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Re: Pactio

Post by Alfisti on Sat 12 Feb 2011 - 11:15

Robert Frazer wrote:I chuckled at the references to the real Italian PM's own philandering. As questionable as the morality of it is, honesty is another virtue and so in deference to that I must say that I... struggle to be offended. A big part of me says: "Still game at 72? Well done, that man!"
What he said.

Anyway, on with the show...


chapter25
Kiskaloo wrote:"In addition to those losses, there was the unfortunate accidents with
the cyborg Marina and Captain Raballo, which took Claes out of
operation. With Beatrice's death, we've modified Henrietta to handle the
same role, but we do not expect her to survive the year because of it.
Yep, life as a super-powered cyborg assassin isn't all peaches and cream, and as the Padania get smarter the attrition rate's only going to get worse, unless the SWA gets smarter as well.

"We're already having difficulty hiding your current budget," Corelli
noted. "Unlike the Americans, we don't have the luxury of 'black'
projects we can just throw a few billion into with nobody the wiser."
I'll admit that the financial reality of running a program like the SWA is a factor that interests me a lot. I mean, it can't be exactly a cheap project, and the Italy's one of the poorer European nations. I'm sure the medical technology could help a bit, but last it checked the lead-time on theraputic goods was measured in years, if not decades, so financially it's not going to be much of an immediate help... and one of the problems with democracy is that it tends to live very much in the present.

At the end of the day there's only so much you can siphon off before people start asking awkward questions.

Throwing them into the meat grinder and hoping they'll break the blades no longer seems to be a prudent course of action.
Eloquently put.

"So use a bigger hammer,"
Why am I not suprised this suggestion came from Marisa...

Monty:

now accompanied by a much younger woman in a
designer dress and heels.
...the "must have" accessory this season for all elder Italian statesmen.

Which, Elio had to admit, it did for he understood one bought an Alfa
because they were beautiful, not because they were brilliant drives.
Pretty much. Oh how I miss the glory days when they could do both.

The maître d' escorted them to a table where a very attractive young
blonde in a tight black dress with a diamond necklace sat. The PM
introduced her to the rest of them.
Always good to see the LBD being put to work.


chapter26
Michele's iPhone started to vibrate across the nightstand and
emit a heavy electric version of the opening riff to The Allman
Brother's classic "Jessica" as used by the BBC2 motoring show Top Gear
.
From where he was sitting on the edge of the bed, he retrieved the
device and when he saw the caller ID, quickly slid his thumb across the
bottom to answer it.

"Yes, Minister?" he said.
Guess you're going to have to update that now. Razz
"Okay. Okay. We'll make a run through the Via Tornabuoni,"
Why do I get the feeling that was what Kara was angling for anyway.
While there was always risk of a headshot, center mass targeting was
easier and it was hoped the lack of visible bulky body armor might trick
a sniper into thinking he was only protected against small arms.
Man should start wearing a bowler hat. That way he can be protected and dapper.
The two said their goodnights in the parking area and headed for their respective rooms.
Making Michele quite possibly the only elder Italian statesman to do so. Razz


chapter27
Fiat Panda Cross MPVs
Yeah, somehow a Defender doesn't seem like the Pagani fratello's style, even if it is just for going to the range. Razz
"You'll want to let your cyborg do most of the heavy lifting,"
I mean really, who actually needs a forklift when you have a cyborg?

"Thanks," Kara replied, though her appreciation sounded only half-hearted to Michele.
I think Kara, like Monty definately falls into the "not a gun person" category. Razz
I see Monty was saved having to deal with Michele researching in the station across from her... probably best for all involved. Razz

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 12 Feb 2011 - 12:25

Alfisti wrote:
Kiskaloo wrote:
chapter26
Guess you're going to have to update that now. Razz

Yes I am. [Shakes fist at the heavens. "Darn you Benny!" ]

Alfisti wrote:
chapter27
Fiat Panda Cross MPVs

Yeah, somehow a Defender doesn't seem like the Pagani fratello's style, even if it is just for going to the range. Razz

Oh an LR4 would be far more...acceptable...however I figure the SWA tends to "buy local" for their staff vehicles, as Professor Voodoo suggested in his thread in the Vehicles forum so Kara would be quoting the late Jimmy Durante - "These are the conditions that prevail." Smile

Alfisti wrote:
I think Kara, like Monty definately falls into the "not a gun person" category. Razz

I could agree with that statement. It's a tool to get the job done. Plus you can't show off with them like a car. Wink

Alfisti wrote:
I see Monty was saved having to deal with Michele researching in the station across from her... probably best for all involved. Razz

Yes, it just didn't fit into the timeline I had laid out.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Alfisti on Sun 13 Feb 2011 - 3:13

Kiskaloo wrote:
Alfisti wrote:I think Kara, like Monty definately falls into the "not a gun person" category. Razz
I could agree with that statement. It's a tool to get the job done. Plus you can't show off with them like a car. Wink
I think Monty likes her gun... but that's because it's hers, not because she has any particular interest in firearms.

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Re: Pactio

Post by ElfenMagix on Wed 9 Mar 2011 - 18:40

A simple short chapter but a good one, Kisk.

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Re: Pactio

Post by crazyidiot78 on Wed 9 Mar 2011 - 19:53

Nice going Kisk Good Can't wait for more

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Re: Pactio

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 9 Mar 2011 - 20:39

Well done as usual...just two questions;
We've learned from the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate that Giacomo Dante was being transferred to Alexandria two months ago
Are you referencing the events of canon Chapter 68? If so, all that took place before the assassination of Giovanni Croce & family, years before what I thought to be your timeline.
The other girls, all of who were dressed for cold weather, quickly appeared, Henrietta bringing her own telescope.
I thought you'd gone ahead and followed canon by having reconditioned Henrietta. Now she's back to stargazing with the girls?

Love the whole "speeding ticket" incident. I'd actually hoped to use that plot device in a future episode (#19...I'm currently working on 17) but this doesn't preclude that. I'll PM you with the synopsis.

Looking forward to the next chapter!

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 9 Mar 2011 - 20:40

I've decided to use the Turin arc for the next set of chapters, so now that I have enough reference material (thanks tsundere357!) I can start working on the next couple of chapters.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 9 Mar 2011 - 20:43

Professor Voodoo wrote:Well done as usual...just two questions;
We've learned from the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate that Giacomo Dante was being transferred to Alexandria two months ago
Are you referencing the events of canon Chapter 68? If so, all that took place before the assassination of Giovanni Croce & family, years before what I thought to be your timeline.

Okay. I edited most of that out and made some changes. Embarassed


Professor Voodoo wrote:
The other girls, all of who were dressed for cold weather, quickly appeared, Henrietta bringing her own telescope.
I thought you'd gone ahead and followed canon by having reconditioned Henrietta. Now she's back to stargazing with the girls?

I re-wrote it so that Jose forced her to show up and that Kara is still creeped out by her new persona.


Last edited by Kiskaloo on Wed 9 Mar 2011 - 20:51; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Pactio

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 9 Mar 2011 - 20:50

Kiskaloo wrote:
Professor Voodoo wrote:I thought you'd gone ahead and followed canon by having reconditioned Henrietta. Now she's back to stargazing with the girls?
I'll re-write that, as well, to make it that Jose forced her to show up. Maybe add a bit of how it still creeps Kara out.
I plan to accept reconditioned Henrietta in my stories too, but I still need "old" Henrietta to play a role in at least 4 more episodes. By that time I think Yu will have shown us a little more of her post-conditioning persona (or he'll have killed her off) so there will be more canon reference to work with.

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Re: Pactio

Post by MP5 on Wed 9 Mar 2011 - 21:05

Outstanding chapter, Kisk. waiting for the next one...

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Re: Pactio

Post by Alfisti on Sat 12 Mar 2011 - 4:29

Roll on Chapter28

She looked down at the speedometer and saw the needle covering the 200km/h mark.
Funny how speed tends to creep up on you, and when you slow down you manage to kid yourself that that doesn't feel anywhere near fast enough.

