I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

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I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Robert Frazer on Mon 23 Jul 2012 - 14:57

Gunslinger Girl: How to Wear a Name-Badge (And Other Orientation Tips)

My lack of progress lately has been criminal. As well as my writing, I have an awful lot of reading to catch up on as well! I'm soory to everyone, and I hope that I haven't come across as slack. In any case, it's good to be back, and hopefully a quick one-chapter story will be a suitable way to get back into the groove. Please don't hold back on criticising this - it's been a while since I've written anything and I want to scuff off the rust as soon as possible.

Thanks for being here, guys. Smile

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 23 Jul 2012 - 18:00

You're not alone in lack of progress, but it's great to see you back.

Between you and Alfisti I'll have plenty to read on my flight to New Orleans tomorrow.

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Alfisti on Tue 24 Jul 2012 - 5:41

Nice mate. I've only managed to have a skim, so more thoughts to come.

As usual though, masterful work. I did enjoy watching the true purpose of the SWA slowly dawn on Avise... I wonder if bringing recruits in cold and seeing how long it takes them to cotton on is a game the staff play. Maybe run a book?

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Thescarredman on Tue 24 Jul 2012 - 20:36

Just read the story. Love the detail work on the layout of the Agency, the orientation procedure ... and the shape of Jose's soul.
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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by tremec6speed on Tue 24 Jul 2012 - 23:51

Cool story, I can picture Claes steeling herself for the bullet onslaught.
Great stuff! head bang
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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Alfisti on Thu 26 Jul 2012 - 8:01

Well, seeing as this is my "week off" between chapters, thought I might capitalise and try to smack a bit more commentary out. Per usual though, you're making my life very difficult in that, rust or no, I'm again having trouble finding holes to pick in your writing.

Anyway, on with the show.

@Robert Frazer wrote:The regiment had been short of vehicles – just as it had been short of cleaning kits, boots, body armour, webbing-straps and magazines that didn't deform in the desert heat and jam up their rifles – and its motor pool had been slopped back up to full with a fleet loaned from the Alpini. Desert camo had been smacked on the Land Rovers so hastily they were pimpled with thick congealed slumping beads of paint and scabby scales peeling the old blue underneath... and several of the vehicles routinely overheated as the yellow sludge that they had been drenched in glued their bonnets shut. The Land Rovers had canted drive shafts which made them literally impossible to drive in a straight line – ideal when you're high in the Alps and need help hugging their precipitous contours, but in southern Iraq's billiard-table landscape it aggravated an inspection tour of vehicle checkpoints across town into six hours of wrestling a hippo.
As usual you are the master of setting a scene. Not only that but this "make do with what you've got" world Avise has come from forms a stark contrast with the well-funded and equipped SWA, and helps frame some of his attitude.

"Padania will rescue some beat-up banger from the scrapyard, stop on the hard shoulder early in the morning, then off they go over the roadside barrier and into the undergrowth with a quick bomb alert to the local paper. There's nothing there, of course – there never is – but the police have to check and clear it anyway, so the motorway grinds to a halt right in time for rush hour. It's been going on for months.
Kind of genius actually: none of the effort, risk or expense of making a bomb, but those caught up in it still get annoyed at the government not being able to do anything about it, and there’s lost income from people not being able to make it to wherever they’re going.

"I know that I've got spare spaces on either side of my car," Olga shook her head
Though is that because there is actually space Olga? Or because everyone remembers that part of your previous job was not-so-gently nudging other vehicles from your path?

"Just like a fish hitting ice!"
Had to go look that one up.

The man's incomplete, and yet it does not disturb the composition." The man put a hand on his hip and considered the painting with a smile. "I like that. I like to think that it reflects what we do here."
I wonder if the picture choice was purposeful…

...and her greeting had not been so much said as declared.
Hmm, declared or conditioned…

"I don't work with children."
I wonder how many handlers have said that on arrival? I know Jethro certainly would have said something to similar effect.

"Jesus. Christ. Almighty."
It seemed expected.
Must certainly have come as a shock to have Avise taking the Lord's name in vain. Excellent, and very befitting/hard hitting ending mate...

