Reviews for Ties that Bind
ImGonnaGetThatRhythmBack chapter 13 . 6/29/2012
This is such a big cliffhanger...
I'm not a good reviewer, I don't claim to be, but I think that this story was great... but now I'm going to be dying to know the next part.
Daniel Lamb chapter 1 . 6/15/2012
Hey, I'd like to say that I enjoyed this story alot. Are you and your co-author going to make a sequel?
NinaKramer chapter 13 . 7/19/2011
Wow, that was a really impressive story. Very intense, very smart, very SAW.

You captured the canon characters extremely well and came up with two very interesting OCs that fit perfectly into this game.

I would have loved to see them in an acutal SAW movie!

Last but not least, I also liked your writing style a lot, you found a good balance between showing and telling, and despite the length it never got boring.

Thank you for sharing this fic with us! It was a very pleasant read.
Turkey in a suit chapter 13 . 7/14/2011
Please don't kill anyone else. I've grown attatched to all of them. I freakin' beg you. Love this story. Suspense, trailer and horror all packed in a one story.
Jacalyn Hyde chapter 13 . 1/18/2011
Extra special shout-out (*warm, fuzzy feeling*) _ . Thanks, guys!

I'm back to reviewing WHILE reading. You're going to be getting my first initial reaction (and likely a few typos.) Sound like fun? (*braces herself*) :)

Daniel with hacksaw... shit! Yeah, that did shock me. Perhaps it was my regrettable third soda after two A.M. and perhaps it was just the timing and initial involvement... I've gone from worrying for Daniel's physical well-being and moved on to his mental and emotional concerns. Okay, Saw II proved he COULD do this and WOULD. It's not that it was a bad thing: on the contrary, it was an awesome thing. Just, woah. Shocked ME, not quite as much as it shocked Xavier, but still. I was more focused on the object Amanda MIGHT have picked up off the floor a minute ago.

"I can think of worse ways to go. Shame he never got to experience them." -AVA. ... LOL. and WOW! It's probably not much comfort for Daniel, but it made me smile a little. So there! :P

Oh, yeah. The antidotes... because as far as Mike and Ava are concerned, Amanda and Daniel still need one. But, based on Amanda's next line "We don't need it.", I guess you're using the approach that Daniel was also injected before the game- a wise precaution, for sure. But what about how weak he seemed until just a minute ago? A couple chapters ago, he was minutes away from bleeding out his eyes and nose, seemingly almost passed out here and NOW...?

Amanda's going to TELL... EVERYTHING? Oh, god... and her "... a man who wasn't dead" clarification seriously adds CHILLS to the story. But what about the... others? I don't know, but it seems like the rest of the group (at least most of them) might be entitled to the same kind of answers and closure... IDK.

Anyway, Mike knows Amanda through that one brief encounter at the clinic. Not like they actually spoke or anything, though. He remembers more about Cecil than her anyway. Not fair that HE was the one asked to leave, but... whatever. Maybe that's the first time John took notice of him. (*shrug*) Did his presence at that time set anything else in motion? Did Amanda notice and remember HIM like he noted her...?

"Ava, calm down, please-" -DITTO!... you said you'd LISTEN first, remember? She has every right in the world to be upset but she would benefit from hearing the full story and taking a moment to process it and BREATHE for a minute first.

All this to fuck with Eric Matthews... NO, you were being tested too. It wasn't like reality TV or anything. Most of these games serve more than one purpose...!

"By the sound of it (Amanda) had been asked into this game almost against her will," -That's the impression I have as well. Not UNWILLING, but hesitant for a good reason. People are unpredictable and this is the first major GROUP they've tested. it wasn't just to keep an eye on Daniel (who, by the way, is being oddly quiet at the moment) but to *offer choices*.

Leaving this room sounds like a wonderful idea. Let's go, but, yes, we still want more answers. :)

"... I can take you to him." -Amanda (to Ava). ... WHAT! She CAN? She WILL? ...

AVA'S connection to John... they've actually MET before. Wow! And she's right: he seems like - he IS -almost a completely different person than he would have been at that point.

And we're actually doing this! (*is all excited*)

"Don't take the stairs. Ever." -Amanda. LOL! Any other booby traps we should know about? :P

"I know. I've been watching." -John... Ohh, fuck! The VIDEOS! That game totally changes the feed the detectives are gonna be watching... well, for the most part, anyway. the basics are where they need to be... it's still pretty cool though. How different it could have been...

Ha, okay, Mike: John (and I) would like to know WHY you intervened with the tests, why you took charge, delegated... pretty much just saved the day. WHY? The next points are excellent as well, but I'm not letting him off the hook just yet. In my book, it wasn't a rhetorical question. Just like something in a person drives them to fight for their own survival- even if it means taking or destroying another life -there is a kind of force that can drive a man to care, to help someone even before himself- even to the point of risking his own life to save another. It's just as intriguing as self-preservation or the urge to kill. And what is it? I don't know... Does Mike? Do you?

Ava now: "(her) wrists had began to sting once more, which greatly limited her ability for compassion." -And it really is difficult to appreciate something or someone when you're focused what was done to you rather than what they can give you at the present.

"And how is Xavier any different from you?" -Holy *profanity*! I... what? No, don't get me wrong. It was one hundred percent IN CHARACTER for John to say that and take that particular approach. Still managed to shock me though. I hate how RIGHT he is, more than anything else. How far does the "I don't kill *innocent* people" rule really take Ava?

As I said in an earlier review, I would compare her to JOHN before I'd compare her to Xavier. She's too collected for senseless killing. But, even with a method... killing is still 'distasteful', right? And WHO really gets to say who is innocent. Who is good and who is evil? We've all done things we're not proud of. Just look at the variety of people tested in that house today! When an adrenaline junkie, a drug dealer, a prostitute, and a serial killer (among others) face the exact same kind of judgment- with equal chances at survival... how fair is that? Are all CRIMINALS the same in that sense?

