The Lamb and the Tyger: A Short Story

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The Lamb and the Tyger: A Short Story

Post by Robert Frazer on Mon 22 Feb 2010 - 19:37

Name: Agapita / Former Name: Maria Machiavelli / Generation: II / Handler: Avise Mancini / Construction: Complete / Conditioning: Complete / Preliminary Training: Complete / Status: Active.

Sorry, everyone - I know that I already have a story partway in-progress, but I was having difficulty thinking up enough suitable scenarios for WBFP to make a full story out of it, so I decided to make some inroads into other areas that I've wanted to explore while I'm waiting for the muses to sing me their music in the motorway service station.

This story is essentially "Agapita's First Day", and again I must say that it's lots of long dialogues and character sections with no real action to speak of. They're useful to help establish who we're talking about but not particularly replete in hi-octane thrills'n'spills. Still, it was something necessary, and it's done now. The next two stories in the pipeline after WBFP - "Artemis and Adonis" and "Direct Democracy" - will have a lot more fightin' and shootin' and killin' in them to get your pulses up, I promise.

The story also includes a short cameo from Danjo3's handler character, Biff - I hope I've conveyed him accurately enough.

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

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Re: The Lamb and the Tyger: A Short Story

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 22 Feb 2010 - 21:29



Last edited by Kiskaloo on Sat 15 Oct 2011 - 12:44; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Lamb and the Tyger: A Short Story

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 22 Feb 2010 - 22:16

So that's what you've been up to lately. While I was admittedly looking forward to the next installment of W.B.F.P. I can certainly understand the need to put a slow moving project on the backburner and move on to what's hot in your mind.

I'm through the first chapter so far, and I like that you kept Part 1 adult/humans only. This story also seems to be full of dialogue & character interaction, which some of your tales have been thin on.

I'll be finishing the rest tonight...
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Re: The Lamb and the Tyger: A Short Story

Post by Robert Frazer on Mon 22 Feb 2010 - 23:03

So that's what you've been up to lately. While I was admittedly looking forward to the next installment of W.B.F.P.

Yeah, sorry. If you imagine the next two chapters as having five or six 'scene slots', there's two to three in each with scenes fitted - there's just not enough volume to tie them all together into a full story yet. It'll come in time.

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Re: The Lamb and the Tyger: A Short Story

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 22 Feb 2010 - 23:23

Robert Frazer wrote:
Yeah, sorry. If you imagine the next two chapters as having five or six 'scene slots', there's two to three in each with scenes fitted - there's just not enough volume to tie them all together into a full story yet. It'll come in time.

I envy your wisdom in creating a jumping timeline...I've created more of a serial, and it's created challenges. I might have a hot idea, but it's no use writing and posting it because 10 other things have to happen before I get to that point. If I just write ahead, a dozen things will have changed by the time I reach that point and I end up having to re-write my once hot idea.

For the record, uptight & prudish Elio did not peek.
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Re: The Lamb and the Tyger: A Short Story

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 22 Feb 2010 - 23:33

Neither did Michele.

Then again, he did see Claes naked, so...

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Re: The Lamb and the Tyger: A Short Story

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 22 Feb 2010 - 23:41

Kiskaloo wrote:Neither did Michele.

Then again, he did see Claes naked, so...

Oh, Elio has seen his cyborg naked a thousand times. She's only 11 though, and has kind of childish notions of modesty, especially around a trusted adult. Most importantly, they're divers, and anyone who's bashful about being nude on deck (or the dock, or the beach, or in the a parking lot...) should never strap on a tank.

See what a conversation starter you've thrown us, Robert? Maybe we need a designated "Who has seen your OC naked?" thread.
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Re: The Lamb and the Tyger: A Short Story

Post by MP5 on Mon 22 Feb 2010 - 23:47

oh boy. this will be one for the ages. I haven't even thought about that angle, but whatever..

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Re: The Lamb and the Tyger: A Short Story

Post by Robert Frazer on Mon 22 Feb 2010 - 23:58

anyone who's bashful about being nude on deck (or the dock, or the beach, or in the a parking lot...) should never strap on a tank.

I've always shielded myself with the car door personally. Although I've been told that your 100th dive must be done naked, even if it's in the Orkneys in November (Brr), I'm only on No. 12 in my logbook so there's plenty of time left before that embarrassing scenario rears its head.

