The Patchwork Fratello

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The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 10 Nov 2010 - 6:42

I offer for your consideration a new project, to be released in chapters. This new story will feature Marisa, Elio and all the usual Cyborg Central OC characters, but will focus on a new pair.

It's shorter than my usual stuff; I intend to keep the chapters under 10,000 words each so (hopefully) there won't be a month gap between installments.

The Patchwork Fratello
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4


Last edited by Professor Voodoo on Sat 11 Jun 2011 - 21:55; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : chapter added)

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by crazyidiot78 on Wed 10 Nov 2010 - 8:21

Full of Win is all I can say right now. Have to get to work and such, but awesome job. Love the ending by the way.
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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Alfisti on Wed 10 Nov 2010 - 9:16

Nice man... fuller thoughts to come later.

Oh, and nice reference to GSG's tagline as well.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 10 Nov 2010 - 12:51

Awesome work, as always.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by ElfenMagix on Wed 10 Nov 2010 - 12:54

That was great, Voodoo. I want to see more!

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Officer_Charon on Wed 10 Nov 2010 - 14:09

One thing I've noticed in yours and Robert's works is that you make references to casual, throwaway discussions in the forums... much to our young analyst's dismay at the end. *evil grin*

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 10 Nov 2010 - 15:23

@Officer_Charon wrote:One thing I've noticed in yours and Robert's works is that you make references to casual, throwaway discussions in the forums... much to our young analyst's dismay at the end. *evil grin*
I'd say it's a combination of two factors. The forum is a genuine inspiration for scenes, and a great way to get a feel for the characters of others, but at the same time the desire to sneak in an inside joke is very compelling.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Robert Frazer on Wed 10 Nov 2010 - 16:18

but at the same time the desire to sneak in an inside joke is very compelling.

I can attest to that. Hell, the entire Skoda dialogue in NG1 was borne out of desire to offer a spark plug to all the petrolheads here!

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Robert Frazer on Thu 11 Nov 2010 - 17:53

Well, Voodoo, we needn't worry about our stories being mistaken for each other - to be honest, I think yours is a lot more interesting and engaging than mine.

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A year later, Ms. Marchelli was Station Chief and Fedo had gone from being one of her long-suffering lackeys to her personal ass kissing toady.

Temptation by power need not be dramatic, and most often isn't.

Fedo always slipped in an again to make the matter seem more important

A suitably petty swinge and point-scoring trick.

Nicco only needed his crappy job until his book on Dante Alighieri was finished...that would get his foot in the door for a research appointment at the Sapienza Universitā di Roma

One of the qualities that distinguishes GSG is that its protagonists are really rather cultured - the point made a few weeks back that the handlers were vicariously envisaging childhood through the cyborgs and so, even if they mean the best and want their wards to be "ordinary girls", they can only make a stiff and sterile facsimile of it (Triela collects bears as ornaments, not as stuffed toys to cuddle - compare the names of hers' and Mimi's bear collections), was a well-observed one. As well as being interesting and informative for the readership in its own right, the cultured aspects of the setting also serves to highlight by a sharper contrast the violent potential coiled in the cyborgs, the secret duality they conceal - after all, you might not be terribly surprised if someone throwing up the horns to devil music was a little uncouth, but you don't expect a philosophy don to suddenly clear the back row of the lecture theatre with a SPAS-12!

Most thrillers never really grapple with the import of culture - even art thefts and the like are only treated in superficial ways - so things like Nicco's academic leanings and M&K's capital-S Society life are improving and genuinely welcome. It has a real effect, too - ever since I started reading GSG this started preying on my own conscience. It's actually driven me to buy a lot of Italian classical music.

blocking the doorway until she had consciously checked in both directions, and finally allowing her grown companion to exit

The little tells...

"Thanks for babysitting while the grown-ups talked.

The guy doesn't have a clue, does he? That he's cut loose from something that the readers are all too aware of makes him seem smaller, almost pitiable.

Her second in command I've never met, but by all accounts he's a talentless boot-lick.

Just because you're a sycophant doesn't mean that your patron is an egoist.

Her apartment is filled with pictures of cats

Simple pleasures... with emphasis on the simple.

It took a few minutes, none of the portraits (scanned from their identification cards) were very good, and blown up on Lorenzo's screen they looked blocky & pixilated.

Heh, worth a chuckle. Having read through databases where entire columns were left blank with the note "source handwriting illegible", I understand that not all information is ready with the touch of a button.

Jean, send your brother to bring him in, this guy might respond better to a soft touch.

Jean isn't offended by what most people would see as a snub; he's quite aware of what he is.

"I try to read books without pictures, but sometimes they're really hard!" chirped the girl, in a voice that Nicco thought had a little too much artificial sweetness forced into it.

Sorry, lass - you're doing your level best but you ain't no Rico.

"Nice!" exclaimed Corelli as he admired the brilliant silver Mercedes CL.

No matter what elevated heights we aspire to, we all have baser instincts!

"I got kinda scared when he asked about my weapons case" she whispered, "like he knew it wasn't a violin inside."

He is an intelligence officer, that different perspective is what stands out in his line of work.

She seemed relieved that he didn't consider it important, and continued "I like him...he's really nice and smart about things like the statues around the piazza...and he didn't mess up my hair like other people we work with!"

"You mean like this?" he joked, reaching down and playfully mussing her hair as 'Etta gave a startled yelp of protest.

A fun nod back to the anime.

Outside waited a Kawasaki Mule utility vehicle

It's an interesting alternative to the Mini Moke... or the base monorail.

"I've got this...I used to play mid-field back on my school team."

Nicco, Nicco... there's a reason why you were left until last when picking teams during school P.E.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by jedoZhidin on Fri 12 Nov 2010 - 16:01

As awesome as berserker 'etta.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Alfisti on Wed 17 Nov 2010 - 12:03

So... thoughts.

@Professor Voodoo wrote: Nicco could not stand being on that bus another minute...he hopped off at the very next stop, still blocks away from his destination. As the door closed he imagined he could hear laughter mocking his cowardice.

