for his promptness and diligence in the morning.

I loved this line, after all that his mind's still settled into a pre-ordained path... and as much as I'm a fan of Ferro, I get the impression that if he's considering his chances with her, Jose's getting desperate.

“Gnnnnnnnnk? Whuzza?”

Rico noises: cute AND hilarious.

imitate a videogame that she’d seen being played while on an extended
mission and just biff the guards on the head until they were
unconscious so that they’d be none the wiser.

Super Cyborg Sisters? In which case, would it not just be easier to go through the sewer pipes?

It had been a positive relief when she’d been sent out on an operation
and could get herself shot in the hand and obliterate the scar.

Oh how the Cyborg priorities do differ from normal human ones. That said, it did make for an interesting look into how the Cyborgs may think differently.

Also, as the British had pretty much abandoned Somaliland at the first
hint of trouble and then came back and turfed out Il Duce’s pride in
fairly short order Jose sincerely doubted that Avise’s grandfather –
disdaining fortune, with his brandish’d steel which smoked from bloody
execution – had prised his trophy from the cold, white-clenched grip of
a vanquished champion at the crest of a mound of Anglian dead. On
seeing Avise’s almost childish glee at recounting the story, though,
Jose thought it impolitic to press the issue.

And then the fish was this big, and then this big and now it's this BIG. I'm glad Jose let the man embellish.

One thing I did particularly enjoy in this chapter though was starting to see more of Avise's personality come out. Up untill how he's sort of only made (albeit extensive) appearances rather than being one of the main focuses (in an environment where he can do things like, talk war stories).

...lifted up a thick wodge of plain paper held together with a plastic spiral bind.

Do they do a Haynes manual as well? For, you know, in field repairs? You could wrap it in Playboy cover and camoflage...

Funny though how, in the series, we never see much of how the handlers themselves are trained. It always seems like a case of "here's a cyborg, figure her out for yourself". Cool to see the point addressed, something I'd never really thought about but surely there would be something.


Other stuff: it made me all fanboy-happy to see Chiara and Silvia get a mention. Yet again I've failed to find anything to criticise... perhapse someone of a more literary bent will be able to help

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 4 Feb 2010 - 11:05

Yes, it was nice to see more of Avise's personality. Jose, Michele and Avise all served in Kosovo so it must either be a laugh riot or a funeral dirge when the three of them get together at the bar...

Nice plug about the one year in Bologna that Silvia and her handler spent together.

With the opening of Chapter 2 (in the manga), I can see Rico not being an "early-riser".

Hanes Manual... That would be rich.

2002 Generation 1 Cyborg
2004 Generation 1 Cyborg
2005 Generation 2 Cyborg


Jethro: (holding Monty's right arm) "What's with this 'Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure' crap? And why do I have this bolt left over?"


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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Alfisti on Thu 4 Feb 2010 - 11:13

Kiskaloo wrote:
Hanes Manual... That would be rich.

2002 Generation 1 Cyborg
2004 Generation 1 Cyborg
2005 Generation 2 Cyborg


Jethro: (holding Monty's right arm) "What's with this 'Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure' crap? And why do I have this bolt left over?"


Remember: they took one completely apart and put it back together to make that manual... whilst taking poor quality black and white photos with the contrast so high you can't see the bit the picture's supposed to be showing you.

I have a love/hate relationship with Haynes. The way I see it, any bits that are left over come under "guerrilla lightening"... I do a fair bit of that.

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 4 Feb 2010 - 12:22

Alfisti wrote:I have a love/hate relationship with Haynes. The way I see it, any bits that are left over come under "guerrilla lightening"... I do a fair bit of that.

Just don't take it too far, or you might end up with something like the Rover SD1 Superleggera...


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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Robert Frazer on Thu 4 Feb 2010 - 18:51

Sounds like the boy needs a hugging pillow

Well, I figured that someone suffering from frustration would be a pretty certain way of setting a less serious tone, and I think that Jose more than most other handlers is likely to get it - he's already mentioned that keeping up with Henrietta's neediness is a strain.

I get the impression that if he's considering his chances with her, Jose's getting desperate.

Eh, who can tell? Maybe she has the "Hot For Teacher" effect.

One thing I did particularly enjoy in this chapter though was starting to see more of Avise's personality come out.

Yeah, that is a conscious objective of this story - Avise will be making appearances in the following chapters too. Once I've pinned down a few more specifics about Avise here I'm hoping to dedicate some time to Agapita in the next story. Worryingly, her character's still rather bare...

Funny though how, in the series, we never see much of how the handlers themselves are trained. It always seems like a case of "here's a cyborg, figure her out for yourself". Cool to see the point addressed, something I'd never really thought about but surely there would be something.