The Xavier-comparison is STILL pissing me off though. Didn't Ava PROVE how NON-psychotic she was? She proved she COULD work with a group? Would she hold the same potential outside if her life DID NOT depend on the results? Who knows. That's not the point.

Now, I do understand her compulsion to kill. (We saw a little of that temptation in others, though- even in Mike, however briefly and however justified it might have been). But her choice of victims- EVIL MEN -is that merely for her own protection? For a sense of justice and release at the same time? OR does she have just a touch of insanity? COULD she take some kind of pleasure in the suffering or death of an "innocent" person? ... that's really up to you, but, somehow, I still don't think so...

Anyway, you two: thank you so much. This is a wonderful story, very intense and very fun to work and review though. And, oh, yeah. There are still more chapters to come, aren't there? _ Yeah, your summary states the AU extends through Saw 3 and 4. Aside from the other surviving victims: what else changes? I'm excited to find out. Hey, look, you have a fangirl! :)

Take care and keep being awesome. _
Jacalyn Hyde chapter 12 . 1/18/2011
"...even with slashed wrists, I know how to fucking kill a guy." -Well, at least Ava is AWARE of her situation. I'm not sure what she's going to do. I'm not sure what she CAN do; but I do admire the part of her that wants to TRY.

"Wait for the door to open... and call the cops." -Another thing that really should have occurred to me before now! That means they WILL find this crime scene and all the messy bits and pieces. EVEN that dreaded bathroom set... that sure does change things! ...(even though the first example on my mind was Hoffman's fate there.)

"the impenetrably, steely calm that she adopted as the Puppeteer." -NOW I get it! It's a different persona that she IS aware of and even chooses to take on... halfway between method acting and a split personality. Because she's still AVA- even then. (From the impression I get anyway. It's AVA'S morals and reasoning but the Puppeteer has all the courage and takes satisfaction in her justified kills.)

... Poor Daniel. Geez. I just thought of this NOW. This is a full night of delayed reactions for me, I guess. That's what I get for working a double shift and overdosing on caffeine- but still... um... Daniel is the youngest, smallest, and the only real INNOCENT here. He was supposed to be cured LAST *because*...? :P :( I don't know HOW I would have done that differently in your position, though. He just has to hang on a little bit more...

"the corpses... the sickly-sweet odor of death." -Ahh, the Nightmare Bathroom! I KNEW it was coming, but... well, don't think I'm a complete idiot: but, I swear it's an entirely different kind of creepy in words than it is on screen. that's all.

"People only got in your way, prevented you from fulfilling your duties, and had to be eliminated." -Um, Xavier? I don't think THAT'S quite the lesson you were supposed to get out of this experience. If anything, that's worse than your original approach. :( FAIL!

As much as I hate Xavier, I have to commend you: he is so IN CHARACTER here it's almost SCARY!

...Again with the numbers! Mike's figured it out too, it seems. Which is good. Everybody has a number and we work as a team, so... yeah. Good luck with that. MAYBE it would have worked if that was their only task and the safe had- at least MORE THAN ONE antidote...

"Necessary Pain." -both words capitalized. It makes a very subtle, very interesting point: it's a price but it pays off. It means you get to live. I don't like it coming from Xavier's mind, but it's an appropriate-enough concept for these games in general.

"Even if he did manage to kill them and take their number's, (Xavier would) never find the others in time." -TRUE, that. But it's the all-consuming, MUST-KILL urge surpassing the initial survival instinct. This should be his downfall...

...ahhh! Daniel! ... I read this chapter for the first time last night, so I can appreciate that end for the intense cliff-hanger it was. That said, I'm glad I don't have to WAIT for the next update. (*torn between a happy and a wary expression*) _
Jacalyn Hyde chapter 11 . 1/18/2011
My other window just informed me that you UPDATED... (*is oh-so-tempted to look*). Two more reviews first. Okay... _ The title of said chapter did get a raised eyebrow and a slight giggle from me, tho. :)

Re: the Authors' Note: "lag in updates"? Aww. You had a decent-enough stopping place with the last chapter so I really would have forgiven you. But... yeah. Updates are good. Any inconsistency in the future updates is also understandable. If you've read any of my work, you'll see that it's not one of my strong points either. I love you, anyway.

"(Jonas) turned, half-expecting to see the black-haired psycho chick following him" -AVA. LOLz, see, you made an impression? "Or Mike coming back for a final word." -Aww. :( And, no, it's not.

Given Jonas and Xavier's canon interaction, this actually works quite well. (Not WELL as in nicely, but, well in-character, I guess.) I let a friend borrow my Saw DVDs, so I don't have the exact line, but Jonas said something along the lines of "no matter what the situation, you gotta find yourself an enemy." It's a little different here because no one had any issue singling out Xavier and leaving him to die. It's HIS fault, but still... no the blood-lust isn't RIGHT, but its source is understandable.

... the NAIL BAT... ouch! I'm sorry: my memory FAILS tonight, but... um, WHEN did Xavier acquire that weapon? Never mind... YEAH, I'll bet that hurts. (*shudder*) :( Yes, it makes sense. I might even go as far as saying it HAD to be done like this, but, really: poor Jonas. Especially right after that antidote and connection restored some amount of hope. :(

I am NOT going to contrast Xavier and Ava. But I WILL answer Jonas' earlier question: AVA is not a genuine psycho. This sadistic, irrational, inhuman monster IS.

... I almost forgot about the numbers. I thought, for some reason, that even in THIS version of the Game, the safe and number-rainbow clue was a lost cause. Maybe not, after all if someone other than Xavier finds out... (*glimmer of hope restored*)

I'm so glad that Mike keeps thinking rationally even when he realizes Jonas must be dead. There's no expressed regret (shouldn't have had him go off alone, OR could have given the antidote to someone else. Sadly, both of those would occur to me.)