He hated himself.
The opening paragraphs give us an interesting look in to Nicco's character, kinda brave but it runs out quickly. I don't know what it's like where you are, but I think a lot of the issue of folks not getting up from their seat comes down as much to peer-pressure as it does selfishness.
Nicco only needed his crappy job until his book on Dante Alighieri was finished...that would get his foot in the door for a research appointment at the Sapienza Universitā di Roma.
Always good to have a goal in life, and goals tell us a lot about people as well.
Even though it was chilly outside Corelli had been looking forward to an hour in the Piazza di Spagna
Wow, prime realestate for Public Safety.
"We've got some big shots coming by this afternoon...some heavy hitter from Special Operations, we don't know who yet"
I'm sure Triela would love to know she'd just been reffered to as a "big shot". Everyone likes an ego-stroking now and then. I'm really getting a kick out of what both you and Robert are writing, seeing Section Two from the point of view of outsiders. Suddenly Hilshire who (to me at least) is still basically on the lower levels of the chain of command at Section Two is a "big shot".
hoping he wouldn't sound like a boring, patronizing grown-up and put her off John Milton for life.
Oh he is going to fit RIGHT in with the high-brow end of the Agency.
"I never said I didn't like Alessandro" corrected Reschiglian, "he's an excellent agent. What I didn't like was getting punched in the face by him. I'd say that's more personal distaste than professional."
Nice to know he can make the distinction. Sandro's got some balls to be talking the way he does in the next bit as well.
She squirmed uncomfortably on the bench and clutched her case tightly. "I'm sorry," she replied, "my brother says opening the case outside on such a damp day could warp the wood."
Quick thinking there 'Etta.
Nicolo was instantly on alert. At that second he realized this was no chance meeting. Every instinct told him it had to do with the VIP who had visited his office yesterday, and the mysterious girl he had in tow. It all fit together...none of these things could be mere coincidence.
Oh this one's quick... Monty may even be willing to let him have an opinion. Eventually.
Agents got shot at in modern Italy.
And pragmatic too apparently.
By contrast, the office complex where they eventually parked was more familiar...more of an austere governmental block than something one would expect in this garden setting.
Yep, building to the lowest bid and design tends to garner similar results, nomatter what you do.
"I see" replied Corelli. All 3 men were shocked at his relaxed reaction.
Shocked, or dissapointed? It sounded to me like Lorenzo was looking forward to dropping a bomb on someone but the fuse didn't arm.
"Mr. Corelli...Nicolo if I may call you that...the moment you produced that report you placed yourself on the list of possible targets," explained Jean
Has Jean been told to be nice? I didn't really picture him as being quick to jump into being on first-name terms with people.
Outside waited a Kawasaki Mule utility vehicle.
As Robert mentioned: it's an alternative to the ubiquitous golf karts, Mokes... or even base monorail. Come to think of it, the SWA is very much "Evil Genius Training Facility" in its general layout and purpose.
*Somewhere over in the tech centre, man strapped to a table with a plasma-cutter aimed just below his crotch and slowly climbing*
Man: You expect me to talk?
Nina: Nooo Mr. Padania, I expect you to die!
The woman spent only about 10% of her time with both hands on the wheel. The rest of the time she was waving at the various persons they passed
As far as I can tell this is perfectly normal for Italian drivers. We've got an Italian in the Lotus club, on one of the runs we were driving behind him and all you could see on each straight were his hands waving madly above the rollbar of his Elise while he gesticulated to his passenger.
"NO! Mr. Corelli!" shouted his escort, accompanied by a few screams from the nearby girls, but Nicco leapt up to meet the football with his forehead.
And then the world went black.
Just because it looks like a football doesn't mean it's filled with air. Welcome to the SWA, treat it like a Dali painting and you should be fine.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by ChaosKin640 on Wed 17 Nov 2010 - 13:00

Nina: Nooo Mr. Padania, I expect you to die!
Nina: Now bring me my tank of gentically engineered sharks with the lasers mounted to their heads! MwaHahahahaaaa!!
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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by ElfenMagix on Wed 17 Nov 2010 - 13:20

@Alfisti wrote:
Outside waited a Kawasaki Mule utility vehicle.
As Robert mentioned: it's an alternative to the ubiquitous golf karts, Mokes... or even base monorail...
Using a base monorail would be easy to find with Google Earth/Google Map.
Just like this dead bunny over Artesina, Italy...


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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Professor Voodoo on Thu 9 Dec 2010 - 7:23

@Alfisti wrote:
Even though it was chilly outside Corelli had been looking forward to an hour in the Piazza di Spagna
Wow, prime realestate for Public Safety.
Well, it doesn't have to be right on the Piazza...just nearby. When visualizing the PS branch office I imagined an ex-Vespa dealership which went out of business and get seized for delinquent taxes. Without anything else to do with the property, the government handed it over to Public Safety...who renovated it into an office.
Hilshire who (to me at least) is still basically on the lower levels of the chain of command at Section Two
Hmm...but he is the most senior handler at the SWA.
"Mr. Corelli...Nicolo if I may call you that...the moment you produced that report you placed yourself on the list of possible targets," explained Jean
Has Jean been told to be nice? I didn't really picture him as being quick to jump into being on first-name terms with people.
You're right; I have to go back and look at that...I thought I'd given that line to Lorenzo.
"NO! Mr. Corelli!" shouted his escort, accompanied by a few screams from the nearby girls, but Nicco leapt up to meet the football with his forehead.
And then the world went black.
Just because it looks like a football doesn't mean it's filled with air.
We shall see...chapter two will be out very soon.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Professor Voodoo on Thu 9 Dec 2010 - 22:26

As advertised; Chapter 2 is ready.

In this chapter...

  • ...we get to see if Nicolo Corelli is still alive.
  • ...we get to meet the cyborg.
  • ...Michele, Brian & Avise get drunk.
  • ...Jacob Mehrandish actually stays sober.
  • ...and Rico is confused.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by ElfenMagix on Fri 10 Dec 2010 - 0:53

VooDoo, that was great. A couple of minor spelling/grammar mistakes but I over looked those.

So Dario has a new handler... scary it can be sometimes.
Could Be Worse... Nicco could bump into Fernando and that scent of strawberries will kick in his allegies.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 10 Dec 2010 - 1:25

@Professor Voodoo wrote:As advertised; Chapter 2 is ready.

In this chapter...

  • ...we get to see if Nicolo Corelli is still alive.
  • ...we get to meet the cyborg.
  • ...Michele, Brian & Avise get drunk.
  • ...Jacob Mehrandish actually stays sober.
  • ...and Rico is confused.

Dude, you remembered the trattoria from Stellar Cartography. Awesome. cheers

It also gave me a humorus line for the next chapter. Wink

As always, massively entertaining read.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by ChaosKin640 on Fri 10 Dec 2010 - 1:50

Fantastic chapter Voodoo. Definately loved the bar scene, with all the back-and-forth dialogue. I know you were a little leery about including Jacob & Melanie with the on-going character development in my own chapters, but you seem to have done a fine job in protraying him. Definitely enjoyed seeing him in the designated driver role. (the other handlers baby-sitting his drinking problem perhaps?)
And for the record, while Jacob is technically Muslim, due to his father, I consider him to be non-practising.
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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Professor Voodoo on Fri 10 Dec 2010 - 2:32

@ElfenMagix wrote: A couple of minor spelling/grammar mistakes but I over looked those.
By all means, tell me...I proof-read this thing three times, but sometimes they still slip through.
Nicco could bump into Fernando and that scent of strawberries will kick in his allegies.
(foot starts thumping in excitement) That's right...you've given Fernando a strawberrry allergy! That's pure gold man...I have to work it into the story.

Expect a full-on "must protect my handler" freak-out from Rachel...
@Kiskaloo wrote:Dude, you remembered the trattoria from Stellar Cartography.
You got it...it's the same place. In your story there's a line where Giuseppe screws up and mentions it around Henrietta (requiring a life-line from Kara). That inspired the whole "cyborg-free zone" idea.

I know you've called Michele a "girl drink drunk," but are strawberry daiquiri's going too far even for him?
ChaosKin wrote:I know you were a little leery about including Jacob & Melanie with the on-going character development in my own chapters, but you seem to have done a fine job in protraying him.
The way I'd imagined it this takes place after Jacob & Melanie's relationship has stabilized a bit (although the way you're going that could be a long road!), and Mehrandish has calmed down a bit.
Definitely enjoyed seeing him in the designated driver role. (the other handlers baby-sitting his drinking problem perhaps?)
We'll have another visit to the taverna in a future chapter (maybe it will start showing up in E&M episodes as well). Someone else will be the DD that night...fair is fair.
Jacob is technically Muslim, due to his father, I consider him to be non-practising.
Good to know. The point of the scene was simply to heap more awkward stress upon poor Nicco's head.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 10 Dec 2010 - 11:24

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
@Kiskaloo wrote:Dude, you remembered the trattoria from Stellar Cartography.

You got it...it's the same place. In your story there's a line where Giuseppe screws up and mentions it around Henrietta (requiring a life-line from Kara). That inspired the whole "cyborg-free zone" idea.

I know you've called Michele a "girl drink drunk," but are strawberry daiquiri's going too far even for him?

