Reviews for Big Sister
Guest chapter 13 . 1/22
When will shadow be posted? I to know.
richierich chapter 13 . 7/27/2013
A great final chapter to end a great story. And a huge update at that. Lots of my questions answered and loose ends cleaned up too. So some of the plot lines from your other stories are merging together. Poor Sandra gets the dirty end of the stick yet again it seems. And was that just a bit of regret on Bledsoe's part as he slapped her down? I liked the back and forth between them as Bledsoe blackmailed her into submission, and Pope bringing up a shadow as both men suspect she may not have given up just yet.
These special augments sound pretty tough. I'm wondering if you can have one or more of them running around your story without diminishing Jaime and Sara to some extent. Perhaps their special software and other abilities would compensate for the augments superior strength and damage resistance? Maybe better agility? And now that I've read the latest chapter of "Recycled" it seems that Sarah is little more than a brain and spine with a few organs tossed in to keep her going. With her extra augmented arm and combat training it wouldn't seem likely that Jaime could survive a full-on battle with her without her own combat protocols activated.
Although it doesn't seem like killing Jaime is one of her priorities right now. Despite her ruthless streak she seemed almost concerned for Jaime and her sis. Just part of her plan or some compassion showing? And I'm confused about her long term goals. Is she just following orders from her boss to achieve her own goals or has she bought in to their goals? Or are they one and the same? Even the electronic voice seemed agreeable to "helping" Jaime and Becca out in some way. Anyway, with the exceptions of Jaime, Becca and Sandra, your other main characters do seem to have a lot of moral ambiguity to them. And your "bad guys" leave me pleasantly confused a lot.
I like how Anthro's paranoia about Sara is showing through until it seems to him she's behind everything. And makes the others question his conclusions. I guess when someone comes after you in your home with a rocket launcher that can happen! And he did figure out what that package was for. And thanks for mentioning how Sara gets her replacement "parts". I was wondering. Bringing Becca into their organization gives them a window into the heart of Berkut's activities. But it's a two way street and makes them more vulnerable as well. It will be a real trick to pull this off in your story in a believable way.
So even with Jaime's augments turned down she's still strong enough to hurt Anthros when she isn't careful. Good to know. The "family time" moments with your characters feel right as well as inform. I especially liked the part where Sara was shopping for a coat to replace her old one. These personal moments make your characters feel so real. I suppose even Pope must have a private life of some kind, though what it would be is hard to imagine. But your family time moments with Jaime at home are by far the best. Jaime and Becca just going about living their lives, with an uncomfortable Anthros thrown in for good measure.
And now we come to Earlmayer. For some reason I liked the guy. Can't even say just why. So I was on pins and needles when he made his delivery. And even though all the signs were there I was still hoping against hope. But I predicted he was going down hard and not even the reasonable attitude of the Boss or his calling Earlmayer by his first name put me at ease. And man, did he go down hard! No simple bullet for poor, long-suffering Richard, no sir. You, sir, know how to dispose of a character in true James Bond fashion (which I should have foreseen by your "Jaime Sommers WILL RETURN IN Shadows" comment)? Seemed kind of Bondish to me. Anyway, since you were going to kill him I thank you for letting him go out with a bang. And I'm wondering if the well dressed guy feels ok with his own boss screwing someone over on a deal. After all, it could be HIM next. Right? Perhaps Well-Dressed-Guy is a cousin or nephew of the boss and is comfortable with how the Earlmayer deal went down. As I've observed before, about 99% of movie and tv bad guys seem to have no problem with showing themselves to be untrustworthy in front of their own men. Perhaps it's different within terrorist organizations. Honor among fanatics? But it was a great scene and you set it up so well. As you did all the other scenes in this chapter. And all your stories as a whole. Great descriptive scenes with great characters saying interesting and believable things. Your writing has stayed consistently good throughout with none of the "story fatigue" I sometimes feel other writers falling into when their works stretch on for so many words over so many years. I have no idea how you can motivate yourself for so long a time on the same projects but I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the time and effort you have put into entertaining us, your loyal readers. Well done.