"Mike... turn around. There's a number. I want it." -GOD! Xavier is an IDIOT! Or he REALLY thinks he has the full advantage here.. but he just gave Mike the CLUE, the ANSWER. One more antidote means only one more real game! (Assuming Amanda actually needs one, I'm not so sure here.)

Great job- both of you -with the scenes cutting back and forth between the two groups. That's not an easy thing to do, but the transition works smoothly while still holding all of the excitement.

"'Fuck being safe!' Ava or the Puppeteer snarled." -Again with the Puppeteer as a separate entity. Is it because Ava herself would deny it? She's much more controlled and self-preserving than this "psycho" side of her? ... at any rate, the work as a team and HELP them idea is great. I wish they'd stayed together from the beginning, really.

Dear Obi: Please shut the hell up! And stop being so fucking calm about everything! Does nothing phase you? Do you really think the girls will just sit there while...? Okay, AVA won't. She'd fight him if she had to, but she's smart enough to remain cautious. QUIET could be bad, tho. :(

AVA has changed, though. It doesn't matter how subtle that may be. "The closet thing she'd ever had to friends were these people." Working together brings people together. I wouldn't say it's a complete change in her character: just her perspective and DRIVE- it's not just her own life that matters now.

The Mike and Xavier fight is -WOAH!- intense! Great details because every single move could mean a new advantage OR a fatal mistake.

"the drug dealer's rage and desperation outweighed the adrenaline pumping through Mike's veins." -Ha... I predicted something similar but it's got to stop at some point. Xavier is DYING with... what? MINUTES to find an antidote. A certain amount of strength comes from that- but I sure as hell hope it wears off: and fast!

Ahh! "FUCK" is right! ...

Addison's resolve to "become a fuckin' nun" after she gets out of this house is actually quite an amusing concept... especially given that her next retort is "fuck you." (which she obviously will not be doing anymore.) _ :)

The trapdoor! "How had Amanda known?" ... this never occurred to me before, but maybe it was a last resort for her. If things went badly, it's an escape. I don't THINK there's much other reason for the access...
Jacalyn Hyde chapter 10 . 1/18/2011
"The key hit Ava square between the eyes" -OUCH! At least it made it over to her, though. That's good. Considering the alternatives would be catching on one of the chains, slamming against the opposite wall, hitting the ground and sticking too close to the chains to risk grabbing for... yeah. They were fortunate. But still OUCH.

I'm glad the engine does, in fact, shut off. That means a relatively safe landing for Mike as well as the antidote. Maybe I'm a little biased but there's no contest to the fact that he's earned the cure several times over.

"He's gonna be pretty fuckin' dizzy, huh?" -LOL. Yeah, I guess so. Poor Mike. But it's still awesome and almost-funny at this point. He's ALIVE is what matters. We all still have chance is what counts...

He passed his test, though so he's alright in John's book, I guess. Unlike, say, Obi? ... then again, there was the FREE antidote in there as well. Inevitably (when it becomes unnecessary or when time runs out), there will be someone who does not learn the lesson they're here for. Nothing that can be done. But survival in and of itself is a lesson. The things they've done- even simply witnessed here will stick with the group forever.

Ava's blank expression could be a forced-mask of sorts (for emotional distance or simply from combined exhaustion and relief), but Jonas' concern "you ain't a psycho, are you?" mixes that up nicely. Not REALLY. It's still up to you but I'd say she's much too disciplined to just go on some crazy killing rampage. She can feel something close to genuine joy at seeing Xavier suffer but she actually faced the temptation to step in and help MIKE here. So there really is a difference. I like that she doesn't give a clear answer, though. Maybe she doesn't know for sure herself...

"Somehow, Mike had survived his test- and it was a source of comedy for the others. Maybe they really would make it out after all." -Aww. Yeah. MAYBE.

I do understand Amanda's sudden hurry- there are several factors: the time running out, more antidotes to find, and a few things still left to accomplish. But it's heavily implied that she SENSES Xavier as an approaching threat. But then you cut to him just then beginning to crawl out of the pit... IDK, Maybe Amanda does have a slight psychic ability... or her paranoia has shifted into overdrive... it's enough warning, though, so it's a GOOD thing.

Let's see... it's the balance of angry and murderous VS wounded and alone for Xavier. The poison was kicking in at the last time we saw him so it's at least a little worse now. He's DESPERATE now though, and set to kill which WILL make for a kind of threat. I didn't think he'd try to approach the group overall though- safety in numbers and all that -but STILL... not a happy thought there.

Hiding might be a good plan if there weren't still three(?) people to cure. (While we're on the subject: are you one of those people who thinks Amanda was given an antidote before the game even started? Honestly, that's what I think. I never suspected she was in on it till the end, but she didn't so much as cough, as far as I can remember anyway and it seems foolish to risk her succumbing to the poison and not being able to complete her task in that house... how about DANIEL, though? He's important for ERIC'S test, but some of his symptoms seem very REAL... IDK, really.)

Splitting up... might be a bad idea. Okay, it IS a bad idea. But I do see Mike's logic as far as one safe group able to defend itself and one smaller "to be cured" group that can move faster with less people, but STILL...!

"I want the shovel." -OBI. I'm glad he's alive. I'm glad he's turning out to be a SEMI-decent human being. I'm glad he has a chance now... but I really would like to HIT him with said shovel. Mike may be well on his way to actually earning the "fearless leader" title, but be FAIR! He's got three people to protect too!

