Alfisti's Ramblings

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Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Sun 21 Aug 2011 - 5:48

Jethro and Monty's story continues in prose. For those who are reading this fresh, the story starts with...

The Jethro+Monty Fancomic

and carries on in.

And The Adventure Continues
CH01|And the Adventure Continues
CH02|With A Fez On
CH03|Long Highway
CH04|Impressions
CH05|A Night at the Cinema
CH06|Monty & Goose
CH07|Moonraker
CH08|Cosmic Girl
CH09|A Roman Holiday - Part 01
CH10|A Roman Holiday - Part 02
CH11|White Knuckle Ride
CH12|Cherry Lips
CH13|The Spies Who Remained in the Cold
Epilogue


Family Values - One shot following on from And the Adventure Continues. Not really part of the same story, but certainly part of the same continuity, so it goes here.


Second story now also on ff.net... a sort of "And the Adventure Continues" tie-in, centred on Danilo and Raych, one of the SWA's grunt fratelli:

Meanwhile in Italy
CH01|Meanwhile in Italy
CH02|A Brave New World
CH03|Introductions
CH04|I, Cyborg
CH05|Foundation
CH06|Cyborg Dreams
CH07|Off the Main Sequence
CH08|Keeping up Appearances
CH09|Foundation's Edge
CH10|Dog
CH11|Strangers From a Strange Land (Part 01)
CH12|Strangers From a Strange Land (Part 02)
CH13|Strangers From a Strange Land (Part 03)
CH14|Strangers From a Strange Land (Part 04)
CH15|Strangers From a Strange Land (Part 05)
CH16|Fleeting Horizons
CH17|Lorem Ipsum
CH18|Stranger in Moscow
CH19|The Shipping News
CH20|Learning to Live
Epilogue


Third story, in chronological order. Jethro+Monty's adventure continues in...

Six Degrees
Prologue
CH01|Lost in Translation
CH02|The French Connection
CH03|A Season for Orchids
CH04|Chasing Tails
CH05|Be A Star
CH06|Zero-Day
CH07|New Territories
CH08|Hidden Worlds
CH09|The Minder
CH10|The Self Preservation Society
CH11|Swallows & Amazon
CH12|Tilting Windmills
CH13|Stepping Stones
CH14|Six Degrees of Separation
Epilogue

If I've done this right, though reading the previous stories will help, it should still be reasonably understandable for one to jump straight in to... though that is a big "if".


Last edited by Alfisti on Tue 1 Mar 2016 - 8:44; edited 49 times in total (Reason for editing : "Ravings" made it sound like I knew what I was doing.)

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Sun 21 Aug 2011 - 5:50

Jethro + Monty's story now carries on in:


Now available on ff.net



In this installment:

Jethro books a taxi...
Monty climbs a building...
...and the fratello drinks coffee.


Lets see how this goes, it has been a LONG time since I last tried writing fiction.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sun 21 Aug 2011 - 7:06

Saved; reading now...

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by MP5 on Sun 21 Aug 2011 - 11:41

Quick thing, Alfisti:

>Find all instances of 'Alberto'
>>Replace with 'Alboreto'
>>>Re-upload
>>>>????
>>>>>PROFIT

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 21 Aug 2011 - 14:04

Fantastic first attempt, mate.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Officer_Charon on Sun 21 Aug 2011 - 15:10

Agreed!

Some minor editing tweaks (a few missed commas here and there, to break up run-on sentences) might be in order... I'll see if I can hunt down the specifics in a bit.

One other, minor detail: It's evident that you're familiar with your subject matter when it comes to the details - one has only to look at your artwork to tell that. Perhaps a little longer describing something, or throwing in an alternative description, instead of simply calling something by name? Or is this a subtle attempt to get people off their metaphorical arses and Go Google It? *grins*

All in all, though, fantastic prosework, sirrah! I eagerly await the next installment!

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Sun 21 Aug 2011 - 17:15

@MP5 wrote:Quick thing, Alfisti:

>Find all instances of 'Alberto'
>>Replace with 'Alboreto'
>>>Re-upload
>>>>????
>>>>>PROFIT
Oh... umm... wow... that's embarrasing. My sincerest apologies to Voodoo. Have fixed on ff.net and hopefully the changes should go through shortly.



Now, back to doing actual money earning work.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Robert Frazer on Sun 21 Aug 2011 - 20:46

It had once been said that if a Liberty Ship survived a single crossing
of the Atlantic, then she had paid for her construction. If that were
truly the case, then SS Tempest had earned the keep of herself and her sisters a hundred fold times at least.

Effective opening - the mention of a Liberty Ship immediately made me think that this was a war flashback, which is actually good for setting you in the frame of mind for an adventure story even if the actual situation is considerably different.

the captain could see everything that occurred upon her decks

Lord over his own little kingdom? The comic writing is serving you well here, neatly encapsulating the character in one economical line.

Jethro Blacker didn't turn away from where he was positioned at the captain's small writing desk,

Aren't they in their own cabin? This might need correction.

Besides luv

Been reading the Bond comic strips in the Daily Express?

As it is we'll just have to wipe it and cross our fingers that flashing these around a bit will be enough to get aboard Foreplay. Given time we could probably do better, but this tramper isn't precisely a goldmine of forgery equipment."

Jethro's tradecraft is appealing and helps set up an earthy, physical atmosphere to the coming adventure.

Secondly, and to some extent more importantly in the Blackers' opinions,

The subordinate clause is getting rather stacked and ungainly there; perhaps reduce it to "Secondly - and to Blacker, more importantly - the extra time taken..."

Apparently in a city famed for its abundance of cafés they'd managed to
find one which didn't know how to make coffee. In hindsight, she
suspected that probably explained the number of tourists and lack of
locals making use of its services.

Well, they may hate the infidels but they're not above taking their money...

Jethro took a moment to skim the entries his cyborg was pointing to
while she kept talking, "The Union's cheaper and probably more the sort
of thing Europol would book for its agents, but the Metropole has
internet and a currency exchange which could come in handy."
Jethro
took a moment to weigh the options, "Well we're not short of cash after
Monaco, but it's all in Euro and the local money changers mostly want
to see a passport or similar. That's fair enough I suppose... however
I'm also running short of clean clothes, don't know about you, and I see
Le Metropole has a laundry service."

I appreciate this sense of thoroughness, constant care even for the mundane elements - nothing can just be cruised to, which helps keep things keyed up even when there's no threat or developed even when there's no actual brain-engaging investigation yet.

It was perhaps that slower pace which caused the hurrying young man to
crash into Jethro. Bouncing off the taller Englishman he bowed his
apologies and made to move on.

I wonder why more people don't keep their wallets in inner pockets...

Ornate, albeit slightly crumbly plaster work, cool stone flooring
polished within an inch of its life and tired Louis XVI era furnishings
greeted the fratello as they made their way to the check-in desk.

Shabby-genteel? Originally opulent, but never refurbished, and equally its sense of dignity hasn't changed either.

"I don't like this high ceiling, makes it difficult to check the cornice."

Cornice, that's a word I was looking for in Camerata, thanks for reminding me!

revious experience had taught Jethro the futility of trying to argue who
got the side of the bed closest the door with his cyborg.

An understated way of showing a cyborg's protectiveness towards her handler.

Monty stood scowling and holding her iPhone up in front of her. On it
was the digital image of a 19th century print tagged "View from Pompey's
Pillar" which she'd dredged up off Google during the ride over. On the
LCD screen was depicted the pillar, standing high above the city, with a
clear and unobstructed view out toward the two harbours. Now in the
present day, the sightline to the harbour was marred by three ugly and
weather beaten high-rise apartment blocks, three of the many which now
towered over "the highest monument in Alexandria", like rugby players
over a geek who'd accidentally strayed into their locker room.

Not much sensitivity for the situation and setting of that site! The archaeologist in me wails.

The fratello spent another ten minutes at the pillar, taking time to save more images to the camera's memory card

I do like the methodical approach to explaining J&M's careful and attentive progress through the city, but this incidence overeggs the pudding. Why not just say, "taking more photos"?


Monty swallowed her final mouthful of kofta and shrugged, "Honestly
I'm not sure. I guess we could start at the street urchins and work our
way up asking questions, unless you know anyone in town?"
"Not
that could help with this no," Jethro cut in as his cyborg's train of
thought rumbled off down unfortunately dead end tracks. "I was thinking I
might try some of the bars around the dock area this evening; one of
the workers may have seen Foreplay in their travels. A shiny white powerboat is going to stand out around ships, tugs and dumb barges."
Monty
nodded slowly, "If you do that, I might try similar at some of the
hotels where cruise liner guests get put up. It's a long shot but..."

I do think it's important to show the full logic as you do here - rather than just heading straight to the used method, have them discuss and discard alternatives beforehand - it makes things feel more complete and firms up the setting even if there's no long descriptive tracts.

Hobie 16's and Panamax bulk carriers, now there's a combination I'm sure the Port Authority will just love.

Back when I was still learning how to sail an accidental gybe sent our yacht right over to the navy side of Portsmouth Harbour. We lurched back over again quickly, but I did see a marine on deck unsling his rifle, and a police launch did trundle past to squint at us later on.

Monty stood directly below the fire escape, then took two bounding steps
and launched herself at the opposite side of the alley. As she hit the
aged concrete her legs compressed, storing energy and she kicked off the
wall, aiming herself at the lower fire escape platform. Flying across
the gap she twisted around and extended her arms monkey like and,
grabbing the top handrail on the platform, pointed her body to swing
between the metal tubes, landing silently on the steel decking.