After returning her documents, the officer noted that he would cite her
for "only" doing 35 over and that she should expect the notification of
the fine in the mail within the next 90 days.
90 Days? Wow I wish they took that long in Australia. I think the only time I've ever seen the Queensland Government Bureaucracy move fast was to get a speeding fine to me.

Miss Palmer
Keeping up the fine tradition of female agent naming conventions?

"We believe that Dante and his team travelled with the ship. He could
have sailed directly into Venice or perhaps a smaller port like Ravenna
and then either trucked it up the rest of the way or perhaps transferred
it via a smaller boat. That way he could avoid a traffic stop that
might have exposed his cargo."
I'm sure Monty would have a theory or two on that... Wink

While the weather today was cold and clear, she knew a storm front was
coming which would bring temperatures barely in the teens and plenty of
rain.
Avise: Excellent! Perfect training weather!

"We'll discuss this again when the fine arrives," Michele stated.
Remember Kara: while you could probably walk away from a altercation with something solid at 200mph, Miss Palmer's only human: you can't just buff the dings out.

As others have said mate: short, but sweet.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 16 Mar 2011 - 18:24

TWENTY-NINE
Kara sulked at the unfairness of it all. After her run-in with the Carabinieri, Michele "grounded" her driving privileges for two weeks,
This begs an interesting question: What if Kara has to drive to extricate she & her handler from a dangerous situation?


Kara & Michele are taking heavy fire...they manage to make it to the car, Kara on the driver side, Pagani on the passenger side.

Michele: Damn it Kara, what are you waiting for?!

Kara: I can't...you ordered me not to drive for two weeks! I'll just go into shut-down mode if I disobey you!

Michele: (bullets whizzing past) %$&*#!

Kara: Whaaaat!? You're allowed to curse and I'm not? This is so unfair!

"This is Monza. Comm check," Michele stated.
"Suzuka, check," Kara stated.
"Magny-Cours, check," Monty stated.
"Silverstone, check," Jethro stated.
A witty call-back to the national origins of each.
On the other side of the shipbuilding complex, Monty pulled on a pair of tan and black two-tone driving gloves and ensured the laces of her black Dunlop Volleys were done up before donning a black flat cap.
This scene is a little difficult to visualize without a time reference. Is this occurring in the daylight or dark?

"Hey, they weren't woken up at oh-dark-thirty by Jean Croce and ordered to abandon their current mission to drive 400 kilometers to watch some tramp steamer docked at an abandoned shipyard," Monty snapped.
Oh just wait Monty...my own story involving you & Jethro will be ready in short order and you'll be abandoning a mission to drive 1,400km to share a room with a hyperactive red-head. Makes Kisk's mission look rather good in comparison, eh?

"Stay safe," Jethro ordered and Monty replied with a sly smile
Classic Monty moment.

The windows were filthy, but not to the point of opaqueness.
Nice descriptive detail here.

He looked up and saw blue sky through a hole that he'd not recalled seeing there earlier. He stepped outside and looked up…
directly into the face of Monty, who'd chosen that moment to look down.
D'Oh! An innocuous little slip up like this is perhaps far more realistic for kicking off the action portion of the story than a major blow-out, like crashing through the roof.
The man shouted a warning and yanked a pistol from the holster on his hip, firing up at the roof.
A relevant detail later on, when Monty gives her slightly skewed version of the story.

His stunned senses were unable to re-orient themselves before Kara disconnected them by slamming the sole of her sneaker on the back of his neck, shattering the vertebra and rupturing the nerve bundles and blood vessels.
Quick, deliberate & quiet action, perfectly described. She didn't even waste a shot.

Kara sprinted for the fence, not bothering trying to climb it, instead performing a forward somersault to land on a large steel tank nearby, compressing her legs on touchdown to launch herself over the fence.
Kara: It's just like obstacle #6 on the course back at headquarters!

"Where the hell did you come from?" Michele asked, too stunned to offer one of his usual pithy comments.
Oh, I don't think he wants to get into a battle of pithy comments with Miss Monique (as evidenced by the next line).

"Lascaux?" Michele exclaimed as he pulled out and started driving away, his thoughts on the famous caves of prehistoric human art in Southwestern France.
Now that's a classic Michele line.

Jethro noted. "I think we might have stumbled on a run-of-the-mill weapons smuggling operation.
Jethro is jaded, isn't he!

"Hey, you were the reason they were chasing us to begin with," Kara shot back.
"Yes, but maybe they would have dismissed me as some curious teenager. Now they know cyborgs are in the area, so they're going to be on full alert," Monty retorted.
Jethro put a restraining hand on his cyborg.
Curious teenager? Umm...as I recall Monty, the forklift driver shot first and had no intention of asking questions later. I love her revised version of the story...classic Monty.
they're temporarily pairing Giada up with Marco.
Clever way of working Marco in. One wonders if he & Michele will discuss Angelica during the long stake-out hours. As I recall there was some friction between the two.

It's going to be a cold night of staking out, I'm afraid," Jethro said.

"Lovely," Kara stated.
Kara: Monty, do you happen to pack a clothing iron? And some cheese?

Monty: What?

Another fine chapter, Kisk...looking forward to more!


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Re: Pactio

Post by Alfisti on Wed 16 Mar 2011 - 20:53

Professor Voodoo wrote:
"Hey, they weren't woken up at oh-dark-thirty by Jean Croce and ordered to abandon their current mission to drive 400 kilometers to watch some tramp steamer docked at an abandoned shipyard," Monty snapped.
Oh just wait Monty...my own story involving you & Jethro will be ready in short order and you'll be abandoning a mission to drive 1,400km to share a room with a hyperactive red-head. Makes Kisk's mission look rather good in comparison, eh?
Monty: Alfisti? If you're going to keep lending me out and letting authors pair me up with these morons... I want a pay rise.

Alfisti: Hey, don't complain, you've got it pretty good and besides, I don't remember saying I was willing to take lip from my own characters.

Monty: Britney gets to negotiate her terms.

Alfisti: Britney can afford to pay better lawers.

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Re: Pactio

Post by ChaosKin640 on Wed 16 Mar 2011 - 23:30

Not to mention I imagine she has some more...creative means of negotiating better contract terms. Evil

Another fine chapter Kisk, though I did note an awkward typo around the start of Monty's infiltration.
...over the chain-link fence surrounding the. She landed on the balls of her feet and yard, staying low along the brush...
I think something got misplaced here.
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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 17 Mar 2011 - 0:06

ChaosKin640 wrote:Not to mention I imagine she has some more...creative means of negotiating better contract terms. Evil

Another fine chapter Kisk, though I did note an awkward typo around the start of Monty's infiltration.
...over the chain-link fence surrounding the. She landed on the balls of her feet and yard, staying low along the brush...
I think something got misplaced here.

Yeah some of the formatting was whacked when Alfisti and I were exchanging the draft. Fixed.

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Re: Pactio

Post by ElfenMagix on Tue 22 Mar 2011 - 18:55

Slow down! I'm still on 31... ROTFL
Great pair of chapters you put there.

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Re: Pactio

Post by crazyidiot78 on Tue 22 Mar 2011 - 19:29

Full of Win Loved the prank Kara pulled on Michele
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Re: Pactio

Post by Alfisti on Fri 25 Mar 2011 - 7:23

Ok, seeing as you already sort of know what I think of things up to chapter30... gonna kick this off from:

Chapter31
"Is there any woman in government you don't know?" Kara asked under her breath
Feeling a little insecure are we Kara?

The Soviets scattered them all over the Artic to power automated lighthouses and other navigation beacons.
God how I miss the Soviet Union... suddenly the go-to for generalized evilness has gone from every writer's toolbox.

Psychological terror. Well that certainly fits Dante's profile
Actually, the arrival of Dante onto the scene seems to have signaled a change in the Padania's M.O. Previously they seemed to shy away from attacking places of national significance... then Dante turns up and the destroy the Campinile?

"Do you think we'll get Dante?" Kara asked from the passenger seat as they drove back to the SWA Compound."The Croce Brothers are hunting him like a beagle does a rabbit,"
Oh they'll get him... even if it means saturation bombing the area...

...ok, possibly not quite that deranged, but there is a certain amount of drive there.

