Pactio

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Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 8 Nov 2010 - 21:07

Kara and Michele are back!

Cyborg Central has added plenty of new members with plenty of new Original Characters who are writing incredible pieces of fiction. And those people are putting Kara and Michele in their stories and the results are, in my opinion, amazing.

And now I want to return the favor. I want to be able to write stories that incorporate all of your OCs. My original plan was to just move ahead a number of years with Michele bring called back and paired with a new cyborg. But with everyone else writing Kara, it made me want to start writing her again.

But with a “complete” series of stories already completed, I didn’t want to try and shoe-horn these new stories into my existing fictional universe. So I thought I would bring Kara and Michele back from Dubai and pick-up where they left off. But many of these OCs have “universes” that take place farther in the future than where I believe the Gunslinger Girl manga was originally supposed to take place (and Yu Aida himself is starting to get fast and loose with the timeline).

So I’m taking a page from Hollywood and doing a “reimage” of the fratelli of Michele Pagani and Kara Michelle Deleroux. I want to limit what I bring over from their original narrative in backgrounds and stories, but there will be some overlap. But I’m hoping that with new OCs and a “present day” setting, I hope to provide a new experience to those who are familiar with what I have written before.

And rather than writing multiple stories, I've decided to make this one big one and present it in a "novel" format. So these first ten chapters are just the opening repertoire.

In my original stories, Kara was the second Generation 2 cyborg. In Pactio, she is now the seventh. Alfisti and I agreed that Monty needed to be the second because she needed time to become the grumpy girl we know and love. And while I originally planned to have Marisa as the sixth, Professor Voodoo noting that in his OC universe, she and Elio did not know Angelica made me swap her position our with rusty-spring's Laine. Other OCs will be arriving after the carnage at Venice.

Those who have read the original Pactio or the test chapters of Once Again will see some familiar prose up front, though it has been tweaked. The PDF version is truer to the formatting of the title section of each chapter (you cannot have different font sizes or test alignments in FF.net), but whichever is easier for you.


Last edited by Kiskaloo on Sat 18 Feb 2012 - 2:03; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Pactio

Post by Alfisti on Mon 8 Nov 2010 - 21:16

cheers

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Re: Pactio

Post by ElfenMagix on Mon 8 Nov 2010 - 22:23

My only complaint Very Happy is that I and my OCs came in (alomst a year) before you became a member. Other than that I see no problems.

As I always said that written and expressed permission is required for use of my OCs, well, Kisk, here is your written and expressed permissions to use My OCs. Question is, how would you use an American Anti-Nuke terrorist Team that was drafted into the SWA? Evil


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Re: Pactio

Post by MP5 on Mon 8 Nov 2010 - 23:46

Well done Kisk. and just remember, you can use any of my (admittedly many) OC's with the same stipulations you put out for yours.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Jacen Starslayer on Tue 9 Nov 2010 - 10:23

Excellent work. I enjoyed reading it quite a bit. Also, if you have the desire to use or abuse any of my OCs, you can.

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Re: Pactio

Post by ebitempura966 on Tue 9 Nov 2010 - 10:53

just realize that yu aida is "he"
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Re: Pactio

Post by ElfenMagix on Tue 9 Nov 2010 - 12:17

@ebitempura966 wrote:just realize that yu aida is "he"
What to guess what the creator of Elfen Lied, Lynn Okamoto, is?

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Re: Pactio

Post by FearTheLASERFACE on Tue 9 Nov 2010 - 16:04

Well, my OCs are available for uh, everyone, I'll say right now. Just, uh, let me know if you do Razz.
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Re: Pactio

Post by boomer_gonz on Tue 9 Nov 2010 - 16:41

An absolutely delightful read, especially the second time around.

On the matter of OC's, should Alpha not be on assignment, he'll drop everything in order to aid his shimai should Kara ever request it.

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Re: Pactio

Post by ElfenMagix on Tue 9 Nov 2010 - 18:53

A great read as always, Kisk.
Would like to see this finished.

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Re: Pactio

Post by crazyidiot78 on Tue 9 Nov 2010 - 20:59

Awesome job with the reimaging of the Michelle Kara Fratello. I really enjoyed the way you seemlessly integrated other peoples OC's into your storyline. I really enjoyed the first interaction with Michelle and Claes in her library. Full of Win
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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 9 Nov 2010 - 22:50

@crazyidiot78 wrote: I really enjoyed the first interaction with Michelle and Claes in her library.

I am not planning to have Claes play as major a role in Pactio as she did in my original works (I've effectively scratched that itch), but I did still want her to have a level of interaction with Michele and having him assigned to Raballo's old room seemed a perfect foil.

And to Professor Voodoo, Defense Minister Petris' comment about a "scuba fratello" was supposed to be Elio and Marisa and was supposed to be removed. But when Alfisti caught it, I decided to keep it as a homage to Elio and Marina, if that is okay.

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Re: Pactio

Post by ElfenMagix on Thu 11 Nov 2010 - 12:50

interesting...

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Re: Pactio

Post by Professor Voodoo on Thu 11 Nov 2010 - 12:55

I'm enjoying picking out the subtle changes you've made. This new version seems to completely dispense with Kara's origin story (the Madrid train bombing), the 456 is now a 599 and Michele is a bit older.

Speaking of age; one line states "...had turned her from a girl on the cusp of her seventeenth year into a cyborg,". That implies to me that she is soon to turn 16...have you made Kara younger?

Kudos for keeping one of my favorite lines; "Henrietta...responded with a look of sheer horror, as if Kara had just kicked a puppy off the roof."

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Re: Pactio

Post by Alfisti on Thu 11 Nov 2010 - 12:54

Excellent chapter Kisk... without putting too fine of a point on it, I feel there's a definate increase in quality between this newer work and the older material. Bit edgier, better flow and so on. I like it.

Fuller thoughts to come.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 11 Nov 2010 - 13:11

My original stuff was too happy - I've always said that it was a story that took place in the Gunslinger Girl universe and not a Gunslinger Girl story. So I am trying to play it closer to the anime/manga.

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Re: Pactio

Post by ElfenMagix on Thu 11 Nov 2010 - 13:15

@ElfenMagix wrote:interesting...
I had to think this out before committing it to poast.

Michele Pagani wrote:Well, thank you for protecting me today.
I do not know if this was sarcasm on his part, but Kara failed in protecting her handler when he got shot. As fast as they are, Kara should have seen the gun and reacted according to 1) protect Michele and 2)Neutralize the threat.

"Very well," Barese said when Michele re-latched the case. He turned to the guard on the left and nodded his head. Without warning, he removed a Berretta 8000L pistol from his jacket pocket, aimed it squarely at Michele, and put two rounds into his chest. The impact of the rounds knocked him backwards onto the ground, the briefcase slamming into the ground, but the CFRP absorbing the impact.
If Barese had time to signal the guard and the guard had time to remove a gun from his jacket and aim before letting out 2 rounds onto Michele's chest then Kara had more than enough time to react. She was too slow, even in seeing a weapon being drawn, to me she did not act fast enough to protect her handler.

As if teleported, Petrushka appeared in front of Alessandro. The speed of her movement threw off the other picciotti d'onore, who was slow to withdraw his weapon. The muzzle had barely cleared the pocket when the 9x19mm round from Petrushka's PT92 entered his forehead, scrambling his brains and dropping him like a marionette whose strings had been cut. She wheeled on the other guard and put a round through his throat, blowing out his windpipe and major blood vessels.
Petra had time to react, protect 'Sandro and was fast enough to confuse the shooter and guards which she put down.