It must have been tempting to make the free-running segment a lot more elaborate here!

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 21 Aug 2011 - 21:18

@Robert Frazer wrote:
Jethro Blacker didn't turn away from where he was positioned at the captain's small writing desk,

Aren't they in their own cabin? This might need correction.

Earlier the story notes J+M purchased the Captain's Quarters as their passage.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by ElfenMagix on Mon 22 Aug 2011 - 0:49

That was great, Alfisti.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Tue 23 Aug 2011 - 4:59

First up: thanks to all for the comments.

@Officer_Charon wrote:Some minor editing tweaks (a few missed commas here and there, to break up run-on sentences) might be in order... I'll see if I can hunt down the specifics in a bit.
I'll admit, and as you've probably guessed, I have a bit of trouble deciding whether a sentence needs a comma or not. I'm perfectly capable of reading a sentence, putting a comma in, then reading it again and immediately taking te thing out again.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

@Officer_Charon wrote:One other, minor detail: It's evident that you're familiar with your subject matter when it comes to the details - one has only to look at your artwork to tell that. Perhaps a little longer describing something, or throwing in an alternative description, instead of simply calling something by name? Or is this a subtle attempt to get people off their metaphorical arses and Go Google It? *grins*
As in relation to fashion items or locations? I'll admit I did wonder if I shouldn't offer a bit of extra description on some things: desert boots for example... because I'm fairly sure what I'm thinking of when I say "desert boot" (a light, low-topped, soft suede or leather boot with a crepe rubber sole: originating from British officers buying a similar design in the bazzars of Egypt during WWII, picked up by Clarks shoes in 1949 and popularized by the Mod set of the 1960s)...



...is fairly different to what springs to the mind for most others... which probably looks a little more like it should be running around in Desert Storm.

Unfortunately I've yet to find a way to write all that into a story without disrupting the flow and, to be honest, I tend to assume most people probably aren't that interested . Hence, though I like to go through what my characters are wearing if I think it's appropriate, I tend to try and err on the side of keeping things brief. For similar reasons, unless a design is particularly iconic (YSL Mondrian dress, Rayban Wafarers) or comes naturally with the creator's name tacked on, I try to avoid using fashion house names.

Perhaps I need to have a rethink.

@Robert Frazer wrote:Effective opening - the mention of a Liberty Ship immediately made me
think that this was a war flashback, which is actually good for setting
you in the frame of mind for an adventure story even if the actual
situation is considerably different.
I'll admit it: I picked the Liberty Ship purely for the romance/adventure factor. I did take a look at some modern tramper designs, but none of them had the right feel about them.

@Robert Frazer wrote:Aren't they in their own cabin? This might need correction.
Yeah, as Kisk mentioned: Jethro and Monty paid for use of the captain's quarters... probably setting off a sort of chain reaction ending with an unlucky crew member bunking in the hold or someone's cabin becoming a bit more crowded than usual.

@Robert Frazer wrote:The subordinate clause is getting rather stacked and ungainly there;
perhaps reduce it to "Secondly - and to Blacker, more importantly - the
extra time taken..."
Point taken, as I think I mentioned to OC: sometimes I have a bit of trouble working out when to wrap things up.

@Robert Frazer wrote:I wonder why more people don't keep their wallets in inner pockets...
I do.

@Robert Frazer wrote:Shabby-genteel? Originally opulent, but never refurbished, and equally its sense of dignity hasn't changed either.
Essentially yes. Le Metropole did apparently go through a somewhat half-hearted refurb during the 1980s, but that apparently made little difference. The gist of the reveiws were that it was a bit tired, but still nice and the staff worked magic with what they were given.

Being resonably cheap didn't hurt either... on the pricey end for Alex perhaps, but low-midrange for anywhere else.

@Robert Frazer wrote:Not much sensitivity for the situation and setting of that site! The archaeologist in me wails.
Yeah, again, the reviews ran along the lines of "It's a stone pillar, with no view left and a half-hearted way to try and grub money off tourists: don't bother."

@Robert Frazer wrote:Why not just say, "taking more photos"?
Err... I've got nothing.


@Robert Frazer wrote:I do think it's important to show the full logic as you do here -
rather than just heading straight to the used method, have them discuss
and discard alternatives beforehand - it makes things feel more complete
and firms up the setting even if there's no long descriptive tracts.
One thing I desperately want to avoid is winding up with a story which feels like it's travelling on rails, with no sense of a larger world around it. Hopefully it's working.

@Robert Frazer wrote:It must have been tempting to make the free-running segment a lot more elaborate here!
Hmm, yes and no actually. I'll admit I'm a little of the opinion that parkour is one of those things that is really cool to watch but doesn't translate so well into prose. The joy is in watching someone's motion, but in writing you just seem to wind up rapidly running out of descriptive words (or at least I do). Hence I tend to let Monty's parkour runs fade to black rather than attempting to describe them.

Cheers again for the comments.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Professor Voodoo on Tue 23 Aug 2011 - 12:32