Chapter32
"Just have him get you an outfit. Normal tennis rackets and balls can't
stand up to our abilities so I had custom pieces made," Laine noted.
Shotputs?

"Clay hasn't mentioned any missions, but if I get to snowboard, I'll be sure to keep our schedule open!" Laine replied.
The following morning Kara and Laine exited the Cyborg Warehouse. Laine wore caramel-colored
I think you're missing a few section breaks through this one.

I'd rather not drive 900km non-stop, would you?" Michele asked.
Jethro: Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

The two girls packed their luggage in the back and the snowboards were attached to the roof snowboard rack.
Monty: Snowboarding? Really? And here I was thinking that Kara at least had a little class.

the all-wheel drive system fought to put down the power.
Didn't you just say it was rear-drive?

"I heard you took Monique Blacker out to drinks," Kara stated without preamble once they'd returned to their room.
Ah, I was wondering how Kara was going to find out...

Kara slipped her feet into a pair of oversized men's Sorel Caribou snow
boots. She tucked her jeans into them and then used nylon rope to
securely bind the boot shaft to her legs.
Actually, you've got to wonder... with the cyborgs' extra weight, you've got to wonder if they wouldn't need mens' snowshoes anyway. I like the detail of Kara binding the boot on, rather than having something special made up. Kinda adds to the urgency of the situation.

Once inside, she removed a suppressed Ruger MK III pistol and slowly opened the door.
Nice use of the weapon to help describe the type of mission this is. This is the kind of moment it's good to ad that extra bit of detail.

The door flew open and Kara rushed in, pouncing on the bed. She crossed
over him, grabbed the television remote off the nightstand, and flopped
back on her butt, raising the remote and activating the large LCD
television, which she tuned to CNN International where the female anchor
stood to the left of a large graphic that stated "TERROR ATTACKS IN
ITALY".
I guess no-one had time to recall the two fratelli? Made for a nice dramatic moment though.

Meanwhile, in Northern Africa... Monty's sitting with a Negroni and short wave radio... working.

"The time is seven hundred hours GMT, you're with the BBC World Service. Today's headlines: Terror attacks in Italy..."

Monty: Thoughts?

Jethro: Well I doubt we'd be a lot of help back there. Large scale operations aren't really our forte. I think we're better off continuing here.

Monty: That's what I was hopeing to hear.

Also, the strange calming effect of having a British accent deliver the news probably helps.


Chapter33
"Michele!" the Prime Minister greeted. Michele could tell how stressed
he was by the fact that he didn't flirt with Kara, instead ignoring her
presence.
Got a chuckle out of that.

That amount of money should be leaving a paper trail tall and wide
enough for the Guardia di Finanza to trip over even if they were
blindfolded,
Monty: This is landing on our heads isn't it...

Nice run of the battle as seen from the outside as well by the way. In some respects it helped clarify some of what was going on for me. Wink

Guess we'll just have to sit and see how it pans out for now... Looking forward to the next chapter after it does.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 25 Mar 2011 - 13:28

rusty-spring noted that the rackets are custom-made titanium and CFRP beasts. Probably carbon-nanotubes for the strings. Smile

As to the E63, I thought it was AWD, but it only came in RWD so I made the change, but evidently only in one place.

And indeed none of the line breaks for Chapter 32 made it, so I added them all manually and updated.

As for the attacks, I figure the news outlets would have picked this up even before the government was informed. I also expect that the Agency needs time to spin-up and issue recall orders and the Albertville mission was an important one, so I expect Lorenzo and Jean would not immediately pull the fratelli working it, instead using available resources (of which they have plenty).

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 20 Apr 2011 - 18:01

I've decided not to wait for the next chapter of GSG, since it may not resolve the Turin Arc.

So Michele and Kara are off to Paris and then Saint Petersburg on the trail of someone who they think may be behind the weapons Cristiano has been buying to give to Dante.

Kara also has to deal with yet another of Michele's "old friends" - the beautiful Coraline Loveau of the DGSE (based on Olivia Wilde's Quorra in Tron: Legacy). Should have Chapter 34 out by Friday.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Odon on Fri 22 Apr 2011 - 18:12

Unfortunately, we don't have any assets to task to the Ukrainian side," Carolyn noted.

"I might be able to help with that," Michele said, removing his iPhone from an inside coat pocket.

"Another ex-girlfriend!" snapped Kara.

"The fact that she's female and drop-dead gorgeous is purely a coincidence!" protested Michele.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Alfisti on Sat 23 Apr 2011 - 9:44

Odon wrote:
Unfortunately, we don't have any assets to task to the Ukrainian side," Carolyn noted.

"I might be able to help with that," Michele said, removing his iPhone from an inside coat pocket.

"Another ex-girlfriend!" snapped Kara.

"The fact that she's female and drop-dead gorgeous is purely a coincidence!" protested Michele.
Poor kid just can't win... Razz

Good chapter mate...

The black Citroën C6 pulled up the complex of buildings that housed
the French Directorate-General for External Security. In the back seat,
Michele and Kara rode silently, the handler reaching over and giving his
cyborg's bare knee a comforting squeeze.

The Italian forces had
been able to secure the perimeter of the plant when Michele felt his
iPhone vibrate. Kara noticed the look of surprise on his face as he
stepped into the hall to take the call.
I think it might be worth putting another line break between these two paragraphs. I needed a couple of reads through to figure out that it was jumpint back in time.
"When I ran the ship's registry, I received a hit that the Italian AISI
had identified the ship in Adria smuggling in weapons, possibly
chartered from Alexandria. Additional crosschecking brought to her
attention a report prepared by Naomi Palmer of the British SIS and
delivered to one Michele Pagani of the Italian AISE and I gave you a
call," she finished with a smile.
Like this little rundown, just as important the names that piqued her interest as well as the path she followed. I do however believe that "her" may have been supposed to be a "my".

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 23 Apr 2011 - 9:49

Alfisti wrote:
The black Citroën C6 pulled up the complex of buildings that housed the French Directorate-General for External Security. In the back seat, Michele and Kara rode silently, the handler reaching over and giving his cyborg's bare knee a comforting squeeze.

The Italian forces had been able to secure the perimeter of the plant when Michele felt his
iPhone vibrate. Kara noticed the look of surprise on his face as he stepped into the hall to take the call.

I think it might be worth putting another line break between these two paragraphs. I needed a couple of reads through to figure out that it was jumpint back in time.

I'd originally had one, but thought being only one paragraph, it might have seemed awkward. But clearly less awkward than not having it. sweat


Alfisti wrote:
"When I ran the ship's registry, I received a hit that the Italian AISI had identified the ship in Adria smuggling in weapons, possibly chartered from Alexandria. Additional crosschecking brought to her attention a report prepared by Naomi Palmer of the British SIS and delivered to one Michele Pagani of the Italian AISE and I gave you a call," she finished with a smile.

Like this little rundown, just as important the names that piqued her interest as well as the path she followed. I do however believe that "her" may have been supposed to be a "my".

Thanks for the catch. Originally the chapter started in St Petersburg so all of Coraline's prose was in the past tense and third person.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Odon on Mon 25 Apr 2011 - 3:13

I notice in the updated PDF you cut the scene in Ch 28 where a distraught Kara tries to make out with Michelle after Henrietta's reconditioning. Did you think it was a bit too full on?

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 25 Apr 2011 - 3:18

Odon wrote:I notice in the updated PDF you cut the scene in Ch 28 where a distraught Kara tries to make out with Michelle after Henrietta's reconditioning. Did you think it was a bit too full on?

Yeah, I didn't feel comfortable with it in the end. I'm trying to explore some different dynamics between them in this set of stories versus my first set,

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Re: Pactio

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 2 May 2011 - 1:06

I began to review Chapter 34 and realized I was way behind. Catching up here...
THIRTY

"This sucks," Kara muttered, burrowing deeper into her jacket under the awning of a storage shed for the commune's Water Department. The proximity to the river increased the humidity and as the temperature fell with nightfall, she swore she could feel the damp cold seep into her bones.
Very relateable imagery...does damp cold seep into carbon fiber?
"Visibility continues to deteriorate, but so has the activity," Kara reported to Jethro.
In your universe do the girls have infrared vision? Such a thing would be useful in this scenario.
even the normally security paranoid Jethro had eventually stopped using their pre-arranged codenames.
Good touch...this is something I sometimes forget to incorporate when I'm writing Jethro.
Michele slewed into the oncoming lane and hammered the throttle. Within a second, the Lamborghini was even with the rear wheels and Kara fired off ten rounds, the armor-piercing bullets puncturing the tires.
Now that's got to be difficult...there's not much window to stick a gun out of on one of those.
"Well that's a bust," Jethro noted.