One of my favourite moments in the Madhouse series is in the last episode, when all of the grown-ups are snowed-under with translating the elfensafty documents. Having something so mundane appear in the context of spies and government assassins was such a weird - but true - juxtaposition occur in the context of spies and assassins made me laugh out loud when I first saw it.

made me all fanboy-happy to see Chiara and Silvia get a mention

Seeing as poor Silvia got more claymore to the face than can be found in all the Highlands, us fans are going to have to pick up the slack and create more appearances for her.

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 10 Feb 2010 - 4:51

I really enjoyed this. It moved at a faster pace, and was lighter on the complex, flowery prose your more "serious" stuff is known for (not that it was completely missing), but the comic absurdity of some of the situations adds a whole new whole new dimension to your work.

The duvet rustled. The bedsprings creaked. Jose groaned.
This is the second time you've opened a multi-chapter story in the bedroom. It's a good device, using something like fatigue, which the audience can easily relate to, to set the tone.

Spotless, shining Henrietta. The very model of a proper upbringing that would be a credit to any parent or guardian.
In this context that line sounds so perfectly sarcastic. I imagine having someone like her attached to you for a few years would wear very thin.

...and then a harpoon speared through her arm, its wicked barb hooking cruelly into her flesh and its whirling power pinning her down into her bedroom.
“Gnnnnnnnnk? Whuzza?” Rico mumbled through her pillow.
I thought the transition from the macabre horror of Rico's dream to the humourous exchange between she & Henrietta was a touch abrupt, but maybe that's what you were going for. As others have already mentioned, the sleepy "drunk-speak" is terrific.
“Don’t. Forget. The. Shopping list!”
She can be irritable when things aren't going her way, eh? I wonder what Giuse would think of his "Spotless, shining Henrietta" if he knew she was involved in such after-hours mischief? He might secretly be happy about it...

Your description of the office building packs a lot of topics (architecture, the tech department, office affairs) into one short paragraph, but it's done very smoothly...
Marisa: Mr. Voodoo, sorry to interrupt, but did Mr. Frazer mention something about jet propelled football studs?
Elio: They don't really make you fly, Mari.
Marisa: Oh, I know...I just think they would be really cool to kick a guy with. Then you could turn them on and blow his guts out the back of his...
Elio: Marisa, please shut up.
Voodoo: Thank you Elio. Moving along...

Section Two’s cracks in the ceiling tiles and lino flooring in the galley were some way removed from the Hollywood (and the handlers’!) ideal of a bustling counterterrorist hub.
Great imagery there, and probably the absolute truth.
The exchange between Giuse & Avise sheds some light on the pre-cyborg orientation period that all handlers seem to go through. We saw a little of it via Alessandro in the canon. Importantly, it fleshes out Mancini's character a bit more. I get the impression that you're developing him as he flows from your proverbial pen. The bit about his unsuccessful attempts to power-slide the Fiat (and his subsequent explanation about driving the APC) had me laughing.

Avise smiled indulgently. “No, I’m serious. It stops me dicking about in the evening, and it’s a bit of extra cash on my paycheque. I live on the compound so I’m only five minutes from bed anyway.”
Jose blinked in surprise. “Isn’t that a bit... confined?”
Nice meeting of the worlds here. Not every handler has a Porsche, a summer house in Sicily, and a big family inheritance!

It was a formidable obstacle that presented a deep challenge for the cyborgs to overcome
The lengths that the girls go to in order to accomplish their illicit shopping trip are the highlight of this chapter.

The adults had nodded appreciatively at the girls’ dedication
And so far they've got the grown-ups comprehensively duped.

Beatrice had exacted a steep fee for her consultation,
Nice to see that despite her stoic demeanor, Beatrice still enjoys her indulgences. The whole section is full of creative details, I'm particularly happy to learn what Dona was like before the Milan incident. Another great touch is how, during class, the cyborgs change out the "educational" disc once Jean has left the room...seems they're braver than I'd given them credit for.

Chiara had had to suddenly acquire a Damascene love for cats so she could always have her hand buried in the fur of one of the compound’s resident mogs whenever there were grown-ups about.
Great adjective there. I hadn't given much thought to the resident fauna of the SWA compound, but it makes sense that such a place would attract stray cats in search of an easy lunch. They might have to work their way into a future story.

Avise went back to spinning the cylinder of his Webley,
Interesting that both your handler and his future cyborg have chosen rare sidearms. At least Agapita's should be easier to get rounds for.
Jose & Avise seem to be connecting over their experiences in the Balkans. At least in the OC world, Section 2 is filling up with ex-spies, so it makes sense that Giuseppe would relate to a fellow military man.