CH01|And the Adventure Continues
It had once been said that if a Liberty Ship survived a single crossing of the Atlantic, then she had paid for her construction.
I believe there's only one or two remaining Liberty ships still in seaworthy condition but, accepting creative license, it's a good choice to convey the unglamorous nature of J&M's passage...a sharp contrast to their recent work on the French Riviera.
They'd paid generously, up front and in cash, which was a combination that could buy a lot of no questions asked. It had also been enough to acquire the captain's cabin for their own usage
Technically illegal I dare say, but once again it conveys the very unceremonious air of this voyage.
"Monaco ended with Nick and Shamus turning up dead for reasons unknown and their boat drifting in the Mediterranean. I'm not certain the description of alright is entirely apt under the circumstances."
"Ok, let me rephrase that: the job itself turned out alright, the latter's just bloody worrying..."
Plot catch-up/exposition is handled very smoothly.
Given time we could probably do better, but this tramper isn't precisely a goldmine of forgery equipment."
Therein lies the dis-advantage of operating with a minimum of Agency support...your fratello is isolated from its vast resources geared toward producing exactly this sort of thing.
"You seem to be making a habit of that," interrupted Jethro, "sending paperwork back to the SWA with Alberto I mean."
In an upcoming episode I have Monty sending Elio a somewhat odd request along with intel collected on the Gabon-Congo border. I just need to find a place to fit it into the story.
Monty looked down at her own outfit; a plain charcoal skivvy top, black leggings and flats.
You spend a lot of time in this chapter describing what the characters are wearing...usually superfluous details...but I think in this case you've worked it into the story pretty well.
Jethro picked up his and Monty's heavy suitcase and one of the duffels whilst Monty grabbed the second, lighter bag as befitting a girl of her stature.
This has to be an issue that afflicts the Pagani & Steele fratelli more than any others. Britney & Kara probably travel with bags that dwarf those of their respective handlers, but in public those same handlers are obligated to carry the heavier bag to preserve the secret of cyborg strength.
"Plan?"
"Basically? Run."
Plan B?
Monty strapped her Walther PPK on over her leggings, high up her thigh.
One of the biggest challenges for any GsG author or artist; where does your girl hide the gun?
Apparently in a city famed for its abundance of cafés they'd managed to find one which didn't know how to make coffee.
To be fair, Jethro & Monty's standards for coffee are somewhat high.
"Well sir, we do have a superior room, but it only has a single queen bed."
"That will do fine."
A flash of disapproval passed over the girl's face at that,
I touched on this in one of my previous episodes, but I think creating a bit of scandal could actually be a useful thing. If the hotel staff thinks Jethro is being secretive because he is a dirty old man they'll be less likely to start suspecting he's a spy.
For similar reasons he'd not been allowed choice of the aisle seat on an aeroplane since his tenure with the SWA had commenced almost two years previous.
Perhaps it's just a difference between Australian & American English but that sentence feels awkward...perhaps prior would fit better.
causing Monty to growl something quiet and unintelligible about loud Americans into her continental breakfast. Jethro, on the other hand had gone the full English,
Said Americans no doubt complaining about their own Continental breakfasts. As for Jethro; can you get beans in Alexandria?
"Though I guess if it really came down to it you could climb a minaret or something."
Monty gave a derisive snort, "You're been spending too much time around Marisa, the crazy's rubbing off."
For the record, ever since their mission together in Bruges Marisa has been accumulating more than her share of scrapes, cuts and bruises trying to emulate Monty's parkour.
It was one of these latter that equipped Monty with a light, white cotton blouse of which she rolled the sleeves up and tucked loosely into wide, kakhi linen slacks, pressed neatly with a crisp crease down the front. Back at the hotel were added a wide red belt and black flats. Large, white framed vintage sunglasses finished the look with a red gossamer silk headscarf, bought from a street seller, covering her hair and draped casually over one shoulder.
A future fQ cover?
Jethro grinned, "Said I used to be in the merchant marine and found looking at freighters nostalgic."
She cocked an eyebrow, "Did he buy it."
Elio: Jethro, mate, when you get a mite closer to my age the nostalgia angle becomes far more convincing.
If they do a club sandwich I'll have that, otherwise pick me something you think I'll like."
Having leafed through the list of offerings while Monty was otherwise indisposed, Jethro thought her chances of getting a club sandwich in this particular café looked slim at best.
Ham & bacon are rare commodities in an Islamic country, as I'm sure the loud Americans observed over their Continental breakfasts.
"I do not recommend it friend. Women can get touchy about these things. ..."Ah, but sometimes it is best to allow them to be annoyed with you, that way they can get it out of their systems for when you'd prefer them happy."
An honest real-world observation about living with Monty perhaps?
Monty let out a heavy sigh, "Foreplay's under guard at the Yacht Club. ...Jethro gave his cyborg a lopsided grin, "Wow. Embarrassing."
Despite the fact that this plot twist renders irrelevant the entire journey you've just taken the reader along on I like it. Humour in GsG is not found in actual jokes but in the absurdity of situations. This certainly fits that; super-agents Jethro & Monty traipse all over the city only to find their target in the first place they should have looked. That probably won't make the final report...
With her she also carried the small Leica D-Lux 4 camera the fratello had used for their tourist cover.
That choice says a lot about your fratello. Even when posing as tourists a cheap "point & shoot" just will not do.
a powerful waft of fresh antifoul assaulted their nostrils, mixed with the underlying scent of oil and diesel.
You forgot the sublime odor of dead barnacles rotting in the sun.
One of the men was killed in the forward cabin with the boathook, messy. The other, the larger, ate his own gun in the bathroom of the same."
So what's the death toll aboard Foreplay so far? Two by boat-hook, one by suspicious gunshot wound and one by Marisa induced heart attack.
Marisa: I killed a guy without even touching him!
Voodoo: Yes Mari, I believe you've mentioned that numerous times.
Taking out her iPhone, Monty used its camera to snap photos of the indents;
Not exactly sure why Monty is using the iPhone instead of the Leica here.
Finding any removable evidence was however unlikely as the Egyptian authorities had already been over the entire hull with a fine-tooth comb.
There's also the possibility that the Egyptian police accepted this as a simple murder-suicide and neglected to dig very deep.
Jethro on the other hand had something of his own creation,..This he had, much to his cyborg's annoyance, christened the "Monty".
What fun is having a cyborg if you can't wind her up now and then?
"I wouldn't mind getting a look at the bodies as well…"
"No." Monty's use of the word wasn't a suggestion, but a flat, emphatic stonewalling from the cyborg.
Interesting. Is Monty's strong objection merely because of the risk of exposure, or does she have a thing about bodies in the morgue?
Sighing in knowledge gained from previous experience that this was one he wouldn't win, Jethro answered, "Just be quiet about it then, you may be good to stay up all hours but I personally need sleep."
Does Monty possess some enhanced ability to stay awake for long periods or is it just a facet of her personality?
Amal put down the phone and, snapping the two ID cases shut, handed them back to their respective owners. "Seems you were telling the truth sahib, I am sorry for the inconvenience but you can never be too careful."
By their actions the fratello is actually fleshing out a real (albeit contrived) identity in Alexandria.
Jethro looked at the loose rounds, then back to the revolver in his other hand and motioned his cyborg over. Handing both to her he said, "What do you reckon."
Question mark here, perhaps?
Jethro let his eyes play across his cyborg's face, "Either way, I say we find some lunch and sort over what we've got."
At any rate Jethro & Monty are getting plenty of chances to sample the local cuisine in this chapter.
Placing his head next to hers he made as if too whisper nothings in her ear, causing the girl to give an indulgent smile as he placed a light kiss on her cheek before drawing back to place another on her lips.
The "Sandro" manoeuver?
The man was about six feet tall, with brown hair. The woman he said looked almost like a girl, much shorter than the man and very slim.
This is a very clever touch...of course Benipe would be unaware that he was describing the mysterious foreigners to themselves.
the Audi's diesel V6 came to life with Teutonic efficiency, seemingly unfazed by its weeks spent in storage.
Wonderful thing, these modern direct injection engines.
At Sidi Barriani the fratello stopped to top off the car's tanks again. With a full fuel load, the Blacker Audi had a theoretical range of over 1600km.
You've got me wondering about the Audi's back-story now. Is the SWA "Q" department responsible for the vehicle's modifications or one of Jethro's other acquaintances?
Though she'd never admit it to anyone, these were the moments she looked forward to and treasured: just her, her handler and the open road; their car a tiny, isolated speck of light against an infinite night; travelling.
More than any other place on Earth the Audi must seem like "home" to her.
away from Egypt and into the relative safety of Libya.
I think that's the first time that series of words has ever been typed.
Some broader thoughts; with the exception of Robert's Pied Rouge this is the first time we've seen Jethro & Monty working on their own...which is ironic since that is their primary role. Everyone else who has written of J&M so far, myself, Kisk, you Alfisti has placed them in a situation that has the pair interacting with other people, be they Jethro's contacts or SWA members. It's almost like reverse character exposition...we've seen how J&M react while outside their element, now we're finally getting to see how they operate the other 95% of the time.
The mystery you've laid out concerning the deaths of Nick & Shamus will keep a good number of us wondering I suspect. While I doubt you're trying to lay the crime out "Agatha Cristie" style...that is to say, solvable by the reader before the story's climax you have offered up a number of clues that surely must provide the basis for the next installment. Looking forward to it!

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 23 Aug 2011 - 13:33

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
Jethro picked up his and Monty's heavy suitcase and one of the duffels whilst Monty grabbed the second, lighter bag as befitting a girl of her stature.

This has to be an issue that afflicts the Pagani & Steele fratelli more than any others. Britney & Kara probably travel with bags that dwarf those of their respective handlers, but in public those same handlers are obligated to carry the heavier bag to preserve the secret of cyborg strength.

Kara: "That's what porters are for."

Michele: "I have to bring a separate suitcase just for all the 50 Euro notes to tip them."


@Professor Voodoo wrote:
It was one of these latter that equipped Monty with a light, white cotton blouse of which she rolled the sleeves up and tucked loosely into wide, kakhi linen slacks, pressed neatly with a crisp crease down the front. Back at the hotel were added a wide red belt and black flats. Large, white framed vintage sunglasses finished the look with a red gossamer silk headscarf, bought from a street seller, covering her hair and draped casually over one shoulder.

A future fQ cover?

I was thinking a past one, myself (Winter_20xx), though there are differences.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
One of the men was killed in the forward cabin with the boathook, messy. The other, the larger, ate his own gun in the bathroom of the same."
So what's the death toll aboard Foreplay so far? Two by boat-hook, one by suspicious gunshot wound and one by Marisa induced heart attack.
Marisa: I killed a guy without even touching him!
Voodoo: Yes Mari, I believe you've mentioned that numerous times.

That boat is going to get a reputation for being cursed...

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Wed 24 Aug 2011 - 6:12

@Professor Voodoo wrote: I believe there's only one or two remaining Liberty ships still in seaworthy condition but, accepting creative license, it's a good choice to convey the unglamorous nature of J&M's passage...a sharp contrast to their recent work on the French Riviera.
There's two still seaworthy to my knowledge... which was enough for me to decide that there could be a third, particularly if it's activities often include those that are a little less than legal. As you noted also: it also helps set a different tone, it's a bit more earthy, a bit more "making do"... and steam is just so much more romatic than diesel Razz

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
Given time we could probably do better, but this tramper isn't precisely a goldmine of forgery equipment."
Therein lies the dis-advantage of operating with a minimum of Agency support...your fratello is isolated from its vast resources geared toward producing exactly this sort of thing.
Jethro: That's why they pay us the big bucks.

Monty: No they don't.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
Monty looked down at her own outfit; a plain charcoal skivvy top, black leggings and flats.
You spend a lot of time in this chapter describing what the characters are wearing...usually superfluous details...but I think in this case you've worked it into the story pretty well.
Cheers. I generally try to avoid clothing descriptions unless it somehow impacts the story or shows some of the character's thinking. For this particular story, clothing was quite important as it serves as a hinderance, particularly for Monty. Perhaps its because my interests run that way, but I'm a great believer that how someone dresses changes how people view and interract with them. Add to that that J+M are now in a culture that expects a different standard of dress from its women to the one they've just left and she has a problem with needs to be dealt with or worked around.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
Jethro picked up his and Monty's heavy suitcase and one of the duffels whilst Monty grabbed the second, lighter bag as befitting a girl of her stature.
This has to be an issue that afflicts the Pagani & Steele fratelli more than any others. Britney & Kara probably travel with bags that dwarf those of their respective handlers, but in public those same handlers are obligated to carry the heavier bag to preserve the secret of cyborg strength.
To be honest I just also kinda liked the mental image of a bloke in a suit sneaking around with a suitcase at night.... if he'd had a black fedora left over after Monaco Jethro would totally have gotten that as well, just for the full 1960's spy/thriller/P.O.W effect.

That said: I think J+M probably fall into "acting normal" easier than most fratelli... seeing as it's their base state of operation. Every so often one or the other may need a slight prod to be reminded that there is a brute force option if required.