richierich chapter 12 . 3/23/2013
This was an awesome action climax to your fine story. It must have been hard to put all the separate elements together like you did. But it all flowed for me and felt like a great action piece. I'm not sure if I wanted Earlmayer to get caught, killed or away to fight another day, so I'll be looking for clues in the final chapter. Just the image I have in my mind of him running down the street clutching the cylinder to his chest is enough to bring a smile to my face. The poor man endured SO MUCH CRAP to finally get it! Be a pity if his customer shot him dead for making them wait! LOL. The fact that he got away at all, I'll blame on a massive screw-up by the FBI. After all, they WERE the ones who were there to secure all the exits from the building! On the bright side, Sandra can put at least part of the blame for that on Pope and his cowboy breaching stunt. I loved your scene with Caulfield reading Pope the Riot Act and arresting him. I can only imagine what she would have done if a half dozen FBI agents had been killed. I loved Pope's response to Caulfield too. It's like cats and dogs every time you have these two characters meet, and you've fleshed them both out enough that I can see both of their points of view. But this wasn't a cliche action movie where the bumbling by-the-book FBI agent prevents the Hero from getting the bad guy. Caulfield was competent, and Pope is not exactly a hero. Again, I love these two characters you've created and hope to see more of them. And poor Sandra is going to be ticked when Bledsoe inevitably gets Pope released, even though she probably knows it will happen. I liked the detail you went into in the aftermath of the action. Tending to Valdez's wounds, the procedures for handling weapons, and even the way you have agents deal with unfamiliar officers from other departments so no one gets shot by mistake. Even Pope had the good sense to lay down his weapon and kneel. Nice way to take him out of the picture so Earlmayer and Valdez could have their little scene too. And now we have poor Jaime dealing with the aftermath of all this. And the poor girl doesn't even get to decompress but has to deal with Becca and Bledsoe and Valdez. She was hit hard in the face at least once as well as the head and body. She's going to be one big bruise for a week. Won't Becca notice? Oh, I also love how you did that thing with Ginsburg tearing up Caulfield's card but Jaime memorizing the number. It nicely summs up her whole situation. Considering the maintainance her bionics must take, she is pretty well stuck with Bledsoe and his organization for the foreseeable future. And in regards to that, I'm hoping her handlers and tech's have a private review of her condition in the last chapter. Just the fact that whole blocks of her memory are gone is scary. And if no one knows how much she's lost, how can they know if she's competent to go on another mission? She's clearly lost a lot of her gun handling skills. What else? And the last scene with Jaime and Bledsoe in the car was just great too. Nice writing and dialogue. I feel like Bledsoe is more dangerous than Jaime knows, so it's scary the way she mouths off to him sometimes. If she's of no more use to him, just what kind of future would she have? I feel like she's depending upon her friends and handlers to keep her useful even more than she knows. Wow, thanks so much for another great update! This and your other stories have given me a lot of enjoyment and I've got to find the time to read them again some day.
richierich chapter 11 . 11/18/2012
Just checked one of my favorite storys and found a new update! This always makes my day. Jaime and Gracia make quite a team when it comes to taking down the bad guys. And now that I realize she has her bionics turned off (or at least on low) and is relying on her bouncer/bartender skills it's almost too much to believe. If these men weren't ex military I might just find it a little easier to swallow. Perhaps Earlmayer has been renting his mercs at Goons'R Us as Agent Caulfield joked that Bledsoe could have been? LOL! And yes, I do realize that she was lucky and also had help from Grazia. Anyway, it's your show here so I can suspend my belief a little bit here and there for the sake of this great story. Of course I seem to recall that a while back the men of Berkut had Jaime's brain so hard wired with military programing that she was half Terminator and took down an entire warehouse of terrorists. And the result almost turned her brain to mush! It was so awesome to be able to relate to her as being such an ordinary person, and yet able to live vicariously through her as she became an action hero due to the bionics. And the best part was how well you wrote about the effects that violence had on her mind. So amazing. And now you drop that bomb-shell on me that her memory is STILL screwed up from that! Great stuff, and I can't wait to see how that plays out. Pope and Caulfield's jurisdictional squabbling is still entertaining too and adds a lot of depth and texture to the