“Probably something like ‘Argh Jesus Fuck No I’ve been rumbled need backup now help help dear God blam blam blam blam click dial toneeeeeeeeeee...’”
They both laughed.
Some dark humor here, fits well with the context, and it serves to diffuse Jose's discomfiture at his new colleague's overt religiosity.

“All 292 pages of this is just the list of Primary Commands!”
I like the "Primary Command" device you introduced in See Naples, I used it myself (in my ep #8), and I hope to see it popping up in other writers' fanfics. Expansion of the idea (to a nearly 300 page manual) opens new possibilities.

remember the Green Cross Code
I had to look that up...I think it's a uniquely British thing.

And then, Shangri-La.
Which, being interpreted, means “the Montabari Junction Motorway Service Station”.
Very relatable & memory evoking. Everyone who did not grow up in a large city had that one shop that was within relatively easy reach when your only transportation was your feet or a bicycle. To a cloistered cyborg girl an autostrada service station would seem like a grand department store.

As always, I look forward to the next chapters...the title seems to imply that things are not going to go so smoothly as the tale progresses.
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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Robert Frazer on Wed 10 Feb 2010 - 16:33


This is the second time you've opened a multi-chapter story in the bedroom. It's a good device, using something like fatigue, which the audience can easily relate to, to set the tone

They say that 3AM is the key time for suicides...


Marisa: Mr. Voodoo, sorry to interrupt, but did Mr. Frazer mention something about jet propelled football studs?
Elio: They don't really make you fly, Mari.
Marisa: Oh, I know...I just think they would be really cool to kick a guy with. Then you could turn them on and blow his guts out the back of his...
Elio: Marisa, please shut up.
Voodoo: Thank you Elio. Moving along...

Remember when we were talking about character accessories in another thread? Marisa likes her piano wire - maybe she can receive that old Q-Branch classic, the garotte spooled up in the wristwatch, for her birthday?

Nice meeting of the worlds here. Not every handler has a Porsche, a summer house in Sicily, and a big family inheritance!

Very true, but with that said, Avise had to consciously restrain himself and mutter a few prayers against temptation from taking the Director's Maserati for a quick spin once he passed the tradecraft module on hotwiring...

Interesting that both your handler and his future cyborg have chosen rare sidearms. At least Agapita's should be easier to get rounds for.

I did worry sometimes that giving Avise a weapon like this was trying too hard to make him a "UNIQUE SNOWFLAKE" - look, look, aren't I original?, that sort of thing - but it will be justified by serving plot points in future stories, both in its operation (Avise gets tipped into the drink during a fight but he can still shoot because the action rotates the cylinder; he doesn't need to rely on recoil to cycle in a fresh round) and character (war reminiscing will have a role in a scene I'm sketching where he has a pretty violent falling-out with Jean).

I had to look that up...I think it's a uniquely British thing.

Ah, I would have thought that it was pretty much the same everywhere, thanks for the tip.

Very relatable & memory evoking. Everyone who did not grow up in a large city had that one shop that was within relatively easy reach when your only transportation was your feet or a bicycle. To a cloistered cyborg girl an autostrada service station would seem like a grand department store.

I draw some of this from personal experience, too. Back when I was in the TA I was away for a fortnight's training camp - after ten days, we took a coach out to a shooting range and stopped at a service station on the way. I hadn't left the base or seen anyone out of uniform in over a week, and while that's not so long a time nonetheless walking around the place was genuinely bewildering - all these people chattering away suddenly seemed a world apart. I felt dislocated.

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 10 Feb 2010 - 22:46

Robert Frazer wrote:
Remember when we were talking about character accessories in another thread? Marisa likes her piano wire - maybe she can receive that old Q-Branch classic, the garotte spooled up in the wristwatch, for her birthday?
Hmmm, do cyborgs celebrate birthdays? I think that's uncharted territory there.

Avise had to consciously restrain himself and mutter a few prayers against temptation from taking the Director's Maserati for a quick spin once he passed the tradecraft module on hotwiring...
Lorenzo: (poking his head into Elio's office/room) Eh, Elio, mate, did we ride in together in your BMW this morning?
Elio: No, you came in early in your Quattroporte & I rode my Ducati.
Lorenzo: (looking confused) Damn it...I can't find my car.
Elio: Did you give it over to the Q branch for some mods?
Lorenzo: No, no...I'd remember that.
Elio: Eh...Mari?
Marisa: (sitting on the bed) I swear, it wasn't me! I'm not crazy enough to steal the Section Chief's 100,000 euro Maserati!
Elio: Well, maybe you're just going senile, it was bound to happen with this job.
Lorenzo: Yeah...I guess you're right. Sure I'll remember where I left it sooner or later. I'll just get Mancini to give me a lift home in one of the vans tonight. Where is he anyway?

war reminiscing will have a role in a scene I'm sketching where he has a pretty violent falling-out with Jean.
Back to the gritty stuff soon I see. Looking forward to it.