Kara, quick as a mongoose on a cobra, slid her FN Five-seveN from the holster in the small of her back and dropped as she pivoted on the sole of her right boot. She fired twice at each guard by the trees, dropping them both before they had a chance to aim their own weapons. She then dropped to her knees over her handler.
The time passing between these events, though seconds or less then a second is too slow. From the distance, the guards could have shot first. Whether they hit anything is another matter but to me it shows that Kara was too slow

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 11 Nov 2010 - 13:24

And that is the point. Wink

Her head is not in the game and her reaction time was slow. She's also only been active for a few weeks, where Petra has been active for a few months, so her reaction times are not quite as good.

But once he was on the ground, Michele was vulnerable to a head shot or something else. Kara successfully neutralized two of the targets to allow Petra the time to neutralize hers.

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Re: Pactio

Post by ElfenMagix on Thu 11 Nov 2010 - 13:36

Good

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Re: Pactio

Post by jedoZhidin on Fri 12 Nov 2010 - 15:58

cheers Touchdown Not Worthy!

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Re: Pactio

Post by ElfenMagix on Fri 12 Nov 2010 - 16:59

@Kiskaloo wrote:Kara successfully neutralized two of the targets to allow Petra the time to neutralize hers.
Actually, the way it is written, it is the other way around- Petra killed the two closest to them first followed by Kara killing the other two further away.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Robert Frazer on Fri 12 Nov 2010 - 18:53

One thing that I really do appreicate and enjoy about your stories, Kiskaloo, is that you genuinely take 'High Society' to heart. The culture of Culture, so to speak, isn't often explored - even James Bond, so often described as "suave" only has a superficial gloss of it; the only occasion when I can recall him actually treating it of any significance was when he acted as a heraldic expert from the College of Arms in OHMSS. Anyway, you are not guilty of tokenism - all of the talk of cars and fashion - and its actual practical application - is genuinely informative and engrossing. I get a very seinen vibe from it.

If there's one reservation I might air, though, it's that sometimes the information can make the writing seem too dry. The lesson on the mafia was interesting, but it was quite consciously a lesson - the salient points might have been better split up across the dialogue. Say that someone slaps the money-case - "Funny, Padania have been smashing each other up over the Messina bridge, and yet here they both are building one... and there's no stronger material than drug money." I think that it makes the point that bit sharper. It's also a bit jarring later on when Barese helpfully explain his tactical movements in quite extensive detail, even when he's got a gun to his head, and his "tactical movements" have just completely failed, which is hardly a case for bragging! That line could have done with a little more observation, something like "Even though Barese was booming and boastful, it left Michele unmoved - indeed, it was creepingly pitiable, as Barese masked his anxiety by regressing to the simplicity of a matinée villain, bragging about his plots - and not their execution."

Anyway, beyond that niggle it continues to be an engaging story. I'm looking forward to future developments!

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 12 Nov 2010 - 20:28

I lack your gift of wordsmithing, Robert, but I do appreciate the suggestions and will try and take them to heart because I do love how you craft your stories.

I went back and re-read that chapter and yes, some of that explanatory text was superfluous to the story and that bit of narrative kind of de-railed the overall narrative.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Alfisti on Sat 20 Nov 2010 - 12:57

I... think I'm going to need to do this in parts... So, quick brush over the recycled material, picking it up from the start of the story proper:

@Kiskaloo wrote:"I want you to join a fratello in the Agency," the Prime Minister of Italy informed Michele Pagani as the former poured the Campari and orange vodka spritzer from the shaker into four chilled highball glasses on the Sky Deck of his 37m yacht, the M/Y Bright Star, as it cruised off Genoa.
If I'm honest, that's a looooooong run-on sentence to kick things off with. It could use breaking up a little as right now it feels a tad awkward, like you're waiting for a full stop that never arrives. As Robert noted, perhaps start mixing information and atmosphere up a little. Perhaps something like:

Spoiler:
"I want you to join a fratello in the Agency."

The Prime Minister of Italy had been one of Michele Pagani's closest friends since highschool, but that did not prevent him from looking at the former like he'd just asked him to jump overboard and swim back to Porta Antico, now invisible behind Michele's cruising motoryacht.The Prime Minister returned the gaze levelly as Michele finished pouring the Campari and orange vodka spritzer he'd been preparing into four chilled highball glasses... and so on.
Eh, I'm no wordsmith but I do think the opening sentence is a bit long to easily draw the reader in.

"You've served with the Aeronautica Militare Special Forces and with SISMI," Minister Petris noted. "Your service in both fields would be both relevant and beneficial to being a handler."
Don't quote me on this, but I think the Italian intelligence agencies have changed, again, in the last 18 months or so.

"Haven't you heard the expression 'Never date a woman less than half your age plus seven?' Well, in your case, maybe you haven't," he added with a wink to the PM.
Jethro: Yes, and blatantly contraveneing it is incredibly useful at times.


Chapter02
Jean settled into the other armchair, leaving Ferro to stand against the wall.
Poor lady rarely seems to get a seat in these meetings.

It sounded more like science fiction than science fact,
Well, we all know what good science fiction's based on though. Very Happy Nice work integrating Michele's now less indepth knowledge of the cyborg program into the story.


Chapter03
"CAR-ah" as opposed to the more common "CARE-ah"
...must be an American thing, "CAR-ah"'s the common pronunciation over here.

"I brought you some clothes. Your handler will be here in about an hour. It wouldn't do to meet him only wearing a hospital gown!"
Guess some are luckier than others in that respect...


Moving onto Chapter05
“I want to stop by my apartment in Milan and get a few changes ofclothes, and then we will continue on to Pisa,” Michele informed her.
So you decided to go with the apartment, I remember you were weighing up between that and the villa. Not quite perhaps how I would have handled renovating an old warehouse, but by the same token Michele's not me and would probably prefer things a bit more civilised (you know: more carpet, less open-plan industrial edge).

The plaza was full of stalls and vendors who approached them to sell crude knock-offs of designer sunglasses and handbags...
The bit that really bugs me about these knockoffs, is that people are learing to do them so damn well. It used to be you could tell a fake Rolex straight up. Now they throw a cheap chinese auto movement in there as well and some of the fakes you'd be quite hard pressed to know without popping the caseback off.

Approval of Michele's shopping habits though.


Chapter06
“Miss Deleroux,” Major Sales said with a nod of his head.
He really does seem to have been adopted by the SWA doesn't he?

And at the Christian Louboutin store she swapped her black “Tuba” leather boots for a pair of knee-high “Borge” dress boots in black patent leather and 100mm heels.
It's a good thing cyborgs balance well...

I’ve been roped in to assist in teaching History and Science courses
Jethro: Getting roped into teaching, another reason to steer clear of the compound.


Chapter07
It was not vanity or jealousy that drove these emotional responses. Rather, both girls tended to not discriminate between threats to thei rhandler of a physical nature or ability and those based on personal attributes.
One of the possible reasons I imagine Monty's... not popular... around the compound. Add that she works mostly with the adults and sleeps when on-campus in the hander dorms...

“Monique Blacker, but most people shorten my first name to Monty,” she replied.


“Awhile,” Claes admitted.

“Then why not make yourself comfortable for awhile,” Michele said.
I know you're not making Claes as much of a part of the story this time around, but I am glad you're maintaining in some form the relationships between Michele and these others that you had from his earlier itterations.


Chapter08

Michele looked for a changing area, but didn’t see one...
Monty: You have a car there don't you? Don't be such a sissy.

Henrietta and Kara practiced for about an hour, Henrietta showing Kara how to wield the P90 standing up and from a crouch
Cute, getting 'Etta to instruct Kara.