I envy your wisdom in creating a jumping timeline...I've created more of a serial, and it's created challenges.

Well, it's swings and roundabouts really - advantages in one area become disadvantages in another. A problem I have with my jumping timeline is that the stories tend to become episodic. that makes it difficult to do anything particularly life-changing with a character (unless the story's set very far in the future) without inflicting on the reader a horrid mess of retcons and wooly notions of 'semi-canon' as I have to diminish the value of future-set stories which don't cohere with a new past development.

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Re: The Lamb and the Tyger: A Short Story

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 23 Feb 2010 - 0:00

Professor Voodoo wrote:
Kiskaloo wrote:Neither did Michele.

Then again, he did see Claes naked, so...

Oh, Elio has seen his cyborg naked a thousand times. She's only 11 though, and has kind of childish notions of modesty, especially around a trusted adult. Most importantly, they're divers, and anyone who's bashful about being nude on deck (or the dock, or the beach, or in the a parking lot...) should never strap on a tank.

Well technically Claes had just undergone a second conversion, but she was awake and asked his opinion of her body, so I don't think that counts as a "peek". Wink

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Re: The Lamb and the Tyger: A Short Story

Post by Alfisti on Tue 23 Feb 2010 - 1:10

Jethro probably had a long and drawn out battle with himself... at which point, because this is Jethro, curiosity would have got the better of him...


"But, Avise," Priscilla protested, "You've had five cups. You'll be climbing the walls."

Pft... lightweight.


Also enjoyed the little stab at the "Gunslinger Girl" title.


Another excellent story... in some ways I think it compliments W.B.F.P. pretty well in that we're again seeing yet another side of Avise's personality: such as an apparrent tendency to over-think things and also getting a little of his history. Also it's great to see Agapita's world being fleshed out some more. As much as the action's great, you need the character moments as well and this is fitting the bill perfectly.

Also it was fun seeing more of the medical staff, and how the fallout from Venice is effecting people. And it's true: as cutting edge as something is at the start, after awhile it does tend to become just another job and a "why the hell are we doing this, when's the weekend" mentality does tend to set in.

Again though I fail to find any holes to pick at.

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Re: The Lamb and the Tyger: A Short Story

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 24 Feb 2010 - 23:18

Chapter 1
It says here that the plate only partially engaged, and that he held the same position to prevent the circuit closing for over eight hours until he was rescued."
"
Eight hours? I don't believe it. Are you serious?"
A hazy peek into where Avise is coming from here, and I'm glad to see it. I was beginning to think he was full of a lot of braggadocio, but now we begin to see that he's really got the stuff.

I have to admit, the introduction paragraphs...being 100% dialogue, with only hints as to who is present annoyed more than they amused me. I see that the point was to provide a "hazy" dramatic effect, but I found myself pouring over them for clues as to who is doing the talking (okay, that part was fun), and backtracking to figure out who said what. While artistically pleasing, I think these passages might be better kept shorter.

Lorenzo turned back to Belisario, who was sitting on the corner of the desk, with his own drink resting in his cupped hands. It was an odd posture, but he seemed comfortable enough with it. "How many does that make now?" Lorenzo asked.
Lorenzo & Belisario...two characters I like very much having an informal moment. The conjecture as to what will happen in the future, to the research and the persons involved is very interesting.

Back when we were scouting girls for Mancini, we kept hitting walls.
Difficult to find that "perfect candidate," eh? In that light I might have made a bit more of the agency's frustrations at having lost Marisa's predecesor in training...I focused more on the trauma Marina's death caused her handler. Once of the most fascinating aspects your Agapita is the moral conflict about using a girl the agency "knew" for raw material.

"Oh, you!" Priscilla flapped a despairing hand at Avise as she leaned back deeply into her own chair, smiling broadly.
Not the first time we've seen a bit of flirtatious informality between these two (although chronologically this is the first time we've seen it). Perhaps this plot-line will blossom...or even create problems?

Biff had been sitting on the edge of one of the neighbouring tables, swinging his legs about idly
Ahh, the legendary Biff Steele. I get the feeling Danjo invented him as a caricature (I don't suppose you get broadcasts of The Venture Brothers in the UK?), but couldn't resist fleshing him out into a real person. You add a bit of a philosopher's outlook to his character.