"We should find him first, the cold drawl of the Puppeteer echoed in the depths of her mind..." -Two very interesting, very telling pieces of info from that little line alone! The Puppeteer, in Ava's mind, is almost like another entity sharing her body and mind. It's impulsive, vengeful, and determined... discontent to wait around NOT doing something to either help someone or kill them... she's still weak physically, but I'd say the emotional drive and sense of justice give her the same sort of advantage Xavier would have... scary thought. Dear Ava: I'm glad you're not a CONFIRMED psycho. lol

"The time was almost up" -True. But we still have another hour until the doors open and a few more minutes before the "you have two hours to live" limit is up. It's still anyone's game. And Xavier is more of a threat than I anticipated...

"this Jigsaw guy, he's gotta run out of ideas at some point, right?" -DANIEL. ... With a mixture of amusement and distaste, I can say this: I don't think he ever will. NO. (LOL)...

Addison: PLEASE shut the hell up. And Ava: ... TRY to relax, BREATHE just a little... no? :(

"Gus? Who the hell was Gus?" -Minor issue, there. Because you've used Gus's name a few times now, already. But, like a couple of the others: the name was never actually spoken, but it's KNOWN if it needs to be. I think that was a slip in Saw II. I'm not POSITIVE but Daniel says "Jonas had (the key) last" although I can't recall the man's name actually being confirmed at any point. (*shrug*) Like I said: MINOR issue. Please, no worries.

HA! I laughed at how easy Gus's trap really should have been. Makes canon-Addison look like a total moron now. I vaguely recall a reference to Gus "always sticking his hands in the cookie jar" or something like that and that was the reason for it: he'd be impulsive enough to reach in without thinking first and get caught that way...

DESPITE what happens next, I agree that Jonas needed that antidote. If you really think about it, he'd have to be really strong (ordinarily) to survive to this point without it when you look at what it the gas was already doing to everyone else.

"Go back to the others, man." -First major mistake, Mike! ... I agree that Jonas doesn't need to be walking around but there IS the risk of him encountering Xavier on his way to the basement and either being attacked or being followed back to the group. If Xavier was a little smarter, he might have thought of that...

K2K... okay, don't ask but my theory was that it combines ideals the KKK with the conspiracy theories surrounding the new millennium. ... Sometimes, I'm much too detail-oriented. Forgive ANOTHER random tangent, will you?

At any rate, I liked that moment between Mike and Jonas. It was touching, powerful, and, somehow... ominous.
Jacalyn Hyde chapter 9 . 1/18/2011
Thank you for the message this morning. Little things like that make me feel special or something. LOL. Anyway, I'm glad you like the reviews (lengthy and random though they may be). And the promise of a new chapter... (*nods enthusiastically*) _

Anyway: Chapter 9 review now. I've already read through 12. And I almost wish I hadn't. It's not as fun if I can't give you my reactions and predictions as they happen. Ah, well... :P I love 'em all anyway. And please forgive me if I do slip in a few "I was right" comments just for the hell of it.

The chapter titles are close enough to self-explanatory but this one ("Hammer and Chains") and 7 ("Master of Puppets") were the two so far that only made sense after I'd finished reading. And it fits: these were the tests of your O.C.s and the titles- like the games and the characters themselves -were slowly revealed, understood, and accepted over an appropriate amount of time.

I meant to commend you on that before. You fit two amazing new people into the Saw universe- into THIS game -so well it's almost like the SHOULD have been there to begin with. You provide enough details over time that I can support them while still being as suspicious and wary of them as I would of any other character at that stage. Piece by piece it all comes together in a way that is both dramatic and realistic... And the full picture will be revealed when it needs to be- when it's ready to be. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm not changing my mind, regardless what you do. I love those two! You and Vic are geniuses. (That sounds like an after-thought. It isn't: it's my whole POINT.)

Mike still helping Ava. Suffering more than he's letting anyone else know. "it wouldn't be long before he was leaning on HER for support. What a fucking awesome duo they'd make" -LOL. Sad, but true. They already are, though. It would never work between them in ANY other circumstance but in this life-or-death game, there is that inevitable connection. The banter between them, misplaced comedic attempts, acceptance (if not real trust), and genuine support. They ARE a great team. At this point they seem more like ... IDK... step-siblings or something like, than anything in my mind but I wonder if you ever considered some kind of tension (not romance, just... IDK. SOMEthing between them- even after this Game...) Never mind.

I do have the Mike/Amanda connection on my mind though. Again, not in the romantic sense, but what little connection they do have. I don't know how much you are planning to divert from the canon, but if he (or Ava) finds out about her involvement... (random thought. Sorry.)

Back to the scene. Ava should know that Eric Matthews and Mike's false conviction would be an uncomfortable topic. Especially coming as randomly as it did... maybe it's the blood-loss, curiosity, or the feeling of nothing-left-to-lose: but that did seem a little reckless to even bring it up. ESPECIALLY that bit about the car. (I really don't think there is any other way you could have brought that into the story, though. I won't fault you for it, but there WAS just a slight twinge of RANDOMNESS there for a few lines.)

I don't blame her for her wariness once it was out, though. A slip, really. She knows more than she should because she... was there. She DID it. But if she DOES know the victim's name... I just don't know why she would even bring it up to Mike here, unless she's feeling guilt that he took the fall for it? Curious for HIS perspective on the whole case? Or a random burst of insanity?

And that murder doesn't fit her style, anyway. It was for her protection, not the justice she would preferably fight for, and I'll bet she resented every moment of the necessary killing. It wasn't her Puppeteer method, though. It was messy (three claw-hammer strikes to the skull) and presumably quick...

"...if she'd made a bit of an effort on Harris, (Mike) might have been spared the prison sentence." -Funny how it all works out, though. I'm glad we're still at the consensus that it's ERIC MATTHEWS we hate, and not each other. It would be too easy for Mike to blame Ava and her indirect role for his arrest. But he sees the bigger picture and he's a better person for it.