“…however I understand Mister Hilshire has scheduled a test for your German class on Monday and I want you all to properly study for it. So shall we say 2500 words?”
Soft. Though I guess by the same token that's 1500 less words per girl he needs to mark as well.

“I like to think I’m blessed with good karma,” Kara replied as the car appeared and she headed for the driver’s side.
Bit of "forum" Kara slipping into the update as well? Razz

Chapter09
That morning, Padania had called in a bomb threat and a number of the fratelli of Section Two were called in to assist in the search.
Nice tie-in with canon, and of course also to establish New Michele's relationship with Angie for the reader.

With her latest rotation, Kara glimpsed a garbage truck appear around the corner of the Via del Viminale where it intersected the Via Agostino Depretis.
Great use of Kara's bored spinning to create an almost cinematic sequence here, the whole thing broken down into pertinent moments.


And there I'm afraid I shall need to call it a night (or morning, whatever). More to come later, but overall great work with the reboot. You may have taken the inspiration for the idea from Hollywood, but you're not cocking it up like they generally do. Wink

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 20 Nov 2010 - 13:28

@Alfisti wrote:If I'm honest, that's a looooooong run-on sentence to kick things off with. It could use breaking up a little as right now it feels a tad awkward, like you're waiting for a full stop that never arrives....I'm no wordsmith but I do think the opening sentence is a bit long to easily draw the reader in.

Yes, I was not impressed with it either, but couldn't think of something better. My writing style is definitely "dry" and it will bite the reader on the arse at times.

@Alfisti wrote:Don't quote me on this, but I think the Italian intelligence agencies have changed, again, in the last 18 months or so.

Yes, but Michele and Monica were both there when it was SISMI and Michele left before it became AISE in 2007, so I figure she uses the old term - perhaps out of nostalgia. Wink

@Alfisti wrote:So you decided to go with the apartment, I remember you were weighing up between that and the villa. Not quite perhaps how I would have handled renovating an old warehouse, but by the same token Michele's not me and would probably prefer things a bit more civilised (you know: more carpet, less open-plan industrial edge).

Both Genoa and Lake Como are too far removed from Milan and I see Michele more as an "urban" bloke.



@Alfisti wrote:
“Miss Deleroux,” Major Sales said with a nod of his head.

He really does seem to have been adopted by the SWA doesn't he?

I figure Section 2 wants to keep the knowledge of the cyborgs as compartmentalized as possible, so since Major Sales and his team in the GIS know of them, it made sense to me that they would be the ones working with any other cyborg, including Kara.

@Alfisti wrote:
And at the Christian Louboutin store she swapped her black “Tuba” leather boots for a pair of knee-high “Borge” dress boots in black patent leather and 100mm heels.

It's a good thing cyborgs balance well...

I have noted that running in heels can be a problem (Petra seems fine in them, but she was a ballerina in a past life) so I figure Kara prefers shoes with less aggressive heels, but dress boots by their nature are designed to make the wearer look taller.

@Alfisti wrote:
“Awhile,” Claes admitted.

“Then why not make yourself comfortable for awhile,” Michele said.

I know you're not making Claes as much of a part of the story this time around, but I am glad you're maintaining in some form the relationships between Michele and these others that you had from his earlier itterations.

I love Claes too much to abandon her, but she will play a much more background role this time around.

@Alfisti wrote:
Henrietta and Kara practiced for about an hour, Henrietta showing Kara how to wield the P90 standing up and from a crouch

Cute, getting 'Etta to instruct Kara.

She has significantly more familiarity with the weapon, so it seemed a natural choice to Michele. it would also help Kara with her inter-cyborg relations. Smile

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Re: Pactio

Post by Alfisti on Sun 21 Nov 2010 - 11:27

@Kiskaloo wrote:
@Alfisti wrote:So you decided to go with the apartment, I remember you were weighing up between that and the villa. Not quite perhaps how I would have handled renovating an old warehouse, but by the same token Michele's not me and would probably prefer things a bit more civilised (you know: more carpet, less open-plan industrial edge).

Both Genoa and Lake Como are too far removed from Milan and I see Michele more as an "urban" bloke.
Being withing walking distance of everything is very nice... and not being so is just a pain.

So, onto Chapter10
An electric tingle flowed through Kara's body, but she fought it down and continued on into the hall and out the door.
I'm enjoying this little bit of friction between Kara and Michele over Angelica. It, to me at least, is more in line with what we know of the cyborgs' conditioned responses and of course makes for a more interesting story.

The next thing she knew she was bent over and spewing her lunch of risotto across the tops of her €1000 boots.
Eesh, stomach acid + expensive leather. I hope she washed that off quickly and thoroughly.

Instead, the 'Ndrangheta are more like a hydra – cut off a head, and two more sprout out


Alessandro became "Niccolo Baggio" through adding a black wig, mustache and beard while Petrushka put on a blonde wig and make-up.
I was so hoping it'd just get left at the mustache... for some reason the mental image of him with a big droopy porn-star mustache amuses me greatly.

Both Kara and Petrushka internally bristled at being called a "mistress", but kept their expressions and body language relaxed.
Monty: If you want to keep playing at this spy gig you'd best get used to being called that, and worse.

Amatti neither heard nor felt the round from Petrushka's pistol enter the base of his skull, plunging his consciousness into eternal blackness.
"Leave not witnesses", motto to live by. Also, single or double "t" for Amati/Amatti? It's a nitpick I know but you've used both.

"Well, thank you for protecting me today," he said.

"Anytime," she replied with a smile.
Nice way to end the chapter, a bit of resolution from the earlier friction. Looking forward to reading more mate.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 21 Nov 2010 - 13:32

Thank you for the input, Robert and Alfisti. Your suggestion was easy to implement, Alfisti, but Chapter 10 will need a bit more re-work to incorporate your suggestions, Robert. I'll slipstream them in when I upload the new chapters and update the PDF.

I have about eight more chapters roughly ready to go, but I need to decide how they fit in terms of order and they will need a re-read or two for tweaking. Hopefully Monday night at the latest, as I head out of town on Tuesday and that hurts my productivity. Smile

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Re: Pactio

Post by ElfenMagix on Sun 21 Nov 2010 - 14:24

@Alfisti wrote:
@Kiskaloo wrote:Alessandro became "Niccolo Baggio" through adding a black wig, mustache and beard while Petrushka put on a blonde wig and make-up.
I was so hoping it'd just get left at the mustache... for some reason the mental image of him with a big droopy porn-star mustache amuses me greatly.
They have done this before in V7.

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Re: Pactio

Post by ElfenMagix on Wed 24 Nov 2010 - 14:21

Interesting.
Looks to me that Kara has a lot of self doubt in her abilities.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 24 Nov 2010 - 15:18

@ElfenMagix wrote:Looks to me that Kara has a lot of self doubt in her abilities.

She's trying to come to grips with everything. She is also not helped by the fact that her routine so far has been nothing like the doctors told her to expect. Smile



I also decided to send up Chapter 18, since I intend to start introducing more OCs in this arc.

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Re: Pactio

Post by ElfenMagix on Thu 25 Nov 2010 - 3:11

Thats the growing up stage that most cyborgs go through.

Barrowed OCs or new OCs?

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 25 Nov 2010 - 11:44

Existing OCs.

When Kara joined, Monty was already present (#2 after Petra) and Marisa joined with Kara (her specialized training meant Marisa never met Angelica before she died).

After Venice, the SWA decide they need a sniper and Kara is selected for that position. And with Michele's decision not to have Kara become a "race driver", Allison is tasked to the force.

And then Priscilla has her accident...