@Professor Voodoo wrote:
"Plan?"
"Basically? Run."
Plan B?
Always.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
"Well sir, we do have a superior room, but it only has a single queen bed."
"That will do fine."
A flash of disapproval passed over the girl's face at that,
I touched on this in one of my previous episodes, but I think creating a bit of scandal could actually be a useful thing. If the hotel staff thinks Jethro is being secretive because he is a dirty old man they'll be less likely to start suspecting he's a spy.
Yeah, essentially the same trick J+M use on a regular basis: create a scandle to cover what you're actually trying to hide... the difference here being that Monty's fully aware of what's going on and can play up her role of underage lover/mistress/prostitute/whatever. Jethro generally introducing her as his "niece" isn't random happenstance: it's an old joke going back to the days of gentlemens' clubs only allowing women in on certain days and then only family members... so all the "gentlemen" brought their "nieces" along... with a new "niece" every week.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
It was one of these latter that equipped Monty with a light, white cotton blouse of which she rolled the sleeves up and tucked loosely into wide, kakhi linen slacks, pressed neatly with a crisp crease down the front. Back at the hotel were added a wide red belt and black flats. Large, white framed vintage sunglasses finished the look with a red gossamer silk headscarf, bought from a street seller, covering her hair and draped casually over one shoulder.
A future fQ cover?
Hmm, possibly... it was originally going to be part of the header image for this chapter, but the headscarf doesn't work so well from behind.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
If they do a club sandwich I'll have that, otherwise pick me something you think I'll like."
Having leafed through the list of offerings while Monty was otherwise indisposed, Jethro thought her chances of getting a club sandwich in this particular café looked slim at best.
Ham & bacon are rare commodities in an Islamic country, as I'm sure the loud Americans observed over their Continental breakfasts.
They are, though by the same token Egypt is quite tourist-oriented compared to a lot of the Islamic world, so my understanding is they aren't quite as scarce as in other places. For similar reasons Monty was hoping she might just get away with her Monaco clobber.

I think the club sandwich suggestion was almost as much pointing out to Jethro that she didn't know what was on the menu... not that she would turn her nose up at one should it have arrived.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
Monty let out a heavy sigh, "Foreplay's under guard at the Yacht Club. ...Jethro gave his cyborg a lopsided grin, "Wow. Embarrassing."
Despite the fact that this plot twist renders irrelevant the entire journey you've just taken the reader along on I like it. Humour in GsG is not found in actual jokes but in the absurdity of situations. This certainly fits that; super-agents Jethro & Monty traipse all over the city only to find their target in the first place they should have looked. That probably won't make the final report...
No, it probably won't... or it'll get very-VERY spun by Monty.

As I think I mentioned to Robert: one thing I desperately want to avoid is getting a "linear" storyline, where everything just seems to lead on from one event to another. Don't expect clues just to lead on for J+M, not to mention the occasional day-wasting red herring.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
With her she also carried the small Leica D-Lux 4 camera the fratello had used for their tourist cover.
That choice says a lot about your fratello. Even when posing as tourists a cheap "point & shoot" just will not do.
One of the upsides of not having a lot of stuff, is that the stuff you DO have can afford to be top of the line.

I did originally intend to give them a Panasoinc Lumix LX3... which is exactly the same camera as the D-Lux 4 but with a different sticker on it and for a third of the price. However the Leica name comes with certain preconceptions and attachments which, as you said: speak of the character. It should be noted that the D-Lux 4 got superseded by the D-Lux 5 late last year/early this year. However the D-Lux 4 is working for J+M, so they probably see no reason to change.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
Taking out her iPhone, Monty used its camera to snap photos of the indents;
Not exactly sure why Monty is using the iPhone instead of the Leica here.
A little earlier in the story Monty passes the Leica off to Jethro so he can use it to take photos of the "crime scene." The intention being to keep all the action happeing around Jethro and make Monty as easy for their minder to forget about as possible.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
"I wouldn't mind getting a look at the bodies as well…"
"No." Monty's use of the word wasn't a suggestion, but a flat, emphatic stonewalling from the cyborg.
Interesting. Is Monty's strong objection merely because of the risk of exposure, or does she have a thing about bodies in the morgue?
Strong objection to a risk that doesn't need to be taken yet. Monty sees her job of protecting her handler as not just to getting in the way of gunfire and killing whom she is directed to: but also making sure he doesn't make stupid decisions, has his nose blown, lunch packed and his trousers on the right way around (witness telling him to go to bed).

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
Sighing in knowledge gained from previous experience that this was one he wouldn't win, Jethro answered, "Just be quiet about it then, you may be good to stay up all hours but I personally need sleep."
Does Monty possess some enhanced ability to stay awake for long periods or is it just a facet of her personality?
Just a personality quirk. Work > food > sleep.


@Professor Voodoo wrote:
Jethro looked at the loose rounds, then back to the revolver in his other hand and motioned his cyborg over. Handing both to her he said, "What do you reckon."
Question mark here, perhaps?
Not certain to be honest... I think that was intended more as a "give me your thoughts." rather than a "what do you think?"

Thoughts?

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
Jethro let his eyes play across his cyborg's face, "Either way, I say we find some lunch and sort over what we've got."
At any rate Jethro & Monty are getting plenty of chances to sample the local cuisine in this chapter.
Well, it'd be silly to waste time on eating without doing something productive right?

It's also probably a bit of an offshoot of the fact that I'm a huge fan of doing work in cafes over lunch or breakfast.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
Placing his head next to hers he made as if too whisper nothings in her ear, causing the girl to give an indulgent smile as he placed a light kiss on her cheek before drawing back to place another on her lips.
The "Sandro" manoeuver?
To an extent, but it's also a good way to let Monty get a good look behind them...

...and they can keep telling themselves it was for purely professional reasons and that they gained absolutely no personal enjoyment from it what-so-ever.


I was actually tossing on whether to include the kiss on the lips or not... it seemed a little too much, but on the other hand it allowed Monty to give a very Monty response.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
At Sidi Barriani the fratello stopped to top off the car's tanks again. With a full fuel load, the Blacker Audi had a theoretical range of over 1600km.
You've got me wondering about the Audi's back-story now. Is the SWA "Q" department responsible for the vehicle's modifications or one of Jethro's other acquaintances?
Neither actually I think... Reserve fuel tanks and dual battery systems are off-the-shelf components, and any half-competent 4x4 store should be able to install both. The only thing that would need to be made up special would be the extra fuel tank itself, as I somehow doubt anyone makes one off the shelf for an A4 Allroad. Unlike Land Rover, Toyota and Nissan owners Audi owners are much less likely to be leaving civilization far enough behind to require one.

Jethro: Besides, I've had to deal with the real Q-branch far to many times to let this mob near my car.


@Kiskaloo wrote:Kara: "That's what porters are for."

Michele: "I have to bring a separate suitcase just for all the 50 Euro notes to tip them."
Kara is getting ready to go on deployment when there's a knock at her door. She opens it to reveal Marisa, Henrietta and Rico all wearing backpacks.

Kara: Umm, yes?

Henrietta: We're going with you Kara.

Marisa: Would you like some help with your bags?

Kara: I was told this was a single fratello mission...

Rico: It is, but we heard Mr. Pagani tips the porters in fifties...

Marisa and Etta:
Shhhh!


@Kiskaloo wrote:That boat is going to get a reputation for being cursed...
I really feel sorry for that boat at times... whoever borrows it next should let it do something nice.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Fri 21 Oct 2011 - 10:37



Now available on ff.net

In this instalment:
Jethro buys a hat...
Monty stops traffic...
And someone plays a game of chess.

Took awhile, but that's mostly a result of me a) being a slow writer and editor and b) having written the entire Turkey segment in one hit, and now broken it up into two chapters. Practical upshot is that the next chapter is already written and just needs editing. Gods willing it'll be out in the next few weeks to a month.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Professor Voodoo on Fri 21 Oct 2011 - 18:03

Perfect! I've got a 6-hour supply boat ride back to port tonight...now I have something new to read. Thoughts to come...

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 21 Oct 2011 - 21:16

As always, really liked it. Excellent descriptions of the scenery and it's importance, presented in a way that added to the narrative.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Nagneto on Sun 23 Oct 2011 - 4:47

oooh, fan comic. Interesting!

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sat 29 Oct 2011 - 6:14

Well it took me a whole week to come up with some questionably coherent thoughts but here goes...

CH01|With A Fez On
The door opened silently to admit the Chief's steward; dressed impeccably, if somewhat incongruously, in a maid's uniform and carrying a silver tray."Telegram for you sir."
I never expected to see Tea show up in one of your stories. I found the use of a telegram a bit eyebrow-raising...it does not seem the most efficient or secure method of contact but I suppose you addressed that sufficiently a few paragraphs later.
"I sir, am always here."
Terrific line, expressing either devotion or resignation to servitude depending on your point of view.
Facing forward again, Jethro continued climbing to the second level of the small bed and breakfast he and Monty had chosen to accommodate themselves.
That's an interesting character twist; the normally workaholic fratello almost seems to be taking a "day off" to compose themselves and get their affairs in order before jumping headlong into the bustling chaos of Istanbul.
This by the way is Ninochka, my wife."
Clever. A reference to the Greta Garbo comedy of the same name (although your spelling is different)...which as I recall ended in Istanbul?
The blonde woman made for a small bar area, grabbing Monty's elbow as she went. The cyborg however shook her hand away, accompanying the action with a baleful glare.
That rings true. Although Turkey is very progressive by Middle Eastern standards certain traditions still hold sway...women do tend to leave the room as business is discussed. Still, Monty may have been missing the opportunity to probe Ninochka for some information.
It was late afternoon by the time the fratello returned to their Beyoglu hotel from Istanbul's easterly, Anatolian shores.
Although the majority of my time in Turkey was spent on the opposite end of the country, in & around Adana, I did have the opportunity to visit Istanbul (I have an upcoming episode set there too). Your descriptions make me really miss the place.
Opening the bottle he let Jethro sniff the cork and, seeing the customer was apparently satisfied, filled each waiting piece of stemware.
Code? Some kind of signal? I'd think Jethro would be the type to know you don't actually sniff the cork, just inspect it to ensure that the bottle had been stored properly.
"You know," she noted with a dry smirk, seemingly addressing the morsel hanging in front of her, "for people who travel on business, we seem to spend an awful lot of time playing tourist."
A valid observation, and as good a time as any to mention that the first half of this read almost exactly like the first half of your last chapter...a search around the landmarks of each city, amounting to very little until an almost accidental break in the case.
"That's why it's still one of my favourite museums," noted Jethro as the fratello ambled down the Courtyard of the Sultan's Consorts and Concubines, "lots of options and a security nightmare."
Classic Jethro...no mention of the galleries or the artifacts themselves...just appreciation for its maze-like quality, making clandestine meetings and the odd art theft easy.
Jethro considered this, "Maybe I should draw you some pictures, so you know who we're looking for."
Marisa: This is why you should always have an accomplished sketch artist with you.