I had to look that up...I think it's a uniquely British thing.
Ah, I would have thought that it was pretty much the same everywhere, thanks for the tip.
Given the context I understood perfectly what it meant, but the safety poster wouldn't translate well to North America since we don't have hedgehogs (had to dodge plenty in Germany though).

Back when I was in the TA I was away for a fortnight's training camp - after ten days, we took a coach out to a shooting range and stopped at a service station on the way. I hadn't left the base or seen anyone out of uniform in over a week, and while that's not so long a time nonetheless walking around the place was genuinely bewildering - all these people chattering away suddenly seemed a world apart. I felt dislocated.
I get that feeling a lot when I've been aboard ship a long time.
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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 10 Feb 2010 - 22:47

Professor Voodoo wrote:Hmmm, do cyborgs celebrate birthdays? I think that's uncharted territory there.

Kara and Michele do.

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 10 Feb 2010 - 23:12

Kiskaloo wrote:
Professor Voodoo wrote:Hmmm, do cyborgs celebrate birthdays? I think that's uncharted territory there.

Kara and Michele do.

Jean: (facepalm) Jeeze...as if those two really needed another excuse to take the day off and exchange gifts.
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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Robert Frazer on Wed 10 Feb 2010 - 23:29

I don't think that it's so unreasonable for cyborgs to have birthdays - after all, they're off fighting terrorists every other week so surviving a year of high-tempo action like that, even with their superhuman abilities, is probably quite an achievement that's worth celebrating! I figure that it would probably relate to the day of their activation, though, rather than their biological birthday.

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 10 Feb 2010 - 23:31

Robert Frazer wrote:I figure that it would probably relate to the day of their activation, though, rather than their biological birthday.

Yes Indeed

That is how I play it.

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Robert Frazer on Wed 10 Feb 2010 - 23:57

Given the context I understood perfectly what it meant, but the safety poster wouldn't translate well to North America since we don't have hedgehogs (had to dodge plenty in Germany though).

Well, this is probably more relatable - back in the Seventies and Eighties we had our own road safety superhero!


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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Professor Voodoo on Thu 11 Feb 2010 - 0:04

Robert Frazer wrote: Well, this is probably more relatable - back in the Seventies and Eighties we had our own road safety superhero!

That guy has one seriously cool shirt. I wonder if I can get it from TOFFS.

On the birthday topic; yes, activation date seems to be the way to go.
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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Alfisti on Thu 11 Feb 2010 - 8:24

Professor Voodoo wrote:
On the birthday topic; yes, activation date seems to be the way to go.

Which makes you wonder: how does each fratello celebrate?

I imagine Jean and Rico probably don't (though the other girls might do something for her). Kara and 'Etta I could see getting lots of nice things and possibly a celebratory dinner into the bargain. Triela... probably wouldn't say anything, but I could see Hillshire remembering and shoving something under her nose amidst embarrased muttering... which she'd like anyway 'cause at least he's trying. Mari: I'd imagine letting EVERYONE know, except for Elio to whom she'd be dropping some none-to-subtle hints. Monty and Jethro... are going to forget. Probably for at least a week.

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Professor Voodoo on Fri 12 Feb 2010 - 2:04

Alfisti wrote:
Which makes you wonder: how does each fratello celebrate?
Sounds pretty spot-on, although Kara & Michele might fly out to Hawaii for the weekend (causing Jean to develop another ulcer). The only thing I can add about Marisa is that Elio would pretend not to notice her hints until the day itself. As for his birthday, I might steal from a Robert Redford film (Spy Game). Redford's CIA agent character has different 5 birthdates on file, none of which are true.
Christmas will be a difficult one for Elio, as he has a cyborg who is very reluctant to observe any holiday that is even remotely religious.

As Monty & Jethro live out of their Audi, and are "space limited" I do not see them exchanging birth/activation-day gifts, but rather doing something special...once they remember.
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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Alfisti on Fri 12 Feb 2010 - 4:18

Professor Voodoo wrote: Sounds pretty spot-on, although Kara & Michele might fly out to Hawaii for the weekend (causing Jean to develop another ulcer). The only thing I can add about Marisa is that Elio would pretend not to notice her hints until the day itself. As for his birthday, I might steal from a Robert Redford film (Spy Game). Redford's CIA agent character has different 5 birthdates on file, none of which are true.
Christmas will be a difficult one for Elio, as he has a cyborg who is very reluctant to observe any holiday that is even remotely religious.