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Re: Pactio

Post by MP5 on Thu 25 Nov 2010 - 22:01

@Kiskaloo wrote:Existing OCs.

When Kara joined, Monty was already present (#2 after Petra) and Marisa joined with Kara (her specialized training meant Marisa never met Angelica before she died).

After Venice, the SWA decide they need a sniper and Kara is selected for that position. And with Michele's decision not to have Kara become a "race driver", Allison is tasked to the force.

And then Priscilla has her accident...

As for Jay, I think the way Jacen has him written is coming back as after being left for dead or something. I would ask him about that regarding the timeline, seeing as Jay is still around during Elsa + Lauro's time as well as Claes + Raballo.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 25 Nov 2010 - 22:38

It's too hard trying to match timelines (Kara is actually dead in my timeline at the time she appears in some author's OC timelines) so I am treating this as a parallel universe/timeline.

As for Jay, I intend to just follow what Jacen has written about how he came to the SWA and was paired with Priscilla (the same will be done for any other OC fratello that appears).

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Re: Pactio

Post by ElfenMagix on Thu 25 Nov 2010 - 22:48

Considering how all the OCs are in different time lines, merging them into this story will prove difficult. Funny how Rachel was the second written Second Gen cyborg in this fandom yet she is not even considered because she starts in 9/2011. Stranger how she has already has been active with the other cyborgs when such activity may have been before her creation. I would like to see how all this evolves.

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Re: Pactio

Post by MP5 on Thu 25 Nov 2010 - 23:07

Ah, I see. well, carry on, then. I'm interested to see how things turn out.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Professor Voodoo on Fri 26 Nov 2010 - 0:06

I think that when "borrowing" OC's maintaining character traits is far more important than worrying about making timelines coincide. Frankly, it doesn't make much difference to me at what chronological period my Marisa falls into other people's tales, or in what order she came off the assembly line. What I do get a kick out of is when people nail her character perfectly (as so many of you have done already), it shows I've done my job with regards to character-building.

Also amusing is when someone takes the character a step further, such as MP5 did in his latest story. He adjusted Marisa to fit into his more American influenced universe by giving her the hobby of roller-hockey...something I'd never considered but fits her persona perfectly!


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Re: Pactio

Post by ElfenMagix on Fri 26 Nov 2010 - 0:46

I cant agree anymore, Voodoo.
Roller Hockey? I would not be surprised if Marisa ends up doing Roller Derby. I know its trying to make a comeback in the USA, but how is it in the rest of the world? Its still big in some places in Central and South America.

Strangely enough, Panzer managed a Good Rachel and Fernando with their "We're not here to choose sides... Oh damn it, you make me choose sides!" attitude, and for more Rachel, her viciousness in battle. I have 2 words for that, "Poor Muffin..."

I'm just opening my big mouth here because if people are going to say and point where things are, I'm going to defense what's mine. Though it does not make me User-Friendly, I'm just being vocal on such matters. Sometimes it takes the voice of reasoning to set things straight with me (if I agree to it).

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Re: Pactio

Post by Alfisti on Sun 28 Nov 2010 - 11:06

So, taking it from Chapter11
"Around €300.000, so please try not to wreck it," Ferro replied,
Nothing like a little bit of pressure. I take it Kara hasn't realised yet that Michele has the best insurance policy know to man: having enough money to cover the potential costs. Razz

Rolls-Royce twin-turbocharged 6.75-liter V8 engine.
Seriously, is there a more evocative name to put to an engine? I don't know about anyone else, but "Rolls-Royce" makes me automatically want to tack "Merlin" onto the back of it.

"I can't get a signal!" Ferro replied. She lowered the back window and shoved the radio out just as the shooter in the Mercedes opened fire with the PM-12. The bullets fell around the left rear wheel well, but the specially armored tires resisted the bullets. Kara juked to the left and the shooter overcompensated and sprayed the cabin. Fortunately, the bullets literally bounced off the armored rear window, leaving small craters, but one of them impacted with the exposed top of the radio, knocking it out Ferro's hand.
Nice integration of that little quirk into the storyline. Saves it from becoming just a throwaway bit of humor at the start of the chapter. All up an excellent car chase.

"There must be €50.000 worth of body damage, Kara!" Michele exclaimed.
Actually concerned about the body damage, or just winding her up? Nice end to the chapter and also a good bit of insight that Kara's getting to know Michele in viewing his response with trepidation Razz


Chapter12
She'd hoped the talk she and Michele shared a week ago after the Savellerti mission would have impressed upon him how she felt about his focus on Angelica, however he'd handed her off to Croce and Rissi in order to rush to the hospital at the latest mention of her condition changing.
Again, I'm enjoying how you're playing Michele's relationships with Kara and Angelica, both the jealousy from Kara's side and making sure that particular facet of Michele's character doesn't dissappear. With all that jealousy flying around, it does make me wonder how Kara's relationshp with Monty is initially going to fly. Wink

With his spiky hair and pencil mustache blending into a short boxed beard, he struck Kara as a lower-to-middle management type and someone unlikely able to afford a €3000 leather coast for a wife or girlfriend.
Not being able to afford it has never stopped me from staring at stuff out of my price range.

"Alas, Elenora would be lost without her notebook and Pietro is about as subtle as a Padania bomb so I'm not surprised you found those two. Okay. I'll reset the other two and try again."
Liked the shoutout to these two, plus it's always fun to throw in a bit of tradecraft. It does make an interesting contrast against how I imagine Monty's training having been undertaken, most of which would probably have been "on the job" so to speak. An expedited and intensive shakedown period (another reason she's not a familiar face, even to those who were there before her) then she and Jethro were set loose on the world.

"What happened?" she asked, her voice edged in concern at seeing her handler's emotional condition. As it had in Savellerti, all the anger left her at the site of her handler in distress.
Foot. Mouth.


Chapter13+14
"Thank you all for your support. Now, enjoy the evening!" Brambilla said, waving to the crowd before leaving the stage and coming over to Michele and Monica.
"And to think back at Statale, you just wanted to be a boy in a rock and roll band," Michele noted with a smile, using the local Milanese term for their city's University.
I dunno, has Italy ever trashed a hotel room? I'm enjoying this bit of backstory, fleshing out Michele's relationship with the PM, Monica and subsequently Lorenzo.

In order to secure votes in the southern Regions, Brambilla also promised to invest in those regions to help shift them from the primary agricultural background to a more industrialized one.
Isn't that how the Alfa-Sud came into being as well... sweat
I trust your feedback. When the girl has completed her training, you tell me whether or not it's worth going forward to full production.
Well now there's a call I'd never want to have to make. Michele's welcome to that one.
Her accuracy with a pistol is near perfect, and perfect would describe her accuracy with a rifle. She could probably part your hair at 200 meters.
I'm not certain about this bit. After Marco went cold to Angelica I remember him remarking that "the little girl I loved was never that good with a pistol." Or something to that effect.

Besides that, at the moment I think it feels like this may have been a bit too easy of a call as well. If Angelica wasn't quite to perfect, but Michele had still reccomended the cyborg program go ahead it would also go some way toward helping explain (as far as I can tell) Michele's feeling of responsiblity toward the girls. The "dark past" as it were... or at least a slate grey one.