Monty: Oh you are way more trouble than your drawing skills are worth, thank you.
Although Turkey was constitutionally secular, to the point where the wearing of a headscarf was banned in some public spaces, around these bastions of Islamic tradition, observance of custom was still considered polite.
As far as I know headscarves were only forbidden on university campuses...although it has been 12 years, things may have changed since I was last there.
Though she hid it well, his cyborg was less happy...Instead it was the feeling of uselessness that she was finding frustrating.
The fratello should visit the compound more often. There they would find the latest SWA publication The Tao of Rico waiting in their mailbox.
The cyborg scowled, "It is when they send it to the Italian Consulate. Do either of us look or sound even remotely Italian?"

"I wouldn't call this an experience issue so much as a lack of forethought issue… and I could certainly do without the SWA adding their own extra little complications to my life."

Reaching over his girl, Jethro gently but firmly closed the lid of her laptop. "Go have a shower, you can finish that later..."
Seems like a pedantic detail for Monty to be getting upset over and I love how Jethro gently steers her away from the topic.
From a stand, Jethro picked up a red felt fez, assumedly aimed at the tourist market, inspected it briefly then placed it jauntily on his head.

"You're not seriously going to wear that are you?"
I'll be interested to see how long this remains a part of Jethro's wardrobe before it meets with an unfortunate packing "accident."
The fez returned, "Twenty Lira."
Ah...I see they've revalued the currency since my last visit too.
Feeling the need to help shore up the part of "tourist" she had just played, Monty retrieved her Leica again and, swallowing down the slight disgust she always felt at emulating the camera-wielding group she held in such distain,
Although Monty would seethe at the comparison I see shades of Henrietta here...playing the innocuous girl snapping pictures in the crowd but in actuality gathering specific intel.
The area was terribly familiar: if they turned left at the next intersection it would take her directly to the funicular rail, which she and her handler had been using to get to Karakoy tram station.
You certainly did some good research on the city's public transportation system.
As soon as she heard her quarry's taxi pull out and start to accelerate up the street, the girl jumped for the nearest car. Sliding across the vinyl bench in the rear of the taxi she doled two fifty Lira notes out of her wallet and dumped them on the front passenger seat.

"Follow that taxi and don't ask questions," ordered Monty
I was kind of expecting a parkour-style chase here...
Monty would have preferred to avoid risking a spate of broad daylight breaking and entry.
Aww come on...Turkish prisons aren't as bad as they used to be.
Sending the waiter off with an order for a Turkish coffee and baklava
Maximum caffeine & sugar...yep, she's a cyborg after all.
Monty settled down to stickybeak.
Had to look that term up...it's pretty exclusive to Australia & NZ.
Her waiter returned with coffee and food and the cyborg picked at the offering
Henrietta: A solid brick of phyllo pastry & honey and you only pick at it? Are you sure you're our sister?
As afternoon turned to evening, Monty found herself deposited back in Fatih/Sultanahmet, just opposite the mosque in front of which she had first boarded Istanbul's trams in pursuit of the accountant.
One expects Monty to be very independent but this is the longest yet that we've seen her operate autonomously.
A short, fitted black cocktail dress, with angled hemline and wide white collar, paired up with dark stockings accentuated her slender, long legged figure, while a padded bra and two inch heels did their part to add a more adult edge to her silhouette.
Aha...Kara's purchase from Monaco. Nice, understated nod to continuity.
Pausing to partake in a little showmanship, he flicked the fruit into the air before catching it behind his back and placing it on a cutting board.
I can picture Monty's "you've got to be kidding me" sneer vividly in my head.
Omurtak next moved a knight forward, followed by his queenside central pawn which was rapidly lost to Jethro's own black pawn as the Englishman began to draw his pieces into a tight Dragon variation, Sicilian Defence.
It's usually baccarat, sometimes poker and in one film Bond even played the villain at a video game but a chess game is a unique twist on the classic trope.
Shrugging his defeat, Jethro reached forward and pushed over his black king. Then he stood up, offering his hand across the board.
I'm curious as to how Monty would feel about watching her handler come up second best. On the surface of course she would certainly understand the tactical move but in spite of that it still has to play hell with her subconscious. Henrietta would likely have a fit if she had to watch Giuseppe lose a board game, no matter how trivial the stakes.
But if you lose the king, then you lose the game.
Monty's inner voice talking?
"I'm sure you're aware by now of the job that went off in Monaco recently..."

..."Why does everybody seem to assume I had some hand in that? Sadly I did not, however we were hoping to somehow capitalize on its success."
There's an amusingly convoluted twist...
Should the West suffer a similar collapse to the USSR, certainly one of the first victims, with its various warring factions, would be Italy, thus nullifying all the SWA's work to date.
The current world economic situation is something none of us have really exploited in our stories (yet). It certainly holds a lot of potential as story fodder...I can see Monty being more concerned with the disruption to her work than with the end of the Agency (and the potential end of her cyborg life).
To Be Continued
Looking forward to the next installment!

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Sun 30 Oct 2011 - 3:49

@Professor Voodoo wrote:I never expected to see Tea show up in one of your stories. I found the use of a telegram a bit eyebrow-raising...it does not seem the most efficient or secure method of contact but I suppose you addressed that sufficiently a few paragraphs later.
Yeah, oddly I did kind of want to show Tea in some way shape of form... though as you can probably guess: playing down the "maid" side somewhat. I guess I tend to picture her as somewhere between a butler/PA/bodyguard.

As to the telegram, it would have come through Telegram Stop, which by virtue of being online can make it difficult to track back to a source. I'd like to think Monty's working is sufficiently vague that it's be useless unless you knew who it was coming from. Also slow, giving that bit of lag the Blackers often like to build into communications between themselves and the Agency.

Facing forward again, Jethro continued climbing to the second level of the small bed and breakfast he and Monty had chosen to accommodate themselves.
That's an interesting character twist; the normally workaholic fratello almost seems to be taking a "day off" to compose themselves and get their affairs in order before jumping headlong into the bustling chaos of Istanbul.
I think even Jethro + Monty realise it's a good idea to get all the "t"s crossed and "i"s dotted when you have the chance. That way, when the shit does hit the fan there's less to worry about... and they know where their current achillies heels are.

This by the way is Ninochka, my wife."
Clever. A reference to the Greta Garbo comedy of the same name (although your spelling is different)...which as I recall ended in Istanbul?
Sadly not a movie I've seen... I'll be honest I got "Ninochka" simply by punching "Yugoslav female names" into Google.

Code? Some kind of signal? I'd think Jethro would be the type to know you don't actually sniff the cork, just inspect it to ensure that the bottle had been stored properly.
I think there's plenty of code going back and forward in that conversation...

...the wine cork though, embarrasingly, is a faux-pas on my part.

"You know," she noted with a dry smirk, seemingly addressing the morsel hanging in front of her, "for people who travel on business, we seem to spend an awful lot of time playing tourist."
A valid observation, and as good a time as any to mention that the first half of this read almost exactly like the first half of your last chapter...a search around the landmarks of each city, amounting to very little until an almost accidental break in the case.
Yeah, I had that thought as well, sadly there is often a lot of unglamourous footwork to be done when the Blackers arrive somewhere... hopefully next time around I'll be able to find a new way for them entre a city

As far as I know headscarves were only forbidden on university campuses...although it has been 12 years, things may have changed since I was last there.
My best understanding is that those laws have actually been relaxed somewhat over recent years... however it seemed a nice complication to throw at Monty.

Seems like a pedantic detail for Monty to be getting upset over and I love how Jethro gently steers her away from the topic.
Probably... but little details Razz

That was inpart I guess aimed more at newcomers to the story: Monty honestly believes that she can infact berate the adult staff.

The area was terribly familiar: if they turned left at the next intersection it would take her directly to the funicular rail, which she and her handler had been using to get to Karakoy tram station.
You certainly did some good research on the city's public transportation system.
I think a bit of that came from trying to wrap my head around Istanbul's geography and layout. It's a bit bigger than Alexandria was with a seemingly more complex public transport network.

I think you or someone else noted that the cyborgs don't seem to spend a lot of time on the bus/train/whatever... I kinda like the idea that J+M are intimately familiar with public transportation systems Razz (and it means less need to pull the car out and get it seen).

I was kind of expecting a parkour-style chase here...
Monty: Yes, because obviously I'd love to draw attention to myself by running across rooftops in broad daylight.

Monty settled down to stickybeak.
Had to look that term up...it's pretty exclusive to Australia & NZ.
Really? Ok, news on me

Henrietta: A solid brick of phyllo pastry & honey and you only pick at it? Are you sure you're our sister?
Monty: *flatly* Seemingly not... oh woe is me...