As Monty & Jethro live out of their Audi, and are "space limited" I do not see them exchanging birth/activation-day gifts, but rather doing something special...once they remember.

It's probably a good thing that none of the fan-fratellos exist in canon, otherwise Jean would probably spend most of his time laid up in the medical wing on stress leave....

Hmm, maybe Elio could take the Japanese approach where, as far as I can tell, they've given up even pretending there's any religious significance to the day and it's just pure commercialism (which is oddly refreshing in a way: I normally loathe Christmas but enjoyed Japanese Christmas immensely).

You're right though, I can't see Monty and Jethro really exchanging gifts. If they did it'd be something very small (and probably expensive)... a tie-clip perhaps

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Awinnell on Fri 12 Feb 2010 - 6:57

Robert Frazer wrote:
Given the context I understood perfectly what it meant, but the safety poster wouldn't translate well to North America since we don't have hedgehogs (had to dodge plenty in Germany though).

Well, this is probably more relatable - back in the Seventies and Eighties we had our own road safety superhero!





lol DARTH VADER himself !

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Professor Voodoo on Fri 12 Feb 2010 - 12:20

Awinnell wrote:



lol DARTH VADER himself !
Ha, you're right! David Prowse also appears as the helper/bodyguard to the old man in the wheelchair in A Clockwork Orange.
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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Professor Voodoo on Thu 18 Feb 2010 - 21:55

Have you seen the advertisements that FF.net has placed at the bottom of your first chapter?

I got a laugh out of that.
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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Alfisti on Thu 18 Feb 2010 - 22:19

Haha! Maybe they're hoping for some government business?

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Professor Voodoo on Tue 9 Mar 2010 - 1:07

I was re-reading this last night and I caught a verbal trip-wire that I'd missed before...
daring and valiant raid into the forbidding Terror Incognita of the Section One document store.

Clever...
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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Robert Frazer on Thu 11 Mar 2010 - 22:57

Sorry to get your hopes up with a new post here, but there's no actual update yet. I'm still plugging away at it, never fear - another 8,000 words have been added since finishing the first chapter, but the trouble is they're all scattered about the other chapters and I'm still working on tying disparate passages together. In fact, I've had to expand on my original plan and add a fourth chapter - which is actually a bit annoying, as it spoils the Great Escape vibe that I was hoping for in the chapter titles - ah well, such is life.

Anyway, still at the coalface on this one, but progress is coming along!

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 11 Mar 2010 - 23:14

It's always worth the wait, so... Good

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Professor Voodoo on Thu 11 Mar 2010 - 23:18

Kiskaloo wrote:It's always worth the wait, so...

Agreed. Take whatever time you need, you've never let us down before.
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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Robert Frazer on Thu 11 Mar 2010 - 23:20

Agreed. Take whatever time you need, you've never let us down before.

Oh God, the presssure's on now...!

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Robert Frazer on Sun 9 May 2010 - 20:38




IT IS DONE.

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sun 9 May 2010 - 21:39

Robert Frazer wrote:IT IS DONE.

And there was a great rejoicing in the villages.


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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 9 May 2010 - 21:55

Your ability to set a scene is unrivaled.

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Alfisti on Sun 9 May 2010 - 23:37

... Well, there goes my plan for being productive when I get home.

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by MP5 on Mon 10 May 2010 - 0:03

Very good job!

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Alfisti on Mon 10 May 2010 - 3:34

Just finished chapter 2:

Robert Fraser wrote:"Idea?" Amadeo was so astonished at, and uncomprehending of,
Avise's current incongruously light manner that it came out almost as a
shout. "You were screaming at those kids so much we were almost taking
bets on you having an aneurysm!"
"Your head looked as though it was going to pop like a champagne cork!" Nihad exclaimed.
"Well,
of course it did." Avise looked baffled at their surprise, as though it
was impossible to entertain any other notion. "I was doing drill."
*wipes away a sentimental tear Ahh giving drill... happy days.

Few of the commands were different ("Right in threes" would have been "right in file" or "right in twos" for only two lines) from what I remember and the dressing sounded different as well. In our case Mari wouldn't have been out the back by herself but rather the ends would have been full and a blank file one in. But that was RAAF drill and I know the Army did it differently to us. =P

But all the rest was pretty much the same. I remember one of the CWOFFs was an absolute prik to the kids on the parade ground. Nice bloke otherwise (as long as you were a CSGT or above) but really tough on drill.

Now... reading on. Just had to comment on that 'cause it brought a smile to my face.