story. Lots of good technical bits with the radios and breaching charges and such as well. And a good touch there having Jaime continue throwing stun grenades because Ginsburg forgot to tell her to stop! That's realistic and probably what I would have done! Pope and Ginsburg are pro's to be able to function with THAT going on! I wondered if Earlmayer was going to aquire the canister and if so, how you would manage that. Nice solution there, and now all your characters are in one place. Also got to complement you on how well you described the fight in the hall and especially how you fit the time sequences together for the various characters as they went about their business. I wonder if Jaime is going to be able to save Gracia and the canister or if Earlmayer will escape with it while leaving Gracia? It would take a Hell of a plan for him to escape a building the FBI and police have surrounded. I'm kind of guessing Pope will let Gracia die to get that canister and that Jaime would do something about that! And I'm really wondering if Jaime were facing certain death, if Berkut could trigger her bionics by remote control again? Yes, I know you are trying to establish Jaime as an independent and recourceful woman in her own right, but the bartender/bionic warrior angle is just so much more entertaining and believable for me as she continues mowing down the opposition. You spoiled me with the bionics and I am missing that a bit, so forgive me if I keep bringing it up. But anyway, this is a great update and I enjoyed it so much! You bring quantity AND quality to the table here with this story and I just can't thank you enough for all the effort you put into it.
richierich chapter 10 . 8/5/2012
Yet another fine update. And another big one at that. After getting a heads-up about the size of Earlmayer's private army in the last chapter it was certainly a calculated risk on Caulfield's part storming the warehouse with just four men. If they had all still been there, Pope's fondest wish probably would have been granted!
I remember a true story from many years ago about four or five FBI agents who were tracking two men armed with automatic assault rifles who were robbing banks. When the agents caught up to them it was two AK47s/M16s? against four pistols and a shotgun and the agent with the shotgun went down right away. At least one of the pistols was a 38 special I believe, and the agents were slaughtered. It was a famous test case on how not to prepare for a firefight.
Lots of nice touches you included to make the story feel real like having the agents yell "clear" and having an agent guard Caulfield while she examines the body. I also like how you have them searching for clues and going through procedures. The laser scanner was neat, too. And at least Pope and Caulfield are communicating enough to keep up with Earlmayer's plans, if only due to the phone Pope discovered. If they had screwed that up they would have both come off looking like amateurs! Nice dialogue between the two of them as they size up the situation. And I think Caulfield is now one-up on Pope as she discovered the Earlmayer is crashing the party.
It was nice to see Jaime using her bar-tending experience and keen eyes to realize that the hired help were faking it. Great fight scene too, with Jaime taking out two of the men and Gracia saving her with that taser and a well-placed kick. You described the moves quite well enough for me to follow along. And Jaime got to use her self-defense skills once again. But Jaime using her REAL hand (you did say she cracked her knuckles) to punch a trained merc in the face?! I would think she did some damage to it doing that. Best to get in the habbit of using her right one. And even with her self-defense training I'm thinking it was the bionics that allowed her to take out two trained mercs like that. Otherwise Earlmeyer isn't getting his money's worth from those guys! LOL.
I always enjoy your commentaries at the end. Back when I was into guns (about thirty-five years ago) there weren't so many different kinds of assault weapons. It's all gotten a bit bewildering to me trying to keep track of them all. I did get to fire a Ruger mini-14 once that used the same load as the M16/AR15 did, and it was quite pleasant to shoot. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it fired a .223 cartridge, though maybe the .222 Fireball was just a precurser to that? Anyway, my hobby was pistols and I still have several ranging from .22 up to a 44 magnum Super BlackHawk single action. I always laugh when the movies show pistols doing so much damage. Any assault weapon will do damage MAGNITUES greater than than any pistol and records show many police getting killed by people after emptying their guns into them. That's why most police in my area switched to large capacity .40 semi-automatic pistols long ago. Anyway, I love how you keep your stories so accurate with all the firearms being used. Your writing never takes me out of the story. So glad for your fine update and I thank you again for all the hard work you put into this!