Monty didn't bother to retort, privately incensed at being duped. Her mood darkened even more when she heard that the truck the Pagani's had taken down also proved to be empty.

"Time to give Croce the good news," Jethro deadpanned.
A tense scene, followed by a deflating let-down. I'd imagine a lot of missions end up this way.
She therefore didn't want to be anywhere near the senior Croce brother if she could help it.
Very much a "let my handler deal with it" moment.
"I'd heard you were loaded, but this confirms it," Jethro noted as he walked by three FIA Group C prototypes... Monty thought it a ridiculous waste of money, but she held her tongue.
I think it's an impressive display of restraint that Alfisti...himself a car enthusiast...has not
Unlike the traditional Roman version, Michele decided to add crème to this batch, creating what was known in the United States as fettuccine alfredo.
Kara: (on a stakeout with Rico) This looks like it could go on all night...and the adults are busy. Looks like it's up to us to cook dinner. What do you feel like?

Rico: How about that fancy macaroni & cheese Mr. Michele makes?

Kara: (shocked, incredulous) Fancy Macaroni and Cheese?!?
THIRTY-ONE

"Is there any woman in government you don't know?" Kara asked under her breath as she took his right hand in her left. Michele smiled wanly and gave her hand a squeeze.
Having a teenaged cyborg adds another element of politics to a handlers job!
"And Kara. You look more beautiful with every visit," he added. Kara put on a large smile and moved closer to Michele...She looked for Noelia, but didn't see her with the staffers either shuttling in and out of the room or crowding the walls. Maybe she was still at her high school in Naples.
Another classic Berlusconi moment.
In 1987, in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster the previous year, Italian citizens approved a referendum that shutdown the existing nuclear plants at Trino, Latina and Caorso and stopped completion of the two reactors at Montalto di Castro Nuclear Power Station.
Is this historic or an invention to fit the story?
We need to eliminate Dante as quickly and cleanly as possible. He's bound the factions to him and organized them into a clear and present danger to the Republic. If they do have radiological weapons and detonate them, holding the government together will be the least of our worries."
Using Michele as a direct point of contact with the PM adds a plausible layer to the canon story. When Dante demands the shut-down of the SWA and Pisano decides to fight instead I wonder if your character had some influence over that decision...
"Have you ever read Watership Down?"
Interesting reference, although as I recall the burrowers wound up on top in Adams' novel.
THIRTY-TWO

"That's really geeky," Laine observed and Kara stuck her tongue out at her.

"I find it helps me get used to my implants," Kara replied.

"Rationalize it anyway you want. It's still geeky,"
Credit to Laine for having the nerve to say it to her face.
"Do you have an outfit and equipment?" Laine asked.
"No, but I can ask Michele to get me some," Kara replied.

A moment later the door opened and Michele Pagani entered his room.
His "handler sense" must have been tingling.

Michele: I...I sense my cyborg spending money again...
They pulled into the Agip fueling bay at the Regello rest area
Now that Eni has bought them out are there still Agip branded stations?
don't let Claes know. She might look all demure, but she's almost as big a gossip as Beatrice," Kara noted.
With so little background information to go on I love how everyone fills in the blanks about Beatrice's personality. Was it Nachtsider who made her into a Rasta?
From the duffel Laine removed two ITT AN/PSQ-20 monocular night vision goggles and she and Triela attached them with custom headbands.
Along with the field glasses; would a cyborg really need these? Seems like they'd already have the binoculars & night vision built in from the factory.
He fell forwards out of her grasp, crashing onto the marble floor of the main area.

To the cyborg's augmented hearing, it sounded like a box of anvils falling to the ground and the twin sets of hard stares directed at Kara made her feel very much the rookie member of the team.
I like a minor hiccup in a plan now and then, this one sounds very realistic...
Triela and Laine appeared with the body and threw it into the bed, covering it with a sheet.
...followed by a clever way to cover it up.
Triela appeared in the door, motioning for Kara to follow her back inside.

"I've knocked him out. You're taller than me, so can you carry him downstairs?" she asked and Kara nodded.
Sounds better than "I'm the Senior Cyborg...you carry the trash out."
He was starting to drift back to sleep when his mind was jolted back to wakefulness by the plaintive cries of his cyborg. The door flew open and Kara rushed in, pouncing on the bed. She crossed over him, grabbed the television remote off the nightstand, and flopped back on her butt, raising the remote and activating the large LCD television, which she tuned to CNN International where the female anchor stood to the left of a large graphic that stated "TERROR ATTACKS IN ITALY".
I like that you used a humorous segue to pull us back to Yu's canon plot-line...Kara could just as easily have been bounding into the room and onto her handler to watch a music video or an episode of Top Gear.

More to come...

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 2 May 2011 - 1:53

Professor Voodoo wrote:
"Visibility continues to deteriorate, but so has the activity," Kara reported to Jethro.
In your universe do the girls have infrared vision? Such a thing would be useful in this scenario.

They do not have thermal imaging, but they have infrared photoreceptors in their eyes so they can see things illuminated by IR "flashlights" or some IR security beams.


Professor Voodoo wrote:
In 1987, in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster the previous year, Italian citizens approved a referendum that shutdown the existing nuclear plants at Trino, Latina and Caorso and stopped completion of the two reactors at Montalto di Castro Nuclear Power Station.
Is this historic or an invention to fit the story?

It's historic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_nuclear_power_referendum,_1987

And thanks for the "fancy macaroni & cheese" comment, Rico. I now know one of the "stakeout foods" I need to write for that fQ spread.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 2 May 2011 - 2:23

Kiskaloo wrote:
And thanks for the "fancy macaroni & cheese" comment, Rico. I now know one of the "stakeout foods" I need to write for that fQ spread.
I've been waiting to use that line for a while. It just seems to me that Rico...absolutely honest & free of pretense, would tell it like she sees it. Pasta+cheese= Macaroni & Cheese.

Kara of course would be horrified by such an appellation...Michele would probably find it amusing.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 2 May 2011 - 2:37

Professor Voodoo wrote:
Kiskaloo wrote:
And thanks for the "fancy macaroni & cheese" comment, Rico. I now know one of the "stakeout foods" I need to write for that fQ spread.
I've been waiting to use that line for a while. It just seems to me that Rico...absolutely honest & free of pretense, would tell it like she sees it. Pasta+cheese= Macaroni & Cheese.

Kara of course would be horrified by such an appellation...Michele would probably find it amusing.

Yes and yes.

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Re: Pactio

Post by ChaosKin640 on Mon 2 May 2011 - 4:44

Jacob: What the hell do you people have against good old mac and cheese?
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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 2 May 2011 - 14:30

ChaosKin640 wrote:Jacob: What the hell do you people have against good old mac and cheese?

Smile

There just better not be a mushroom cloud over Turin in Chapter 83 of the manga, because I'm working on Chapter 35 and I am assuming the plant is successfully liberated.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 2 May 2011 - 14:42

Kiskaloo wrote:There just better not be a mushroom cloud over Turin in Chapter 83 of the manga,
Yu will probably torture us, and spend the next six chapters on a flashback arc explaining the origins of Georgio or Amadeo.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Officer_Charon on Mon 2 May 2011 - 15:28

G&A: "We're okay with this..."

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Re: Pactio

Post by Alfisti on Mon 2 May 2011 - 19:33

Professor Voodoo wrote:Very relateable imagery...does damp cold seep into carbon fiber?
Well I don't know about carbon fiber specifically, but if it's anything like fiberglass with the gelcoat off... then yes Razz

Professor Voodoo wrote:
even the normally security paranoid Jethro had eventually stopped using their pre-arranged codenames.
Good touch...this is something I sometimes forget to incorporate when I'm writing Jethro.
I should make not that Jethro's paranoia isn't a personal paranoia, rather a professional one: he's very aware what his screwing up and getting caught, or even just giving an ostensibly friendly power extra leverage, could mean in a broader political context.