Chapter15
"It's the sex, isn't it?"
If Michele had been drinking, he would have done a spit-take.
I was drinking and just about did.
My mother, Arianna, trained as an aerospace engineer; her family founded the aircraft maker Piccolo S.p.A
...waaaait a second. That only just clicked. I take it Michele's grandmother then had a thing for bright-red flying-boat fighters piloted by pigs...
"That sounds lovely. I'm sorry we have to drag you to a boring religious ceremony."
"On the contrary, I am very interested to experience a Midnight Mass. I understand the Duomo is quite beautiful inside," Kara stated.
I will admit that I really enjoyed Japanese Christmas. The fact that any pretention of it being a religious holiday was dropped in favor of pure commercialism was somehow refreshing... at least they're admitting it Razz
Chapter16
Revy rounded the next bend and to his horror saw a red deer buck standing proudly in the middle of the road, a 14-point rack on his head and regal eyes locked on the approaching Ferrari. Revy flung the wheel to the left, barely missing the animal…and flying off the road into the trees.
Black ice saves him. Steer stops him... fastest karma reversal ever.
"Well that has not gone well," she noted to Michele as he approached.
I see Michele's been taking lessons in British understatement.
Chapter17
The speedometer touched 170km/h as the car crossed the 100m sign and Kara stomped on the brake pedal. It took a moment for the ceramic-composite brakes to warm to operating temperature, but when they did they bit with the force of a brick wall and Kara was thrown forward into the four-point harness.
I've got to admit, though I can sense the excitement here, I'm with Michele on this one: little urge to go out and try that super-agressive form of driving myself sweat Possibly because I was brought up on older cars, but I was always taught to drive smooth and carry speed.
I'd feel better, if you had some proper instruction on how to drive a high-performance sports car."
...heard that one before too
"Damn straight!" Kara said and used the paddle shifts to call up first gear.
...this is another moment where I was left thinking "wait, that came out of Kara?"

And finally... Chapter18, which we discussed in chatbox so instead *cue ominous music*

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 28 Nov 2010 - 15:25

@Alfisti wrote:
So, taking it from Chapter11
"There must be €50.000 worth of body damage, Kara!" Michele exclaimed.

Actually concerned about the body damage, or just winding her up? Nice end to the chapter and also a good bit of insight that Kara's getting to know Michele in viewing his response with trepidation Razz

It's more a case of Michele being mortified that his charge just beat the crap out of an old school Bentley. If it had been a Continental GT... Razz

@Alfisti wrote:
Chapter12
She'd hoped the talk she and Michele shared a week ago after the Savellerti mission would have impressed upon him how she felt about his focus on Angelica, however he'd handed her off to Croce and Rissi in order to rush to the hospital at the latest mention of her condition changing.

Again, I'm enjoying how you're playing Michele's relationships with Kara and Angelica, both the jealousy from Kara's side and making sure that particular facet of Michele's character doesn't dissappear. With all that jealousy flying around, it does make me wonder how Kara's relationship with Monty is initially going to fly. Wink

I never properly explored how Kara felt about Claes and Michele. I think she should have been a lot less "roll with it" than she was, so I'm trying to set that tone here. Also, where Kara and Michele had been "together" for close to two years when Claes joined, they've just effectively been paired here so I am playing Kara as significantly more unsettled and unsure.

And yes, I expect she will not be pleased to find out Michele took Monty out for drinks. Wink

@Alfisti wrote:
"Alas, Elenora would be lost without her notebook and Pietro is about as subtle as a Padania bomb so I'm not surprised you found those two. Okay. I'll reset the other two and try again."

Liked the shoutout to these two, plus it's always fun to throw in a bit of tradecraft. It does make an interesting contrast against how I imagine Monty's training having been undertaken, most of which would probably have been "on the job" so to speak. An expedited and intensive shakedown period (another reason she's not a familiar face, even to those who were there before her) then she and Jethro were set loose on the world.

It was part of a spy thriller I recently read and thought it both made sense from a training standpoint and was another example how I expect the handlers help support the overall training where their specialties lie. Sandro, being an ex-spy, would know all the "tricks and tools of the trade" so it made sense to me to have him teach Kara - just originally with Michele present.

@Alfisti wrote:
"What happened?" she asked, her voice edged in concern at seeing her handler's emotional condition. As it had in Savellerti, all the anger left her at the site of her handler in distress.

Foot. Mouth.

Conditioning is a bitch.

@Alfisti wrote:
Chapter13+14
...at the moment I think it feels like this may have been a bit too easy of a call as well. If Angelica wasn't quite to perfect, but Michele had still reccomended the cyborg program go ahead it would also go some way toward helping explain (as far as I can tell) Michele's feeling of responsibility toward the girls. The "dark past" as it were... or at least a slate grey one.

I'm kind of thinking this version of Michele won't be quite so bothered by the girls being weapons. Also, he understood at the time that even if he told the PM it was a mistake to go forward, they were going to go forward, so why "rock the boat".

@Alfisti wrote:
"Damn straight!" Kara said and used the paddle shifts to call up first gear.
...this is another moment where I was left thinking "wait, that came out of Kara?"

Yeah, she's probably a bit out of character there, since I do want to make her less of a petrol-head so that Allison can strut her stuff. Put it down to adrenaline and youthful exuberance. Wink

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Re: Pactio

Post by ElfenMagix on Sun 5 Dec 2010 - 13:48

One of the better chapters by far. No need for shoot'em ups, but explaining the human condition is a biggie for me.

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Re: Pactio

Post by ElfenMagix on Wed 8 Dec 2010 - 16:20

Real moments of doubt and pain for Kara there, towards the end.
Interesting how you put is so.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Professor Voodoo on Fri 10 Dec 2010 - 6:44

I am way behind here...you're already up to what...chapter 17? I'm finding Pactio particularly hard to assemble some thoughts on as so much of it is re-hash from Once Again and your other stories.

Still, need to get going here and catch up...
Chapter One
“There is a trattoria up the road that serves an excellent tiramisu,”Jose noted to Michele as he sipped his coffee. “They’re open late since they get motorists coming in for a quick bite or a jolt of espresso to keep them going. I go there often.”Henrietta’s head snapped up and she fixed her handler with a stern stare. “You’ve never taken me there, Jose,” she accused.
“Uh, yeah…” Jose stammered, running his hand through his hair.
I hope you won't mind if I steal & expand on this idea in Patchwork. I see this tattoria/taverna as a place all the handlers and staff members have agreed to keep "cyborg free" as their adults-only hangout. This is where Michele reminisces to Nicolo Corelli about the early days of the Angelica project.
“I want you to join a fratello in the Agency,” the Prime Minister of Italy informed Michele Pagani
This entire section seems lifted from Once Again. You realize you'll have to re-write that story now as well, right?
“She doesn’t have to be a little girl,” Doctor Bianchi noted, indicating with a nod of his head the redhead in a two-piece bikini lounging in the hot tub at the front of the Sky deck.
Petrushka: Is this an actual mission? You seriously wanted me to come along and just hang out in the jacuzzi?

Prime Minister: Well, you could also join me for a cocktail in my private cabin.

Petrushka:

Note; you never actually state that the redhead in the hot tub is a teenager (until later)...we all know it's Petra but to an uninitiated reader it might be ambiguous.
“The whole reason I created the Agency was to give me the flexibility to operate independently of all those various groups and their innumerable turf wars,” the Prime Minister replied.
I really like this take on the SWA...and it cuts down on the research necessary to reconcile the Agency with the ever-changing Italian intelligence scene.
I need a fratello that knows their way around Europe and society circles to disrupt PRF activities.
I'd kind of pictured Pagani as a "new money" type, who has difficulty breaking into Old World high society (they types that can trace their ancestry back to Charlemagne). Of course, I'm sure many of his Padania targets fit into that category as well.
Chapter Two
It sounded more like science fiction than science fact, yet he’d seen the results with his own eyes aboard his motor yacht with Petrushka.
Did he? She didn't really demonstrate anything by coming along with the PM.
So no worries of being paired with a love-sick teenager,” Bianchi said
Well, we all know how that's gonna turn out!
Chapter Three
She felt the coarse cotton weave of he hospital sheets on her bare skin
Even before meeting Michele there are stirrings of the "high operating cost" girl Kara will become.