One expects Monty to be very independent but this is the longest yet that we've seen her operate autonomously.
Well there was her attack on Ebanovich and the evening she spent haunting bars in Alexandria... but no, I've not had the opportunity to really send her out on her own yet.

A short, fitted black cocktail dress, with angled hemline and wide white collar, paired up with dark stockings accentuated her slender, long legged figure, while a padded bra and two inch heels did their part to add a more adult edge to her silhouette.
Aha...Kara's purchase from Monaco. Nice, understated nod to continuity.
As you might have guessed: due to space constraints Monty has a grand total of one piece of evening wear. So she'll keep using it untill (to paraphrase the Starship Troopers movie) "it dies or she finds something better".

Shrugging his defeat, Jethro reached forward and pushed over his black king. Then he stood up, offering his hand across the board.
I'm curious as to how Monty would feel about watching her handler come up second best. On the surface of course she would certainly understand the tactical move but in spite of that it still has to play hell with her subconscious. Henrietta would likely have a fit if she had to watch Giuseppe lose a board game, no matter how trivial the stakes.
Jose: I was wondering why no-one ever turned up to my Trivial Pursuit nights...

As to Monty: I think it sould smart for her, but at the same time she'd enjoy watching her handler manuver his opponent exactly where he wanted him to play the long game.

But if you lose the king, then you lose the game.
Monty's inner voice talking?
I intentionally left that one a bit ambiguous, but yes, it was supposed to be Monty.

Should the West suffer a similar collapse to the USSR, certainly one of the first victims, with its various warring factions, would be Italy, thus nullifying all the SWA's work to date.
The current world economic situation is something none of us have really exploited in our stories (yet). It certainly holds a lot of potential as story fodder...I can see Monty being more concerned with the disruption to her work than with the end of the Agency (and the potential end of her cyborg life).
I'll be honest: I do think it's something that's underutilized... to me I guess it's much bigger and world changing than anything else going on right now. It also gets a bigger role in the next chapter...


Thanks as always for the in-depth comments and commentary.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by boomer_gonz on Sun 30 Oct 2011 - 9:02

Monty:[/b] Yes, because obviously I'd love to draw attention to myself by running across rooftops in broad daylight.

Alpha: You say that like it's a bad thing.

Monty: Because it is a bad thing.

Alpha: Not when you use it in a proper context. You can actually use it to distract from what's really going on. Being two steps ahead of the mark and five steps ahead of the average set of eyes.

Monty: And how exactly does one go about doing that while running across rooftops?

Alpha: Sorry love, trade secret.

Monty: You'll have to do much better than that.

-Epic glaring match ensues-


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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Sun 13 Nov 2011 - 2:04



...now available on ff.net

In this installment:

...Jethro uses the loo
...Monty gets a package
...and the Audi goes offroad.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 13 Nov 2011 - 8:57

As amateur astronomers, I must say Michele, Kara and Claes would love a sky like that. Yes Indeed

Even if my first thought was it looked like a nuclear exchange was in progress overhead. Razz

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Mon 14 Nov 2011 - 3:29

@Kiskaloo wrote:Even if my first thought was it looked like a nuclear exchange was in progress overhead. Razz
Yeah, my clouds... didn't turn out so well this time

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 14 Nov 2011 - 14:59

As to the story, really enjoyed how things are playing out.

Sometimes, I think Monty should be the handler with the way she tends to take charge of a situation. Smile

I am seeing locations, situations and characters I could leverage for Pactio, so please expect some "Consulting PMs" in the coming week or two.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Tue 15 Nov 2011 - 7:26

@Kiskaloo wrote:As to the story, really enjoyed how things are playing out.

Sometimes, I think Monty should be the handler with the way she tends to take charge of a situation. Smile
Cheers mate.

Monty: Well, you try being paired up with a small child...

@Kiskaloo wrote:I am seeing locations, situations and characters I could leverage for Pactio, so please expect some "Consulting PMs" in the coming week or two.
Sure mate, PM away... I'll be honest: there's a few places and people that I'd prefer not to lend out till I'm certain I'm finished with them, but I'll let you know.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Professor Voodoo on Sun 20 Nov 2011 - 8:42

CH03|Long Highway
Well, it certainly is your longest chapter so far.
The "greed is good" boom of the 1980s had brought with it massive development, the area's history being all but swept away before the tidal wave of progress.
Istanbul is one of those cities where you can't sink a spade into the earth without discovering priceless ruins. Still, they make a pretty brave effort to protect what they can. Are you familiar with the ongoing excavation of a Bronze Age seaport, right where the new combined transportation hub is supposed to be built? It's a really interesting race against time to get as much preserved as possible.
It was Monty however who spoke first, "You keep your records on paper?"

The supplier shrugged, "I am not as young as I used to be, the memory plays tricks and I find this easier than computers.
Omurtak immediately assumes the young girl expects him to use a computer but is Monty implying he should have this all memorized so the information can't fall into the wrong hands?
Jethro risked a quick glance sideways at his partner. Though her face remained impassive as she held Omurtak's gaze, he knew the last comment would have to have stung for the proud girl.
Jethro: Oh lovely...now I get to deal with a grouchy partner for the rest of the night.
Standing the handler asked, "Is there a loo around here?"
The entire "bathroom excuse" scene is tense and well paced...I actually found myself reading it faster, subconsciously influenced by Jethro's time constraint. I do wonder, however, if this is what he was thinking of when he grew up dreaming of becoming a raffish gentleman spy.
While Monty would admit the other cyborgs were deadly combatants, she considered them chainsaws to the scalpel of intelligence work,
Marisa: Well duh...being a chainsaw is way more fun.
"You certainly took your time before, I thought you may have... how do you say... 'fallen in'?"
If Omurtak is suspicious then I can easily see Jethro becoming "counter-suspicious." Maybe the information I got was planted? He is, as you put it, professionally paranoid.
While her augmented vision could certainly distinguish facial features from this distance, the lens's superb optics gave her extra magnification on her target and the cyborg didn't see any reason to pass up the advantage that offered.
While you've established that the engineers have not provided Monty with the same armour & outright strength as her cyborg-sisters the eyes seem like an area where she might have an advantage.
"Good, because I need your eyes."

Killing the running lights he cut across the front of a lumbering semitrailer into the exit slip lane and flew toward the off-ramp.
Now there's an interesting use of a cyborg's enhanced vision...I was sort of expecting a longer chase for the VW; Jethro driving nearly blind, dependent on Monty to guide him.
scant seconds away from the Alboreto fratello blowing a hole in the wall

While the Blackers carried a more comprehensive cipher suite
I like the difference in how you worded this...it reflects the different approach each handler has to the fratello relationship.
none of whom seemed particularly interested in two more unfortunate travellers awake at some ungodly hour.
One sometimes wonders what hotel staff is really thinking...or if they even notice abnormal behavior from their patrons any more.
As the road became more challenging, Jethro dropped the car's gearbox into manual, using the diesel's torque to make swift, smooth progress rather than letting it shuffle up and down ratios by itself, and allowed himself fall into a rhythm from corner to corner.
One of the most entertaining things I observed while driving Turkish mountains roads (albeit many hundreds of miles east of where your fratello currently is) was that the roads where three lane. One going up, one down and a "wild-card" lane in the middle. As the most popular car over there was a Tofaş Serçe (a Fiat 124 clone) with disc brakes the size of tea saucers the downhill runs could get exciting. The trick was to use the brakes as little as possible to avoid overheating (possible in just one application) so you often had to run wide or cut into the wild-card lane...all the time hoping nobody in the uphill lane was using it to pass a slow moving truck.

I trust Jethro's Audi comes with functioning brakes.
Realizing that her handler had a point, and that she wasn't going to be allowed to win this one anyway, the girl gave a resigned sigh.
Wow...that's a first.
Though the wind would mask any sound she made somehow, in the reverential atmosphere of this forgotten Cold War relic, loud noises and sudden movements seemed inappropriate.
Interesting to see the normally cynical Monty feel reverence for anything. As a side note; I imagine if sites like this existed they'd have been picked clean for relics decades ago. Even the first time I was deployed to Incirlik in 1993 the shops were full of purported "Soviet Memorabilia" most of which was already phony...the real stuff had run out years ago.
Holding the thing up to the soft, dust-mote filled light streaming in through a broken skylight, Monty inspected her find. An electron valve; bulky, ancient technology, but used for years after the introduction of transistors by the military, particularly behind the Iron Curtain, for its resistance to electromagnetic interference.
Now that scene sounds familiar...

This is about the halfway point...more to come.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Mon 21 Nov 2011 - 4:32

Cheers for the comments Voodoo.

@Professor Voodoo wrote: Well, it certainly is your longest chapter so far.
Yeah, I actually wrote this one and Ch02 together... unfortunately the point at which they got split up was somewhat lopsided.

Istanbul is one of those cities where you can't sink a spade into the earth without discovering priceless ruins. Still, they make a pretty brave effort to protect what they can. Are you familiar with the ongoing excavation of a Bronze Age seaport, right where the new combined transportation hub is supposed to be built? It's a really interesting race against time to get as much preserved as possible.
No, I wasn't actually aware of the seaport excavation, will have to look it up.

It was Monty however who spoke first, "You keep your records on paper?"

The supplier shrugged, "I am not as young as I used to be, the memory plays tricks and I find this easier than computers.
Omurtak immediately assumes the young girl expects him to use a computer but is Monty implying he should have this all memorized so the information can't fall into the wrong hands?
No, I this time Monty was reffering to being suprised it wasn't on a computer... even she needs a laptop to keep herself organised. At the end of the day though, paper is bulky, difficult to hide, and a pain in the arse to dispose of in a hurry.