...to an excellent bit of writing. I don't see too much rust which has accumulated, maybe the occasional use of the same word a little close together, but I'm clutching at straws. Great to see you getting back in the saddle.

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Il Direttore on Thu 26 Jul 2012 - 9:33

There is absolutely nothing I can say that will in anyway be helpful to you.

By this I mean: Your skill far surpasses anything i could ever dream up. Holy God that was amazing.

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Professor Voodoo on Thu 26 Jul 2012 - 14:34

@Alfisti wrote:
"I don't work with children."
I wonder how many handlers have said that on arrival? I know Jethro certainly would have said something to similar effect.
Lorenzo: Do you like children?

Elio: It depends on how they're cooked.

Another great job, Robert. You really seem to like the introductory/early days period in a handler's experience...you've written quite a bit about Avise's initiation and even one story about Donatello's new handler.

More complete thoughts coming soon...

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by John_234 on Thu 26 Jul 2012 - 15:15

Goddamn you can write. I love how you handle the canon characters, and I need to give your other stuff a read.

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Robert Frazer on Sat 4 Aug 2012 - 18:41

Kind of genius actually: none of the effort, risk or expense of making a bomb, but those caught up in it still get annoyed at the government not being able to do anything about it, and there’s lost income from people not being able to make it to wherever they’re going.

I honestly wonder why terrorist organisations don't do this more often. Constant hoaxes, interpsed with the occasional real device to keep people on their toes, could run security services ragged. Maybe there's an angle for an investigation into terrorist psychology demanding big egoistic sound-and-light displays.

Though is that because there is actually space Olga? Or because everyone remembers that part of your previous job was not-so-gently nudging other vehicles from your path?

I'd actually forgotten about that bit... but I'll declare it to be the inspiration retroactively Wink

I wonder if the picture choice was purposeful…

For my own part, I knew that I wanted Avise to be looking at a significant picture but I'm even less of an art buff than Avise and had absolutely no idea what that picture would be. I fired up Wikipedia, and I found the uncannily appropriate Resurrection within five minutes - it was really quite Providential. It's also especially ironic for Avise because he has a known disdain for the pinkie-extended tea-drinking lordy-marms but this historic image was saved because a British officer refused to bombard its home during WW2.

Hmm, declared or conditioned…

Declared in this case - Avise is getting a vibe that the Agency is showing off to him.


Must certainly have come as a shock to have Avise taking the Lord's name in vain.


Well, to be fair, this isn't that unusual. Avise is a practising Christian, but a saint he ain't.

Excellent, and very befitting/hard hitting ending mate...

Thanks a lot. I did wonder if having Cleas being literally a firing-squad dummy was a bit too exaggeratedly lurid, but then again in the anime we do see her being strained until her arm is literally ripped out of its socket; so I don't think that this sort of testing is that unusual. The girls are conditioned to not feel pain or sorrow, so those qualities may as well be used.

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 8 Aug 2012 - 13:43

I'd hoped to have this done and posted last night but my partner came to the bridge 2 and a half hours early for his shift, apparently feeling chatty. That blew a good chunk of time I'd set aside for writing and reviewing.
So without further delay...
HOW TO WEAR A NAME-BADGE
The Land Rovers had canted drive shafts which made them literally impossible to drive in a straight line – ideal when you're high in the Alps and need help hugging their precipitous contours, but in southern Iraq's billiard-table landscape it aggravated an inspection tour of vehicle checkpoints across town into six hours of wrestling a hippo.
That sounds like a detail that could only come from personal experience.
When Avise had walked back to his own private car,
So he has one at this point in time? I remember you saying in a previous story that he did not own an automobile.
the radio immediately began playing the Premiata Forneria Marconi compilation CD that he'd left in there before flying out.
That's certainly a relateable sentiment...the bizarre feeling of coming back from any great journey or experience and finding things exactly as you left them, as if it had never even happened at all.
Avise nodded and went over, feeling oddly transgressive for walking on the motorway,
That does seem to be a cultural taboo, doesn't it? I frequently get off my bike to stretch my legs when stopped at a drawbridge or railroad crossing. Car drivers look at me incredulously, as if thinking can he do that?
"Haven't they caught you up in this before?" The man eyed Avise with a hint of suspicion of the abnormal.