I like the sound of whatever Mike and Ava imagine as far as revenge- even if the thought of torturing (or killing) Eric is just for their amusement here. What could be better than Amanda's "Locked away, helpless and alone" (just like a PRISONER) option? LOL. Here's hoping we find out.

"Whenever a human being is faced with a potentially life-threatening situation, they experience a kind of shut down, a detachment from their emotions, in order to properly analyze the situation." (And hopefully survive it)... Mike's good at balancing rationality with quick-thinking. But this device scares me even on that low setting and he's already using the shovel as an improvised walking stick so... o.O

Dear Mike: you are Speed Racer. Could we really equate living on the edge and craving an adrenalin rush with a kind of drug addiction? Perhaps not. But you really should stop and smell the roses sometimes, ya know? LOL. In the meantime, good luck with the spinning chains of death... (I'm sorry, it's the caffeine talking now, really.) That shouldn't amuse me as much as it does. It's actually a really cool idea. _

Jacket and shovel should help at least a little bit... but... I get dizzy just READING this. Ugh! "Unseeable blur" -LOL.

"Ava wanted to help." -That seriously got an "aww" out of me. It hardly seems fair because there's a chance she wouldn't have survived her own test without the group holding her up during it and bandaging her afterward. there's not much that CAN be done for Mike here though. Too bad there wasn't the option to charge at it when it was still relatively slow-spinning, but lack of instruction is never a good thing...

Amanda. (*sigh*) Giving Mike's jacket back was smart. Advising Ava not to interfere was probably a good idea. But the attitude... she's so caught up in the Rules, it's almost sad. It's almost desperation: for an example that the method works, that it's WORTH IT, somehow. If nothing else, I did think she might be at least sympathetic toward Ava about the cuts- despite the reason for their infliction -she does know what that kind of pain and loss feels like... hey, maybe she does. It's not an easy thing to vocalize at any rate and the most important thing is survival: not comfort.

"They still had Laura's, Gus's, and Addison's test to find..." -Ava's thoughts. She does consider that Mike might not pass this one. (It was a concern of mine as well) and they do have other options but not much time to attempt them. There's ALSO (supposedly) something for the others. Maybe not Amanda or Daniel, but Ava might think so. Gus obviously doesn't need one and nobody gives a shit about Xavier anymore (pretty much agreed to let him rot, right?) so, that's... a few more than even needed, anyway. There might even be another "free donation" in someone's game...

...But it means something to Mike and to the Jigsaw Method in general that he passes the test meant for him. That he learns. And he DOES. But making him fight at this impossible speed and managing to save lives because of it might only reinforce the RUSH-craving. The "need for speed." LOL

I'm having a little delayed reaction to how big the device itself must be. Super-high ceiling in that room or what? LOL.

... and SAFETY... at least a key and a stable-enough handhold, anyway. _ YAY!
Guest chapter 8 . 1/15/2011
It's no contest, really. AVA is the weakest at THIS point. And she more than earned her cure. But the antidote to the POISON isn't going to do much for her blood-loss... The lack of measurement on the poles now seems even crueler. It would make a difference HOW MUCH blood she 'gave'... let me go ahead and assume it's somewhere around the amount Saw V demanded of the final two... but hopefully a little LESS than that. (*shudder*)

Mike: my zombie-killing offer still stands. But, seriously, you are... just awesome. Because if it came down to it, you COULD fight only for yourself and WIN. Keeping the group together is a risk and there's not much time left- for ANYone -not like it's two hours on the dot everyone without an antidote just keels over and dies. NO. It's a matter of time. But how much time, like how much bloodshed, really remains uncertain.

AVA: if you hit Mike, you will lose your balance and, likely, also his assistance. Ohh, and you would owe him ten bucks! So, RESIST that impulse, okay? _

The four-legged race image is, admitably, funny. I did a three-legged race as a kid. THAT was challenging enough. LOL. Aww. The reference to childhood: innocence, safety, and an entirely different kind of uncertain future... really puts things in perspective, somehow.

Ohh, no! The X! Poor Daniel. But this is a DIFFERENT group- they've come together, worked together, forgive each other, and survived- taking care of each other. ERIC is our connection- our clue. But none of this is Daniel's fault. And I'm so glad they all see it. Aww. 3

Slight sentimental moment there. Ten (well... ) become one in this odd, fucked-up family of surviving strangers. LOVE
Jacalyn Hyde chapter 7 . 1/15/2011
Mike consults OBI? You know, there is a difference between being a team player and being a moron! Grr... Right. Right. Save the weakest. *_* Honestly, it's not survival of the fittest here: it's survival of the DESERVING! I would have put it to a VOTE before I'd resort to consulting the man who practically stole two antidotes already!

"Ava would probably kill him for it." -Is that from her point of view or Mike's. Is it an exaggeration? Even slightly?...

"We get an antidote, whoever's hurtin' the worst gets it." -Mike... Yeah, it's good in theory. But I already mentioned that desperation doesn't make for a good, rational, giving person.

Ava has animal instincts -not just the will to survive and fight for that chance. I mean, I'm getting more and more convinced she really could -and WOULD -kill for it. Two things: she's got to FIND her own test to get the antidote in the first place. AND she just might be one of the weakest of the group at that point anyway.

And AMANDA is the one to speak up 'on behalf' of Xavier. Just leave him... well, okay. Ava's focus now is not on finding her cure, but on finding the TEST that will let her earn it. She doesn't see the possibility of failure or never even coming across it. She can't.

Mike knew Amanda from the clinic! ... another random connection or something more than that? Something worth telling her if they survive, though... hmm...

Ava found something! TWO poles and switches and... whatever this game is, it's HERS. That's a small victory, anyway. But I'm worried what this is... okay, no. To be completely honest, I'm dying to know what that TAPE says. I don't blame Ava for trying to take off on her own to find this. Survival in numbers be damned! This is it: what she's done, the price she has to pay...