Nah. Smile

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by ElfenMagix on Fri 10 Dec 2010 - 12:46

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
@ElfenMagix wrote: A couple of minor spelling/grammar mistakes but I over looked those.
By all means, tell me...I proof-read this thing three times, but sometimes they still slip through.
I would have to reread everything but the biggest one I remember this this one;

"Well, they girls can use the outdoor range alone, under the supervision of the range officer, but not the indoor range" she helped him along with a few hints.

That should be the girls...

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
@ElfenMagix wrote:Nicco could bump into Fernando and that scent of strawberries will kick in his allergies.
(foot starts thumping in excitement) That's right...you've given Fernando a strawberry allergy! That's pure gold man...I have to work it into the story.

Expect a full-on "must protect my handler" freak-out from Rachel...
Evil that shampoo has to be made from strawberry extracts. Lucky for him he carries his epi-pens in the inside suit pockets. Though he can deal with minor symptoms with ease, if his airway starts to close up from the allergy's reaction, he'll need those pens.

Rachel and Fernando are supposed be tuned into that scent in order to stay away from the fruit from hell, but more times than not they are too distracted by everything else. To set it off he has to have some contact with it. Even being sprayed by its extracts will set him off.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Officer_Charon on Fri 10 Dec 2010 - 13:02

Great job as always, sirrah! I love the "fish out of water" POV for this chap, as well as Jean's obvious antipathy.

Only typo that stands out would be in the trattoria, Michele references Nicco's "pallet"... should be "palate." Nit has been picked. *grins*

Look forwards to seeing what else you do with this poor schlub!

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Robert Frazer on Sun 12 Dec 2010 - 18:56

A really fun chapter to read, Voodoo.

"I'm sorry for breaking your neck Mr. Corelli" she whimpered

"I didn't mean to rotate your elbow through 720 degrees and reduce your shins to the consistency of a bag of potato chips, I really promise that I'll never ever do it again."

"...you're still not getting dessert tonight."

You might want to avoid soccer games as well.

Given that he's not equipped for a tussle with a fluffy kitten, let alone a heavily-armed SF commando, he definitely wouldn't want to sock her, no!

"Dario has had long enough to grieve," said Lorenzo, "it was never our intention to let a cyborg idle around her room indefinitely. It's time she got back into action. Elio, I'd like you to assist Corelli on his first few outings with her. Give him the crash course in dealing with a difficult cyborg." The gray-bearded man nodded in assent.

Looking back, I'm dissatisfied with a great deal in Long Weekend, and one detail is reducing Dona to a comatic doll - it seems overly melodramatic in retrospect. When I get round to finishing off Next-Gen, though, I'll at least have dispensed with that. The story is as much an administrative exercise as anything else!

Chief Lorenzo spoke up with a chuckle; "Elio here is the only handler to have ever washed a back-talking cyborg's mouth out with soap." All the other handlers joined him in laughing, but Nicco thought that sounded awful.

The younger generation that Nicolo represents is somewhat more flaccid and averse to rough'n'tumble, evidently.

Eager to make conversation with the more experienced men, Nicco commented "I think I saw this Marisa earlier. She's the one who jumped off the dormitory roof."

"She did what?" growled Alboreto with utter seriousness, making Nicco regret he had even opened his mouth. Again the handlers laughed, but this time Alboreto did not join in with them.


Somehow, having your own supporters be disobedient is worse than your own hypocrisy. You somehow expect people to have feet of clay, or at least some foibles, but to be unable to completely convince someone else of your position just seems pathetic.

The name had sounded familiar when he'd heard the Chief speak it, but Nicco had not been sure until this moment. "Just a moment," he interrupted, "you're...Dr. Julian Belisario? Formerly of the Universitā degli Studi di Torino?"

Heh, as an academic who normally has to content himself with tallying the number of times his articles have been cited on TDNet and JSTOR, this must make Belisario feel a bit chuffed and quietly pleased despite his anxiety over security.

The young man blushed a little, he happened to be uncommonly hairy, a fact he was a little self-conscious about. The nurse's eyebrows rose, and she gave a good natured smile of acknowledgment before fetching some shaving soap and a disposable razor, which she used to clear a few small patches of Nicolo's chest-carpet.

Is this an indication that there's a bold and grizzled beer-chugging crocodile-wrestlin' Real Man just waiting to burst out of this soppy milquetoast hypochondriac schoolboy shell?

"Depending on ambient noise a cyborg can hear a human heartbeat from ten paces away" Belisario explained. "That's not ten of their short paces either. Every single girl is sub-consciously imprinted with the audible signature of their own handler's heartbeat so that she can distinguish it from others. This is helpful when searching for her master, or when trying to pinpoint the location of a hostile hiding nearby. As an added bonus; a cyborg can detect an arrhythmia and warn her handler of a potential heart attack up to seven minutes before actual myocardial infraction."

Most of us tend to view cyborg enhancements just in terms of how many cars they can bench-press, so it's interesting to see their skillset taken into more lateral directions.

"I don't want to change my name!" the girl shrieked, triggering a carnival of alarm buzzers and lights of all varieties.

I'm reminded of the significance that Elsa attached to her own naming. It may be the case that Elsa was so starved for affection that the few interactions that Lauro did have with her were exaggerated beyond all comparison (such as the casual snapshot she treasured), but even so I can imagine that all cyborgs see their name as something special and profound as well. It is the first gift that their precious handlers give them and so the essential core of their intimacy; it is also an affirmation of their humanity and so the most fundamental keystone of their personal significance.

"Is there any radiation involved?" asked Nicco, trying his best to sound casual and not betray the nervousness he felt about being scanned.

Nicolo definitely went to Arts Side rather than Sciences Side back at school.

"I don't smoke" Nicolo told her.

AVISE: "Hold him down! Croce, get his jaw open! Ricci, ready with the match! We'll get him on twenty a day by the end of the week!"

Books he was comfortable with...it was people (and now cyborgs) that gave him difficulty

Publication is inherently authoritative.

reathing a sigh of relief Corelli felt comfortable asking for a light Vernaccia di San Gimignano, but the barmaid laughed as if he was telling a joke and said she'd bring him the house white.

Good to see a specific example of Nicolo's academic background.

"Personally I don't see what harm there is in bringing them during the daytime, for lunch" mumbled Giuseppe, but from the tone of his voice it was obvious that he knew his suggestion was going to be shot down.

Ah, Jose, Henrietta's got you wrapped around her little finger!

Dismay must have shown on Nicco's face because Michele felt the need to explain "It's not as bad as he's making it sound. Everyone at this table is very fond of their cyborg, but I'm sure you understand the need for a little grown-up time."

It seems suitable for the genial Michele to be the source of gentle reassurance.

"A mere expression of our mirth at your most eagerly anticipated arrival, oh purveyor of splendid libation!" pronounced Avise, rising to help her with the drinks. She rolled her eyes at his bombastic display.

"I hope you know; a silver tongue won't be enough to get into my pants" she laughed.

"Then you have provided me with a most lofty aspiration, dear lady" he continued to tease, depositing her tip onto the tray.

Y'know, Voodoo, you really do have an eye for character... not just in the quoted segment, but throughout the rest of the chapter, you probably write Avise better than I do.

and did I fail to mention that there is no furniture import company in this area?"

They all ought to turn up one night dressed in grey trench coats and fedoras, and keep their sunglasses on indoors while peppering their speech with codephrases like "The parakeet has no preference for raspberry or strawberry jam."