Guest chapter 9 . 7/2/2012
Would love to have an update and see what happens next.
richierich chapter 9 . 4/23/2012
I was happy to discover a new update last week and while I had the time to read it right away I just haven't had the time to reply until now. Really good. I enjoyed it a lot. The motives of the main characters are now clear to me and I'm becoming quite fond of them. Especially Earlmayer for some reason. The guy is witty and sarcastic and long-suffering and seems to have surrounded himself with fools and unimaginative people(at least in his own mind). And now through greed and pride he's stuck his neck out and tried to grab the golden goose and he can't catch a break. So he's doubling down on a bad bet and going for broke. Oh, is he going down! I can just feel it. I liked the dark humor of the scene where he was on the phone with Jenny. The shot ringing out and then his quip about the silencer and "giving his guy a medical discharge" had me grinning. Like I said, he gives the impression of a long-suffering man surrounded by fools. Made Jenny change her mind real quick though! And what can I say about Pope and Caulfield? I just love the history and issues between them. You just know that in a made-for-tv-movie they'd get shipwrecked on a desert island and somehow fall in love. LOL. Just wondering here. When Pope was contemplating "disappearing" Caulfield, was he thinking of actually murdering her or just arresting her for obstruction or some other trumped up charge? Just wondering how hard-core he is. And Jaime spilling part of her secret cover to Gracia is just so like Jaime. Still, after having to deal with Sarah Corvus, Jaime's handlers must think she's a dream to work with. So now it's seems to be all coming to a head at the ballroom. With Valdez, Earlmayer and twelve mercs, Jaime and who knows who else all converging on the Spanish Embassy it's going to be wild. Can't wait to see what happens next!
richierich chapter 8 . 12/26/2011
Oh wow, I mention that I wouldn't mind a bit more information about Pope and you write out his whole life history for me? Looks like I'm going to have to be REAL careful what I write from now on. No pressure. But my thanks to you for helping me understand Pope and Bledsoe's relationship to each other and their place in Berkut. As I may have mentioned before, I sometimes fail to grasp the obvious when reading stories and substitute my own assumptions for facts I later forget. I did visualize Pope as a capable ex-military man who managed to get promoted to Berkut where his former military background probably left him a bit ill-prepared for the more investigative job he assumed. A bit out of his depth, so to speak. And so he compensates by resorting to a heavy-handed approach to get the job done. And so now that I know he's had a successful career in military investigation I'm going to regard him instead as an extremely capable agent in all phases of his job. Which is just the kind of man a guy like Bledsoe would have around for his dirty work. And speaking of Bledsoe, I had pictured him as probably having a background in upper level business management who then got involved in CIA type stuff and worked his way up from there. Now I understand the relationships between Pope, Bledsoe and Caulfield so much better! And I can understand how poor Sandra is loosing control of her investigation one compromise at a time. As for Pope, I'm reminded of an interview the actor who played Col. Quaritch in the Avatar movie once gave. He said that Quaritch wasn't really bad. And that in another time and place the man could have been the hero instead of the villain. I think that if Pope isn't careful his loyalty could lead him into trouble. I guess the same could be said for all of your characters who take shortcuts with the law. And I'm guessing that as Jaime gets deeper into Berkut she's going to have some tough decisions to make. I like how you've made Corvus (I think I'll still call her that in this story)so single-minded in her revenge for what Berkut did to her. She can't get past how they "cut her arms and legs off" even though she admits she lost those limbs in Iraq to a bomb. And I like how you had Becca take an almost opposite view of the bionics and the opportunity they could provide. And I like that Becca is smart enough to realize that Corvus may be playing her for some reason. But I still can't figure out exactly what Corvus wants with Jaime. I re-read the first story for clues but came up empty. But the image of Corvus shooting that rocket launcher at Anthro's appartment is still stuck in my mind! So cool! And a reminder of just how effective Jaime's bionics can be. I also can't figure out just what Becca's plan for "saving" Jaime might entail. She can't be thinking she'll take down Berkut with Corvus's help and then drive Jaime to a hospital to get "fixed", can she? Having read a lot of your stories over again I'm reminded of just how little time has passed since Jaime's accident (that was't Corvus driving that truck, was it?) and how little training she has yet to get. It's actually a lot of fun to watch her just "winging" her way through being a secret agent with just a little help from her handlers. I just love the way your characters interact and your attention to detail. That bit with Corvus forgetting the phone charger was great. It made her feel more human. After all, she was just in the military four years ago. How much of the spy game has she picked up in that time herself? And I'm wondering how much Corvus is in control of the group she's with and how much they are using her hatred of Berkut to control her for their own ends. So much yet to learn! Reading "Recycled" is certainly helping me follow "Big Sister" better, and I thank you for that. Your story is getting more interesting by the chapter and I can't wait for your next update! Thanks again.