Holy... shit! WOW. Okay, I didn't see THAT coming! Ava masquerading as an 'ordinary' person, sure. But the fact that she's KILLED- more than once -THIRTEEN times! "Puppeteer", huh? Obnoxiously clever title, but, like "Jigsaw," the nickname was coined for a REASON, right?...

Ohh, "you string up the bad guys and bleed 'em out." -THAT'S it! Ha... intriguing and scary horror film potential for sure. But it's DANIEL who makes the clarification "Vigilante... you don't kill innocent people."

The difference between her and John is that she's, what? A TRUE killer? She's genuinely murdered people? For some odd reason, I thought he'd have a kind of twisted sympathy for her. Aside from the actual KILLING: they do share a few traits: isolation, intelligence, being misunderstood...

Dear fellow subjects: THANK YOU for not attacking Ava when you heard this. Maybe she does deserve it a little more than you do, but face it: if suffering really does link to redemption... there should be plenty of that to come... :(

Mike's impression is different, though. "(her killings were) for her own benefit, not to protect anyone else." But maybe in Ava's mind it IS. Her later mental argument is that her death would mean her "work" would be meaningless, more innocent people could be hurt, SLAUGHTERED.

"She was going to pass her test. And then she was going to find Jigsaw and either join him... or cut out his fucking heart." -NICE! That's my favorite line so far! Both impulses would surely be strong at this point. She might even eventually face the urge to THANK him for this lesson... OR NOT...

Obi stepping in to help. "Had he been the one to kidnap Ava as well?" -Plausible point, there. Between this and his donation to Laura, it could really be GUILT moving him here. But what if it is something more? Something that's changed even since the oven he couldn't face? And the whole GROUP is sympathetic, if nothing else, they CARE. That's... touching. Powerful. DEEP.

And she's out. Yes, I admit, I am involved enough in this piece, I honestly just breathed a sigh of relief. _ And, yeah, despite the 'news', I'd like you to know that I am still "Team Ava-Gets-An-Antidote". If not more so than I already was.
Jacalyn Hyde chapter 6 . 1/15/2011
I thought you might like to know that I woke up about an hour before my alarm clock went off this morning. It wasn't enough time to leave you a Jacalyn-style review, but it did give me the opportunity to print out a copy of the next three chapters of this to read on my breaks at work, and, let me just say: you made my day so much more interesting. Disregard the fact that you wrote most of this a few MONTHS ago...

Anyway...

Out of place shovel for the win! I suppose it could be used as a weapon if need be OR a simple walking stick for support if it comes to that. :(

... "We wait?" -WHAT? But what happened to looking around downstairs like Jonas suggested? Or Mike's advice to keep moving?

I like this little sharing-time idea, though. It's a little better a conversation topic than "we're dying" and, Mike's right: secret-keeping VS survival... I'm gonna choose the putting it all on the table option. Nothing else to lose, right?

Mike was framed for murder. Yeah, I guess it had to be something. I believe him too. He's no saint, but he's the type to do what he has to do (and sometimes even a little more than that) to get by- especially here. No reason to lie. Especially not if he wants the truth from anyone else. Nothing too terrible there, but going first sure wasn't fun...

Ava. Ava. AVA... (*rolls eyes*) I appreciate your pride and determination more than anything else, but, Girl... you're in no position to deny any kind of charity. You were one of the first people to comprehend the "we have to work together" message, you just restated it aloud here. You're keeping your distance, not because you're paranoid or selfish but because... well, I'm not quite sure WHY, other than the fact that you insist your secrecy is for the benefit of the group, not just yourself. But you know something! Jigsaw knows you and if it does come down to earning an antidote all on your own... well, let's just hope the truth comes out before the shit hits the fan. I'm on your side. I'm cheering you on! I really am! ... (*sigh*)

Obi's there for a little more than arson, but it's interesting that no one asks him or Laura anything. Like, you're cured. No longer part of the picture. When really, it's even more of a connection... Ava said nothing to confirm or deny status as a criminal or whether or not she's actually been to prison. She didn't say much of ANYthing, really. But the fact that Daniel's never served time either is already throwing off the main point. :0

(I would like someone to design and emoticon with a exasperated expression. Please pretend I just used one. LOL.)

Obi referred to Jonas as the group's "fearless leader" just a few paragraphs (minutes?) ago, but now Addison sarcastically used that same term to challenge Mike. It's not unreasonable or unrealistic or anything. Just... interesting.

The locked door... uh oh! "Maybe they really weren't meant to get in?" -Well, it's a chance, isn't it? IDK what else to do. :( ... That said, I wouldn't want to be the one to TRY it. By all means: let Xavier!

... Addison's momentary look of PITY for Xavier... WOW. I guess it's because she knows what he's feeling. The impulse to panic. Rapidly approaching death. So, despite everything, there's sympathy for sure. For anyone, really. Didn't someone say something along the lines of 'suffering makes us all the same...'?

Ahh, yes. The key in a needle-stack room! You're gonna change something here, aren't you? But what...? Oh, standing up to Xavier AS A GROUP. The O.C.'s really do make all the difference. I love it! Mike's death-metal tone WIN!

Ava "loved the screams more than any other sound." -She's starting to creep me out again! This applies to XAVIER screaming or... the sensation in general? It might just be spite and desperation mixed here. Her sudden display of outright sadism... well, the scary thing is it doesn't seem all that random. Just that it's something that's been buried beneath the distance, logic, and "don't-piss-me-off" stance. I'm wary because I'm still trying to figure her out, but YEAH, that was pretty creepy.

I have mixed feelings about taking the antidote from Xavier and kicking him back into the pit. Not that it wasn't deserved, but, think of this: he TECHNICALLY did complete the test (extra incentive or not) and leaving him to die like that doesn't say much for the group itself, redemption, or what might happen if he does come after them later.