"I've... been abroad." Avise grimaced privately, hating himself for the reticence conditioned into him by civilians' unreliable reactions.
This must be a heavy blow to Avise's pride, to return from combat and find his country entirely fixated on a different enemy.
tall black poplars lining the road
I'd guessed they were Tuscan Pines.
"It's good sense," Priscilla protested, "you know the quad wasn't designed for cars,
Elio: Well done, Priscilla...keep the cars out of our 2-wheeler parking area.
It was Francesca's Resurrection, with Christ emerging from the tomb in stern authority while the sleeping soldiers beneath Him were witnesses to the miracle, even in their repose.
Clever choice of prints for the Agency reception area...sending a subtle hint about what kind of work goes on behind its closed doors?


The man turned to face Avise. "I'm Jose Croce, a carer here at the Social Welfare Agency. I'm your guide for today." He extended his hand.
At least based on fanfics, Giuseppe seems to be the "go-to guy" for introducing new hires to the Agency.
"Security have... standing orders about responding to these things." Jose half-explained.
Security, or potentially volatile cyborgs who already have difficulty distinguishing between friend and threat.
money to prop up Imperialism would be better spent on nurses and immigrants and Gay Pride pamphlets." He laughed with gentle derision.

She was half-caste, but not a plain mongrel but the sort that married enhancing complementary features,
Nobody can ever accuse Avise of being too "politically correct" (never quite liked that term...politics have very little to do with it) in his speech or thoughts.
Amadeo and Mr. D'Arme are taking the first-gens to the training area to inspect the new course."
Charon's character I presume? Interesting permutation of his name.
"Hi, Mister Croce! Sorry, but I've got to dash!" A blur sent Avise's name badge flapping behind his neck as the girl vanished into the building behind him.

"Which way did Rico go?"

The girl gritted her teeth and looked as though she was about to curse,
Ha! Now you've got me wondering what drama is going on behind the scenes. I've never pictured Rico as a prankster but today it seems she's gotten Marisa good.
The first girl had cleared ten steps in a single bound.
Alternately; it's all staged to gauge how much weirdness Avise picks up on. Triela's strong handshake, Rico's impressive leap, an observant eye would start to suspect something is afoot.
Alongside the road was a long rank of climbing frames, although they looked less like a children's playground and more the practical-challenge examination area that he had clambered over back when he was a cadet at Selection.
Rico: It also works well as a playground.
" Why am I here, Mr. Croce?"

"I don't work with children."

"Well, that's good!" Jose nodded, and pushed open the door. "Neither do we."
While the exclamation point seems a bit out of place for Giuse's tenor here it's a great line delivered at the idea moment. Put the guest off balance with a confusing statement before leading him to the most shocking demonstration of the day.
I'd have thought that a government hospital would be all teddy-bears and talking about your feelings."
Oh just wait...there's plenty of that too.
Henrietta walked to the table and took up the P90, snapped in a magazine lying beside it and efficiently charged the cocking handle. She walked across to a space marked with a line on the floor in front of Claes, and put the weapon to her shoulder.

She was aiming at Claes.

Avise heard Jose shift his feet behind him.
Evocative of their fight in Chapter 6. No wonder Giuseppe is edgy.

"Oh, I hope it didn't hurt too much, Claes. I tried to aim at the softer parts."

"What do you mean, 'softer parts'? I hope you're not implying that—"
Claes: My bigger chest is the only thing I've got up on Triela...I don't need you shooting them off!
This whole edifice only requires a tiny, inconsequential thing, often ignored and easily missed. Some might even argue that it's the phantom-paper of some banker and of no real substance at all."

"Their souls."
That's ending it with a knockout punch.

Wonderful to read as usual. In the other thread you were critical of your own dialogue but here I think it served its purpose well. The characters were all guarded in some way so the conversations ended up loaded with hints and innuendos of what was to come.

Between this, W,B,F PoW, Lamb & Tyger, and Next Gen I think you've fairly covered the introductory period for a new handler, to a greater degree than any before you. As I said in the other thread I'd love to see Agapita's character get some development, if only to selfishly satisfy my desire to have more to write about in my own tales (there's only so much you can do with she hates exercise, loves pizza and wears a beret). It's great to have you writing again...hope to see more soon!