"Mancini, aren't you forgetting something?"
I suppose that's a common theme...Elio almost forgot to bring a gun for his cyborg during her wake up/activation ceremony. The gathered crowd of gawkers is a great touch, and very much in keeping with the canon (remenicent of Bianchi's interview sessions in Chapter 10).

My thoughts on chapter two in just a short while...
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Re: The Lamb and the Tyger: A Short Story

Post by Robert Frazer on Thu 25 Feb 2010 - 12:07

A hazy peek into where Avise is coming from here, and I'm glad to see it. I was beginning to think he was full of a lot of braggadocio, but now we begin to see that he's really got the stuff.

I worried quite a lot about that line, actually - "is eight hours too much? Should I cut it down?" - but in the end I thought that the Agency wouldn't just haul in any random pleb to take on the stresses and strains of being a handler, and it wasn't unreasonable for Avise to have done a few impressive things.

Avise is undeniably a bit boastful - for instance, as we've seen in WBFP, he's fond of recounting his Exciting War StoriesTM - but there is backbone behind them.


While artistically pleasing, I think these passages might be better kept shorter.


Thanks for that, criticism taken on board. The "hazy dramatic effect" was a pretty conscious objective, with a sense of detachment being key, even to the extent that I avoided mentioning names at all in any of the passages... although looking back I have to admit that this fell apart in Chapter Two, with Petris pretty clumsily referring to "the cyborg death after the DCPP bombing". I'll chalk this up as a failed venture.

Perhaps this plot-line will blossom...or even create problems?

I don't know yet... I reuse Priscilla fairly often because she's my favourite of the Section Two support staff and she's just generally nice to have around, but I really don't have much confidence in my being able to write a convincing romance. Poor Agapita's underdeveloped enough as she is without another woman barging in and monopolising writing time, too...!

I might try experimenting in the future, I've left hooks like this in for that very purpose - but nothing specific's planned at present.

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Re: The Lamb and the Tyger: A Short Story

Post by Professor Voodoo on Thu 25 Feb 2010 - 17:07

Robert Frazer wrote: I worried quite a lot about that line, actually - "is eight hours too much? Should I cut it down?"
No, 8 hours is good. It's pushing the limits of human psychological (and physical) endurance, and says a lot about the character. I think it's noteable that this is not one of the Exciting War Stories (TM, clever) we've heard him recount...perhaps that one rattled him a bit...understandable.


I'll chalk this up as a failed venture.
I wouldn't go that far...it's obvious that your point comes across or else I wouldn't have understood it. It's just that the hazy dramatic effect is diluted when the reader spends more than a few moments studying the passage for clues. They're good...just long.

Chapter 2
No matter what way you spin it, St. Mark's was an unmitigated disaster
Wow...no need to wonder which two characters are talking here. It's back to the gritty, hard edged stuff you're known for here, and in the light of this particular passage my own stuff feels kind of informal & frivolous.
Breathe so much as a syllable about that blasted cyborg pitching warheads out of windows
It's a good thing Beatrice was so emotionless, or else she might feel rather hurt by the Minister's statement.
Beatrice: (exasperated) What more do you want from me!?

this journey seemed to be taking a lot longer than it should – was Giliani taking him on a circumlocutory route in order to have more time to deliver his spiel?
Well...doctors do love to be taken seriously. I assume you took inspiration from the event of Petrushka's wake-up in manga chapter 31. The first season anime featured Henrietta's first day very differently, but I think the two can be reconciled rather easily...things were a bit rough around the edges when Giuse got his cyborg, but had matured into a more clinical routine by the time Petra & Agapita came along.

She came from Naples, so pizza would a comfortable, easy start
Foreshadowing a bit?

That would have got the second-generation programme off on the wrong foot,
(laughing) Ohhh, cheap wordplay...I don't know if that's points for or points against!

Sir, we talk a lot about rebirth, second chances, and the like. That's fair enough, but we are nonetheless taking these girls and possessing them for our own ends.
Interesting to see what a personal investement Hillshire has in Agapita. This will have ripples not only in his relationship with Avise, but also with Triela I should think.

The Croce brothers' scene that follows is one of the best in the chapter. I love Jean's snide reference to "self-help" books.