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 10 May 2010 - 3:57

Alfisti wrote:... Well, there goes my plan for being productive when I get home.

Ditto...I thought I was going to do final proofread on a new episode tonight but now that's out the window!

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Alfisti on Mon 10 May 2010 - 5:55

Professor Voodoo wrote:
Alfisti wrote:... Well, there goes my plan for being productive when I get home.

Ditto...I thought I was going to do final proofread on a new episode tonight but now that's out the window!
Honestly, from my perspective: probably a good thing...

...if you released as well then I really would get nothing done.

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Robert Frazer on Mon 10 May 2010 - 9:33

Few of the commands were different ("Right in threes" would have been "right in file" or "right in twos" for only two lines) from what I remember and the dressing sounded different as well. In our case Mari wouldn't have been out the back by herself but rather the ends would have been full and a blank file one in. But that was RAAF drill and I know the Army did it differently to us. =P

Yeah, you're pretty much right with all of that! Avise was a commissioned officer, not an NCO. It was the job of the corporals and sergeants to lead the square-bashing, so for all of Avise's volume he's not actually formally trained in anything he's giving - he's doing it because he feels that he ought to, not because he's actually a designated drillmaster. Which is all a very convoluted way of trying to handwave and excuse my obvious mistakes. sweat


Last edited by Robert Frazer on Mon 10 May 2010 - 9:39; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 10 May 2010 - 9:36

It's been some two decades since Michele did drill, but if he'd been within earshot of Avise, his spine would have been a little straighter and his cadence a bit stiffer as he walked by. Smile

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Alfisti on Mon 10 May 2010 - 10:04

Robert Frazer wrote: Yeah, you're pretty much right with all of that! Avise was a commissioned officer, not an NCO. It was the job of the corporals and sergeants to lead the square-bashing, so for all of Avise's volume he's not actually formally trained in anything he's giving - he's doing it because he feels that he ought to, not because he's actually a designated drillmaster. Which is all a very convoluted way of trying to handwave and excuse my obvious mistakes. sweat
You know, I think I've actually still got a manual of drill lying around somewhere...

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 10 May 2010 - 10:20

I think it's safe to say the drill scene in chapter 2 was a big hit, and really resonated with people.

I was no fan of drill either. Even in a formation of 60 or so young recruits (all of whom are getting it wrong) the whole exercise made me feel like I was the only one screwing up. Thankfully I was in the Air Force, so once training was over all that marching foolishness became a memory and I was set free to be a wrench-turner as nature intended.

More complete thoughts on the chapters coming soon...

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Robert Frazer on Mon 10 May 2010 - 11:07

By the by, if any other readers are unaware as to what exactly all us former-military types are wittering on about, this is a pretty accurate summary:



Wink

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Alfisti on Mon 10 May 2010 - 11:20

Professor Voodoo wrote:I was no fan of drill either. Even in a formation of 60 or so young recruits (all of whom are getting it wrong) the whole exercise made me feel like I was the only one screwing up.
Thougth to be brutally honest: being on the other end is a heap of sadistic fun

Robert Frazer wrote:By the by, if any other readers are unaware as to what exactly all us
former-military types are wittering on about, this is a pretty accurate
summary:
Yeah, looks about right... especially the pricision drill teams

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Tommygunner70 on Mon 10 May 2010 - 17:28

Monty python is awesome.

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Robert Frazer on Tue 11 May 2010 - 16:45

Just a quick note to mention an edit: I noticed that I missed out some of Mario's and Dona's dialogue in Chapter Four, so that's been reinserted. It's nothing major - After demonstrating assembling the Bizon, Dona asks "can I go back to my Calico now" - but it helps make Mario's subsequent remark actually make sense!

There's also been a few minor adjustments in Chapter Four and Six - "the sergeant" isn't said nearly so much in the forest scene now, and I clarified that Avise started calling the policeman trying to arrest him a "faggot" because he was trying to throw the other man off, not because he was propositioning him. sweat

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by MP5 on Tue 11 May 2010 - 22:09

Naturally, Brian, being former SAS, has disdain for such things, and henceforth proceeded to mock Avise with the above skit, using some of the other second gen girls (Allison, Kara, Laine, Erina, Annette, Adeline, Marisa, and Britney) for the cast.

Brian: Squuaaad! Camp it UP! [the girls begin to march]

Allison: Ooh, get her--!

Kara: --Whoops, I've got your number ducky, you couldn't afford me dear--

All:--two,three--

Laine:--I'll scratch your eyes out!--

Adeline:--Don't come the Brigadier bit with us, dear, we all know where you've been, you military fairy--

All:--Two, three, one, two, three, four, five, six--

Marisa:--Whoops! Don't look now girls, the man has just minced in with that jolly colour Sergeant--

All:--two, three. Oooh!