Regardless, though: we have the antidote! ... But... Um... WHO gets it?
Jacalyn Hyde chapter 5 . 1/14/2011
I hate to say this: but I vote we just let Xavier have one of the antidotes. That eliminates a partial threat- deserved or not!

Mike drops the syringe, Obi grabs it, AND... Woah, what! Gives it to LAURA. I don't care if he kept the first for himself... that's just... UNEXPECTED... and what he SAID... just WOW! Was that guilt, an attempt at redemption or what? She doesn't seem quite as ill as Addison just yet- but she is freaked out for sure...

Obi "willingly saved he life of another". He's alright after all, he can LEARN or change or... well, I don't care! It's still not right that he took the one MIKE fought for in what he decided was THEIR test!

Dear Obi: I don't care that you would have panicked and died but know Mike would not have done that! Your donation to Laura aside: you are scum. Creep!

"Panic was what got people killed." -Working together is the way to do it, but still... Xavier getting fed up and leaving the group is an all-new likable concept! Especially if he goes for the hand-trap!

We never got this far in the actual film... do the two people already cured have a reason to stick with the group or should they just wait by the exit and hope Xavier doesn't kill them just out of spite...

"Only a few antidotes left now..." -Ava. ... I, for some reason, assumed there would be one antidote per subject provided but there is the risk of losing one- like they almost did in the furnace, like the one in the safe they'll likely never recover...

But if everyone has his or her own, personal test... sticking together as a group still makes sense than splitting up looking and just finding games intended for someone else, but still...

"We're all gonna die one day, anyway." -DAMN, Ava! Sure, optimism gets you virtually nowhere and Laura did kinda ask for it, but... :0 "(I'm) half dead already." :(

"You look cold. Here." -Mike, giving his jacket to AMANDA... the transition of the scenes was just a little off there. For a second, I thought he was talking to AVA, who I think, could have really used that kindness. But I don't blame Mike for trying to make friends with Amanda. He may or may not have a reason to be suspicious of her, but he knows she might be able to help him survive this game just as she survived her first...

Amanda's in no rush to make friends, though. She's still upset about the antidote that Obi didn't really earn. It wasn't really Mike's test (another thing Amanda's not too happy about) but HE technically did earn the antidote. Assuming Mike finds and survives a test that WAS intended for HIM... does that change anything in Amanda's mind or is she ALREADY on her "nobody changes, nobody is reborn" track?

"(Jigsaw) wouldn't just take someone's chance away." -UNLESS they succumb to the poison before they even TRY. Amanda defending his logic and method, though... anyone who doesn't know better could interpret this as a kind of Stockholm Syndrome or... some clue as to why she's being tested a second time...

And Mike's little speech there... "not like most of us deserve to die for whatever we did" ... because there is a difference between being a murderer and being a prostitute or a drug dealer or a ... whatever Mike is.

...that jacket! That's not the one she's wearing in the Saw III flashback, is it? When she kills Adam?

... Amanda's "I think you get it after all..." -WOW. So the point really was about the DESERVING-factor... o.O

Addison needs an antidote. But no one's gonna give up something she didn't earn, unless there is another "free donation" one (unlikely). Mike's a good guy for the most part, but he's not immune to Sarin gas anymore than she is. Let's hope Amanda's right about everyone's chances.

...AVA needs an antidote too. I've decided that- as much as an enigma she is and whatever it is she needs to pay for -I hope she makes it out of this.

... "after all she'd done to cover up-" (WHAT?) Is she one of the people who does "deserve" to be in this game? ... Aww, Mike to the rescue. He doesn't carry a spare jacket, does he? I've decided that awesome leather is the cure for just about anything!

"Two cured, a bitch, a psycho, a 'leader', a kid, a corpse and... Mike." -Pretty Picture, ain't it? Not exactly the Breakfast Club. Dear Ava: if you're still searching for your own label: you can be Bitch OR Psycho #2. J.K! Sorry...just avoid becoming the second Corpse, okay?

"What if the antidote was a lie?" -Ahh! Don't you dare verbalize that thought! I want to punch you for even thinking it! But THAT wouldn't "save" or "help" anyone! :(

Mike suddenly thinks he recognizes Daniel from somewhere... uh oh! Ava too! ..wonder if anyone else does... I mean, not Eric Matthews. They know DANIEL...

"Wait for the fuckin' syringes to just drop from the ceiling..." -LOL. That's actually really funny.

Ava's guess: forty-five minutes left... not promising. Jonas and Xavier splitting from the group... o.O You can probably guess why I don't like the idea. :P

...MIKE too... NO! If he gets another antidote, I vote he keeps it... I think he's more than entitled!

My day off didn't go exactly as planned. You get THREE reviews tomorrow. _ Good night.
Jacalyn Hyde chapter 4 . 1/14/2011
It's labeled as "Chapter THREE". It's probably just a typo and likely irrelevant now, but I thought you should know.

More time passing makes more of a threat. "More gas equals faster death." It's not just Xavier, though. Everyone will be getting more and more desperate- at a certain point, as time is running out, we'll see who the real killers are.

"Xavier with a knife was barely any scarier than Xavier without a knife." -LOL. Wow. And you're right.

...Geez. I almost forgot how creepy Obi was! That freakishly casual tone and demeanor even with all the accusation and threat here, oh, and that leaning into the knife-thing

... Mike has a good point, though. Even if Obi is participating in this game knowingly and willingly (unlikely), that's still nine other people kidnapped and placed there. He definitely used chloroform with Laura, but the TIMING... ha, I'd never even thought of that.

And despite what Mike said "(Xavier) was gonna kill the creeper. He was gonna slit his fucking throat." And that's one more person who won't be needing an antidote. Harsh but true.