Aw, bless." Fabio chortled. "Marianna, everyone peeks.
Sounds like the kind of nonsense that gets debated on this forum sometimes. "Does your OC cyborg have pubic hair, and how does she trim it?...Replies: 78...Views: 1049"

The twins are kind of mysterious characters in the manga, I had guessed they were cyborgs themselves...test mules of sorts without the full capabilities of the combat versions. They seem to be an extension of Duvalier's creative will. Nothing about them being technicians and assistants to Duvalier contradicts that...they should certainly be capable of helping out around the lab.
On a side note, I think Lorenzo's "maid" that appears only in chapter 1 could also be one of these test mules.
"Nine hundred euros..." Melissa started.
"...is hard to split." Melitta finished.
What do you need to split it for? You're never apart! Of course, that blows a hole in my test mule theory...what would test cyborgs, confined to a hospital/lab need with 900 euros?

"Is he... is he... is he feeling the cyborg up?"..........."He's feeling her heartbeat." Marianna said, her words tumbling out in too much of a rush to disguise her relief at dropping the burden of responsibility. "That's actually really sweet."
You take the readers on a quick, but attention-grabbing ride there...well written.

Chapter 3 observations soon...
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Re: The Lamb and the Tyger: A Short Story

Post by Robert Frazer on Thu 25 Feb 2010 - 20:33

and in the light of this particular passage my own stuff feels kind of informal & frivolous.

Don't put yourself down. However "informal" it may be, I've enjoyed all of your stories. A generally light-hearted spirit is closer to GSG's true nature anyway - it's ultimately a positive and optimistic tale, and relentless grimdark would miss the point.

I think it's noteable that this is not one of the Exciting War Stories (TM, clever) we've heard him recount...perhaps that one rattled him a bit...understandable.

Now I have to stress that I haven't concluded this yet so don't take it as canon, but the way things are going I may be making it so that this mine strike is also the only occasion where men under Avise's command actually died. His company suffered a fair number of casualties in Iraq, some very badly wounded, but none killed (at the end of the day only 31 Italians died in 3 years in Iraq so I can't really have massive slaughters and make it still seem authentic!), but it was only in the place where the war was supposed to be already won that he had to write letters to next-of-kin. It probably contributed to his low opinion of 'irregular warfare' with its IEDs and false flags.

It's a good thing Beatrice was so emotionless, or else she might feel rather hurt by the Minister's statement.

I was imagining it to be one of those remarkable events which gets repeated so often all the wonder is crushed out of it, or the one exceptional moment becomes so inflated that it's seen as a desperate attempt to obscure other flaws: "Hey, these cyborgs are so strong they can throw cruise missiles out of--" "WE KNOW. YOU'VE TOLD US FIFTY TIMES ALREADY."

I assume you took inspiration from the event of Petrushka's wake-up in manga chapter 31.

Guilty as charged - I even had the manga open on my lap when I was writing that passage, I was setting out to compare experiences.

first season anime featured Henrietta's first day very differently, but I think the two can be reconciled rather easily...things were a bit rough around the edges when Giuse got his cyborg, but had matured into a more clinical routine by the time Petra & Agapita came along.

That's how I see things panning out as well.

Going off on a bit of a tangent here, but I much prefer the Madhouse anime to the first couple of manga volumes - after all, Yu was just starting out in his first professional comic, and while he's come on a long way since then the early chapters are a bit shaky. You all know that I'm a continuity nut, and what made the anime particularly great though is how it complemented, rather than set up an 'alternative version' of, the manga canon. Developing Elsa's backstory, and the Dolomites villa raid which puts Angelica in hospital for the meteor shower, all contribute to and perfectly reconcile with events as shown in the comic proper. It's that attention to detail which really makes the anime stand out.

The twins are kind of mysterious characters in the manga, I had guessed they were cyborgs themselves...test mules of sorts without the full capabilities of the combat versions. They seem to be an extension of Duvalier's creative will.

The twins are certainly very ambiguous characters - you're not the only one to have suggested that they themselves are cyborgs of some kind. One theory that was even aired a while back is that they don't actually exist and are just figments of Duvalier's imagination! I don't believe that myself (they are shown interacting with props in their speaking scene and they do have another background appearance later on), but it just goes to show that their case certainly isn't closed. I wouldn't be conclusive about them at all.

On a side note, I think Lorenzo's "maid" that appears only in chapter 1 could also be one of these test mules.