"That brings up another question I had" ventured Nicolo, daring to ask a lot more questions than he would have completely sober. "For such a top-secret Italian organization there are certainly a lot of foreign nationals. I mean...that Mr. Hillshire was obviously German, even though he has a British name...I'm guessing Brian is an Ulsterman from North Ireland...and Jacob, you are..." He paused timidly. Mehrandish was not drinking alcohol, and looked very Middle Eastern.

Nicolo evidently lives a relatively closed life, so I take it that even if he's not specifically worried that Jacob is suddenly going to cry Allah Akbar! and go get his seventy-two virgins, he is still intimidatingly unknowable and alien, which would be aggravated even further when Nicolo's academic background means that it is his business to know things, so it is not merely an abscence of knowledge but an alarming sucking void.

Pagani maneuvered them past the tense moment; "Getting back to your question about non-Italian's: A program like this exists at the absolute highest echelons of secrecy. In that rarefied atmosphere there just isn't a huge hiring pool to select from. The worldwide intelligence and special operations community exists as kind of its own entity...for example I don't exchange much more than friendly pleasantries with my own neighbors back in Rome, but I get a Christmas card every year from a Nadia Petrovna, a Russian FSB agent I've worked with in Kosovo and later Geneva."

The curiously international flavour of the fanfiction SWA has long been the elephant in the room - you handle it tactfully in this dialogue.

"Signor Corelli here, has a prob-lem I fear! He is in need my dear; towels and some shaving gear!" Into his waltz he threw an unexpected dip, sweeping Priscilla's head within inches of the floor.

This drew a laughing shriek from the Agency's intelligence officer, who cried out "Avise don't you dare drop me or I'm telling Agapita all about that woman in Ostia!" Nicco could not help but smile at their capering.

Mancini straightened up, released his breathless dance partner and gave an exaggerated formal bow. "I think I'll go downstairs to the canteen...I really need a coffee."

"No you don't need coffee!" Priscilla scolded, turning him by the shoulders to face his own door, "You need to go to bed before somebody sees you in this condition. Good night, Major Mancini!"


A little story from my time in the TA. We had just completed MTQ Part II and so we had the run of the bar that night. I'm (honestly) not a big drinker, so I was making a single pint last most of the night - until I was inducted into the unit sailing club. The half-finished drink was taken from me and passed around the room; it came back full to the brim, and black. With everyone else cheering me on and not wanting to be a spoilsport, I necked the lot.

I then sang the Madonna version of "American Pie" on the kareoke machine and went round to every officer in the mess, apologising profusely for my inebriated state. A couple of taller cadets then appeared at my shoulders and started nudging me towards bed. That was the weekend where I'd forgotten my sleeping bag as well so I had to use my waterproof jacket as a sheet.


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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by zarien85 on Sun 12 Dec 2010 - 22:54

great job loved the story

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Professor Voodoo on Tue 14 Dec 2010 - 4:00

@Robert Frazer wrote:
"I'm sorry for breaking your neck Mr. Corelli" she whimpered
"I didn't mean to rotate your elbow through 720 degrees and reduce your shins to the consistency of a bag of potato chips, I really promise that I'll never ever do it again."

"...you're still not getting dessert tonight."
Sometimes I think I should quit writing OC's entirely and just give the public what it wants...more Rico.
Given that he's not equipped for a tussle with a fluffy kitten, let alone a heavily-armed SF commando, he definitely wouldn't want to sock her, no!
I realize I'm alternating between the proper name of the sport (football) and the alternate name (soccer), but based on the traffic report on FF.net a majority of the audience is American so I have to slip in the reminder that this is actual football, the kind played with the foot.

Looking back, I'm dissatisfied with a great deal in Long Weekend, and one detail is reducing Dona to a comatic doll - it seems overly melodramatic in retrospect.
I have to disagree there...Dona's grinding decline was the central lynchpin of that story, giving it both a sense of urgency and some of its most graphic imagery.
More about Arturo (the handler) will come out as the story progresses, but rest assured our two stories are totally reconcilable. The cases of Donatello & Dario are very different...saying any more would be a massive spoiler.
When I get round to finishing off Next-Gen, though, I'll at least have dispensed with that. The story is as much an administrative exercise as anything else!
What!? it's not done yet? Your public awaits!
this must make Belisario feel a bit chuffed and quietly pleased despite his anxiety over security.
I don't really have much more planned for the Doctors, but I do believe Belisario is a man who's ego can be successfully stroked.
Is this an indication that there's a bold and grizzled beer-chugging crocodile-wrestlin' Real Man just waiting to burst out of this soppy milquetoast hypochondriac schoolboy shell?
Surely Nicco will have to toughen up a bit if he is to survive Special Operations, but for now I'm just heaping indignities upon his head.
"I don't smoke" Nicolo told her.
AVISE: "Hold him down! Croce, get his jaw open! Ricci, ready with the match! We'll get him on twenty a day by the end of the week!"

Triela: That's brutal...somebody should help him.

Petrushka: Bite your tongue blondie, for once he's not shoving those things down my throat!

Ah, Jose, Henrietta's got you wrapped around her little finger!
As I replied to Kisk, the entire tattoria/taverna is an expantion on a few lines in one of his stories. I imagine that since his slip up in Stellar Cartography Henrietta has been bugging him to take her...and he's running out of excuses.
It seems suitable for the genial Michele to be the source of gentle reassurance.
Michele is the kind of guy who would never wash a cyborg's mouth out with soap...
Nicolo evidently lives a relatively closed life, so I take it that even if he's not specifically worried that Jacob is suddenly going to cry Allah Akbar! and go get his seventy-two virgins, he is still intimidatingly unknowable and alien, which would be aggravated even further when Nicolo's academic background means that it is his business to know things, so it is not merely an abscence of knowledge but an alarming sucking void.
Nicolo is certainly familiar with Islamic poetry & art, but as for actually knowing any Muslim fellows on a first-name basis he is naive. Had Jacob given him a straight answer Nicco probably would have considered him rather exotic, but asked questions relevant only to his experience i.e. art & literature of the Middle East. Perhaps I'm wrong but I don't see the Canadian being very well-versed in such topics.

I get a Christmas card every year from a Nadia Petrovna, a Russian FSB agent I've worked with in Kosovo and later Geneva."
The curiously international flavour of the fanfiction SWA has long been the elephant in the room - you handle it tactfully in this dialogue.
Nadia is another element plucked from Kiskaloo's tales.
A little story from my time in the TA. We had just completed MTQ Part II and so we had the run of the bar that night.
I admit I'm not familiar with these abbreviations.
The half-finished drink was taken from me and passed around the room; it came back full to the brim, and black.
Filled with a dash of what everyone else was drinking (creating the world's worst cocktail) I assume?
I then sang the Madonna version of "American Pie" on the kareoke machine
I hope for your sake this was before the age of mobile-phone video cameras. I can't say I've ever been drunk enough to do the karaoke thing...public nudity occurs long before public singing on my "things to do when drunk" list.
A couple of taller cadets then appeared at my shoulders and started nudging me towards bed.
I've been on both sides of that scenario. Classic stuff, Robert.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by ChaosKin640 on Tue 14 Dec 2010 - 5:58

Perhaps I'm wrong but I don't see the Canadian being very well-versed in such topics.
That would indeed be a distinct "no", Voodoo.
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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Alfisti on Fri 17 Dec 2010 - 10:21

So, thoughts on chapter02...

We have been discussing your case while you were...incapacitated...and
we feel you are a bigger danger to yourself than the murderer is.
...snap. Oh well, worst comes to worst I'm sure the Agency as a padded cell they can put him in for his own protection.

Since it's unrealistic to keep him locked up here on compound, I think the easiest thing to do is give him a bodyguard.
Hold on, does that mean he's going to have to take her home. Could be awkward, hilariously so.