"I'd heard you were loaded, but this confirms it," Jethro noted as he walked by three FIA Group C prototypes... Monty thought it a ridiculous waste of money, but she held her tongue.
I think it's an impressive display of restraint that Alfisti...himself a car enthusiast...has not
That I've not got a character with lots of cars, or that I've not had Monty (and to a lesser extent, Jethro) care about such matters?

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Re: Pactio

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 2 May 2011 - 20:53

Alfisti wrote:
"I'd heard you were loaded, but this confirms it," Jethro noted as he walked by three FIA Group C prototypes... Monty thought it a ridiculous waste of money, but she held her tongue.
I think it's an impressive display of restraint that Alfisti...himself a car enthusiast...has not
That I've not got a character with lots of cars, or that I've not had Monty (and to a lesser extent, Jethro) care about such matters?
That's weird...I did finish that sentence (I write these reviews offline then copy & paste). Well, here's the rest, plus a bit more...

...has not transferred that interest to Monty's personality. She has absolutely no desire to drive and apperantly couldn't care less about racing or exotic autos.

Kara: (showing off Michele's 458) Isn't it terrific? Michele & I went up to Modena to pick it up.

Monty: (dryly) How do you sleep in it? Where do you keep your gear & paperwork? You'd need to tow a trailer to make this thing useful. Does Ferrari offer a factory trailer option?

Kara:

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Re: Pactio

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 4 May 2011 - 2:28

THIRTY-THREE

they were sent onward to Bologna to assist with the freeing of the hostages at the University. They successfully eliminated or captured the dozen members of the Bologna faction of the Five Republics who'd taken the Collegio di Spagna without any serious civilian casualties.
Some more details about this...or perhaps picking the story up right at the conclusion of this action...might have been interesting.
Jean stated...The Minister of Defense has ordered the 9th to re-take the facility and we will assist in that operation."
As obsessive as Jean has gotten by this point I'm surprised he even mentioned anyone else being involved in the op. I had the impression he considered this his mission.
"Director Lorenzo wants you in Rome with the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. Dante might try and take them out and Minister Petris has asked that a fratelli be assigned to his protection detail. Your friendship with the PM made you a natural choice."
As many times as the PM has called on Michele & Kara I wonder if he considers them his personal fratello.
Michele and Kara both turned to follow and watched a white Airbus A319CJ VIP transport
You mentioned the same aircraft with the same phrase in the opening paragraph...it just feels a little repetitive.
Michele could tell how stressed he was by the fact that he didn't flirt with Kara,
Nice touch.
"Where is Dante getting the money for all this? Nuclear warhead; cruise missiles; transport vehicles; his expenditures have to be near eight figures! That amount of money should be leaving a paper trail tall and wide enough for the Guardia di Finanza to trip over even if they were blindfolded," he exclaimed.
Now this is a plot line I'd really like to see played out. I doubt Yu is going to do it in canon.
"Mister President! Minister Petris reports the commanders on scene are ready to begin the attack," the Vice Minister of Defense reported.
"Permission granted," the Prime Minister said.
Odd coincidence that this has so much in common with this week's real world events.
"They're my sisters, Michele!" Kara cried. "Not just comrades. Not just teammates.
Very believable response from Kara (although she might think twice about wading through a drainage ditch and crawling into a dirty pipe). I think every author of an OC pair has considered what role their characters would fit into during the Venice battle as well as the current power-plant fight.
THIRTY-FOUR
Mid-twenties, Kara decided as she examined the woman who stood next to Michele, the two of them staring at a large mesh fabric bulletin board. And quite the looker, she added, sourly.
Is this the new character you mentioned based on the actress you like?
Kara frowned, still chafing at the memory of being given the slip.
She does seem like one who would lets something like that get under her skin.
"Good movie," Kara noted. "Though I liked his Ronin, more," she added, referring to the director, John Frankenheimer.
"Frankenheimer directed the sequel," Michele noted.
Time-line question; is the fight at the power-plant still unresolved? If so this casual exchange seems at odds with Kara's distress in the previous chapter.
"Anyway, we know the cocaine comes by ship across the Atlantic to the Ivory Coast, Liberia and Guinea-Bissau.... where it's put onto ships that carry it to the various European ports.
Possible follow-up mission for Jethro & Monty?

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 4 May 2011 - 3:07

Professor Voodoo wrote:
THIRTY-THREE
"Where is Dante getting the money for all this? Nuclear warhead; cruise missiles; transport vehicles; his expenditures have to be near eight figures! That amount of money should be leaving a paper trail tall and wide enough for the Guardia di Finanza to trip over even if they were blindfolded," he exclaimed.
Now this is a plot line I'd really like to see played out. I doubt Yu is going to do it in canon.

I think Cristiano said it's money he made in Serbia that is funding the ops, but it is something I am considering trying to pursue with future chapters.

Professor Voodoo wrote:
"They're my sisters, Michele!" Kara cried. "Not just comrades. Not just teammates.
Very believable response from Kara (although she might think twice about wading through a drainage ditch and crawling into a dirty pipe). I think every author of an OC pair has considered what role their characters would fit into during the Venice battle as well as the current power-plant fight.

And in Kara's case, she's missed both.


Professor Voodoo wrote:
THIRTY-FOUR
Mid-twenties, Kara decided as she examined the woman who stood next to Michele, the two of them staring at a large mesh fabric bulletin board. And quite the looker, she added, sourly.
Is this the new character you mentioned based on the actress you like?

Yes.

Professor Voodoo wrote:
"Good movie," Kara noted. "Though I liked his Ronin, more," she added, referring to the director, John Frankenheimer.
"Frankenheimer directed the sequel," Michele noted.
Time-line question; is the fight at the power-plant still unresolved? If so this casual exchange seems at odds with Kara's distress in the previous chapter.

They likely are fighting it out. Maybe she's just focusing her mind on something else...


Professor Voodoo wrote:
"Anyway, we know the cocaine comes by ship across the Atlantic to the Ivory Coast, Liberia and Guinea-Bissau.... where it's put onto ships that carry it to the various European ports.
Possible follow-up mission for Jethro & Monty?

Yes. As well as a mission for Michele and Kara in Odessa, Ukraine.

I'm planning on working the 'Ndrangheta and their control of the EU cocaine trade into the story in future chapters. Turin kind of de-railed me for a bit.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 4 May 2011 - 5:39

Kiskaloo wrote:
Professor Voodoo wrote:
"They're my sisters, Michele!" Kara cried. "Not just comrades. Not just teammates.
Very believable response from Kara (although she might think twice about wading through a drainage ditch and crawling into a dirty pipe). I think every author of an OC pair has considered what role their characters would fit into during the Venice battle as well as the current power-plant fight.
And in Kara's case, she's missed both.
In my time-line Marisa had not yet been constructed when the Venice battle took place, but I have a scene in which Elio & Mari discuss it.

Summary; with her typical over-confidence Marisa declares that "things would have been different if I was there"...to which Elio blunty & firmly tells her "If you were there you would have been killed. I am absolutely 100% certain of that." Of course this admonishment hurts her feelings, but Elio rationally explains what role the Agency would have assigned her based on her talents, and how she would have executed that role based on her own personality...his conclusion being "You would have been killed."

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Re: Pactio

Post by Alfisti on Wed 4 May 2011 - 16:41

Professor Voodoo wrote:That's weird...I did finish that sentence (I write these reviews offline then copy & paste). Well, here's the rest, plus a bit more...

...has not transferred that interest to Monty's personality. She has absolutely no desire to drive and apparently couldn't care less about racing or exotic autos Sounds like my current process...

Actually, weirdly enough, very few of my characters are car enthusiasts. Of my two currently active character sets, only Jethro comes even remotely close to taking that title. Of the other set (as Kisk is finding out) my lead, perma-broke student Jesse, doesn’t have a license and relies on a combination of walking, pedal power, public transport and scunging rides off’f her mates to get around. One of those mates is a somewhat ditzy girl with a Hyundai Getz her parents bought her, and the other is a communist science-major whose early ‘90s Camry wagon sits firmly in the “so crap it’s cool” basket.