That maid is interesting... seeing as we only witness "Tea" (as ElfenMagix dubbed her) in one panel, I think that she was included so that Yu could play the field. Early on in the game he wasn't sure just what sort of story GSG was going to turn out to be - a gripping spy drama, a thoughful character study, or easy & lightweight action-spiced ecchi? - so a glimpse of the classic trope of a frilly-aproned Victorian 'meido' was a way of keeping his options open!

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Re: The Lamb and the Tyger: A Short Story

Post by Professor Voodoo on Fri 26 Feb 2010 - 22:46

Chapter 3

"I'm not interested! Go away! I hate you! I don't want this! It's painful! I can't see! I can't move! I want to run away! Stop it! Leave me be! I want my dad! My head hurts! My head hurts! My head hurts!"
This paragraph is especially melancholy when you consider that these are probably the last thoughts of Mimi Machiavelli before she ceases to exist.

It's hazy & cryptic, but the whole section is a very interesting conjecture into the mechanics of re-writing a mind. The tired apathy of the engineers further re-enforces the sense of routine monotony that shows up all through your story.
Is this the precise moment when Maria/Agapita lost her interest in football?

He had a book in his satchel, the latest Dazieri crime thriller
An observation about Avise's military personality that rings very true. There's a lot more "wait" in military life than "hurry up," and ever-present are the discarded paperbacks...in the barracks, in trucks, in the squadron building. As a general rule, these paperbacks were discarded for good reason.

Avise huddled against the wall by the door, the tears flowing freely, pouring in stinging rivulets down his cheeks.
"Thank God."
Avise's joy is an interesting counterpoint to how the canon handlers reacted to their cyborg's activation. Giuse seemed to be filled with horrified guilt, Alessandro with aloof curiosity...Hillshire seemed to respond like Avise, but for different reasons, at least until he found out what Triela was to be used for.

Observation; a device we both seem to have chosen is our handler's see their relationship with their cyborg as penance for things that have happened in the past.

"No, I mean it literally. She's not dead."
Now this is one plot line we have to see more of!
"But it's only been a few hours." Agapita pleaded plaintively. "It's too soon."
I imagine that first "good night...good bye" would be terrifying for a cyborg who has no memories beyond that afternoon. "Is he really coming back...?"

Making her go to bed when she wanted to stay up late... Avise wondered to himself if this was something he'd missed out on when he'd sent Edvige away.
This is the first time we've seen his daughter given a name, right?

Whoever's been using my underwear, quit it, now! Your fat ass is stretching the elastic! –X.
At least they've been getting some actual use. You just keep a stack of vanity knickers to pretend you have a smaller waist. –XXX.
Oh....ewww.
To be honest this section about the bulletin board had me laughing until...
This notice is to remain here to serve as an instruction and warning. –Ferro.
Yikes...Ferro throws a cold bucket of water on all the fun. Classic gut punch...you got the reader laughing then slammed on the brakes.

Agapita emitted a choking gasp as a missile stabbed into the flesh of her collar.
Sooo...things started off badly, then got better, but we all know how things wound up between Agapita & Piera. I'm curious as to what circumstances turned these two into rivals.

"You're not going turn out to be some boring, officious type like that muckraker in with the younger ones, are you?" She curled her lip in distaste "That one which hasn't got anything to do but skulk about the compound all day and get under everyone's feet?"
I'm not so sure canon supports your idea of separate dorms for Gen 1 & Gen 2 cyborgs, but I can see why that departure is important...there must be a physical separation between Triela & Agapita.

Unease shivered through Agapita as she considered the thing – while her mind told her about all of the myriad theological and symbolic roles of the device, she found the image of a man wracked perpetually in torment disturbing, and wondered what sort of solace incessant suffering was supposed to provide.
That's a take on the Christian crucifix that I've heard before...and oddly relevant to GsG themes of the relationship between body & spirit.

Embraces which aggregated together into one great rolling mass of endearment and encouragement. A bottle of wine. Poking and prodding and prattling about where she'd take her first bullet
A bottle of wine, eh? Perhaps Ferro needs to post another intimidating memorandum on the bulletin board.

I agree with the part about taking that first bullet being a big deal to cyborgs. it's kind of a defining moment, the transition between rookie & seasoned campaigner. Of course, all of us who've read The Long Weekend know the answer to their question already.

...The jangling bell of the room phone which announced Avise's 6AM wake-up call threw Agapita out of bed with a squawk and almost made Piera brain herself against the wall in her tumbling rush to respond to the emergency action drill.
Well, that might be one reason Piera & Agapita don't get along!