We currently have 3 cyborgs that have lost their handlers.
The "loaner pool".

Random tech: Ok, we'll need your girl for three days to do the body work and mechanical repairs. Now if you'll just sign this chitty here Dario's all yours. She's been fully serviced and fed, oh and we'll need an imprint of your Amex card to cover any incidentals.

On a more serious note: a possible, if somewhat distasteful, way for handler-less cyborgs to serve out the rest of their days... as temporary bodygards to those the SWA may have an interest in protecting.

"You're talking about a cyborg, sir?" muttered Rissi, "Begging your
pardon, but are we really going to make a €150 million investment in one murder case?"
Translation: are you really going to give a cyborg to someone dopey enough to try and head the cyborgs' football?

Marisa: That's a great idea! We need a goalie and all the practice would make her really good.

"Triela," growled Alboreto softly, "the Chief gave you an order. If Dario refuses, tell her I am coming next." Never once did his volume rise above normal conversational tones.
"Yes
sir" replied the girl, a little intimidated by his rumbling voice, but
relieved to be carrying the promise of backup. She gave the men a nod
and hurried out of the office.
One of the things I most enjoyed in this chapter was seeing Elio from the "outside" as it were. It many ways it cements his personality and reputation more than would be possible as the primary character... if that makes sense.
"It wasn't even my cyborg" corrected Alboreto, managing to sound humorous & ominous at the same time.
Grinning, Pagani shook his head and asked "Are you ever gonna tell us which girl it was?"
Really curious to know who that was now... a couple of candidates spring to mind.
Eager to make conversation with the more experienced men, Nicco commented "I think I saw this Marisa earlier. She's the one who jumped off the dormitory roof."
Has someone perhaps just made an enemy?
Much like Priscilla had done before he did his best to point out the
purpose of every room they passed & introduce every single
individual they crossed paths with.
After the discussion of his ego earlier, I imagine that, while Belisario's being friendly here it's also his way of saying "this is my kingdom" to the new arrival.
"No idea, Doctor" replied Avalli, "he's working on Signor Medino, the Section One man who was shot in the chest this morning."
"Shot in the chest?" gasped Nicco, unable to keep quiet at the ghastly news.
Bergonzi: Compared to some of the injuries we see through here, a gaping chest-wound is a milk-run.
Basic Cyborg Psychology: What to expect from your new trainee by Doctor Fernando Bianchi
Translation: Cyborgs for Dummies.
Though I don't think I've ever seen an academic paper with a title that needed less than three lines.
Nicco felt a little foolish for thinking about actual insects before realizing Croce was scanning for listening devices.
I know Nicco's clueless... but has he never seen a single spy movie?
Pagani relieved his worries though by taking advantage of Nicco's hesitation to jump ahead and order a strawberry daiquiri.
Monty:
"One of the reasons we come here is that they just accept our business without a lot of questions" added Brian.
As any really good tavern should.
Since he had not really gotten an answer to what he was wondering (specifically; is Mehrandish Muslim?) he pressed a bit.
Little thought, but I find the bracketed bit here breaks the flow of the passage. I think there's enough undertone there for the reader to work out what Nicco wanted to ask without it.
you know they don't make diapers for a child her size, so we had to take
the the smallest adult size we could find and hold them on with tape.
I like this passage, and Michele's general regailing of the early days of the SWA: improvising and making do with what was available. To me that makes for a much more interesting and exciting story then just being able to throw money at a problem.
Avise was still at the piano, flush with free drinks sent to him by appreciative patrons
Another money saving tactic? Between living on campus and getting someone else to pay for all his drinks he should have the cash for that car upgrade in no time Razz
His contribution to the game was a success, and he was rewarded with
toasts and back slapping congratulations for having held his own.
And so the SWA generates it's first meme.
This drew a laughing shriek from the Agency's intelligence officer, who
cried out "Avise don't you dare drop me or I'm telling Agapita all about
that woman in Ostia!" Nicco could not help but smile at their capering.
He wasn't the only one sporting a big grin after this.
The hints worked to jog his alcohol fogged memory. "Oh yeah...she said I needed to be there, so it must be the indoor range."
Firing range + inevitable wine hangover... this should be fun.
Awesome and entertaining chapter mate, hanging out for the next.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 17 Dec 2010 - 12:13

@Alfisti wrote:
We currently have 3 cyborgs that have lost their handlers.
The "loaner pool".

Random tech: Ok, we'll need your girl for three days to do the body work and mechanical repairs. Now if you'll just sign this chitty here Dario's all yours. She's been fully serviced and fed, oh and we'll need an imprint of your Amex card to cover any incidentals.

On a more serious note: a possible, if somewhat distasteful, way for handler-less cyborgs to serve out the rest of their days... as temporary bodygards to those the SWA may have an interest in protecting.

In a way, it's kind of how Claes eventually became part of Kara's and Michele's fratello. They loaned her out to him enough times that it became a kind of "rent to own" program. Razz

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sat 18 Dec 2010 - 4:42

@Alfisti wrote: Hold on, does that mean he's going to have to take her home. Could be awkward, hilariously so.
That would have been entertaining, but it's a bit safer to keep him in the handler's dorm/office building. They do visit Nicco's apartment in chapter three but it's more of a serious scene.
In lieu of lost hilarity will you accept a later scene where Dario meets Nicolo's parents? Kisk did this in his story but Michele's parents are way too normal & well adjusted for my stuff.
Random tech: Ok, we'll need your girl for three days to do the body work and mechanical repairs. Now if you'll just sign this chitty here Dario's all yours. She's been fully serviced and fed, oh and we'll need an imprint of your Amex card to cover any incidentals.
Does he have to pay a deductable if he brings her back with damage?
On a more serious note: a possible, if somewhat distasteful, way for handler-less cyborgs to serve out the rest of their days... as temporary bodygards to those the SWA may have an interest in protecting.
That would be an ignominious role...one I'm sure the girls would interpret as punishment for failing to protect their handler. There would have to be a support system in place for seeing to the personal needs of these loose cyborgs.
One of the things I most enjoyed in this chapter was seeing Elio from the "outside" as it were. It many ways it cements his personality and reputation more than would be possible as the primary character... if that makes sense.
Months ago I lamented the fact that I was failing to achieve my character development objectives with Elio...he was too nice. This story, as well as E&M #15 seeks to remedy a bit of that.
Grinning, Pagani shook his head and asked "Are you ever gonna tell us which girl it was?"
Really curious to know who that was now... a couple of candidates spring to mind.
Well it wasn't Monty...we can safely scratch that name off the list. I think I'll leave that one open to conjecture, like what Triela did to get in trouble with Hillshire on the U2 mission or how Jethro got himself sacked from MI-6.
Nicco commented "I think I saw this Marisa earlier. She's the one who jumped off the dormitory roof."
Has someone perhaps just made an enemy?
Hadn't considered that, but you just added a few lines to Chapter 4.
Bergonzi: Compared to some of the injuries we see through here, a gaping chest-wound is a milk-run.
Medino gets a mention in Chapter 3 as well.
Monty: A strawberry bloody daiquiri?
Straight-up example of the forum influence. Kisk himself has labeled Michele a girl-drink-drunk (a phrase coined by a Kid's in the Hall sketch).
Little thought, but I find the bracketed bit here breaks the flow of the passage. I think there's enough undertone there for the reader to work out what Nicco wanted to ask without it.
Point taken, you're absolutely right. I cringe when motion pictures feel the need to spoon-feed information to the audience, and here I am doing it.
Avise was still at the piano, flush with free drinks sent to him by appreciative patrons
Another money saving tactic? Between living on campus and getting someone else to pay for all his drinks he should have the cash for that car upgrade in no time
Drunk Avise was one of the most entertaining scenes to write.
Firing range + inevitable wine hangover... this should be fun.
We shall see. Chapter 3 is finished and in proof-read right now. My job in Gabon is wrapping up though, so between tear-down & travel I don't think I'll have it posted until the afternoon of the 20th...Paris time (sorry).