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Robert Frazer on Wed 8 Aug 2012 - 17:07

Thanks for all your thoughts, Voodoo. Smile

So he has one at this point in time? I remember you saying in a previous story that he did not own an automobile.

Avise has a car, but he doesn't have a home outside of an Army barracks (although he could probably afford one) - he's currently still living in the Agency compound. One of the very, very many stories I have sketched involves what will happen when the other handlers finally lose their patience of him mooching around the compound all day.

That's certainly a relateable sentiment...the bizarre feeling of coming back from any great journey or experience and finding things exactly as you left them, as if it had never even happened at all.

Exactly, I agree entirely, I've felt it myself in my current work.

I'd guessed they were Tuscan Pines.

You're probably right, I could have researched a local breed more thoroughly.

At least based on fanfics, Giuseppe seems to be the "go-to guy" for introducing new hires to the Agency.

A lot of this probably comes from him being our first point-of-view character who opened out the story, and his initial nice-guy reputation which makes him a suitable candidate for lowering people in gently.

Nobody can ever accuse Avise of being too "politically correct" (never quite liked that term...politics have very little to do with it) in his speech or thoughts.

If someone called Avise out on him using terms like "half-caste" in this day and age, he'd probably shrug and say "well, she is, isn't she?". He's not making a value judgement but stating what he sees to be a straightforward fact. I think that he's the sort who honestly wonders why it's such a drama to call blacks "Negroes" when whites are called "Caucasians" without any fuss. Maybe he feels exasperated that there is a drama and that there shouldn't be. Avise isn't racist (he really isn't - while he has many faults that's not one of them), but he is perhaps a little insensitive.

That's ending it with a knockout punch.

One idea for a scene that I've not been able to find a place for is a priest who knows Avise somehow getting wind of his work and being utterly outraged by it, flatly telling Avise that he's going to burn in the deepest pit of Hell. Quite thrown, Avise lamely stammers the second-chance-at-life defence, but the priest is unimpressed. "You forget, they already had a second chance at life - Life Everlasting - and you stole it from them!"

Between this, W,B,F PoW, Lamb & Tyger, and Next Gen I think you've fairly covered the introductory period for a new handler, to a greater degree than any before you

Aaaaaaaaagggghhhh... you know that Next-Gen is supposed to be a three-chapter story with a big battle scene? I was initially sidetracked by the insistence of Occupational Hazards but since then I just haven't been able to summon the werewithal to fill out the space between the individual frames scattered across the scaffold of the other two chapters. It's a running sore and I need to go back and finish it someday.

As I said in the other thread I'd love to see Agapita's character get some development, if only to selfishly satisfy my desire to have more to write about in my own tales (there's only so much you can do with she hates exercise, loves pizza and wears a beret).

I wouldn't mind knowing a bit more about Agapita, either...

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 8 Aug 2012 - 18:20

@Robert Frazer wrote: this historic image was saved because a British officer refused to bombard its home during WW2.
The Second World War is full of fascinating stories like that. I know I've mentioned it before (in the films thread) but The Rape of Europa is a terrific documentary chronicling the massive Nazi art theft operation, the efforts of the Allied Monuments Fine Arts & Archives service to protect historical & artistic treasures, and the recovery period after the war...which is still going on to this day.

One idea for a scene that I've not been able to find a place for is a priest who knows Avise somehow getting wind of his work
Sounds intense but a difficult corner to write yourself out of.

I've considered the idea of a Priest as a secondary character as well...perhaps the sole caretaker of the Monastery near Section Two's campus. I'd been concocting a far less "fire & brimstone" character though.

Scene; After learning of her Elio's first cyborg, the deceased Marina, Marisa goes over to the chapel to find her sister's marker. She is accompanied by Agapita, a frequent visitor to the chapel. While there they converse with the Priest, a casual, pragmatic man not in any way obsessed with ritual or dogma. He suggests that Agapita might wish to help out by serving as Altar-Girl for Masses (when she's available). Surprised, Agapita askes "Don't you need boys to do that?" at which the practical clergyman simply tosses up his hands and mutters "Look around; do you see many boys around here?"