I think there’s a couple of factors involved, but the major one is a result of having studied design where the first thing we were taught was YOU. ARE. NOT. EVERYONE. So while I personally like cars, and I’m also pretty aware that, so long as it has four wheels, none of which fall off between A and B, 90% of the planet really doesn’t give a shit. That can make it difficult for me to suspend my own disbelief long enough to make the characters feel plausible to myself. The few times I have created characters that were car enthusiasts, I’ve invariably wound up wanting to tell everyone how cool their cars are at the expense of, well... actual character development. sweat

At the end of the day though, I’ve just never really been all that happy with any car enthusiast character I’ve created and, more to the point: for some reason I haven't enjoyed working with them. Search me as to why.


Professor Voodoo wrote:I think every author of an OC pair has considered what role their characters would fit into during the Venice battle as well as the current power-plant fight
Jethro and Monty? Having at least two sets of international borders between them and those particular fights. I think for Monty the whole pair of fights would fall broadly into the category of "somebody else's problem". Where she would possibly be a touch miffed would be that someone managed to sneak missile warheads and possible radioactive material past her.


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Re: Pactio

Post by Robert Frazer on Wed 4 May 2011 - 17:53

If you want a character to be involved in the Venice operation without affecting the canon of how events panned out at St. Mark's Campanile, there's actually a convenient way to give them an innocuous role. While the cyborgs attack the piazza, the other Section Two staff are searching other buildings to uncover Dante's command post.



You can have characters sweeping through Venice here - maybe even fighting Padanian decoys and rearguards - playing a genuine and consistent role while still not interfering with destiny.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 4 May 2011 - 21:30

Since I knew I didn't want Michele or Kara at Turin (mainly because I wasn't sure what to do with them there), I needed them away when Dante's forces took the plant (so the mission to Albertville) and then being unavailable during the call-up and deployment (protecting the PM).

I really should have held off on Chapter 34, since it serves it's purpose as a "bridge" to the new arc (which starts in Russia), but it wasn't a very good one. I may end up deleting and re-writing / re-publishing it when I'm ready to put up the Russian Arc.

As for Turin, Michele is intentionally keeping Kara in the dark about what happened since they left Rome so she stays focused on the mission at hand. So all I need not to happen is a nuke go off (either at the plant or somewhere else). The Russia arc will likely be a few days, and a nuclear detonation on Italian soil is not something that can be kept quiet. Wink

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 5 Nov 2011 - 20:05

The manga is now far enough along that i feel comfortable starting up again.

That being said, I have decided to dispense with the original Chapter 33 and Chapter 34, so there is a reason this chapter number may look familiar. Smile

I took Professor Voodoo's advice and wrote out Kara and Laine rescuing the hostages at the Collegia di Spagnia.


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Re: Pactio

Post by crazyidiot78 on Sun 6 Nov 2011 - 20:00

First attempt at a more serious review.

great addition to the saga kisk. i particularly liked he detailed action sequences. After reading it a second time I found the inclusion of the large bore hunting rifles and other large caliber weapons a unique but appropriate approach.



"Is that some kind of wildcat?" Kara asked, using the term for a custom cartridge for which ammunition and firearms are not mass-produced.

"It looks like the mutant child of a .375 and .458 Magnum," Laine said. A moment later, it hit her. "This must be .458 Lott. It uses the case of the .375 Holland & Holland Magnum with the bullet from the .458 Winchester Magnum. It's the de facto cartridge used to put a big hole in large African game animals."

"It looks like it could put a big hole in one of us," Kara noted, a hint of worry in her voice as her mind raced back to the cache of large-caliber weapons Monty had discovered at Adria.

"Yeah. And unlike an anti-material rifle, law enforcement won't bat an eye at a fellow with a large hunting rifle as long as he has the proper permits," Laine noted. "Clearly the 'Big Bad' knows just how bad-assed we are and is compensating. We need to be on our toes."

Anything that can tale down an elephant can and will more than likely also damage the cyborgs. On a side note is it possible that the Padania starts breaking out old anti-tank rifles. With my recent watching of Strike Witches I'm thinking of Lynnettes Boy's rifle.



She padded to the door and peeked out. She waited until the other man turned and started his walk back. She rushed him, slipping the knife under his body armor and stabbing him in the right kidney and viciously slicing upward, shredding the organ and splashing blood over her own front.

"See? We match now," Laine noted.

"The word subtle is not in your vocabulary, is it?" Kara asked.

A very telling point about the girls and their conditioning/ addittude towards death and violence, that they can agrue about dirty clothing while on a mission viscously killing thier opponents. It brings to mind how much is brought on by the drugs and how much is simply accepting their situation and what they can and can't control. Hopefuly i didn't read to much into it.



Now, he waited for the climatic battle. Unlike his counterpart in Venice, Biondetti believed he had a fair chance to make it out alive. His hostages the children of foreigners, but they were rich and powerful foreigners. That meant the Agency could not give their demons free reign and there were reports that they did not improvise well on their own. And while an institute of learning, the college had been built in a darker and more violent time and the architecture reflected that in design features and construction that more properly resembled a fortress. But if it looked like they'd make a last stand, the Russian cruise missile warhead stored in the loading dock would level much of the building.

This will certainly up the attention the padania gets from outside of Italy possibly brining more forgien military/ intellegence pressure down on them. Might make Monty and Jethro's job a little easier in some respects.



"How did it go?" Michele asked Kara, but Laine cut in before Kara could answer.

"She kicked ass, Colonel. Cool, confident and deadly. She lacks my innate flair, but I'd still have her by my side any time."

"Uh, what she said?" Kara asked with a hopeful look and Michele nodded his approval.

Something which Michelle is more than grateful for.
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Re: Pactio

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 9 Nov 2011 - 5:59

THIRTY-THREE
"Let's go crash the party," Laine said, pumping her fist.
Between you and rusty-springs' ongoing stories I'm getting a much better impression of Laine's character.
The man headed for the nearest stall so he could hang his rifle on the hook. As he opened the door, the sole of Laine's right boot smashed into his face, pulping his nose and shattering his jaw.
Jeeze, could have at least let him take a leak first.
The blood fountained out…to land across Kara's jeans and boots.
the blood spilling out like a ruptured syrup bottle.

stabbing him in the right kidney and viciously slicing upward, shredding the organ and splashing blood over her own front.
Not shying away from creative descriptions of gore in this chapter I see. A consequence of working with Laine?
There he met a professor who showed him how Italy's ancient stone architecture was being smothered in the glass and steel of modernism and she was prostituting her heritage and culture to appease foreign parasites.
Sounds a lot like some of the sentiments expressed in Robert's Women of Troy.
armed with a mix of Russian AK-74M and AKS-74U assault rifles with armor-piercing cartridges, high-caliber hunting rifles designed to take down large game and a handful of Zastava M93 Black Arrow and GEPARD M2A2 sniper rifles firing the powerful 12.7x108mm bullet. All also carried Taurus Raging Bull revolvers chambered in .454 Casul or IMI Desert Eagle Mark XIX semi-automatic pistols chambered for .50 Action Express on their hips. Ten men were with him in the chapel, two armed with M93s
I'm afraid this paragraph reads a bit like a catalog and places a road bump in the flow of the story. If you were planning on writing a 5-page long battle scene like ChaosKin is fond of doing each these weapons might somehow factor into the action but as it plays out none of the enemy even gets off a shot. I realize the reason for explaining exactly what Kara & Laine were up against...it shows that they are in genuine danger...but without any of it actually getting used it comes off as a bit extraneous.
Laine's gaze fixated on anyone with a visible weapon, said gaze followed shortly by three 9x19mm rounds.
Great use of cyborg abilities...I'm picturing Laine being able to focus on and track all three targets simultaneously, something no ordinary human could do.
"We need to get you two cleaned up," Michele noted.
New Handler Orientation. Rule 1: Always carry a change of clothes for your cyborg.