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 11 May 2010 - 22:15

With Michele being a reserve Lieutenant Colonel and the son of a retired Major General, I expect Kara would be doing laps under the steely gaze of Avise... Wink

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Alfisti on Tue 11 May 2010 - 22:40

Kiskaloo wrote:With Michele being a reserve Lieutenant Colonel and the son of a retired Major General, I expect Kara would be doing laps under the steely gaze of Avise... Wink

Later, Monty finds the exhausted Kara collapsed under the shade of a tree after doing eightly laps of the compound...

Monty: See? Believe it or not, hiding out in the admin office does have some advantages. *drops a sheaf of papers on Kara's stomach These are yours by the way.

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 11 May 2010 - 23:10

"Curse your black heart...Blacker!"

"Hmm...that's not nearly as biting as I had hoped..."

[Gets up and follows Monty towards the Admin building.]

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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by Professor Voodoo on Thu 13 May 2010 - 0:56

Chapter 2
Rico's eyes shone as she beheld it all...fresh facets of a jewel that scintillated in Rico's brimming, loving, life-filled eyes. Rico floated up the tall hall in a state of ecstasy, of communion.
First thing that stands out is the juxtaposition between how we as the audience would perceive a mundane, fluorescent lit truckstop, and how it appears to Rico. I frequently have to pop into places like this while I'm out on the road...I'll have to take care to steer clear of conspicuously unaccompanied 11 year olds filling their shopping baskets at 3am.

fortunately no-one had seemed to twig to the sight of an adolescent girl bouncing up a good seven feet from standing.
I'll definitely steer clear of that! Impressive though...leaping 7 feet, reading the titles, selecting the right one and plucking it from the shelf with no mishaps. Good illustration of cyborg abilities in a non-combat setting.

Very odd. Rico had a curious flick through the book, seeing lots of unusual words which made her feel funny.

Sudoku For You Vol. IV that Henrietta had asked for didn't create the same weird, loopy, quivery, shimmery feelings, despite being another book, one that was even bigger than the last one. Rico couldn't explain why, but she felt vaguely disappointed about that fact.
I got a laugh out of that passage. I suspect Jean has not invested much time in explaining the "facts of life" to his cyborg.

The strange tone in her voice only mutated further when she recognized Rico's actual sex.
Only Rico would be un-offended by something like this.

It had been arranged that the New Kid, Avise Mancini, was to be given all of the second-generation girls for a session –

Seven second-generation cyborgs – Petrushka, Iliria, Giliana, Vanessa, Alba, Kara and the younger Marisa the odd-one-out at the back – were arranged into four paired ranks.
I don't need to tell you, based on the number of fast replies the drill sequence is the highlight of this chapter.

The face below it was a knotted purple.

"'Eff! 'Aight! 'Eff! 'Aight! 'Eff! 'Aight! 'Efffffffff... STOP! Alba, are you a dancer? No? Petrushka is the dancer isn't she? Yes? Yes! Are you trying to upstage your comrade? No, she says. So, why are your feet skittering about like some Hollywood musical?
Now that's something I'd forgotten all about...the drill sergeant's insistent efforts to make you laugh...balanced against your own desperate fight not to, knowing of course that the moment you laugh you become the next target of his or her attention (yes, we had female drill sergeants, they were the worst).

The girls were visibly cringing, crumbling from the onslaught like bunkers cracking under sustained bombardment – except for one pouting figure at the back.

"Stop shouting at me" Marisa muttered.
Yep...trust Marisa to be the first one to shoot off her mouth. This battle seems like the old "irresistible force meets immovable object" paradox. Avise & Marisa are both full of bluster & pretense, I can easily see them butting heads. Round 1 to Mancini it seems. Watch out for cyborgs with laundry detergent...

Marisa, by her act of defiance, had won the ardent blood-loyalty of the rest of the second generation 'til the fall of Valhalla – granting them the sweet merciful respite of a few seconds' sagging while Avise's back was turned.
And she will brag about it later...guaranteed. You read Elio's response perfectly too. While he may not entirely approve of Avise's methods he would not undermine another adult in front of the cyborgs.

"Letting a bit of steam off there eh, Mancini?" Amadeo said suddenly, in a bluff tone that was a disdainful criticism. "Things getting you down lately, needed to beat it out?"