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 8 Aug 2012 - 20:06

Even though I am not a critic, I feel really bad that folks give me such great feedback on my works and all I can do is express the most basic "it was awesome" in return, even if that is a truly heartfelt feeling, as it is with HOW TO WEAR A NAME-BADGE (AND OTHER ORIENTATION TIPS).

As such, I am going to start making an effort. Smile


Certainly, Avise felt as though he had been driving without opposable thumbs. After months of stodgy, unresponsive steering the light, computer-assisted flightiness of his car veered too far the other way. He may as well have been scrabbling at the wheel with flat paws...


Having owned rear-wheel drive vehicles almost my entire driving career, when I find myself behind the wheel of a front-wheel drive vehicle, it really feels odd. So I can imagine how driving a car after months of wrangling military vehicles could be.


The real reason was that rat-packs came with matchbooks and not with gas refills, but as Avise watched the other man puff his cigarillo to life he saw no benefit to be had from souring his new associate's relish.

They are also useful to get past airport security, even though the TSA lifted the ban in 2007. Smile


It was impossible to reconnoitre the location before he announced his arrival (at least not without tabbing over a mile of farmland and ruining his suit) – the road up to the compound drifted a wavy rural curve through a broad band of open meadow, on the one side freshly mowed in long ranks of yellowing hay, and on the other side still tall with a rippling sheen of golden clover. At this distance the compound was a thin brown line of a wall, over which were pale blocks of pink and white. For an instant, Avise blinked with an eyelash-twitch of long, blank mud walls enclosing squares of desert and oblong lumps of housing.

It's interesting how we all seem to have different views on how the compound appears, even though the manga and anime have given us a fair bit of background information. Then again, Yu himself made major changes between the first season of the anime / early volumes and -IL TEATRINO- / later volumes.


"Just like a fish hitting ice!" Olga laughed. When Priscilla looked confused at the Russian idiom, Olga shrugged. "Okay, then, so what's your 'assessment' result?"

At that, Priscilla twisted her mouth into a brief frown. "Well... I kind of hoped that he'd have a more impressive motor than a Fiat Punto."

At least Olga's New Beetle is no longer the most pedestrian ride on campus. Incoming!


The initial encouragement of a friendly face was dampened when Avise found himself nuzzling his little turquoise hatchback between a silver Porsche on one hand and a cobalt Maserati on the other... and when he walked back around to the front of the building and entered the quad, he noticed at least half a dozen free spaces – he now wasn't sure whether the woman had given her advice in all helpfulness or if it was the first nudge of a subtle hazing ritual. It left Avise feeling slightly agitated, and his feeling of dislocation on seeing the Social Welfare Agency's sign began to surface again – he was a medalled officer, not a cadet who hadn't learned to bull his boots.

I imagine having just transitioned from a military environment, Avise's mindset is still in that frame.


The room was a queer mix of the opulent and humdrum, but it was not the dignified shabby gentility of a natural occupant restraining his means, but the discordant diminution of parasitic squatters dwarfed by what they camped under. Waiting-room chairs that reminded Avise of his dentist were pushed against the walls, and old magazines with curling creased covers were laid on side-tables. Against the light colouring of the room, with white walls and a marble-grey floor, the receptionist's desk was out of place – a broad, heavy oblong of plain dark oak which looked as if it had been dragged down from a dusty study rather than buy a new one.

I like how you reinforce the fact that we know the Agency are just the latest renters of the complex and therefore do not mix with the nobility of the original owners.

"So, Major, what have you read about the Social Welfare Agency?"

Were Michele and Elio, thanks to their friendships with the PM and Director Lorenzo, the only OC handlers who knew what they were getting into before they first set foot in the facility?

Just as they were about to turn the corner one of the office doors swung open and a young woman – no, a girl – emerged. She initially was facing away from Avise as she backed out, waving a farewell to whoever was inside, but as she turned around with a swift, smart spin, her long blonde pigtails spiralling around like the mesmeric whorls of a gymnastic ribbon, Avise was taken aback.

Just as Jose seems to be a favorite choice as the first handler many OC handler candidates meet, so Triela is for the first cyborg (though in Michele's case, it was Triela and Hilshire).