richierich chapter 7 . 9/5/2011
Another fine chapter! So Corvus is going to tell Becca enough truth to try and manipulate her. Seems like telling Becca that her sister works for the government would just cause her to confront Jaime about it and blow the whole deal. I suppose from Corvus's point of view Bledsoe IS forcing Jaime to work for him? I'm guessing that revenge is a big part of what is driving Corvus to work with the terrorists, and I'm looking forward to reading "Recycled" to get some insight into her character. I really thought Valdez was going to die in this chapter. The gun-in-a-sling thing was sweet. I'm almost starting to feel sorry for Earlmayer. It seems nothing is going his way. Good thing he was involved this time or he would probably kill another one of his men for screwing up. Can't wait to see what happens when the men he promised the package to show up for it! Also glad to see more back-story on Jaime and Becca. Still can't believe your not getting more reviews on this great series of stories. Hope you don't get discouraged. And thanks again for the update.
richierich chapter 6 . 7/6/2011
Thanks for the new update! I liked the scene with Jaime slugging Ballard and then reading him his rights. Were the agents more surprised by her hitting him or that she commited a bit of a rookie mistake by reading him his rights when she didn't have to? I prefer to believe the former! Liked Ballard biting his tongue too. Nice touch. It's been a while since I read the previous story and didn't realize that Jaime has had her augmented strength turned off. I DO remember her melt-down as being the reason a lot of her systems were turned off, though she still has her tactical system on, just not a lot of the bells and whistles that go with it like the informational displays. Nice to see her handle herself without resorting to her augments. I wonder... if she ran into Corvus could they all be turned on soon enough?

I like a lot of the little touches you add such as going through all the routine things Paulito and McIntyre are doing while on the job. It makes them feel more professional, and therefore more real as characters. In fact I love the way you are giving ALL your characters quirks and mannerisms but keeping them believable. At no time do any of them pull me out of the story by doing something that I wouldn't expect a person in their position to do. With all the technical and procedural stuff your characters must deal with, that is impressive. Got to say I like the humor, wit, and dry sarcasm you slip in too. Paulito and McIntyre's banter comes to mind. And thanks for filling in the backstory on Jaime and Becca's parent's. And lastly, I'll just mention how much I like how you are writing Becca. She comes across as feeling young and inexperienced compared to the others. And Jaime feels somewhere in the middle.

And I just want to mention how much I liked your gun review. I was a bit of a pistol enthusiast in the 80's and it really brought me back to that time. I handloaded most of my own ammo (for cost reasons) and I could NEVER get my Government model 45 to feed my poured-lead bullets very well. It even went full-auto on me once and from then on I stuck to jacketed bullets! The Hi-Power was a dream to shoot, too, but a bit too expensive for me to own one. So once again, thank you for your wonderful story. It certainly deserves more reviews than it's getting.