"Down?" Avise looked genuinely confused, before he chuckled lightly. "Amadeo, what on Earth would give you that idea? Things have been great this past week."
"Idea?" Amadeo was so astonished at, and uncomprehending of, Avise's current incongruously light manner that it came out almost as a shout. "You were screaming at those kids so much we were almost taking bets on you having an aneurysm!"
"Your head looked as though it was going to pop like a champagne cork!" Nihad exclaimed.
Good touch here; the support staff veterans vehemently objecting to the harsh treatment of "their" girls. Had it been the first generation cyborgs drilled so harshly I fear there would have been a revolt, not from the cyborgs but among the adults.

Reading both Avise and the crowd with a quick scan, Elio bit his lip and leaned forward to prevent a souring of the atmosphere. "So, those girls were pretty dismal, eh?" He said gregariously loudly,
And that's what Lorenzo brought him in to do. Use his experience, keep things balanced, and keep the peace as the organization grows larger.

even though Avise was an officer and Elio was Other Ranks, Elio's status as a grizzled veteran and as special forces was not a little awe-inspiring in the (relatively) younger man. "I was hoping that it'd impress you." Avise said, a little plaintively,
I wonder if Avise will feel the same when he learns the less than glorious reasons that Alboreto left the British Army for the Ministry of Intelligence.

"After my dad died an Army scholarship was the only way I could fund university," Avise explained, "and even that was a secondary option. For a while I actually through that I might have the Vocation. That was back when I was seventeen, not long before I wrapped up school. I was even reading the pamphlets about the priesthood at the back of church."
Elio arched his eyebrows in surprise –
Glad to see more of Avise's background and motivation surfacing. Actually, it seems to me that the military & the clergy are not as wildly disparate career choices as they may seem. They are both insular organizations with an authoritarian command structure. Both are overwhelmingly male-oriented as well.

From the literary perspective, Mancini's confession of what the decider actually turns out to be provides a terrific bookend to the section...capped off by a reminder that Mari still has a few laps to go.


"Alright everyone!" Rico squealed with glee, practically dancing on the table as she swung the bag up to hold it aloft. "Come and get it!"
While some might object to such an extroverted portrayal of Rico, I loved seeing her revel in being the center of attention. I wonder if this is a ceremony that is played out every time one of the girls makes a "run." The scene certainly has a very primal, tribal feel to it.

"Claes has her bag of chocolate raisins, six Vicks Inhalers and a tube of lip salve!"

Several girls eyed Claes strangely. Claes sniffed haughtily and turned her nose up in an arch expression, as though she was considering higher matters than whatever the scurrilous gossip of the plebs might insinuate. "It's an experiment" she sniffed, and offered no further comment.
Your guesses as to what each of the girls "order" seems spot-on, but I'll admit that Claes even has me confused with her selections. Has she learned how to make cyborg-meth!?

"There is no need for any distress, Henrietta," Amelia explained, "through the sharing of common possessions we merely harmonise our operational rhythm through sharing so as to obtain a state of sublimation and telepathic communion with extrasensory precognition while concentrating on mission priorities."

Henrietta blinked, visibly astonished. "Really?"

"No, Henrietta, that is not the case." Bella shook her head with slow, grave censure. "Amelia is being facetious, which is to say, she is utilising the rhetorical device of sarcasm to mock your gullibility and aggressively denigrate your intellect."
That passage had me laughing...the BSqG's apparently know they seem alien and robotic to the others, and have a bit of fun at their expense by playing up their own image.

"We have concluded that she is capable of rendering male characters in such a manner that, if they were to be materially real people, we would desire to engage in sexual intercourse with them." Diana said.

Sunk in? Triela's cheeks burnt with shame and embarrassment.

"That's no trouble!" Rico beamed happily, and waved both her arms emphatically even though the girls were barely twelve feet away. "Have a nice night!"

Nice night--! Triela almost choked in horror. God bless Rico's empty head!
Another winner there...who would suspect an undercurrent of randiness in the puzzle-assembling quartet?

Marisa: (lying in her bottom bunk) What is that noise up there?

She petered off when the room only responded to her with blank stares that might well have come from the bomb squad themselves.

Dona dropped her hands down in an exasperated sigh. "Rico, can I please have my Twix now?"
Sigh...the joke that doesn't go over as expected...we've all been there.

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


I saw a werewolf drinking a Piña Colada at Trader Vic's. His hair was perfect.
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Re: Wham, Bang, Fizz, P.o.W. : A Short Story

Post by theprodigalson on Thu 13 May 2010 - 13:07

She petered off when the room only responded to her with blank stares that might well have come from the bomb squad themselves.

Dona dropped her hands down in an exasperated sigh. "Rico, can I please have my Twix now?"
Sigh...the joke that doesn't go over as expected...we've all been there.
I co-miserated right there big time. I felt especially bad for her because I know the awesomeness that is Cannon Fodder.
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