"It was a furnace... oh, fuck! The antidotes!" -LOL. Burnt syringes would be useless, never mind the roasted Obi!

Fucking with Obi's test makes it MIKE'S responsibility! Never thought I'd say this, but I wish Xavier HAD killed him! If Obi DOES keep that syringe for himself... :(

Knife... "protection over survival." Ha, I'd still go for letting someone else risk the furnace trap.

Ava is "no Hannibal Lecter". -I adore the reference and I wonder if it has any sort of deeper meaning. Maybe that her philosophy is something along the lines of 'let the deserving die, but don't make it any more than that'. Listening to Amanda for now, might be a good choice tho.

Mike's been paranoid in the past enough to research horror stories and homemade antidotes and process nightmares about being burned alive. That's interesting... maybe he's had some traumatic experiences, or a very eventful past life... LOL

"The syringe was... still intact" -You scared me there for a second! Mike did Obi's test for him and they both lived. I'm willing to bet John wasn't counting on someone else willingly stepping in to do it, I'm not sure WHAT it means as far as redemption but I think Mike is more than entitled to an antidote of his own.

(Mike) "probably has a test of his own." -Amanda. ... umm... BUT there's the extra antidote to donate so sooner or later someone is going to get something they haven't really earned or suffered for. Is it really just a ploy to turn the group against each other? See how animalistic and desperate we really are? Or force decision making and cooperation- despite how little time we have...?

"Dying in your sleep is a gift for people like me" -Ava. ... REALLY? I had the impression she'd come from privilege, if not money as well. But what if it's some other kind of disadvantage? Is she... mildly psychotic? Or... I have no idea, really.

The fact that she and Amanda are "not like the rest of the group" or have something in common doesn't really say anything about Ava in particular, unless she's cheated death at some point OR she worked with someone before who didn't want to let go of her... I'm not even CLOSE, am I?

She's worked the hospital scene in the past! -our first clue! And she wants to know what Amanda is hiding? -Dear Ava: What are YOU hiding?
Jacalyn Hyde chapter 3 . 1/14/2011
You two really do your homework, don't you? From recollecting the exact lines of film-dialogue to noting minute details. Impressive. Plus the Ruger .357 revolver on the door... well, somebody knows a thing or two about guns. I, personally, didn't get very far internet-searching for "Saw II gun" and browsing similar images... If nothing else, this proves your dedication as fans and storytellers.

One shot- already used -and the gun is locked in place anyway. Maybe that's for the better, though: a weapon like that makes things uneven and a little too unpredictable. But STILL...

Dear person who thinks "there ain't no antidote for this shit" (I'm pretty sure that was Jonas but it's not entirely clear)... what would be the point in poisoning you if that were the case? Why LIE?

...Thanks, Mike, again, for being such a strong, well-rounded genius. (LYE is the cure, really?) Assuming you survive this house, I'd like you to be in my group when the Zombie Apocalypse happens. (LOL)

"This was Jigsaw" so survival means "sacrificing something first," naturally. Mike's edgy yet optimistic approach nicely contrasts with Ava's specific blend of realism: where defiance meets paranoia.

"Weakling" -Ava's mental description of Addison succumbing to the poison. HARSH! I wonder if it's just because she and Addison got off on the wrong foot or if the thought really comes from a heightened version of her superiority complex. Would she think the same thing about Laura or anyone else, though? Or what about when the Sarin gas begins breaking down her own body...?

Nope, never mind. As the next line suggests, Addison's death would only mean "one less person to get the antidote." The concept of the "rather agitating woman" possibly dying- soon -doesn't faze Ava in the least bit- it almost seems to amuse her, actually.

But coughing up blood is another story entirely. That gets everyone's attention. Ava's concern (albeit, mostly for her own sake) and Mike's -what was that? -sympathy?

"It was like being back in high school to some degree, only there was an overwhelmingly large possibility that they might die." -LOL. Sad but true, huh? Everybody: just shut up, grow up and... oh, who am I kidding? :(

WHY is it that every time someone is on to something that might help it's quickly dismissed in favor of more petty bullshit comments or someone finding another clever way to die? :P

"The less time they spent around Xavier, the better chance at survival they had." -I don't know about that. Sure, Xavier is the opposite of HELP but he's not the only one causing stupid drama here... and what was that about staying in a GROUP? Working together... He better stick around until the needle pit room, at least. Please?

The basement could possibly hold "a weapon or some powdered lye... and, hopefully, at least one syringe for application of the resulting homemade antidote. I find Mike's optimism endearing. Whatever life (and this game) has thrown at him thus far, I'm glad that's something he managed to hold on to- roughness and sarcasm aside (the Xavier comments; actually thinking something as minor as a possible sinus infection at a time like this) -just NOT GIVING UP is a wonderful trait here.

"What the fuck is an Obi?" -LOL, sorry, that line never gets old! Obi the silent, anorexic, creeper-type.

"THAT GUY... Double agent." The menacing voice following the SILENCE, the overall stance and behavior now, Ava's shivery distrust, the deliberate distance from the rest of the group... "Helping (Jigsaw) kidnap the others" -oh, yeah, there is THAT... So, it's a reasonable assumption- OBI being responsible here -one I'd probably make too, in that group. Nobody look at Amanda, okay? _

Ohh, that's right. We have TWO antidotes here! And if any lye turns up we really only need one... it's not that simple though... (*sigh*) :)

Damn Xavier for hogging all the resources! I wonder if he really would have more of a chance being tested ALONE. Probably... but that knife he pulled out of the creepy mannequin-thing now seems like something that might have been unfairly overlooked by the same person who took Mike's switchblade.

... Okay, I'm kinda breaking my own rules and skimming the next chapter: so I'll be able to SLEEP tonight. Review(S)- plural! - for you tomorrow. Please bear with me in the meantime. Take care. :D
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