richierich chapter 5 . 3/11/2011
A very enjoyable chapter here. Lots of action and characters. Earlmayer reminds me of a little fish in a big pond. He's promised something to some very dangerous people and I've got a feeling he's going to go down hard. He seems to have a problem finding good talent too. Very funny that the man he personaly killed had left an address for the ambush in his apartment! The problem with the big boss killing his own men in front of the rest of his employees to set an example is that sooner or later someone else is going to screw up a job and turn

State's evidence against him. John Friar is doing just that. I think that the movies way over-do Criminal bosses double-crossing EVERYONE ALL THE TIME in front of their employees. In real life I suspect most of them try to keep a good reputation for "honesty" and fair play within their fraternity to ensure employee loyalty. Or maybe I'm just naive. Loved the way Pope is getting to the bottom of things with his direct methods. And the friction between him and the others. Everything is beginning to come together now so that even I am getting it. Nice storyline too. I like the way all the characters are going about their jobs individualy but all meshing together as a whole. Another pet peeve I have is withholding information from people in danger(Becca in this case) in order to "protect" them. It makes it WAY too easy for the bad guys to maneuver the unsuspecting person to another location and snatch them. I'm not complaining about you using it here though, because the story kind of demands it. No fun at all if Becca knows EVERYTHING. But it kind of makes the agency watching out for her look stupid. And with an enemy cyborg running loose they can't afford many mistakes. I'm wondering just how Corvus and friends plan on using Becca against Jaime. Didn't mean to nit-pick. I'm really loving this story so much! Thank-you so much for your time and work here and looking forward to more! And still enjoying your technical info at the ends of the chapters too.
richierich chapter 4 . 1/19/2011
So happy to see a new chapter! Still enjoying the pacing of this story and how you slowly reveal more of your characters... well, character. And the plot. So Valdez was just moonlighting on the side for a little extra money and got in over his head? He's still a smypathetic character though, on account of his love for his daughter as well as trying to do the right thing when he discovered the cylinder. I also enjoyed your notes at the end of the chapter about your take on the characters from the tv show. I don't remember a whole lot about the tv series myself. My impression was that the writers were trying for a "Dark Angel" kind of look. I kind of think that they were leaving the characters kind of a blank slate at the beginning so as not to paint themselves into any plot corners later on. But Jaime did seem to turn "pro" a little fast. It always makes me laugh when tv writers create some edgy or quirky character for a show and by the end of a season or two the actors who play them have completely changed them around to suit themselves. By the way, I can't believe that English isn't your native language. I would never guess by reading your storys. Anyway, so looking forward to more of your great writing! Thank you so much!
richierich chapter 3 . 10/17/2010
All right! Another update! Enjoyed this chapter. I think one of the reasons I like this series of storys so much is because I feel that I'm learning the ins and outs of the spy trade right along with Jaime. Still liking the home life with Jaime and little sis as well as her boyfriend. A little history going on between Caulfield and Pope and it's going to be fun to see what the two of them make of Jaime. And Jaime gets a gun! Hope she doesn't have to use it much though. It's her special abilities that make her usefull in emergencies and not her agent abilities such as shooting. Any trained agent would do better than her at that. (Unless they turn her higher combat functions back on?) And I enjoy watching her use her natural intelligence and intuition to solve problems too. Please don't feel you have to be in a hurry to get on with the action as I'm very much enjoying the pace this is playing out at. But when the action does start, please have Jaime do a few superhuman things. After all, she IS the bionic woman! Thanks so much for updating!
a-delacroix chapter 3 . 9/26/2010
Hi,

Good chapter, I like how you are taking plenty of time to focus on the relationship between Jaime, Will, and Becca. I also like the somewhat lighter feel the last couple of chapters have had compared to the rather dark aspects of the earlier stories.

However on the other hand, the last couple of chapters have been sort of 'talky' without much action. It would be great if you could give us a fun little action sequence in the next chapter - keyword being 'fun' rather than dark. Perhaps something borderline comedic, like Jaime having to go all 'bionic' to keep the girl safe without her realizing it. Or perhaps at some extremely awkward moment, Jaime and the girl run into someone from Jaime's old life as a bartender and Jaime has to juggle two conversations simultaneously without letting either of the others know what is going on. Bottom line, I would really like to have a stupid grin on my face at some point while reading the next chapter because it is so cool and fun.

Thanks for sharing,

Duane
richierich chapter 2 . 8/6/2010
All right, another fine chapter! You do tend to create some large, meaty chapters when you update. Looks like Jaime is going to be doing some babysitting for Bledsoe. Does he think whoever is behind Valdez's disappearance will be coming after his daughter next? Hope he gives Jaime a heads-up if so. And how do the terrorists fit in with all this. And the fact that they are paying attention to Jaime's little sister? Eagerly awaiting the answers to all these questions!
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