The entire "bathroom excuse" scene is tense and well paced...I actually found myself reading it faster, subconsciously influenced by Jethro's time constraint. I do wonder, however, if this is what he was thinking of when he grew up dreaming of becoming a raffish gentleman spy.
I think his boy hood imaginings probably involved more fast cars and scantilly clad, beautiful girls... well, one out of three ain't bad.

While you've established that the engineers have not provided Monty with the same armour & outright strength as her cyborg-sisters the eyes seem like an area where she might have an advantage.
Not particularly actually, at least over other cyborgs. I tend to place Monty on the timeline that Kiskaloo put forward in Pactio for the order of cyborgs: making Monty one of the early gen 2 girls. As such there probably weren't too many "enhanced" parts available when she came online.

"Good, because I need your eyes."

Killing the running lights he cut across the front of a lumbering semitrailer into the exit slip lane and flew toward the off-ramp.
Now there's an interesting use of a cyborg's enhanced vision...I was sort of expecting a longer chase for the VW; Jethro driving nearly blind, dependent on Monty to guide him.
I've probably mentioned it before, but Monty's (albeit reduced) cyborg strength certainly isn't the assest most utilised her and Jethro in their line of work. Her augmented vision and hearing are probably much more useful (along with her ability to think and look good).

As to the tailing sequence: I did actually play a little with extending it more, but it just started to feel clunky. At the end of the day, a car-chase probably isn't that interesting unless there's a bit of action involved.

none of whom seemed particularly interested in two more unfortunate travellers awake at some ungodly hour.
One sometimes wonders what hotel staff is really thinking...or if they even notice abnormal behavior from their patrons any more.
Oh trust me, they notice the abnormalities... thing about working in hospitality though: you become pretty hardened to the weirdness of humanity, and tend to pay attention for amusement value only.

Though the wind would mask any sound she made somehow, in the reverential atmosphere of this forgotten Cold War relic, loud noises and sudden movements seemed inappropriate.
Interesting to see the normally cynical Monty feel reverence for anything. As a side note; I imagine if sites like this existed they'd have been picked clean for relics decades ago. Even the first time I was deployed to Incirlik in 1993 the shops were full of purported "Soviet Memorabilia" most of which was already phony...the real stuff had run out years ago.
While I don't know about Monty being actually reverential herself... she does suffer from a certain sense of theatre and appropriateness to context... and that "context" tends to have a bias toward glamour and romanticism rather than the practicalities of the situation. So, if somewhere feels like it should be quiet, then she'll be quiet rather than stomping arouind turning drawers inside out...

...I don't know how much sense that made.

As to the airfield: yeah, I realise the chances of such a place existing are slim... call it a bit of artistic license.


Cheers again mate, always look forward to reading your thoughts.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 28 Nov 2011 - 9:23

@Alfisti wrote: At the end of the day, a car-chase probably isn't that interesting unless there's a bit of action involved.
Well, to be honest, this chapter could have used a little action, I'll touch on that at the end.
And on to part 2...
This last caught Jethro's attention; "Candid" was the NATO reporting name for the Russian Ilyushin IL-76. When the Soviet Union had finally crumbled, hundreds of the giant transports had simply disappeared from the air force's arsenal, taken by their crews
The episode I'm currently working (struggling) through involves the Antonov An-225. Hive Mind at work...
Jethro put an arm around his girl, "...I vote we get back to the car before we turn into human popsicles."
Minor point; being English wouldn't Jethro have used the term "iced lolly"? I thought Popsicle was an American (and apparently Australian) term.
In the closing darkness, both fratello members were keenly aware their car was not a full-time four wheel drive and thereby unable to haul itself out of such predicaments.
Jethro: Well, I do have one last ace-in-the-hole in case we get really stuck.

Monty: You had better be referring to the electric winch, Mister Blacker.
Remaining in the driver's chair, he pushed the seat rearwards as far as it would go and laid the back down to form a rudimentary bed.
Most Audi A-series shoppers probably don't try out the front seat as a bed during a visit to the showroom...I can see Jethro doing this though.
"Six hours right?"

"Sure."

Contented that she would be woken in due course, the cyborg closed her eyes and finally allowed herself to succumb to the needs of her body.
Nice, subtle wording. It's obvious that Jethro has no intention of waking Monty until she's needed...Monty knows this but choses not to fight about it. A good example of how your fratello carefully chooses what to butt heads about and what to just roll with.
Though he'd not seen her with it out, it was a fair bet that Monty had been working during the hours he'd been unconscious....Jethro booted the Macbook Pro, typed in the current day code, double checked its wireless was securely locked down, and started flicking through the files to find the most recently opened one.
9 hours in Monty's hands and now Jethro is using it? They must have a 12V DC charger or that laptop has one hell of a battery.
Fortunately, like most things she did, Monty's filing system was logical and ordered.
But where does she keep her secret hidden folders? It seems very in-character for her to have some secrets...more so than a main-stream cyborg.
While Monty possessed what he considered to be the dark ability to manage her work on a computer screen, Jethro still found it easier to think onto paper.
Is this an element of your own process rubbing off on Jethro?
The most important part of the coffee ritual now underway,
I got a genuine laugh out of this. Even juxtaposed against the rough conditions the "coffee ritual" is sacred to Monty.

Elio: You know instant coffee has been available for the last 150 years, right?

Monty: I'll switch to instant coffee the day you switch to screw-top scotch.

Elio: Touché.
And to filter out anything we might want to keep to ourselves, she added in the privacy of her own head.
This sets all sorts of interesting conjectures in motion. Might the fratello have friendly contacts that are connected on the fringes of this? If so, how might that effect Monty vis-à-vis conflict of interest?
Two days and no aeroplanes later,
He got Monty to sit still in one place for two whole days?!
Ottoman Empire in the early 1920s. Smaller, drier and less vibrant than its predecessor Istanbul, (Ankara) never the less served as an important centre of politics and business.
Modern Turks complain bitterly about the expensive Autobahn-style roads built to connect Ankara to the rest of the country...roads that go largely unused except by street racers.
Monty was slumped over her computer, breathing rhythmic and even as she slept.
Now this I'd like to see a picture of!
the company had opened subsidiary offices in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and down through the Sub-Continent and Southeast Asia to Australia. It had also made inroads into South America and even Sub-Saharan Africa:
A list of J&M's future destinations perhaps?
Though the papers rarely carried any genuinely "new" information on clandestine happenings, they did offer a broad overview of international events, and to the mostly self-guided fratello that could be just as useful as a bug in a war-room.
It may shatter the romanticized image of the international spy, but during intelligence/counter-intellegence training in the military we were told that 90% of information gathering came from completely legal & legitimate sources...i.e. the newspaper.
"'Crumbling Futures: can the Greek economy recover, or will its future crumble like the ruins of its past...'?"
I'm allowing myself to get distracted from the topic of your story, but one wonders how the Turks...traditional rivals of the Greeks...view the ongoing Achaean financial melt-down?
unless I'm very much mistaken, we shared a Baccarat table with the CEO of Anagnos at the Fairmont, Monte Carlo."
I was wondering when she was going to make another appearance...
It would almost be worth shooting an RFI back to Rome, but there's been quite enough data traffic between us and the Agency just recently."
Here lies a weakness in J&M's distant relationship with HQ. If they spent more time at "home" they might have the contacts necessary to ask for a quick favor from a friendly fratello...an informal RFI so to speak.
"Fine, you can have an iPad."

"Actually, I'm kind of keen on this getting chauffeured idea now..."
Cute reverse cyborg-handler dialogue. I'd wager a lot of handlers have had this conversation...but it's usually the cyborg begging for the iPad and the keys to the car.

In conclusion; I hope you don't mind me saying so but this is definitely the driest thing we've seen from you yet. Aside from the brief interaction with Omurtak near the beginning this chapter consists entirely of Jethro & Monty gathering information...interesting for a while but perhaps not a whole 35 pages. I'm sure that plenty of revelations made in this chapter will bear fruit later in the story but at this point I'm just left a little numb and I'm not sure what I'll remember.

All the more reason to eagerly await the next chapter...

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Tue 29 Nov 2011 - 4:07

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
Jethro put an arm around his girl, "...I vote we get back to the car before we turn into human popsicles."
Minor point; being English wouldn't Jethro have used the term "iced lolly"? I thought Popsicle was an American (and apparently Australian) term.
Yeah, "iced lolly" for England, and the Australian term is "ice-block"... however, as a figure of speech "human popsicle" rolls off the tongue better.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
In the closing darkness, both fratello members were keenly aware their car was not a full-time four wheel drive and thereby unable to haul itself out of such predicaments.
Jethro: Well, I do have one last ace-in-the-hole in case we get really stuck.

Monty: You had better be referring to the electric winch, Mister Blacker.
J+M do actually carry some basic recovery gear, there is a winch in there, and it is a hand winch (since the only electric winches I've ever encountered are of the variety that mount into a bullbar).

For the record, one of the few modifications to J+M's Audi is a set of front and back rated recovery points.

@Professor Voodoo wrote: 9 hours in Monty's hands and now Jethro is using it? They must have a 12V DC charger or that laptop has one hell of a battery.
It's probably a fairly safe bet that Monty has a car-charger, and the deep-cycle second car battery will take care of the rest.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
While Monty possessed what he considered to be the dark ability to manage her work on a computer screen, Jethro still found it easier to think onto paper.
Is this an element of your own process rubbing off on Jethro?
A little. I like to try and keep Jethro's methods sort of hands-on and slightly old-school. Example: if he needs to break into a safe he'll do it by ear and feel rather than using some sort of fancy gizmo or flexible camera...