I wonder if Jose quizzed Triela on her plans for the day for Avise's benefit, as I would expect Jose would not have any real interest (as it's routine for him).


After their halt in the office corridor and the encounter with the girl, Jose seemed to be become a lot looser, moving back to be alongside Avise, and they had fallen to chatting amiably about their shared experience of the military.

That shared experience amongst a number of the handlers - OC and canon - could make for an interesting one-shot story at a bar or the commissary.


Avise wondered why a subaltern in the Carabinieri would engage in such a dramatic career change. Was it a quiet grace appointment by a sympathetic friend in government, some string-pulling that was meant with all sincere helpfulness but nonetheless a sequestration of a political embarrassment? What a dreary place. No, a pit.

This struck me as a really good passage - any Italian would know about the Croce's, but I wonder how well-known the attack is outside of Italy? With so many OC handlers not being Italian, would this be something that only Avise, Michele and a handful (if that) of others would know? I could see how those who knew whom the Croce's are, but did not yet know the true form of the SWA, could see Jose and Jean working there to be some type of aberration or a quiet "closeting" of people the government would rather not have to deal with.


"Test Code ACP00468. Beginning test of Subcutaneous Ballistic Gel Mk. 34" Donato spoke into a microphone.

Talk about Claes being a lab rat...


"I don't work with children."

Michele joined specifically to work with children. I wonder how many other OC handlers did, as well.


Jose folded his arms. "You asked me earlier, Major Avise Mancini, O.C. 'J' Coy 18th Bersaglieri, how much something like this costs." Jose's voice shot out tersely, almost like a bark. "The truth is, the cost is small. Cheap, even. That might surprise you with government pork-barrel spending but that, Major, is Gospel. This whole edifice only requires a tiny, inconsequential thing, often ignored and easily missed. Some might even argue that it's the phantom-paper of some banker and of no real substance at all."

Donato looked away, out of the window. Avise glanced at the movement, before realizing that Jose was waiting for him to meet his eyes.

"Their souls."

To me, it seems the souls of the handlers and staffs are the ones that have been handed over as payment to bring Section Two to life. Jose noting to Avise that the cost of becoming a part of this would be Avise's own soul would have registered as something truly chilling, at least to me.




@Professor Voodoo wrote:I've considered the idea of a Priest as a secondary character as well...perhaps the sole caretaker of the Monastery near Section Two's campus. I'd been concocting a far less "fire & brimstone" character though.

Scene; After learning of her Elio's first cyborg, the deceased Marina, Marisa goes over to the chapel to find her sister's marker. She is accompanied by Agapita, a frequent visitor to the chapel. While there they converse with the Priest, a casual, pragmatic man not in any way obsessed with ritual or dogma. He suggests that Agapita might wish to help out by serving as Altar-Girl for Masses (when she's available). Surprised, Agapita askes "Don't you need boys to do that?" at which the practical clergyman simply tosses up his hands and mutters "Look around; do you see many boys around here?"

Make him a Jesuit and Michele will be at every Sunday mass - to discuss most anything but theology after the service. Smile

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Alfisti on Thu 9 Aug 2012 - 7:16

@Professor Voodoo wrote:The Second World War is full of fascinating stories like that. I know I've mentioned it before (in the films thread) but The Rape of Europa is a terrific documentary chronicling the massive Nazi art theft operation, the efforts of the Allied Monuments Fine Arts & Archives service to protect historical & artistic treasures, and the recovery period after the war...which is still going on to this day.
Jethro: *with an absolutely straight face* Yes... "recovery". Noble cause.

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Kurosaka "Ery" Erika on Thu 9 Aug 2012 - 7:50

and Hitler loves art....
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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Il Direttore on Thu 9 Aug 2012 - 15:25

Here's an idea:

A priest as a handler.





...New thread to discuss, or stay in here?

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Robert Frazer on Mon 13 Aug 2012 - 15:47

I think that you'd need to go through some agonisingly contorted theological gymnastics to have an actual collared priest as a handler, unless we just shrug our shoulders roll with the pop-culture Secret Knights Templar Successor image.