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Robert Frazer on Sat 18 Dec 2010 - 8:59

Petrushka: Bite your tongue blondie, for once he's not shoving those things down my throat!

WOAH! Steady on, old bean.

I admit I'm not familiar with these abbreviations.

TA = Territorial Army. Combined National Guard/Army Reserve, essentially. The Weekend Warriors. It used to be only for the last-resort all-hands-to-the-pump crises, but in this day and age, with a chronically underfunded military, it's now regularly tapped for additional manpower - up to a third of an overseas deployment can be from the TA.

MTQ = Nothing special, just a TLA for a training module, "Military Training Qualification". Lots of marching and memorising radio batco.

hope for your sake this was before the age of mobile-phone video cameras. I can't say I've ever been drunk enough to do the karaoke thing...public nudity occurs long before public singing on my "things to do when drunk" list.

Just to add that little extra bit of indignity, I even insisted "fgggn mggggn c'n wkkk dnnn c'rry muh" and tottered over to the barrack-block while they trotted along bemusedly about ten paces behind. I'm surprised I remember it so clearly, really.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Alfisti on Sat 18 Dec 2010 - 9:15

@Professor Voodoo wrote:Does he have to pay a deductable if he brings her back with damage?
He'd better hope not...

Same tech: So that's two bullet holes. One's a chest wound; messy but the armor's designed to be easily replaceable. The other however is in the soft tissue of the thigh. You realise these girls' muscles are made from carbon-nano-filiament right? Congratulations, you've just forfeited your entire salary for the next decade and a half.

Hadn't considered that, but you just added a few lines to Chapter 4.
Always glad to be of service *bows in an overly exagerated and flamboyantly annoying manner*

Avise was still at the piano, flush with free drinks sent to him by appreciative patrons
Another money saving tactic? Between living on campus and getting someone else to pay for all his drinks he should have the cash for that car upgrade in no time
Drunk Avise was one of the most entertaining scenes to write.[/quote] Not to mention one of the most entertaining to read.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Professor Voodoo on Tue 21 Dec 2010 - 12:40

Okay, I missed my target by a day. I'll blame the bad weather induced travel disaster in Europe...it isn't too far from the truth.

Presenting Chapter 3. Enjoy!

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by ElfenMagix on Tue 21 Dec 2010 - 13:37

@Professor Voodoo wrote:Okay, I missed my target by a day. I'll blame the bad weather induced travel disaster in Europe...it isn't too far from the truth.

Presenting Chapter 3. Enjoy!
Done half of it thus far and I love it.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:...a gaggle of cyborgs.
Now that is probably the best way of putting it I have heard in years- literally!

Will give more when done.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 21 Dec 2010 - 13:55

Most enjoyable, as always.

And nice to see Claes find a friend. Good

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Officer_Charon on Tue 21 Dec 2010 - 14:12

I rather enjoyed your more... complete portrayal of Elio, putting the makee-learnee on the VERY young Mister Corelli. His frustration with his charge's lack of tactical common sense was palpable.

I also enjoyed his monologue about the role that handler's play in the development of the cyborgs. It says a lot about Elio that he Gets It like this.

I was also relieved to see Nicco finding a kindred spirit in Claes. Someone who doesn't just tolerate him, or is bemused by him, but who resonates with him, shares his interests and can have a mutually beneficial dialogue with him.

A lot of this installment spoke to me on various levels: my whole life, I've been the "odd man out," for one reason or another - it's taken me 29 years to figure out how to roll with it and make it part of my personality. I've often been without someone who gets me, so I'm not always able to unload what's on my mind, because folks wouldn't understand. And, very occasionally, I've felt more than a little maladroit amongst people who were consummate professionals in their line of work, before I finally stopped being intimidated and followed my training. Niccolo's fumblings during his first few days are speaking to a great deal of my facets, and I eagerly await future installments.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by ElfenMagix on Tue 21 Dec 2010 - 14:43

Continuing... An excellent read. Though I was not looking for them, there was one mistake I found...
"Does that men they're firing real ammunition?" asked Nicolo.
men = mean in this case.

The little discussion between Elio and Nicco about how things are and how things should be must have been a real eye opener for Nicco. Reading the Handler's Manual must be a steel reinforcement of the facts stated to him by Elio. But Elio's right, it is a relationship between Handler and Cyborg and no relationship is the same, this this being the most difference it can be.

Again, an excellent read.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Alfisti on Tue 21 Dec 2010 - 21:15

@ElfenMagix wrote:
@Professor Voodoo wrote:...a gaggle of cyborgs.
Now that is probably the best way of putting it I have heard in years- literally!
Awesome, we've now found the collective noun for a group of cyborgs...

...like herding cats.

Had a skim, excellent mate. More thoughts later.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Officer_Charon on Tue 21 Dec 2010 - 21:43

A circuit of cyborgs, perhaps?

*ducks and runs*

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by ElfenMagix on Wed 22 Dec 2010 - 0:05

ROTFL @ Officer Charon

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Alfisti on Thu 30 Dec 2010 - 11:56

So, making good on the "more thoughts" statement...

The dark haired girl stared off into the distance, awkwardly
uncomfortable with making eye contact. "Not really I guess. I just keep
my books in here...nobody ever officially told me this space was mine.
Is this your office now?" Nicco could practically feel the
disappointment radiating off of her.
Honestly, the number of handlers that seem to take up residence in Claes' Library from time to time you'd think she'd be getting used to it...

...or start charging them board.

"Oh, damn it!" Nicco snapped, tossing off the covers. The girl's eyes
grew wide and her eyebrows rose, but she said nothing. Corelli was
puzzled by her expression for just an instant before he realized he was
wearing only underwear. His face flushing pink the man yanked the sheets
back over himself.
Isn't it cyborgs who are supposed to do that sort of thing? Oh well, I guess in lieu of Dario not having a proper "awakening" this time around, someone in the fratello had to take one for the team.

It took Corelli 15 minutes to find the outdoor range...
Outdoor range? Indoor range?

"It's too late" explained Dario, "by the time I got set up the session would be over and the range would close for lunch."
Hmm, interesting. I guess I tended to view the range as a "walk in" thing. Then again, I've got exactly zero experience there.

"Maybe we should meet with him then" Dario suggested. Her new handler
nodded emphatically, but just sat on the bench staring at her. She
finally groaned "He's supervising the shoot-house this morning."
Monty: Want my advice for Easy Handler Management 101? Make sure you know his schedual before he does, then set his phone alerts for him.

"Where is your danger area?" demanded Elio Alboreto.
Experience, cunning and guile trumps youth, enthusiasm and vitality every time Wink

I like this idea of Elio getting hands on with the girls' training as well.

"I don't know how you get away with it" muttered Danilo Sandrelli with a
shake of his head "you cracked her in the back of the noggin and 30
seconds later she's smiling at you like the sun shines outta your butt!"
Something tells me that simply being Elio Alberto helps a lot too.

Such young girls performing so competently (at least in his eyes) at such a horrifically brutal task was chilling.
Which of course is one of the things that makes GSG a compelling story.

McDonnell & Blacker each drive an Audi's
Umm, grammar check, aisle three.

"it's important...you're not only managing your expenses, but you're
responsible for seeing to your cyborg's needs as well. Clothing,
sundries, school supplies, rewards...eh...personal items."
One of the things that stood out for me here was Elio's refferal to Dario as "your cyborg" rather than by her name, even right in front of her.