Kara: There sheets are not even 600 thread count! Unacceptable!
The next box, from La Perla, contained silk undergarments.
Kara: Now that's more like it!
adjusting her weight on the 50mm heels as she presented herself for inspection.
I was half-expecting disaster when you threw out the line about wearing heels at her first meeting with Michele.
Kara used her right hand to shield her eyes for a moment as she stepped out into the morning sun
I'd have thought cyborg eyes could compensate for bright light and glare rather easily. Of course, such a feature would completely cut Kara off from the world of designer sunglasses.
She noticed the low seating position and correlated that to the shortness of her skirt...Once properly seated, she stretched out her legs and the soles of her
boots sank into the deep pile carpet.
“Impressive,” Michele noted. “Did they teach you that in cyborg school?”
“It just seemed…the proper way,” Kara replied
At the risk of sounding voyeuristic, I think this might have been a missed opportunity for some first-day awkwardness. Let her do it perfectly later, as a way of showing her progress.
“You don’t need to append my name to the end of every sentence.”
A callback to Petra's habit of calling her handler Signor when she first woke up?
“My butt hurts,” Kara noted as she stood next to the car,
I dunno...somehow it's funnier when Rico says it.
“Well, no. But that was in the city, not the Autoroute. And I was in aPeugeot compact, not a supercar,” Kara noted.
“Ah, well then maybe…”
“But my boyfriend did let me drive his Clio RS a few times,” Kara quickly added
That's one of my favorite lines...Kara is wishy-washy about driving the Lamborghini until she sees the opportunity slipping away. Great human moment.
“So cool,” Kara exclaimed
That phrase seems to be a GsG meme. Triela says it in chapter 54...Mimi Machiavelli gets the line in the second season anime...and it's been repeated countless times in fanfiction (Marisa uses it when Claes tells her the story of Monty & Mr. Ramsey in Palestine).
In a small saucepan he combined an equal amount of whole milk and half-and half, bringing it to a simmer and adding fresh vanilla extract, fine white chocolate and a generous splash of Grand Marnier liquor
Question; where do you come up with these concoctions (i.e. this & Michele's famous coffee)? Are they things you've experimented with yourself or established recipes from Seattle coffee houses? Either way, it just wouldn't be Pagani without them.
Chapter Four
The change in Kara was as if someone had flipped a switch. She stopped stretching and sat up, pulling the duvet off her. She did atuck-roll forward, ending up on her knees. She slipped them out from
underneath her to sit on the edge of the bed, pulled on her boots, planted her feet on the floor and launched herself up off the bed, her posture one of immediate readiness.
Genuinely funny cyborg moment.
“Gee, and here I thought I would be done with school,” Kara quipped.
Oh just wait until you run read-first into one of Hillshire's German exams...
Kara’s smile fell, partly at the thought of missing the museum
How unfair! Elio & Marisa did both the Louvre & the Centre Pompidou (modern art) during their spare day in Paris.
Amande spent the next six hours teaching her...“Does she pass?” Michele asked Amande.
This is a scene I wished had been a little longer.
“I want to drive!” Kara exclaimed.
Hmm...perhaps it should have been a bit longer. Need to work on that "reserved & demure" stuff.
“Do you smoke?” Michele asked Kara, looking at the few patrons enjoying fine Cuban cigars.“No,” Kara replied. “Should I learn?”
“Absolutely not,” Michele said.
There is a scene in the 1958 musical Gigi where Leslie Caron's character is educated in the proper way to select and cut a cigar for a gentleman. I thought perhaps since this was Paris you were referencing that scene.
“You won’t be with me?” Kara asked, a hint of worry in her voice.
To me that's the most poignant line of the assassination scene. It goes beyond the mere tactical practicality of having Kara make the attack alone...Michele is also letting her know that she's heading into an area that's not his specialty, one in which she will have to seek instruction from others in order to get better.
(Kara) looked down at the satellite navigation unit, which had been pre-programmed with her destination.
That seems risky. If the bad guys capture the car they now know where Kara's support team is waiting.
I’m sorry about the dress,” she added.
That's a very "recently activated cyborg" thing to say. She's not used to the idea that anything is her's yet...apologizing for ruining what she considered Michele or the government's property. Soon I'm sure she'll be saying "Damn...ruined my dress!"
“Miss Deleroux, my name is Bob. I want to thank you for your service to your country this evening. You have eliminated a serious threat to the safety of the Fifth Republic.”
I'm guessing "Bob" is a code-name...it doesn't sound very French.
Michele once again made a mental note to have a talk with the medical staff about Kara’s modesty protocols.
She seemed to do alright earlier, getting into the Lambo. Showing a little skin for Michele's benefit I suspect...it's better to have Michele oblivious to that at this point though.

More to come...

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 10 Dec 2010 - 12:14

@Professor Voodoo wrote:I am way behind here...you're already up to what...chapter 17? I'm finding Pactio particularly hard to assemble some thoughts on as so much of it is re-hash from Once Again and your other stories.

Yeah. Once Again is dead at this point, but I did like that bit, so I absconded with it for this story. I am working hard to chart a new course with this story as I agree it would be dull to re-read the original with just slight changes.

Note; you never actually state that the redhead in the hot tub is a teenager (until later)...we all know it's Petra but to an uninitiated reader it might be ambiguous.

I re-wrote that to "redhead cyborg" so even if someone doesn't know who Petrushka is, when the PM talks about her later on it's clear she's a cyborg, as well.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
I need a fratello that knows their way around Europe and society circles to disrupt PRF activities.

I'd kind of pictured Pagani as a "new money" type, who has difficulty breaking into Old World high society (they types that can trace their ancestry back to Charlemagne). Of course, I'm sure many of his Padania targets fit into that category as well.

Actually, that's a good idea for future chapters. He definitely is nouveau riche and it does show - fancy cars, bespoke suits - so while he'd be allowed in, true "old money" or displaced nobility like the Princess Maria Pia Elena Aldegonda Milenia Ludovica Caterina Francesca Gennara in The Sicilian Defense would certainly see him as nothing more than a poseur.


@Professor Voodoo wrote:
It sounded more like science fiction than science fact, yet he’d seen the results with his own eyes aboard his motor yacht with Petrushka.

Did he? She didn't really demonstrate anything by coming along with the PM.

Another good catch. I changed that to:

"It sounded more like science fiction than science fact and a good bit more advanced than when they’d first started five years ago with the girl who would become Angelica."

Since it provides a bit foreshadowing as to Michele's being present when the Agency was created.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
adjusting her weight on the 50mm heels as she presented herself for inspection.

I was half-expecting disaster when you threw out the line about wearing heels at her first meeting with Michele.

The cyborgs seem to have excellent balance. Petrushka in the manga has no problem running around in stiletto heeled dress sandals.


@Professor Voodoo wrote:
Kara used her right hand to shield her eyes for a moment as she stepped out into the morning sun
I'd have thought cyborg eyes could compensate for bright light and glare rather easily. Of course, such a feature would completely cut Kara off from the world of designer sunglasses.

Yeah, it might be something better cut, but maybe it's a sign her cybernetics are still "calibrating".

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
She noticed the low seating position and correlated that to the shortness of her skirt...Once properly seated, she stretched out her legs and the soles of her
boots sank into the deep pile carpet.
“Impressive,” Michele noted. “Did they teach you that in cyborg school?”
“It just seemed…the proper way,” Kara replied
At the risk of sounding voyeuristic, I think this might have been a missed opportunity for some first-day awkwardness. Let her do it perfectly later, as a way of showing her progress.