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Professor Voodoo on Mon 13 Aug 2012 - 16:07

El Conservatore wrote:Here's an idea:

A priest as a handler.
@Robert Frazer wrote:I think that you'd need to go through some agonisingly contorted theological gymnastics to have an actual collared priest as a handler, unless we just shrug our shoulders roll with the pop-culture Secret Knights Templar Successor image.
You could make a pretty interesting character out of a former clergyman...one who has lost his faith and left the church, but I'll leave that challenge up to somebody else.
theological gymnastics
I like that term...gonna have to remember it.

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Thescarredman on Mon 13 Aug 2012 - 16:34

I imagined that Jean and Lorenzo would look askance at, and likely forbid, any religious instruction for the girls. What if they start asking sticky questions about 'the soul' and the 'afterlife'? And God forbid (pun very much intended) that they should develop a conscience and start questioning what they're doing.
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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Robert Frazer on Mon 13 Aug 2012 - 17:29

I like how you reinforce the fact that we know the Agency are just the latest renters of the complex and therefore do not mix with the nobility of the original owners.

The biography that I have in my head for the Agency grounds is that it was originally a monastic estate that was appropriated by the new secular kingdom following Garibaldi's invasion of the Papal States. These estates were parcelled out to ministers and supporters of the new government, so it came to be in a noble's possession, who built the central complex of the current Agency in the late nineteenth century. The noble fled the property before the Allied advances of the Italian campaign, and the Americans requisitioned the building and used it as a hospital for the remainder of the war and the post-war period. In the late 40s/early 50s as NATO organised itself, and the Americans handed the estate over to the new Republican government. The building remained derelict for a number of years with legal wrangling between the noble and the government as to who owned the building, but politics trumped title and the government turned it into an army barracks, with well-appointed chambers for senior officers. The base was closed down following the military cutbacks after the end of the Cold War, and it went through a second derelict period and was very nearly sold off to be turned into a housing estate before the noble's family, still bitter at being dispossessed torpedoed the deal by submitting a suit and citing some public land-use regulations which made the deal unprofitable and bankrupted the building company*. The site remained unused until the Agency was created and, needing a home, was invited to reoccupy and renovate a vacant property.



* - I'm not an expert in planning law but I'm taking this from the example of Westbury, the location of the British Army's officer commissioning board. For years the MoD has wanted to sell Westbury off for cash and do all of the selection at Sandhurst instead, but they're scuppered by a clause in the original land contract which means that, instead of getting megabucks from Barrett Homes, they would have to give it to the local council for a peppercorn.

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Officer_Charon on Tue 14 Aug 2012 - 1:31

Hmmm... given the glacial pace that most GOVERNMENT construction projects operate at, to say nothing of ITALIAN projects in general (While my experience is definitely filtered through a heavily-Sicilian experience, the culture in general seems to tend towards the universal "Domani domani... dopo domani!" *grins* ), it is entirely possible that there are still areas of the grounds that are undergoing renovation.

Oooh.... plot hook.........

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Robert Frazer on Fri 17 Aug 2012 - 21:35

@Thescarredman wrote:I imagined that Jean and Lorenzo would look askance at, and likely forbid, any religious instruction for the girls. What if they start asking sticky questions about 'the soul' and the 'afterlife'? And God forbid (pun very much intended) that they should develop a conscience and start questioning what they're doing.

Well, I was reading a book about the Blue Division recently and it included a lurid scene where a Russian soldier was being garotted with a set of rosary beads that I'm going to shamelessly and unapologetically plagiarise in my next story. Wink

I imagine that Section Two's leadership might have expressed similar reservations, but there are other factors to allow it to go ahead: the handler is the one responsible for his cyborg's training and welfare, and also this scenario will provide useful data for how upbringing interacts with, reinforces or overrides conditioning. If she does suffer a breakdown she can always be sent back to get her brain scrubbed, and Avise told to ease up on the God-bothering next time around.

Agapita herself currently sees no conflict between her programming and Avise's instruction. I haven't yet found a decent place to actually depict the scene, but for the first month or so after her activation Agapita doesn't really have any great investment in religion - she just goes through the motions because it's what her handler tells her to do, not really understanding it in depth. However, she eventually reaches an epiphany of her own and comes to be profoundly influenced by Ignatian spirituality (a major part of which is submission to authority), particularly his famous Prayer For Generosity:

Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.