Another fine chapter, Kisk...glad to see you back.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 9 Nov 2011 - 23:32

Professor Voodoo wrote:Between you and rusty-springs' ongoing stories I'm getting a much better impression of Laine's character.

Laine's background will hopefully be a bit more revealed in Chapter 34.

Professor Voodoo wrote:Not shying away from creative descriptions of gore in this chapter I see. A consequence of working with Laine?

I was inspired by that picture of Laine with a knife and soaked in blood that rusty-spring did. sweat




Professor Voodoo wrote:
There he met a professor who showed him how Italy's ancient stone architecture was being smothered in the glass and steel of modernism and she was prostituting her heritage and culture to appease foreign parasites.
Sounds a lot like some of the sentiments expressed in Robert's Women of Troy.

It is indeed a direct shout-out to that body of work.


Professor Voodoo wrote:
armed with a mix of Russian AK-74M and AKS-74U assault rifles with armor-piercing cartridges, high-caliber hunting rifles designed to take down large game and a handful of Zastava M93 Black Arrow and GEPARD M2A2 sniper rifles firing the powerful 12.7x108mm bullet. All also carried Taurus Raging Bull revolvers chambered in .454 Casul or IMI Desert Eagle Mark XIX semi-automatic pistols chambered for .50 Action Express on their hips. Ten men were with him in the chapel, two armed with M93s
I'm afraid this paragraph reads a bit like a catalog and places a road bump in the flow of the story. If you were planning on writing a 5-page long battle scene like ChaosKin is fond of doing each these weapons might somehow factor into the action but as it plays out none of the enemy even gets off a shot. I realize the reason for explaining exactly what Kara & Laine were up against...it shows that they are in genuine danger...but without any of it actually getting used it comes off as a bit extraneous.

Understood. I was trying to show how the factions were arming themselves against the cyborgs and were not limiting themselves to just the latest and greatest anti-material rifles. I'll re-worked it to omit the models and most of the calibers:

His 25 men were armed with a mix of assault rifles with armor-piercing cartridges, high-caliber hunting rifles designed to take down large game and a handful of sniper rifles firing the powerful 12.7x108mm bullet. All also carried revolvers and semi-automatic pistols chambered for large calibers on their hips. Ten men were with him in the chapel, two armed with sniper rifles standing guard in overlooking balconies. The other fourteen were spread around the compound, either patrolling or performing sentry duty.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Alfisti on Sun 13 Nov 2011 - 7:00

Ok, so, thoughts on...

Chapter35

Kiskaloo wrote:...a number of the students were from powerful and influential Spanish
families. This put pressure on the Italian government to secure their
safe release and this, in turn, put pressure on Michele and Clayland to
devise a plan to do just that...
Nothing quite like knowing fouling up will cause an international incident to ramp up the pressure.

he stated, informing Michele and Clayland that Kara and Laine were cybernetic organisms.
...that he knew Kara and Laine...? I think Michele and Clayland are already aware of the fact Razz

The room was simply decorated, reflecting the occupant's lack of aesthetics more than an imposed austerity.
Monty: One good thing about going up against Evil Geniuses: at least they have a sense of style.

But if it looked like they'd make a last stand, the Russian cruise
missile warhead stored in the loading dock would level much of the
building.
Well I guess in that Biondetti seems to differ from Christiano, the latter wanted to preserve things... this bloke seem to be following a bit more of a "scorched earth" policy.

Monty: *Grumble* Bloody Russia's like a sieve for weapons... my job would be a lot easier if the USSR was still whole and active.

"We need to get you two cleaned up," Michele noted.
Surely they'd have made cyborgs machine-washable by now...

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 13 Nov 2011 - 8:55

Alfisti wrote:
But if it looked like they'd make a last stand, the Russian cruise missile warhead stored in the loading dock would level much of the building.

Well I guess in that Biondetti seems to differ from Christiano, the latter wanted to preserve things... this bloke seem to be following a bit more of a "scorched earth" policy.

I believe Dante intended to detonate the warhead in Venice to try and kill the cyborgs he knew would be sent to try and apprehend them. He also stated that he had one warhead for each of the factions, so I have to believe that the plan was to use them in a similar role or just to cause general destruction (like the fuel depot at FCO and the police barracks in Florence).

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Re: Pactio

Post by MP5 on Mon 14 Nov 2011 - 11:39

Another excellent chapter as usual, Kisk.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Alfisti on Tue 22 Nov 2011 - 7:05

Ok, thoughts on 35 & 36...

CH35
Kiskaloo wrote:"It's so quiet," Kara noted as she approached the front of the building
Monty: A quiet SWA? That I might even want to visit.

Jokes aside; I imagine a quiet SWA is kinda wierd... a bit like walking through school when everyone else is in class. You've done a good job of capturing that feeling of quiet emptiness through this first section, well done.

Pulling out a pad of paper, he wrote down a phone number, which he handed to Claes along with ten €500 notes.
Leaving yourself an out?

he packed four days worth of clothes and shoes into the suitcase
So... only two steamer trunks then

CH36
Kiskaloo wrote:"So how do you and Michele know each other?" Laine asked as everyone
removed jackets and settled into chairs, putting voice to a question
that had pin-balled been inside Kara's head for the past hour.
Asked on Kara's behalf perhaps?

When the Cold War ended, a number of Soviet aircrews decided
to…appropriate…their cargo aircraft in lieu of back wages and flew them
off to isolated airfields in the 'Stans or the Eastern Anatolia Region
of Turkey
To be fair: the appropriation of the aircraft was semi-legal. When it became evident that the military would be unable to feed its own people, there was apparently an order given that basically amounted to: "you may use or sell military equipment in order to survive". The rest is history.

I'd double check that one though.

American NEST teams
Were you actively trying to see how many acronyms you could cram into one chapter? Razz

Nicely done mate... I think you did a pretty good job of preventing the briefing from becoming dry and dull, looking forward to the next one.

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 22 Nov 2011 - 7:43

Alfisti wrote:
American NEST teams
Were you actively trying to see how many acronyms you could cram into one chapter? Razz

Well they have all been spelled out in earlier chapters... Wink

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Re: Pactio

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 30 Nov 2011 - 8:10

THIRTY-FIVE[/font]
"Dante's forces put up a determined resistance and there were many casualties," Michele replied. "A number of cyborgs were injured, Triela gravely so."
Is Michele still in the dark about the fatalities, or is he aware but unwilling to tell Claes the whole truth yet?
Pulling out a pad of paper, he wrote down a phone number, which he handed to Claes along with ten €500 notes.
Interesting contingency...

THIRTY-SIX
"She must be very beautiful, then," Coraline stated.

"She was," Kara said.
A jab from Kara to put her "rival" off balance? She does seem rather passive-aggressive/catty around Michele's female acquaintances.
"But what we found surprising is that the vessel wasn't importing cocaine to the Ukraine, but exporting it," Caroline noted.

...It doesn't make any sense for them to export it from the Ukraine, especially back to Italy,
This does seem like a weird tangle...I'll be interested to see where you take this plot line.
When the Cold War ended, a number of Soviet aircrews decided to…appropriate…their cargo aircraft in lieu of back wages and flew them off to isolated airfields in the 'Stans or the Eastern Anatolia Region of Turkey
Simpatico with Alfisti's story?
"Do you recall the Bujanovac Incident?" Michele asked.

"Yes, it was during the break-up of Serbia and Montenegro. A Russian fighter-bomber carrying a tactical nuclear device crashed on the outskirts of the town. The bomb detonated, killing thousands, and radioactive fallout contaminated much of the Preševo Valley...two ex-Soviet 'suitcase nukes' were smuggled into the area and one of them was detonated
This is a clever way of adding a "patch" to canon.

Looking forward to the next installment!

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 30 Nov 2011 - 10:04

Professor Voodoo wrote:
THIRTY-FIVE
"Dante's forces put up a determined resistance and there were many casualties," Michele replied. "A number of cyborgs were injured, Triela gravely so."

Is Michele still in the dark about the fatalities, or is he aware but unwilling to tell Claes the whole truth yet?


A combination of both, in that I'm still in the dark about the fatalities. Smile

Professor Voodoo wrote:
THIRTY-SIX
"She must be very beautiful, then," Coraline stated.