Another good idea. The scene is actually based on one of Jeremy Clarkson's DVDs where he shows the difficulty of a girl in a miniskirt getting into a sports car. So I'll need to try and find that scene and write it where "it did not go well". Wink


@Professor Voodoo wrote:
“You don’t need to append my name to the end of every sentence.”
A callback to Petra's habit of calling her handler Signor when she first woke up?

Yes. Henrietta also seems to append many of her sentences with "Jose" when she is speaking with him.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
“My butt hurts,” Kara noted as she stood next to the car,
I dunno...somehow it's funnier when Rico says it.

Because it's Rico. Wink

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
“Well, no. But that was in the city, not the Autoroute. And I was in a Peugeot compact, not a supercar,” Kara noted.
“Ah, well then maybe…”
“But my boyfriend did let me drive his Clio RS a few times,” Kara quickly added

That's one of my favorite lines...Kara is wishy-washy about driving the Lamborghini until she sees the opportunity slipping away. Great human moment.

The girl has a mechanical body, but she's still a teenager. Wink


@Professor Voodoo wrote:
“So cool,” Kara exclaimed
That phrase seems to be a GsG meme. Triela says it in chapter 54...Mimi Machiavelli gets the line in the second season anime...and it's been repeated countless times in fanfiction (Marisa uses it when Claes tells her the story of Monty & Mr. Ramsey in Palestine).

Again, it just seems like something a teenager would say. Smile


@Professor Voodoo wrote:
In a small saucepan he combined an equal amount of whole milk and half-and half, bringing it to a simmer and adding fresh vanilla extract, fine white chocolate and a generous splash of Grand Marnier liquor
Question; where do you come up with these concoctions (i.e. this & Michele's famous coffee)? Are they things you've experimented with yourself or established recipes from Seattle coffee houses? Either way, it just wouldn't be Pagani without them.

You can thank The Barefoot Contessa for that one. Laughing


@Professor Voodoo wrote:
Amande spent the next six hours teaching her...“Does she pass?” Michele asked Amande.

This is a scene I wished had been a little longer.

“I want to drive!” Kara exclaimed.
Hmm...perhaps it should have been a bit longer. Need to work on that "reserved & demure" stuff.

I like to think it is that teenage exuberance peeking through.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
“Do you smoke?” Michele asked Kara, looking at the few patrons enjoying fine Cuban cigars.“No,” Kara replied. “Should I learn?”
“Absolutely not,” Michele said.

There is a scene in the 1958 musical Gigi where Leslie Caron's character is educated in the proper way to select and cut a cigar for a gentleman. I thought perhaps since this was Paris you were referencing that scene.

Never seen the movie. Michele is not a smoker and he doesn't want Kara to pick up Petrushka's "habit" (even if Petrushka herself doesn't seem to be enamored of smoking).


@Professor Voodoo wrote:
(Kara) looked down at the satellite navigation unit, which had been pre-programmed with her destination.
That seems risky. If the bad guys capture the car they now know where Kara's support team is waiting.

Well there was a DGSE team backing Kara up, so if it had all gone pear-shaped, they would have been able to support her. Plus the security team doesn't know she has a car so if things went badly and she had to escape, they probably would not chase her and if they did, I like to think she's smart enough to figure out how to engage them.


@Professor Voodoo wrote:
I’m sorry about the dress,” she added.
That's a very "recently activated cyborg" thing to say. She's not used to the idea that anything is her's yet...apologizing for ruining what she considered Michele or the government's property. Soon I'm sure she'll be saying "Damn...ruined my dress!"

Laughing

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
“Miss Deleroux, my name is Bob. I want to thank you for your service to your country this evening. You have eliminated a serious threat to the safety of the Fifth Republic.”
I'm guessing "Bob" is a code-name...it doesn't sound very French.

"Bob" and Amande are from La Femme Nikita and that is the name he went by in the film, so I agree it's probably some type of code name.


@Professor Voodoo wrote:
Michele once again made a mental note to have a talk with the medical staff about Kara’s modesty protocols.
She seemed to do alright earlier, getting into the Lambo. Showing a little skin for Michele's benefit I suspect...it's better to have Michele oblivious to that at this point though.


Maybe she's more comfortable being...comfortable...around her handler in private than in public...



Anyway, as always, I appreciate the detailed reviews you and others give. Especially with these earlier chapters that have been written months prior to publishing, I tend to glaze over them when reading and I don't catch these things.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Alfisti on Tue 14 Dec 2010 - 7:50

Argh, I'm falling back in reviewing again. So...

Chapter19

@Kiskaloo wrote:In the cockpit, Kara flew the aircraft under Michele's supervision. As Kara had barely started her pilot training, so Michele needed to be at the controls at all times.
Is this really the time to be teaching Kara to fly? Then again, it's probably best to keep her seperated from the girls who were part of the Venice operation... I doubt they feel like talking much right now and just need some alone time. Nice opener to the chapter by the way.

"What do you think is going to happen?" Rico asked.
Wow, it must be bad; even Rico doesn't have anything bright to say.

After landing and parking in their private hangar, they retrieved their car and headed for the compound. It was there that they learned of the deaths of Beatice and Silvia along with most of Major Sales' command.
I think this might have more impact if you seperated the final sentence from the rest of the paragraph. Give that final line a bit of "white space" as it were to emphasise its importance.

Even in sleep, Michele's brain sensed a presence in his room and commanded him to wake.
Guess some old habits die hard.

...and her speech curt and low, as if she could speak only so many words a day and had to ration them out.
Monty: Now there's an idea that could use persuing. I can think of a cyborg or two who would benefit from that.

Interesting to note the differences in responses to cyborg deaths between the Gen1 girls and the "more human" (for want of a better descriptor) Gen2s.

but fortunately Director Lorenzo had cancelled all planned activities for the day.
Guess Lorenzo doesn't follow the old adage of "keep 'em busy."

Monty appeared coming the other way, a small travel case in one hand.
Thanks again for giving Monty a role in your stories as well. I like the inclusion of her just having a small case with her right now. If she's too knackered for her usually impeccable appearance to, well, be less so then she's certainly not going to have bothered properly emptying the car.


Chapter20
(though at 17, she was too young to have a license)
Somehow I doubt aquiring fake identification for the girls is a big problem for the SWA, or aliases for that matter. I'm sure Monty's picture is in more than one archived school yearbook.

Lorenzo ordered the compound to effectively be in lockdown with the cyborgs restricted to quarters and the handlers forbidden from taking them out without express permission from himself.
Monty: Hmm, nope. Must have missed that memo.


Chapter21
Hilshire wore his usual dark suit.
Sometimes I wonder if young Victor doesn't just have a wardrobe full of exactly the same things. Two black suits, three white shirts... and so on. Ahh well, at least it makes it easy to pack in a hurry and saves time in the morning.

Triela wielding a Heckler & Koch MP7A1 and Kara her FN P90.
Seriously, logistics for the SWA must be an utter nightmare.

"Almaz-Antey, the builders of the Klub, have been marketing a covert attack system called "Klub-K" composed of four missiles and a transporter-erector concealed inside a standard 40 foot intermodal container."
I dunno, maybe it's just me but I'd probably have been tempted to have a bit more fun with his accent and grammar. Razz

"I really don't. Petrushka and Olga taught me some phrases," Kara noted.
Also one of Jethro's favorite tricks for languages he hasn't had the time to learn.