Another terrific read, Robert, this story really covered a lot of unexplored ground, and your characters are definitely fleshing out!
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Re: The Lamb and the Tyger: A Short Story

Post by Robert Frazer on Sat 27 Feb 2010 - 17:18

It's hazy & cryptic, but the whole section is a very interesting conjecture into the mechanics of re-writing a mind.

All that stuff about dodecahedrons was pretty much just technobabble, but it's there as a way of articulating that conditioning is most certainly a sophisticated and involved process, one that requires more active participation than just jamming a drip in the subject's arm and pumping her full of Memory-B-Gone. I agree that the experience of being conditioned is probably very unpleasant. The girls have been known to cry in their sleep, and I'm not sure that it's all related to pre-conversion trauma; also when we see Petrushka's conditioning test sequence she's sweating profusely.

Is this the precise moment when Maria/Agapita lost her interest in football?

I'm not sure if the exact moment, but being rather forcibly reminded that after being mangled by a mine she didn't any chance of achieving anything with a major passion of life certainly would be exceedingly painful.

An observation about Avise's military personality that rings very true. There's a lot more "wait" in military life than "hurry up,"

There was the range day when we arrived at 0900 and couldn't get onto it until 1500. Six f**king hours of sitting on a grass verge beside the empty f**king range for some inscrutable reason that no-one deigned to share with us, and no-one even had so much as a crappy paperback because personal items aren't permissible in your combat yoke.

Lord God, like Job, you send me these trials as a test of my faith.

device we both seem to have chosen is our handler's see their relationship with their cyborg as penance for things that have happened in the past.

For Avise, it's not so much penance as relief. He suffered profound and crippling guilt over disowning Edvige (who gets her name mainly so we can have a few female characters whose names don't end in -a!), not only for effectively abandoning an ultimately blameless infant to the wolves but also out of regret sense of his own life wasted, losing out on the very experience of raising a child. Agapita is his opportunity to get it right a second time round, and fill in the hole he tore into himself after Calandra committed suicide. Agapita's not a punishment he's enduring - she's not a burden that he's taking on out of a sense of obligation. Avise now feels more fulfilled, and he actively desires to be a handler - Agapita is a blessing.

Now this is one plot line we have to see more of!

I intend to!

This is the first time we've seen his daughter given a name, right?

That's right, yes.

I imagine that first "good night...good bye" would be terrifying for a cyborg who has no memories beyond that afternoon. "Is he really coming back...?"

Bah, that's a good point actually - I probably could have elaborated that dialogue a lot more along those lines.

I'm not so sure canon supports your idea of separate dorms for Gen 1 & Gen 2 cyborgs, but I can see why that departure is important...there must be a physical separation between Triela & Agapita.

I think that I'm going to be downplaying Triela's influence in future stories - she's pretty ubiquitous already, and other cyborgs should get the limelight.

That's a take on the Christian crucifix that I've heard before...

A few years ago I watched a news report where North Korea's 1966 World Cup football team returned to England for a reunion tour. They related an interesting story - during the torunament, they were quartered in a Catholic monastery and, being religiously brought up as atheists in the Democratic People's Republic, they had no idea what crucifixes were and the images of Christ nailed to the Cross actively unnerved them and put them off their game. Now, this was might have been made up to excuse the fact that they lost, but it still illustrates the mystery behind the device, more than just a geometric shape, to someone who is unfamiliar with it. Of course, Christ suffering is half the point of the crucifix - sacrifice, propitiation etc. - and I suppose a cyborg (or any soldier, really) could see herself in a similar light, putting herself in harm's way so others don't have to.

and oddly relevant to GsG themes of the relationship between body & spirit.

Idea!

The cyborg is a different personality, different consciousness, a different person - but it's the same life and the same body (more or less), the previous occupant of the house has just been locked away in the cellar. What does that mean for the soul? Does the cyborg have to aspire even more to do well because she's carrying another person's fate on her back as well as her own? Perhaps there's a plot in there somewhere...

Well, that might be one reason Piera & Agapita don't get along!

It certainly didn't help...! The two girls are in a state of Cold War - not openly brawling in the corridors, but plenty of indirect needling, occasional flurries of tit-for-tat infractions, and looking for the opportunity to embarrass the other.

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