Which probably describes a cyborg's conditioned expectations of her own role quite well.


Last edited by Robert Frazer on Fri 17 Aug 2012 - 22:07; edited 1 time in total

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Kurosaka "Ery" Erika on Fri 17 Aug 2012 - 22:02

@Robert Frazer wrote:
@Thescarredman wrote:I imagined that Jean and Lorenzo would look askance at, and likely forbid, any religious instruction for the girls. What if they start asking sticky questions about 'the soul' and the 'afterlife'? And God forbid (pun very much intended) that they should develop a conscience and start questioning what they're doing.

Well, I was reading a book about the Blue Division recently and it included a lurid scene where a Russian soldier was being garotted with a set of rosary beads that I'm going to shamelessly and unapologetically plagiarise in my next story. Wink

I imagine that Section Two's leadership might have expressed similar reservations, but there are other factors to allow it to go ahead: the handler is the one responsible for his cyborg's training and welfare, and also this scenario will provide useful data for how upbringing interacts with, reinforces or overrides conditioning. If she does suffer a breakdown she can always be sent back to get her brain scrubbed.

Agapita herself currently sees no conflict between her programming and Avise's instruction. I haven't yet found a decent place to actually depict the scene, but for the first month or so after her activation Agapita doesn't really have any great investment in religion - she just goes through the motions because it's what her handler tells her to do, not really understanding it in depth. However, she eventually reaches an epiphany of her own and comes to be profoundly influenced by Ignatian spirituality (a major part of which is submission to authority), particularly his famous Prayer For Generosity:

Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.


Which probably describes a cyborg's conditioned expectations of her own role quite well.

don't worry Robert, i have a special scene for her in my Fanfic chapter...involving her mortar...
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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Officer_Charon on Fri 17 Aug 2012 - 23:01

I find it great that you've done so much dogmatic research on the subject; it really comes out in your characters, and adds further depth to them. I really enjoy it!

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Alfisti on Sat 18 Aug 2012 - 2:14

@Robert Frazer wrote:...this scenario will provide useful data for how upbringing interacts with, reinforces or overrides conditioning....

...However, she eventually reaches an epiphany of her own and comes to be profoundly influenced by Ignatian spirituality (a major part of which is submission to authority), particularly his famous Prayer For Generosity:

Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.


Which probably describes a cyborg's conditioned expectations of her own role quite well.
Kind of makes you wonder if an, umm... "appropriately edited" version of such teachings could not be used to actively motivate the girls. Of course that would probably mean keeping an even greater level of control on what media they do and do not have access to, but you could wind up with a small army of superhuman, cybernetic zealots.

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Thescarredman on Sat 18 Aug 2012 - 5:38

Oh, you guys are terrifying.
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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Odon on Sat 18 Aug 2012 - 7:02

@Thescarredman wrote:I imagined that Jean and Lorenzo would look askance at, and likely forbid, any religious instruction for the girls. What if they start asking sticky questions about 'the soul' and the 'afterlife'? And God forbid (pun very much intended) that they should develop a conscience and start questioning what they're doing.

Let's face it, religion has never stopped people from killing each other, and pacifism isn't likely to take root if terrorists are trying to kill you every day. Italy's always been a Catholic country, so such instruction wouldn't be a big deal if a handler wanted it; it's no more or less relevant than the classical education the First Gens are getting.

That aside, I've always thought there was a lot of potential in Frazer's fratello, and for exactly that reason: How is a religious belief affected by (and vice versa) the conditioning?

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 19 Aug 2012 - 13:31

@Professor Voodoo wrote:As I said in the other thread I'd love to see Agapita's character get some development, if only to selfishly satisfy my desire to have more to write about in my own tales (there's only so much you can do with she hates exercise, loves pizza and wears a beret).

I second that sentiment, as I want to have her appear in my next story, which will take place almost immediately after Marisa 20: First Day of Spring.

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Re: I'm ALLLLLIIIIVVVEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Post by Robert Frazer on Mon 20 Aug 2012 - 12:55

I'm working on it, I'm working on it...

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