Chapter22

"I saw her in the hall. She looked right through me, like I wasn't there. I said hello and she just stared at me for a moment, and then walked on towards her room. It was horrible, Michele. She was like a zombie in those film's Laine watches. Please don't make me like that. I beg you!"
Great work with Kara's dialogue through here, like all the words are just falling out and she's not making any sense.

Powerful last chapter there, and an elegant solution to settling Kara and Michele's relationoship in the reader's mind. Nice work slipping the GSG tagline in as well. Wink

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Re: Pactio

Post by ElfenMagix on Wed 15 Dec 2010 - 18:30

The only mistake I can see is in the very beginning...
When Michele entered the office that morning, Monty was at her desk, head down in a pile of paperwork
That desk would be Jethro's and not Monty's even though Monty work on it. No cyborg has his/her own office space to do work in. Even when Triela helped out in translating those documents from Italian to German and English, I'm sure at was at a barrowed station and not that of her own.

Michele thought, and not for the first time, that this staff girl definitely had the style to compliment her looks. He set his espresso cup and saucer on the desk and powered up his computer, a 27" iMac model he'd purchased at the Rome Apple Store to replace the standard PC.
Looks like Michele is not the only one using Mac OSX machines. Fernando has brought his own a long time ago into the agency and built a supercluster system from units he bought for which much of his code cracking and research work is done on.

"I saw a recruitment ad in the back of Better Lairs and Hideouts and it sounded exciting," Michele replied, earning him a scowl from Monty.
I think he should be studying what they have at http://www.villainsource.com . Fernando is always checking their wares to see what they came up with.

As he drove past the administration building towards the main gate, he noticed that lights still burned in one of the windows.
An interesting end to an interesting chapter. In thinking, cyborgs are not so liberal on who they go with during their free or work time, but then there is Triela asking Hillshire and Amadeo to take the girls out to see the meteor shower in Season 1. This gives the girls more freedom and one would read in the books.

Well done I have to say.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Alfisti on Wed 15 Dec 2010 - 22:33

@ElfenMagix wrote:The only mistake I can see is in the very beginning...
When Michele entered the office that morning, Monty was at her desk, head down in a pile of paperwork
That desk would be Jethro's and not Monty's even though Monty work on it. No cyborg has his/her own office space to do work in. Even when Triela helped out in translating those documents from Italian to German and English, I'm sure at was at a barrowed station and not that of her own.

As he drove past the administration building towards the main gate, he noticed that lights still burned in one of the windows.
An interesting end to an interesting chapter. In thinking, cyborgs are not so liberal on who they go with during their free or work time, but then there is Triela asking Hillshire and Amadeo to take the girls out to see the meteor shower in Season 1. This gives the girls more freedom and one would read in the books.
I guess I can probably answer a couple of the Monty-related points. In part addressing the first: at this particular stage it hasn't clicked on Michele that Monty's a cyborg. So it'd be natural for him to assume that, as an "office staff member" she is working at her own desk.

Moreover though, and it's something I've not really touched on in the comics yet for obvious reasons, but I imagine that, when she's on campus, Monty has a somewhat freer run of the SWA than the average cyborg. That's due in part to her tendency to walk around like she owns the place (born out of a combination of a solid superiority complex and not being around enough to bother "fitting in"), and a tendency to assume that inconvenient rules applied to the other girls somehow don't apply to her because she's Monty Blacker. You'll remember that, at this stage in Kisk's story the cyborgs are technically supposed to be confined to quarters.

The other contributing factor is that, when Monty's on campus, Monty's on business, so if she needs to be somewhere there's probably good reason for it. Her handler's kept busy as well during their returns and can't spare the time to escort her everywhere. Eventually the staff probably just gave in and let her have a key and a desk... it's not like she's going to be tearing the place up, hijacking the internet to browse YouTube or aiding in cyborg mischief.

At the end of the day Monty, rightly or wrongly, considers her role and position during her rare retuns to the SWA to be closer to adult staff than cyborg grunt. She sleeps in the handlers' dorms, spends most of her time working in the office or under maintenance in the medical wing and doesn't really bother to check in with the other girls. Combined with her aloofness and potential jelousy over her "glamorous" (to those who've never tried it) "jet-set" lifestyle, the extra privilages just drive a further wedge between her and the other girls, both in allowing her to isolate herself further and inciting the inevitable "what makes her so special" or "who the hell did she fuck to be allowed to do that?"

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Re: Pactio

Post by ElfenMagix on Wed 15 Dec 2010 - 23:20

In Monty's point of view, all this is true.
But there is a line of definition where cyborgs belong and what they can do to a certain degree. Handlers should spot right away, "If she's this many years old and/or looks it, then she's a cyborg" with few exceptions. I have no argument on what Monty was doing. The issue here is Cyborgs dont have office/cubical space but can use their handlers' spaces for work that needs to be done.

As well, the handlers should know the names of the of all the cyborgs, or have a list of them somewhere so when a handler runs into a cyborg, he should be able to identify who s/he is and who is their handler, if for any reason, just to know. As Rabello once said, "This Blasé Attitude is going to get someone killled!" In that, I mean if any staff member treats an unknown as a staff member then infiltration of the place would be a breeze. Michelle should have checked, or at least asked who she was.

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Re: Pactio

Post by ChaosKin640 on Wed 15 Dec 2010 - 23:43

it's not like she's going to be tearing the place up, hijacking the internet to browse YouTube or aiding in cyborg mischief.
Lucy: Ok girls, I hear-by call this emergency meeting of the Cyborg Shenanigans Society to order.
Marisa: Would somebody tell me why she gets to be in charge of these meetings?
Lucy: Because I’m older than you, that’s why.
Marisa: But I have seniority!
Lucy: And I have the internet access! So pipe down shorty or it’s bye-bye Mexican wrestling coverage for you.
Marisa: Don’t you bring my luchadores into this! They never did anything to you!
Allison: Oh, both of you knock it off! Now what is this emergency meeting about Lucy?
Lucy: *ahem* Yes, thank you Allison. Back on topic. As I was saying, I have called this meeting to bring to everyone’s attention a mission of the utmost importance.
Marisa: Jean’s threatening to cut off cable to the common room?
Allison: He’s trying to cancel our X-Box Live subscriptions?
Marisa: Oh God no! Chief Lorenzo is dropping Sloppy Joes from the cafeteria menu?
Lucy: Wrong on all counts. Girls, this is a mission of the highest order; one that will strain the limits of all our cybernetically-enhanced abilities.
Allison: Wow, this sounds really serious. What’s the mission?
Marisa: Yeah, spill the beans.
Lucy: Girls, I have just received solid intel that Monty has expressed a complete disregard and disinterest in causing any kind of cyborg mischief.
Allison: *sigh* It’s true…she’s almost more staff-member than cyborg. I remember a year or so ago I tried talking her into planting a cherry-bomb in one of the public toilets.
Marisa: What did she do with it?
Allison: She took it down to storage and filed it under “Explosive Ordinance.”
Marisa: Abomination!
Lucy: Indeed, we certainly have a problem here. And so I propose this mission: by whatever means necessary, we must bring Monique Blacker…to the Dark Side!
*queue rumbling thunder*
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Re: Pactio

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 15 Dec 2010 - 23:59

@ChaosKin640 wrote:Lucy: Indeed, we certainly have a problem here. And so I propose this mission: by whatever means necessary, we must bring Monique Blacker…to the Dark Side!
*queue rumbling thunder*
Marisa: Okay...I'll get my Converting Others to the Dark Side gear.



Allison: Prepare ship for ludicrous speed!

Lucy: Oh god, look at what I have to work with.

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