"You'll have a government issued credit card...makes things a lot easier because you don't have to keep receipts.
Hmm, things I don't see J+M using very much: government issue credit card. Probably alright for those operating in Italy, but a little easy to trace for those operating clandestinely and illegally outside its boarders.

"Rafael Medino took a bullet in an ambush yesterday and died in surgery that evening. Damn shame...everybody liked him."
*looks at his comment on the previous chapter* Foot. Mouth.

You should give Dario a bit of cash too, just in case we get separated.
Marisa: Yeah, one Euro doesn't go very far.

"It's realistic, not like the abstract modern art. I don't really understand that stuff. Is it very old?"
I'm sure modern art is an age thing. When I was Dario's age I preferred classical and more realistic pieces. These days I spend most of my time in GoMA (Gallery of Modern Art). Some of it of course is utter crap, but some is really quite good... also: installations.

"in fact it's by a new artist who only began showing his work a year or
so ago. Filippo Adani...he's got good technique I suppose, but no truly
inspired eye."
Nice way to quietly set the timeframe.

"I've been wearing the same suit for two days;" he admitted sheepishly,
more concerned by the fact that he'd been wearing the same socks &
underwear for an equal period
Pfft, he's still got two days in those, everyone knows you can stretch underwear for four days. Razz

"Main room, clear! Kitchen clear! Hall closet clear!" she reported back.
Finally when she shouted "Bedroom, clear!" Nicolo breathed a sigh of
relief.
Crikey, probably a good thing they came by during work hours. Nicco's apartment block strikes me as the sort of place that wouldn't have particularly thick walls, those shouts from a young girl could raise some neighborly eyebrows.

"I think he came here planning to kill you" Alboreto replied, "and when
you were not here he ruined the things he knew you cherished."
Hmm, vengeful bloke isn't he? Useful to know.

Nicolo had gone white as a sheet at the story. It was horrible enough to
do that to a dog, but..."Mr. Alboreto, never in a thousand years could I
condone..."
One thing I'm noticing with Nicco: I know he's more than a little out of his depth, but for someone who wrote an in-depth and well thought out paper (which is, afterall what Section Two picked him up for) he seems to be jumping to conclusions awfully quickly now.


Another excellent chapter mate. The conversation with Claes was a nice way to wrap the whole thing up too. I take it you're in a way using her as a device to keep Nicco willing to persevere with Dario.

Looking forward to the next one.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by ElfenMagix on Thu 30 Dec 2010 - 13:22

@Alfisti wrote:So, making good on the "more thoughts" statement...

The dark haired girl stared off into the distance, awkwardly
uncomfortable with making eye contact. "Not really I guess. I just keep
my books in here...nobody ever officially told me this space was mine.
Is this your office now?" Nicco could practically feel the
disappointment radiating off of her.
Honestly, the number of handlers that seem to take up residence in Claes' Library from time to time you'd think she'd be getting used to it...

...or start charging them board.
And Fernando's room is right next to Rabello's old room

@Alfisti wrote:
It took Corelli 15 minutes to find the outdoor range...
Outdoor range? Indoor range?
The agency has both depending on what compound they are in. Voodoo did state in the previous chapter which choice to choose from.

@Alfisti wrote:
"It's too late" explained Dario, "by the time I got set up the session would be over and the range would close for lunch."
Hmm, interesting. I guess I tended to view the range as a "walk in" thing. Then again, I've got exactly zero experience there.
In my experience, for personal use it only takes 5 minutes to set up. For training purposes, one may take more on discussing objectives and techniques.

Using Public Ranges as the norm, you walk to the shop clerk, buy what you want (targets, ammo, etc.). Some places will let you rent weapons under supervision; many other places will let you practice with on the shelf units if you intend to buy one to see how it feels before making a decision. Then you sign off on the lane rentals and pay for everything there. You go to you assigned lane, set up and go. The setting up only takes a few minutes. the actual practice can take hours. My friends and I have been known to spend days at the range!

@Alfisti wrote:
McDonnell & Blacker each drive an Audi's
Umm, grammar check, aisle three.
"McDonnell and Blacker both drive an Audi." But since this is quoted, it should be left unchanged as this is how one speaks and not what one writes.

@Alfisti wrote:
"it's important...you're not only managing your expenses, but you're
responsible for seeing to your cyborg's needs as well. Clothing, sundries, school supplies, rewards...eh...personal items."
One of the things that stood out for me here was Elio's refferal to Dario as "your cyborg" rather than by her name, even right in front of her.
Most of the the staff refers Rachel as "Fernando's cyborg" in the beginning, and when Francesca came, the label was stuck onto her rear end as well. Except for cases where things are very personal, all of the staff refers to the cyborgs as property and not people. When dealing with the cyborgs directly, some treat them as slaves and not as children.

@Alfisti wrote:
"You'll have a government issued credit card...makes things a lot easier because you don't have to keep receipts.
Hmm, things I don't see J+M using very much: government issue credit card. Probably alright for those operating in Italy, but a little easy to trace for those operating clandestinely and illegally outside its boarders.
Fernando's wallet is fat with at least 9 such credit cards, 3 from the SWA, 3 from the CIA and 3 that are his own. They are all the "Black" or "unlimited" spending cards variety. He is careful on what he charges on what card. Though he could buy a Ferrari Dino with his cards, he rather not indulge on such unless he has too.


@Alfisti wrote:
"I've been wearing the same suit for two days;" he admitted sheepishly,
more concerned by the fact that he'd been wearing the same socks &
underwear for an equal period
Pfft, he's still got two days in those, everyone knows you can stretch underwear for four days. Razz
Fernando: I have seen things that would make the most hardest of men throw up. But with that comment, you just made my stomach turn!


@Alfisti wrote:
Nicolo had gone white as a sheet at the story. It was horrible enough to do that to a dog, but..."Mr. Alboreto, never in a thousand years could I condone..."
One thing I'm noticing with Nicco: I know he's more than a little out of his depth, but for someone who wrote an in-depth and well thought out paper (which is, afterall what Section Two picked him up for) he seems to be jumping to conclusions awfully quickly now.
Nicolo is a fish without water, a deer staring at the headlights. When he has to make on the spot decisions, he cant. Thus he fumbles in what he has to do in order to get something done. He's too used too sitting behind a desk, nitpick over details and line them up straight on reports he writes that will have other people's names on it. This gives him the luxury of time that he would not have in the field.

@Alfisti wrote:Another excellent chapter mate. The conversation with Claes was a nice way to wrap the whole thing up too. I take it you're in a way using her as a device to keep Nicco willing to persevere with Dario.

Looking forward to the next one.
I agree.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Alfisti on Thu 30 Dec 2010 - 13:43

@ElfenMagix wrote:
@Alfisti wrote:Outdoor range? Indoor range?
The agency has both depending on what compound they are in. Voodoo did state in the previous chapter which choice to choose from.
Yeah, he stated "indoor" throughout, so just picking up a possible typo. Wink

@ElfenMagix wrote:
@Alfisti wrote:Pfft, he's still got two days in those, everyone knows you can stretch underwear for four days. Razz
Fernando: I have seen things that would make the most hardest of men throw up. But with that comment, you just made my stomach turn!
What? Right way around, back-to-front, right way around inside out and back-to-front inside out. Razz

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Officer_Charon on Mon 16 May 2011 - 18:47

In re-reading these chapters over the last couple days (I have to stop reading when I get dispatched, deal with it. *grins*), I've been struck by Nicco's mindset, again, and LTC Dave Grossman's speech about Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs came to mind.