"She was," Kara said.

A jab from Kara to put her "rival" off balance? She does seem rather passive-aggressive/catty around Michele's female acquaintances.

Yes. Kara is still early in her relationship with Michele (three months) and she's unsure where she stands...

...and she may have a mechanical body, but she is still an adolescent girl. Wink


Professor Voodoo wrote:
When the Cold War ended, a number of Soviet aircrews decided to…appropriate…their cargo aircraft in lieu of back wages and flew them off to isolated airfields in the 'Stans or the Eastern Anatolia Region of Turkey

Simpatico with Alfisti's story?

Yes. And hopefully not the only reference to it.

Professor Voodoo wrote:
"Do you recall the Bujanovac Incident?" Michele asked.

"Yes, it was during the break-up of Serbia and Montenegro. A Russian fighter-bomber carrying a tactical nuclear device crashed on the outskirts of the town. The bomb detonated, killing thousands, and radioactive fallout contaminated much of the Preševo Valley...two ex-Soviet 'suitcase nukes' were smuggled into the area and one of them was detonated

This is a clever way of adding a "patch" to canon.

It's clear that the Bosnian Conflict went nuclear at some point, though it appears to have happened after the main breakup of Yugoslavia as Dante refers to an event six years later. So I whipped out my Atlas and went to work. Smile

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Re: Pactio

Post by Alfisti on Tue 13 Dec 2011 - 7:40

Wow, I can see how you got bogged down in the research...
Kiskaloo wrote:"You and Jethro Blacker must be a riot at the bar."
Proably best Monty doesn't find out her handler's name got mentioned in front of the FSB, or Clayland may find himself off her Christmas Card list...

...assuming he was ever on her Christmas Card list...

...assuming Monty actually has a Christmas Card list, which is probably doubtful.


Enjoyed it mate, more thoughts to come.

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Re: Pactio

Post by tremec6speed on Wed 14 Dec 2011 - 23:47

Great story Kiskaloo, eager to see what happens next with Dante's nuclear threat. Smile
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Re: Pactio

Post by Professor Voodoo on Tue 20 Dec 2011 - 11:37

THIRTY-SEVEN
He did have to admit that the Generation Two's ability to pass for being a young adult made such arrangements easier and he had at times wondered how the Croces handled it with their pre-teen girls or Hilshire with Triela when they operated remotely.
Hillshire: Eh...you get a room with two beds? I'm pretty sure the kinds of hotels you stay in can provide that.
"Stepping up your game today, I see," Laine noted, taking in Kara's black long-sleeved sweater dress over a white lace camisole and knee-high dress boots in black leather. "Love the hat," she added.
Kara offered a wane smile as she pulled the white pillbox fur hat off her head. "You're looking good yourself," she added.
Jean: I have at times wondered how those handlers with teenaged cyborgs handle it...

Another fine chapter. Looking forward to the trip into Russia...

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Re: Pactio

Post by Alfisti on Sun 1 Jan 2012 - 20:53

Ok, so before the working year starts again in earnest: extended thoughts:

Chapter37
"Stepping up your game today, I see," Laine noted, taking in Kara's
black long-sleeved sweater dress over a white lace camisole and
knee-high dress boots in black leather.
Feeling the need to address a threat are we Kara?

"She's a bloody Q-car!" Laine exclaimed.
Amusing mostly in that I think the word derivation actually originally went the other way. Razz Though admittedly Khazbiika appears to be unarmed.


Chapter38
Nadia smiled politely, though Kara noted her sizing up Coraline. Under
the Soviet structure, Nadia would have served in the KGB's Second Chief
Directorate, tasked with counterintelligence operations. A foreign
intelligence operative like Coraline would have been a prime subject for
such monitoring.
And Michele wouldn't be? Ah well, I guess old habits die hard.

"We are the ones who watch the watchers…"
Ominous.

"...His followers are also armed with modern Russian assault and heavy
rifles," Michele reported. "We're not sure who is backing him, but they
seem to have a direct pipeline to your munitions stockpiles."
Monty: I have this love/hate relationship with the former Soviet Union, it makes life so easy and at the same time so hard.


Chapter39
"I'd like to offer an idea," Kara stated.
Bollocks Kara, you just wanted to go shopping.

Glacier Blue Bentley Continental GTC Speed convertible
Do I even want to know where that came from?

Kara found the Pop Art décor to be absolutely vulgar, but she'd heard
from her handler that Moscow was filled with the nouveau riche and their
tastes were, in his opinion, rather lacking.
Jethro: Don't bother trying to understand the vagaries of the Pop Art crowd... mostly because I can't be bothered trying to explain them.

To be honest, after reading that I went and googled Pacha Moscow and... well overall I actually quite like it. Some things aren't working (the integration of the "PACHA" typeface and logo could have been handled better for examble), but that could also be put down to "all clients are idiots". I couldn't live in it mind, but for a club it works alright. Horses for courses and all that.


such an attitude did not register with Kara, who considered her handler to be as infallible as the Bishop of Rome.
Monty: That's because her handler isn't a small child.

working their way through the crowd like two American gridiron football linebackers through a defensive line.
Monty: *Reading the mission report at her/Jethro's desk* One of these days Michele, you're going to need to teach your cyborg about the fine art of subtlety.


Good set of chapters mate, looking forward to the next.

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


Your lack of planning does not constitute my emergency.
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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 2 Jan 2012 - 13:55

Alfisti wrote:Feeling the need to address a threat are we Kara?

I'm trying to play her as a bit less secure about her place.

Alfisti wrote:
"She's a bloody Q-car!" Laine exclaimed.

Amusing mostly in that I think the word derivation actually originally went the other way. Razz Though admittedly Khazbiika appears to be unarmed.

I thought Q-Ship at first, but those are traditionally defined as armed merchantmen. A Q-Car, on the other hand, is a "plain" car with a powerful engine, so it better fit.


Alfisti wrote:
"I'd like to offer an idea," Kara stated.
Bollocks Kara, you just wanted to go shopping.

Shh!

Alfisti wrote:
Glacier Blue Bentley Continental GTC Speed convertible
Do I even want to know where that came from?

Just liked the color.

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


What? I like donuts! - Betty Suarez
If I die before my time, go on Oprah and tell the world 'I liked kittens'. - Veronica Mars
Scissors of victory! - Yui Hirasawa
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Re: Pactio

Post by Alfisti on Tue 3 Jan 2012 - 4:17

Kiskaloo wrote:
Alfisti wrote:
Glacier Blue Bentley Continental GTC Speed convertible
Do I even want to know where that came from?

Just liked the color.
I was more wondering just about the car in general...

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Your lack of planning does not constitute my emergency.
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Alfisti

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Forum Posts : 5749

Location : A Town by the Sea, NSW Central Coast, Australia

Fan of : Triela, Hilshire, Priscilla, Ferro

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Re: Pactio

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 3 Jan 2012 - 9:35

Alfisti wrote:
Kiskaloo wrote:
Alfisti wrote:
Glacier Blue Bentley Continental GTC Speed convertible
Do I even want to know where that came from?
Just liked the color.

I was more wondering just about the car in general...

Kara: "Yeah, really! I mean if you're going to drive a Bentley, do it right and drive an old school Bentley. I suggested a Bentley Azure T, but nnnnoooo.... This is the "new Russia" and they're evidently all footballers so that means they all drive the tarted-up Volkswagen Phaeton-derived models—"

Claes: "The man asked a simple question. You don't need to respond with a Top Gear Italy commentary."

Kara: "Oh. Well we figured a convertible was the easiest way to extricate Anton and since the Bentley has a big back seat and it's something the rich and fashionable in Russia drive, it would fit in."

Claes: "Ok. But why the Speed version?"

Kara: "It's faster!"

Claes: "You were driving it in a city that even with eight lanes has more gridlock than Los Angeles."

Kara: "But it's faster!"

Claes: ...ugh.

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


What? I like donuts! - Betty Suarez
If I die before my time, go on Oprah and tell the world 'I liked kittens'. - Veronica Mars
Scissors of victory! - Yui Hirasawa
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A Cat of Many Talents

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Re: Pactio

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