...speaking of, I've been kicking around some ideas in my head for a later story arc: Elio and Lorenzo would be old enough to remember film-microdots right?

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
And to filter out anything we might want to keep to ourselves, she added in the privacy of her own head.
This sets all sorts of interesting conjectures in motion. Might the fratello have friendly contacts that are connected on the fringes of this? If so, how might that effect Monty vis-à-vis conflict of interest?
I think J+M may have a slightly more open collective mind as to what the SWA needs to go and destroy and what it shouldn't worry its head about yes. It's also a case of not wanting to give the SWA a chance to act on things they haven't finished with: Monty (and to a lesser extent Jethro) doesn't hold the Agency's ability to act subtly in particularly high regard.


@Professor Voodoo wrote:
Two days and no aeroplanes later,
He got Monty to sit still in one place for two whole days?!
It helps that she had a whole hard-drive full of new information to play with...

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
the company had opened subsidiary offices in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and down through the Sub-Continent and Southeast Asia to Australia. It had also made inroads into South America and even Sub-Saharan Africa:
A list of J&M's future destinations perhaps?
Keeping options open.

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
"'Crumbling Futures: can the Greek economy recover, or will its future crumble like the ruins of its past...'?"
I'm allowing myself to get distracted from the topic of your story, but one wonders how the Turks...traditional rivals of the Greeks...view the ongoing Achaean financial melt-down?
Not as off-topic as you'd think: they are headed to Cyprus next.

I imagine the Turkish are quietly chuffed about the whole business though.


@Professor Voodoo wrote:In conclusion; I hope you don't mind me saying so but this is definitely the driest thing we've seen from you yet. Aside from the brief interaction with Omurtak near the beginning this chapter consists entirely of Jethro & Monty gathering information...interesting for a while but perhaps not a whole 35 pages. I'm sure that plenty of revelations made in this chapter will bear fruit later in the story but at this point I'm just left a little numb and I'm not sure what I'll remember.
Yeah, this did turn into something of a "laying the groundwork/watch Jethro+Monty do their thing" chapter. I guess part of that is that, with J+M I'm trying to keep in mind and, put across, that their existence involves quite a lot of drudge work and putting the pieces together... the glamorous, jet-set reputation that they seem to have garnered at the SWA and the actual reality of their lives are two different things.

Hopefully now though that will be enough information gathering that I can start progressing the story more...

Cheers as always for the comments.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 29 Nov 2011 - 10:47

@Professor Voodoo wrote:
@Alfisti wrote:Though he'd not seen her with it out, it was a fair bet that Monty had been working during the hours he'd been unconscious....Jethro booted the Macbook Pro, typed in the current day code, double checked its wireless was securely locked down, and started flicking through the files to find the most recently opened one.

9 hours in Monty's hands and now Jethro is using it? They must have a 12V DC charger or that laptop has one hell of a battery.

Well it is a Mac. Wink

@Alfisti wrote:
@Professor Voodoo wrote:
And to filter out anything we might want to keep to ourselves, she added in the privacy of her own head.
This sets all sorts of interesting conjectures in motion. Might the fratello have friendly contacts that are connected on the fringes of this? If so, how might that effect Monty vis-à-vis conflict of interest?
I think J+M may have a slightly more open collective mind as to what the SWA needs to go and destroy and what it shouldn't worry its head about yes. It's also a case of not wanting to give the SWA a chance to act on things they haven't finished with: Monty (and to a lesser extent Jethro) doesn't hold the Agency's ability to act subtly in particularly high regard.

Henrietta: “Suffer a minor weapons malfunction in one little apartment and your branded for life.”

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by crazyidiot78 on Tue 29 Nov 2011 - 19:18

@Kiskaloo wrote:Henrietta: “Suffer a minor weapons malfunction in one little apartment and your branded for life.”



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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Wed 28 Dec 2011 - 9:49



Now available on ff.net

In this installment:

Art is forged,
Monty learns backgammon,
And Jethro gets his Mod on.


Spoiler:
Special thanks to Voodoo for running and eye over the motorcycle sequence, and theprodigalson for help with Nikias' background.


Last edited by Alfisti on Wed 28 Dec 2011 - 11:10; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 28 Dec 2011 - 12:34

study

Enjoying it so far. Was actually thinking the other day if Monty played Backgammon. Now I know. Smile

And I forsee a cameo of a certain early Cézanne in the Russia Arc of Pactio.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Thu 29 Dec 2011 - 8:45

@Kiskaloo wrote: Was actually thinking the other day if Monty played Backgammon. Now I know. Smile
Well, she does now... the fight of course becoming not wanting to play vs. not wanting to lose. Razz

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Professor Voodoo on Fri 30 Dec 2011 - 15:53

I'm way behind...Schas, Danjo, CrazyIdiot, Rusty Spring, Sage44 and now you have a new chapter out...I need time to catch up!

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Sat 31 Dec 2011 - 19:34

@Professor Voodoo wrote:I'm way behind...Schas, Danjo, CrazyIdiot, Rusty Spring, Sage44 and now you have a new chapter out...I need time to catch up!
Not to mention I think we're still waiting on a chapter from you.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Officer_Charon on Sun 1 Jan 2012 - 14:37

Loved the pacing, the undercover ops, the characters (Constandina is great - sort of a Greek version of Mimi Machiavelli).

For once, I've actually BEEN to one of the far-off exotic locations you write about, although it's been just over 9 years since I've seem Limassol, and my view of it was mostly obscured by the rain. *grins*

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Sun 1 Jan 2012 - 19:24

@Officer_Charon wrote:For once, I've actually BEEN to one of the far-off exotic locations you write about, although it's been just over 9 years since I've seem Limassol, and my view of it was mostly obscured by the rain. *grins*
Well that puts you one up on me then, I've not actually been anywhere (bar England) I've written J+M so far... so have been relying on the flickr, wikipedia and a Lonely Planet guide Razz If I ever get around to sending them to South East Asia then I may be able to talk a bit more from experienc. On the upside I have lots of travel guides now.

Cheers mate.

As to Constandina... Mimi-ish? I hadn't actually thought of that. The major difference there I think is where Mimi was trying to match make, Dina's attitude is more along the lines of "if you don't, I will".

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Officer_Charon on Sun 1 Jan 2012 - 20:42

I was referring to her sheer vibrancy, but yeah, I caught what you were throwing out there. *grins*

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Sun 12 Feb 2012 - 0:17



...now on ff.net

In this installment:
Jethro gets an iPad.
Monty gets a Blackberry.
And vodka is consumed.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 12 Feb 2012 - 23:29

Brilliant as always, mate.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by MP5 on Mon 13 Feb 2012 - 0:00

Glad to see Monty and Jethro finally handle themselves in a firefight, plus bonus points for Jethro's Bond-style one-liner.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Mon 13 Feb 2012 - 5:45

@MP5 wrote:Glad to see Monty and Jethro finally handle themselves in a firefight, plus bonus points for Jethro's Bond-style one-liner.
Yeah, it only took, what... five issues of comic (plus a prologue) and five chapters of writing to actually shoot someone? Razz

Cheers mates.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Sat 7 Apr 2012 - 1:59



now on ff.net

In this installment:
Monty reads a map,
Jethro asks a favour,
and Ferro sends a message.


In other news, I'll be taking a short hiatus before starting the next chapter; partly because I want to take a step back, assess where I am so far and chart out the next little bit of story to keep it on track...

...but mostly because I'm moving back to Brisbane in two weeks and haven't done a whole lot to organise myself for that.


Anyway, enjoy (or don't, as the case may be).

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 7 Apr 2012 - 10:59

Stayed up past midnight to read it, so that gives you an idea of what I thought. Smile


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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Officer_Charon on Sat 7 Apr 2012 - 17:40

FanTAStic piece of work there, sirrah... answered a bunch of questions I had idly kicking around in the back of my head (the medication issue being one of them - well-played, sir *golfclap*), and keeping the tension nice and tight until the very end. Loved it!

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Sat 7 Apr 2012 - 21:01

Cheers mates.

@Officer_Charon wrote:FanTAStic piece of work there, sirrah... answered a bunch of questions I had idly kicking around in the back of my head (the medication issue being one of them - well-played, sir *golfclap*), and keeping the tension nice and tight until the very end. Loved it!
I'll admit the conditioning thing came in handy. I wanted J+M to be on a timeframe for this one, and Monty's limited supply of the drug makes for a much more immediate problem than needing to hit some date which is sort of over there.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Alfisti on Sun 22 Jul 2012 - 6:48

FF.net improves their interface... and it's still shocking.

And now they have that catchpa thing, which hates me.

Anyway...



...now available.

In this installment:
Old faces,
New names,
and Ferro takes a roadtrip.


I think it's safe to say this one took a little longer than I would have liked. Editing's a little rougher too, but I'm feeling guilty and kinda want it out of my hair as well. On the upside, the next chapter got written at the same time so only needs editing.

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Re: Alfisti's Ramblings

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 22 Jul 2012 - 17:30

Nice to see J+M in their "native environment". Smile

Seriously, through direct instruction or just osmosis, Monty is as polished an operative as Jethro and indeed, why would the Agency send anyone else on such a mission.

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