For anyone not familiar, I suggest that you google it, but to sum up: Society is divided into 3 types of people: Sheep, those who are benign, can not or do not want to conceive of evil in people - people with empathy for their fellow citizens, and no desire for violence; Wolves, those who would prey on the sheep, parasites with a propensity for violence and no empathy for their fellow citizens; and Sheepdogs, those who would defend the sheep from the predations of the wolves, in whom resides both the ability to do violence and the empathy for their fellow citizens that guides that violence.

Sheep is not a negative term, but it implies a specific mindset - that of someone who is content in their world, or at least not willing to harm anyone if they can help it. Nicco is most definitely a Sheep, who has known of the Wolves in an abstract, but on the whole has been content to do his thing without fear of interruption. Now, the pack has noticed him standing out, and has begun to target him.

Hopefully, he can change his mindset (whether through observation or through the application in the School of Hard Knocks). I honestly feel that this soft, almost effete subject has a lot more to show us, and may yet surprise the pack of sheepdogs now watching over him.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Professor Voodoo on Tue 17 May 2011 - 5:36

I suppose this is a hint that I need to get in gear and finish up the next chapter of Nicco & Dario's story!
@Officer_Charon wrote: LTC Dave Grossman's speech about Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs came to mind.

Society is divided into 3 types of people: Sheep, those who are benign, can not or do not want to conceive of evil in people - people with empathy for their fellow citizens, and no desire for violence; Wolves, those who would prey on the sheep, parasites with a propensity for violence and no empathy for their fellow citizens; and Sheepdogs, those who would defend the sheep from the predations of the wolves, in whom resides both the ability to do violence and the empathy for their fellow citizens that guides that violence.
I am familiar with the speech (which I've only seen presented as an essay) but I've always felt that it over simplified things and equated exercise or counter-exercise of violence as the only way society is controlled. With only those three catergories where would you place a person like Gandhi or Martin Luther King?

That really wasn't what you were getting at though. Yes...Nicolo Corelli is definately a "sheep" in that context. He isn't exactly happy with the world or his situation but he lacks the means to change it. In a way I think we all feel that way sometimes (perhaps a lot of the time).
Hopefully, he can change his mindset (whether through observation or through the application in the School of Hard Knocks). I honestly feel that this soft, almost effete subject has a lot more to show us, and may yet surprise the pack of sheepdogs now watching over him.
A covert government murder agency may not provide the best enviroment for Nicolo to realize his desire for a better society...the story of the SWA and GsG in general is morally ambiguous (one of the reasons we like it).

I can't say much more without giving out spoilers. The story will begin shifting to the building realationship between he & his cyborg Dario...believe me there is a very big bombshell to be revealed about her.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Officer_Charon on Tue 17 May 2011 - 5:44

Not really a hint, per se, but read into it as you prefer... *chuckles*

Actually, I could very easily classify Ghandi or MLK as Sheepdogs... they see the problem posed by the wolves, and they offer of themselves to protect the sheep that they want to defend. The "Wolf" may be an abstract such as societal inequality, causing harm to the sheep, until someone is able to step up as a Sheepdog to protect....

Sorry... it's 0530, I've been up for almost 24 hours, and the last 3 have been highly trying... ironically enough, given the Sheep/Wolf subject. In any case...

I eagerly await whatever you have to offer, regarding our makeshift pairing... these characters have a great deal of potential, and I can't wait to see where it will take them.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sat 11 Jun 2011 - 21:06

Chapter Four is posted for your reading pleasure.

Like Chaoskin ran into the other day I was having a serious "run-on chapter" situation. My first installment of this story was a manageable 6,700 words...chapter two grew to 9,000...chapter three topped 11,000 and this one was at 12,000 and counting so I cut it in half.

That means Chapter 5 is already done and just awaiting proof-read & a few edits. Dario & Nicolo's story will have yet another installment in just a few days.

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 11 Jun 2011 - 21:39

Awesome stuff, as always

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by ElfenMagix on Sat 11 Jun 2011 - 23:10

That was great, VooDoo!

Now Rachel and the rest of the cyborg girls can taunt Nicco with "Have you seen your cyborg naked? Want pictures?!!" Evil

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Officer_Charon on Sun 12 Jun 2011 - 1:06

Yay! Just what I needed to cheer me up after that last call of the night. Fantastic stuff!

Additional thoughts to follow...

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Re: The Patchwork Fratello

Post by Alfisti on Sun 12 Jun 2011 - 4:40

Wow... CH17 really was holding you up...

Anyway, seeing as I'm on something of a reviewing roll...

@Professor Voodoo wrote:It was a little disappointing to Nicolo to find upon opening his office
window that he had a view of the parking lot instead of the compound
lawns and grove of Tuscan pines that the other side of the building
enjoyed.
Lets be honest here: the SWA's location looks pretty picturesque, as far as I can tell even the carpark has a pretty decent view beyond it.

well rested and without the throbbing handover of the day before.
Hangover?

Corelli was a bit surprised to discover that he was not the first one up.
In a compound full of ex-military types, being "first up" probably requires not actually going to bed the night before.

"Oh, damn it" he cursed internally as the scent of strawberries
filled the air. "Too late now" he muttered to himself, lathering up the
sweet smelling detergent. "This is not an omen...this is just a humorous slip-up to laugh about later on today."
Great way to complete this opener. It sets a lighter, more positive mood for Nicco, a change of attitude and more importantly; a feeling that he now intends to make the best of this. I get the impression from some of his actions and later comments that Nicco is starting to view his arrival at the SWA as a sort of fresh start.

It was pretty cool, but since my handler won't let me have a sword I'm trying to do it with my knife."
Marisa: Hey Kara? Can I ask a favour?

Strangely, Nicco did. She handed him another apple from her tray and together they began slashing at their respective fruit in mid-air.
Aww... he's made a friend!

Since I've been here I think he's only eaten in the dining hall a handful of times.
I think probably with good reason too. To quote Wedge Antillies (Star Wars: X-wing) "I don't hang around for long, it makes the children nervous".

"nobody ever said the things we do at the Agency are 100% legal."
Sometimes I think they'd have trouble hitting even 50% legal.

Despite Marisa's insistence that she could do it herself Nicolo did his part cleaning up the mess of apple fragments
I get the impression that Nicco's position in the SWA heirarcy is going to wind up being something along the lines of "cyborg friend in the handler camp" (seeing as Monty's completely useless to them in that role) or "cyborg one-of-us". Especially in light of...

"The whole day was really off-kilter because I started it by letting
you down. You needed me to use the indoor range and I overslept. You
deserve a better handler than that and I intend to try a lot harder."
Isn't that the cyborg normally saying those sorts of things? Razz

"Signor Corelli, do you have any idea why the assassin chooses to commit
his murders inside art galleries? They're certainly not the easiest
places to get into at night."
Jethro: Well, once you get the hang of it...

"We really just walk right in the front door? I thought we had to do this all cloak-and-dagger style?"
Monty: You'd be amazed how few questions get asked if you just walk in through the front door like you own the place.

"I didn't catch it," protested the brunette, "it went straight through."
Because obviously that's somehow better. Then again, going by the apparent cyborg majority view that scars=good, I guess two holes are better than one.

Crimson faced, the girl hissed "Mr. Corelli! I'm going to be naked!"
I think that she can make that statement in that manner shows the changing dynamic of this fratello. Either way, this whole section made me laugh.

Great chapter mate, looking forward to the next.

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Your lack of planning does not constitute my emergency.
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Alfisti

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

Fan of : Triela, Hilshire, Priscilla, Ferro

Original Characters : Jethro + Monty

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Registration date : 2009-07-21

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